Joyful Thrifty Home -
Dec 242014

Apple Oven Pancake with Candied Pecans - Joyful Thrifty Home

Merry Christmas! It’s hard to believe that it is almost here already. It’s a gloomy and rainy day outside but I am diffusing some Joyful Moments essential oil that smells like Christmas to make it feel more cheerful. Today I am doing some cleaning, grocery shopping and heading to church for our Christmas Eve service. Tomorrow my husband and I will spend the morning having breakfast together and opening our gifts to each other before having family over for dinner.

This past Thanksgiving we created a new menu with a lot of dishes we had never tried before. It was fun to try new recipes but it was a lot of work to coordinate so many new and complicated recipes. So for Christmas we are keeping the menu simple with ham and some other simple side dishes. I am also simplifying Christmas breakfast by making this apple oven pancake instead of my usual cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting.

Apple oven pancake is something I have often made for dinner when I need to use up some apples. The last time I made it, I decided to add some cinnamon sugar pecans and it was wonderful! My husband even commented that it tasted like apple pie. That’s when I knew it would make a great dish for Christmas breakfast.

If you are looking for a new idea for Christmas breakfast or just want a simple dish to make for dinner one night, try it out!

Apple Oven Pancake with Cinnamon Sugar Pecans

Yield: 8 servings

Author: Ashley |

Apple Oven Pancake with Cinnamon Sugar Pecans


    Apple Oven Pancake:
  • 4-5 small apples (or about 2 large) - preferably a tart apple like granny smith to balance the sweetness
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • Cinnamon Sugar Pecans:
  • 2 cup chopped pecans
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar


    Apple Oven Pancake:
  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place butter in a 13x9 inch glass baking dish. Put baking dish into oven while it is heating. Remove from the oven when butter is melted. Brush butter around the pan until it is evenly distributed.
  2. While butter is melting, core and peel all the apples. Then cut apples into thin slices. Place apples in baking dish with melted butter. Sprinkle with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Mix until apples are coated with the butter and sugar. Spread apples in the pan as evenly as possible. Bake apples for 8-10 minutes or until slightly softened.
  3. Use a medium size mixing bowl to combine flour, salt, eggs, vanilla and milk. Stir until moist but do not over mix. Pour mixture over apples. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.
  4. Serve immediately with cinnamon sugar pecans. Top with maple syrup or powdered sugar if desired.
  5. Cinnamon Sugar Pecans:
  6. Melt butter in a small-medium pan over medium heat on the stove.
  7. Stir in brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  8. Add pecans and stir to coat. Stir frequently until butter sugar mixture begins to bubble. Continue cooking for a few minutes longer. Sugar may become sticky. Remove from pan and pour onto a plate covered with parchment paper. Allow pecans to sit until cooled and sugar has begun to harden.

What’s your favorite Christmas breakfast?

The Healthy Breakfast Book by Kitchen Stewardship

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
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Oct 162014

I Am A Writer - Joyful Thrifty Home

This past weekend I had the privilege of attending Breathe Christian Writers Conference held at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary on the campus of Cornerstone University (where I attended college!). It was seemingly by chance that I heard about the conference only a couple of weeks before it was set to happen. It took me almost a day to muster up the courage to even ask my husband about it but once I did, he was completely supportive. With only a few days to spare before registration closed, I took the plunge and signed up.

Here is my story of how I decided to attend a writing conference and why I am glad I did….

Unable to Write

Before attending Breathe, I had lost the motivation to write because I found myself trapped in a fog. It’s like I no longer knew how to allow myself to write as I tried to sort through some bumps on the road of life. Over time, writing had become more of a chore than an outlet.  Many days, my only victory has been simply getting out of bed in the morning so trying to add in one more responsibility is often too overwhelming.

As a result,  I struggled with the ability to sit down and let my pen or keyboard put meaningful words to the page. Day in and day out, I beat myself up over why I was having such a hard time. It’s not like I have a catastrophic life event to explain away my struggles. It’s just one little thing after another, amounting to heightened stress, anxiety, depression and a lingering question about why I feel so physically awful. Add in the doubt  that anyone would understand and I was in quite the predicament with myself.

I wanted to write but I didn’t feel like a writer.  After all, I was no longer writing. However, that would soon change.

Learning to Love Writing Again

About a month ago, I began seeing a counselor who encouraged me to start a new journal. It was through the experience of finding and writing in this journal that I have been inspired to pick up my pen and learn to love writing once more. Recently, I posted a photo of the journal on Facebook and Instagram with a caption of how it has reminded me of why I like to write. I hope to go into more detail about my journal and the story of how it came be but I will leave that for another day.


It was only a few days after making my journal when I heard about Breathe. I couldn’t shake the feeling that finding out about the conference at the same time I started to love writing again was not a coincidence. I felt inadequate and unsure of myself but I knew that God was orchestrating something and I needed to listen.

Before I knew it, conference day was here and I was on my way to Grand Rapids. Upon arriving, I saw people milling about, people who in some way identified themselves as writers.  I pushed back the voices telling me I didn’t belong and headed to get signed in. I also tried to remind myself that I was here for a reason so I spent the next two days soaking in all I could.

What I Learned at Breathe 2014

Over the course of two days, I gained invaluable insight into the world of writing. I learned about writing strategies, book publishing, author support groups, blogging and building a platform. I  was encouraged to follow my heart and be who I am. I even learned a thing or two about myself.

Maybe the fact that I am an introvert who longs for intimate relationships isn’t so weird after all. Maybe my tendency to over analyze and spend hours doing random research is just a part of who I am. Maybe it is okay to see the world through a different lens. I often feel misunderstood and alone but being surrounded by people united in the fact that they feel a call to write made me feel a sense of belonging like I have never felt.

Maybe I am a writer.

You would think since I was at a writers conference that I already identified myself as a writer but truthfully I wasn’t so sure. I had no doubt that I liked to write but until now I lacked the confidence to call myself a writer because I didn’t think I was good enough.

I am finally beginning to understand that writing is a skill that could always use improvement. I don’t consider myself to be the best writer but I do know this: I don’t have to have a published book, a well known blog or be getting paid to write as a profession to call myself a writer.

