Archive for the ‘Frugal’ Category

Guest Post: Cutting Back in the Kitchen

Tuesday, November 10th, 2009

Today’s fabulous guest post comes from Katie at goodLife {eats} who offered to share her thrifty cooking knowledge with my readers today! Thank you, Katie!

Like most families, our family has finally decided that the time has come for us to start cutting back. That mean fewer unnecessary purchases, buying more of just what we need and not everything we want. I was so inspired when I read about Amy’s No Spend Challenge at Something like that would take some serious working up to for me, but I think I’d like to take on the challenge at some point. Maybe for a week or two at a time before I work up to a full month.

For me, the hardest aspect of cutting back has been cutting back in the kitchen. Part of what I enjoy so much about cooking and eating is the process of making and trying a new recipe, a new ingredient, or a new flavor combination. Nobody wants to eat boring food, but trying new recipes costs money. It can mean buying new ingredients, not just using the inexpensive basics or what I have on hand. Once in a while I spend money on a new recipe and we decide it didn’t turn out to be something we cared for.

I’m not telling myself that I’m not allowed to try new recipes or buy new ingredients. But cutting back on just one meal a week would be a step in the right direction and can save a few dollars. Cooking at home is also less expensive. We don’t eat out a lot, but we eat out enough that we have decided that we are going to eat out less often to cut back. Just a few dollars saved from cutting back once a week and eating out less can really add up.

Once a week I have been trying to come up with a meal based on ingredients that I’ve already got on hand – that can mean leftover ingredients from other recipes I’ve made that week or simply items that I already have in my pantry and freezer. It also means learning even more about how to use spices and flavor accents to their highest potential. It means learning even more how to create interesting flavor combinations with what I’ve got. It means figuring out ways to adapt a recipe with the ingredients I have – figuring out acceptable substitutions instead of going to the grocery store to buy a missing ingredient.

What it doesn’t mean is eating old standbys over and over. It doesn’t mean eating boring food. It means being inventive – one night a week – with the ingredients I already have. Turning something basic into something more. And in the end, that is one of the things I love most about cooking. The being inventive and trying something new is what excites me. I’ve learned that the process doesn’t always have to cost money. I can learn to be inventive in a frugal way. I’ve learned that cutting back can be a challenge creatively, and the creative challenge is what interests me.

This week asparagus was super on sale. I had a few leftover spears from a large bunch I’d purchased for another meal. I also had a couple of carrots leftover from the Chicken Pot Pie I made the previous weekend. Stir fry is a great way to stretch out smaller amounts of protein and vegetables. After I had the main ingredients picked out I started to think about what sort of flavor combination I wanted for the sauce – the thing that would tie it all together. This meal turned out really simple, fast, and yummy. This week I learned to appreciate that cutting back can still be fun.

Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry in a Honey Ginger Sauce
a goodLife {eats} creation

* 1 large chicken breast
* 8-10 spears asparagus
* 5 green onions
* 4 carrots
* 1 clove garlic, minced
* 4 Tbs soy sauce
* 1/3 cooking sherry or chicken broth (or combination)
* 1/4 c honey
* 1 1/8 tsp dried ginger
* 1 Tbs cornstarch
* 1 Tbs sesame oil
* sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
* 2 c uncooked jasmine rice

Prepare the rice according to package instructions. Combine the soy sauce through the sesame oil in a medium sized container, mixing well. If the chicken is bone in and/or skin on, separate the chicken from the bone and/or skin. Cut chicken into small pieces, slicing it thin and against the grain. Having the chicken slightly frozen helps with cutting thin pieces. Stir the chicken into the sauce, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate it while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Wash and peel the carrots. Slice diagonally into bite sized rounds, about a 1/4 inch thick, set aside. Snap the ends off the asparagus. Cut each piece into quarters. Steam the carrots and asparagus together for 4 minutes. Remove immediately and dunk into ice water to stop the cooking process.

Heat a stir fry pan or other skillet over medium-high heat with a small amount of oil. Saute the garlic for 1 minute; remove and set aside. Turn the heat up to high. Add the chicken and sauce, stirring constantly until the chicken is cooked through. Add the steamed vegetables and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the green onion and cook 1 minute more. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

How do you cut back in the kitchen?

