How To Eat For $4 Per Day

How To Eat For $4 Per Day

Raise your hand if you are on a tight food budget?

Yea, that is a LOT of hands.

Keep your hands raised if you are on Foodstamps?

Yea, still a lot of hands.

Have you tried to eat healthy on a tight budget and find yourself continually going back to cheap carbs / fillers?

I sure do and I am so frustrated with myself.

Then a friend posts a link and voila, this great, FREE, cookbook emerges!




About The Free Cook Book

It is called “Good and Cheap: Eat Well On $4 Per Day,” By Leanne Brown. And best of all, it is free! Click here for the link: Good and Cheap Free Cookbook.

Leann moved to America from Canada to study nutrition. She was shocked at how many people were on Food Stamps and how few resources there were available to teach folks to eat healthy and well within a Food Stamp budget. So she decided to create a great cookbook full of healthy recipes, nutritious food, meals that aren’t too complicated to make, and most of all, stick to the $4 per day budget.

Leann’s philosophy: “The best health advice is simple: eat fruits and vegetables. Many American cookbooks rely on meat as the central feature of a meal. My recipes celebrate the vegetables rather than the meat. My intent was to create satisfying food that doesn’t require you to supplement your meals with cheap carbohydrates to stave off hunger. I strove to create recipes that use money carefully, without being purely slavish to the bottom line. For example, many recipes use butter rather than oil. Butter is not cheap, but it creates flavor, crunch, and richness in a way that cheap oils never can. ”

She really created this out of a desire to help.

Follow Up

I will be testing out these recipes over the next few months and I hope to share some of my successes and failures on my blog. I also will be revamping my current recipe series, Simple, Healthy, Cheap, to have better photos, include more recipes using Leann’s philosophy and budget, and to include more variety.

 

Book Review: Star Chronicles – A Bible Based Study Of The Stars

Book_Review_Star_ChroniclesOne of the biggest blessings of blogging the past few years is that I have gotten to meet some other amazing bloggers. One in particular has blessed me more times than I can count and I have been looking for a way to return a fraction of it:-)

When I realized that Dawnita from Prairie Dust Trail had a book on the market, I asked her if I could review it! Luckily she said yes, and now I have gotten a whole new perspective on the stars and the Bible with her book: Star Chronicles – A  Bible Based Study Of The Stars

From The Book

Dawnita starts the book with Psalm 8, leaving us in awe of such an amazing creation and giving credit to the Creator for inspiring her book.

She goes on the clarify that this book is not about horrorscopes (pun intended) or astrology, but is focused on why God gave us the stars – for learning, for study, for prophecy.

The book then goes into the 12 constellations usually referred to by astrology, and brings them into context Biblically.

When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him?

Here is an excerpt from the section on Taurus, which I choose, since I spent a little too much of my life trying to identify with being a “Taurus.”

“Aldebaran is the brightest star in Taurus. You can find it by following the stars of Orion. The name Aldebaran means “the follower”, and it looks like it is following the “seven sisters.” In astronomy, the Pleiades, or Seven Sisters, is one of the nearest star clusters obvious to the naked eye. They are mentioned in the Bible three times: “Who maketh Arcturus, Orion and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.” –Job 9:9 “Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?” –Job 38:31 “Seek Him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night, who calleth for the waters of the sea and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is His name.” –Amos 5:8”

A lot of time and research went into her book and she does give credit to those who went before her to understand God’s use and purpose for the stars. She gives an intensive reference section.

You can purchase the book on Amazon today. (affiliate link)

How To Get That Costco Dream Trip For Less

Travel How To Get That Costco Dream Trip For LessIn my post last year about saving money on travel, I compared Costco to Expedia and BookingBuddy. I was comparing apples to apples (so the exact same hotel, airline, tickets, etc…) and Costco won two of the thee “challenges.” Costco, with their buying power, was able to negotiate certain deals with certain carries that others could not match.

However, Expedia and BookingBuddy are both able to negotiate their own deals with carriers, just maybe or maybe not the same carriers as Costco.




So, if ware are willing to compare apple species to apple species (i.e the same star category of service, the same level of air carrier, same room type, etc…) then it would be interesting to find out who comes out with the best price – and YOU still get the best vacation!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for supporting my blog!

Travel How To Get Costo Dream Trip

BookingBudy is a TripAdvisor Company.

Again, I am going to pick the same trips:

  • A Trip to Walt Disney World, including airfare, park tickets, and a non Disney hotel property for 8 days, 7 nights traveling from Seattle, WA. For a family of 4.

