Hello there! It is a quiet Saturday evening on the day before the Superbowl. my husband is getting the last kid to bed, I’m listening to my new Nora Jones music, and I am seriously thinking of taking a nice hot bath. Before that, though, I wanted to bring you the week in review for the Frugal Living Blog. I know you read every blog faithfully, so I’ll just assume you want to reread them all again.
Saturday, January 27
In an earlier blog, Save on Paper: The Three Best Ways, I covered the top three easy ways that we can conserve and reuse paper. There was a lot of nice feedback from Families.com members. You are definitely a sophisticatedly frugal bunch. Demanding, too, but that is what I really like.
Finding new and innovative ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, can be fun and romantic. Most “date ideas” that I share can be done with children and friends too, rather than just a romantic partner, and this one is no different. This is a fun and creative way to spend some time on Valentine’s Day.
I have been laundry obsessed lately. Our washer broke down last week, making me realize how much laundry I actually do in a week. I normally do about two loads of laundry a day without even thinking about it because it is just part of my daily routine.
Teaching our children to save money, is certainly not an easy task. In fact, it is one that sometimes requires careful planning and a whole lot of repetitive discussing. Children don’t come programmed understanding finances and budgets. In fact, they come programmed with a “I want that” attitude.
Many parents think that discussing money issues with children is not okay. However, I completely disagree. Now, let me clarify that statement first.
Sunday, January 28
If you are thinking about making your home more energy efficient, this year is the perfect time. There is a federal tax credit in effect that makes you eligible for up to a $500 credit when you make energy-efficient home improvements.
What is a Pantry Challenge? Click here to find out. It is Sunday today. The pasta with tomato soup went over really well on Friday night. I’m going to put that recipe down as very easy to make and kid-friendly. For yesterday, there was nothing much to report.
Want to turn your backyard into a winter wonderland for pennies? Try making some ice candles! Making ice candles is an easy craft that you can do with your family. Children as young as preschool can help.
Here are five more really creative and romantic ideas for your sweetheart. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I thought I would share some great Frugal Valentine’s Day ideas. These are mostly just some ways to show your partner that you love them creatively and inexpensively.
Monday, January 29
Today is turning out to be a baking day. I normally feel more comfortable baking than actually cooking things on the stove. Put it in a dish and stick it in the oven is my philosophy. But today seems to be a real baking theme in my pantry challenge.
After reading Mary Ann’s blog, What Are You Paying For Milk In January, I noticed that the St. Louis, Missouri average for milk was left off. Well, I am in the St. Louis Metro area, and was curious about our averages for milk right now, so I decided to research it myself.
Want to save money on fuel? Just learning how to drive more efficiently can impact your savings at the pump, or at least how many times you have to fill up. While expecting our third child, we realized that we needed to break down and buy a mini-van to cart everyone around.
Are you paying more for milk this month? Guess where milk buyers paid a whopping $3.69 a gallon. Or, maybe you want to move to the area that is only paying $2.
Tuesday, January 30
When the aches and pains hit, or on a cold winter’s day, it is so nice to cozy up to a microwave heating pad. But those fancy pads that are sold in stores and mall kiosks everywhere is money that you don’t need to spend. Here are some easy instructions to make your very own.
Have you ever heard of a solar oven? Many people use one to save on the costs of cooking. A solar oven uses absolutely no electricity or gas to cook food, but just as its name suggests, solar energy. It is very energy efficient and frugal.
What do you do when you have a ton of canned soup? Visit the Campbell’s recipe site of course! Another day of my pantry challenge. We are still doing pretty well with using our stock.
Wednesday, January 31
I am the last person who knows anything about Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese practice of arranging your living space to achieve harmony.
Chalk this one up to the Hall of Frugal Fame of thrift store shopping! A savvy thrift store shopper in Mobile, Alabama went home with a real bargain. The shopper spotted a $6 find and took it home, not realizing that it was an archbishop’s stolen pectoral cross.
For anyone concerned with lighting their home, fluorescent light-bulbs are the way to go. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFL) use about 25 percent of the energy that traditional, incandescent light bulbs use.
Thursday, February 1
As I sit here in my little office in Pennsylvania, I can see the snow falling yet again. It has been snowing on and off for the past few days. Sometimes it sticks and sometimes it doesn’t. One thing that is consistent about the weather is that it has been cold. Brrrrrr.
From the back of the pantry, hiding from the warm yellow light of the kitchen sits a lone box of instant mashed potatoes. How this box of potatoes got there is a bit of a mystery.
On Thursday evening, the Eiffel tower will go dark, turning off its light for five minutes to save energy. The reason for this is to bring attention to the issue of global warming. This frugal move will extinguish, at least temporarily, the more than 20,000 flashing lights on the Eiffel Tower.
Friday, February 2
Making a grass kid is a frugal way to involve a young child in gardening. Older kids will love customizing the grass kid and cutting its hair. Why pay money for those “Chia Pets” when you can make your own fun version with simple items you can find around your home.
I grew up in a small apartment in New York City. My mother washed our clothes by hand or with a small washing machine and hung them out to dry on the clothesline that ran from our kitchen window across to our neighbor’s kitchen window. I never really saw a dryer until I was a teenager.
Growing your own food is certainly a very frugal hobby. But what do you do when it is winter, when your climate has a short growing cycle, or when you have a postage-size yard? Why not try growing your food indoors? Tomatoes are one of the best plants to grow indoors.