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    The Budget Smart Girl Newsletter-January 2010

    It’s the first newsletter of the year. Yes, I can’t believe January’s almost gone. There’s lots of good stuff to tell you about this month and a special section on Valentine’s Day. And be sure to check out next week’s First Annual BSG Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. My Attempt at a Cookbook I’ve always wanted to write a cookbook and this year I thought I’d give it a try. I’ll be posting some of the recipes along with photos throughout the year and hopefully by December I’ll have enough for a cookbook. I haven’t posted any recipes yet but if you want to follow along check out http://budgetsmartgirl.mycookingblog.com I’m trying…

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    The Saving Money Plan

    I can’t remember how I found out about Saving Money Plan www.savingmoneyplan.com but I’m really glad I signed up to receive the daily newsletters because I’ve saved money with coupons I’ve seen in the newsletter, found out about free stuff (you know I love both of those things!) and learned more about how to find and use coupons. I thought it was about time I shared this valuable site with you and decided to go straight to its founder, Claire Williams for all the inside information. Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-For the readers who don’t know about the site can you tell them what Saving Money Plan is all about? Claire…

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    The Blog-One of the Top Gift Guides

    I found out last week that the Budget Smart Girl’s annual holiday gift guide was named one of the best budget and green guides by Blogs.com. As the guide seems to be a popular feature, next week I’ll be featuring a Valentine’s Gift Guide…I’m already getting e-mails with lots of great and bargain priced products and yes, another giveaway for you. Someone who I’m really looking forward to chatting with at Budget Smart Girl is Danny Kofke. He’s written a book about surviving on a teacher’s salary which is full of tips we all can use to stretch our budgets. Some of you might have seen him last week on…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Meal Planning…saving time and money

    I’ve been attempting to put together a list of meals for two weeks at a time and well, let’s just say I keep getting sidetracked. So yesterday I spent an hour online to seek help. I found lots of sites that require you to buy a subscription or sign up for an account, but I knew there had to be some free sites out there too. Here’s what I found- Meals for a Year What a coincidence, while I was searching the Web I stumbled across a story from Good Morning America about a mom in Texas who’s planned out a year’s worth of meals. Wow, I thought and I…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Clean Your Home For Less

    I know cleaning products won’t break the bank but I’ve been using everyday products like baking soda and vinegar for years. It not only saves money but I no longer get headaches from all the chemicals used in commercial products. I’m always looking for green cleaning tips that save money so I asked Leslie Reichert, a certified green cleaner and author of The Joy of Green Cleaning to offer some advice. Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-What ingredients/products would you recommend everyone have on hand? Leslie Reichert (LR)-There are four main basics that are: White vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice and salt. Along with those you can also use castile soap, borax…

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    The Blog-Are Prices Going Up?

    Have you noticed food prices have crept up since the holidays? I was just checking out the local supermarket flyer and noticed what used to be buy 2 for $4 is 2 now $5 or 6. Glad I stocked up during the holidays. One of things on my to do list this year is to check out Aldi supermarkets. I know I’ve been saying this for over a year, but one of these days I’m really going to shop there. If you’re wondering how the Aerogarden is going… a few days ago I noticed the first shoots starting to appear. The basil seems to be growing the fastest. I’m already…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Getting in Shape on the Cheap

    Isn’t it ironic that most of us make a resolution to get in shape in the dead of winter and too cold to exercise outside? Maybe that’s one of the reasons memberships to health club soars in January. Paying to join a club or buying expensive exercise equipment isn’t the only way to get and stay in shape these days. I did some searching and here are some sites and resources I found. Your Local Community Where I live there’s everything from community education classes for Pilates to yoga. There’s also a community center that offers low cost classes and membership that’s half the price of a health club. And…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Healthy Snacking for the Budget Minded

    I’ll be the first to admit that chocolate is my Achilles’ Heel and the odd package of gummy bears often lurks in my desk drawer, but overall, I’m pretty good at not loading the grocery card with not so good for you or your wallet treats. To start off the New Year, I asked Tracy Adler to offer some tips on healthy snacking. Tracy is mom of two, former restaurant owner and creator of Yum Yum Dishes. www.yumyumdish.com They’re sold in packs of four and help train the whole family as to what a normal portion size should be. Tracy kindly sent me some bowls and now I fill them…

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    The Blog-The Aerogarden is Up and Running

    Over the weekend I finally assembled the Aerogarden and planted the herbs that came with it. Assembly by the way is easy and if I can say that, anyone can put it together! Here are a couple of photos of it. It almost runs by itself. All you need to do is add water and the nutrient tablets that they supply. The lights stay on for a period of time and then switch themselves off. According to the instructions, there should be some growth after a few days and then you can remove the domes. Can’t wait to see what happens each day! You know I’ve been singing the praises…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Never Waste Food Again

    This year I’m determined to stick with my resolution never to waste food again. I’m usually good about using everything but once in awhile the odd piece of fruit or vegetable heads to the garbage bin. Here are some creative ways I’ve found to use every last piece of food sitting in the fridge or pantry. Hope you can put some to good use. Combine Ingredients Sometimes I open the fridge and have half a cup of this, half a cup of that…not enough to make a meal but if you combine some foods you get a side dish or the beginnings of dinner. At Christmas I had a about…