Do It Yourself Feed

2015 Ford F150 Battery Replacement - Bachelor on the Cheap

Original Equipment Ford Motor Co. Battery
Out with the old...

By Mike Thayer

You know it's probably time to replace the battery in your vehicle when...

Cold weather hits, you turn the key, and the engine turns over noticeably slower.

I drive a 2015 Ford F150.  Temps went below zero with wind chill in my neck of the woods recently and the battery in her no longer wanted to crank.  I'll say this, Ford makes a good battery.  Original to the vehicle it lasted 7 years.

Needing a battery with at least 610 cold cranking amps (CCA), I did some online shopping.  I don't need a premium battery for my vehicle, my truck is an XL model which doesn't have a lot of bells and whistles and my driving habit isn't just short trips.  Here's what I found, listed in order of lowest price and by retailer:

  • Super Start Economy (O'Reilly Auto Parts): $119.99.  CCA 615; CA 755; Reserve Capacity 95 minutes; 1 year free replacement.
  • Interstate M48/H6 (Interstate Batteries): $139.99.  Their website did not list cranking amps or reserve capacity.  18 month free replacement
  • EverStart (Walmart):  $149.84.  CCA 730; CA 900; Reserve Capacity 115 minutes; 3 Year free replacement.
  • Diehard Silver (Advanced Auto Parts):  $179.99CCA 615; CA 765; Reserve Capacity 95 Minutes; 2 year free replacement
  • Duracell Ultra (Batteries Plus):  $182.99. CCA 680; CA 835; Reserve Capacity not listed; 2 year free replacement.
  • Dealership/Shop:  $225 and up, plus install.

Let's start with the Super Start Economy battery sold at O'Reilly Auto Parts.  The online reviews were mixed, with most reviews recommending the Super Start Premium battery over their Economy model which seems to have some inconsistent performance issues.  There were a lot of negative reviews regarding the return/replacement policy of O'Reilly Auto Parts the exclusive retailer for Super Start.  One example was of a customer wanting to replace a leaky battery and the store saying that wasn't covered under the warranty.  Another example was a denial of replacement during the warranty period because the battery wasn't professionally installed.  A 1 year free replacement isn't good either.  How long a company is willing to provide a free replacement is an indicator to how much quality life a battery is going to have.  Most batteries will give you between 3-5 years, so the Super Start replacement for their economy battery isn't very encouraging.

I didn't spend much time on the Interstate Batteries website.  They have a store here in town and Interstate is a brand that's been around since 1952.  But why they don't list the cold cranking amps or reserve capacity numbers for their batteries is a bit puzzling. They lost a potential buyer as a result.  Perhaps they don't list the numbers because they're not as good as the competition?  Their 18 month replacement offer was also discouraging.

EverStart Maxx BatteryEverstart, sold by Walmart is a brand I'm familiar with.  When I needed to replace the battery for my 1992 Ford F150, Everstart was the brand I went with.  It has the best CCA, longest reserve and longest free replacement of the batteries I researched.   It's a budget brand that provides premium performance.  Cold cranking amps are important for those times when temps hit below zero, especially when traveling to my home state of Iowa.  The higher reserve number (how long the battery will operate your vehicle's electrical system without being recharged) like the free replacement time, is also an indicator of a higher quality battery.   Needless to say, this is the battery I purchased.

Diehard, available at Advanced Auto Parts is a solid brand, but it costs $30 more than the EverStart and the numbers for the Silver model just aren't as good.

Duracell, sold at Batteries Plus is also a solid brand and the Ultra model has the second best CCA number (680) of the batteries I did homework on.  I'm OK with the 2 year free replacement, but the price doesn't compete with EverStart.  If I wanted a Duracell battery with 725 cold cranking amps (5 fewer than Everstart), that would cost $202.99.

Having a battery replaced by a dealership or shop is cost prohibitive at $225 and that's the starting point.  On top of the battery purchase there's the core charge and the labor to install it. 

