Featured Participant on Frugal Home Friday

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your frugal tips for home and homestead,

recipes, DIY or crafts, and share ideas to inspire others

Featured Participant:

A Beginner’s Guide to Saving Money – Part 1 – Saving money on clothes

Frugal Friday link-up Featured Participant

 

Please share your own Frugal Home and Homestead posts

You could be our next featured blogger:

Each week we will be choosing a new blogger participant to feature in our Friday Link Up.  Share your posts – old or new – that involve anything HOMEkeeping, HOMEschooling, HOMEsteading, HOMEindustry!

By linking up – you agree to allow us to use your photo and link to your blog if you are chosen as our Featured Participant. We share links on FB, Twitter, G+, and Pinterest as well to let the world know about your great ideas. Thank you for participating and sharing.

There are so many wonderfully creative bloggers out there who have a wealth of knowledge to share on topics for the home and homestead. If you run a home business, enjoy gardening, raising bees or chickens, love cooking, are good at organizing or any other topic that will be valuable to our readers – please link up your pictures and share the knowledge to inspire others!

If you don’t blog – you can link up photo’s from an Instagram account to share ideas as well or leave us a comment with your thoughts!

linking up: Fabulously FrugalOrganized 31,Fabulously Frugal Thurs,Sunday Showcase Works 4 Me

 

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Homemade Granola Bars: Build A Menu

Homemade Granola Bars

 

This week’s Cooking With Kids recipe is almost too simple, yet the results are fantastic. It’s also a recipe that is very easy to sub Gluten Free/Allergy Friendly ingredients if needed. They last up to a week in an airtight container, making it super easy to make on the weekend and have ready for snacks all week long! Ready to get started? Check the recipe below for your list of ingredients and then follow these simple steps to make your own homemade granola bars.

Homemade granola bars

Ingredients: 

Healthy Granola Bars from Scratch

Directions: 

  • First, dump ALL the ingredients together in a mixer.
  • Add in any of your favorite ingredients like chocolate chips, nuts, etc.
  • Mix well.
  • Spread the granola mix out on your baking sheet, making sure to keep it about the same thickness all the way across.
  • Once it’s done, cut it while it’s still warm because once it cools it’s crunchy and harder to cut. Use a pizza cutter and cut into “bars.”  
  • Let the bars cool on the pan. Separate once they’re cool enough to touch and have hardened.
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Print a copy of this recipe from Build A Menu HERE

Build A Menu  is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with them? Take a minute to browse the site and see how they can save you time and money, too!

Molly Members get free access to their Dine on a Dime planner and shopping list from the member page – and a special discount to the full service. See benefits here. 

Easy Cheesy Crackers from Build A Menu and cooking with kids

Easy Cheesy Crackers

You will love these Easy Cheesy Crackers – another great guest post and recipe from our partners at Build A Menu.

I like to give my kids recipes that involve them getting their hands dirty. They love to make a mess, love to get their hands right down into the process. So I figure, why fight it? I took a recipe for cheese crackers, ramped up the flavor a bit with some garlic, and tossed the pastry cutter idea out the window.

Who needs a pastry cutter when you have ten fingers ready to stir and squish? And while using cookie cutters might be super cute, with a relatively crumbly dough I knew the frustration factor (hard to move from board to cookie sheet!) would be too high for my children. So I had them just roll it out right on the cookie sheet and use a pastry wheel to cut squiggly lines.

They loved it! When the crackers came out of the oven, I actually had excited children standing by the cooling rack.

This recipe is a keeper!

Easy Cheesy Crackers

Ingredients

• 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese

• 4 tablespoons butter, softened

• 3/4 cup flour

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1 tablespoon milk

Directions

Heat oven to 350°. Put the cheese, butter (cut in pieces), flour, salt and garlic in a bowl.

Cracker Ingredients

Use clean hands to mix the ingredients together between your fingers (squish that butter!) until the dough is coarse crumbs, about the size of peas.

Add the milk and use your hands to form the dough into a ball. If you are a 7-year-old boy it is okay to make the dough into a volcano first. This is not a necessary step in creating the crackers, but may be necessary to the creative process; volcanoes often are – if you are a little boy.

Lightly flour a baking sheet. We lined ours with foil because it is an old beat-up sheet, but it proved to be useful as we were able to easily remove the crackers on the foil for cooling. Place the dough on it and roll out the dough until it is 1/8″ thick.

