Monday, October 3, 2011

Amazon.com $2 off mp3 code


Every month Amazon.com puts out 100 mp3 albums for $5 a piece. They range from older titles to new releases. I always end up finding at least one title I like.


100 Albums for $5
 Of course $5 isn't bad for a great album, but $3 is better. Sooo....here's a code for $2 off an mp3 purchase on Amazon.com: FALLMP3S. Oh! While you're there, check out some of the great free samplers and albums they have available for download. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Who Doesn't Love FREE Family Fun? Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day

Ok, admittedly I seemed to drop off the internet for awhile, but summer turned out to be so much busier than I anticipated. I apologize for the silence. I hope this helps to make up for it:

It seemed like everything my kids wanted to do this summer cost money. After the summer fun, came school supplies. Thank goodness for such great sale prices (I stocked up on enough crayons, glue, & markers to last through next year)! Hold on- not done spending yet! I still needed to buy school clothes which gets pricey once your kids start drifting over to junior's sizes. Oh! Don't forget lunch and snack items! Soooo, after all that outflow of cash, I feel like I need a break and some kind of "Replenish Mom's Wallet" fundraiser...maybe a magazine sale like at school ;) In all seriousness, I'm not complaining. I knew that having children would get costly.



The kids are back in school and by the time they get home, get homework done, and eat dinner it's almost time for bed. Since our real quality time revolves around the weekends we want to make the most of the two days we have together. Needless to say when I heard about Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day, I had to check it out. It turns out that hundreds of Museums throughout the country are going to be free this Saturday, September 24, 2011. I'm in Virginia and I counted 55 in my state alone. There are art, history, and children's museums just to name a few. I did recognize a few free museums, but one of the museums I saw was $15 a ticket, so for my family of 4 that's a savings of up to $60. Getting your tickets is easy, just go to the Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day website. Click Find A Museum to decide which one you want to visit. Then head over to Ticket Information and enter your information. They'll email you a ticket for 2 for the museum of your choice.

I know a good deal when I see one and you should too.  Whether your wallet is in as much need of a fundraiser as mine or you just want to grab an opportunity for some quality time with your loved ones, get your tickets and go have some fun!

Oh! Here are some FYIs from their website:
  • Offer is valid only on Saturday, September 24, 2011. (Exceptions for Museum Day museums closed on Saturdays).
  • Ticket must be presented for free general admission to one venue and is good for two people. *Not valid for special exhibits, parking, IMAX film screenings or for use with any other offers.
  • One Museum Day Ticket per household, per valid email address. Museum Day Ticket will be collected upon entry.
  • Museums and cultural venues participate in Museum Day voluntarily. *Smithsonian magazine encourages museum visitation, but is not responsible for individual museum content or participation.
  • If museum reaches capacity, museum has right to limit the number of guests until space becomes available.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summer Reading Programs For Kids

Summer vacation is beating down the back door. This means that my kids will soon be driving each other crazy out of boredom and I'll be consumed with trying to keep them busy without breaking the bank. I think they have realized we aren't going to do everything they want to do. I have realized that they aren't going to love everything I am going to do with them. That's okay. We'll find a happy medium.

One thing I don't compromise on is reading time. The way I see it is that most kids aren't going to busy themselves with any kind of reviewing or prep work for the next school year (unless required of course) so it's up to us to ensure that they are still learning something over the summer months. Last year I made a summer reading log for each of my kids. I had one reader and one that was still being read to so the set up for each was different.

For the reader:

We came up with a list of people in history that we wanted her to learn about. We had her pick 15 or so that also interested her. Then she just had to answer a set of questions for each and put it in paragraph form.  This got her reading, learning about history, and practicing her writing skills. To put it together I just used a simple folder with brads.


For the Pre-Reader:

Obviously, since my other child wasn't yet reading, the set up for this reading log is different. I just made a form that we could fill in with the titles of the book. The rest of the pages in her folder were blank. Instead of answering questions, she had to draw a picture of something from the book. Her picture also had to include the title of the book. I also had her tell me about her picture so that I could include a caption (this proves handy when you have forgotten what the heck the picture is supposed to be of!).This is a great way to help with reading comprehension and writing skills. She got to color so that was a bonus for her and I got to keep her "bound" book as a keepsake.


"Herbert Horatio and his friend
played table tennis and one
day he said it doesn't
matter about being rich"
My kids weren't overly excited about the idea of this at first so we made a contest out of it. You can choose to encourage them in whatever way you'd like, but the way we did it was that whoever read the most books would get to go to a family dinner at the restaurant of their choice at the end of the summer. Since I could read a book a night with my younger child, I made the younger one read 3 books for every 1 for the older. This evened things up a bit.  A great way to celebrate the accomplishments of both (or all as the case may be), let the other child(ren) pick the dessert or an appetizer.

