• Budget Smart Cook

    Holiday Appetizers and Snacks

    If you’re throwing a party this holiday season and don’t have the budget for a full sit down dinner for your guests, one alternative is a snack and appetizer buffet. Here are a collection  of ideas(some have links that take you straight to the recipes), you can try… Triscuits Snack Ideas – While a lot of Martha Stewart’s ideas are time intensive, these snacks aren’t hard and use a lot of leftovers to help make them really holiday worthy. You can also just put some tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni, and mozzarella cheese on a Triscuit and bake in the oven until the cheese melts.   Crescent Roll Ideas – You…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide,  Crafts

    Easy to Make, Budget Friendly, Candy Cane Wreath

    I know some of you love to make crafts (especially during the holiday season), so I asked my friend Sue to share one of her easy to make and very budget friendly Christmas crafts with you. Sue has her own craft blog and this month’s theme is homemade cards so go check it out.     If you’re on a tight budget, yet love to decorate your house for the holidays, you don’t need to spend a fortune. In fact I have the perfect thing you can make and all the supplies are from the Dollar Store. Can’t get any cheaper than that, can you? The Dollar Store has a…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Thanksgiving Leftovers-Don’t Let Them Go To Waste-Dessert Awaits

    Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Leftover food is a common thing and I’m sure like me, you hate to see it go to waste. I always seem to have lots of cranberry sauce remaining after a holiday meal and this is a great way to turn it into a low cost dessert…. Frozen Cranberry Dessert Yield: 16 servings Ingredients: 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk ¼ cup of lemon juice 15 ounce can of whole cranberry sauce 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple, drained 9 ounce container of whipped topping ½ cup of walnuts (optional) Directions: Assemble all the ingredients as well as a 9 x 13 glass baking dish…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Getting Ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

      Yes, it’s that time of year again when retailers gear up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Bargains await…or do they? During the holidays is when lots of people who’ve been sticking to a budget all year, throw in the towel, common sense goes out of the window and before you know you start the new year wondering what happened. Here are a five tips to make sure you’re not one of those people-   A Bargain isn’t always a bargain Been there and done that…or bought that. Just because a retailer tells you it’s on sale and a bargain doesn’t make it so. If there’s something you’re specifically…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide,  Products and Companies Worth Checking Out

    Canadian Free Stuff

        Over the years of running Budget Smart Girl, I’ve had lots of Canadian subscribers ask me about coupons and deals for them. Finally I have a site for you to check out. Here’s an interview with Theresa Bruce who runs CanadianFreeStuff…   Budget Smart Girl (BSG)-Tell us about you and your site? Theresa Bruce (TB)-I first started out this free Canadianfreestuff back in 2000 as a hobby, and at that time loved getting free samples in the mail – Back in those days there were some fabulous free offers you could receive. My mailbox had something new and cool every week back in those days. Free T-shirts and other…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Tuscan Sausage & Potato Soup

      Soup is one of my favorite meals. Pair it with a salad or some bread and dinner is served. The sausage and seasonings add a lot of flavor, while big chunks of potato make for a satisfying meal and best of all with just a little pre-preparation, you can put all the ingredients into a slow-cooker and go and do other things…perfect for the upcoming holiday season. Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 3-7 hours Serves: 6-8 Ingredients: 4 slices of bacon, diced 2 lbs. bulk mild sausage 2 15-oz. cans cannellini beans 6-7 c. chicken stock, divided 1 T. crushed red pepper flakes 2-3 cloves fresh garlic, finely…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Slow Cooker Beef Broccoli-Perfect for a Winter’s Night Meal

      Okay, it might not be winter quite yet, but this tasty beef broccoli recipe can be pulled together quickly for a fast and easy weeknight meal. And yes, the slow cooker comes to the rescue again. Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 3-7 hours Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: 1½ lbs. beef stew meat, cut into chunks 1½ c. beef stock 3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced ½ c. soy sauce 1 T. honey 2 T. toasted sesame oil Salt and black pepper, to taste 2 T. arrowroot (or cornstarch) 1 14-oz. bag frozen broccoli florets 1 red bell pepper, cut in short, thin strips 3 c. brown rice, cooked 1 T.…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    A Spicy Dip for Halloween

    It’s my slow cooker to the rescue again. This time I made Spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip(that’s more like a meal), that I think is perfect for Halloween night when you’re in a hurry to go trick or treating or want something delicious when you come back home. You can adjust the heat to suit your own taste by increasing or decreasing the amount of hot sauce and jalapeno peppers you use.   Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 3-7 hours Serves: 6-8 Ingredients: 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts Salt and black pepper, to taste ½ c. chicken broth, preferably organic* 3 stalks celery, very finely chopped 2 8-oz. packages cream…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Meal Planning… Save Time, Save Money, Eat Healthier…stay sane

        I love to cook and I think it’s a skill that helps me save money and eat healthier foods. One thing I’m a huge believer in is meal planning. Every week I sit down plan out one or two weeks, yes, even a whole month’s meals. I print out recipes and then make a grocery list and that way I don’t waste food or give in to impulse buys. This year, I’ve been busy…maybe I’m getting a bit fatigued with the whole meal planning thing too, but I thought wouldn’t it be great if someone else did this for me? I did an Internet search for meal planning sites, tried…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Spicy Slow Cooker Chili

    The first snow of the season arrived…and thankfully melted because it’s too early for that. It’s not too early for a hearty bowl of chili (this one uses sausage and not ground beef). Once again, let the slow cooker do most of the work for you. Let this cook while you’re out raking leaves and step inside to a hearty meal.   Ingredients: 1 pound spicy bulk pork sausage, crumbled 1 pound sweet bulk pork sausage, crumbled ½ c. chicken or vegetable stock, plus additional, if needed 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 medium white onion, finely chopped 2 stalks celery, finely chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into small…

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