Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme

Oven-Roasted Fresh Green beans by Build A Menu

 

Delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme are a real treat any time of the year, and perfect for spring!

Have you visited our friends at Build A Menu.com yet?  If you are working on your Spring meals for the family or Easter Dinner for a crowd – they can help you get your ducks in a row.

Here is one dish from B.A.M. that looks good and tastes great on any table: 

“There are only three ingredients in this simple yet elegant side dish.  Fresh green beans, olive oil and thyme.  Inexpensive, healthy, and so yummy.  You can find this recipe and many other delicious side dishes in our menu planning website.” ~ Lisa Holcomb 

Try the delicious Oven Roasted Fresh Green Beans with Thyme on a week night or a special occasion and it may just become a new family favorite!

Hop on over to check out their full list of services and various menu planning options here. 

Enjoy regular recipes and meal planning ideas from the ladies at Build A Menu in each new issue of Molly Green Magazine! Have you joined yet? Get the details and become a Molly Member here.

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Molly Green Magazine: Homesteading 101

Molly celebrates Homesteading!

In this issue, Molly brings you on a tour around the homestead, just in time for spring!

MGM_Mar-April 2014_Cover_X-Sm

Look for these topics and more:

  • In Notes from the Heart, Patricia Hunter talks about using what you’ve got
  • The FlyLady (Marla Cilley) talks to Molly readers about getting started with a system to help life become more organized
  • Sharon White provides a fun, votive candle holder project in Something Old, Something New
  • Gardening from the North and Gardening from the South are sure to give you great gardening tips, spring is the perfect time to begin planning!
  • In Hearth & HomeLisa Barthuly brings you some examples on natural spring cleaning
  • Eric Osborn is back and writes from the male perspective in Ancient Ways in the 21st Century
  • Kids in the Kitchen is just one of the featured articles from our friends over at Build a Menu
  • In Here’s to Your HealthSusan Lyttek shares how to survive ear infections at home
  • Beekeeping 101 is yet another featured article that will walk you through the basics of beekeeping

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

 

Click here for a preview!

Director of Publication: Becky Bleck
Director of Advertising: Lisa Barthuly
Project Editor: Dara Ekanger
Cover Design, Layout, and Art Direction: Ronda Bodenstab

Contributing Writers: Rhonda Barfield, Lisa Barthuly, Karee Blunt, Leah Courtney, Betty Daley, James Duke, Meredith Duke, Sharon Duncan, Lisa Holcomb, Patricia Hunter, McKenzi Knapp, Susan Lyttek, Eric Osborn, April Schroader, Sharon Shirey, Morgan Treece, Anna Vaagen, Amanda van der Gulik, Sharon White

 

Publication: 2014
Pages: 71
File Size: 10.9

 

Spring is in the air with Molly Green Magazine!  Now is the time to spruce up your finances and sweep out the unnecessary expenses. Why not let Molly Green Magazine help you Spring Clean with savings inside and outside your home to get some more green in your wallet. ~ Laura Williams

Subscribe to a Molly Membership and receive all these goodies for just $7.95/mo!

All the back issues (from 2009-2013), 5 Molly E-Books, the new 2014 issues, The Old Schoolhouse Planners, exclusive access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime menu planning, cottage industry market place shops for handmade goods (a networking and selling platform for handmade & homemade items), wonderful new columns from FlyLady, TheCookieLady, and the ladies of Build a Menu to name a few. Molly is spreading her wings to include back yard farming, sustainability, and all things home industry!

For only $7.95 a month (cancel any time!) you receive not only the bi-monthly Molly Green Magazine, but also MUCH more!

Purchase your very own membership NOW!

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 just the March/April issue now!

 Join Molly daily and follow her adventures in fiscally responsible homemaking at

www.MollyGreen.com.

And then keep watching for the next Molly Green Magazine.

 

Molly Green Magazine: Hearth and Home

Molly is celebrating Hearth & Home

 

In this issue, Molly introduces you to the new look for 2014. Join her as she bring readers along on a homesteading adventure!