Fall ’09 Fashion: Pretty & Penny-Wise Must Haves

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009
photo credit: texantiff23

Guest Post by Ina S., Co-Founder of M641

With temps dropping fast and possibly budgets, given the recent round of back-to-school shopping, what’s a frugal fashion-forward mom to do? We picked some key trends straight from the runway that will actually work in your closet and your budget. Here are a few of our fave trends for Fall!

  • Faux – You’ll see faux leather, fur and reptile this season. Pick up a military inspired faux leather jacket or faux fur vest to pair with your favorite fitting jeans or a great pair of faux suede boots.
  • Draped Fabrics – Flowing draped fabrics are a must. And with cardigans everywhere this season, try yours oversized, and wear it belted or unbelted
  • Studs and/or Sequins – You are not going for the blingy look though! Try to think chic rocker-esqe.
  • Surrealism – Bring interest into your outfit by adding texture and intrigue. Find dreamy, earthy, artistic jewelry or accessories. Think of these pieces as conversation pieces!
  • Carry All Purses – Larger purses are in, but not those enormous ones. Conversely, clutches are also very on trend this season.
  • Graphic Tees – Use these pieces as a fun element to your wardrobe for layering. Look for screen print graphics that you connect with personally.
  • Color With Color – Mix purples, reds & gray for Fall 09. Shift your thinking about gray. It’s not drab…it’s classic. This Fall use it as your main backdrop then sprinkle in color by wearing a purple scarf and red nail polish.

Harness your inner rocker-chick while staying realistic in the overall outcome of your outfit. We love high-waisted (very slimming) leggings paired with a cool graphic tee or tank top and layered up with a swingy cardigan. Change up the look by belting the cardigan with a studded belt. The addition of cool sunglasses and a favorite “it” bag will help you achieve a trendy but functional Fall ensemble.

When seeking out your new Fall closet additions, a big consideration of course is cost. Another is making your dollar count for something. We put this inspiration board together for you featuring emerging and indie brands. Many of the brands featured here stand for more than just the latest trends. This Fall and Winter you may enjoy investigating lesser-known labels, and along the way find gems that are an extension of your own personality.

Whether you believe in going green, giving to a greater good or are most interested in looking good, remember to have fun and spend wisely!

1. Classic Fleur Tee $32.00 by Brooklyn Royalty on Smashing Darling 2. Colorful Leather studded bangles, set of 5 (could break up the set to give as gifts!) $46.00 by Michelle V’s jewelry on Smashing Darling 3. Beyond Basic Black Cardigan $42.99 by on ModCloth 4. Ceramic geode pod pendant $9.00 by Tabmade (Lori Phillips) on Etsy 5. Organic Cowl Neck Dress $70.00 on SPUN 6. Juliette Tassled Tote Bag $94 by Deux Lux on Moxsie 7. Faux Fur Elise Vest $47.99 on ModCloth 8. Vegan Bourbon Street Ankle Boots $49.99 on ModCloth 9. Freedom Waist Jacket by M641

9 Unique Ideas for Frugal Date Nights

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I never knew how creative I would have to be in order to squeeze in a little alone time with my spouse. We don’t get to escape as often as I would like and it is hard to find people you really love and trust enough to watch those that are most precious to you. Not only that, but teenagers sure seem to be a lot busier than they used to be! I am so thankful for the grandparents who offer to take our kiddos time and time again so we can get that time away.

With that in mind, I wanted to share with you some creative ideas for dating that will cost you little/no money and won’t even require paying a babysitter. These are the ideas that have worked for us through these years and I hope you can share some ways that you have found to creatively date your spouse when you are low on cash and sitters.

Book Club Night- My husband and I have started, what I jokingly refer to as, our “magical book club” together. I have been dying for him to read the Twilight series and he has been dying for me to read the Harry Potter series. We made a deal to exchange books and talk about them each night. Obviously, this is not intellectual material we are talking about, but I have to say that I am so enjoying every moment of this exchange.

You could also read the same series together or tackle a literary classic together. Better yet, reread those amazing books from your childhood. Have a book club night together instead of a night parked in front of the television.

