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Not quite, but almost....

April 7th, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Ready for Easter tomorrow! I was having a hard time coming up with ideas for the kiddo's Easter baskets. I had almost decided just to put in the candy and put some cash into a plastic egg. Well, DH thought it be nicer to give a gift instead. I think it would be nicer too, but I was having a hard time coming up with ideas. Together we brainstormed and came up with a gift each child will like. Sooooo, it's off to the dreaded Wal-Mart for Easter gifts. And, DANG it's cold outside! We had a record high temperature of 85* on Monday and it hasn't got up 36* today. BRRRR! If it gets into the teens tonight(which is predicted) the farms will lose all of their wheat and corn they have plantedFrown Not good...

But, the good news for me is that I have all of my food prepared for tomorrow's Easter dinner. We'll go to church and then to my sister's to have a frosty Easter feast!

Mary Kay and food budget

April 6th, 2007 at 01:16 pm

Wow! It's been quite a while since I blogged last!

Just wanted to talk about an experience that happened to me yesterday. At work I was asked by a co-worked if I would like to buy some Mary Kay make up. I nicely told her I didn't think so. She was really pushy and told me everything was half off...surely I would like some make up at 1/2 price. I told her "no, I don't generally use Mary Kay because it's too expensive". Of course she went on to say how much higher quality the make up is and it's worth the extra money. AND, of course, it's only half price which means it is a WONDERFUL deal! In the past I probably would have caved in and bought some. Mostly because I didn't want to look "poor". I was sooooo proud of myself when I told her that I wasn't interested in her makeup. I told her I'm raising three kids(she has none) and I'm lucky if I can afford Mabeline at Wal-Mart! About three other people in the room echoed my response with laughed and agreement! It made me feel great...like I'm not the only person in the world that has to watch those nickles and dimesSmile

On the budget homefront, I bought my weekly groceries today, including my fixings for Easter dinner. I stayed within my weekly budget! I still have $1.37 left in my weekly "food" envelope! Yippee!!!!!

Home from camping and menus

March 27th, 2007 at 07:44 am

Well, we are back in school after a restful week of spring break! We had great weather and we REALLY enjoyed our camping trip! We are looking forward to a summer full of campingSmile

My menus are a bit late. I've already prepared three of the meals I have planned.

#1 Fresh rainbow trout(caught on camping trip), mac and cheese, salad
#2 Spaghetti w/meat sauce, garlic bread, salad
#3 Chicken and stuffing casserole, green beans, cottage cheese
#4 Roast, mashed taters and gravy, salad, biscuits
#5 Ham and beans, cornbread
#6 Leftovers
#7 Church potluck

Going camping:)

March 21st, 2007 at 01:55 pm

Well, we're HOPING to go camping tomorrow. We've had a lot of rain for the past couple of days and more forecasted for Thursday and Friday. We'll see how things look tomorrow before we take off. We have camper, but it is NOT fun to be trapped inside of it with three kids while it rains...been there, done that! If it were just DH and I, it would be fun and kinda cozyWink

So far things have been going pretty well, money wise. We've been on spring break but managed to stay within budget. However, I did "up" the dining out budget for the month. I knew we would want to eat out a couple nights during spring break, and we have! Still, we haven't even used all of our dining out money yet! Woohoo!

Spring break reminds me that summer is getting close. I don't work during the summer, so I don't get paidFrown Time to start pinching those pennies a little harder(if possible)...

Ahhhhhhhh, Spring Break!

March 15th, 2007 at 04:25 pm

Today was my last day of work for over a week. I have tomorrow and ALL of next week off for Spring Break! Unfortunetly, I don't get PAID to be off! Oh well, I knew that this was part of the deal when I took the job. The kiddos will be off, and so will mama!Smile

I wish I could report all kinds of frugal money saving things that I did today...but, I can'tFrown I did take my lunch and drank water for lunch but, I picked up pizza for supper. I've uped my budget this week for spring break, so it didn't hurt it at all. DD and I have had a very hard week at school this week. Not to go into great detail, but because of something that happened to her at school, I reported it and her teacher got fired for it! I hated for that to happen and DD is really upset and afraid everyone will find out that she's the one who "told" on her teacher. Anyway, we both needed a little "pick me up" after all of the stress this week and we're NOT going over budget so we had pizza tonight!Smile

Tomorrow we'll head to the store and buy paint to paint in both DD's rooms over Spring Break. Also, we've resevred a space at a campground, so if the weather holds up, next week we'll have our first camping trip! Of course, everybody else we know is going on a "real" spring break trip...on a cruise, to New York City, Florida, Vegas. We can't afford those places, but we're REALLY looking forward to going camping! It's fun and it's in our price range!

