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Cheryl's Sensible Cents, Issue #001 -- Family Fun
February 04, 2005

Did You Know?....

The USDA estimates that a family of four(two adults, two children) spends approximately $434-$503 per month for groceries on the "Thrifty Plan."


Taco-seasoning Mix

6 teaspoons chili powder
4&1/2 teaspoons cumin
5 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons onion powder
2 & 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
(from The Complete Tightwad Gazette)

Shake and Bake

1 Cup Bread Crumbs
2 tsp celery salt
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Flour
2 tsp poultry seasoning
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
5 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together and store in a tightly closed container. To Use: Dip chicken pieces in mixture of 1/2 cup milk and 1 beaten egg. Pour 1 cup coating mix into a bag, drop in chicken one piece at a time and shake. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until juices run clear. (from "The Tiptionary")


Share Money Saving Tips, Recipes, Frugal Living Ideas, Here!

S. Solis fromCenterton, AR shares this tip with us!

I find that when I buy fresh vegetables I do not always use the entire bunch and then the rest of the bunch goes bad. I just came up with an idea to prevent wasting the money and the vegetables. I dehydrate the vegetables when they are almost on their last leg. . . . at least then I can use them in a soup or as a cooked side of vegetables (as one may use frozen) instead of throwing out the rotted remainder.

Thanks For the Tip!

Cleaning Tip

Use finger nail polish remover for ink stains on clothing and in the car. Works on most marker stains also. Test fabrics first.

Use furniture polish to clean your car's dashboard. It will help avoid drying and cracking.


Single serving containers are one of the biggest money wasters in the grocery budget! Save yogurt and single serving dessert cups (like pudding, jello), yogurt cups are nice because they usually have a top. Use them to make your own puddings and jellos from the 4 or 8 cup serving box mixes. You can have the convenience of single servings at a fraction of the cost!



OOPS! Did I forget the Free Fun?

In a recent article Kids Just Wanna Have Fun I offered some ideas to keep your fun hungry kids happy. But, duhhhhh. . .I forgot the FREE FUN STUFF! Well ya’ know that’s the most important stuff. I don’t know where my mind was that day! So, now that I’ve seen the error of my ways, Let me share some more great activities we sometimes forget about as we get older. These timeless activities have been around for ages. Things that we enjoyed as kids are still fun for kids today. Even in an electronic society!

If you have kids, most likely you have a box of crayons somewhere. I hate to admit it but I still love to color! Come on, give it a try no matter how old you are. I have found that it is contagious. Even if your kids think they are "too old" for coloring, you will be surprised how quickly they join in when they see you enjoying it! Go ahead, it works every time.

Silly putty is another fun activity that we tend to think we're "too old" for. But the older you get the more creative ideas you have and the more silly fun you can have. So come on, get your creative juices flowing.

Hey ladies, and maybe some of you gents too, do you remember paper dolls? I had almost forgotten they existed until one Christmas I came across a paper doll kit in a craft store. Suddenly, I remembered the hours and hours of fun I had playing with these simple toys. And, they are so much easier to dress than Barbie. Sorry, Barbie.

There are literally thousands of craft ideas that can keep you busy for hours or days. Crafts come in all different levels of difficulty. So find one that suits everyone in the family and work on it together. Hmmmm, could this mean more conversation time! Take advantage of these fun times together. Get to know your kids better.

You can always choose a variety of different level crafts to suit everyone and work on different crafts all at once. Either way, you're accomplishing several things at once…...

  • Children learn through creating.
  • You'll be keeping that FUN meter up, keeping them from getting bored.
  • You'll be saving money on outings by finding creative ways to have fun at home.
  • You'll have more "Quality Time" to get to really know your kids!

Need some ideas? Just visit your local craft stores or do a search online. Check out for some super ideas for having creative fun with the family. You’ll find arts and crafts, party and game ideas, parenting help, recipes, and even travel ideas.

If you're into quilting, sewing, knitting, crocheting........well if you are, you know the possibilities here. It's not just for "old folks"! Get the kids involved. There are kits created for these activities. Kits created specifically to get children interested and having fun doing these activities.

There are so many wonderful ideas for crafting the possibilities are mind blowing. One walk around your local craft store and I’ll bet you can come up with a craft idea for each week of the year at least if not two or three per week! Take a pen and paper. I never trust my head to hold everything inside. Seems most of it leaks out before I get to use it if I don’t write it down. There so much to take in!

Crafts for painting, sewing, candle making, transfers and art supplies that personalize items (purses, shirts, bandanas, jewelry, tote bags ..etc.), drawing, knitting, quilting, doll making, puzzles, woodworking, scrap booking……..well I could go on and on. But, best thing for you to do is get on down to that craft store and get some ideas.

Please don't buy everything you see! Just get ideas. Keep a notepad of ideas and then remember to look for arts and crafts supplies in your thrift stores, consignment shops, and at yard sales.

Oh, and don’t forget to recycle items you might normally trash. Keeping a good supply of these items will help keep expenses down. Things like, scraps of fabric, ribbon, paper, egg cartons, coffee cans (all sizes), Styrofoam (packing pieces or sheets) wrapping paper scraps, buttons, toilet paper and paper towel tubes.

Don’t throw away anything that you could possibly use in a craft project. Don’t get carried away though. Never keep more than you have room to store comfortably.

Seriously people, HAVE FUN WITH YOUR KIDS! They won’t be kids forever, and believe it or not….You WILL miss them when they’re all grown up and out the door!


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