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Friday, July 31, 2015

Homemade Healthy Toffee Bars Recipe- Paleo, Raw Vegan, GAPS Legal, Grain Free, Gluten Free

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Growing up, my mom would make these really yummy treats- cookie on the bottom, chocolate on the top, which she'd call toffee bars. I never really understood why those were called toffee bars- isn't toffee like caramel? But either way, they were a great treat that I looked forward to having.

The other day I was heading out to a special party in honor of the birth of my sister Violet's baby, and I know that because I am currently on such a strict diet, I couldn't expect there to be anything there that I could eat, let alone a treat, so I decided to pack along Paleo Reset legal foods, including a small treat- mainly cashews, with a little bit of dates to hold it together, and carob powder for flavor. It was so good that I decided to make it again for my family, this time measuring out exact amounts.
My family absolutely loved it, despite it having only 9 dates for the entire batch, so not exactly very sweet.
I made this with carob powder since cocoa powder isn't allowed on my current diet, but feel free to use cocoa powder in place of the carob powder. I would have made them with my own homemade carob powder from foraged carobs, but I'm currently out and the carobs aren't all the way ripe yet.

I had a hard time figuring out what to name this, but then I realized that it is most similar to my mom's toffee bars- only healthy, paleo, and vegan. So there it is.

Homemade HealthyToffee Bars Recipe- Paleo, Raw Vegan, GAPS Legal, Grain Free, Gluten Free

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Cracklin Chicken Recipe- Grain Free, Simple, Fried Chicken

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My youngest, Rose, has always been a huge fan of chicken. My second oldest, Ike, also loves chicken and always has. My oldest, Lee, and third child, Anneliese- they'll eat chicken, but aren't the hugest fans, and sometimes I'd have to do a little bargaining with them to get them to eat their chicken.
Or well, I have to say that's how it was.
But now I found a new chicken recipe that my kids, all 4 of them, are in love with. And want seconds and thirds of it. And my husband and I love it as well. It is super, duper simple, but tastes absolutely amazing.

I didn't make up the recipe myself. I saw the idea originally on Nom Nom Paleo, but as it was written there I couldn't/wouldn't do that. No chicken fried in ghee in this house (ghee is out for me, because it makes me nauseous, for some reason), and I didn't like the fact that in Nom Nom Paleo's recipe you debone the thighs. Ugh. I don't mind deboning whole chickens, but deboning thighs is just too much for me to want to do.

So I decided to make this with coconut oil and bone-in chicken thighs. And drumsticks. And wings. Basically all dark meat chicken.

You've gotta try it.

Oh- and why is it called cracklin chicken?
Well, if you ever followed my recipe for rendering chicken fat, from chicken skins, etc... you'd know that when you render the fat from the chicken skins, the skins become crispy and crunchy and are called cracklins. Well, so the skin of this chicken gets to be like that. It's amazing.

So here's how you do it.

Cracklin Chicken Recipe- Grain Free, Simple, Fried Chicken

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Making Homemade Nut Butter, Seed Butter, and Peanut Butter

 photo IMG_0178 Small_zpsblvay1k9.jpgToday I did something that I never thought I'd be able to do- I made homemade walnut butter!

I have read many times that making homemade nut butters isn't really so hard, you just have to stick it in your food processor and let it run, scraping down the sides.

And I tried it.
I really did.
More than once.
And I was disappointed every single time.

I was sure that the problem therefore must lay with my food processor, that I simply didn't have the right kind.
But that didn't really make so much sense to me, since I have a Cuisinart one, which isn't exactly considered to be bad quality.
I just didn't really have success though.

Then today I read someone post about how they made homemade almond butter, and they described all the steps that happen when you're making it, steps that make you think that your nut butter flopped, but really, it is just part of the process of making it.

So I decided to give it a try.

And voila- success!

Celebrating Your Anniversary on a Budget

Mike and I are celebrating our 9th anniversary within the next few months. I've already been thinking about what we can do to celebrate it frugally, so this guest post by Kelly Jordan really hit the spot and gave me some great ideas to think about. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

We get it. Money’s tight. In your family. In the middle class. In the country at large. More and more, hardworking people are struggling to make ends meet, and that means there is less and less to go around when special occasions come up. Like dinners out. Like family vacations. Like your wedding anniversary.