This is just one way to keep your kids reading during the summer months. Another great idea is to sign up for summer reading programs at you local library or at bookstores like Barnes & Noble, Borders, or Waldenbooks. Here are the links to the ones I've found online. If there isn't one in your area, just make your own.






Ultimately, it doesn't matter how you do it-just get your kids to read!



Photo Credit: Barnes & Noble
Photo Credit: Borders

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Roozt.com 1/2 Price Gift Card


Between now at Midnight (EST) Friday, Pick up a $20 gift card to Roozt.com for only $10. They are always putting great items for a variety of causes up for grabs as daily deals. Check them out. It's worth a look.




Photo Credit: Roozt.com

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Low or No Cost Summer Movies For Kids

I don't know about you, but I'm already trying to figure out what I'm going to do with my kids this summer. Of course I'm looking forward to outdoor fun, but when temperatures soar, I imagine I'll want to head indoors. I found some great deals at area movie theatres. Many theatres do a low or no cost summer movie program for kids. I've listed only a handful here, feel free to add any i have missed in the comments section if you know of others.

Here's a sample of some of the movies you may see (varies by theatre):

Despicable Me
Diary Of A Wimpy Kid
How To Train Your Dragon
Kung Fu Panda
Marmaduke
Megamind
Ramona & Beezus
Yogi Bear
+ More!

Bow-Tie Cinemas:
June 21-August 17
10am (Check your local theatre for dates & showtimes)
FREE

Carmike Cinemas:
Thursdays starting June 9
$1/movie

Cinemark Theatres:
10 Shows for $5 or $1/movie
Check your local theatre for dates & showtimes

Regal Cinemas:
Tuesdays & Wednesdays @ 10am
$1/movie

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

REDBOX 10 Days of Deals

OK, it's not like Redbox's $1 a night deal is expensive, but right now through May 25, you can pick up a daily deal. All you have to do is text the code DEALS to number 727272 and Redbox will text you right back with a code with discounts ranging from $0.10-$1.50. My discounts for yesterday and today were for $0.50 off.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1500 $5 MP3 Albums? Yes please!

I love that Amazon.com has been offering so many $5 mp3 albums and this month they have 1500 of them. No matter your musical taste, I'm sure you'll find something you love. Sooooo.....go buy some music!


Logo Credit: Amazon.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Did you miss me? How about some great Groupon deals to make it up to you?!?

It's been a few days since I brought anything new to the table so I thought I could make it up to you by coming up with a list of favorite Groupon Online Deals available today. Read carefully, some of the best ones end tonight!

California:
Orange County:
$10 for $20 for Eco Friendly Reusable Bags From Bag The Habit
Who doesn't love styish reusable bags!?! Act fast-theses end tonight!
Florida:
Fort Lauderdale:
$15 for $50 worth of products at Mixbook
Ok this one ends tonight and isn't an all natural product, but I can't help but post deals for photography deals.

Naples:
$2 for 5 1-Night Rentals at Blockbuster Express
Another great deal ending tonight! Need more time?? You can find the same deal ending tomorrow night in Jackson, Mississippi

Georgia:
Atlanta:
$12 for a 1 Year Membership to Seeds of the Month Club from Mike The Gardener Enterprises
Now, these aren't organic seeds but they aren't GMO.  The reason I love this deal is that you get 8 seed packs during the first month and then 4 for the remaining months. It's a great & inexpensive way to grow your own food! This deal ends Monday, May 16

Macon:
$10 for $20 worth of products at Sweetwater Growers
I am addicted to Basil so I love this deal. Unfortunately it ends tonight so you'll have to act fast if you want to grab one for yourself.

Massachusetts:
Boston:
$20 for $40 Worth of Green Household Products from Eco Home Store
I love that this site has such a huge variety of items. They have alot of great items that I for one have a hard time finding in my local stores. Check it out for yourself. You have until Monday, May 16 to pick it up for yourself -also in NYC

Virginia:
Richmond:
$60 for a Galaxy Family Membership to the Science Museum of Virgina
Ok so you're probably wondering why I'd list somewhere that's local...well a galaxy membership means that you can use it at over 200 different Science Museums throughout the US. It's good on admission for up to 3 adults and 3 kids. I would say this deal is worth at least a phone call to your local Science Museum, but hurry, it ends tonight!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ecover Coupons



I'm pretty excited that Ecover has added a coupon page to their Facebook Page. All you have to do is "Like" the page to have access to it. Then it asks for some simple info from you and you can print some great coupons at home.

 I'm so glad that more and more companies are doing this...especially with the way the gas costs are driving up product prices. Check it out for yourself!












