Having a well stocked pantry is key to living frugally. Having a well stocked freezer is also key to living frugally. Your goal should be to stock up on a few items each week- items that are on sale, or at a discounted price. Below I will provide you with a list of what I consider 'essentials' for a pantry and a freezer.

Pantry Essentials.
  • Brown, White, Basmati, Jasmine Rice
  • Pasta (Spaghetti, Macaroni, Penne, Couscous)
  • Canned or Dried Beans (Black, Kidney, Garbanzo)
  • Canned Tuna/Salmon
  • Flour (All-Purpose & Whole Wheat)
  • Cornmeal
  • Grains (Quinoa, Barley)
  • Potatoes


  • Vinegars (Red wine, Cider, White)
  • EVOO
  • Soy Sauce
  • Mustard (Dijon, dried)
  • Salsa
  • Garlic (fresh and dried)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Tahini
  • Onions
  • An array of spices (Oregano, Basil, Coriander, Ginger, Cinnamon, Chilies etc)


  • Chicken/Vegetable/Beef Broth (I use bouillon cubes)
  • Canned Tomatoes
  • Tomato Paste
  • Baking Powder & Soda


  • Honey
  • Brown & White Sugar
  • Confectioner's Sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Molasses
  • Chocolate chips

Freezer Essentials.

  • Chicken Breasts
  • Chicken Thighs
  • Whole Chicken
  • Steak
  • Ground Beef
  • Ground Turkey
  • Whole Turkey
  • Pork (Chops and Tenderloin)


  • Frozen Green Beans
  • Frozen Mixed Vegetables
  • California Mix
  • Frozen Corn


  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Bananas
  • Peaches
  • Tomatoes


  • Baked Goods
  • Ice Cream
  • Frozen 'freebie' meals.

These items are all considered 'essentials' because they are regularly used things. I keep my pantry stocked so that I'm:

  • not scrambling
  • not needing to run out during the day the get [insert item here] for dinner (which inevitably end up costing you quite a bit extra if you do it regularly).
  • able to eat 'pantry meals' which I are pretty much 'freebie' meals during the week.

It's easy to keep your pantry stocked. Make sure you have at least 1-2 cans ALWAYS on hand, and make sure that when things are looking low, you ensure that that week you purchase the 1 or 2 items that you need to restock your pantry.

One of my favourite places to go to stock my pantry is Bulk Barn. I can literally re-stock all my spices (we have a spice rack with 16 different spices in it) for less then $5. I can also get all my dried beans (garbanzo, kidney etc) and then just rehydrate them the day before I want to use them. It costs me cents! I've started purchasing my sugar from here as well, as it turns out to be MUCH cheaper then buying the prepackaged stuff. I buy my flour at Costco as it is the cheapest I've found so far. I do A LOT of baking (bread, buns, cookies, muffins etc) so I go through a lot of flour. As for the canned goods, I personally like Walmart. The no named stuff is WAY cheaper then the brand named stuff- and it's the exact same thing. I buy no name whenever I can- it's what all the cool kids are doing. I can all my own tomatoes, salsa, pickles, pickled carrots, cherries, applesauce and jams. I spend approximate $70 on 100lbs of tomatoes, which make approximately 30-40 jars of tomatoes and one batch of salsa which yields 12-15 jars. I'm talking the quart sized jars..not the small ones. I got my all apples free this year (I just had to pick them) and I got my grapes for free (I had to pick them too) as well. I think I got about 20 jars of applesauce and about 12 jars of grape jam...for basically no cost (aside from the cost of pectin and sugar). All my canning takes me a few weeks- but then I'm good for a year- maybe a year and a half. I personally think home canned things taste WAY better then the stuff you can buy in a can. AND I know what it in it so I know what my family is ingesting. In the summer, I buy extra fresh fruit (when it is on sale) and freeze it for the winter. It's great for smoothies, baking and just eating and it's much cheaper then buying the packaged pre-frozen stuff.

Keeping a well stocked pantry and freezer can cost you a few extra dollars a week (if that) and it is well worth it in the end.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


It's not FREE for everyone...

Sometimes I take for granted the fact that I can just walk into a doctors office, see a doctor and then leave with a prescription in hand. And by me, I mean my husband- as he is slowly recovering from a nasty sinus infection. We are very lucky that we live in the country we do.

I don't think I would like to have to pay to give birth in a hospital.

Or pay outrageous sums to Insurance Companies to ensure that I am covered in case of an emergency.

We DO pay for some extended heath insurance- dental, vision, prescriptions etc...but I'm ok with that, and really, to have only have to pay 80% of dental visits and prescriptions and to get a free pair of glasses every year- it is worth it to me. I would just hate to have to pay for it all.

