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Updated: 16 min 52 sec ago

How To Start Garden Seeds Indoors

Mon, 3/2/2015 9:20 AM
How To Start Garden Seeds Indoors
How To Start Seeds Indoors

(This post about starting seeds indoors for your garden originally posted on the old blog in March 2008.)

We started planting seeds for the garden the other day. I like to start my seeds indoors so that I have plants that are ready to go as soon as the garden season starts.

Containers for Starting Seeds

I used an old cake pan to set the little cups in. I did put a cardboard down so they wouldn’t tip over on the grooves.
Since we recently moved, I didn’t have a huge collection of covered deli trays like I usually use for starting seeds so I bought some little Dixie type cups. It cost $2 for 100 cups so it wasn’t a bad deal. I punched a hole in the bottom of each cup to give drainage for the plants.

Note the ice pick sticking up out of the top of the cups. I put a bunch together and just jammed it down through about ten of them all at once to punch the holes.

dixie cups for starting seeds indoors

I planted things like tomatoes in the Dixie cups. That way I don’t have to move them to larger containers before I put them in the ground in my garden.

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I put the rest of the plants in the ten or so deli trays I did have. My lettuce is already up and ready to go outside! Yeah! At $1.39 for a head of lettuce, I’m happy about that!

I had a lot of “help” starting seeds so it did go slowly and, as you can see, I felt like I was one step closer to death that day. :-)

david helping me start seeds indoors

starting seeds is easy and quick!

I forced myself to sit up and get it done even though starting seeds was the last thing I wanted to do that day. I’m glad I did it because now I have some great starts going and my garden is going to be happy!

Happy Planting!

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Categories: Business

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies Recipes

Sat, 2/28/2015 12:06 PM
No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Most of us don’t want to bake in the heat of summer, but the kids still need cookies and lots of them. Here are some cookies recipes that even the kids can make or at least help making. Try this No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe and these other cheap and easy summer treat ideas for kids! They’ll make life easier and are kid approved!

No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe

Ritz crackers
Peanut butter
Chocolate almond bark

Spread peanut butter on a cracker and top with a second cracker. Melt the almond bark in the microwave and then dip crackers in the melted almond bark. Lay on wax paper.

Try spreading different things that sound good on the crackers like marshmallow fluff, Nutella, or even a combination of these.


Years ago when food was a lot more expensive and not nearly as plentiful, most people didn’t waste anything. People scraped every drop from the bowl and even 1-2 Tablespoons of leftovers were saved to use in some way, including leftover frosting. Often I will decorate something and have just a tiny bit of frosting remaining. This recipe is the perfect answer to that dilemma because it only needs a tiny bit of frosting.

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Frosted Crackers

Spread any frosting on soda crackers for a treat the kids will love. These are so good you may find yourself opening a can of frosting just so you can make some. It is a great inexpensive snack to for when all those neighborhood kids are at your house and you need something fast and easy.

Butter and Jam Crackers

Spread regular soda crackers with a thin layer of butter. Then add your favorite jelly or jam.

I love doing this all the time. These aren’t only good in the summer. They’re also great with chili or soup in the winter. It is that salty, sweet taste we like so much. I have used peanut butter to in place of the butter – with or without the jam. It is a lifesaver when you are out of bread to add these to a meal.

Peanut Butter and White Corn Syrup

This is one of our favorites. Like the others, it is so good with chili or soup and I often eat this combination for my lunch.

Mix equal parts peanut butter and white corn syrup. Then spread on soda crackers. Sometimes, I use a little less syrup than peanut butter.


Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!


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The post No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies Recipes appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Potty Training – A good laugh!

Sat, 2/28/2015 8:49 AM


For Mothers and Grandmothers Everywhere (and Aunts)

Potty Talk

A 3-year-old tells all from his mother’s restroom stall.
By Shannon Popkin

My little guy, Cade, is quite a talker. He loves to communicate and does it quite well. He talks to people constantly, whether we’re in the library, the grocery store or at a drive-thru window.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); People often comment on how clearly he speaks for a just-turned-3-year-old. And you never have to ask him to turn  up the volume It’s always fully cranked. There’ve been several embarrassing times that I’ve wished the meaning of his words would have been masked by a not-so-audible voice, but never have I wished this more than last week at Costco.

Halfway, through our shopping trip, nature called, so I took Cade with me into the restroom. If you’d been one of the ladies in the restroom that evening, this is what you would have heard coming from the second to the last stall:
“Mommy, are you gonna go potty? Oh! Why are you putting toiwet paper on the potty, Mommy? Oh! You gonna sit down on DA toiwet paper now? Mommy, what are you doing? Mommy, are you gonna go stinkies on the potty?”

At this point I started mentally counting how many women had been in the bathroom when I walked in. Several stalls were full ? 4? 5? Maybe we could wait until they all left before I had to make my debut out of this stall and reveal my identity.

Cade continued, “Mommy, you ARE going stinkies aren’t you? Oh, dats a good girl, Mommy! Are you gonna get some candy for going stinkies on the potty? Let me see doze stinkies, Mommy! Oh ? Mommy! I’m trying to seein dere. Oh! I see dem. Dat is a very good girl, Mommy. You are gonna get some candy!”

I heard a few faint chuckles coming from the stalls on either side of me. Where is a screaming newborn when you need her? Good grief. This was really getting embarrassing. I was definitely waiting a long time before exiting.

Trying to divert him, I said, “Why don’t you look in Mommy’s purse and see if you can find some candy. We’ll both have some!” “No, I’m trying to see doze more stinkies. Oh! Mommy!” He started to gag at this point. “Uh oh, Mommy. I fink I’m gonna frow up. Mommy, doze stinkies are making me frow up!! Dat is so gross!!” As the gags became louder, so did the chuckles outside my stall I quickly flushed the toilet in hopes of changing the subject. I began to reason with myself:

OK. There are four other toilets. If I count four flushes, I can be reasonably assured that those who overheard this embarrassing monologue will be long gone. “Mommy! Would you get off the potty, now? I want you to be done going stinkies! Get up! Get up!” He grunted as he tried to pull me off. Now I could hear full-blown laughter. I bent down to count the feet outside my door.

(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); “Oh, are you wooking under dere, Mommy? You wooking under DA door? What were you wooking at, Mommy? You wooking at the wady’s feet?” More laughter. I stood inside the locked door and tried to assess the situation.

“Mommy, it’s time to wash our hands, now. We have to go out now, Mommy.” He started pounding on the door. “Mommy, don’t you want to wash your hands? I want to go out!!”

I saw that my “wait ‘em out” plan was unraveling. As I sheepishly opened the door, and found an open sink, I thought, Where’s the fine print on the motherhood contract’ where I signed away every bit of my privacy? But as my little herald gave me a big, cheeky grin while he rubbed bubbly soap between his chubby little hands, I thought, I’d sign it all away again, just to be known as Mommy to this little fellow.

