Tag: budgeting

March Website Review: The Thrifty Crafter

Photo: Property of The Thrifty Crafter A Bargain Shopper’s Guide to Expressing Creativity This months website review is on one of my three favorite go to craft sites: The Thrifty Crafter. The thrifty Crafter offers tantalizing recipes like Halibut and Chickpea Salad or a Sweetharts 

June Website Review: Family Mint

Jeff Eusebio is the CEO and Co-Founder of FamilyMint.com.  Jeff created Family mint to give families an easy fun way to teach children and teenagers how to manage their money. Family Mint is a free website. The way it works is you, the parent, sign 

Mediterranean Roasted Vegetables with Bulgar Wheat

I love roasted vegetables. The are the most delicious slightly charred and seasoned lightly with kosher salt. You can make them in the oven as stated in this recipe or in a skillet over medium-high heat. I usually use Bulgar wheat for breakfast cereal sort of like an oatmeal. Tonight however I ventured to try a recipe pairing the wheat and vegetables. The verdict was a unanimous two thumbs up. I feel a little guilty letting the crowd believe the Bulgar wheat was couscous. They liked it so why spoil it, right?

I use a product called better than bullion in the place of broth. It is basically concentrated broth that has to be refrigerated. It calls for 1 teaspoon per 1 cup hot water. I forgot to measure how much water I put in the bowl with the wheat but 1 teaspoon of the bullion and a pinch of salt was enough to give the wheat sufficient flavor. Serve with grilled salmon, chicken, steaks or seared tuna steaks.

Source: The Good Mood Food Blog
Serves 4-5 generous portions
200g (about 1 1/3 cups) of Bulgar wheat
1 tsp of vegetable bouillon powder
1 aubergine (eggplant) chopped into bite size pieces
2 courgettes (zucchini) chopped into bite size pieces
2 red onions chopped into bite size pieces
1 sweet red pepper chopped into bite size pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
A good pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. Place the Bulgar wheat in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Stir through the vegetable bouillon powder, cover with a cloth or cling film and allow to sit for about 30 minutes or until all the water is soaked up.

Add all the prepared vegetables to a large bowl or baggy and toss with the oil, salt and black pepper. Arrange the vegetables on a large non-stick low sided roasting tray, making sure not to overcrowd it, as this will make the vegetables become soft. Roast for approximately 30-40 minutes or until the vegetables become slightly scorched on the edges. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool. Add the roasted vegetables to the Bulgar wheat and stir gently to combine. If needed, season with a little extra sea salt and black pepper.

-Use any type of hearty vegetable such as carrots, beetroot, asparagus, potatoes or corn.
-Use chicken or vegetable broth in the place of water and the bullion powder.

At Home Vacations and Nickle and Dime Get-a-ways

In February, the local schools were out for Presidents week. The mother hen that I am, I loved having Mason home. We enjoyed sleeping in, staying up late, a morning in the mountains playing in the snow, a visit from Grandma and Grandpa, stomping in 

Teaching the Value of Work Through Play

In today’s economic uncertainties proper money management is top on the list of priorities when it comes to preparing my children for the real world. When I was in college I did not drive anywhere on the weekends because I did not have the money 

Eliminating Debt By Spending Less and Using What you Already Have

Everything costs more these days. Only a short while ago I could purchase 10 ears of corn for a dollar. Now they sell for .50 cents an ear. With the cost of just about everything on the rise the hum in the air is how do I get the most on a limited budget and eliminate debt. How much you save depends on how aggressive you are.

For budgeting and finances I turn to Mary Hunt. She writes the “Solutions your Money” column in Woman’s Day magazine and has her own website at debtproofliving.com
Some other great budgeting sites I use are flylady.net, budget101.com, cafemom.com, pioneerthinking.com. You can also find recipes, organization and other household tips.

When I started making a list of all the helpful tips I have learned over the years the list kept growing. This is a list I put together from tips I have used and those I have read from the websites listed above.


  • Stop spending!!! Change your habits!!!
  • Think hard before you buy. Do you really need it?
  • If you have to impress your friends they are not really your friends.
  • Eliminate the extras: cell phones, movies, cable, eating out.
  • Walk more, drive less.
  • Save postage by paying bills online.
  • Shop thrift stores and yard sales for clothing, books and kitchen essentials.
  • Buy clothing out of season when they are on sale.
  • Borrow movies, books and music from the library.
  • Shop the dollar store for cleaning supplies, party goods and snacks.
  • Join a food co-op for cheaper groceries. Receive a box of fresh fruits and vegetables on your door step every month. Go to localharvest.org, coopdirectory.org/ or niany.com to find a co-op.
  • Relax while getting a massage at a massage school.
  • Cut your children’s hair or take them to a Cosmetology school.
  • Enjoy free local entertainment.
  • Sell unused unwanted items on Craigslist.org, ebay, amazon, sell.com or have a yard sale.
  • Have books in good condition? Go to cash4books.net or visit a local used books store to make a trade.
  • Take your gently used and in perfect condition clothing to a Consignment Shop. Depending on the shop, some will give you money up front while others set up a store account.
  • Turn off the electricity when not in use.
  • Buy out of season: Can or freeze fruits and vegetables when in season.
  • Abandon the pre-packaged foods.
  • Use Coupons
  • Create a Menu.
  • Do not buy or use more than you need.
  • Make a month’s worth of meals at once. savingdinner.com


  • Take care of purchases.
  • Food: wrap it up, use it and freeze it.
    Clothes: Wash stains out immediately. Hang dry, keeps clothes nicer longer.
    Wash and dry comforters at a self service laundry mat instead of the dry cleaners.
  • Turn old clothes into something new: Tote Bags, Kids clothes, doll clothes, dust rags, a quilt, photo album, pillow case…
  • Make your own: broth, lunchables, baking mixes, baby food, diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, snacks, bread.
  • Grow your own garden.
  • Cook more at home. Eat out less
  • Brown bag it.
  • Use over ripe fruit to make breads or muffins.
  • If a recipe calls for egg yolks save the whites to make an omelet for breakfast.
  • Use water, fresh fruits and veggies rather than the prepackaged snacks and juice boxes.
  • Use fruits to flavor water: lemons, limes, unsweetened cranberry concentrate, cucumber slices, mint leaves or blueberries to flavor water.
  • Use what you have on hand by creating budget meals from items in your freezer and pantry.
  • Turn one meal into three.
  • If your family is not fond of leftovers only make enough for that evening’s dinner.
  • Freeze leftovers in individual portions using a vacuum sealer. Have a restaurant night complete with a menu listing the “leftover” entrees.
  • Use fewer ingredients. If the recipe calls for two cans of beans ask your self, do I really need to use both cans. Same with meats, one chicken breast shredded or cubed goes a long way.
  • Make a double batch and freeze it for another day when you do not feel like cooking.
  • Make your own cleaning agents.

How to Lower Your Grocery Bill- Using Coupons

Extreme shoppers can slice as much as 50% – 60% off their monthly grocery bill just by using coupons and waiting until the item goes on sale. If it is not on sale, they do not buy it. They stock up on the items they 

How to Lower Your Grocery Bill – Save on Meat

A friend of mine was telling me about the bulk package of pork tenderloins she purchased at Costco and how fast they all went. When I told her that one package generally lasts two to three months for us she could not believe me. Then