Sunday, November 11, 2018

Thoughts on a Money Management Podcast with Amanda Steinberg

I've been working regularly doing cleaning jobs, and at first, I was listening to music while I was cleaning. But then I decided I wanted to start being doing more, and decided to listen to various self growth related podcasts while cleaning, and I've been loving it.

Today I was listening to a podcast on Marie Forleo's channel (I discovered her through talks she did with Brene Brown, an author, speaker, and researcher I highly admire) and it was with a woman named Amanda Steinberg, who has been named one of the top people on finances, and I was curious to hear what she had to say. The topic of her talk was "Manage Your Money in a Way That Feels Good", and as I've heard and read a lot that many different money experts say, I was interested in seeing whether their advice and and perspective would be similar to what I've previously heard.

3 Ways Grass-Fed Beef Can Help You Improve Your Diet

I enjoy beef as well as chicken and turkey; these are the main proteins in my diet as I don't eat eggs and don't really eat dairy. I wish I could afford to buy grass fed beef. Here's a post sent in by a reader about the benefits of grass fed beef.

For years, a common item of popular wisdom in dietary science has been that red meat should only be eaten in very small amounts. Healthcare professionals cited concerns around fat levels and number of calories, and suggested that too much red meat could lead to heart disease.

While there is no question that red meat, like many other things, is best enjoyed in moderation, it is also true that many of the less salutary side effects associated with red meat are seriously exacerbated by the industrial farming methods used to raise most beef cattle.

Most people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about what their food eats, but a good diet is just as important for livestock as it is for humans. Unfortunately, the vast majority of cattle raised in North America are fed a diet that is meant to add pounds quickly, rather than produce nutritious beef.

Friday, November 9, 2018

My Latest Super Frugal Grocery Shop

Being busy working a lot lately, it's been hard to find time to do frugal shopping like buying reduced rack produce from the open air market, or going to the scratch and dent store. But earlier this week I was able to arrange a play date for my kids after school and used that time to do my bargain shopping.

My first stop was at the store that sells collapsible shopping carts. The last one I bought, from an expensive place that I thought would be good quality actually was such terrible quality that it broke the first time using it. Sometimes just because something is expensive doesn't mean it'll be good quality. This store, on the other hand, is the store where I've bought all my other wagons and they have replacement parts so I don't need to replace the entire thing in one shot if something breaks. I've come to terms with the fact that I need to fix or buy a new one a couple of times a year, because I'm very heavy on my carts, and I don't plan on changing how I use them, and take them as a price of how I shop and the price for not having a car. I just make sure to include the price of carts into my budget with a sinking fund (under the category of 'things for the house').

Delightful Dishes For A Special Holiday Gathering

Some people really love having guests and entertaining, but have a difficult time coming up with a menu. For this reason, even though they know how to cook, they go out to restaurants when they would like to have a fancy dinner. Here's some suggestions from a reader as to how to make a fancy dinner for your holiday gathering.

Soon your relatives and close friends will be coming through your front door with gifts tucked under their arms, waiting to stuff their faces with delicious food. This type of reunion doesn’t happen every weekend, so you want to pick dishes that will impress them until the very last bite. These are a few meal suggestions that you should follow if you want people to leave the gathering with full stomachs and wonderful memories.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Make Ahead Freezer Meals For Work -- Low Carb, Paleo, Budget Friendly, Allergy Friendly

Since I started working out of the house on a regular basis, I realized I was having trouble with everything regarding eating. My eating habits or not eating habits were hurting me. I'd be in a rush in the morning and not have time to make food to bring with me, so I'd either end up eating nothing all day, or going out to the store and buying something to eat while I was out, or I'd get cheap takeout. Or if I really was on top of things and ready early enough, I'd pack a lunch, usually a few gluten free sandwiches and a fruit or two.
This meant that I was either unnourished, which wasn't good for my energy levels, let alone mental well being, or spending too much (because even cheap takeout, or ready made food from the grocery store is pricier than homemade food).
And in addition to all that, I really noticed how many carbs I was eating, how much of my meals were based on gluten free grains or other starches, and that I was definitely not eating enough vegetables. My weight has been creeping up, in part because of the meds I've been on, but I'm sure my less than stellar eating habits have not helped.

So I decided that I wanted to make a change. I wanted to make meals in advance that were healthy, vegetable rich, and low in carbohydrates. Add to that the fact that I wanted things that were freezer friendly, because I didn't want to have to worry about them spoiling in my fridge.
I was trying to come up with ideas, but I was really thrown for a loop because in addition to trying to not eat grains, I also don't eat eggs, most dairy, or cruciferous vegetables, which means that the standard "freeze ahead meals" were mostly out for me, because they tended to rely heavily on broccoli and cauliflower which I don't eat, or egg based things like mini quiches.

Can a Prepaid Debit Card Help With Your Finances?

I am pretty firmly anti credit cards, because I see how much trouble they can get you into financially. However, a reader sent me this post about how prepaid debit cards can actually be helpful with your finances, and I'll admit it got me thinking. 

In a nutshell, a prepaid debit card is a financial instrument that makes your life easier. You can look at it as plastic money. The card requires you to load it with a certain amount of money that you can use to make purchases, pay your bills, and pretty much anything that plastic money can do. It comes with a number of incredible benefits, including limiting your spending, helping with budgeting, avoiding high banking fees, saving time, and avoiding the risks of carrying cash, among others. But really, can a prepaid debit card help with your finances? And if so, in what ways can it do so?

Well, if you guessed right, the right answer is YES! Here are a few ways how a prepaid debit card can help with your finances.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Visiting London on a Shoestring Budget

No, I'm not heading to London. (Yet, though this post really makes me want to go.) However, my best friend, Michelle, recently was in London, and she amazed me not only by how many things she saw in her short amount of time there, but also little she spent doing so. As she knows how much I love travel, and especially frugal travel, she offered to write this amazing and informative post on how you, too, can visit London, have a great time, and pay nearly nothing. I'm really psyched about this, and I wish I could be in London now (though I will see what kind of Black Friday deals I can find...)

Hi! So I just came back from four days in London, and I realized that London itself, although there are some parts of it that can be expensive, is an extremely frugal city to tour if you can navigate the 2 hot-spots. I thought that I would give some ideas, especially for those interested in touring this major historical metropolis, that might help those who are interested in getting there!

I'm also a huge history geek, so for me, London is a hotbed of amazing historical and cultural places that really added to the experience.