Shannon Popkin is a freelance writer and mother of three. She lives with her family in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she no longer uses public restrooms.


photo by: mr_t_in_d

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Categories: Business

Hash Brown Bake

Fri, 2/27/2015 8:23 AM

Delicious Hash Brown Bake

This recipe is a great quick and easy way to use leftovers! You can add fried sausage, crumbled bacon or diced ham to this recipe and use it for breakfast. If you have leftover hamburger, toss it or some veggies in for dinner.

Years ago, one of the mainstays of people’s diets was hash, which is all the leftovers from the previous day thrown together with some finely diced or grated potatoes and fried in a pan. I wonder if that is why they are called “hash” browns because it was what everyone used for hash?



Hash Brown Bake

2 lbs. frozen hash browns (slightly thawed)
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cream of chicken or celery soup
8 oz. sour cream
2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
3/4 cup crushed potato chips

Combine all except 1/2 cup cheese and potato chips. Place in a 9×13 baking dish. Cover with remaining cheese and potato chips. Bake for 1 1/4 hours at 350°.

For more money saving recipes and tips, check out the Dining On A Dime Cookbook.

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photo by:  lindstorm

The post Hash Brown Bake appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes – Quick And Easy Recipes

Thu, 2/26/2015 5:21 AM
7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes Or Less - Quick And Easy Recipes
7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes

Today I am going to share 7 meal recipes that take less than 10 minutes to prepare. With meal prep I usually only count the time it takes in actually work not cooking time. The reason is the amount of time I spend preparing the food is usually what takes so much energy.
I can be doing other things while I’m waiting for the food to cook.  I can clean up the kitchen, help the kids, do some laundry or housecleaning while it’s cooking so I’m not actually cooking during that time. So today I’m sharing some of my favorite go to recipes that not only help you save money but save you time as well AND your family will love them!


Oven Fried Chicken Recipe - 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes
Oven Fried Chicken With Biscuits

4 -5 Tbsp. margarine (not butter)
4-6 pieces of chicken
1/2 cup baking mix
Salt and pepper
1 can refrigerator biscuits

Melt margarine in a 9×13 pan. Pour baking mix on a plate or in a plastic bag. Roll chicken in the margarine, then into baking mix and place back into the pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake at 375° for about 45 minutes, until the juices run clear.
About 5-10 minutes before the chicken is done, push the pieces of chicken tightly against one side of the pan and lay biscuits into the pan on the opposite side. Finish baking until the biscuits are brown.

Note: It’s okay to lay the biscuits in the margarine and all in the bottom of the pan. That makes the biscuits margarine soaked and crispy. Oh, yum!


Sheala’s Easy Ham and Noodles Recipe - 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes
Sheala’s Ham and Noodles Recipe
(For Using Leftover Ham)

1 (8 oz.) pkg. egg noodles, cooked
1/2 lb. ham, chopped
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
1 cup Cheddar cheese, grated

Mix first three ingredients together in a casserole dish and bake at 350° for 20 minutes until warmed. Top with cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Serves 4.

You may add 1 package of any vegetable.

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Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches Recipe - 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes
Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches Recipe


1/4 cup Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp. honey
2 Tbsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. water
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/8-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients. Set aside.


4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
4 sandwich or hoagie buns
Tomato slices
Shredded lettuce

Broil chicken 4 inches from the heat for 3 minutes on each side. Brush with mustard sauce. Broil 4-6 minutes longer or until juices run clear, basting and turning several times. Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato.


Easy Garlic Roasted Chicken Crockpot Recipe - 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes
Garlic Roasted Chicken Recipe

3-5 lb. chicken
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
about 1/4 lb. butter
1/2 cup chicken broth

Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika. Rub the bird inside and out with garlic. Place in the crockpot. Lay a couple of pats of butter on top of the breast and pour in broth. Cook on Low 6-8 hours. Serve with the garlic butter sauce.


Crockpot Salisbury Steak Recipe - 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes
Crockpot Salisbury Steak Recipe

2 lbs. ground beef
1 pkg. onion mushroom soup mix (If you can’t find it, then onion soup mix will work too.)
1/2 cup saltine crackers, crushed
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/4 cup flour
2 (10 oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
1 pkg. brown gravy mix, prepared according to package directions.**

Mix the first 5 ingredients and shape into 8 patties. Pour vegetable oil into frying pan, dredge the patties on both sides with the flour*. Brown in the hot oil on both sides. Place patties in a crockpot. They can overlap. Combine soup and mixed gravy. Pour over patties. Cook on low for 4-6 hours until patties are cooked through.

*I just pour the flour onto a plate, lay the patty in it and dredge on each side.

**You could replace the gravy mix with about 1 cup leftover roast gravy.

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Quick And Easy Homemade Chili Recipe - 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes
Quick and Easy Chili

3 small cans tomato soup*
3 soup cans of water
1/2 to 1 lb. cooked hamburger
Chili powder to taste
Garlic powder and onion powder to taste
Salt and pepper to taste

I usually use at least 2 teaspoons each of chili powder and garlic powder. You can also use onions. Put everything in a large pan and simmer at least 2 hours. It’s better to let it simmer all day if possible. You can add almost anything you want to this basic recipe. Beans work well or I like to crumble in some fried sausage for extra flavor.

*I have also replaced the soup with a large can (32-36 oz.) of tomato juice and it is good, too!


Quick And Easy Slow Cooked Beef Roast Recipe - 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes
Delicious Slow Cooked Roast

1 beef roast, 3-5 lbs.
1 onion, sliced
1 can cream of mushroom soup (omit for GF and sprinkle with seasoned salt)

Place roast in pan. Pour cream of mushroom soup and onion on top. Cover tightly. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour. Then turn down to 225 degrees and cook for 15 or more hours; 10 hours for roasts smaller than 3 pounds.


*This  recipe is an excellent way to prepare inexpensive roasts. This slow cooked roast recipe makes them so tender they fall off the bone and are almost impossible to lift out of the pan. It is an excellent way to make a delicious meal for Sunday after church or for guests, because it can cook for 2 or 3 hours longer than required without overcooking. Since it is so tender that no meat is left on the bone, you get more for your money. Serves 4.

*Use a meat thermometer to make sure internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.


Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!


The post 7 Meals That Take 10 Minutes – Quick And Easy Recipes appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

Stop Cutting Coupons and Start Saving!

Wed, 2/25/2015 2:01 PM
11 Ways To Save $10,000 - Stop Cutting Coupons And Start Saving Money!
Stop Cutting Coupons and Start Saving! – How It Adds Up

Many of us feel overwhelmed by debt and don’t know how to start climbing out of it. For others it’s a misconception that the more money you earn the easier it is to save. My husband and I paid off $20,000 of credit card debt and medical bills in 5 years when our average income was $22,000 a year.

