Monday, September 30, 2013

Taco Pasta Salad recipe and video





Find more easy meals here!
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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Eating Healthy on a Budget

The most common complaint by people who desire to start eating healthier foods is the price for these foods at the grocery store. If you’ve ever compared the prices of organically grown apples to regular apples then you know how much more expensive the organic ones are. The same is true for whole grain crackers versus regular white crackers.

However, not everything is just like it first appears. Maybe it is more expensive to buy whole grain crackers, but what if you bought a bag of whole wheat flour and made your own snacks? You would be able to make a lot more snacks with that bag of flour than you would be able to buy for the same price. Sometimes, we have to change the way we think about health foods and their prices in order to get the most bang for our buck. Below are a few tips.

1. Cheaper isn’t always better.

It’s easy to get excited over a good deal – like a $2 bag of potato chips that you’ve got an additional coupon for. However, we all know how unhealthy potato chips are. You may be better off purchasing a 3 lb. bag of potatoes for $2-$3 than the potato chips. Why? The potatoes will last longer and you’ll be able to make more nutritious dishes with them than you can the potato chips.

The above example is true for most processed foods. While at first glance, they appear to be cheap, they really aren’t when you consider how much more you can get when you by the whole food version.

In other words, instead of purchasing the processed foods, purchase the whole food ingredients instead.

For instance, instead of buying a loaf of bread – buy a bag of whole wheat flour and make your own! You’ll not only get more bread for the price, but you’ll also get healthier, better-tasting bread too!

2. Reduce meat consumption. 

Nothing will make you go over budget faster than meat. Meat is expensive, that’s all there is to it. While it’s not very cost-effective to replace your meat with substitutes such as tofu, you can save money by purchasing other protein rich foods such as beans and brown rice. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out all meats, but reducing your meat consumption will definitely help your grocery bill.

3. Shop for seasonal foods. 

When you begin shopping for healthier foods, you’ll most likely start buying more fruits and vegetables. In order to stay under budget, you will need to stick to the foods that are currently in season. Out-of-season foods are much more expensive than in-season foods. And, you can always buy extra of the in-season foods and can them yourself (or freeze/dry), giving you the ability to eat them when they are out of season! See our food facts for help in using fresh fruits and vegetables.

4. Shop the outside edges

The healthiest foods are found on the outside edges of the grocery store. The prepackaged, processed foods are found in the center aisles. Therefore, purchase the majority of your groceries from the outside edges rather than the aisle-foods. Now, keep in mind some whole grain foods are found in the aisles such as flour and dried beans. However, this is the exception to the rule…most of the foods in the aisles are not healthy foods.

See help on planning kids meals!

















Frugal Living Resources

Leftover recipes
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tips
Tips on Frugal Living 
$5 Meal Cookbook

Frugal Family Fun series:
Part 1 -Pizza Time
Part 2 -Breakfast Chefs
Part 3- Bouncy Balls
Part 4- Cookie Marathon
Part 5- Smoothies 











Join our Family Deals, Giveaways and Ways to Save Emails and we'll send you our Frugal Family Fun Ebook.



frugal family fun
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Friday, September 20, 2013

Saving Money on Food

There are certain necessities everyone needs to survive, one of these is food. However, with the shape of the economy, people are looking for ways to cut back and save money. It is possible to save money on the foods you eat, even if you are eating healthier foods! Below are some tips to help you do this.

1. Eating Food from Home  

So much money is wasted when we choose to go out to eat, whether it’s for a quick lunch or dinner at a restaurant. Not only is a lot of money wasted when we eat out, but most of the time, the food is not as healthy either. Therefore, you can eat healthier meals and save money by eating food from home.

Does this mean you have to eat all of your meals at home? Nope. If you work away from home, consider packing your own lunch and eating at the office. If you cook meals at home, then simply bring leftovers for work the next day. You can even bring your own tea, coffee and/or snacks with you to work, which will save you even more money.

2. Stay Away from Fast Food 

It’s hard to turn on the television without seeing an advertisement for a “great deal” at a nearby fast food restaurant. Most people think that if they can get lunch for two for under $10, they’ve gotten a good deal. However, upon close inspection, fast food isn’t nearly that good of a deal. Even if you eat off the dollar menu. Not when you consider that you can fix yourself a healthier, homemade sandwich from home for far less than a dollar.

3. Save Money on Drinks 

Restaurants and fast-food business make a ton of money on the drinks they serve. A regular sized drink (aside from water) will cost you $1.50 to $3.00 at most eating joints. However, you can get several regular sized drinks for less than $1.50 when you by a 2-liter or family sized tea bags and make your own drinks. If you prefer bottled water, consider investing in a reverse osmosis system (if you don’t have one), or even a cheaper water filtering system, and bring your own bottled water from home in a reusable bottle. You’ll save a lot of money here too.