Crockpot Pizza recipe

March 12th, 2007 at 12:09 pm

A couple people wanted the recipe for Crockpot Pizza. Here it is. Go to the website and you can see a picture of it.

http://tammysrecipes.com/crock_pot_pizza

Description:
A delicious layered crockpot casserole with egg noodles, cheese, pizza sauce, and pepperoni

Yield:
8 servings
Ingredients:
12 ounces egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions and drained
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onions
2 (14 ounce) jars pizza sauce or 1 large can spaghetti sauce*
3.5 ounces turkey or beef pepperoni**
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
3 cups (12 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:
1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until done. Drain. Stir in the pizza sauce and pepperoni.

2. Grease crock pot. Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce in bottom. Cover with layer of noodles, then a layer of the cheeses. Repeat layers twice.

3. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until heated through and cheeses are melted.

Frugal menu for the week

March 11th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

In no order:

*Tacos with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, onion, and salsa
*Cheeseburgers with baked french fries, baby carrots w/ranch dip
*Cashew Chicken with fried rice
*Nachos for a crowd, salad
*Chicken and Stuffing Casserole, Cal. mixed veggies, salad
*Crockpot Pizza, garlic toast, broccoli
*Leftovers/every man for himself night

Crockpot Pizza is a new recipe. I actually made it for church potluck today. It made a crockpot full, which means there's plenty for supper tonight and probably lunch tomorrow too!


Gosh I HATE spending money!

March 10th, 2007 at 01:49 pm

But, sometimes it's necessary. The kids and I went shopping today...YUCK! I hate shopping! I hate to spend the money and I hate fighting the crowds! I despartly need some new Spring clothes. Since I haven't worked for 15 years, I haven't required many "nice" clothes. I only needed a couple things for church. Well, now that I'm working I need nice clothes to wear to work. I managed to get through the first months of school with what I had this fall, but I don't have anything nice for Spring. I wish we had decent thrift stores here, but we don't. Also, I just entered the "big girl" sizes(hate to admit it, but it's trueFrown) and there just isn't anything to choose from in my size at the thrift stores. So, I had to shop today. All three of the kiddos needed a few new clothing items for Spring too. I hated like heck to spend the money. BUT, I can't tell you how nice it was to ACTULLY HAVE the money to buy the clothes! In the past I would've charged everything on the credit card and then would've had to "rob Peter to pay Paul" to try to get it paid off.

Anyway, I hated to spend the money, but at least this time I did have the money....even though I would've rather used it on something else!

Whew!!!

March 7th, 2007 at 02:16 pm

I barely came in under budget this week!

Wednesday is payday for us, so it's the day I replinish the "cash" envelopes(I use the envelope system....cash only for meSmile) All of my envelopes were empty this morning except for my "general" envelope, which held $2 and some change. I haven't cut it THIS close in a long time! Of course, there was money in the checking account, but that's for bill paying and not household misc.

Anyway, it's nice to have a little change in my pocket going jingle lingle ling, again!

Budget and extra's

March 3rd, 2007 at 01:11 pm

Not much going on around here as finances go. I've been doing well. I'm sticking to my budget, packing our lunches every day, keeping spending as low as possible. I have a couple of challenges coming up this month. I have about $300 in unexpected medical bills. I can pay them, but I'll have to pull money out of Emergency FundFrown. Also, this is the month to have our vehicle tags renewed which will cost about $300. I'd like to say that I'll cut back in other areas to help cover the cost, BUT, I have cut back just as far as I possible can! We'll be fine...I just won't be able to add any extra to saving this month, which I hate!

Hope everybody is having a great weekend!

