4 Tips to Avoid Food Waste


Guest post from Abigail of They’re Not Our Goats

I thought I was pretty good at avoiding food waste, until I cleaned out my fridge a couple weeks ago.

Ugh. Do I really have a science experiment growing on the back of the bottom shelf?, I thought to myself. Why yes, yes I did. I found myself disgusted with the amount of food I had let slide past my attention.

While it was a disheartening cleaning session, I finished with renewed vigor to cut back my waste — and hey, maybe save a few bucks at the same time!

Is food waste a problem in your house too? Here’s how you and I can put less food in the garbage and more in our bellies.

1. Keep stock of what you’ve got.

Knowing what you have on hand is half the battle. Consider the following:

  • Keep leftovers dated and visible so you always use the oldest food first.
  • Make an inventory of your freezer/pantry.
  • Shop your inventory regularly so you don’t let usable food go by the wayside.

2. Use & re-purpose leftovers.

Don’t dispose of perfectly edible food. An untouched kid’s plate should be saved rather than tossed, and the bottom of the pot can be given new life.

  • Eat leftovers for lunch instead of eating out or buying sandwich fixings.
  • Try your hand at “planned-over” meals — ones in which you purposefully use the leftovers from your first meal to serve as the base for the second.
  • Turn leftover veggies and meat into soups, stews, casseroles, omelettes, and stir fries. A half cup of steamed broccoli is a welcome addition to the breakfast frittata, and taco meat can easily be thrown into a pot of chili. Be creative!

3. Preserve the extras.

  • Use ready-to-expire fruit for smoothies, breads, muffins, popsicles, and juice.
  • Freeze extra meat, veggies, and fruit before they reaches their life expectancy.
  • Learn how to preserve extra produce while it’s in season (and on sale) by water bath canning, pressure canning, or dehydrating.

4. Put your scraps to work.

  • Throw your coffee grounds, apple cores, washed eggshells, and fruit and vegetable scraps into the compost bin to become great food for your plants and flowers.
  • Use your chicken bones for homemade stock, pan drippings for gravy, and vegetable cooking water in place of regular water in soups. You’ll get lots of flavor and nutrition out of a minimal labor.

With a little planning and extra effort, we can save a lot of food from the garbage, keep more money in our pockets, and hopefully keep our fridges a little cleaner too!

What are your creative ways to avoid food waste?

Abigail is an aspiring homesteader, homeschooler, music-maker, and birth doula. She lives with her husband and soon-to-be-three children on her acre-and a half homestead in scenic Pennsylvania. You can visit her blog about living the homegrown life (and seeking contentment while doing it) at They’re Not Our Goats.

Share This:

Reversible Fringe Necklaces for $11.95 shipped

Reversible Fringe Necklaces

Cents of Style is offering these Reversible Fringe Necklaces in 3 different styles today for just $11.95 each when you use coupon code FRINGESTEALS at checkout.

These necklaces are reversible — with a different color on each side, giving more more options for how you can wear each necklace.

This offer is only valid today (Monday, May 11, 2015), while supplies last.

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
Share This:

Educational Deals & Freebies Round-Up

Here are some of the best educational deals and freebies available right now from Katie who writes at Cincinnati Cents:

Melissa & Doug Scratch Art Set for $4.96 Shipped: Amazon has their Melissa & Doug Deluxe Light Catcher Scratch Art Set on sale for $4.96. This set typically retails for $14.99, and it includes 6 Light Catcher Design Frames (a butterfly, flower, hummingbird, sailboat, fish, and dolphin), 6 Scratch-Lite Stained Glass sheets, 6 suction cup window hangers, 2 wooden drawing styluses, and instructions. Plus, this offer includes free shipping as well.

LeapFrog Mobile Medical Kit for $9.09: Purchase the LeapFrog Mobile Medical Kit for $9.09. This set features a mobile ambulance and 4 checkout tools to help out patients of all shapes and sizes. With this interactive toy, kids will learn about the human body, healthy habits, and good hygiene.