When the budget’s tight, it’s that last one that often gets the short end of the stick. You’ve got to have that family vacation for the kids. But for you and your spouse? Well, wedding anniversary celebrations and gifts can add up and you’re not sure you can afford it. We understand, of course. We really do. But we’re also here to tell you not to give up on that anniversary. Even with a small budget, you can choose meaningful and personalized wedding anniversary gifts that won’t break the bank and enjoy a wonderful afternoon or evening with your other half.

Sound like something you need? Then read on for our best tips for celebrating your anniversary on a budget.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Sorry for not getting around to posting this until now- here's my family's frugal accomplishments of this last week. No, we didn't so so much frugaling- it was super hot and we didn't really have much energy to do much other than veg out, so anything frugal that we did do, I consider a great accomplishment.


So, here's what we did to save money this past week in our household:

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Having Fun With My New Spiralizer

 photo IMG_0094_zpsbzgmnug9.jpgI decided a few months ago that I wanted to do this Paleo reset, but also said that I would be more likely to be able to actually get through it if I had a spiralizer, since it would change things up and mean that I didn't just have to eat all my veggies plain, but rather, I could recreate some of my favorite pasta and rice dishes, using spiralized veggies in place of pasta or rice.
I'll be honest- I feel a little guilty even writing this post, since I posted a while ago about how to make zucchini noodles without a spiralizer, and then I went and bought one.
But I'll be honest- the reason that I bought one is because as much as saving money is awesome, so is saving your sanity. And I realized that if something takes so long that it makes you not want to do it other than on rare occasions, it doesn't really end up being worth it. I decided that using my julienne peeler was too time consuming when it took me literally half an hour to make noodles from only one (albeit giant) beet. I said there's no way I can do that on a regular basis, there's a limit to how much time I can spend in the kitchen...
I decided to buy a spiralizer, but wanted to make the best financial decision. I decided to price compare with the various options available, and found some cheaper ones on ebay, that work like a pencil sharpener, but I decided not to go with those because they didn't seem like they'd be any easier/faster than my julienne peeler, and because you could only make noodles out of veggies that fit into the "sharpener". They also only had one size blade.
So I wanted an actual spiralizer, with a few different sized blades, a handle that turned, and a stand. I looked through ebay from lowest price, and after scrolling through 6 pages of pencil sharpener spiralizers I found one on ebay for 20 bucks, from China. Of course, anything from China takes forever to arrive, and I actually waited to start my 30 day Paleo reset until after it arrived.

So the question is- is this something only people on the Paleo diet would find useful?
Absolutely not.
If you're gluten free- making pasta from cheap seasonal veggies can very easily be cheaper than store bought gluten free pasta.
This is also beneficial for raw vegans, and even for people who are just trying to increase their veggie intake- even mixing veggie spaghetti half half with regular spaghetti in recipes can be an easy way to "sneak" veggies in.

Ever since it arrived, I've been having lots and lots of fun with this new tool. I use it at least a few times a week, sometimes even a few times a day. I find on days that I take it down to use, I end up making a ton of things in it at one go, doing some bulk food prep, so that on other days I can have it ready to make.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Homemade Chia Kombucha Recipe- A Refreshing, Fermented, Healing Drink

 photo kombucha_zpsf6p6fhtd.jpgI'll be honest, I hadn't planned to write this post today- I had two other posts that I was working hard on writing- I wanted something other than a recipe, since it felt like my blog has been super recipe heavy and some people want other stuff, not just recipes...
But you know what happens... it's hot. It makes me grumpy. The kids took up a lot of my attention. And by the time I actually got down to finishing my blog post for today, I realized I didn't have the sitzfleisch or the headspace to actually finish the posts I'd started.
However, this morning I'd posted this picture on Facebook, of my yummy hibiscus spearmint green tea kombucha with chia seeds, and people were begging me to please share the recipe.

So here it is.

It really isn't such a big deal to make if you already know how to make kombucha.

