The Frugal Prepper Part Two

Posted on October 20th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

frugal prepper

There is more to preparation than having food, water, and climate control (we covered that in Frugal Prepper – Part 1). There is the problem of where to put it all once you have it. What will you do for laundry or cooking without electricity? What good is a  generator without fuel? For apartment dwellers these issues are compounded with our lack of room for storage. Luckily there are ways around all of these issues if you want to be a prepper.


I know of people who build sheds in their backyard to keep all their preparation supplies. This doesn’t fit into the budget for everyone. Also some of us are apartment dwellers and as a result have no backyard. For those of us that are in the latter living situation, there are still places we can store our supplies. Canned goods can be stored in entertainment centers, under beds and sofas, and in closets. You could also go vertical by putting your canned goods on book shelves bought cheap at thrift stores. Just make sure you distribute it across your home in a manner that the weight of your storage won’t cause it to crash through your downstairs neighbors ceiling.

If you’re crafty, you can also create bean bag chairs that will hold your packages of beans, peas, lentils, rice, or other bagged dry goods. These can be anywhere in your home and serve a purpose other than storage.

Check Out Youtube

Youtube is a great resource when it comes to frugal preparation. So far our family has found videos showing how to make a homemade swamp cooler inexpensively that we could run on our homemade generator that requires exercise instead of fuel. The generator can also be made inexpensively and be used to charge a 12 volt car battery which our camp stove can run off. You can even learn how to make a camp toilet, which will be very much needed should the worst happen to your plumbing.

Electricity Free Items

I have already mentioned the camp stove that runs off a car battery. It costs about thirty dollars on Amazon last time I checked. Another thirty dollar purchase is a hand cranked washer for laundry. If you add a few drying racks you have a laundry system that didn’t cost too much and doesn’t rely on electricity. It can also save you money during non emergency life if you are looking for ways to keep more money in your wallet. It may cost a bit under one hundred dollars for these items, but that’s much less than a generator and the fuel required to run it.

Buy In Bulk

Get a card for Costco or Sam’s Club and buy your canned and dry goods in bulk. It will cost less and give you a good jump on having an actual surplus. Make sure you buy food that your family will actually eat. Your toddler still won’t like canned asparagus in a crisis. Don’t forget things like toilet paper. As your gain your surplus, use what you have and replace it regularly so that it doesn’t go bad.

DIY: Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Posted on October 20th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

Elderberry Syrup

As we head in to cold and flu season (and are cautiously watching the Ebola story unfold), our family has begun working on building up our immunity.  One of the ways we are doing that is by including elderberry syrup as part of our daily regimen. Did you know that elderberries in the form of elderberry syrup have been shown to boost immunity, decrease mucous production during colds, and fight the flu? If you already know that, then you may also know that buying a good elderberry syrup is not cheap. I looked around online only to find that I could easily spend anywhere from $12 to $15 for four ounces!

elderberry ingredients

So, I decided to make my own. It was very simple. I used only five ingredients, not including the water, and the whole process took about one hour. Here’s the recipe.


3 1/2 cups water

2/3 cup organic dried black elderberries

2 Tbsp. fresh ginger (I grated it, but you could use ground ginger.)

1 tsp organic cinnamon (I used one cinnamon stick because it’s what I had)

1/2 tsp organic cloves (you may use clove powder)

1/3 organic raw honey


1. Put all the ingredients, except the honey, into a pot and bring to a boil.

2. When it begins to boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 45 minutes.

3. At the end of the 45 minutes, the liquid will have been reduced by about half. Pour through a strainer to remove the elderberries, cloves and ginger (if you didn’t use ground cloves and ginger).

4. Pour into a glass container (like a mason jar) and mix in the honey.

5. Once it has cooled, cover it and store  it in the refrigerator.

That’s it. :)

We each take about a teaspoon a day. The children love it so much that they ask if they can have some “medicine.” Sometimes I just put the teaspoon into their juice. Either way, I feel great about this easy way to help boost their immunity.

elderberry syrup

What do you do to prepare for cold and flu season?

Halloween Costume Deals

Posted on October 20th, 2014 by Coupon Cathy

halloween costume

If you’re looking for a good deal on costumes for your children, check out these great Target deals. I noticed, by the way, that you can get the sale/clearance price online without a coupon. So, if that’s easier for you (as it usually is for me), check out the clearance section at
Buy 2 Sofia the First Costume $20.00, regular price
Use $10.00 Off Halloween or Accessories Purchase, $40.00 or more, Target Mobile Coupon (exp 10/25) Text SPOOKY4 to 827438
And use 40% Off – Sofia the First Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $7.00 each, when you buy 2

Hello Kitty Costume $30.00, regular price
Use $10.00 Off Halloween or Accessories Purchase, $40.00 or more, Target Mobile Coupon (exp 10/25) Text SPOOKY4 to 827438
And use 40% Off – Hello Kitty Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $13.00 each, when you buy 2

