Thursday, August 22, 2019

Our Super Frugal Beach Camping Trip, The Last Two Days

A few hours ago, we got home from our family's longest camping trip ever, five days and four nights camping on the beach. To get there entailed taking one bus, then three trains, then another bus, plus a bit of walking... but it was well worth it. The kids and I had a wonderful time, despite my initial trepidation of doing this as a single mom for the first time.

As a single mom with a very small income, I still want to be able to give my kids wonderful experiences and fun vacations, but I can't do that if it entails spending lots of money. So I travel within my country, places that I can reach via public transportation, and ideally with free accommodations and if not, frugal ones.

How to Save Money the Next Time You Need a Loan

I'm very against debt, and advise avoiding it at all costs. But sometimes a loan is definitely necessary, but if you do things the wrong way, you can be screwed financially in the long term. So how can you prevent that? Here's some very real and practical tips on how to be financially smart when taking a loan.

You’re committed to cinching your budget and pinching pennies all year round, but sometimes, it’s not enough. Your savings fall short of what you need to fund a project, make a big purchase, or cover an unexpected expense.

So the next thing on your to-do list? Finding a loan.

If you’re in the market for a loan, make sure you check out this guide. It will help you find the right financing for your needs, so you don’t end up spending more than you have to on your loan.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Our Frugal Beach Camping Vacation: The First Three Days

I've been planning this five day beach camping trip with my kids pretty much since our similar but shorter trip last year. Slowly I've been stocking up on supplies from cheap places, learning from our mistakes last year, to make this trip as great as possible, but still as the date approached I was filled with trepidation. We went on a family vacation in January, first time on a family vacation as a single mom, buta camping trip, 'far' from civilization, without a car, and being solely responsible for everything was still intimidating. I guess lots of firsts as a single mom are that way. 

Fortunately, despite some things going less than perfectly, this still so far has been a great trip, and this is our third day in. 

Fun Activities With the Kids This Weekend

I'm currently out camping with my children and it's really nice to see girl occupying themselves without the use of screens. (To be honest it's also nice to entertain myself without screens.) If you want some ideas of fun screen free frugal activities to do with your children, here are some ideas from a reader.

The last thing we want is our children spending too much time behind a TV screen, bored, with nothing better to do. There can be a lot of pressure though, to spend money to have fun. Money can be difficult for all of us to come by these days, and no parent should have to break the bank simply to show their children a good time. So, if you find yourself facing this exact problem with your children, try not to worry too much. Here is a great list of inexpensive and free activities that you and your children can enjoy together, over the weekend!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Prepping For Camping... With No Car

I've scheduled this to post in advance because right now I'm I should be in the middle of unpacking and setting up camp with the family. We are going to be camping from Sunday to Thursday, the same place where we camped last summer, this time for a couple more days than last time, and this time a little more prepared than we came last time.

People asked me how I went camping without a car last year, and I'll admit, I didn't go completely without a car. We left from a relative's house and they carried some of our stuff in the car, but this time I'm doing it completely on my own, one adult, all by public transportation. A friend who is joining us, also without a car, asked me for advice on how to pack, and I said once I do it, I'll let her know how we did it.

Since I only now finished packing up, I wanted to share first what I'm bringing with us, as well as how I packed it all.

First off, I have two big folding wagons that I use for my groceries, but both were broken. I went to the store where I had purchased them, because they usually have replacement parts, but the guy who usually works there wasn't there and the lady who was there had no clue what I was talking about. I came there another day hoping to get the guy, and got the same lady again, who said she had no replacement parts (but this store always has had them, for the past couple years), but did have a cheaper wagon she could sell me that I then took pieces off to replace the part that was missing on one of my wagons. So while, in theory, I would have had two working wagons to use to to bring stuff with me on the trip, but I only was able to get one to work. So that's what I have to work with.

Before starting to pack, I went to a grocery store where I stocked up on gluten free bread. While I can get this at the grocery store near the camping site, from what I remembered last time, it was harder to find and much more expensive, so I decided to bring gluten free bread along, since it's not heavy and wouldn't be a burden to take along. I also bought some shelf stable sausages to bring, because it's nice to have things that I don't have to keep in the cooler and don't need to cook to be able to eat. Lastly, I picked up some quick cooking gluten free noodles to be able to prepare there.
That is all the food that I'm bringing along. The rest I'm buying there.

