Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Free Groceries and What I Did With Them

When I was putting these groceries on my counter to photograph them, my kid asked me why I was doing that, why I'm putting free things I'm given, because not everyone is able to get free things like this, and what am I teaching people by posting these things?

So I wanted to address that in this post.

First off, I do sometimes get free food from charity. I'm very thankful for that, but I would not post those things here. Getting something from charity isn't a "frugal strategy" even if it is helpful for low income families.

However, these items are from a charity. Just not one I'm a recipient of. And honestly, it's more akin to trash picking than anything else. 

Locally there are a few organizations that give food items to people in need. Often, though, it is food that is near its expiration date, or produce mixed in with yucky produce so you need to pick out the good ones. They set a time to get everyone to come get food. Many times, by the time the food is distributed to everyone that comes, there is a lot left over. It will end up in the trash if not taken.

Often my friend Eva, who lives near the location of one of these charity distribution points will post on our local giveaway group when all their recipients have gone and there are leftovers, open for anyone to take before the rest gets tossed. This usually happens at about 11 pm. In the past I sometimes walked over to get things if they seemed worth the trip late at night. But now with a car I can go much more easily, just hop in the car and get stuff, very low energy. When it's just produce I don't usually make the effort because I don't like picking through often yucky produce to find good stuff, especially since the intended recipients already picked through it and took out most of the better produce. But when things like dairy, they're usually just close to the expiration date so they don't need to be picked through.

Tofu is a thing I often find at these giveaways and it freezes wonderfully (changes texture then but it works even better for some recipes after freezing). This time it was a lot of containers of a yoghurt type soft cheese and many bottles of goat milk. 

I don't usually buy goat milk, but free is the best price. I didn't have so much freezer room this time (I usually put such finds in there) but I knew I could make it into yogurt and it would then last longer. I now have two pots of goat milk yogurt sitting in my fridge and I've been using them for so many things. Yogurt works wonderfully in pancakes, and also in mac and cheese (my daughter was upset that I made only a bit of that as an experiment since she loved it so much), but we've been having smoothies most of all.

I'm not the biggest grapefruit eater (I find it is too time consuming to eat them and removing the membranes) but I decided to make grapefruit juice with them and have been enjoying that.

There were amazing sweetie fruit that I've been snacking on (they are more enjoyable to eat than grapefruits!). Because they were surrounded by yucky fruit they had mold and other germs on their peel which would cause them to spoil more quickly. So I made sure to wash them (and the grapefruits) with soap and water and let them dry completely before putting them away.

There were packages of mint that at first looked good and I didn't understand why people didn't take them. Then I looked closer and saw there was lots of dark discolored mint within each package. I decided to take some anyhow and just take off the bad mint and save the rest. Once home I realized that the discolored mint wasn't spoiled at all, but was just accidentally frozen (probably in the back of a fridge) and totally fine. I used the mint in a bunch of recipes, including a few batches of this cucumber mint agua fresca  and also froze mint for future use in recipes.

Ooo and how could I forget the kohlrabi? I don't usually buy them because I can't eat them and my kids won't take them on their own to eat so I forget about them... But these I turned into crudites for the kids to eat and put them on the table and they were gone.

And I realized that I never actually answered the question about why I post about these freebies.

The reasons are many:
  • There are local people who read my blog that do see these announcements of free stuff, and I am encouraging them to go and take stuff and rescue these things from going to trash, even if it is at 11 pm. That a little bit of effort goes a long way.
  • I'm giving ideas to these people about what to do with this food to help it last longer that they might not have thought of.
  • There are other places where you can get similar foods, definitely all over my country, as leftovers after charity distributions.
  • This is similar to what you can do when you trash pick outside grocery stores and at open air markets.
But probably the biggest reason that keeps me post these things-
  • A friend told me that she loves reading my blog and posts like this, since even if she doesn't actually do what I'm writing about, it makes her more concious about adding more frugal strategies to her life.
Hope that answers the question if you, too, were wondering the same.

Have you gotten any free food or other things lately? What were they?
Do you appreciate this type of post? What do you gain from it?

Monday, May 29, 2023

Tips for Starting a Catering Business At Home

I long dreamed of opening a restaurant, but life is complicated. I decided to start small, to try to make food and sell it from home, a small time catering business, during COVID. It was great and I had a good time, but my body ended up hurting me too much to be able to continue it. If you love cooking and are thinking of starting a catering business at home, here are some stuff to consider.

Embarking on a home-based catering business can be a thrilling and fulfilling endeavor. The increasing demand for catering services presents entrepreneurs with abundant opportunities in this field. It is also a great low-investment business idea for aspiring entrepreneurs with limited capital.

However, it is essential to build a robust foundation for the successful launch and running of your catering business. If you require quick funds to kick-start your new venture, applying for an online title loan is one viable option. However, you may be wondering how much can you borrow with a title loan? While many factors can affect your title loan amount, ensure you determine this value before applying. If you are looking to start a home-based catering business, here are three essential tips to help you get started on the right track:

How to Sell Your San Diego Home With Pets

If you're planning on moving and want to sell your home, having a pet can make things more challenging, especially if you're selling to people who aren't animal people. Here are some ways to make it easier to sell your home, even if you have animals living with you.