Doc McStuffins Costume $30.00, regular price
Use $10.00 Off Halloween or Accessories Purchase, $40.00 or more, Target Mobile Coupon (exp 10/25) Text SPOOKY4 to 827438
And use 40% Off – Doc McStuffins Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $13.00 each, when you buy 2

Jolly Gnome Costume $15.00, regular price
Use 40% Off – Jolly Gnome Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $9.00

Girls Super Hero Costume $15.00, regular price
Use 40% Off – Kids Super Hero Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $9.00

Girls’ Whimsy Witch Hat $10.00, regular price
Use 40% Off – Girls’ Whimsy Witch Hat, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $6.00

Kids’ Strong Man Costume $30.00, regular price
Use $10.00 Off Halloween or Accessories Purchase, $40.00 or more, Target Mobile Coupon (exp 10/25) Text SPOOKY4 to 827438
And use 40% Off – Kids’ Strong Man Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $13.00 each, when you buy 2

Lightning Bolt Costume Accessory $10.00
Use 40% Off – Lighting Bolt Accessory, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $6.00

Deal Idea

Buy 1 Doc McStuffins Costume $30.00, regular price
Buy 1 Girls Super Hero Costume $15.00, regular price
Use $10.00 Off Halloween or Accessories Purchase, $40.00 or more, Target Mobile Coupon (exp 10/25) Text SPOOKY4 to 827438
And use 40% Off – Doc McStuffins Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
And use 40% Off – Kids Super Hero Costume, Target Cartwheel Offer (exp 10/25) – (
Final Price: $13.00 each, when you buy both

Are you ready for Halloween yet?

Free Digital Subscription to Star Magazine

Posted on October 20th, 2014 by Freebie Felicia

Enjoy a free one year Star Magazine digital subscription. No strings attached. You’ll never receive a bill. This 52-issue subscription is yours, compliments of JudysHealthySnacks. Powered by Read on your PC or tablet.

It Costs More To Be Without These Items

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by Discount Debbie

costs more

Most of the time to save money means to not spend it on frivolous items and getting rid of clutter. Other times it means to invest in very useful items and keeping things on file. Here are a few helpful tips in line with the latter school of thought.


Fire and smoke detectors don’t cost very much, but are often over looked when it comes to being prepared. They not only can save lives, they can save money. The more your family is prepared the less likely your insurance will deny your claim should the worst happen. Make sure your detector is functioning properly and has batteries. Also consider getting a carbon monoxide detector. Check on Amazon. There are various CO detectors for any budget. They can save your family’s life and save on medical expenses.

Last but not least, if it’s in your budget, consider getting a security system. The sign in your yard by itself has been known to deter those who would break in. For those extra bold individuals who would break into your home it notifies your security company who will in turn notify the police. It will cost less than replacing things in your home that have been broken or stolen.


Phone numbers are the first numbers that come to mind when it comes to saving money. Calling a store or company with a question is far more cost effective than making a trip across town to do the same thing. Even if you end up needing to go to their location, your time will be saved because the details of your visit have been taken care of over the phone. Also keep medical numbers, roadside assistance numbers, and family numbers on hand. These will save you money in emergency situations.

Confirmation numbers are the second numbers to keep around. When you pay a bill over the phone always write down your confirmation number of that payment on the bill and then file it. If you ever need to prove you have already paid a bill, your bill and confirmation number will be at your fingertips. You could also use your bank statements in a pinch if you need to. Without proof of payment, however, you may end up paying the same bill more than once.

Contracts of Service

Another item you need to keep on file are service agreements. Did you agree to a data limit on your internet? Are you stuck in the contract for a specified amount of time? Are you entitled to free maintenance? All these questions can be answered in your service contract. The same goes with your lease. Will you be fined for hanging things off your balcony? Your lease should be able to tell you.




The Frugal Prepper

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by Discount Debbie


Some of us have the goal to be prepared for anything. We are ready should a zombie invasion take place, that’s how prepared we are. Being that prepared can be costly. After all we are preparing for a future time without paychecks to go along with a month to years worth of resources on hand. Never fear though, because as a creative, frugal mastermind your lofty prepping goals are still within your reach.

Water Storage

Having water is something that we take for granted. It comes out of the faucet and we use it for everything. We use it for cooking, sanitation, and drinking. It’s necessary to reconstitute baby formula and some types of medications. If, for some reason, we lost our access to clean water if would be a disaster. It would be off the store shelves faster than you could blink.

That’s why preppers look for ways to store water. Forget water beds and pools that you have to add chemicals to the water that wouldn’t be ideal for drinking. Some of us don’t have those potential water storing items anyway. Instead, use liquid containers that you already get from the store. Soda bottles are ideal. You won’t be spending more money because you already have bought the container. Just wash it out and fill it at the tap. Don’t use milk jugs that may leak and cause your family a personal little water crisis. And don’t use old juice bottles because those aren’t safe from bacteria growth from even the slightest bit of fruit juice residue left in the container. No matter how much you wash those you’re at risk. But soda bottles work fine because there’s nothing really organic enough in soda to develop into bacteria growth. (Which makes you think… but that’s a whole other topic.)