Cross cut dough for cheesy crackers

Cut lines in the dough like a grid to make cracker-sized squares. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden. Cool on the baking sheet, then break apart into squares.

Yummy Cheesy squares

Build A Menu is an online menu planning service that makes meal planning and grocery shopping fast, easy and budget friendly. Not familiar with it? Take a minute to browse the site and see how it can save you time and money, too!

Go HERE to check it out and download your printed recipe for delicious Easy Cheesy Crackers!

Molly Members – Access Dine on a Dime HERE- Exclusively for Molly Members from Build A Menu! 

Members Page HERE – New MGM 2014 Issues

Molly’s $7 Suppers HERE 

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FREE Molly Green Magazine: March, April

FREE MGM March - April

Leap into Spring with a jump start on all things Homesteading. Right now – you can get the new issue of Molly Green Magazine . . . FREE!

A sneak peek at what’s inside:

  • 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

The Spring issue will help you get organized using what you have, and with efficient tips from our resident expert Marla Cilley – aka. The FlyLady. Home projects, gardening, and natural cleaning articles will inspire and equip you to be the best homemaker you can be. Get recipe ideas the whole family will enjoy. Increase wisdom and know-how by learning about natural cures to keep the family healthy, and investigate the idea of a new family hobby with Beekeeping 101.

This is just a taste of what you will find in this Spring issue -but  best of all – for a short time you can get it all for free!

Go HERE to get your FREE copy now

Molly Members Can Access the Member Page HERE

Teach Kids About Work and Money: Free Online Chore Chart

*affiliate links may be present

 

I just love this free online chore chart!

The chore list

The chore list (Photo credit: demandaj)

I’m always on the lookout for specials and free deals to improve our lives on the home front. MyJobChart.com is a valuable resource for families. Teaching kids about work and money is an important part of  family life. Having tools that make it simple can take the sting of chore time as they tend to build motivation.

FREE online chore chart that motivates your kids and earns them rewards that they can save, donate to charity, or spend on toys!

Motivating Your Kids Is Easy: Just 1-2-3:

1) Sign-up for MyJobChart!

2) Assign Chores to Your Kids

3) Reward Your Kids For Great Work!

 

Chores in a children's home

Chores in a children’s home (Photo credit: theirhistory)

A Chore Chart makes it easy to assign chores, and makes it more motivating for children to fulfill them.  It facilitates fun, engaging, hands-on learning and teaches children the principles of sharing, saving, and spending.  MyJobChart.com gives parents the tools they need to instill a strong work ethic and teach financial responsibility.

For me, an effective resource needs to be both frugal and simple to use – in order to be worth the time and effort of using it. As long as you are reasonably familiar with using online services, you should not have trouble with this one. I believe it can be especially beneficial in organizing large family chores.

Once your basic information is in place, it only takes a short time each week to add additional information to personalize any particular week or month for your family.

Do you use chore charts in your home? Have you tried an online version? 

Molly Green Magazine members gain wisdom and knowledge from years of practical application in the arts of household management from FlyLady.com  - Find out more about the extra benefits of becoming a Molly Member HERE. 

 

linking with Works for Me Wed

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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.

 

Money Matters: Four ways to teach kids to save

Piggy bank from German bank HASPA, around 1970.

Money Matters

Four Practical and Effective Ways to Teach Kids How to Save

Ages one through six-years-old is the perfect time to teach your kids about money. Teaching them in their formative years about the value of money and how to save effectively will definitely build a strong financial foundation for them. If you’re going to impart lasting wisdom and knowledge to your kids, it might as well be about managing their personal finances.
1) Be intentional. Decide that it’s something you want to teach your kids in the long run. This means you have to plan it out and follow through with your goals. If you truly see the value of what you want to teach your kids, you wouldn’t give up or stop. It’s best to start teaching them about money while you can still influence them. Once your time is up (teenage years), you and your kids might come to regret it.

2) Make it fun. Most people hate math because it’s “boring.” Don’t let your kids feel the same thing just because saving money involves numbers! The only way to make your kids love saving is by teaching them how it could be so much fun.

