Monday, April 26, 2010


Hey there everyone. How are you doing today? It’s a fresh start for the week for me and my chaotic soap opera LOL! I’m dressed to aggravate mom this morning LOL. I told her I was gonna start coming up to the hospital in scrubs and guess what I am wearing! LMAO! No I am not a nurse (professionally LOL), no I have never been a nurse, I just make the scrubs to sell. What better way to advertise than to wear them? LMAO! Plus I tease her I am gonna be sneaking around trying to blend in. I’m really not, but it sounds funny when you say it.

To Jean- oh you don’t know how your comment made me laugh! I am operating with a “suspected” broken toe/foot… don’t curse me to break anything else! LMAO! But I appreciate it so very much that you care. Thanks girl!

Alright folks, I have to earn the title of “Frugal Mom” someway, so I was searching for food tips and look what I found! It’s an interesting read for sure!

28 Tasty Tips to Save on Food
by Stacy Johnson with MoneyTalkNews

According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2008 the average American family spent $6,443 on food. To put that number in perspective, that "average" family consists of 2.5 people (not a nice mental image) with an income of $63,563. So from these numbers we can surmise that our average family spends about 10% of their income on food.

Depending on who you choose to believe, the average American family also carries a $5,000 balance on credit cards. If they're paying 15% interest, that's more than $750/yr.

Conclusion? We could materially impact two expenses simultaneously if we could convince the average American family to eat their credit cards.

But if that doesn't sound like an appetizing solution, here's another thought: If we can use some simple tips to shave 10% off the typical annual food bill, we can use the extra $50 a month we free up to help pay those credit card balances faster. With that in mind, here's my attempt to fill your basket with more than 20 useful tips to slice and dice your grocery bill.

We'll start with seven tips from this recent TV news story. It's only 90 seconds long: check it out, then meet me on the other side for more. Here's a recap of those seven tips:

Cook From Scratch
Making meals from scratch is probably the single best way to save on food. Because the more prepared the food, the more it costs. Ironically, less expensive home-made is also normally better for you as well.

Sometimes generics aren't as good as name brands. In those situations one might choose name brands. But for things like flour, sugar, salt, bleach or virtually dozens of other items you find in the grocery store, the only discernible difference is price. Paying more for an identical product is more than extravagant; it's stupid.

Writing down what you came for…and ignoring everything not on it… will save money. It will also save time and fuel expense by preventing repeat trips to the store for things you forgot.

Stoop and Bend
Smart merchants place the most profitable items at eye level and on end-caps. Stoop, bend and look around for the best values.

For decades, coupons have been a shoppers best friend. These days online coupons have made them easier to find and use. If you haven't used a coupon search engine yet, do so. It's a new routine. Internet first, then store.

Warehouse Stores
The savings you can find at warehouse stores are well-documented.

Salvage Grocery Stores
These are harder to find, but if you happen to live near one, the savings are huge: up to 50%.

Now let's add to that list with more tips. These are from my latest book, Life or Debt 2010.

Don't Shop Hungry
It makes you buy more.

Shop Alone
Kids, and spouses who act like kids, will often whine, cajole, or otherwise try to influence you into impulse buys. Leave 'em at home.

Always Overcook
Then freeze. That saves the time you need to be able to cook from scratch.

Substitute Cheaper Ingredients...
..For more expensive ones.

Weigh Pre-Weighed Produce
Use the handy scales in the produce department to weigh pre-weighed bags. For example, if you're buying a 10-pound bag of potatoes, weigh them. Some will be 9 and a half pounds, but some might be 10 and a half for the same price.

Put small quantities of leftover sour cream or other perishables in smaller containers; they'll last longer. Cookies, crackers, and the like will also last longer if stored in glass jars.

Grate Savings
You pay more to have someone else grate your cheese for you. You'll also save by cutting up whole chickens, slicing your own pickles, slicing meat for cold cuts, and using a blender or rolling pin to make your own bread crumbs.

