• Budget Smart Cook

    Ways for the Budget Savvy Cook to Save Money in August

    While produce isn’t as cheap as it was just a few years ago, summer is still a great time to cut some dollars from your food budget. Farmer’s Markets I have to admit that I haven’t visited the farmer’s market this year. When I do I usually buy in bulk, that way we can eat half now, and the other half, I’ll store in the freezer for fall and winter meals. A couple of years ago I invested in a food dehydrator and every summer I dry fruits like strawberries and cherries. I then store them in bags using my food saver machine and eat them as is or add…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Swapping and Bartering

    Sometimes I’ll look around the house and see an item sitting there and think’ if only I could swap you for something I need now’. One item that comes to mind is my old fax machine. I haven’t used it in years and it’s just taking up space. I keep thinking about having a garage sale, and that maybe someone will give it a home. If you’re feeling the pinch right now and have some items you think you might like to swap or barter, here are some ideas and resources. All in the Family Sometimes swapping items is as simple as just asking other family members if they have…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Low Cost Things to Do This Summer

    One of my dreams has always been to live close to the ocean so I could go to the beach whenever I felt like it. When I was a child I used to pretend just that. The concrete section of the backyard was the sand and the grass, the ocean. I’d sit there all day, reading, and then occasionally I’d venture into the water for an imaginary swim. While I still haven’t made my dream a reality, it does prove that with a little imagination, there are lots of low cost ways to enjoy the summer. What’s in your Neighborhood? Have gas prices and the high cost of airfares made…

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  • Budget Smart Cook

    No Cook Meals For the Budget Savvy

    Whether you’ve been out to work all day, or just had a lazy day at the beach, cooking dinner on a hot summer day is sometimes the last thing you want to do. Here are some no cook meal recipes and suggestions for items to keep on hand for an impromptu meal. Cold Soup I know some people can’t accept the idea that soup can be served cold, but to those people I say, you’re missing out on a quick and easy summer meal. Many years ago I found a great recipe for gazpacho and since then I’ve been experimenting with it and here’s my version of the classic soup.…

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    The Blog-Something To Smile About

    Doesn’t it seem like every time you turn on the radio, turn on the TV, there’s even more bad news about the economy? Last week I turned on the radio in my car while I headed out to do my shopping and errands for the day. My first stop was the supermarket which is only about a mile away, and in that short time I heard two negative reports about the economy and how things could get worse before they get better. Could things go downhill from here? Well, it seems, and excuse the cliché here, that every cloud as a silver lining. I came up with five good things…

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    Healthful and Low Cost Snacking This Summer

    I received an e-mail that I thought I’d pass along to you because it’s all about saving money and eating healthful snacks. Liz Weiss and Janice Bissex are two registered dietitians and authors who are known as the Meal Makeover Moms. Here’s what they had to say about snacks and what you can do to save some money. They also sent along a great recipe that I can’t wait to try. In addition to the high price of gas, food prices rose 5 percent in 2007 and are expected to continue to rise another 4 to 5 percent in 2008. And withkids consuming an average of 840 snacks per year,…

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  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Staying Cool

    The temperature’s rising and so is the cost of cooling your home. This week I’ve read some interesting and humorous articles about ways people are keeping cool without turning on the air conditioner. Some of them could actually work, but here are some other ideas for staying cool. Keeping Cool in Your Car I’ve always wondered if it’s true that turning the air conditioning on in your car actually uses less gas than rolling down the windows. Last week, I turned on the TV and a local news station asked the same question. They had a couple of car experts run tests and here’s what they found. When you’re driving…

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  • Budget Smart Cook

    Staying Cool in the Kitchen

    I love to cook, but on hot summer days, even I’m tempted to head to the nearest restaurant. However, there are ways to stay cool and enjoy a great meal in your own home. And best of all, trying to stay cool often means saving money too. Select Your Appliances One easy way to keep the heat out of the kitchen and house is to use an outside grill. The only problem is if it’s that hot and sticky outside, do you really want to head out there and stand by a hot grill? A couple of years ago, I invested in a tabletop style electric grill. It doesn’t take…

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    The Blog-Double Coupon Days Are Back

    While grocery shopping isn’t one of my favorite things to do, I have to admit there’s great satisfaction in hearing coupons being scanned and seeing the total gradually going down. It definitely makes clipping and organizing coupons worth the effort. The local supermarket used to double coupons on Wednesdays, but then for some unknown reason, decided to stop it. Good news is double coupon Wednesdays are back until the end of July. So you can guess what day I’ll be shopping this week. And there’s another way you can save or make some money while you’re grocery shopping and that’s get a refund or a gift in return for your…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Getting Organized

    One way to quickly lose money is to be disorganized. You forget where you place items and then you rush out to buy a new one, only to find the original item a few days later. And jumbled closets with clothes that you buy, but they never get worn. Bills that get hidden and don’t get paid and yes, you get stuck with the late fees. The list goes on. Getting organized always seems to find its way to my New Year’s Resolution list every year. So what holds me back time after time? Not the hassle of getting organized, but the cost of all the stuff you need to…

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