New Frugality

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

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Chris just finished doing our taxes.  I used to love doing the taxes (really!), but ever since Chris ventured into entrepreneurship everything has become so complicated so now April 15 is his deadline.  Unfortunately, this year we owe Uncle Sam a much heftier sum than we were expecting, so now we have to rein in the [...]


Baby Clothes

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With just about two months until Baby #4 arrives, the all too familiar nesting instinct is starting to kick in.  My sister Colleen returned our co-sleeper to us now that her son has outgrown it, so Chris and the kids set it up a few days ago.  I can’t believe our next little man will [...]


Homemade Almond Butter

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For the past couple months Trader Joe’s has had a shortage of almond butter.  Lately my husband has been using it every day in a smoothie, so the shortage at TJ’s was becoming an issue! Ha! I’m not sure why I continued to buy almond butter when we’ve prepared homemade peanut butter for so many [...]


The Best $12 I’ll Spend All Summer

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My sister Caitie recently hosted a super fun birthday party at her house for her son Danny. Despite a bounce house, cupcakes, toys galore and kids everywhere, little Vivian spent the entire party playing at a water table.  It was filled with little rubber duckies that kept her laughing, and by the end of the [...]


Pricey Peppers for a Pittance

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Every week I travel to a few different grocery stores.  We stick to a very strict $150/week grocery budget, and I do my absolute best to stock our kitchen with plenty of seasonal and organic food.  If I want to stay on budget, I can’t rely on just one store to fill our needs.  I [...]


Nature Scavenger Hunt in the Big City

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Today was absolutely beautiful. Warm sunshine, gentle breeze, clean air, perfect fall weather.  As any Chicagoan knows, its a good idea to take full advantage of weather like this.  Next week it could very easily freeze! I was determined to spend the entire afternoon outdoors, but without a traditional backyard I need to get creative.  [...]


Money Well Spent

9-18-12 night drive

We went out to my parents’ house today.  A check-engine light lit up on our dashboard last week, and along with my recent dead battery experience I thought it would be wise to get the car checked out.  An honest and friendly dealership in my hometown diagnosed the problem (something about an air compressor?), and [...]


Salmon Salad on a Budget

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Chris and I are always looking for ways to live and eat well on our budget.  I go out of my way to shop at a few different grocery stores to make every dollar count, and we pick up farm-fresh food from our co-op twice a month.  Last week Chris spotted a deal for wild-caught [...]


Homemade Flashcards

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Evelyn is getting very curious about learning how to read.  She is only 3 1/2, so we’re starting with the basics right now. I was going to buy her some letter flashcards, but they seemed a bit overpriced for what they were.  Plus, I prefer to spend time with my kids making something.  I think [...]


Less Really is More. Really.

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As I’ve written about many times before, my little family and I strive to live a pretty simple life.  Our home is a two-bedroom apartment in the middle of downtown Chicago, so space demands that we don’t go overboard with stuff.  And, because our budget is rather rigid, reality dictates that we can’t afford to [...]


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