Today on The Brilliant Frugal Living Show: Five outstanding strategies to earn more income from home! Tuesday, Jul 17 2012 

Then, Isagenix millionaire Jimmy Smith joins me on the air to discuss his story – a butcher for 40 years who retired due to injury, he turned to a Network Marketing career, and has earned thirty million dollars in the last 10 years. Sound interesting? It’s all today on Philadelphia’s News/Talk 1180 – tune in at 11A (Eastern) or livestream us at the link! http://www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

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A Brilliant Frugal Homage to Mom! Tuesday, May 8 2012 

Happy Mother’s Day, everybody! To all of the mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, godmothers and “just like a mother to me” ladies out there who know how to stretch a buck and balance a budget in these crazy times, this one’s for you!

M: is for Money – To all the moms who prove daily that a fabulous life doesn’t require a lot of cash. From delicious bag lunches to fun, free library trips to birthdays at the park to gorgeously maintained hand-me-downs, you have mastered the mantra “Never try to keep up with the Joneses,” and in doing so, have no doubt surpassed them in your bank account – not to mention taught the next generation how to do the same.

O: is for Options (Eating Out, or Eating In?) – Guys, need I say it? Don’t spend this Mother’s Day in an overcrowded, overpriced restaurant. You have the opportunity to create one of Mom’s most brag-worthy moments today – breakfast in bed! Strap on the fabulous “World’s Best Cook” apron she got you for Christmas and get to it. Put the kids on toast detail, throw some eggs in a frying pan, try not to break anything as you head up the stairs, and watch Mom as she not only beams with pride at your creation, but eats charred toast and runny eggs with the delicacy and enjoyment of Queen Elizabeth sitting down to tea at the Four Seasons.

T: is for Thrift Stores – One of the last bastions of frugal hope for incredible holiday gifts, as well as an amazing place to score beautiful clothes, books, furniture and jewelry for easily 90 percent off. Is Mom in the mood for any of the above? Hit your local “Tiffanys for Tightwads” and find her something gorgeous!

H: is for Handbags – It goes without saying that, regardless of how many handbags currently line a frugal Mother’s closet, there’s always room for one more. While you’re in your local thrift store, hit the accessories section to peruse the gorgeous selection of Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Kate Spade lining the shelves. My latest find was a Louis Vuitton number for $9. I’m still glowing from the experience. Got bling?

E: is for Erma Bombeck – It wouldn’t be Mother’s Day if we didn’t acknowledge one of the world’s greatest moms. A classic quote: “Mothers have to remember what food each child likes or dislikes, which one is allergic to penicillin and hamster fur, who gets carsick and who isn’t kidding when he stands outside the bathroom door and tells you what’s going to happen if he doesn’t get in right away. It’s tough. If they all have the same hair color they tend to run together.”

R: is for Radio – Where better for a loudmouth frugalista to honor her favorite, female, frugal role model! Join me on The Brilliant Frugal Living Show today at 11 a.m. on 1180AM WFYL as I have the great honor and privilege of interviewing one of the great frugal minds of all time – my mom! Learn firsthand the strategies and money-saving tactics she used for decades (then handed down to her three daughters, no easy task), to keep the budget balanced, the food fabulous, and the financial goals on track, including a retirement schedule featuring numerous cruises to tropical locales. Mom, did I mention my expert luggage carrying skills?
Happy Mother’s Day, everybody!

— Kristen Hagopian is a Radio talk show host, columnist, consumer reporter, motivational speaker & author of “Brilliant Frugal Living”. The Brilliant Frugal Living Show airs Tuesdays & Saturdays at 11 a.m. on Philadelphia’s 1180AM WFYL. You can find her online at www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

Day 18 Update! Feeding four (fabulously) for less than $300/month! I am so in the mood for Italian… Tuesday, Jan 18 2011 


BRILLIANT FRUGAL LIVING
AMELIA’S GROCERY OUTLET – SAVE MONEY!

Hi guys! Well, the snow kept Katie home from school today (Robbie was delighted), so the day became a bit of a blur of Go Fish games, coloring books and a Toy Story 3 marathon, but still managed to get a couple of things done. Updated the website, confirmed a couple more speaking engagements. It’s all good! If you’re anywhere near the East Coast, WHAT is with the ICE?! Is it Springtime yet??

