Make It From Scratch #37 – The Frugal Edition

MIFSIt’s time for Make It From Scratch #37! This carnival features the efforts and ideas of those who like to cook, craft, and create things from scratch.

If you are new to A Penny Closer, welcome! This is a blog about a couple who are working together to reach their goals through budgeting, saving, and learning about frugality. You can read more about our story here or view a single page of all of our posts in our archives.

Although I enjoy crafts and DIY projects, I must admit that I have a serious love affair with cooking so every week I feature at least one recipe called a “Reducipe“. They are recipes designed to reduce your grocery bills by making an expensive meal cheaper, or an already cheap meal better.

I thought “frugality” would be a perfect theme for this edition. Creating something homemade not only exercises our creativity and resourcefulness, it helps us save money along the way. And with the holidays right around the corner who couldn’t use a few extra bucks in their pockets?

We had a lot of wonderful submissions this week and I’ve marked my personal favorites with a star (*). Please enjoy!

Cook it!

*Mrs. Micah from Mrs. Micah: Finance and Life gives us a recipe for Frugal Lentil, Sausage, and Rice soup. This soup sounds very simple and satisfying and would be great for these chilly autumn nights. The recipe she gives makes a large batch so be prepared for a lot of soup for very little cash.

Chili from Po Moyemu*Silvia from Po Moyemu–In My Opinion tests out a recipe from a Cook’s Illustrated cookbook in her post Cold Weather Tonight–Time for Some Chili. I absolutely love that she used home grown tomatoes for this recipe. There is something so appropriate in using one’s own produce to make a big pot of chili or soup. She cut the spices in half for her version but being that I’m from Texas I would probably double them! :-)

Stephanie from Stop the Ride! passes along a recipe for A New Twist on an Old Favorite – Meatloaf. Meatloaf is a smart way to save money and she gives several great ideas on how to vary the flavors on a tried and true meatloaf recipe. By making a few simple variations she keeps this classic meal interesting for her family.

Donetta from A Life Uncommon presents Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix . She makes this taco seasoning in bulk which allows her to control what’s included (or not included) and save money at the same time. I love making tacos so this is something I should look into!

Raw Peach CobblerTiffany of Natural Family Living Blog introduces us to her Raw Peach Cobbler. She puts a healthy spin on the classic by using dates and walnuts for the topping. All you need are the ingredients and a food processor and you are ready for dessert in no time. Yum!

Amy from MomAdvice shares a Panera-style Broccoli & Cheddar Soup in Frugal Hacks: Soup Supper. She loves the Broccoli & Cheddar soup from Panera Bread so much that she decided to find a recipe she could make at home that mimicked it. Making “knock-offs” of your favorite restaurant fare at home is a fabulous way to save money.

Zamejias from Verb tells us about her recent first-time experience with Lobster cooking. You might be thinking lobster isn’t frugal but in this case it is. She got these lobsters for a phenomenal price from a fishing buddy and she prepared them at home. I’d say this is the best way to enjoy lobster on the cheap, short of getting it for free!

Cheap Grill*brip blap discusses his blunders in trying to save money buying a grill for home cooking in a tale of 3 grills. Grilling at home is a great way to entertain but you have to have the right tools to make it successful. He points out that sometimes we buy the cheapest, only to discover that it doesn’t get the job done and it costs us more in the end. When selecting goods we should be frugal, not cheap, in order to get the best value in the long term. I think we’ve all been there, brip blap.

Laura of Laura Williams’ Musings reminds us How to Make Homemade Fries. Making french fries at home is so much cheaper than buying them and when they are this simple to make (like in this recipe) we have no excuse to pay more. Personally, I prefer mine fried but baking them is easier and better for you.

SeaBird of SeaBird Chronicles passes along a recipe for Porridge, as in Goldilocks. I had no idea porridge was this complex with so many good-for-you ingredients. This sounds like a solid way to start out your day.

Bake it!

Kneading for morons*Christine from welcome to my brain accommodates for my lack of bread-baking skills with her whole wheat bread for complete morons. She does an excellent job explaining how she makes the bread from start to finish so that even the baking-challenged can turn out a good loaf. Entertaining and educational at the same time.

*HowToMe lets us in on a recipe from her mom that shows us How To Cook Hearty Breakfast Muffins With Time To Spare. These look fantastic and they could add up to significant savings. Who needs the drive-though when you have muffins full of sausage, eggs and cheese. Don’t like sausage? No problem – you can put whatever you want in these so the possibilities are endless. Mmmm!

LONI from Joy in the Morning gives us a recipe for The Bread with the “Secret” Ingredient (Tomato Soup Bread). It looks like a sweet bread, just with tomato soup. She says this bread is good for “fall” and with all those aromatic spices, nuts, and raisins I bet she is right. I think it sounds really intriguing.

Cinnamon rolls!Piscesgrrl from Wistful Wanderlust tells us of her adventures with homemade cinnamon rolls in Look What I Did. Who doesn’t like the smell of fresh cinnamon rolls?