All it takes to be a writer is to feel the call to write and then do it. If there is one thing I want to take away from Breathe, it is that I AM A WRITER! I can’t say that I gained exponential amounts of confidence over night but a spark of hope was lit in my soul and I may never be the same.

Stir Up The Gift of God - Joyful Thrifty Home

IBG Unplugged

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
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Jun 042014

 My Summer Bucket List - Joyful Thrifty Home

Wow, it’s hard to believe that June has already started! It seems like just yesterday I was looking out at the piles of snow wondering if it would ever go away. It was a long hard winter around my neck of the woods and I am ever so grateful for the sunshine and breeze blowing through my window this afternoon.

I don’t know about you but the weather wasn’t the only harsh thing about this past winter. It just seemed like a long depressing season for a lot of people, myself included. In December I witnessed a scary and devastating fire in my condominium complex which shook me in many ways. After that, some anxiety issues began to surface along with a continuing season of stress from not being able to sleep well. It seemed like a vicious cycle of stress, anxiety and lack of rest. I am definitely ready to put this winter behind me and keep moving forward!

A New Season

All that said, I have so much to be thankful for! One huge praise for my family is that after a full year of working through a temp agency, my husband was finally offered a regular position!! We are beyond blessed but also learning not to take it for granted. I don’t want to forget about how God always provides even when it seems impossible. I have a photo with the words from the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness above my desk. The words remind me that no matter what my situation is, God is faithful.

I want to take on this next season with renewed sense of hope and joy. God has been showing me a lot over the past few months and I really feel like it’s time to get back to writing more. I also have realized how much I thoroughly enjoy nature so I am planning to be more intentional about soaking it in this summer.  As a way to do that I came up with a bucket list of sorts with my goals for the summer.

My Summer Bucket List

  • Get outside for at least 15-30 minutes a day: I’ve been getting stir crazy being stuck inside for so long, so even a few minutes a day sitting on the deck to soak in some fresh air is rejuvenating for me. I don’t do this as often as I should though so that’s why it’s on my list.
  • Go to the beach at least three times: My husband and I live less than an hour from Lake Michigan which if you didn’t know is one of the most gorgeous fresh water lakes there is. As a born and raised Michigan girl, I may be a bit biased, but that’s besides the point. Anyway…We finally made a couple of trips there last summer and I can’t wait to venture back and enjoy the beach town, the sun and the waves. Watching the summer sun set on the lake is one of my favorite things.

Lake Michigan - Joyful Thrifty Home

  • Go berry picking: I haven’t been berry picking since I was a kid but I’ve been wanting to go again. I’ve been dreaming of all the recipes I could make with my fresh picked blueberries and strawberries!
  • Go hiking: I like going on walks around our neighborhood with my husband but we haven’t done much actual hiking. I know there are some good trails we could use so I am hoping to make use of them this summer.
  • Go bike riding more than once: Another activity my husband and I don’t do often enough is bike riding. I think we’ve gone out on our bikes once or twice a year at most. This year, I am hoping to break that sad record and get out on our bikes more than a few times. We also both need to get in better shape which is why I am putting lots of activity goals like this on my list.
  • Go camping: Growing up, my family went camping just about every summer but it’s been years since I’ve gone. My husband and I even have a tent and other supplies that we got for wedding gifts that we have never used. It’s been almost four years since we got married, so I think it’s about time we make use of them and actually go on a camping trip this summer!
  • Go on a vacation: My husband and I haven’t taken an actual vacation in almost three years. Now that he finally has some vacation time again, we are planning to make good use of it. I could definitely use some time away from home to refresh and spend good quality time with my husband. We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast for our first anniversary so I am hoping to go back there again.

bed and breakfast - Joyful Thrifty Home

  • Go to a baseball game: I am not much of a sports fan. I honestly don’t understand football. Basketball isn’t that interesting to me. Golf is just plain boring. However, one sport I can get into is baseball. My husband and I don’t get any sport channels but we’ve started listening to the games on the radio more often. We’ve been talking about catching a game for years now so hopefully this summer we can get it into our schedule. Go Tigers!
  • Read at least four books: I am terrible at actually finishing a book for some reason so I am making a goal of reading at least four books this summer. Here’s my list: You Were Made For a God Sized Dream by Holley Gerth, Say Goodbye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine, Getting Things Done by David Allen and The Help by Katherine Stockett.
  • Journal through at least one psalm: I did this as a bible study with an English professor when I was in college and I loved it so I am not sure why I never tried it again. I could definitely use some good quality quiet time this summer and I know this practice will be a great way to do that. I can see myself using my outside time to dig in and write my heart out into my journal. I hope that it’s as therapeutic as I imagine it to be.

I am looking forward to what this summer will bring! I’m going to do my best to be more intentional about how I use my time and make sure I enjoy being outside and spending quality time with my husband. I also hope to be able to update more consistently and get back into a better routine with writing as well.

What are your summer goals or bucket list activities?

How do you plan to be intentional this summer?

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
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May 182014

Wholesome Berry Breakfast Cereal - Joyful Thrifty Home

I am not a morning person so even after I pull myself out of bed I am not usually very coherent until I’ve had some coffee. Not being a morning person also means that it’s easy for me to skip breakfast. For a long time my normal breakfast has consisted of nothing but coffee…just coffee. Without my coffee, I tend to do crazy things like put cumin instead of cinnamon on my oatmeal and not on purpose. Yes, I actually did that. I told you I was not very coherent in the morning didn’t I? Thankfully the smell alerted me to my mistake and I dumped it out before I ate any of it.

One of the things I am working in my journey to getting healthier is eating more often and that includes breakfast even if that means preparing something before I am fully awake. It has been a challenge to force myself to eat breakfast everyday but I am getting better at it.

One of my major challenges in making sure I get breakfast everyday has been finding something that is easy to prepare yet still good for me. I want something that is going to help me get going in the morning not something loaded with sugar that is just going to make me crash mid morning.

Wholesome Berry Breakfast Cereal (Berries) - Joyful Thrifty Home

I try to find things with fiber, protein or other good nutrients to help get me going in the morning which is why I love this berry breakfast cereal. It’s packed with lots of wholesome goodness.

