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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Best of Penniless Parenting From 2015

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Wow, 2015 has been a whirlwind of a year. So many things happening in my life, things that, if you'd asked me about them in the beginning of 2015, I would have been sure that they would never have happened, and yet, they did.

It's interesting- I was looking back over my blog stats of this past year, and my posts almost seem like a representation of the highlights in my life, the biggest of which being that we bought a house, and the second biggest that I went paleo and the ensuing health effects it has had on my body in addition to finally being able to lose that stubborn weight and helping me feel so much better about my body.

So in the spirit of the new year, I thought I'd share a list with you of the 20 most popular posts on my blog of the last year, with the most popular ones first.

The Best of Penniless Parenting From 2015


1. How To Eat Super Healthily On a Super Tight Budget has been the most popular post of this year by far! From the title, it's pretty self explanatory, but its a very thorough list of ways and places to shop frugally without sacrificing health.

2. Paleo When Short On Time and Cash, yesterday's post, not surprisingly has already been my second most popular post this year! Again, the title is self explanatory, but it also includes a weekly menu plan with links to recipes.


3. Really Exciting News To Share, where I shared the news about the house we bought, and how we managed to do so, has been next most popular, something I was very surprised about, but hey, I'll take it.

4. The Tricks and Gimmicks of the Store Without Tricks was about a local store who, while claiming to be free of tricks and gimmicks, actually seemed to be quite full of marketing tricks. It was controversial, since many people thought that there's nothing wrong with marketing tricks and techniques, and while that is true, I still don't appreciate that a store marks itself as being free of gimmicks- any successful marketer will use "tricks". That said, this store has become a regular place where I shop; I just go there aware of the marketing techniques they're using and try to not let them fool me into overspending.

5. A Really Fun and Frugal Double Birthday Party was about my boys' double Minecraft themed birthday party.

6. Giving My Daughter a Pixie Haircut was about how I respected my daughter's request to have short hair, and how I gave her a pixie haircut myself. For the record, after a few cuts to maintain it, she has since gotten bored of the pixie cut and decided to grow it out, and though I love how the pixie looks on her, her body, her choice, and she is growing it out.

7. The Best Kitchen Tools To Help Lower Your Grocery Budget is about the various tools you need to save money in your kitchen, what you should buy if you don't have already, because they're essential to money saving, and what are extras that aren't requirements but do help save money.

8. Foraging Lambsquarters or Goosefoot is about how to identify, pick, and use the wild edible known as lambsquarters, goosefoot, or henbit, one of my favorite plants to forage.

9. What Our House Is Going To Look Like- Mike and I designed our new house to maximize the space in it, and allow us the most options for the future, allowing us to have more living space as needed and as our finances allow, without needing to spend too much money.

10. Making Homemade Potato and Tapioca Starch - The title is pretty self explanatory. It's how you can make your own potato and tapioca starch, but more importantly, it was convincing enough for me to feel comfortable about buying it from the store, since I see that the color and texture of the store bought stuff is the same as what I make from home- and I try not to buy processed foods that have to go through an unhealthy process 2245

11. Figuring Out The Price of Homemade Vegan Milks- This post was actually exciting for me, because doing these calculations actually affected my life, once I figured out that certain things that I thought were cheap weren't actually cheap, and that certain things I thought were expensive were really the more frugal option.

12. What Does Penny Really Use For Health and Hygiene Products- Real Life in Penny's Household- This post was about keeping it real, and what I actually do in my personal life, for practicality's reasons, not just what I blog about.

13. A Review of Natural Sponge Tampons- Most women in the frugal and/or natural world have heard of menstrual cups, but not many have heard of or tried the alternative- sea sponge tampons. I tried them out and reviewed them for you.

14. What Exactly Is Unschooling? After getting asked this question probably a million times (ok, slight exaggeration there), I decided to explain what it means to unschool, and why we choose that method of educating our children.

15. Homeschooling- Because Life Doesn't Have To Suck- One of my more controversial posts, I wrote this in response to many people telling me that kids need to go to school, even if it means they'll suffer there, because suffering builds character and prepares you for suffering later in life.

16. Hard Core Poor- A Book On Extreme Thrift- A Review- I reviewed a book, written by my friend Kelly Sangree, on extreme frugal living, that gave me some great ideas that I had never thought of before.

17. Why Still Paleo- How My Family and I Are Eating Now- The 80-20 Rule- was an update on how we were eating, post starting Paleo in July, and how I managed to finally lose some stubborn weight doing lower carb Paleo.

18. Gluten Free Dairy Free Moussaka- Greek Eggplant Casserole- With Vegan and Paleo Options- This super delicious recipe was a big hit. Not sure what it was specifically about this recipe that made it very popular- not that it isn't delicious, but there are many delicious recipes on my site. It probably has something to do with the fact that the picture was pretty photogenic.

19. Different Types Of Bulk Buying- And Their Pros and Cons- After many questions from so many people about bulk buying, and realizing that there were so many different types of bulk buying, so that when I said one thing, people thought I was talking about something else, I wrote a post clarifying the different types of bulk buying and when each of them should be done.

20. Chicken Vegetable Stir Fry Recipe- Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free- Again, as with the moussaka post, not sure what it was about it that made it get so popular, but it was. Absolutely delicious and photogenic, this recipe fills all my cravings for Chinese restaurant food, without being unhealthy or expensive.

So, there you have it- and it seems the popular posts also summed up my life this past year:
Buying a house, doing the paleo diet without much energy or money, homeschooling, foraging, and cooking yummy, healthy food for my family.

Hoping that next year will be an even better year, with even more exciting news and hopefully having even more great things to write about.

Happy New Years!

I've got many great ideas of fun and interesting blog posts to write in the next year- hopefully I'll find the time and energy to write them all!
What was your favorite post of mine in 2015?
What would you like to see most on my blog in 2016?
How was your year? Any resolutions for next year?

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