Day 18 Total: $9.68, Total for Month: $167.36!
Today’s Menu:
Morning Coffee: (0.50). Still on the double batches – both kids have colds, which is making for rough nights for them, followed by ugly mornings for yours truly. Poor little boopers. Coffee might not be a nice smushy pillow with soothing music lulling me off to sleep, but it’s a nice 2nd place.

Breakfast: ($1.56) — Four HB eggs for the adults (two each), Cheerios with milk for little people ($1)

Kids’ Lunch: ($0.0) Kids are both home, so they had the leftover chicken & corn from last night.

Adults’ Lunch ($0.70): Leftovers for the adults too – salmon & green beans (Victor brought his to work, along with two big apples, about a pound, $0.70)

Afternoon Snack – ($1.00) More apples & bananas. Life’s good, and it’s a perfect tide-me-over snack for little people.

Dinner: ($5.57) – Huge batch of spinach tortellini with cheese (no preservatives or artificial coloring, LOVE that stuff!), comes in a 1-pound package ($1.39 each), I boiled two packages to ensure leftovers, topped the tortellini with Organic Muir Glen Marinara Sauce ($1.19), parmesan cheese, added a side salad (.50), and baked a gorgeous Simple Sweets Berry Pie for dessert. The berry pie ($1.19) is small, only 4 servings, but only the adults are into it, so the kids had cookies (.25). There will be leftover pie for tomorrow night, so I’m only counting $.60 of the pie’s cost tonight.

Evening Snack: (.35) Popcorn is ON, I’m eating it as I type this.

Total for today: $9.68, total for the month is $167.36!
Off to chill with my good friend TiVo (here’s hoping the kids get more sleep tonight). Night, all!

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 22 Food Total: $0.73, Total amount spent on food for June: $14.75 Tuesday, Jun 22 2010 

www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

Hey guys! Tuesday is DONE. Just had some mongo huge severe thunderstorms come thru, no damage tho, as well as a tornado warning, but thankfully no twister. Also, stayed on plan today, high on the fact that I’m down 2.5 pounds for the month. Life is GREAT. Just packed all of the remaining cans into ONE box, so you KNOW we’re seriously counting down in this last 8 days of The Frugalista Challenge. Amazing.

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Chef Boyardee Lasagna.
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Lime jello with half-can of pineapple.
Cost = .10

Dinner – 2 oz whole wheat rotini & 1/5 can of sauce.
Cost = .10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – I seriously INTENDED to go with the smaller Dagoba bar, honestly, I did. However, I’m so happy to be down 2.5 pounds in three weeks, that I’m celebrating with the larger Scharffen Berger bar. Welcome to my mind.
Cost = .25

Total cost of food for today: $0.73.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. As we race towards July, and my desire for another fun Challenge refuses to abate, I’m leaning seriously towards a Challenge in which I spend LESS for utilities this July than I spent last July, despite a 30% rate increase from PP&L…hmmmm, could be fun!

Have a great evening, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 22! Tuesday, Jun 22 2010 

www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

Good morning all! Hope your week is going great.
Okay, we’re on Day 22, and I’ve been on the Frugalista Diet for 3 weeks. Had my weigh in just now, and remarkably (or not, considering the stomach bug from a couple of days ago), I’m down another pound! WOO HOO!
I mentioned a while back the psychology involved with looking at four boxes of food, and thinking to yourself “that’s basically IT for a month…”. It really does play with your mind a bit, a fantastic appetite suppressant. Honestly, considering that the goal of this eating plan was strictly to be keeping costs down, (that and the fact that my usual eating plan involves a lot more fresh fruit and a lot LESS carbs), I’m frankly a bit amazed that this plan is resulting in weight loss as well.

Bottom line, we’re on track financially, in the last week of the challenge, and we’re down 2.5 pounds. Life is GREAT.