I initially tried quinoa on its own but wasn’t a huge fan so that’s why I decided to mix it with oats. I also added flax/chia for extra fiber and omega-3. You can add whatever berries you like. I just love the combination of raspberries and blueberries so that is what I used. My favorite part of this cereal is how the raspberries are crushed and mixed in so you get the tart berry flavor in every bite.

Wholesome Berry Breakfast Cereal

Author: Ashley | Joyful Thrifty Home (www.JoyfulThriftyHom

Wholesome Berry Breakfast Cereal


  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax or chia seeds (or a blend of both)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
  • sweetener of choice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts (optional - sliced almonds shown)
  • additional berries (optional)


  1. Combine oats, quinoa, flax and water in a bowl and mix. Microwave for one minute. Remove and stir.
  2. Add milk, berries and sweeten to taste. Mix until well combined. Return to microwave and cook for one more minute or until heated through.
  3. Crush the raspberries and mix well.
  4. Top with nuts and additional berries.


Stove Top Directions: Place dry ingredients and water in saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for one to two minutes longer. Stir in milk, berries and sweetener. Cook until heated through.

Looking for more healthy breakfasts? Check out The Healthy Breakfast Book by Katie of Kitchen Stewardship. You’ll find lots of great ideas for making breakfast the real food way. Here’s the short synopsis: “With over 50 family-friendly recipes, key tips for planning ahead, hosting a brunch and the one food to have on hand to kickstart your family’s “5-a-day” fruits and veggies at breakfast, this book will be your guide to healthier mornings.”

The Healthy Breakfast Book by Kitchen Stewardship

 What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? 

Do you have some easy go-to breakfasts for busy mornings? 

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
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May 072014

Pssst: Enter to win an Ice Cream Maker bundle (Worth $120+) below!!

Enter to win an ice cream maker, apron and ice cream cookbook from the Christian Homemaking community. - Joyful Thrifty Home

Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

As women, and as Christians, we are called to be in constant community with one another. We are to be in fellowship with other women, always growing, always learning, always serving. As homemaker’s and Christian women, we should be striving to exemplify the Titus 2 model:

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2: 3 – 4

Introducing the Christian Homemaking Community

As a blogger, one of my main goals is to connect with other women. I love that I can hop online and find other like-minded Christian women that I can learn from and grow with! So I’m very excited to share that we are introducing an all new Christian Homemaking Community on Facebook!

21 bloggers have come together to create a place where we can chat, learn from each other, grow, and find fellowship among other Christian Homemakers. You can request to join our private Facebook group HERE.

You will also get to connect and chat with your favorite homemaking bloggers including:

Why Join Our New Community?

Each week you will have access to all the latest posts, articles, videos, and discussions from all your favorite homemaking bloggers! No more having to hunt through Pinterest or Facebook for good things to read. You will find encouragement, motivation, tips, recipes, photos, and more!

Come on over and jump into daily discussions such as what is the best way to clean out your fridge, how to do freezer cooking, favorite recipes, and more! You will also have exclusive homemaking content not available anywhere else – and the best part? It’s totally and completely FREE! Join our Facebook group here: The Christian Homemaking Community.

Our Free Gift To You

In celebration of launching our new community, and as our free gift to you , the 21 homemaking bloggers have come together to offer you an amazing eBook: Sweetly Summer ~ Beat the Heat with Yummy and Refreshing Treats – totally FREE! Just join our private Facebook group and you will get instant access!

You will get instant access to some amazing summer treats including: ice cream recipes, how to make whip cream, smoothie recipes, yummy sides, energizing snacks, sweet treats and more!


Enter to win an Ice Cream Maker

Also in celebration of our new community, we are giving one lucky winner the chance to win an amazing Ice Cream Maker ($80), adorable apron (style and color of your choice – $35), and the Just Making Ice Cream recipe eBook ($12)! This entire bundle is worth more than $120!! Enter to win via the rafflecopter form below.

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
Subscribe for email updates Like Joyful Thrifty Home on Facebook Follow Ashley @ Joyful Thrifty Home on Pinterest Follow Ashley Roe on Google Plus Follow Ashley @JoyfullyThrifty on Twitter Follow Joyful Thrifty Home on Bloglovin Image Map
May 052014

How I Organized My Office Space for Free

I have a confession. I am not known for my organizational skills. In fact organization is something I often have to force myself to do. The weird thing about me (well one of the is that I do like things to be put in order, I just struggle with keeping it that way.

If you come over you definitely won’t find an immaculately clean and organized home. In fact, if you were to walk in at this very moment you would find dishes in the sink and on the counter that need to be washed and laundry from two days ago that I have yet to put away. So even though I do my best to keep things clean and in some semblance of order, I can’t guarantee it will always be that way.

The Dreaded Office Space

One area of my home that has been really bothering me lately is the office space, also known as the corner of my dining area where the desk sits because that’s the only place it will fit. There is just enough room for the chair between the dining table and the desk so it’s a tight space.

What has made it worse is the serious lack of organization going on. Papers were piling up and it was starting to feel even more cramped. So I finally decided to do something about it!

Before I get to how I made it work for me, let’s take a look at the before situation of my desk. Below you will see the various components of what made up my messy desk.

Messy Desk

The Components of My Messy Desk

  1. File folder crate with random stuff piled on top.
  2.  Old calendar that has not been changed since September 2013.
  3. Letter about scheduled maintenance that took place last July.
  4. Other random notes including old appointment reminders and two year old Christmas cards.
  5. Plastic storage bins mostly used as junk drawers.
  6. Cups filled with too many writing utensils, many of which don’t even work plus other random things like old lip gloss.
  7. Mail organizer with old mail that should be filed or thrown out.
  8. Empty wrapper (at least it was from that day).
  9. Is that a cat toy? Yep!
  10.  My planner that I bought last Fall and still haven’t used much.
  11. Random notepads.
  12. Old printer cartridge and other random things stuffed behind the computer monitor.
  13. Hanging file bin with notepads, mail and other random noted stuffed in there.
  14. Daily flip calendar that hasn’t been changed for almost a month.
  15. More random things on top of the printer.
  16. The dusty printer. That dust is everywhere! 
  17. Stack of mail and receipts that should be filed and organized instead of just sitting on the desk.

