A Minute With Molly and Midge!
Driving Down the Cost
April 10, 2012
In This Issue
From the Blog
Thrifty Travel
Homemade Pizza Sauce
Molly Wants You!
The Coupon Craze
Vacationing with a Baby Diva
Our Sponsors
Molly's Back!
The Coupon Craze:
Chaos or Common Cents?

Hi Friends,


Warm weather is beginning to spread across the country. For many, the longer days of summer present the prime opportunity to head out of town for a few days on that great American pastime we call "vacation." Although vacations are often an occasion to relax, when the bill comes due it may seem the relaxation was not worth the money.

Many things can be done before leaving the house to keep the bill down while vacationing:

  • Setting the thermostat higher than normal will keep the air conditioning from cooling an empty house.
  • Fill zippered storage bags with ice from the ice maker and place them in the freezer and deep freezer. This prevents the appliances from overworking to keep a half-full storage area cold and also will help to keep the food left in the freezer at a safe temperature should the power go out while no one is home.
  • Unplug all unnecessary appliances, such as televisions, radios, coffee pots, and toasters.
  • If the vacation will last longer than a week or two, call the phone company and have the services to the home placed on hold. Services like Netflix, can be temporarily canceled. This will not only save money but will also save space in the mailbox.
  • Consider having someone pick up the mail. An overfull box is a red flag that the home is empty. Putting the mail on hold at the post office or rerouting it to a post office box are also good ways to make sure the mail is not falling out of the box when vacationing is over.
  • Never have power or water turned off to a property when away. Not only is it illegal in most areas, but the potential for damage caused by disconnecting these services far outweighs the money that may be saved when they are off.

Do you have plans for traveling this summer? How do you plan what to pack? Where will your travels take you? We want to hear where you are headed! Write to Molly@econobusters.com. We may include your submission in our next newsletter.

I hope that each of you is able to take some time to get away and get refreshed this summer!

From the Blog

 Come see what is cooking at Econobusters this week!
  • Save breakfast!  Mornings are made easy with the muffin.
  • Have some great ideas to share? Submit your article ideas for Molly Green Magazine.
  • Have a spouse who travels?  Help Midge figure out what to do with herself while her hsband is gone.
  • Planning a garden?  Try these frugal DYI seed starters.
  • The Apps have it!  Here are five money-saving apps you will love!


Thrifty Travel  
While the vacation may be fun, the road trip often is not - especially when there are children to be entertained.  Mom's Minivan has ideas to keep them, toddler to teen, entertained.
Homemade Pizza Sauce 


A few weeks ago, I gave you the recipe for homemade pizza crust from my cookbook  In the Kitchen With Molly: 12 Weeks of Frugal Meals.  But what is the crust without the sauce? (If tomato sauce does not suit the taste buds, try a simple sauce of olive oil and a bit of garlic to taste.)


Homemade Pizza Sauce




2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon basil

˝ teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons onion powder

2 tablespoons olive oil




Mix all ingredients in a bowl and use to cover two pizza crusts. You can double this recipe if you are making two large pizzas.


Note: To top your pizza, use 2 cups of shredded mozzarella or a mix of cheeses per pizza, along with whatever additional toppings your family enjoys.

For more great resorces, visit the Schoolhouse Store

The April Issue is HERE!


Dear Molly Members,  


I sure hope you've all visited your Member Pages and logged in to download the new April Digest. We're very proud of the new look and hope you enjoy it as well. (Just click the "Magazines" link and you'll find it at the top of the list.)


  You will not want to miss what is coming in May!  If you're not a member, we'd love to have you join us. For only $3.85/mo. you receive each new magazine as it hits the shelf (retail price $4.95), as well as all my back issues. Plus, you'll find a surprise E-book in your account after every 60 days of membership!


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The Coupon Craze


The wait is finally over!  Molly Green Magazine is here.This inaugural issue is filled with loads of couponing strategies and money-saving tips. You'll be able to find this issue in our new store (or your member pages, if you're a member).

  • Repurpose a cork board in to "Coupon Central." 
  • Feed a family of four to six for less than $20.   
  • Teach your children to coupon.  
  • Create your own in-home spa.  
  • Discover home pet care for less.  
  • Learn how to shop the big-box stores.  

Grab this issue up or save money and subscribe.

From Midge MidgeHeadShot


Vacationing with a Baby Diva




Before Sarah was born, my husband and I dreamed about all of the places that we could visit. But, we were always too busy with work and remodeling our house to get away from it all. Every few months, we were able to find time to drive a couple of hours out of the city and enjoy a weekend of camping out in the wilderness. It was definitely relaxing and a nice time to unwind. Now that we are a family of three, I have begun to realize that family travel has become A LOT more complicated than our weekend getaways ever were!


"How many bags does one baby need?" my husband muttered as I piled our vacation bags and other necessities by the front door. I just kept humming along, grabbing things and checking them off the vacation list kept in my head. My husband was now not just muttering, but raising his voice to gain my attention after I set yet another bag onto our growing pile. He began to unzip one of the bags when even that didn't work.


Of course, a calm argument ensued, related to the necessity of each item that he pulled out. "Four pacifiers? Sarah doesn't even use a pacifier!" he stated in disbelief. "You brought 15 different bodysuits, six pairs of pajamas, and why did you bring the large box of diapers? I thought we were just going away for a three-day weekend!"


I admit, I am a bit new at packing for my little girl, but I kept thinking, "But, what if I need this?" I brought baby medicine, the blue nose bulb thingy they give you at the hospital, nail clippers, and four bags of baby wipes. I packed baby cereal even though Sarah was not yet old enough to try it.At just 5 months old, she had a grand total of three large bags to bring with her on the trip. I was turning her into a baby diva!

Molly, how much is too much? Is there a baby and family packing checklist I can use when traveling? And how do I avoid overspending when buying baby supplies for our future trips?


Thanks again, Molly, for all of your sage advice!


Love ya,




Hop on over to Econobusters to read Molly's reply. To hear more from Midge, be sure and visit us at every Thursday!