Brilliant Gifts For The Obsessed Foodie In Your Life

I'm a foodie. Anyone who knows me well (or even semi well) knows that about me. Don't get me baskets of lotions and creams as a gift, those will go unused in my house. Get me something food related and I'm sure to love it. Here's some tips from a reader about what types of gifts work well for a foodie like myself. (Not that I'm hinting or anything... haha.)

You know someone who passionately believes that breakfast, lunch and dinner are much more than necessities. They go to restaurants to try the newest trends, explore adventurous menus and test out unique recipes in their own kitchen. If you need to get this culinary connoisseur a thoughtful gift, read these fantastic ideas for inspiration.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Taco Night! Delicious, Frugal, Easy, and Healthy

My kids, somehow, despite never having had tacos before, heard about the concept of Taco Tuesday. (I don't even know the source of Taco Tuesday!) They asked me if we can please have a Taco Tuesday at our house. I kept the idea at the back of my mind, and when I saw taco shells being sold in a grocery store I was visiting, I decided that we'd have a Taco Tuesday night.

Boy was it a success!

I wanted to share with you how we did it, and relatively frugally as well, not to mention pretty healthily. Oh, and can I mention that it was pretty easy and quick to make, and enjoyed by every last family member, including a guest?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Parenting and Earning: How to Do Both at the Same Time

I've pretty much only been a work at home mom since my kids were little. Only recently, since deciding to get divorced, did I start working out of the house more regularly. Some people want to be able to work from home but don't know how to do it. Here's some great ideas from a reader on what type of jobs you can easily do from home; I learned something new from this post, and I thought I knew all about being a work at home mom!

Between dealing with temper tantrums, breastfeeding, diapers, wiping runny noses and completing other chores at home, being a stay at home mom is a full-time job. Also, it is tiring and expensive.

Yes, having kids is one of the best feelings and experiences for moms and dads too but the responsibility of raising them and juggling other chores is a pain. The good news is that stay at home moms can hire a housemaid to complete other chores and leave them with the responsibility of raising kids. The problem is this costs money.

To earn some cash in order to pay the housemaid and even cater for other in and out of the house expenses, one needs to work. Thanks to the internet and the gig economy, stay at home moms have the opportunity of earning up to six-figure sums from the comfort of their homes.

Want to know how?

Here are the top 5 money making online opportunities for stay at home moms.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Shoe Shopping That Finally Makes Me Excited!

I have something embarrassing but important (I feel, anyhow) to share. I'm not one that is brought to tears easily. I watch emotional movies and don't cry. I hear sad news and while it affects me, I don't cry. But one thing pretty much guaranteed to make me cry has been something else that brings people much joy.
Shoe shopping.
Yes, shoe shopping consistently makes me cry. Even writing this post, my eyes are tearing up. Shoe shopping is a very emotional topic for me.

Growing up, I had larger shoes than my older sister by first grade. By fourth or fifth I already surpassed my mother in size. They jokingly called me Big Foot, because my feet are... well, huge. Size 12.

I knew my feet were large but I never realized how 'strange' or problematic that would be, because I grew up in a predominantly African American area, who on average have larger feet, and we shopped for shoes in Payless shoes who always had a very large selection of shoes in my size. I never minded shoe shopping, in fact, I loved it, until I moved abroad.

And since then, shoe shopping had made me cry.

How Can Check Payment Be a Smart Financial Move?

I haven't used checks in a long time. I recently got a new bank account and didn't even bother ordering checks with that account. However, someone sent me this post on how using checks can be beneficial financially, which gives me some food for thought. Hopefully you'll also be more enlightened on the topic.

Making payments is always a burden on finances. For businesses and individuals, payment options are plenty. You can swipe your card, transact online or issue a check. With so many payment options available you need to find the payment option that is both easy as well as widely accepted. On top of finding a widely accepted and easy payment method, what if your payment method helped your finances?

Businesses buy overnight checks and keep them in stock to make payments. When you buy overnight checks, you are settling for a widely accepted payment method that helps you plan your finances and saves you money. Here are how check payments can help you out.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Public Service Announcement on How to React When You Hear People are Divorcing

After I let people know that I was getting divorced, I have to say that I really appreciated how many people just reached out to me and told me that they were there for me. I appreciated (most of ) the comments that people left on my last post, telling me they believed in me, were praying for me, etc...

But I also realized something. Some people don't react the same way. Some people act in ways that I would rather they not act. (Like the person who left a comment saying that I obviously don't respect the sanctity of marriage, and I'm making the biggest mistake of my life, and the only reason I'm getting divorced is because my therapist puffed up my ego too much, and the only valid reason for divorce is if you're beaten senseless.)

Because of how some people reacted when they found out I was getting divorced, I wrote this PSA and I wanted to share it here as well.

When someone tells you they're getting divorced:

Decluttering Tips - Why Storage Containers Make For Great Space-Saving Solutions

I've been working to help people organizer their homes, and one of the biggest things that I tell my clients is that they need containers, because it makes it so much easier to have your house in order if you keep things in containers of similar sizes and dimensions. Here's what a reader has to say about using storage containers.

Storage solutions are the two magical words for anyone looking to declutter their living space. You need to make some hard decisions when you decide to declutter, and take a hardline approach to storage solutions. Fortunately storage containers make doing so incredibly easy, and they can be applied to all rooms and circumstances. Find out what you’re missing out on, and how these containers can add value to your living space.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Excited About All These Free Things

Lately I've been working regularly as a household cleaner part time, and then I'm doing one off organizing jobs for different families as well. In addition to this being a rather well paying job in my area (it makes more per hour than many jobs requiring degrees) I've also discovered that there's one huge perk of this job.

The free things.

Because I'm in people's houses on a regular basis, when they have something they no longer need, instead of posting it on local giveaway groups or bringing it to thrift shops or swaps, I often seem to be given first dibs. Additionally, many times I'm helping people organize things, and as we organize things, they realize they have things that they never use and decide to give them away... and again, guess who gets first dibs? Also, lastly, as someone who is known for being frugal and minimizing waste when I can, there are times that people offer me things that they'd otherwise throw away, like being past the expiration date (which I don't believe in for most things), which definitely ends up to my benefit.

My issue isn't not having enough things, but rather, thinking well about whether or not our family actually needs those things and will use them, or if they'll just become useless clutter in our house. Fortunately everything that we've brought home has been put to use and enjoyed. Many of the things I got free replaced stuff that I would have otherwise needed to buy, so they saved me money.