Dollar Stores

Dollar stores are the ideal place to find candles, soap, and some first aid supplies. If you are preparing seventy two hour kits (which you should because it takes FEMA at least 72 hours to arrive to help after a disaster, or if you have to evacuate you need to be prepared to take care of yourself at a shelter for at least 3 days, just in case) the dollar store is a great place to find your children activities that will pass the time in a shelter or at home with the power out. It’s also a good place to find food substances that will fit into a back pack if you need to travel. Dollar stores will keep your costs down and still meet many of your family’s prepping needs.

Climate Control

It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle of summer or the middle of winter. The outside climate can cause issues when the power goes out. It’s more severe in some places than it is in others, but being used to climate control we need to be able to control our climate when the power goes out. One way to do this is to put tin foil on our windows. It keeps cold air from seeping through the windows, or a least slows the pace of which it seeps. In the summer it reflects sunlight and heat away from your home.

Cloth solutions are also a good part of preparation in regards to climate control. Use curtains to add extra insulation to your home. A good curtain can keep both heat and cold at bay. Also, you can never have enough blankets. For some family fun during a black out build a blanket fort in the living room and have a family living room camping trip. It will allow your family to share body heat which will be contained by the fort. That aside, it will be a good diversion for your children.


Whole Foods Organic Deals

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by Coupon Cathy


The closer we get to all the fall festivities, the more we are going to need good deals on healthier foods. Thankfully, even at Whole Foods, we can find good deals on good-for-you food. Check out this week’s deals on organic foods below.

Organic Honeycrisp Apples $2.69/lb
Organic Garnet Yams $1.49/lb
Organic Bartlett Pears $1.99/lb

Organic Ground Beef $10.99/lb

Justin’s Organic Peanut Butter Cup Packs $4.99 (These would be great for Halloween.)

Alter Eco Organic Chocolate Bars $2.50
Use one $1/1 Alter Eco Coupon (Common Kindness)
Final Price: $1.50

Tasty Brand Organic Sandwich Cookies $3.00
Use one $1/1 Tasty Brand Coupon (Common Kindness)
Final Price: $2.00

Honest Organic Tea $1.25/each
Use one $1/2 Honest Tea Whole Foods Coupon
Final Price: $.50

Celestial Seasonings Organic Teas $3.99
Use one $1/2 Celestial Tea Coupon (
And use one $.75/1 Celestial Seasoning Whole Foods Coupon
Final Price: $2.74

Rudi’s Organic Whole Wheat Bread $4.99
Use one $.75/1 Rudi’s Organic Coupon (
Final Price: $4.24

Stonyfield Organic Smoothie, 4 pk $3.99, sale price through 10/28
Use $0.50/1 – Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Smoothies, 4 pk (
Final Price: $3.49

Seventh Generation Natural Laundry Detergent, 100 oz $12.39, sale price through 10/28
Use $2.00/1 – Seventh Generation Laundry Liquid (
Final Price: $10.39

Read More

Craft Items That End Up In The Trash

Posted on October 16th, 2014 by Freebie Felicia


Crafting with children doesn’t have to be expensive. Most paints, play dough, and even crayons can be made at home. There are other things in our homes that make great crafting supplies. Unfortunately many of them get thrown away. The next time you throw out one of these items stop and think about its crafting potential.

Milk Cartons

Milk cartons are great for making bird feeders or making a planter. They are sturdy enough to be hung from a balcony or tree. The are fun to paint and easy to poke or cut holes in. If you have the type with the twist cap top, that part can be used as a funnel when filling other items. A carton with top cut off can even be used as a storage container for craft supplies like paint brushes, colored pencils, chalk, and crayons.

Soda Bottles

Soda bottles can also be made into bird feeders and planters, but they are more versatile than that. They can be cut as scoops, with the top as a handle. They can be taped together top to top to make the soda bottle whirl pool. This can be made even more fun by adding a few drops of your favorite color to the water in your bottles. With a little  paper mache, paint, and a pair of scissors they can even be made into creative piggy banks.

Cardboard Contraptions

A cereal box can be turned into a robot with toilet paper roll arms and legs. If you cut them up you can use them to create buildings and props in shoe box dioramas of farms, cities, or what ever your heart desires. Or you can use the inside of boxes to create bedroom signs or create homemade picture frames. Toilet paper or paper towel rolls can be cut to create play dough cookie cutters or rolling pins.

Egg Cartons

Egg cartons are a good way to store an egg shaped amount of play dough without mixing the colors. They are also a great way to separate and store paints you are using during crafting for a quick clean up.


Saved and cleaned up jars are great for jar gifts, storing homemade laundry soap, and other jar crafts. Just clean them out and keep the lid. Take off the label and whatever adhesive was holding it on. Decorate them as you see fit and use them in your jar craft the next time you use one.


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