Archives for posts with tag: budget

Whip out my griddle for tonight’s meal – grilling these large slabs of teriyaki pork chops! I didn’t want to do two batches, so the griddle was the perfect tool. My boys always get carried away when I start calculating the costs of some meal, like this one. This meal costs $12 for 4 people. Definitely #cheaperthaneatingout.  IMG_1430IMG_1431


Dai Bee has invited some of his close friends over tomorrow to celebrate his birthday with him. Though he’s been telling me he doesn’t need a cake, I thought what’s a birthday without a cake? Since they are into emoji’s / instagram these days, thought this would be the perfect dessert to have. He did help out making the cake!

Poop emoji: chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream frosting. Kissing emoji: strawberry vanilla cake.IMG_7231

Beef ribs are on sale at our local supermarket ($2.99/lb vs. $5.99/lb) and beef ribs are what we are having for dinner tonight. The boys love these and ordered them every single time they see it on the menu. I do make them every now and then, especially when for a big sale like this one! #mealsonabudgetIMG_7099

Simple and delicious dinner. IMG_7104

Finally done with this year’s costumes! Only spent $3 on paint from Michael’s which also covers the pumpkins! I took the big cardboard boxes from work, so this year’s entire costumes cost me $3 and the time, of course. Can’t wait to see what everyone else is wearing tomorrow!


Very seldom do we eat lunch and dinner at home on a weekend because we are always packed with activities. Today is one of those days too lazy to go out for lunch. Checked in the freezer and found some potstickers I wrapped yesterday. That’s our simple lunch. P.S. I accidentally grabbed the wrong kind of skin (normally would get the dumpling skin-thinner). However, the thickness of the skin gives a greater crunch, not bad at all.


Dai Bee also had his piano recital today. After his recital, we made a quick stop at Costco’s and picked up baby spinach and $5 roast chicken. Everyone made their own salad. Happy to know this dinner costs $10, which fed 4!


Homemade green scallion pancakes for breakfast. I was making some of these this weekend, and froze another batch. The boys love it. I’ve never seen them eating breakfast so fast in the morning. IMG_8866

Another homemade made for tonight’s dinner. Pan frying the dumplings we made this weekend and served it on some garlic cabbage and egg noodles. Quick, easy, home cooked, and economical – that’s how I roll.


It’s been awhile since we went to a baby shower. My sister didn’t want to have one, so we kept it low profile. Coincidentally, my sister-in-law is also expecting! I’ve asked to work on decorations and that’s right up my alley! Here I go…

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1. I cut out baby onesies on card stocks and hung them on strings (attached to the photo frame I had years ago). – $0.

2. Right next to this, I placed a frame asking guests to leave some words of wisdom for the parents, or the new baby. – $0.

3. Since I’m the type who likes to plan ahead, my boys and I have started painting the letters last week as part of the decorations (and their gifts for their new cousin). $9 (using my 50% coupon at Michael’s)

4. Behind these block letters are diaper boxes. As part of the fun, we asked guests to bring a box of diaper to be entered into a raffle. Again, planning ahead, I’ve asked those who plan to bring a box to drop off at my place instead. With this, I don’t have to get extra boxes. I wrapped them in white paper and painted the block letters (freehand). Note that I only painted the front side. Since I knew I was going to use animals to cover the top, I saved some work there. – $0.

5. Diaper cake – I made this diaper cake using diapers and baby swaddling blankets. Towers were from toilet paper rolls and paper towels. This was very fun and easy to make and attracted much attention to the table. – $16

The decoration costs less than $20 for the whole party ($6 for the flowers). The other items purchased and used were a part of the our gift to the baby which the parents can still use. This is how I like to throw parties.

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We also asked guests to bring a onesie for the baby. The mother gets to decide which one she thinks it’s the cutest!


Food wasn’t my department at this party, since the hosts decided to order out, including dessert! But, my hands were itching to make cookies. So I did, not too many, a few just for fun. The center cookie was made by my friend, who’s a professional baker!


Booked a cabin months ago in hopes of getting onto the slopes for a weekend getaway. It was pretty dry here out in the west. Though there were no snow, it didn’t stop us for some fun!

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Our cabin was not cleaned at the time of our arrival. I was upset and complained to the property manager (still waiting to hear back). The boys who sat in the car for 4 hours were anxious to get out. They tackled on some football while waiting for the cabin to be ready. Yes, Ah Lo is in shorts! That’s how warm it is. Luckily there were board games inside the cabin to keep these boys occupied (when we did get in after 45 minutes outside). The next day, we had chicken porridge for lunch and beef fajita for dinner.

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Many ski resorts were closed due to lack of snow. Boreal was close by and opened. The plus side was they have a couple of easy slopes for beginners which was what we needed. Of course they make fake snow, but doesn’t matter since we were ready to get some runs. For lunch, we saved by bringing our own cup-o-noodles. They charge 50 cents for hot water, which was no big deal (compared to a $6 skimpy hot dog).

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The whole trip was short and relaxing. Kids got to ski and hang out with their cousins. Hopefully this short ski trip has enough good ski memories to last until next time.

Tomorrow is my lazy niece’s actual birthday. She’s turning 16 tomorrow. Sixteen, a big deal, right? She has been reminding us since last Christmas. How can I forget? At 16, let’s see what’s the trend? Why, selfies and Instagram of course!

Since she is hanging out with her friends tomorrow, I threw her a birthday party today. The theme is Instagram. Partying on a budget, I did most of the stuff myself. I made the photo frame which was surprisingly simple to make. With a foam board I purchased a couple of years ago ($1 @ dollar store), I hand painted the logo and icons (bottom of board). That was it! Luckily I had the right color paints (blue, white and black) at home. The frame was a big hit at the party. It appeared in over 50 pictures!

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She is always a fan of my home baked chocolate cakes, so I baked her a decadent chocolate cake from scratch (cake and frosting). For the cake top, I cut out an old cardboard to make it a small Insta frame. I printed some pictures off her Instagram account and hung them as a banner. For dinner, I did mini pull pork sandwiches with some vegetables on the side. And the party favors, of course, cute camera lens rice krispies, an inspiration from Pinterest. With a full time job, I was flustering with getting everything together before she came home. I was thankful for my older niece who helped me with decorations.

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Party costs breakdown (less than $25):

Dinner: $10

Cake: $4

Decorations: $5 (for the cardboard), I had most of the stuff at home

Party Favor: $2

Hugs and smiles: priceless

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