Posted by The Frugal Diva on 14th May 2013
The Frugal Dude loves to tour a state or neighboring states and soak up the local culture. My initial reaction was if one isn’t going to a major metropolitan area why bother? It took awhile to convince me to even set foot in certain areas. Now The Frugal Diva likes nothing better then to explore what were once just names on a map.
Loveless Cafe Nashville
From the first breakfast at the famous Loveless Cafe to Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville was a lovely city that had restored many of its original venues including the train station and the original Grand Old Opry. Every generation thinks they invented music so it was amazing to see how rock and roll had the underpinnings of bluegrass and country garnered from Hank Williams, Jimmy Rodgers, and Johnny Cash. Museums like this give an interactive history along with the costumes, cars, and artifacts, making it a multimedia experience. Our first BBQ experience turned out to be one of the best at Jim’N Nicks. It may be part of a chain but the meats were fantastic and for the Frugal Diva there was lean and delicious smoked turkey.
Gus's Fried Chicken
Tennessee feels more like three states and we were only covering the center and western portions. The next day’s driving took us to Memphis and it’s most famous resident. Elvis was a bit before my time and I wanted to learn more about this force that pushed the boundaries of the Ed Sullivan show. The facts are amazing, he brought his first demo record to Sun studios when he was 18 and purchased Graceland four years later. In America alone, Elvis has had over 150 different albums and singles that have been certified gold, platinum or multi-platinum. Contemplating all this worked up an appetite and we headed to Gus’s World Famous Hot & Spicy Chicken in downtown. This time will power was out the window and I succumbed to the juicy and spicy fried chicken that requires walking at least a few miles to burn off the calories. It was worth it.
Chattanooga Pedestrian Bridge
Our journey looped over to Chattanooga, a beautiful city with the river bend on one side and Lookout Mountain on the other. My favorite attraction was the Aquarium with two buildings covering river and ocean inhabitants. River Journey fascinates visitors with river otters, turtles, alligators, giant catfish and thousands of freshwater wonders. Ocean Journey delights guests with penguins, sharks, butterflies and often scuba divers who interact with guests. Plan at least two hours for your visit. No city in Tennessee is complete without more BBQ. Sugar’s Ribs is a great choice since they deviate from the fried foods rule that prevails in the south. With grilled veggies and vegetarian options, they satisfy a diet that had gone a little overboard. Of course, the ribs were also great. Chattanooga has a lively downtown with a pedestrian bridge for crossing the river.
Though usually a Marriott fan, this time around the Holiday Inn Express was a frugal favorite keeping the tab to an average of under $100 per night. Many of the reservations were made at the last minute and though it was Memorial Day weekend plenty of bargains were available.
If you have time, the eastern portion includes the Smokey Mountains and that Appalachian Trail a certain governor was supposed to be hiking.
But is it cheaper to fly or drive?
There is a free online web tool called the Fly or Drive Calculator from BeFrugal.com that is used to determine the best transit method. It factors in time, money and carbon emissions to quickly help someone figure out how to travel from point A to point B.
Tags: barbeque, bargains, befrugal.com, Chattanooga, frugal diva, Memphis, Nashville, Tennessee
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 13th May 2013
With online matchmaking the most popular way for people to meet these days, the Frugal Diva thought it best to make sure that readers enjoyed all the benefits and avoided the pitfalls.
Best Free Dating Sites gives good overall advice for those venturing into the world of online dating. In particular there is a post that allows you to find out about your potential blind date. Women are particularly vulnerable however men are not immune from danger so check out their dating safety tips.
Take the time to see if any of the free apps work for you or take a free trial at some of the sites that have fees so you can see what works for you.
Tags: frugal diva, online dating
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 7th May 2013
This city is just a little bit of heaven on the California coast. First time travelers to Los Angeles do the the whole Hollywood-Disneyland route however the second time around, travelers and natives know that Santa Barbara is just ninety minutes away. And when you get to this serene town of beaches, mountains, and Spanish style architecture you will be thinking “Yes, this has everything that makes California dreaming a reality.”
If you are looking for freebies download the 101 Free Things To Do In Santa Barbara and look for offers on the Santa Barbara Visitors Site. Julia Child lived in Santa Barbara and one of her favorite restaurants was La Super Rica taco stand at 622 N Milpas St Santa Barbara, CA 93103. Eat like the Queen of Cuisine for under $10.
The boutique Santa Barbara Museum of Art has suggested admission on Sundays and they rotate from classic to Asian to modern art exhibits. For $5 tour the Santa Barbara Mission or enjoy the park and outdoor vistas for free.
Day trippers, one nighters, or for a leisurely weekend, you will find Santa Barbara is an upscale town with frugal finds.
Tags: frugal diva, La Super Rica, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 6th May 2013
So many activities, so little time. City of Presidents is the nickname for Rapid City where there are forty life size statues of former presidents on the downtown street corners. That was how the Frugal Diva learned that she and President Madison were around the same height. The Journey Museum takes you on an incredible trek through time as it tells the story of the Black Hills through interactive displays. Try on old clothes and read original letters from settlers while seeing how the geology of the area brought gold miners from all over the country.