Once we have finished the books though, we plan to have a screening night of the movies together too. I am wondering if I am pushing the envelope too much if I make my Edward cupcakes?

Engage in Conversation Starters- I think I know just about everything there is to know about my husband, especially since we have been together since we were teenagers. Conversation starter questions though can sometimes lead to some beautiful surprises of happy memories that we had never heard before. Look at these unique conversation starters, these sweet conversation starters, or this list of fun questions to get the ball rolling. My husband & I sometimes just ask each other questions in Facebook quizzes. Anything that gets you talking together is a great investment of your time!

Late Night Dinners- When our kids were really little, our time alone really felt few and far between. We would sometimes shift our dinner hour until after the kids went to bed to enjoy a romantic and quiet dinner together. I would put table linens on the table, break out the beautiful dishes and stemware, and make a fancy dinner that the grocery budget would not be able to normally accommodate. After all, you are still staying in so there is still a great savings in that!

Don’t be afraid to move your dinner somewhere else in the house. Sometimes I would set up a folding table and chairs and dress it up in a different area of the home or put a fancy spread out on the coffee table with a fun movie. In those long days of newborn feedings and diaper changes, this little change in location was really something to look forward to.

Game Time- My husband & I are both very competitive so we love to play games together after the kids head to bed. For outdoor games, we love a good badminton match and for indoor games we love a good board game challenge or a fun game of Wii bowling. Challenge each other to a match and feel free to indulge in childish behavior to escape the reality of adulthood.

Dollar Store Extravaganza- This is something that I have planned for the two of us as a fun date night idea. Just make a small budget of $10 or less and challenge each other to a contest to see who you can come up with the most creative gift from the dollar store for each other. You can really put a lot of creativity into this and it will be a fun exchange to do after the kids go to bed. See if your husband really knows what your favorite candy in the world is and he can see if you know how to pick a great book for him or what type of puzzle book would be a fun one.

Enjoy Some Time By the Fire- After the kids go to bed, we love to start a little fire in our fire pit and sit by it together. We are finding it is a great way to unwind and have some time to discuss the day together. Make some s’mores and snuggle up under a blanket together. If you have a fireplace, you can do the same thing with some cocoa in your warm house on a wintry night.

Plan an Anniversary Getaway- I decided awhile ago to begin putting money into a separate savings account for our ten year anniversary. At the time, we were really penny-pinching, but $25 a month didn’t seem like a ton of money so it has been automatically transferred every month for our anniversary getaway.

I swear that we talk about this (at least) once a month. Even though there is just $1,000 saved, we have come up with a zillion places we could go to and have been number-crunching to see how much we will have from making this tiny investment each month.

Sitting around and just planning a vacation can be so much fun together. It is such a fun way to spend your time, imagining the places you will go and talking about how quickly we are approaching our big anniversary.

Make it more fun by challenging each other to plan the best anniversary getaway package. You could each research and put together your own vacations and then sit down together and see who came up with the best ideas for the least amount of money. File it away for future reference when you actually do to get to go on that getaway.

Exchange Babysitting With a Friend- I am really lucky because if I really want to go out with my spouse, I can call up my sister and ask if we can do a babysitting exc
hange. If you have a good friend that you can exchange babysitting with and trade nights out, then you get great care for your kids without having to shell out any money.

While you are enjoying some time alone, you can still enjoy the frugal things in life. Some of my favorite date nights are hitting a movie at the second-run theater, packing up a picnic dinner and taking it somewhere with a view, lounging around Barnes & Noble looking for home improvement inspiration, or even enjoying an evening at home without the kids.

If your spouse can take off work, use a vacation day and try and plan your date during the day. You can take advantage of cheaper matinee rates and even affordable meals out at restaurants because of the earlier hour.

Start a New TV Series- Now that I have given you lots of ideas that don’t involve the television, I think I can bring up an idea that does. I love to pick up a new television series together, particularly in the summer months when nothing good is really on television. You can rent these using a movie membership or check on Hulu or the network websites to watch a series. Try looking for an older series that you have never seen before and watching it for the first time. On our list of never seen television- Lost, 24, and House. We also love to watch rerun sitcoms and relive all those funny moments all over again and watch Friends, Everybody Loves Raymond, & That 70′s Show just for laughs.