If you don't know how to make kombucha, or even what kombucha is... well, let me backtrack for a second.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Paleo Raisin Nut Bars Recipe- Larabar Style, Vegan, Date Free

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I love Larabar type bars. And so do my kids. They're easy to make, very delicious, and allowed on all sorts of diets that are pretty restrictive. Including the 30 day Paleo reset.
So I'd fully planned on making Larabar type bars for the kids... only I had no dates. That's a problem, since they are both the glue and the sweetness in the bars.
But I did have a huge box of raisins at home that I bought in bulk, so I decided to see if maybe I could try to make my bars using only raisins and no dates.

Well, I'm posting this recipe with caveats.
It tasted great!
Its texture could use some improvement. Meaning- I kept it in the freezer, and even so it was a bit sticky. I would use less water, a little more nuts, and a little more coconut oil next time I use this recipe. As it is, it really is awesome. And if you do it exactly as written, hopefully your family will inhale it as fast as mine did. But if you want to make it even more perfect, I suggest the changes written in parenthesis below.

Paleo Raisin Nut Bars Recipe- Larabar Style, Vegan, Date Free

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

Hey there, how you doin? I hope you had a really awesome week, one in which you kept an eye on your finances and expenses, and had a week in which you were happy with where you spent your money, so that you didn't feel like you wasted money, and instead felt like you did a lot to contribute to your family's financial well being.


So I'm currently doing a diet that is more expensive, so I've felt the extreme need to notch up my frugality a lot, so that this diet doesn't affect our overall finances, so we had an extremely frugal week this week.


Here's what we did to save money this past week in our household:

Friday, July 17, 2015

Homemade Paleo Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe- No Added Sweeteners, Vegan

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Graphic by Selena Marie Norris
of KindredClosets.com
I love my condiments. I like keeping my fridge well stocked with a variety of condiments available to just pour on my foods to give them an extra oomph of flavor. Most health conscious people I know aren't into condiments, since they say that they aren't healthy, but the condiments that I keep in stock are all healthy, homemade, and cheap- whether it is mayonnaise, ketchup, worcestershire sauce, sriracha, etc...
However, most of those condiments, while they are made with all healthy ingredients, do have added sweeteners, albeit healthy ones, so they aren't allowed on my 30 day paleo reset diet.
I decided to try my hand at making sweet chili sauce, Paleo legal, no added sweeteners, to use during this time period.
For the sweetness (cuz it can't be sweet chili sauce without sweetness, ya know) I decided to use sweet potatoes, since they are very sweet and delicious, and allowed on this diet.
While the results aren't exactly like regular sweet chili sauce, it definitely tastes good and works well as a condiment.

Homemade Paleo Sweet Chili Sauce Recipe- No Added Sweeteners, Vegan

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lacto Fermented Moroccan Carrot Salad Recipe- Paleo, Dairy Free, and Delicious

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I have a love affair with Middle Eastern foods. Ok, while that's true, I tend to love ethnic foods from all over the world, whether Mexican, Korean, Indian, or Ethiopian. But Middle Eastern food holds a special place in my heart.
One of the things common in Middle Eastern food is meze, a spread of various salads and dips eaten at the start of a meal. A spicy carrot salad is one of my favorite salads put out as a meze.
I've been trying to increase the amount of fermented foods I eat, and had this strike of genius to make fermented carrot salad, with the same seasonings as my favorite carrot salad. It works perfectly, and tastes quite delicious, nearly identical to the standard Moroccan carrot salad recipe that I adore, with the added bonus that it is chock full of beneficial probiotics, and much cheaper than any store bought probiotics.

I highly recommend this recipe.

And if fermenting scares you?

Well, then you can just add lemon juice or vinegar to taste instead of the water, reduce the salt, and put it straight in the fridge.

Lacto Fermented Moroccan Carrot Salad Recipe- Paleo, Dairy Free, and Delicious

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Important Lessons From Some Soda Cans

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Photo credit- anankkml; freedigitalphotos.net
I've posted before about how important I think it is for kids to have real life experience with money, already from when they're young, so that way they can learn from their mistakes when they're still young and their mistakes don't have as big repercussions, and I shared some ways that I allow my kids to earn money.
One of the things I touched on, but want to expand upon more, is earning money via recycling.
Because lately, my boys have gotten very into it, and I feel they are learning so many important things that way.

So let me backtrack.