All retailers/shops will charge you a core fee, an additional charge on top of the listed price for the battery.  The typical charge for the auto parts and battery specialty stores was $22.  Walmart's was $12, another win for EverStart.  I don't know what a dealership/shop would charge because I didn't stay on the phone long enough after I heard the price they were going to charge me for a battery.   

Installing a battery in a 2015 Ford F150
Easy install, about 10 minutes.

I was able to install the EverStart battery in about 10 minutes, no issues.  The average time to do this type of job is about 20 minutes on most vehicles.  Cold weather might sway you to go the dealer/shop route if you don't have the luxury of a home garage and if you have a vehicle with a complicated or tight battery placement, that too might convince you to let somebody else do it... like for a 2001 Buick LeSabre where the battery is located under the rear seat and requires both standard and metric sockets to do.

Costing me $149.84 (if you bring the old battery in at the time of purchase, Walmart won't charge you the additional $12 core fee.  Otherwise, they'll refund it after installation and the same should hold true for the other retailers).  I'm giving the EverStart Maxx 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Reasonably priced, you get the best charge for the battery buck...  see what I did there... with 'charge'... 

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the information you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook


Making your own coffee creamer

Store bought coffee creamer
Tasty, but not exactly the healthiest option to flavor your coffee. Creamers are going up in price too.

By Mike Thayer

I've GOT to have coffee in the morning, but I can't drink it black. It HAS to have creamer in it. I used to add sugar to my coffee too, back in the day when I first started drinking it, but that became too sweet (like me) so these days it's just the coffee creamer added to my cup of java.

My favorite store bought stuff is Hazelnut flavored creamer. My Plan B is Italian Sweet Cream (shout out to Vicki S for that recommendation). French Vanilla doesn't do much for me and if I have to do a Plan C because the store is out of my Top 2, then I usually go with whatever seasonal flavor might be in stock. It's been a challenge buying my preferred creamers lately though, my neighborhood grocery store has been out-of-stock much of the time. 

So, tired of going to the store and seeing they're once again out of my favorite creamers and not feeling like driving to another grocery to get some, I decided to make my own.

Milk + extract + sugar + cornstarch = home made coffee creamer.

This takes about 10 minutes tops to make and it's actually quite a bit healthier than store bought creamers, take Kroger's Italian Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer for example: 

IngredientsWater, sugar, vegetable oil (sunflower oil, and/or canola oil), and less than 2% of natural & artificial flavors, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative*). Dipotassium phosphate, polysorbate 60, mono and digiycerides, color added, sodium stearoyl lactylate, salt, sucralose and carrageenan.

*Not a source of lactose.

I can't pronounce half that stuff, let alone know what it is or does for the creamer.  General rule of thumb, if a bunch of ingredients listed are tough to pronounce and/or you have no clue what it is, then it's probably a highly processed food and not so good for you.

So in making my own creamer, I control the ingredients and there are only four or five of them.  Bonus:  Store bought coffee creamers will typically run you anywhere from $3 - $7 depending on brand and variety.  I can make a good creamer from items I already have at home.  Healthier + cheap to make + tasty = Bachelor on the Cheap wallet and taste bud friendly!

Maple Cinnamon Coffee Creamer

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • A splash of Maple extract
  • A couple dashes of cinnamon spice
  • 1 healthy teaspoon of corn starch (to thicken the creamer)
Custom Coffee Creamer
Making your own coffee creamer is easy peasy!

Directions:  In a small saucepan over medium heat, add all ingredients, whisking to blend.  Bring to a boil while continuing to whisk, dissolving the sugar and fully incorporating the cinnamon.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, simmer for about 5 minutes.  Allow creamer to cool, then pour into a container and refrigerate.  It will keep in the fridge for as long as the expiration date on the milk you used.

You can use 2% milk but it won't have the robust flavor or consistency of a good creamer.  You can also use heavy cream or half & half, even add sweetened condensed milk for a richer flavor, but that also drives up the calories.   If you don't have whole milk, try the 2% milk blended with heavy cream or the half & half.

