Frugal Friday: Green is Frugal

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Green is Frugal - Frugal Friday

Being a good steward of the resources that God has provided, means taking care of  finances and taking care of the earth.  You will see that being green really is the frugal choice.

We’ve put together 5 Frugal Green resources that are making the top of our list!

  • Go Paperless – do your billing and invitations online with shops like evite.com or pingg.com.
  • Up-cycle – use the internet to learn faux painting techniques to revitalize older or used furniture instead of buying new.spend big money                                                                                               or you can learn a new trick!

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*Bonus idea - Join Molly Green Magazine subscribers and get the 1st month for $1 and $7.95 every month thereafter. Learn how to live a more frugal sustainable green life – sell your handmade items – submit videos for sharing and gain access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime frugal menu planner!

Come and link up your own frugal tricks and tips to share ideas and encourage each other. Please grab the Frugal Friday button from the side bar or use a text link back to this post.  

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Creative Christmas gift for friends & loved ones

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Thinking outside the box this year for Christmas? Midge has a few ideas up her sleeve to share with you!

midge Christmas ideas

Hi there! Midge again – I’m giving my newly educated frugal mind a good old fashioned work out this Christmas, as I try to stick to a rather strict budget for our family.

Although the gifts are not the most important thing about our Christmas celebrations, I do like to make sure each of our loved ones has a little something to show how much they mean to us.

 

With a budget as strict as the one cousin Molly has put me on this year, it means digging deep and getting creative. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of what I have come up with so far for some special friends who love to garden.

Any input is welcome as we put our heads together and think outside the proverbial Christmas box!
For those sweet gardener friends of mine – I thought new gardening kits would be fun. I found this one pre-made.

Fiskars 9424 Garden Bucket Caddy – Under $12 (not including the bucket or tools – just the apron bucket caddy)

 

gardening bucket - Christmas ideas
I also found this beautiful pink one that I love, but it is double the cost at about $25:

pink garden caddy for Christmas

 

Bond 6930 Pink 5 Piece Garden Tool Bag Gift Set

Other things I came across in my research include this good looking garden hat that could be added to a basket of goodies!

The Womanswork Cotton Rancher hat is $15.98

I found a 3 pack of pretty garden gloves for only $9.47 – which could all be added to one big basket or separated into 3 individual gift packs for friends and loved ones.

For my particularly small budget, I have gathered several pretty baskets from around the house. A couple of them will get a fresh coating of paint to freshen them up. Using things I have, giving them new life with a fresh coat of paint, and creating something new as a creative gift idea is a terrific way to be both frugal and green. So far, I am sure I have Molly’s approval!

My plan is to use homemade shredded paper – from saved colored scrap paper or left over paper grocery bags to fill the base of the up-cycled baskets. I get free shipping from Amazon on all the products I’ve added here with my Amazon Prime membership. You might find other deals locally instead of shopping online. I find it both frugal and convenient to use the Amazon Prime account.
I could divide the 3 pairs of pretty gloves between each basket. I have ordered this 4 pack of Heirloom tomato seeds – from Ferry Morse for only $7.16 and will add a packet of those for sure. Each of my loved ones will appreciate the heirloom seeds because they will be able to reproduce the tasty tomatoes year after year!

I was fortunate enough to find a large pack of vegetable seeds for less than $21  - Ferry Morse Vegetable Garden - It contains 12 different Ferry Morse seed packets.

With the addition of these Peat pots, my plan began to take shape!

 

gardnergiftbaskets

My most frugal option, and one I believe my friends will love, came together as follows:

3 baskets from my own gift storage – FREE

Paper filling for gift baskets – FREE

Wooden tongue depressors - $6.56 (I plan to paint and label these to dress them up)

12 packs of Ferry Morse Vegetable Garden seeds - $20.47

4 pack of Heirloom Tomato seeds – $7.16

Set of 15 Peat pots – $4.27

3 of the $5 aprons – $15.00

Total cost = $53.36 or $17.79 for each gift basket

Add the gloves and the total would be $20.94 each

Additionally, I have several mason jars to place in the baskets. They will hold the personalized plant markers and may be used for ice tea or lemonade while working in the garden. I’ve added little garden notebooks for recording planting information.

These were also FREE as I had them on hand. If needed, you can easily find cute notebooks at the dollar store.

If you decide to think outside the box and make a frugal Christmas basket of your own – you could even add a small container of home baked cookies just to push your delighted friends right over the edge!

Comparable gift baskets  I came across ran on average between $40 and $124 a piece and were far less personal.

All in all – I believe any garden savvy friend would love to receive one of these as a gift any time of the year, and they sure won’t break the bank.

Staying Frugal While Being Sick

Guest blog featuring: Midge

Ever have just one of those weeks?  One word can sum up my week so far… sick.  I am the kind of sick where your head feels like it’s full of lead and your body aches when doing small things like walking across the room or even brushing your teeth.  Who knew brushing your teeth could be so strenuous?

I am super prepared to take care of my baby daughter when she falls ill yet seem to lack the ability to take of myself when an illness strikes.  Our medicine cabinet is chock full of thermometers (yes, I have many different baby thermometers!), the blue nose bulb thingy and a variety of odds and ends that our pediatrician recommended to keep in times of sickness for the baby.  But, it is seriously deficient in the grown up medicine department.

I do not ever expect to be sick but inevitably it happens.  During those times, I find myself running quickly into the drug store for cough drops or a pain reliever.  I don’t care how much it costs; I buy it because I feel so miserable.  I would love to have a frugal plan of attack whenever one of those life draining illness hits.

What do you keep regularly stocked in your medicine cabinet?  How do you stay frugal while being sick?

Thanks everyone for weighing in!

Love ya,

Midge

 

 

 

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Molly Green Magazine: Molly the Bookworm & Molly the Good Steward

Molly puts on her bookworm and good steward hats this issue!

Learn to save while pursuing your passions!

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$4.95


You may have noticed that we combined the September and October issues of Molly Green magazine. We’ve packed this combo issue with great, frugal tips and information just for you, covering two themes- Molly the Bookworm and Molly the Good Steward! Fall is here, and with it comes back to school time. Let Molly show you how to approach this time of year inexpensively and creatively!

  • Patricia Hunter shares how she keeps her love of books under control. This is an area where many people struggle. After all, a love of reading is something to be desired! Patricia’s 11 tips are sure to help your book-buying budget.
  • Now that you’ve figured out how to keep those books under control, how do you store them? How about using them as decorating focal points in your home? Jennifer Zuri will show you how to do just that!
  • Working from home is becoming more and more popular. While this is a great way to earn an income and still be at home, it also opens up some new challenges. Let Molly help you find the balance needed for work at home sanity.
  • In Molly the Frugal Foodie, April Schroader shares her top 6 cookbooks picks for healthy, cheap, and simple cooking.
  • Molly decided to tackle her personal bookshelf in this month’s installment of Frugality 101. She takes you along on her journey to simplify.
  • Do you use an e-Reader or have a family member that does? If so, you’ll want to be sure to check out Sharon White’s easy, step-by-step tutorial on making an e-Reader pillow!
  • Are you looking for a new way to teach the subject of science to your children? Rhonda Barfield shares how she used handmade nature journals to teach biology. These are fun, creative, inventive ways to teach what can be mundane ideas.
  • Back to School time should be marked with a special day! Inger Koppenhaver has some great ideas to make that first day of school extra exciting!
  • Menu planning is a very popular way to get your food budget under control. This month, Molly walks you through the steps to begin saving money by planning your meals in advance.
  • Another great cost-saving meal system is once a month cooking. If you haven’t tried this yet, be sure to read Molly’s tips to getting started!
  • Do you have child that loves to write? Don’t miss this very informative article from Amanda van der Gulik, Could Your Child Be a Published Author?
  • E-Books are certainly all the rage these days! Let Pat Fender show you how to create your own E-Books for fun and profit!
  • Rhonda Barfield has published 5 books. She shares boldly and plainly about this process. If you have an interest in writing, you won’t want to miss her article this month!
  • Looking for a quick dessert? How about Cocoa Pink Cuplets? Jennifer Zuri describes them as a chocolate chip cookie in the form of a muffin. They sure sound yummy!
  • One money-saving tip is to utilize the public library. Rhonda Barfield calls it the homeschooler’s best friend. Be sure to read her book selections from her years of home education! You might find some of your own favorites along with some new titles to check out!

See why homemakers love Molly Green Magazine—see what’s inside!

Molly-9-13-BookwormSpread

Click here to view a sample.

Molly makes it fun and easier to be frugal! Think about it—with so much to learn and save, if you apply just one money-saving idea, you’ll recoup the cost of this E-Book right away!

Project Manager: Becky Schnepf- Gustafson
Contributing Writers: Rhonda Barfield, Alayna Cann, Pat Fenner, Patricia Hunter, Inger Koppenhaver, April Schroader, Amanda van der Gulik, Sharon White, Jennifer Zuri
Publication: 2013
Pages: 44
File Size: 8.4 MB

Need to economize? Subscribe to a Molly Membership!

For only $3.85 a month (cancel any time!) you receive not only the monthly Molly Green Magazine, but also much more!

Purchase NOW!

Every month, Molly has a wealth of information and support to share in one easy-to-read, handy resource! Discover for yourself all of the exciting and imaginative ideas Molly has to offer—ideas that could save you big money and needless headaches!

You’ll glean some of the best inexpensive ideas and projects for everyday living that you can find and be inspired to be self-confident, creative, and resourceful too.

For just $4.95, download this Molly Green Magazine now!

Or become a monthly Molly Member and subscribe for only $3.85 per month!

Guest Post~ Promoting Healthier Meals for the Family

 Guest post by Liz Nelson

 Have you ever wondered why organic foods at the grocery store are so much more expensive although less money was spent in the insecticides and growth additives? You’d think that organic means of eating would be cheaper. Well, they can be. Growing your own edibles can go a long way to eating healthier while spending less money. However, what are some ways that you can entice children to eat these healthier vegetables and fruits if they aren’t accustomed to the idea?

1. Spinach - Many children are less likely to eat boiled or canned spinach based purely on the texture of this plant. Although experts say that boiled spinach may be better for you than it is raw, it’s far easier to coax a child into eating a salad prepared partially with spinach leaves and lettuce. In fact, don’t even mention what is in the salad for the thought of eating spinach may be more than the child can bear.

2. Desserts - A great deal of families will often have a desert after dinner. Instead of preparing a sugar-loaded treat, why not prepare something along the lines of pineapple or strawberries? Many fruits can easily be substituted for deserts simply because they are naturally sweetened. Not only can fruits be used to sooth the sweet-tooth in your family, but they are very healthy most of which containing anti-oxidants, vitamin C, and a great deal of other physical benefits.

3. Soda Pop - Soft drinks should be viewed more as an uncommon treat for the family instead of a staple. If your family simply has a hard time of letting go of flavored drinks with meal time, why not try offering flavored waters? Brands like Mio can add a variety of flavors to water without adding saturated fats or calories to the drink. In fact, a slice of orange or lemon in the water can make the drink look fancy while flavoring the beverage.

4. Barbeque - One of the best ways to prepare meats is by throwing it on the barbeque. When you’re cooking on the grill, you don’t use methods in which to prevent the meat from sticking to the pan such as butter or sprays. Fats and greases drip off of the meats decreasing the amount of these that your family will consume. This is aside from the fact that barbequed meats have a flavor to them that simply can’t be duplicated.

5. Cereals - One of the reasons why most households has a box or bag of cereal in the cupboard is because of convenience. It is quicker to allow your family to quickly fill up a bowl than it is to prepare a nutritious breakfast. Try to make time to prepare eggs, wheat toast, and orange juice for breakfast. The proteins themselves will help the family feel better throughout the day.

Having healthier habits doesn’t have to mean that more money is spent on items you need in order to promote this lifestyle. In fact, a great amount of eating healthier shouldn’t cost you much, if anything at all. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be accomplished year round if you set up your own indoor kitchen garden. By reusing the seeds from most of them, you can create a continuous flow of edibles within the home that are as natural as you can possibly get them. Enjoy the “fruits” of your labor.

This is a guest post by Liz Nelson from WhiteFence.com. She is a freelance writer and blogger from Houston. Questions and comments can be sent to: liznelson17 @ gmail.com.

Tricky Tilapia

Midge copyGuest post by: Midge

If I conquered a lobster and nearly locked down the Duck a l’Orange recipe, how hard can cooking tilapia really be? OIY! First of all, there is the name ~ Tilapia. I had to ask about three different people how to say the name of this fish before I thought I really had mastered pronouncing it. I almost named the blog, “that one fish whose name I couldn’t pronounce”.

Once I got the hang of saying the name, I started saying it over and over again to my husband. I am making “till-la-pea-ah”.  Do you want some “Tilapia”? Hey, Honey, we are having tilapia for dinner. After awhile, I think he started wishing I still couldn’t pronounce it (hee hee).

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I scoured the Internet for recipe ideas. At the start of this tilapia (see I said it again) adventure, I was bound and determined to find a tortilla-encrusted tilapia recipe. But, alas, it was not to be. All of the recipes I found called for way too many ingredients I would have to purchase. Remember, one of my rules of thumb when cooking specialty cuisine is to limit the amount of my outside purchases. I can purchase the meat but need to find most of the other spices and ingredients in my cupboards.

The recipe I selected to try was Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia. I found it here: PARMESAN ENCRUSTED TILAPIA. It also called for homemade or store bought Alfredo sauce. I used this recipe: OLIVE GARDEN COPY CAT ALFREDO SAUCE. I have prepared this Alfredo sauce before and it is super yummy!

Disclaimer: Tilapia is not hard to bake. It is really delicious and I am not a big fan of fish . . . really, not a fan. One of the reasons I picked this meat to attempt for my carnivore blog is because when I walked by it in the store I said, “I could never made that.” Rats, I knew I was “in for it” the moment that phrase left my mouth.

Now, you have read my disclaimer, here is the short story of a meal gone wrong:

  1. Whoever said pride goes before a fall was spot on! I got prideful in my cooking skills and did not check the recipe before buying my ingredients. I bought whipping cream instead of heavy cream for the Alfredo sauce. It was still edible but I think it changed the flavor a tad bit in a negative way. Bummer.
  2. Last time I made the Alfredo sauce, I melted the cream cheese in the microwave and then added the creamy melted goodness into the sauce. This time I didn’t. You can see the pictures. Chunky cheese was still floating in it even after it had cooked thoroughly. Sigh…
  3. The tilapia (I just love saying that word) recipe, which I selected, left me hanging when it came to sharing precise details about the “encrusted Parmesan” part. I also forgot to add the olive oil to the Parmesan/bread crumb mix. But, that part sort of confused me anyway.
  4. Instead of the veggies which the recipe suggested, I made spaghetti squash to serve with the tilapia. I have made this veggie before (See SPAGHETTI SQUASH) but had never added Alfredo sauce to it before. Um, and now I never will again. Ever.
  5. The actual tilapia fish was WONDERFUL. The “crusting” part was not so wonderful and the side dish was the  worst of all.

In retrospect, I still have tilapia left. I only spent $15 dollars on a bag of individually frozen fish. We used four fillets and that was about 1/3 of what the bag held. This meal is WAY more economical than my previously mentioned duck. In comparison to the lobster, you get more meat on your plate for the money you spent.

My mom used to make the most delicious crumby chicken. I think that crumb mixture added to the tilapia would make a much more scrumptious offering. It’s time to call my mom to get her part of this recipe idea!

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Have you ever made tilapia? Do you like saying the name as well? Ha ha ha :) I am excited about the next meat in my carnivore blog series ~ lamb chops! Do you want to join me in this new cooking adventure! The next carnivore blog will be featured on the first Thursday of next month. So, leave me a comment and grill some lamp chops with me!! I would love to hear all about your cooking adventures!

Sneak Peek Monday~ HALF OFF SALE!

The new school year is right around the corner, are you on a tight budget? Are the kids  growing out of their clothes? You have more options than you would think!

Don’t miss out on this special, fun issue of . . . FRUGAL FASHION!

There are three special bonus pages included at the end of the digest. If you’ve ever wanted to try sewing, this would be a great place to start!

The 3 Fabulous Bonus Pages are:

Click here to view a sample of this magazine.