Which brings me to this... *which I got in an e-mail that I have just copy and pasted*

The Breast Cancer site is having trouble getting enough people to click on their site daily to meet their quota of donating at least one free mammogram a day to an underprivileged woman. It takes less than a minute to go to their site and click on 'donating a mammogram' for free (pink window in the middle).

This doesn't cost you a thing. Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate mammogram in exchange for advertising.

Here's the web site! Pass it along to people you know.

I believe that everyone is entitled to the best health care available.

Do your part...I'm doing mine...

Remember the golden rule? You never know when you are going to need help- so take ONE SECOND and help someone else...

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


As Tricia Sees It...

Happy Day!

My Life has forever changed..... as a first time Mom of a 6.5 month old I am really discovering what people meant when they said ‘your life will forever change’. I knew that things were going to change, but I do not think that I realized the true extent of it. As the mother of a breastfed daughter (not sure how long it will last if she keeps biting and holding on – story for another time), who does not like to sleep I really do not get any time to myself.

There are days where I feel ambitious and try to start projects, begin to bake or open up a book… and those are the days that she will nap for 20 min… or spit her soother out every 10min and keep me running…. Or just not nap at all. It is always the days that I put her down and think that she will not sleep long, therefore no point in starting anything, and low and behold – 2.5 hours later she wakes up and I have accomplished nothing. It is frustrating, exciting and baffling but every day is a new adventure.

My daughter is wonderful ~ Her smiles are heartbreaking. Her laughter is contagious. Her kisses are precious. Her facial expressions are amusing. Her heart is uplifting. My life has changed forever and I am so thankful that I no longer have time ‘to myself’ as it means that I am fortunate enough to have an amazing daughter to spend my time with.


In the dwindled ‘me’ time that I have, I like to keep myself busy. Lately I became bored with my usual tasks and ventured out for some new ideas. I came across some AWESOME blogs with great do-it-yourself projects. Here are a couple of my favourites (they honestly have a little bit of everything for everyone no matter what previous skills or talents you have)

Little Birdie Secrets

Somewhat Simple

The Art of Crochet

While They Sleep

My most recent projects have been a crocheted toque with purple flowers(LOVE IT!), a shopping cart cover and I am starting nursing covers. I am thrilled.


Last but not least for guest blogger number 1 ~ a little something to make you laugh

**A married couple rushed to the hospital because the woman was in labor the doctor asked the couple, "I have invented a new machine that you might want to try, it takes some of the labor pains away from the mother and gives it to the father." So the married couple decided that they would try this. So the doctor hooked the machine up and put it on 10% of pain switched from the mother to the father and the husband said "I feel okay turn it up a lot more" so the doctor turned it up to 50% and the husband said "why don't you just put it all on me cause I'm not feeling a thing" but the doctor warned them "this much could kill you if your not prepared", and the husband replied "I am ready" so the doctor turned the machine up to 100% but the husband didn't feel a thing so they went home happy with a pain free labor, but when they got home the mailman was dead on the front porch ** (Jokes DB)

** Three men were discussing at a bar about coincidences. The first man said, " my wife was reading a "tale of two cities" and she gave birth to twins"

"That's funny", the second man remarked, "my wife was reading 'the three musketeers' and she gave birth to triplets"

The third man shouted, "Good God, I have to rush home!"

When asked what the problem was, he exclaimed, “When I left the house, my wife was reading Ali baba and the forty Thieves"!!!** (Jokes-DB)

That is all,

Thank You SOOOO much to our FIRST Guest Blogger- you did an awesome job Tricia!


SEX- it's everywhere! *rant*

I believe this song came out when I was in junior high. I LOVED it, but I had no idea why. Clearly- I was completely unaware of the SEXUAL message that it was sending me and all of my young and innocent friends. As a mother of a daughter- can you imagine my fears of her listening to crap like this?! It's frightening, every line in this song is encouraging sex. This one goes down in the books as a song she will NEVER EVER be able to listen too. I've add some commentary...

Get Down On You- B4-4

I will be the one to love and comfort you from now until the day I die. They all say that...
I will take you places that you only think about when you're asleep at night. Excuse me??
Let me take the time to understand and I will SET YOUR SPIRIT FREE. My spirit is fine thank you.

If you get down on me, I'll get down on you. How about NO.
I will do anything that you want me to. Anything? How about jump off a cliff?
It's a game of give and take to make it through. Really? Give & Take? haha...
So if you get down on me, I'll get down on you tonight. No you will not.

