Fabulous Fixes On A Foodstamp Budget

Food, cleaning & general life tips for the frugally minded

Steamed About Vaping May 4, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — laniej @ 11:14 pm

Steamed about vaping…. Do you see what I did there? Well if you’ve done some research you have. If you are like a good majority of the folks out there, you aren’t familiar enough about vaping to get the pun. That is ok. Hopefully by the end of this post you will be more informed and you can then make a proper decision that works best for you.

First of all lets talk about WHY people VAPE. There are many reasons. Some think its cool. Some find it quite a bit more affordable than cigarettes. Some enjoy the flavor options. Others vape for the medical benefits and then there are others that are trying to either quit smoking cigarettes or want to reduce the amount of toxins they are receiving from lighting a piece of paper full of tobacco and various unidentified chemicals known to cause all sorts of medical issues. Then there are still those who out of respect for their loved ones, want to avoid forcing them to smell the horrendous odor of cigarette smoke.

For me, I vape for the medical benefit. I have both Lyme disease which took almost 2 years to diagnose and therefor provided me with a host of issues… and I also have to manage stage 4 Endometriosis which for me causes unpredictable and often unbearable pain. Add to that I have also been diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD, thank you past trauma. For me, while eligible to benefit from medical marijuana (which is legal in my state) I choose not to risk having a THC laiden mind altering substance manage my health issues and instead go with a more homeopathic over the counter medicinal route. Since the high dose combination and long term use of ibuprofen and Tylenol  put me at risk for liver issues and the doc prescribed pain meds caused constipation (which just made the Endometriosis worse) and the anti-anxiety meds practically make me a zombie I take CBD oil derived from the hemp plant instead. There are several ways I can get the beneficial CBD into my system but the fastest and most effective method is VAPING. It’s practically instantaneous.

Wait…. isn’t hemp and marijuana pretty much the same thing?
Nope. The only thing they really have in common is the fact that they are both plants and both contain CBD. CBD is the healing element of both plants. TCH (which hemp has less than 0.3%) is the part of the cannabis plant that gets you high. Hemp is tall and thin… it can grow several feet over a mans head. Marijuana on the other hand is short and wide and contains high amounts of THC. They are both classified in the Canabis family. Just like there are different varieties of meat, you don’t say chicken is the same as beef. Canada defines hemp as products of Cannabis Sativa which contain less than 0.3 percent THC, whereas US law defines hemp as all parts of any Cannabis Sativa plant containing no psychoactive properties. Hemp is a high-growing plant, typically bred for industrial uses such as oils and topical ointments, as well as fiber for clothing, construction, and much more. Only products made from industrial hemp (less than 0.3% THC) are legal to sell, buy, consume, and ship.

Hemp and Marijuana

Studies have shown consumption of raw hemp seeds can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, accelerate weight loss, improve one’s immune system, control blood sugar levels, and even reduce inflammation. This makes hemp seeds extremely nutritious. They contain a bundle of essential amino acids and fatty-acids.

Hemp plants produce more CBD than THC, while marijuana produces more THC than CBD.  With all that being said, just to add to the confusion, there are strains of Canabid oil made from marijuana specifically designed to have low THC and high CBD.

Back to Vaping… 
How is vaping different from smoking a cigarette or using an electronic cigarette?
Vaping, unlike smoking, involves the inhalation of vaporized liquid consisting of some or all of the following: water, nicotine, a base of propylene glycol (PG) or vegetable glycerin (VG) and flavoring and in my case, CBD oil. You can make your own E-liquid for vaping if you wish. This is often a more cost effective method for many people but also, more beneficial because you can be certain of what is in your juice. There are tons of recipes online.

E-cigs/Electronic cigarettes:
These are the all in one units that you do not need to add a liquid to and most likely have no clue what is in them and what is being inhaled. I strongly recommend you stay away from these. Products like TruBlu are considered E-Cigs.