I would have made a Hazelnut flavored creamer, but didn't have that extract flavor on hand.  You can really get creative with the flavors, playing with all the extract options out there.  Try to stay with the pure extracts, the imitation stuff can contain some of those ingredients you can't pronounce...  And don't forget to look at your spice rack too, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cocoa for a mocha flavor and then there's the dreaded pumpkin spice...  You could even change up the milk, going with coconut, almond, cashew but those tend to be thinner in consistency.  Just amp up the corn starch a bit, tapioca starch works too.

Putting this home made creamer together cost me maybe... 50 cents and it's quite tasty!  I'm digging the maple/cinnamon combo.  It kind of has a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal taste to it.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook


Raised bed garden planter with a self watering feature

Building a raised bed planter
Getting started

By Mike Thayer

Why break ground, till, clear grass and work to amend the soil when you can put together a couple raised bed gardens instead?  Besides, harvesting veggies and cutting flowers from a raised garden is MUCH easier on the knees and I love the concept of adding a self watering feature to the raised beds! 

This was a project motivated by Cindy C, she found the planter box plans and solicited my help to get it built.  After going over the plans from Family Handyman, finding the right spot to place it in her backyard and purchasing materials, the thought process was to build the first box exactly as directed per the instructions.  It's a pretty basic, straight forward plan, a box with a false floor, a liner to extend the life of the wood and some tubing to create a watering system.   In building future planter boxes, the plans will be tweaked, editing what wasn't liked in the original plan as well as putting in some add ons, such as shelves on the end pieces to make working in the bed easier.  It would be nice to have a place to set a flat of new plants, set down the hand trowel when not in use and of course, you have to have a place for your beverage!

Planter end pieces
End pieces are done

A couple of nice benefits to having the raised beds will be the ability to easily cover the bed with an old fitted sheet if there is a frost warning in the forecast and that self watering feature - watering the roots of the plants rather than from above cuts down on diseases like blight and mildew  In addition, watering time is reduced and because it's more efficient, you save on the water bill.  

The price of wood has really gone up since these guidelines were first released.  Costing a little over $400 in materials, the planter took roughly 16 hours to construct, fill with dirt and plant.  Overall, the Family Handyman instructions were pretty easy to follow and included a materials list, a cut list, decent illustrations and a recommended plant list.  This was a fun project and after putting the first box together and getting it planted, here are a few changes to suggest.

  • Rather than just two, 2"x2" vertical cleats on the long side pieces, go with three to prevent board warp.
  • Go with 1-1/2" CPVC pipe instead of the 1" pipe listed in the instructions.  A garden hose won't fit down a 1" pipe when filling.
  • Use 2-3/4" exterior screws. 
  • The instructions recommend four separate sections of tubing going from end piece to end piece.  I recommend one piece of tubing to allow for faster filling and you won't have to use as much water.
  • This is a heavy planter, try to construct where you'll be placing it.

Customizing future planter boxes will be both fun and functional, putting shelves on the end pieces, along with the installation of vertical 4"x4" posts for a trellis and vertical growing.  Cindy also came up with the great thought of creating a box half this size and equip it with heavy duty casters for mobility.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Planter pieces
Pieces, ready to assemble
Planter box
Assembled pieces, ready to line with pond liner
Planter with liner
Liner stapled in
Planter with socked tubing
Tubing and fill tube in place
Planter with plants
Trimming the top while planting
Planter lined with brick
Just about finished!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Related: Lowe's vs. Home Depot vs. Menard's vs. Sutherland's

Related: Building a self watering raised planter bed

Related: Building Planter Containers on the Cheap

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook


Shopping for a shed - doing the homework

By Mike Thayer

Fishing at Lake VikingLast week I wrote about the need for a shed.  Now that I have my customized kayak for fishing at beautiful Lake Viking, I need a shed at the lake property to keep it in.

So I've been doing some homework online.  I'm in the market for a 10' x 12' foot shed - the maximum size allowed by the home owner's association.  It also has to be made of wood, no metal or plastic/resin kits allowed.  No problem there, I prefer sheds made from wood anyway.

I've already got a concrete pad in place, a nice foundation for the shed, but do I buy a kit that I assemble (option 1), or do I buy plans for a shed and purchase the materials myself (option 2)?  Another option, the most expensive one, is to buy an already assembled shed and have it delivered and anchored to the foundation by the shed maker (option 3).

