Ways to save money, get super healthy and have fun this summer for pennies.

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Here is my budget party table!  I had a bar b q for a house warming and invited all the neighbors surrounding me.  We had a nice little turnout and I did it for a small sum of $60 to $75 and this paid for the bar b q, a dinner the next night with our beloved friends and godparents to the boys, along with 3 or  4 nights of dinners for just us.  Pretty good eh?

My decorations were nice table clothes, bouquets of flowers picked from my yard, candles from my wedding 6 years ago, and that pot of a plant was a vine I trimmed off a house Ivy and sprouted in a jar of water in my kitchen window then planted in a clay pot a neighbor had given me.

I never turn down hand me downs.  Never.  People never forget when you gratefully relieve them of their junk.  Whatever I don’t want to keep I just take to the Goodwill.  I still have buckets of clothes for the boys to keep them dressed for the next 2 years and I haven’t purchased clothes for them in at least that long already.  I have a big, old and fabulous TV.  It weighs at least a thousand pounds even though it’s only 32″ but it was free from the godparents.  I refused to get rid of it during our move.  I have a fairly new queen bed also from godparents and a list of kitchen things, then my neighbor two houses down just gifted me with a new wardrobe.  I have only had the chance to gift her with some Indian tea she loved and a basil plant from a start that cost a buck.  I have a list of gifts from others that was trash to them but have become treasures to us.

This summer is a toasty one to put it mildly but we have ventured out to discover some old Gold Mining towns in the forest only a 45 minutes drive from us.  That was a fun day.  I have to say that the really fun thing about this Sutter-Sacramento area is that there are so many charming old western and gold mining towns.  We have rivers and forest if you just drive a bit.  Over here the farms and orchards are pretty nice also.  You can go for a Saturday drive and explore tourist towns, go to Truckee or Tahoe, find walking trails or rivers to swim in.  We are blessed.  I have to remind myself of this when it’s 107 degrees and I’m missing my old coast town and the sea.

Another thing we have done to save some money and enjoy the abundance of all that great summer produce is go vegetarian for the summer.  We have been doing lots of green juices and green smoothies, along with Bali doing some Indian cooking.  This saves money and we are doing a major summer cleanse after all the partying with fast food and junk food, creme pies, bar b q’s, and on and on in the name of celebrating this big move and a new house.

I scrubbed my kitchen and set it up like a health food cafe.  All you need is a good blender and a decent juicer.  Here are some recipes for green juices and green smoothies:

Green Juice: You decide how much of everything you need depending on how many juices you are making and how sweet or sour you like it.

Lemons (take the rind off), apples, celery, cucumber, ginger root (peel it), beets, kale or lettuce, carrots.

Green Smoothie:  Depending on how creamy or bitter you like it you will have to play with the amount of banana’s and what greens you choose to do.

Frozen bananas (let them get ripe for sweetness), unsweetened almond milk, kale, chard, dandelion greens (use sparingly they are bitter), spinach.

Kids will drink these.  They may need time to get used to them if they are junk food kiddies.  I call them veggie and fruit punch and green milkshakes.  The more banana you use the more creamy and sweet and you can really pack the greens and it taste great, believe me.

We have also been juicing bitter melon (not for kids, only adults).  It is an Indian/Asian fruit that looks like warty cucumbers and it’s used to cleanse the blood, for diabetes, clearing up skin from all sorts of conditions such as acne, eczema,  for certain cancers, and so much more.  You have to be very careful with it because it’s strong stuff and I’ll just be doing a shot each day for a couple weeks, maybe three tops. Here is one of hundreds of websites on this miracle food.  We just juice it and do it straight.


Some ideas for mood health and what I’ve been taking for my mental health is SAMe and 5-HTP.  These are natural amino acids and ingredients for mood boosting and joint health.  Actually, SAMe is for joints but has shown to have great effects in lifting moods and boosting serotonin.  5-HTP or GABA is great for the overall mood.  If you struggle with depression a great book is:

Here is a website to explain it quickly if a book isn’t your thing but you’re interested.  There is a lot of info out there, this will get you started:


I had to include this segment because I know there are a lot of housewives and working mothers that read my blog and we can become blue and imbalanced with the every day stress, having babies, nursing, never getting a break, loneliness, fatigue…yay.

We have just been through a huge move and life change among many that have happened upon me in 6 years and I, once a powerhouse mother of good cheer, was resembling more a sloth with a chip on my shoulder sludging through my days.  I just became more listless and moody, ungrateful, emotional, weepy.  I had no reason, my life is so blessed right now.  I realized that I am probably suffering from some depleted dopamine or serotonin, perhaps my hormones are off, and my diet has been crazy and loaded with processed foods and sugar.  I am the queen of self-diagnosis and self-treatment.  The western medicine has its place and importance but if you can heal it naturally I say do that first.  I don’t even take aspirin.  I drink water when I have a headache.  Our bodies are very clear about what is going on.

So, I’m a few days into my new healthy body and mind regime and I’m feeling really, really good!

Enjoy your summer, lots of fun stuff for free right now like concerts and movies in the park or the public pool that should be affordable (ours is not really), but the river is free and hiking is free.  I usually get a year long pass to all the forest parks.  Cinemark has dollar morning movies during the summer for kids.  And nothing like a library book in the shade with some homemade lemonade!




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