Vaping requires you to add a liquid to your device, there is a coil that heats up your juice/e-liquid and when you inhale, it is the steam or vapor that you are breathing in and then exhaling. When you smoke traditional cigarettes, you are setting on fire paper, toxic chemicals and the tobacco. So you are actually inhaling smoke into your lungs… Your lungs do not like to be dry or attacked by toxic chemicals.

Here is an informative article to help better understand vaping

Another informative article about the savings that vaping can provide

There is a lot to learn about vaping and if it’s something you are interested in starting up for medical reasons or to help you kick the stinky smoking habit there are TONS of articles on the web to help you choose the right device for you.

Oh, I forgot to mention… my favorite benefit of vaping… NO STINKY SMOKE/CIGARETTE SMELL… My husband is a smoker and he now vapes as an alternative because I am allergic to something in cigarettes and just being able to smell him walking in the door would set me off. Now, he can vape in bed next to me and it doesn’t bother me at all. I actually enjoy the smell now.

If you are looking to get started vaping here are a few suggestions:
As for which Vape to choose… well the right choice varies by person but in my opinion,
The KangerTechs and ELeafs are pretty safe bets! Spend some time on Youtube and watch some reviews.





Polar Cup – Soooo Good! January 19, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — laniej @ 1:42 pm

Anybody remember Polar Cup? NO?!?! Then your taste buds have not lived!
I grew up in South Florida and the sweet lemony treat coming from that white and green van was a MUST any time you saw one close by. For those of you that did not have the great pleasure of growing up near a Polar Cup, I offer my sincere condolences. I can only say that on a classic hot Florida summer day this was the BEST way to overcome the heat. There is nothing quite like a summer afternoon slurping a large lemonade polar cup!! I believe it was this cold refreshing lemonade slush drink that hooked me on to everything lemon in the 1st place. It not only offered an immediate cool down but almost always had a chunk of lemon hidden somewhere among the ice. That was the true bonus. I read a post earlier today that during this very cold Maine winter, caused my taste buds to crave its sweet and tart lemon flavor. There is truly nothing like it. Since dropping a few hundred for a plane ride to So. Fl. is probably out of the question for most of you I searched for a recipe instead… This one is probably the closest to the original:




  1. In a blender or smoothie machine, process the lemon juice and sugar for approximately 30 seconds to blend well. Add 1-2 cups of water and half the ice and blend, crushing the ice. Add the remaining ice and if needed, the remaining water. Blend on high speed until the mixture resembles a frozen delight!
  2. Divide among 6 glasses or be as greedy as you want to be and keep half for yourself in a mega cup and split the rest between friends or family that you truly love.

For any of you out there that remember Polar Cup, post a comment and share your memory!


A Tweens 1st Slumber Party November 1, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — laniej @ 11:40 am

My daughter is turning 12 next week and she is going to celebrate with her first slumber party. A party at her age is a big deal so it’s got to be great. Just because the funds are tight doesn’t mean she can’t have an awesome time with loads of fun. Here are a few inexpensive ideas that we are going to try and put into play on the evening of her big day.


Pillow cases/tshirts/socks – This makes a great memorable take home for the kids

Sleeping Beauty 
In the Sleeping Beauty game each girl takes a turn being Sleeping Beauty.
She must lay still on the floor and pretend to be asleep while the other girls try to “wake” her by making her laugh.
The girls can say funny things to Sleeping Beauty or make noises, but are not allowed to tickle or touch her.
Once she finally laughs, she picks the next girl to be Sleeping Beauty and the game starts over again.
Consider giving a small prize to the girls who keep from laughing for a full minute.

Nail Polish Bottle Spin Game
One girl picks out a color and spins the bottle on a hard surface. When the bottle stops, the person the handle points to
paints their nails with that color, and she picks out the next color to spin. Change it up, and only paint one nail each turn to create a fun pattern.

Face the Cookie.
The kids lean their head back and place a cookie on their forehead and, using only their facial muscles, move the cookie down their face and into their mouth.

