Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Quick and Cheap Hack- Extending the Life of My Freezer Shelf

When we moved to our new home about 3.5 years ago, we bought a new fridge instead of the 30 year old friend we had second hand before that. And while I've been pretty happy with this fridge/freezer combo, especially that its been maintenance free since we got it (unlike our old one that needed regular maintenance), there are some things about it that really annoy me. First off, I can't adjust the heights of the shelves in the fridge, which means that I can't put larger pots in it, since they're all the same short height. Second, I only have one shelf in my freezer, instead of two, which makes it harder to store things in it and find things without them falling.

But probably my biggest complaint about it is that the freezer shelf is plastic, and since I fill my freezer a lot with things I buy on sale and preserve, and because there is only one shelf, the plastic shelf ends up with a lot of weight on it. Not surprisingly, it cracked.

The first time it cracked, I dried it very well from condensation, then taped it together with strong tape. It worked ok, but not perfectly, especially since the crack only went part of the way.

However, more recently it cracked again, and more severely, to the extent that I wasn't sure it would be usable anymore. But I'm not even sure if I can get a replacement part, but even if I could, replacing a not strong plastic shelf with a repeat plastic shelf is just a temporary fix. And anyhow, I have no idea if and when such a replacement shelf would arrive what with corona, if I could even find one.

Why Gift Hampers Are the New Gift Trend in 2020

When birthdays and other special occasions come around, its often hard to figure out what the perfect gift to give someone is. Sometimes, though, instead of getting just one gift, giving a gift hamper can be a great idea. Here's more from a reader.
Giving a gift hamper is becoming one of the most popular gift trends of 2020. People of all ages and genders love hampers, and they are available at a wide range of prices. Alternatively, you can prepare your own gift hampers if you are on a tight budget. Read on to find out more.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Easy Fish Free, Gluten Free Beef Pho Recipe -- Delicious Vietnamese Noodle Soup, Allergy Friendly

I was cleaning out my freezer (yay, spring cleaning!) and I had a bunch of beef broth in it. Part of that beef broth, to be honest, was something that I intentionally made to be able to cook Asian food with it, many recipes I never got around to yet, but I still needed to make room in my freezer. I also had some cooked beef, a roast that I had boiled and sliced to use for a steak salad, but had leftovers. I wanted to make something delicious that highlighted these flavors without needing to spend too much work or needing to go grocery shopping, and thought about making pho. 

Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup, prounounced fuh, that contains herbs, meat, rice noodles, and broth. There are so many different variations of it, but I wasn't sure I had the necessary ingredients for it. However, after googling it a bunch I put this recipe together that came out absolutely terrific. I can't tell you how authentic it is, because I'm not Vietnamese, nor have I eaten pho in an authentic Vietnamese restaurant, but from my research, it all seems pretty authentic other than soy sauce I used in place of fish sauce, and the kombu which I decided to throw in there to add even more umami, but you can totally leave it out if you want more authentic.

If you want to make this paleo, it wouldn't be officially pho then, but you can use zoodles or spaghetti squash instead of the noodles, and the coconut aminos option, and it will be totally paleo.

This recipe as is is gluten free, allergy friendly, and absolutely amazing. It was a hit with everyone that tried it.

Easy Gluten Free Beef Pho Recipe -- Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Signs You or a Family Member Have Poor Gut Health – and What to Do

A kid of mine recently needed to use antibiotics, which reminded me that I need to work more on our family's gut health. It's a good thing that I recently started making kombucha and kefir again. Read more about why gut health is important and what you can do about it.

During this crazy period of the Corona virus, maintaining well-being is more important than ever. A healthy gut is the key to overall wellness. Having good bacteria function in the tummy boosts the immune system, which will help keep the nasty stuff away.

If you or someone in your family has poor gut health, then you may notice a few problems. If so, it is a great idea to try out microbiome testing, which is affordable and tells you exactly what’s going on. But in the meantime, let's break down what defines poor gut health so you know if you or your family member is suffering from stomach-related issues.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Our Latest Frugal Accomplishments in Quarantine

So, I've been under quarantine at home the last two weeks, and now there's a shut down so no leaving the house. In some ways, this can be a more expensive time, but being at home, there are so many DIY things we're able to do to save money, with all this time, and sometimes needing to do DIY because we can't bring in a professional to do it for us.