In my country, they want to encourage people to recycle, so when one buys soda cans, beer bottles, small water bottles, and 1 liter glass bottles, you pay a small surcharge of 8 cents, and when you bring them back to the grocery store, you get your money back.
Only most places don't give cash, just store credit.

I've taught my kids the importance of recycling, and how we have to take care of our land, because if we don't, it'll number one be gross and ugly, and number two, hurt the environment. They don't litter and get upset with other people who do.
So my kids have started picking up the litter that other people drop.
Well, not all.

The soda cans and water bottles mostly, because that way they hit two birds with one stone- they are cleaning up the place, making it a more pleasant area to live in, and they even make money from it.

Since you don't get cash for these bottles, I offered to my kids to buy the cans off of them- whatever they collect, I'll give them the equivalent amount in cash, and then use the bottles that I redeem to pay for my groceries.
The reason for this is twofold.
I would like my children to be able to spend money on things that are important to them, that they save up for, and not just be stuck buying things in the grocery store, because that'll just leave them with the option of buying healthy food- which they don't need to buy, since I provide it for them- or junk- which they don't need to buy buying anyhow.
But I'm buying groceries anyhow, so using the bottles to pay for what I'm buying anyhow only benefits- they have actual cash to buy things with- with more options than just food that'll be finished in a second.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Fruit Dip Recipe- Paleo, Sweetener Free, Vegan, Nut Free

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Any moms probably already know that one of the most annoying and stressful things about kids is... that they're ALWAYS hungry and ALWAYS want something to eat. And if that wasn't bad enough, I'm finding that without our staple rice cakes now that we're doing Paleo for 30 days, my kids are hungry even more often. I can't even count how many apples I've cut up for them in the last week.
I was doing some asking around, trying to figure out how to keep my kids more full on the Paleo diet, and not just by giving them extra meals in the middle of the day (because as it is, cooking 3 full meals a day plus snacks is giving me a conniption), and I was recommended to give them more fat to keep them full longer.
So I figured- why not make a dip for their apples, so that they'd be able to eat their apples and stay full afterwards, and not just ask for another apple in another 20 minutes.
I threw this together, first with leftover sweet potatoes and tahini, and they loved it- said "it tastes just like peanut butter" (peanut butter is a no no on the Paleo diet), but then I ran out of cooked sweet potatoes and had some baked pumpkin, and then made it with that as well. In my opinion, it tasted a little better with the sweet potato than with the pumpkin, but my kids liked it both ways. I'm sure it would also taste fabulous with butternut squash as well, I just don't have any at home to try it out with yet, but it's in the plans.
This is now going to be a staple in our house.
Oh- and by the way- it also tastes amazing just eaten straight off the spoon. Not that I've actually tried that or anything... :-P

This is great for so many diets- vegan, Paleo, and even GAPS if you use pumpkin or butternut squash instead of the sweet potato- and even if you're on no diet at all, since it is healthy, low cost, and delicious, and maybe will also save your sanity if, like my kids, your kids are constantly asking to eat...

Sweet Potato or Pumpkin Fruit Dip Recipe- Paleo, Sweetener Free, Nut Free

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Past Week

Hey there all, howzit going?
I'm doing very well, thank you for asking, and yes, I finally have a frugal week to share with you- it was a great week and it was a frugal week and it was fun and I hope you can all have a great frugal week- and I hope this coming well will be as accomplished as this last week was for our family.


Here's what we did to save money this past week:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Homemade Pina Colada Ice Cream- Paleo, Vegan, Sweetener Free, GAPS Legal

 photo IMG_0111_zpsyqwqzpgo.jpgI make desserts in my house once a week. We have a nice big dinner on the weekends, and I try to make dessert each week, just even one small thing, to make it extra special.
Only now that we're on a 30 day Paleo reset diet, it isn't so easy, since my staples that I usually use to make healthy desserts are out- no gluten free flours, no coconut sugar or any added sweeteners, no cocoa powder... But I still wanted to make something.
I had canned pineapple that I bought a huge can of from a bulk store and I had some homemade coconut milk in my fridge and I had an inspiration- pina colada ices! And then, since I wasn't going to add any sweeteners to it, I decided to dip into my precious stash of frozen overripe bananas from the seconds store (bananas have been near impossible to find locally, and when they can be found, they're a fortune) to add some creaminess and sweeteness to the ice cream.

