Budget Bites: Easy Homemade Pizza

We all know pizza is delicious, right? Right. Another thing we know is that take out pizza is both expensive and excessively unhealthy.  Let’s say that you order an ordinary pizza from a pizza chain that will remain unnamed.  For starters it costs around $11.00 just for the pizza, that’s not including if you get a couple of two liters of soda or an order of breadsticks. Let’s say you add those things.  That’s going to cost you a total of $19.61 and that’s before you tip the delivery boy.  Let’s say you do that once a week.  That’s $1,019.72 per year.  Cut that out and you can say hello to some extra money (you could put it towards the cost of tuition, perhaps?)

Don’t even get me started on the nutrition! Just your basic pepperoni pizza is going to cost you about 310 calories per slice. Per slice! Who in their right mind stops at one slice when confronted with a large pizza? and if you get a specialty pizza with any type of fancy sauce, go ahead and add a whole bunch of calories to that.

So, clearly there must be a better solution. Surprise! I have one and It’s so easy you could even turn it into a fun family activity with everyone making their pizza exactly how they like it.

 

What you’ll need:

1 tube refrigerated biscuits

1 bottle spaghetti sauce (or homemade if you prefer)

cheese to taste

Pepperoni, olives, mushrooms, canadian bacon, pineapple or any other toppings your family likes.

 

Directions:

Open the tube of biscuits and separate them giving each pizza two biscuits. Preheat the oven to the temperature specified on the package. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray and use your hands to warm up the dough and spread them into appropriate personal pizza shapes. Spread each pizza with about a tablespoon of sauce (or more if you prefer.)  The next part is where you let your creativity flow.  Add the toppings that you like and put them in the oven according the directions on the package. Then, Voila! Your pizzas are done.  This is especially good with a lettuce salad and the dressing of your choice.

As you can see, I take the term “recipe” rather loosely. Cooking should be fun! I like to cook and adjust the recipe as I go depending on how I think my family will like it.  So check back later for more of my “recipes.”

 Do you have some recipes of your own that you think would help busy moms and dads like you? Share them! Leave me a note in the comments section.

 

 

Budget Bites: Tips for a Quick (Healthy) Dinner on a Budget

It’s 5:00 and it hits you like a ton of bricks.  Your child just said those words that every mom dreads, “Mom, what’s for dinner?” after a day full of booger whiping, diaper changing and overall chaos management, you have had no time to even think about dinner.  What now?

You open the cupboard to see a few lonely boxes of macaroni and cheese and a half sleeve of crackers. Oops, grocery shopping slipped through the cracks today. You’ve called the pizza man so many times in the past month that you’re on a first name basis… but the kids can never get enough pizza, right?  Healthy tomatoes cancel out the greasy cheese, don’t they?

Hold it right there, sister. Let’s rewrite this scenario. Your life is busy, yes, but there are a few things you can do to get you and your children fed, happy and healthy all while keeping your budget firmly in place.

1. Meatless Mondays

Why it works: Have you seen the price of meat lately?  If you’re going with a simple chicken or ground beef meal, it’s easily the most expensive part.  If you want to make a hearty pot roast or steak? Forget it. I recommend choosing one day a week to go without meat (it doesn’t have to be monday, but I do love my alliterations.)

Going meatless also has health benefits.  Meatless meals generally have less calories and less fat and getting rid of the meat leaves space that you can fill with other delicious nutrients that are too often forgotten. However, you don’t want to lose your protein source.  A good cheap way to replace that protein is to combine two “incomplete” proteins such a beans and rice.

Meal Idea: Baked Potatoes with Black Beans and Corn

 

2. Pick Favorites

Why it works: I know, I know, picking favorites is generally a bad thing, but not here ladies!

You know there are things that your kids love and could eat every night, right? So cook them! Pick your 10 favorite easy meals and have the basic ingredients on hand.  This means that when you realize it’s 5:00 and you don’t have a plan, you’re already taken care of.  If you want bonus points you can even keep an eye out for sales on the ingredients and stock up.

Meal Idea: Homemade pizza on pre-made biscuits.

