Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Things to Make Your Life Easier

One of my favorite new websites is
You put in your interests and it finds websites that match those interests. It is kind of like one of my other favorite websites Pinterest.

While "stumbling" through, I found this great article!
Things to Make Your Life Easier

I am all about ways to save and ways to make my life easier.
I hope that you find the info useful!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Freeze Cheese

Okay...So who knew that CHEESE freezes so well? We are big cheese eaters and my lovely husband enjoys a particular brand. Sometimes the cheese is $5.99, sometimes more...and sometimes it is on sale for a bit less. But Halls Market right on Park Rd sometimes has it down to $2.99 a lb. Now that is a crazy deal.

A good friend of mine, (DC) who has a large family told me that she often freezes her cheese and it stays well. I just had to try it.



Now when the cheese is on sale, I buy at least 4 lbs!!. I then put them in the freezer until I need them. Then I just take one out, put it in the fridge and within a few hours, it is defrosted and ready to go.

I have also found that shredded cheese freezes well. Again, being such big cheese eaters, we enjoy homemade pizzas, taco's, etc. How frustrating is it to be all ready to throw your pizza's in the oven, when you realize that you do not have cheese!! So I buy a large bag, then separate it into smaller bags and voila! (and seriously it takes almost no time to separate the cheese!)

If you have any other tips, please pass them along!!

LivE Wisely

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Grocery Shopping is SO Expensive...Is This Why??

If anyone has been grocery shopping within the last 5 years, I am sure that you have noticed an increase in the price of food. So If you are like me, you pay a bit more attention while food shopping... with your two screaming kids, phone ringing, oh and late for a meeting...thank you for those wonderful car shopping carts. I have been known to follow people who have just left the store with a full car shopping cart, just to ensure that I can have one for my shopping adventure.

Unfortunately coupons do not cover many of the items that I purchase, especially if you shop at a store like Trader Joe's or Whole Foods.

So here are some of the things that I have done to keep my grocery bills lower...:

-I do not buy as many snacks. I try my best to make things. Not a baker? Try things like buying frozen fruit when it is on sale. Tastes great and less expensive than the fresh kind, (blueberries, strawberries, etc). Great for yogurt, smoothies, baking, etc.
-I do my best to not get sucked into ..."wow that looks so good, I must buy it!" moments.
-If something is on sale that I like, I try to stock up...But stick to what you really need and only allow yourself, 2-3 TREATS.
-Sometimes I buy my paper goods at places like Target, Walmart, CVS, Walgreens. And many times I will have a coupon for these items.
-I do my best to either write down or keep a mental note of some of our favorite items prices. So for example, my eldest daughter loves applesauce. I find that the small packages are less expensive at Target, so whenever I make a run there, I try to stock up.

Here is one IMPORTANT thing that I have realized. Sometimes when I go to stores that are very inexpensive, I tend to buy more. Target is a good example. The prices are sometimes great. So you actually end up buying more than you actually need. Just because it is a good price, does not mean that you really need it! Refrain and focus in on what you actually need. Do you need 4 bags of chips just because they are $2 cheaper at this store than your normal store? Do you really need to buy those pretzels, just because they are so much cheaper here?

If you shop at a store that offers WHAT YOU NEED, as opposed to offering steep discounts, you may actually save yourself money by not buying things that you really do not need!

If you have more shopping tips, PLEASE SHARE!!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Coconut Oil and Its Many Uses

I love it when I find a product that can be used for just so much!!
One of my favorite oils to use around our home is Coconut Oil. It can be a bit pricey if you buy it from Whole Foods, I typically buy mine from either the Indian Grocery store in my neighborhood or my local Trader Joe's. 

I found this great site 
that lists all of the wonderful ways you can use Coconut Oil...not just in your kitchen!!

LivE Wisely!!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Re Purposed Left Overs

I love to take left overs and make them into something fabulous. I can't skate board, can't swim well, can not sing, struggle with sitting still...but I can take leftovers and make them into something completely exciting and new!!

Okay, so I know that pictures are super important with blogging...especially when you are discussing recipes. Who maintains interest if there isn't a beautiful picture to look at. Frankly it drives me a bit nutty because there are just some amazing photo's online of food that are works of art!! I mean did they even taste the cupcake or just take a picture of it!! I enjoy photography but I am by no means an expert. And honestly, when I am cooking and have two children hanging on my legs, I have no time to set up an appropriate backdrop for my latest chicken dinner!!

So maybe we can just visualize what I am about to go through??

Here are some recent examples of some "Re Purposed" meals!!

