Why Are Essential Oils So Expensive?

They’re really not. Hang with me a moment while I explain…..

I know what its like to struggle financially, that’s why I wrote a book about how to shop for a family of four on a budget of $50/week. I’ve been there and periodically I find myself back in the struggle boat. It’s something my family knows very well. We also know how to “game the system” to save money. Do I have your attention now?

So, why don’t I think a small bottle of oil that costs $25+ is expensive? Because that little bottle has 85-250 uses inside of it. That little bottle has helped my family heal our immune systems to the point that we don’t live in the waiting room of the doctor’s office anymore. We haven’t had to pick up a prescription for ANYTHING in over a year. We sleep well, breathe well and feel emotionally well. That alone is worth more than it’s weight in gold to me.

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So, if a $25 investment into my family’s health will save me missed time off work, a doctor’s co-pay and the cost of a prescription even for one illness, I’ll do it. Wouldn’t you?

There are plenty of oils that cost less than the one I mentioned and each one is like a Swiss Army Knife, they cover many different uses. If you’d like to learn more, follow me here by subscribing to my blog or request to join my Facebook Group where I offer regular educational classes for those interested in wellness. We’d love to have you ūüôā

If you’d like to purchase your wholesale membership with Young Living, use this link.¬†A Premium Starter Kit¬†includes Young Living’s most popular collection of oils, “The Everyday Collection” plus a bottle of Stress Away (Heaven in a bottle) and a diffuser as well as starting reference materials. Purchased separately, it would all be over $250. Huge savings! Of course, you can become a member without a kit for just $45.00 if you want, but the real bonus value is in the kit.

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Members save 24% on their purchases. Prices reflected above are wholesale, not retail. It is possible to purchase without a membership, but who would want to pay MORE than they have to? When you live paycheck to paycheck, purchasing a wholesale membership is a no-brainer.

In addition, there’s this Essential Reward Program that offers freebies every month in addition to points that can be used like frequent flier miles. Also a smart move if you find yourself ordering every 4-6 weeks.

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So let’s recap here… how do you “game the system” and save money on your YL purchases?

  • Purchase a wholesale membership.
    • membership will save you 24% on every purchase.
    • you don’t have to sell anything, I promise.
    • only need to make 1 purchase of $50/year to stay active
      • no penalties if you don’t
  • Essential Rewards Program
    • When you’ve decided you’re in love with the oils and you order regularly, this program may be for you.
    • Purchase at least 50PV per month to stay on the program
      • Reduced¬†shipping costs
      • Earn 10-20% of your order PV back in points that can be used towards future purchases. (FREEBIES)
      • Get more FREEBIES every month when your order is at least 100PV, 190PV, 250PV or 300PV – great way to try new stuff!
      • Earn commission with at least 100PV/mo when your friends join! (Another great way to get your oils PAID for!)
    • Can skip 1 month a year and still stay active
    • No penalties for cancelling

What are you waiting for?

What No One Tells You About Being a SAHM | Eatin’ Cheap

Omigosh! My ebook is officially listed on Amazon and it’s available for pre-order! The release date is February 1st and it’s only $3.99. ¬†I can’t believe I am actually tempted to download my own book! *Squee!*


 

Okay, before I have a mini coronary, let me back the excitement train up……Sorry for the verbal vomit;¬†I’ve since¬†turned on¬†The Cure Radio station on iHeartRadio and I have regained my composure (for the moment).

Two and a half years ago my husband and I made the decision that I should quit my corporate job to stay home with the two children we now had together. As miserable as I was in the corporate world, I was glad to do so and agreed without a further thought. ¬†We were taking over a salon (he’s a hair stylist) and there was no doubt that it could fail because we are both so talented in what we do (his experience with hair and beauty, mine with marketing, management and photography).

According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn. We burned. With the dawn of the new year, we closed our little salon venture; we kept the doors open for 25 agonizing months.

We failed because we didn’t have enough capital, our target stylists had already rented independant suites and the bright shiney re-development of the area surrounding our salon didn’t happen. ¬†It wasn’t a lack of customers walking in the door. The city failed us¬†and we were not a fit for the market surrounding us because we planned for what was supposed to happen, not what was already there.

