Category: Frugal Living Tips

7 Star Wars Party Ideas for Real Jedi Masters

7 Star Wars Party Ideas for Real Jedi MastersAstonishingly, Star Wars: The Force Awakens made approximately $238 million during its opening weekend!

So it’s not surprising Star Wars is a favorite theme for parties! Whether you’re a die-hard fan, or you’re kids are- here are some fabulous star wars party ideas that we’re sure you’ll love.

Star Wars Invitation Ideas

It’s always best to start at the beginning, and there wouldn’t be a party unless you invited your guests!

If you have the time, we recommend making one of these fun star wars themed invites.


For this design, all you need is an average size piece of white cardstock. Just cut it out into the shape of a lightsaber, and color the handle grey and the beam bright blue or green.

Then, print your party details using a silver marker on the beam. The silver stands out well against the bright colors and always fits in with sci-fi themes.

Picture Collage

Create a picture collage on a Word Document of your favorite Star Wars stills. On the second page insert, the details of your party.

Now, you can print your invites out- just make sure they’re double-sided.

This ensures your pictures are on the front and the party info is on the back!

Fun Masks

This one’s our favorite style of invite! Simply, punch a hole in the corner of your chosen form of invite and then attach it to a Star Wars-themed mask. This would also work for T-shirts.

For ideas, be sure to check out these t shirts for some inspiration!

Be sure to add on the invitations that your guests have to wear the masks to your party!

Star Wars Party Food Ideas

No party’s complete without food. Check out these on-theme delectables:

Edible Lightsabers

Grab a bag of large pretzel rods and cover three-quarters of each rod in either green, blue or red frosting. These look surprisingly authentic!

Jedi Jell-O

Make your favorite Jell-O flavor, once it’s cooled use Star Wars shaped cookie cutters to cut out your Jell-O. This treat always goes down well!

Ewok Food

This idea’s excellent if you’re short on time. Simply, rename trail mix as Ewok Food. Be sure to print out a label so your guests get it!

For more Star Wars party ideas, check this out!

Create Lightsaber Napkins

These are super easy to do, yet they’re really effective. All you need to do is to purchase block colored blue, green, and red napkins.

Then, Google ‘free lightsaber handle napkin printables’. When you find a design you like, print as many as you need. Cut them as required and wrap them around the napkin as necessary- secure with tape!

Then voila you have mini lightsaber napkins- super cute!

Did You Enjoy These Star Wars Party Ideas?

If you loved this article as much as we did writing it, then we’re confident you’ll enjoy the other features on my blog.

Be sure to type ‘party’ into the search bar, and then loads of other party ideas, hints, and tips will pop up.

Alternatively, if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, please feel free to reach out and contact me. I love hearing from readers- speak soon!

5 Reasons To See A Gynecologist


Did you know that gynecologists can help you with almost any female reproductive health problem you can think of? These doctors specialize in all things related to your reproductive system, from your hormones to your ovaries, to your period.

They are extremely helpful in helping you understand your body, as well as helping you prevent or obtain pregnancy.

Additionally, they can offer a variety of tips for you to stay on top of your overall health, as periods are actually an indicator of it.

A gynecologist is trained for several years in medicine, and there are few things that will shock them. Therefore, there isn’t a reason not to see one regularly.

In fact, here are five reasons you should see a gynecologist.

1. They Make Sure Everything Is Healthy

First off, these specialists will make sure everything appears healthy in your reproductive system. After you turn 21, you will receive your first pap smear which will check you for any cell abnormalities in your cervix.

They can tell you if there is anything you need to worry about in relation to your cycle or system.

2. They Can Help You Combat Period Problems

It is estimated that over 20% of women suffer from severe period pain and cramping.

Periods are not intended by nature to be terrible, painful events. Therefore, an OBGYN can talk with you about the pain you experience or any other symptoms such as irregular cycles or PMS.

3. They Will Test for Diseases

The truth is, any sexually active woman should get regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

It is better safe than sorry in most instances, even if you aren’t showing any symptoms of a disease.

4. They Can Help You Will Sexual Dysfunction

OBGYN and other specialists may be able to help you with sexual dysfunction, such as lack of libido or vaginal dryness.