The Organizing Process

Now that you have an idea of what I was working with we can move on to how I got it organized. First, I needed to assess the situation and why the current set up wasn’t working for me.

The main thing I needed to change was the fact that most of the desk was taken up by the printer so I had to figure out a way to fix that. The other main issue is that it had become a drab space that I did not enjoy sitting it and when it is the place that I spend most of my daytime hours I needed a change.

There was also a lot of clutter and dust that needed to be taken care of so I could start with a mostly clean slate. My first task was to get everything cleaned and dusted and sorted through what was junk or what needed to be put in a specific place.

Making it Functional

I spent some time brainstorming what I need to make the desk functional for me. I knew the printer needed to be somehow elevated and that I needed dedicated spaces to store specific things. It would have been easy to go to Target and pick out a bunch of organizing supplies and believe me that desk has seen much better days but I really wanted to figure out a way to work with what I had.

First, I went through my home to decide what things I already had that I could use. I found two crates, a small blue one and a larger white one. They both had things in them but I was able to relocate the contents so I could use them. These were very helpful in getting the desk organized and useful. The other things like the calendar and some decorative items, I already had around the house.

Organized Desk

Components of My Organized Desk

  1. Cleaned out and mostly organized drawers.
  2. File folder crate unburied.
  3. Fabric covered cork board cleaned of cluttered papers and notes.
  4. Encouraging scriptures displayed on board.
  5. Easy access to my verse cards.
  6. Cleaned and organized office supplies using an organizer that was hiding behind the desk before.
  7. Small crate used to prop up container on top and as a small storage space.
  8. Gotta have the coffee!
  9. Dry erase calendar that was not currently being used.
  10. Hanging file cleared out and used to hold accordion folders with receipts and other important papers. These I already had, they just were not as neatly placed.
  11. Mail sorter cleaned out and left with address labels, stamps and a few other papers for easy access.
  12. A few pretty accents found around the house and placed on the desk to give it some fun. My favorite is my willow tree figure that my husband bought me on our first anniversary trip.
  13. Daily flip calendar actually on the right day!
  14. Crate used to prop up printer and house binders, notebooks, planner and books I am using.

Not Perfect But Better

I love this new setup so much better than before! I also love that it cost me absolutely nothing to do. All I had to do was take some things I already had and make it work for what I needed. Now when I sit here I feel much more productive. My favorite thing about it is probably the added decorative accents and encouraging scriptures that help brighten my day.

Of course there are plenty of ways I could make it prettier or more useful. It isn’t perfect and I will probably still change some things but it’s a huge improvement from what it was. It seems I am learning the reality that trying to get something perfect  the first time usually halts any sort of progress. It’s better to make small steps toward a goal and, if needed, make changes along the way.

Is there a space in your home that you need to organize? 

What’s your favorite organizational tip? 

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
Subscribe for email updates Like Joyful Thrifty Home on Facebook Follow Ashley @ Joyful Thrifty Home on Pinterest Follow Ashley Roe on Google Plus Follow Ashley @JoyfullyThrifty on Twitter Follow Joyful Thrifty Home on Bloglovin Image Map
Apr 272014

How to Save Hundreds of Dollars Per Year With This Simple Habit - Joyful Thrifty Home

There are plenty of ways that you could save money in a year but in my experience, there is one thing in particular that could be the key to why so many of us waste money.  what, in my opinion, is the number one reason you could be wasting money? It’s not having a consistent meal plan. Yep, meal planning is really that important. Not only does it help save you time but you will save a lot of money if you have a good plan you can work with.

I researched a bunch of articles online and from what I found, most people say that meal planning can save you anywhere from $100 to $5000 a year! That’s a pretty large number range but how much you save will depend on how consistent you are with your meal plan and how tight you are with your budget.

Neglecting to meal plan also leads to a lot of other ways you could be wasting money like going out to eat more often and grocery shopping without a list. Implementing the habit of regular meal planning will help cut down on these expenses as well.

Because I know how much of a struggle it can be to figure out a plan for meals that works for you and your family, and actually stick to it, I want to do the best I can to lay out why meal planning is important and give you some helpful resources to make meal planning easier for you.

All these are things that I struggle with so please don’t feel like you are a terrible person if you have to throw out food that goes bad or you call for pizza to be delivered for dinner tonight because you just can’t bear the thought of having to cook dinner. We have all been there, but I also know that when I do plan meals I am more at ease because I know have have good food on hand so I don’t have to worry about what’s for dinner or whether there will be food for breakfast in the morning.

Three reasons why NOT having a meal plan costs you money

Without a meal plan you are more likely going grocery shopping without a complete list. 

If you don’t have a specific plan for what you will eat, you don’t really have a need to make a grocery list other than maybe a few basic things you need or think you might need. Now, I know this isn’t necessarily true because I have gone through periods of menu planning burn-out where I still made a list but it was not as thorough as if I had a good meal plan in place. 

Shopping without a list is probably causing you to shop more often than is necessary as well because you are not thinking ahead as much about what  you will need to make complete meals. 

Without a meal plan, you may end up throwing out unused food.

If you don’t plan to use the food you buy it will have a tendency to go bad. I recently threw out an entire carton of strawberries and I cringed just thinking about how much of a waste it was. I had planned to use them but put off that meal so they had gone bad before I had the chance. If you ever add up all the money you are basically dumping in the garbage when this happens, you’ll probably cringe too.

Without a meal plan you run the risk of spending more money on going out to eat.

If you don’t have a specific idea of what you will eat for dinner, or lunch or any other meal of the day, it is much easier to pick up fast food, go to a restaurant or order out because it is more convenient. I have no problem with doing these things on occasion or when you plan for it but it can become an expensive budget buster if you are not careful. This can also apply to things like snacks when you are away from home or extra trips to the coffee shop. There’s a reason small unnecessary spending that adds up over time is often called the latte factor.

Making your meals from scratch is by far the most inexpensive way to eat. When you go out you are not only paying for the food but you are paying for the preparation cost as well. On top of that, it’s easier to eat unhealthy foods when you are going out, especially for fast food. Planning ahead and having a lot of good nourishing meals that you can make from scratch is the cheapest and healthiest way to avoid unnecessary spending out going out to eat.