 

  • A Trip to Hawaii, including airfare, hotel, and car on the big island for 7 days, 6 nights traveling from Seattle, WA. For a Family of 4.

 

  • A Trip to Cabo San Lucas, including airfare, airport to hotel transfer, and all-inclusive hotel (includes food and drinks) for 5 days, and 4 nights) traveling from Seattle, WA. For two adults.

 

 

Trip 1: Walt Disney World Trip: Departing September 14th and returning September 21st from Seattle, WA, for a family of 4 – 4 star hotel and national airline.

  • Costco Travel Vacation Package – Orlando World Center Marriott, American Airlines (1 stop), 5 day park hopper to WDW: $4,206.
  • Expedia Vacation Package – Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, United Airline (1 stop), 5 day park hopper ticket to WDW: $3,911.
  • BookingBuddy Vacation Package – Sheraton Lake Buena Vista Resort, American Airlines (1 stop), 5 day: $3,907

For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel. With being able to play with the hotel choice and using BookingBuddy’s deal on Walt Disney World ticket price, we were able to save over $300 on this vacation.

Trip 2: Hawaii: Departing September 14th and returning September 20th  from Seattle, WA, for a family of 4.

  • Costco Travel – Halii Kai Waikoloa – Garden View Room, Alaska Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental: $3,871
  • Expedia – Sheraton Kona Resort – Mountain View Room, Hawaiian Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental: $3,506
  • BookingBuddy Vacation Package – Castle Halii Kai – Garden View Room, United Airlines (no overnight flight), full size car rental – $3,142

For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel. I also looked for economy class flights that were not overnight, and lastly, we added on a full size car rental. Finding the best deal on each site, Booking Budy was able to save over $700 from best price Costco trip and over $350 from the best price Expedia trip. WOW!

Trip 3: Cabo San Lucas: Departing September 14th and returning September 18th from Seattle, WA, for two adults.

  • Costco Travel – Villa del Arco deluxe suite (note: if I ever get to go to Cabo for an anniversary someday, this is my first choice hotel), Alaska Airlines, airport transfer: $1741
  • Expedia – Hacienda Encantada luxury suite, United Airlines, airport transfer: $1557
  • BookingBuddy – Playa Grande Resort, deluxe junior suite, Alaska Airlines, does NOT include airport transfer: $1481. Hotel transfer could be booked separately for (est) $80. Total would be: $1561.

For each travel provider, I looked for the lowest price, name brand 4 star hotel and selected non-overnight economy class flights. Expedia just edges out BookingBuddy here by a couple of dollars. Costco is more expensive by $200, but to be honest, in this case, I would still select the Costco deal.

As we can see, it simply pays to shop around. Sometimes one site will have the best deal and sometimes, another site wins.

Let me know your best deal you have ever found and who it was through.


Beware of IRS Law Suit Scams!

I just heard a lovely computerized voice on my voice mail informing me that the IRS is filing suit against me and that I better call now!

Luckily, I was pretty sure this was a scam and quickly did some research instead of calling them back. Unfortunately, I know that many people don’t know how to tell that something is a scam and may actually fall for this, so I thought I would share my story and the result of my research.

Here is an info-graphic from the FTC with how to discern the difference between a scam and the real IRS.

0519-irs-imposter-scams-infographic

 

What other scams and cons are out there right now that people need to be aware of?

Free Purim App for Andriod

Biblical_Holidays_Purim_AppOf all the Biblical Holidays, Purim may be my favorite. Basically, we dress up, participate in or watch the story of Esther re-enacted, and eat lots of good food. This years theme for our community was Shakespeare and the play was the best ever – they turned it into a Shakespeare comedy!

If you would like to know more about Purim or some other themes we have had in the past, read my post from last year.

The Purim App For Android (Beta)

At the beginning of this year, I have decided it is time for me to get back to doing some programming again. It has been a long time, so I am a little rusty, but I am starting with some simple App Development. I thought I would start by making an App about Purim.

It is simple, and just meant to teach some basics, but in a fun way. It includes the story of Esther, some ideas for Purim celebrations, a word search and a game called Get Hayman!

I would love folks to try it out and give me feedback and suggestions for a bigger, better App for next year. You can download it right here. No strings attached. No spam or spyware or any junk like that. Just enjoy and pass it on. I am just getting started with this, so I just want to get it out there.

Download the Purim App by clicking on this link from your mobile phone. (This is an Amazon Affiliate Link).