I don’t mean to brag, but this man of mine is awesome! He works a full-time job AND manages to run all of the programming on this website too. I am willing to set aside as many fun & free nights as I can to hang out with him. Even when times were very lean, we have found creative ways to spend time together. I know we both benefit from it and so do our children!

What is your favorite budget-friendly date night activity? Please share your creative and unique ideas for keeping the romance alive!

The Art of Stockpiling

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009
Photo Credit: aoneko

There are many ways to begin tackling the grocery budget and one of the most popular ways is the art of stockpiling items when doing your grocery trips. This method, also known as the “pantry principle” by loyal Tightwad Gazette readers, is a method of shopping that is meant to give you the best bang for your buck.

Let’s begin by discussing the methods that are commonly used when people are trying to save money on their grocery shopping and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Planner- I feel that this is the first place to start when you begin learning how to save money on your groceries. This is for shoppers who are going from shopping whenever and for whatever they want, to accomplishing a more disciplined form of shopping for only what you need and shopping with a plan. This shopper sits down and menu plans for the amount of meals that they will need and makes a list of the ingredients needed to accomplish their task. The amount of meals planned depends on the amount of times they shop per month and they buy only what they need to accomplish their menu plan goals for the week. This is an excellent place to start and a great way to learn how to buy only what you need and to avoid impulse shopping. Being a planner myself, this method fit our lifestyle for a long time and served its purpose in helping our family save money. Unfortunately, planners focus more on the plan than the sale so this can sometimes be the most expensive option next to shopping without a plan at all. While this shopper has great meal ideas, they buy the ingredients possibly at premium prices and pay more to accomplish their plans then other types of shoppers.

The Flier Shopper- This method of shopping is the next step up and is another great way to save money. This shopper is excited when their weekly fliers and coupons arrive because this determines exactly what they will be eating for the week. Let’s say that chicken is at a bargain-basement price of $1.19 per pound. This shopper will plan a meal around everything they can make with that chicken and out of other ingredients that are featured in the flier. Their meals will consist of items made mostly from sale ingredients and they keep their grocery budget low by planning meals that fit with the sales advertisements and the items that they can get with their coupons. This shopper is still a planner, but their menu plans are created solely around sale ingredients.

The Stockpile Shopper- This way of shopping requires less initial planning and more planning after your food has already been bought. This shopper focuses on stockpiling their pantry with food purchased at the lowest possible price. Grocery shopping then becomes all about keeping your pantry stocked and not about a menu plan really at all. Let’s say that diced tomatoes are marked down to $.29 a can. This shopper would run out and buy twenty cans of diced tomatoes because they know that this is the lowest possible price based on their price book. This shopper has carefully tracked prices and they know that this deal only comes around every three months so they stock up until the next sale, calculated to happen three months later. This shopper looks at all the items that they have bought and figures that they can have a delicious spaghetti sauce, a pizza with a homemade red sauce, and the family’s favorite casserole…that all just happen to use diced tomatoes in their recipe.

Do you want to be a stockpile shopper? Here are some steps for beginning this process:

1. Sit down and make a list of the foods that you eat regularly. If you were formerly a planner, you should have some menu plans that you can take a look at. Write down these ingredients into a notebook and the prices that you normally pay for these items.

2. Cut coupons to go along with your items to gain even more savings to your stockpile. Utilize a free service like to learn when to use your coupons and to help you find the best deals to apply your coupons towards.

3. Next, begin tracking the ingredients in your sales fliers and begin stockpiling the items when they go on sale. Continue writing and tracking the prices as you go along and when you see a large dip in the pricing, stock up, and up, and up. Stockpile only as much as you can afford in the grocery budget to spend and what you really can eat. The first few weeks will be difficult and you may need to allocate some money to set aside for beginning your stockpile. Understand though that each week will get easier and allow for more breathing room in the budget. As the weeks progress, you will have built up the beginnings of a pantry and will need less and less ingredients, allowing for more room in the budget to stock up on future good deals.

