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#1 of 89 Old 06-26-2014, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Cool July Challenge is here!

The recent challenges have fizzled. This thread has been so helpful to us in the past, I'd love to figure out what we need to keep it going, to keep it *relevant* and help us reach our goals.

Here's something a bit different, because I think it will make a difference in how this thread can help keep us accountable and disciplined.

Here are some new ways to challenge yourself using this thread:

1. My goal for this month...

2. My long term goals...

3. My challenges....

4. How I will use this thread...

You can check in daily, check in weekly, check in as you remember. You can set a savings goal, limit spending, track expenses in one area. You can use smileys or not; you can use this thread in whatever way is helpful. The support, feedback and accountability is wonderful!

The goal of this thread is helping you spend your money in a conscientious, meaningful, intentional way, whether that is a little, a lot, or none at all! It has motivated so many of us in the past, and it can again!

For those of you who want the old set up, here it is:
Quote:
This is a support thread to help you not spend your money.

Everyone is welcome to join and you can start tracking your spending at any time. It doesn't have to be July, NOW is a good time to start.

The plan is simple (although tough to execute):

1. Vow not to spend any money on unnecessary purchases.

2. Come on here and record your spending. We all record our spending in different ways. There are no rules. You record and update however you would like -- pick a way that will help you spend the least amount of money.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please write an introductory message when you decide to join our thread. We would like to know:

a. Who you are

b. Where you are going (your financial goals) and

c. How you plan to get there

Good luck MDCers!! Keep that money in your wallet.

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#2 of 89 Old 06-26-2014, 10:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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1. My goal for this month... I will start off the month by calculating our income for the first 6 months of the year and estimating income for the second half, which is usually the same or just a hair more. Then I need to set a spending goal for July, and I'm challenging myself to stick to it.

2. My long term goals... To get a net-positive income, save enough for the winter lean season, save enough for a "new" car, let my girls be on the recrational gym team, have a bit more spaciousness in our spending, and actually build our savings!

3. My challenges.... are that we are self-employed, and work is seasonal and we rely on maintaining a consistent client base. That base is affected very much by the turns in the economy, and our services are essentially expendable. A big chunk of spending happens before our income goes back into the black... birthdays, Christmas, property taxes, higher electric bills, which makes it extra hard. Finding part time, temporary, seasonal work has been difficult in this economy.

We homeschool, so we are essentially surviving on one income.

4. How I will use this thread... Mainly setting a month-specific sending goal. Listing what I will be spending on and challenging myself to stay within that spending plan.

See you soon!

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#3 of 89 Old 06-28-2014, 02:16 PM
 
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1. My goal for this month...I will only buy consumable items that are necessary and say no to the rest. I will not spend more than I can afford in one category. Figuring out how to cut our expenses by at least $400 a month is something we need to do to survive.

2. My long term goals...to be debt free, to have enough income to cover all of our needs and some wants, to save for a vacation

3. My challenges....I stay at home, my husband's job does not pay much, I am an impulse buyer at the grocery store

4. How I will use this thread...I will use this thread to keep myself accountable and also be inspired by others

Mama to: one spunky girl and one angel baby Wife of over 10 years to an amazing man:
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#4 of 89 Old 06-29-2014, 07:51 AM
 
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Wow, Sweetsilver! I love the new format. Thanks for reinvigorating the old 'no-spend' challenge.



1. My goal for this month...

Get back on track. June was a spendy month for us -- the dentist, new shoes, work travel. Our expenses are lower in July and we need to use this month to save, save, save.

2. My long term goals...

We are older and are focused on retirement savings. Our goal is to be savings 40% or more of our take home pay.

3. My challenges....

Kids! We have 4 kids and they need shoes, and eye glasses, and clothes, and books. It is an endless list of needs. My goal is to separate the 'needs' from the 'wants' and know when to spend and when to save.