I took the above picture of things that I came home with in one day, but it's only a small fraction of the free things I've gotten because of my work.

Things I've gotten:

  • A leather rolling office chair (that the family was gifted with and had no room for in their house; my old office chair completely broke so this was very handy)
  • Hand me down clothes for my girls
  • Dress up clothes for my girls
  • A bread box
  • A container for storing cereal
  • A collapsible metal steamer (my old one broke but I didn't know where to get a new one)
  • A mandolin
  • A flour sifter
  • A pie cutter
  • Microwave safe containers
  • A cookie jar
  • Gluten free cereal
  • Pure fruit jam
  • Wine
  • Taco sauce
  • Chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Butterscotch flavoring
  • Bailey's Irish Cream
  • A giant package of plastic wrap
  • 2 giant packages of aluminum foil
  • Cooking bags
And much else...

I'm so glad to be getting all these free things, and I'm appreciative of these perks of my job in addition to the salary I get.

But, why am I posting this? Well, in addition to just being excited to share this bounty with you, I wanted to reiterate things I've written before. Let it be known that you're the type of person that enjoys and appreciates getting free things, and to let you know about things they intend on passing on, and hopefully then too you'll be blessed.

P.S. Don't just be a taker. While I am glad to get free things, I definitely pass on and give away the things in my house that I no longer need. I truly believe what goes around comes around.

Do you often get hand me downs from people, or things that other people are giving away? What types of stuff have you gotten?

Solidifying Your Startup - Encouraging Team Collaboration

Many friends of mine work in start ups, and I hear what wonderful environments they can be to work in. I've been envious of their working conditions because many do wonderful things to encourage team collaboration. While I don't work at a startup, I've worked with many start ups, making fun foraging and cooking events, that are fun days to help promote team cohesiveness. Here's some other ideas from a reader that are great ones to implement in your workplace, even if it isn't a start up.

Startups move quicker than your average business. In fact, sometimes a whole strategy can be created, implemented and then changed in one business day. This sort of environment is fueled by creativity and innovation, but success is dependent on how the machine works together. Don’t let a lack of collaboration cost you the goal of the business, and work to build a team that will act as a unit. Here’s how you solidify your startup by encouraging team collaboration.

My Super Frugal Grocery Shop at "Happy Hour"

Lately my fridge has been remarkably empty. I hurt my foot over a week ago, and even before that I've been very busy with work, so I haven't managed to make it to the open air market for produce, and the stores closer to home have been so incredibly overpriced for produce so I haven't found anything worthy of stocking up on, and just been buying the bare minimum, and I've found it annoying, since an empty fridge stresses me out.

My local discount grocery store is open only Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and lately, a few hours before they close on Friday, they announce a "happy hour" with incredible sales.
I went a different week to "Happy hour" there and got chicken wings for 25 cents a pound! This time, there wasn't that deal, but all produce was 39 cents a pound. Since lately I haven't been able to find anything cheaper than 65 cents a pound, but most closer to 90 cents a pound, I jumped on it.

You see all this produce? That's 90 lbs of it!

It cost me only $35.17!

That's ridiculously little. Especially since most of it was "specialty" produce that usually goes for much more. Kiwis are generally $1.50 a pound and peppers can be up to $1 a pound, so to get all that for 39 cents a pound is amazing.

So what I got, if it isn't clear from the picture, is lots of fennel. 2 full shopping bags of it. Lots of apples. 3 shopping bags full, one of red and two of green. 2 bags filled with persimmons, which was really exciting since I love that fruit and it just now came into season so it's been pricey and I haven't bought it until now. 2 bags of red peppers, my kids' favorite vegetable (as long as its raw). A few large bunches of bananas. 4 boxes of kiwis. 3 packages of corn on the cob. And a bunch of pomegranates.

And the best part about it is these are all in perfect condition, not reduced rack quality.

I feel like I have a cornucopia in my fridge, so overflowing now with produce.

I'm not sure yet if I'm going to preserve any of it, since most of what I got will last a decent amount of time and the stuff that don't last as long, my kids are devouring.

Have you gotten any amazing deals for groceries lately? What is the price point you try to set for yourself when buying produce?

Frugal Ways to Find Unique Games for Your Kids

"Mommy, I'm bored!" is probably a constant refrain in most homes that have kids. Especially if you try to limit the amount of screen time your children have, it's hard to come up with ideas of ways for the children to be entertained, and games can get pricey. Here's some good ideas sent to me by a reader on how to entertain your children with a low price tag.

Play is an important part of growing up, and games give families a unique chance to bond. Unfortunately, however, games can get expensive quick, especially when kids are always looking to refresh their options.

In 2016, the average American household spent $2,913 on entertainment. This total looks small compared to the amount of income spent on bigger items like housing and transportation, but it's a significant amount of money nonetheless.

Even if some families don't spend as much as the national average, it's possible that many still spend more than they would like on entertainment. At the very least, they could probably be getting better deals.

Most households can't afford to spend oodles of money on games and entertainment. But that doesn't mean they can't still have fun. Here are a few simple ways parents can find great games for their kids without emptying their wallets.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Homemade Spiced Sangria Recipe -- Easy, Paleo, All Natural Ingredients

A little while back, I arranged a meet and greet barbecue for the new and old ladies in my community, and I wanted to make some delicious things to serve there, including an alcoholic beverage, while still keeping down the costs. Sangria was what came to mind, a drink made with red wine and fruit, originating in Spain.

There are so many different recipes for sangria, but as long as they have the red wine and fruit they're authentic. While I made my recipe exactly as is written, feel free to play around with your sangria and make it to taste, using what you have available in the house. I made this while summer fruit were still very much in season, but if you don't have summer fruit available, use what you have, or even use canned fruit. Fruits you can use are any berries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines, pineapple, mango, oranges, grapefruit, persimmons, cranberries, pomegranate, you name it.

I will note that while I used oranges in mine, if you want to let yours sit in the fridge and be able to also eat leftovers, note that fresh oranges or grapefruits will make it more bitter, the longer it sits, so leave out the citrus fruit if you don't like bitter or if you plan on having leftovers.

I added a large variety of spices to mine because I enjoy things that way, but feel free to play around with them or leave them out.