Even in a hot market like the San Diego real estate market, selling a home with a pet can be a little harder than it seems. Even if you just assume that a person who loves cats or dogs will be the one who walks through and makes an offer, you never want to cut potential buyers out of the running, especially since a high-demand house can fetch more than asking if you have multiple offers. Better to prepare your home to appeal just as much to non-pet-owners as to those who share your love of dogs. Here’s how!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Going Back to the Super Cheap Grocery Store

2 months ago I wrote about being in an area that I usually am not, and going to a branch of the cheaper grocery store that I usually shop in, and being shocked about how cheaper everything was there, especially produce, despite it being the same company. If you haven't seen that post, it would have cost me $57 more than my $65 dollar shop. I was astounded, to the extent that I debated whether it was worth the gas and time to drive down to that store to do a produce shop.

Well, as luck would have it, I missed a physical therapy appointment that I needed, so I ended up making the journey to that area again, since that is where my physical therapist's other clinic is, and of course, I did a grocery shop, with a focus on produce, since that is where the biggest price difference is. Not everything there was significantly cheaper than my local store, some things were the same price, but that's cool with me.

So, what did I get?

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Cohabitation 101 - What To Consider Before Moving In With Your Children

As a divorced mom, one of the biggest reasons I never want to get married again is kids. When you have kids, or when someone you are dating has kids, they add a lot of extra layers of complexity to the relationship, and in many cases can even be the cause of a relationship ending. Second time around is so much better. I know remarried people that decided to stay in separate houses since that was better for their kids. However, many people feel differently than I do about remarriage and wanting to live with their partner, so if you do, here are some important things to keep in mind to make this as smooth as possible.

Moving in together with your new partner is a huge step in life. It may be more challenging, especially if you have children, since you must introduce them to your partner to make them comfortable around them. They may have difficulty accepting the idea and adapting to the new change that impacts their life.

Involving your children may complicate cohabitation and affect more than just you and your partner. Therefore, there are some factors you should consider before cohabiting with your partner and children. Read further into the article to learn how to make cohabitation successful and your children happy and optimistic about moving in:

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Ideas for Side Hustles to Get Passive Income

Money doesn't grow on trees, we're told. Of course, you can't get something from nothing. However, there are some things you can do to earn money that don't take as much active effort; this is what is referred to as passive income. Generally they aren't enough to be your full income, but as a side hustle they can help infuse your budget with some extra cash. Here are some ideas on how you can do that.

Hi there, fellow moms! If you're looking for a way to make money while you sleep, you've come to the right place. In this blog post, I'm going to share with you some of the best ways to generate passive income online for mothers.

Passive income is money that you earn without having to work actively for it. It's like having a money machine that keeps producing cash even when you're not using it. Sounds awesome, right?

Monday, May 1, 2023

Recent Frugal Accomplishments

My recent frugal accomplishments are now back to our regularly scheduled programming! I tried to post this a week after my last one so you could see how much I got done in a week, but time flew by, so instead of I have three (or is it 4?) weeks' worth of frugal stuff. It's fun to see just how many frugal things I did during that time.

Here are the frugal things I did, broken down by category.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

The Money Smart Way to Fix Your Roofing

As a home owner, there can be necessary costly expenses, such as roofing repairs. we have a guest post from a contributor who has some great tips on how to get your roofing done by a professional roofing company with some useful tips on how to save money and choose the right materials for your roof. I hope you find it helpful.

If you're thinking about getting a new roof for your home, you might be wondering how to save money without compromising on quality and aesthetics. Roofing is a major home improvement project that can cost anywhere from $3.50 to $15 per square foot, depending on the materials, labor and disposal fees involved. But there are some ways to reduce your expenses and still get a beautiful and durable roof that will protect your home for years to come. Here are some money smart tips to help you plan your roofing project.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Money Management: How To Live Well On Social Security

As someone with disabilities who got approved for disability recently, I've heard much about the challenges of getting approved for disability, and how complicated it is to live well once you get it. 
Here are some ideas on how to get approved more easily and how to live well once you get it.

Roughly 12% of men and 15% of women rely on their monthly Social Security check for at least 90% or more of their income, CNBC reports. If you’re raising a family with SSI making up all or most of your income, it’s important to make every dollar of your monthly payments count. Fortunately, smart money-management tips can help your payments go further, while also keeping costs low.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Current eCommerce Trends to Consider in 2023

Many parents choose to work over the internet since hours can be much more flexible and family friendly. If you have your own internet based business, here are some things you might want to consider that may help your business thrive.

Current eCommerce trends come and go. Some stay and others fade away like a teardrop in the ocean. This year is no different. There are many to choose from, and they all mostly tie into making your CX and UX much better. So here are some for 2023 you must consider.

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Recent Frugal Accomplishments

I used to do this weekly, writing about the frugal accomplishments I had done over the past week. But then life got busy, and life got unfrugal, and I didn't have much to write...

And then I started this up again, a few weeks of frugal activities in one post so I looked more accomplished...

But I decided I want to go back to doing this weekly or bi-weekly, and if I don't have such a long list, that's fine. Why can't I celebrate every frugal thing I did with you, and not just a long list? And of course, now that I'm writing the list, since it was only within the past week, I remember more things to write down!

So here's a list of the frugal things I've done in the past week (or two, I'm not being exact):

Pros and Cons of Universal Life Insurance

In life it is healthiest not to dwell on the woulda, coulda, shouldas... but it is hard not to. One of my biggest regrets financially is that I never got life insurance. We didn't have money to pay for life insurance in the past, and now that I might actually have money for it, no one will insure me because of my disabilities and I'm too fat. (Even though the fatness doesn't cause any medical issues for me other than contributing to my pain level, but hey, that's fatphobia in medicine that rolls over into other things. And my disabilities aren't life threatening, they just cause me lots of pain.) But for those of you who haven't missed the boat, life insurance is a great thing to have, especially if you have children. But what type? Term life insurance? Universal? Do you know the difference even? I must admit I don't. Read on to learn more about universal life insurance.

