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    The Budget Smart Girl Newsletter for February 2010

    I know February’s the shortest month of the year, but where did it go? Maybe, I’ve just been too busy to notice. One good thing, we’re moving closer to spring. I’ve been thinking about my garden and already making a list of my outdoor projects. I know most places, yes, even ones that usually get icy temperatures had snow, but let’s think about gardens and plants. So to start this newsletter, here are some gardening tips I was sent from the Epsom Salt Council. I hadn’t realized that it was a plant’s best friend. Epsom Salt helps seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers, increases chlorophyll production and…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Don’t Make A Budget

    Last year’s annual gift guide not only brought new products to my attention but a bunch of experts who have written books on money related topics. Last week you got to hear BJ Gallagher’s tips and this week it’s Ken Robinson who is a financial adviser and author of Don’t Make a Budget. Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-Why do most of us have difficulty sticking with a budget? Ken Robinson (KR)-When we make a traditional budget, we list all our expenses, and how much we spend on each category. Since most people who make budgets are trying to save money, the question that naturally follows is, “Where can I cut back?”…

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    The Blog-Dinner for Two for 37 cents plus tip

    Don’t know how many decades you’d have to travel back for two people to dine for just 37 cents. However, my husband and I did just that on Saturday night. Okay, we weren’t that clever, we hadn’t been saving coupons for years. At Christmas we’d been given a $25 gift card for a local Italian restaurant that we hadn’t used yet. And I had a coupon for a free desert at the same restaurant (by signing up for their newsletter). We had two drinks, basket of bread, two entrees and shared a desert that was enough for four people. The total 37 cents plus tip. And lots of people have…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Taste of Home

    I can’t remember how long I’ve been a fan of the Taste of Home magazines, cookbooks and newsletters. Many of the recipes in my ‘must try this one’ folder are from one of their publications. If you’re not familiar with the Taste of Home magazines or newsletters, I highly recommend you check them out. They’re one of the best resources for recipes that are very budget friendly and not to mention always have mouth watering photos! So here to tell us more about the magazines and to share her favorite money saving tips and hints is Editor in Chief, Catherine Cassidy. Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-My mom first introduced me to…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    It’s Never Too Late To Improve Your Financial Future

    It’s Never Too Late To Be What You Might Have Been. Not only a saying by one of my favorite authors, George Eliot, but the title of a book that came to be attention while I was putting together last year’s BSG Holiday Gift Guide. Think about all the things you’ve ruled out doing because you think it’s impossible to achieve or you’re too old to develop new habits. Things like budgeting, saving for retirement, starting that business you’ve always dreamed about doing…one day. The title and book’s premise had me intrigued so I thought I’d interview its author, BJ Gallagher and ask her to share some tips with us.…

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    The Blog-Thinking about Spring

    Seems like just the other day I first planted the Aerogarden but here’s a recent photo. In fact, I enjoyed some basil in my sandwich at lunchtime. This weekend I’m going to make some homemade salad dressing using some of the herbs. This whole thing has got me really motivated to grow vegetables this year. In fact, Aero garden has a new item which is a seed starter tray. Once I’ve used all the herbs, I’m thinking about getting one, buying some seeds and getting a head start on my vegetable garden. Don’t know about where you live, but last week was a snowy one. It’s going to be a…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Chinese New Year and Some Recipes

    I was going to post an article about spices and how they can add some pizzazz to budget priced foods today, but hadn’t realized that Sunday kicks off Chinese New Year. The folks at Simply Asia sent some recipes to try so I thought I’d switch articles and leave spices for next week. I should have guessed it was close to Chinese New Year because I’ve been seeing lots of food items like noodles, rice, stir fry sauces on sale. This is a great time to stock up. Most of these items have a long pantry shelf life, so nothing gets wasted. In fact, a vegetable stir fry is one…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Last Minute and Low Cost Valentine’s Day Gifts

    Valentine’s Day is just a few days away and if you’re still thinking about what to buy this year, here are some ideas- Brownies Packages of brownie mixes are on sale just about every store I’ve visited this week with most costing less than $2. As well as being low cost, they’re also quick and easy to make. You could bake them and put them in a red container or box. Or one nice touch is to take a heart shaped cookie cutter and make heart brownies. You can also do the same thing with cookies. Stack them and tie them together with red ribbon. A Good Book Romance is…

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    The Blog-Looking for Bargains

    I’ve always known that bargains are everywhere but you have to go looking for them. That was so true last week. During my trip to the supermarket I was in the produce section and was just about to head over to the bulk bins when I pushed the cart by a display of bottles. Attached to the display was a notice with 91 cents written on it. As most of the time that’s the discount price I didn’t pay much attention. But then I noticed that was the price of the item and it was something I’d bought during the holidays for $2.79, bottles of sparkling organic apple juice. 91…