Additionally, I sweetened mine with jaggery syrup; feel free to use honey, coconut sugar, or sugar if you want to. The important thing is that it is sweet enough, not which sweetener you use.

I happened to use brandy since I had some in my house and many recipes for sangria call for brandy, but if you don't have that available, or simply to keep down the costs, feel free to leave that out.

In short, while this recipe was delicious as is, and I got many requests for recipes, this is totally a flexible recipe. Play around with it and make it with what you have available.

To serve this I like to put it in a large bowl with a ladle (punch bowl style) but you can also put it in a pitcher, ideally in a wide mouth, so that the fruit will come out together with the sangria.

Homemade Spiced Sangria Recipe -- Easy, Paleo, All Natural Ingredients

Community Connections - Building Relationships in a New Area

When I first got married and moved to a new community, you have no idea how lonely I was. Not only was I starting off in a place where I didn't know anyone, the fact that I was living in an area with predominantly non English speakers made it even worse. I remember telling my husband then that I wanted to move back to the USA, or at least to a city with a higher percentage of English speakers, since I was so miserable and lonely.
Slowly, I started breaking my way into the community, and then eventually moved to the community next door, where I'd already known people because of my time in the first community. I love my community and I know how hard it is to be a newbie somewhere, and I love that my community has regular get togethers, especially when we hear a lot of new English speakers just moved in. In fact, one of these get togethers is where I served the sangria whose recipe I am sharing in my next post. Additionally, when we bought a house as part of a building project, we moved in around the holidays together with another large group of people. One of the great neighbors brought holiday treats over and knocked on each of the families' doors offering baked goods and to introduce themselves and foster a sense of community
If you aren't as lucky as the people in my community, if you don't have a built in way to meet new people the way we have in ours, here's some ideas from reader Lauren on how to meet people and create friendships when you're new to an area.

So, you have just moved or are about to move house? Not only will this likely be quite a busy endeavour (booking removalists, packing boxes, redirecting mail etc.) but, it will also mean acclimatising to a brand new environment, far removed from what you are so familiar with.

However, whether you are moving internationally, interstate, or even just to the next suburb… there are some easy ways to get you established in your ‘new hood’ and build some key community connections. Here’s a guide to building relationships in a new area.

Monday, October 22, 2018

What We're Feeding Our Dog, and Are Dogs Expensive?

We brought our dog, Snickers, home in July and we are very much in love with her, and she is a wonderful addition to our family. All the family members adore her, and she adores us, and patiently puts up with some kids who are extra expressive in their love of her, if you catch my drift.

One of the things people warned us about when we decided to get a dog is that dogs are quite expensive to have, from their initial cost to food to their toys and accessories to the destruction they cause to their medical care to their training. Fortunately we lucked out with the dog we got, in that we didn't have to pay anything for her other than traveling to and from where we got her from, and she came already spayed and vaccinated and trained (mostly), and is young enough that she isn't having health issues, but old enough that she doesn't destroy things (at least not too many).

Tips To Make Life as a Landlord Simpler

Two years ago, we switched from being tenants to being both home owners and landlords for tenants. Here's some tips from a reader to consider when becoming a landlord, to make your life simpler and to prevent any misunderstandings with your tenants.

Lease agreements involve more than just rent payments and living accommodations. They are also legal documents that define the limits of what your tenants can do, and their relationship with you, their tenant. These agreements define their obligations to you as well as your responsibilities to them. And when emergencies or potential conflicts arise, you will need to work closely with your tenant to reach an acceptable solution.

So if you need help with tenant management then here are several tips to help you get started.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Getting Divorced

Now that I finally have his permission to post this on my blog, I can answer the questions that people have been having, namely what changes has my family been going through, and after my last post, why I need to be the full-on bread winner.

My husband and I are getting divorced.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Musings as a Frugal Entrepreneur

I've been an entrepreneur on and off ever since I became an adult. I always worked and I almost always worked for myself. But in the past month I've gone from using my income to supplement the family's income to needing to be self sufficient and completely self supporting, which means needing to tremendously increase my income and consequently my work hours. It also means that I've needed to up my entrepreneurship game, and as I have, I've noticed quite a few things. This post is my musings as an entrepreneur. While it's not completely frugality related, it's "bringing-in-money" related which affects my overall finances and my frugality.

The first thing I noticed is that over the years, people would tell me that most of what I write on my blog isn't relevant to them, because I'm a full time stay at home mom with lots of times on my hands to do frugal things and they're full time workers, so they don't have time to do time consuming frugal stuff.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Stockpiling Groceries, Some Follow Up Points

Last post I wrote about why I bought 180 packages of Reese's Pieces, and I got a lot of feedback on it. The feedback can be divided/summed up into the following categories:
  • Agreement, from people who also stockpile
  • People who were critical of the concept of stockpiling chocolate, something that is nutritionally empty
  • People who say there's no point in stockpiling because what they eat is healthy food and isn't shelf stable
  • People who say it is ridiculous to "hoard" food because they'd rather "hoard" money
  • People who said they couldn't stockpile because they have no room for it/they don't like clutter
  • People who said they didn't have any extra money to stockpile.
Since stockpiling is such a way of life for me, I wanted to take time to address each of these points, so that way people who are opposed to stockpiling may see my view even if they don't decide to stockpile, and people who want to stockpile but think its an impossibility may understand how they can make it part of their life. (Ok, no need to address that first point, other than its nice to know that I'm not alone.)

What Makes A Better Replacement Furnace?

I live in a home now where we don't use a furnace to heat it, but I remember we had one growing up, and if the furnace broke, it was bad. If you need a replacement furnace, here's a post from a reader about how to chose a replacement one.

What do you need to know before you replace your furnace? You need a furnace that fits your home and meets your demands. Size, efficiency, and installation are the three most important factors you need to consider when you’re getting a new furnace.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Why I Bought 180 Packages of Chocolate


On Friday I got an amazing deal for Reese's Pieces from a scratch and dent store that I passed en route to a friend's house. Each box containing 18 packages was being sold for $2.85 or nearly 16 cents per package. So I bought 10 boxes, for a total of $28.50 for 180 packages. I posted it on Facebook and I got a lot of surprised reactions. Many people in shock as to the price, but many more asking what I'd do with quite so many packages. Does anyone "need" 180 packages of chocolate?

So while I could just answer why I bought these, I realized that what is missing in this discussion is the context in which I bought 180 packages of chocolate. 