Are you considering purchasing a life insurance policy? If so, you might wonder if universal life insurance suits you. Keep reading to discover the pros and cons of this type of policy.

What is Universal Life Insurance?

Universal life insurance is a permanent life insurance offering a cash value component. Meaning that part of the premium paid goes into an account, accumulating interest over time. This cash value can be used to pay premiums or withdrawn as needed. Universal life insurance also offers the flexibility to adjust the premium payments and death benefits.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Common Phishing Email Subject Lines

Do you know how sucky it feels to get scammed? I once got scammed via a phishing technique using text messaging. Locally when we get a package from abroad and we need to pay tax on it, the local post office sends us a text message with a link to put in our information and pay the fee, and once paid the package gets delivered to you. I fell for a scam pretending to be the post office but with a one letter difference in the website, and after I put in my info to pay I realized my mistake and immediately canceled my credit card. I felt really stupid. 

I try to be really careful now when I get emails or text messages that ask me to put in any personal information that I verify first who it is from. The ones I get the most are from people pretending to be Paypal, with the same layout of the emails and their name appearing as PayPal, but once you click it you see the email address is something completely different. Falling for these phishing scams can cost you a lot of money, or at the very least be extremely inconvenient (like if you catch it right away and need to cancel your card). Here are some ways to be able to tell if someone is trying to phish you.

Have you ever wondered what a phishing email is? It’s an email created by cyberattackers with malicious intent to steal personal information, like passwords and credit card numbers. 

As if dealing with the reality of cyberattacks wasn’t alarming enough, many of these emails have subject lines specifically tailored to entice people into opening them—making them seem legitimate and harmless. 

Phishing emails often sound urgent, so you fall for the scam. Common phrases used for phishing scams include “change of password required immediately” and “suspicious activity detected.” 

While some phishing scams may be easier to spot, others may be more convincing, so it’s essential to be aware of what these common phishing email subject lines are:

Friday, April 14, 2023

Free Food! Yay!

In my town there are a lot of families that aren't well to do financially, in large part because of having many children without a large income, so there doesn't end up being much money per family member. Because of this, we have various charities that distribute food to people, often food that nears its expiration date or is in other ways less desirable. I get things from such distributions, but there are different ones in different areas. 

After the people invited to the distribution take what they want, there sometimes are some items left over which are them free for the taking by anyone who wants, whether or not they have a need, since otherwise it would end in the trash.

I have a friend that, after distributions end, will post in our local giveaway Whatsapp group if there are large quantities of anything left over. And on Thursday night, at 11 pm, just as I was about to start getting ready for bed, she sent out a message that there was so much tofu left over for anyone to take, as well as a lot of milk and different produce. Now that I have a car it wasn't such a big deal for me to just put on shoes and head over (a 2 minute drive) to pick up things.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

4 Hacking Groups Causing Headaches in the InfoSec Community

Internet safety is important especially when you are working online or have online banking or any other important information on the web. Since my son is learning all about cyber security in his advanced level cyber course for high schoolers, I'm learning just how unsafe all our information is. For example, he already has shown me how insecure many different important websites and services are. There have also been terror attacks that have involved hacking. I try to keep up to date on different security issues now that I've been made aware just how widespread hacking is, to remind myself that I need to keep my work related things secure. Read on to learn about some of the big problematic cyber attacks out there.

In recent years, there have been several high-profile cyberattacks that caused severe headaches for companies around the world. 

From ransomware attacks to data breaches, these malicious groups may be on the lookout for opportunities to exploit weaknesses in your security systems. Consider adding malware protection to your practices so you might catch suspicious activity before it becomes a larger issue. 

To help you stay informed and protect yourself and your business from potential threats, here are four of the most notorious hacking groups today:

Sunday, April 9, 2023

Eco-Friendly Family Fun: How To Lead A More Sustainable Lifestyle With Your Children

In today's world, sustainable living has become increasingly important as we strive to protect the environment and create a better future for generations to come. Families play a crucial role in this effort, as they have the power to make sustainable choices that can have a positive impact on the planet. In this blog post, we'll explore some practical and easy-to-implement sustainable living ideas that families can adopt to reduce their environmental footprint and create a more eco-friendly home.

In recent years, many people are beginning to recognize the importance and value of Mother Nature. Without the natural world we simply wouldn’t be able to survive, and it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect and preserve the earth for as long as possible. With this in mind, it’s unsurprising that environmentally conscious actions are becoming a top priority!

Setting the best example for your children by actively pursuing an eco-friendly lifestyle with your family is a brilliant step to take to promote sustainability, as this way you can influence the next generation to care more about the world around them.

Thankfully, figuring out how you and your family become more sustainable doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might imagine. This handy guide contains some of the best steps that you can follow to reduce your impact on the planet in no time at all, so what are you waiting for? Read on to discover more now!

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Details About My First Car -- Why and How I Chose it, and How Much It Cost Me

I posted about getting my first car 2 months ago but I didn't do any follow up posts because I first wanted to get everything right with it and I was afraid to jinx it... And now I'm worried about posting about it because I don't want people to call me negative things such as irresponsible financially or whatever... But I do want to share, I'm just hesitant, and ask you to be nice. (I just am expecting some haters to use this post as proof of something against me...)