If you watched Deadwood on HBO, it’s time to see the real town and the cemetary where all the characters were buried. Casinos are the new outlaws in the area however it still retains the feel of the Old West. Move on to Lead and tour a gold mine. These were harrowing jobs where men and later women spent eight hours underground alongside mules.
The Indians wanted to represent their hero in a monument to Crazy Horse . Sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski and Lakota Chief Henry Standing Bear officially started Crazy Horse Memorial June 3, 1948. The Memorial’s mission is to honor the culture, tradition and living heritage of North American Indians.
Flanked by towering limestone cliffs, this 20-mile route along US 14A, cuts through Spearfish Canyon. A forest of spruce, pine, aspen, birch and oak covers the hillsides while Spearfish Creek flows along the canyon bottom. Bridal Veil and Roughlock Falls are highlights along the route. Stay at the Spearfish Canyon Lodge and enjoy a babbling brook, hikes along the falls, and delux accomodations. We paid $80 (with a AAA discount) for a beautiful double room. Please check for current rates.
How many remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind? What a great opportunity to hike around Devil’s Tower and see if the aliens left anything behind. This 1347 acre park is covered with pine forests, woodlands, and grasslands. Deer, prairie dogs, and other wildlife are seen. President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower the first national monument in 1906.
The all time dinner deal for meat eaters is the Alpine Inn in Hill City. Order a perfectly prepared bacon wrapped filet mignon. baked potato, Texas toast with a starter salad of lettuce wedge and ranch dressing. Choose between the 6 oz. for $8.95 and a 9 oz. for $10.95 and pay in cash. If you would like a glass of wine, they are mostly under $6.
Custer State Park has unobstructed views of herds of buffalo, elk, wild turkeys, and burros so friendly you pet them from your car window. This is indeed where the deer and the antolope play. For those so inclined there are camp grounds as well as reasonably priced motels.
If you want a area with lots to do both indoors and outdoors, visit Mt. Rushmore and the South Dakota area. The Frugal Diva was amazed at how friendly people were and how easy it was to get around. Living in Los Angeles it’s exciting to be able to park for a nominal fee and drive across town in five minutes during rush hour.
Tags: alpine inn, crazy horse monument, custer state park, devils tower, frugal diva, south dakota
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 30th April 2013
The 99 Cent Chef features a world of cooking ideas with low prices as the main course. Just to make matters clear, the 99 Cent Chef is not affliated nor does he use only products and produce from the 99 Cent Stores. While the 99 Cent Store has many of his selections, Billy Vasquez heads all over to buy items that bring the basic cost of cooking way under average. An accomplished photographer, the stills show off many recipes and give you guidelines for steps along the way and what the finished product should look like.
This month is destination Cuba. Starting with a simple and yummy salad, he will continue with Cuban Baked Beans, a Cuban Sandwich and Roasted Pork. Or if you are in a more Brazilian mood, try the Moqueca Fish Stew. Amazing how he grabs a few cans, some veggies, and frozen fish transforming them into an exotic stew to serve over rice.
Learn how to cure your own salmon for a Jewish Taco that he dubbed the Loxaco. This brings the cost down and as a bonus all the ingredients are kosher. Try it, you’ll like it!
Tags: 99 cent chef, cooking, frugal diva, recipes
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 29th April 2013
Let’s keep all the promises that we made for Earth Day. Here are some great sites with all around tips on cleaning and caring for your home using products that are probably already in your pantry.
The Maids help you with tips for removing all kinds of stains, from blood (if someone is dripping blood on your couch you might have bigger problems then stain removal) to paint and everything in between. Here is the Frugal Diva’s best tip – don’t serve red wine to company.
Our grandmothers knew everything. Witch Hazel for cleansing your skin, honey to cure a sore throat, and baking soda for everything else. The Coupon Sherpa did the research. Check out this site for everything from cleaning a battery to tooth paste to shining chrome fixtures 55 All-Natural Uses for Baking Soda
When life hands you lemons, make lemonade and use the leftovers to clean and leave everything smelling fresh.
Let me know your favorite natural cleansers!
Tags: cleaning, frugal diva, lemons, the maids, witch hazel
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 24th April 2013
The Frugal Diva would like to thank her family who taught her how to make the most of every dollar. This lesson was not always appreciated. As a teenager nothing is more important then fitting in and not listening to your mom. You really, really, really want the same sweater the most popular girl in school is wearing and you want it now – not when it’s on sale, not in the cheaper version, and certainly not in another color that is not at all cool. My youthful wailing in no way got me the sweater because the truth was we could not afford to spend the week’s food budget on an item of clothing. My teen brain could not hook up the relationship between money, what you could afford, and what you had to do without. It took about twenty years for me to mature and use the lessons learned in childhood.