In my wagon I put my cooler, and filled it with the bread and sausages and pasta. Around the cooler I put one tent (I can't find my other tent no matter how much I look for it, so tomorrow will be picking up one from a friend before we head out to the camp ground), this beach sun shade "tent", two sets of flippers that I purchased on aliexpress to be able to use for scuba diving. (Not bringing these would give me more room, but its important for me to have these.) On top of the cooler I put a portable burner so I can cook not only with a bonfire, and then two picnic blankets, a camping chair, and a little broom.

The kids are each bringing a backpack filled with their bathing suit, a change of clothing or pajamas (they spend the entire day in their swimsuit when we're there, but I want everyone to have at least two sets of dry clothes), a towel, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and everyone is carrying their own sleeping bag and yoga mat.

I have an extra large backpack and it will be containing my clothes, towel, and swimsuit, a snorkel, a hair brush, sunscreen, a lighter, a pot with a lid, a mixing spoon, a can opener, a knife, a cutting board, a few food containers, another camping chair, a hydration bladder, gas canisters for my portable burner, my medicine, an ace bandage, a few portable chargers, rope, and baby powder. And of course I'm taking my sleeping bag and yoga mat.

Once we get there, I intend on stopping at the grocery store and buying a grill, charcoal, and of course, lots and lots of food, in addition to ice for the cooler, disposables, etc.

Of course, we may get there and I might feel I'm woefully unprepared, but this is the most I can carry, and I think we'll be fine.

I'll update you soon.

What is on your packing list when you go camping? Why do you bring those things? Do you think there's anything glaringly obviously missing from my list? What do you think I'll be needing?

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Life Without the Price Tag

If you feel your life sucks, there are many things to do about it. One of those is therapy, to help with your perspective on life, and some other ideas would be to change things up and bring more joy into your life. Some of those things can be pricey, but here's some ideas from a reader on how to upgrade your life without the price tag.

As we get older, we tend to fall into a routine. Perhaps we have been in the same job for many years and the same relationship for most of our lives. This can be very rewarding but often we can feel as though we could use an upgrade. Many people think that upgrading their lives will cost too much money, but this is not always the case.

Here, we are going to look at some of the ways that you can upgrade your life and be happier in the long-term. Keep reading to find out what these are.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Super Frugal Health Food and More!

I think I've been really lucky in discovering some good scratch and dent stores in the city nearest to my house. I mean, there's all types of foods that these types of stores can carry, and I've been lucky in that they often have a decent selection of gluten free goodies, generally as cheap as regular products, but often even cheaper than gluten products would be in the store. I feel like its the perfect way for me to have my cake and eat it to, so to speak.

But this last time I went, I felt like I really hit the jackpot. Not only did I find a bunch of gluten free products, I got a lot of things that are the types of stuff you'd find at a health food store, only without health food store prices. 

I wanted to share what I got with you and for how much, but this trip was a little bit ago, just didn't get around to writing it until now, but pretty sure this entire thing cost me $50.

Advantages Of Using Cold Press Juicers

I have a juicer, and I rarely use it. It's one of those centrifuge juicers, and in addition to it being a pain to clean, I find it such a waste to juice because so much stuff is left over afterwards. I try to repurpose the pulp but even so, feels like so much goes to waste. This post sent to me by a reader explains how I likely wouldn't have these issues with cold press juicers, which makes me interested in trying one out.

When it comes to weight loss and achieving optimum health, fruits and vegetables are a crucial aspect of a person’s diet. While eating these foods whole and raw is ideal, juicing is a great way to consume fruits and vegetables safely using cold press juicers.

Cold press juicers are now in-demand because of the health benefits and other advantages one can obtain using it. Continue reading below to find out more.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Injured, Again...

I want to apologize in advance for the brevity of this post, it is just currently quite hard for me to type.

Today the kids and I met up with my friend and her kids at a skate park in a nearby city, for her to teach us how to skateboard.