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Here is how you can save almost $10,000 in just one year cutting a few things from your grocery bill. They are painless, simple and add up over time. If you don’t think that cutting out one bag of potato chips or one soda will make a difference, look at the numbers at the end of a year. If you’re trying to save so you can stay home with your kids, put a down payment on a house, pay off some credit card debt or just have some emergency money, here are 10 ways to do it without depriving yourself . The total annual savings (at the bottom) will amaze you!


When it comes to saving money in your household budget, the little things really add up. Look how much you would save in a year if you cut out just ONE thing:


1 bag potato chips
1 week
1-6 pack soda
1 liter soda
purchased at convenience store
Reduce meat
1.5 lbs.
2 nights/week
20 days/month
Pizza delivered plus tip
1/ week
1 cup juice/person (daily)
family of 4
Fruit leather (Fruit Roll ups)
Total if you cut all these out     $10,090.50


Stop Cutting Coupons And Start Saving Money!


As you look at these numbers, consider that they are very conservative cost estimates for the typical American family. If your family is typical, your costs are probably a lot higher. Most people spend more than $7.00 for lunch and $1.50 for a liter soda is a sale price these days. We didn’t even consider things like energy drinks, which often range from $3.50 to $5.00 each and other miscellaneous snacks that most people buy every day.

And as you look at the costs for items like lunch and soda, how many people in your family eat lunch out or grab a soda or coffee every day? Again, our number above are only savings you could have if just one person cut out one soda or coffee. Imagine the savings if everyone in the family scaled back impulsive spending…


Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!


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The post Stop Cutting Coupons and Start Saving! appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

10 Ways to Lose Weight and Gain Money

Wed, 2/25/2015 8:38 AM
10 Ways to Lose Weight and Gain Money

  1. Eat smaller portions. The less food you eat, the less food you have to buy which means you spend less money on food.

  2. Walk more. I have a grocery store 2 1/2 blocks from me. Shame on me for driving there, especially when I only need one or two items. I can’t even use being in a hurry as an excuse because it takes me the same amount of time to walk as to drive. Stop complaining about gas prices and start walking.

  3. Stop paying someone else to do your work. Start doing your own yard work and housecleaning. You don’t think you have time to clean? Use that hour you would have worked out at the gym each morning to do your house work or yard work. Not only do you save the money you are paying someone to do these things, but you don’t have to pay to go to the gym. Don’t think you can lose weight cleaning your house? Trust me. If you are doing these things properly you will lose weight. You can clean and organize in five minutes.

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  1. Stop going out to eat as much. Not only does it cost so much less to eat at home but you can control how much you eat and what you are eating better. How often do you eat everything they give you in a restaurant just because you don’t want to waste money? Make easy meals at home and save money.

  2. Take the kids to the park instead of the movies.It doesn’t cost a thing to go to the park and you get exercise. Plus there is the added benefit of actually talking and playing with you kids instead sitting staring at a movie.

  3. Drink water and not pop (or sodas).We all know it. Pop is just empty calories with no benefit. Why spend the money or pack on the extra weight?

    That goes for Lattes too. It costs much less to just have a regular cup of coffee from home and is much less fattening. Save the lattes for a special treat or dessert.

  4. Reduce excess scheduled activities.Many of us are just too busy with things that are often not really that important because we think that’s the way it should be. Eliminating some of your excess commitments will save on gas and will reduce stress, which will make it less tempting to eat or spend as a stress reliever.

  5. You don’t need to bring out the fatted calf to entertain or impress people. Have simple cake and punch at your child’s birthday partyinstead of going to Chucky Cheese’s. It’s funny how the expensive flashy things are rarely the things the kids remember fondly when they grow up.

    If you’re having people over for dinner, keep the food simple. You don’t need a 10 course meal that includes everything from lobster to an expensive cheesecake. There are very few people who wouldn’t enjoy roast chicken with fresh fruit for dessert just as much, especially if the company is good.

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  1. Stop shopping and start exercising. When under stress there are two things at the top of the list that people do. Shopping and eating. Have a plan of attack so that when you start feeling stressed instead of grabbing your purse (or wallet) and heading for the mall you hit the yoga mat, hop on your bike or just start walking.

    Do you know how much money you would save if you exercised instead of shopping? Not to mention you probably would rid yourself of a lot of your stress. If you don’t have as many money problems from over spending you wouldn’t feel the need to go shopping or over eat and you would eventually break the cycle.

  2. Drive quickly by fast food joints. Don’t even drive by them. Don’t drive on the same street where they are. If you have a big problem with this, don’t drive in the section of town where they are. And if you have any in your town then move to another town! (This was my favorite son-in-law’s idea. Guess where his weakness lies! HA! HA!)



From: Dig Out Of Debt

The post 10 Ways to Lose Weight and Gain Money appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

13 Cleaning Tips To Save Time and Energy

Tue, 2/24/2015 3:54 PM
13 Cleaning Tips To Save Time Money And Energy

In this post, you’ll find inspiration to get cleaning along with 13 quick cleaning tips to save time and energy so you don’t have to spend as much time getting it all done!

13 Cleaning Tips To Save Time and Energy

Are You Choosing a Dirty House?

Sometimes, we create our own cleaning and organizing problems when we refuse to change old habits and try something different. Often our habits create stress and steal valuable time, without really improving out lives. If we can identify and change these obsolete habits, we can make life a lot more pleasant for ourselves. Here are some examples from people I know of habits that created more trouble than they solved. After you read through them, think about the areas in your own life where you feel overwhelmed. Would it help to change your thinking in that area and change the way you do something?

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A woman with four children under the age of six decides she wants beige carpet throughout her house. She then spends the next few years nagging her family to be careful. A portion of every day is spent cleaning spots off the carpet. Then she complains to a friend that her husband and children are slobs because they make a mess of her carpet every day.

The reality is that her family is unusually careful when it comes to making messes and if she had a twill type darker carpet with a small pattern you wouldn’t be able to see any spots.

A friend of my daughter’s was complaining about how many loads of wash she had to do every day for her small family. When my daughter suggested that she have her family wear the same pair of jeans a second time if they were clean, her friend became angry at the very thought.

The reality is that if clothes still appear clean and don’t smell, there is no harm in wearing them again. I have never heard of anyone dying or getting some exotic disease from wearing their jeans a second or third time or even for a week, but I have known of children who have been needlessly mistreated by grumpy, angry and overworked moms.

Do you insist that everyone get a clean towel every time he takes a bath? Why? Assign each person a towel and have him use it two or three times. When you get out of the bath, your body has just been scrubbed down and cleaned (we hope!). You’re getting less dirt and germs on that towel than you are on the sheets that you have slept on for a week or more.