So let's start off with this:

I bought a car after a really, really long time without one, after a few years that my physical therapist told me that I really needed a car because of my disabilities. I regularly would get injured taking public transportation, and she'd keep on reminding me that I needed a car. However, I didn't have the money to buy one.

I got a local drivers' license (which was quite a bit of a process since my American one had expired) and once I got that I started renting a car on semi regular occasions, but only "as needed" because I didn't want to waste a lot of money on rentals. This added up to quite a high monthly fee, but I didn' have the funds needed for purchasing one.

I applied for disability for myself, with the hopes that if I got a disability stipend I would have the money to be able to buy a car. Fortunately I got approved, and with it, got a year's back payment, of which I set aside part to be able to buy a used car.

Now before I get into pricing and details, I want to explain that cars locally are ridiculously expensive. Brand new cars have extremely high import taxes, and there are other factors as well, but buying a new car here usually costs at least twice that of a new car in the US. For example, a new Toyota Corolla in the US will cost $22,000 on average, whereas locally the same car will cost $48,000. (Did I mention that the average salary here is a fraction of the average US salary? Because of this, there is a thriving used car market and even used cars are not cheap at all. There's no such thing as a remotely decent used car for a few thousand dollars.

Knowing the used car market here, having checked a bunch online for average pricing, as well as how much I got in disability payments, I decided that I'd give myself a budget of maximum $8,500 for a used car. I figured that I'd be able to get something decent for myself within that range.

I spoke to my friend Michelle who wrote a post on how to frugally buy a car, and she walked me through the steps on how to do this (essentially what she posted here). 

First, we made a list of what my priorities were in a car.

Monday, April 3, 2023

17 Free Or Cheap Things To Do With Your Kids During Lent (Or Any Time)

With Easter just days away, Lent is almost over, and I'm sorry I didn't get this posted sooner. But here are a bunch of low cost or free activities to do with your family if you're observing Lent, and honestly, most of them are also great any time even for people who don't observing Lent.

Are you looking for something to do with your kids during Lent? It can be hard to keep them entertained without breaking the bank. Don't worry - we've got you covered! We've compiled a list of 17 free or cheap things to do with your kids that will provide plenty of fun without spending too much. From outdoor activities, educational projects and even doing meditation for kids, there's an activity for every family in this list.

But, before we go through our recommended activities, what is this season really all about?

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Remodelling your kitchen on a limited budget

A kitchen remodel can be an expensive and daunting task, but it doesn't have to break the bank. With a little creativity and careful planning, you can give your kitchen a fresh new look and feel without spending a fortune. In this post, we'll share some tips and ideas for updating your kitchen while sticking to a budget.

In a perfect world, you could do any remodelling project without having to give a second thought to costs. However, for most families, that’s simply not doable. You have to take into account many things, and when you have children, your spending and saving habits change entirely. You must think not only about the present but increasingly about the future. Saving for your kids’ future education is particularly important, and you must plan ahead to ensure everything works well.

However, these forthcoming expenses shouldn’t have to mean that you must never redecorate your home in any way. Being solely focused on saving and never doing anything fun or new can put a damper on your mood. The good news is that you don’t have to be so spartan about it. In fact, all you need to do is employ a little extra creativity and find ways to mix both.

Renovating your household, however, is one of the endeavours for which you’ll have to pay a substantial amount of money. The kitchen can be particularly challenging because there’s a lot going on behind the cupboards and appliances, like plumbing and wiring. But don’t worry. There’s a way to remodel it without breaking the bank or ending up in debt.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Misir Wot Recipe -- Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew -- Gluten Free, Vegan, and Delicious

I love Ethiopian food. For a small amount of money, you can make yourself a healthy feast that tastes amazing. I went to the market and bought some injera, Ethiopian flatbread (the one part I can't make myself) and cooked up some great toppings which I then ate with my injera (eating it is an art- see here how). As you can see, I made 6 different toppings for my injera. But my favorite was misir wot, Ethiopian red lentil stew, top left. It is so simple, yet so terrific. 

My sons aren't always the biggest lentil fans, but when I made this dish, they gobbled it up. It was also wonderful as leftovers on rice. 

For this dish, you'll need Ethiopian berbere spice mix, which you can buy or make from scratch using my recipe. 

This recipe is frugal, easy, vegan, gluten free, allergy friendly, and just all around a great recipe. Highly recommended.

Misir Wot Recipe -- Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew -- Gluten Free, Vegan, and Delicious

4 Steps To Feeling Your Best Again

If you're not feeling so great about yourself or life in general, the go to, in my opinion, is obviously therapy. But in addition to therapy, there are some things you can do to also help you feel better. Here are some ideas, but there are plenty more out there. You just have to choose what works for you.

Not feeling your best self? Don’t worry, you have come to the right place.

We have all been there - not feeling great. It could be due to poor oral health, a medical issue, or experiencing a lot of stress.

Whatever is causing you to feel down or lack confidence can be reduced or avoided. Use this guide to help you feel your best self again.

Sunday, March 26, 2023

5 Frugal Strategies for Keeping Your Home Clean and Fresh

Does a messy and dirty house give you anxiety like it does me? Are you interested in doing what you can to make it more comfortable to live in without spending much money? Read on to find out how.

