Thursday, August 19, 2010


Good morning everyone and welcome to The Frugal Mom! I'm your host, Renee, and I am elated you could join us this morning! So how are you my friend? I'm doing good... excited to wake up and breathe in a new day! But I am very sad this morning. My little Rescue bunny has passed away during the night. My mom consoled me this morning and she made alot of valid points that are helping me cope. I gave the bunny probably more time than she would have had if I had left her with that bad lady, and I raised as a housepet which most rabbits are outside stuck in a outside cage. I seriously think Rescue thought she was a cat LOL! She snuggled up to you like a cat, she ran around the house and played like a cat, and she even ate constantly... just like my cats LOL! So I can rest well knowing I gave her a good life. DH buried her by my window this morning so she can be close to momma. R.I.P. Rescue... you will be missed.

Now as you see on the title, today is National Root Beer Float Day! YUM! I remember when mom would make us big old glasses of this frothy fave when we were younger and boy was it good. The fizzles in your mouth from the chemical reaction of the ice cream and the soda were just OMG-fun! The ice cream soda, float (United Kingdom, Canada, United States and East Asia), spider (Australia and New Zealand), brown cow (Hong Kong) or black cow (Brazil) is a beverage that consists of one or more scoops of ice cream in either a soft drink or a mixture of flavored syrup and carbonated water. In the United Kingdom cream soda was named that as it was traditionally served with a dollop of ice cream floating in it making ice cream soda. The tiny bubbles of air present in the soda cause the ice cream to float and are nucleation sites for the formation of large bubbles of carbon dioxide. This gives the beverage a "foamy head" similar to a beer head. Also known as a "black cow"or "brown cow", the root beer float is traditionally made with vanilla ice cream and root beer, but can also be made with other flavors.

In the United States and Canada, the chain A&W Restaurants are well known for their root beer floats. The definition of a black cow varies by region. For instance in some localities, a "root beer float" has strictly vanilla ice cream; a float made with root beer and chocolate ice cream is a "chocolate cow" or a "brown cow." In some places a "brown cow" was made with cola instead of root beer.

In 2008, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group introduced its Float beverage line. This includes A&W Root Beer, A&W Cream Soda and Sunkist flavors which attempt to simulate the taste of their respective ice cream float flavors in a creamy, bottled drink.

The origin of the name "black cow" has always been of interest to food and beverage experts and allegedly dates to August 1893 in Cripple Creek, Colorado. The only source of this story is the great-grand-nephew of Frank J. Wisner, who has popularized it through advertising on his soft drink products and website. Wisner, owner of the Cripple Creek Cow Mountain Gold Mining Company, had been producing a line of soda waters for the citizens of the then-booming Cripple Creek gold mining district. He had been trying to create a special drink for the children of Cripple Creek and came up with an idea while staring out at his properties on Cow Mountain on a moonlit night. The full moon's glow on the snow capped Cow Mountain reminded him of a dollop of vanilla ice cream floating on top of his blackened Cow Mountain. As he told the story later, he was inspired by this view to hurry back to his bar and add a big scoop of vanilla ice cream to the one soda water he produced that the children of Cripple Creek seemed to like best - Myers Avenue Red root beer - and served it the very next day. The drink was an instant hit. Originally named "Black Cow Mountain", the local children shortened this to "black cow". Wisner was known to say many times in his later years that if he had a nickel for every time someone ordered a black cow, he'd have been a rich man.

Alright, time to be frugal! I found this article and thought to myself "OMG are people really paying for some of these things?" But on the other hand, there are 2 things I am quite guilty of on this list as well... books and pets LOL and I'm NOT willing to change it! LOL! However, many people DO pay for most or all of these and I wanted to show you the waste and lack of frugality in it... so here ya go!

15 Things You Shouldn't Be Paying For
by Phil Taylor

So much money and energy is wasted on things we could get for free. If you're into new, shiny things and collecting stuff, this is not for you. But if you want less clutter in your life and want to keep more of your money, then check out these 15 things you shouldn't be paying for.

Basic Computer Software -- Thinking of purchasing a new computer? Think twice before you fork over the funds for a bunch of extra software. There are some great alternatives to the name brand software programs. The most notable is OpenOffice, the open-source alternative to those other guys. It's completely free and files can be exported in compatible formats.