Most people think that salon owners are rolling in the dough and it couldn’t be farther from the truth. We struggled from day one and it only got harder as days wore on. ¬†Living from paycheck to paycheck would have been a blessing because we were literally living from day to day, wondering if we would have a roof over our head in the morning and if we would be able to eat the next meal.

I started shopping cheap.  Like spaghetti, ramen noodles or mac n cheese every night kind of cheap and we paid for it with our health.  We had to do something to eat better; there HAD to be some other way.

I started budgeting $50/week for groceries because that’s all we could afford. I spent more on groceries than that when I was single, but now I had to feed four hungry mouths with that meager budget! ¬†I had to scour the sale ads for multiple stores to find the best deals. I collected every coupon I could get my hands on and started compiling my list of secrets to make that $50 stretch until the next week. I made meal plans and I researched the cheapest meals and recipes out there to find some variation for our table because eating the same dishes every week gets to be boring; meals can’t be boring when you have a preschooler and a toddler!!!

When I started telling people what I was doing, their eyes lit up, especially when they could see it was working! So, I did what any self-respecting mama would do (no, not stripping!), I wrote a book.  The book contains the easy to replicate strategy, shopping list printables, a 1-week meal plan and recipes for each of the meals contained within the plan.  I will be releasing follow up meal plans to help supplement the rest of the month/year and keep you within budget.

So, my point about what no one tells you about being a SAHM:

  • While it’s amazing rewarding and fulfilling to my heart, sometimes mommy just needs a time out!
  • When I do finally get some time to myself, I immediately miss the craziness I wanted a time out from.
  • When away from my kids for any period of time, I feel like I left a limb at home, like I am functioning as an amputee. I feel awkward and can’t trump the feeling that something is missing. Just feels weird.
  • No one wants to hire you after a long period of self-employment or being a SAHM because of the unverifiable “employment” even though you’ve probably never worked harder in your life. Makes me want to smack someone! ¬†Yet, I am thankful for the opportunity to continue staying home with the kids. ¬†Fact is, most of us can’t afford to stay home, but we do it of love. ¬†If there’s anything the last few years have proven to me, its that you really can live in love (and just a little bit of money).

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Recipe | Biscuits & Gravy

My favorite “go-to” recipe for days when the cabinets are bare and the wallet is empty is biscuits and gravy. You can say its a comfort food for me because my mom used to make it all the time when I was growing up; in fact, the gravy recipe is hers!

I tend to change up the biscuit recipe from time to time depending on what I have in the fridge. ¬†Our favorites¬†are¬†cream cheese biscuits, but for today we will talk about basic fluffy drop biscuits because they take minimal ingredients that I consider to be regular ol’ kitchen stock to me (I always have these items on hand pretty much all the time).

From start to finish, this takes about 30 minutes and makes about 8 biscuits, which is just the right amount to feed my little family.

Biscuits:

  • 1-3/4 c All Purpose Flour
  • 2-1/2 t ¬†Baking Powder
  • 1 t ¬†Salt
  • 6 T Butter, cold, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 c Milk (+ a splash more depending on style of biscuit)

Note: this recipe will make flaky but firmer biscuits if rolled out and cut.  If you like fluffy biscuits, add a splash more milk and make drop biscuits, like I did.

