Be SMART about phone use and SAVE money

In September 2012 I had finally saved enough money to buy a smart phone. But then there was the choice of choosing a reasonable cell phone plan. What`s usual in Norway, is to have a plan which has a lot included. At that point, there was only one I thought fitting to my cell phone use, a plan that cost me $35 a month. And it included 600 texts, 600 mms, 600 minutes and 1000MB, which I thought was a great deal!

6 months later, I find myself realizing that I never use the phone that much, so I don`t get the value of the monthly cost of $35! So I went online to my cell phone plan contractor, to see if they had something that would suit my phone use better. That`s when I discovered a new cell-phone plan! Sure it only included 150 texts, MMS, MB and minutes, but that should be sufficient for my use. And it only cost $17.50! That would mean cutting my cell phone bill in HALF!

By changing my phone plan, I`ll now save $210 a year!! And!! Another genius thing I intend to do, is instead of adding that extra $17.50 a month to my spending money, I`m going to save the money. I intend to make an automatic transfer of $17.50 to my Vacation savings account each month! This way I make sure that I really do save money by cutting my phone plan in half! 😉 So be SMART and start SAVING money! 

ImageA Dublin snapshot, one of the places I`ve saved up months in advance to visit!

What about you? How are your cell phone bills? Is there anything you could cut back on? Is there anything else you`d rather spend the money on?

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Budget Friendly: Stocking up

Whenever I`m visiting my parents in the Canary Islands, I always make sure that I`ve got an extra suitcase to bring back home. Living in Norway is very, very expensive, especially when you`re living on student loans and grants. Which is why I usually stock up on things when I`m in the Canary Islands, as there are practically no taxes there, with the price level being generally very low. Take the cans of sweet condensed milk for instance. In Norway, these would cost me 9$ per can. When I bought them on the Spanish Island it cost me 1$/can. That`s a 8 dollar difference! The amount of money I save each year just by buying some products with me is rediculously huge!

This time I stocked up on sweet condensed milk, honey, my favourite chocolate, a jar of peach jam, two boxes of sprinkles, some luxurious goat cheese, Serrano ham (Spanish version of the Italian Parma ham), and some  bio-degradable garbage bags.

I love being able to stock up on things that I use, but only  to a fraction of what it`d cost in Norway. This is one of the ways I save a lot of money each year, as everytime I visit I always make sure to buy certain food items with me.

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What do you like to stock up on when you got the chance?

Inexpensive Gourmet Caramels with Coarse Sea Salt

ImageHave you ever wanted to make caramels, but always come across difficult recipes including a thermometer and many hours of boiling? Search no further! These are the easiest caramels you can ever make. I had never made caramels before I tried this recipe, and it was very successful ! It`s practically fool proof! I would really recommend that you sprinkle with sea salt as it raises the caramels unto an entirely different level. These are gourmet-tasty caramels that will melt on your tongue, and bring a bright smile on every face that tries one!

They`re also very budget-friendly christmas treats! It cost me maximum 12$, which means each caramel only cost me 9 cents. And considering I live in Norway which is one of the most expensive countries in the world, the rest of you can probably make these at a much lower cost! 🙂

Ingredients

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar syrup

2  1/5 stick of butter

1 cup sweet condensed milk

Sea salt

Instructions

Mix everything except the sea salt, in a big saucepan on medium heat, so everything melts together.Image

Stir a lot. Bring it to a boil. Image

This is when you turn on a timer and let it boil for 6-8 minutes. After 6-8 minutes it should look like this: ImageRemember to stir all the time! Pour it into a pan and sprinkle sea salt. Image

When it has cooled off, put it into the fridge over night. Next day you take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you start cutting it into smaller pieces, this way the caramel get just the right temperature for cellophane wrapping.

ImageImageCut up small pieces of cellophane. I used a cellophane with snow print, which I thought was a pretty nice touch! Then fold the cellophane around each piece of caramel and squish it tightly so that the cellophane sticks. then twist each side. et voilà!

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ImageImageImageand repeat 128 times (that`s how many I got!)