Frugal Home Friday: Featured Participants

Frugal HOME Friday

Link up your frugal tips for home and homestead,

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

Featured Link-Ups:

Do More and Save Money in 2014 – by Mumtopia 

and . . . . .

 

Gluten Free Cowboy Stew

from The Gluten Free Homestead 

GF Cowboy Stew

 Get the Recipe HERE

 

Please share your own Frugal Home & Homestead posts

You could be our next feature!

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

 

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

 

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 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Frugal living: ways to save money this year

frugal living

You may have heard the news – the all new Molly Green magazine has turned over a new leaf. We are spreading our wings to include homesteading, self-sufficient living, back yard farming, and all things home industry.

But, we are nothing if not a frugal bunch! And, in that spirit, I wanted to start our New Year off with a super frugal post to help you find ways to save money in 2014.

10 Ways to Save Money in the New Year:

  1. Fix it yourself – use the internet to watch video’s and read tutorials on how to fix various household items. Learn to stitch up clothing and make repairs to the things you use regularly.

2. Cut the Entertainment budget by finding frugal ways to play together.

3. Cook at Home & Take Advantage of Specials.

4.  Ask for a Discount! 

bowling for free

5.  Get a Discount on Children’s Activities

  • Volunteer your services to the organization for a discount on children’s sports when possible – certainly, you want to give of your time for free to help out, but you may be able to offer other services such as – photography, computer work, accounting, or other skilled work to save on sports and more for your family. Look for services they might normally have to pay for & fill in the gap where you are qualified. 
  • Set up a co-op or trade with other parents for sports and extracurricular clothing items. 
  • Take advantage of free programs like Kids Bowl Free

6.  Barter for Services. 

  • As with the above info on getting a discount on children’s extra-curricular activities – consider trading for other services as well. Think outside the box and look for needs that you can meet and then offer up your solutions to the problem in exchange for a repair or other service you cannot do yourself. Small businesses are great for this, but don’t count out the larger companies either. Big companies need endorsements, or reviews from consumers and are sometimes willing to trade for free products. Bloggers do this regularly. 

7. Grow Your Own. 

8.  Up-cycle 

9. Make Your Own Homemade Cleaners.

  • Simple ingredients can go a long way and can be used safely and inexpensively –  Baking Soda, Borax, Vinegar, Alcohol, Mild Dish Detergent, & Washing Soda are a few simple ingredients that can be used to clean almost anything. 
  • Get recipes from The Family Homestead here

10. Educate Yourself. 

Link up your own Frugal  ideas  and we will share them!

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

 

5 a day: household chore planner

free printable chore chart The beginning of a new year is often the perfect time to reflect, plan, and set goals, to organize the household.  While that may sound like a terrific plan, the truth is, it can be a bit overwhelming.

One of the best tips I’ve ever received on the subject is to break things down into smaller pieces – to schedule the  daily routine into chunks of time.  When you look at the big picture, it can feel as though it is too difficult to conquer. But, when you break it down, suddenly, the unattainable becomes much more feasible.

In order to conquer my own clutter and get my household in good order for 2014 – I designed a little printable sheet to help me keep my chores and household schedule organized. I am determined to make the most of my time each day and to make the changes in my home that are needed. Download your own Free Printable here. 

daily planner chore chart

To use your free printable, download and print. Follow the sample, and choose a suggested daily chore (or add your own), then run through your daily list of smaller chores.

There is a space to do some meal planning and food prep – which will not only help you be more organized at meal time, but will also save money.

Choose from the list of suggested 15 minute jobs each day, and also schedule a quick run-through the house to freshen and pick up. Some like to schedule several 15 minute fresheners – you can just write in various times in that 15 minute slot if you need more.

Most of all, use it as a guide, and make it work for your family.

I’m learning a lot by visiting the Fly Lady. She has organizing and cleaning down to a science. I love the way she breaks down the home into weekly zones. You can follow her on her website, and learn a great deal from the brand new Fly Lady column in the all new Molly Green Magazine

Do you have any big cleaning and organizing goals this year? 

Linking with Works for Me Wednesday 

New Molly Green: Sneak Peek Monday

all new molly green

All New Molly Green Magazine

Launching in January with all new benefits

Just in case you haven’t heard, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the all new Molly Green Magazine!  The blog will be getting a makeover and members will gain all new benefits as well as a new focus for the magazine.