Prices for a quality shed in the size I want range from $1,200 to $5,000, the latter being for the pre-assembled shed, delivered option. 

A little homework, Option 1 - buying a kit

Here are some options for 10' x 12' shed kits available at places like Lowe's, Home Depot, Shed Warehouse where I get to take the kit to Lake Viking and assemble:

Lowe's shed
Available at Lowe's - $2,087.00
Shed Warehouse
Available at Shed Warehouse - $2,999.00
Home Depot Shed
Available at Home Depot - $1,399.00

Right now, as far as the kits (option 1) are concerned, Home Depot would seem like the go-to place for a shed when it comes to price.  It's basic, but heck for the savings in price, I can install a couple windows if desired, just look at the price difference between the Home Depot shed vs. Lowe's, vs. Shed Warehouse.

Stay tuned, there's more homework to be done in considering option 2, buying shed plans and costing out the materials myself. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook


Copy Cat Arby's Sauce

By Mike Thayer

Arby's SauceMost every bachelor has those leftover condiment packets in his fridge, one I always seem to have on hand lately is Arby's Sauce, which is fantastic on roast beef sandwiches, steak sandwiches, a change of pace from regular ketchup on burgers and so much more!  I like to slather that sauce on my sandwich, but one of those packets is never enough....  So why not make a big batch of my own "Arby's Sauce" and put it in a squeeze bottle, right?

Ingredients:

  • 1 heaping cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine (optional, no the real Arby's sauce doesn't have wine in it, but this is a nice add)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

20181203_083506-1Directions:

Heat up a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine all ingredients and heat until boiling, stirring often.  Reduce to simmer and let all those flavors marry for about 5 minutes.  Take the pan off the heat and cool.  Store in a squeeze bottle in the fridge, it's good for about two weeks.  Now you have your own batch of Arby's Sauce, it's another dose of YUM!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook


Essential 'Must Have' Tools for the Bachelor

By Mike Thayer

Screwdriver SetEven if you're not handy with tools, you still need to have some on hand to do simple things like hanging a picture or tightening down loose screws on a door knob.  Yes, even the toilet paper holder may need an occasional adjustment.

Here's a list of the essential 'must have' tools for your house or apartment:

  • Hammer:  No, don't settle for a small tack hammer thinking all you'll ever do is hang a few pictures.  That's all a tack hammer is good for unless you're into cabinetry or upholstering and one of these days you'll find yourself needing something 'beefier'.  Get yourself a 16 ounce claw hammer.  It's a great all-purpose hammer and will suit most needs and basic tasks.   
  • Screwdrivers:  Purchase a nice quality variety set that includes both slot head and Phillips head screwdrivers of different sizes.  Do NOT get one of those cheap "multi-tip" screw drivers with the interchangeable screwdriver bits, they suck, the screwdriver tips are soft, won't last and you'll end up losing a few of those bits over time, rendering that "multi-tip" screw driver useless.
  • Pliers:  There is a large variety of pliers out there to choose from, slip joint, tongue & groove, cutting, long nose, long reach, etc.  Like for any other tools, focus on quality, get yourself a quality set of three pliers that includes slip joint, long nose and cutting.
  • Saw:  No basic tool set is complete without a saw.  An all-purpose crosscut hand saw will suit most needs.
  • Level:  You'll use one of these a lot more than you might think.  Hanging a large picture on the wall, putting up a floating shelf or making sure that new four-tier media shelf is sitting level are just a few uses.  Don't go small in size on this purchase, go with a 24" level, a good size for all-purpose applications.
  • Drill:  This is the only power tool on the list.  A cordless drill for the bachelor is the way to go, but don't go cheap - Black & Decker sucks.  An 18 volt model will suit most all basic needs.
  • Drill Bits:  A drill is pointless without them.  A basic set will do you just fine.
  • Tape Measure:  Here's another tool where you don't want to go small.  Get a 25' measure.  You'll probably reach for this tool more than any other, measuring a space for that new couch, measuring a room to re-arrange furniture, measuring wall space to hang pictures, heck, checking the size of your TV because you can't remember if you got a 62" or 65" model.
  • Wrenches:  A basic set of open end wrenches will help you accomplish many tasks.  Starter sets usually come in 10 piece sets.  For good measure, pick up an adjustable (crescent) wrench to cover anything the open end wrenches can't handle.
  • Duct Tape:  Yes, duct tape is a tool!  If you can't fix it with a nail, screw or some other fastener, duct tape it!

