ANNOUNCEMENT: The Simple Mom’s Idea Book – available today!

I’m excited to announce that my older book, The Simple Mom’s Idea Book, was just re-released.

If you missed getting your copy the first time around, today’s the day–April 6th, 2015– that it’s available once again!

You can order the new edition online from at:

Now available in digital Kindle format, too!

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Section One – Homemaking Ideas

  • Simplifying Phone Calls
  • Saving on Home Heating Costs
  • Keeping Your Summer Organized
  • Simplifying Party Planning

Section Two – Seasonal Ideas

  • Valentine’s Day on a Shoestring
  • Frugal Easter Basket Ideas
  • Teacher Appreciation Ideas
  • Successful New Year’s Resolutions

Section Three – Family Ideas

  • Friendship Bags
  • Family Entertainment on a Budget
  • Frugal Family Field Trip Ideas
  • 200+ Summertime Fun Ideas for Kids

Section Four – Kitchen & Cooking Ideas

  • Emergency Cooking Substitutions
  • Vegetable “Hide-and-Sneak”
  • Building a Better Burger
  • Healthy and Inexpensive Meat Substitute
  • Beating the Breakfast Rush Hour
  • The Joys of Crockery Cooking

Section Five – Healthy Ideas

  • Setting Simple Exercise Goals
  • Avoiding Mosquito Bites
  • “Shoo Fly!  Don’t Bother Me!”
  • Striving for Balance … One Habit at a Time

Section Six – Grocery Savings Ideas

  • Using Up Leftovers
  • Crisis Meal Planning
  • Low-Budget Meal Planning
  • Winning the Grocery Game
  • Simple Ways to Save on Groceries
  • Super Simple, Super Cheap Recipes


While starting life as a new wife and then mom to three children, Deborah Taylor-Hough always wished for a personal mentor.  Someone who could take her under their wing and show her the ropes of being a stay-at-home mom, live on a single income, survive in a tough economy, educate her three lively kids, and raise children who grew to be successful adults with character and integrity.  Deborah’s own mother had experienced several strokes which left her unavailable to offer generational family advice.

Well, that mentor Debi had hoped and prayed for never appeared.

Not to be deterred, Debi kept plugging away.  She also kept notes as she went about her day-to-day life, convinced that someday she may have opportunity to be that mentor she’d always longed for in her own life; a friendly guiding hand for someone else just starting out a similar life path.  Following her husband’s diagnosis with a rare degenerative brain disorder, she also learned firsthand about the special challenges of single parenting.

Now that all three of her children are grown, Debi’s beginning to see the fruit of her labors over the years; a loving family with kiddos who truly have grown into wonderful young adults.  And she even learned a thing or two about cooking and cleaning along the way.

The Simple Mom’s Idea Book contains tips and suggestions for everything from cooking, saving money, celebrating the holidays, and just generally raising a family.

So if you’ve been looking for some simple ideas for life and homemaking … from someone who’s been around the block more than once or twice … look no further.

Have no fear, the Simple Mom is here!

New books coming!

Quick little teaser announcement: I have a couple of new books coming out over the next few months!

Well, actually one of them will be a fresh new edition of an older book that had gone out of print. There’ll also be a book on home education for those of you into that sort of thing.  Stay tuned for more announcements as we get closer to the release dates.

In the meantime, have your read my other books yet?  Frugal Living for Dummies® recently came out in Kindle format, by the way (and the Kindle version is 38% off the regular cover price, too!).  You can download a free Kindle app from Amazon to use on your computer if you don’t own a Kindle.  :-)

Browse My Books:
Easy link for Amazon Shoppers

To order your own copy of any of these titles right now, click on the book titles (below).

Books by Deborah Taylor-Hough:

  1. Frugal Living For Dummies®
  2. Frugal Living For Dummies® – Kindle version
  3. Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month
  4. Frozen Assets Lite & Easy
  5. Frozen Assets – Kindle version

Debi’s Mix-and-Match Soup Recipe

by Debi

Ever spend so much time involved with a project that you forget to think about what you’re going to have for dinner?  Yeah, me, too.

But I have a back-up plan for those nights when I forget to think about dinner.  Basically I can clear out my cupboards and fridge and make homemade soup.  Yep.  Mix-and-Match Soup, you’re my hero!

This is a seriously simple way to make a meal out of whatever’s hiding in the back recesses of your cupboards or freezer.  It’s the answer to the age old question, “What do we eat when there’s nothing to eat?”

It’s sort of like the classic children’s story, Stone Soup — only without the stone!  :-)  I’d probably break a tooth.

(Excerpted and adapted with permission from my book Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month)

Mix-and-Match Soup (8 generous servings)

Broth (choose one)

  • Tomato: One 12-ounce can of tomato paste plus two 16-ounce cans of tomatoes with juice (chopped) plus water to equal 10 cups total
  • Chicken/Turkey: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water
  • Beef: 10 cups broth or 4 bouillon cubes dissolved in 10 cups of water

Protein (choose one — 1 pound or 2 cups, cooked)

  • Ground beef, browned
  • Leftover meatballs or meatloaf, chopped
  • Cooked chicken or turkey (cut up)
  • Ham (cut up)
  • Lentils
  • Frankfurters, sliced (or any sausage or Kielbasa)
  • Pepperoni, sliced
  • Beans, cooked or canned (pintos, kidney, Great Northern, etc.)

Grain (choose 1 or 2 for a total of 2 cups)

  • Rice, cooked (any variety)
  • Barley, cooked
  • Pasta, raw
  • Corn
  • Dumplings (add near end of cooking time)

Vegetables (raw, cooked or canned, choose 2 or more for a total of 1 to 2 cups)

  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onion
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Green beans
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Broccoli
  • Peas or pea pods
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell pepper
  • Zucchini (add raw)

Seasonings (choose 2 to 4 spices, 1 to 2 teaspoons each)

  • Basil
  • Cayenne (dash)
  • Chives
  • Cumin
  • Garlic
  • Marjoram
  • Onion powder
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Oregano

To Prepare Soup:

  • Bring the broth to a boil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add all of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat and simmer one hour.

Slow Cooker Prep:

  • Pour the boiling stock and other ingredients into a slow cooker and simmer for 8 to 12 hours or overnight on LOW setting.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Deborah Taylor-Hough is a freelance writer and author of Frugal Living for Dummies® and the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series.  Visit Debi online at:

NOTE:  Come by and “Like” Debi on Facebook!

Browse My Books:
Easy link for Amazon Shoppers

“I resolve to read to my child just for fun every day this year.”

One year–a long, long time ago–my New Year’s resolution was to get into the habit of reading aloud to my kiddos every evening from a “just for fun” book.

That was a resolution I kept for many, many years to come. And one of the best habits we ever built into our family.

I highly recommend it!  :)

For suggestions on books to read aloud with your family, check out this list of Twaddle-Free Literature by grade level:

Recommended Children’s Literature by Grade Level

Happy reading! :-)


Are You on the Road to Debt and Destruction?

by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Every year since 1996, over one million personal bankruptcies have been filed in the United States. The majority of these are the direct result of poorly managed consumer debt.

I was informed recently that outstanding U.S. consumer debt (non-mortgage related) totals much more than a trillion dollars. The most disturbing fact behind that staggering number is that thirteen percent of that one trillion dollar figure, or thirteen billion dollars, was delinquent. 

Thirteen billion dollars of delinquent consumer debt. Over one million personal bankruptcies each year. Are YOU on the road to debt and destruction? Take this simple quiz and find out.  Continue reading