When night time turns to day again.
And you are on my mind. He just wants you to believe this...
winter turns to spring and then,
life has past you by. Can you say pressure??
But now we are so young and free. So that makes it ok?
But we're running out of time. NO- you'll have your whole life!
So while we've got each other here. Yes- by NOT having sex!
Let's treat our bodies right. By not having sex!

I wanna know, exactly what to do,
So that you'll never get me off of your mind. Respect my wishes...
Communicate, and I'll go undercover Under my covers??
Gonna make you come tonight, OMG- that is all...
Over to my house, You just added that in so it didn't sound so naughty...

If you get down on me, I'll get down on you, No
I will do anything that you want me to, No
It's a game of give and take to make it through. No
So if you get down on me, I'll get down on you tonight. No

I'm not the type to change your mind, Riiiiiiiiiiight....
If you wanna take it slow. Slow as in- get married first??
No pressure to go all the way. haha- how about you read the lyrics to this song...
Just to the places we can go. Like my parents house...or out for dinner...

Anytime is the right time to reveal it when two people
Fall as deep as you and me, LUST does not equal LOVE
I wanna know every inch of your body, so I can set your spirit free. I don't even know every inch of my body.

If you get down on me, I'll get down on you, I'd rather not
I will do anything that you want me to, How about watching Twilight?
It's a game of give and take to make it through. Whatev...
So if your get down on me, I'll get down on you tonight. What does that even MEAN?

I will be the one to love and comfort you from now until the day I die. They all say that...
I will take you places that you only think about when you're asleep at night. You know that I dream of an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?!
If you open up to me, Open what up? Not my legs...
I'll make you realize the things that you could never see. I'm alright with that...
Let me take the time to understand and I will SET YOUR SPIRIT FREE. I like my spirit where it is thank you.

If you get down on me, I'll get down on you, That doesn't sound like much fun.
I will do anything that you want me to, How about NOT having sex!
It's a game of give and take to make it through. Scrabble is a great non-physical game.
So if your get down on me, I'll get down on you tonight. I'd get in trouble...


Ok- so after that, I must confess, I don't always let my child listen to the cleanest of music. I taught my niece Fergalicious a couple years ago- it was hilarious at the time, but now I'm wondering why her parents didn't kick me in the teeth. As a responsible adult I have questionable taste in music- but I'm more about the beat and groove, and not so much about the message it is trying to convey. I'd like to pass that along to my daughter. As of right now, in her 17.5 months of life, her favourite songs are those with beats she can dance too...I think I'm doing alright.

End Rant.
Erin B.


Happy Happy Joy Joy

Today at the Item Exchange- I picked up a GARBAGE BAG worth of clothing.

I also picked up a few cookbooks, the WHOLE Little House on the Prairie book series and a few other books.

1 hours of time = a TON of free stuff.

I'm not greedy- I only took clothing that would fit one of my two nephew's or my beautiful daughter...I left all the other stuff there for other Mommy's. It was tempting though, there was some really cute newborn girl/boy stuff that I would of liked to have taken, but I didn't...because I'm not greedy. I also donated our old entertainment unit. It was given to us by my BFF back when we got married- so I didn't feel right taking money for it. Give a little, get a lot. Today was a success in the 'get-stuff-for-free' department.

I wanted to share this with you all- because things like this HAPPEN ALL THE TIME. Seriously, this is the second free item/clothing exchange that I've been to in less then 6 months. You just gotta know who to ask.

Apparently there is a Chili-thon coming up...free food = happy Erin.

My suggestion to those of you who are jealous...ask around, go to community centers, make friends with 17 year old (or not, whateva...) and I'm sure you'll find some wicked awesome stuff yourself. OR, better yet- organize one yourself. I'll try to attend it. You know how I get around free stuff....

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

Kill Bill- Vol 1 & Vol 2.

I forgot how awesomely violent and gory these movies are.

I almost yakked 3 times tonight while watching them.

It sure didn't help that I had heartburn- and was slightly light-headed...

That combined with the spraying blood, limb removal, beheading, stabbing, slashing etc...I'm surprised I could keep the bile down.

Lawrence was on the computer ALL. NIGHT. I asked for an hour if he was almost done- and each time, "yes, just a few more minutes..." (read: 60 minutes, read: the WHOLE freaking movie).

He said I wouldn't be able to watch both movies in one night. I wouldn't have, especially not feeling how I did tonight...but I did- just to prove I could.

My brother-in-law cannot watch the Kill Bill movies, because every time he hears "bang bang" he laughs like a little girl...nice Matt. Luckily he wasn't around to participate in tonight's escapades.

Now, I feel like crap. I'm tired. My hair is a mess. And I kind of wish I had some mad Samurai Sword Skillz...

Tomorrow will be better.