Photo Credit: Ecover Facebook

Saturday, April 23, 2011

1/2 Price Nourishtea

Right now on Pure Citizen you can pick up 100 Gram Organic/Fair Trade/Kosher Loose Leaf Teas for only $4.50 a container



That's 40 cups of tea for only $4.50. You can't get that in the grocery store. If you pick up 2 or more teas, they'll throw in 100 Tea Filters for free. Love it. Steal this deal while you can!




Photo Credit: Nourishtea

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mamapedia:Re-Pac $24 Voucher For Only $12! As low as $10!!

Have I mentioned that I love Mamapedia!? ;)



Today, you can pick up a $24 voucher to Re-Pac for $12. These bags are a great eco-friendly alternative to using plastic baggies. They are also a great gift idea. I love that they have a lifetime warranty. Can't beat that! Oh, wait, yes I can! 5% of your purchase goes towards a school of your choice.  Use the code EASTER10 to save 10%. If it's your first purchase, use the code MOMS2 to save $2




Photo Credit: Re-Pac

Happy Earth Day!!




Celebrate by making a commitment to change at least 1 thing in your lifestyle to better the environment. Post your commitment to inspire others. While you're at it, here are just a few great websites that are full of very useful information and ideas. Feel free to tell us your favorite go to sites!

The Earthday Network

Earth 911

Mother Earth News

Treehugger

Grist



Photo Credit: SolStation.com

Thursday, April 21, 2011

FREE Starbucks!

Even if you aren't a coffee drinker you are sure to love this deal: Free Tea and Coffee from Starbucks to celebrate Earth Day!



What's the catch? You have to use your own mug. Just go in to any Starbucks location tomorrow-Friday, April 22 with a travel mug and they will fill it with brewed coffee or tea-iced or hot for free! If you don't have one, but have time to enjoy your drink in house, tell them this and they'll give you one to enjoy while you're there.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Water Bottle Planters

I recently volunteered to help out at my daughter's school for their Earth Day celebration. I didn't know what I was in for, but it worked out great. It turns out, that the station they had me at was right up my alley. I would be helping kids plant tomatoes in self watering pots made from used 20oz water bottles. I thought it was such a great idea, I wanted to share it with you. I think these would be best for starting small plants and seedlings...although I think this could easily be used with a 2 Liter soda bottle as well.




Step 1:

Cut your water/soda bottle(s) in half. You can make your top half (the part you drink from) as long as you want, but it will need to sit without tipping over in the bottom half.

Step 2:

Plant your seed or seedling in the top half of your bottle. Having the cap is not important as the opening at the mouth of the bottle will water your plant.

Step 3:

Fill the bottom half of your bottle with water and place the top half (mouth down) so it sits in the bottom half. Put it in a sunny spot and watch it grow! Replant as needed.

Pure Citizen: Get Acquainted

If you aren't familiar with Pure Citizen, you should familiarize yourself with them. They are a great company that give a percentage of every sale to different non-profit organizations. They only promote eco-friendly, organic, fair-trade, etc. companies and products. They get together with a variety of companies and run sales that last a few days at a time.

For example, Right now you can pick up a Sigg Reusable Water Bottle which are BPA-Free, Phthalate Free, and have an eco-friendly liner. You can pick up a 33.8oz bottle for only $12.50! Not bad...
 

You can also pick up great last minute deals like this great Giraffe Cosmetic Bag from Apple & Bee made of 100% Organic Cotton



Mamapedia:Ana-K Eco-Friendly Products $20 Voucher For Only $10!



I love this deal! Until tomorrow, April 19, you can pick up a $20 voucher to Ana-K for only $10 at Mamapedia.com! Ana-K is a great company that emphasizes the importance of organic, eco-friendly products for children. Grab this deal while you can!

Friday, April 15, 2011

What In The World Is Kamut?

I got in touch with Bob's Red Mill-an employee owned company often known for their grains. I knew them from purchasing TVP which I have used on several occasions. One thing I love about them is that they have what I can only describe as a "General Store Appeal." I could easily pictures their products lining the wall to wall shelves behind the cashier's table of an old town general store. I wanted to be able to try something new and share it with all of you. so when I got the opportunity to try it, I couldn't resist.


The company has over 400 items in production include a good variety of organic and gluten-free. Indeed, looking through their catalog myself, I was a amazed at the variety of items they had. I browsed through trying to decide what I'd like to try. This was difficult. I decided to go with Apple Strawberry Granola, Organic 7 Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix, and the Organic Kamut Berries. I had never heard of anything called Kamut-let alone a Kamut Berry so I had to try it.

I know, you're probably wondering the same thing I was: What in the world is a Kamut Berry? As it turns out, Kamut is a grain similar to wheat which is believed to have come from Ancient Egypt. The word itself stems from the Hieroglyphic term for wheat. The berry is the kernal. I couldn't wait to try it for myself, so I was excited when my products came in the mail.