Your Credit Report -- You don't have to pay for your credit report. You could sign up for one of the free credit monitoring services online to get a quick look at your credit report. You just have to remember to cancel the service before the end of the free trial. Or you could do one better and visit, the only truly free place to see all three of your credit reports for free once a year.

Cell Phone -- The service plan may be expensive, but the phone itself doesn't have to cost a thing. Most major carriers will give you a free phone, even a free smart phone, with a two-year contract.

Books -- There's a cool place in your town that's renting out books for free: the library. Remember that place? Stop by and put your favorite book on reserve. And if you don't feel like getting out, visit and find your books there (small shipping fees apply).

Water -- Besides the monthly utility bill, there's no reason to shell out $1 for every bottle of water you drink. Bottled water is so last decade anyway. We're over it, and into tap, filters, and reusable water bottles. It's cheaper for you and better for the environment.

Credit Card -- With as many credit cards as there are available on the market today, it's easy to avoid a credit card with an annual fee. Unless you're dead set on a particular perk that a fee card brings, skip the annual fee card and pocket that money yourself.

Debt Reduction Help -- Speaking of credit cards, if you're in over your head with credit card help, there are many free sources you can turn to for help with your debt. No one is going to be able to magically wipe away your debts, but there is help out there that will set you up on a debt reduction plan you can handle. Start with a visit to the National Foundation for Credit Counseling.

Basic Tax Preparation -- If your tax situation isn't that complicated, then you should probably be preparing your own tax return using one of the many free online services. It's now common for e-filing to be free as well with many services. You won't even need a stamp.

The News -- Leave it to a blogger to try and kill off traditional print. I'm not anti-newspaper. I just don't find them practical anymore. Skip the daily .50 cents and get your news online. And for you dedicated coupon clippers, you can get most of your Sunday coupons online now too.

Budgeting Tools -- There are many budgeting tools (both online and desktop) that offer up the service for free. Don't ask me how they do this, but who cares. If you're looking to reign in some of your spending, the good news is you can do it for free.

Pets -- This is a controversial one, I know. But there are likely many pets down at your local animal shelter that could use just as much love as the pure-bred types. There may be a small fee due to the shelter for shots and basic care, but you'll have your pet home without paying a mini-fortune.

Shipping -- If you like to buy online, you probably use coupons to get a percentage off of your purchase. Take your skills to the next level and look for coupons or promotion codes that offer free shipping. If in doubt, visit a site like

Checking Account -- Isn't it nice when a bank takes your money, lends it out to earn money, and then has the audacity to charge you for the service? What a joke. Checking should be free. If yours isn't free then move to one of the many banks that offers a checking account for free. And the same can be said for ATM fees, teller fees, and checks.

DVD Rentals -- Did you know that you can rent DVDs from RedBox locations for $1 a night? And better yet, if you use one of the coupon codes from you can avoid the $1 charge. Free DVD rentals! Most libraries now have free DVD rental as well.

Exercise -- Skip the expensive gym memberships. Visit your local park for a walk or run. Do basic push-up and sit-up programs in your living room. Rent a workout DVD from the library. There are many free workout programs you can download online as well.

And then of course, yesterday was National Cupcake Day, so ya know the Frugal Mom was going all out and celebrating with a kitchen full of cool and crazy creations! This was the first one... instead of the layered clown, I made a hippie cake! French Vanilla cake with a Jamaican Rum frosting. It was really good LOL! I layered the cake colors like you do with the clown cake, but then I took a tooth pick and swirled them around in the cup to make the Tie Dye effect! Super trippy!

Then I made these super yummy BANANA cakes LOL! I made the cake batter and diced up some fresh banana to stir into the cakes. Then they were cooked to a golden brown and iced with 2 different flavors. The first was just a milk chocolate YUM! Then the second set, I cored and filled with molten caramel sauce and iced with a rich caramel icing. I had originally planned on usingi some caramel squares melted into this creation somehow, but it seems the Dh and kids must have found my candies! LOL!

Last but not least... the Butterscotch overload! Now normally I have issues with little butterscotch candies thanks to mom when I was 5 at Walgreens LOL, but today it called for them! I made a butterscotch flavored cake, cored and with a butterscotch filling, cream cheese icing, and a butterscotch syrup drizzle and disc on top for garnish. So if you don't like butterscotch, DON'T eat these! When I was trying to ice these, it was extremely hot in the kitchen (mid-day, oven on, 100 degrees outside, yea LOL) so my icing didn't want to set, but a few minutes in the fridge and we were good to go! Don't they all look just so yummy?!

