• budget talk

    Budget Smart Leftovers

    There are two ‘givens’ about Black Friday, shopping frenzy and leftovers. Some people love to eat turkey and stuffing three days later, some people head to the nearest restaurant just to get away from them. One thing I love about leftovers is the challenge of figuring out what to do with them. And being creative enough that people won’t realize it’s the same food they’ve been seeing two days in a row. I’ve come up with these recipes and hope you’ll give them a try if things turn desperate in your house this weekend. Turkey Divan in Pastry (Serves 4) If you want to serve something that everyone will love,…

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  • budget talk

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Gourmet Foods

    Budget gourmet might sound like an oxymoron, but even Budget Smart Girls can enjoy gourmet or gourmet like foods now and then. And here’s the good news, because the economy’s in a slump, lots of companies, yes, even those who sell high end foods are slashing prices. I searched the Web and found these sites offering gourmet foods this holiday season. They’re great for either treating yourself or giving as a gift. I’m taking a bet that others will think you’ve spent a lot more than you actually did. The Fresh Market This site has lots to offer, but check out the artisan vanilla granola for $3.99, lemon curd $4.99…

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    A Budget Savvy Cook Hosts Thanksgiving

    Just the thought of preparing Thanksgiving dinner can send most people into a panic. And this year, I’m guessing lots of people are in a panic wondering how much it’s going to cost. Here are some ways to keep the cost down. Buy A Few Items at a Time I know a few people who plan their holiday meals in September. I’ve never been that organized, but I have found one way to help lower the cost of a holiday meal (and the sticker shock when I get to the checkout) is to spread the cost over several weeks. Sometimes items like stuffing, cranberry sauce start to go on sale…

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  • budget talk

    One Ingredient for the Budget Savvy Cook

    Some of my best money-saving habits began by pure accident. Take for example, the time I was making mashed potatoes. I’d drained and mashed them, then walked to the refrigerator, opened the door, and yes, had forgotten I was out of margarine or any other type of low fat spread. I began to think, if only I’d checked before I boiled the potatoes. I thought about what I could make with a saucepan of smashed potatoes and would just adding milk really work? But then I noticed a box of cream cheese sitting in the dairy compartment. I’d seen a few of the TV chefs add it to potatoes, I’d…

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    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Selling and Buying on sites…other than eBay

    I know eBay is supposed to be the best venue for selling and buying items online, but I’ve not had much luck as a seller there. A few years ago I decided to buy a few items from eBay and was pleased with the price I paid and the quality of merchandise. Thinking I’d now like to be a seller there, this past summer, I decided to sell some clothes and shoes on their site. Some items were new, so I thought I’d at least get a few bids. And taking the advice of others who’d sold stuff there, I started the bidding low. I was disappointed that not one…

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  • budget talk

    The Budget Smart Girl’s Guide to Making the Most of Your Health Care Coverage

    It was one of the issues during the recent election season and for good reason. Health care prices are skyrocketing. Many employers are cutting back on the insurance coverage or making employees pay a bigger chunk of the bill. And even more common these days, lots of people are suddenly finding themselves unemployment and without affordable health insurance. A couple of years ago, I wrote an article for Arthritis Today called Big Bills, Big Worries. I found lots of tips and hints about reducing some of the cost of things like doctor’s visits and prescriptions. As many of them didn’t find their way into that article, I thought I’d share…

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    How Long Is it Good For?

    Yes, our goal as budget savvy cooks is to save money on the food we serve our families, but eating food that might be questionable won’t help your budget if you get sick and end up with a doctor’s bill. I’ve always wondered about those ‘expiration and best by’ dates you see on packages? Can they be trusted and should you toss away anything with an expired ‘best by date’? Are you risking getting salmonella poisoning if you eat something that’s a couple of days past that date? I was surprised to learn that all the dates are simply guidelines. In fact, the worst case scenario is that the food…

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