Showing posts from February, 2013

Frugal Valentine's Day Gift Ideas for Couples

If expensive gifts aren't in your budget this year, don't despair. You can create a romantic evening for your spouse or loved one without breaking the bank. These frugal Valentine's Day gift ideas will help you show your love without spending a lot of cash. Handmade Gifts By making a handmade gift, you not only save money, but you can also personalize the gift. If you aren't crafty or creative, many photo-printing services offer collages that let you create a professional-looking photo for a wall in your home or the desk at your office. Or, you can check your local craft store for kits that include everything you need to make a one-of-a-kind gift. A handmade gift doesn't have to be something physical. You can write a poem or song for your loved one, or you can serenade your date. If you write a poem or song, consider printing a copy and framing it as a keepsake of the evening. Gourmet Dinner Even with coupons, a nice dinner out is expensive. If you

Do Big Box Stores Save You Money?

Big box stores advertise everyday low prices and claim that you can save money by doing all of your shopping there. Their prices are lower than smaller, specialized stores, but do you really save money? That depends on your shopping habits. Sales Stores that advertise low prices every day rarely offer sales, and when they do, the sales are not significant. Other stores charge higher prices every day, but they also offer great savings on several items each week. By stocking up on items when they are on sale, you can spend less than if you shop everyday low prices. Coupons Most big box stores accept coupons, but some do not. Many high-priced smaller grocery stores double or triple coupons all the time or during certain times of the year. Although the shelf price of the item is higher, using a coupon often makes the final price lower, especially when the store doubles or triples coupons, especially if there are two or three of them. Other Deals Smaller stores often match sa

How to Make Suet For Birds

I'm pretty sure that we have the fattest birds around.  The blue jays and cardinals here are so fat, I'm not sure how they can fly.  The farm is more of a animal sanctuary than a farm.  Birds and other critters come here because they know they will be well fed and safe.  I feed my birds suet in the winter to give them some extra fat and protein.  This was so easy to make, and my 5-year-old even helped! I used lard in my recipe, but you can use shortening.  Lard is better for the birds, but if you can't find it or are vegetarian, substitute with Crisco shortening. Homemade Suet Ingredients 1 cup lard 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky) 1 cup flour 3 cups cornmeal 1 cup oats, seeds, crushed eggshells, dried fruits 8x8 pan waxed paper medium saucepan Directions 1.  In medium saucepan, melt lard over low or medium low heat.  When almost melted, add peanut butter and stir well. 2.  Add flour and cornmeal.  Add the oats, seeds, dried fruits.  

Upcycled Ribbon Holder For Craft Room

I love ribbon!  Since I didn't have a way to store it, it ended up in a drawer never to see the light of day again.  I saw this idea on a blog a few years ago and decided I needed it for my room. I found the shelf at a garage sale for $2!  It is just a simple wood shelf, and the shelves are about 6 inches apart.  My husband drilled holes on the end to slide a dowel rod through to hold ribbon.  You can use any size shelf you can find or make.  Just make sure you have enough room between the shelves for the ribbon to roll. I stuck a pin in the end of each spool of ribbon because they kept unraveling. On the top, I store small pieces of ribbon or ribbon that did not come on a spool.  I found the containers in the dollar zone at Target, which is why one has a white lid.  They were on clearance, so I only paid 25 cents or 50 cents per container. On the side you'll see a bunch of ribbon hanging.  They are organized by color or theme on plastic pieces I cut with my Cricut an

Crock Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup

This is a great dinner when you have some time to prepare dinner in the afternoon and you will be busy at dinner time.  Yesterday, we had girl scouts right after school and cub scouts at 7.  I needed something that would be ready to eat from the Crock Pot without any additional prep work. This is the best broccoli cheese soup ever.  My husband hates soup and hardly considers it a meal, but he loves this soup. Ingredients 1 cup chopped celery 1 cup diced onion 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 6 cups chicken broth 16 ounces broccoli (fresh or frozen) 8 ounces thin noodles 2 pounds Velveeta cheese 6 cups of milk salt, pepper and garlic salt to taste Directions  1.  I used my homemade chicken broth, which is not all shown in the photo.  If you don't have broth on hand, you can use 6 cups of water and  bullion cubes, but we  prefer it with homemade broth.  Place broth and noodles in the Crock Pot and turn it on high. 2.  Meanwhile, cook celery and onion i