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Tuesday Tip: Knowing When to Say When with your Stockpile

Sometimes the grocery deals are so tempting...and they're in your budget...and it's stuff you'll use...but is there ever a time to Just Say No? We're all about reasonable stockpiling here: enough to get you by until the next sale cycle (usually about 4-6 weeks).  Every once in a while it makes ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Homemade Hummus

Homemade Hummus

 If you're a fan of hummus, you know that it's not something that we find on sale often.  Did you know it's pretty easy (and frugal!) to make?  My "real" sister Kara did a little experimenting and came up with this great recipe.  She's really into organic food and is working on finding healthy ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Apple Dumplings


We've had such a crazy week, but tonight it's chilly and rainy, and it's time to bust out the Apple Dumpling recipe!  Nothing cheers up a gloomy day like fresh from the oven apple dumplings with vanilla ice cream--It's seriously one of the best recipes I make (and it's also entirely possible that I ... Read More →

Homemade Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Pumpkin roll ingredients

There's something about fall that makes us start feeling like pumpkin-flavored deliciousness.  This takes a little more effort than ordering a pumpkin spice latte, but I promise, you can do this!  It looks all fancy and difficult, but it's not that hard, and it's another dessert that you can make ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Make your own Applesauce!

Applesauce 1

Today was applesauce day at our house!  It’s something we do every year, and I always look forward to a big bowl of warm applesauce made with freshly-picked apples.  Then I fill the freezer with the rest, and we have it for the rest of the year.  It’s an easy little something special to go with a ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Chocolate Caramel Covered Apples

Chocolate Caramel Apples 1

If you haven't already noticed, I love fall food, especially all the great things that can be made with freshly-picked apples.  This one isn't terribly complicated, but it's one of the best ways in the world to eat a crisp juicy apple.  But seriously...what doesn't taste better covered with caramel ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Grandma’s Apple Strudel Recipe

Apple Strudel

My Grandma Roth knew a thing or two about feeding a family on a Shoestring Budget.  She was the mother of eight kids, and famously scolded my mom once for paying full-price for bananas for Grandpa while she was in the hospital ("but Patty, they were 29¢ a pound at Save-a-Lot!").  I learned a lot ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Peanut Butter Cup Pie

Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 10.16.23 AM

This is the pie that my husband requests every year for his birthday...but not at the birthday celebration when we have guests.  He's normally a generous man, but this one he doesn't want to share with company ;)  It's so rich and oh so yummy--serve it with a giant glass of milk.  And if you decide ... Read More →

Lunchbox Makeover: DIY Lunchables


Last year on my kids' first day back to school, and after stocking up on a bunch of their favorite lunch choices, I asked them what they'd like for lunch on their first day of school. "Pizza Lunchables!" Umm...that wasn't one of the options.  Honestly, we don't do Lunchables all that often, ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Sour Cream Coffee Cake Recipe

Monster cookies

Looking for something delicious to make this weekend?  This Sour Cream Coffee Cake recipe is one of the made-from-scratch treats my family likes best for a weekend or holiday breakfast.  It's not difficult to make, but it tastes so much better than a mix from a box.  You can make it the night ... Read More →

Blueberry Zucchini Bread Recipe

blueberry zucchini bread

 Blueberry Zucchini Bread Recipe With blueberry season upon us and zucchini season in, here's a great recipe that I use! [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:35] Don't forget about this AWESOME Recipe! Cooking on a Shoestring: Black Raspberry Cheesecake Bars ... Read More →

Spa Sleepover Birthday Party: Marshmallow Nail Polish Cupcakes

nail polish cupcakes

These Marshmallow Nail Polish Cupcakes were the perfect treat for my daughter's Spa Sleepover ninth birthday party.  We originally spotted the idea for marshmallow nail polish treats in the catalog for birthday party supplies, but the instructions weren't included.  We could tell that the basic idea ... Read More →

Black Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

black raspberry

  Nothing beats FREE when you're on a shoestring budget, and the black raspberries growing wild in our back yard and the surrounding farm fields definitely fit the bill.  We pick as many as we can, and I use them to make homemade jam (see a super easy jam recipe HERE), then flash freeze whatever's ... Read More →

Cooking on a Shoestring: Monster Cookie Recipe

All that's right in the realm of cookie ingredients, rolled into one delicious bite-sized treat.  Peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms and oatmeal make these a family favorite, and using seasonal M&Ms makes them the perfect treat for any holiday.  Not that you need an excuse to make them.  ... Read More →

Easy Stromboli Recipe


When we need party food that won't break the bank, this Stromboli recipe is a go-to crowd pleaser.  It's basically a rolled-up pizza without the sauce, and can be filled with anything you'd put on a pizza.  I won't represent this version as "authentically Italian," but it's authentically yummy, and ... Read More →