New Frugality

How to Feed a Family of Four (Mostly) Organic Food for $150 a Week

Although we live on a tight budget, we also want to live healthfully and thoughtfully.  When my husband decided to start his own business, we made plenty of sacrifices like fewer meals at fun restaurants and no more new clothes.  But the one area I refused to compromise on was our food.  Just because we [...]


Less Is More

When my husband decided to start his own business, we put our family on a very strict budget.  While we both have always been very thoughtful about how we spend our money, the new budget forced to us become even more creative.  Gone were the days when we could buy something without consulting with the [...]


Sneak Peek – Homemade Vanilla Extract

vanilla extract

I recently saw an advertisement for a premium vanilla extract in the Sunday newspaper. The ad pointed out that many popular brands of “pure” vanilla extract actually contain high fructose corn syrup, a highly processed food additive that I don’t let in my house or in my body.  Certain that the brand of vanilla extract [...]


Want. Need. Wear. Read.

With two little ones, Christmastime is both special and stressful. While blog-hopping the other day I stumbled upon a post at Dandee Designs about what to give kids for Christmas. The author suggested a somewhat catchy mantra to recite when gift shopping: Want. Need. Wear. Read. Kids get four gifts – something they want, something [...]


Date Night – In

cosmopolitan

As a Homemade Mother, I am obviously very devoted to my children. I take great pride in knowing they are well fed, well read, and kissed before bed. However, it is still important to find special time for my husband. He is my best friend, and we really enjoy spending time together. We are living [...]


Pickles for a Picnic

pickles

Chicago has enjoyed a very pleasant and mild October. Today was no exception. With sunny skies and the temperature in the 70s, it was a perfect day for a lunchtime picnic with my family. Evelyn packed her pink soccer ball and Mack packed his smile. I packed sandwiches, fruit, and a jar of sort-of homemade [...]


Perseverance to Preserve!

jarred tomatoes

I recently conquered one of my fears. For years I have been interested in jarring and canning to preserve foods, but the process always intimidated me. All that boiling water…and fears of botulism contamination if the process wasn’t done exactly right…and what a waste of time and money if the jars didn’t seal…I was getting [...]


Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

tomatoes

Today at the farmer’s market Lane’s End Farm was selling baskets of “ugly” organic tomatoes for $1.50 per ound. While most people would look at the misshapen, bumpy, and uneven colored tomatoes with suspicion, I knew I found a little gold mine! My favorite was this two-for-one tomato that looked like a portly and friendly [...]


"Free" Pizza in a Flash!

pizza

As I wrote about last week, we’re on a pretty strict budget. When we go over in one area, we have to take out of another. Usually the first thing I trim is the grocery bill. Last week I managed on just $20, and this week we’re getting by on $70 (this includes breakfasts, lunches [...]


A Week’s Worth of Groceries for $20

My husband is starting a few businesses, which means we are on a strict weekly budget that I am in charge of enforcing. With the 4th of July holiday last week we went a little over budget for entertainment. So, I have to compensate this week, and I decided to cut our grocery bill to [...]


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