 

3. Plan Ahead

 

Why it works: Planning ahead allows you to get ahead of the game.  Sit down with your planner at the beginning of the week and write down everything from that late meeting at work to Junior’s big football game.  Then go back in and fill in what will be for dinner that night. This can be a rotation of the 10 favorites above, or you can even sneak in a few new ones if you’re daring.  This makes it so you can plan to make enough for leftovers for a really busy night, or you can plan for a quick easy meal. No more of the 5:00 uncertainty.

Meal Ideas:  Taco Soup (It’s easy to make a big batch for leftovers, or to put everything together in the morning and heat it up at night.)

 

4. Two by Two…

 

Why it works.  I know you’ve done it.  I sure have.  Your recipe calls for a half cup of cilantro.  A half cup?That’s only about half the bushel! What should you do with the rest? Maybe just put it in the fridge and hope the guilt of letting food go to waste doesn’t get you too down… not any more ladies! After you’ve completed step 3 (meal planning) take another look and see if you can’t put meals that use like ingredients together. Especially perishable things like fruits and vegetables. So if you’re dying to try a recipe your sister gave you that contains a quarter cup of green onions, try to plan something the next day that uses the rest of those green onions. Easy enough, right?  You’ll be surprised how much this tip saves you by not wasting those expensive fresh goods.

Meal Idea: Baked Chicken Taquitos followed by Spicy chicken tacos (Recipes to come!)

 

5. Mix and Match

 

Why it works:  You’re absolutely craving a delicious home grilled steak.  How can you justify it though?  Simply pair it with something that’s cheap and healthier.  For example,  you could add a half of a baked potato, a simple iceberg lettuce salad (buy it in the pre washed bag for an easier option) or use less of the meat by chopping it up in fajitas and mixing it with peppers and onions.

Meal idea: Fire grilled fajitas

 

I hope these tips help you as much as they have helped me.  Who knows?  Maybe you’ll even have enough time to look in to going back to school (hint, hint) and when you are, Weber State University has the flexible options that work around your busy life.

 

Do you have a Quick, Healthy Budget dinner tip?  Share it with me in the comments!

Check Back for More

Like what you see here?  Keep checking back for more tips, recipe ideas and general meal inspiration.

Go Outside and Play: Canoeing, Camping, & Climbing

Oh what do you do in the summer time?

Living in Ogden Utah the possibilities are endless for outdoor family fun. For some good family bonding time this summer read through these fun things to do and then go outside and play!

Canoeing

Canoeing is the perfect family activity for a hot summer day, not to mention there are plenty of options for reservoirs and lakes around the Ogden area, although Causey Reservoir (which is 15 miles northeast of Ogden) is my favorite place to canoe because of the smooth water, and the little coves between the cliffs you can paddle through.  If you decide to go to Causey dam there are a few things you should know; there are no dedicated boat-launch facilities, powerboats are not allowed, and parking is on the north part of the dam at the Boy Scout camp. Canoeing, fishing, swimming and cliff jumping are all very popular at Causey.  Just remember to bring life jackets, sunscreen, water, and snacks for a great day on the water.

Camping

Bring your family together this summer in the beautiful mountains that line the Wasatch front. The Outdoor Program has the gear you need to make an awesome camping trip including; sleeping bags, tents, camping stoves, lanterns and more!  So let’s say you decide to camp overnight at Anderson Cove (next to Pineview dam) so you rent a four person tent at Outdoor Program it would only cost you $18.00 if you’re a student and $27.00 if you’re not. To reserve a campground at Anderson Cove call  877-444-6777.  Anderson Cove is conveniently located right next to the beach and is right next to a doc. The campsite also has a boat launch ramp, public restrooms, volleyball courts, and pets are allowed in some campsites.

Indoor Rock Climbing

Weber Rocks Climbing Wall is a great place to bring all your little monkeys and let them loose for a day, or bring your significant other and make it a date.  With your Wildcard each person costs $5.00 dollars ($8.00 if no one in the group has a Wildcard) which includes shoes, harness, and a student belaying clinic. Weber Rocks is located in the Swenson Stromberg complex in the northwest corner of the gym. This indoor climbing facility is open in the summer Monday-Thursday 4pm – 8pm and Saturday 10am-5pm. Youth (ages 13-17) can only climb on Saturdays from 10am-5pm.