One interesting observation about people who are obsessive about one use washing: It’s not really about the dirt. I have noticed that women who insist on washing everything after one use often allow their children to wear their winter coats and tennis shoes until they are so grungy that you aren’t sure what color they once were.

We knew a woman whose children would come in from their swimming pool every day all summer long and drip pool water on her good hardwood floors. Each time it happened (several times a day), she would scold them and then mop up the floor. The bathroom where the children changed out of their swim suits was against an exterior wall right next to the back yard patio. The reality was that for a small amount of money– which this family could easily afford, she could have put a door leading from the pool to the tiled bathroom, but she refused to have it done because she insisted that they learn not to walk inside while dripping.

In case you think I exclude my own habits, I too have had this problem. I used to iron everything. With my first child, I even ironed my baby’s little t-shirts and pajamas. (note from Tawra: I knew something went wrong in my childhood :-) ) When my second baby came, he had very bad colic followed by pneumonia. (It took many weeks and four pediatricians to find out what was wrong.) I had walking pneumonia for three months, but I was still trying to iron everything. There were days I would only get up long enough to take care of the kids and then would collapse on the floor because I didn’t have the strength to make it to bed. Well, one day a little light bulb went off in my head– Maybe I should stop ironing (at least for this season in my life). Duh!

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Don’t get me wrong– If having beige or white carpet inspires you to clean, puts a song in your heart and gives you warm fuzzies then by all means choose the beige carpet. Carpet your walls if it makes you feel that good. The same goes with the laundry. If it fills your heart with pride to see your children in freshly washed clothes, then let them change their clothes every hour.

The easiest way to keep your sanity is to reduce the things you do to the simplest process that gets the job done. If you want to be especially picky about one thing and you don’t mind spending the extra time, go ahead and do it. Just don’t neglect maintaining your home by becoming obsessed with it and, most importantly, do not blame your family for the extra work it causes you. It is not fair to them for you to take your anger out on them because you choose to do more work than necessary.

There is a verse in the Bible that says “Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.” (Proverbs 14:1) Measure everything you say and do by asking yourself this question: “Is it going to be for the good of my family and build it up or is it just the way I want things done even if it tears down my family?”

Here are some quick tips to start saving time and energy by changing habits:

  • If clothes are clean, hang them up and wear them again.
  • Spot clean clothes – If they have just one dirty spot, take a wash rag and wash it off. Then wear it again.
  • Let each family member use one towel per week.
  • When remodeling or replacing items, get things that will make cleaning easier. Get carpet that will conceal dirt. Don’t put in tile — The grout is horrible to clean.
  • Put down inexpensive throw rugs under tables if a vinyl floor is not possible in the dining area.
  • Allow the family to eat only at the table to avoid food messes in the rest of the house.
  • Make toddlers wear a bib or oversized t-shirt when eating.
  • Serve only light colored drinks if you have light colored carpet such as white grape juice, lemonade and of course water.
  • Don’t overdo when buying clothes. A four week supply of clothes isn’t necessary for every member of the family. Ten days worth of clothing is plenty for most people. Unless you work outside the home, five dresses for church, two pairs of jeans, two pairs of dress pants and some blouses are more than enough.
  • Buy clothes that don’t need to be taken to the dry cleaners.
  • Don’t clean if it doesn’t need it. Who says you have to vacuum everything every week? For a seldom used room like a guest room, don’t waste time vacuuming it every week.
  • Don’t dust until you see dust.
  • If there is something that continually frustrates you, fix it. If you can’t find you keys, hang them by the door. Put them there as soon as you walk in and you will know right where they are when you leave. If the door knob doesn’t work properly, fix it. Sometimes we think that we are too busy to take care of these things, but eventually the hassle of working around something exceeds the time necessary to fix it. I once heard someone refer to this as being “too busy driving to stop for gas”.


For more easy cleaning and organizing tips, check out our Keeping It Clean e-books, which are full of easy tweaks to make cleaning and organizing easier.

The post 13 Cleaning Tips To Save Time and Energy appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

“How To Get Organized” Kindle e-Book! Free Through Saturday!

Tue, 2/24/2015 4:34 AM


How To Get Organized e-book
Get our “How To Get Organized” Kindle e-Book! FREE Through Saturday, February 28th! 

Get the How To Get Organized e-book here!

Having trouble getting it all done? The secret is in better planning but what do you do when the plans don’t work?

How To Get Organized is an easy to follow step by step guide designed to help you organize your time better. It includes pre-made schedules and lists along with information to help you make your own customized schedules to fit your family and your life!

You’ll learn:

  • How to make a schedule and stick to it
  • How to make a schedule that works well with your personality type
  • How to make a schedule that gets the job done without being over-complicated
  • How to schedule daily or weekly tasks along with monthly and seasonal projects
  • See my daily routine when I had kids at home and how to deal with babies and illness when your schedule flies out the window.

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Categories: Business

8 Ways to Soften Brown Sugar

Mon, 2/23/2015 8:26 AM
8 Ways to Soften Brown Sugar
8 Ways to Soften Brown Sugar

If you’ve ever done any baking at all then your probably come across rock hard brown sugar. We’ve come up with a list of tips about how to soften brown sugar. They are all simple, frugal, prevent food waste and of course, will save you a trip to the grocery store! All of these ideas to soften brown sugar work well and some of them work in just a few seconds!

Always store your brown sugar in an airtight container. Some people say store it in the refrigerator or freezer but the best way to make sure you don’t have to soften brown sugar is to keep it airtight in the first place.

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If it does dry out, here are some long term ways to soften brown sugar:
  • Microwave the brown sugar for 15-20 seconds. If this doesn’t work place a glass of water in with it and microwave again for 20 seconds. Then you should have softened brown sugar.
  • Place it in a 250 degree oven on a cookie sheet. Set a pan of water in the oven with it. Then bake until you soften the brown sugar. Check frequently as it will melt if you let it bake too long.
  • Place the brown sugar in a blender and pulse until chopped.
  • Place it in a plastic bag and hammer it into pieces.
  • Place a piece of bread in the bag with your brown sugar and seal.
  • Place a moist paper towel in with the brown sugar to help soften the brown sugar. Leave for several hours.
  • Place a few apple slices in with the brown sugar and seal. In the morning your should have softened brown sugar. Take out the apples after it’s soft.
  • Moisten a piece of clean terracotta clay, let it drip dry and place the piece in the bag to soften brown sugar. You can also store a piece of terracotta in with the brown sugar to keep it soft.

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Categories: Business

College Loans And Paying For College

Sat, 2/21/2015 12:15 PM
When College Does More Harm Than Good - College Loans And Paying For College

I would love some advice… Although I can retire in 10 years, I went back to school recently and earned my college degree. All of my student loans are coming due soon and I haven’t found a better job yet. Right now I earn about $24,000 a year and I support my daughter and 2 grandchildren. (They live with me and my daughter homeschools them – and takes good care of me.) I want to get the loans paid off quickly, as I have paid off 2 credit cards and 2 vehicle loans – so this is the last debt to pay off. In your opinion, what is the best way to pay off the loans? I am not sure I make enough to pay on each loan monthly, but consolidating them into one giant loan might not be the best choice either…

Thank you.