 4. Buy Extra 

If you find something on sale at the store that can be easily preserved, by it in extra quantities. This doesn’t mean you have to be extreme about it like the people on Extreme Couponing shows, but stocking up on a few items here and there to save money, is a great idea. You can also save money by purchasing food at the grocery store that has been “damaged.” Generally, it’s not the food that is damaged, but the packaging that was damaged during transportation, but grocers still discount these items!

Frugal Living Resources

Leftover recipes
Frugal Grocery Shopping Tips
Tips on Frugal Living 
$5 Meal Cookbook

Frugal Family Fun series:
Part 1 -Pizza Time
Part 2 -Breakfast Chefs
Part 3- Bouncy Balls
Part 4- Cookie Marathon
Part 5- Smoothies 











Join our Family Deals, Giveaways and Ways to Save Emails and we'll send you our Frugal Family Fun Ebook.



frugal family fun
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Kids Cooking Video- Fish Sticks

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Thursday, September 12, 2013

Time-Saving Tips for Low-Fat Cooking

Many people want to start eating low-fat meals, but they aren’t sure they can do it consistently because they don’t feel they can include their family. If you feel this way, there is good news…you can eat low-fat meals and still feed your whole family! Below are some tips to help you get started.

1. Some fat is good. 

The big mistake made by many people who start low-fat diets is that they try to cut out all fat. Don’t do this. You’re body actually needs some fat in order to absorb fat soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin D. Therefore, don’t eliminate all fats from your diet…be sure to keep healthy fats in it.

2. Look at low-fat options

More than likely, you’ll be able to easily find high-fat foods upon a quick inspection of your refrigerator. To get started on your low-fat diet, replace these foods with the low-fat versions. This is especially true for dairy products. Almost every recipe calls for dairy products, using the low-fat products will help you reduce the fat content you and your family consume. You can also find many products in fat-free versions too, which will help even more!

3. Cook with lean meat. 

When it’s time to purchase meat, choose meats that are lean. If you are going to cook with ground beef, get the 93/7 cut. Also, start cooking with other lean meats such as fish and poultry. While salmon is a “fatty” fish, it’s good for you because it contains the healthy fats your body needs…therefore, don’t be afraid to fix salmon for dinner one night.

4. Stop frying foods. 

Frying foods adds an enormous amount of fat to meals. Therefore, learn how to steam, bake, broil and poach foods instead. When sautéing foods, use broth instead of oil. If you must use oil to cook with, use olive oil.

5. Consider non-stick cookware. 

While there are some benefits to cooking with cast iron, this cookware is very heavy and actually requires a lot more oil/grease during cooking to prevent foods from sticking. This isn’t the case with non-stick cookware. So, you might consider switching to non-stick cookware.

6. Learn healthy substitutes for baking. 

A lot of recipes call for some kind of fat. You can actually replace most of these fats with plain yogurt and some fruit purees (apple and prune are the best). Therefore, start reducing the fats in recipes by using these healthy substitutes.

7. Always stock low-fat, plain yogurt.

For people who want to start cooking low-fat meals, stocking low-fat, plain yogurt is a must. You can use this as a substitute for sour cream and even strain it for a cream-cheese texture. And, instead of using heavy cream, thicken sauces with the yogurt!

Find more help and recipes on planning kids meals
~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Kids Lunches around the World with Little Passports

We received our first month of our Global Adventure in the mail this week. The first month comes with a little suitcase to keep all the goodies they get each month, introduces them to a story and includes activities. The next month they will jump into their first country, which they give clues as to where it is. I think this is a fun way for kids to learn more about countries around the world. And what kid doesn't want something of their own to come in the mail, I know mine love that!




Lunches Around the World with Little Passports!
Kids around the world are preparing to go back to school—that means homework, new friends and … lunch? Yes, that’s right! Let’s visit different countries and see what yummy food the school kids eat every day!

France- French children enjoy a 3 or 4-course meal that is made from high-quality ingredients, and are mostly made from scratch. The children all sit in the same eating area, the cafeteria. An interesting fact is that there are no vending machines in schools, because they’re banned due to the high sugar and fat content of the treats they carry. Typical school lunches here can have a variety of dishes and ingredients, such as grilled fish, salad, red beans, seasonal vegetables, garlic sausage, fruit salads and chocolate flan (just to name a few). Another perk is that the food is served on plates and eaten with real silverware!