The first thing I tried out was the Apple Strawberry Granola. It was just the right combination of fruity and crunchiness. It was definitely a family pleaser. Next up was the Organic 7 Grain Pancake Mix. While I'm a big fan of grainy pancakes, my kids are not, so when they tried and loved these, I was very happy. We all loved them. They were just the right amount of graininess. I went by the recipe on the package the first time around, but on the second round, I added cinnamon (I like adding stuff to my pancakes).

I took a little time to figure out the best way to cook the Kamut Berries. Many of the recipes I found were for a salad, but I wanted something different. I decided to reference the Bob's Red Mill website for a recipe. They have a recipe listed there for Kamut Berry and Orzo Pilaf, so that's what I went with. I added a little more garlic and some green peas to the recipe and changed the chicken broth to vegetable broth, but otherwise kept it the same. I was very pleased with the result (and so was the family). The Berries reminded me of a corn kernal so I can see why it would be great in a salad.

The only negative thing I can say is that you should be prepared for the prep time as they need to cook for about 45 min (when soaked overnight-slightly longer if not soaked first) prior to creating your recipe.  As you remember that's coming it's no big deal. I can't wait to try it again in different ways. It's a great find.

Want to try these great items for yourself ???

I am happy to say that Bob's Red Mill is going to sponsor a giveaway. We will be giving away the same package I recieved:

1-Apple Strawberry Granola
1-Organic 7 Grain Pancake & Waffle Mix
1-Organic Kamut Berries

The gieveaway ended Friday, April 22 at 11:59pm EST.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Get FREE Admission on Celebrate National Public Gardens Day


Apparently Friday, May 6 is National Public Gardens Day. In honor of this, Better Homes & Gardens Magazine is giving out coupons for FREE admission to many of your favorite Botanical Gardens throughout the US. Head to their website for your coupon good for 2 FREE Admissions and a full list of participating gardens.



Photo Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

Subscription to National Geographic Little Kids for as little as $5!


Now through Monday, April 18 you can pick up a subscription to National Geographic Little Kids for as low as $5! Here's how: The subscription price is $10 (which is not bad anyway), but if you haven't purchased from Mamapedia before, you can use the coupon code FRIENDS5 to save $5! If you have, you can still save 10% by using the coupon code EASTER10.

You can also still pick up the Grounds For Change deal while you're there through 12pm EST tonight.




Photo Credit: Mamapedia.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Restaurant.com $25 Voucher for only $2! Now through Thursday, April 14


Just in case you missed this weekend's deal for 70%, now through Thursday, April 14 you can pick up a $25 Voucher for only $2 at Restaurant.com. That's a savings of 80%! All you need is the code STEAK. Even if you don't think you'll use one, pick up one as a gift. They don't expire.


Logo Credit: Restaurant.com Facebook

Mamapedia Deal: $20 for $40 Worth of Organic Coffee Products from Grounds for Change

Now through Friday on Mamapedia you can pick up a $40 voucher for Grounds For Change for only $20. Use the coupon code EASTER10 to save an additional 10%!


Grounds For Change sells 100% Fair Trade Organic Coffee, Teas, Hot Chocolate, and Chocolate Bars.


Photo Credit: greenamerica.org

Friday, April 8, 2011

Restaurant.com $25 Voucher for $3!! Through Sunday, April 11


Now through Sunday, April 10 you can pick up a $25 Voucher for only $3 at Restaurant.com. All you need is the code PLATE. Even if you don't think you'll use one, pick up one as a gift. They don't expire.


Logo Credit: Restaurant.com Facebook

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Arbor Day Foundation: 10 Trees for $10

Here's a great deal from the Arbor Day Foundation.


Right now, you can get 10 trees for purchasing either a 6 month or a 1 year membership. The cost is $10 for 6 months or $15 for a year. They give you over 10 different package options (which will vary depending on where you live). You can also choose to give the trees as a gift or donate them to a National Forest in need of reforestation. Take advantage while you can. I'm not sure how long this deal will last.


Photo Credit: Arbor Day Foundation

Can You Recycle Your Pizza Box? The Answer May Surprise You...

I try to recycle as much as I can. Every other week, I carry my 3 or 4 containers of recycyling to the curb. I've done this for years and yet, after all this time, I am beginning to doubt what I think is recyclable. For instance it was several years before I found out that the plastic bottle caps on my water/soda bottles were not recyclable. So, all those years I thought my bottles were being recycled, they'd actually been tossed in the trash. Nice huh?

Also, I never knew that you couldn't toss pizza boxes in there either. Apparently the oils in from the pizza make it incompatible with the recycling process. This little tid bit of information came from a post called The Pizza Box Mystery on a website called Earth911. If you aren't familiar with the website, take a few minutes to check it out. There is a ton of great information regarding environmentally friendly lifestyles.

