Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mommy Tips...Frugal Snack Time

Another plus side to frugality as a mommy has popped up. I've started to make a few things at home rather than buy them at the store, not only saving money, but I know what is in things plus it turns out to be very environmentally friendly!

Once I had my boys, I started paying more attention to what we were putting in (and on) our bodies. And even before, when I was pregnant. Certain things started going the way of a desolate, deserted road.

No more artificial sweeteners, less processed food (single ingredients, or at least ones that I could pronounce!), no more butter substitutes, as few artificial colors as possible...

In that quest, I discovered how wonderful Pinterest can be for all things DIY (I'm currently researching a pallet project).

Here is one of my favorite recipes that I've added my own twist to. At my house, chewy trail mix granola bars are like gold. For a busy mommy (especially while breastfeeding!), a quick, healthy snack is a must. Plus, my husband takes them to work, or as a on the go snack!


1/3 cup honey
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups quick oats
1/2 cup crisped rice cereal
1/4 flax seeds
1/2 sliced or crushed almonds
Generous dash of coarse sea salt
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 chopped dried cherries
1/2 raisins
1/4 mini chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate
Coconut oil (to "grease" the pan)

1.) Preheat oven to 350.
2.) Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place oats, flax seed, and almonds on, evenly.
3.) Bake for five minutes, stir. Continue baking for five minutes, lightly toasting to a golden brown (not too dark)

4.) In medium bowl, mix cherries, raisins, rice cereal, salt, almond extract, and vanilla extract.

5.) In small heavy sauce pan, combine honey, brown sugar, and butter on medium heat until sugar dissolves.

6.) Pour warm, toasted oat mixture into bowl with cherries, etc. Use the foil to line your baking/brownie pan. Lightly grease with coconut oil.

7.) Carefully pour in warm honey mixture, stirring to ensure everything getsvcoated. Add in almost all chocolate (I like to save some to press into the top as well). Don't worry about the chocolate melting, it will help with the chewy factor!

8.) Spread mixture evenly into lined baking pan. Use a bit of the coconut oil on the back of a spatula and PRESS DOWN EVENLY. The better you press, the better the stay together factor. Press in remaining chocolate.

9.) Refrigerate for two hours. Cut into bars. Store in an airtight container for about a week and a half. If they last that long!

I personally love all the bits that fall off...perfect for greek yogurt.

Keep in mind, the possibilities are endless. Use whatever extras you like! I used coconut flax granola, dried berries with white chocolate...the best part is the cost. We would spend eight to ten dollars a we spend that in a month!!


posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Frugal Mommy Tip: Off Season Savings

Frugal doesn't mean cheap. It means your smart. One of my favorite tips for a stay at home mommy to be a money saving, frugal, SMART mommy is to buy off season.

For example, the two weeks after holidays such as Christmas, Halloween, even Valentine's Day are real bargain hunting extravaganzas.

Just last week, as I was checking off the everyday items from my grocery list, I spotted the final markdowns of random Christmas baking novelty mixes. Marshmallow rice crispy tree kits ($4.50 now $.25!!), ugly sweater sugar cookie kits ($3.99 now $.50), ninja gingerbread men cookie kit ($3.99 now $.50), and red velvet cake ball kit ($3.99 now $.50). So, for $4.25, I now have two red velvet cake mixes, two cookie kits, and five bags of rice crispy cereal/marshmallows, plus white chocolate wafers, red and green candy wafers, and two ziplocs full of decorating items.

Red velvet will be perfect for Valentine's Day, especially considering the ugly sweater sugar cookies came with heart sprinkles. And, the rice crispy cereal will become treats, or breakfast and cups of marshmallow filled cups of cocoa!

Not too bad, if I do say so myself.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Stay At Home Mommy Tips (aka frugal doesn't mean cheap)

You know the stories...they tell you how to save money/make money/maybe even plant a money tree as w stay at home mom. The title makes it sound so easy, like snapping your fingers or clicking your heals together. More often than not, the link leads you to another link, which leads to yet another...possibly to buy the amazing ebook that, if you just dish out $9.99 or thereabouts.

Which is a case of Up & Up baby wipes.

Not this mommy.

Three years ago, I left a well paying retail management position for a company that I loved, but more often than not, came home after a ten hour day bawling my eyes out. Once I had my son the mantra I had repeated to myself suddenly made sense.


I chose to stay home. It hasn't been easy. My husband and I had just purchased our newest house while still owning our first one (yay two mortgages) and had planned major renovations, plus we now had baby boy to supply diapers, wipes, new clothes, etc, to.


But, while everything hasn't been perfect, I've learned so much. And, for the most part, I'm happy. (No one is happy all the time. If they tell you they are, they're lying to make themselves feel and look better.)

So, I've decided to help others with their choice, no gimmicks. Easy stuff. Little things, that together, can make bigger things happen.

Here is number one.

The great closet clean our , clutter cutting, make a few pennies time.

You've seen it, either on the blogosphere or even the Today Show. We don't use seventy percent of what is in our closet. And, my closet has had many years of mindless spending to gather useless items.

Most people suggest a keep, donate, and throw away pile. I don't.

Try a keep, donate, and sell pile.

The goal is to make "Stay At Home Mommy" work for you, right? So, yes, donate. These are the things that you've kept that aren't in fabulous condition or so out of style, no one will want them. Most places will take anything, because they either use it (like shelters), sell it (Goodwill), or make something of it to sell (like rags to industrial companies). And try not to forget animal shelters for your old towels, blankets, etc.

Then, take a long hard look. What do you really wear? I have cute tops, skirts, etc, that just sit there. Besides my everyday comfies, jeans, and the usual go to pieces, I have my feel good clothes. Those I wear, but on special occasions and they make me feel fabulous.

Then, there's everything else.

Big job, I know. But, you don't have to do it all at once. In fact, if you have days like I do, that would be impossible, even in jammies and skipping showers!

I use handle bags that I've collected and can't bring myself to pitch or recycle to separate my piles and organize them. Then, the real fun begins.

There's a few different routes you can go to sell your gently used, beautiful dust collectors.

Resale shops. I don't go this way often, only because I can cut out the middle man. But if time is of the essence, resale is easy and fast. Plus, you can check out what they have. The drawback, besides the little bit you leave on the table not selling yourself, is that these places only want the really current and in like new condition things.

Garage sales. Deal hunters will clean you out. For a deal. Plus they are seasonal. But, if you have a house to declutter or friends to co-host, definitely worthwhile. Bonding over money...sounds fun to me!!

Facebook groups. My local community has a sell your stuff group that I joined. You set the price and pick-up (meet at your place or somewhere).

My favorite, though? EBay. You list, take pictures and describe (the more, the better!!) your items, and then just wait. The audience is bigger, and you can ship and list when the little ones are napping or on the weekends. Plus, if you time it, you can ship a few things all at once. Just do your research on pricing (auctions vs did price), really accurate descriptions, and shipping costs. I usually pre-package items and mark what they are so I can easily ship once they sell.

Go forth, cut the clutter, and make a few dollars.

I am.

posted from Bloggeroid