Money-Saving Tip 1

I’m not big into organic foods, whole foods, saving the planet, or even saving money. Why? Time, mostly. Placement of impulse buys, mostly. But I do what I can.

Today’s money-saving tip is also a great planet-saver:

Purchase reusable containers.


We eat a lot of sandwiches around here, because the boys attend a charter school with an über expensive hot lunch. About 3 years and a few hundred sandwich bags ago, I decided Mother Earth could use fewer plastic bags thrown away.

The variety of reusable sandwich containers pictured are also BPA-free and probably contain X% recycled materials. I bought them off Amazon and they do the trick.

I recycle and reuse as much as I have time and money for. If we all do at least that, I’m sure the world will be a cleaner place.


©2019 Chelsea Owens

Food Tip 9

I’m all about having food on hand. I don’t like frequent store trips or surprises. I’m also big into getting as natural of food as is reasonable.

So, today’s food tip is:

Grow your own food.


If you don’t know this by now, I draw my lines at convenience and comfort. Although all-natural and organic are great ideas, the most organic I go is our backyard garden. Even then, I totally called in our pest guy at The Battle of the Squash Bugs (that epic tale will need to wait till another post).

I also think saving money is important. But when the cost of garden boxes, soil, plants, and special vegetable wash exceed the cost of tomatoes at Sprout’s; I’m not going to waste the effort.


So, start small. Plant one thing that you’ll use in a small bit of land or a pot. Add a watering system the next year. Over the next while; purchase and implement garden boxes, special mix-ins, and more interesting plants.

Who knows? Maybe you’ll even start saving seeds for next season’s plantings.

Garden fresh tastes better and is healthier. It’s also fun for kids, especially if they have one plant that is all their own.


©2019 Chelsea Owens

Food Tip 7

Today on Surviving on Little Income Because All the Kids Need Dental Work Except One and the Water Heater Went Out and We Had to Replace It…

My super thrifty food tip involving concentrated orange juice.

Water juice down a bit.


When we’re living the high life right after tax returns; I purchase all natural, fresh-squeezed orange juice like a millionaire. At other times, concentrated juice or even Kool-Aid are our go-to.

You can stretch your buck juuuuuust a bit further if you add a bit more water than it says to. How much so depends on your ability to withstand what you mix.

Of course, you can always go cheaper and add food coloring to water. I’m sure they’ll never know the difference.

Breakfast Tip 3

Some mornings I can’t help but feel a little sick of the options. This is a silly response, I know, since we often at least have bread, eggs, and cereal.

If you’ve ever felt in this boat, my amazing advice is:

Try your toast another way.


Sounds simple, right? That’s ’cause it is. I’ll list out how:

  1. The toasting part of toast can be adjusted.
    So long as your toaster works better than mine, it’s got settings. You can go from barely-stale to nearly-black. Try them all!
  2. ‘Toast’ can be microwaved, instead. If you pop the bread in for a couple of seconds it makes it warm and somewhat floppy. One of my kids prefers it that way; maybe your kid does, too.
  3. Butter is not the only topping available. We’ve also tried honey, jam, peanut butter, fresh fruit, eggs and bacon and avocado, and cinnamon sugar over butter.
    In fact, my son-who-must-not-have-taste-buds also topped his with mini pepperonis.

Do not use this power unwisely, but have a little fun testing and tasting.

Photo Credit:
Ben Kolde

Dinner Tip 4

I used to be really creative about making dinner. That was before The Great Birthing of Baby #4 and The Time of Two Boys Taking (Separate) Martial Arts Classes and That Decade I Was (Am) Depressed.

Even still, I have yet to resort to cold cereal for dinner. Why?

  1. Cold cereal is not very filling.
  2. It’s, like, 80% sugar.
  3. The kids are probably getting hyped up on MSG and preservatives alongside the sugar.
  4. We’re often out of milk, too.

And so, this Super Mom has adopted a time-saving and money-saving and stress-saving technique: buying ahead.

If you buy the super-huge bottle, you’ll never run out of salsa.

In short, I keep a lot of ingredients handy that can be used to make my simple meals. A few of the items I keep on hand are: shredded cheese (extras in freezer), frozen chopped onion, frozen sliced bell pepper, flour tortillas (extras in freezer), refried beans, minced garlic, spices, tortilla chips, olives, lettuce, various meats (freezer), sandwich bread, chili, canned tuna, potatoes, rice, milk, butter, salsa, ham slices, frozen vegetables, and most dry ingredients.

I’ve recommended having a go-to list of meals before. Well -what good is that list if you haven’t the ingredients to make anything from it?

So; after you list the cheap and easy dinners you can make, make a habit of keeping what you need for them around. You and your grumbling tummies will be happy you did.