The kids picked it up very quickly... and I, the first second I stood on the skateboard, fell flat on my bottom and my right wrist.

And my wrist hasn't stopped hurting since.

7 Helpful Ways To Use Your Credit Card Wisely

I currently have no credit cards and no debit cards and its causing me such an issue. I had two debit cards but currently have none; both of them are getting replaced but one will be sooner rather than later. It's a pain right now to have no cards; I can't pay bills without them and I'm stuck. But hopefully my new card will arrive in a few days, and then I can go back to life as normal. So this post from a reader on responsible credit card use is very timely, since I'm sorely missing mine now.

At the present time, most people who are functioning in the job market are most likely to have a credit card. It comes in handy in times of need when you need to make an urgent payment, or when you need to purchase something online, or even at the end of the month, where you may have run out of hard cash.

Source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2017/03/07/23/34/wallet-2125548_960_720.jpg
There isn’t a country in the world that has banks that don’t provide credit card services. Especially in developing countries. If we take Norway as an example, where the payment system for most transactions is automized for convenience. People who use credit cards, or what is referred to as a kredittkort in their native language, they are made aware of all the benefits and uses that having a credit card has to offer and usually their banks are informative. It’s important to understand how they work, and how you can make it work to your benefit. There’s a fine line between where having a credit card can be a curse or a blessing, and this is why it’s so important that we all understand how we should be using our credit cards in order not to drown in a deep sea of debt.

This is why we’re going to go over 7 different and helpful ways in which you can utilize your credit card wisely.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Books, Books, and More Books!

I've written before about the book stop in the city nearest to my house, the old bus stop that was turned into a library where you take what you want and leave what you want, no limits, no rules.

While its really amazing, because I am an avid reader, and have no good English public library available near me, its on the other end of the city from where I live, and I don't usually get around to stopping there. And when I am in the area, I don't always have the means to carry things to or from the book stop.

However, recently I was in the area, and I had a backpack, and a little extra time, so I said I'd pop over quickly to see what they had. I was hoping to grab maybe two or three books...

And then I came home with lots more, as you can see.

The Best Gifts For Your Husband That Won’t Break the Bank

I don't currently have a husband for whom to buy gifts, but I do know that among my friends "What should I get my husband for his birthday/our anniversary?" is one of those most frequently asked questions. Here's some tips from a reader on what to get that special someone in your life.

Do you know what the biggest difference between men and women are? You, of course, have the obvious things like clothing, shoe size, and appetite but what about those differences that no one ever really thinks about? Well, one of those differences is gifts. Men often times get the short end of the stick when it comes to receiving gifts but why is that? The world may never know…

This may not be a real issue in your particular family but you can’t deny the fact that it is a real issue in some families. From birthdays to Father’s Day, men just don’t have any luck in the gift department. On Mother’s Day, the kids will get up and make their mom breakfast, give her flowers, and just give her the works that entire day. For Father’s Day, the kids will get up and give him a tie that they colored in class… it’s not breakfast in bed but it will do. USA Today even recounts epic Father’s Day fails that mothers would never experience on Mother’s Day!

Well, the time has come for your husband to get better gifts this year for whatever occasion may come. It’s time to ditch the ties and rethink gift options for him. If your husband goes all out for you, there’s no reason why you can’t go all out for him, and the thing is, it doesn’t have to be an overly expensive gift for him to love it! If your husband is like a lot of husbands, it doesn’t take much to make them happy…

Men are very simple and if you give them a gift that looks like you put a little bit of effort into it, they will cherish you forever! Take a look at the top five best gifts to give your husband that won’t break the bank.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Tuna Bread Casserole Recipe -- Gluten Free, Frugal, Easy

My house is predominantly gluten free. My kids decided that they don't like to eat the gluten free bread that I make from scratch, so I go to a store where they sell relatively frugal gluten free buns and stock up each time I'm in the area. Unfortunately, because I don't have a spare freezer and I have other things in my freezer, I'm limited with how much bread I can buy at once so what I have is precious to me.
Imagine, then, my consternation when the bread that I buy gets left out to get stale, crumbled into unusable pieces, or otherwise makes it unable to be used for sandwiches and then likely to get wasted.

