• Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Dirt Cheap Gardening

    Gardening is one of my hobbies. I think of it as not only being therapeutic but something that adds to the value of your property. Having a nice looking garden doesn’t have to break the bank either. Here are some ways I’ve found to stretch my gardening budget- Free Advice One way to waste money and kill plants is not knowing what you’re doing or what plants are right for your area. If I ever have a gardening question or weed I can’t identify I always stop by my local extension service for advice. It’s free, they also have brochures and sometimes classes you can take too. Divide and Conquer…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    A Cheap Home Makeover

    We’re one month into spring, days are longer, and sometimes it’s nice to give your home a makeover. Sometimes I’d love to do some remodeling but the cost is prohibitive. However, I have found some low cost (and sometimes free) ways you can give your house a spring makeover- Clean Out the Clutter Realtors say clutter is one of the reasons many homes don’t sale. If you’re selling your house, or just realize you have too much stuff sitting around the house, now’s the time to tackle it and maybe sell a few things online or even have a sale this summer. Just getting rid of a few odds and…

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  • Budget Smart Cook

    Fresh, Frozen or Canned?

    One section of the supermarket with steadily rising prices and yes, less than top notch quality is the produce department. So should you ever feel guilty about opting for frozen or even canned veggies? Most health experts say as produce is usually frozen or canned as soon as it’s picked we shouldn’t worry too much because the vitamin and mineral content remains intact. I have to admit I used to feel really guilty if I relied on too many frozen and canned vegetables, but seeing how some of the produce doesn’t look that great I now base my decision on the following- Buying in Season Wouldn’t it be great if all…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Eggs, a wise choice for the Budget Smart Cook

    I don’t have to look at the calendar to know it’s almost Easter. The supermarkets are full of eggs and not just the chocolate kind. Eggs are a bargain any time of the year but as we head into Easter Sunday, they’re one of the best deals out there. Here’s why eggs are always on my list of pantry staples- Nutrition Powerhouses When it comes to perfect nutrition eggs have just about everything. Protein, B vitamins, especially B12 and B2, vitamins A and D, iron, choline and phosphorus, And yes, they’re even low in calories too. But wait a minute, aren’t they bad for me? Not so long ago eggs……

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    The Blog-Almost Easter

    My apologies for another shortened Monday blog but it’s a busy time with the workshop I’m teaching. I can’t believe it’s almost Easter…only wish the weather realized it. Last week I actually got outside and started cleaning up the yard, daffodils were in bloom, buds on trees…but then wham, snow on Saturday, more forecast on Wednesday. Here are some interesting articles I found this week- I’m a big fan of private label brands and this article proves they’re a wise buy- http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=148787 How to be a millioniare- http://financiallyfit.yahoo.com/finance/article-112550-9317-5-what-millionaires-have-in-common?ywaad=ad0035&nc Crafty ways to save money- http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/yshoppingarticles/582/sneaky-little-ways-to-save-cash/ Exercise for Less- http://health.yahoo.net/articles/fitness/photos/set-home-gym-cheap#0 Sometimes homemade isn’t best- http://shopping.yahoo.com/articles/yshoppingarticles/583/8-grocery-store-products-that-are-better-than-homemade-really/ This week on Budget Smart Girl-Easter means eggs…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Places to Sell Unwanted Items

    I”m gearing up for a late spring/early summer garage sale. Yes, they’re a good way to get rid of unwanted stuff while making some extra money but there are online options too. Some places you can sell things like clothes and shoes, while other sites are strictly for swapping things like books and CDs. Either way you get money or stuff you really need while clearing out your closets. Here are some sites I found that you might want to check out. I’ve not used all of them and as usual a word of caution, check out the rules, the terms and conditions before you do business on any site.…

  • Budget Smart Cook,  Uncategorized

    April is Soyfoods Month

    You know I often promote things like tofu as a low cost ingredient for meals. April is soyfoods month and the perfect time to give at least one soy food a try. The Soy Foods Council of America sent some information to pass along to you and also a couple of recipes to try. Before I get to that here are some of my favorite ways to incorporate soy food into meals and tips for using them- Tofu   Just in case you missed my tips for using tofu (which I know all by itself doesn’t look or taste that appetizing) is to freeze it for a few days. And then…

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    The Blog-Cooking for the Month

    One thing being busy teaches you is to be prepared. Last week I was really grateful that I’d planned ahead about what to make for dinner.  Some items I’ve been relying on when time’s been short are frozen vegetables and yes, I hate to admit this but one night I wanted to make mashed potatoes and couldn’t muster up the energy to peel them, wait for them to cook and then mash them. My answer, instant mashed pototoes. I always keep a few packets of the Idahoan brand in the pantry and have to say with some milk, pepper and butter or low fat spread added, they taste close to the real…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Earth Day-Go Green…Save Green

     I have to admit when it was still considered a bit quirky to be ‘green’ I was keen to do my part to help the environment. Things like recycling bottles and magazines, buying recycled paper, composting yard waste, walking and riding my bike instead of driving to the local store. Although my main motive wasn’t to save money, when I think back these are all ways that I probably did manage to keep more money in my purse. Here are some ways you can go green and save green at the same time- Free Exercise Maybe a pricey health club membership is out of your reach right now, but there’s something that’s free and can…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Ten Ways to Eat Organic Foods on a Budget

    I have to say if I had my preference I’d opt to buy organic produce but sometimes the prices are twice as much as the regular variety. However, I have found some ways that you can buy organic foods even when you’re watching your money. Local Farmer’s Market Spring is here and summer’s just around the corner which means more farmer’s markets setting up shop for the year. These venues are some of the best places to buy organic produce and even other organic food items like honey. Best thing is the vendors are willing to give you a deal and you can buy in bulk and save more money. Community…