Category: Frugal Living Tips

TMR Frugal Living Tip #85

Today’s thrifty living tip is to save money by coloring your own hair. I usually get 2 boxes of hair color for $5 after sale and coupons.Do not be intimated by using a coloring hair at home kit. Many of the do it yourself home kits are super easy to use with great instructions.

My stylist charges me $35 so I was going every 3 months. I was spending $140 yearly not including tip so around $150+ with tip. I can color my hair every 8 weeks which costs me $30 a year. I am saving over $100 each year. It might not seem like much, but it does add up.

I use Garnier hair color, and I have used all of them. I prefer the ultra color as I find it covers the gray well and the color lasts. I have become a bit of an expert on coloring my own hair. I don’t do streaks or frosts. I just want to cover those stubborn grays. I’m much too young to have gray hair. I love the dark auburn color as it is closest to my natural color. I love how the red looks when I’m outside in the sun. I get lots of compliments on my color so I must be doing something right.

Do you color your own hair at home or do you prefer to have a professional color your hair?

Guest Article: Child’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Child's Birthday Party on a BudgetThe following post was written by Melissa C. who writes for the Blog Content Guild.

Throwing a Child’s Birthday Party on a Budget

Throwing a birthday party for your child doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. There are lots of fun tips and tricks you can use that allow you to save money and will still allow for a memorable time!

First of all, if your child is very young, you don’t need to go out and buy a fancy cake from a bakery. These can be very expensive and, if your child is too young to even remember it, it is a waste of money. Many children love the Funfetti cake mix from Pillsbury that you can find at most grocery stores. You can make a fun cake yourself that will save a lot of money.

Instead of a cake, consider having cupcakes. You can make these yourself easily, or buy them from the bakery for usually cheaper than a cake. This takes the hassle out of having to cut a cake, and if your child is young they may enjoy playing with the cupcake far more than they would have enjoyed having a cake.

If you’re having a theme party, like a Mario party, save by buying minimal amounts of mario birthday party supplies. Instead, make some Mario-themed party-ware on your own. You can bake Mario-shaped cookies or a Mario cake.

Before heading to the store, survey what you already have with an eye for repurposing. If you have some leftover curling ribbon from Christmas, you could use it to tie around balloons. Similarly, some wire ribbon could help you decorate chairs and make the interior of your house colorful and welcoming.
Head to your local dollar store, especially goodie bag items. You can often find lots of stickers and small toys that you can put in small bags and tie with ribbons. It will look impressive to the children but won’t cost you an arm and a leg to assemble.

With some creative thinking and a little bit of planning, you can throw a great birthday party for your child without breaking the bank. Sometimes it could be easy to get caught up into the mentality nowadays of trying to have a birthday party better than any of the other children, but that’s not what is important. The important thing is to give your child a great, memorable time without stressing yourself out, and hopefully these tips will help you keep things in perspective and create a great celebration.

Create a Family Cookbook for Christmas

My husband’s family shared their favorite family recipes in order to create their family cookbook. They also included family pictures and anecdotes. I think this makes a creative and wonderful Christmas gift the whole family can treasure. Your family’s favorite recipes are kept forever in the family and passed down to future generations. Check out The Family CookBook Project website to create a family treasure below.


TMR Frugal Living Tip #84

hollyjollychristmasToday’s thrifty living tip is take your own Christmas pictures. When I received photo studio coupons in the mail, I would bring my son for his Christmas pictures to save money. The catch was you could only pick the first pose. The whole time I had my fingers crossed the picture turned out nice. I know some photographers would retake the picture if I wasn’t happy with that pose, but many of them are making minimum wage. Taking my child’s perfect Christmas picture is not high on their priority list.

I began taking all of my son’s Christmas pictures when he was about 5 years old. I was already taking pictures of the items I sold on ebay so why not take his pictures. I take shots in front of the tree, in front a white sheet (just like the studios), outside, and maybe on location. I do not own a high quality digital camera, but it is a decent camera. I upload all my pictures on Snapfish. I can edit all the pictures and have the ones I wanted printed. You can add fun borders and other neat options. I’m not sure if you can order the pictures with borders. I think that might be for online use only. I usually spend $20-30 for many pictures in different sizes such as 8×10, 5×7, and wallet. This price even includes the price of shipping.snowflakes

You might be thinking…well, I don’t know. This idea might not work so well if you want to be in the pictures such as a family picture. You might be lucky and know someone who takes good pictures that might do you a favor or barter for taking your pictures. I have a couple of people in my family who love to play photographer for fun. They would never dream of asking for money. Save some money and have fun taking the pictures. I also love the editing. The picture shown is one I took a few years ago and added a fun holiday border.