Tomorrow I will be going to our Church for a Free Item Exchange...I'm sure to score a bunch of sweet stuff.

Free stuff will make up for the epic fail that was my evening.

How did I find out about this awesome Exchange? I befriended a 17 year old...she knows all the inside stuff. Definite Bonus.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

PS: No meal plan this week- I shopped for $34 last week and it was enough to last us 2 weeks- that is how AWESOME I am. I just need milk. I rock.


They Can Smell Fear.

I'm a teacher.

I've been given the power to mold the minds of our future generations- who thought that was a good idea?

Yes- I have a lot of great ideas, a sparkling personality and I carry myself with poise and confidence- all things that 'ideally' would make a good teacher.

Then throw in my stubbornness, my lack of flexibility and my 'my-way-or-the-highway' attitude and I'm pretty sure I'm a tragic accident waiting to happen.

And unfortunately, that 'accident' will happen in front of a bunch of high school students.

High school students scare the crap out of me.

High school students will rip the limbs from my body.

They can smell fear.

I'm freaking out.

I can do kids under 11 years of age. For one thing, I'm taller then they are. For another, they are still innocent and think their teacher's know everything. High school students- DIFFERENT. STORY. They know it all. Haven't you heard? Teachers don't know a thing when it comes to teaching pubescent adolescents. They are right, you are wrong. End. Of. Story.

That, right there, freaks me out.

I'll know I'm right, they'll know I'm right, but because they are bigger then I am, they will win. Damn my short stature...

So- I bought new shoes!

They are supposed to make me feel better about this whole 'teaching experience' that will inevitable be my demise come March 8th.

They pretty much rock.


If it is one thing I firmly believe, it is that shoes should never be bought used. They should be borrowed or bought on sale- but never used. You'll get warts, or Athlete's Foot, or something else nasty...NOT GOOD. *The only FRUGAL point of the day*

I went to the mall with a 17-year-old teenage girl. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the enemy (Miss S is not the enemy, but she shares the gender) so that I can feel prepared when I step through the doors of the Prison (literally, the school was designed after a Prison) in March. We went with the intent to let Charlotte burn off some energy- and ended up buying me new shoes, a few $2.50 shirts (yea, I can sniff out a bargain anywhere) and a donut.

My new shoes rock.

If anyone disses them, I'll kick them.

These are my teacher shoes.

I shall wear them with pride as I am fed to the lions.

I hope they think I'm cool...

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.



Contemplating life.
Is it really worth it?
I mean I spend a ridiculous amount of time meal planning, budgeting, shopping, saving and then re-calculating 3 times over to make sure I have it right.
We are financially stable and independent.
We work hard for the money we make and spend it wisely.
Yet, part of me wonders what it would be like not to have to worry about stuff like student loans, a $40/week grocery budget...
I don't remember ever living frivolously.
When I was 18, I worked so that I could party.
I didn't have much responsibility to anyone but myself- I made sure I was happy and healthy.
Now- there is a husband and a child involved, and I feel compelled not to drive us into the depths of credit card debt.
I'm not even sure I could do that- even if I didn't have a sense of responsibility to my family- I'm not sure I could throw caution to the wind and spend recklessly.
But if I could- I might enjoy it for a day.
Just one day.
Because then I'd wake up and realize that I'm smarter then that.

All of that- because of one photo.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


The Results Are In...

...and I'm afraid you are going to be disappointed.

It was a tie. A. TIE.


I mean I didn't spend hours upon hours- measuring, mixing, rising, rolling, cutting and baking to have tie results! (well, I guess I did).

I decided that the toddler votes didn't count, because they liked whatever I gave them- so they were void, which left the 4 adults with spilt results.

Because I'm the one who did all the work I figure I can be the best judge of things OUTSIDE of the tasting. The ingredients, the dough consistency, ease of baking etc. You'll get a FULL breakdown from yours truly, and then results of the tasting from the other 3.

The Recipes!

Recipe #1
Breadmaker Cinnamon Rolls
1 1/2 Cups warm water
4 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 Egg
4 Cups of flour
1 Tbsp quick rise yeast (I am a big fan of Fermipan)

Softened Margarine
Brown Sugar

Put all ingredients in breadmaker in order listed. When you get to the yeast, put it in a well in the flour. Set breadmaker to dough setting. Roll out dough and spread a thin layer or margarine (or butter, whatever floats your boat) on top. Cover the margarine with a good layer of brown sugar, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll like a jelly roll and slice. Place slices in a greased 9X13 pan. Let rise for 1 hour then bake in a 350 degree F oven until done.

