Monday, September 28, 2009

Homemade Drinkable Yogurt


Homemade Drinkable Yogurt

"My kids love the Danimals brand drinkable yogurts, but they are such small servings and quite expensive. I make my own drinkable yogurt in a glass or plastic drink shaker. Combine 2 cups of any yogurt (blended, fat free, sugar free, any kind!) with enough milk to smooth it out and shake a few times. This will serve 3-4. Add more milk to get desired consistency. Serve or store in refrigerator. I put this on the table and the kids LOVE to see what kind of 'Danimal"'I've made.
To pack for a lunch, use a sturdy plastic beverage container, or save those single-serve chocolate milk bottles with lids, run through the dishwasher, and serve in those. Finally, here's a super hint: You can freeze this drinkable yogurt in ice cube trays. Add a toothpick and you have a yummy Popsicle or fun cubes to use in milk or more yogurt drinks or shakes. Enjoy!"

By Missy W

Friday, September 25, 2009

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Old Navy Clearance

A little birdie told me that Old Navy has all clearance another 50% off the lowest price. I had to go check it out this afternoon. I got:


2 pairs knit shorts
1 pair swim trunks
5 t-shirts
1 hat
1 pair leggings


1 pair knit shorts
1 bra


1 pair chinos


1 zip hoodie
2 pairs yoga capris

Can you guess what all this totalled?

$49! That's just over $3 per item.

  • Avoid arguments. Bring at least one item home for each member of the household (except for your husband who told you, "DO NOT buy me another shirt"). That's how I stay the "nice mom."

Couponing I can get behind

A question posed to me quite often: "Do you coupon?"

I disappoint many, I'm sorry to say, when my reply is, "No, not really."

I use Costco coupons, and occasionally those that come in the mail from stores such as Ulta and Bath & Body Works, but I never clip coupons from the newspaper. We don't even subscribe to the newspaper anymore.

I tried clipping coupons once years ago, but I decided the dollar savings weren't worth losing my sanity. I had a hard time keeping them organized, remembering which ones I should use on particular shopping trips, all while trying to debate my little children on their right to have attractive candy displayed at the checkout. I can still see the glare of the customers waiting behind me.

Forward to August 2009. Displayed at the self-checkout, a flyer for couponing (is that really a word?) catches my eye. Why the change of heart? I can load coupons to my reward card online. Now that I can get behind!

I have found 3 websites so far that provide the service:

You choose your store, enter your reward/frequent shopper card number, then start choosing coupons. They will even give you a shopping list that displays all the coupons you have chosen.
  • Choose products wisely. To me it's not a great deal if it's something you would never buy. Additionally, a lot of the products I've seen coupons for tend to be processed foods, which aren't as healthy.
  • Get on board with me. The more popular the service is, the bigger the selection will be.

Since I'm new to coupons, I'd appreciate any comments or feedback that I have missed!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Heather and I got pioneer-ish again...this time it's homemade laundry detergent.

Supplies needed:

  • Washing Soda
  • Borax
  • Bar of soap
  • Water

Step 1: Grate bar of soap.

We grated all the soap and bagged the extra for future use.
(It looks like mozarella cheese, doesn't it? One of my kids almost ate some.)

Step 2: Boil 6 cups of water in a deep pot.

Step 3: Add grated soap and stir until dissolved.

Step 4: Add 1/2 C washing soda and 1/2 C borax. Stir over heat until dissolved.

Step 5: Remove from heat and pour into a large bucket.

Step 6: Add 4 more cups of hot water and mix well.

Step 7: Stir in 1 gallon plus 6 cups cold water and mix well.

Step 8: Let sit for 24 hours.

It's ready to go! Use 1/4 to 1/2 C per load of laundry. I have a large capacity washer, so I use 1/2 C. Despite my 13-year-old's fears, it worked great and did not disintegrate his clothes.


One bar of soap = $0.30

Washing soda = $0.28

Borax = $0.18

Total cost for 64 loads (using 1/2 C) = $0.76

(Fab @ Sam's Club costs $7.12 for 64 loads)

You save about 90%!

  • Ivory soap costs the least and dissolves well, but you can also use Fels Naptha, Sunlight bar soap, Kirk’s Hardwater Castile, and Zote. Don’t use heavily perfumed soaps.
  • Washing soda too some effort to find. In the end a local hardware store ordered it for us.
  • Here are 10 more similar but different homemade laundry soap recipes.

P.S. Sorry it took me so long, Heather!

Monday, September 14, 2009

FREE Benefit BADgal Mascara


FREE Benefit BADgal Mascara at ULTA on September 19!

Starting September 15, 2009, bring the October 2009 cover of Seventeen or a printout of the home page to any participating ULTA store to receive a full-size tube of Benefit BADgal Blue Mascara (approximate retail value: $19). Eight thousand (8,000) will be given away, with an average of 24 available at each ULTA store location. Must be female, between the ages of 13 and 29.


  • Not the right age? Recruit your daughter, a friend, or a friend's daughter.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sale at Sephora

Save up to 75% at Sephora online or in stores.
You can choose up to 3 free samples with any order.
Orders over $50 ship for free.
  • Check in-store, too! Here's the store locater. Generally, there are deeper discounts on items in the store.
  • Go in with friends. Not spending $50? Get friends or family members to share an order to get the free shipping.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Homemade Softscrub

I'm on a do-it-yourself kick right now. First, the burritos, now this homemade Softscrub,

and there's more coming....