Noodling Around.
The kids line up penne pasta at the edge of their desks and try to pick up all of them with one piece of spaghetti that they held in their mouth.

Test Your Princessness


Blind Makeovers
girls pair off and one girl from each pair gets blindfolded. They must then attempt to give their partner a makeover using basic make up products such a lipstick, blush, etc. After about 10 – 15 minutes call time and reveal the makeovers to both the giver and the receiver. Switch places and play again. You can decide whether you want to give out prizes for best, wildest, etc.

True Love’s Kiss
This game is played just like pin the tail on the donkey except instead of tails the girls lather up their lips with lipsticks,
and instead of a donkey you hand a poster of a cute boy icon. Justin Beiber and rob Patterson are commonly used.
If the game is being played by really young girls you can choose instead to use a picture of a frog prince.
Blindfold each girl, spin her around a few times and tell her to pucker up. Mark each girl’s initials next to her kiss print.
The closest one to land on the posters lips wins.

Crazy Chairs
Create a circle of chairs facing inward, one for each girl playing. Everyone takes a seat.
Now you can call out different commands such as “ all girls who have brown hair move two seats to your right”.
The girls with the brown hair move, but everyone else stays in their seat. Of course girls end up sitting on top of each other and hilarity ensues. They love this crazy game. If you want to add an element of competition you can hide a winners ticket under one ( or a couple) of the chairs. When all the commands are finished they can check under the seats. Whoever is sitting in a winners chair (there may be a few so be prepared) gets a prize. Here is a list of command ideas:
If you have blue eyes move two seats to your left.
If you have older siblings move one seat to your right.
If you like pizza move one seat to your left.
If you have a birthday in the next two months move to any seat you want.
If you have an “A” in your first name move three seats to your right.
If you are on the bottom of a stack of people move to the top of any chair you choose.
If your favorite color is pink, purple, or blue move one chair to your left.
If your favorite color is red, green, or yellow move one chair to your right.

Skittle Score
Sweets and treats are all part of the slumber party fun.
Pour a big bag of skittles into a large bowl and give every girl a cup.
Tell them they can have as many skittles as they want with one catch:
They must not touch them with their hands. Instead you’ll also pass each girl a straw in which they will have to
suck the skittle onto the straw and transfer it to their cup before touching it. On the start of go let the fun begin.

Truth or Dare Balloon Burst
The girls pass (or bop) around the balloon while the music is playing.
When the music stops whoever has the balloon must pop it and complete the truth or dare inside.
After they complete the truth or dare play again with a new balloon. Make plenty of truth or dare balloons ahead of time.

Commercial Break
This list of girl slumber party games wouldn’t be complete without something for the young drama queens.
In this game each girl has to take a regular household object and create a commercial for it.
To add to the creativity they can’t advertise the object for its actual purpose, but must create an entire new use for it.
An example from one of my daughter’s party was a little girl that received a spoon for her object.
She couldn’t make her commercial about how easy it is to eat soup, but she did make a commercial for a new weapon to sling peas at her little brother.
That game kept me laughing. The girls came up with some very creative and hilarious ideas

Who’s in The Bag?
Sleeping bags are an essential item for sleepovers and can also be used for a game with lots of giggles.
Open all of the sleeping bags on the floor in one room. One girl volunteers to leave the room.
The remaining girls climb into a sleeping bag that is not theirs.
The volunteer comes back into the room and taps a sleeping bag to begin her questioning to find out who is in the bag.
The girls in the bag should disguise their voices with their craziest accent.
Once the volunteer guesses correctly, the girl in the sleeping bag can come out.

Forbidden Word
When each guest arrives, give her a string of beads.
Place an equal amount of beads on each string and tie it so that beads may be easily removed.
Once everyone is present and has a string of beads, announce that there is one word they cannot say during the party.
Since it is a slumber party, try “sleep” as the taboo word, or “birthday” if it is a birthday celebration.
During the course of the party, if one player catches another saying the forbidden word, the player who said the word
must give one bead to the player who caught her. After a couple of hours, call the girls together to count their beads.
The player who has collected the most is the winner.