Recipe #2
INGREDIENTS (for the dough):
1 cup warm milk
2 eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup margarine, melted
4 1/2 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast (regular yeast seems to work just fine)

INGREDIENTS (for the cinnamon mixture):
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, softened

Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select dough cycle; press Start.

After the dough has doubled in size turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. (I just let the dough sit in the pan for awhile after the cycle is over rather than letting it rest on a floured surface.)

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar and cinnamon.

Roll dough into a 16x21 inch rectangle. (I use Pam to spray the surface that I roll the dough on.)

Spread dough with 1/3 cup butter and sprinkle evenly with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Roll up dough and cut into 12 rolls. Place rolls in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking pan.

Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes. (I usually make mine in the evenings and I let them rise overnight in the refrigerator so I can just pop them in the oven in the morning.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake rolls in preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Ok- first off, as you can see, the ingredients are similar. One uses essentials that you can find in your pantry and one uses more expensive ingredients. I thought for sure this would make a difference in the long run- but it totally did not. Anything that did go wrong- was completely my fault for making assumptions. (read: quick rising yeast is NOT the same as regular bread machine yeast).

So my favourite dough was recipe #2. It was a breeze to roll out, it rolled nicely, and it was over all, just a very nice dough. Dough #1 was full of air bubbles which *granted* was my fault, but even with just rolling it out it wasn't as smooth or as elastic-y as #2. Word from the wise? If you are going to use regular yeast, drop the amount to 2.5tsp and I'm sure the dough will be great.

After they were rolled up and needed to be cut, I noticed a huge difference in my ability to do so. Recipe #1 was sticky and difficult to cut into equal sized buns. Granted, I'm not sure how much was my fault with the yeast or just the dough...but that is what I noticed. Recipe #2 was a breeze to cut out and stayed its shape while it rose in the oven.

The 2 batches took different amount of time to bake as well. Recipe #1 took almost an hour while recipe #2 took about 27 minutes. I don't think that made any difference- they both browned nicely and were not dry.

I used a secret frosting recipe which I will not be sharing (sorry ladies). By the request of Ms. B, she wants to keep it on the downlow- which is A-OK with me. She was kind enough to share it with me for the battle, and I promise to take it to the grave. It's easy to whip up- but really...any kind of cream cheese icing/frosting would have worked just fine.

Now onto the results of the taste test.
Judge #1- Mr M.
Sample #1:
without frosting 3/5
with frosting 4/5
total- 7/10
Sample #2:
without frosting 3/5
with frosting 3/5
total: 6/10

Judge #2- Miss S.
Sample #1:
without frosting 4/5
with frosting 5/5
total- 9/10
Sample #2:
without frosting 3/5
with frosting 4/5
total: 7/10

Judge #3- Erin.
Sample #1:
without frosting 3/5
with frosting 4/5
total- 7/10
Sample #2:
without frosting 4/5
with frosting 4.5/5
total: 8.5/10

Judge #4- The Hubs
Sample #1:
without frosting 3.75/5
with frosting 4.16/5
total- 7.91/10
Sample #2:
without frosting 4.5/5
with frosting 4.65/5
total: 9.15/10

OVERALL Recipe # 1: 30.91/40
OVERALL Recipe #2: 30.65/40

So, as you can see, Recipe #1 won by 0.26 but in the end I broke it down to 2 liked the first and 2 liked the second. I will say that both sets of buns were slightly dry, but when put in the microwave for 20 seconds on high, it softens them right up and melts the icing just a little bit. :)

I hope that helps you guys...I wouldn't say that either of these recipes are 'the-best-cinnamon-buns-in-the-world' but they were both very yummy. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled for more cinnamon bun recipes and try this again in the future.

And now- for the pictures.
Go ahead...drool...

Recipe #1

Recipe #2

There you have it.
The Battle of the Buns.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


Battle of the Buns

I love cinnamon buns.

Two friends have recently posted recipes on their blogs.


Two similar yet different recipes and I am intrigued to try both. One calls for more 'expensive' ingredients and the other has all things that are pantry items.

My brother-in-law is staying with us this weekend, so I decided it would be the prefect time to try out BOTH recipes and see which one is actually better.

There will be 6 judges (2 of whom are toddlers). I will post the results on Saturday afternoon after the scheduled tasting on Saturday morning.

They will both be served with Ms. B's glorious Cinnabon Frosting. It's to die for, so good in fact that it would make poop taste good (I'm not even kidding you).

May the best BUN win...

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


Intended for WOMEN only...TMI below.

Title says it all...if you are a boy- stop reading this now. It will only make you blush.

Seriously- turn away now....

I warned you....