It came out terrific, and was pretty simple to make.

This is a perfect dessert for so many diets- whether vegan, Paleo, GAPS, avoiding refined sugar, etc... Allergy friendly to boot! And is a hit on really hot days especially, like today is.

Homemade Pina Colada Ice Cream- Paleo, Vegan, Sweetener Free, GAPS Legal

Pan Fried Zucchini Spears Recipe- Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan

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I absolutely adore zucchini. If I had to pick my favorite vegetable in the whole wide world, there is a very good chance that I'd pick zucchini. (Ok, butternut squash, green beans, and broccoli might be tied up there with it.)
The thing I love about zucchini most is that it is so versatile, can be eaten raw in salads (marinated in a nice vinaigrette is phenomenal), steamed, boiled in soup, sauted, stuffed, made into zoodles, etc... and it is super quick to prepare as well.

I was packing my husband's lunch for tomorrow (he said that if I make him paleo approved lunches he'll take them, otherwise he'd just buy chips and cottage cheese) and it is getting late and I wanted something easy to make, and easily transportable so it won't make a mess at my husband's work (one of his requests for lunches that I pack- if you want to know what else was included, it was baked chicken meatballs and roasted butternut squash) and I figured zucchini spears would be perfect.
I had this idea in my head of what I wanted to make- garlicky golden zucchini spears, but none of the sites I consulted came up with what I was looking for.
So I made it up myself.

And voila.

You have this delicious zucchini recipe- with just the right amount of flavor, cooked enough that it isn't fully raw, but crispy enough that it isn't soggy and therefore is easy to transport.
And it cooks in record time.

I must admit- this is really more of a cooking method than a strict recipe, but who cares, right?

This recipe is good for pretty much any diet. Unless, like my second son, Ike, you're on the "no zucchini diet" (why??!?! It's so delicious!!)
And it is super cheap as well- especially if you're a gardener who has zucchinis overtaking their garden, or are friends with a gardener who is giving away their abundance of zucchinis.

Pan Fried Zucchini Recipe- Gluten Free, Grain Free, Vegan

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Cheesy Tuna Green Bean Casserole Recipe- Paleo and GAPS Legal, Dairy Free, Egg Free

 photo IMG_0078_zpspwdh1rkv.jpgI have been making a lot with butternut squash the past few days, as butternut squash is relatively cheap now, and I can eat it as a carb on my 30 day Paleo diet. I had a few random pieces of butternut squash left over, odds and ends really, that I wanted to figure out what to do with them, and so I scoured the internet to come up with ideas of things to do with butternut squash.
Then I found this amazing recipe concept- Cheesy Chicken Casserole- made with butternut squash, and totally dairy free and pretty much paleo legal. I have experience with using butternut squash to make a cheesy flavor (like in this no boil gluten free vegan mac and cheese)- it's really weird how well it works, and so I decided that maybe I'd make something sort of cheesy and casseroley with my butternut squash.
Tuna casserole is one of my favorite ways to eat tuna fish, so I decided to use the butternut squash "cheesy" sauce concept on tuna, and mix it with green beans, to make a "cheesy" tuna green bean casserole- and it came out beyond amazing. Everyone in my family loved it and wanted seconds and was upset when there wasn't enough left for them to have thirds.
And when I posted a picture of my lunch on Facebook, people really wanted the recipe.
It was awesome.
And it really wasn't a lot of work at all!
This recipe is not only Paleo and GAPS legal, it also allergy friendly- unless you're allergic to fish or coconut, that is...
I definitely will be making this again and again.

Cheesy Tuna Green Bean Casserole Recipe- Paleo and GAPS Legal, Dairy Free, Egg Free

PSA- Local Homeschoolers Evening Event

This is a public service announcement to all my readers that live locally to me. If you know you live locally then this is for you. If not, no worries.

A very popular blogger and homeschooling mother of 11 whose blog I've been reading for years, and who inspired me to homeschool in the first place (not to mention that she's the one who even got me started in this whole "real foods" lifestyle), will be hosting an event on Sunday the 19th of July, in a city about 30 minutes from my nearest city, for those who want to learn more about homeschooling.
This event will be her talking about her experiences homeschooling, etc... and will be followed by a Q and A session.

