Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Introducing: Website Wednesday

Can you tell I like silly names? I was driving today and got to thinking, how many thrifty websites are out there? Well, probably quite a few. Then I thought, how many are actually worth their salt? I have no idea so I thought I would look into it and see what I could find! I can't say for sure how long this will run, I suppose until I run out of websites to share! This will include blogs, websites, whatever I can find! And if you have a blog about thrifty living that you would like featured, let me know and I'll check it out. I can't promise that I will feature it or if I do, when it will be but I will check out everyone who posts! And if you have a blog about thrifty living that you would like featured, let me know and I'll check it out. I can't promise that I will feature it or if I do, when it will be but I will check out everyone who posts!

Also, you may have noticed that I didn't post anything for Thrifty Tuesday. Well, I decided that not only does the title Thrifty Thursday sound loads better, but Tuesdays are just a day that do not work well for me to get on here every week so stay tuned for a new thrifty recipe and tip of the week on Thursdays!!

To start off my Website Wednesday I have to share the forum that introduced me to thrifty living because it's the reason I'm here today, at home, on a budget and having paid off thousands of dollars of credit card bills. Okay, maybe not the EXACT reason but it gave me the little kick in the butt that I needed to get to where we are today!! I found this website when I started my daughter out in cloth diapers. I couldn't afford brand new ones at $18 or more a pop so I was on the hunt for good used ones. I came across Diaper Swappers and was in hog heaven. Er, diaper heaven? ha-ha Around the same time, my work said to me "We understand that you want a work and family balance but unfortunately there is nothing we can do for you" and I told my husband that I was quitting my job so we had better figure something out (yup, they actually said those words to me).

Anyways, I joined Diaper Swappers and was perusing through the site when I saw a forum called "Thrifty Families". I went in and starting reading some of the posts and was immediately hooked. These women are absolute geniuses!! Almost all of them were mamas (or mamas to be or trying to be mamas) who were trying to live thriftily. I had already made a budget but when I looked at some of the budgets posted there, I was able to dramatically change mine which lead to our plan for me to be able to stay home! I started a great budget, meal plans, a super tight food budget, learned great recipes and made some amazing friendships through this particular forum. I can't say enough about the women who post on the Thrifty Families forum and I HIGHLY recommend checking it out to find some real women who are living day to day thrifty lives!!

Stay tuned every week for Website Wednesday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thrifty Tuesday!

I'm back after some unplanned time off. Next time, I'll try to give some advanced warning.

Anyways, it's Thrifty Tuesday and I have a super yummy recipe to share and a fun tip!

Thrifty Recipe of the Week

Broccoli and Noodles Supreme

  • 3 cups uncooked medium egg noodles (or whatever pasta you prefer) $0.99
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli flowerets $0.75
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup $0.89
  • 1/2 cup sour cream $0.50
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese $0.75
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Add broccoli for last 5 minutes of cooking time. Drain.
  2. Mix soup, sour cream, cheese, pepper and noodle mixture in saucepan. Heat through.

Thrifty Tip of the Week

 With summer and spring here, I started to think about pest control and I realized that all of the products out there to help with that are not only EXPENSIVE but also extremely dangerous. Going along with the theme of my blog about being thrifty AND green (I love it when I get to incorporate both!!) I did some research and found a really great site about living frugally and found some wonderful tips for frugal and natural pest control. I will DEFINITELY be trying these instead of getting ant catchers or spray to kill any bugs! 

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thrifty Tuesday!

It's that time of the week again!!

Thrifty Tip of the Week
When you're taking a trip or leaving the house, bring a reusable bottle with a drink and a snack. Do not buy soda or snacks at the gas station. Believe me, I know how tempting it is. In fact, I just did it yesterday on my way to the doctor. The markup on gas station food is 30-40% above grocery store prices. On this note, don't buy those bottles of soda, the 12 ounce ones. They cost almost $2 these days. You can go to the grocery store and buy two 2-liters of soda for that price if you catch a good sale or buy the store brand. Once my husband and I stopped doing this, I kid you not we saved well over $100 a month!

Thrifty Recipe of the Week

Chicken Fried Rice

4 cups cooked whole grain rice, should be cooked the day before $0.50
2 chopped chicken breasts, fried $1.50
3 teaspoons soy sauce (pennies)
frozen or fresh veggies as desired $1-2
2 eggs $0.25
Total= $3.25-4.25

1. Make sure to cook the rice the day before. It works with freshly cooked rice but tastes oh, so much better with day old, refrigerated rice.
2. Mix together the vegetables and rice in a skillet, cooking on medium.
3. In a separate skillet, scramble the 2 eggs.
4. Mix together the eggs with the rice/veggies. Add the soy sauce and fry until the soy sauce is mixed in.

***The beauty of fried rice is that it's essentially Chinese casserole. You can use any leftover meat and veggies you have or whatever veggies you have laying around. Last time we made it, it had carrots, green beans, onion and peas.

Monday, May 3, 2010

What to do with all those bread crusts

One of the breaks I've given myself in the first trimester is to buy bread from the store instead of making it. I can get a loaf of whole grain bread from Roundy's for $1.94. Not the best price ever and I think I'm going to check out the bread store but a much needed expense while I'm dealing with nausea and exhaustion constantly. Prior to my thrifty lifestyle, I always bought bread and we always threw the bread crusts away because none of us ate them. The other day, I got to the end of my loaf of bread and as I was about to throw it away I thought, wait, there has to be something I can do with this! I put it up in the cupboard and decided to try to find a way to use the bread crusts. 
I did a bit of research and found some things that I could do with them. Admittedly, some of the ideas are not things I would generally do in my everyday life but I'm certainly willing to try it, especially bread pudding. Yum!! 

-Make bread pudding
-Make homemade croutons
-Make homemade stuffing
-Make into bread crumbs and use it for toppings in casseroles and other dishes. 
-Crumble and use it to make meatloaf or meatballs. 
-Make into bread crumbs, season and use to coat cuts of meat as a healthier alternative to frying. 
-Use as a topping for French Onion Soup. 

Non-Food ideas to use up your bread crusts
- In a blender add about two cups of torn up old bread crusts, two cups of water, and a table spoon of plant food. Puree the mixture then poor it around the base of all your plants. It will act like a compost and will inprove your soil and nurture your plants.
-Make play clay. Use fresh bread crusts. Put the crusts in a bowl, make sure the crust is in very small pieces. Mix with a fork, slowly adding SMALL amounts of water. When it becomes too globby to mix use your hands and knead the crusts until it turns into a strong dough. You can add salt if you like to preserve it more. Let it set next to the window for a few days to dry and harden. This is a non toxic clay mixture, great for even the smallest children who may try to eat it! 
-Feed the birds! 

What do YOU do with your leftover bread crusts? I'd love to hear more ideas!