Ok ladies- so we all dread that time of the month- when things get all...well...weird...down south in our girly parts. If you are like me, it's not a very pleasant thing, between the cramps, the cravings, the PMSing and the BLOOD (eww!) it's really a week that I wish I never had to suffer through. I went for 17 months without a period- and post partum, I must say, it has returned with a vengence. *le sigh*

Recently I've been looking for something more environmentally friendly, cheaper and better for my health, something that isn't a MAXI PAD or a TAMPON...and I stumbled upon a Diva Cup. It appears almost to good to be true. It is reusable, it doesn't fill our landfills or clog our toilets, and it's a one time purchase, lasting you quite a few years- instead of, well...a few hours.

In light of my recent obsession with online shopping, and at the recommendation of a good friend, I stumbled upon this site, which sells them for CHEAP- less then $25 (that includes shipping) AND I don't have to go out and try to find one. Done deal. Since I have a few weeks between now and when that evil Aunt Flow will rear her ugly head- it should arrive in plenty of time.

So you think $25 is a bit much? It isn't. Once again, I will break it down *mathmatically speaking* to show you how it WILL save you money.

A thing of pads will run you a minimum of $5 *depending on the brand*

A box of tampons will run you anywhere between $7-10 *depending on the brand*
A thing of pads will last you 2 cycles? A box of tampons the same? So we are looking at between $10-$15 every 2 cycles- which breaks down to $5-$7 a cycle. Times that by 12, and you are looking at anywhere between $60-$84 A YEAR on feminine protection. That number shocks me. I just paid $25 and it will last me more then a year...probably 2 if not more! So I'm looking at a maximum savings of $143 dollars for 2 years! And what makes it even better- that is 2 years worth of stuff that I am not throwing into our landfills or flushing down our toilets.

Still freaked out at the thought of using a Diva Cup? Check out their site and have some of your questions answered. Want to hear a real person, giving a real recommendation? Check back here in a month or so and I will let you know what I think about it. :)

Until then- happy periods! (hahaha)

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.

To Shop or Not To Shop- that is the question....

I love shopping.

I love it even more when I don't have to leave my house to do it.

Enter- online shopping.

Now- there are some good and bad things when it comes to online shopping, a Pros/Cons list if you will.

-I don't have to leave my house
-I can access WAY more stuff in less time then if I were driving.
-Better for the environment because I'm not driving/using gas (cheaper too)
-More selection
-Better Deals

-You can't try anything on (I rarely buy clothes for myself online though)
-You are taking the word of the seller that the item is in good shape.
-Shipping costs.
-You need to have a credit card (although a lot of places are now taking Debit online- sweet)

Ok- so those are just a few things off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more- but for the sake of this post- that's my list.

Now my rule when it comes to online shopping is it has to be free- or pretty stinking close to free for me to even consider buying it- and then it depends on shipping costs. Shipping is what usually bites you in the butt- which is a definite draw back when it comes to shopping online. There are ways around this- like buying above a certain amount and getting free shipping...but I guess you would be spending more money that way- and if the whole point of online shopping is to save money, then that kind of defeats the point. Right?

So today, I did some online shopping. And I'm going to pass along a few tips and a promo code so that if you are INTERESTED you can go do some online shopping for yourself.

I bought some books today- which is rare for me. I don't often buy books, and when I do, I get smutty romance novels for $0.50 at garage sales or I buy them from friends for cheap (thanks Linda for the Twilight books!) To be honest, I usually just borrow books, that way I keep them off my already stuffed book shelf, but I bought 2 today. I bought them used, online, for less then $7 a book and with shipping, my order came to just over $20- which is less then buying them new from Walmart, Costco or even Superstore (all 3 places offer 30% off bestsellers). At the recommendation of a fellow Vampire Obsessed friend I purchased the first book of the Sookie Stackhouse Series (True Blood series on HBO is based on these books) and the first book for the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. So for just over $20 both of these books are going to be shipped to my house in 1-2 weeks. I'm not saying it's an extremely good deal- but it makes me happy and I have enough reading material to last me a few weeks until they arrive. These books are hard to come by right now as they are snatched up quickly so I figured it would be best for me to buy them this way and avoid the hassle of driving around trying to find them. I shopped HERE it always is a good deal. I would also like to mention that I usually try and buy my textbooks through here as well. I got a brand new textbook for $12 last semester, when it sells for $80+ in our University bookstore. Can you say deal?? I recently sold it for $50- so I actually made a profit...go figure eh!