I've been to a previous event of hers and it was very worthwhile.

If you live locally to me, and want to know more about the event, exactly where it will be (city and address), time, etc... send me an email to PennilessParenting@yahoo.com.

Thanks!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Paleo Cure- By Chris Kresser- A Book Review- And Our Family's Decision


I've read lots of different dietary advice from so many different sources, and I'll be honest, it gets confusing. One person recommends certain dietary advice, and said that following that advice has cured them of all sorts of ails that were troubling them for years. You think about doing what they did until you find out that someone else who tried it actually reacted badly to the advice given, and it didn't solve any of their ailments, but actually caused other ones.
Then there's another person whose dietary recommendations seem very sound to you, reasonable, grounded in facts... and then they say something so out of left field and wrong that it makes you completely change your mind about them and stop trusting their judgement in dietary matters...

It's easy to get confused about what the right way is to eat, especially when everyone seems to think only their way is the right way, and everyone else is dead wrong.

That's why I happen to love Chris Kresser, author of ChrisKresser.com and The Paleo Cure. I've been reading his website for years and have been very impressed by what he writes for many reasons- top among them because everything he says simply makes sense, and is backed up by numerous studies, which he provides links to so you don't need to just take his word for it. And because he isn't dogmatic.
To be honest, I don't buy the whole "eat like a cavemen because we should eat what cavemen ate since our body is still the same" argument- I want actual physical proof, not dogma. And I don't buy that cavemen didn't eat grains and legumes, since, as a forager, I know that grains and legumes can definitely be foraged the same way all other veggies can. So that argument is out. I want things to be explained to me why, and not just go on someone's "say so", especially when I am able to prove via personal experience that people's claims are false.
One of the things I like about Chris Kresser's outlook is he talks about moving "beyond Paleo", that while there are a lot of things beneficial about a Paleo diet, there is no such thing as a one size fits all approach to nutrition and health, but rather, there should be a Paleo template - a general idea of what you should strive to do, to get optimal nutrition, but it needs to be tailored to your specific needs, and even if "cavemen didn't eat it", if it works for you, that's fine to eat.
So, when I saw that Chris Kresser wrote a book, called The Paleo Cure- originally called "Your Personal Paleo Code" I knew I wanted to read it, so I ordered it from bookdepository.com.

I have to say it was a very compelling book, one that, unlike all other Paleo books and websites, actually inspired me to take action and make a change.

The Time Is Near - Equipping for Newborn Babies For Less

This post is written by Chrysty Miles, a frugal lover who enjoys saving every single cent.

Preparing for a baby is an exciting time. It’s easy to get carried away and want to splurge on expensive goodies for your new arrival, but that is not always a possibility for many of us, so here are the top five tips for saving money when you’ve just had a baby.

1. Don’t buy too much
Many women (and their partners) will agree that nothing is more likely to elicit an ‘awww’ than picking out the tiniest of baby clothes for your newborn. In this “nesting phase,” it’s tempting to go all out, but you need to bear in mind how quickly a new born baby will grow — all those lovely little baby grows you buy will soon be too small in a couple of months. If you don’t mind using second hand items don’t be afraid to borrow from friends and family, many of them will be happy to see them put to good use. Buying newborn baby gifts from Tesco and other retailers will also help you save on baby clothes too. Don’t forget, you’ll undoubtedly receive lots of newborn baby gifts for your little one, so try to resist buying too much.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Frugal Accomplishments This Week

If you'll notice, this past week most of my frugal accomplishments took place in the kitchen. Because, you know, we have to eat... but the rest of the stuff? I was too tired to do. I really should start going to sleep earlier on a regular basis, because this sleep deprivation is killing me!
And add extreme heat to that and oh boy.


So even with all that, we still got some "frugaling" done this week, and I'm proud of that!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

A Frugal and Enjoyable Day Out

I started writing this post yesterday, but I honestly was quite exhausted, and have remained exhausted until today, so I apologize in the slower rate of posting the past few days...

The kids and Mike and I just came back from a very long day out. It was a really fun and enjoyable day, and frugal, as well as productive. Days like today remind me that you don't have to spend a lot of money to create really enjoyable memories, and that enjoyable memories can be made even while running errands.

There were two things that we officially had to do while in the city-

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