4. How I will use this thread...

I will track my daily spending and monthly budget.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#5 of 89 Old 06-29-2014, 08:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Ruthiegirl View Post
Wow, Sweetsilver! I love the new format. Thanks for reinvigorating the old 'no-spend' challenge.
You do?? Yay!!! You are welcome! We'll see if this will help sustain us over an entire month, though. I suspect that the thread has been difficult for our "regulars" to stick with, for whatever reason--I know I fizzle every month as well. I feel like it's hard to keep track daily, or even weekly, and it hasn't been helping me stay accountable as it has in the past. I don't want this thread to die, it has been so helpful.

And I really need to stay accountable-- all the money from house sales, estates, etc. is gone. We've established our business in a new area, we've raised our kids with one parent at home, we've built a house (and unfortunately didn't sell our old one. It is a source of very modest income due to our low mortgage, meaning we have a bucketload of cash tied up into it!) But all-in-all, we have a small savings and this is the winter where we cannot dip into it. We need to end the winter with no less than we started with, or not much.

Welcome, and welcome back, everybody!

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#6 of 89 Old 06-29-2014, 09:47 AM
 
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1. My goal for this month...
My goal for July is to try to stay in budget. A lot of things have come up this month and it was hard to stay in budget. Also July will be the last month I will be on cash aid. They lowered it to where it's not worth having it. I rather have it when I really need it. I will also apply for unemployment since I'm working only part time and I can apply for it.

2. My long term goals...
Long term is to become debt free, I'm slowly paying off the rest of my debt, If I use my credit card I try to pay it off within 3 days, if not my next pay day. I also hope to find a better job to where I can afford my own place and hopefully get off cash aid. Start putting some money into my IRA and my son's savings account.

3. My challenges....
My challenges have been things that come up. I have to pay for my medical expenses. I need new clothes (still haven't bought anything), I had to buy new bras and undies since they either finally broke or have holes. New shoes, mines finally died. Oh and gas! Oh man I've been driving a lot more. Also work. My hours have been cut so much and I thought they would pick up in the summer... doesn't look like it.

4. How I will use this thread...
I will try to check in once a week, but most likely when I remember to do it. I've been so forgetful lately.

Stephanie, 25, Single parent to DS (7/10). I
Part Time Cake Decorator & Full-time Student

BS1: Completed 5/3/14
BS2: Credit Card Debt: Completed 5/18/14, Phone Acct: 6/20/14, Personal Loan: $4069.97
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#7 of 89 Old 06-30-2014, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This week, I need to pay for;

Fair passes.
License renewal.
Stray cat spaying?
Swim trip.
Fireworks. (Today)

We have our last gym class today for the summer, no Girl Scouts. We have one more trip into town planned for Thursday, then a possible parade with their riding instructor on Friday, but we will dart in and out for that one. Home for the weekend (finally!)

Hoping to limit snack spending. We had lunch out yesterday on our way out to a beach birthday party (gift was one left over, ungifted, from Christmas) . All our pets are running out of food. But the garden is kicking out some good veggies and berries are ready for picking.

My other goal this week: add up my year's earnings and get the figures for the last 3 years. DH will not have his 6-month earnings ready until midmonth or later when his taxes are due.

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#8 of 89 Old 06-30-2014, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Spendy day today, but the only thing unplanned was a $13 black cotton cardigan from Costco-- black, 3/4 sleeve. Impossible to find a good one at the thrift store, in black at least, so while this was unplanned, I could actually say I've been planning on it for 20 years! Even brand new, hard to find it in black. Now I need a merino one, long narrow sleeves this time.

Bought a couple of small sketch books along with groceries for doodling and note taking. Well worth the price. Remembered my coupons-- woo hoo!

Found organic salsa at Costco.

Fireworks-- aack! $52! Should have tried the reservation.... but we are loyal to this little stand. Sigh. Loyalty comes at a price.

Chickens and cats-- my lord, I spent a lot of money on feed today!

Looking forward to a no-spend day tomorrow.

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#9 of 89 Old 06-30-2014, 10:22 PM
 
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Bills are paid, gas tank is full and we have a semi-full fridge. Good way to start the month.

We are meeting friends at the beach tomorrow and I'll be buying hot dogs and buns for the group. This is a trip we have been planning for a while and I am really looking forward to catching up with friends. The past few weeks have been kid-intensive while dh has been out of town. I could use some nice time with friends.