So I made this list of frugal things me family and I got up to these last three weeks, mostly in quarantine. And I'm sorry its taken so long for me to post, its just so hard for me to focus with everything going on. I have lists a mile long of things I want to post, and I'm going to try to get them up soon.

Here's what my family and I did to save money these last three weeks, nearly without leaving my house.

A Complete Guide to Using Coupon Codes

Times are hard and everyone's looking to save money. Couponing is one of those ways we can do it, and luckily, we can coupon even without leaving our house, even internet shopping. Read this post from a reader to find out more.

Prices are rising across the board, while unemployment rates are growing. It’s only normal to want to assert some control in these situations and the best way to do that is through slashing the costs of day-to-day life. For instance, you can reduce your gas prices; reduce the price of services like landscaping, cable and even for your utilities. However, you also have to consider the general everyday items that you need. This includes food and maintenance items.

Moreover, there is only so far that sacrifices can go. You need to maintain a regular life while still saving some money. You can’t stop eating - or even worse, start eating poorly - and stop maintaining your home and yourself.

But how should one do this while still staying comfortably within the budget?

Well, there are many ways. And couponing is at the heart of them - click here to learn more about couponing.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

My Great Scratch and Dent Store Visits and Other Important Things I Did Today

Today I finished my 14 day quarantine after coming back from Austria, and was able to leave the house for the first time. I finally was able to take care of my tooth which was causing me problems, but there was talk about our public transportation system being canceled, and all unnecessary stores shut down, which made me really stressed out, because how would I get to the dentist without buses, and how would I do my important grocery shopping, things that I couldn't get delivered to my house and my local stores don't sell.

So I decided to rent a car from a local person so I could be assured that I'd be able to go to the dentist, and while I had the car, I would do some more important grocery shopping. However, since I don't regularly have a car, when I do have one, I like to take advantage of it and use it to its fullest extent. That means that I wasn't just going to go to the grocery store and the dentist, but I'd be going to the scratch and dent stores as well.

In the two scratch and dent stores I visited today, I was pleasantly surprised by what I found.

Can you save money with a home warranty?

Things break. Paying for them when they do is expensive, and can be a big burden on home owners (which is why some people choose to be permanent renters, so that their landlords can take care of that hassle). One way people deal with these expenses is by having a home warranty. Read on to see what a reader has to share with us about the topic.

Being a homeowner can be so expensive. That’s why people are trying to find new ways to save money. One of the most significant cost is repairs. If you own expensive home appliances and systems, you know that a single repair can cost from a few hundred to a few thousands of dollars. Obtaining a home warranty is one of the ways to secure your budget. Read on and find out more about it!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Delicious and Easy Sweet Cheese Pancakes Recipe

This recipe is very different from most recipes I post. First of all, I never tasted this. Secondly, it isn't particularly frugal or particularly healthy.  Nor is it gluten free, dairy free, or egg free (it's all those, basically). But I made it yesterday for my kids for lunch and they devoured it, and told me that I have to share it here on my blog. This is high in protein, and since I got the cheese free, it was frugal for me as well. They make soft pancakes that hold together well. My kids told me they were less sweet than cheesecake (the flavor I was going for) but sweeter than regular pancakes.

Note, this is quite a large recipe; if your kids are less famished than mine, or if you're a smaller family, you might want to halve this recipe, or even make just a third.

Delicious and Easy Cheese Pancakes Recipe

How to Experience Wellness and Still Save Money

Take care of yourself! Do what you can to boost your body and mind during these hard times with these frugal ideas, sent in by a reader.

The wellness industry is on the rise. Interestingly, the practice of wellness has been with us for ages now but more and more people in Canada are becoming “hooked” on it. Maybe companies have simply become better at marketing wellness products. Regardless, it’s understandable that consumers want to feel well and that they’re willing to spend money to do so. However, unknown to many, there are ways to save dollars on popular wellness practices.

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