Saturday, February 26, 2011

Been Super Busy

This week has been extremely full and action packed with school, coupon class, and a cake!  Then we had Funfest at SES today and a sweet friend over to try hubby's new Chorizo Burger! 

I am gearing up for March as we speak.  I have a baby shower cake, a birthday cake, and 2 orders of birthday cupcakes (for a very sweet little boy).  Then we already have 2 coupon classes booked (if you are wanting to have a coupon class with your friends, get with me ASAP).  Also let me know if you would like to order cakes or cupcakes for birthdays, showers, and GRADUATION!  I'll even have some Easter cupcakes if you would like to order those (they will only be made if ordered, I try to make sure your desserts are super fresh).

Last night was an experiment for both myself and Amy Franks.  We did a combined coupon class/ 31 party and it worked out beautiful!  Everybody learned how to save money and then bought some really awesome stuff from 31.  If you are interested in a combined party we will all work together to make that happen!

I'm also getting psyched for a freezer cooking day.  With such a hectic schedule I want to make sure we don't run out for fast food and waste our money (except on  occasion).  I will be making my list and I will post it later.

Tonigh's menu was Chorizo Burgers, Jr's Baked Beans, and Melissa's Cupcakes for dessert!

I'm not sure if I can post those recipes but if you would like them I'll check and post if necessary.

I hope everybody has a wonderful week!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Time to Every Purpose, Under Heaven

Words-adapted from The Bible, book of Ecclesiastes
Music-Pete Seeger

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to build up,a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it's not too late

Lyric Freak
When I was a child the season was to play and learn.
As a young adult the season was to learn and work.
As a mother of 3 beautiful children and wife, my season is to love and provide.
Originally I believed provide meant simply going to work and working as hard and well as I could at my job and bring home a paycheck.  Now it's more than that.  As most of you know, I lost my job last January and haven't found work yet.  I began reassessing what it was I was going to "provide for my family".  I learned how to coupon.  It has been a huge saving grace.  I have learned how to get free tooth paste, tooth brushes, hair cair, body wash and so much more.  In fact, this week I got 3 toothpastes and made $4.50!!!   How awesome is that.
Then once I obtained a nice size stockpile, I reassessed my situation and figured out where I could buckle down more.  To bring in a little food money, I give coupon classes.  I make my own laundry soap and dishwasher detergent.  I am recycling.  And this summer, I have a huge garden planned, started a few seeds last night.  This will be a productive summer.  And while I need money to pay the bills, I'm learning to live without it more and more.  ***NOTE, if one of the 20 applications I have in this week goes thru and gets me a job I would be ecstatic.

Now you ask, well when you get at job you'll go right back to your old ways.  That is where I would have to proclaim WRONG!!!!  I have a great system for my coupons that I can easily keep up with while working a full-time job and finishing my educations.  My garden plans are already in motion and there is no stopping them.  I look forward to the SEASON of paying off my debts....all of which I had very good intentions of paying, yet due to circumstances beyond my control, I've failed miserably.  Alas, I will rise, and be a better person for it, in preperation for the seasons to come.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Blue Ribbon Muffins aka Walnut Pie Muffins

2 weeks ago my 11 yearold, Paige, entered a 4-H contest for muffins.  She searched the internet for ideas after looking thru my many cookbooks.  She finally found one that she wanted to try, Pecan Pie Muffins by Paula Deen.  Well, unfortunately for Paige we didn't have pecans, had all other ingredients, then I remembered some walnuts we had.  She decided to substitute them for the trial versions, I promised to go buy pecans before the big day.

The first batch she made I sat in the livingroom and she did it all in the kitchen, I only helped with pulling them from the oven (she was willing to do it, I know how bad it hurts to be burned tho).  Can we say pure HEAVEN?????  Loved them so very much!!!

I had to keep the recipe a secret before the big day.  Low and behold she won a BLUE RIBBON!!!  I was so very proud of her!  Still am as I sit here typing this.

I promised many people the recipe, and subsequently forgot to send it.  So I thought I would put in the blog to send to everyone and for future reference.

Just remember we used walnuts, feel free to substitue pecans.  When I slow up on dieting, I plan on doing a Derby Pie twist on them and I'll let you know how that turns out.....but it'll be awhile before that happens.


1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2/3 cups melted real butter

Heat over to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients well.
Put in a muffin tin (we sprayed with bakers spray).
Bake 15 minutes. 
Serves 10-12

Let us know if you try them and how they turned out!  I look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, February 11, 2011


The Fold N Go GIVEAWAY sponsored by Amy Franks 31 is being delayed.  I am moving the date back to February 28th.  This gives everybody only 17 more days to get involved!  But first things first.  You must be a follower of my blog.  You can do all the other steps, but if you forget to follow my blog, you can't win.  If you are unsure on how to "FOLLOW" here are some instructions to help.  However being a follower does not give you a chance to win.  Follow the instructions below for that!

Amy Franks has been so wonderful to donate a  Fold N Go Organizer $20.00 great for Couponing, taking to church for little ones, holding a Nook or a Kindle, Crochet needles, possibilities are endless!!!!

  Be a follower of this blog.
1. To be entered in the drawing, email Amy and enter FOLD N GO in the subject line.This will give her an opportunity to send you an updated Spring/Summer Catalog.
2. Let me know in the comments of this blog that you emailed her.
3. "Like" Thirty One Gifts by Amy on Facebook and tag me in a comment letting her know how you found out about her.
4. Blog about this giveaway and let me know by posting a link back to this blog and leaving it in the comments.


This is 5 easy ways you can enter!!! No obligation to buy!!!

There will be one other way to increase your chances of winning.  I'll explain that during the catalog show.

If anything is unclear. Please let me know! I want everyone to have a fair shot of winning!!! GOOD LUCK!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Coupon Classes - Win a Coupon Binder!!!

As most of you know, I love to give coupon classes.  I have recently decided to start doing drawings for a free coupon binder in any class that has more than 15 people in attendance. 

What is a Coupon Class

My coupon class lasts anywhere from 2-3 hours long.  I go over: Where to get coupons, How to organize, How to maximize your coupon use, Stockpiling, and a few other money saving tidbits.  These classes are usually hosted by someone, who may or maynot provide refreshements (I mean really, how can you eat at a time like this, lol!)  The charge is $10 per person.  I give you a handout, which basically overviews everything I go over, coupons if I am able to get any extra, and sample of Homemade Laundry Detergent.