*Made macaroni with a homemade ground chicken tomato sauce for the kids. My husband and I went out to an amazing dinner...we needed it desperately.
Re Purposed Meal:
Took about a cup of polenta and covered the bottom of a glass pyrex dish with it. Then took some of the left over sauce and poured it on top of the polenta. Then poured in a bit of milk/half and half...whatever kind of milk product you have laying around. Water would also work. Then put a layer of spinach on top. Just a thin layer because I had just a bit left over. You could use any kind of veggie. Then poured more sauce on top and because we had a bit of left over chicken pieces I also through those in. Then I threw shredded mozzarella in and voila... I put it in the oven and baked for 20-30 minutes. The result was a creamy tasty new meal that everyone gobbled up!!

*Had some italian bread, a few veggies and eggs laying around.
Re Purposed Meal:
Took a pie pan and put in some sliced bread to cover the bottom. Then threw in some veggies, (any would work) and mixed up a few eggs, (2-6) with some milk a bit of water, and then poured into the dish. Threw a bit of cheese on top...and yum...a improvised quiche is born!!

*Left over steak, veggies, mashed potatoes, (any kind of potato would work).
Re Purposed Meal:
Took a casserole dish and put in some sliced up steak on the bottom. Threw some veggies on top and then covered it with the mashed potatoes. Just to ensure that the meat would not dry out I put in some milk and water to moisten everything up. Baked the meal for 20 minutes and we ended up with a modern Shepard's pie! 

*Left over rice, lettuce or any kind of leafy greans.
 Re Purposed Meal:
Sauteed up the greens with garlic and onions, threw in the rice and added a bit of soy sauce, (any kind of sauce would work). Then threw in 2 eggs and mixed it all up. I had some nuts in the pantry so when I served up the dish I added some on top for a bit of crunch.
 Re Purposed Meal:
Take the leafy greans, (spinach and kale work great) and put into a salad bowl. Chop up any tomatoes, red pepper...whatever you have laying around that would work well in a salad. Then throw a bit of rice on top. Pour a bit of rice vinegar, (if you have it), soy sauce or toasted sesame oil, ...maybe some agave or maple syrup for a bit of sweetness...and you have  delicious Asian inspired salad.

LivE Wisely!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Swap Clothes...Nosh & Whine...

Swap Clothes...Nosh & Whine...
I have now successful thrown two Clothing and Accessories Swap Parties. And I have to say that each time, just about everyone, (except returning guests) exclaim "why hadn't they done this before??" Everyone brought at least 5 items, either a food or drink and each walked away with at least one new item! Whatever was left was donated.

Now I am sure that you can get all "professional" with regard to the rules...but we just laid out the clothes, (in my living room) and walked around as if we were at our favorite boutique. We laughed at some of the items that we had brought...what we were thinking when we bought this shirt...but wait...there is always a buyer for of course, your close friend, absolutely loves the shirt...and wait it fits too!!

I will say that this go around I forgot to borrow a full length mirror. It is always nice to be able to try on and see what you look like. :)

One of my friends came a bit later while we were all in the middle of shopping. She had a bag in her hand filled with goodies. She was instantly mobbed! Well, maybe it was me that mobbed her. I saw a gorgeous scarf popping out. It had an Anthropologie flare to it...and guess what... it was Anthropologie!! She just could never get it right! Well, I tried it on...and perfecto!! I had been looking for a cool scarf for awhile.

I recommend swap parties to everyone!! They are a great way to clean out your closet and find new items to fill it with...and all for free of course! And you know that I love me some free stuff!

LivE Wisely!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Price Matching...Don't Forgot to Ask!!

Have you ever found yourself dreaming about a specific pair of shoes, purse, pair of jeans? And I say DREAM...because maybe they are a bit out of your price comfort zone.  Maybe if you divide the number of times that you plan on using it, by the years that you plan on keeping seems less painful. But for me, spending $200-$300 on a pair of shoes seems steep.

A wonderful friend of mine convinced me...actually a few friends convinced me into buying a pair of FRYE boots. "you have to buy a pair!" "they last forever" "they are the most comfortable boots"...
I have my Uggs...and I love them..."no but these are classic..." "you can wear them dressed up or down."

Okay, so in true LivE Wisely fashion, I have to get them for a deal. I scoured the web for a deal.
I am a big fan of Nordstrom's because of their customer service. I went to the store and tried on a pair. Wow, the boots were magical. Do they price match? In fact they do...just have to prove that the same boots, color and price are available somewhere else.


So at Nordstrom they were listed for $257. I found them for $206! With Tax, $219!

I can not wait until they arrive.

So, Do Not Forgot to Ask if a Store will Price Match! You Just Never Know!!

LivE Wisely...Always!

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