Elmer’s 3D Glitter Pens for $3.97: Amazon has their Elmer’s 3D Washable Glitter Pens (10 Ct.) on sale for $3.97. This paint/glue adds a new dimension to artwork, and is ideal for school projects, posters, and drawings. The set contains both classic rainbow and glitter colors.

Free $10 Educents Gift Card & 3 Free Months of Lesson Plans: In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Educents wants to help you thank an amazing educator who inspires students to love learning! Educents is giving teachers a FREE $10 credit to use on Educents and 3 FREE months of Peekpak Lesson Plans. This is a great way to thank a teacher for their hard work and commitment to their students.

Pro Art 18-Piece Sketching/Drawing Pencil Set for $5.80: Amazon has their Pro Art 18-Piece Sketch/Draw Pencil Set on sale for $5.80. This set is ideal for aspiring artists, and it includes 8 pencils, 3 charcoal pencils, 1 sketch stick, and 2 charcoal sticks as well as 2 sharpeners and 2 erasers.

$20 Off Online Classes from Craftsy: Have you been wanting to try out a new craft but weren’t sure you wanted to spend the money on an online class? If so, Craftsy has a great deal available for you this week! Craftsy is offering up to $20 off every class! There are literally hundreds of classes available to choose from, including cake decorating, cooking, gardening, paper crafts, photography, and more. Plus, you can also find a variety of FREE Craftsy classes here as well.

Darice 120-Piece Art Set for $8.18: Amazon has their Darice 120-Piece Deluxe Art Set on sale for $8.18. This portable art studio includes 24 markers, 24 crayons, 24 color pencils, 24 oil pastels, 12 watercolor cakes, 2 clips, 1 white watercolor tube and 1 of each: palette, paintbrush, drawing pencil, sharpener, eraser, ruler, sponge and scissors.

Free Summer Courses from Smart Heads: Smart Heads is offering free fun-size summer courses for students entering 5th through 8th grade. There are three different free courses available, and each course includes a live 60 minute kick-off, a one-week online course, and a live 60-minute wrap up session.

$10 Off $10 Purchase at Shutterfly: Shutterfly is offering new members $10 off any purchase of $10 or more when you enter the promotional code 10OFF10 at checkout. This is an ideal way to create a classroom calendar that features important dates, upcoming field trips, and project due dates. As an alternative, you could also create a customized book that teaches a variety of topics (ABCs, numbers, parts of speech) by using pictures of family members, friends, and familiar places and/or objects. This type of book makes the learning process fun and familiar for your child.

50% Off Backyard Safari Toys: Today only, Amazon is featuring 50% off their Backyard Safari Toys. Some of the items on sale include binoculars for $7.49, magnifying glass kit for $4.49, field compass for $7.49, flashlight for $4.49, microscope for $13.99, and tent for $29.99. You can find all the items included in this sale here.

Elenco 11-Inch Globe for $21.16: Amazon has their Elenco 11-Inch Desktop Political Globe on sale for $21.16. This globe received a 4-star review, and it features a sturdy, child-friendly construction.

Free Bear Snores On Pack: Download a free Bear Snores On Pack from 3 Dinosaurs. This pack is based on the popular children’s book, Bear Snores On. This free pack includes such skills as matching, patterns, puzzles, pre-writing, and more.

16-Piece Finger Puppet Set for $5.80 Shipped: Purchase a 16-Piece Finger Puppet Set for just $5.80. This set includes 10 animal finger puppets and 6 family finger puppets. As a bonus, you’ll also receive a free mini eraser with your purchase. Plus, this offer includes free shipping as well.

Just for Kids Garden Tools Set for $10.66: Amazon has their Just for Kids Garden Tool Set on sale for $10.66. This set typically retails for $16.99, and it includes a 6″ rake, 8″ shovel, and an 8.5″ trowel as well as a canvas tote with front and side pockets to keep all your little one’s gardening supplies organized.

Liberty’s Kids Complete Series for $5: Amazon has their Liberty’s Kids: The Complete Series on DVD on sale for $5. This set received a 5-star rating from over 500 reviews and has over 800 minutes of run time.