One well-known treatment option for this issue specifically is the o-shot for vaginal rejuvenation, which stimulates cells in your nether regions by using your own plasma cells and blood.

5. They Answer Questions About Pregnancy and Birth Control

A gynecologist is specially trained to answer any questions you have about getting pregnant or avoiding pregnancy.

So, if you are concerned about what you should be doing to attain pregnancy, or you are curious about your options to avoid it, talk with this specialist.

Visit a Gyneocologist for The Health of It

In addition to your primary care provider, OBGYN’s are an essential part of your overall health.

They can answer specific questions about your reproductive system that a regular doctor can’t, and help you move forward accordingly.

Furthermore, they can help get you tested for any diseases or syndromes you may be experiencing, from infertility to PMS.

It is more important to ever to be on top of your female health, as this can very easily influence your overall health, and your monthly cycle can be affected by your environment.

For more ways to combat hormonal issues, check out our post on the best ways to treat adult acne.

How to Save Money While Searching for a New Job

searching for a new job

As of February 2018, the American unemployment rate sat at approximately 4.1%.

Being unemployed and searching for a new job can feel undoubtedly overwhelming and stressful.

If you’ve been recently laid off, you may be scrambling around, trying to set your finances order, apply for new positions, and doing what you can to keep sane in the process.

You may also be stressed about all the upfront costs, such as interview clothes or gas mileage, that come with searching for a new job.

We’ve got you covered on the best tips for saving money during this stressful process. Let’s dive in!

Cut Back on Living Expenses

This should go without saying, but when you’re searching for a new job, money will probably feel a bit tight. This is especially true if you are supporting your family or experiencing a major wage loss.

Fortunately, there are several areas that you can cut back on. For example, can you reevaluate your grocery budget and eliminate or cut back on eating out? What about finally committing to cutting the cable cord?

When you’re jobless, every cent counts. You don’t need to be buying any luxuries or indulgences right now.

The only expenses to continue focusing on? Ones that are related directly to a job. This can include headshots, resume-building services, gas, your cell phone bill, and the Internet.

Anything else? Wait until that first paycheck comes in.

Upgrade Carefully

So, you’ve landed a few interviews, but you have nothing to wear? You were diligent and followed the guideline to cutting back on living expenses, but what if you desperately need a haircut and some clean shoes?

As we know, interviews are your first (and sometimes only) impression to show off what you got to your potential employer. If you look shabby, this may reflect very poorly on your potential performance.

With that in mind, you don’t need to blow hundreds of dollars on an expensive interview outfit or makeover.

Check out the local Goodwill or consignment stores near you. Many people outgrow their work clothes (weight change, pregnancy, change in styles), and so many of these stores have plenty of business casual clothing in stock.

No luck? Check out online retailer or apps like eBay or Poshmark where you can score some serious discounts. Or, just ask your friends and family if you can borrow one of their outfits!

As for your hair? Check out a local cosmetology school. You’ll get a polished new look at a fraction of a salon price.

You don’t have to worry about major hair disasters either. All students receive supervision and monitoring from trained, licensed professionals.

File for Unemployment

Before searching for a new job, take care of the financial matters from your last job.

You’ll need to file a claim with your state’s unemployment program to receive benefits. This means you should contact the program immediately after you become unemployed.

When you file your claim, you will need to provide information about your job, such as the dates you worked and the facility address.

It may take between 2-4 weeks after you file your unemployment claim to receive your first check. Some states work faster than this, but it’s important to realize that it won’t happen instantaneously.

And, remember unemployment benefits aren’t just for employees who get laid off. Many states offer benefits for fired employees, as long as the firing wasn’t due to intentional misconduct.

Get Your Healthcare Appointments

Were you procrastinating on that dental exam or a yearly check-up with your primary care physician due to a busy schedule? Well, now is the time to make those much-needed appointments.

If you are on an employer-sponsored insurance plan, you’ll likely receive your health benefits until the end of the month. Take advantage of the coverage and make it a point to schedule any needed appointments.

If you need to extend your coverage, you’ll want to apply through the COBRA federal program.

Hang Onto Your Receipts

Did you know that the IRS will let you deduct certain job-hunting expenses? Even if it’s not a ton of money, every little cent helps, right?

