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.

Wednesday, January 4, 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.

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.

Monday, January 2, 2023

Dealing With The Third trimester: What To Do Before Your Baby Comes

Preparing for a new baby can be really exciting, but the last trimester definitely can be difficult and stressful, with all the preparations that need to be done before the baby comes, as well as dealing with any health issues or aches and pains that may crop up during the end of the pregnancy. Here are some things you might want to do in your third trimester. 

If you're in the third trimester of your pregnancy, you know that things are about to get a lot more exciting. Soon, you'll be holding your baby in your arms, and all will be right with the world. The third trimester can be fun as well as challenging at times, but there are several things that you can do to ease some of the discomforts that come with it.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

WonderFold W2 Or W4 LUXE Folding Wagon Stroller Comparison

I have been out of the stroller world for quite a few years (my youngest is turning 9 in March!) but I remember how important a good stroller was for my family to be able to function. Especially when living without a car as we did, strollers end up being like a mini car for the family, and it needs to work well. When you have more than one kid needing a stroller, it can be even more challenging to find the right one. Wonderfold makes folding wagon strollers that a family with a few children might be considering. Here is a comparison between a few of them.

The WonderFold W2 and W4 Luxe are two of the most popular folding stroller wagons on the market today. They are both highly affordable, and they offer a wide array of features that make them perfect for any parent. However, they both have their pros and cons. To help you choose the right model for you, we've written a guide that compares these strollers and their features.

How We Gifted This Year For the Holidays

Every year for the holiday season people tend to spend lots of money on gifting, which can put a huge dent in people's finances. I know there is a lot of emotion attached to gift giving, so some people are reluctant to change how they do things. However, if people would like another suggestion on how to give gifts, here is how we did it this year, something that we've had as a tradition already for a few years.

Before anything, I have to say that I have mixed feelings about gift exchanges, because they can be hit or miss. I took part in a gift exchange this year between friends and got a really sucky gift, but oh well. 

Gift exchanges can be really great, though, if people put an effort into it. The gift exchange that I was part of that was between friends gave a really thorough questionnaire. It asked what people's hobbies were, what they liked, what genres of books and movies they liked, if they collect anything specific, if they prefer something mass produced or individually made, if they prefer consumables or non consumables, and if there's anything they'd particularly like as a gift. I liked how thorough the questionnaire was. If, for example, I'd have a person who was an animal lover and collected funky mugs, I totally would have gotten her a mug with an anthropomorphized (made to look like a person) dog or cat, because that would be a perfect gift for a dog or cat lover, especially one who collected funky mugs. But gift exchanges should specify the price range for the gift, so that everyone gets approximately the same value of a gift.