One of the features I love most is that you can find a recycling center for a wide variety of everyday items using their search engine. It's a great resource and I am happy to have found it. Oh! They even have an iphone app!  Hopefully from now on, all the items that end up in my recycling bin will actually be recyclable.

Whipped and Refreshing

I would have never thought I'd describe an ice cream as refreshing but I'm about to. I admit, I love ice cream. I like to think I'm a pretty healthy eater, but let me be honest, chances are, if there's organic or fair trade ice cream in my freezer, I'm going to eat it.

I got in touch Julie's Ice Cream because I've often wandered down the freezer section of the grocery store and past their pretty boxes and pints of organic ice cream wondering if they were good. I learned that Julie's has a sister (well, I should probably say brother) company called Alden's.

Most of the grocery stores in my area that carry Julie's, carries the more "novelty" items, so that's what I chose. I decided to try out their Ice Cream Sandwiches. They came 6 in a box so even my kids could enjoy them. The ice cream center almost had a whipped quality and it was just the right amount of sweetness to leave me satisfied without feeling guilty.  The kids even liked them more than the leading brands they've tried in the past. I wonder what their sorbet is like...


I wanted to give the kids another opportunity to help me review a product, so I kept them in mind when I picked out a container of Alden's Mint Chip Ice Cream. They've always loved mint and chocolate together, and I admit, so have I. The first thing I noticed when I opened the lid was that it didn't smell artificial or sugary-it smelled fresh. The first spoonful I tried was simply refreshing. The rest of the bowlful was just as delicious. I think I'm going to have to try out the Strawberry next. Yes, organic ice cream is a little more expensive than non-organic, but it's worth it-especially if you consider eating ice cream a treat.



Logo Credit: Julie's Organic Ice Cream
Image Credit: Better Than Broke

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Ecover Does The Job

Awhile back, I wrote about my commitment to switching over to green products starting with cleaning supplies. One of the last things I needed to switch was my dishwasher detergent. I had been using one of the common brands in the form of the gel, but that stopped being effective for whatever reason. Then I switched over to the tablet kind which seemed to work fine, but it still wasn't eco-friendly.



I got in touch with the folks at Ecover having already been familiar with them from using their Toilet Bowl Cleaner (which not only works great, but also smells good!). I love that their products are plant based and that the bottle is 100% recyclable (yes, even the cap). I asked them to send me their Dishwasher Tablets so I could try them out. I received them along with Rinse Aid. I didn't have any expectations, I just hoped it would work. The box that the Tablets come in is made almost completely made of recycled material and even though the tablets are individually wrapped, the wrappers are completely recyclable. I am happy to say that they work great. My dishes have come out clean every time, so that I only use the Rinse Aid when my dishes are especially dirty. I just finished the box they sent me. I liked the product so much that I went out and bought a new box. Oh! Just so you know, the price of a box of Ecover Dishwasher Tablets is comparable to a "leading" brand so you won't break the bank making the switch!

If you are interested in checking them out for yourselves, head over to their website for their full line of product (and also where you can even find Material Safety Data Sheets for each product) You can also follow their blog which is full of great information or find them on Facebook.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Instructables.com

I've been trying to find a variety of ideas on composting so that I can find the one that will work best for both my yard and my family. I already  feel like I recycle more than I throw out but I'd like to throw away even less. The best way I can think to do this is to compost. It's better for the environment and for my garden. In my search, I stumbled upon a website called Instructables.com. The website is full of a wide variety of ideas that you can make yourself that range in difficulty and price. It just depends on what you're looking for.

While I haven't settled on one yet, I have found some great ideas. Click on the picture below to take you to the instructions I found using wooden palettes to construct your compost pile. If you're looking for something a little different, just search for it. I bet you'll find it.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

1 Day Left to Enter Bolthouse Farms Giveaway!!

Just a reminder:

The Bolthouse Farms Giveaway ends tomorrow night so enter while you can! Check out the giveaway page to enter!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Coming Soon

I feel that I should apologize for my silence here on the blog. I've been taking some time to collect some giveaways and have been trying some great products for review. I've also been thinking about the direction I'd like Better Than Broke to take. I am very happy to have people interested and I want to keep that momentum. I have a few posts I am currently working on so look for those soon. Also, please check out the giveaways if you haven't already done so! Check back soon and feel free to send ideas and suggestions. This page is a work in progress :)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Breakfast In A Bottle

I recently had the opportunity to try out some new Bolthouse Farms products. I was already familiar with the company as I already know and love the "Amazing Mango" Fruit Smoothie. I can drink one of the smaller sizes in the morning and I am full. It's especially great when I'm on the run or when it's hot outside and I don't want to eat much.I got a few coupons to try a beverage product and one of the products from Bolthouse Farms salad dressing line so I decided I'd try out something I haven't had before.