The problem with things like this is so many recipes of what to do with leftover bread need them to be sliced, like french toast, or they're completely crumbled into bread crumbs, which I don't use much in my house so its a waste.

I was trying to figure out what to do with my crumbled bread, then remembered the tuna I bought cheaply, and decided to make up a recipe, a tuna casserole, using bread chunks instead of noodles.

And it came out amazingly. My children had over a friend who is a picky eater and he even loved this. I definitely will be making this again. Even if its just about the least photogenic meal ever.

Tuna Bread Casserole Recipe -- Gluten Free, Frugal, Easy

What Defines a Good Garbage Disposal and what are the Best Ones in 2019

I never had a garbage disposal growing up, but my friends did and I heard wonderful things about them. They can also help a sink not get clogged if you have a tendency to have large things go down your drain. But how do you know which kind to get?

There are a lot of things you need to think about when you’re buying a garbage disposal. These are one of the kitchen appliances which are rarely thought about- people think it doesn’t really matter what one you get, that they’re all the same and it’s best to look for the cheapest version possible. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. These are actually one of the most important aspects of your kitchen and you need to make sure you do all the right research when you’re going to purchase one. But what actually makes a good garbage disposal? Where do you look for them, and what are the best ones? Don’t worry, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know about what defines a good garbage disposal.

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

When Marriage is Financially Devastating, Divorce Can be a Solution; A Case Study

So many people in marriages that are horrible end up staying in their marriage because of finances. Especially if finances are terrible together, you may be afraid that divorce will only make your situation worse.

I reached out to friends to share their stories with you, if divorce improved their financial situation. I shared my friend Deb's story, and I got lots of flack about it, that Deb was only able to succeed financially without her ex because she ruined him financially (which isn't the case, but there were details in the story that couldn't be shared publicly). But in short, the consensus seemed that... you can succeed financially in divorce only by ruining your ex's finances. 

This story by my friend Val, another case study, shows a completely different situation. One in which she not only did not ruin her ex financially, but ended up providing for him financially, and still ended up better off financially post divorce. Here's her story.

When Marriage is Financially Devastating, Divorce Can be a Solution.

When I was 30, I had perfect credit. I bought a house all by myself with no help from parents or anyone else. Then I eloped with my boyfriend, and 10 months later we had our daughter.

1997 perfect credit, 1998 baby, 2001 declared bankruptcy. 2003 divorce was final. 2007 he went after me for child support which I paid until she turned 18.

2019 I'm co-signing her college loans after already contributing more than $60,000.
I'm going to stick with facts, and then I can also write about how I felt going through it.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Watermelon Gazpacho Recipe -- Easy, Frugal, Paleo, Vegan

I've been begged by so many people to share this recipe, that I pushed it to the front of my posting schedule. I have been making watermelon gazpacho for so long, but never had a specific recipe, since its one of those things that is completely flexible and is more or less made to taste. But because you asked, here it is.

Gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw, blended vegetables, originating in Spain. While traditionally made with tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers, this version is made with purely watermelon as the base ingredient. I went to dinner at a friend's house who is allergic to raw tomatoes, and she could eat this, even though traditional gazpacho is off limits to her.

The reason why I especially like making watermelon gazpacho is that it is the perfect thing to do with a less than perfect watermelon. If you have a watermelon that you don't want to be eating raw, whether its a bit old and soggy, or not too sweet, gazpacho transforms it into something delicious.

7 Tips for Saving Money When Shopping for Food

I love grocery money saving tips, because that is one of the areas in which you can make a difference every single time you shop, and if you mess up one time, you have many more chances to improve things and fix them. Here's some tips from a reader on how to save money on your groceries.

One of the most common questions you might hear in any cost of groceries continue to rise. Eating out and ordering in is an even worse alternative, so the most you can do is figure out a way to make your trips to the grocery store worth your while.
home is, “What’s for dinner?” and if you have a family to feed, this can get asked more than once on any given day. Coming up with meals that are healthy and cost effective can be difficult, especially because the

Planning your meals ahead and figuring out a shopping plan is a great way to curb financial problems – click here to learn more about solutions to money troubles. Keep reading for some important tips to keep in mind before heading out to the grocery store.

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