You’ll enjoy the same frugal advice and information you’ve come to trust, with a deeper focus on the art of homesteading,  back yard farming,  and all things home industry.

Benefits include a video sharing platform to share how-to’s on canning, recipes, gardening and all related topics. Members will have the opportunity to network and sell their homemade & handmade/small business items in their very own cottage stores at no additional cost.

New columns from our friends at Build a Menu with exclusive access to their Dine on a Dime planner, and monthly column by The Fly Lady and more!

Right now, you can lock in the special rate – $1 for the first month, and $3.85 monthly thereafter.  This special introductory rate won’t last. The membership price will increase with the new launch and platform coming in January.

If you are considering a membership to the all new Molly Green, now is the time to get this valuable resource to help you save money, become more self sufficient, and to learn about all things home industry.

Join us here to get your membership and lock in your discounted rate today!

Need a recipe to use up leftover Christmas ham? Go here

Check back tomorrow for a delicious recipe & more – to help you ring in the new year!

Black Friday – Cyber Monday – Green Tuesday

green tuesday

Molly Green Magazine is thrilled to offer you the biggest best discount available on our brand new magazine! We will launch the all new and improved Molly Green beginning January 1 – and I just cannot wait to share it with you.

Although we are committed to bringing you the finest money saving ideas around, and are firmly rooted in our focus on frugal . . . we are branching out!

We will continue to bring you tips and ideas to save money, you still have access to the eBooks and past issues of Molly Green Magazine – but now, membership will include so much more.

Subscribers will have exclusive access to the Dine on a Dime section of Build a Menu.com to plan frugal meals for the family.

We’ll provide articles on sustainable living, back yard farming, simple living and connecting with nature – homemade, handmade, all things home industry . . .

and even a platform from which to share it! Molly members will now be able to share and sell their homemade/handmade items within the network. The best part? There’s NO additional charge!

Black Friday – Cyber Monday – Green Tuesday 

During this special, you can get a full year of Molly Green Magazine – for only $29  - At half price, you can get one for yourself, and one for your bff or your sister!

Molly Green Special 1 year deal

DOWNLOAD THIS FREE CERTIFICATE

use to give Molly as a gift – just a little extra from me to you!

The prices for the Molly Green Magazine will go up with the launch of the new and improved site. Lock in your low rate today with $1 for the first month then $3.85 thereafter  - or save even more with the huge discount price of $29 for a full year of MG!

Only $29 RIGHT NOW

We are giving away 1 full year membership – enter with only one option below – or enter with all the options! Ends December 7

Be sure to read all about what the new membership entails!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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!).

TOS-Molly-NovDec-2013Cover211

$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!

TOS-Molly-NovDec2013-Spread411

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!

Apples, Apples and more Apples!

Midge copyGuest blog by: Midge

“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic happiness.” — Jane Austen

This excerpt was taken from the SEPTEMBER 2012 ISSUE OF MOLLY MAGAZINE which helps you to organize your pantry, save money and more!  ALSO, be sure not to miss out on all of the fun links to recipes and learning activities I have shared at the end of the blog! 

Lately, I have been eating, sleeping, and dreaming about . . . APPLES!

apples graphicFall is my favorite time of year. The weather cools down and chilly breezes can be felt as I walk to the mailbox each morning. In the afternoon, our local park is abuzz with soccer coaches’ whistles and the quiet hum of laughter filled children playing and running. An occasional fall rain shower brings the smell of the wet street and dying grass to your senses. It is also the season of Thanksgiving and apples!

My mother and father-in-law came for a visit recently. They brought three buckets full of small apples from their apple trees at the ranch. I have never had that many apples in my home before and had no idea what to do with them!

One look at those apples and I knew that I was not going to let any of them go to waste. I opened a cookbook and picked out a recipe that called for the largest amount of apples with the least amount of other ingredients and got set to go to work. I used an apple peeler/corer we received as one of our wedding gifts (and yes, this was the first time I used it!). I peeled, cut, sliced, and then repeated the process until I was tired of turning the crank on my new kitchen gadget. Finally, I piled all of them in the slow cooker with a few other sparse ingredients; and then let it cook for about 8-10 hours.