How to Create a meal Plan that Works For You So You Can Start Saving

Start making a master list of meals. Think of meals you and your family love the most. It is probably easiest to start with dinners but don’t forget breakfast, lunch and snacks too. You can make this simply by just writing it out in a notebook or you could have a spreadsheet or other digital way you keep your list. I like to also take note of where the recipe comes from if it’s something I will need to refer back to. If you need ideas for your list, start going through some of your favorite cookbooks.

Go through your current food supply and take note of ingredients you have that you could use to make a meal. Also write down any meals that you can already make with what you have on hand. From that, decide what extra ingredients you will need to make complete meals.

Create a list of meals you can make for the week, or however long you want to plan for. You should plan meals at least one week at a time so you don’t end up going shopping  too often. Some people like to plan for a whole month in advance but if you are new to meal planning, try one week and see how it goes.

Make your grocery list based on any extra ingredients you will need to complete those meals. Then add any new meals you want to make to your list of meals then add whatever ingredients you need for those to your grocery list.

Assign your meals to specific days. This one isn’t absolutely necessary if you just don’t have time to plan that much or if you would rather be a little more flexible. I have found that it works best if I plan to make certain meals on a specific day because I can plan for thawing or preparing anything else I may need in advance. To do this you can use a simple calendar, a weekly menu board or just write it out in your notebook.

Now you are ready to be armed with a plan so you can avoid this pitfall to successful money management! Check out my list below for some extra resources.

Helpful Meal Planning Resources

The following resources will give you help with planning menus as well as give you strategies to make nourishing food for your family. You’ll also find lots of recipes that you can use when planning your meals.

Helpful Meal Planning Resources

Please note: Some links below are my affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!

Make meal planning even easier with once a month meals, a premier meal planning site. You will get access to pre-planned menus with recipes, shopping lists and the ability to customize your menus to suit you and your families needs. Plus lots of other tips and resources for menu planning.

Meal Planning Made Easy by Kelly Smith: In Meal Planning Made Easy, you’ll learn an easy, step-by-step meal planning system that will help you better nourish your family with the awesome added benefits of saving time, money, and stress! And you’ll also discover Kelly’s proven “Cook Once, Eat Twice or More” strategies and gain access to an entire month of free whole food meal plans and additional meal planning resources.

Simplified Dinners by Mystie Winkler: Simplified Dinners enables anyone to transition toward home-prepared, real, whole foods cooking – even those less confident in the kitchen. Simplified Dinners helps keep dinner streamlined while allowing flexibility.

The ABC’s of Freezer Cooking by KM Logan: The ABC’s of Freezer Cooking covers all the basics to teach you how and how not to prepare freezer meals for your family. Included is how to write a meal plan, money-saving strategies, 15 basic recipes, and there is even a section on how to utilize freezer cooking as a weight loss tool.

No Cook Freezer Meals by Kelly McNelis: Inside the No Cook Freezer Meals cookbook you’ll find 18 recipes, a grocery list, nutrition info, freezer labels, a freezer inventory sheet, and tons of freezer meal tips – including how to find time to freeze, step-by-step instructions, and more!

The Healthy Lunch Box by Katie Kimball: The Healthy Lunch Box: Sandwich-Free Secrets to Packing a Real Food Lunchincludes 45 recipes, 100+ additional linked resources, and is loaded with strategies to streamline your packing process, stock your pantry with emergency backups for your backups, and send healthy, delicious food in the lunch box, no matter how old your eater is.

What are some of your best tips or resources for meal planning? 

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
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Apr 242014

I have been busy lately with lots of projects including setting up my new graphic design business, updating my blog, preparing to offer you the best deal ever and co-authoring and designing my second eBook, Set Apart: Becoming a Woman of Virtue in a Modern World!

I want to tell you a little bit more about my new book plus let you in on all the details of the best deal ever on some awesome homemaking resources. This is one you will not want to miss.

But before I get to that, I want to let you know that you can enter the giveaway for over $100 worth of inspirational home decor at the bottom of the post. Plus you’ll find out where you can go to enter to win an iPad Mini along with an Amazon gift card and a designer apron. <—-Giveaways are now closed

My New eBook

The book is a 21 day devotional about Proverbs 31 from the perspective of 11 different women. I know that Proverbs 31 can often be intimidating. But I want you to know that it shouldn’t be something you are intimidated by rather a guidebook for understanding your role as a biblical woman in this modern world which is what the book is all about. I truly want this book to be a blessing to busy women like you!

Set Apart Ad

Also included in the book some extra special printables that I designed specifically for this book; two scripture art printables using my favorite verses from Proverbs 31, a set of verse cards with verses and characteristics from the devotional plus a companion study guide. Plus there’s another one page printable created by one of the authors, Kendra from A Proverbs 31 Wife, of the full passage from Proverbs 31. 

Click here to learn more about the book and purchase your copy. 

Please note: Some links within this post are my affiliate links. This means that I may receive some compensation should you choose to make a purchase after clicking one of these links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!

PLEASE NOTE: This sale is now over. You may still purchase individual books that were a part of the bundle but the bundle package is no longer available.

The Best Deal Ever

As a co-author of Set Apart book, I also have the privilege of being a part of something called The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle. I have been busily and excitedly preparing to bring you this awesome wealth of resources for weeks now so I am beyond ecstatic that it is finally here!!


If you don’t know, The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle is a fantastic resource on all things homemaking including more than 80 eBooks, audio files and eCourses on topics like faith, finance, pregnancy & babies, motherhood, food and so much more!

Plus, if all the great books weren’t enough, you also get $200 in FREE bonus offers. Included in the bonus offers are a box of Dayspring greeting cards,  three naturally made eye-shadows, adorable fabric, laundry detergent and coupon codes for free online meal planning and organizational printables.

Bonus Offers
This bundle really has something for everyone! Check out this video to get some ideas for just some of the things you can do with just a few resources from this awesome bundle.

When? 8 a.m. EST Wednesday, April 23 until 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, April 28

What? 78 eBooks, 2 eCourses, 2 audio files, and 2 printable packs PLUS over $200 worth of bonus products you’ll really use!

Where? Purchase the bundle here. (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

How much? Well now, that’s the best part. The entire package is worth nearly $900, and it’s selling for less than $30. Sweet deal, right?