A few helpful deductions to keep in mind:

  • employment and outplacement agency fees
  • preparing and mailing resume or application copies
  • travel expenses related to looking for the job

You cannot deduct any job search expenses if there is a significant break between the end of your last job and the time you begin searching for a new job. You also cannot write off anything if you’re looking for a job for the very first time.

Furthermore, you need to itemize your expenses to receive a deduction. Currently, your miscellaneous expenses related to searching for a new job must exceed 2% of your adjusted gross income.

With that in mind, it’s a good idea to hang onto any receipts related to your job-searching expenses. Consult with your CPA to determine if you will qualify for any tax breaks.

Commit to a Disciplined Schedule

The best way to stay sane while searching for a new job? It’s all about the discipline and motivation that you hold onto.

Listen, it’s easy to feel burnt or discouraged in a tough job market. It’s easy to feel depressed or anxious and give up hope.

But, these are all traps! They only keep your spirits down, and guess what? They don’t put any more money in your pockets. Instead, commit to landing yourself a job by putting in a dedicated hustle.

Reach out to your network. Got outdated documents or cover letters? Follow the complete guide to creating your resume.

Set daily and weekly goals for yourself for applying to X amount of positions. Stay active and stay on track.

No, this doesn’t mean you have to grind it out all day. In fact, you should take routine breaks. But, if you treat your unemployment like a job- with disciplined hours and goals- you’ll be well on your way to landing a job in no time.

Prioritize (Cheap) Self-Care

It may seem counterintuitive to allow yourself to relax while searching for a new job, but stress reduction is critical for maintaining a positive mindset and attitude.

When you do land that dream interview, you want to go in feeling assured and confident, right?

Make sure that you’re still taking care of yourself in the meantime. This means eating a healthy diet, working out regularly, engaging in pleasant activities (like art, movies, outdoor activities), and spending time with people that you love.

You want to stay sane during this process. It will help you in both the short run and the long run, and you’ll be thankful that you took care of yourself once you land that dream gig.

Get Your Side Hustle On

Did you know that more than 44 million Americans have an active side hustle? As you’re searching for a new job, it’s important to think outside the box.

You may want to focus on a creative pursuit or other job opportunities that you’ve “pushed aside” because you haven’t had the time.

In today’s increasingly digital age, you can essentially start a side hustle with very little to no money.

In fact, many people find their passion and niche in working from home, and this may be just the time to plunge in and start your own business!

Whether it’s blogging or crafting, photography or cooking, you may want to consider investing some time and energy into your own side hustle. Who knows? It may end up becoming your next successful career move.

Take What You Can Get

If money is especially dire, you may need to jump on the first opportunity you can land, even if it’s not the ideal career.

Yes, this may mean working in a position that you’re overqualified for, but it’s important to say open and avoid being picky- especially when the bills need to be paid.

Look for businesses that are hiring for seasonal help, such as restaurants or amusement parks during tourist seasons and retail stores and malls around the holidays.

If you can only secure part-time work, take whatever you can. It’s always better to make some money than none at all.

With that said, it’s important to stay active and on top of your job search during your downtime. Your “what you can get” job is a temporary gig, and it should be treated as such.

Final Thoughts on Saving Money While Searching for a New Job

Nobody likes the frantic feelings that come with unemployment, but most of us will face the distress at some point in our working lives.

Stay focused, and stay the course. If you do just that, you’ll be back in the working world in no time at all.

Interested in learning more ways to live frugally no matter what your circumstance is? Be sure to check out our blog today!

7 Health and Fitness Tips for The On The Go Mom

health and fitness

Depression is one of the most common serious illnesses for moms in the United States. On a national scale, 1 out of 9 women experiences depression after having a baby. It depends on which state you’re in, with some states having as high as 1 out 5 women suffering from this disorder.

One of the most common ways to prevent depression is to watch out for your health and fitness. The problem is that even people without children struggle to lead healthy lives. As a mom, you’re always on the go because you’re responsible for your children, making it hard to stay fit.