Popular Science Magazine for $4.99: Purchase a one-year subscription to Popular Science Magazine for $4.99 when you enter the promotional code 4535 at checkout. Popular Science Magazine features information about various gadgets, the latest trends in vehicles, scientific discoveries, the latest technologies, and even a do-it-yourself section. The technology section provides you with a myriad of topics including, aviation, space, robots, engineering and more. Plus, the subscription offers a variety of do-it-yourself projects as well.

Where On Earth Is Carmen Sandiego Series for $7.42: Amazon has their Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego? Complete Series on sale for $7.42. This set includes 4 discs with all 40 episodes of action-packed adventures full of history and geography.

12 Free eGuides from Craftsy: Craftsy has 12 FREE eGuides available to help you tap into your inner creativity! You can choose from a variety of topics such as Fabulous Fondant Toppers, Knitting Stitches You Need to Know, Drawing the Human Face, Success with Container Gardening, Beginner’s Guide to the World of Watercolor, How to Draw with Perspective, and Woodturning Basics for Beginners. This is a great way to pick up a new hobby or learn a new skill – for free!

Katie is a wife and homeschooling mother of four who writes at Cincinnati Cents about saving money and having fun as a family without breaking the bank. She enjoys sharing new recipes, ideas for frugal family fun, and tips for spending less at the grocery store.

Share This:

Coupons: Campbell’s, Kellogg’s, Purex, Windex, plus more!

Printable coupons

Here are some new printable coupons available today:

$1.00 off 2 Campbell’s Healthy Request soups
$0.50 off any ONE Kellogg’s Krave Cereal
$1.00 off (1) Quart of LACTAID Ice Cream
$0.50 off any ONE Kellogg’s Froot Loops Cereal
$0.75 off any Two (2) TONY’S Pizzas
$4.00 off Flonase Allergy Relief 120 spray bottle
$0.25 off ONE Bounty Paper Towel
$1.00 off one Purex PowerShot™ Laundry Detergent
$0.75 off ONE (1) Windex product
$1.00 off XTRA™ Liquid Detergent
$0.55 off (1) Energizer batteries or flashlight
$1.05 off (1) Energizer EcoAdvanced™ batteries
$0.75 off any ARM & HAMMER™ Spinbrush™ Toothbrush
$0.75 off ARM & HAMMER™ Truly Radiant™ Rinse
$0.50 off ONE COVERGIRL Lip Product
$2.00 off (1) Sally Hansen Hair Removal Product
$0.50 off any ONE (1) ARM & HAMMER™ Toothpaste
$1.00 off any CLEAN & CLEAR product
$2.00 off ONE CLEAN & CLEAR ADVANTAGE product
$1.50 off 10 oz bag of Nudges Dog Treats

(Note: The links in this post are affiliate links. Read our disclosure policy here.)
Share This:

FOR MORE COUPONS, search our comprehensive Coupon Database for manufacturer coupons, printable coupons, eCoupons, and more!

3 Important Lessons My Parents Taught Me About Life & Money

H&R Block Budget Challenge

H&R Block recently contacted me to tell me about their Budget Challenge — a teen financial literacy program that simulates an adult’s financial life and rewards students for mastering real-world financial decision-making. It looks so helpful and fun and I love that they are committed to encouraging kids to learn important financial lessons from a young age.

They recently awarded Sean Lawrence, a St. Clair, Michigan, high school senior, $120,000 in college scholarships as grand-prize winner of the H&R Block Budget Challenge.

Sean earned the $100,000 scholarship for having the most “real world ready” financial skills out of 93,980 high school students in 5,621 classrooms nationwide after participating in the 2014-2015 Budget Challenge program. He received an additional $20,000 scholarship for placing in the top 22 of his simulation, earning a total of$120,000 to apply toward his education.

Sean said this about the Budget Challenge: “Learning about money management before going into the real world allows teens to make the right choices, or have the correct knowledge so they don’t end up as the typical American with mountains of debt.”