Keep your tools organized and buy a tool box to put them in.  Don't toss them in a junk drawer or have screwdrivers in a closet somewhere and the hammer and tape measure somewhere else in the house.  Having the right tools and keeping them organized is key to making repairs and projects easier. 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook


O'Reilly Auto Parts vs. Advanced Auto Parts vs..... Walmart?

By Mike Thayer

I drive an old pickup truck, she's now an antique in vehicle years, I call her Ol' Nellie.  She's not the purdiest truck around, but she runs good.  She has 129,000 plus miles on her, she's paid for (No, she's not that kind of truck....) she's not nickle and diming me yet (If only something else was that cheap....) and she gets me from point 'A' to point 'B' just fine.  So I aim to keep her as long as I can, I see no need for a new truck, Ol' Nellie is fine by me. 

I do a few do-it-yourself things for my truck, top off the fluids for example and she does have a bit of rust on her, so lately I've been working on a few body repairs. 

So who has the best prices for that kind of thing?

O'Reilly and Advanced are auto parts specialty stores (obviously), but guess what, you pay a little extra at 'specialty' stores.

The Walmart price for the same product is significantly lower and bonus, the hours are better, with many Walmart locations being open 24 hours.

Rain-xJust check out the price difference on something as simple as windshield washer fluid.  The price for a gallon of Rain-X brand, 2-in-1 All Season Windshield Washer Fluid is $4.79 at O'Reilly Auto Parts.  It will cost you $4.49 at Advanced, but just $2.87 at Walmart.  O'Reilly is gouging you on the windshield washer fluid.

PrestoneNeed some power steering fluid?  The price for a 32 ounce bottle of Prestone Power Steering Fluid with Stop Leak will cost you $6.99 at Advanced Auto Parts.  It's 'on sale' at O'Reilly for $5.99, but it's only $4.27 at Walmart.  That's ouch on the wallet at Advanced!

And it would seem that the higher the dollar amount, the deeper the gouge....  When it comes to Bondo, the project I'm currently undertaking, a person can pay WAY too much for a one gallon container of Bondo Body Filler.  It will cost you a whopping $29.99 at O'Reilly.  It's 'on sale' at Advanced for $21.99.  You can get the very same thing at Walmart for just $15.44.  On sale at Advanced means you're still paying far too much!

BondoSo if you do light work on your vehicle, items needed for an oil change or topping off fluids like windshield washer fluid, get them at Walmart.  Doing some body work?  Buy your Bondo at Walmart.  But if you do more tasking things yourself, like replacing an alternator, you'll have to go to O'Reilly or Advanced for something like that.   I would wonder though, am I paying too much for that alternator?

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Enjoy this post?

Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1

follow me on Pinterest

follow me on Instagram

Facebook

 

 


Where to buy a battery for your vehicle

By Mike Thayer

So in the latest cold spell we had, my truck battery died.  It could no longer drum up the power to crank the engine.  May it rest in peace......

It's been quite awhile since I've had to buy a battery for a vehicle, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect when it came to prices.....

HOLY CRAP Battery Man!

For my vehicle, in a cold-weather climate and needing 850 cold cranking amps..... Here are the prices of the leading battery providers:

Interstate:  $164

AutoZone:  $134

O'Reilly Auto Parts:  $134

Sure, Interstate is perhaps the most well known, considered the top of the line, but is it?  Really?  Is Interstate's 850 cold crank amp battery really any better than anybody else's, or is it just marketing?  And then you get the two most popular auto parts stores and their respective offerings....  Gosh, can you tell there is competitive pricing there? 