Buy the PDF Bundle

Buy the Kindle Bundle

The bundle is available in both pdf and Kindle format! This means you can get all the ebooks in just pdf format for $29.97 or the pdf AND Kindle format for $39.97! Keep scrolling to find out how you can get it for an even better price!!

You can read pdf ebooks on your computer, eReader or Tablet just like Kindle format books but the books specifically formatted for Kindle are made to view like books you would buy from Amazon. To get the Kindle format books to your Kindle or Kindle app, just use the Send to Kindle feature. Read more about getting the books onto any device in the FAQ section of the Ultimate Bundles site.

Why I Believe in This Bundle

I not only believe that you will be incredibly blessed by this resource but I know and trust many of the authors who contributed to books offered in the bundle. I am still in awe of the fact that my name is on the same page with so many awesome women like Crystal Paine, Sally Clarkson, Sarah Mae, Stephanie Langford, Sheila Wray Gregoire & Darlene Schacht. Plus many of the others are also good friends of mine!

I truly believe that this is one of the best resources of its kind that you will ever find. I do not say that just because I have a book included, I honestly believe it’s worth every penny. Most of the books included have never been in any kind of bundle sale so you are truly getting something new here. In fact, some of the books are not yet available anywhere but in this bundle!

I bought the last ultimate bundle and it was without a doubt one of the best purchases I have ever made! I still use some of the bonus products that I received as a part of the bundle and I refer to many of the ebooks on a regular basis. I’ve already started digging into my new Homemaking Bundle and have been beyond blessed by all the resources included! Here’s a sampling of some of the books that caught my eye:

highlighted books

  • Live For Him: A Grace Filled Look at Planning by Leigh Ann Dutton
  • Equipped: Because You’ve Been Made to Live On Purpose by Elisa Pullium
  • A Heart Prepared: A Simple & Effective Scripture Memory System by Jami Balmet
  • Just Making Ice Cream: Over 70 Delicious Recipes Made with Nourishing Ingredients by Marilyn Beard
  • Real Food on a Real Budget by Stephanie Langford
  • Simplified Dinners by Mystie Winckler
  • The Ultimate Marriage Vow: 21 Days of a Life-Long Commitment by Darlene Schacht
  • To Love Honor and Vaccum (audio download) by Sheila Wray Gregoire
  • It’s Me or the Coupons: How a Busy Mom Can Win the Grocery Budget Battle by Beth Cranford
  • Baby Ready: Preparing For and Adapting to Life with Baby

That’s just 10 of the over 80 books and resources you get with your bundle purchase!

See the full list of 80+ eBooks, audio files, eCourses & printable packs.

Not sure if it’s right for you?

Maybe you know you won’t use all the resources or bonus offers. I completely understand that but did you know that you can gift those to friends or family who will use them? Yep, you can send any of the digital files to someone as long as you delete it from your computer once you do. You could even print a book and give it that way.

This is such a good deal that even if you want the bundle for a handful of the books or just the bonus offers, you are getting an excellent deal. It’s like getting books for less than $.40 a piece!! Seriously, where else can you get so many books for mere pennies each??? And then on top of that get tons of great freebies too!! 

Take the faith section as an example. In that section alone, you get my book Set Apart along with four other books. Bought separately those five books would cost $32.28 which is more than the cost of the entire bundle!


Maybe you love finding new recipes or want learn about freezer cooking and eating real food on a budget. The food section has 14 books that would cost $142.27 on their own! That section alone is well worth the cost for buying the bundle.


How can I get all that for such a low price?!?

I know you may be wondering how we can offer such an awesome bundle for such a low price but I promise you that there is no catch, except maybe that it’s a limited time offer and only available from April 23-28. The organizers and authors of the bundle really want to bless you with all these great resources at a price you can afford.

You really do get 80+ resources and $200 worth of bonus offers for just $29.97. If you want the ebooks specifically formatted for Kindle, it’s only an extra $10 and that gets you all of the books in pdf format AND Kindle format.

Sweeten the Deal Even More!

If you love this deal and want to share it with someone else, there’s a great offer when you purchase to buy two more full bundles for the price of one. So you get three full bundles for the cost of two! You could even get a couple of friends together to purchase three of the bundles for the price of two which would save each of you almost $10 (for the pdf version)!

special offer 2

Buy the PDF Bundle

Buy the Kindle Bundle

My Gift to YOU!

As an exclusive gift to you, I want to offer you my new printable recipe cards absolutely free when you buy the bundle from me. The recipe cards feature 20 of my favorite recipes so it’s like getting another cookbook for FREE! All you have to do to get yours is purchase the bundle then send me an email with your receipt telling me that you did.

free gift with bundle purchase

So, what do you think, are you ready to learn how to be the best Christian woman, wife, homemaker and mother you can be?! Get the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle now so you can do just that!

If you know someone who you think would like to know more about this bundle please forward this email to them so they can be blessed by all these awesome resources as well. Thank you!!!

Now For the Giveaways!

This giveaway is for over $100 worth of Mary and Martha products. If you are unfamiliar with Mary and Martha here is a quick run-down: A child company of Dayspring; Mary and Martha focus on helping you make entertaining simple. All products point to scripture with beautiful table settings, wall decor and more. Be sure to check our their site! (seriously, check it out to earn more entries in the giveaway!)

Blessed Home

One lucky winner will receive all of the items pictured above.

  • Blessed by the Grace of God wall hanging. Retailed at $54, this hanging measures 22 3/8″ x 15 3/4″ and is handcrafted in India.
  • Count Your Blessings Table Runner. Retailed at $32, this runner contains stamped on thankful messages, and is 72″ long x 13″ wide.
  • Blessings Placemats. Retailed at $22 these stamped placemats contain thankful sayings such as “Give Thanks”, “Savor the Moment”, “Have Seconds” and “Say Grace”.

Giveaway Sponsored by:

Kendra Stamy, A Proverbs 31 Wife.
Danielle Tate, More Than Four Walls.
Sarah Nichols, Simple Life, Abundant Life.
Jennifer Fountain, Growing Up Triplets.
Karli Von Herbulis, Feed Me Mama.
Anjanette Barr, Raising the Barrs.
Virginia George, Virginia George .Com.
Whitney Cornelison, Beauty in the Mess.
Ashley Roe, Joyful Thrifty Home
Jane Martin, Mary and Martha Independant Consultant.