Staying fit and healthy as an “On the Go” mom needs more than an hour at the gym a few times a week. It requires you to stay strong, dedicated, and to work hard. Here are some tips to maintain your health and fitness:

Make Sure You’re Well-Rested

Having a good night’s rest can make a huge impact on your health and fitness. Even if you’re busy, make sure that you get yourself a proper bedtime. Organize your schedule in a way that you have sufficient amount of sleep while fulfilling your busy schedule.

If you get enough sleep, you become well-energized throughout the day. It helps you think more clearly and choose healthier lifestyle choices. It gives you more means to figure out how to quit smoking weed and other possible unhealthy behaviors.

Aside from that, proper sleep boosts your mood, improves your creativity, and makes it easier for you lose weight. Going to bed half an hour earlier than usual can make a big difference to the day ahead.

Don’t Forget to Include the Family

If you want to improve your health and fitness, the best way to start is to include your family in your healthy lifestyle choices. It’s hard to stay committed if you’re going alone, even if you have a supportive spouse. Make meals without over-processed foods for them and set healthy meal times.

You can make fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as your primary food source. Eat as much organic food as your family can. It helps you sleep better, reduce your stress and anxiety, and make you more energetic while on the go.

Spend More Time With Your Kids

Watching over your busy, growing children is one of the best ways to get exercise. Instead of letting them play alone in the yard or in the living room, go with them and run along. You can go biking together and go on hiking trips whenever possible.

Spending time with your children keeps them happy and help you bond with them more. Your children love feeling special. If you have more than one kid, try to spend a one-on-one time with each of them if you have the time.

Plan Your Meals on a Monthly Basis

Taking the time to plan your upcoming meals is one of the best ways to keep your healthy eating on track. No matter what kind of meals you prepare, you should plan it to suit your family’s dietary needs and favorite foods. When you plan your meals, it saves you a lot of time while shopping for ingredients in the grocery store.

It comes in handy when you’re pulling up a blank on what to cook. However, don’t forget to add date nights with your family. Go out and eat in family restaurants and give yourself and your family a treat.

Spend Some Time for Yourself

Regular diet and exercise are important, but spending some alone time to care for yourself can make it more worthwhile. Your alone time can be a 15-minute intensive skincare routine every evening or an hour’s worth of bubble bath on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Whatever activities you choose, taking the time to enjoy your own company helps make your health and fitness better.

You deserve the break, even for short periods of time. Focusing on yourself can help you find calmness amid an otherwise hectic schedule.

Don’t Forget to Stay Hydrated

If you don’t drink enough water, you are at risk for various complications like urinary and kidney problems. Water is one of the top things you need to have to have good health and fitness. You’re supposed to drink at least 2 liters of water daily, making it an important component of your day.

A good way to stay hydrated if you’re always on-the-go is to keep a water bottle with you at all times. Drink as often as you can and refill it whenever it runs out. For better results, drink water instead of those sweet, sugary sodas you often take.

Choose Your Snacks Wisely

Getting snacks is an unavoidable part of your day. There are lots of times when you feel hungry but it’s not enough for you to eat a full meal. Usually, that can lead you to have some poor health choices.

Be wise when picking the food you snack on. Instead of eating a bag of chips or chocolate chip cookies, eat some fruits and vegetables. Trail mix and mixed nuts are solid choices when it comes to health and fitness too. There are lots of healthy yet tasty snacking choices waiting for you out there.

Get More Health and Fitness Tips Today!

Maintaining your health is a task that needs a lot of strength and dedication. Ignoring your needs for the sake of other things in life will leave you empty. Taking the time to focus on yourself makes you more energized and make it easier for you to interact with your family and finish your tasks with purpose.

A healthy mom is a happy mom. A happy mom becomes a better mom for her children and a better person overall. That’s why it’s important to care for yourself first–to better care for your family in the long run.

If you’re ready to make a big health and fitness change, contact us today. We can help you get started.

What You Should Know About Nurse Scrubs and Bacteria

nurse scrubs

If you are a nurse, you know all about bacteria and how to protect yourself from it. You wash your hands often and wear your mask and gown when necessary. But have you ever stopped to think about how dirty your clothing gets during a shift?

You’re exposed to a lot throughout the course of your day (or night). And everything that you’re exposed to, your nurse scrubs are exposed to.

Do you know how you should handle your scrubs? If you are not following good practices someone could get sick. Members of your family are particularly susceptible for obvious reasons.

