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    The Blog-Get Ready for 2011

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. Now’s a great time to do some shopping. Valentine’s Day isn’t that far away and as lots of red themed items like giftbags and wrapping paper are deeply discounted this week, it’s perfect. Also, chocolates and candy can be turned into treats for Valentine’s Day too. My bargain last week was this cookbook I found at the local supermarket. They had a display of books and toys and after searching through them, this one caught my eye. I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet but they all look tempting. The book has a great section on how to stock the pantry to trim your budget. It…

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    The Blog-Merry Christmas from Budget Smart Girl

    It’s snowing again. Earlier today I decided to venture out for some last minute Christmas shopping. I  saw two reindeer pulling a sleigh full of children and being led by Santa in a parking lot (and no, I hadn’t been drinking!) Only wished I’d had my camera with me. It looked like the perfect holiday snapshot. I hope all your shopping is done and that you found some bargains. Budget Smart Girl articles will be back the week of January 3rd but I’ll be blogging next Monday as usual and I’ll tell you about things I’m planning for the site and blog in 2011. Here are some articles I found this week-– Two more weeks…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Holiday Entertaining…easy on you, easy on your budget

    One thing I hate is giving a party where I spend most of my time in the kitchen and not visiting with my guests. I gave up throwing sit down dinners years ago and have since relied on serving appetizers and finger foods. It’s not only easier on your budget but frees up more of your time to enjoy the festivities. Plus clean up doesn’t mean you spend hours at the kitchen sink. Here are some of my favorite ideas and recipes- Mediterranean Herbal Cream Cheese Spread I use this recipe on crackers and sometimes cucumber slices too-  (Makes ½ cup)  4 oz. cream cheese, regular or low fat 2 tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Last Minute Gift Ideas

    Almost Christmas…I’m nearly done with my shopping, just the odd stocking stuffer gift or two left to buy. Whether you’ve run out of ideas or money, I always find some of the following gifts can save the day. Cookies…homemade or not First of all I just saw this great article on Yahoo- http://shine.yahoo.com/event/holidaymoments/top-10-cookie-baking-secrets-2425023/ If making your own cookies is out of the question, try buying a few packages of readymade ones. Some chocolate, some shortbread etc. Mix and match them and then buy some of the boxes you get with your take out order at a Chinese restaurant. I’m seeing more of these boxes at places like Target, party supply stores and…

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    The Blog-Money Saving CookBooks

    It’s definitely looking a lot like Christmas where I live. Fifth biggest snowstorm on record and there’s more on the way. Most of the weekend was spent clearing snow. (I’ve discovered that humming the theme song to Hawaii Five O really helps you think about warm faraway places). Before the snow moved in, I took a trip to the library and as I often do, browsed the cookbook section. I found two books that I think are both musts for the Budget Smart Girl’s bookshelf. One is  Quick Fix Healthy Mix 225 Healthy and Affordable Mix Recipes to Stock Your Kitchen by Casey Kellar and Nicole Kellar-Munoz. It’s full of mixes you can make…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Food Gifts for the Budget Smart Cook

      I don’t think you can ever go wrong with a gift from the kitchen. Here are some of my ideas and recipes. Once again, baskets are a wonderful way to ‘wrap’ them. I also keep holiday themed tins each year just for food gifts Breads and Cakes Instead of wrapping them in foil or cling wrap, buy an inexpensive tea towel, wrap it around the bread and tie the ends into a bow. If you’re not in the mood for baking, one option is to parcel up the dry ingredients, add instructions, and a list of other ingredients the recipient will need, and place everything in a disposable baking…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Homemade Gifts for the Budget Smart Girl

    Even if you’re not on a budget, giving a friend something you’ve made is always appreciated. Some of my favorite gifts have been the ones I know people have put the time and effort into making for me. Homemade gifts can not only stretch your budget, they’re perfect for keeping on hand for times when someone out of the blue gives you a gift. Yes, it happens to me every Christmas. And if you end up with more than you give out, keep them for birthdays, as get well gifts or just for yourself. Here are my ideas for easy to make, inexpensive gifts. Later this week I’ll feature some homemade food gifts…

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    The Blog-The $5 Haircut

    I’ve been so busy lately I haven’t had time to get my hair cut. Well, that was until last week when I visited the local beauty school. All haircuts are just $5 and performed by senior students. As you can imagine at that price the place was packed. Once again, I’m really impressed at just how good something that costs a quarter of what you’d normally pay looks. It was a great cut and I’ll definitely being going back there again. A couple of months ago I interviewed an author who I later found out had written a novel about three friends who are facing financial difficulties and set up…

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    The Budget Smart Girl’s Newsletter-December 2010

    I’m not sure where this year went but I find it hard to believe it’s almost a new one. December is the perfect time to think about your budget for 2011 and what goals you want to achieve. Our Giveaway Winners Thanks to all the companies and individuals who offered prizes this year and to everyone who entered. Giveaway #1 went to Julie, #2 Hella, #3 Travis, #4 Dana and finally #5 Patty. Congratulations and I hope you enjoy the prizes. Don’t Follow My Mistake Most of the coupons I use are printed from online sites. Last week I was busy, clicked on the coupons I wanted, pressed the print button and walked away…