Dee, unless you are going to get a lower interest rate, there really isn’t a reason to consolidate your loans. They still have to be paid. Sometimes there comes a point where you can only stretch your income so much and then you just have to do something to bring more money in. The only option I see for you based on the information you shared is to get a part time job and use all of that money to pay off your loans.

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I don’t know your whole situation after reading just a few lines but maybe your daughter could get an evening job when you are home to help with the kids. If you are really serious about getting out of debt your daughter might have to stop homeschooling your grandchildren if you can’t afford to have your her staying at home and not working. I don’t have a problem with homeschooling or private schools but if you can’t afford to do it you may have to rethink that choice.

When you do pay off the loans, it is best to pay as much as you can to the smallest one first to try to get it paid off and just pay the minimum to the others. Then when the smallest one is paid off, you can apply all of the money you had been paying for that one to the next and so on.

The rest of the article isn’t for you but for others who are thinking about going to college and doing it on student loans.  We get nasty emails all the time for saying this but if you can’t pay for your college as you go then it’s better not to go! Your case is the perfect example of what can happen. It’s very easy to get stuck with the debts without the means to easily pay them back.

I hate to be a voice of gloom and doom but if you’re thinking of spending tens of thousands of dollars to go to school, be careful! Getting a college education used to mean that you were almost certain to get a higher paying job but things have really changed. It seems like higher paying jobs are getting harder to find and lower paying jobs are a dime a dozen. Getting a good education doesn’t always guarantee a great job. You’d be shocked to know how many people contact us with $100,000 in student loans but who are apparently unable to get jobs in their fields of study.

Years ago if a man was serious about going to school he would join the service and would be willing to sacrifice much and work hard to get his education. He worked first to save for his education. Now, many of us borrow the money first and hope we can get a good enough job later to pay for it. 

Sometimes some people think “I deserve an education so I can have a better life and if someone else has to pay for it that’s OK because I deserve it.” We all want a better education but that doesn’t mean we can all afford to spend the money and we are ultimately responsible for the cost.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with helping a person who comes from a poorer background and difficult circumstances, who spends most of his or her time studying hard, working full time and is willing to go to a less expensive school. These people are trying hard and being responsible and helping them may make a real difference. I do have problems with those who work the minimum amount required of them, spend their money foolishly and spend more time at parties, socializing and engaging in fun extra-curricular activities than studying. This happens more often than not with college students and a lot of times the parents are paying for it when they really can’t afford it.

Also if you are going to an expensive school because the name of the school will impress others, you really have a problem. It is the same as going into debt to buy a pair of designer jeans so you can impress others. If you don’t have the money to buy them then you shouldn’t buy them.

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If you are going to college just to get a good education for a reasonably good job then you don’t need to choose an expensive prestigious college. (I do realize that if you’re looking for some specialized education for a specific job like choosing a law school, some more expensive schools might be a better choice.) In the same way that all jeans are made for one main purpose and that is to cover the body and both cheap jeans and expensive ones accomplish that, most colleges provide a reasonable enough education for the needs of most people.

So, once again, be very careful before you go into debt so you or your children can get an education for a better paying job. You would be better off spending the money for your child to learn a good trade first and then they can get an advanced degree later if they want it, after they have saved for it.


 Tawra’s Perspective:

I was watching a morning show today and the hosts were talking with a lady who didn’t know what she was going to do because she owed $163,000 in student loans and was only earning $50,000 per year now. The “experts” helped her negotiate the student loans down to a lower interest rate, but there was no discussion about not choosing to incur this much debt in the first place.

If you can’t pay cash for college then you shouldn’t be going! Period! Frankly, I’m tired of hearing people whining about how they just “can’t” pay for their student loans after the fact because they aren’t earning enough.

People really need to consider the cost and the benefit of the education. If you’re spending $100,000 in students loans for a degree in social work for a job that only pays $19,000 per year, you’ll be spending the majority of your career paying off the loans, which will make it very difficult to live the life you will want to live. It doesn’t matter how much you like the job, eventually you’re going to get tired of paying a premium price (cost plus interest) for something you received many years ago.

When most people borrow, they also neglect to consider what happens if they change their minds. Many people have contacted us who borrowed huge sums of money for a degree, committing themselves to 10-20 years of payments only to decide after college that they hated the chosen career fields or that they wanted to be stay at home moms. Others conclude that they will simply not be able to get a job in their chosen fields. By then the money has been spent and it must be paid back. Often these people are left with the substantial debt and without the job.

Why is it that people think it’s OK to carry student loans on their backs for 10-20 years but they don’t think it’s reasonable to take 6-8 years to go to school part time while they work to pay cash for it?

Most college students are younger single people looking forward to a career and a family after college. It is much easier to sacrifice the time and extra effort when you are still young and single rather than to borrow money, promising to pay it back with interest later at a time in life when you will have much more financial pressure and greater family responsibilities.

The fact is, people should be paying cash for college. For years, people worked at night, on the weekends and over the summer to pay for college. They worked hard to get scholarships and grants to help pay for it.  They worked hard to pay their living expenses. They scrimped and saved so they wouldn’t have any debt after school.

If you have kids that are planning to start college next year or are in college right now, encourage them to pay cash for it themselves or, if you’re going to help, encourage them to pay at least part of it themselves. As soon as kids turn 16 or even sooner, if possible, it wouldn’t hurt for them to start working and contributing towards their own college funds.

If you are a parent and feel the need to help your kids pay for school that’s fine but all your debt should be paid off first, including your house. If your house and debt is paid off, then you will have the extra cash flow to help them pay.

If you’re planning to go to college, look for ways to save money. Start at a less expensive junior college to get the basics at a lower cost before transferring to a university. Work to get scholarships and grants that don’t have to be paid back and yes, go to college part time so you can work full time to pay for school and your living expenses.


For more easy and practical ways to save money and get out of debt, check out Dig out Of Debt and learn more about how to keep more of your money.


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Categories: Business

Stretching Your Food and Reducing Waste

Sat, 2/21/2015 8:23 AM
Stretching Your Food and Reducing Waste

I wrote a lot about portion control in our Groceries On A Dime e-books but there was one tip I left out (I try to think of everything but, once in a while, I slip up) :). If you are really trying to stretch your food or have more control over your family’s portions then fill their plates at the stove or in the kitchen.

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Don’t serve your food family style with large platters and bowls on the table to pass around. It is a proven fact that most people will eat more with large piles of food sitting in front of them. If someone is really full but they want seconds because it tastes so good, they will probably think twice about it if they have to get up and walk into the kitchen or to the stove to get more.