Here is some great advice on how to take care of your nurse scrubs the right way.

How Dirty Do Your Nurse Scrubs Get?

As a nurse, you spend most of your time in scrubs. You want comfortable, breathable scrubs because your job is already stressful enough. You’re always wanting to learn more about where you can find comfortable scrubs.

You’re concerned about comfort, but how often do you think about cleanliness? We may first need to convince you about how dirty your scrubs get during your shift. It’s natural for human beings to get desensitized to things they are around all the time.

If you don’t know what we mean, think about the first time you cleaned up someone’s puke. It may have really grossed you out and you wanted to puke yourself. Now you don’t even bat an eye.

The intrinsic level of the grossness of puke hasn’t changed. But you’ve been desensitized to it because of constant exposure.

In the same way, when you first started working you may have been more aware of your clothes. You may have gone straight home and dumped your clothes in the wash first thing. Now on a busy morning, you may pick up a dirty shirt, give it the sniff test, and toss it on.

Though that shirt may look clean, it isn’t. The intrinsic level of bacteria that contaminates your clothing hasn’t changed. You may have been desensitized to it, but it’s still really dirty.

Do You Need to Worry About Bacteria Contamination?

The short answer is, yes. But, in case you need convincing, here’s the long answer.

This study followed 10 nurses at a hospital in Washington State. They started each shift (both day and night) with sterilized uniforms. Within 48 hours the dangerous bacteria MRSA was present on 7 out of the 10 uniforms. And that was only one of the bacteria strains they found on the clothes.

And don’t think you’re out of the woods because you wear scrubs made from antimicrobial fabric. Duke University Hospital also did a study on nurse scrubs. They wanted to see if antimicrobial fabrics limited the number of bacteria on scrubs.

They tested 3 types of scrubs. These included

  • Regular cotton scrubs
  • Scrubs with a silver alloy in the fibers
  • Scrubs made with other antibacterial materials.

They followed 40 nurses for this study. They took over 5000 cultures from their clothes and the patient’s rooms. They found no significant difference in the presence of bacteria in the fabrics.

Instead, they found that scrubs got contaminated anew about 33% of the time. MRSA was one of the most often seen bacteria.

Don’t Wear Your Scrubs Around Town

Think about what that means. Your clothes could be dangerously dirty. What if you stop off at the grocery store on your way home from work? You could unwittingly expose a lot of people to some intense bacteria.

In fact, many countries, like the UK, Canada, and Australia have rules about this. They don’t allow you to wear scrubs and other hospital clothing outside of the hospital. The risk is too great.

It goes without saying, but you shouldn’t ever wear your scrubs for a second shift either. Always wash your scrubs between every shift. It doesn’t matter if they don’t look dirty. They are dirty.

How to Wash Your Scrubs

Now you understand how important it is to clean your nurse scrubs. Here are some tips on how to wash your scrubs and thoroughly disinfect them between uses.

You can wash cotton scrubs in cold water and dry them on your dryer’s lowest setting. Turn them inside out first to prevent wear on the outside finish. This can happen by rubbing against other the other clothing in the wash.

You can wash cotton-polyester mix fabrics in warm water. You can also bump the dryer heat up to regular. Don’t ever use hot water for either fabric type, though. This can set stains and wear your scrubs out faster.

Commercial fabric softeners are often scented, which can be bothersome to some patients. To avoid using them, toss a half cup of distilled white vinegar in with the rinse water.

How to Disinfect Your Scrubs

Washing your nurse scrubs is great, but you also have to disinfect them. This is how you can be sure that you kill all those harmful bacteria like MRSA.

It is a good idea to keep your dirty scrubs separate from other clothing. You won’t need to disinfect normal use clothing, but your dirty scrubs could infect it. Also, if the person who handles the laundry gets sick easily, gloves are a good idea.

For white cotton scrubs, you can toss chlorine bleach into the dispenser. The machine will release the bleach into the water at the right moment. Be aware that oxygen-based bleaches do not disinfect the way you need.

For everything else, you should use a pine oil based disinfectant. Be sure the brand you choose has at least 80% pine oil in the ingredients. Add this to the water at the beginning of the cycle.

Be Safe!