Look for more Birthday Party ideas here: http://www.pinterest.com/imkukie/birthdays/


More TV Without a Monthly Bill October 14, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — laniej @ 5:30 am

What if I told you that it is possible to watch free tv and movies without cable or dish and without a monthly bill. What if I also told you that most of your TV viewing could be on YOUR TIME schedule and not relegated to the time frame the networks choose and best of all much of your TV viewing could be commercial free. INTERESTED??? It really is possible. A year ago I discovered it for myself. This of course was after watching the majority of my shows on my computer but that does get annoying after a while especially with kids.



All you need is a streaming device like a roku or a wii (or xbox etc…) and a PC/Laptop to download the program onto. Well that and high speed internet of course. Just pay the 1x registration fee which is usually less than 1 months cable bill (as of this post $59) and then you will discover you have more tv than you can possibly watch in any room of your home. I signed up with Playon a year ago and LOVE IT!!!!

Playon itself comes with preloaded stations however, you have the ability to customize your channel line up in the settings and best of all, you can add “scripts” for a truly personalized line up. These scripts are what make Playon stand out above and beyond what is offered on any other streaming service including your own cable or satellite service.

Some of you questioning “if this is really as good as your pay tv service” need only to try it for 30 days to discover that indeed it is true. Common questions I am asked are:

Q: Can I watch shows as they air
A: There are several live scripts available for you to access what is currently airing on the station
of your choosing. However if you wait a day you can watch the show commercial free
Q: What about Sports
A: There are also LIVE scripts available for sports. Chances are if it airs on cable or satellite its
available on Playon
Q: Will I be able to watch local news?
A: If you live in a Metropolitan area the answer is probably yes as there are many available. You are
also able to make your own scripts so if you local news also broadcasts on the internet you could
potentially create a script for it so you could watch it on your tv.
Q: What is PlayLater?
A: Play later adds a feature to your playon experience that allows it to act much like a DVR which
can come in quite handy if you are ever without internet service but still want to watch tv.

What are you waiting for, go check it out and see how much better TV can be without the monthly bill.


To Boo Or Not To Boo? October 12, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — laniej @ 2:39 pm

You can have a great Halloween costume with little effort and virtually no expense!

The Spill Site...

TONS of easy, low to no cost, funny DIY last minute Halloween costume ideas.

To Boo Or Not To Boo? Why BOO of course! I love Halloween. It’s one of those days that inspire imagination, creativity, playfulness, fun pranks and of course my favorite… CANDY! All into one afternoon or evening of laughter and kindness from your neighbors. Or course there are going to be a few goons out there who try to taint the experience for others but I try to be just cautious enough to avoid them when I can. It’s easier to do in when you live in Maine. Not as many Pharisee like bible thumpers trying to preach that anything you do to participate directly or indirectly is worshiping evil. Not in the slightest my friend! It’s all about attitude and intent. There is no way dressing up as a chicken and knocking on your neighbors…

View original post 2,110 more words


I can’t believe I put that in my mouth! March 18, 2012

Filed under: Health,Oral — laniej @ 10:18 am

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss. Other times you are missing out on something really cool. I’m not quite sure yet which this will fall under. How many times did you know something that someone else didn’t and want them to be aware of it so bad that you come off a bit aggressive about it. Or the opposite, you know something you didn’t want the other person to find out about and did every imaginable thing you could to protect them… or yourself from having them find out. Wait, that’s not what this post is about. Sorry I found a rabbit trail and got distracted. This post is about DIY TOOTHPASTE. Oh yeah, you too can experiment with things that you have to taste and may or may not be really disgusting.