Here is a point that I did cover in the Groceries On A Dime e-books but I think it is worth repeating. Get serious about watching the food you throw away, especially with little ones. If they didn’t eat a whole potato last time, chances are they won’t eat one the next time so start small, even if means having to give them seconds.

When my kids were little (and even now with my grandkids) I usually took very little food on my own plate because there was always food left on the kids’ plates. Since I don’t mind eating their leftovers, I usually eat what is left on their plates.

When my kids were little they would take a drumstick from the chicken, pull two or three bites off and leave the rest. I never took my own piece of chicken because I got more then enough cleaning their “bones”.

Those were just a couple of ways I managed to feed my family on almost nothing. For more tips like this, check out the Groceries On A Dime e-books.


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Photo by: jbloom

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Categories: Business

Easy Cinnamon Roll Pizza Recipe

Fri, 2/20/2015 8:44 AM
Easy Cinnamon Roll Pizza Recipe

This cinnamon roll pizza recipe recipe calls for apple pie filling but if you use cherry pie filling for this, it makes a pretty, festive Christmas breakfast.

Cinnamon Roll Pizza Recipe

1 tube refrigerator cinnamon rolls
1 can apple pie filling*
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. margarine, softened

Grease cookie sheet or pizza pan. Preheat oven to 400°. Roll each cinnamon roll into 4 inch circles and lay on pan, overlapping slightly. You can make a solid circle or form into a wreath. Spread pie filling on top. Mix sugar and margarine. Then sprinkle on top of pie filling. Bake for 6-8 minutes until golden brown. Drizzle with the frosting that came with the rolls.

*You can use cherry pie filling in place of the apple pie filling if you like.

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Categories: Business

15 Easy Ways To Save Money On Groceries

Thu, 2/19/2015 4:46 PM
15 Easy Ways To Save Money On Groceries

Some of the easiest ways to save money on groceries don’t even require going to the store! Use these tips to reduce your grocery budget and save money!

15 Easy Ways To Save Money On Groceries
by Jill Cooper

We need to pay more attention to the food we feed our family. Oh, I know… you may think you are careful about what you buy. You might worry if it’s organic and has been grown a certain way. That’s fine, but something is wrong. While people are worrying more about what kind of food to buy, we are becoming a nation of obese people and our children – even those eating organic – are becoming obese and diabetic. Maybe worrying only about how organic something is isn’t the answer to it all.

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Add to that the fact that personal debt is out of control. A good portion of that debt is incurred going out to eat and choosing to spend more on food. To me, that equals a big mess and one we need to start dealing with soon. Wake up and really look at what you are feeding you family. This article includes some examples and ideas about where to start.

I love my Pepsi (sorry Coke and Dr. Pepper drinkers), but in order to save money on groceries I don’t buy it often. It is a treat for me when I do get it so, for my birthday, my daughter Tawra bought me a bottle of the special edition Pepsi. After a week of just enjoying looking at it, I couldn’t stand the anticipation anymore, so I sat with my feet up and guzzled my icy cold Pepsi.

When I was done (and feeling quite bloated), I was studying the label and noticed it said that this 20 oz. bottle contained 3 servings. I was shocked– not because I had guzzled so much, but because this bottle size is a common one that most people grab and drink as one serving. I wonder how many of those people have ever noticed or even bothered to look and see how many servings they were drinking.

When I was young, my mom would take a 16 oz. bottle of Pepsi and divide it into four different glasses with ice for four kids. This is the same as dividing today’s 12 oz. can of pop into three glasses for three kids. How often do you do that or even see it done? Not often. Most people, kids included, just grab their own cans of pop. Then they either drink it all, which is more than they should have, or leave most of it to toss out.

Some of you are saying “Well I don’t drink pop so I don’t have that problem!” Read on. Today we’ll look at how many different food and drink items we do this with, even healthy foods.

Excessive amounts of healthy food are just as bad for you as small amounts of not-so-healthy food. One reader wrote to say that she couldn’t figure out why her 4 year old daughter was so overweight when she was so careful to made sure her daughter ate healthy. She was literally feeding her daughter too much healthy stuff. Yogurt is high in calories, granola bars are high in calories, and juice and milk are high in calories, so they should be served sparingly.

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I can’t stress enough how important it is for parents to know and practice portion control and understand basic nutrition. This is one of the main principles that helped me when I had so little money. It probably kept us from starving, literally.

We make sure our kids have their teeth cleaned and checked on a regular basis, get their shots so they won’t get sick and make sure they always wear their seat belts. Many of us carefully watch for recalls on car seats and toys. Ironically, most of us don’t pay a bit of attention each evening as we scoop a couple of large spoons full of food on a child’s plate or tell her she can have another glass of juice, her 4th for the day. Please slow down and watch your family’s food intake.


Here are some tips to save money on groceries by using better portion control:
  1. Don’t let kids leave milk in their cereal bowls when they are finished. Make them drink it. Now some of you are about to say, “But that is what leads to child obesity — making kids clean their plates.” No… If you have given them the right portions (1/4-1/2 cup), it will be exactly what they need. They are only getting obese because parents are giving them more than they need, not because they are required to clean their plates.

    You will find that kids won’t leave as much on their plates if you practice proper portion control. You’ll want to make sure they eat what you’ve given them so they won’t come back in an hour wanting a snack or continue grazing after they have gotten up from the table. Eating too much and grazing cause obesity, but practicing good portion control and making sure they get the right nutrients will take care of both of these.

    Don’t let kids have seconds on anything until they have eaten everything on their plates.

  2. Your family will tell you if you are not correctly controlling portions– not with their mouths, but with their leftovers. If your 5 year old always leaves half of his milk or sandwich, check into it and see if you are giving him too much.
  3. Start small. Serve only half a small container of yogurt, granola bar, apple or banana to children as old as 8 years. Don’t let each child grab a whole package of pop tarts. Split it. Better yet, split one pop tart. The same applies for other snacks. Each child doesn’t need a whole package of those cheese and cracker or peanut butter cracker snack packs.

    If children eat the first half and are still starving, then you can let them have more. I’m not saying don’t feed your children. I’m just saying give them a smaller amount at first and then give them more if they’re still hungry. Kids will often eat as much as you serve them, even if they’re not hungry, so don’t serve too much.

  4. I usually recommend that, to save money on food, people stop going out to eat, but I must face the fact that many of us are still eating out in spite of hard economic times and unemployment. It’s a fact. I saw a recent study that concluded that we are still spending the same amount of money going out to eat as we have in the last few years. Here are some suggestions to save if you are one of those people:

    Split things when you go out to eat. I know a family who would buy their daughter a large milkshake in her favorite flavor when they went out. After 4-5 sips she didn’t want any more, saying she didn’t like it. For many kids, that often translates to “I’m full”. They have their parents well trained because they know if they say, “I’m full,” they won’t get as big a size the next time. Even though they can’t drink it, they still want a big one.