2016 Disney Contest and Sweepstakes Roundup

2016 Win A Trip To Disneyland Or DisneyworldAs my children are starting to grow up (I now have a 9 year old, a 7 year old, a 5 year old, and a 7 month old), I have a little longing to take them to Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I was able to visit both as a child and Disneyland a couple of times as an adult before I had my children.

Since taking 6 people to either park is not a cheap endeavor, nor is any travel with a large family, I am looking for different options to help me get there. One option is to enter the plethora of Disneyland contests and sweepstakes that are available each there. Who would not want to win a trip to Walt Disney World or win a trip to Disneyland?
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

So here is my roundup this year – 2016 Disney Contests and Sweepstakes (updated quarterly) – expiration date – name and link to contest – any additional info.



Updated 2/17/2106

02/18/ 2016 – Star Wars Awakens – 4 nights in WDW or 3 nights in Disney Land

02/20/2016 – Wheel Of Fortune Disney Sea and Shore – Watch the show and enter to win 6 nights at Disney’s Aulani

02/23/2016 – Smuckers Unstoppable Disney Squad – submit a photo for a 4 night trip to Disneyland or Walt Disney World

02/28/2016 – AccuWeather Every Moment Matters – entry is on a FB page, 4 night trip

02/28/2016 – Disney Channel Epic Adventure – 5 night trip with 1 night in Cinderella’s Castle

02/29/2016 – Pop Secret Popcorn In the Parks – 4 nights at Walt Disney World

02/29/2016 – Rayovac Unforgettable Vacation – 3 nights at Walt Disney World

02/29/2016 – Mommies With Cents – $500 Disney Gift Card

02/29/2016 – Visit Orlando – 4 nights in Walt Disney World

03/04/2016 – Service Experts Unfrozen Contest – take a photo of a snowman and win a 7 day Disney Cruise

AD: Save up to 25% on rooms at select Walt Disney World® Resort hotels for stays most nights April 14-June 11, 2016

03/19/2016 – Parents Magazine Magical Moments – 4 nights at Walt Disney World

03/25/2016 – FLASH Stormstruck – 3 nights at Walt Disney World

03/27/2016 – Long John Silver’s – Win a 3 night Disney Caribbean Cruise

03/27/2016 – Escape the Cold in Kissimmee – Win 4 nights in Orlando, including Disney World Tickets

03/27/2016 – America’s Top Fishing and Boating Spots – Win 3 nights in Orlando and a fishing trip

03/28/2016 – National Geographic – Enter a photo to win 4 nights at Walt Disney World

03/31/2016 – Redbook Unforgettable Adventure – 3 nights in Walt Disney World

04/22/2016 – Walt Disney Signature Collection – Win 2 nights in Disneyland and a tour of the original Disney Studio lot

05/03/2016 – Latina Magazine Unforgettable Sweeps – A 4 night Walt Disney World vacation for 8 people.

05/31/2016 – Twinings Disney Land And Sea – 3 nights at Disney World and 4 nights on a Disney Cruise

09/19/2016 – Disneyland Diamond Days – 2 night stay, one of which is in the Disneyland Dream Suite

12/31/2016 – Go Bowling – 4 night Disney cruise

Unknown – Downtown Disney Hotels – Win 2 nights at a WDW hotel, monthly winner


How “A Simple Life Too” Almost Became A Beast

A_Simple_Life_Too_Almost_Became_Beast

I have lost my way.

Somehow, over the past year, my blog went from being about how I can help others’ live a simpler life, sharing what my journey to simplify has been like, and what God is doing in my life, to being about how to make money with my blog.

A Simple Life Too became a “Beast” when I stopped blogging about my heart and what I wanted to write about and it became about “how can I make some money.”

I am sorry.

So, I am sort of starting over again.

No, I won’t get rid of the content I currently have, as some of it really is useful. But I am going back to why I am writing in the first place – by making sure everything I post is because I want to post it, because I hope it really is something that might be useful to others, and / or it is something that truly brings me joy.

I also am not going to fight my life to post more often.

I have a baby. I have three other children. I homeschool, nurse the baby, clean the house, spend time with my husband, and have quality time and  conversation with the folks in my church community.

I live, then I write. I can not continue to live to write.

I will write about our homeschool experience, from the humble perspective of what I have learned so far and what God is showing me WE should do.

I will write about what God is doing in my life and speaking truth. I will probably write about the Biblical holidays.

I might write about how I am working with my children and trying to encourage them. I might also write about our issues with food and how we are trying to eat healthier… and sometimes failing miserably.

