Author: Christina Root

17 of the Best Gifts for Manly Men, Made By a Man!

I hate shopping for my husband Ian. Last year when I got fed up with his less-than stellar suggestions for gift ideas, I went in with my best friend and we got him a gorgeous, custom-made knife. Sadly, the knife company is no longer open, but we did end up with a gorgeous blade that he’ll be able to years. This year, I forced asked him to put together a list so I can send everyone ideas and then, of course, it got turned into a blog post, because I know I’m not the only one out there who is missing...

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How to Convert Pinterest Recipes into Usable Recipes for Menu Planning

Hey budget bosses! I’m so excited to share this video with you! I have been using Cozi for years for my calendar as a companion to my paper planner. I use it for text reminders (mostly for my husband!) and then for important tasks I like to have as part of my normal routine, but I don’t always remember. But the best feature of Cozi is their menu planning interface. Firstly, it’s totally 100% free, and you can import recipes from Pinterest in under 30 seconds. It’s awesome!!!  Here’s the video of how, or if you scroll down a little further there’s...

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How Steam Canning Can Save Time and Effort on Meal Prep (Guest Post)

Canning is the process of preserving food in glass jars so they are shelf stable for up to a year. It is a science (as opposed to an art) that anyone can master, so long as they follow a recipe from a trusted source. Any busy mama can incorporate canning into their cooking routine to preserve a small basket of berries, a few extra tomatoes, or to fill shelf after shelf in their pantry like grandma did; canning is just as versatile as YOU are, homemaker! The Big Myth About Modern Canning Canning has a reputation as being a...

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Stick To Your Budget with these DIY Cash Envelope Systems

For $4.99 this pattern is a great bargain! I love these envelopes with their tabs, they would work well in a large clutch style wallet like the one I have. Get it on Etsy Get it on Etsy Get it on Etsy This $5 envelope pattern from MP Digital Shop is a great little pattern. For the price, you can’t beat it and the design is very minimalist! This beautiful $5 PDF pattern if you’re a stickler for keeping the change in your cash envelope wallet systems together. I personally don’t worry about that, I just throw my change in a jar at home we occasionally empty out for splurges or to meet financial goals faster. Get it on Etsy And, of course, if you have a new envelope system, you’ll need a wallet. Loose cash envelopes are a bad idea. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on them, all of these are less than $20! You’re welcome. 😉 Looking for a cash envelope system that isn’t DIY? Click here to see my favorite non-DIY cash...

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Is Mystery Shopping Worth the Time and Effort?

I enjoy mystery shopping. I think it’s a lot of fun, and it’s a fun way to save money by letting other people pay for things and make a little side cash. The benefits of mystery shopping What I love about mystery shopping is that you have a lot of freedom. You can schedule the appointments yourself, make phone calls when the kids are napping and it’s all on your schedule, for the most part. I also love that you can get things for free, plus make a little money on them. While you may not make a ton, your net...

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6 Simple Ways to Save Money on Meat

So, can I just level with you? I tried to do the vegetarian thing for my husband. I mean, not entirely vegetarian because I don’t believe that’s a healthy choice. Growing up, my mother in law had bad reactions to beef and apparently they burned out on chicken, so there were a lot of vegetarian meals. In my family, the norm was to have a meat main dish with sides. One of my favorite meals is roast with potatoes and carrots if that tells you anything! So, like I said, I tried it for him. I really did. But girlfriend, I...

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15 Minute System For Creating An Effective Budget

I used to struggle with budgeting until three things happened: the first was I for my food budget under control with a consistent system that worked. That’s a huge area where I used to overspend, and it really messed up our budget. The second area was our income, which I finally increased consistently (without having to work for clients or put the kids in daycare) on Pinterest. This budgeting method was the kicker that really helped me manage out finances quickly and easily. I spend no more then 15 minutes when we get paid, and because it’s easy I can maintain it...

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The Best Maternity & Nursing Tops for Under $40

I had the hardest time finding cute clothes that fit me right when I was a nursing mom, especially since I was on a tight budget. There were tons of cute tops I couldn’t afford, so I ended up making this list, as much for myself for when I want to start nursing, as to share here with you. To make it easy, I have them separated out into categories. I personally loved the short-sleeved nursing shirts best, since I was always warm when I was nursing, especially since I used my Boba carrier which I love so I always had a human space...

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How to Save Tons of Money on Non-Food Items

Since I launched my ecourse, Become a Food Budget Boss, I’ve heard from a lot of homemakers that they have trouble managing the non-food parts of their budget. I know how frustrating it is to be trying to budget and not being able to get into a groove because little things keep tripping you up, so here are my best tips for including non-food items in your budget without overspending! Create a separate budget for non-food items If your budget is right, it can be overwhelming to think about adding in one more thing, but I’m not saying you need to increase...

