Interview with Sara from My Fun Frugal Life

strawberry smoothies with kalePlease welcome Sara for today’s interview. Be sure to check out her moving post, describing how she told her husband
about her credit card debt.

  1. Please introduce yourself. I’m Sara, the thrifty living mama behind My Frugal Fun Life. I have three young children, a husband, a puppy, 2 birds, and a 110 gallon aquarium full of fresh water fish :).
  2. What do you remember about family meals and your mother’s cooking style when you were growing up? My mom did not cook much, and most everything we ate came from a box or can. I don’t remember her ever spending time in the kitchen, and after I moved out-I realized I didn’t know how to cook or bake myself.
  3. How is your cooking style different from your mother’s? Up till about a year ago, it was very similar. Most everything we ate came from a box or can, or we ate out (several times a week). That changed last year though, when I really started to get interested in cooking and baking—not only to save money, but to be healthier too.
  4. What is your favorite gadget? It’s a tie between my crock pot and my bread maker. I use both several times a week.
  5. Can you share a typical daily menu? Weekly menu? I’m big on menu planning, and right now I do monthly plans.
    • Breakfasts are usually oatmeal, smoothies, fruit and yogurt, homemade muffins and sweet breads, and homemade pancakes.
    • Lunches are leftovers, sandwiches, homemade soups, and homemade mac ‘n cheese.
    • Suppers always include one breakfast type meal each week (frugal and filling), one meatless meal per week (usually sandwiches), and one new recipe. The other days are family favorites, usually involving my crock pot and bread maker.

    How has your cooking style evolved over the years? Well, up to about a year ago I didn’t have a cooking style lol! I’m still at the beginning stages of learning how to cook and bake, and I’m excited to keep learning new methods and recipes. I’ve also really started focusing on healthier eating, and we’re transitioning to a whole foods/organic diet right now.

  6. What websites that have inspired you? I love $5 dinners, , A Year of Slow Cooking,  Weelicious, and Heavenly Homemakers.
  7. What is the oldest item in your kitchen? The newest? Most of my kitchen gadgets have been bought in the last few months! My newest addition is a juicer I found at a thrift shop for $2.
  8. What would you like to change about your cooking style in the coming year? 2011 will be all about transitioning our diets to healthier choices, while still staying within the parameters of my small grocery budget (currently $85 a week for a family of five). This spring I’ll be learning how to garden, and I’ll be learning how to can later on this year. I think we’ve made pretty good progress so far, but by the end of the year I hope we’ll be much further along in our healthy living journey. I want to continue finding new recipes that use healthier ingredients.
  9. Please share a favorite recipe and cooking tips. My biggest tip is to really evaluate everything that you’re putting in your grocery cart, and see if you can make it from scratch. Not only is this going to be healthier, but most times it will save you a lot of money! My new favorite food is banana strawberry smoothies:

    Banana Strawberry Smoothies

    1 banana (cut into slices and frozen)

  • handful of frozen strawberries
  • handful of fresh organic kale
  • handful of fresh organic spinach
  • organic yogurt (I don’t measure-just dump some in)
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed organic orange juice
  • 2 tbsp of ground flax seed
  • 2 tbsp of raw honey

Blend together and enjoy!


  1. Congrats on the life changes! We also do breakfast for dinner almost weekly–pancakes are a great way to use whole grains!

  2. Hi Sara,
    I very much enjoyed your lively interview and I’m glad Hannah introduced us to you and your website. To find good prices on produce, you might ask around to see if there are ethnic markets in your area. I’m not sure what state you’re in, though I found the general area where the Meijer supermarkets you mentioned are located. In southern California the Mexican and Middle Eastern markets often have produce and certain staples like legumes at the best prices, even better than Costco.

  3. Faye-thanks for the idea, I’ve never thought to try ethnic markets, though I know there’s a few around me 🙂 I’ll definitely look into these!