As I thought about this challenge and their goals to help students learn real-world money skills, it made me think about how grateful I am for my parents and the wise money management they not only modeled before us, but also taught and instilled in us.

3 Lessons My Parents Taught Me About Finances

Me with my parents when they attended one of my speaking events

I wanted to share 3 of the most important lessons my parents taught me about life and money:

1. Debt is Often Avoidable

My dad’s dad raised my dad with the belief that you should never go into debt for anything except a house. From the beginning of my parents’ marriage, they followed this principle.

And then they took it one step further.

When I was around six years old, my parents decided to do something radical and work hard to pay off their house. They then saved up everything they could.

When I was ten years old, we sold that house and bought land out in the country and moved a single-wide trailer onto it for us to live in.

The trailer didn’t have an oven, didn’t have heat or air conditioning, leaked crazily every time it rained, had a bad mice problem, and was in fairly disgusting shape when we got it. But after days of elbow grease, we got it in livable shape, moved most of our possessions into a storage unit, and moved the basic necessities into that trailer.

We spent seven months in that trailer while we were building our house. I could write a book of stories from that experience. But most all of the memories are very happy memories and I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world.

At the end of seven months, our new house was finished enough that we could move into it. And it was a huge celebration to make it to that day… and for my parents to have realized their dream of building a house debt-free.

Seeing my parents’ sacrifices and creative commitment to living debt-free and how it put them in position to be able to give generously because they worked so hard to no longer have a house payment was a huge inspiration to my husband and me. I know beyond any shadow of a doubt that we would never be in the position we are in financially nor would we have paid cash for our first house were it not their example and influence. And we are eternally grateful.

2. Money is a Tool

My parents taught me that money is a tool. In the hands of wise stewards, it can be put to good use and make a huge impact. In the hands of those who are unwise, it can be wasted and blown with nothing to show for it.

With their lives and checkbooks, they modeled the importance of being wise in how you use and manage money. It wasn’t about saving money for saving money’s sake, but so that you could use that money saved to impact and help other people. To invest in things that matter, to bless people, to donate to causes you believe in, and to give generously.

3. A Strong Work Ethic Will Take You Far

My parents wanted their children to leave home with three things: a deep love for God, integrity, and a strong work ethic. They were so motivated to teach us the value of hard work that they set a goal to move out to the country by the time we were in our early teens.

With much prayer and effort, their goal was realized. And boy did we learn how to work! I have fond and not-so-fond memories of lots of back-breaking work: gardening for hours on end, dragging hoses all over the acreage to water the new trees we had planted, and spending much of the day on Friday taking care of the seven acres of the land that were planted in grass.

Truth be told, I wasn’t always so thrilled at all the work they expected us to do. Sweating in the heat and developing sore muscles on a regular basis weren’t necessarily what I’d consider fun. But looking back, I’m so thankful for the character I developed through all those hours of laboring in the hot Kansas sun.

The lessons in diligence and perseverance have been invaluable to me as a wife, mom, and business owner today. Truly, I believe one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me was instilling in me a strong work ethic from an early age.

I’m so grateful for how my parents taught me these three lessons and have they’ve impacted my life in profound ways.

H&R Block Budget Challenge

Would You Like to Help Your Kids Learn Real-Life Money Skills?

I’d encourage you to check out the H&R Block Budget Challenge — a learn-by-doing educational approach that allows students to experience personal finance activities in the safety of a classroom, before heading out into the real world on their own. Participants play classroom against classroom and student against student, competing for $3 million in grants, scholarships and cash prizes.

“Our goal with The Budget Challenge is to arm teens with the personal finance skills and confidence they need to succeed when they’re out on their own. It’s an investment in American teens,” said Bill Cobb, president and chief executive officer. H&R Block awarded more than $3 million in grants, scholarships and prizes through the Budget Challenge in the 2014-2015 school year. Teachers who are interested in registering for the program can find details on the program starting in August here. Or, read more background on the program here.

photo credit

(Note: This post was underwritten by H&R Block. Read our disclosure policy here.)

Share This: