10.29.2013

The BIG Get a L.I.F.E {Lesson in Frugal Economics} 2014 Announcement is Coming Up!

Contain yourself or maybe not, shout it from the rooftops better yet! Get a L.I.F.E is coming back for 2014 and is is Bigger and BETTER! I can't leak too many details yet because there is going to be a reveal on Facebook in November.
This year though the attendee will get to choose all of their classes
The topics are going to be more focused on practical everday savings
Plus there will be plenty of swag and giveaways.

Heres the flyer from last year

If you don't already like us Facebook here's your chance:)




10.23.2013

Just A Few of My Favorite (MONEY SAVING) Things!

With our lovely Nifty Thrifty Lady taking care of her sick little ones (while trying to not get sick herself), she asked me to post on any topic I wanted. Oh jeesh, my mind went crazy! I used to post on retail deals but figured that we could use a break from thinking about shopping for the cold, winter season. Then I wondered about the upcoming holiday season and realized I didn't want to think about that yet, at least not until Halloween was over. So I poured myself a glass of iced tea and realized how much I LOVED my infuser I have and it lead me to sharing a few of the items around the house that I would not want to live without. Items that in the end save money!

So let's begin-

Fruit Infusion Water Pitcher

I will be honest this piece sat in my cupboard for about 3 months because I just couldn't think of what to do with it. I love fruit infused water but always forgot to pick up the fruit at the store, and I quite honestly didn't want a whole pitcher of it! So I decided to try making tea in the pitcher. AMAZING! I use 5 Lipton bags in the infuser portion and let it sit for about 3 hours. I add my sugar/splenda and then put it in the fridge. My husband said it's the best tea he has ever tasted (Thanks, Honey!).

How does this save money? Well, instead of buying the pre-made bottles of tea which can cost upwards of $1 each or buying an iced tea maker ($20-$25), you can purchase this pitcher for about $15.

 ROKU

The Living room holds lots of activities- a playroom for my 1 year old, the entertainment room for my husband and I, and a spare bed for guests. This multifunctional room holds one item that I was hesitant about buying but has saved us TONS of money!

The Roku is a tiny little box that allows you to stream "channels" right to your TV. When we moved from Florida to PA, my husband and I decided to do away with cable because it was ridiculously priced and we wanted to spend more time outdoors. So, the research guru my husband is, found the Roku. It has channels like PBS, Disney, Netflix, Amazon, FOX news, etc. Some are free and some you pay for. We have Amazon Prime (which I will elaborate more on later) and can stream TV shows and movies straight to our television. So, we have been cable-less for about 6 months now. I do miss my television shows but at the same time we have discovered some amazing new shows we can watch from the beginning!

How does this save money? Obviously, no monthly cable bill! Our average bill would have been close to $40 extra a month which equals about $480 a year on cable. Instead we spent $90 for the Roku at Best buy. We have amazon prime which costs $89 annually or $7.50 a month. We can upgrade to Netflix as well for just streaming for $4 a month. You do the math. It was a hard choice but one we are reaping the benefits from!


My last item that I absolutely love is the....

Squooshi Pouches

These reusable pouches take the place of pouches like the go go squeeze pouches. There are lots of options in the reusable pouches field so find what option you like. We chose the Squooshi for 3 reasons.
1. My son loves the animals on them. There are monkeys, birds, penguins, etc. He laughs and smiles every time I give him one.
2. The reviews were phenomenal. They come in different sizes for different sized hands (2.5 oz and 4.5 oz), they didn't leak, and were easy to clean.
3. They were reasonably priced for what I was getting.

I used to buy 2 boxes of Go-Go squeeze at the grocery store a week which ended up costing about $20 a month. I paid $18 for the pack of 4 reusable pouches. In one month the pouches paid for themselves. Now I only pay for the apple or applesauce or yogurt that I want to put in them which is significantly less!

Finally a website I will recommend- Amazon Prime.

When we were preparing for Christmas last year we found this thing called Amazon Prime. I am always skeptical when my husband says he found something awesome online... I usually ask "how much is this costing us?" But this site has been amazing. Amazon Prime is through amazon.com but has added benefits like Free 2 day shipping. Alone last year we saved a ton on shipping costs just by shopping from Amazon. If you want to upgrade to overnight shipping it costs $3.99 and if you decide you don't care when the item gets to you then you can downgrade to the regular shipping and get a credit to the online streaming of movies and TV. I would definitely recommend checking it out if you are an online shopper!

What are your favorite items around the house and are they items that could help others save money?!

Thanks for reading!



10.18.2013

Family Friendly Meal: Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Potatoes

On The Nifty Thrifty Lady I try to bring you the most bang for your buck! So I thought I would share with you Family Friendly Recipes...this means the whole family will like it, the serving size is big enough to feed a larger family and the dish can be prepared in under 10 minutes for under $5.00!