 $4.95


Look for these topics and more:

  • This ‘n That will show you special ways on how to celebrate the months of January and February
  • In Notes from the Heart, Patricia Hunter talks about the 21st Century Woman of Excellence
  • The FlyLady (Marla Cilley) makes her debut appearance and talks to Molly readers about progress. . . not perfection
  • Sharon White joins us again this year with a fun project in Something Old, Something New
  • Gardening from the North and Gardening from the South are sure to give you great gardening tips
  • On Mama’s Mind brings you some examples of home remedies to help keep your family healthy this winter season
  • Eric Osborn joins us this year and writes from the male perspective in Ancient Ways in the 21st Century
  • Savvy Savings is just one of the featured articles from our friends over at Build a Menu
  • Beekeeping 101 is yet another featured article that will walk you through the basics of beekeeping

Discover why readers love Molly Green Magazine—see what’s inside!

Click here to view sample

The holiday season may be over but there’s no time like the present to teach yourself money saving tips  and Molly Green Magazine has them. ~ Laura Williams

Subscribe to a Molly Membership and receive all these goodies for just $7.95/mo!

All the back issues (from 2009-2013), 5 Molly E-Books, the new 2014 issues, The Old Schoolhouse Planners, exclusive access to Build a Menu’s Dine on a Dime menu planning, cottage industry market place shops for handmade goods (a networking and selling platform for handmade & homemade items), wonderful new columns from FlyLady, TheCookieLady, and the ladies of Build a Menu to name a few. Molly is spreading her wings to include back yard farming, sustainability, and all things home industry!

For only $7.95 a month (cancel any time!) you receive not only the bi-monthly Molly Green Magazine, but also MUCH more!

Purchase your very own membership NOW!

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 ideas and projects for everyday living that you can find for homemaking and be inspired to be self-confident, creative, and resourceful in your homesteading too.

The all new Molly Green Magazine is all about everything home industry. If you are interested in:

  • Homesteading
  • Homemaking
  • Frugal
  • DIY projects
  • Up-cycling
  • Homemade
  • Handmade
  • Back yard farming
  • Delicious budget friendly recipes & much more . . . . .

For just $4.95, download just the January/February issue now!

Join Molly daily and follow her

adventures in fiscally responsible homemaking and homesteading at

www.MollyGreen.com

And then keep watching for the next Molly Green Magazine.

Creative Christmas gift for friends & loved ones

*affiliate links may be present

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.

Frugal family fun – for the birds: Frugal Friday Linky

Welcome!  

There are many different ways to enjoy living a frugal lifestyle . . . this is a great place to learn new things, find what works 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, or share a frugal Pin from Pinterest.

This linky party will now be open for the entire month of November (expiring December 1). Come and link-up to this great community of frugal followers! I’ll be Pinning away and sharing your posts ~

Link your frugal posts

Our frugal tips for the week: 

Family fun does not have to break the bank this fall!  With only a few simple ingredients and a family walk in the outdoors, you can make these easy bird treats and enjoy educational fun . . . that’s for the birds!

for the birds

It’s a great idea to hang these handmade bird feeders nearby so that you can be sure to see the feathered friends who come visit for a special treat. All that’s needed to make these is a few pine cones slathered in peanut butter and rolled in wild bird seed.

nature project

Add a little more excitement by donning binoculars and a field guide to identify the birds who flock to your yard. These treats are so affordable, you can help feed your new friends all through the winter. Be sure to get the kids involved. Other ideas to turn it into a fabulous learning experience include photographing the birds or sketching them in an art journal.

Don’t have an art journal? You can make one with inexpensive Composition notebooks and personalize them with your favorite scrapbook papers.  These simple journals make a terrific gift for a friend as well. They also make a cool new “smash book”  - crafty and frugal!

nature journals

Take notes and collect data to chart the number and types of birds in your area. Try different kinds of bird seed to see if one attracts more birds or attracts different types of birds than another.

Bird watching is a fun family activity that is not only educational and fun, but also super frugal! Cornell Lab has a wonderful FREE resource to learn more about our fine feathered friends here.

Whether you are looking for a new frugal activity or wanting to add an outdoor element to the family homeschool, all ages can benefit from the fresh air and activities that are For the Birds! 

 

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 how you are thriving while surviving on a smaller budget.

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

3. Please grab our linky button (from the sidebar) and put it on your blog or on your linky post, or use a text link back to our site.

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

5. By linking up you agree to allow others to share and Pin your post (linking to you of course).

 

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

After you link up your post, go back to this same link below in order to visit other blogs and support and learn from the other participants. I will be pinning away! Do you follow Molly on Pinterest? 