July is looking good. I transferred a chuck of cash to our savings account. It was not as much as I hoped, but still respectable. We have lower expenses this month, so August should be even better.

I bought a baby gate this morning and it is all ready paying for itself. It was $12 and worth every penny to keep our youngest child away from the Legos. He has a wicked habit of destroying complicated models. My older boys have been as kind and patient as can be and nothing has stopped the destruction until the baby gate. Money well spent.

I also bought sidewalk chalk for my 12 year old artist. She burns through so much chalk, but it is a delight to see her so happy and working.

And can I just brag a moment? I walked my 4 kids through the big box store this morning and I did not hear a whine or complaint the whole time. My kids rock. In the face of all that stuff to buy, they were totally cool with buying our 2 things and leaving with nothing extra. I was teary when we got back in the van. Some days are just awesome.

Of course, we had a tantrum at the pool later, but let's not talk about that.

Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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#10 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 06:42 AM
 
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Here are some new ways to challenge yourself using this thread:

1. My goal for this month... To stay within my budget for the month. I have Ds's bday party soon and a host of other family obligations that i have written into the budge but I have a hard time sticking to the budget. Also to keep my food/household spending under budget. Hoping to keep budget down and find money to increase savings by 300$ this month.

2. My long term goals... build my savings, save for a deposit on a new place with DP and pay off my debt which is mostly college loans. 1900$ of my debt has been paid off in 9 months. I am moving slowly but lowering in my debt is better than adding more! 10,154 $ left to go.

3. My challenges.... I don't have a job. I am awesome with money management but finding a job is a big old disapointment. I receive child support/alimony from my exh which is how I survive.

4. How I will use this thread... for accountability and moral support

Last edited by kindofcrunchy82; 07-01-2014 at 06:49 AM.
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#11 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 10:25 AM
 
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1. My goal for this month... Only spend $75/week on groceries and focus more on using what we already have in our pantry and freezer; stopping for coffee at most once a week (slowly working my way down to once a month tops; it's my biggest treat and biggest weakness!); NO eating out; prepare for an upcoming garage sale

2. My long term goals... Pay off our debt so we can afford to have a third baby.

3. My challenges.... Sticking to any sort of budget, I'm very impulsive with money.

4.
How I will use this thread... Inspiration and accountability (trying to check in at least twice a week)

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#12 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 01:28 PM
 
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Subbing. Will be back to answer the questions...........

 Breastfeeding, babywearing, homeschooling momma to two. 228/2014 items in decluttering challenge (643 items gone last year 2013, 625 gone in 2012) Ramsey's BS1 $455.31
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#13 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 01:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can I convince the girls to make this a no-spend today? Tomorrow, too? We are in town Thursday, have plenty of food and goodies, time to make more. Let's see if I can get them on board!

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#14 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 07:31 PM
 
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July 1st: no unbudgeted spending for me today. I made payment to the student loan, and rent check is already mailed out for the month. Tomorrow will be ds's 8th bday. I have 41$ cash that I plan to make due with. I have plans for a new museum costing 21$ ? tax? not sure and lunch out. DD and I have made his bday cake and I have a coupon for a free kids meal at chick fil a, so hoping to keep it under budget there, but I am thinking with the coupon we should be good.
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#15 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yay! Earned one for today's no-spend....

Hoping for this tomorrow....

..... and it's probably all downhill from here.

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#16 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 10:42 PM
 
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And can I just brag a moment? I walked my 4 kids through the big box store this morning and I did not hear a whine or complaint the whole time. My kids rock. In the face of all that stuff to buy, they were totally cool with buying our 2 things and leaving with nothing extra. I was teary when we got back in the van. Some days are just awesome.

Of course, we had a tantrum at the pool later, but let's not talk about that.
Awesome!!! Yep your kids rock!
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#17 of 89 Old 07-01-2014, 11:16 PM
 
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I love the new format! I've always enjoyed these challenges but they're hard to stick to. It's great to get a no-spend month but doesn't always match up with the goals and needs. I think this will work better and maybe I'll be able to participate and stick with it!

