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Myscha Theriault
Myscha Theriault is a syndicated columnist with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, best-selling author and professional blogger whose work has appeared on such web sites as Forbes, MSN, the Los Angeles Times and AOL. Print interviews include Better Homes and Gardens, the New York Times, Women’s World and All You magazine. She is the founder of Trek Hound, a site for independent travelers, We Be Sharin', a home living web site, and The Lesson Machine, a site for teachers both Stateside and abroad.

9 Ways to Buy Natural Organic Food on a Budget

By Myscha Theriault

usda organic labelFor nutritionists and eco-friendly shoppers, seeing “organic” on a label makes an item very attractive, but on the other hand, that same word usually scares away people with tight budgets.

Believe it or not, eating organic food does not have to be expensive. Over the past few years, the growing interest in organic food and its many benefits has led to more competition and increased availability. Organic options are more accessible, and if you’re concerned about where your food comes from, affordable organic items are very welcome choices.

These nine tips can help you pick up plenty of organic products without getting you uncomfortable with your grocery budget.

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7 Healthy Brown Bag Lunch Ideas for Adults at Work

By Myscha Theriault

woman lunch saladLet’s face it: When it comes to finding ways to save money, brown bag lunches usually get a boring rap. But homemade doesn’t necessarily have to mean ho-hum.

If you’re working at a regular full-time job, one way or another you’re probably eating lunch away from home five days a week. If you hit the regular soup and sandwich place every day – or worse, if you’re eating fast food five times a week – you’re going to pack on pounds and drop a lot of cash.

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9 Creative Ways to Reuse Old Bureaus (Chest of Drawers)

By Myscha Theriault

antique dresser bureauScan the furniture section of Craigslist, check out a yard or garage sale, or walk through the local flea market – you’ll see a plethora of gently (or not so gently) used bureaus (i.e. chest of drawers) to choose from. Instead of paying outrageous prices for high-end, specialty furniture, why not take advantage of these vintage finds?

As long as the basic style works with your space, there are a number of great ways to re-purpose an old bureau. Refinish and add new hardware to your second-hand find for a more modern spin, or leave it as is for a shabby sheik look. The sky’s the limit when it comes to creating your own, custom piece.

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How to Make a Gift Basket at Home with Cheap Supplies

By Myscha Theriault

food gift basketOnce you’ve decided to make your own gift baskets, it’s easy to get stuck in the trap of spending more on them than you expected to. The last thing you want is for your crafty endeavor to cost more than a store-bought gift. After all, you’re doing it to save some dough, right?

Having made more gift baskets than I can count over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about putting them together affordably, while still giving a gift with style. My main secret? Knowing where to shop for the supplies. Basic packaging and special decorative touches can really add up if you don’t know where to look.

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How to Make a DIY Hanging Pot Rack – 6 Cheap & Easy Methods

By Myscha Theriault

pot rackWhether you want to create your own pot rack for functional reasons or decorative ones, chances are you’re doing it to save money. But heading down the path of days spent sanding, carving, and assembling can not only be tedious, it can take valuable time away from your money-making endeavors.

Choosing the right plan is critical to get your new pot rack up and operational as quickly and affordably as possible.

Here are six great ways to make a pot rack on the cheap and easy.

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How to Buy and Enjoy Beef Recipes on a Budget

By Myscha Theriault

beef slicesDo you have a house full of hearty meat eaters? For some families, only beef will do.

At our house, we’ve been reducing our beef intake recently for health and budget reasons. But when we want to splurge on our diet and our wallet, or are having hardcore carnivores over for dinner, I like to have a multitude of ideas ready so that these situations don’t disrupt our budget too significantly.

Here are several secret weapon strategies to enjoy red meat, while staying within your budget.

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Top 11 Eco-Friendly Green Gift Ideas that Are Unique & Cheap

By Myscha Theriault

green gift bagsGreen gifts have a great reputation for being clever and unique, and they help you lower your carbon footprint while encouraging others to change their habits too. But they often get a bad rap for being expensive and hard to find, and it’s tough to know if your recipients will love green products as much as you do.

The good news is that you can see how great these gifts are and dispel the myths about how much going green costs at the same time. With the right advice, you can save money while saving the planet.