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Chef Boyardee Lasagna.
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Lime jello with half-can of pineapple.
Cost = .10

Dinner – Pasta twice in one day? Why not? Lots of good tomato products, anyway. That’s my story & I’m sticking to it. 2 oz whole wheat rotini & 1/5 can of sauce
Cost = .10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Let’s go with the smaller Dagoba bar, I really want to keep costs down as much as possible. Fruit inventory is next to NUTHIN’.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.63. Another day coming to $0.63. Maybe I should play that number in the lotto?

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Also, we’re getting to the end of June, and I’m working on plans for a July Frugalista Challenge as well – send any and all ideas! My main idea right now involves cutting utility costs to the BONE for a low July electric bill. Your thoughts?

Have a great Tuesday, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 21 total: $0.63, Total for June: $14.02! Monday, Jun 21 2010 

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Hey guys! You made it, Monday’s practically done. Proud of ya. Hope you all had a great one.

Okay, weigh in tomorrow…kept me seriously on track for today. Keep your fingers crossed for the morning’s numbers!

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Chef Boyardee Ravioli
Cost = .05

Daytime Snack – Watermelon jello with half a can of pineapple. Damn good.
Cost = .10

Dinner – a can of tuna and some canned spinach. FYI, that canned spinach is truly, ridiculously gross. I can imagine it being really good chopped up, drained, mixed with some spices & rolled into some phyllo dough, but straight out of the can, no good. Bleah.
Cost = .10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – Chocolate, as I type. All thoughts of over-the-top-gross spinach out of my mind…
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.63. I must have counted wrong this morning, somehow I came up with $0.66! Whatever. Again, loving when the numbers stay below $0.70/day, so this works.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions. Have a great night, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 20 Total: $0.68, Total for June: $13.39! Sunday, Jun 20 2010 

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Hey guys! Hope you’re all wrapping up a fantastic weekend! Looking at a spectacular sunset right now; I just love 8:30 PM summertime sunsets. Beats the heck out of those wintertime 4:00 PM sunsets any day of the week!

As for the Day 20 menu, I stayed on track, stayed on budget, and cannot BELIEVE we’re almost 2/3 of the way done with the challenge! Amazing!

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – Leftover soup did the trick for lunch. Awesome.
Cost = .0

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, no fruit added. Recently went out and bought more jello. It’s official, I’m addicted. Perfect for the summer and the cost can’t be beat!
Cost = .10

Dinner – Went with a can of organic chicken broth, then got officially hungry and went with a big bowl of sweet potatoes. I know, sounds odd, but was actually incredibly awesome. Like a taste of Thanksgiving in the middle of summer. Very cool.
Cost: $0.10

Nighttime (blogging) snack – I’m scarfin’ the Scarffen Berger as I type. Life is good.
Cost: $0.25

Total cost of food for today: $0.68.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Happy Father’s
Day, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 20! Sunday, Jun 20 2010 

www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

Hey everybody – hope you’re having a fantastic weekend. And to all the Dads, step-Dads, Granddads & Dad Role models out there, Happy Father’s Day! Hope you’re being spoiled rotten.

Medical alert here – (not even a) 24-hour bug is gone, woke up feeling great. Finger is healing nicely, and TA-DA!!! I’m having COFFEE! Might even have some chocolate to go with it, just to celebrate. We’ll see.

Having eating (therefore spent) next to nothing on food yesterday, the diet budget is in even better shape, which is fantastic. The one and only big red flag here is the fruit inventory, which is really dwindling. Trying to cut down fruit consumption by using only a half-can (often in fruit jello, way yummy), and then upping the veggie consumption, because I have a ridiculous amount of vegetables left, so that works. If I ever need to start hitting the fresh fruit, the menu-cost-per-day is really going to jump. I’ve heard some great ideas from bloggers & fellow Facebookers on how to obtain fruit for next to nothing. Around here in Chester County, our properties are CRAWLING with berry bushes, alas, they won’t be ready to pick for another 4 weeks. A few people nationwide that I’ve heard from live close enough to orchards that they get fantastic rates on fruit that they pick themselves (.25/pound for apples in Washington State for blogger Leah, outstanding!). Then there is, of course, the “Produce Down Under” tactic that I use constantly at my local supermarket (where the mgmt sells yesterday’s produce for up to 75% off in discreet floor-level boxes in the Produce Section). Melanie from Virginia suggested that I hit a local orchard for “drops” – fruit sold by the orchard for next to nothing (apples, pears, plums, peaches) because it’s got a bruise or something. All great advice, thanks everybody!

Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – I’ve got that leftover soup from Friday that I think will be fantastic on the tail end of whatever stomach bug I just had. AND, it’s free! Woo hoo!
Cost = .0

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, no fruit added (I’m becoming a jello addict. I love this stuff.)
Cost = .10

Dinner – Trying the can of organic chicken broth again, might have some vegetables with it on the side, just for something light.

Nighttime (blogging) snack – BACK TO CHOCOLATE! Thank you God.
AND, in celebration of Father’s Day, and getting rid of this stomach bug, and finger healing (and HEY, do we REALLY need an excuse for chocolate?), I’m going with the big ‘ol Scharffen Berger, baby!
Cost = .25

Total cost of food for today: $0.58. Really loving it when the numbers stay under $0.70/day, so this works beautifully.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Happy Father’s
Day, everybody! K

Brilliant Frugal Living’s “Frugalista Diet” – Menu for Day 19! Saturday, Jun 19 2010 


www.BrilliantFrugalLiving.com

Hey gang! Hope you’re having a fantastic Saturday morning!

Over here, the slash & dash index finger is healing nicely, but I think I caught Robbie’s stomach bug from two days ago. Suffice it to say it might lend itself nicely to saving money on food today, as I don’t even want to look at it (I might even skip my morning coffee…a truly freakish development for me). Also, in an amusing spin, we’re scheduled to get our family picture taken this morning at 10:00A. Tic tac, anyone?

Here’s hoping things turn around, it’s too beautiful a day for a bug!

Planned Menu for today!

Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – The leftover soup from yesterday will be PERFECT.
Cost = .0 (woo hoo!)

Daytime Snack – Lemon jello, no fruit added (I did the no fruit thing out of sheer laziness last night, but now I’m glad, today it might be yummier without it)
Cost = .10

Dinner – A can of organic chicken broth is just what the doctor ordered. Love that stuff, and it should be perfect on a non-perfect stomach.

Nighttime (blogging) snack – the usual chocolate. If by tonight, I’m NOT in the mood for chocolate, you’ll know the earth is about to spin off its axis and at the very least, it’s time to call an ambulance.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.48. Okay, so there’s the fab news dug deep within a stomach bug. Food cost plummets! Nice glaring silver lining there!

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Especially as they apply to flu-spreading microbes. Honestly, my 2-year old bounced back from his little bug within 24 hours – he’s literally spinning around the room with toys in both hands as I type this – so I better quit whining.

Have a great day, everybody! K

Frugalista Diet Update! Day 18 total: $0.80, Total for June: $12.66! Friday, Jun 18 2010 

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Happy Friday, everybody! Hope you’ve got fantastic weekend plans! Over here in marga-frugal-ville (a blogger sent that in, I didn’t make that up), we’re right on plan, with the exception of an unexpected (graphic and bloody to the point of gratuitous) finger injury, courtesy of a jaggedy samurai green bean can. Never saw it coming. Way gross, but in and amongst my spurts of inventive profanity, I washed it out, got it bandaged, and I think I get to keep the finger. Updates as necessary… Now, who’s ready for food talk?! 🙂

Menu for today!
Breakfast – coffee, two hard boiled eggs
Cost = .23

Lunch – One organic hot dog, and some green beans. I’m never looking at green bean cans the same again.
Cost = .17

Daytime Snack – Peach jello, with (canned, obviously) diced peaches added, ½ can.
Cost = .10

Dinner –Going for soup again – one can vegetable broth, one can pinto beans, one can vegetables. Only ate half, so I’ve got lots of leftovers.
Cost: $0.15

Nighttime (blogging) snack – chocolate. Again, keeping costs low, we’re going with the less expensive Dagoba.
Cost = .15

Total cost of food for today: $0.80. Would love to keep this number under $0.80. Tomorrow should be better – I’ll have leftover soup and that should bring one meal’s cost down to zero. It helps.

Keep sending in your thoughts, ideas & suggestions! Have a fantastic Friday night, everybody! K

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