The benefits of a tidy home are apparent; a clean home is much more inviting, plus it's beneficial for your mental health as a neat home often means a tidy mind. However, keeping up with cleaning costs and time commitments can become costly if not careful; but with some budget-friendly strategies in place, maintaining household cleanliness doesn't need to break the bank. In this blog post, we'll examine some simple yet effective budget-friendly techniques for maintaining its cleanliness.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Sweet and Salty Cucumber Salad with Dill Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Allergy Friendly

I was trying to think of a way to title this recipe, because I couldn't think of a good descriptor that actually did this recipe justice, because I've tasted many cucumber salads with dill that were just meh, and I didn't mind eating them but I didn't crave them. And then comes this cucumber salad. 

I could eat this by the gallon, as could my family. It is my favorite type of cucumber salad, followed very closely by Korean cucumber salad, with just the right amount of sweet, salty, and sour, enough that it has a good amount of flavor but doesn't have a strong vinegary taste (with that being the predominant taste) as most of the dilly cucumber salads I've tasted have. I've made this both with lemon juice and vinegar and it is great both ways. 

While with most recipes I say you can use either fresh or dried herbs, I really wouldn't make this with dry dill. I mean you can, but it won't be nearly as good.

This recipe is gluten free, vegan, and allergy friendly, and with a tweak can be paleo as well (just choose a different sweetener) and is very easy to make.

Highly, highly recommended. It is even tastier than it looks.

A note about the amount of cucumbers. Since everyone's cucumbers are different sizes, it's hard to say exactly how many cucumbers. This recipe needs enough cucumbers that when sliced the cut cucumbers come close to filling a 32 oz/1 liter container.

Sweet and Salty Cucumber Salad with Dill Recipe -- Gluten Free, Vegan, Allergy Friendly

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Moving Soon? Here’s what to Look for in a Moving Company

While moving can be rough, a bad mover makes everything that much more horrible. Here are some ways to make sure that whatever moving company you use is a good one.

While purchasing a new home or renting a new apartment can be an exciting experience, it can also be full of hassles. After all, no one likes having to pack up and move all their stuff. That’s where a reputable moving company comes in.

Just-In Time Moving, Phoenix movers, a licensed moving company that provides excellent service, exceeds physical limitations and provides the kind of hassle-free experience that will build the company’s reputation. This is why you should look for a mover with lots of 5-Star reviews, plus an A+BBB (Better Business Bureau) Rating.

But what are the specific qualities you need to look into when it comes to choosing the right company for your move? According to a recent article by Consumer Reports, finding the most reputable moving company for your move can take some time and effort, but it’s entirely worth it.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Top Reasons Why You Need Might Need Workers' Comp Coverage For Family Members

When you have a family, you work not only to support yourself but everyone else too. If anything happens that stops you from being able to work, such as when you get a workplace injury, worker's comp insurance can help you manage financially. But you can also get this coverage for family members. Read on to learn more about why you may want this.

Workers’ compensation insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides financial protection to employers and employees in the event of work-related injury or illness. It covers medical expenses, lost wages, and other benefits when an employee is injured on the job. For family members who are employed by a business, workers’ comp coverage is especially important as it can provide peace of mind for both the employer and employee.

But, how does workers compensation work in California? How will it affect the workers’ compensation coverage for family members? What are the reasons I might need coverage for family members?

These are just some of the questions we aim to answer in this blog. Read on to understand workers’ compensation:

Understanding Workers' Compensation

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

My Recent Frugal Grocery Shop - Shocking Price Difference

It's been a while since I've done of these "look at my frugal grocery shop" posts, because, honestly, lately I haven't done many grocery shops I've been proud of. I've bought what I needed, and some extra, tried not to exaggerate, but nothing to make me want to show off and inspire others with. 

But I had a physical therapy appointment the other day, an "emergency" one, meaning something that wasn't my weekly pre-scheduled appointment that I need to be able to function, and because she needed to fit me in once she was already fully booked in the city that I see her in usually (she fills up there usually 2 weeks in advance!) I drove further to her town, which is about half an hour further than her office. 

I arrived at my appointment early, so decided to get groceries in the nearby shopping center, where they have a branch of the local cheaper grocery store that I tend to shop in near me. Cheaper grocery store, however, is a misnomer, as prices everywhere have gone up tremendously lately- yay inflation- and the prices locally have been really disappointing. 

In the past I had set an upper price limit for myself, 65 cents per pound for vegetables, and $1.30 per pound for fruit, trying to get decently lower than that whenever possible, but lately that simply wasn't an option. Veggies have been between 65 cents and $1.30 per pound, usually at the higher end of them, and fruit would almost over be over $1.30, on average being $1.95 a pound but up to $2.60 a pound- even when in season!

But stepping into the branch of the supermarket near my physical therapist's office, I felt like I was catapulted back in time many years, to the time when I would gleefully share my grocery shops with you, having gotten produce between 25 and 50 cents a pound and people would incredulously ask how on earth I got such good prices. That's what I saw when I entered this store- nearly all the produce was on sale, and what wasn't on sale was still about half what I can buy it for at the "cheap" store, and since produce was what I needed at home and why I came into the store this was especially exciting for me.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

5 Key Health Tips to Feel Vibrant, Enthusiastic, & Strong

If you're looking for ways to add more healthy living ideas into your life, look no further. Here are some suggestions.