Want someone else to organize your summer fun?

Not only does the Outdoor Program talk the talk but they walk the walk.  Throughout the summer they are taking groups of both community members and WSU students to the Snake River July 22-24, August 12-14, and September 9-11.  If you would like to go give the Outdoor Program a call at 801-626-6373, pay the trip cost ($85 for students $95 for public), attend your pre-trip meetings, and then show up ready to have some fun.  Visit their website for more info on their weekend Snake River trips. Or Check out their complete list of events, adventures, trips, clinics, and workshops.

With the help of WSU’s Campus Recreation you can have fun family outdoor activities, make memories and have experiences that your family will never forget.  Rivers, smores and adventure are awaiting you.  So contact the Campus Recreational Center today!

Step 1—Explore Weber State University: A Step-by-Step Guide for Returning Students

So you’re thinking about how you should really come back to school and earn your degree, but maybe you’re a little overwhelmed by the process and don’t know where to start. We’re here to help. We’re going to walk you through each of the 8 steps to getting back into school, complete with helpful links and all kinds of tips you won’t find on “official” pages.

Whether it’s the convenience or the value (more on that later) that’s got you thinking Weber State, we’ve got a location near you.

Weber State has two campuses and three centers for your convenience. Services vary by location. Classes are offered year-round at WSU Ogden, WSU Davis, the West Center and fall and spring semesters at the Kaysville and Morgan Centers.

Additional locations

Weber State has campuses in Ogden and Layton, but they also have three satellite centers (in Roy, Kaysville and Morgan) that offer a variety of services. Classes are available year round at the Ogden, Layton and Roy locations. The Kaysville and Morgan centers offer classes during fall and spring semesters. Remember, services vary by location. So make sure you find the bookstore, testing center and computer lab that are most convenient for you.

WSU Davis

2750 N. University Park Boulevard, Layton

Student Programs and Services: 801-395-3460
Enrollment Services: 801-395-3480

WSU Kaysville Center

Davis High School, Rm. 1301

325 S. Main, Kaysville
Call for appointment at: 801-402-8961

WSU Morgan Center

241 E. Young St., Morgan
Enrollment Services: 801-829-3136

WSU West Center

5627 S. 3500 W., Roy
Enrollment & Student Services:
801-689-4WSU (4978)

Step 2—Apply for Admission: A Step-by-Step Guide for Returning Students

Once you’ve seen how great Weber State University is, your next step is to apply for admission.

Apply online

Visit GetintoWeber.com and follow the links and instructions to apply.

If you have not attended WSU before

You’ll need to submit an admissions application, a $30 fee and official high school transcripts or GED scores.

If you have completed some college

You’ll also need official transcripts from all colleges you have previously attended. Call the records office at your previous school and have them send your official transcript to:

Weber State University
Admissions Office
1137 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408-1137

If you have not attended any other school since you last attended WSU

You can update your student record online and then register for classes. Check out these detailed instructions on how to do it.

 

Step 3—See Where You Stand: A Step-by-Step Guide for Returning Students

Take the Accuplacer exams (if necessary)

After you apply, you’ll receive an acceptance letter that will tell you if you need to take a placement exam before signing up for classes. The Accuplacer placement exam is a simple test to access your knowledge and skills in certain subjects. It’s basically a way to make sure you don’t take classes you don’t need (or that you’re not ready for yet).

If you need to take a placement exam, visit weber.edu/accuplacer for more information or you can call the Shepherd Union testing center directly.

Set up your eWeber Account

eWeber is WSU’s online student portal. This is where you’ll:

  • register for classes
  • check your transcript
  • access your student e-mail account
  • check your financial aid status
  • pay tuition
  • review your grades
  • and many other related task

To sign up, go to weber.edu/whatsnext and click on “Create your eWeber account”. You can forward your Weber e-mail to another e-mail address by clicking on the “Options” tab and then selecting ”Mailbox Management.”

Get your eWeber account started here.

