How to Protect Yourself Online

Do you purchase items online using credit cards? How about frequenting chat rooms and/or forums? Do you spend time sitting at your computer online reading news, blogs, emailing or searching for information?

If your answer to any of these questions is “yes” then maybe it is time to think about the security of your computer. It is so easy to think, “that would never happen to me! Why take the time and thought to worry over something that will never occur. After all, who would be interested in me, my identity or my computer?”

The answer:  Hackers!

[Read more…]

How to Vacation in Sunny California on a Dime (and a Credit Card)


California, Here We Come

Last year, we flew to sunny San Diego, California for our spring break. It was my big idea for a really frugal vacation because we could use frequent flyer miles. But like many of my big budgeting ideas, they don’t always work out. Frugality’s not my strong suit. However, my youngest brother Matt and his family live there, and we hardly ever get to see them. So, we were going. Here are my tested (not proven) strategies for vacationing for less.

Tip #1 – Go Where the Dollar is Strong

Yup, stay in the U.S. The dollar works pretty well here, despite seeming to lose value daily. We turned in a lifetime accumulation of frequent flyer miles, and $500 later, we had four tickets. Sadly, it felt remarkably like Chuck-e-Cheese tickets where it takes a whole lot of spending to get a tiny little prize. [Read more…]

How to Manage Allowance

It’s tax day is the U.S.A.!!! So fittingly, we are sharing some tips on money management. In your kid’s world, that translates to A-L-L-O-W-A-N-C-E! Tune it to our Expert Mommy, Anne Jordan of Children and Families Inc., who shares her favorite allowance strategies.

What’s yours?

[Read more…]

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

As the mom of 10 children, with 8 still at home, you might imagine, that we do a bunch of laundry! Since we moved to west Texas to start a vineyard and have learned more creative ways to live frugally, I wanted to share my homemade laundry detergent recipe. I thought it might be beneficial for those of you looking for an economical alternative to store bought detergents.

I have found the following recipe to be less expensive to make than the cheapest detergent I can purchase. An added bonus is,  that it cleans better! My husband, being a chemist in his former life, says it is the borax in the recipe which causes it to clean so thouroughly. Borax is a whitening agent which may be used to brighten your laundry.

This recipe may also be made with unscented soap for those who might have sensitive skin.

It is tempting to use more than the 2 Tbs. per load of laundry which is called for in this recipe. In this case though, more is not better, it is just a waste. I was skeptical and started with more but found that decreasing it with each load, 2 Tbs. really does clean our clothes very well.

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Small Batch:

1 c grated bar soap (I have used Safeguard and Dial Soap but any will work)
1/2 c Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda)
1/2 c 20 Mule Team Borax
Grate soap in food processor.
Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.
Use 2 Tbs. per load.

Large Batch:

12 bars soap- grated
1 box borax
2 boxes Arm & Hammer washing soda (not baking soda)
Mix all ingredients and store in airtight container.
Use 2 Tbs. per load

I use an old plastic scoop in the airtight container on which I have marked a fill line for the children. Like me, they think more is better!

by Expert MommyDina-Marie Oswald

How to Get Our Tax Papers in Order

I got another great tip from our Expert Mommy, Claire Keeling last week… just in time for tax season too. Claire would be very unimpressed with my current (non)system. [Read more…]

How to Live Frugally, Part 2

Last week, Dina-Marie shared 20 tips on how to live frugally. She has 22 more….

1. Do not window shop in front of the refrigerator – Determine what you want to remove ahead of time to avoid unnecessary time spent with the fridge door open.
2. Wash your clothes when they are dirty – This may be after one wearing, but then again, maybe not until several wearings.
3. Hang your clothes out to dry – Save energy and get that fresh, line-dry smell in the summer.  In the winter, use a drying rack inside to help humidify your house, which is healthier and feels warmer!
4. Make your own laundry detergent – Homemade laundry detergent is easy and economical.
5. Use cloth diapers instead of disposable – They are both economical and “green.” [Read more…]

How to Keep Following Your Bliss

Last week, we heard Elena Verlee’s tips on finding your passion. The next in our series is singer-songwriter, Heidi Howes. Heidi definitely has a passion for music but… how does she feed that passion as a busy mom of two kids? In our interview, Heidi shares her struggles with balancing being the mom she wants to be with fulfilling her own dreams!

Interview with Heidi Howes (AUDIO 3:09)

Heidi has been a guest with us before, sharing her Postpartum Depression journey. You can listen to tracks from Heidi’s upcoming CD, Mother Songs here. [Read more…]

How to Find Your Passion

As part of our series on providing tips for mom entrepreneurs, I interviewed Elena Verlee, a successful mom entrepreneur herself who has started and sold several companies. Now, she is helping others get buzz for their businesses as well as coaching people on turning their passions into business ideas! Listen to Elena’s inspired tips and find YOUR passion!

Interview with Elena Verlee (AUDIO 3:48)

Share your passion with us in the comments!Elena_Verlee

You can find Elena at and @ElenaVerlee on Twitter. [Read more…]

How to Be a Role Model for Our Kids

If you are on our subscriber list, you already heard me get on my soapbox last week about how important it is to support each other as Mom Entrepreneurs. More and more women and moms are making the leap to pursuing their life’s passions. And we want you to know that in this regard again, you are not alone!!!

“It’s so important to go for what you want in life.” ~ Kim Gellman

[Read more…]

How to Save on Back to School Shopping

school_suppliesIt’s time to get your kids geared up for school. It’s time for squeaky clean shoes, shiny new lunch boxes and backpacks… er, maybe not. Everyone is watching their wallets so don’t think that your tikes will be the only ones using the same backpacks and lunch boxes they had last year!

What are some ways that you can save on shopping for school clothes, gear and supplies? Here are my tips! [Read more…]