I am able to give classes anytime on Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.  The other days of the week are limited, but not completely blocked out. 

If you or someone you knows would like for me to give a class, I will happily drive to Hohenwald, Spring Hill, Lawrenceburg, or anywhere in between.  If you live in another direction, say Florence, AL or Nashville,  I would consider it on a Saturday as long as you had a crowd of 20 and my family and I could spend the rest of the day in the city.

I do have openings for the rest of February.

I would love to be able to show you and your friends how to coupon!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What I Have "Won" With Swagbucks

Lots of people have asked me why I chose to use Swagbucks for all my searching needs.  My constant reply is the FREE stuffs! 

There are so many ways you can earn your Swagbucks.  Some of the ways you can win include:  searching, swagbucks tv, special offers, games, trusted surveys, daily deals, daily polls, and so much more!  There is quite a bit you can do within minutes.  For example, I take a moment to answer the daily poll, and that is worth 1 Swag Buck.  I've down loaded the Swagbucks toolbar and everyday you use it, you get 1 Swag Buck.  It is so nice to use the toolbar too, you don't have to go to the Swagbucks homepage everytime to search.

A few weeks ago an offer came thru that if you bought a $20 Amazon gift card (for only $10) you also received 200+ Swag Bucks.  Woohoo!  That's almost halfway to another $5 Amazon gift card!  What a deal!

Now I only do the daily polls and search.  But as you can see there are other things you can do to earn those Swag Bucks.   Even though I am very minimalistic, I still earn a $5 Amazon gift card every 2 weeks, not shabby for searching the web....and if you are reading this, then you probably already search the web anyway.

So back on track, what do I receive???

To date, I have earned $65 in Amazon gift cards.  I've purchased a DVD on Deer processing for my daughter, a Vegetable Gardening for Dummies for me, and a pair of $32 Liberty overalls for my husband that he DESPERATELY was in need of!  Everything arrived quickly and was in great condition!  And the best part, FREE!

You can purchase other items with your Swag Bucks.  My suggestion?  Get started using the widget to your right (that black box).  Once you are signed up, Search the site see all the goodies they have to offer in the Swag Store.  Good Luck!!!!

Please let me know how you do!  I love to hear/receive comments!

Fold N Go Giveway

Ok ya'll. We only have a little over a week left for the giveaway and I'm only seeing one entry!  You have multiple chances to win!!! Please read this post and get your entries in!  I want everyone to have a chance!  Ready, Set, Go!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011


One significant way I plan on cutting costs in 2011 is GARDENING.  My very first attempt at gardening I was pregnant with my oldest.  My mom and her boyfriend helped me and it turned out pretty good (wasn't just huge, but it worked).  Last year I had big plans.  Well, by the time we got the tiller running and I got out of my funk (I had just been let go from work), it was May or June before anything made it in the ground.  We did have some cherry tomatoes in October and a row of under productive beans.  I learned 2 things from last year: planning is key and you can grow plants from seed.


This year I have put LOTS of thought into my garden.  To start with, the tiller and water pump is already in working order (and we have plans on checking it the first of March to be on the safe side).  I bought a Farmer's Almanac at the Dollar General and have been reading on it.  Lots of people believe in gardening by the moon.  So by golly that's what I'm gonna do (or at least try).  I have all my dates listed in a day planner and I'm ready to go!

Growing from Seeds

As anybody knows seeds are significantly cheaper than buying the actual plant.  Even if you only plan on 3-4 tomato and pepper plants, 1 pack of seeds will be cheaper than those plants.  Not sure if you have a green thumb?   Don't worry.  It's almost foolproof!   We are taking empty yogurt cups, butter tubs, and cool whip containers and starting our seeds in there.  Another pitfall from last year was planting the seeds too late.  So I actually plan on getting our seeds started about the first of March and transplanting in April.  I'm super excited!

What I am Planting

Well, I plan on lots of goodies.  Tomatoes, green peppers, jalapenos, cayenne, squash, eggplant, cucumber, corn, green beans, herbs, green onions, carrots, spinach, cabbage, turnips, and lettuce.  I know that is a huge list to work on.  I believe I can do this.  It doesn't hurt to try!  My mouth is watering thinking of all the fresh veggies we will have to munch on this summer.

Do you plan on putting out a garden?  If so, what are your favorite vegetables?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm Bummed

My birthday is Sunday and I have talked NONSTOP about going out to Olive Garden on Saturday!  We owe it to Paige (because she has made Honor Roll not once, but twice this year) and it was going to be my birthday dinner.  I could almost taste their crisp salad and yummy breadsticks!  I'm not sure what I would've ordered, but you can bet it would have been creamy and savory.  I was even going to sneak over to Gigi's Cupcakes and get us a couple of those.  This would have been a big splurge for our family, but hey, you don't celebrate birthdays and awesome report cards everyday, right?

You may be asking, "Why are you not going now?"  Well, let me tell ya!   I went into Kroger for a few items that were on the 4-day sale.  I had a budget of $10.  $60 later, I now have 2 gallons of chocolate milk, 2 gallons of 1% milk, lots of boneless skinless chicken breasts, cauliflower, celery, and some other odds and ends.  These were great deals!!! I just coudln't pass them up!  1/2 gallon of chocolate milk is 99 cents.....well if you buy 2, that is only $1.98 for a gallon of premixed chocolate milk, you can't buy regular milk that cheap!  Great Buy!.  The regular milk (all but skim) was $1.25 for a half gallon, making that only $2.50 for a gallons worth, which was $1 cheaper than buying a gallon of milk.  With 3 kids, having milk on hand is a must!  Then I'm starting a diet on February 1st.  I'm following the signs of the moon and I'm pumped.  Well, I needed the boneless skinless chicken breast for that, and it was marked down (the only reason why I went ahead and got it and bought so much of it).  Plus the cauliflower and celery were marked down and I can chop them up for my Once A Month Cooking.  So while I'm super excited about all my purchases, I'm bummed about my birthday dinner.  I'm still going to take Paige the next weekend because she has worked so hard for hers, but I will just have to sit back and let her enjoy the meal alone.