Mel from Bean-Sprouts reveals her Soda Bread Recipe that makes a delicious loaf even for “scaredy-cat” bakers. I love easy and forgiving breads – perhaps because I’m still pretty new to baking.

Craft It!

Knitted Halloween Spider*Michelle from Scribbit – A Blog About Motherhood in Alaska explains how she makes the cutest Knitted Halloween Spiders. They are adorable and you can make them yourself, provided you can knit. I have no idea how to knit but it is on my list of things I want to learn how to do someday. It would be nice to have the ability to create wonderful decorations like these.

*Karen from Little Fun; Little Learning presents some wonderful art activities for preschoolers in her post Fun-Filled Friday: More Fall Stuff. These inexpensive art projects are perfect for little ones. The variety is interesting and will likely keep busy bodies entertained. It seems the best art project ideas just take a little creativity rather than money.

Thomas Tote BagLori from I Will Learn to Sew stays true to her name by creating an awesome Thomas Tote Bag. She said she was able to make this tote for under $4. It’s a gift that’s personalized, functional, and homemade. She included instructional details for those of you who want to try your hand at this project.

Summer from Creative Mom Cafe pays homage to the 80′s with One Funky Shirt On The Fly. She was able to make a fun shirt (without a pattern!) using materials she bought on sale from a thrift store. I think it is really cute and the name “Chocolate Monday” somehow fits.

Becca from Unplugging the “Stuff” Machine demonstrates how she made a Vintage Style Cocktail Ring. Vintage jewelry, even costume jewelry can be surprisingly expensive. After some inspiration, she got a blank ring setting and used a vintage brooch to make a beautiful cocktail ring. Very resourceful!

Homemade Party Invites - Nini MakesJoanie from Nini Makes shares how she is personalizing her daughter’s birthday in Party on. The homemade party invites using her daughter’s artwork are a great idea! Hopefully she will share more of her party ideas with us.

Annette of Crafter’s Journey shows off her scrapbooking skills in Ballet Beauty. She did a neat trick to make paper beading as a decoration. Scrapbooking is such a creative way to preserve your memories. I hear the materials can get quite pricey so making your own decorative touches like Annette did is bound to save money.

Next week, HowToMe will be hosting the next edition of MIFS. Pick out your best homemade marvel and submit it here. Thanks for visiting!

The Carnival Review #8

This game is too easy I decided to change the format of my weekly carnival reviews so that my favorite articles are featured first. I hope you all like the change!

Here are some of my favorite posts from the carnivals this week:

Five Words That Sum Up Our Debt Payoff Success @ Blogging Away Debt - A concept that is very simple yet sometimes so difficult.  This is advice definitely worth repeating.

Apple Hacks @ Cheap Healthy Good - Awesome ideas on how to use apples for all sorts of things, including ripening tomatoes and teaching someone how to bunt.

Talking the Talk with Your Almost Elderly Parents @ Life Lessons of a Military Wife - Have you thought about having “the talk” with your parents about planning for the future?  As awkward as it might be it is something we all need to do at some point.

How to be a Frugal Gardener @ The Frugal Panda - This is a large list of ideas on how to save money when gardening.

Spontaneous Versus Planned Giving @ Free Money Finance - I’d say we do a combination of spontaneous and planned giving.  We know we will be giving a certain amount each month to charity, it just varies on when we do that.

Make sure to go check out these wonderful carnivals!

123rd Carnival of Personal Finance – The Boo! Edition @ The Dough Roller - we made editor’s choice this week with my horrible interview story!

Festival of Frugality #97 @ Nature Moms

Carnival of Money Stories #31 @ Stop the Ride

Carnival of Debt Reduction #110 @ The Amatureist Financial Journey

Make It From Scratch #36 @ And Miles To Go Before We Sleep…

Carnival of Recipes – Small World Edition @ A Readable Feast

Image Source: jewe

I Want You To Make It From Scratch!

You can do it!I’ll be hosting the 37th edition of the “Make It From Scratch” Blog Carnival next week! 

I’m really looking forward to seeing all the wonderful ways people stretch their dollars by making things from scratch.

Making things on our own isn’t just about saving money; it’s also about being creative and resourceful in our everyday lives.  There is something uniquely satisfying and impowering in creating something yourself.  I’m looking to put together a great edition that will hopefully inspire you to create or try something new in your life.

Now, I KNOW you all are creative when it comes to saving money!  Do you have any recipes, crafts, sewing, household remedies, or other frugal “do-it-yourself” projects that you would like to share?  Blog about it, submit it, and be included in the carnival!

If you would like to participate, please send in your submission using the form here.  The deadline to be included in next Tuesday’s edition is Sunday, October 28th at midnight EST.  Archived posts are fine, but please only one post per blog per week.

Be sure to check back here Tuesday, October 30th, when MIFS #37 goes live!

Thanks everyone!

