As we all know, money is the root of all evil… Unfortunately, to be truly, epically globally evil, you have to have a lot of money, and for most of us these days it’s tough trying to climb the ladder of evil financial success. We all aspire to become well-funded mega-villains with unlimited power and gothic looking hideaways perched atop intimidatingly craggy mountains, but making it from the 99% to the top 1% just isn’t as easy as it used to be.
Luckily, there are people around me who are much better with finances than I am, including my friend Michael over at Your Money Geek. A few weeks ago we teamed up for a podcast on his site and had such a good time we decided to team up again and do some fun cross-promotion. I figured I’d share my love of the disgustingly delicious and he could drop some eventual-world-domination financial wisdom on us all.
Oh, and did I mention we also bonded over movies…specifically so-bad-they’re-good movies?
Over the course of our discussions on world domination and the best locations to procure matching evil minion uniforms for our loyal followers, we also discovered that we both enjoyed the film Zoombies from The Asylum!
Of course, with all these common interests, it only made sense to blend all three into a ridiculously awesome team up we’re calling Money, Munchies and Movie Night (MMM).
But what exactly is MMM?
As Michael so succinctly put it on his blog: The premise is simple, each episode we will give you a spoiler-free (mostly) movie review, a movie-themed food item to make for your movie night, and financial hack to pay for it all.
Think of it like a mash-up of Martha Stewart Living, and The Suze Orman Show… if they were both awesomely geeky and watched way too many episodes of USA Up All Night and Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Sounds like fun, right?
The first thing I have to do is introduce you to one of my guilty pleasures, the straight-to-television feature that is Zoombies.
Released in 2016, Zoombies centers around a safari park on the cusp of opening to the public. Just before the gates open, a strange virus sweeps through the park, turning all the animals into flesh-eating zombies (yes, even the vegetarian animals!). A small group of staff and some college-aged interns are all that stand between the hordes of flesh-eating beasts and the general public.
I don’t want to give too much away if you haven’t watched the film yourself yet, but I am going to say…you’ll never look at koalas the same way again!
Because this is a fun, campy romp of a film, I wanted to make a recipe that was just as fun and campy (and tasty)! And while they’re not as graphically disgusting, or as photo-realistic as many of my other recipes, they’re delicious, a little dorky, and a ton of fun to make (and eat!)
Behold, Zoombie inspired Zombie Animal Cookies!
To make your own Zoombie inspired cookies, you will need:
- ½ cup Butter Unsalted, Room temperature
- 2/3 cup Sugar Granulated
- 2 Egg yolk From large egg
- 2 tbsp Full fat sour cream OR greek yogurt OR cream cheese
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- Green food coloring
- 2 cups All-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Baking powder
- Black cookie icing
- Red cookie icing
- White cookie icing
- Candy eyeball decorations
- You’ll also need some animal shaped cookie cutters.
Start by first pre-heating your oven to 350F/176C.
While your oven is heating up, cream your sugar and butter together.
Add in your egg yolks and your vanilla extract and mix until well combined.
Add in your sour cream and continue to mix.
Add in enough green food coloring to turn the mixture a nice, sickly, zombie green.
Once well incorporated, sift in your flour, baking powder, and salt and continue to mix until you end up with a nice thick, silky smooth and soft dough.
Roll your dough out between two sheets of waxed paper until approximately ¼” thick.
Using cookie cutters, cut out your animals of choice.
To stay true to the film I chose to use the following cutters:
*My kit of cookie cutters had zero monkeys or koala cookie cutters (for shame, Wilton…for shame), so we just took a bear and made some artistic choices including adding a tail for a monkey and making the ears slightly bigger and off to the side for the koalas.
Bake your animal cookies for approximately 6 minutes. Then rotate the tray and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the edges are a nice golden brown.
Allow your cookies to cool completely before icing.
Broken leg? Add some red blood and a bone! Have you lost an ear? Add more blood! Did a cookie break in half? You’ve got it…BLOOD!
Regardless of how you decorate them…have fun!
Now that we’ve got your sweet tooth covered, what are we learning about Michael about saving money and our slow slog to world domination through fiscal responsibility?
From Michael over at Your Money Geek:
Saving Money Shopping
To make these epic Zoombies inspired cookies, chances are you will need to do some grocery shopping, and for many households, groceries are one of the most significant expenses. So it would seem fitting we discuss how you can cut your grocery expenses and save money by scanning your receipts.
Save Money Scanning Receipts
Scanning your receipts is a great way to save some money and get cash back for the shopping you are already doing on a day to day basis. All you need to do is download a couple of apps, and you can be saving hundreds of dollars a year.
Receipt Hog: Thematically Receipt Hog makes a lot of sense to include in our Zoombies inspired post. Receipt Hog is a free app where users scan receipts and earn “coins’ to exchange for either Amazon vouchers or a PayPal credit.
Each time you go grocery shopping, you can scan your receipt and earn some coins and entries into their sweepstakes. The App is fun to play around with, and you can win some rewards. However, several users reported that collecting coins is a slow process, and it can take a month or two to build up any serious cash. If you can get a few extra dollars from purchases you already making, it beats filling out surveys online.
Ibotta: ibotta is a receipt scanning app similar to Receipt Hog where you earn cash back for your purchases. Before heading off to the store, you can search the app for relevant cashback offers and add them to your queue. (You may be asked a survey question before you can add an offer) Once you have loaded up your desired offers, you shop as normal. When you are done shopping scan your receipt, if you purchased any of the items in your queue, you will receive cash.
Without going crazy with the app, we have found we can save between $3 and 10 dollars on routine sized shopping trips. The ibotta app offers bonus cash for referring friends, so if you can combine a few bonuses offers with a few shopping trips you can make $100 in no time. Paying for your awesome date night or movie night is as easy as scanning a few receipts.
With this simple little grocery hack, you can splurge on movie night guilt-free, enjoy!
Stay tuned for more episodes of MMM, and we would love to see your Zoombie inspired cookie creations. Share photos of your cookie creations on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #MoneyMunchiesMovieNight.
Thank you so much Michael for helping to spread my love of all things disgustingly delicious and financially devious! If you haven’t already done so, please go show his page some love and while you’re there, sign up for the amazing Asylum Zoombies sponsored contest he’s running for a chance to win a ton of Asylum and Zoombie swag including:
- An official Asylum t-shirt
- Z Nation baseball cap
- Octopus Mug
- Z Nation plush bear
- Vinyl Sticker
So, what do you think of this mashup? Does it work for you guys? A little food, a little film, a little financial mayhem. Should we keep this going? Let me know in the comments below what you think…and if you liked it, what movies would you like us to tackle next?