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13 Beautiful Quality Cash Envelope Systems You Won’t Hate

We have been working really hard to get out of debt this year. IT’s my goal to be out of debt by the end of the year, which is a pretty tall order considering Ian makes around $40k, and we have $21k left to go in our snowball. We’re living pretty simply, doing things like skipping on family vacations, and I have a crazy awesome shopping routine that’s saving us a ton on our food budget. If you’re struggling, it may help you, so check it out here. Nowadays we use a no-cash digital envelope system, but there was...

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Grilled Salmon and Roasted Asparagus – 30 Minute Dinner!

I really like food, and recently I’ve been wanting to branch out from my usual “tastes good, easy to make” and make some more unique dinners that are a little more elegant. I’m also in the beginning of a challenge some of my friends and I are doing, called the 60 Day Trim Up Challenge. It’s a lot of fun, and it’s been a good reason to break out of my funk and make some meals that are amazing and delicious, but not hard on the hips! I ordered my groceries online this week, if you missed that post...

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Weekly Groceries and Meal Plan January 16, 2017

When you order your groceries online it’s a lot easier to price check each item, which is part of the reason I don’t shop at multiple stores and still don’t spend a lot on groceries. You can read about my weekly routine here, which has saved/made us thousands of dollars at this point, not to mention all the time it saves me doing the actual shopping online. So, this week I changed things up a bit. Recently our grocery budget has been $150 every two weeks, which met our needs but didn’t leave a lot of room for snacks, so...

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How We Paid Our Rent with AirBNB

I heard about AirBNB from my best friend, who travels a ton and uses it to save thousands of dollars a year for her business expenses. I thought it was awesome, but figured it would never work for us because most people wouldn’t want an entire family in their house. When Ian got hired for his job that moved us here to West Virginia, and then got laid off just before we moved, we went into panic mode. We’d only just then reached our $1,000 emergency savings and that was all we had to our name. We decided to...

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How to Get Freebies and Avoid the Clutter

I love freebies. Seriously. At one point, when I was into extreme couponing, I spent probably 10-15 hours a week signing up for freebies and entering giveaways. I’ve gotten a lot of awesome things through signing up for free stuff, but also got some junk and got really frustrated when I had a gazillion emails in my inbox. Now, I sometimes struggle with my desire for a minimalist home and my love of acquiring free things. Now, I work really hard to maintain a balance so my life is filled with things I love, not just junk. The time I spent...

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My Best Tips for Organized Moving & Packing

I’ve been preparing for a possible move since April. Ian has been applying for jobs since last year and we believed that he was going to be hired for a specific company, which fell through more than once. Although we have moved on to new opportunities our goal is to be moving out of Berea before December, so I am trying to be as ready as possible ahead of time as I can be without living like we’re squatters. Simplifying I went through and did 31 days of simplifying, which was a lot of decluttering but also consisted of...

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Selling On Amazon 

Selling on Amazon sounds like a big, scary thing, or at least it did to me when we started. It wasn’t really all that hard once we knew what tools to use and found a process that worked for us. We could have made a ton of more money, but we were lazy and enjoyed working two weeks out of the month and spending the other two weeks doing whatever we wanted. I mean, can you blame us? So, here is what we did. Week 1  Week one we spent shopping for books, mostly at library book sales, then printing...

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Bible Journaling

Bible Journaling is something that I found on Pinterest, and I’m so glad I did. At first, it was just art. I wanted a new place where I could be creative, something that was tangible and wasn’t confined to the screens of my Mac and phone.  The Bible was something comfortable and uplifting, and it definitely had plenty of content, so I jumped in head first. I enjoyed the art and loved having so much content to work with that all had an emotional connection to a long-lost part of myself, with the part of me that used to crave the Word and look...

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Creating a Full-Time Income From Home with Sharing Businesses Part 1

My girl friend Heather and I talked on the phone for almost an hour the other day, trying to figure out how to make her family a better income. Her husband works full time and she currently has a really terrible job. She works long hours, well over 40 hours a week, stays home with her kids and only brings home $500 a month. She confessed that she couldn’t afford to take any risks with their budget and unless she was sure she could replace her income, she couldn’t leave her current position. We brainstormed and came up with...

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(Almost) Foolproof Yogurt in the Instant Pot

I love yogurt. I don’t sort of  love yogurt, I really love it. When I couldn’t eat dairy when I was pregnant with Logan, I struggled to put on any weight in the first half of my pregnancy, and actually lost weight. Homemade yogurt is kind of amazing. The cost efficiency of homemade yogurt Since I don’t shop as multiple grocery stores as a part of my shopping routine that saves us a ton of money each week, I decided that the fairest way to calculate the prices was to assume you’re buying the products I recommend at their standard prices when...

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