There are so many ways to save and a lot to learn. . . a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you’ll receive and the money you’ll be saving once you dig into this magazine! Buy this E-Magazine for ONLY $2.50!

Molly members already have this magazine in your member page! Simply click the “Molly Members” tab above, log in, and search out July 2009.

If you’re not a Molly member, check out everything you receive and sign up now on our SUBSCRIPTION PAGE!

Frugal Friday~ Linky Party

There are so many different ways to live a frugal  lifestyle . . .  this is a great place to learn new things and encourage one another! Below you can share the link to a post on your own blog, share a little about your frugal life and encourage others. Be sure to come back each Friday and link-up to this great community of frugal followers!

If you get my Friday newsletter, you most likely read Midge’s question about ways to add decorative touches to the home without hurting the budget (if you don’t get my FREE newsletter be sure and subscribe via the sticky note in the upper right corner). Read below to see my response. Molly

frugal friday linky party june 21 2013

Dear Midge,

I can’t wait to see your new bear towels, how cute! I think the majority of us enjoy adding new, decorative items to our homes. This is something that can easily be done on a budget, using our imaginations will go a long way! I think the first step would be to determine our own (unique) decorating style. Look around your home and see what you currently have. Some people are eclectic in their decorating style/themes. Some homes have a specific “style” in every room. You can browse through various home décor stores or magazines, what kinds of things catch your attention? What do you wish you could purchase for your home but don’t feel like you could justify the cost?

For example, I LOVE to decorate with old looking glass jars, bottles and pitchers. I was at a home décor store once and was drawn to the glass jars and bottles…the prices were astronomical! About a week later, I was at a thrift store and as I was strolling through the MANY aisles of glassware I found the same types of jars/bottles~ and for a fraction of the cost! It dawned on me that I should be looking in second hand/thrift stores for some of my home décor items! I’ve purchased old curtain rods and made them look like new with a little spray paint, I’ve purchased some gorgeous sheer curtains over the years and I’ve found a plethora of glassware to decorate with and use for dining. The sky is the limit when we can get creative!

Happy decorating!

Love ya, Molly

 

To share a link to your post about frugal living, use the Linky below. But first. . .

 

1. We’d love for you to share your links that include anything  related to DIY projectssaving money, frugal living, made from scratch cooking, cleaning products, sustainable livinggardening, organic, and anything else related to homemaking! You can also  include your struggles while trying to live a frugal lifestyle (like  Midge!)! Show us about how you are thriving while surviving on a smaller budget!

 

2. Please, no link-ups to giveaways or blog topics in which you are just selling a product.

 

3. Link directly to your frugal post, not to your home page.

 

4. Grab our linky graphic (from the sidebar) and put it on your blog or on your linky post.

 

5. If a linked up post does not meet the above guidelines, it will  be removed.

 

6. If you link-up, please click on other’s links as well. Our frugal followers have a lot to share!

 

Living frugally means living, learning, and growing from each other. We can’t wait to see what you are going to share (to see other blogs who have linked up, click the link below)!  Ready, set, link!

CLICK HERE TO LINK-UP!

The Non-Frugality of Potty Training

Midge copyGuest post by: Midge

We have a mountain of dirty clothes and my washing machine decided to wash the floor instead of the load in its belly. You can always tell when it’s going to be “just one of those days”! It was not a great day for it to break  because my little one is in the midst of potty training.  So, having a washing machine is a DIRE need. Sigh . . .

With the passing of the Mother’s Day holiday, I found myself pondering the plight of potty training mothers everywhere. Some of my friends have remarked that their children potty trained themselves ~ practically overnight! Other friends have suggested that their children struggled until they were five, and some continued past that point with overnight issues. It seems as if everywhere I look someone has an opinion (and sometimes these opinions contradict each other!)

Potty Training

What has really been on my heart is not just the trials of training your child but the COST of all of those fancy products. It appears as if I have to buy half of the diaper aisle in order to confidently lead my child on the road to being a “big kid”. Potty training, from the perspective of the consumer, can be VERY expensive. Today, my guest post is not long but more of a thoughtful inquisition of your opinions.

What has helped you out as a mom on the road to potty training your little ones? What products do you feel are necessary? And which products are more fluff and fun than useful?