US Winner only, Giveaway dates are April 23rd through April 28th. Prize will be shipped directly from Mary and Martha.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
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Apr 232014

Get your FREE recipe cards

I am so excited to unveil one of my new projects with you! I created a set of printable 5×7 recipe cards featuring twenty of my favorite recipes. It includes some favorites from right here on Joyful Thrifty Home plus some others that I have never before published. So right now, the only way you can get these recipes is by getting a copy of my Favorite Recipes card set. The best part, is that I want to offer you my new printable recipe cards free of charge!

Please note: Some links within this post are my affiliate links. This means that I may receive some compensation should you choose to make a purchase after clicking one of these links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!

How do you get yours?

Well, I am glad you asked! All you have to do is buy the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle through my link anytime between Wednesday April 23rd and Monday April 28th. After you make your purchase, just send me a copy of your receipt and your printable recipe cards will be emailed to.  

What’s included in the recipe cards?

You will get a fifteen page pdf document with twenty different recipes that once printed and cut will create 5×7 sized cards. Once you print them on heavy paper or card stock, you can use them with other recipe cards the same size or punch a hole on the corner of each card and hang them on a binder ring. For even more durable cards, you can even laminate them.

For some examples of recipes included, take a look at the above graphic. Pictured above you will see; slow cooker zuppa toscana, grilled chicken fajitas, spicy beans and rice, ranch cheese ball, chocolate lava cakes, peppermint mocha and creamy tomato soup. I included a variety of recipes so there’s sure to be something you’ll love!

What else do you need to know?

Since the only way to get my printable recipe cards for free is to purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle, I am sure you are wondering what it’s all about. The first thing you should know is that I am honored to be a part the homemaking bundle this year as a contributing author! My new devotional Set Apart is part of the bundle!!

Here’s a short overview of you get with your Ultimate Homemaking Bundle purchase 

Along with my new devotional which also includes printable word art and scripture cards that I designed, you will also get a wealth of great books and resources related to homemaking. There’s are wide range of topics including; faith, financial stewardship, homemaking, food, marriage, motherhood, pregnancy and babies, faith for kids, holidays and special events, homeschooling, working from home and blogging, health and wellness, self-care .


The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle really is a complete library of great eBooks on homemaking—a truly valuable knowledge base you’ll use for many years to come.

Unlike a library, though, you don’t have to spend years building it up. The Ultimate Bundles team has done the hard work for you, searching the web to find the very best eBooks from top homemaking authors and combining them into one essential collection that you can buy in one simple purchase.

I’m confident you won’t find a more comprehensive set of homemaking resources anywhere — and certainly not at this price. Bought separately, they’d cost a total of $698 (plus $200+ in bonuses!). But you can have all of them for just $29.97!

Or, for just an extra $10, you not only get the full set of PDF files, but also a bonus set of Kindle editions, perfectly formatted for easy Kindle reading. This has been a popular request over the years and I’m excited to say it’s now available!

Buy the PDF Bundle

Buy the Kindle Bundle

Want even more recipes?

If you love recipes, then you will love the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle!! There’s fourteen books just in the food section. Purchased separately, those books would cost $142.27!! You get all those books and many more for just $29.97. So this section alone is well worth the price of the bundle. This really is a no brainer! Where else can you get so many great resources for less than $30!?!


Some of the books I am most excited about are in the food section! The ones that really caught my eye were Simplified Dinners, The ABC’s of Freezer cooking, Meal Planning Made Easy and Real Food on a Real Budget.

Want to know more about the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle and enter to win an iPad??

Click here for a more detailed description of what’s included. Plus scroll through that page to find the entry form for your chance to win an awesome giveaway that includes an iPad mini, a $25 Amazon gift card and your choice of a Flirty Apron!!


Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
Subscribe for email updates Like Joyful Thrifty Home on Facebook Follow Ashley @ Joyful Thrifty Home on Pinterest Follow Ashley Roe on Google Plus Follow Ashley @JoyfullyThrifty on Twitter Follow Joyful Thrifty Home on Bloglovin Image Map
Mar 312014

Five Steps to Treating a Cold Naturally

I recently came down with a nasty cold. It started with a bit of a sore throat then progressed overnight to a full-blown head cold. I woke up the next day completely miserable and barely able to get out of bed. My usual approach to tackling a cold like this is to reach for nasal decongestants and cold medicine. While I do still take those occasionally when needed, I have tried to move away from reaching for medicine for every little ailment. When it comes to treating a cold, there are some things that you can do to help manage it without medicine.  Many of these tips can actually be used everyday, not just when you feel like you’re getting sick, as a way to help prevent sickness in the first place. Natural Cold Remedies

Please note: Some links within this post are my affiliate links. This means that I may receive some compensation should you choose to make a purchase after clicking one of these links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!

1. Boost the Immune System

A healthy immune system is important your overall health. When you feel like you are getting sick, it’s likely that your immune system is weakened and compromised. So one of the first things to do is work on boosting that immune system!

  • Drink herbal tea. I drink a variety of herbal teas but when I feel like I am getting sick I reach for Echinacea immune support tea. Echinacea is known for its immune boosting properties so it’s a good choice to help combat sickness. Along with Echinacea the tea also has a blend of other herbs including elderberry extract, mullein leaf, peppermint, lemon-grass and rose hip. I also have an immune support dietary supplement from Tri-Light Health that I add to my Echinacea tea. **Get a FREE bottle of liquid herbal formula from Tri-Light Health when you purchase the Ultimate Homemaking Bundle! Learn more **
  • Increase your vitamin C intake. The easiest way to do this is to drink some orange juice or eat fruits or vegetables known to be high in vitamin C. Some of the best sources of vitamin C are oranges, red or green bell peppers, strawberries, kale, broccoli and papaya.
  • Reduce stress. Heightened stress can be rough on the immune system and can actually make you more susceptible to getting sick. Try simple deep breathing exercises, go for a walk or do some stress relieving exercises like yoga. As another stress reliever, I also like putting a little lavender essential oil on my wrists or spritzing a mixture of diluted lavender into the air.
  • Get some probiotics. The easiest way to get probiotics is in yogurt with live and active cultures. I like Greek yogurt because it also has extra protein.
  • Eat some garlic. Garlic is great for your overall health as it is a natural immune booster and has antimicrobial properties. So use it in your cooking when you can. For best results when fighting off sickness, you should eat garlic fresh and raw. Leigh Ann of Intentional by Grace has a list of seven ways to eat raw garlic if you need some help deciding how to get it down.

herbal tea

2. Soothe a Sore Throat 

A sore throat can often be the first sign of a cold so it’s good to have a few ways to soothe it naturally.