As a Mom, with friends who are either Moms, Mom-to-be's or one day Mom-to-be's, I like to make sure that I always have Baby Shower gifts on hand. You never know when you are going to need something. I came across this online company a while ago, and bought one of there Nursing Covers. As a breastfeeding advocate (going on 17 months with Miss C.) I like to encourage my fellow Mom's to do the same. I really liked this company, my product was shipped quickly, and I got it within the estimated time. I got the nursing cover for free and paid $8.99 for shipping. $8.99 for a Nursing Cover is almost unheard of. Unless you are prepared to make your own (which I will definitely try next time) I don't think you can get one for any cheaper. Recently I received another email from the owner of the company with another promotion. This one is almost to good to be true- so I thought I would pass it along to my friends. You get an Udder Cover™ nursing cover of your choice, a matching Milk Bands™ breastfeeding bracelet and 2 pairs of 5 ply washable 100% cotton breast pads- for $5, which is a 90% saving. This is almost free! With shipping the total is $14.95- which IS AN INCREDIBLE DEAL! The whole package is worth $45...so you can see the savings here. I'd stock up if I were you. If you are interested in purchasing your own gift set or one for an expectant mother or friend, the promo code is "thanks". You can click HERE for the website.

That is all from me today.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


Friends Supporting Friends

I love supporting my friends.

Kind of the Golden Rule- do unto others as you would have them do unto you...

Not only do I love FREE STUFF, but I also love it when my friends giveaway FREE STUFF.


CLICK HERE and enter for your chance to win something totally unique.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


The World According to Tricia

Hey, well to introduce myself, I am guest blogger number one. I grew up and continue to live on the great prairies of Saskatchewan. I live with my wonderful husband and beautiful 6 month old daughter. Now to start off, I have not always been very frugal, but seeing as my husband is the least most frugal person I know… I had to become one. I found writing this blog to be quite difficult as I kept asking myself these questions, therefore writing, and re-writing..… Should I be funny? Serious? What do guest bloggers even write about? Should I share my own views? Opinions?

I had lots of ideas but really did not know where to start. So I started to think about what I am good at and what others like and I came up with cooking and crafts. So I will share a couple of my favourite recipes and a couple ideas for sending cards.


Surprise Dip
I make this dip with whatever I have in my fridge, so it is great for if people just pop by or a good way to use up some veggies.

You will need these 3 ‘staple’ items for the recipe
Cream cheese (softened)
Salsa (homemade or store bought)
Cheese (grated)

Spread your soften cream cheese on the bottom of a plate, then pour on the salsa and cover in grated cheese. That is the basic and easiest version but I like to add the following (depending on what is in the cupboard)

Chopped celery, diced tomatoes, chopped green/red or yellow pepper, green onion, carrot (grated or chopped). And if you are feeling really generous I like to add refried bean (between the salsa and cream cheese layer)

It is easy, always a favourite and quite healthy.

Another easy recipe that freezes really well

Monster Cookies
4 ½ cups rolled oats
½ cup butter/margarine
3 eggs
2 ¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
1 cup peanut butter
2 tsp. baking soda
½ cup wheat germ
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup of sunflower seeds & coconut & raisins & chocolate Chips (add all or whichever ones you would like)

Mix all together and bake a 350’ for 8 min. (if they are not sticking together just add more peanut butter)

They freeze really well and taste fabulous – my favourite cookie.


I find that I am constantly looking for birthdays, weddings, thank-you’s etc…. cards for people in my life. I have 3 suggestions for you to send cards cheaper, if not free.

1. Send an e-card. There are lots of great places if you just Google free e-cards. But one of my favourite sites to use is hallmark.com. You can go into e-cards and then look through the free ones; there are lots of great ones! You can also choose to pay a small fee to have access to hundreds of cards for a year, A lot cheaper than 5 dollars a card.

2. Make them yourself! Buy simple stamps or stickers that would apply to whatever card you buy/need the most of (Michael’s carries bins of these for $2-5 each), some card stock (dollar store) and voila you have the tools to be creative and make a one of a kind card. If you feel like you are not creative and need ideas, just search online and you will find lots of great ideas and templates. (you can also pick up little items for cheap and dress up your cards for cheap, for example: string a piece of ribbon through the top of a pop can, and now it to look like a buckle!)

2.5 Re-use, if you don’t mind recycling cards that you have been given. You can cut the back off and then ‘stitch’ a new piece of paper on. Or just fold a piece of card stock accordingly to size, and glue the cover, poem etc. to the card. It is more the thought that counts and you can be as creative as you like combining ideas, poems and items.

3. Check out the Dollar-stores. You can sometimes find really cute/nice cards for a dollar, or 50c.

If you are going to make your own cards and feel like you have no ideas, or lack the ambition to do it on your own (as I know I sometimes feel) here are my suggestions. Find other people that like to make cards or scrapbook and plan one day a month, or every so often, get together with them and make cards. Being around other people is sometimes all that I need to spark my creativity. Another good way to make cards within a group setting is for you to design one (or two) cards. You will then cut out enough supplies for each person in your group to re-create your same card. If everyone does this, then you get to leave an afternoon with numerous new cards and ideas.