Japan- In Japan, the school lunch ingredients are locally sourced and almost never frozen; in addition, the schools employ nutrition experts that work with kids and teach them the importance of good eating habits. Like the children in France, Japanese kids also eat in a community-like setting with their peers, and even their teachers! The children also wear white hats and robes to serve their classmates, which teaches them teamwork and respect. You can expect to find lots of rice, vegetables, fish, soup, and meat on the plate.


South Africa- South African school meals have natural ingredients such as corn, squash, sweet potatoes, and yams. There’s also rice, soft porridge, and meat that is sprinkled in with the vegetables. A special stew is made called potjiekos (named after a potjie, a three-legged pot), which originated from Dutch settlers. The cook puts vegetables, meat, potatoes, and spices into the pot, which is heated by small amounts of wood and twigs. After cooking, the result is a delectable stew!


Colombia- Colombian school lunch ingredients usually vary from region to region, but can contain rice, potatoes, fruit, beans, meatballs, and vegetables such as corn and avocados. There’s a special vegetarian menu also available, and children from 2 to 5 years old have their food cut and portioned into smaller sizes.


We hope you enjoyed our lunch trip around the world, and perhaps found inspiration to try new foods at your own dinner table!


Little Passports
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tips for Getting Kids to Eat Healthy

With all of the junk foods out there today, getting kids to eat healthy can be a trick. In fact, many kids associate the term “healthy food” with something yucky. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t change your kids’ minds about healthy foods and get them to enjoy eating healthy. Below are some tips to help your kids eat healthy

1. Hide the vegetables. 

For young children who adamantly refuse to eat veggies, hide them! Here’s how:
  • Add pureed winter squash, carrots or sweet potatoes into cheese sauce.
  • Steam a few veggies (broccoli, carrots, green beans, etc.) and put in a blender with a jar of spaghetti sauce. Blend them all together and serve over spaghetti. Your kids will never know they’re eating veggies too!
  • Mince veggies such as broccoli and add to homemade pizza – it’ll never be noticed.
  • Learn more about hiding vegetables and recipes to try. 


2. Take it slow and replace one food at a time. 

Getting kids to eat healthy can be like pulling teeth when you try to make a bunch of dietary changes at once. However, it’s much easier if you take it slow and only change one food at a time.
For example:

  • Stop using white flour products and start using whole wheat flour products. You can easily do this with breads, pastas, cereals and the baking flour you use at home. This is a food change that your family won’t likely notice. 

  • Replace frozen chicken nuggets and fish sticks with a homemade version. Do this by cutting up healthy pieces of meat, coating in bread crumbs and baking them in the oven. 

  • Don’t make a full transition right away. Instead, ease into it. For instance, replace only ½ or so of the white rice in a recipe with brown rice. The next time you fix it, replace 2/3 of it and then the third time you make it, replace all of it with the brown rice. 

3. Read to your kids about healthy foods.  

Young children love to have stories and books read to them. So, why not start reading to your kids stories that talk about healthy foods? If you have older kids, take them to the library and help them choose an educational book about eating healthy and how healthy foods enhance the body’s functionality.

4. Be positive about food. 

Help encourage your kids’ curiosity about healthy foods by being positive about food. One way to do this is to ask your kids to help you prepare dinner. Let them get involved in the preparation process so they can learn about the foods they’re eating and how all the ingredients go together to create a healthy, yet tasty, meal.

For more help see our
Kids Healthy Meals -Kindle Ebook
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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Zucchini Crust Pizza Pie

Do you have a garden that is booming with zucchini?  

Zucchini Pie
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
1 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
1/4 lb ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or omit)
1 small onion, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp fresh (or 1 tsp dried) oregano
pizza toppings as desired
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and oil a pie pan with olive oil or cooking spray. Mix the shredded zucchini with salt in a bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.

Dump the zucchini into a colander to drain liquid, then take paper towels and squeeze zucchini to absorb more of the liquid. Put dried zucchini into a bowl and add the egg and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, mix well to combine.

Press the zucchini/mozzarella mixture into the pie pan, evenly pressing it on the bottom to form a 'pizza crust.' Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly browned and set up.

The cheese and egg will bind the zucchini together. When baked, remove and let stand at room temperature; keep oven on. Meanwhile, put the meat and onion in a skillet and brown meat. Add the tomato sauce, garlic, and oregano and stir to combine; remove from heat.

Spoon the tomato mixture over the cooled zucchini crust and cover with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Add any other toppings you'd like at this point. Put back in 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly hot and slightly browned. Remove and let stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing to serve. Will serve 4 to 6.

~This post may contain affiliate links and I'll earn a small commission if you shop through them. There is no extra cost to you. This is how we help support our family and continue to bring you amazing content. To learn more see the affiliates disclosure here.~