First Things First

I am super excited and ready to announce the prize we are giving away thanks to Amy Franks 31.  But first things first.  You must be a follower of my blog.  You can do all the other steps, but if you forget to follow my blog, you can't win.  If you are unsure on how to "FOLLOW" here are some instructions to help.

Now that we have that taken care of, I'm happy to announce our item to be given away on February 15th!!!!  Amy Franks has been so wonderful to donate a  Fold N Go Organizer $20.00 great for Couponing, taking to church for little ones, holding a Nook or a Kindle, Crochet needles, possibilities are endless!!!!

Also, if you head over before January 31st, Amy has some awesome Thermal Totes for sale!  These are WONDERFUL if you like taking your lunch to work or school. You can use them to keep drinks cold in your car for work or ballgames(b/c buying a 6pack or case is much cheaper than 1 at a time at the store).  They make great coolers for carrying bottles to and from the babysitter.  The larger one is great for storing some frozen food items from the grocery store.  Think ahead and you can even use them as Easter Baskets!!!  They are at a great price: $8 for a small, $10 for a large, and monogramming is only $1.50!!!

Beginning February 1st, I will also be hosting a catalog show on the blog.  I will get that information out to you then.

Back to this give away tho:

  Be a follower of this blog.
1. To be entered in the drawing, email
2. Let me know in the comments of this blog that you emailed her.
3. "Like" Thirty One Gifts by Amy on Facebook and tag me in a comment letting her know how you found out about her.
4. Blog about this giveaway and let me know by posting a link back to this blog and leaving it in the comments.

This is 4 easy ways you can enter!!! No obligation to buy!!!

There will be one other way to increase your chances of winning.  I'll explain that during the catalog show.

If anything is unclear. Please let me know! I want everyone to have a fair shot of winning!!! GOOD LUCK!
Amy and put FOLD N GO in the subject line! This will give her an opportunity to send you an updated Spring/Summer Catalog.

How To Be A Follower

Some of you may want to be a stalker, that's fine and dandy.  But this set of instructions are only teaching you how to FOLLOW "My Life on a Dime".  If you have any questions please let me know on Facebook, or my email

Click on the “Follow” button in the right hand column of the blog.
You can sign in using an existing account such as yahoo, twitter, or google. If you don’t have an account, it’s very easy to set one up.
Then click “Agree”.
Next it gives you a user name (which you can change). You also have the option to follow publicly or privately.
Then click “Follow this blog”.
It will now say you are following “My Life on a Dime” and finally click Done and you are an official follower!
After you become a follower (and catch up on all those wonderful posts). If you haven’t started Swagbucks, get started on that too! Click the widget to the right on the “Sign Up”. I have been able to purchase books, overalls for Jr, and more by earning $5 Amazon Gift Cards! Simple & Easy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Now is the time!

To become a follower of my blog!  Along with seeing what craziness I will type next!  I'm putting together a few giveaways from friends of mine from their home businesses!

These will be no obligation to buy and plenty of chances for multiple entries!!!

First up is going to be Thirty One Gifts by Amy!!!  I went to school with Amy and her husband Jason.  They are wonderful parents to 4 beautiful children.  The giveaway will begin next week and coincide with a catalog order for Thirty One!!!  I'm so excited!

To be eligible you must do the following:

First and foremost you MUST be a follower of my blog!  No exceptions!

Go ahead and get that step out of the way and suggest to all your friends!  I want everyone to be ready to win this exciting offer!

And while you are waiting on this exciting giveaway, get with Amy on a great special she has ending this month!   Thermal totes super cheap and monogramming for only $1.50!

Sunday, January 23, 2011


As you all know, I have been pushing for people to purchase the Daily Herald (from Columbia, TN) because they WERE the most consistent with the coupons.  They have recently quit carrying one of the inserts due to not resubscribing to them!  I want you all to be warned!  Now to get all your inserts you would have to buy 1 each of the Tennessean and Daily Herald (I would buy 2 copies of each!)  This is not cool.  Of course you can get the Democrat Union (out of Lawrenceburg, TN) for 50 cents and they carry I believe Redplum (correct me if I'm wrong). 

There are internet coupons (which I have recently been printing).  My main gripe with that is you don't know the expiration date until it's printed and you may end up printing something that you can't redeem in time.

I plan on contacting the Daily Herald (which I probably should have done since week 1).  I have really pushed the sale of their paper, because they were so consistent!  I don't buy the paper for any other reason.  I wonder how many of you only buy the paper for coupons?  Let me know I'm curious.

Contact the Daily Herald @

Let me know the response you get!

Meal Planning Weekending January 29, 2010

Last week's plan was only half way followed.  But I at least had a plan.
This weeks plan is as follows (I'm not gonna assign a day, that was just too strict).
Today has been fend for yourself.  We are definitely having Chicken Livers, Mashed Potatoes, Pinto Beans, Cornbread, (maybe some Mac and Cheese too).
Spaghetti Bake
Tunafish Sandwiches
Egg Salad Sandwiches
Chili Dogs
Hamburger Helper
White Beans and Cornbread
Italian Chicken
Taco Soup
Red Beans and Rice
Very plain, but this is the last week (for me at least) of the pantry challenge.  I don't want to use things I just put in my freezer.  I need to keep certain items stockpiled.  One thing I have learned in all this was there are certain things that get passed over a lot!  Meatloaf is one of them.  I've tried to have this meatloaf for 3 weeks now.  I don't care for meatloaf, everyone else does.  But we've learned how to do a BBQ meatloaf and this one is just a plain meatloaf, so nobody wants it :(.  I go to school tomorrow night.  I'm going to thaw it and some mashed potatoes and let Paige warm it all up while I'm at school (with her daddy's supervision, of course).
This pantry challenge has also allowed me to reduce the amounts I have on hand to better organize, clean, and list all I have on hand!  This will make me much more efficient in the coming months when I'm shopping and cooking!
Anybody else doing the pantry challenge?  If so, how are you doing?  I would love to hear from you!!!  Leave some feedback!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Night = Date Night

Okay, Okay.  I haven't had a "Date Night" in YEARS!!!  But we did lose one kid for the evening unexpectedly.  Another one already asleep (I do suspect screeming will commence shortly).  The last little munchkin is happily munching his bologna and mustard sandwich, recipe to follow (ok, so that was a joke). 