Now everyone is concerned about scarce resources, turning the lights off when you leave the room, and how to organize meals around less animal protein and more veggies. Growing your own isn’t just for certain substances, if you are in an apartment put some herbs in a pot and use them to liven up meals. If you have a garden try out some vegetables and maybe a small lemon tree. My grandmother composted scraps from the kitchen and used them to help grow the biggest and best blueberries around.
Right now the two biggest food trends are vegetarianism and eating only animal proteins. Let the twain meet with balanced meals – a bit of protein, veggies, don’t be afraid of a few whole grain carbs, and luscious fruits for dessert. Give my aunt a chicken and she would give you back at least two dinners and a delicious soup.
Think about your work or school week expenditures. Multiply them by five and then by fifty and see if the amount justifies the spending. Is that $500 better spent on coffee or as an addition to your wardrobe, a short vacation, or into your bank account? My mother was good at seeing the big picture of how small changes added up to big savings.
Be an original, when everyone is buying the same clothes see what’s out there at flea markets and vintage shops. If you like the mainstream just wait three weeks and it will be on sale. My aunts could turn themselves into glamour queens just with attitude.
Every time my dad told me to turn out the lights when I left the room, I silently screamed. Why? I will only have to turn them on later when I reenter. It seemed like so much work to my teenage self. Now the only important news is about global warming, care taking our limited supplies of everything, and making sure to recycle.
Let everyone know your favorite tips from another generation that you use today on The Frugal Diva Facebook page today!
Tags: frugal diva
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 23rd April 2013
There are so many mothers these days. Between moms, grand-moms, step-moms, step-grandmoms, moms-in-law, step moms-in-law, surrogate moms, egg donors moms, birth moms, and Heather has two moms, it’s time to start shopping. It is under three weeks away and if your mother is out of town quickly get to the Internet and save.
Shoppers are forecasted to spend a million hours shopping online for gifts. Time is very valuable. So is money. Coupon & savings expert Jon Lal (founder of BeFrugal.com) has these money and time saving Mother’s Day gift ideas:
· Send her electronic love. Ecards are free and can be personalized then scheduled to send on Mother’s Day.
· Treat her to sweets. Dining out does not have to be expensive if you go out just for dessert!
· Give your time. Consider doing something she will appreciate like chores, mowing the lawn, or something else.
· Toast to her. Check for rebates on alcohol like champagne, wine and more.
· Show her you listen. Mothers want the best for their kids and teach them lessons, like the value of a dollar. Use a coupon and shop smart if you buy her a gift.
Check my post about magazine subscriptions or get her a museum membership for ideas that last all year long.
Tags: flowers, frugal diva, mothers day, target
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 22nd April 2013
Make this day special with choices tailored to your mom.
Art Lover Mom reads the arts section first, collects catalogs, and thought your first grade drawings were influenced by Kandinsky. Take her to your local art museum and have a bite at the cafe.
American History Buff Mom knows the name of every U.S. President, fact checked your homework, and easily quotes what happened on this day fifty years ago. Head out to the a historical site in your city and have a picnic nearby.
Environmental Mom recycles everything, knows global warming is not a hot flash, and uses both sides of the printer paper. Spend the day helping out at a beach clean up or food bank.
Design Mom knows what is the new black this year, how to use Photoshop to make your holiday pictures more interesting, and only sees art films. Take an architectural tour of your city.
Sports Mom was always at little league and knows all the baseball stats. Take her out to the ball game for some peanuts and cracker jacks.
Yoga Mom stays flexible, eats vegetarian, and believes that meditation will solve all your problems. Here in Los Angeles take her to BryanKest’s Power Yoga Santa Monica Studio for a donation only class and then to Real Food Daily for lunch. Sit on the beach afterwards and chant OM.
Let me know if you have interesting ways to celebrate Mother’s Day.
Tags: brunch, frugal diva, mothers day
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Posted by The Frugal Diva on 21st April 2013
We carry them and they carry us through a day’s work, evening out, marketing, and trips to the gym. Our purses need to have everything from bandages for that occasional blister, lip gloss, all manners of ID, a little cash and some change for the parking meter, hair brush, sun block, keys, phone and phone accessories, coupons (of course), maybe a laptop or iPad, extra pantyhose, and various unmentionables. The Frugal Diva watches with envy as The Frugal Dude grabs his wallet and keys to brave the world for an entire day.
Where do we get these fabulous bags and how do we get them at the best price?
6pm.com carries a hugh inventory of everything including backpacks, clutches, and handbags. They are usually my go to place for shoes however the bags are very cute and what’s a great pair of shoes without a bag.
Try Baghaus for hot, haute bags that include all the latest totes.
Target has lured so many great designers that it is worth your time to cruise the site or stop in person to snap up the latest trend. Summer is for fun and they have wonderful selections of fringed and print bags.
Have fun shopping out there and let me know your favorite finds!
Tags: 6pm, bad joan, bananas for bags, frugal diva, handbags, target
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