1. My goal for this month... Start tracking our budget leaks and wants/needs that need to be taken care of so we can address these items.

2. My long term goals... Pay off all of our debt and lower our monthly expenses so we can afford to live on less and be better prepared with savings when things come up. Finally figure out what/how to get housing set up for us and get it done.

3. My challenges.... I still need to replace/change a lot of things here to meet my crunchy goals and while that'll save us money it will cost us money to start so I need to work on that list. Small spending is an issue as well. One of my biggest issues though is debating about our housing situation. We have different ideas that may work for us and really need to decide on that part of our life path so we can make progress there.

4. How I will use this thread... I will use this thread to track my spending and my list of wants & needs to get taken care of. I'm not going to worry about needing the whole list worked out at the beginning of each month or being absolutely no-spend right now. I feel that is keeping my obsessive personality from succeeding in this challenge lol. I'll track my goals/spending and report here when I can. I just want to make it through the challenge for the WHOLE month no matter the outcome!!!



Tomorrow is dh's last day at home and he leaves tomorrow night. I will start on my monthly budget goals tomorrow and then post here so I can start tracking. I'll add in as I need to over the month.
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#18 of 89 Old 07-02-2014, 09:02 AM
 
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Yesterday was awesome. Lots of time to play at the beach and catch up with friends.

I spent $13.36 on hot dogs and buns. I also drove about 100 miles which cost me about $20 in gas.

I have to remember that driving is $$$$. My gas budget is usually $200, but last month I spent over $300. Summer time driving is big money. We have one car -- a 2004 minivan that gets about 20-22 miles to the gallon.

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#19 of 89 Old 07-03-2014, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Managed two days of no spending!! I won't count writing the check for renewing my license.

July 3rd-- Today is out and about and we will be spending on groceries, open swim, etc. I have a short job that my girls help me with, and I pay them and we go to the pool. The job pays for our activities and travel, I can't say I make anything off it, but it gives the girls a good opportunity to earn some money beyond allowance.

We might stop at the thrift store to look for pants and belts. They will want to spend their money, I'm sure of it.

First step in our budgeting dilemma: I added my income up and averaged it. It came to about $590 per month. Next is collecting income figures from our 1040, then adding bills, the estimating dh's current income for 2014. Big job, but it should be easier after this.

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#20 of 89 Old 07-03-2014, 07:57 PM
 
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Did a little shopping today with the kids. Gotta make a grocery list to go shopping in the next few days. The rent and light bill have to be paid this week as well. I'm working on my shopping list for this week also to decide what I'm going to buy off my wants/needs list. Not sure what to do first yet but I'm working on it.
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#21 of 89 Old 07-04-2014, 03:41 AM
 
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Hi, I am orangemomma and am excited to try out this new format. I had wanted to participate in the past but got all hung up on the posting every day aspect..................

My goal for the month is to pay off some debt that should have been paid off by the end of May. Yikes! I know!

My long term goals are to finish baby step 1 of Dave Ramsey - have $1,000 in savings and get rolling on snowballing my credit card debt.

My challenge is to not be discouraged when all of this doesn't happen fast enough. It's really the mental game that I have to stay on top of.

How I will use this thread is by popping on when I can to report in on my goals. I am sure that I will find posts by others to be inspiring as well.

Good luck everybody!

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#22 of 89 Old 07-04-2014, 06:03 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What are your plans for the holiday weekend? What are your spending goals?

We tend to stay close to home for the 4th. I've already purchased some fireworks and some extra food, but really we will likely spend less this weekend simply because we are not out and about. Perhaps I can add two more no-spend days to my collection? If I do that, Monday will by needs be a spendy day for groceries.

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#23 of 89 Old 07-04-2014, 08:46 AM
 
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What are your plans for the holiday weekend? What are your spending goals?
We are headed to the beach today for the 4th. I did the grocery shopping yesterday and was delighted to stay within our food budget. We'll play and eat dinner and set off our own fire works on the sand.