    When I took my 7 and 8 year old grandkids for a milkshake, we bought one small and I took an extra cup to split it. I sat and waited. If they wanted more I would have bought another one, but I never had to buy a second one. They were always full.

    I know what you are thinking (don’t you hate that I can read your mind?)– “but Billy wants chocolate and Sally wants vanilla.” Don’t make excuses why you can’t do something. Instead think of a way to make it work. Often, in this situation, I don’t buy one for myself, but I’ll get each one of them his or her own small one. Then I eat what is left of each of theirs and nothing is wasted. I do this even when we go out for fast food. One grandchild asked me again the other day why I never ordered anything. Before I could answer, the older one said “Because Nan always has to eat our leftovers,” as if that was my assigned job in life and that is what Nanas do. ;-)

    You may say, “but I want to get my own.” I’m sorry, but you’re the parent and, if you truly want to save, get out of debt or whatever, you are the one who needs to make the first and greatest sacrifice. We all want to get out of debt, but we usually don’t want to sacrifice or change one thing to do it. It doesn’t work that way. We often say, “This won’t help me save money.” but that really isn’t the case. The truth is, we don’t want to give up anything to get out of debt so we convince ourselves it won’t work.

    Forget the happy meals. Split a hamburger and fries between 3, 4, 5 or 6 year olds. I am giving general ages. You need to adapt these to your own children depending on their sizes. Your 6 year old may be as tall as 10 year old and plays outside all day or you may have a 10 year old who is small and sits in front of a computer all day. Each child needs to eat a different amount.

  5. Don’t automatically throw out uneaten food. If your child leaves half a glass of milk, put it in the fridge for him to drink later or use it the next morning in his cereal. If he leaves half a sandwich, put it in a bag for him to eat the next day or serve it later as a snack.
  6. Using a measuring cup and water, measure glasses and see how much they really hold. Don’t guess at this. I have some large mug glasses and some small narrow glasses. I always assumed the small ones held less. Boy was I wrong. I thought the small ones were 8 oz. glasses, but they were 12 oz. glasses. You need to know how much your glasses hold so you can give your child the right portion of juice and milk.

    Here are some facts:
    • Juice contains about the same amount of calories as soda and is just about as bad on children’s teeth.
    • 1-6 yr. olds should only be given 4-6 oz. of juice a day. That is equal to 1 sippy cup a day.
    • 7-12 yr. olds should only be given 8-12 oz. of juice a day. That is one small sized glass a day.
    • 1-3 yr. olds should be given two 8 oz. glasses of milk a day. The 4 ounces in a child’s cereal or pudding is included in that. If kids have milk in cereal and pudding, they only need 1 glass of milk that day. Also, don’t forget about the milk in cheese, yogurt, ice cream, etc.
    • 4-8 yr. olds should have three 8 oz. glasses of milk a day.
    • 9-18 yr. olds should have four 8 oz. glasses of milk a day. Again, don’t forget about milk included in cheese, yogurt, ice cream, pudding, etc.

    These numbers should make us stop and pause. Just one regular size glass of juice a day gives a young child almost twice what that child needs. So often I have seen moms and grandmas give kids as much juice as they want– three, four or even more glasses per day. That is six to eight times or more than the child needs. Once nutrition needs are met, the rest is just adding extra calories. And we wonder why our kids are gaining weight, even when eating healthy.

  7. Don’t allow your kids to guzzle a glass of milk, juice or even water right before they eat. It fills them up and then they won’t eat their food. Half the time, kids aren’t picky eaters; They’re just full before they even start to eat. Then they’re hungry again before the table is cleared, because they filled up on liquid and not food.
  8. Put things like milk and juice into small, easy to pour pitchers. Sometimes a large jug of something is too hard even for an 8, 9, or 10 year old to pour and it gets away from them, causing them to pour more in their bowls or glasses than they intended.
  9. Watch the syrup. You may have to pour it for them until they are much older because it really seems to get out of control. Beware of the wide mouth syrup bottles. They are designed so that you use more syrup. Avoid them if possible.
  10. If your kids eat food with cinnamon sugar or regular sugar, put the sugar in a shaker with small holes. You can also cover over some of the holes on a shaker with larger holes with tape so that they can’t dump it too quickly.
  11. Use small plates and glasses for everyone. The cereal bowls that come with most dishes now are ridiculously huge. Instead of holding 1/2 cup of cereal, they hold 2-3 cups and we think we need to fill them to the top. Using them makes it too easy to waste food and eat excessively.
  12. “What if my kids won’t like any of these ideas?”Sorry, but that’s too bad. Who is paying for the food? Who is running your home?

    To ease things along it might help to have a family conference where you apologize to your kids for having taught them wrong so far and then tell them you are trying to change things. Ask for their suggestions and ideas. Make them feel that they are a part of this turn-around and explain that you need their help and ideas. When kids feel more a part of something, they tend to want to do it more.

I can’t cover everything on dealing with kids here but you can find lots of helpful tips and ideas like the ones above in our Saving With Kids e-book series.

Nutrition is equally as important to me as portion size but I was long winded as usual, so I must wrap it up. ;-) I will try to touch on nutrition in another article. I have also written about it in the Groceries On A Dime e-books.

Some readers may ask, “What does this have to do with getting out of debt?” Most people can cut their grocery in half by practicing portion control. Try it for a week or two and see what happens– And I’m talking serious portion control not just half-hearted measures.

Here are a few additional tips to help you save money on groceries from our Groceries On A Dime e-books.

  • Be careful: A large banana is 2 servings of fruit for a child. We are only supposed to have 3 fruits and 4 veggies a day, not 7 of each.
  • To make things easier, get out your ice cream scoop and use it to measure servings. Your scoop is equal to 1/4 cup and most items have 1/4 – 1/2 cup serving sizes, so it is the perfect size. Watch what you are doing and don’t make the scoops heaping full. Make them level with the top or you’ll still be underestimating how much you’re getting.
  • Don’t get overwhelmed. You only have to measure things for a week or a couple of days in order to get the general idea. After that, you should be able to eyeball it. If you don’t even want to mess with measuring, just lay the ice cream scoop on the counter or table where you are dishing up the food. Then you can compare it to what you are serving as a general guideline.

If you’ve found the information in this article helpful, check out our Groceries On A Dime e-books. You’ll find detailed information about menu making and grocery lists (with charts to copy), tips on using and organizing coupons, finding things on clearance, warehouse shopping, organizing your pantry and fridge, using leftovers, how to store foods, portion control and lots more about how to save money on groceries.

