Thursday, August 19, 2010

Favorite Things: Crocband Sneak Kids

Maybe your kid is addicted to Crocs but not allowed to wear them to school? Never fear -- the Crocband Sneaker is here! In a word, brilliant!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Chatter: Halloween Budget

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: How much do you spend per costume? Do you have a candy and decoration budget? Please share.

And how cute is this shark costume? $22.50 at Old Navy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Challenge: $300 Grocery Bill?

Each month, we budget $400 for groceries which includes all food and household supplies for our family of four. After analyzing our menus, looking at food prices, and clipping coupons, I've made the decision to try a one month challenge. During the month of September, I am planning to slash our food budget by $100. I will post all of my grocery receipts and menus here to keep myself accountable. I've also made the radical decision to return to Trader Joe's! Can you tell I am excited? I will make two trips to Safeway each month and two trips to Trader Joe's each month. I plan to spend $200 at Safeway and $100 at Trader Joe's. I did a "dry run" today; I spent $88 at Safeway last week and $47 at Trader Joe's today. I came in under budget for the past two weeks but we've got some great meals planned. I am feeling good about getting some new menu items and more organic food into our weekly plans.

Cheap and Cheerful wants to know: How often do you grocery shop? Where? Why?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cheap and Cheerful Cooking: Rachael Ray's Honey-Vanilla Lemonade

The summer is slipping away, but there is still time for one last glass of lemonade. Cheers!

2 cups sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 cups water, plus more as needed
1 vanilla bean
2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 24 lemons)
Lemon wheels or wedges, for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, honey, and 2 cups water and place over medium-high heat. Cut the vanilla bean in 1/2 lengthwise, then, using the back of the knife, scrape the vanilla seeds from the pod and add to the saucepan, along with the pod. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture thickens. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Put the lemon juice into a gallon jug or pitcher. Pour the sugar syrup through a strainer into the pitcher and discard the pod. Add water to equal 1 gallon and stir well.

Serve over ice with lemon wheels or wedges.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Deal of the Day: Suede Boots from The Children's Place

I love these boots and so does my son. Plus, they are over 50% less per pair than other similar boots. You can literally buy jeans and shirt to go with the boots and spend less than you would on a $50 pair of shoes. A whole outfit versus just the shoes -- that is what I call cheap and cheerful!


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