Saturday, February 6, 2010

Frugal Fun Saturday: Free Doughnuts and the Museum!

Today my two son's and I are headed out for some Frugal Fun. For anyone who doesn't know this, Krispy Kreme offers children in school up to 6  free doughnuts per child per "A" they recieve on their report card. My oldest son has five "A's", so we are off to have doughnuts and stopping by a local museum on the way home. We are going to have a great time today.... What is your favorite frugal fun activity?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Celebrations in life...

Today started out as a yucky rainy day. My little one really needs some time to play outside, and unfortunately the weather has not cooperated lately. I did have one great thing to look forward to today. My oldest son had an awards ceremony today at school. He was awarded: Highest Math Average, Honor Roll, and Perfect Attendance. This gave me an opportunity to reward his success and have a nice frugal celebration. My son could not be any happier than to choose homemade cheeseburger pizza and chocolate cake for dinner tonight. We had a nice homemade dinner full of praise and laughter. What did this cost me? Less than $5.00. It really is the little things in life that you remember the most. Before, when I was a busy professional rushing here and there, I am sure he would have received the latest video game or toy. I really believe that this special dinner and the time we spent together this evening will be remembered and appreciated the most. I am also very grateful that I was able to attend his award ceremony. There were many children there who did not have anyone present.

Life is too short to not slow down and enjoy the small pleasures in life. I believe that there are no possessions in life worth having to work yourself to death and miss the pleasure of a simple life. I challenge you to forgo your shopping carts in favor of playing with your children, walking your dog, talking with your spouse, or even make some time for yourself.

I would love to hear some of the frugal ways that you celebrate....

A fresh start...

2009 was a great year. Although I was a major slacker in the blogging department, I did manage to have the best financial year that I have ever had. I do have to say that I also made the least amount of money that I have ever made in my adult life. I have discovered that you do not need the latest and greatest to have a great life. I have actually learned the opposite, that the less debt and personal possessions that you have the more that you enjoy your days. My stress levels have really decreased since I have taken on this frugal identity. I no longer feel like that rushed and frantic person that I once was. I have learned that the most important things in life cannot be purchased. I want to share with you things that I have done to save money and bring piece into my life. This includes cooking, cleaning, vacations, groceries etc. I will tell you about things that have worked and things that haven't. We have also been blessed with the opportunity to build "our" dream home on a large piece of property. This will allow for my dreams of growing vegetables, fruit trees, blueberry bushes, chickens and canning. I guess I should mention that I have never been good at growing anything or any other farm activity so this should also make for some interesting blog postings......

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Frugal and All Natural Home Remedies

Lat night I couldn't sleep because I had a wicked case of the dry winter skin itches. A very good friend of mine told me that you could put oatmeal inside of an old stocking or knee high and tie it up nicely and use it in the bath for itchy skin. Well this turned out to be just the sanity saver that I needed last night and it worked like a charm. This got me thinking about other all- natural, chemical free and of course frugal home remedies and these are the things that came to mind...

Ginger Root for tummie troubles: take a piece of ginger root and grate about 1 tsp or more if you like. boil some water, add grated ginger root, boil about 5 min., set aside and let cool, strain out ginger root and enjoy. It has a tangy lemony flavor. You could also use ginger tablets or ground ginger.

Use Rice to make a heating pad. Use an old tube sock and fill it full of any type of rice you have on hand. Tie a nice tight knot in the top and put in the microwave for a few min. You have an instant heating pad. I have gone a step further in my home and used an old terry cloth robe and sewed up a good size heating pad. These retain heat for quite some time.

Lime Juice for dandruff: Shampoo your have like you normally would and then in the last rinse use some lime juice. This will remove dandruff and make your hair nice and shiny.

Frugal Hot Oil treatment: 2Tbsp. olive oil, 2Tbsp. Veg. oil, heat until just warm. Spread on wet hair, especially around the ends, Wrap your hair in a warm towel (fresh from the dryer) for 30 min to 1hour. shampoo and rinse.