4. Only stockpile what you truly can eat. Even if tuna is marked to a quarter a can, if you spend ten dollars on tuna and no one really likes tuna, you are wasting money and you are wasting space in your pantry. If you find you overbought on items, consider donating them to a food pantry or a shelter so the food is not wasted.

5. If you end up miscalculating how much of an ingredient you will need, you will have to plan your dinner around that missing ingredient. A Stockpile Shopper will refuse to buy spaghetti sauce, for example, unless their store runs that item on a buy-one-get-one free sale. If the shopper runs out of that ingredient, her family won’t eat spaghetti until the next sale or they will find a way to make sauce from other ingredients that have been stockpiled.

6. Some items just can’t be stockpiled like fresh fruits and vegetables. This is where I rely on my Flier Shopper instinct. If bananas are $.19 a pound, I would scoop up ten pounds for my family. I would eat them fresh until they got ripe and then mash the ripe ones for banana breads and muffins. Applying my good shopping instinct, I would pick the sale items and also pick fruits and vegetables that offer longevity over produce that only lasts a few days or could not be used past their duration (like in the bananas example). This is why I tend to gravitate towards carrots, celery, potatoes, bananas, and apples to fill the majority of our fresh fruit and vegetable quota. Once these run out, I would rely on my stockpile of dried fruits, canned fruits, and frozen vegetables to make up the difference until my next trip.

As you can see, stockpiling can really extend your grocery dollars and can be a fun way to approach grocery shopping.

Next week we will be discussing creative ways to store your stockpile! Many of us live in smaller spaces so we have to be more creative with storage.

Which type of shopper do you identify with? Do you stockpile?

Play It Again, Momma: 35 Ways to Reduce That Grocery Budget

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I wanted to bring back this entry because it really is the best showcase of all of our grocery saving advice on the site and on our blogs. If I could add only one tip, I would urge you to pull your fruit basket up so your child does not sink her teeth into each piece of fruit to stake her claim on it.

With grocery prices rising and package sizes shrinking, it can be difficult to stay within your grocery budget. Here are 35 steps towards improving your grocery budget and making the most of your money.

1. Buy the least expensive ground beef and rinse the meat instead to reduce the fat content.
2. Stop buying baby carrots and chop the carrots yourself.
3. Milk your milk budget by using powdered milk when the milk prices are too high.
4. Try making your own coffee syrups and coffee creamers to help save on your coffee expenses.
5. Dispose of the disposable items and switch to cloth napkins, washcloths, and and microfiber cloths to replace your paper napkins and disposable wipes.
6. Try making your own bread using a bread machine or making bread the good old-fashioned way.
7. Start keeping a price book to cash in on the best deals (you can download a free one here).
8. Take advantage of grocery delivery services or free in-store shopping services to help avoid impulse shopping.
9. Give wholesale club shopping a try for items that you use frequently, just be sure to use your price book to compare the prices.
10. Start making your own homemade cleaners.
11. Learn the art of stockpiling and create a system for storing your stockpile that works for your family.
12. Create a series of menu plans that you can rotate so you can make your grocery shopping easier and keep yourself under budget.
13. Try using coupons and utilizing free coupon services to help you score the best deals for your money.
14. Start gardening with simple foods that are easy to grow like tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, and squash.
15. Try canning items from your garden to help cut costs in the winter months.
16. Make your own baby food or find a way to buy it cheaper.
17. Give cloth diapering a shot! They have come a long way and can save you hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
18. Sign up for free samples of food and toiletry items. You will waste less money trying new items out and these samples can help get you by when times are more lean.
19. Make your own mixes instead of buying them.
20. Try shopping at a less expensive supermarket.
21. Bring your own grocery bags for a grocery bag credit at most supermarkets.
22. Shop at stores that will double your coupons.
23. Bring cash and a calculator instead of using your debit card. This will help you to stay on budget better.
24. Utilize a slow cooker so you can buy cheaper cuts of meats and use the slow cooker to tenderize them.
25. Try making your own condiments like pancake syrup, croutons, and salad dressings.
26. Take inventory in your fridge, pantry, and freezer before shopping to avoid buying repeat and unnecessary items.
27. Try replacing one evening meal with breakfast foods instead. Most brunch dishes are less expensive and you can omit or stretch meat in these dishes a lot further.
28. Instead of buying prepackaged bagged ingredients, try packaging your own ingredients once a week instead. It will help get dinner on the table faster and it will save you money in your grocery budget.
29. Make a homemade pizza instead of buying pizzas in the frozen section.
30. Schedule a day in your kitchen every week to make cooking easier and to help save on the cost of buying convenience foods.
31. Feed your freezer and/or give once-a-month cooking a try to save on time and money.
32. Eliminate meat or make one night a m
eat-free night.
33. Make snacks items convenient so you don’t have to buy the prepackaged goodies.
34. Buy and prepare whole chickens instead of buying chicken breasts as a meal or shred this meat for your casseroles.
35. Buy your meat in bulk.