I don't just buy a ton of chocolate when I see it on sale, I buy a ton of everything. When I see gluten free cereal at 95 cents a box, I don't just buy one box, I buy 20. (Or more. Depends on how I can carry things.) When I see boxes of gluten free flour mix on sale at $1.40 a box or less, I buy 15. When I see cans of hearts of palm being sold for 71 cents a can, I buy 10 or 20. When I see olive oil being sold in five liter jugs for $28, or $5.70 per liter, I buy 2 jugs. When I see potato starch being sold at half its regular price, I buy 10 bags. When I make it to the store that sells broken cashews cheaply, I buy 10 bags. When I see gluten free spaghetti being sold at 70 cents a package, I buy 10 or 15.
It's a regular thing with me.
That's how I shop.
It's how I stockpile.

Just because I have 15 boxes of gluten free flour mix doesn't mean that for the next while, most meals I make will be based off that flour. Just because I bought 10 packages of spaghetti doesn't mean we'll be eating meal after meal of spaghetti.
Just because I bought 180 packages of Reese's Pieces doesn't mean that we'll now be eating gobs and gobs of chocolate.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sushi Salad Recipe -- Easy, Vegan, Gluten Free, Flexible, and Frugal

I grew up eating sushi back when it wasn't as famous around the world as it is today. (Back when you couldn't get sushi from the corner grocery store or from pizza places.) My mom made sushi from scratch, but we only really had it for special occasions, since it was a lot of work to make. (On extremely special occasions, we went out to a sushi bar, and that was amazing.)

Since having my own home, I've made sushi multiple times, not just for special occasions, but I must admit that the amount of work entailed, also in cooking the rice just so, preparing the fillings, and rolling it up makes it lower on the list of priorities of things to make, since I need to be able to set aside the time entailed.

I realized, though, that the thing I and my kids like best about sushi is the taste; the way it's rolled up is nice and all, and makes for a fun meal, but if I could have it more often with less work, I'm totally fine without it being all rolled up pretty. That's where sushi salad fits in. All the taste of sushi, none of the work! And I've even figured out a way to make sushi salad into a super quick and frugal meal using up leftovers, which is a real perk.

Sushi salad is flexible, and only needs a few base ingredients.

7 Ways to Buy the Perfect Pair of Wedding Rings on a Budget

Many people have emotional attachments to wedding and engagement jewelry, specifically that the amount of money one spends on it, the more they are able to prove their love. But I disagree; it's not about money. You can have something beautiful to represent your love and commitment, and still do it on a budget. Here's some tips from jeweller Serendipity Diamonds on how to create the perfect pair of personalised wedding rings on a budget.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Coloring With My Kids

I've been looking for ideas of things to do with my kids that are low mess, don't involve tech, are frugal, and won't be too much work for me. Something to do with the kids in our time together, bonding activities, and I thought about coloring. Mandalas specifically, because they're very calming and relaxing and meditative, almost.

My boys are away with their grandmother on a trip, more on that when they get back. Today the girls and I did some coloring together.

I searched the internet for free mandala coloring pages and found and printed these.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Recent Frugal Accomplishments While Super Busy

My life has taken a drastic turn; if you saw my since deleted post, it's because of that, but I was asked to take it down. Lets just say that things have changed and I've now begun to work out of the house more than I was in the past; some days I am working 8 hours out of the house and some days only 4 or 5, but predominantly I am doing cleaning, which is lots of physical labor (but fortunately pays terrifically in my location) and also cooking for people. Because of that, I haven't had that much time available to do things to save money, but I still have managed to do some frugal things, and I wanted to share my recent frugal accomplishments that I managed to fit into my super busy and, I'll admit it, tiring life.

I mentioned the other week that I discovered a "free store" where I got a bunch of terrific free clothes and other household things. One of the things that I got was a gorgeous dress for my daughter, Rose, but there was a seam that opened up. I managed to sew it closed using a "sewing machine stitch" that my mother taught me as a child, and got it fixed in less than five minutes, and now Rose has a gorgeous dress to wear.

Going to and from work, I've been trying to do calculations to make sure I'm not paying more for the bus than necessary. Most days I just get a transfer and my transportation costs are minimal, but some days I have a lot of errands to do, and since I plan those days in advance, I already know in the morning when I'm first getting on the bus that I'll be doing a lot of traveling, and then I buy a daily bus pass which works out so much cheaper.

Monday, September 17, 2018

To Filter or Not To Filter, That is the Question

I've gotten into many different discussions about people about whether or not you should have filtered water in your homes. Don't expect this to be a scientifically based post, because I'm not doing or sharing research about it, I'm just sharing my story.

Growing up, we drank tap water. That was our beverage of choice. Tap water, usually with ice cubes in it, or occasionally refrigerated. Sometimes we'd mix in Lipton's iced tea powder, but the rest of the time it was tap water.

I don't think I was even aware that people drank anything but tap water until I moved abroad. They say that when traveling abroad, sometimes you get stomach aches from the bacterias in the local water until you get used to it, so it's best to use bottled water for the first few weeks.

My husband, on the other hand, grew up with a filter in his house, and he was shocked that I drank tap water. He learned that it was unhealthy to drink everything that came out of the tap. Additionally, he was able to taste the difference between tap water and filtered water.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Papaya Seed Hot Sauce Recipe -- Paleo, Vegan, Nightshade Free, Easy

Hello there, I'm Penny, also known as the lady who doesn't like to waste any food, and even tries to find uses for things people didn't even know were food. Yes, I'm that lady who made chutney out of banana peels, and stew out of watermelon rinds, not to mention a whole bunch of other "weird foods" that I regularly eat. So of course, when I got papayas (from the reduced rack, an amazing bargain!) and I saw how many seeds were in them, I wondered whether or not those seeds were edible. And guess what? They not only are edible, they actually have a lot of medicinal benefits!

Once I discovered that these seeds were edible, I tasted them to see how I could play around with them in the kitchen and discovered that they tasted very mustardy, for some reason. Spicy and a drop bitter, with a strong flavor reminiscent of mustard seeds.

I love my hot sauces, and of course my first idea of what to do with spicy seeds is turn it into a spicy condiment. This is a great recipe for people who are off nightshades and therefore can't use standard hot sauces, and is paleo and vegan and refined sugar free, but isn't auto immune paleo friendly because all seeds, including papaya seeds, are a no go for people on that diet.

Oh, and it is super easy. Did I mention that? What's not to love?