I keep Tea Tree oil on hand for many things to include: head cold or stuffy nose (add a few drops to about 4 cups of warm water, drape your head and bowl with towel and breath deeply),you can add a few drops to your regular shampoo to combat dandruff, add a drop to your skin on a bug bite, Boils, cysts, and acne, use a warm compress to open the pore and them apply tea tree oil directly to the area. Please keep in mind that if you have sensitive skin you may not be able to use tea tree oil. There are hundreds of uses for this oil, but these are some that I actually have used.

These are just a few of the frugal home remedies that I have used. What works for you?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Not Going to the Store and an Easy Frugal Bread Recipe

I peered into my bread basket this morning and what did I see.... Well nothing and that had me immediately thinking that I should run to the grocery store and while I was there I could also pick up some more fresh fruit and......... I am sure that if I had chosen to go to the grocery store this morning I would have come back home with a minimum of $30 worth of items. Instead I took a walk in the cool morning air and thought about the ways that I could make do with what I have and not go to the store and here is what I came up with..

When I got back home from my walk I went over and opened the pantry door and examined it's contents. I noticed that I had some dried fruits (raisins and apricots), applesauce, can fruits and veggies, and plenty of flour among other things.

I felt like I needed to pick up some fresh fruit because I like for my oldest to have a fresh fruit in his school lunch bag. Well whats wrong with apple sauce, dried fruits and can fruits? Absolutely nothing. OK solved that issue. What about the bread???

A few years ago I found a recipe that was published by Amy Dacyczyn (Tightwad Gazette) called Easy Cuban Bread, perfect for the occasion and completely easy and quick to make.

Easy Cuban Bread : Yields 2 loafs

5-6 cups all purp flour (you can use whole wheat or even a combination)
2Tbsp. dry yeast
2Tbsp. sugar
1Tbsp. salt
2cups hot water
1Tbsp. sesame or poppy seeds (optional)

Mix 4 cups of flour with yeast, sugar, and salt. Pour in hot water and beat for 100 stokes. stir in remaining flour until dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 8 min. (I set a timer and let my kids do this:) Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let rise for 15 min. Punch down. Shape into 2 round or rectangular loafs, place on baking sheet. Cut an "X" in the top of each loaf (if using round loaf) brush with water and sprinkle with seeds if you have any. Place on mid shelf in a cold oven. Place a cake pan of water on the low rack in the oven. Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 40-50 min.

The smell is divine!!! Enjoy.

Monday, January 26, 2009

An easy chili powder recipe

Upon filling my crock pot this morning for my delicious pot of chili beans I realized that I did not have an chili powder. So whats a girl gotta do... Hit the web for a quick easy chili powder recipe. I found this recipe on southern foods. I will let you know how it turns out:

An easy homemade chili powder recipe.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Preparation:Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Here is what I plan on feeding my hungry brood this week:

Breakfast: Banana Smoothies made with soy milk, Homemade pan bread with honey
Lunch: Leftovers or PBJ sandwich
Dinner: Large pot of Chili beans with fresh chopped onion and sweet cornbread, sweet tea

Breakfast: Baked oatmeal with chopped apples and milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken cacciatore with brown rice, green beans, crusty homemade bread, sweet tea

Breakfast: Toast with egg, orange wedges, milk
Lunch: leftovers
Dinner: Texas Cowboy Pie ( mashed potatoes topped with shredded B-Q beef topped with cheese and baked in oven) sweet peas, fresh warm homemade rolls, sweet tea

Breakfast: Homemade cinnamon raisin muffins with milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Split pea soup with a nice warm loaf of crusty bread, sweet tea

Breakfast: Hot Grits and toast with jam, scrambled eggs, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Pizza Night (every Friday) Spicy chicken pizza, carrot sticks, sweet tea

Breakfast: Pancakes with homemade (cheap) syrup, milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, green beans, homemade yeast rolls, sweet tea

Breakfast: Sausage Biscuits, juice and milk
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Barbecue Chicken (crock pot), southern batter bread, sweet peas, sweet tea

Lunches are always leftovers or sandwiches, I do add a piece of fruit and fresh veggies if I have any on hand. My oldest son takes a bag lunch to school and I always pack his lunch immediately after dinner with leftovers.

Snacks.. We snack on popcorn that we pop on the stove, fruit, veggie sticks, raisins, chocolate milk, cinnamon toast, PBJ sandwiches

Drinks are always Milk, sweet tea, water and the baby gets apple juice with dinner.