  •  Books: Who says reading a bedtime story always has to be about fairy tales or your horrible recollections of that embarrassing experience you had when you were 12? You can inspire your kids to save through books that teach them the value of saving money instead. Try the books Dolly Parton’s A Coat of Many Colors, or The Berenstain Bear’s Trouble with Money by Stan Berenstain.
  • Toys: You can buy cash teller machines or cute piggy banks to encourage them that saving money can be a lively and fun thing to do. Play games with your kids. Add little colorful piggy banks at every corner of the house and tell them it’s a challenge to “feed” your house pigs coins to keep them healthy. The possibilities are endless.
  •  Shows: Expose them to television shows that show how important money is, like Cha-Ching in Cartoon Network.  You can search for other resources online.
  • Apps: Do you know a kid who hasn’t played a touch-screen app yet? Kids are definitely regular users of smartphones and tablets, and like you, they deserve apps that encourage the better use of money. Download apps: Life Quest, Kids Money or Virtual Piggy.

3) Trust them. Your kids will love it if you treat them like adults. Trusting them with money and believing that they will do good with it will boost their confidence. This way, you’re effectively showing them they’re more than capable of handling and managing money. Try to be their “savings buddy” saving. Give them challenges or ask them for “help,” anything that would make you and your kids save for something. If you all reach your common goals, then your kids will definitely be more motivated in saving money. Don’t forget to be encouraging and supportive all the time.

4) Finally, practice what you preach. If you constantly teach your kids about saving money and yet they see you indulging in a ton of unnecessary things, you might as well give up on raising money-savvy children. Kids are the best copycats. They look up to you. Mommy and Daddy are their first superheroes and idols, and it’s only natural for them to follow whatever you’ll do — the good things … and the bad. So always be cautious around your children because, most times, they’ll follow your example — even when you don’t want them to.
Your children’s financial success depends on you! The earlier you start teaching them about savings, the better off your kids will be in the future!

About the Author
Jep Barroga is a freelance writer and blogger for MoneyHero, a Hong Kong based finance portal that provide unbiased information on loans, credit cards, and other financial products. Jep will be sharing more information about teaching kids to save money next week. He will share with us his favorite apps to use to make it a fun and memorable experience.

 

linking with Works 4 Me Wednesday 

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Valentine Ideas For Your Spouse that won’t break the bank

Valentine Spouse ideas

Go Digital

Remember mixed tapes? This Valentines Day, make your husband or wife a cd with all their favorite music.

Send them a You-Tube video with a song or a poem singing their virtues!

Send a special Skype video message instead of a traditional love note, listing all the reasons you love them still.

No sitter?

Take a family walk – be sure to hold hands and talk about the good old days.

Put the kids to bed early and share a candle light dinner with your favorite foods.

Love Notes

Bring them breakfast in bed with a handmade card.

Place sticky notes around the house – like on the bathroom mirror, by the coffee maker, on a breakfast tray, in a briefcase – all with different messages telling them why you love them.

Coupon Book 

Create a coupon book full of favorite date night ideas and romantic notions that can be redeemed monthly, weekly, and daily.  These don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Think: evening picnic, a foot rub and a favorite movie,  a drive in the country, or a stroll through downtown and out for coffee.

Create a practical book with redeemable coupons for the chores they hate to do. How about: wash the car, cut the grass, or weed the garden? Use whatever may be a small sacrifice on your part, but will mean the most to them!

homemade chocolate peanut butter cups

Homemade Goods

Bust out the apron and get to baking! No need to spend lots of money on chocolate candy when the homemade kind is even better.

Get a recipe HERE for Giant Peanut Butter Cups

Homemade Lotion

Women aren’t the only ones who need good moisturizer! Using natural ingredients and essential oils, you can create lotion and bath/shower products your man will love.

See recipe HERE for a manly lotion

Go HERE for homemade scrubs

homemade lip balm

Subscription 

For an affordable gift that will encourage and inspire all year long – give a subscription membership to Molly Green Magazine

Member benefits include cottage industry web site hosting where you can network and sell your products for home industry and small business! You can’t beat the cost – (Launching in March).

Members also enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime menu planner and shopping list by Build a Menu (downloaded right from the member page)!

Learn about beginner homesteading, gardening, bee keeping, and valuable information to run your home and family life in a more simple, back to basics style. Wonderful for city dwellers who want to make steps in that direction or down home on the farm!

linking with Works for Me Wednesday & Fabulously Frugal Thurs

 

Do you have more ideas to share? I’d love to hear about them – in the comments!

Build a Menu recipe- Philly Beef Skillet: Sneak Peek Monday

Philly Beef Skillet Recipe

Build a Menu RecipePhilly Beef Skillet: on Sneak Peek Monday

If you have not yet met our friends from Build a Menu – you should hop over to their blog or their Facebook page (here) and say hello!