We did, however, stop at HICKMART (Eliza Karyl calls Quik Mart that) and rented 2 movies.  Barbiesomethinganother and SALT.  We are in the middle of Salt now.  Pretty good so far, but I'd rather blog! lol

One thing I've been busy with (in case ya'll have been wondering).  COOKING!  I posted that stew recipe, but I don't know if I told you, while I was chopping my celery and onions for it, I finished chopping the whole bag of celery, then I chopped 3 more onions and had enough to make 3 bags of chopped veggies for the next soups or stews.  It took an extra 5 minutes, but now I won't have to drag out the cutting board for that task (which I despise anyway.....I don't mind doing it on a large scale, but really don't like doing a little each night).  This is also a huge savings  in money.  I had bought the bag of celery for 69cents.  Not entirely sure, but regular price is usually around $2.  I don't use celery that often, so instead of throwing the rest away, I utilized it for future use.  I only have to wash the knife and cutting board 1 time versus 4 times, thus saving dish soap, and time.  See how all that works?

I am gearing up for my vegetable garden this year!!!!  I really hope it does good.  I just bought, and received, a book off of Amazon (free thanks to SWAGBUCKS....sign up on the widget to your right) "Vegetable Gardening for Dummies".  While I don't feel I am a DUMMY (hush it Bailey), I am a book worm.  If I am to do something I need to know the Science behind it all.  This allows me to "get it".  And I'm more of a Math geek than a Science geek.  I hope to keep ya'll updated on my garden as well (so this summer, I may really slack on posts, but I hope to stay on top of it all). 

Anybody else looking forward to gardening or have a new recipe???  Tell me about it!  I would love to see!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Five A Day, plus a recipe or 3

Everybody loves coupons right? Well, if you haven’t noticed I sure do! I’ve been following a blog “Couponing to Disney”. This lady emails 5 different companies a day and let them know what she thinks of their product. Sometimes they send coupons (even for free stuff), sometimes they don’t. I figure I can set aside a few minutes each day to e-mail 5 companies for some possible free products! I will keep everybody posted on my progresses (probably weekly). Let me know if you decide to do it as well! You can check out her blog about it and how she does hers and tracks it. Very valuable information and a great starting point too!
In the past, I never printed Internet coupons, I’m coming to realize how great they can be. I don’t worry if the coupon is already gone, but if it’s still there, sometimes you can get lots of free stuff too! Also, I may be reconsidering my whole stand against Wal-mart. I mean really, they have a huge travel size section that could score lots of freebies! We’ll see. I may even go tonight, wonder if Jr wants to drive me to town? lol

Tonight’s menu (I think I was supposed to make it yesterday, oops) DEER STEW, pinto beans, cornbread

3lb cubed venison (you could used beef)
2lb carrots
3 celery stalks
3-4 lb potatoes
1 medium yellow onion

I soak my deer meat in salt water for at least an hour (I use canning salt tends to do better). Then I drain that off and coat each piece in flour (I add salt and pepper to the flour for flavor). Next I fry my meat in ½ inch of vegetable oil in my electric skillet (I have a big one I use for this). After the meat is browned I add water and let it simmer for 2 hours. At any time in this, I start cutting up my celery and carrots. They can be added any time (we like our carrots DONE). After 2 hours, I add more water if necessary, diced potatoes (I dice big so they are hearty bites), and onion. Cook till the potatoes are tender (can be an hour, sometimes less). Once all the vegetables are tender, I mix a few tablespoons of flour with ½ cup of water and add if the “juice” needs any thickening.
This serves my family of 5 with plenty of yummy leftovers.  Let me know how yours turns out!

1 lb. dry beans, rinsed - (can be soaked overnight, I never do tho)
Pork fat, or bacon (I have just used bacon grease before as well).
Salt to taste

Easiest way is to put in a crockpot on high for about 6 hours or more. Make sure your water doesn’t boil out. Can be done on the stove quicker, just make sure you keep plenty of water in the pot so they don’t burn.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put your cast iron skillet with about a ¼ cup of vegetable oil in to be heated.

Mix in a bowl:
2 cups of self-rising cornmeal
1 egg
½ cup of buttermilk (full-fat is best)

Add the hot oil from the skillet to this mixture and mix well. The consistency should be that of cake batter maybe a smidgen thicker. If you need to add a little more buttermilk, regular milk, or water.

Pour into cast iron skillet and cook about 30 minutes, if it’s not brown on top, turn on the broiler for a minute or two.  After removing from the oven, let the bread set for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a plate before slicing!  Wipeout your skillet of crumbs, never use soap in your skillet, and it will help keep things from sticking!


Sunday, January 16, 2011

Who says nothing in life is free???

Certainly not me!

If you have never heard of SWAGBUCKS let me tell you!  Swagbucks is basically a rewards program for searching items in their search engine.  It's super simple and easy to do.   To get started, go to my widget at the right hand side of the page and click "Sign Up", you will be well on your way towards earning swagbucks.  Do it now!!!  Before you forget!!! lol

Now that your signed up, there are many things you can do to earn swagbucks: searching, using their toolbar, surveys, shopping, and more!  It is so simple!  I honestly only use the toolbar to search.  I don't stress about any of the other mess at the moment.  I do however have about a dozen referrals.  Each referral you have they will match that person's swagbucks (searches only, I believe up to 1000).  So if I have 9 referrals and all 9 hit the 1000 swagbucks, my friends basically earned me $50 in Amazon gift cards!  Mainly because that is my product of choice in the Swagstore!  There are many other cards you can purchase with your swag bucks, but read carefully and research before purchasing!  Also, do the math!!!  They have a $5 and $25 Amazon gift card, but it is cheaper to purchase 5, $5 cards than it is 1, $25 card.  So think it thru thoroughly before committing.  If you have any questions about swagbucks let me know.  I hope to do more posts in the future.

There is also another program similar to Swagbucks called CHECKPOINTS, this link takes you to my friend Becky Perry's blog.  If you own an iTouch, iPhone or Android phone, you might be interested in this new app called “Checkpoints”.  Follow her instructions on how to sign up and her tips are useful...I don't have any of these phones, but she has one, and as I said before, Who says nothing in life is free? lol  ENJOY!!!