The post 15 Easy Ways To Save Money On Groceries appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

Categories: Business

How To Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes – Recipes and Ideas

Wed, 2/18/2015 8:37 AM
8 Ways To Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes - Recipes and Ideas

It seems like so many times after a meal, there are leftover mashed potatoes and I hate to waste them! Here are 8 easy ways to use leftover mashed potatoes.

8 Ways To Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes – Recipes And Ideas

We don’t need to wait until another Mother’s Day rolls around to show our moms how much we appreciate them and the great burden they have had to bear all these years. Only as we become moms ourselves do we understand what they’ve been through–no I’m not talking about the pains of childbirth or the nightly feedings but something else we have to face day in and day out - What to do with those small amounts of leftover mashed potatoes?

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The guilt when you wash them down the drain is awful but if you tuck them back in a corner of the fridge and pull them out black and moldy 2 weeks later, it’s even worse. What’s a woman to do?


Well here are a couple of easy recipes and tips that might help you with this centuries old dilemma and relieve some of the guilt:

  • Freeze leftover mashed potatoes in small portions in freezer containers or freezer bags. Use in place of flour to thicken soups and stews.
  • Throw them in your favorite roll or bread recipe for a nice texture. Add about 1/2 cup for every 6 cups flour.
  • Freeze small amounts for babies or toddlers’ lunches.
  •  Spread heated leftover roast and mashed potatoes topped with leftover gravy on a piece of toast or bread,
  • Use for the top of Shepard’s Pie; single servings or a whole pie
  • Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole
  • Sour Cream and Cheddar Baked Mashed Potatoes


Potato Pancakes Recipe
(adjust to what you have on hand)

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2 Tbsp. flour
1 egg

Mix first 3 ingredients. Make into patties and fry in margarine until golden brown on each side. Serve warm with butter or margarine. These are delicious served with applesauce.

Note: When I make my potato pancakes I don’t use the egg and they turn out delicious so you don’t need to use the egg if you’d rather not.


I like my potato pancakes fried in margarine but they also taste good fried in bacon drippings.

Add a little garlic and Parmesan cheese to them to give them a different taste.

Make potato pancakes with a little grated Cheddar cheese and add a dab of sour cream to them.

From Dining on a Dime

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Potato Fudge Recipe

3 Tbsp. shortening
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. cocoa
1/3 cup mashed potatoes
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 lb. (16 oz.) powdered sugar
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

In a microwave safe bowl, melt shortening and butter in the microwave. Stir in cocoa until smooth. Add potatoes, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Blend in powdered sugar. Mix and add nuts. Dough will be very lumpy. Knead until smooth. Press into a buttered 8×8 inch pan. Cool in the refrigerator before cutting. Makes 64 pieces (yeah right!).

Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

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The post How To Use Leftover Mashed Potatoes – Recipes and Ideas appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

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5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home

Tue, 2/17/2015 5:12 PM


5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home

I wanted to share a few Homemade Cleaners from our Dining on A Dime cookbook. Most people don’t realizes how easy it is to make homemade cleaners and most only use 3-5 ingredients you already have in your kitchen!!

Of course, one of the simplest cleaners for most purposes is to just put some rubbing alcohol on a rag and wipe everything down. It doesn’t streak, it disinfects and it’s one quick ingredient! To be honest this is the one cleaner I use for my quick bathroom clean up every day.


How To Make Homemade Clorox Wipes Recipe - 5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home
Homemade Clorox Wipes

1 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
2 Tbsp. Dawn dish soap (only use Dawn)
2 Tbsp. ammonia (optional)
24 rags – cut into squares. (I cut them to about 4×6 inches but whatever size you have available or whichever size you need will work. I also use old washrags that have seen better days)

Mix the ingredients and pour over the rags.* Then, when you need to clean your bathroom, use them as you would the disposable Clorox wipes.

The best thing about these homemade wipes is that you can just throw them in the washing machine and use them again! Really! It’s that simple!

*After you make this recipe, you will need to adjust how much of the mixture you pour over your rags. I didn’t have that many rags and they were pretty wet, so I just used less of the cleaner.

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Homemade Fruit And Vegetable Wash Recipe - 5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home
Fruit And Vegetable Wash

You really don’t need a special cleaner for your fruits and vegetables. Just wash them with a weak solution of dish detergent and a scrub brush works just fine. If you still insist on using a special wash. This is a good recipe that is the same as the “natural” stuff in the store.

1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. baking soda
1 cup water

Put ingredients in a spray bottle. Be careful because it will foam up. Spray on vegetables, let sit 5 minutes then rinse with a scrub brush.


Homemade Fabric Softener Recipe - 5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home
Homemade Fabric Softener

3 cups hot water
1 1/2 cups vinegar
1 cup hair conditioner

Pour the conditioner into the hot water. Stir (don’t shake) and then add the vinegar. Pour into a gallon container. Use the same amount of the fabric softener as you would use of the store bought kind or moisten a rag and throw in the dryer. You can put it in your Downy balls too.

  • I found that the water has to be very hot to dissolve the conditioner. If it doesn’t dissolve just whisk it or warm up the water hotter in the microwave.
  • If you do need to buy conditioner, something like Suave Lavender from the Dollar Tree works just fine.
  • This homemade fabric softener recipe makes a half gallon and if you want to make less, you can easily half the recipe.
  • Yes it does work in HE washers.
  • For sensitive skin, you will just have to use plain vinegar. My son has horrible eczema and I can’t use anything with scents on his clothes, so vinegar it is!
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Homemade All Purpose Cleaner Recipe - 5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home
All Purpose Cleaner Recipe

1 gallon water
1 cup ammonia (or 1/2 cup Dawn dishsoap)
1/2 cup vinegar

Combine all ingredients. Put in a spray bottle to clean showers, toilets, sinks and counters. Great for most cleaning needs. Use all-purpose cleaner to clean your floors. Just spray on and wipe off as you would counter-tops.
This is not a disinfectant. To make it a disinfectant too I add about 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol to the bottle.


Homemade Dishwasher Detergent Recipe - 5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home

This homemade dishwasher detergent recipe is one of those super simple recipes that people don’t think to make but can save you a lot! The best part is it takes less than 2 minutes to make!

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

1 cup baking soda or washing soda
1 cup Borax
1-2 drops of scented oil (optional)

Mix ingredients. Use the homemade dishwasher detergent like you would use regular detergent.
Another option for cleaning your dishwasher: Pour in a package of unsweetened lemonade Kool Aid or a cup of vinegar into your dishwasher.


Lower Your Food Bill With Food You Family Will Love!

Would you like to serve food that will lower your grocery bill and your family will love to eat?

Click here to get the Dining On A Dime Cookbook, with tasty recipes and great tips to make your life easier and save you money!


The post 5 Homemade Cleaners You Didn’t Know You Could Make at Home appeared first on Save Money And Get Out Of Debt - Living on a Dime.

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