Being a nurse is a hard job and we’re glad that you’re willing to do it. Remember to take care of yourself and your family too.

Use your scrubs at work only and wash them well between shifts. For more great cleaning tips, be sure to check out the cleaning section of our blog.

6 Great Sources of Protein Other Than Meat

Sources of Protein Other Than Meat

Do you think that your family eats nutritious meals?

You may think that you’re giving your kids the best foods possible, but a study on daily nutrition found that empty calories make up nearly 40% of the average kid’s diet.

Do you want your child to eat better and reduce their empty calorie intake? Give them more protein in their meals.

Meat is the go-to source for protein, but when you have to appease picky eaters meat may not be the best choice. Luckily, there are sources of protein other than meat your kids can eat.

Where To Find Sources of Protein Other Than Meat

Kids are notoriously picky eaters. Moms who may have tried low carb or paleo dishes at dinner time know how hard it can be to introduce new foods.

Finding meatless sources of protein can help your child’s overall diet. When you rely more on vegetables and grains in meals your kids can get more vitamins and minerals.

Curious about what things you should add to your diet? If you want to up your protein and reduce your meat consumption, try out some of these foods.


Quinoa is a grain that most people consider to be a superfood.

This wholesome grain has 8 grams of protein in a serving, but its high amount of protein isn’t the best part about this food.

Quinoa is also high in iron, magnesium, and fiber. It’s very versatile, and many people use it as a substitute for rice.


Tempeh is a vegetarian soy food that’s been eaten throughout Asia for hundreds of years, but it has recently become popular in the west.

Tempeh is very high in protein. One cup of it can have up to 31 grams of protein. It’s also an excellent source of calcium.

If your kids don’t like tofu, try introducing them to tempeh. Some people prefer its taste to tofu because of tempeh’s slightly nutty flavor.

Protein Powder

If you want sources of protein other than meat, protein powder is the ultimate meatless protein source.

Protein powder isn’t for people in need of a post-workout nutrition boost. It can also help add supplemental protein to your diet.

Do your kids love smoothies for breakfast? Add a scoop of protein powder to their smoothies or extra nutrition.

If you want more ideas on how to use protein powder and which brands are the best, check out The Ultimate Guide To Protein Powder.

Rice And Beans

Want something simple, delicious, and high in protein? Go for something classic like rice and beans.

When it comes to sources of protein other than meat, rice and beans can’t be beat. This utterly simple food can have 7 grams of protein in a serving. The meal is also full of important nutrients like methionine and lysine.

If you want to switch things up, substitute the beans for chickpeas or lentils for a tasty dinner with high protein.


Do you want a go-to substitute for meat, but don’t want to use tofu?

Seitan has been taking the vegetarian and vegan worlds by storm. Because it’s created by mixing gluten with herbs, spices, and stock (or water), it’s much more flavorful than tofu.

This meat substitute has been in use for thousands of years, and a serving can have almost 21 grams of protein.

Peanut Butter

Want the ultimate kid-friendly source of protein? Look no further than peanut butter.

Go beyond pairing it with jelly if you want to give your kids something different. Spread it on waffles in the morning, or serve a big dollop of it with bananas and celery.

Your Turn

Now that you know what foods to use, it’s time to get to work!

If you’re not sure how to use some of proteins, check out the list of recipes on the Meatless Monday website. They have tons of recipes that don’t use meat, and plenty of them are kid-friendly.

If you’re interested in other nutritious meals, check out our post on healthy and tasty breakfasts you can make.

7 Tips for Making Your Own Dog Food

making your own dog food

Want to save money and keep your pet healthier? Then you’ll want to start making your own dog food.

Making your own dog food at home is an easy, affordable way to make sure your pet is getting the best. Instead of paying for overpriced brand names full of additives, you can provide food at a much lower cost.

This is a great choice for dogs with dietary restrictions, picky eaters, or any beloved pet whose diet you’re concerned about. Making your own dog food is easier than you might think, too.

Keep reading for everything you need to get started.

Why Start Making Your Own Dog Food?

You may be wondering if it’s really worth it to cook for your dog. There are actually a lot of compelling reasons to make the change away from commercial dog food.

