• Budget Smart Cook

    Budget Meals with Pizzazz

    Last week I told you about ways a Budget Smart Cook can add certain ingredients to jazz up foods. This week I thought I’d focus on actual recipes and foods that most people rely on when they’re watching their pennies. Spaghetti When someone says budget meal, spaghetti or any type of pasta, always is the first thing that jumps into my head. I also like pasta because it’s fast and easy to put together. And while you might immediately think spaghetti and a red pasta sauce, you can vary things now and then. For a change of pace, pick a white sauce. One of my favorites is the Ragu low…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to More Dirt Cheap Gardening

    While it doesn’t feel like gardening weather where I live, hopefully, in a few weeks or so everyone will be heading outside to tackle this year’s outdoor projects. Here are some more tips for getting a beautiful garden without breaking the bank. Start with Seeds One great way to get beautiful blooms at bargain prices is to start them from seed. One trick I was told to successful seed growing is bottom heat. And a good spot is the top of your refrigerator. Make sure you keep them watered too, especially when you first plant them. Sometimes I’ve forgotten to water them for a day or two and the seeds…

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    The Blog-Can You Ever Be Too Much of a Budget Smart Girl?

    I’ll be the first to admit I think that the tendency to watch those pennies is in my blood. I learned a lot from my late father and I think he taught me well. However, I recently asked myself if there’s a time when you have to draw the line. And just what made me think about this topic? The day my husband presented me with a gift card to Kohl’s. It wasn’t my birthday, not our anniversary, so what prompted this kind gesture? My shoes. When he saw my puzzled look after I received the gift card he said, ‘for goodness sake, use that and buy yourself some new…

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    The Budget Smart Cook Gets Sneaky

    I’ll be the first to admit some budget foods aren’t the most appealing items on the supermarket shelf. There are only so many ways you can serve ground beef or tuna. But don’t give up on the low cost foods just yet. One way you can stretch your food dollar and perk up your taste buds is to maximize flavors. Here are some sneaky ways a Budget Smart Cook can add flavor to foods, and turn bland into gourmet. Herbs and Spices One cheap and easy way to add flavor to everything from, meat to veggies is to use herbs and spices. Fresh herbs will soon be hitting the produce…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Gardening

    Looks like spring has finally sprung and our thoughts turn to the yard and garden. The cost of getting and keeping a beautiful yard can be pricey, so this and next week’s Budget Smart Girl’s Guide is devoted to, excuse the pun here, dirt cheap gardening. A Garden on the Cheap This week I’d like to welcome a guest expert. Lance Walheim, gardening expert and writer at www.bayeradvanced.com. Walheim offers the following eight tips on how to have a great garden for $50 or less. 1. Consider a standout area of your yard to make the flower garden. Placement is key. It’s easy to end up with flowerbeds in tucked…

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    The Blog

    Raise your hand if you buy produce with every good intention of eating it, but then end up dumping it into the garbage can? Okay, looks like most of us. Newell Rubbermaid Inc. is offering a new food storage device to keep produce fresh up to 33% longer than its traditional Rubbermaid containers. The new line is called Produce Saver. The line features containers that have a vented lid, which allows veggie to breathe, and also a tray that lifts the food out of any moisture that’s hanging around. They’re available in 2, 5 and 14-cup sizes. Plus, they’re microwavable, dishwasher and freezer safe. Prices range from $2.99 – $6.99,…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Earth Day-Go Green Save Green

    There are lots of ways to go green this Earth Day…or any day for that matter. And the best thing about going green is you save green too. Whether you want to do something for the environment or your bank account, here are some sites and ideas to get you started. Sierra Club The Sierra Club has a informative site www.sierraclub.org/wecandoit/ offering links to ways you can green your life and your wallet too. Check out the Get Brighter section, featuring Daily Green Tips and Smart Energy Solutions. Earth Day Site And this site www.earthday.net doesn’t offer tips etc, but it’s an interesting look at what you can do to…

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  • Budget Smart Cook

    April is Soy Food Month

    In the not too distant future meat and poultry might not be the most expensive items at the grocery store, but for now, one way around higher prices is to go veggie once or maybe three times a week. One great meat alternative is products made from soybeans. And as April is Soy Food Month, I thought I’d make soyfood the focus of this Budget Smart Cook. But It’s Tasteless I know most people start running for the door when they hear the word tofu, also known as that white and wobbly tasteless food…and didn’t only hippies used to eat it? Yes, tofu eaten as is, is as appealing as…

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    The Blog

    I found a great way to enroll in reasonably priced classes and you can study in the comfort of your home. Yes, even in pajamas and your slippers if you really want to. My local community education class is offering a host of classes through a company called ed2go www.ed2go.com. There are a ton of classes to choose from, and if you register through your local community education center or another college, you get the tuition at even a better price. In fact, I compared prices and through my local community ed, the price for the class I’m taking is $85. However, if I signed up directly on the ed2go…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Clutter Clearing-Books

    If you read this week’s blog, you’ll know that last week I did some clutter clearing in my office and quickly came to the conclusion I have one too many books. So this got me thinking about, one, how do I get rid of some of them…I mean other than tossing them away? And two, is it possible to make myself some money in the process? Half.com For the last four years I’ve listed books on Half.com, www.half.com, which is part of the eBay community. I’ve found some books sell quicker than others and that pricing them in a competitive range (the site does give you guidelines for pricing) seems…

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