I started with the Passion Orange Guava Juice-a new item in their product line. I have to admit that I was lucky I even got a few glasses of this juice because my kids discovered it. They were very excited about trying it as well. They aren't the biggest fans of Guavas so I was pretty surprised when they loved it because that was the first thing I tasted. I must admit that I didn't love it quite as much as I love the Amazing Mango, but then if you put any other fruit up against a mango, mango usually will come out on top. ;) Overall, it was a delicious juice that had alot of flavor that I would absolutely buy again.


I also wanted to try the Raspberry Merlot Vinaigrette but I had a difficult time finding the Bolthouse Farms dressings in my local stores. I ended up settling on the Classic Ranch Creamy Yogurt Dressing. I generally don't use a creamy dressing, but I did enjoy it. It had a great flavor that I think also works well for a dip. It even got picky eater approval ;)  as a great "dipping sauce." I imagine that I had a hard time finding them because they are still new, but I look forward to trying some of the other varieties.

If you're interested in trying Bolthouse Farms out for yourself, check out the Giveaway Page for a chance to win a Beverage Product and Salad Dressing or Click Here! See Giveaway Info page if you have any questions. Giveaway ends Friday, April 1, 2011 at 11:59pm EST.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

How I Made My Children's Lunches Healthier


 
I went grocery shopping maybe 3 days ago. In addition to whatever I was picking up for dinner that night, I also bought a bag of apples, and a container each of strawberries and raspberries for my kids' lunches. This morning I realized there is 1 apple and only a few of each berry left. I almost complained and got upset that they blew through the fruit so fast, but then I stopped myself. How can I possibly complain that my kids are choosing to eat the healthy foods on their own? I can't. I would absolutely prefer them to sneak into refrigerator the fruit than to sneak into the pantry for chips.

Kids love junk food. and mine are no exception. If I stocked my pantry with unhealthy food, I bet you  can guess what they'd eat. I knew that there are ways to change your children's lunches and after school snacks without starting World War III. I remembered that when I was pregnant the only craving that I had was sugar, but instead of hitting the junk food isle of the supermarket, I hit the produce section. This is how I changed the lunchboxes and after school snacks in my house.


I spoke to the kids about my desire for them to eat healthier lunches.  On the first trip to the grocery store that followed our discussion, I let them pick out some of the fruits that they enjoyed.  You'd be surprised to find out all the healthy things your children already like. I also purchased a set of small food containers that hold only a few ounces each. This was because I wanted to do away with Ziploc baggies that just get tossed in the trash and also because I needed something that would protect fruit like raspberries from being squished and subsequently spilled all over the rest of their lunch. This is also a good portion regulator. I didn't want to throw the kids into something 100% different so I agreed to one "unhealthy" snack provided they use the containers. This makes it so that even if they take cookies it's only 2. I should also say that every effort is made to only buy products for them if I can understand the ingredients without use of a dictionary.

I have 2 kids with a 4 year age gap. They are pretty great when they aren't waking me up in the morning screaming at each other. I've been lucky with them in that they have always been pretty great eaters, so the transition was pretty easy. I've always been able to get them to at least try new things knowing they won't love everything they eat. Since they aren't going to be in charge of themselves for at least another 8-10 years, I also don't give them a choice.

Born to a Puerto Rican father and a Czech mother who grew up in Brazil and into a navy family, I was destined to try new foods. With that said, I'm pretty positive that I was a picky eater (at least in part) too.  I would order spaghetti when everyone else was ordering slices of pizza.  On the soccer field, I had bananas when the rest of my team was eating oranges. What kid these days doesn't like pizza?! On the other hand, I remember eating sushi when kids still thought sushi was disgusting. Kids change. I grew out of my pickiness and I have known many adults that have done the same.


I've been vegetarian for 16 years (vegan at times) and at one time or another, my husband and children have joined in as well. Needless to say we probably do more vegetables in my house than many other families I know. Despite the fact that being vegetarian limits my ability to try everything, I love trying foods I've never had. I think the best thing anyone can do is expose not only your kids, but also yourself to as much of a variety as you can. You never know what you will end up liking.

I didn't start this post with the intention to be about picky eaters and I do realize that every situation is different. It was meant to be a comment merely about the eating habits of my own kids who like many others would come home from school and choose junk food for snack. The moral of the story is that kids are creatures of habit, it's up to us to change the habits we don't like. If your child is picky eater, keep trying. Things change. Just don't forget that you are in charge ;) Oh, and don't complain if you find that the fruit you're buying is getting eaten it a little faster than your wallet would like.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Coupons!

Here are a few great resources for printable coupons. A full list can be found on the coupon page of the blog.  I will continue to add to the list as I find more sources. Please let me know if I miss one and I'll add it to the list!