Am I missing a tip? Feel free to share the ways you reduce your family’s grocery budget?

Play It Again, Momma: Finding Beauty in the Ordinary

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

When we moved into our house, one of the things that I really wanted to change about our house was the landscaping. There were, however, many more pressing concerns though that required our funds and attention- a leaking roof, a monstrosity of an air-conditioner, cosmetic updating that made the space more livable. All of these repairs have trumped the landscaping funds for now and we have been doing things little by little in our yard.

One of the things I have disliked the most though has been one of our side beds. It is filled to the brim with giant ferns. The ferns are enormous and I have to mow through them to cut the grass. I don’t find them all that attractive and they keep popping up in my other beds. Each year I have vowed that I am going to rip them out, but my efforts usually end up on other things and I forget about it…until the ferns pop up the next year.

When we had the original owner out to our house last summer, she commented how pleased she was to see those ferns there. They came from her father’s lake cottage and she brought some back each time she went. Her eyes were misty as she told me how happy she was to see each of those ferns there and she shared with me her happy memories of planting them and the summers with her dad. I began to see the ferns in a different light than I had before. To her, they were a thing of beauty and held wonderful memories of her family’s summers.

Last night I brought bunches of them in and started putting them in recycled single-size coffee jugs. They looked so pretty all fanned out that I started putting them in each room, adding a touch of green here and there. I marveled at how beautiful they were and how they added that little bit of life I needed to my living space.

Frugality is a lot like that though, isn’t it? Sometimes it takes seeing all that you have through another pair of eyes to appreciate all of the bounty you already possess. My yard was filled to the brim with vases of green and all I had to do was pick it from my own backyard. Yet, each year I grumbled about mowing around them, shaking my fist as more ferns popped up.

Sometimes it just takes someone else pointing out the beauty for you to appreciate the ordinary.

Simply Choosing Great Wines Resource List

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

We would like to thank Charlene, from My Frugal Adventures for sharing her wine expertise with us on MomAdvice Simplified.

Click above to listen to this episode at anytime or visit our sidebar on the left-hand side to listen to the episodes anytime throughout the week. These episodes are also available in iTunes format for you to take on the go!

Here are some of the resources that were highlighted in today’s episode:

Cheap, But Good (Wine That Is)- Charlene shares a lot of great information on buying inexpensive wine and how to spot those killer deals in your town!

Vinturi Essential Wine Aerator- This is one investment that Charlene recommends as a great way to aerate your wine. It makes even an inexpensive wine taste better.

Vacu Vin 3 Piece Wine Saver Set- Paired with the wine aerator, this would be a wonderful gift to give a wine drinker in your life. The Vacu Vin helps to keep a bottle of wine fresh for up to two weeks versus a couple of days.

Great Tastes Made Simple & Great Wine Made Simple- These are books that Charlene recommends on learning more about wine and pairing wine & food together.

Riedel Overture Red Wine Glasses- Charlene recommends this stemware which is widely available and will make any wine taste better. She spends more money on her glassware than on the wine itself so these would definitely add to your wine experience.

Wine- Two of the wineries that Charlene recommends sampling from are Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Bogle Vineyards.

Boxed Wines: An Eco & Wallet-Friendly Choice- This is my article and recommendations for sampling great boxes of wine. They have come a long way, believe me!

On next week’s show…

Nada! Would you like to be my guest on the show? We are looking for great guests to share ideas on simplifying processes for moms. I need you! Please email me at amy(at)momadvice(dot)com and tell me what you would like to talk about. Interviews can be pre-recorded to make it easier for our guests.