While on Pinterest I saw a pin for DIY Toothpaste. I thought, ok that’s interesting I might try it. Then I saw the ingredients and was like… EWWW Gross, maybe not.
It went like this:
2/3 cup baking soda
4 tsp fine sea salt (optional – gives paste extra scrubbing power, but is okay to leave out if the taste is too salty)
1 – 2 tsp peppermint extract or 10-15 drops peppermint essential oil (or add your favorite flavor – spearmint, orange, etc.)
water (add to desired consistency)
(**note** you can use as much or as little peppermint or other flavor as you wish, add the flavoring little by little until you reach an amount you enjoy.)
The cost savings is estimated to be between $4.09 – $3.57 per tube!

I like the cost savings but baking soda and salt… blech!
Then the other morning as I was in the shower I decided to read the ingredients in my present tube of toothpaste.

Colgate Optic White
Active Ingredients: Sodium Monofluorophosphate (0.76% (0.15% w/v fluoride ion))
Inactive Ingredients: Calcium Pyrophosphate, Propylene Glycol, PEG/PPG 116/66 Copolymer, PEG 12, Glycerin, PVP, Flavor, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Silica, Hydrogen Peroxide, Sodium Saccharin, Phosphoric Acid, Sucralose, Butylated Hydroxytoluene, Water

Sodium Monofluorophosphate is an inorganic compound. Basically it’s salt with some fluoride
All the rest are basically EXTRAS to make it more palatable and visually appealing. Did you see in the list of INACTIVE ingredients they list SUCRALOSE. Last time I checked sugar was bad for your teeth. So we are brushing with it now?

Ok, maybe it was just that one brand of toothpaste. So I checked my Aquafresh tube. Yes I have more than one brand in my bathroom. One for the shower and one for the sink. Oh like you’ve never brushed your teeth in the shower!

Aquafresh Advanced
Active Ingredients: Sodium Fluoride (0.14% w/v of fluoride ion)
Inactive Ingredients: Carrageenan (Red Seaweed) Gum, D&C Red 30, FD&C Blue 1 (CI 42090), Flavor, Hydrated Silica, PEG 8, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Saccharin, Sorbitol, Titanium Dioxide, Water, Xanthan Gum

So we have Salt, Salt and salt with fake sugar and some other stuff that I would have to look up to understand.
The homemade version isn’t looking so gross anymore.

Here are some other versions of homemade toothpaste:

http://www.examiner.com/dental-health-in-green-bay/experiment-for-kids-make-your-own-toothpaste – Strawberry flavoring and glycerin

http://tammysrecipes.com/homemade_toothpaste – Uses coconut oil instead of glycerin

http://www.politicalstew.com/bb/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=97666 – Organic Dog toothpaste

    Since we are on the topic of teeth and toothpaste. I also came across a teeth whitening trick that supposedly works really well. I haven’t yet tried it but if you do please let me know your results. Pics are best but I may be inclined to take you at your word as well. Here is the recipe:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ripe strawberry
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Mash the strawberry and mix it in with the baking soda. Apply the mixture to your teeth using your toothbrush and leave it on for about 5 minutes. Then, brush your teeth as you normally do, with your favorite toothpaste, and rinse.

Strawberries contain malic acid which helps remove tooth discoloration. With a little baking soda (as a buffer), you’ve got yourself a natural tooth whitener! It’s fast, it’s cheap, and and like your 2nd grade spelling test, easy!


Super Quick and Majorly Awesome March 9, 2012

Filed under: Cooking,FOOD — laniej @ 3:51 pm

Have you ever stood in your kitchen, opened your fridge, freezer and or cabinets and say to yourself…. There is just nothing here I can make a meal out of.
Well guess again! Thanks to this handy-dandy website I recently came across you are about to discover that you have more options than you ever realized.

Step 1
Go to this page: My Fridge Food

Step 2
Check off the items you have

Step 3
Be Amazed

Step 4
Go make something

Step 5
Tell me what you made & explain why I wasn’t invited over