Meal Plans for Weekending January 22, 2010

Monday - Lunch, Deer Stew                            Dinner, Leftovers/ or Cereal
Tuesday - Lunch, Spaghetti Bake                     Dinner, Chili Dogs
Wednesday - Lunch, Tuna Fish Sandwiches      Dinner, Roast Beef
Thursday - Lunch, Leftovers or Potato Soap      Dinner, Sausage Omelets, Biscuits and Gravy & Homefries
Friday - Lunch, Egg Salad Sandwiches              Dinner, Italian Chicken Breasts
Saturday - Lunch, Beans and Cornbread            Dinner, Grilled Pork Chops

Vegetables will be determined as I go, but definitely it will be items we already have in the pantry. Breakfast will vary on what we are in the mood for, but never much more than cereal, oatmeal, or just scrambled eggs.

Anybody else doing a pantry challenge? If you’re not sure what I’m talking about go to Life as MOM, she takes you step-by-step. It has really opened up my eyes on how much I stockpile.

On another note, I was quite saddened that I didn’t make it to CVS last week, but I chose not to. I really wanted to cash in on a few bargains, but honestly, I have all the toiletries I need, so I’m trying very hard to not go. I want to dwindle down some of my stockpiles first. So unless I’m already in town (which I probably will be this week, lol) I won’t stress about it too much.

I am constantly questioned about why I buy items I don’t need at the time. To sum it up. I “buy” things when they are super cheap to free. Let me ask you this. When you buy your body wash. Your everyday stuff, whatever brand that is, including generic. Would you like to pay $5 +tax for it? Or would you like to only pay the taxes on it and get a name brand? I’m loving my closet full of name brands that I paid considerably less for than if I only bought stuff as I needed it. So yes, I stockpile when I get the chance. It’s not every week that you can get what you need for free!

Couponing takes work. It’s not hard, but you get out of it what you put in to it. Some people have a little time, some people have a lot of time. Unfortunately I’m one that has a lot. But you know…the more I do this, the easier it gets. I see no reason no matter how busy my life is why I can’t set aside 2 extra hours a week to work on saving my family some money! I hope you will be able to as well!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm Getting Excited!

I've got lots of different things going on in my life, and when I get excited, I write! lol.  But the one thing that affects you all, give aways.  I'm working on getting a few give aways together (and guest posts) to help my friends out in their businesses.  I need your help!  Suggest my blog to all your friends, the more people we have, the more likely I can get people to offer you all something!  So please, suggest, suggest, SUGGEST!!!  If you are reading this blog, but haven't officially signed up as a follower, I encourage you to do so, all giveaways will have to be for followers, so go ahead and follow now, and that is one less step you'll have to take when you enter the give aways! 

I hope by the end of the week I can let you know about the first give away!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Been a Busy Day!!

I've spent the day helping my inlaws organize their kitchen cabinets.  I'm nowhere near finished!  At least I wasn't freezing in the snow! lol

This is officially Day 12 of the pantry challenge, hosted by Fishmama.  I haven't been majorly grocery shopping since December 23rd.  I have bought milk, some fresh produce, and some great deals.  I have spent considerably less while following this challenge.

Yesterday I organized my freezers which was such an eye opener.  I had no clue I had quite that much meat onhand.  I am going to do my best to stay on this challenge till February (but I get antsy when my reserves go down!).

Todays meals were strictly PANTRY!!!


4 Partial boxes of Toaster Struedels divided up. 


Left over Chicken and Dumplings, added a bag from the freezer to have enough for all 5 of us, my 2 nieces, and my mother- and father-in-law.


Left over goulash, left over green beans, left over mashed potatoes. 

Such a plain day, but it was all good, and NOTHING went to waste!  What a success!

After the day at my in-laws and seeing all the groceries they had that they had forgot about due to children helping them put it away, I was thinking, I wished I could encourage them to do a pantry challenge!  They would be so surprised!  I know I have been with my pantry!

Anybody else participating?  If you are, how are you doing??  Let me know!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today's Pantry Meals


Everybody had cereal and milk. 


Sandwiches for some.  Leftover Chicken and Dumplings or Corn Chowder for others.


Southwestern Goualsh and Mexican Cornbread.

2lbs ground beef and fry it up with some onion
Cook a box of elbow macaroni (not completely done, just almost done).
Mix those 2 together with about 2 cans (14 oz)of diced tomatoes (I'll even put one can of rotel in there) (Can add corn to it).
Add salt, pepper, garlic powder (or garlic salt) to taste.
Put it in a casserole pan and top with cheese, bake in the oven at 325 degrees until the cheese is melted (this should finish cooking your noodles too). Also if you are doing this for the freezer. Cook your meat (in bulk) and freeze what you need for one recipe. I buy those HUGE 109ish oz cans of Tomatoes at CeeBee or Wal-Mart and divide it up into portions and refreeze for later (usually quart bags). Also you can go ahead and add any seasonings or onion or pepper you may not want to forget till later. On a busy night, pull it, heat it all up on the stove while the noodles are cooking, and finish. And yes, mine is not too spicy (due to 2 little kids, mainly Thomas), spice it up with jalapenos, hotpepper cheese, green chilis, hot sauce.
I'll be topping mine with some sour cream too, if Paige didn't eat it all!

  • Cooking oil/ shortenings
  • 1 cup cornmeal (self rising)
  • 1 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 8 1/2 cream style corn (I have used just niblets) 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded chedder cheese
  • 1 4.5 oz can chopped green chiles, drained
How to Make It

  • Place shortening in a 9 inch cast iron skillet and heat in a 450 F oven for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Combine sour cream, corn and eggs mixing well. Add to cornmeal, stirring just until moistened.
  • Poor some of the hot grease (about a tablespoon) into the mixture and mix.
  • Spoon half the batter into hot skillet and sprinkle with cheese and drained chiles; top with remaining batter.
  • Bake at 450 F for 23 to 25 minutes or until browned. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing. (If using 9 inch pie plate bake at 375 F)
Would love to see recipes for goulash and mexican cornbread from others!!!

Odds and Ends Savings Part 1

Part 1

Laundry detergent.