Broccoli Casserole- A Holiday Tradition

Broccoli Casserole- A Holiday Tradition

broccolicasseroledish

I first learned how to make this very tasty broccoli casserole when I was a teenager still living at home. I love to eat this dish every Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is one of those dishes that many people in my family ask me to bring or to make at the holidays. I wanted to share this very easy yet very yummy broccoli casserole recipe. I have to add my husband, who loathes broccoli, absolutely loves this broccoli casserole and will go back for seconds.

Broccoli Casserole

Recipe Type: Casserole
Cuisine: American
Author: Thrifty Momma Ramblings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-12
I normally make this casserole for the holidays which consists of rice, cream of chicken soup, cheese and broccoli. My family can’t get enough of it.
Ingredients
  • 2 Cans of Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 1 cup of uncooked white rice (2 cups cooked)
  • 1 bag of frozen broccoli (I use a whole small bag like Picsweet)
  • Velveeta cheese cubed (at least 1 small 8 oz loaf)
Instructions
  1. Use a 9×13 glass dish like pyrex and you will add enough water to barely cover the bottom. Then add both cans of soup and stir and add in the broccoli. Cook in the microwave uncovered on high for 5 minutes. Take out stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir again.
  2. Next you will begin to add the rice and mix it in very well. I actually break up the rice into smaller chunks before adding it in the dish. Afterwards, you will add in the cheese. Try to spread it out and then mix it in well. Now you want to spread it out and smooth out the top.
  3. Finally you will put it in the oven uncovered on 350 degrees for 20 minutes and the cheese should bubble. Then take out and let it cool off.

I usually buy Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup as I find it goes on sale often around the holidays. As for the broccoli, I use Pic sweet frozen florets and one small bag. I usually get them on sale 2/$3 and I use the whole bag. You could use chopped but I just prefer the florets. I prefer to use Velveeta cheese as it melts so well and has a great cheesy taste. I will admit I usually buy the small block of Great Value brand as it’s usually cheaper. I will buy the Velveeta Cheese when I can find it on sale with a a coupon! I will use at least 3/4 of the smallest block. I do slice them into small cubes. It will be easier to mix into the casserole.

I have a smaller microwave so I put a small amount of water along with both cans of soup and the broccoli. Mix it as well as you can and put in for about 4 minutes. I take it out and stir it again. I microwave it for another 4-5 minutes. You might have a couple of pieces of broccoli that are still a little frozen but this is alright. It will finish cooking in the oven.
broccolicasseroledish

Next you will begin to add the rice and mix it in very well. I actually break up the rice into smaller chunks before adding it in the dish. Afterwards, you will add in the cheese. Try to spread it out and then mix it in well.
broccolicasseroledish

Last you will spread it all out after you mixed it well. You kinda just want to smooth the top so it looks nicer. I use a Pyrex glass dish. I find those glass dishes are so easy to cook with, and you just serve from that same dish once cooked. They also clean easier and won’t stain. I have owned my Pyrex dishes for at least 10-12 years. They just last.
broccolicasseroledish

Now you will put the broccoli casserole uncovered into the oven for at least 15 minutes at 350. I personally find 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to have it cooked and the cheese a little bubbly. The edges may be a little browned but it’s fine. I brought this to Thanksgiving dinner, and there was just enough leftover for me. I was happy everyone enjoyed it so much, but I just wished there was a little more left. If you try this broccoli casserole recipe, then please let me know if you and your family enjoyed it as much as my family does.
broccolicasseroledish

Relax This Holiday Season


The holidays are fast approaching with Thanksgiving almost here. Thanksgiving is the signal that Christmas will be here in a month. Oh no! I still have to buy the turkey and trimmings, clean the house for the guests, then start decorating for Christmas, buy the presents, wrap them, and send out cards. Whoa! Slow down and take a deep breath. Do the opposite and take time for yourself this holiday season.

While this tidbit sounds great in theory, didn’t you just see all of the things I still have to do. Believe me I understand, but take your finger off the panic button and relax. I’m going to list a few tips on how to take time for yourself and learn how to relax which will make the holidays even more enjoyable.

Make a Plan:
Everyone needs a plan of action. Make a list of all the items you need to make for Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner. Make a list of all the people you buy presents for or make treats. I realize I’m a little late planning this post as I wanted to write this last week, but this is still useful for Christmas. I always make a list of the people we buy presents for, and I always buy a couple of extra items for those last minute gifts. The plans are also good for cleaning or maybe with traveling.