There is no denying that life is becoming more stressful; we're getting more tired, sicker, and emotionally distressed, despite the progress that we've made as humanity, in technology, medicine, you name it. So why is living becoming unbearable? Why are our youths turning to drugs and alcohol to escape this life?

In this article, we will look at five key healthy tips that most take for granted, yet they could be the difference between living a vibrant, energized life or one plagued by chronic health ailments and depression.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

6 Fun Ideas for Family Game Night

One of those great ways to bond as a family is by playing games together. My kids and I like to play games regularly- Wise Guy is played at least once a week round these parts. If you need ideas for things to do as a game with your kids, here are some great ideas.

Family game night can become one of those heart-warming, nostalgia kick traditions that your kids take with them well into their adult years. It doesn’t take much time to put together a fun night that everyone can enjoy on some level, and even if you have a big age range to cater to there are plenty of options to discover. So, for some good old fashioned fun and a nice way to bond with your family, read on for some ideas to make a great family game night.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Thoughts on Being a Landlord, Five Years Later

After renting apartments for 11 years, about 5 years ago my family moved into a home that we bought. It was a one family apartment, but we split it into two apartments, one to rent out and one to live in. When we purchased our home, it was still in the building stages, so we were able to design it in a way that it would need as little construction possible to turn it into a two family house. Officially when we were given it by the builders it could only be one house, and only after divide it into two, but we could do many of the preparations beforehand.

The things we did to make it a rental unit already by the builders while under construction were as follows. We turned our kitchen into a bedroom (so we'd have a three bedroom apartment) and the dining room/living room into a kitchen/living room/dining room, and we made a place for the washing machine and dryer. The upstairs that was supposed to be 4 bedrooms was changed the most- we made 3 of the bedrooms smaller so that we could drastically increase the side of the other one and get rid of dividing walls to turn it into a living room/dining room/kitchen to the extent that it is bigger than the living room/dining room/kitchen in the apartment I live in. We got rid of the laundry room to make the main room bigger. And we put a water and drainage line into the area where the kitchen would be. Another thing we made sure to do was to separate the electricity and water lines so that we could put a water and electric meter separate in the apartment, as well as allow the tenants to heat up their own hot water and not share a tank with us.

Once we moved into our apartment, we hired a contractor to finish up the work. He put in a wall at the top of the stairs to separate the apartments, broke a hole in the wall for the door that led to the outdoor stairs, and added a hot water tank for the apartment. Then my son and I built and installed an Ikea kitchen, then had the gas company add a gas line into the apartment for the kitchen.

It was a large investment at first, but it has paid off. I'm able to keep the rent in the apartment relatively cheap, around the same or even less than the apartments of similar sizes where I live. In the 5.5 years that I've been a landlord, I've kept the price the same, even as prices here go up.

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

7 Tips for Raising Children While Pregnant

I remember being pregnant with my second kid, being incredibly nauseous and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch, but I had a little toddler that needed to be taken care of. So different than my first pregnancy that I was able to just basically lie in bed for 9 months straight. The next two pregnancies weren't any easier. When pregnant for the first time, it is a completely different experience than when pregnant and needing to manage that while also taking care of children. Here are some tips on how to help with that challenging time.

Raising children while pregnant can be challenging, but it doesn't have to be impossible. With the right tips and advice, any expectant mother can successfully raise her children while managing her pregnancy. Thankfully, https://motherhoodtips.com/ provides seven essential tips for raising children while pregnant, which will make the process smoother and easier for you. So if you're currently expecting a child and need guidance on taking care of your children while pregnant, read on!

Saturday, February 18, 2023

3 Excellent Reasons for Children to Learn Playing a Musical Instrument

I am a big fan of kids learning to play music. Growing up, I had lessons in piano, recorder, and harmonica. For my kids I purchased and taught them how to play those (keyboard instead of piano) as well as using apps that taught. Recently my daughter has asked for a ukelele so is in the beginning stages of learning how to play that. Here are some great reasons to have your kid learn to play an instrument.

Children, at a very young age, are naturally drawn to music. Like adults who turn to listen to their favorite tunes when they feel happy, angry, or sad, music has a way of keeping a child’s emotions in check. The love for music probably begins while a child is in their mother’s womb. Many mothers may sing to their babies while pregnant, noticing responses to the melodies they hum or the soft music they play in the background.

During their growing years, children also develop their favorite music to listen to. They may be watching a children’s show on TV and start singing along to its theme song. They quickly memorize tunes they like as children absorb what they see and hear. Apart from reading bedtime stories, any child falls asleep quickly when a parent sings to them. And when they are around a group of friends, they all share a love for popular bands or singers, singing and dancing along to familiar songs they enjoy.

More than listening to music, children can especially benefit from learning how to play a musical instrument. Actively participating and developing their musical skills can be very helpful in a child's development. Parents can encourage their kids to pursue their passion for an instrument of their choice by providing them with the tools to learn, enrolling them in a music school, and involving themselves in their child's musical activities. If their child shows an inclination to play the guitar, for instance, it would be best for them to get the best guitar books for kids to help them learn more about their instrument and how to play it simply and enjoyably.

Here are some ways children benefit from learning to play a musical instrument.

Our First Car!!!

We welcomed a new member into our family today. This is going to be like one of those posts when I first gave birth and I just shared a picture and a few words, with more details to follow. I'm too exhausted now to write up a whole thing, but I couldn't not share the news.

Today I bought my first car. 