Papaya Seed Hot Sauce Recipe -- Paleo, Vegan, Nightshade Free, Easy

5 Things You Shouldn't Forget Before Traveling Abroad

I love traveling, but I'm also very scatter brained. I am definitely the type to forget some very important things, and when traveling abroad, you do not want to be forgetting things at home! Here's a list of some important things to make sure you aren't forgetting before leaving for a trip abroad!

For those of us who love travel, thinking about a future journey fills our hearts with happiness. A trip abroad is exciting, whether for pleasure or business. However, traveling abroad requires a lot of care as well as preparation, since the traveler usually is very far from their comfort zone. It's important, therefore, that you are well prepared and don't forget anything before traveling abroad, or you might be up a creek without a paddle in a country you don't know how to navigate. A little preparation goes a long way.

Here is a list of 5 Things You Shouldn't Forget Before Travelling Abroad:

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Delicious Onion Rolls Recipe -- Vegan, Gluten Free, and Refined Sugar Free

My friend Barbara Ann raved about how amazing these gluten free onion rolls and told me that I have to try them, that they are egg free and could easily be made dairy free. I took the recipe she gave me and replaced the milk with water and melted butter with oil and butter flavoring, and wow, they were delicious. Easy. Perfect texture. Even my kids who supposedly hate onions loved these. The recipe was originally made with wheat flour, so if you don't need to be gluten free, feel free to use wheat flour in the recipe instead.
Highly recommended!
These can be eaten plain or sliced to make a tasty sandwich.
Unlike many gluten free bread recipes that taste weird not fresh, these are also wonderful the next day.

Delicious Onion Rolls Recipe -- Vegan, Gluten Free, and Refined Sugar Free

Good Snacks When Relaxing in the Bathtub

I love long relaxing baths. Here's some ideas from a reader for what snacks work well in the bath. My contribution to this post is cheese and wine. They're my favorite to enjoy while relaxing in the tub.

There is nothing in the world that relaxes the body and mind than having a warm or hot bath after a long and hectic day at work. Having your dip in the tub is even more relaxing since it allows you to calm and you can take your time since you are comfortable. But, have you ever thought of having something else to keep you busy while you take your bath, a snack or a drink maybe? Treating your body to a hot tub is incredible, but you can make it even more fun by having the following snacks as you bath.

Best snacks to have while relaxing in the bathtub

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Discovering a Clothes and Houseware Share and Getting Amazing Things For Free!

My son requested that I buy him a certain type of jeans, and today I posted in some local groups asking where I could find what he was looking for without breaking the bank, and not only did I get an answer to my query, I discovered a hidden (to me anyhow) treasure!

A friend of mine contacted me and let me know about this "community store" that someone started as a service for the community. She has a small storage space and people bring whatever they no longer want in their home, and people can come and take what they want or need, and it's all for free. They have so much available, and are constantly getting new things, so I was told there's no problem taking so many things; by bringing home a large amount, I'm making room for the new things that come in.

I am so excited by my score! Here's what I brought home:

7 Plant-Based Foods for Gorgeous Hair

I always opt to try to heal my body naturally first, before doing anything else. This article written by a reader, gives some great ideas about which foods you can eat to help improve your health and make your hair more beautiful.

Most people want to keep their hair healthy because it is more attractive and appealing. If you want to have healthy hair, there are a couple of things that you have to do such as changing your lifestyle. Today, there are tons of hair products on the market that could help you take better care of your hair. However, some come falsely advertised, and they may end up ruining your hair. That is why cautious individuals opt for plant-based foods that promote healthy hair growth. This article will list seven plant-based foods that could help to give you gorgeous hair.

1. Avocados

If you enjoy eating avocados, then you need to know that they can do much more than impress your taste buds and fill your stomach. You could use avocados to promote healthy hair growth and maintain its shine. Avocados are rich in healthy fats, which provide moisture to your hair to prevent hair breakage as well as keep it healthy so that it can grow. Additionally, avocados contain copper, which helps to strengthen your skin and hair. Copper is also useful in balancing your hormones so that hair can grow strong and healthy. If you would like to maintain the health of your hair, consider using avocados. Just apply the avocado paste on your hair and leave it on for about 30 minutes before washing your hair. Also, ensure to cover it to achieve the best results.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Exciting Blog News- Free Foraging Video!

For many years, I've known that I should make a newsletter here on my blog, so that I can be in touch with people and let them know what's happening, but I really had no idea how to do it. On top of that, I wanted to have a give away to people to incentivize signing up, but I couldn't figure out what giveaway I wanted to give, nor the time or the energy to make it.

Someone recently gave me a push, and I made this foraging identification video for you! For some people, the write ups I wrote about how to identify different edible and medicinal plants haven't been enough, because some people are more visual learners. For local people, they have the opportunity to come to my foraging classes, and we have a great time learning about the different plants.

However some people aren't local, or for whatever reason they can't come to my class, so I decided to make this foraging identification video.

The Importance of a Well-Organized Kitchen

I'm a big cook, and organization is one of those areas where I am lacking skills. This post from a reader highlights some important reasons why I need to get my act together in this area!

The kitchen is one of the rooms in your home that are vulnerable to disorganization that hinders you from locating kitchen tools and accessories when you need them. Imagine the stress and hassle of locating your baking accessories in the kitchen and you have to search every cabinet and drawer to find them. After an unsuccessful search, you decide to replace them using the money you would have spent elsewhere. Kitchen organization is fundamental and has benefits for you, your family and home as a whole.

Below is the importance of a well-organized and clutter-free kitchen.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Lo Mein Noodle Salad Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Delicious, and Easy

This recipe for an Asian inspired noodle salad came to me completely by chance. I was at a friend's house and uncovered a piece of paper by moving something, and my friend rediscovered the paper and told me that it was a really awesome recipe from my friend Debbie, and after hearing how amazing it was, I knew I had to try it.
I made this delicious recipe already a few times, and served it to a few different groups of guests, and it was as terrific as my friend made it out to be. I approached Debbie to thank her for the recipe, and turns out that the recipe came from a cookbook that a private school in my hometown put out as a fundraiser. So that was pretty cool.

This recipe is not only super easy to make, its also flexible. You can leave out the vegetables if you don't have any, or you could use whatever you have available. Options to include vary from carrots, zucchini, and baby carrots (shown in the picture) to peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, cabbage, etc... Totally flexible, basically anything that tastes good with soy sauce works here. You can decide if you want to add the vegetables raw or sauted, steamed or baked, you name it.