Delegate:
I realize some of you are probably laughing, but I want you to delegate that list to others. Get your husband involved, the kids (if they are old enough), friends, and other family members. If someone asks if they can bring something for Thanksgiving, then tell them yes. It could be soft drinks or desserts. Maybe they make a wonderful side dish that everyone enjoys. You aren’t superwoman so stop trying to act like one.

Indulge Yourself:
I am very serious. As women we try so hard to please everyone else, that we neglect ourselves. I know I’m not useful to my family if I’m stressed out and snapping at them over trivial things. When I start to feel my breaking point, then I take a deep breathe and lock myself up away from everyone. You don’t have to make a dramatic exit, but just excuse yourself for a few minutes. I realize some moms don’t have as much time to get away, but honestly even five minutes of peace and quiet makes a huge difference in your attitude and well being. Below are some things I like to take time to do for myself.

  • Take a bubble bath. (I have occasionally brought a glass of wine to sip while soaking).
  • Do some reading. (It could be as simple as thumbing through your favorite magazine).
  • Do a craft. (If this truly relaxes you then go for it).
  • Enjoy a glass of wine or beer by yourself. (Maybe a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate instead).
  • Pray or meditate. (I know I feel more at peace after saying a prayer or two).
  • Eat a piece of chocolate. (Seriously I love a piece of dark chocolate and just savoring it).
  • Go for a walk. (This really helps to clear your head).
  • Exercise or dance. (Along the same lines but it really does help to soothe frazzled nerves).
  • Listen to music. (I even do this while taking a hot bubble bath).

I think you get the idea. There are times I just lock myself up in my room for a few minutes. My latest guilty pleasure has been writing. I find it really enjoyable to put my thoughts down on paper. It has proven to be quite therapeutic and relaxing for me. Please take some time for yourself this holiday season. A few minutes to yourself daily can make quite the difference in your attitude.

Get Bowled Over-Tupperware Bowl Set Thrifty Momma Ramblings Giveaway


With the holidays coming, who can’t use more bowls? My mom sold Tupperware when I was growing up. She still has pieces from over twenty years ago and still going strong. I naturally bought Tupperware as an adult, and I have containers and bowls from ten years ago that still look great. I really believe they make quality bowls and containers that will last for decades. You definitely don’t loan out your Tupperware to anyone! I will to my mom but that’s it.

I sold it a couple of years ago and amassed quite a collection. One lucky reader will receive a Tupperware Wonderlier 5 piece Bowl set! This set is brand new and still wrapped. I did take it out to show the colors of the set you will win in this giveaway. I’m not asking anyone to go to the website, and I don’t have a link to the site either. I just thought it would be fun to do a giveaway and I know many women love Tupperware. It is pricey but it’s a great investment and I got mine discounted. I want to share the love with my loyal readers.

THE PRIZE:
The bowl set you will win is a 5 piece Tupperware Wonderlier® Bowl. The colors are different from that set above. Look below to see the actual bowl set. The set includes one of each 2-cup/500 mL,3-cup/700 mL, 4-cup/1 L, 8-cup/2 L and 12-cup/2.8 L bowl. I also have all the lids. This set will not come with the salt and pepper shakers shown above. You will only get the 5 piece bowl set with lids! This bowl set is worth $60.

GIVEAWAY RULES:
This is super simple. Just leave me a comment telling me why you love Tupperware. That’s it. This giveaway is only open to US residents 18+ please. Make sure you leave your email in your comment. Only one entry per person or email address please. I am including extra entries so check below. The winner will be pulled by Random dot org.

The giveaway will end on November 30th at 11:59 PM CST! I will need your mailing address to ship the bowls to the lucky winner. It will be shipped priority mail so it will arrive quickly. Again only open to the US. Please no anonymous posters. Thank you. No purchase necessary.

EXTRA ENTRIES:
2 Extra Entriess- Blog about this drawing on your blog linking back to this post. Leave me a comment with the link that I can follow and see it.
1 Extra Entry- Subscribe to my email list located at the top right hand side below header.
1 Extra Entry- Retweet this contest or follow me on Twitter (You can do both but you only get credit for one.)
1 Extra Entry- Follow my page on Facebook or Share on your wall (You can do both but you only get credit for one.)

Thanks again for reading this blog and enjoy the giveaway! Below is a picture of the actual bowl set the lucky winner will receive. Good luck to all who enter.