Monday, December 27, 2010

Frugal Missus Solves All Your Problems (not really)

I have had SO many requests for meal planning info, coupon clipping advice, and cost-effective meals.

Thanks, in part, to Dave Ramsey for turning Frugal Mister on to Jon Acuff, author of the incredibly entertaining blog, Stuff Christians Like, who, in turn, drew Frugal Mister's eye with an ad for E-Mealz.

E-Mealz is INCREDIBLE (so far). They have multiple menu plans, for different diets, number of people, kid-friendly, etc., so the brain work is taken care of for you. But that's not the best part... ready for this??

The meals are planned with store specials/sales in mind already!!! Seriously. How cool is that?!?

And even cooler? It's *only* $5 a month (3-month subscription at a time and auto-renewal). You can use the coupon code "DAVE" to save $2.50 on your first month's subscription!

Go ahead... click the link below (or in the sidebar), and you can send me flowers with all the money you've saved. (ok, not really... I'd rather you spend the money more wisely in your own homes).

But you CAN repost the link on your FB pages and send in emails (just link to this post on the blog OR highlight the link and C&P in a new email to your friends and families) as a thank you!

Enjoy :)

Link to copy: E-MEALZ Easy Meals for Busy and Frugal Families


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Frugal Missus Takes The Hard Road

I realized, as I made a couple extra pancakes with the leftover batter this morning, that one way to save money is to let go of convenience.

I made pancakes. With 2 small children. And saved leftovers (thankfully, a 16 month old isn't exactly picky!). In a reusable container. Yes, slapping a piece of tin foil over a plate is more frugal than using a one-time ziplock (I can't bring myself to wash them, no matter what was in it.), but using a storage container was even more frugal (and our high-efficiency dishwasher takes out the "but, the water!" argument). Yes, it's one more thing to put away, but it's like a gift that keeps on giving!

You know those small cups of applesauce you stick in your kids lunches? Or the boxed juice? Or the pre-cut carrot sticks? Or frozen mashed potatoes? I had a bag of frozen mashed potatoes (about 1 bag would cover what I needed them for) in my grocery cart. They were "on sale" for 2/$5. When I headed to the produce section and saw a 10lb bag of russet potatoes for $.88 (you read that right!) I about keeled over in the middle of Safeway! ("Clean up in the produce section! Clean up in produce..."). I put the "easy road" back and put the "hard road" in my cart. I won't even get into the frozen vs fresh debate today. In my book, I was already ashamed at the frozen ones even being in my cart in the first place!

So, no, being frugal isn't always convenient, but you know what? I made my dish that the frozen potatoes would have just about covered, I still have at least 3 more meals of potatoes in my pantry, AND I have $1.62 left in my pocket.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Frugal Family SPLURGES!

Well, it's happened. Our craptop... err.... laptop, took a dump on us. It's been a LONG time coming (as in a month after we bought the darn thing in 2007!). However, we've been good little frugalites and haven't rushed out to buy a new one. And then the power cord stopped working. And I was in the middle of making money (editing 2 photoshoots). And, well... we took a big jump. To a MacBook.

(note all of the staccato sentences. For future reference, that means I'm in disbelief. Still am.)

We dropped The Big to preschool and headed to the Apple store, both nervous about making such a big purchase while still in debt. We had fully intended on buying a MacBook once all of our debts were paid, but I really felt like buying a new power cord was throwing good money after bad. Sure, it might have fixed the problem, for say, $50, but the computer was still a hunk of junk. It's THE reason I stopped blogging. It was so frustrating to try to write a post when it took 15 minutes for Blogger to load! Grrr.... Frugal Father would call me on his way home from work (about 25 minutes) to have me turn the blessed thing on so it would be semi-ready to use when he got home. I'm NOT even kidding a little bit here.

So, anyway... we calculated how much cash we had with Christmas Gift money, Frugal Father's "extra" income from his *paid* writing gig, not buying firewood as we had planned, not having Blow money for the month, nixing the last few Christmas gifts we were going to get the girls (they are both getting plenty!), and the money I had made from my photography gigs, and *VOILA*. Enough cash to buy our 13" MacBook Pro.

We've been planning on this for well over a year, and I'm incredibly proud that we were able to have the cash on hand for such a big purchase! It's a nice little glimpse at what our future has in store for us!

On another note, if you are in the East Bay Area, Frugal Father and I will be leading our second round of Financial Peace University, starting in February. It's $100 per family and runs for 13 weeks (I'm pretty sure they will be consecutive weeks, but I have to double check the calendar). If you, too, would like to learn how to "Live Like No One Else", we'd love to have you! Email me at frugalmissus AT for details!