The Carnival Review #7

Wheeee!It’s that time again, folks.  Carnival time!  Lots of good reads this round.  Check them out when you have a chance.

Carnival of Personal Finance #122 was hosted by Mighty Bargain Hunter.  It’s an interesting read with a “Dr. Zeuss” theme this week.  I can’t imagine how long it took him to do that, especially with so many submissions.  Eric’s post on contemplating our emergency fund was included.

Festival of Frugality #96 was held at FIRE Finance.  I love the Festival of Frugality – it’s one of my favorite carnivals.  My post about the kitchen knives you really need made the cut.

Carnival of Money Stories was hosted by Free Money Finance.  Eric’s post on finding missing money was included.

Carnival of Debt Reduction #109 was held at DebtFREE-Revolution.  Eric’s post on how he plans to keep out of debt when he buys speakers made this edition.

Make It From Scratch #35 was hosted my Nini Makes.  This autumn themed edition was put together very nicely.  I’m glad my tightwad post on the 6 cheap salad dressings was included even though it wasn’t exactly “fall themed”.

Carnival of Recipes was held at Leader Ladies.  This was the “cereal killers” edition.  My budget breakfast sandwich was included.

My favorite articles from these carnivals:

11 Things Dwight K. Schrute Has Taught Me About Food and Frugality @ Cheap Healthy Good - When I read this post I laughed out loud.  I haven’t seen much of The Office but this is just plain funny. 

10 Ways Living Simply Can Save You Money @ My Two Dollars - This is a good quick list of ways to save money.  My favorite is “be satisfied with the gadgets you have”.  Eric has been working on learning that one.

How to Handle Social Obligation Expenses @ Saving Advice - I dealt with this problem recently.  I got invited to go to a costume party for Halloween but it says “costume required”.  I know they are pretty picky about that and a makeshift costume won’t cut it.  I ended up having to turn down the invitation because I just can’t afford a costume this month.  I’ll make sure to go to the next party she throws though.

Do We Spend More When We Swipe Plastic? @ Poorer Than You - Interesting article that explores the issue of people having the tendency to spend more with credit cards.  I’d say we have more of a problem with cash than credit.  Since we use credit to pay for most things our cash is used more for fun or small purchases.  That cash can be hard to keep in our wallets sometimes. 

Apple Pie Sandwiches @ And Miles To Go Before We Sleep… - These look very yummy and inexpensive.  These sandwiches remind me of cinnamon apple stuffed french toast.  I love how she photographs her cooking throughout the process.

Image Source: PJLewis

The Carnival Review #6

Carnival rides are a bit scary…This week was another fine week for carnivals.  When you get a chance make sure to go check them out!

Carnival of Personal Finance #121 was held by Ask Mr Credit Card.  We are honored to have made editor’s choice this week with Eric’s article on choosing our credit card.

Carnival of Capitalists 4th Anniversary Edition was held at Businesspundit.  My article on why a grocery store is shutting down was our first submission to this long-running carnival.  We have heard that it can be difficult to make the cut with this carnival so we were thrilled to see that we not only made this edition but we were an editor’s choice as well!  Wow!

Festival of Frugality #95 was hosted by My Retirement Blog.  My article talking about coupon strategies was included.

Carnival of Debt Reduction #108 was held by BeingFrugal.  Eric’s post describing our plan to remain debt-free was included.

Carnival of Money Stories #29 was hosted by Moneymonk.  My article on resisting the allure of the iPhone made the edition.

Make It From Scratch #34 was held at Po Moyemu.  This week’s edition was featuring party food.  I’m glad my “Everyday” Tacos went with the theme and was included.

Organize Your Life Carnival #16 was hosted by Declutterit!.  My post detailing how my furniture gave up on me was included.

My favorite articles from these carnivals:

Stop Frittering Away the Fruits of Your Frugality @ The Dough Roller - If I were to sit down and actually determine where the savings I got on my cable bill went I would have to say I’m not totally sure.  I didn’t put that amount directly into my savings though.  I think I probably added it to my fuel budget since I kept running over every month.  This article reminds me that I need to put my savings from being frugal to good use.

What Do Women Really Want Men to Spend on Them? @ The Baglady - When Eric and I first dated he certainly spent a lot of money to impress me.  I think it is natural for men to want to impress their women, especially if their women really enjoy nice dinners (like me).  Now that we are married we know the gifts and fancy dining dates aren’t “necessary” anymore.  It really is the little things that count.

As the likelihood of an emergency increases your plan changes, too @ I’ve Paid For This Twice Already… - This article goes through PaidTwice’s thought process as she thinks about how her saving/debt reduction plan should change to deal with the possibility of her aging appliances dying.  Good read!

Why the Rich Get Richer: An Entirely Different Perspective @ The Digerati Life - Very interesting article discussing why the rich get richer and how to turn something like envy into something productive.  I think we all have some level of envy towards others for various reasons (more money, nice job, better looks, etc).  We might as well turn that basic emotion into something positive.

Image Source: Jef Poskanzer

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