Here we go with the Softscrub:

  • Vegetable oil based liquid soap (we used Murphy Oil Soap)
  • Baking Soda
  • empty bottle
  • funnel
Step one: Add 1/2 of a box of baking soda to a clean bottle. (I used an empty contact lens solution bottle with the tip cut a little larger.)

Step two: Add enough liquid soap until you get the consistency of icing. Keep adding a little soda or a little soap until you get the consistency you want.

Step three: Shake the bottle to mix thoroughly.

Here's the cost breakdown:

Baking soda: $1
Murphy Oil Soap: $1 (I only used about 6 oz of the 32 in the bottle.)

Softscrub cleanser costs about $5 or $6 at the grocery store, so we made it for 1/3 the cost.

That's all. It was a snap, and I love the way it cleaned my shower tile.

Here's my shower tile before the homemade softscrub (try not to get too grossed out):

And after...

Other shower cleaners took a lot more elbow grease than this did. I'm actually excited to clean it next time!

  • Feel good about going green. You're not only saving money, but you're also cutting down on waste from containers.
  • Search "homemade soft scrub" on google to find other recipes to try.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One of a Kind Dress for Under $10

Here's my do-it-yourself One of a Kind dress for under $10

I have to admit that the hem isn't finished. It turned out a little shorter than I wanted, so I'm deciding whether to keep it short and wear it with tights, or add ribbon, fringe, or some other embellishment to the hem.
Fabric: $2 (2 yards @ $1/yd from Walmart)
Pattern: $1 on sale at Joann's.
I may even wear it to church!
  • Go for it! With fabric that cheap, even if you never wear, it's good sewing practice. I bought the whole bolt of fabric. Should I sew an overcoat, hat, and purse to match??
  • Don't give up. The neck band gave me some trouble, but the 3rd time was a charm.

Free Samples

There's a world of free samples out there that I'm just discovering...

During my son's orthodontic appointment, I perused the August 2009 Ladies' Home Journal, where I came across an interesting article. The author and her husband decided to tighten their budget, which included *gasp* her "Beauty" category. So she endeavoured to live on free samples of beauty products for a month.

Her two avenues included 1) Signing up for freebies over the internet; and 2) visiting makeup counters and asking for samples.

I checked out the freebie sites she mentioned, and here are my favorites: scours the internet for available free samples, then provides links to them. There are no strings attached.
P.S. This one is my favorite. I have already started to receive freebies: chocolate, feminine hygient, etc. If you sign up for their newsletter, they will send you a periodic email notifying you of the latest freebies available. is a fun website that includes a page of links to free stuff. provides free downloadable software that allows you to fill in forms with the click of a button.

Does anyone want to one-up the LHJ author? Can you live entirely for free for one month? I ain't doin' it, but I present the challenge...

  • Don't give away too much information. If a company asks for more than a name, email address, and physical address, I question whether it's legitimate.

Huge Sale at

How do you get a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant for $1?!

Check this post at Fabulessly Frugal.

  • Hurry! The promotion only runs until 9/13/09.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos

Supplies needed for homemade frozen breakfast burritos:

Tortillas (10-in)
Eggs (about 2/3 of an egg per tortilla)
Bacon (we used turkey to try to keep it nutritious)
Potatoes (roughly 1 med potato for every 10 tortillas)
Cheddar Cheese (1 lb will fill ~25 tortillas)
Vegetable oil spray
Salt and Pepper (optional)
Gallon-sized freezer bags

Step 1: Spray large non-stick skillet with spray and heat to medium.
Step 2: Whisk 10 eggs at a time in a bowl.
Step 3: Scramble eggs in batches until no longer runny.
Step 4: Cook bacon in microwave.
Step 5: Shred cheese.
Step 6: Dice potatoes, and saute until tender in sprayed non-stick skillet.
Step 7: Setup assembly line--it doesn't matter what order.
Step 8: Spray the inside of a freezer bag.
Step 9: Place about 2 heaping tablespoons of eggs, 1 heaping tablespoon of potatoes, 1 slice of bacon, and 2 heaping tablespoons of cheese on tortilla. (Anymore than this, and the burrito gets too full.)
Step 10: Roll up the tortilla as tightly as possible without ripping it.
Step 11: Place burrito in freezer bag. You can fit about 6-8 burritos per bag.
Step 12: Freeze.

When you are ready to eat them, you can heat them individually in the microwave, or several at a time in the oven (350 F for 10-15 min).

So is it worth all the effort?

A box of 6 small frozen breakfast burritos at Wal-mart costs $3.74 or $0.63 per burrito. My supplies cost me $25 and I made 90 burritos (or $0.28 per burrito). That's a savings of just over half.

Furthermore, I think our burritos were probably healthier than the ones I priced at Wal-mart, because we could control the fat and salt content.

And finally, my kids LOVE me! Because now they are not doomed to eat cold cereal for breakfast every morning before school.

  • Invite a friend. I can't take all the credit for this post. My friend, Heather, actually invited me to do this with her. It was fun to share the work with someone, and we saved money buying in bulk for two families.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Money management software has been a marriage-saver in our home. I seem to have a black hole in my wallet, while my husband keeps a TIGHT grip on every penny. Since I keep track of our finances (because my mom did), when the money disappears, it's on my shoulders. offers free web-based software to help you keep track of your expenses, follow a budget, and perhaps make changes where needed.


Thanks, Jamie, for the head's up!