MomAdvice Simplified: Simply Choosing Great Wines

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

On MomAdvice Simplified, we will be joined by Charlene, from My Frugal Adventures, who will be sharing with us her tips on choosing a budget-friendly wine. Charlene has over nine years of experience in the wine industry and brings with that a lot of knowledge on how to spot the best deals on great wines, what pitfalls to watch out for when choosing a wine, and how to care for and store wine so it will last longer.

She is incredibly knowledgeable AND budget-savvy at the same time so I know it will be a great episode to listen to when choosing great wines that won’t break the bank! Best of all, she helped compile a really great resource list that will help you with a lot of your shopping!

I hope you can tune in! You can catch this podcast weekly at 2PM EST each Thursday afternoon!

Simply Great Jeans & T-Shirts Resource List

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

A huge thanks to Kathy Friend for joining us this week on our podcast. I would also love to thank you for all of your questions for Kathy. We tried to answer all of the questions that were submitted so please listen in if you have made a request!

Click above to listen to this episode at anytime or visit our sidebar on the left-hand side to listen to the episodes anytime throughout the week. These episodes are also available in iTunes format for you to take on the go!

Here are some of the resources that were highlighted in today’s episode…

Not Your Daughter’s Jeans- This is a great jean pick for women with curves. Although an investment, Kathy suggests looking at how many pairs of jeans you have that you are not wearing that have cost less and consider making one good investment into a pair of jeans that you can wear often and that will accentuate your curves.

T-Shirt Recommendations- Budget-friendly Mossimo Target T-Shirts are an inexpensive way to add some splash to your wardrobe. Other great t-shirt brands are linQ & Three Dots T-shirts.

IsABelt- Are your jeans gapping in the back? Are you in your early stages fo pregnancy and looking for a way to make your jeans fit properly? isABelt is the Original invisible belt, the MUST HAVE Fashion “fix-it” accessory. A thin, strong and flexible clear plastic belt, that virtually disappears when worn, providing you with the assurance that all is secure without even knowing it’s there. isABelt prevents back gap, slippage and of course, belt bulk and belt bulge. The isABelt solves all of these fashion issues and many more. If you would like to order one directly, please contact Kathy Friend for an order. She is selling these to help with funds for their adoption!

Swagbucks- This is my new way to earn cash towards my jeans & t-shirts this year. Sign-up for Swagbucks and simply use their search engine to search on the web, earning some great money for your shopping fixes. I signed up last week and have already earned $30 just doing my regular old searching.

Ebates- The shopping site that I would recommend everyone check before doing their shopping for your new summer clothes. Sign up today and you will earn an automatic $5 in your account for signing up. This site gives back a percentage on qualifying purchases. I always try to check here before doing any online shopping.

On next week’s show…

Next week we are joined by Trish Suhr, the amazing co-host of “Clean House” on the Style Network, to help offer us tips on keeping our homes in tip top shape. Trish has some great tips for making our homes the sanctuaries that they should be and offers valuable advice on ditching the clutter in our homes so we can truly enjoy it. Her cleaning tips will help you get back on track and we will be offering a great giveaway for our listeners sponsored by Pledge Multi Surface.

MomAdvice Simplified: Simply Picking the Best Jeans & T-Shirt

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

On MomAdvice Simplified, my weekly podcast for moms, I am very excited to share that I will be gabbing it up with my real-life friend & wardrobe coach, Kathy Friend. This podcast airs weekly at 2PM EST each Thursday.

I asked Kathy to join our show again, but to help guide moms into choosing the right jeans and t-shirts. Since becoming an at-home mom, my wardrobe mainly consists of these two key pieces and I thought it would be great to have her share which brands are the best and how to find the best cuts for our figures.

Kathy is going to share with moms how to pick the best jeans and t-shirts for your figure, but also find a look that is both flattering and comfortable. We will be discussing the best brands, how to get the best look for any budget, and what items to add to our jeans and t-shirt wardrobe to take them from day to night.

Do you have any questions about choosing the right jeans or t-shirt for Kathy? Please leave your questions here and I will be sure to get them worked into our discussion!