• Budget Smart Cook

    “Creamy” Wild Rice and Mushroom Soup

    Fall’s officially here, nights are getting longer and leaves are turning. It’s my favorite time of year and not just because Mother Nature puts on a beautiful display. Colder temps mean you have an excuse to make some soup and this one is especially warm and comforting. The wild rice is filling, while the finely minced and chopped vegetables give the soup a more consistent flavor throughout. What’s more, some its “creaminess” comes from pureed cannellini beans, rather than a larger amount of high-fat dairy products.   Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 3-8 hours Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: 1 c. multi-color wild rice blend, uncooked* 1 small white onion, roughly chopped…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Ten Phone Shopping Apps That Could Save You Money

      Just about everyone has a cellphone and new shopping apps you can use on them are springing up every week. Many of them can help you save money via percent off coupons, tell you about daily deals, or provide rebates. Here are ten you might want to check out…   LivingSocial – This shopping app that works on both Android and iOS will help you find local deals that are up to 90 percent off. You can match the deals to your shopping list. https://www.livingsocial.com/mobile Amazon Price Check – This app helps you scan barcodes in person to find out if you can get the item less expensively online…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Splurge on Clothing and Shoes?

      I’m seeing lots of articles about fashion week and what’s going to be the next ‘in thing’ in clothing. Some of my clothes are older than I’d like to admit to and I think I’ve always been budgt savvy about making wise purchases. Cheap isn’t always necessarily better especially if you want them to last. So here are some tips on how to decide if something is worth spending more money on… Check Your Closet Look in your closet. Note any clothing that is not a well-known, well-made brand, which you bought on the spur of the moment because it was cheap. After you wear these items and clean them,…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Spicy Pineapple Pork Roast

    In the last post, I told you why I love using my slow cookers so much so I thought I’d share this recipe with you- This delicious sweet and savory dish is sure to become a new family favorite. Here, fresh pineapple and spicy jalapeno are paired with toasted sesame oil, five-spice powder, creamy peanut butter, and fresh cilantro for a rich and flavorful combination.   As written, this recipe contains a couple of extra steps you can skip if you’re short on time. To make this a one-pot meal, simply place the well-trimmed and seasoned pork butt roast directly into your slow cooker without searing. In addition, the juices…

  • Budget Smart Cook,  Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Slow Cookers are a Budget Smart Girl’s Best Friend

      I own two slow cookers and I’m seriously thinking about adding to my collection. I’ve owned one of them for close to 20 years but the second one was a refurbished one I bought for $9 from Hollar. It’s programmable where the first one isn’t and to say it gets used a lot is an understatement. These machines use little energy, save you time, and best of all save you money. Bottom line, these wonder machines are a budget smart girl’s best buddy. No Fuss Meals For starters, slow cookers are perfect for creating no-fuss, one-pot meals. As an added bonus, they render cheaper cuts of meat mouthwateringly tender…

  • Uncategorized

    Easy to Make Meals Using Leftover Vegetables

    I’ve added a store to the site with three e-books that I hope you’ll check out. One of them is about eating vegetarian food on a budget so I thought I’d post a short excerpt from the book here with some ideas about what sort of budget friendly meals you can make that are veggie centric and use leftovers.     Stir-Fry Making a stir-fry is super-easy. All you need is any mixture of veggies, soy sauce, honey, ginger and some cornstarch (or even flour if you don’t have it). Cook the veggies in oil in a large, hot plan in the order of cooking time length, adding a new…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    How You Save and Budget

      Summer isn’t officially over yet but the summer budget makeover is drawing to a close on Saturday. If you remember back in late May I set a challenge to myself (and to you too), to monitor and track your spending over the next three months. I’ve figured out that if I’m saving toward a specific goal I do much better than if I tell myself to just put aside money for savings. I also found out that when I do spend money, 90% of the time it’s on something I think will make me money somewhere down the road. Not a bad thing but now I have to see if I’m…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    How to Ask for a Discount-Part Two

        Last week’s post focused on when to get discounted goods and services, this one is all about how to ask for a discount. Here are some easy to follow tips to get you started- Ask – It all starts with simply asking. “What is your best price on this fridge?” Be Courteous – Smile, look assistants in the eye, treat them with respect and be polite and friendly. If you’re rude and pushy, they’re just going to say no. So it pays to be nice. Remember the saying about flattery will get your everywhere…and let’s add everything to that too. Find the Person in Charge – There is…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    When and How to Ask for a Discount-Part One

      One way to be a Budget Smart Girl is to ask for a discount on just about everything you plan to buy. Yes, you never have to settle for the listed price but the key is knowing when and how, and a lot depends on the actual item. Here are some guidelines- Cars – Anytime you shop for a new car you should never pay the retail price for it. The best time to shop for a new car is the last day of the month because that’s when everyone is trying to reach their quotas. Consumer Reports gives great information about how inexpensively you can get a vehicle…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Why Timing Is Everything When You Shop

      Timing is important when you shop for bargains because retailers introduce new items to their line on a schedule. For example, it’s a good idea to buy out of season for clothing to get the best deals, and for cars, pick the end of the year when the new models arrive. End of Day – This is especially true for thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales. It can work with almost any type of item that is sold via a salesperson who is tired (such as furniture, appliances, and cars), and if you go to locally owned and operated stores. End of Season – Each type of product has…

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