I have learned to coupon to the point of finding $1 laundry detergent, which is a pretty good buy, you get about ½ gallon or so for that $1. Then I remembered watching 17 kids and counting (yep that was before she had a few more). They made their own laundry detergent. I thought to myself then…..I don’t think I’ll ever do that! Well guess what? Not only am I doing THAT! I am using their recipe!!!! You can find the recipe on their website, but I have it on my computer so I’m going to copy and paste. But if you search the Duggars look under recipes and it’s in there with the food recipes.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap- Front or top load machine- best value
½ Cup Borax
- Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

I have used it exactly as written for the past 6 months. We love it (and the savings). Paige actually is the one to make it, it’s that easy. As written, it costs about 30-40 cents per gallon! Yes I said GALLON! But I read somewhere you could substitute the Fels-Naptha soap bar with Ivory soap. Fels-Naptha is $1.29 per bar, I bought 6 bars of Ivory for $1 (had to use 2 bars though). But still that cut our cost down even more! So yeah, I’m excited!!! But back on track, the Fels-Naptha soap bar, A& H washing soda, and Borax can all be purchased at Kroger! They are all on the laundry detergent aisle, same side even. The bar of soap is usually on a top shelf, and the other 2 are usually side by side. And just to make life super simple, we put 1 cup Borax so we wouldn’t have to remember which one was half a cup! lol, I know I’m lazy!

Dishwasher Powder
As an added bonus, you can use the washing soda and borax in your dishwasher and it works just fine! Mix 1 cup of each together and blend well, add 2 tablespoons to your dishwasher, does great! Cascade gel tablets cost about 25 cents each (if you catch them on sale) this costs about 14 cents a load. And you already have that stuff on hand if you’re making the laundry detergent!!! Another little added hint, if you make Crystal Lite by the ½ gallons, those little pre-measured cups the powder comes in is the exact amount you need, so I use one as a measuring cup in my dish detergent.

I have never been one to put fabric softener in my wash. I did use dryer sheets, any kind really. Mainly to help decrease the static in our clothes. (When Jr and I first got together he decided that was a waste of 5 bucks and skipped buying it, I put my foot down, either we got dryer sheets or I was gone!) That was a little drastic, but oh my! It was horrible! In the same breath, I really detest used dryer sheets that tend to float all over the house. I tried the bounce bar and for some reason I can’t for the life of me make it stick (others I know have no problem, so it must be me). Then I taught a coupon class for a lovely lady in Ethridge and she suggested trying the following: take some fabric softener (I’ve been using Downy because I got it super cheap) and fill the bottle about ¼ full and add the rest with water…..spray on top of your damp clothes in the dryer and dry as normal. Works like a charm!

With this much savings I just can't bring myself to buy "real" laundry detergent anymore!  If you are afraid to invest in the ingredients to try it let me know!  Jr sells 2 liter bottles of the stuff for 50cents.  You can try a small amount to see if you like it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

GREAT NEWS! Contest Extended


The ladies over at Meal Planning Mommies have an awesome give away! They have a Pampered Chef Covered Deep Dish Baker to give away to one lucky Mommy! (or Daddy I’m sure if he won). Head over there for 4 chances to enter! It’s really simple and no matter what, they’ll send you an email for some delicious meals that cost under $2!!! What a deal! Chance to win, plus FREE, cheap recipes! Contest ends today (SUNDAY), Thursday (I believe January 13th).
I hope everyone has time to enter!


From my dear sweet friend Melissa Farr:
White Chili
Place all Ingredients in a pot and heat...32 oz chicken broth,3 cans undrained white beans,5 c cooked chicken,16 oz jar salsa,8 oz grated pepper jack,2 tsp cumin,2 cloves chopped garlic....serve topped with tostitos or fritos.

This is very good and so easy!!

From another friend Judy Smith:
Corn Chowder

3 slices bacon, diced and fried crispy, remove the bacon, add 1/2 cup onion, and 1/3 cup jalapeno pepper (or 1/2 cup sweet green pepper) and sautee until tender but not browned. Add 14 ounces of chicken broth and a cup of diced potatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a bag of frozen corn (16 ounce) or 3 cups fresh and I added a half a bag of diced ham that I bought from the store pre-diced. Cook for about 10 more minutes after it comes back up to simmer. Meanwhile, take 4 teaspoons flour, about a teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper (or to taste) and mix well. Wisk 1 and 1/2 cups of milk into the flour mixture. After the corn mixture is finished and the corn and potatoes are tender, stir in the milk mixture and cook until it starts to thicken and gets bubbly, then cook for about 1 more minute. Add the cooked bacon back in and heat it through and enjoy. Hope you like it as well as I do.

And just head on over to this link for Paula Deen’s Taco Soup!

Anytime I have at least 2 cups of left over Taco Soup, I freeze it for a casserole later.  What I do is thaw the soup, cook about 4 cups of white rice and put at the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch pan, top with leftover soup and cover with cheese.  Heat on 325 in the oven until the casserole is heated thoroughly and cheese has melted (probably about 30 minutes).  ENJOY! :D

All 3 would be a great way to warm up on a day like today!


Well it’s a snow day! I hope everyone has a wonderfully safe day! Stay warm and here are a couple of recipes to get you through the day! Throw you on a big pot of soup or chili before heading out to play!!!


Basic Recipe
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
large bowl of snow (about 3 quarts)

Blend milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir in enough snow to make snow cream to an ice cream consistency. Variations - There are many variations for snow cream. For example, substitute canned cream for milk for a heavier flavor. Add Nestles Quik for a chocolate snow cream, or use instant cocoa mix. Another variation is to add plump raisins and cinnamon, or add a beaten egg for a nog taste. Puree an overripe banana and add to the mixture. Get creative - you know your family's tastes.

Note: ALWAYS - ALWAYS make sure the snow is clean. It takes at least one to two hours for snow to clean the pollutants from the air, then use only snow that has fallen after that first cleansing snow. It also goes without saying (but I will anyway), to make sure you do not collect the snow where animals and birds eat (or do other things). Cleanliness first. Stress that with the kids, because this is a treat even the younger ones can make for the whole family.