This recipe as I got it was vegan; I made it gluten free by using gluten free noodles, and then I made it non vegan one time by making it with honey so it doesn't have any refined sweeteners. Of course you can use coconut sugar or date syrup (or probably even maple syrup) instead. This recipe is pretty allergen friendly, unless you're allergic to sesame seeds.

To say I highly recommend this would be an understatement. Make it now! What are you waiting for?

Lo Mein Noodle Salad Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Delicious, and Easy

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Homemade Frugal Healthy Doggy Treats Recipe Made with Foraged Greens

Our dog, Snickers, has so far been a great addition to our family, and we really love her. She came to us mostly trained and well behaved, but there's been a few times that she caused trouble, chewing up some shoes (fortunately none that were needed) and some toys. I asked some trainers why she was doing that and what could stop her from destroying things, and I was told that based on her genetics (we know she has border collie and lab in her) she's smart, and if she doesn't get enough brain stimulation, enough things to work her brain, she'll make trouble. 

I purchased a Kong Wobbler toy for her that dispenses treats if she can figure out how to get them out (in addition to a few other things to stimulate her mind) but wasn't sure what to do about the treats for this toy, since we aren't feeding her kibble, and in general are trying to keep her away from grains (and especially gluten), and just give her a whole foods, mostly meat and somewhat plant based diet. I didn't think the wobbler would work with the wet and mostly raw chicken and fish parts we've been giving her. I needed something dry and small for this.

Monday, August 27, 2018

My Latest Super Frugal Shopping Trips

I've had a pretty intense and crazy past few weeks, lots going on, a million errands to do, and not enough time on my hands. Part of that is my kids are starting school this week (today was Anneliese's first grade orientation, Rose and Anneliese start tomorrow, and Ike starts next week) and I've had to run around like a chicken with my head cut off getting everything they need for school, among my other errands. (And for the first few days of Rose's school she won't be getting a lift home, so I'll need to go into the city to pick her up.)
Time is short and money is too (all those school supplies and uniforms, after the expenses of the summer!) and I'm currently looking for ways to make my life easier, save time, and save money, something that isn't always an easy combination. This was done by two trips to the scratch and dent stores (two different ones) while I was en route to other errands. (Yes, I may just have brought some of these groceries with me to first grade orientation today.)

I'm so excited to share these with you, because they were pretty awesome finds!  Fortunately, I managed to find some super cheap groceries that make my life easier (not needing to make things from scratch) and I'm so excited to share them with you. Anyone who wants to comment about the health of these or lackthereof, you're invited to keep your mouth shut. Thank you!

Apologies about the state of this pic, I didn't go home first to take a picture; this was taken at the bus stop on the way to orientation, and I left half there, so wanted to take a picture first.

Turing Chores into a Fun Time for Kids

Getting to get kids to do chores is something most parents dread. Here's a post from a reader about how she turns chores into something fun for the whole family. I'll have to implement some of them with my kids.

Parents all have their own methods for getting their kids to do their work. Some of them yell at the kids until they scamper around like mice to do their chores for fear of their parents. That’s not a method I recommend. In fact, I would recommend the opposite- getting your kids to enjoy the work they do. You may get them to do the work by threatening and punishing, but you will not get their heart. If you make the chores fun for them, maybe even give them an allowance, then you get them excited about what they are supposed to be doing. It may take a bit of extra work and require you to have a good attitude, but it is definitely worth it.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Thin Mints or Mint Chocolate Wafer Cookies Recipe -- Frugal and Easy

The other day I was looking to make a dessert for the family but I didn't have any special ingredients to use. This often happens because things like chocolate chips and other dessert add ons are more expensive so I don't generally keep them in stock. I turned to friends for suggestions and got the idea to make snickerdoodles as well as mint chocolate cookies. As you can see from the title of this post, I wasn't exactly sure what to name it: I based my idea on a lot of different recipes for thin mints that I found. I used this recipe as my starting point. But I learned that even if its a thin minty cookie, it can't be called "thin mints" unless it's coated in chocolate. I personally enjoyed it more not coated in chocolate, in which case they'd simply be chocolate mint wafer cookies, but coat them in chocolate and you've got thin mints.
They're quite easy to make, and the only "strange" ingredient in it is mint extract, which I always have in my house. They're vegan, gluten free, and frugal, not to mention free of the top 8 allergens. Highly recommended. They were a hit with my entire family. You can easily make them with gluten flour as well if your family doesn't need to be gluten free.

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Thin Mints or Mint Chocolate Wafer Cookies Recipe -- Frugal and Easy

Trying to save for a house deposit? Read this first!

Being able to buy a house is difficult, especially when saving up the down payment can be quite challenging. Here's some ideas from a reader with some radical ideas to save money for a down payment.

It’s true that the cost of renting a property matches that of paying a mortgage. And with the cost of living going up, saving can seem like a constant uphill struggle. Many of us are confident that we can pay out a monthly mortgage payment – we’re paying the same if not more in rental costs right? But it’s the illusive deposit that so many of us struggle to scrape together, leading us to wonder whether we’ll ever own our own homes.

So what can you do to help speed up the saving process? Here you’ll find a few helpful hints, tips and advice on how you can move the process along. Happy saving!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Falafel Recipe -- Grain Free, Delicious, and Easy

I have a lot of chickpeas in my house, but they just sit there since I don't always have the energy to cook things from scratch, and when I do, I want to make sure my family will eat it and it won't go to waste. Last night I put up a package of chickpeas to soak, intending to make hummus with it, when I decided last minute to switch it up and make homemade falafel instead. Because of that, this recipe is written using soaked chickpeas instead of dried or canned (however I did some research to find out how many cups dried chickpeas it would be if you're starting from that point and not with already soaked beans). And though I have two other falafel recipes written here on my blog, this one is get another, because it is not made with chickpea flour or lentils, but actually is made the standard way, with soaked raw chickpeas.
This recipe is completely gluten free, grain free, flour free, vegan, and using only standard ingredients that I have at home. I was even out of coriander seeds which I often put in falafel, and made them without, only with the spices I had on hand, and it was still awesome. I'd have to say that these falafels were some of the best I've ever had, if not the best. My children loved them as well, and I was told to make these again and again, that they enjoyed their falafel meal even more than pizza meals!
I served these falafel as one gets them in a falafel restaurant, together with a chopped tomato cucumber salad, hummus (which I made using the rest of the soaked chickpeas), zhug (hot pepper paste), homemade french fries using potatoes that were wrinkly and on their last legs, homemade tahini sauce, onion salad, and homemade gluten free flatbread, using only what I had in the pantry. A successful pantry challenge meal, frugal, healthy, and absolutely delicious! (And best of all, I was tempted to eat it even though legumes generally bother my stomach, and so far so good, my stomach isn't complaining!)