Ok now for today's craft idea, I sought out something to make an item I saw at the mall this past weekend when the family went for a day out. They were pillow animals. Now these things have been around forever and even my kids used to have some. Well I thought how that would be a cool gift for a small kid, and seeing as some of my readers HAVE small kids, it would make a fairly inexpensive and cute Christmas gift! So I looked and I found one! Elizabeth over at Twelve Crafts Til Christmas blog made an amazing tutorial to make your own pillow buddy! Ya gotta click on over on the link because its a LONG tutorial and it has lots of great pictures too!

Craft Idea of the Day: Pillow Buddies

What you need for the body:

1 - 20 x 20 inch piece of microfleece, regular fleece or chenille
1 - 20 x 20 inch piece of microfleece, regular fleece or chenille with corners cut out in an arch shape
4 - arch-shaped pieces of contrasting fabric (These arches should be slightly bigger than the arches that were cut from the body piece.)
2 - 4 x 10 inch pieces of microfleece, regular fleece or chenille for the strap
2 - 3 inch pieces of hook and loop (Velcro)
extra microfleece, regular fleece or chenille for the tail

So tell me, are you enjoying this week's secret ingredient? BODACIOUS BANANA week is providing us with lots of potassium so our legs don't cramp up while dancing a jig cause we're excited over the great recipes LMAO! And today is no exception! Today I am gonna grill em! Yes... you heard me... GRILL them! WHAT? You've never had a grilled banana? OMG! Well check out this recipe for some Sizzlin' Summer Scrumptiousness!

Island Kabobs with Tropical Fruit Salsa


2 ripe, firm DOLE® Bananas, peeled, each cut into 6 pieces
1 ripe DOLE Banana, peeled and diced
12 chunks DOLE Tropical Gold® Pineapple
16 extra large or jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 green or red bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 DOLE Green Onion, minced
2 to 3 teaspoons minced jalapeño pepper


Thread banana pieces, pineapple, shrimp and bell pepper pieces equally onto skewers.
Whisk together lime juice, oil and allspice in small bowl. Brush 2 tablespoons over kabobs.

Combine remaining marinade with diced banana, mango, mint, green onion and jalapeño pepper; place in a serving dish.

Grill kabobs over medium high heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or until the shrimp are opaque.

Arrange the kabobs on top of the salsa.

Ok kids, got a couple of things to do this morning, including a phone interview, so I better get off here and get cracking! Then its hopefully some crazy sewing day. I had fun with you this morning and hope you will visit again tomorrow too! Be safe, have fun, and see you then... HUGS!


  1. Debbie "MOM"August 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    So sorry about the bunny Renee but you gave it a good home and it was very happy. All animals go to heaven and so did Rescue. R.I.P.
    Boy, those cupcakes are super sweet. Makes me want more. LOL You need to definitely make more. LOL I think I like the hippie cupcakes the best. Figures, huh? And then theres the root beeer floats....OMG! What are you trying to do to me? I am going to have to practice some serious restraint. LOL
    That was a very good article today. Just shows that there are a lot of free things out there if you just take time to look for them. I wish I had your patience when it comes to all that free, frugal, budgeting, rock bottom pricing, coupon redeeming, thrifty researching and seeking that you do. LMAO That was a mouthful of adjectives, wasn't it?
    That recipe looks interesting. The DH bought me a new grill yesterday, so maybe I can grill up some kabobs. LOL Its the coolest grill. Theres a propane fueled barrel side to grill in, then a separate barrel for cooking with charcoal or firewood, and then theres a smoke box on the right end for all that smoking and a side burner on the left end for that big pot of corn on the cob or beans that everyone likes to have with their BBQ. I love it. We are slowing replacing everything that got destroyed during Hurricane IKE and this was one of the things I miss the most. So thank you hubby if your lurking around on the blog today. LOL I never can tell these days.
    This day started early and seems like its creepy by very slowly so I think I will find something to do that will speed it up. Maybe some rock music and a cola. LOL Til next time.....

  2. OMG I'm so sorry for your loss. You were a good mommy so take heart she is in a better place. Your cupcakes look so good. I want to eat them all. And how do you find out these interesting day celebration things? It makes your blog fun. Take care.

  3. Ken "The Lurker Dad"August 19, 2010 at 9:00 PM

    Yes I am (lurk, lurk)!