 

Enjoy a few valuable words from Lisa -

I have to admit to you that my kids LOVE Hamburger Helper.  However, I don’t.  I don’t like how processed it all is and how much sodium it has in it.  It is fast and convenient and can make a busy mom feel like she’s cooking a nutritious meal.

I’ve been known to do so as well.  However, I can honestly say it’s probably been at least 3 years since Hamburger Helper has made it’s way into my kitchen.   So, I started looking for other alternatives to the much loved (by my kids) Hamburger Helper and I’m telling you , this recipe is just as quick and easy.

Sure, I had to chop some onion but that really wasn’t a big deal.  It was fast, easy and yummy and I had the satisfaction of knowing that it was also so much more healthy and “clean” than a box of Hamburger Helper.  AND…..it only cost about $10.50 at most major grocery stores for the ingredients and serves 4-6!  Enjoy!

If you are following the Trim Healthy Mama plan, then this is an “S” meal.

 

Philly Beef Skillet

 

Download your FREE printable recipe

and read more about the mission and the resources available at Build a Menu.

Molly Members – Check your Member Page for a special discount code to save big on the already affordable full program at BAM or take advantage of your exclusive access to the Dine on a Dime menu planners – now also downloadable from your Molly Green Member page!

We have more great member benefits coming your way – stay tuned!!

 

Importance of family dinners: & Recipe from Build a Menu

In the fast paced world we live in, it can be easy to forget the importance of bringing the family together around the table.

Guest post by Lisa Holcomb of Build a Menu

Nacho beef soup - build a menu

 

10 Conversation Starters for Dinner Time

     When you think of happy families sitting around the table eating dinner do you conjure up thoughts of “Leave it to Beaver” or some other old sitcom?   The mother walking around in her apron, high heels and pearls with a perfectly set table, perfect dinner and perfect family all sitting at the table.

Well, let’s get real please.  I know that’s sure not me.  Just like you, I’m a homeschooling, chauffeuring, (sometimes scatter brained), Jesus loving, busy, busy mom.  I’m usually doing good to get all four of my boys and my husband to the table in the evening.  Not that they don’t want to eat, just our busy schedules can get in the way.  However, we do try to make it a priority to eat dinner together as a family as many nights during the week as possible.  Some nights are harder than others.  Some nights we’re not all at home.  Still, we make it a priority as much as we can and I find that we are able to be together around the dinner table more often than not.

It really is amazing what a difference a positive meal time can make in children and families. Studies show that children who dine with the family:

  • eat more fruits and vegetables
  • are happier
  • are better adjusted  
  • are more socially adept
  • get better grades
  • are less likely to smoke, abuse drugs or alcohol
  • are less likely to suffer from eating disorders, obesity or depression

Kids of all ages benefit from family meal time together.  Teens and tweens need the family table time.  They need the positive atmosphere and conversation that should take place at the table.  They need to be reminded that they are valued and loved.

Our two youngest children were adopted from the Texas foster care system and its amazing how much healing can be done around the kitchen table eating a meal together and bonding. Families who eat together share values together.

Some of the family eat Sunday dinner, on Sunda...

Some of the family eat Sunday dinner, on Sundays the two married sons of the Sergents, their wives and children often… – NARA – 541343 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Need some conversation starters for dinner time?  Here are just a few fun ones:

  1. If you couldn’t watch TV or go online for a month, how would you spend that time?
  2. If you could have any superpower, which would you choose?  (This one is a regular topic at our table.)
  3. How can you tell someone you love them without using words?
  4. If you could be a famous person for a week, who would you be and why?
  5. If you could trade places with your parents for a day, how would you do things differently?
  6. If you could have another name what would you choose?
  7. Would you rather meet your great great grandparents or your great great grandchildren?
  8. If you could be brilliant in one subject, which would you choose?
  9. What do you think Heaven will be like?
  10. In what era would you most like to have grown up (besides the current one)?

Does your family have any favorite topics or dinner time games they like to play? We’d love to hear about them.

Try this fun dish for family game night!

This soup recipe really hit the spot and was so easy and quick to make and cost about $11.00 for the ingredients to feed my family of 6.  If you’re a Trim Healthy Mama, then this is an “S” meal for you.  I hope your family enjoys it as much as we did.

nacho beef soup

 

Molly Green Members enjoy exclusive access to Dine on a Dime –  weekly menu & shopping list -access right from your Molly Member Page!
Members – be sure to check out the SUPERBOWL Menu in your Dine on a Dime section this week!!! Are you ready for some FOOTBALL?