The reason you don’t see the recipe included in this letter is because it did not quite turn out the way I intended! It was supposed to make apple butter but instead it was more like apple sauce. The good news was our little one year old Sarah ate it like a champ (unlike the CARROT BABY FOOD DISASTER)! And my husband, a big fan of apple butter, had four helpings at one setting. Compared to my one small spoonful, I started to feel like I was wimping out on enjoying those apples!

After all was said and done I still had 2 ½ buckets full of apples left over and had met at least three little worms in the buckets in addition to the worm which managed to get stuck in my dishwasher (don’t even ask). I remember drawing book worms as a kid on my reading reports. I guess I never thought that this idea had to originate from somewhere!!! It came from my apple buckets!

 

Molly,

Help! I want to make or create something special with all of these apples. Fall is the time for apples and apple pies but if I have to eat them all in the next month or two, I fear I will never want to look at another apple again!  How do you store your apples? What are a few of your favorite apple recipes? My husband keeps saying that he has a hankering for an apple crisp dessert. Do you have a great recipe to make this?

Love ya,

Midge, the real live book worm

You can find Molly’s response here: SEPTEMBER 2012 ISSUE OF MOLLY MAGAZINE

MORE APPLE RECIPES AND FUN FROM AROUND THE WEB…

Recipes:

Caramel Apple Salad from Life with Moore Babies

Tree to Table Applesauce with no added sugar! From Training Happy Hearts

3 apple recipes plus tips for kids in the kitchen from Kids with Food Allergies

Crafts and Fun:

Torn Paper Apple Tree from 3 Dinosaurs

Apple Pie Scented Play Dough from To the Moon and Back

Melted Crayon Leaves and Apples by Life with Moore Babies

Learning:

Nature Study ~ Apple Trees from Mom’s Heart

FREE apple calendar cards from 3 Dinosaurs

A Week with Apples from Mercy is New

 

 

Guest Post — Frugal Vegetable Gardens

by Kristina Seleshanko

Have you ever read the bestselling book The $64 Tomato? In it, author William Alexander spends an outrageous amount of money to create a home vegetable garden – and learns his home grown tomatoes cost him $64 each. It’s not exactly a book to encourage novice vegetable gardeners. But the good news is, Alexander is a spendthrift. Vegetable gardening is actually a very frugal activity.

To prove this to myself, in 2011, I started a new vegetable patch and kept records on what it produced. I figured we saved at least $308 on produce, not including the soil we trucked in. (After subtracting the cost of the soil, we still saved over $80.) Plus my kids learned to love veggies like never before, we ate more healthfully, we got extra exercise, and we had the satisfaction of knowing exactly where our food came from.

So, let’s focus on how you, too, can save money growing your own food:

* Test your garden soil. The #1 key to success in gardening is having good quality soil. Buy a cheap soil test kit at a garden center and follow the directions. The test will save you money by telling you whether or not your soil is in good enough shape to grow veggies – and, if not, what to add to the soil to improve it.

* Choose a location with at least 6 hours of sun per day. You’ll grow much more food this way.

* Start from seed. This saves a tremendous amount of money and, depending upon the method you use, can cost next to nothing in equipment. Download a free copy of my Starting Seeds ebook for complete directions on successful seed starting.

* If you need to improve your soil, consider bringing in soil by the truckload. If you want your garden right away and your soil is lousy, this is least expensive method. If you can wait at least 6 months, try the generally less expensive lasagna method. (Basically, lay cardboard down on the soil and top it with layers of organic material that will decompose into wonderful garden soil.)

* Don’t do raised beds. At least the type surrounded by wood, brick, or some other frame. It’s totally unnecessary – and expensive. Just mound the soil in the shape you want (making sure you can reach across it for weeding and harvesting) and plant.

* Avoid container gardens. By the time you buy decent potting soil (a must for growing in containers) and containers, you’ve made a bit of an investment. Plus, container gardens dry out quickly, so you’ll spend more on watering.

* Mulch. By placing straw, lawn clippings, bark, wood chips, shredded brown leaves, or compost around your plants (but keeping the mulch about 1 inch from stems), not only will your garden be less weedy, but you’ll cut down on watering costs. Aim for at least 5 inches of mulch.

* Harvest frequently. Don’t let ripe vegetables, fruits, or herbs languish in the garden. The more you harvest, the more food you will grow.

* Focus on growing what’s most expensive to buy. Fruit is generally more expensive to purchase than vegetables, and certain vegetables will be more or less expensive in your region.