Step 4—Find Out About Financial Resources: A Step-by-Step Guide for Returning Students

It all starts with FAFSA

All financial aid options start with filling out an application at fafsa.ed.gov. Make sure you have your most recent tax returns and W-2’s when completing the forms. WSU’s school code is 003680. It takes about 10 days before the Weber State financial aid office receives your FAFSA info, then you’ll need to log in to your student portal and complete the WSU Financial Aid application. (Remember Step 2? This is why you have to be admitted as a student before you can qualify for aid.) After that, you can log on to the student portal to check the status of your application and accept your award.

Grants

Grants do not have to be repaid. Some grant funds are limited. Apply by March 1 for priority consideration.

Scholarships

As a new student, you are automatically considered for academic scholarships as part of your admission application. All other scholarships require a separate application.

Student Loans

Student loans must be repaid, and there are many different types to choose from. Student loans can be a great resource for returning students (see below).

A note on Student Loans: Sure, grants and scholarships are great, and you should always look for the free stuff first when you’re trying to pay for college. But if you’re not able to secure that kind of financial aid, you should think about student loans.

Federal students loans offer benefits not typically found in private loans. These loans can help pay for part or all of your college expenses. You’ll never get financing terms this good for other major purchases (auto, home, appliances, etc.). So why not take advantage of this kind of borrowing for your education?  Federal student loans offer:

  •  Low fixed interest rates.
  •  Income-based repayment plans.
  •  Deferred payments while you’re in school.
  •  Grace period once you leave school.

Make the investment in yourself, these loans are a great option for students who may not qualify for scholarships or grants. Remember, you should always exhaust federal student loan options before considering a private loan.

Step 5—Talk with an Advisor: A Step-by-Step Guide for Returning Students

Schedule an appointment with an academic advisor to navigate the more than 200 certificate and degree programs that Weber State offers. An advisor can help you with academic planning and tell you about student resources that may be helpful.

If you have been to college before

You can log on to our online advising tool, CatTracks, to see how your credits will apply to a degree.

If you already know what you want to study

Talk to the appropriate academic advisor to create your plan of study. For a full listing of department advisors, visit: finishatweber.com/advisors

If you are undecided or a general studies student

You can schedule an appointment with an advisor at Ogden or Davis campus, or at the West Center.

If you are unable to find your major or program advisor online, call the Student Success Center to be referred to the appropriate advisor 801–626–6752 (option 5).
From Art to Zoology, WSU has something for everyone.

Step 6—Register for Classes: A Step-by-Step Guide for Returning Students

Visit weber.edu and click on “class schedule” under the index to view the current course listing. Visit weber.edu/catalog to determine what classes you should take for your major and minor. You can also review general education requirements.

Register for classes

  • Log into eWeber at weber.edu
  • Click on the “Student Services” tab
  • Click “Register (Add/Drop)” and then select the term for which you want to register from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on “Class Search” for a search tool to help you find your classes.
  • Follow the prompts to select the classes you want.

Registration start dates are listed under the “Student Services” tab.

Step 7—Get Ready for School: A Step-by-Step Guide for Returning Students

To make getting around campus easier once school starts, take some time to gather the essentials.

Find a place to park

Figure out what lot you want to use for parking and purchase a parking permit through  WSU Parking Services or at the campus you plan to attend. Park free at the West, Morgan and Kaysville Centers. Your most economical permit option is the Dee Event Center permit (only $17 per semester). This pass lets you park at the Dee, take the shuttle and jump off at the stop closest to your building. Just make sure you pad your commute times a bit if you’re taking the shuttle. Parking on the streets is free in surrounding neighborhoods, but it always fills up very early.

Get your Wildcard and UTA Ed Pass

Your Wildcard is your student ID. Bring proof of registration and a picture ID to the Shepherd Union Information Desk. Be prepared to fill out a form, pay a $20 fee and have your picture taken. Your Wildcard gives you access to the library, testing center, computer labs, health center, veterans’ benefits, gym and athletic events.

The UTA Ed pass (also available at the Shepherd Union Information Desk) gives you free transportation on all UTA buses, Frontrunner and TRAX. Ride to school, work, the mall or even Salt Lake or Provo.

Get books and gear

WSU students get discounts on computer equipment and electronics at the WSU Bookstore. NOTE: Textbook and technology purchases are tax free at the WSU Bookstore. But you might be able to find your textbooks for cheaper online, if you’re willing to put in the extra time and energy.