Category Archives for "Frugal Ways to Save Money"

Frugal Ways to Save Money posts

Planning a Wedding on a Budget

It’s wedding season! Some of you may be planning weddings yourself or have friends that are planning weddings. Did you know that you don’t have to break the bank to plan a wedding? With some planning and doing some work yourself, you can have a nice wedding on a budget.

My husband and I had an evening wedding with approximately 150 guests on a very tight budget. For the next few weeks I would like to share a few tips on how to plan a frugal wedding. Now if you are not planning a wedding, I hope that you can implement some of the tips in the next large party you host!

wedding cake

If you have family and friends that are willing to help, don’t be afraid to put them to work! I am lucky to have a very supportive and talented family. My mom and I made a list of people who offered to help. We noted their talents and strengths. My aunt and cousin have wonderful voices so I asked them to sing. The bridesmaid dresses and table decorations were made by my wonderfully talented mom. The party favors were put together by me and my husband. Our engagement pictures were taken by my grandpa. And the food was made by all of us!

From the beginning I knew that we could not afford a catered event. But, I did want a dinner. We ended up having a cookout (or barbecue as we call it in California!) style meal that was made by family and friends. My great uncle grilled beef and chicken. The other menu items were homemade chili beans, green salad, garlic bread and potato salad. My dad arranged a deal on the meat with the butcher at the grocery store. The bread was purchased from a local bread company at a discount. The rest of the items were purchased in bulk at Costco. It took some organization to feed 150 people, but it worked and the food was great!

We did have wine and beer at the reception. At the time, Trader Joes had a good inexpensive Two Buck Chuck Wine. Whenever it was in stock, I would go buy a case. Around New Year’s Eve, I stocked up on the champagne by watching the sales. It was much easier on the budget to buy a little at a time. Plus, it was much more affordable for us to purchase the alcohol versus a catering service.

Ask your friends and family members if they are willing to help out at your wedding or event. Figure out what you can do yourself that will be more cost effective. Although it was a lot of work, I enjoyed doing a lot of the wedding planning. It was sure rewarding when almost everything worked as planned!

Next week, I will tell you how to make inexpensive favors and decorations! Have you planned a frugal wedding? I would love to read your ideas!


Now it’s your turn!

If you are a blogger, write a post about your idea for making dollars out of change. It can be on any topic as long as it has to do with saving money. Please link directly to your post and not your homepage. A link to Madame Deals in you post is appreciated!

If you do not have a blog, we still welcome and encourage your participation! Please leave your thoughts in the in a comment below!

This post is linked at My Coupon Teacher.

Preserving Fresh Strawberries & Cherries

This weekend we picked strawberries and cherries at  local orchards. I always pick enough fresh fruit to preserve some for the off season months. Some of the fruit will be frozen and some will be canned. Of course we eat a good amount of fresh fruit too!

To make your fresh fruit last longer, do not wash it until you are ready to eat it. For cherries, pick them with the stem on to make them last longer. Always pick ripe yet firm berries and cherries.

Cherries Image

If you don’t own a cherry pitter, try using a large paper clip or safety pin. The frugal in me decided not to buy a cherry pitter for the one time a year that I buy cherries. I found that using the rounded end of a safety pin worked very well.

cherry pitting

Freezing fruit is very easy. Wash and de-stem the fruit. Place a single layer of fruit on waxed paper on a cookie sheet. This step is called flash freezing and it is done so the fruit doesn’t stick together. Freeze fruit that is ripe, but not mushy.

Freezing Strawberries

When the fruit is frozen through, remove from cookie sheet and place in freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible. I have a hand held vacuum sealer that I use, but it is not necessary. The fruit will last for several months. Since they are not all stuck together, you can take a small amount out at a time.

This year I am going to try canning Strawberry Butter. It is basically just strawberry puree and sugar. Strawberry Butter requires less sugar than jam which will be healthier for my boys! They love jam but I dislike the amount of sugar that it requires. Canning is perfect for fruit that is a bit mushy and very ripe.

Other fruits I have planned for the summer: Blackberries, Peaches, Blueberries and Apples (and most likely in that order!). Picking your own fruit is a lot of work, but it is a family fun event that we look forward to each summer.

Affordable Wedding Gift Ideas

As wedding season rolls around, you may find yourself scrambling for an affordable wedding gift. I have been to several weddings in my life, and I always make sure to bring some type of gift, no matter where I am money wise. There are plenty of thoughtful gifts that won’t break the bank. We wanted to put a list together of some ideas for you to find the perfect gift for the new Mr. and Mrs. that you can afford, and they will love!  Below you will find some ideas on affordable wedding gifts.

Invited to a wedding and a little strapped for cash? Here are some great wedding gift ideas that are affordable and the bride and groom will lo

Affordable Wedding Gift Ideas

Continue reading

Grocery List

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Grocery List

10. Because you always forget the one item necessary to make that recipe.

9. Because if it is not on the list, it’s a “NO”.

8. Because your child just sneezed. Tissue, huh!

7. To relocate that pesky fly.

6. Because you are at the store and you don’t know why.

5. To protect your cart from the extra junk food.

4. Mommy brain!

3. To distract the shopper next to you. While they pick up your list, you pick up the last sale item!

2. How else would you remember all of our rock bottom deals?

1. Because you can submit your list to www.grocerylist.org

 

1 16 17 18