Linen Closet Tips, Tricks and Hacks

How to Organize Your Linen Closest in 4 Hours.

Reorganizing your linen closet probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list! But this task can really free up time and mental energy – here’s why and how.

The Last Time We Reorganized our Linen Closet

For us, it had been about 10 years — raising five kids and being involved in helping them launch as young adults, writing books and speaking around the country took a lot of time and mental energy, leaving little time to even think about this important type of organizing task. We truly had lost track of what was in the linen closet.

 Read more »

The Amazing Key to the Most Powerful Household Budget Ever!

This is the Amazing Key to the Most Powerful Household Budget Ever!

The Amazing Key to the most Powerful Household Budget Ever!

Family budget tips and secrets to help you become successful financially. 

Lots of people talk about household budgets this time of year. With the holidays quickly fading in the rearview mirror, we’re motoring at full speed into a new year, full of optimism and powered by new resolutions. While some cruise down that road with apparent effortlessness, other will hit speed bumps or have collisions with unseen obstacles. The road to resolution heaven is often littered with derailed dreams.

What if there was a way to virtually guarantee that you could … Read more »

Sneaky and Inexpensive Ways to Eat Healthier this Year

Here's 5 ways you can eat healthier for less money than you thought.

We’re always looking for easy ways to improve our health and nutrition. Here are five ways can we eat healthier without going to extremes.

It’s commonly accepted that some of the most common New Year’s Resolution are to loose weight and to get finances in order.

We’re hoping that this blog will inspire you on both fronts if you’ve made either of these resolutions this year. You can lose weight by eating healthier and you can eat healthier without spending a fortune! So let’s start eating healthier for less!

1) Eat Less Sugar

In 1822 the average American consumed 3285 grams of sugar each … Read more »

How to make the Best Budgets for Savvy Spending

Here are 3 types of budgets for Savvy Spending and awesome money planning!

We’ve discovered that there almost as many ways to budget as there are people talking about it. There are expensive systems, cheap systems, apps, websites and grandma’s system for budgeting. With so many choices, it’s hard to know which kind will be the best budget for you!

What Kind of Budgeting System will work best for you?

Lots of people talk about having a budget for their money.
Lots of people want to budget.
And lots of people start to budget . . . but then stop.

Watch the video below to here Steve & Annette explain the advantages and disadvantages to
the …
Read more »

50 Ways To Get an Awesome Workout—For Next to Nothing! Get Healthy & Stay Healthy

50 Ways to Get an Awesome Workout for no or low cost!

Get Healthy Stay Healthy for Less this Year!

We all know that to get healthy and to stay healthy, a regular exercise routine is a must. Our doctor’s recommend it, our friends encourage it, our government proclaims the necessity of it and of course thousands of health clubs, gyms and manufacturers of exercise equipment tout the benefits of regular exercise.

Exercising to stay healthy is not only good for us, but it is a HUGE part of our economy. The amount we spend at gyms and health clubs in the US is close to $22 billion (and only about 10% of the … Read more »

Six Obstacles to the Perfect Budget

Overcoming Six Obstacles to the Perfect Budget!

One of the top two New Year’s Resolutions is to get personal finances in order—to get out of debt or set up a budget.

But too often this resolution is made, and then quickly abandoned.

We’ve heard it, we’ve seen it, and we’ve helped many families to overcome it.

Any effort you make to manage your money will immediately start producing positive dividends.

We’ve created a four part series that covers the benefits and “How To’s” of setting up a realistic, workable and maintainable household budget.

The Four Different Blogs are Listed Here

Six obstacles to the perfect budget
How … Read more »

New Year’s Eve Party – Fun & Frugal!

New Year's Eve Party, Fun and Frugal Ideas.

We love ringing in the New Year with family and friends.

Years ago we started a family tradition of hosing a New Year’s Eve open house and it doesn’t look like it’s ending anytime soon. Even though our kids are grown, they love inviting their friends and helping put on a great event.

When the kids were younger we would invite several families whose kids were the same ages as our kids. Now, we just invite anyone who wants to come. We start at 6:30 and have several events planned that run throughout the night. We put the time and event on … Read more »

Tante Golde’s Potato Latkes   

Fried and Shredded potato latke on a white plate with green spinach leaves.

If you’re looking for a delicious, crispy and fun family meal addition, try these Potato Latkes. We found this recipe in a children’s holiday book and fell in love with it. We’ve often double the recipe in order to make a huge batch. This goes great with a pancake breakfast. This recipe is also a favorite among Jewish people as they celebrate Hanukkah.

Get the recipe here on our Veggie Recipe Super Page.

If you’re interested in the book … Read more »

Holiday Cheese Blintzes and Dessert Crepes – A family tradition!

Cheese blintzes covered with red strawberries and mint.