We have $60 for fireworks which is a huge indulgence. In my perfect world we would skip buying them at all, but dh is totally fixated on them and it is his holiday too.

We went blueberry picking yesterday and now have a packed freezer. I hope to go one more time before the season ends. The blueberries were wonderful and priced well at $1.50 a pound. We picked 30 pounds and spent $45.

The rest of the weekend will be closer to home and much less spendy. Dh is finally home after being gone for 3 weeks and we agreed to keep our weekend cheap. Agreeing is the easy part, now we have to do it.

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#24 of 89 Old 07-05-2014, 12:59 PM
 
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What a fabulous 4th of July -- a huge, fun day at the beach. And we only spent $42 on fireworks which is a crazy indulgence since we were quite literally lighting money on fire. But dang! What a great, great day.

Today, we are spending nothing. We cleaned out the van, have done a ton of laundry and will be loafing. Maybe a trip to the pool. We have a membership, so no money out of pocket.

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#25 of 89 Old 07-05-2014, 01:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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And we only spent $42 on fireworks which is a crazy indulgence since we were quite literally lighting money on fire. But dang! What a great, great day.
Oh, well, not quite literally. Money on fire would be as exciting as a dud firework. Well, more exciting than a dud firework. I would definitely prefer watching a $10 bill go up in flames than lighting fireworks that fizzle. At least I don't expect a burning note to do anything exciting.

Our "big expensive" firework was disappointing. By "big" and "expensive" I mean over $4. Our $3-a-piece Purple Rains put on a far better show.

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#26 of 89 Old 07-05-2014, 01:59 PM
 
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Oh, well, not quite literally. Money on fire would be as exciting as a dud firework. Well, more exciting than a dud firework. I would definitely prefer watching a $10 bill go up in flames than lighting fireworks that fizzle. At least I don't expect a burning note to do anything exciting.
Ah well, maybe it just felt like we were burning money. Fun money.

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#27 of 89 Old 07-05-2014, 03:59 PM
 
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Fireworks are fun though. We didn't do any fireworks here or anything for the 4th really. Still debating if we're going to town this evening or not. We need to do some grocery shopping so we likely will go but I just don't feel up to it.
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#28 of 89 Old 07-05-2014, 06:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Can I make this a no-spend and drive-nowhere weekend???? Sore throats here, and that calls for popsicles. So, perhaps a trip out for lime pops. I get the Dreyer's fruit pops with *sugar* (the new "natural" sweetener!).

Any recommendations for a good popsicle molds and some yummy recipes (without "bits") that mimic this kind of sweet and fruity brand? I would love to make them fresh with organic sugar (just can't get healthier than that! )

Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
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#29 of 89 Old 07-05-2014, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SweetSilver View Post
Can I make this a no-spend and drive-nowhere weekend???? Sore throats here, and that calls for popsicles. So, perhaps a trip out for lime pops. I get the Dreyer's fruit pops with *sugar* (the new "natural" sweetener!).

Any recommendations for a good popsicle molds and some yummy recipes (without "bits") that mimic this kind of sweet and fruity brand? I would love to make them fresh with organic sugar (just can't get healthier than that! )
If you want to make them without leaving the house do you have toothpicks? Just make some in ice cube trays with toothpicks for the sticks. Here are some links to get you started finding a good recipe that you might have ingredients for:
http://www.artsyfartsymama.com/2013/...e-recipes.html
http://www.inhabitots.com/30-homemad...f-this-summer/


Here are two links for some that are suppose to be copy cats for Dreyer fruit pops:
http://www.thepinjunkie.com/2014/06/...-popsicle.html
http://www.make-it-do.com/tag/making...ade-popsicles/

Last edited by crazyms; 07-05-2014 at 09:28 PM. Reason: Added new links
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#30 of 89 Old 07-05-2014, 09:29 PM
 
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We went out today and of course spent money but we did good! I put a little gas in the van and bought some groceries but we stuck to our list. NOTHING extra in the cart! I did pick up a few clothing pieces for lil bit but they were clearanced and I'd been waiting to find some on sale to buy her. Didn't go crazy and only got what she needed all on sale so I'm proud of myself.
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