• Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Gifts to Give and Gifts to Make

    Here are some more gift ideas and sites where you can buy items to make your own budget smart gifts Jams and Preserves I forgot who sent me these to sample but I think they’re perfect for holiday gift giving. Canning jars that are so pretty they look like they’ve come from a gourmet food store. I found this site on the Internet that sells them for $1.99 http://www.goodmans.net/i/6307/bormioli-rocco-357760mq2321990-quattro-stagioni-jar-5-oz.htm?    Herbs, Teas and More There are so many gifts you can make with herbs, spices and teas and here’s one of my favorite places to browse. If you sign up for their newsletter they often send coupons and ideas for recipes…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Black Bean and Mango Quesadillas

    We’re in the Holiday season which means quick meals whenever possible. It’s also the time of the year when I try to keep contents of the fridge down to a minimum so there’s plenty of room for items I’ve made or baked. While cleaning out the fridge I found some black beans and homemade mango chutney. Not two items you would normally put together but I thought  let’s give it try. The result is these black bean and mango quesadillas. 8 tortillas…I used whole wheat 1 4 ounce can of diced mild green chiles 1 cup black beans 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese 2 rounded tablespoons of mango chutney (homemade or…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Holiday Gift Guide Ideas

    Just a quick post about some gift ideas I found. Sorry I haven’t had time to contact the companies for images. Remember the holidays aren’t always about buying items for others. You can save money on everyday things you normally buy for yourself. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are perfect times to buy items from online stores and not only get a discount but they sometimes waiver the shipping fee or reduce the amount of money you need to spend to qualify for free shipping. I hold off on buying things I need until this time of the year  knowing I’ll get a better deal in November and December. So here…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Smoky Tomato Soup with Avocado Cream

     Sorry I don’t have any photos of this week’s Meatless Monday meal but time’s been on short supply for me so I thought I’d share this one that I’ve been making for years. I created this soup for an article I was working on and I think it’s perfect for those days when your tastebuds cry out for something spicy yet your time is limited. (Serves 6)  1 cup of chopped onion  2 tablespoons oil ½ teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash salt free Southwest chipotle seasoning 2 teaspoons of Frontera Chipotle hot sauce. 2 cups vegetable stock 2 14.5 oz cans of fire roasted chopped tomatoes 1 cup corn, frozen, fresh, or…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Getting Ready for Black Friday and The Holidays

    My apologies that this year the gift guides will be in various posts along with other holiday related ideas but it’s a busy time for me with all my book projects and I’m working on tight deadlines. Hope you’re ready for next week’s big shopping day. One tip I’ve learned is to do as much research as you can before you buy anything. Check out prices because sometimes you can get to a store, see the sign saying sale, or 50% off, think it’s a bargain…stores wouldn’t lie to you, right?  Only to later find out that bargain wasn’t such a good one after all. If you know what things actually sell for…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Veggie Bean Chili with Spicy Potato Topping

    I don’t know about you but even if I love a recipe I sometimes get bored with serving it with same way over and over again. An example is vegetable chili. I always seem to pair it with rice but last week I thought about giving it a new twist. The result was a chili topped with spicy sliced potatoes. 1 onion, peeled and chopped into bite size pieces 2 carrots, peeled and diced 1 zucchini, diced 1 clove of garlic, minced 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes 3 medium size potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 tablespoon chili powder (more…

  • Uncategorized

    November Savings

    Georgine has some great tips and reminders about the savings you can take advantage of in November. And starting this month she’ll also be focusing on coupons too. www.georginesaves.com November means the holidays are around the corner. Look for special sales on stereos, camcorders, GPS devices, and TVs that will enhance your entertaining or for gifts. Believe it or not, now is a great time to shop for a wedding gown. The shops and boutiques are empty due to shoppers concentrating on the holidays. So you will get a great price plus added attention. In the grocery store you’ll find sales on all the fixings for a Thanksgiving dinner: turkeys, butter, cheese,…

  • Meatless Mondays

    It’s Meatless Monday-Spinach, Feta Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomato Baked Potatoes

    At the end of each month I have a ritual where I look through the pantry and fridge to see what’s on hand and if anything needs using up, pronto. Last week I had spinach from one of the last CSA boxes, feta cheese, and also some previously dehydrated tomatoes that I’d been soaking in herb infused oil. And while I was at the supermarket I’d seen a good deal on baking potatoes, just 25 cents a piece so I couldn’t pass on them. Put this all together and you have either a wonderful low cost meatless meal or a nice side dish, your choice. This serves 2 people as…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Catching Up With The Budget Smart Girl

    I know I say it all the time but I can’t believe it’s November. That means I’m beginning to put together the annual gift and stocking stuffer gift guide. If anyone has any ideas, just e-mail me. Look for that in a few weeks and also I’ll be focusing on homemade gift ideas and holiday entertaining on the cheap. Sometimes I get so busy I forget to post links for articles I found useful, so here are some (before I forget yet again) http://shine.yahoo.com/financially-fit/buying-bulk-budget-8217-bff-174000637.html http://shine.yahoo.com/beauty/drugstore-products-makeup-artists-cant-live-without-235000654.html http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/blogs/jo-romero/expert-tips-making-perfect-curry-124230937.html http://uk.lifestyle.yahoo.com/blogs/jo-romero/best-ways-leftovers-163136292.html And I hope you checked out the freebie book I posted on the site about saving for the holidays. Budget Smart Girl turns five…