 

If you have not yet subscribed to the Molly Green Magazine . . . This month you can join for $1 for the first month and for $3.85 each month thereafter. The brand NEW Molly is coming out in January so now is the time to get the best rate!

Go HERE to join today! 

 

CLICK HERE TO LINK-UP (come back to the same spot and click again to visit the other blogs)

 

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Molly Green Magazine: Molly the Techie & Molly the Worker Bee

Molly is wearing her worker bee and techie hat this month!

This month, Molly is all about sharing tips to help the working mom! No matter if you work at home or out of the home, all moms are busy. Wouldn’t you agree? Since the holidays will soon be upon us, you’ll also find some fun ideas on making your own Christmas letters, how to make your very own Christmas wreath, putting together your own Advent service and some great tips from Marla Cilley (you may know her as the Fly Lady!).

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$4.95

Let Molly Green show you how to enjoy the holiday season on a budget!

Look for all of these topics and many more:

  • This ‘n That will show you special ways to celebrate each day of November and December
  • In Begin with the Basics, Patricia Hunter discusses ways to utilize a “stop day”
  • Learn about 5 free apps and sites to make your menu planning a breeze
  • Jennifer Zuri shows you how to put together your very own Christmas wreath
  • Do you tend to get stressed out during the holidays? Check out the article by Marla Cilley (The Fly Lady) on easy ways to avoid stress this year
  • Sharon White shows you how to make a (recycled) waste paper basket
  • Gardening in the desert isn’t as difficult as you might think! The article Pamela Williams tells you why
  • Working from home can be tough, especially while raising children. Molly Recommends gives you some practical tips to make working from home a little easier

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

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Click here to view a sample.

Molly Green Magazine, the magazine for everyone who wants to save money! Within the pages of this delightful magazine is not only money saving tips, but also recipes, crafts and more. There’s something for everyone!

~ Laura Williams

Project Manager: Becky Schnepf- Gustafson

Contributing Writers: Rhonda Barfield, Allie Casazza, Marla Cilley, Betty Daley, Pat Fenner, Kristen Johnson, Inger Koppenhaver, Sharon Shirey, Sharon White, Pamela Williams, Jennifer Zuri

Publication: 2013
Pages: 63
File Size: 11.1 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 — Planning A Move?

Planning A Move- 5 Tips To Make This Move Stress Free

5 Tips To Make This Move Stress Free

Moving can be a stressful experience for everyone involved. There are a few strategies, however, that can make transitioning to a new home as worry free as possible.

  1. Storage

Whether you are moving to a larger or smaller home, chances are you aren’t going to want to take everything with you. With this in mind, it isn’t a bad idea to rent a storage unit says the moving experts from Las Vegas, NV. Storage units make it easy to put things away that you would like to keep, but just don’t want in your new house or apartment. They are also inexpensive and spacious, allowing one to store any objects of any sizes for an affordable price.

  1. Boxes

One can not stress enough the importance of having plenty of boxes during your move. Strong cardboard boxes can be obtained from local retailers and supply companies. Simply call ahead and ask if they have any to spare: Chances are you can get them for free, as you are saving the store the cost of disposal.

For large, bulky items such as bedding and clothing, look for furniture boxes. These are large and sturdy, and one of them can likely hold much of your wardrobe or linens. Smaller items and valuables can be packaged in waterproof plastic tubs for safekeeping. The tubs can be reused as storage space in your new home.

  1. Label Everything

You have all your boxes, all of your unneeded items are stored away, and you are ready to start packing. Great; now grab a marker. Make sure that every box has a specific purpose: Don’t pack the fine china and silverware in the same box as your office supplies. Label each box with its final destination, such as “kitchen”, “den”, or “living room”. Whether you are using movers or your own elbow grease, this step will save a ton of hassle in the long run.

In addition to these destination labels, make sure you mark the boxes that contain fragile or valuable items. It’s easy to set a box down a little too hard if you aren’t thinking about it, and this will help you remain cautious when you need to be.

Moving into a new home can be a lot of work and stress, but if you are proactive, keep all of your items carefully labeled, and pack carefully, you can make your move as pain free as possible.

Brionna Kennedy guest posterBrionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn’t writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

 

Easy Allergy-Friendly Lunches~ Works For Me

Last month I shared my trick for fast-fix salads at home. Today I thought I’d share about how I prep quick-grab lunches for my husband. This time of year he’s working harvest, which means 13 hour days. And since he’s gluten-free, he can’t just grab a sandwich and go. Therefore, I’ve been spending Sunday afternoons prepping a week’s worth of lunches that he can grab. That way I don’t have to worry about it again and he has a healthy lunch ready to go.