I highly recommend this recipe!
I know some people are skeptical about gluten free vegan falafel recipes, afraid that they'll fall apart when frying, but I can assure you that these hold together beautifully and don't fall apart at all. They result in a moist, delicious, and flavorful falafel ball.

Homemade Gluten Free Vegan Falafel Recipe -- Grain Free, Delicious, and Easy

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Purslane and Cucumber Gazpacho Recipe -- Easy, Paleo, Vegan, and Allergy Friendly

Hank Shaw, author of Hunt Angler Gardner Cook, has been one of my foraging and food mentors and inspiration along with Pascal Bauder and a few others. This past week I got a compliment from him, calling me the "Purslane Queen" because of how many different recipes I have come up with using purslane. It was quite the compliment and made me blush, and, of course, inspired me to make yet another dish with the purslane I had in my fridge that I brought home from my trip this past week. Unfortunately purslane doesn't grow in my neighborhood too much (there's some competition for foraging it here!) so when I find it, I get excited and bring some home.
It's been really hot lately, so I figured a cold soup, a gazpacho, would completely hit the spot. I decided to make a purslane and cucumber gazpacho, using mint from my garden to compliment their flavors, and I am so glad that I did.
Add this to my list of delicious dishes made from purslane, that the entire family loves, is healthy, frugal, and suitable to so many different diets. It is vegan, paleo, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, allergy friendly, low carb, nightshade free, and oh, did I mention super easy?

Highly recommended!

If you're not familiar with purslane, read more about how to identify it and forage it here, or you might be able to find it in your local grocery store!

Purslane and Cucumber Gazpacho Recipe -- Easy, Paleo, Vegan, and Allergy Friendly

8 Tips to Keep Fit Post Partum

Having a part time with your postpartum body? Here's some tips from a reader on how to keep fit post partum.

Pregnancy is very challenging. But the period following delivery is even more intense. Our body needs time to recover from the changes it went through in nine months. It is absolutely necessary to be very gentle with your body for at least six weeks postpartum. It might take even longer if you had a C-section.

Any fitness routine should not be taken into practice until and unless approved by a gynecologist. Every individual is unique and different. So don’t just adopt another person’s lifestyle just because it worked for them. With time you will understand the pace of your own recovery.

This article was drafted by our team for women who are keen to go back in shape after delivery. Every woman wants to shed those extra pounds that they put on during pregnancy. While I agree with the fact that you should give your body at least nine months to go back in shape, I don’t think there is any need to put off your fitness routine while nursing the baby or after the suggested recovery period.
So let’s find out the lifestyle to adopt for keeping fit postpartum!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Delicious Onion Mushroom Pasta Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Frugal, and Easy

I'm obsessed with this most recent pasta creation of mine, and so is my family. It is absolutely delicious and east and it's creation came about completely by chance. I had intended to make a mushroom sauce with ginger and soy sauce, terriyaki style, but I was away and didn't have any ginger, so had to get creative. I knew that soy sauce and mustard made a terrific base for onion soup, so decided to play around with soy sauce, mustard, and onions, with the addition of the mushrooms. I had planned on serving that over pasta, but I ended up with so much liquid that I just cooked the pasta in the sauce, and I was in shock at just how amazing it tasted. It tasted so great that I ended up making two batches the same day because I realized the first wouldn't be enough because I wanted to devour it on the spot, and have since made it a few more times.

As written, the recipe is frugal, gluten free, vegan, dairy free, allergy friendly, nightshade free, and simply superb. You can add a protein like chopped cooked chicken or baked meatballs or even tempe or tofu cubes to make it a full meal.

I hope your family enjoys it as much as my family does.
P.S. You can also make this using a short cut: add some sauted mushrooms or a can of mushrooms to some leftover vegan onion soup and cook your pasta in that and you're good to go!

Delicious Onion Mushroom Pasta Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Frugal, and Easy

Introducing the Vliba Diaper Pail - The Stylish and Effective Solution for Diaper Disposal

I'm out of the diaper stage of parenting, and have been for quite a few years. Even when I did use diapers, it was mainly cloth diapers. I do know, though, that many people who use disposable diapers end up with special diaper pails to help contain the stink. Here's more about Vliba, a stylish and cost effective diaper pail.

Vliba sells a sleek and innovative diaper pail that provides new parents with a stylish and effective diaper disposal solution. The product was invented and first launched in South Korea and soon became a market leader because of its stylish design and effectiveness in odor neutralization.

The Vliba diaper pail is available in six attractive colors that match d├ęcor in a nursery or any other room in the home. The diaper pails come in white, baby blue, baby pink, red, black and gray. They have many safety features and come complete with up to 6 months’ supply of lightly scented, robust diaper pail refill bags that accommodate 1,125 newborn diapers. Also included is a sample pack of Vliba's individual diaper disposal sacks that can be used for diaper changes in the car, at a restaurant, at grandparents’ house or anywhere else as needed.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

How We Went on a Super Frugal Beach Camping Trip with No Car

I wrote about our super frugal beach camping trip already, but now that we're back home, in civilization, I wanted to share about our last day camping, and what we did, lessons we learned, etc.

First of all, as our second time camping as a family, and as our first time camping at the beach, I must say that there certainly are perks of camping at the beach over camping in a forest, such as the ability to easily pop into the water to cool off, the entertainment of playing with the sand, the calming of the waves... but there also is a big benefit of camping away from the beach: there isn't sand everywhere!

Ways to Ensure Safe Drinking Water

In our old home, we had a water filtration system. But I honestly got so impatient waiting for the water to filter that I never bothered using it, and we didn't bring it to our new home. This post sent to me by a reader is making me reconsider using a water filtration system for our home.

Clean water as we know it is disappearing quickly. Water contamination is causing many places around the world to lose all access to their healthy water supply. Water is essential for our survival. We are bombarded with how important it is for us to drink water. But how clean or safe is the water we drink, even bottled water?

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