* Fill shadier areas with plants that don’t mind it. Some examples of fruits and vegetables that don’t mind part shade (4 to 6 hours of sun per day) include strawberries, honeyberries, huckleberries, Artic kiwi, lettuce, kale, collards, spinach, Swiss chard, peas, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, radishes, and turnips.

* Don’t buy it if you can make it. Tomato cages, trellis, tepees, and so on are expensive. Challenge yourself to make garden items from what you have laying around or can buy cheaply. For example, use small tree limbs to create trellises or bean tepees.

* Start a compost pile. Compost keeps the soil healthy, which makes plants grow like mad. But it sure is expensive to buy. Instead of throwing away compostable items like cardboard, paper, yard clippings, and vegetable and fruit scraps, put them to use in the garden by composting them.

* Get plants and seeds free. Often neighbors, friends, and family have cuttings or divisions (good for plants like rhubarb or berry vines) or seeds they are happy to give away.

* Save seeds. If you buy heirloom or open-pollinated seed varieties, you may never have to buy seeds again. For details, click here.

Kristina Seleshanko is an urban homesteader, mom, and wife who blogs at Proverbs Thirty One Woman.

Guest Post — Cash is Hiding in Your Home!

Cash Is Hiding In Your Home - www.Econobusters.com

© Les Cunliffe | Dreamstime.com

Cash is hiding in your home, and we don’t mean the couch cushions

You calculate and budget for your mortgage and monthly utility bills, but the unexpected expenses really begin to add up! You can coupon clip and check couch cushions for quarters, but true moneymakers in your home might just be hiding right in front of you.

So if you’re packing your lunch, making your own coffee, and using home remedy cleansers instead of the expensive products at the grocery store, but still feel like your home is costing you more than you would like, check out our tips to see where cash is likely hiding in your home.

Here are some easy ways to save money in your home that may not have crossed your mind:

Sell your cell

If you’re looking to upgrade your phone, tablet, iPod, etc., but don’t have the cash, look into trading in your old ones! Businesses such as NextWorth make it easier to upgrade to the latest gadgets by offering top dollar for used electronics, regardless of their condition. To get a quote on your outdated gadgets, visit www.nextworth.com. Not only are you saving money by recycling your old products, but you’re saving the environment too!

Toasting your dollars

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, anywhere from 5-10 percent of residential electricity is used by devices that are plugged in 24 hours a day. Even when your appliances and electronics are turned off, they’re still using energy, costing you money in the long run! By simply unplugging the household appliances you aren’t using, you can save money! Start by unplugging these energy-wasters: toasters, lamps, coffeemakers, DVD players, stereos and radios, televisions and desktop/laptop computers.

Dimes in the dryer

While rummaging through the dryer for loose change might earn you a quick 50 cents, there is now an even simpler way to save money when using your large appliances and electronics. Enervee, an energy-smart scoring platform, ranks products based on their energy efficiency. By learning the “Enervee Score” for each large appliance in your home, you can see exactly which product(s) is sucking the most electricity, and therefore money out of your home each month. In some cases, it may be more cost-efficient in the long run to buy a new, energy-efficient product than continue to use your current model. Enervee can help you make those buying decisions and save some serious cash.

Filter for savings

A dirty air filter in your car can cost you up to 7 percent of your gas mileage! By taking five minutes to clean your filter at home, you’re increasing your car’s overall fuel efficiency. Don’t know how to clean your car’s filter? Follow these easy steps and save money on your car! It is recommended to do this every 5,000 miles to keep your car’s fuel efficiency at an all-time high.

Eliminate bills to get bills

Cell phone companies are notorious for charging you fees that you had no idea existed. Take the time to go through your next cell phone bill, and look for any services you don’t use or charges you don’t understand. By calling your service provider you can often easily drop these fees, saving you more money monthly! And if you decide to change phone carriers, consider a no-contract, pre-paid plan such as Solavei, which has no hidden fees and costs just $49 per month for unlimited text, talk and data.

Ways of the web

Take advantage of this crazy thing we call the Internet. Downgrade to basic cable (or none)—you can watch all of your shows for free on the web! Simplify your life and bills by using the Internet for all its worth.

Now that you’ve saved all this money at home, don’t go spend it all at once! You will only reap the benefits of these tips by becoming more disciplined in your saving and finances. Stay up-to-date with the trends of the economy, keep a do-it-yourself mindset and always think twice about your purchases!