March/April 2008 Newsletter
Are you thinking spring yet? I’m sure many of you are already planting seeds and working the yard. I can’t say the same thing for me here in New England. The last storm left us with eight more inches of snow and even though the weatherman is promising us that it will be melted by mid-week, he’s also telling us that by the weekend, we might have more of the white stuff again. I know spring has to come, but I’m getting a bit impatient.
In the meantime, my thoughts are turning to my annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner! My folks are reminding me how much they love the mustard sauce on the corned beef and the Irish soda bread, warm and slathered in butter. My hot mustard sauce is straight out of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook if you’re interested and it is a “must have” in my home when we serve ham or corned beef. I’ve got my Irish soda bread recipe posted on the site and it comes from a friend.
My middle son brought home a very fun and edible craft project suitable to St. Patty’s day (although it can be used for any special day). He actually played a trick on me and had me thinking he was eating moldy bread with this one! You’ll need the following items:
-small, new clean paint brush (like the ones found in watercolor sets)
-method for toasting the bread
Tint the milk any color you like (if you want the moldy bread look, go for green or the St. Patty’s look). Use the brush to lightly paint the green milk over the bread, using care not to overly soak the bread. For St. Patty’s day you can paint the shape of a shamrock, for Valentine’s Day you can use red milk to paint the shape of a heart. REMEMBER, do not overly soak the bread.
After you’ve painted your bread, place it in the toaster and toast away. The bread dries out leaving the coloring behind and whatever design you painted on it. As far as the moldy bread thing, just paint the green all over. Imagine the look on your kid’s faces as you take a big ‘ole bite out of your moldy toast! We can have fun with THEM, right?
Easter is fast approaching! Like Christmas morning, Easter morning is a busy one for us. I have a collection of overnight recipes that let me prep everything the night before and basically just have to be thrown in the oven the next morning. These recipes aren’t relegated to just holiday mornings. They’re for any morning you’d like a hot, fresh breakfast but don’t have the time.
April brings showers which lead to May flowers but it also brings Earth Day! It may or may not surprise you to know that leading a more green lifestyle can also be a money-saving lifestyle. Buying in bulk for example can be money saving and there is usually less packaging associated with a bulk purchase than buying things in smaller amounts (50 lb bag of flour versus ten-5 lb bags). Baking soda is a very inexpensive product and it’s quite an effective and environmentally safe cleaning product. Here is a great article on using baking soda in your home;
One of my Frugal-Families team members, Dana Eppele, wrote a great article on how frugality and leading a more environmentally friendly lifestyle go hand and hand. It’s making it’s world wide web debut right here on Frugal-Families!
Oh and don’t forget that you before the May flowers can bloom, you need to plant them! Learn a bit about gardening basics with this article:
One subject that has kept our forums busy is the recent sub-prime mortgage woes and the country’s current “economic slowdown.” Call it an economic slowdown, call it a recession, call it whatever you want but the main thing is that prices continue to go up while the value of your dollar continues to go down. Households are hurting. Experts like Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman and Liz Pulliam Weston (of MSNmoney) offer much of the same advice to households:
-Reduce debt. Dave Ramsey recommends paying down your debt from the smallest to the largest. You can read his entire plan in his book, “The Total Money Makeover.”
-Consumers need to stop consuming. Are you purchasing wants or needs? You NEED food, you WANT the HD TV.
-Start living within your means. If what’s going out is more than what’s going in, then it’s time to start plugging the leaks and figuring out where you can stop spending. Do you have that budget in place yet?
As always, if you’re interested in a free 48 hour pass to our money-saving forums, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m also interested in hearing from you in terms of what frugal topics you’d like us to cover in the newsletters. In addition, if you no longer wish to receive our newsletter, just return this one to me and I’ll remove you from our mailing list.
Thank you for being part of our frugal family and best wishes for a joyous Easter season.
Owner and Publisher of Frugal Families
Make sure you keep coming back to our Frugal-Families Blog We’re always covering various topics related to home, family and finances.