Gifts, highlights, and track shoes

February 27th, 2007 at 02:37 pm

When I planned my 2007 budget, one of the catagories that I included this year was "gifts". In the past I had never budgeted for gifts. I usually just pulled the money out of my weekly "household" budget. Well, several times things got very tight around here when I had to take money from my household budget and I still needed to buy things like...uh...groceries...prescriptions...gasoline. So, I decided to make budget catagory for gifts.

Tonight we are going to my nephew's birthday party. I can't tell how nice it is to already have the money in place and not wonder what my family will have to do without this week so I can give my nephew a gift! Why didn't I think of this before????

On the homefront, we've had a nice low spend week so far. The girls and I have been taking our lunches to school all week and we've been eating leftovers for the past two nights. Since we have the birthday party tonight, we'll have a light supper of sandwiches, chips, and baby carrots with birthday cake for desert.

I have a couple big spend days coming up thoughFrown I simply HAVE to get my hair cut this weekend. It's been a while and it's looking awful! I've decided to go ahead and have highlights done this time. It'll probably be my last time though. I think I'll go back to just coloring it myself after this time. BTW, I'm only 36 and already have a ton of gray hair! I guess I'm vain enough that I don't enjoy people seeing how gray my hair is already. The highlights camoflauge my gray. I've tried it at home before and it just doesn't come out as well as it does at the stylist. But, like I said, I think this will be my last highlight jobSmile

Also, DS started track in school yesterday. He has to have new track shoes. The back thing is that he has to have TWO different kinds! I guess I'll be spending my weekend getting my hair cut/highlighted and finding the best value I can on track shoes(rolling my eyes)....

Quiet frugal day

February 24th, 2007 at 02:28 pm

It's been quiet around here today. It's been raining cats and dogs so it's been nice to stay in today. I would like to say that it's been a no spend day, but I DID have to run to Dollar Tree and buy a new shower curtainFrown I washed my old one so many times that it finally fell apart when I tried to wash it this morning. So, I did spend $1 today.

Frugal things I've done today:

#1 Found a recipe online for my favorite coffee creamer and made it this morning. It was very goodWink

#2 Searched online today for a cheap alternative for the cleaner that goes into my steam carpet cleaner...white vinegar!

#3 Had leftover Taco Soup for lunch.

#4 Went to the Dollar Tree and walked out with only one item(this is hard for me).

#5 Have homemade pizza crust rising for supper tonight.

#6 Did laundry and washed everything in cold water. However, since it was raining I didn't get to hang my clothes on the line like I'd planned to do.

#7 Plan to stay in the rest of the evening enjoying FREE tv with my family. Oh yeah, DD#2 spend some of her allowence money at the Dollar Tree on a giant word search so the family will probably spend some time on that tonight too. Funny how something like a cheap word search can entertain us for hours!LOL

Hopefully tomorrow will be a no spend day. We are going to church in the morning and that's all we have planned. Most of the congregation goes out for lunch after church but we get into the van and head home for a quick lunch instead. Who wants to spend the whole afternoon in a restaurant anyway?? Well, my kids probably would!LOL

BillPay, here I come!

February 23rd, 2007 at 02:10 pm

I was reading Pat's blog yesterday(http://patverettosfrugalliving.blogspot.com/) when it dawned on me that before long, I will be paying almost $1 for every two pieces of mail that I put into the mailbox! I was stunned! Doesn't that seem like a lot of money to mail two bills? So, I'm doing something that I should have done a long time ago. I'm finally jumping on the "online bill pay" bandwagon. I'm sure that most of you are already on that wagon. I'm not the most computer savvy person around, so I've been dragging on feet on this money saving option. NO MORE! I set up my first online payment today and it was very painlessSmile

The cost of a first class stamp is going up to .42. I mail approx. 10 bills every month. That means I will be paying $50.40 every year to mail my bills! Not THIS tightwad...not anymore. I only have one bill that can not be paid online. So, now the US Postal Service will only get a measly $5.04 from me. Oh, I'm sure I'll have the occasional bill or whatever that I'll have to send through the mail, but not very often. I opted several years ago not to send out Christmas cards anymore. All of my family live close so I don't have to send birthday cards or packages to far off relatives.

My new mission: Avoid the post office at all "costs"....