 Smoked Sausage with Peppers and Potatoes

Ingredients:
Olive Oil- Pantry Item
Green/Red Peppers (really any that you have on hand) -$1.00 a piece
Potatoes - .33 a piece if you buy a bag of cooking potatoes
Smoked Sausage- $2.50-$3.00
Salt and Pepper to taste- Pantry Item

 


To Prepare:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Chop all ingredients about the same in size (this helps everything cook evenly and at the same rate)
  3. Place ingredients in a large bowl, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and I like to use Mrs.Dash as well
  4.  Pour onto a large baking sheet covered in foil (easy clean up!)
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy and brown
I like to serve this with some rice and everyone loves it!














10.09.2013

The Nifty Thrifty Lady's Monthly Meal Plans

I am always getting these questions " How do you plan your meals on such a small budget?" or "how do you plan for a whole month based on sales?".

Well curious minded friends I reveal all today!

Okay it is really NOT that big of a deal. I will not be pulling rabbits out of a hat. Hopefully though I will guide some people in the right direction.

First a disclaimer! WARNING!! BEWARE! This type of meal planning may not work for everyone AND my family does not have any special dietary needs so we can eat whatever (wait does uber picky eaters count?!).

Here is my October meal plan:

Lets look first at the Highlighted sections:
This idea I can not take credit for! Our co-contributor Stephanie came up with the idea and I stole it because it works!!
My highlighted sections are for
  • Special events- times when we will not be home for a meal, vacations, birthdays ect I also write the special event out at the top of the day because sometimes this can sway you from making a 4 course dinner to just popping in a pizza!
  • Freezer meals- More on this later
  • Eat out- I try to plan when we eat out so it can be budgeted for each month
Now you will notice that I plan for three meals a deal. Yup that is right I plan all meals and have rotating snacks! It is so much easier when I am in zombie mood each morning to know Monday is muffin mornings. Not to mention when you know what you are eating you know what you need to have on hand or buy at the grocery store. In return when you spot a great deal on muffin mix you know you can pick it up.This is how I create a stockpile and am able to shop the sales each month. So essentially I shop each month only for perishable items, bread and diary, and items to maintain my stockpile not what I am out of and need.

The next thing to look at is that each day is a "theme" well Monday-friday at least. This helps those that are less creative or those that need to know how much meat to purchase.
 My themes are:
Meatless Monday
Beef Tuesday
Leftover Wednesday
Chicken Thursday
Pork Friday
Saturday is a whatever day
Sunday we normally each dinner at my in-laws where I provide dessert.

I have my days set up like this because I typically cook 1 lb of meat when I prepare a dish. I know in one month then I will you 4 lbs of ground beef, chicken breast, and pork chops.  Now when the next sale at the butcher's happens I will buy the max amount allowed and have meat for about 3 months.

Finally lets look at the orange highlighted  areas. These are freezer meals. I like to created freezer meals for days when I am sick or I am just not in the mood for whats on the menu. This limits the impulse to order pizza or grab fast food!
I do freezer meals a little differently then most I think. I like to make a double batch of one meal each week and use the additional recipe as a freezer meal. It seems simpler to me and a lot less costly to double a recipe once a week instead of making 20 meals one day. I also pre-make lots of breakfast food and freeze to save time in the mornings and lots of money!

This is my grocery list for the month:

The meat is 1lb of each so I can make the additional freezer meal ( you should not re-freeze meat)
in additon to this I will buy milk, oj, tuna, water, coffee, capri sun, jello packets, and we need whole peppercorns. Plus diapers and a few hygiene products at CVS.
That is about it.

So I can EASILY stay with in my $150.00 budget.

I hope this has helped and answered some questions about how I meal plan.

Let me know if you have any questions, comments or even ideas on how to make this better!





10.06.2013

How to Save on the Holidays Part 2 - Decorations

The Holidays just wouldn't be the same without neighborly competition on which house shines the brightest, or would it? Part 2 of How to Save on the Holidays is a little reality check! Decorations that are simple and sophisticated are just as beautiful but, most of all, save you money. Check out my video on 4 ways to save on Holiday decorations.



10.03.2013

What's on Sale in October?



Here is a quick run down of things to keep your eyes open for this month! All of the items could potentially be at their lowest price point, and when combined with a coupons or found on clearance, you can score even better deals! YAY!

Halloween Items: Candy, pumpkins, decor,

Baking items: Flour, sugar, yeast, chocolate chips, ect

National Seafood Month: If you like seafood stock up this month
 
Breast Cancer Awareness: Specials and promos running on "Pink" products

Columbus Day Sales: Keep an eye out for these sales, sometimes this is the best time to purchase a new vehicle!

Clearance items-Summer Dress, Summer decor, Halloween candy, Halloween or Fall Decor

Remember your In Season Produce:
Apples
Runner Beans
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Kale
Leeks
Potatoes
Spinach

 Let me know if you typically find anything else on sale in the month of October!