Well those are my frugal ideas for now....until next time...


((Applause for our first guest blogger please!))


Kind of sorry, but not really...

I've been MIA for a little while.

Shocking isn't it...

I usually post every day *with the exception of Sundays*.

If you MUST know, I've been re-reading the Twilight Series, and I swear to you, the second I start I just have to keep going until it is all over.

It was easier the first time round- Charlotte was 6 months old, still napping 3 times a day for 2 hours at a time (read: 6 hours of undisturbed reading time during the day) and then I would stay up AFTER she went to bed...I zoomed through the books much faster, as you can imagine.

This time round, between the needy, teething, screaming/crying toddler, the 1 short 2-3 hour nap, and many more things to do (read: 30 Day Shred and sleeping) it's taking me longer. I should be done tomorrow.

Until then...I will rest easy knowing that I get to sleep next to my Edward (read: Lawrence) every night from now until...well...forever I hope. :)

Well Read AND Frugally Yours (I bought the books used, 4 for $20),
Erin B.

Team Edward


Frugal Joke

I'm immature. I'm 100% OK with that.

Mary's fourth-grade homework assignment was to make sentences using the words in her spelling list, along with the definition.

Coming across the word "frugal" in the list, she asked her father what it meant. He explained that being frugal meant you saved something.

Her paper read:

Frugal: to save

Sentence: Maid Marion fell into a pit when she went walking in the woods so she yelled for someone to come get her out.

She yelled "Frugal me, Frugal me!"

And this = AWESOME!

That is all.

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


Frugal Craft

I was feeling creative today.

I needed to make something that I couldn't eat.

I made Charlotte a new Blankie. (Side Note: she wanted to take it to 'nighnigh" with her, but I can hear her playing with it now, instead of sleeping...tsk tsk)

Now, I've seen these things being sold for OUTRAGEOUS prices so I made mine out of stuff I already had in the house, which of course = FREE.

What's even better? It literally took me an hour to do, which is SO awesome. I plan on making tons of these things and giving them away as gifts- Birthdays, Christmas (damn it just passed), Baby Showers, New Arrivals- you name it. They are super easy to make and they are super cute. So if you are someone close to me, who has a youngster/are expecting- then you know what you/your child will be getting sometime in the future.

I made this one out of 3 old flannel receiving blankets and some left over ribbons from tutus and hair bows.

What you will need:
4- 8" square pieces of flannel (complimenting colours. I plan on making one tomorrow out of fleece)
1- 16" *roughly* piece of flannel (for back, complimenting colour)
7- 12" pieces of various complimentary *or not* ribbons
Needles & Thread
Straight Pins
Sewing Machine

All Seams: 1/4"

1. From 2 coordinating Flannel pieces, cut two 8" squares from each fabric.

2. With right sides together, pin and sew pieces together; press seams towards fabric B.

3. Place patchwork (blankie top) piece with the 3rd flannel piece (blankie bottom) right sides together. Trim pieces to be even.

4. Cut all ribbon into 3" pieces. Place blankie top right side up (so you can see the patchwork). Fold each piece of ribbon in half, and pin in place with the loop pointing towards the centre. Stitch into place.

5. Place blankie top and bottom pieces right side together. Pin and stitch, leaving a 5" opening for turning. Trim Corners and turn blankie right side out.

6. Press and hand stitch (I used my machine along the very edge) the opening closed.

Finished Size: Approximated 15" x 15"

I am not very good at sewing, but this was SO easy. And totally free. :) Even if I have to buy new fabric (which I eventually will need to) it will still be pretty cheap, much cheaper then buying a name brand one, and WAY cooler because it is homemade. :)

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.


Poem for 2010.

I decided to write you a poem, and a poet I am not. Enjoy!

It is time to make a change.
In the way I live my life.
With the start of a New Year upon me,
I vow to be a better Wife.

I promise to be a better Mother,
A better Daughter, Sister and Friend.
And if something bad should happen,
My loved ones I will defend.

A change in the way we eat,
In the way that we show our love.
And I'll do the best that I can,
With some help from that guy up above.

I want to be more active
I want to lose some weight
With some help from those around me,
I hope that it's in my fate.

My camera wants to capture more memories,
So I can document our lives.
I wish to forget all the bad things done,
And I hope my heart forgives.

So this year my wish is simple,
I wish for a better me.
I want to show my daughter,
Everything that she can be.

Happy New Year Everyone!

Frugally Yours,
Erin B.