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees (fahrenheit) and either butter the baking sheet or prepare with a silicone liner.
  2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until all dry ingredients are distributed evenly.
  3. Cut butter into small squares. ¬†I typically take the portion I’m using off a new stick of butter, cut lengthwise, roll to the next side and cut lengthwise again so the stick of butter (see below) looks like a foursquare court. ¬†Then I will cut it like a small pad of butter and add to the bowl. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†butter2014-09-25 08.56.25
  4. Next, mix the butter into the dry ingredients and roll up your sleeves, because you’re about to get your hands dirty! ¬†Lightly roll the butter squares between your fingers into the flour. ¬†Don’t let the butter dissolve completely, this is just a quick incorporation.
  5. Next, add the milk. ¬†Be sure not to mix too much because the more you work the dough, the more the gluten bonds form and you’ll get a tough dough. ¬†If you notice the dough is starting to get tougher (like gum that’s been chewed too long), just let it rest and soak up the fluid naturally.
  6. Here’s where the directions will differ depending on which style biscuit you want to make.
    1. Firm biscuits: Roll out the dough on a flat, well floured surface to 1/2-3/4″ thick. ¬†Use round cookie cutter or a glass with the diameter you want (we use a beer glass in our house). Please on the pan about 2-3″ apart.
    2. Fluffy drop biscuits: add a couple of teaspoons of milk to the batter and drop gobs onto your pan about 2-3 inches apart.  I made my biscuits on the larger side, so I only had 7 biscuits this time, but it should yield 8.                                                                                         2014-09-25 09.08.15
  7. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the tops appear light golden brown. Bread is a tricky beast, so if you take it out too early and try to return it to the oven a few minutes later, it¬†will not continue baking where it left off. ¬†I just look for a nice even light brown coloring on top with a firm dry finish (if it’s still wet looking, it’s likely not done yet). ¬†The best way to check, aside from cracking one open, is to stick a toothpick or fork through the middle and if it comes out clean, you’re in business!

While the biscuits are baking in the oven, it’s time to make gravy!

White Gravy:

  • 2T butter or lard. ¬†We save and use bacon grease (the old school way! Ask your Grandma about this.)
  • 1/4-1/3 c All Purpose Flour
  • 2 c Milk
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Break out your favorite skillet and scoop out some butter or bacon grease into the pan; set to medium heat.  As it melts into the pan, add the flour and mix together to form a paste. Try to do this quickly because browning at this step will change the flavor.                                                                                     2014-09-25 09.10.15                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 2014-09-25 09.11.34

Add milk and mix together slowly but thoroughly using your spatula. ¬†Don’t stop stirring or mixing because it will lump up on you! ¬†If it starts to simmer (see bubbles), turn the heat down slightly. ¬†Keep stirring and scraping the sides and bottom until it reaches the consistency you like. ¬†Typically, the gravy is done about the same time as the biscuits. ¬†When it reaches the right consistency, remove from heat and set aside.

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To make things easier for my family, I will put the biscuits in a basket lined with a clean dish towel and wrap the sides of the towel over to the top to keep them hot between servings.

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We don’t own a fancy gravy boat, but we do have a large mug that borders on soup bowl capacity, so we use this for the gravy. Here it is all lined up on the table and ready to enjoy!

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Getting The Most Out of Your Groceries

I think the biggest trick I have in stretching my grocery budget is to¬†never let things go to waste (or at least I try not to!). It’s like I’ve adopted the viewpoint of those from the Great Depression, but it works well for us, so no criticism please.

When planning and cooking my meals, it seems like there will invariably be a little extra leftover ingredients. ¬†Back in the days before my husband came along and I was entirely a recipe cook, I would just toss the little leftover bits from the packaging because I just wasn’t creative enough to incorporate them into another meal. ¬†My husband is the MacGyver of kitchen cooks; he taught me how to whip up a meal with random, seemingly unrelated ingredients into a tasty meal! ¬†Problem solved…..right?

Nope.

Towards the end of the week, there was always something trying to morph into a science experiment in the back of my refrigerator, so I started looking into crock pot freezer meals.  I was in love! I could spend an hour cutting and bagging meals and sit back for the rest of the week without having to slave over a hot stove (and let me tell you, my tiny kitchen has no airflow, its like a sauna!). Well, the charm wore off and I got tired of having crock pot meals every night.  I was back to cooking stove top again.

Eventually, I started reading up on how to make your own jelly and preserves at home.  This was perfect because I still had an entire case of Ball jars sitting around from our wedding (decor Рit was a backyard wedding). The homemade jellies were a hit and we have never turned back; store bought is just not appetizing anymore.

Back to how the jars saved my budget….. I started freezing leftovers in the jars or in freezer bags (depending on what it was). Chicken noodle soup, purees, bone broth, jelly, et cetera, would all end up stored in my freezer, neatly stacked in jars because I have a tiny freezer. ¬†This makes leftover day more enjoyable because you can choose when to enjoy them rather than being forced into it before they¬†grow hair. ¬†Just remember to look through the fridge every couple of days and toss a few items into the freezer for safe keeping!