All You:
$0.50/1 Odwalla Juice
$1/1 Kashi Berry Blossom Cereal
$1/1 Kashi TLC Soft Baked Cereal Bar
$1/1 SO Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage

Nature's Oasis:
$0.75/1 Annie's Homegrown Breakfast Cereal
$0.75/1 Annie's Pretzel Pretzel Bunnies
$1.00/2 Simply Organic Spices

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

100 mp3 Albums for $5 from Amazon.com


Right now on Amazon.com you can pick up 100 mp3 albums for only $5! I love this deal because you can get a great albums for a low price and it's eco friendly because there is no packaging (although you are able to burn a copy once you download it).

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Dinner Garden


Trees are starting to bud. Daffodils are starting to sprout. I've even hung out my hammock-although I still can't use it everyday. All this makes me long for fresh veggies and visits to the farmer's market-better yet, I can't wait to get my own garden growing again! That got me thinking about all the amazing options I have. I could spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on seeds and plants, but I don't really have that right now. I imagine I'm not the only one that is thinking the same thing, so I decided to get in touch with The Dinner Garden who I have followed on Facebook for quite awhile now.


If you haven't heard of the Dinner Garden, I strongly encourage you to check them out. They are a great non-profit organization whose goal is to help people (especially those who may not otherwise be able to afford it) grow their own vegetables. To accomplish this, they have distributors in many states that you can get free seeds from. If they don't have one near you, you can contact them directly. They also have a wealth of information on their website including recipes, gardening info, and even activities for kids. More importantly, there is also a place to donate to their cause. This isn't a post all about raising money, but I feel it's important to at least mention. Although they are doing this out of the goodness of their heart, it still cost money to ship the seeds to you. I'd encourage anyone that receives seeds to at least donate $1. Any little bit helps, right?

So...in addition to all this information about this great organization, I am happy to say that I have received about 25 seed packets from them to give to all of you! I'm keeping one for myself though to put in my own garden. :)

Want to know what goodies are in store if you if you request seeds from me? Well here's what you get:
  1. Tomato Hybrid
  2. Marquesa Onion
  3. Heirloom Sweet Bell Peppers (Yellow, Red, Chocolate)
  4. Organic Asian Melon
  5. Organic Delicata Squash
  6. Organic Bush Snap Bean
  7. Heirloom Cauliflower Violetta Italia
  8. Organic Marketmore 76 Cucumber
  9. Organic Radish
  10. Parsnip
 Let me know you want a packet by commenting here or on the Better Than Broke Facebook page!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Lightlife Giveaway!!


If you liked my recipe for the Caprese Style Veggie Burger, you'll love this!! Here's a chance to make your own for a minimal amount. I am giving away a complimentary coupon (yes, that means your product will be completely free!) to 3 winners. These coupons are actually good for any Lightlife product so check out their website for the full product list if you want to try something new.

I'll leave this giveaway up for a week and it's open to everyone in the US, so share it with your friends!

Click HERE to enter!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

1 Year of Kiwi Magazine for only $4.80


Mamapedia is offering Kiwi Magazine for only $6 for a 1 year subscription or $10 for a 2 year subscription. This magazine is great because it's geared to eco-conscious families who are interested in raising kids in a natural and organic way. There are eco-friendly crafts and lots of nutricious recipes. You can also use the code FRIENDS20 to save an extra 20% on any Mamapedia Sweet Deal today. That makes it only $4.80 for one year or $8.00 for 2 years witht the discount!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Greener Laundry care of Seventh Generation

I recently wrote about my commitment to completely make a change to a natural lifestyle. I already incorporate many eco-conscious items in my home, so I decided that I would start my transition with cleaning products. This is actually one of the easier things everyone can do to "be more green." The product supply for these items seems to be growing by leaps and bounds so they are becoming much more cost comparable to their less eco-conscious counterparts. One great example of this is the Seventh Generation line of products (which also include paper and feminine items).


I got in touch with the folks at Seventh Generation because I wanted to see how their products fare compared to their non green alternatives. I received the Natural Fabric Softener Sheets, the Free & Clear Chlorine Free Bleach, & the Natural Laundry Detergent. The first thing I noticed upon their arrival was that the fragrance of the dryer sheets and detergent was Eucalyptus and Lavender-two smells I love.

I had just done laundry and I only do it once a week in effort to save sanity and water, so I had to wait a little while before I got to use the products. Laundry day finally rolled around and I got to use the new stuff. The fragrance was great as I expected. The amount I had to use was much less by comparison with the other brand I had been using. The clothes even held the fragrance after the cycle.