This family tradition started about 15 year ago when Steve had this wild idea to make cheese blintzes for a special Christmas family breakfast. He pulled out our Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook, modified the recipe for our large crew, added a twist of his own creation and whipped up a batch of crepes and filling . . . the rest is history.

On that Christmas Eve he created a tradition that has endured and is always anticipated. And even now that our kids are grown, they still come back home looking forward to our Christmas morning tradition of cheese blintzes topped … Read more »

Simple Dough Ornaments

4 dough ornaments hanging by a red ribbon on a brown paper background.

These are extremely easy to make and are a great craft for younger kids to help with. Even our teens loved expressing their creativity in the painting and decorating of of these Christmas dough ornaments.

Dough Ornament Ingredients:

4 cups flour
1 cup salt
1 tsp powdered Alum
1 ½ cups water

Get the rest of the directions for making Dough Ornaments here

Watch this Frugal Christmas Crafts interview.

In this Today Show Christmas appearance we share several inexpensive ways to make the holidays beautiful. Watch as Joe explains how much these Christmas Dough Ornaments cost.

Get Directions for other Crafts Here

If you want to get directions and … Read more »

8 Inexpensive, Fun-Filled Family Traditions for the Holidays

8 Fun Family Traditions for the Holidays.

Tradition! Whether your family is large or small, young or old, establishing traditions can enhance relationships, evoke warm feelings and create memories that last a lifetime.

Over the years, we’ve read numerous books about the value of family traditions. They add stability to the yearly calendar as the kids eagerly anticipate and participate in the preparations for each special event.

Our Christmas Traditions really are a “month-ful” of activities and routines that we’ve established over many years. Here are a few of the many we have:

Holiday Music / Performances

There are many holiday musical performances this time of year. … Read more »

Holiday Gift Pressures

Great tips for giving presents this Christmas!

How can we enjoy Christmas and the whole holiday season without feeling obligated to spend gobs of money on gifts for family and friends? Here are 7 ways to overcome Holiday Gift Pressure.

Question about Holiday Gift Pressures

I really enjoy reading about how your family enjoys holidays like Christmas without spending a lot of money (we all know what the reason is for the season, right?). But unfortunately my mother-in-law spends too much and expects others to do the same. My husband comes from a big family, so buying Christmas presents can get REALLY expensive. I suggested doing a Secret Santa gift exchange … Read more »

How to Hire Your First Financial Advisor

Virtually everyone can benefit from hiring a professional financial planner, whether you’re looking to give your personal finances a boost or you’re looking to improve plans for a small business. If you’re considering hiring your first financial advisor, follow these steps and find a finance pro well-suited to your financial goals.

Why Should I Hire a Financial Advisor?

There are many reasons you might decide to hire a finance professional, but for most, the reason falls among one of these three:

Dealing with money causes undue stress and hiring a professional would save you frustration;
You have no clue what you’re doing … Read more »

Fun Felt Christmas Tree for Kids

Toddler sitting in front of a green felt christmas tree with ornaments

This is one of our latest, inexpensive craft projects we made it for our grandson Stark. He squealed with delight when he played with it. Its so simple and fun for kids to play with, and for parents and grandparents to make. It took about 3 hours to assemble once we gathered all of the material. 

On the tip page below, we even created an easy to print out template for making the various ornaments.

Click here to get details about the project including:

  • Materials List
  • Dimensions
  • Ornament Templates 
  • Tps and tricks we learned AFTER we finished the project

Six Happy Saving Tips To Make your Holidays Jingle with Joy

Six Saving Tips to Make Your Holidays Jingle with Joy

Christmas is coming, and it seems to come faster and faster each year. And for many families what accompanies the approach of the holiday is the accumulation of lots of presents and . . . lots of bills.

Is there a way to break the cycle of obligatory gift giving and the weight of January’s debt regret?

Going Over Board on Gifts Can Drive you Over Budget

Sixty-six percent of Americans who shop for Christmas gifts report that they usually go over their budgets.

On average, they end up spending $116 more than they planned.

78 percent of parents of younger children go over budget … Read more »

Elegant & Easy Tinsel Wreath

A gold and white tinsel wreath with a golden bow, on a green background.

This easy to make Tinsel Wreath is an inexpensive and holiday decor item to make. It’s a favorite decoration of ours, it makes a beautiful addition to any home and it is an impressive gift too! It is so versatile too! If you select a different color or colors of garland, you can easily make this work for Fourth of July, Easter, Valentines Day and so many other holidays.

Watch the video to see how Annette makes it. It’s so simple!

More Details on Making a Tinsel Wreath

If you want a list of materials and detailed instructions on how to make this tinsel … Read more »

Christmas Movie Favorites

christmas movie cases on a green table cloth background

Do you have some family favorite Christmas movies that you watch every year? We do – some of our favorite Christmas movies are the result of fond memories from our childhoods and others have grown to be Christmas favorites in recent years as they have touched our hearts.