Save on Starch
Fancy boil-in-bag or flavored rices routinely cost 10 times the amount of the old-fashioned kind. All it takes to make rice is the ability to boil water! Bags of smaller potatoes are often half the cost per pound of big baking potatoes. Bake two little ones instead of one big one. Your stomach won't notice.

Save on Protein
The simple proteins found in beans are better for you and obviously much cheaper than the complex ones in meat, fish and poultry. In other words, eat less meat!

Milk Your Budget
Milk about to expire? Freeze it. You can thaw it out and use it later. Same with things that might be rotting in your vegetable drawer: onions, parsley, tomatoes, garlic. Not only will freezing keep it from rotting, it will keep it from stinking.

Butter Up the Cheese
Lightly buttering the edge of semi-hard cheese makes it less likely to form mold or dry out.

Extend Yourself
Adding cottage cheese to hamburger will enhance the flavor, add protein, and allow you to increase servings from four to six per pound.

New Life for old Bread
Leftover bread and rolls can be toasted in a toaster oven and chopped up into croutons.

Alter Your Recipes
Nobody will sue you if you alter your recipes a little. You can substitute cheaper veggies (sliced carrots) for more expensive ones (zucchini). You can also probably reduce the cheese or sugar in your baking slightly, without noticeably altering the taste. Keep in mind that recipes will often "round up" ingredients to make them easier to measure. When you read a recipe, look for ingredients that might just be included to enhance the color instead of taste, and try eliminating them. There are ways of stretching just about everything. Make your cookies and muffins a bit smaller and make more of them. Add a little more water to your concentrated juice. Add extra potatoes, beans, etc. to stretch casseroles and soups.

Make Your Own Salad Dressing
Mix 1/2 cup of vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of dry mustard, 1 minced garlic clove and 1 cup of salad oil. Voila! Delicious salad dressing at a fraction of the cost.

Grow Your Own!
Next time you buy fresh garlic, save the four inner cloves. Plant them about 1/2 inch deep. In less than six months, you'll be in garlic city! There are many other herbs and vegetables that you can grow yourself, so check 'em out.

Don't Buy Water -- Ever
The fact that people pay for water is further proof that enough advertising can make people do just about anything. If you really have concerns about water quality, buy a cheap water filter and fill your own bottles.

Be a Migrant Worker
If you live near an area that grows fruit, vegetables or produce, go to a pick-it-yourself farm for bargain prices, fresh air, and a reminder of why you work in town.

Creative Leftovers
Nearly every meal ends up with a few odds and ends that aren't eaten. Keep two lidded plastic containers in your freezer. After every meal, put veggie bits in one and meat bits in another. You can then periodically sprinkle the bits of meat on your pizzas, or combine the two and make a great soup!

Keep Lettuce Longer
Wash your lettuce thoroughly, then go outside and swing it around in a pillowcase to get rid of the excess water (and to amuse your neighbors). When you're done, put it in an airtight container and it will last at least two weeks in your refrigerator.

Last but Not Least
Remember, you are what you eat. Which would you rather be: an apple or a candy bar? One of the best things about saving on food is that what's cheaper is often the same as what's better for you. Apples cost less than candy, are more filling, and are much better for you. Water is not only healthier than soda, it's nearly free (from the tap). Legumes are a cheaper source of protein than meat, and better for you as well.

Bottom line? There are lots of ways to save on food. Some will be appetizing to you, some won't. But there are few things in life tastier than paying off debt and achieving your monetary objectives. So if you harness any of these ideas, be sure to use your savings for debt destruction!

Ok so its time for crafts. One of the “Get Well Gifts” my mom has received was a gift card to Houston Garden Center. Now my crafty (but sometime tacky LMAO) mind caught myself thinking how I could have made the “presentation” prettier! LOL, isn’t that awfully tacky!? LMAO! Anyway, so that inspired today’s craft. Its also another recycle craft, which you know I am big on!