  • Honey. Take a spoonful of honey for quick relief or make a cup of tea and mix the honey in. For an extra bonus add some lemon juice to your tea too! Raw and local honey is best but I haven’t taken the plunge yet so I am still using the cheaper store-bought stuff. It will still work for your sore throat but you may not get some of the other benefits of raw honey.
  • Gargle salt water. Just mix about half a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and gargle for a minute or so then spit out.
  • Eat a bowl of hot soup. You probably typically think of chicken noodle soup when you are sick which is a good option. I recently had some homemade tomato soup (recipe coming soon!) when I was sick and loved how well it soothed my throat. Something about the tomato, garlic, onion and carrot mixture with a little heat from red pepper flake worked wonders on my sore throat! Plus the extra veggies are good for you too.

tomato soup

3. Treat Sinus Pressure and Congestion

I often get sinus congestion and pressure when the weather changes so I like having a few ways to treat it before I decide to reach for the nasal decongestants, which admittedly if it is bad enough I do still use. I would like to eventually be able not rely the decongestants at all but I do use it sparingly.

  • Get some steam. There are a couple of ways to do this. One is to just simply take a hot shower or sit in the bathroom while you run the hot water for 5-10 minutes. The warmth and steam will help clear up some of your congestion. You’ll also be able to blow your nose a little easier. Another way is to bring a small pot of water to boil in the stove. For an added bonus, add a few drops of eucalyptus or RC essential oil to your water. Take a towel and put it over your head and place your head over the water. Be careful not to get too close as it can get very hot and you don’t want to burn yourself. If necessary, turn the heat down a little. Take deep breaths and allow the steam to soothe your congestion.
  • Try this trick. I don’t even remember where I found this, but I was desperate one day looking for a way to ease my sinus pain and stumbled across it. The trick is this; push your tongue onto the roof of your mouth for a few seconds then release. Once you release your tongue, press your finger on your forehead between your eyebrows. Alternate this for about 20 seconds or so. it sounds weird, but it really does help relieve some of the pressure and drain your sinuses.
  • Use essential oils known to improve respiratory function. Mix one or two drops of eucalyptus or RC essential oil with a small drop of olive or coconut oil then spread onto your face under your eyes where your sinuses are located. You can also put some under your nose and inhale. Another good place to apply the oil is your throat or chest. If you don’t want to apply the oils topically, you can simply hold one nostril closed and take a deep breath with the open bottle up to your nose then do the same to the other nostril

essential oils

4. Tackle a Headache or Soreness

Sickness is often accompanied by sore muscles and headache. These are my go-to headache and soreness relievers.

  • Apply peppermint essential oil to ease headaches and tension. Mix about 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil into a small jar with about one-quarter of a cup of coconut oil (alternatively you could mix a drop or two with a small amount of coconut oil in your hand). Lightly dab your finger into the jar and apply the mixture onto your forehead, temples and at the back of the neck. For added benefit, gently massage your temples. Peppermint can be quite strong so don’t be surprised if your eyes water a little. Peppermint is also good for sore muscles so apply wherever soreness or stiffness is present for relief of that as well.
  • Stretch. Soreness and headache can be brought on by stiff muscles as well so doing some simple neck and back stretches can help ease the pain as well.
  • Use a foam Roller. I recently got a foam roller and have used it to ease tension in my neck and back. To use it, place it on the floor and lower yourself on top of it so that it sits on your lower back. Use your feet to push yourself over the roller so that it goes up and down your back. There are lots of other uses for foam rollers as well as exercises but so far this has been the main way I have used mine. You can get one fairly inexpensively at places like Target.
  • Use Lavender to soothe soreness. Lavender essential oil is not only good for stress relief, it’s also good for soothing soreness and tenderness from cuts or abrasions. The skin on my nose has become raw and irritated from using so many tissues to blow my nose (I’m pretty sure I have gone through a box and a half in three days!) so I have put my lavender to good use. To use, do the same thing I described above with peppermint, except apply it wherever you need to soothe your rough skin.


5. Keep Up Healthy Habits

It is especially important when sickness is looming or already upon you to keep up some good habits. Here are the main ones that I am working on.

  • Get plenty of water! Drinking a lot of water is essential to optimal health but is even more important when you’re sick. For added benefit, add a drop or two of lemon essential oil (be sure that it is the kind of oil allowed for internal use) to your water. If you’re adding essential oil, also make sure you’re using a glass cup or glass water bottle.
  • Get adequate rest. Getting enough sleep is necessary to proper functioning. I’ve had lots of struggles getting good rest due to some other physical concerns but I notice such a difference in my overall health when I am able to sleep well.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet and all the more important to help with treating or preventing illness. If you need to get more in your diet, try drinking more smoothies and looking for other ways to consume them more often. Try this chicken fried rice for a vegetable packed dinner as a way to get more veggies.

So the next time you feel like you might be getting sick, try out some of these tips before you automatically reach for the drugs in your medicine cabinet.

The list above isn’t an exhaustive list, rather some ideas based on what I have done. So I would love to know…

What are some ways that you treat or prevent illness naturally?

Do you do any of the things listed above?

Please note: This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you for using my links to make a purchase. Read my disclosure policy here. Thank you for supporting Joyful Thrifty Home!
Subscribe for email updates Like Joyful Thrifty Home on Facebook Follow Ashley @ Joyful Thrifty Home on Pinterest Follow Ashley Roe on Google Plus Follow Ashley @JoyfullyThrifty on Twitter Follow Joyful Thrifty Home on Bloglovin Image Map
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