We have a wooden crate near the hearth of our fireplace where we store all of our most favorite Christmas movies. Steve just went over and pulled a bunch out and created this list of the ones we love the most. Some are deep, some are moving and some are just plain silly … Read more »

4 Ways to Lighten Your Holiday Entertaining

Christmas cookies for holiday parties

Does the cost of hosting a holiday party overwhelm you? Here are 4 inexpensive ways to host holiday parties this year that are fun, frugal and full of holiday cheer.

We just attended a holiday party at a friend’s home. It was a pot-luck (of sorts)—some people brought nothing. The hostess provided a turkey and drinks. Annette cooked up a huge pot of turkey barley soup. It was a cold night and we were amazed to see 6 quarts of delicious soup get consumed in just a couple of hours. The turkey was consumed quickly too.

Overeating and the holidays go hand-in-hand, but … Read more »

Dressing Up for the Holidays for Less

Holiday clothing frugal idea. Look fantastic this holiday season without spending a fortune.

Everybody wants to look fantastic for the holidays, but how can you get a great look without spending great gobs of money. We’ll share how you can dress up for the holidays without spending a fortune.

Question About Holiday Clothing Expenses

I know that I’ll be invited to several holiday parties this season and will need to get dressed-up. I don’t have money for new clothes right now. I want to look good, but also want to break my credit-card habit. What should I do?

Less Stress for Holiday Clothing!

The holidays can be stressful, and wanting to look fantastic can be expensive . … Read more »

Reasons to Install a Burglar Alarm in Your Home

In the old days, it was unusual to find an expensive or sophisticated gadget like a Burglar alarms in most homes. Such gadgets were found in the homes of people who had a lot of money. Today, the home alarm systems are obviously among the most popular security devices. Just like you see the basic and standard appliance and gadgets in every home, you will find home alarm systems for home security and protection.

Why Install a Burglar Alarm?

There are several reasons why you should install a burglar alarm in your home. First of all, the home alarm systems are restrictive and houses with … Read more »

Is it better to give Presents or Cash to Kids?

Is it better to give Presents or Cash to kids at Christmas-time?

It’s an age old question – should we give our kids money for Christmas or should be just give them presents. You might be surprised on our advice to this family!

Question About the Holidays and Gift Giving for Kids

I have your three books and have read about the MoneySmart Kids System that teaches kids to manage their own money; I have a question regarding giving money for holidays (to your children). Do you give money to your children for holidays or do you have a rule to not give money?

Our Strategy for … Read more »

Light String Fix and Repair

Looking for a way to fix Christmas lights strings that don't work? Here's your answer and saved loads of money and time!

How a fun and frugal family fixes holiday light strings that won’t light, by using a very simple tool. No more frustration and no more dead strings of lights. Watch the video where Steve shows you how he fixes holiday light strings now. 

We put up our Christmas lights on Thanksgiving weekend. It’s been a family tradition for decades. We turn on Christmas music, pull out dozens of boxes full of decorations, ornaments and garlands, as well as the tree, several wreaths and a huge box full of green strings of lights.

Working Together

As the holiday music rings through the house, … Read more »

7 Black Friday Strategies

A crowd of people going black friday shopping.

With Christmas right around the corner it’s time to put our gift planning into high gear. One great way to do that is to make your list and then check the websites that advertise the super low Black Friday Ads prior to Thanksgiving weekend. Many of them even allow you to simply click and select to build a customized shopping list.

You may have to get up early to stand in line, but retailers typically drop some huge loss leaders to entice consumers to spend. By doing your research in advance you can dial in the best deals and plan your … Read more »

The Cat of Bubastes Audio Drama

The Cat of Bubastes Audio Drama CD Cover

We just listened to another great audio drama adapted from a short story written by G.A. Henty. It kept us on the edge of our seats as we drove and listened to it!

The Setting of the Cat of Bubastes

The Cat of Bubastes is a riveting story about a 15 year-old boy (Amuba) who is carried into slavery in ancient Egypt, around 1250 B.C. A kind Egyptian named Ameres purchases Amuba and his faithful servant Jethro. Ameres is in fact the High Priest of Osiris – a powerful, yet very fair-minded and kind man who has two children. Unknown to Ameres … Read more »

How to Cook a Turkey – New Video

A man carving a cooked turkey with a long, sharp knife and meat fork.

Over the past 32 years, Annette has cooked more than 120 turkeys. In this new video she shows you her “secret” process to defrost, stuff, sear and cook a delicious roasted turkey every time.

Cooking a turkey isn’t an overwhelming task if you follow these steps!

If you’d like the step-by-step written instructions, visit this page in our tips section

How to cook a turkey like a Pro!

A raw turkey defrosting in salt water bath in a black kitchen sink.