New Frugality

The Best $12 I’ll Spend All Summer

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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 […]


Homemade Chicken Pot Pie

Growing up, I never once had pot pie for dinner.  I seem to remember my mom recalling horror stories of her childhood: forced to sit at the dining table for hours until the pot pie she absolutely detested was eaten.  She hated it as a child, and so she never served it to her children. […]


When Used Books Make Sen$e

Today in protest of his regular afternoon nap Mack decided to tear apart one of his absolute favorite books.  After listening to him chat and whine and sing and yell for nearly an hour, I went up to his room and saw the destruction.  Shreds of paper littered the floor, and little Mack couldn’t have […]


Keeping Busy on a Budget

After a surprisingly expensive fall and the flurry of the holidays and a much-needed vacation at the end 2011, we are reigning in the spending to start this year.  Ever since my husband left the corporate world to start his own businesses I’ve become a pro at creatively living the frugal life, and I’m always […]


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