Yes, at 35 years old -- today is my birthday!-- I now am a first time owner of a car. Best birthday present ever!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Top Hacks for Saving Money as a New Parent

Are you a new parent? Looking to make things a little easier financially for yourself? Here are some methods that may work for you in your new stage of life.

Having a big family is something you always dreamed about and now that your baby is here it's time to start thinking about your finances. Raising even one child costs plenty, especially when you factor in the cost of inflation on just about everything today. That said, you need to find ways to cut corners and save money, particularly if you plan on having more than one child. Saving money can be difficult when children are thrown into the mix, but does that mean it's impossible? Absolutely not and this is nothing a few hacks can't fix. In this article, we'll be giving you a few of the best hacks for new parents to save money.

Monday, February 6, 2023

Sticking to a Budget While Shopping for Seasonal Fashion

If you like dressing nicely, but also care about your pocketbook, you might find it a challenge to balance the two. Here are some ways you can find a middle ground and shop for fashionable clothing on a budget.

For sartorial individuals, staying abreast of the latest fashion trends is one of life’s greatest joys, but it may be hard to do so in 2023. As reported by McKinsey, after experiencing vertiginous growth in early 2021 and mid 2022, the fashion industry began experiencing a slump, as hyperinflation seriously slashed the budgets of even the most spendthrift fashionistas. Sticking to your budget as a fashion-loving parent is therefore more important now than it has been in many years. The following strategies will ensure you and your kids are “on point” without breaking the bank.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Our Fancy Frugal Weekend Getaway

My family has been through a lot lately, and some of it affected my kids extra strongly, and they expressed to me how hard of a time they were having. In talking to a good friend of mine, she suggested I help them out by taking them away for the weekend, to get away from our home and do something fun, getting out of the location where the stress has been happening. I thought it sounded like a great idea, just what the doctor ordered.

I knew that I'd be going to an Airbnb because that is a much cheaper option than going to a hotel, and it also allows me to get a place with a kitchen to save the cost of eating out. I didn't have a specific place planned, as long as it was not in the city near my house, because then what would be the point. I tried to think of what the maximum distance I would be willing to drive each day and decided that four hours would be the most I'd feel comfortable doing each way. 

My kids and I went through Airbnb options together that looked luxurious and with amenities we wanted that were within the price range of $250 for the five of us that I set for us. I didn't want a place that wasn't fancy; it was supposed to feel like a nice vacation and not like we were just going to go to any old house that looked like a friend's house. My kids and I made an Airbnb wishlist of possible places that fit those criteria.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

6 Ways To Elevate The Taste Of Your Food

I'm a foodie. I like food. I like good food. I would consider myself a pretty decent cook. And there are some things I do to make my food taste great. I use most of the ideas listed below- look no further than my recent batter fried fish and bananas recipe for my experimentation or how many spices I have on my spice rack. If you want to make your food taste even better, here are some things you might want to try.

If you're looking to take your cooking skills up a notch and make your meals more exciting, then this blog post is for you. Whether you're a novice or an experienced cook, there are some simple tips and tricks that can take the taste of your food to the next level. From understanding flavor profiles to selecting fresh ingredients, here are some ways to help you enhance your dishes' flavor.

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

How to Start Building Financial Stability When You Have a Family

A lot of things are more challenging to do when you have a family vs when you are single. Financial stability is just one of those challenges made more difficult when raising a family. Here are some ways you can work on becoming more financially stable while raising kids.

If you've always lived paycheck to paycheck, finding financial stability as a parent can seem next to impossible. Every time you think you're catching up, your kids need new shoes or coats, or some other unexpected need for money crops up. It can also just be tough to say no to your kids when you technically have the money for something they want, even if it isn't the smartest financial choice. However, you can start to build a life of stability and frugality for your family even if it means making some big changes.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Curried Batter Fried Fish and Bananas Recipe -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly

Ever have a really far fetched ridiculous sounding recipe idea, but you have this really strong hunch that it would not only work well, but also taste terrific? That happened to me the other day. My oven had been broken for some time. I wanted to make some tilapia, but I found most stove top fish recipes ended up tasting pretty bland. My daughters had been on a streak of making fried banana after fried banana, going through multiple bunches of bananas, and fried bananas were on my mind. I had this far out idea that fried bananas would give tilapia a great flavor. But I was unsure. I'd never tasted the combination. 

When I come up with ideas for a recipe and food combination completely on my own (and not inspired by a recipe I'd seen or heard about) I like to Google if a recipe with such a combination exists, and the results I came up with were making a vegan fish alternative using banana flowers. I narrowed the search paramaters and got recipes for fish cooked in banana leaves. Finally, I found a recipe using fish and bananas and curry, which then was my bouncing off point for this recipe. I made it quite differently than them, but the idea of using curry with the combination I had been planning was the spark of inspiration that I needed to transform this idea into the divine tasting dish that I made.

I know this is a really strange sounding idea, weird and kooky, and the pictures don't make it look so amazing either. And that is with my choosing the better photo for the main image for this post. But it tastes terrific, with the spices in the curry giving a good balance to the sweetness in the recipe. The one problem with this recipe is that it tastes so good that it's hard to share it with others, and I may have devoured most of it in one go the first time I made it (smaller batch). 

I have one kid who doesn't eat fish, so I knew he wouldn't touch this recipe, and my most adventerous eater wasn't home both times that I cooked it, but surprisingly my picky eater daughters ate it- one kid enjoyed both the fish and bananas, and the other one enjoyed the bananas (even if she wasn't willing to try the fish- she doesn't like tilapia). And the guest I had over devoured it as well, and loved it so much. I had asked her to have some in part to know if it was a good enough recipe to share here, or if it was just too weird. She said it is definitely a recipe that needs to be shared. So you don't just have to take my word for it.