I might write about how I really want to go to Disneyland / Disneyworld or some other aspect of my desire to travel. I might still write about trying to work from home… and what has worked and hasn’t worked for us there so far.

I might even come up with something new. We will see…

I would love to hear from you. What did you like and/or did not like from A Simple Life Too this year.

Celebrating Biblical Holidays: Hanukkah

Biblical_Holidays_HanuakkahThis year, Hanukkah begins sundown Sunday, December 6th and ends sundown, Monday, December 14th.

Hanukkah is frequently referred to as the “Jewish Christmas,” however, that is quite far from the truth.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. 

Hanukkah is actually the Feast of Dedication and is based on the miracles that God did for the Maccabees during the time of occupation of Jerusalem after the expansion of Alexander.

Basically, the Jews stated that they would not be Paganized or Hellenized, and continued to be faithful to Yawh even in the face of death. The Maccabees fought to take back the Jewish Temple, which had been desecrated. When they took back the temple, part of the ritual to re-dedicate the temple to God was to burn oil in the menorah for 8 days. However, there was not enough oil and it would take a week to prepare more.

Since our God is a God of miracles and loves showing His faithfulness to His people, He kept the menorah lamps burning for the 8 days with only the one day of oil.

We now celebrate this week every year and it is a time to re-dedicate our hearts to God / Jesus.

 



Learn about different ways Christians are celebrating Hanukkah through our Link-up:


Cancel Black Friday, Save The World

Cancel Black FridayMy movement (or cause) in my last post, Cancel Halloween, Save The World, just wasn’t radical enough. 7 billion of the 30 billion needed per year to end world hunger was a good dent, but I want more.

I want world hunger ended – and abortion and crime and lots of things – but I am trying to focus on one movement here!

Therefore, I propose that we end Black Friday. Just don’t spend that $50 billion dollars this year on STUFF!

Yes, that would do it. That would be more than we need or maybe just enough to help us get ahead of the problem.

Instead of purchasing the STUFF, donate the money to a relief aid organization like World Vision and their Gift Catalog. Purchase a cow for a family (or a goat or a well or a chicken, garden tools and much more). Then they can have some milk and start breeding the cows and make more cows, and then they can give a cow someday to someone else in need… and so on. What a great gift! And you can donate the gift in someone else’s name – a dual gift 🙂

If you really want to give a physical gift to someone, consider purchasing a handcrafted, artisan gift through World Vision’s Gifts With A Cause or another Fair Trade organization. This is also a dual gift as the money mostly goes back to the artisan and their village and helps the whole community move towards self sufficiency. Please note that I am an affiliate for Gifts With A Cause.

What Cause or Movement are you fighting and praying for?

A Simple Life Too Gives Thanks

What_A_Simple_Life_Too_Is_Thankful_ForI am thankful for SO MUCH and I hope to encourage others to take time this year to think about what they are thankful for – so along with my list, I am participating in a link-up AND co-hosting the link-up with some other very grateful ladies.

I am thankful for…

  • God’s provision this year in the midst of job loss – now my husband has a better job.
  • The freedom to homeschool how God has shown me to, not someone else thinks I should. This is good since we are doing more delight directed learning and unit studies this year.
  • Blogging as a healthy, personal time outlet.
  • My girls and especially for my new baby at 45 years of age!
  • God, my husband and my community for getting me through a tough pregnancy.
  • Having place to live that we can afford and flexible landlords (who we are also blessed to call friends) that understand our rough time this year.
  • My husband, who is working hard to overcome much.
  • God who is helping me to overcome many struggles and issues.
  • Our church community, who has walked with us through all kinds of things and has loved and supported us.
  • Kind neighbors and friends for our children.
  • Grasping the understanding that God is good, that He wants what is best for me, and what Grace really is.
  • A fun provision in our family’s (the girls and I) pet sitting business.

There are probably more and I reserve the right to update this post as I think of them 🙂

Now for the link-up. Please share what you are thankful for this holiday and/or any Thanksgiving related posts you would like to link with us. Please also visit all of the hosts and some of the other link-ees. Sharing posts of others is always a blessing.

Thankful

Alisha @ Alisha In Progress

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April @ A Simple Life Too

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Hannah @ Shining Stars Magazine

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Joy @ Artful Homemaking

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Joy @ Blog Of Joy

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Leticia @ King Maker Blog

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Naomi @ What Joy Is Mine

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The Ladies @ Radical Femininity

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