Couldn’t find my other recipe, so I got this one for you.
6 1/2 cups powdered milk
1 (5 ounce) package non-instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix
1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
In a large bowl, combine powdered milk, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate drink mix powder, creamer, confectioners' sugar, and cocoa. Divide the mixture between two 1 quart jars. Seal, and decorate as desired. These can be stored in a dry area for up to 3 months.
Attach a tag with the following instructions: Hot Cocoa: Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Once A Month Cooking - OAMC

So many things can be written about this. I just want to touch the basic concepts. I learned about OAMC at Life as MOM . She has been an invaluable resource for all types of ideas for cooking for the freezer. But first you may ask me, “Why would you want to eat out of the freezer all the time?” The beauty of this is I don’t. Maybe half the month. Usually on days I’m at school. Instead of buying a frozen lasagna or frozen pizza, or wondering what the kids are going to eat if Jr and I don’t feel like cooking, we have a few freezer meals to fall back on (and we’re lucky enough that Paige is old enough to really help in the cooking of them if necessary). Jr’s main complaint is, he doesn’t want all casseroles, so that is challenging for me, not just in OAMC, but everyday, because I LOVE crockpot meals and casseroles. So I have to try and mix it up some.

Favorites so far are: lasagna (of course), homemade meatballs, taco meat, browned meat for sloppy joes, shredded chicken for subs, soups, chili, bbq deer meat (can be used as a main dish or to top loaded potatoes), burritos, creamy mashed potatoes. I need to focus on building fajita kits, making some pot pies, and prepping more vegetables so they’ll be ready to added to any meal, such as: diced onion, sliced peppers, and so on. I’ve also finally ventured into baking from scratch (ever so lightly, cuz me and Ms. Crocker have known each other too long for me to just dump her!). Today Paige is going to make some banana nut muffins (she received some muffin baking cups (silicone I think) for Christmas, and nana and granny have been begging for some! The leftovers we’ll freeze for breakfast. Also, most Saturdays or Sundays it’s Thomas’ time to cook pancakes (he’s the best pancake flipper EV-ER). So if there is any leftover batter, we cook them on up and freeze them (just like Aunt Jemima). I’ve recently discovered an old blog at Life as MOM for how to do breakfast sandwiches (it was a lot of readers helping readers). So the next time I’m at Wal-Mart I’m going to get some English muffins and give it a try. I really dispise having to wake up and cook before I’m awake (don’t mind it if I’m getting paid tho, lol).
The plus side to doing all this cooking once a month. You’ll only be dirtying big pots once or twice instead of 30-31 days. Think of only cleaning the big pots once a month! For my family we also do a LOT of browned ground beef: sloppy joes, hamburger helper, sometimes spaghetti, lasagna, tater tot casserole, goulash, the list goes on for ever. So if I decide between all those meals I need 30 pounds of ground beef, when I buy it (preferrably on sale, or marked down) I just go ahead and fry it up (usually with onion, because I’m an onion freak) and then just package it as needed either just in 2 pound packs or go ahead and assemble the casserole for the freezer. The biggest issue I have is enough dishes (luckily my mom gave me all hers and that helps out a lot). Then another item, creamy mashed taters….if potatoes go on sale, I make up a huge batch of this (it has cream cheese in it so it will freeze ok) and I bought foil christmas tree pans on clearance at Wal-mart 2/25 cents…..perfect sizing for my family! I really don’t like to peel potatoes every night, but I wouldn’t mind doing 20 pounds once a month! And to mash them I just add all my seasonings, butter, and cream cheese to my Kitchen Aid mixer and let it do the work for the creamiest potatoes ever!
I’ll cover more on freezer cooking as I do it. I will definitely have recipes available. So keep your eyes peeled for them!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


The ladies over at Meal Planning Mommies have an awesome give away! They have a Pampered Chef Baker to give away to one lucky Mommy! (or Daddy I’m sure if he won). Head over there for 4 chances to enter! It’s really simple and no matter what, they’ll send you an email for some delicious meals that cost under $2!!! What a deal! Chance to win, plus FREE, cheap recipes! Contest ends today (SUNDAY) I hope everyone has time to enter!

Food Lion Trip 1-8-11

Of course they’re calling for snow and I need milk and some meat. So I talk hubby and taking me to Food Lion because he wanted to run to Mt. Pleasant and I wanted a few free items! lol

I picked up 4 Kellog’s Special K cereals (found my Buy One Get One coupons I lost yesterday, filed under the wrong letter!). When you buy 4 Special K’s you received a free gallon of Orange Juice!!! All in all 4 boxes of cereal and 1 gallon of OJ cost $3.50 plus tax. 2 Deer Park Aqua Pod waters for FREE! (on sale $1, had a $1 off coupon). 2 FREE Best Life Butters! 2 Hormel Roast Beef Entrees for $2.99 each (these are regularly $7.49each and we don‘t eat much roast beef due to price, this was 2 pounds worth). 2 Whole Chickens (I think they were about 67 cents a pound). Some 2 liter drinks (gotta have my caffeine), some candy bars (gotta have my chocolate), ice cream (for Thomas, really), a head of lettuce, 4 Swiss Miss Cocoas (75 cents each after coupon and got a free Reddi Whip to go with it). I’m quite happy, may have got another item or 2, but that’s the main thing.

Retail….$87.50 Out of Pocket (pretax)….$40.08 Savings….54.19%
ANYTIME I save over 50% on groceries alone I’m tickled pink….of course if I’d left off the liquid happy and chocolate soothing agents the percentage might have been much higher! lol

Waste Not, Want Not

Let me be the first to say I am not the best at this concept. It took me years to really and truly understand the full meaning of “Waste not, want not.” I mean, I got it as a teenager, but when you hit a point where there are a few days in every month where you wonder if you had only cooked ¼ pound less hamburger each time you used it if you would have enough for dinner that night, you then understand this meaning. I’ve been trying very hard to quit over cooking. Having been a short order and/or buffet cook most my life, this has been hard. I’m happy to announce that if there are leftovers I save them AND use them within a few days (sometimes I forget, but not near as often as it used to be). I also was one of those people who never took my lunch/dinner to work/school. Now I do about 90% of the time (there are a few days I don’t have leftovers and forget to make a sandwich, I cringe at paying $1.50 for 1 single Hot Pocket). One evening we had spaghetti and meatballs for dinner. We had ½ a pack of noodles left (I’m learning to cook these less too) and about a cup of sauce and 5 meatballs…..well, I could’ve made a big lunch for me one evening….but I would’ve still had more noodles left over. So instead, I took out an 8x8 foil pan and mixed it all up and froze it as a spaghetti bake, when I cook It for lunch for myself, hubby, and 3 year old I will have fed 3 instead of just myself! No waste that night!!!