It’s tempting to think that the bags of pet food you find at stores are healthy, good choices. However, the reality is that pet food isn’t regulated the way human food is.

There are a few rules and standards, thanks to the FDA and the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). But these rules for pet food aren’t very strict, and they also aren’t very well enforced.

Because of this oversight, companies can put just about whatever they want into your pet’s food.

Have you heard about pet food recalls? These happen often because companies use ingredients that aren’t good for pets. Then they’re forced to recall the products later when problems start.

When you make your pet’s food at home, you can add more nutrients while avoiding the preservatives in store-bought food. You can tailor the mix to your dog’s needs. And yes, you can even save money.

This is a great choice for dogs with allergies, IBS, or other common issues affected by diet. It’s also ideal for dogs that have responsibilities they’ll need to be alert, focused and healthy for.

Today, our dogs may be more than just companions. Many people keep dogs who help them in their day-to-day life. Someone who lives alone in the city might keep a dog for protection, while other people may have an emotional support animal (to get your dog certified, check out Certapet for ESAs).

All dogs need healthy, high-quality food, but these dogs may benefit from it even more than others. Now, let’s get into how to start making your own dog food.

How to Make Dog Food at Home

In order to successfully make your dog’s food, you’ll just need to follow a few basic rules.

Some dogs may need extra-special diets, such as a grain-free diet. However, if your pup doesn’t have any restrictions on their diet, a good ratio to keep in mind is 50 percent protein, 25 percent vegetables, and 25 percent grain.

Another ratio that also works is 40-60 percent protein or raw meat, 20-30 percent starches (cooked), and 20-30 percent raw fruits and vegetables.

You’ll need to check which foods are safe for dogs to eat before getting started. Most of us know that dogs can’t eat chocolate, but you may be surprised to learn about the other ingredients that are toxic to dogs, such as onions.

Finally, you should add certain supplements to the mix, since food on its own doesn’t always have everything a dog needs to stay healthy.

Tips for Making Your Dog’s Food

Now, here are our top tips for making your own dog food.

1. Use a Great Recipe

Your dog’s food is only as good as the recipe you use. Follow the ratios above to get a good blend, and make sure you choose high-quality, nutritious ingredients.

Make sure each recipe you choose has protein, fats, calcium, essential fatty acids, and carbs in it. The best recipes will come from professional animal nutritionists or veterinarians. Remember: just because your dog likes it doesn’t mean it’s good for them.

2. Follow the Recipe

When you good for yourself, you may love to substitute other ingredients and make various adjustments. However, when you cook for your dog, you shouldn’t improvise. Instead, follow the recipe exactly as it’s written.

Making even small changes to the recipe can have effects you don’t want. For example, removing the skin from a chicken before cooking it can change its nutritional value.

Substituting ingredients can also throw off the nutritional balance. Find reliable recipes, and then follow them perfectly every time.

3. Get a Food Scale

To get the ratios right, you’ll need to accurately measure the food you use. A food scale is the most reliable way to do this.

Measuring cups aren’t always accurate, especially for certain ingredients like meat. A food scale is the best way to make sure you’re actually feeding the proper amount each time.

4. Cook Foods Thoroughly

Some foods, such as certain meats and vegetables, can be fed raw.

However, for those foods that need to be cooked, you should be sure to cook them all the way. If you don’t, harmful bacteria could make your dog sick.

5. Add Supplements

To provide the proper nutritional balance, you’ll need to add some extra supplements to your dog’s meals. No matter how good the recipe is, it will probably still lack a few essential nutrients.

Calcium is an example of something dogs need that isn’t often found in their food in high quantities. A pet nutritionist can help you decide what supplements you’ll need.

6. Don’t Add Too Many Carbs

Excess carbs can cause your dog to gain weight or even develop allergies. Some experts don’t think that carbs are necessary for a dog’s diet at all.

Consult with a veterinarian or nutritionist to decide what’s best for your dog.

7. Check the Results

After making your own dog food for a few weeks, schedule a vet visit to make sure the diet is working well.

Watch your dog’s behavior and weight for any changes.

Ready to Start Making Your Own Dog Food?

If you follow these tips, you can easily change your pup’s diet for the better.

Interested in other ways to save money by making things at home? Check out our DIY tips here.