Everstart 65 MaxxEnter, Walmart.

The price for Walmart's Everstart 65 Maxx, with 850 cold cranking amps, is $95.  It's got a 5 year warranty, just like all the others.

If you are going to install a battery yourself, this is a no brainer.  Walmart is the way to go.  And here's something you may not know.....  Take your old battery into the store when buying a new one, it saves you about $18 in a "core fee".  If you turn in your old battery, you won't get charged.

And if you do decide to have a service center install a battery for you, make sure they don't charge you a "core fee."  They took out the old battery and kept it.  They didn't ask you if you wanted to keep it, they didn't put it in your trunk, so don't let them charge you that fee.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

That's worth a tip, don't you think?

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

Buy Me a Coffee

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1


Baking Bread: Parmesan Loaf

By Mike Thayer

20161218_194129Nothing fills the house with the aromas of yum quite like baked bread.

Here's a great recipe that's easy to put together and easy on the wallet, as you should already have everything you need for making this bread in your pantry.

And after tasting this bread, you'll probably start baking your own more often......

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups whole milk, scalded
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried, minced onion
  • 3 Tablespoons grated, Parmesan cheese
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 tabs of butter

Directions:

Soften the yeast in warm water and half the sugar, set aside.  In a small sauce pan over low heat, combine the milk, 2 tabs of butter, garlic powder and minced onion.  Heat it through until you start to see it steam up, then turn off the heat and let the milk cool to lukewarm.   In a large mixing bowl, combine half the flour, salt, remaining sugar and Parmesan cheese, lightly combine. Mix in the milk mixture to start forming the dough, slowly add in the remaining flour until you get a stiff enough dough to form a ball.  Cover with oil sprayed plastic and let the dough rise until it doubles in size (a little over an hour or so).  This is going to be enough dough to make two loaves, put the dough in two greased loaf pans, cover with plastic and let the dough rise some more, for about 45 minutes.  Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes.  After removing the loaves from the oven, melt the remaining butter over the top crust and sprinkle on some additional Parmesan.

Bonus:  You can put together this loaf of bread FAR cheaper than picking up a similar loaf at Panera Bread.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

Buy Me a Coffee

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1


Eating Breakfast at Home vs. Fast Food

By Mike Thayer

Breakfast kick starts your day, providing your body the fuel it needs to drive through the day.  But it's important to eat right whether you're on a diet or not. 

I suggest eating at home if you can.  Not only will you save a few bucks, you'll save on some calories and believe it or not, time as well. 

Consider this, you get ready for work, but you have to leave early so you can either sit down at a fast food joint or wait in line at the drive through.  Don't leave early, don't wait in line, eat at home.

You can whip up a great quick breakfast, right in the comfort of your own home.   In the amount of time you had to leave early, eat at the restaurant or sit in a drive through then eat in your car or at your work station, you can scramble some eggs, fry up some bacon and put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher.

Don't Eat This:

McDonald's breakfastCosting you about $6, this breakfast comes with over 1,000 calories (that's half the government's daily recommended allowance), over 100 grams of carbohydrates (you don't need that many, especially all those at once in one meal) and 17 grams in sugars.  And don't forget the time factor, time to drive to the fast food joint (5-10 minutes), time spent in it or in the drive through (at least 10 minutes dining in, around 5 minutes in the drive thru (and hopefully they got your order right).  And about consuming that meal, you have to weigh it against eating in the comfort of your home.

 

Eat This Instead:

Veggie egg scramblePictured left, a veggie egg scramble with cheese and a side of bacon breakfast.  This meal took about 10 minutes to prepare is all, cost about $2 in ingredients and here's the nutrition breakdown:  About 600 calories, about 7 grams in carbs from the veggies and 1 gram in sugars.  Yes, this meal will make you feel full, satisfyingly so, not overstuffed like the McDonald's meal will (and never mind the pending carb/sugar crash that goes with that).

The best part of this meal, you get to eat in the comfort of your own home.  I don't know about you, but I'll take that over eating in the car or at the office!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

Buy Me a Coffee

follow me on twitter @Bacheloronthe1