While this isn't the easiest recipe in the world to make (lots of standing over a frying pan, cooking a little bit at a time), it is pretty frugal (tilapia is one of the cheapest fish to buy), is gluten free, egg free, dairy free, and allergy friendly other than the fish. And you can use regular wheat flour if you don't need to make this gluten free.

Curried Fried Fish and Bananas Recipe -- Gluten Free, Allergy Friendly

Sunday, January 15, 2023

How To Save Money On Coffee Daily

If you're a coffee drinker, you may or may not notice how much this habit of yours costs you, but it can add up to be quite a lot, especially if you're picky about the quality of your coffee. Here are some ways to save money on your coffee while still enjoying a good drink.

Nothing beats the smell of coffee first thing in the morning. Coffee is a part of a lot of people’s morning routine. Every day Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee in the United States. An average American coffee user consumes three cups of coffee each day. These figures add up when you consider that around 150 million Americans are passionate coffee drinkers.

Whether you prefer a simple cup of black coffee or an iced latte with all the fancy stuff like whipped cream, coffee might feel like a cheap treat. That small pleasure and energy booster, however, is becoming expensive.

While you may not find spending an extra 30 or 50 cents on your cup of coffee a big deal, this may slowly add up and mess up your budget at some point. Fortunately, several methods exist to enjoy your morning cup of coffee and still maintain a frugal lifestyle. Continue reading for practical ways to save money on coffee.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

5 Kitchen Tools to Invest in as a Beginner Chef

I've written about the kitchen equipment you'll want to have if you're trying to save money in the kitchen. Here are some ones you'll specifically want if you're learning to be a better cook.

Every chef needs the right tools. If you’re an aspiring chef who is just getting started in the world of cooking, you’re going to need the essentials before you begin.

Whether you’re aiming to turn cooking into a career and become a professional chef, or you simply want to learn the basics in the kitchen, investing in the essential tools will set you up for success. Here is a list of kitchen tools that you should own as a beginner chef to prepare healthy dishes for you and your family.

Thursday, January 5, 2023

My Recent Frugal Accomplishments

Mallow from my yard

It's been a while since I did one of these posts, where I list the recent frugal things I've done. This hasn't just been done in the last week, more like the past month plus, but who cares? This is also to encourage me to do more frugal things, to remind myself that even when I feel like a frugal failure I'm not actually a failure, and hopefully to inspire you to do more frugal things as well.

Here are the frugal things I did recently, broken down by category:

7 Ways to Decarboxylate Cannabis (And How to Do It)

I wrote recently about making easy firecracker cannabis edibles, including how I decarboxylate the cannabis first, as well as why it's needed. Here are some other methods you can use.

Cannabis is a versatile plant and has been used for centuries in various forms. But to get the most out of your cannabis, you need to decarboxylate it first.

Decarboxylation activates the cannabinoids in cannabis, unlocking their medicinal properties and making them more potent.

Here's everything you need to know about decarboxylating cannabis and how to do it effectively.

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

5 Reasons to Renovate Your Family Home

I recently renovated- my son needed a bedroom that wasn't shared with his sisters, so my kids and I built a bedroom for him by hand. There are so many reasons why someone might renovate, especially when you have kids; here are some of them.

Credit: prostooleh via FreePik

Home renovations can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly—and that’s at the best of times. Toss in kids, the holidays, and running a busy household, and you might wonder why anyone would put themselves through all the trouble.

It’s not because they’re masochists — fixing up your home is necessary sometimes, and it comes with a lot of benefits. Here are five common reasons why people renovate.

A Fun Homemade Scattegory Type Game -- DIY Wise Guy Card Game

My friend has a great game that we like to play together, whose name essentially translates to Wise Guy. It is so much fun to play (and it doesn't hurt that I'm terrific at the game), but the game is in our local language and my grasp of the local language is the best in the family, and I want to be able to play with my children as well. Additionally, I felt like the game was too short, and had too little variety, so I wanted to adapt the game, keeping the same rules, but making it better.

The way the game works is that there are cards with categories as well as cards with letters. Each round a category is read and then a letter is shown, and the first person to blurt out a word that starts with that letter and fits that category gets that category card to keep. 

This is a fast paced game that stretches your brain, which is why I understand why its name is the local language equivalent of wise guy, literally translated as "sharp head". 

I made these cards in English, and added many, many, many more categories than the original had. I first looked online to see if I could find an English version of this game, but the closest I could find was the game Scattergories, but with Scattergories you don't need to do things starting with a specific letter, and it is a written list of who can get more, whereas this is a blurt it out game.

The Best Gifts for Autistic Kids

Some autistic kids are very verbal and can tell you exactly what they would like as a gift. Trust me, my autistic kids make it very clear what they want, and often it is something to do with their special interests. My daughter's special interest is makeup so it makes it very easy to figure out what to get her. If you are looking for ideas for what you get your autistic kid if they are less expressive, here are some ideas.

When you are the parent of an autistic kid, you might sometimes struggle to know what to gift them for the holidays, their birthday, and whenever you want to treat them. As such, if you are struggling to find the perfect gift to give your kid for the next celebration of the year, here are some of the top presents that you can buy for them.

Share This