I opened the dryer sheets. They looked kind of like a brown paper bag with little pin holes in it, not that mystery fabric you normally see. I tossed one into the dryer along with my clothes and waited. I have to admit, I was hoping the clothes would still be fragrant once they were dry, but they simply smelled clean. I was a little disappointed by that at first because as I said, I love those smells, but then I decided that this was a good thing-I don't know that I want to walk around smelling like my laundry all day.

I did do a cycle of white clothes as well with the Free & Clear Bleach. It was nice not to have the chemical smell that comes along with using a chlorine bleach and my clothes still came out nice and clean. Overall, I was very happy with Seventh Generation laundry line and would use them again. Another thing I love? The dryer sheets can be composted!

I seem to find their cleaning products for the least amount at Target (although I also don't shop at any other similar box store). Target even has a coupon for $1 off of a Seventh Generation product in their coupon section (and even has an exclusive fragrance of the laundry detergent that is a few dollars cheaper than their others). You can also sign up for coupons on the Seventh Generation page.

Oh! I have recently discovered that you can buy their items in bulk on amazon.com, but this is a topic I will save for an upcoming post. Speaking of another post...head over to my Giveaway page for a great prize package from Seventh Generation!!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Recyclebank: Great Coupons In About 5 Minutes!


I just found this website called Recyclebank. It's an interesting site that allows you to earn points by recycling and learning about recycling. You can redeem your points for coupons. It took about 5 minutes  for me to register and earn 110 points. There are several coupons that you can get for just 10 points:

$1 off 1 bottle of Honest Tea
$2 off Naked Juice
$2 off a Kashi product
$1 off a Dagoba product
$2 off 2 Earthbound Farms products.

That's not bad for 5 minutes of my time.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Green and Black's Chocolate $1 off 1



I don't know about your love for chocolate, but mine is certainly not in question. ;) Green & Black's makes a delicious Organic/Fair Trade Chocolate. I don't think there's been one I have tried but didn't like. Here's a coupon for $1 off 1 item that you can print at home. Oh! If you follow them on Facebook, try to win one of the 50 Cookbooks they have been giving away each Monday! I'm still trying to grab one, but I never make it in time.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Caprese Style Veggie Burgers. Yum!

I have been vegetarian for 16 years. When I first started out, you were lucky if you could find a single brand of veggie burgers in the grocery store. If you wanted one, you had to make it yourself from scratch. Granted I'm in Virginia, land of Smithfield Foods and perhaps not the most forward thinking about alternative lifestyles at that point in time, but for me, eating vegetarian simply meant eating meatless meals. Since then, you can find pretty much any meat item made into vegetarian form. There are now a ton of veggie burgers out there to choose from, but they are all ready made patties.

Lightlife has been the only company that I have found so far that makes a product similar to raw ground meat (among a ton of other products). This is great because I means that I can add whatever I want to it. I absolutely LOVE tomatoes and basil so I decided to make veggie burgers for the my non-vegetarian family using the Lightlife Gimmie Lean Ground Beef Style  found at my grocery store. Not only did I enjoy it, but so did they. The only thing I'd do different is add some kind of pesto or pesto mayo as my first layer on top of the finished burger (if you do this, let me know if it's any good). I can't wait until summer time when I can try out other options on the grill!

Here's the recipe if anyone is interested.

Caprese Style Veggie Burger:

1 Medium Onion, Diced
A Few Cloves of garlic, Chopped-your preference. I used 4 or 5-if you're like me, the more the better :)
Salt & Pepper to Taste
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
A Bunch of  Fresh Basil
1 Medium Tomato
Mozzarella Slices (optional if you want to make this vegan)




1) In a bowl add 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1/2 of the diced onion, the garlic, salt, and pepper to the faux ground beef. Mix well. You'll probably want to do this by hand. You're going to get messy with this :)


2) Set stove to medium. Add remaining olive oil, and onions to the pan of your choice. While this is getting going, split your mixture into into however many portions you will want. I decided to make 4 good size burgers.

3) Roll your portions into balls and then flatten. Add to your pan. You may need to add a little olive oil.



4) I made mine somewhat thick so I cooked them for about 15 minutes or so flipping every few minutes. You just need to make sure you cook until they are nice and brown.


5) Once done, top with mozzarella, tomato, basil, and the onions from the pan. EAT & ENJOY!



Oh! Check out the Veggie Falls blog at the Lightlife website for a whole bunch of recipes (and coupon opportunities). I think I'm trying a Tempeh Reuben next! :) 

New Facebook Page


Hey Everyone! Due to the fact that I had never made more than a personal Facebook page before, when I made the one for Better Than Broke, I accidentally put it in the wrong category. I went ahead and made a new one in the correct category. Please go to this new page and "Like" it as I will no longer post on the old one. I am sorry for the inconvenience. This is a learning process for me. My goal is to have a real website (no offense Blogger), but I don't think I'm there yet ;) Please let me know if you have any ides and suggestions. Thanks :)