Last week was just a partial week of harvest and I fixed him some salads with two kinds of beans, marinated grilled chicken and cheese. I actually had two boxes of Ziploc bowls that I’d gotten free on a promo and never used. The salads worked perfectly in them. I prepped the salads, boiled up a bunch of hard boiled eggs and filled sandwich bags with some mini carrots, string cheese and almonds. I also made up some brown rice with lentils and peas and put them in bowls as well (not pictured.) I put some dressing in tiny cups and put some yogurt nearby. Now hubby has all his lunch items on one shelf and can easily grab what he wants.

This week I made a TON of potato salad. I filled six bowls with it for hubs and kept a tub for us to eat as well. I made my version of Southwest chicken salad. I used a package of the cubed chicken I’d prepped from my Zaycon foods purchase, mixed it with black beans and corn and dumped in some taco seasoning. Then I topped them with cheese.

I then cooked up a bunch of rice and added the rest of the chicken/corn/bean mixture to that to make a “rice bowl” type dish. I had some extra taco sauce packets from Taco Bell in my odds & ends drawer so I stuck a couple right on top of each bowl.

Another week down! Here’s a pic of things “in process”.

Here’s a shot of the rice bowl. You can put pretty much any kind of meat & veggies in these and have them come out well.

I took another shot of the fridge this week to show how I label dishes with my pink hair tape labels. I like these because they’re cheap, easy to write on, and peel right off. I decided I’d better label them after hubs took two of the same dish for lunch last week. I thought they were see-through enough (or that one could lift the lid and look?!), but I guess not. ;-)

Oh! And if you look at the cost of a pre-made salad bowl you’ll find that they’re right at $3!! And rice bowls are about the same, I believe. CRAZY! it’s definitely worth the time to make your own. Same with potato salad. It’s very inexpensive to make, but costs a fortune to buy pre-made.

What about you? Do you have any easy lunch tricks or tricks for dealing with allergies or intolerances?

Linking up to Tackle it Tuesday and Works for Me Wednesday.

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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!

Impulse Buy = Headache of Regret

Guest post by Midge:

Last week Tuesday in my first post, I shared about attempting to make my husband the perfect Crème Brulee for Valentine’s Day.  After the dessert came out of the oven and my daughter Sarah woke up from her nap, we jumped in the car.  My quest of that Valentine’s afternoon was purchasing a hand held blow torch.  Ever since watching the online video chef sizzle the sugar on top of the dessert, I kept thinking about how much fun it would be to use this kitchen tool.

In order to keep my post short, I will spare you the lengthy details about how many stores we went to in order to find it!  Finally, on our way home, we spotted a specialty kitchen store.  But, as the cashier rang up the blow torch and the refillable butane, my heart stopped and my palms got sweaty.  All of a sudden my cute Valentine’s dessert with the inexpensive ingredients had become quite costly!  The grand total was:  $56.39

And, I got flustered because I kept thinking that my first real attempt at making a fancy dessert was going to be ruined.

So, I paid the price.

Ever have one of those moments… when an “impulse buy” leaves you with a headache of regret?

Frugal living doesn’t come easy to me.  Before Sarah was born, I had an expendable cash budget each month.  And after I made this purchase, I sat in the car for awhile letting the heater warm us up and the regret wash over me.  I just spent money that was budgeted for something else, something more important.  And now, what should I do?

With a great deal of embarrassment, Sarah and I marched back in the store fifteen minutes later with the receipt in my hand and returned it.   When relaying the story to my proud husband that night over Valentine’s Dinner, I realized something.  If I had kept my purchase and used the tool, our conversation that night would have been filled with tension and remorse.  Returning the item felt much more victorious than justifying the non-existent wisdom of the purchase.

And are you wondering about the Crème Brulee??  It tasted wonderful even without the toasty sugar on top.

 Midge’s New Financial Phrase for 2012:

Save for what I want, find the best deal I can and choose to not use credit.

This site was recently recommended by a friend as a good place to get cash back on a variety of purchases.  Anyone ever try it? www.ebates.com

More info on kitchen blow torches:http://www.kitchen-blowtorch.com/