Greetings!     
   
Last week, I talked a little about spring cleaning. I know that I am still going through drawers, closets and the like looking for items that we no longer need, want or can wear. It always feels good to declutter the house. We haven't had a yard sale in a couple of years and I am beginning to think that I have enough items to put together a yard sale this year.

My new April Money-Saving Digest includes many tips for organizing a yard sale as well as shopping at them in two different articles:
 
- How to Shop Yard Sales like a Pro! Wouldn't you like to afford luxury items you don't normally buy, name brand clothing you usually do without, and have a stockpile of gifts for later in the year?  
 
I once found four full years of Saxon Math curriculum (K-4), complete with workbooks and teacher's guides for ten cents each. Yup, forty cents for four years worth of curriculum! (It was a school yard sale and they were sample sets). Some of my other good finds include inline roller skates barely used, children's toys and books and many household items for just a dollar or two! It takes some patience to find what you need, but it can pay off in the long run!

- How Do You Hold a Successful Yard Sale? The key to success is organization. Plus 10 more tips that will help you earn more money!

There is nothing better than making a little extra cash from items that we have in our home . . . for just a few hours prep work, we usually end up with several hundred dollars to show for it! Times are tough now, so turn your unwanted items into CA$H this spring! We have found that furniture sells well if it is clean and still "in style." And, don't forget to have a "man" section--tools, electronics, etc. If a man has items to look through while his wife is shopping, you'll sell more!
 
If your family is doing ok financially, you might consider donating your yard sale income to your church, a needy family, or even a favorite charity or food bank. I'm sure you could be a huge blessing to someone!
 
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I hope you enjoyed visiting my blog, www.Econobusters.com, this week. There are always so many good things to share with my readers and I love it when you all send me good tips and advice like you did last week. If you didn't make it to my blog last week, here's a brief list of links to check out:
 
- FREE online books: I found a site that offers free books for you to read online. The titles change frequently, so bookmark and check that site often.
 
- Kitchen Compost Container: a super easy way to hold items indoors until you can get them to your outdoor compost bin.
 
- Organize the kitchen: Lots of links were posted here as a part of my contribution to the Organized Homeschool Carnival.

- Organize a Clothes Swap: If you'd rather not sell your clothes at a yard sale, then check out this post for another idea of recycling your used clothing.
 
- And then there are some more tips from my readers to check out!

If you have a question that you would like for me to post on the blog, just email me--MollyGreen@Econobusters.com--I'll be happy to try and help you out!
 
. . . Look for more wonderful frugal tips and inspiring articles coming your way!
This Week's Recipe
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One healthy and inexpensive breakfast that truly fills me up is a yummy bowl of oatmeal--I'm not talking instant oatmeal either (which is also more expensive!). While I do love the various flavors available in instant oatmeal, I have discovered that it is not difficult to create these myself. I want to encourage you to work more oatmeal into your breakfasts. It is good for your heart, lowers your cholesterol, and--best of all-- so easy on the budget.
 
Old-fashioned, rolled, or steel-cut oats are the best oats to buy as they have not been overly processed. This means you will feel full longer and they will provide more fiber. A great recipe to start with is this one that I found online at The World's Healthiest Foods. This is so close to the way I make up a bowl each morning.
 
Ingredients:
2 cups water
dash salt
1 cup regular rolled oats
teaspoon cinnamon
cup raisins
cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
soy milk, or skim milk (optional)
sweetener such as molasses, or honey
 
Combine the water and salt in a small saucepan and turn the heat to high.
When the water boils, turn the heat to low, add oatmeal, and cook, stirring, until the water is just absorbed, about five minutes. Add cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts. Stir, cover the pan and turn off heat. Let set for five minutes. Serve with milk and sweetener.
 
I have tried cooking my oatmeal in the microwave, but it usually ends up overflowing the edges and making a mess. So, I just cook my oatmeal on the stove. The recipe above makes a lot of oatmeal, maybe even two servings, depending upon how much you like to eat each morning. I often halve this recipe and eat a cooked egg with my oatmeal.
 
Berries are one of those "superfoods" that I try to work into my daily menus, so I will often substitute those for the raisins, but I will increase the amount to one cup of frozen berries. They will thaw and cook while the oatmeal is cooking. Frozen peaches or fresh bananas are yummy, too!
 
I also use oatmeal as a filler in my meatloaf and feel a little better baking oatmeal cookies for my family when we need a yummy snack in the house! You can also grind oatmeal to make oat flour and use that to cook up healthier pancakes and waffles (scroll down this page for information on grinding oats to use in recipes). Finally, here is a link you might want to check out for lots of ideas for flavoring your morning bowl of oatmeal.
This Week's Tutorials
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Here are some wonderful tutorials and tips to check out this week.
 
 
 
A homemade laundry stain cleaner and how to make a bread
bag greenhouse:
http://www.frugalvillage.net/2009/03/29/motivate-kids-to-save-energy/
 

Molly's Money-Saving Digest
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This digest has a wealth of information and support to share with you for an incredibly low price! $4.95 is such a small price to pay compared to the great benefits you'll receive and the money you'll be saving once you dig into this E-Book!

Here are just a few topics that are covered this month--to view the complete description of the contents of the April digest, click here.
 
Spruce Things Up on a Shoestring: Instead of the typical, go-all-out spring cleaning, a little daily discipline and a few simple routines are all it takes. Here's a few of the steps: 
  • Learn the bathroom cleaning trick!
  • Have a clean fridge-how to break the job down into manageable sections.
  • Discover chemical-free tips for a clean-smelling house
  • Quick-fix ideas when company's unexpectedly on their way over! 

Organize without Spending: You could spend a lot of money on organizational stuff-but you don't have to!

  • Don't throw it away! What can you do with oatmeal containers? Cylinder-shaped chip containers? Cereal boxes? Coffee cans? Caps from aerosol spray cans? An unused photo album?  And there's more . . . Organize!
  • How are you using those plastic milk jugs? 
  • Great ways to upcycle those 2-liter plastic soda bottles! 
  • Kimberly, from Kimberly's Cup, shows you how she repurposes glass jars for pantry storage. You may never throw out another jar!
We Want to Hear from You
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We have some great topics in the works for Molly's Money-Saving Digests, and would love to include your stories and ideas. Remember, if we include your contribution in a Digest you'll receive that issue FREE. Here's what we're looking for.
 
July's Digest will focus on clothing your family frugally. We'd love to get your ideas or inspiration on this topic! Email Editor@Econobusters.com by April 24th. Of course, we're always looking for "goal-getter" stories, examples of upcycled or repurposed objects, and frugal decorating ideas. Would you like a free Digest? Send me your story, and if it is featured, your Digest is FREE.

 
Until next week! 
 
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