I’ve been trying to find ways to save money in every aspect of life. Not just couponing, GASP! Although, that is my major source of savings, here are some other tips I have found extremely helpful. Freezer cooking (Once A Month Cooking). Making my own laundry detergent 25cents a gallon BOOYAH!). Making my own dishwashing detergent. Watering down my dish soap for the sink. Recycling. For entertainment Netflix has a deal to get movies thru your Wii for only $9.95 a month! How awesome is that? (We don’t have it yet, but it’s still awesome!!) For the cell phone, we use the straight talk phone from Wal-Mart. Unfortunately in this long road to realizing how to save I ended up with bad credit. This phone is pre-paid, no credit checks, and you can never go over on your bill! Sure you pay up front for the phone, but after that, tax and all I’m out $47 for UNLIMITED talk, UNLIMITED text, and UNLIMITED data. All that unlimited is great when you have your phone in you pocket and realize the internet got pushed on because you forgot to lock the key pad! lol, I’ve just really come to love anything prepaid and unlimited so that hit them both! I’m sure there are more but that’s a start!

Well after arranging coupons all week, I got to CVS to realize that I was missing some Internet coupons I had. Got home, and you guessed it, still on the printer! C’est la vie!
Unfortunately it was truck day and I couldn’t find a few items, but as usual the SUPER, SWEET employees wrote me out some rainchecks for later! They rock! I was able to pick up some Listerine, Kellogg’s, Glade Plug Ins, M&Ms and gum. Let’s not forget a few clearance deals too! After all is said and done, and many searches to find my receipts, here are my totals. All in all a good day, would’ve been better if I didn’t have Eliza tagging along wanting snacks, stickers, and other goodies. Also just noticed that some nail clippers rang up wrong too L , should have saved another 69 cents….that was at Kroger. Here ya go! CVS…Retail $84.10, out of pocket (pretax) $7.44, savings 91.15%. Walgreens $2.20 (wasn’t on sale but it was a cheap day planner, they didn’t have what I went in for this time). Kroger retail $26.80, out of pocket (pretax) $16.45, savings 38.62%.…Grand Total for the day. Retail $112.90, out of pocket $25.89 savings of 77.07%!!!! It’s great totals like these that keep me going back for more!

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Wonderful World of Rebates!!

I’m diving into a world I’ve barely ever ventured into. If you enjoy going to Rite Aid, they do have a wonderful rebate program. Honestly though, these same deals hit other drug stores using their own incentive programs. I am not ashamed to say that I LOVE CVS IN LAWRENCEBURG. That’s not to say I haven’t ventured in Walgreens to snag a few deals. To me, CVS’s program is just much simpler, and with everything else going on in life simplicity is key.
One reason I went to Walgreens last week…..REBATES. There happen to be a rebate available if you bought $50 in participating products you get $20 back! WOW! And this is before you use your coupons! So in reality you may only spend $25 or so and still get $20 back! That’s just awesome!!! One of the participating products was Clairol. Since my mother uses Nice ‘N Easy, she bought her some and gave me the receipts….an easy $16 towards my $50 for the rebate! Because of her help, I’m able to send one offer to her address! I came up short $16 and a VERY sweet friend helped me out with some receipts she had because she wasn’t going to need them. How awesome!

So now that I’m hooked I’m on the lookout for rebates! We’re searching cereal boxes, canned goods, anything! In my search for an online database, I found a blog (on Facebook) Couponing to Disney!!! Wow! She is dedicated! But she did have a database and some other tips I am finding quite helpful! I figure it takes me 2 extra minutes to save my receipts and send off a rebate….WHY NOT?

As far as how I’m keeping up with it all. For now, I’m putting receipts in white envelopes, one for each month. I hope to keep a database of what I send for and what I receive. I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress. If you know of a good system, or if you know of a great database of active rebates, I would love to hear about them!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Renewed Ambitions for the New Year

New Year’s Resolutions 2011

I haven’t been in the practice of making resolutions, because in my opinion they are usually broken and I feel a resolution can be made at any time or any day. Not just on a New Year!

This year FEELS different. I’m not sure why, but I have the urge to really set some goals and accomplish them! Money, as always, is TIGHT. With that being said, my focus is to keep expenses down while not feeling like I’m in poverty.
We’ve already bought most of our seeds for our MASSIVE garden (not sure, I hope it turns out ok). I plan on starting my tomatoes and peppers indoors. I have had one other garden before with LOADS of help from others. Last year, I was way too late. This year it’s all on my and my oldest to get it planted and cared for. My mom and Granny Clara have graciously volunteered to help. My mom is going to help with the canning/freezing process. Granny Clara is going to help watch little ones as needed. I have a Farmer’s Almanac and I’m ready to roll! I just hope we get it all done. We were even lucky enough to be given about 100+ jars for canning….we’ll just have to clean them up. I sure don’t mind to do some cleaning! I figured for our family we’re going to need 400+ jars for tomatoes, green beans, salsa, jelly, turnip greens, and such. I plan on keeping a track on my expenses too, so by the end of the year I hope to be able to say if this has been a money saver (I’ll definitely have to work at it, but I’m not doing much of anything else at the moment).

Meat costs. This is one of the hardest costs to trim. To start the new year I haven’t bought meat since Christmas Eve. I’m using what we have in the freezer and fresh deer that was given too us. I’m making sure that all the stuff in the freezer is properly labeled/dated/rotated. Hard work, but in the end worth it!

Toiletries. My last trip was December 30. I didn’t need any. But such good deals I couldn’t pass up! Between the $100 in groceries for my stockpile and $50 in toiletries, I’m also getting a $40 rebate! So awesome! I also have so much stocked unless I get it ABSOLUTELY free or make money I will not be buying any more for quite some time! One less expense to deal with.
So the next time you hear from me, I hope to have a freezer meal day planned, my garden dates set (weather permitting of course), and maybe some good deals from CVS under my belt!

New Year, New Ideas

Well, I did my first blogging attempt in October, 2 months ago.  And I stopped.  I was scared, and still am.  But over the past 2 months I've thought long and hard about blogging and what I wanted to blog about.  There is no set thing I'm going to write about.  I hope to share money saving tips and how I run my household o won an extremely low budget!  I hope I can be an encouragement to others.  So wish me luck!  And here is to an awesome New Year!  With great beginnings!