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6 Ways to Get that Gourmet Kitchen without the Expensive Appliances & Gadgets

By Myscha Theriault

gourmet kitchenExtreme makeover and home improvement shows have left many people dreaming of having the ultimate gourmet kitchen. Unfortunately, the kitchens you see on TV are far from attainable for those on a budget. Visions of all of the tools and ingredients you need to create an impossible array of delicacies can have you overspending before you know it.

While there are many affordable ways to remodel your kitchen, I like to focus on infrastructure and ingredients. By putting practicality first, you can create a gourmet space without blowing your budget.

Here are my top six strategies to make that happen.

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6 Tips to Save Money Buying Meat – Beef, Pork, Turkey & Deli Cold Cuts

By Myscha Theriault

raw meatsWhen you’re trimming your budget, you start looking at your grocery store receipts with a lot more scrutiny. And if your family is big on meat and poultry for lunch and dinner, expensive choices add up quickly.

Don’t assume that your food budget is at the mercy of your butcher’s business decisions. With these six quick tips for the deli counter and your kitchen, you’ll be able to spend less, get more, and make it last longer.

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6 Easy Chicken Dinner Recipe Ideas on a Budget

By Myscha Theriault

chicken dinner drumsticks plateFew things say comfort food, and satisfy the whole family, like chicken.

The trouble is, poultry prices fluctuate so much that you’ll quickly be uncomfortable with the effect chicken has on your budget.

With these six tips for the budget-conscious home cook, you and your family can get better value out of chicken meals.

How to Save Money on Chicken

1. Rethink Boneless
Sure, boneless chicken is easier to work with, but you pay a serious premium for that convenience. You’ll always save money with bone-in poultry, even if you lose a little time.

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7 Creative Uses for Mason Canning Jars

By Myscha Theriault

mason canning jarsRecently, my close friend was telling me about a beautiful farm wedding she attended last summer where they served Southern sweet tea in mason jars. It was so quaint, so romantic, and so creative. It then got me thinking – what else could those jars be used for aside from home canning recipes for your fruits and veggies?

The answer is: plenty. And this is great, considering the jars, which can be found at most grocery stores and even thrift shops, are super easy on the wallet. Here are my top tips for using canning jars throughout your home.

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4 Cheap Romantic Ideas for Her – So You Can Save Up For That Engagement Ring

By Myscha Theriault

cheap romantic ideasFor all the guys out there – in the beginning of the relationship, you likely wooed your woman with fancy dinners, bottles of the best wine, and expensive floral bouquets.

But now that you’re saving up to buy an engagement ring, the most romantic thing you’ve done lately is get the door when the pizza delivery guy knocks. Sound familiar? It doesn’t have to.

You can still be romantic when you’re strapped for cash. Check out these four winning ways to woo your woman while still stashing some scones in the bank and saving for an engagement ring she’ll love.

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6 Ways to Buy and Prepare Cheap Seafood Recipes & Dishes on a Budget

By Myscha Theriault

shrimp seafoodIn my household, seafood is something we used to only buy on special occasions: lobster on Valentine’s Day or wedding anniversaries, wild-caught salmon to celebrate a promotion or a raise at work, and shrimp cocktail when we’re having guests over for dinner. We simple had always assumed it was just too expensive to eat on a regular basis.

But recently, after a little research, I found six ways to incorporate fresh catches into our weekly grocery budget. It’s good, not only because I’m saving money, but because seafood is an important part of a lean, healthy diet (just be sure you’re taking the proper steps to avoid salmonella food poisoning when you prepare it). If you’re on a budget like me, read on and enjoy!

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Where to Buy Travel Supplies, Accessories & Toiletries on a Budget

By Myscha Theriault

travel suitcase packingWe all want to be prepared when we hit the road, and having the right travel gear is a big part of that picture.

I love finding ways to save on these items so that I can find better uses for my vacation dollars.

Here are my three favorite places to shop for cheap supplies, and my top picks for what to purchase once you’re there.

Dollar Stores

Travel gear for a buck? I’m all over that. I’ve had particular success at Dollar Tree, where I was actually able to get all of these at once, cutting down on time and money spent. Here’s a list of great gear I like to pick up at the dollar store.

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