Craft Idea of the Day: Gift Card Holder

Recycle toilet paper rolls into a Gift Card holder.
Approximate Time: 20 minutes


empty toilet paper roll
Scrapbooking paper scraps
about 30 inches of ribbon
Modge Podge
embellishments (letter or flowers)


Flatten a toilet paper roll. Measure length and width. Cut 2 pieces of scrapbook paper the length and width of the flattened paper roll. Adhere the 2 pieces of paper to the toilet paper roll (one on each side, covering the roll) Adhere your ribbon to the paper roll so that it will secure the gift card at the bottom. You should able to tie a bow at the top. Embellish by adding additional papers, a greeting, flowers, etc. Insert gift card and tie a bow at the top.

By Melissa from Down South

Ok, so yesterday while at the hospital with my mother, the Dietician came to visit and was talking about proteins and snacks and sugar levels and such. I actually learned a few things I didn’t know. Food always seems to enter my life on a daily basis in some way, shape, or form. I was trying to do some research on the type of “diet” that was discussed and I came across this recipe… keep in mind I have not tried this, but it has 326 positive reviews so use it at your own discretion!

Cabbage Fat Burning Soup


5 carrots, chopped
3 onions, chopped
2 (16 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
1 large head cabbage, chopped
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 (15 ounce) can cut green beans, drained
2 quarts tomato juice
2 green bell peppers, diced
10 stalks celery, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth


Place carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, green beans, peppers, and celery in a large pot. Add onion soup mix, tomato juice, beef broth, and enough water to cover vegetables. Simmer until vegetables are tender. May be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Here are some of the reviews this recipe got:

I would recommend NOT making alterations to this soup because the purpose of the set recipe is to lose weight. I did lose weight when I made this (it was for a vacation), and it tasted great!! I checked with a local hospital, and they said this recipe is used for overweight patients to get them to lose weight rapidly to prepare for surgery. I would recommend this recipe to anyone!

I've been making this for my boyfriend for about three months now. The only thing I do different is to add ground turkey. He eats a light breakfast of whatever he wants, a light sandwich for lunch and the soup for dinner. He likes to add some heat in the form of Tabasco or different dried peppers as it heats on the stove EVERY NIGHT. He's lost over 50 pounds! I'm sick of making it, but if it's working and he's enjoying it, I'll keep a pot of it in the fridge.

Found this "diet" and decided to try it. The weight just went away! It does get a little boring... But it's tasty and painless; think about adding different spices and/or herbs to the soup to vary it... chili powder, curry, etc. Now, I *did* have to change the way I had lunch once I lost the weight... No more fast food breakfasts and lunches (except for the occasional emergency...), trying to get out and walk a bit a few times a week at lunch... But it did get the weight off and-- with my revamped lunch hour-- kept it off.

So there you have it… take it as you will. Just be careful in whatever you choose to do as far as weight loss, etc. As for me, I think stress, the lack of appetite, and running around like a crazy woman HAD to burn off a few calories… at least I hope so LOL! I’m off of here for today… gonna head straight up to the hospital after I drop off the kids and spend most of the day with mom… at least til it’s time to pick up the kids! Be safe, healthy, and happy today. HUGS!


  1. see...... I TOLD YOU !!!!! broke your foot ????
    oh dear , what am I going to do with you lol
    get out the ice bag and cool away.

    are you going to try to grow garlic like it said in your notes today?
    I bought some johnny jump up seeds today to start... cheaper them buying plants... everything is sooo expensive here.
    i LOVE johnny jump ups re: violas
    making meatloaf for supper.. I make it and DH has HIS way... he was going to make it but got busy so he wants me to make it BUT... BUT his way lol with green peppers way more ketsup than i put in and he used ground up crackers ansd I use bread crumbs.. and he kneeds that poor meat so long,... my mom always said not to play with it to much... oh well, what can I say, he thinnks he knows how to make it and so do I lol
    BE CAREFUL and rest too

  2. What a great idea for a gift card envelope! This is so cute and clever... I hope you don't mind, I just couldn't help but feature your cute gift card cover on my toilet paper roll craft round-up hub here:

    Thank you so much for sharing!

    P.S. The fat burning cabbage soup looks very tasty.. I may have to try this :)