Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1/25-1/30 Menu

A day late, but here it is! I have really been having a hard time sticking to my menu lately, which causes me to run out to the local store for a few things every couple days. And our local store is NOT cheap. I don't normally leave there for under $10, and that adds up fast. The main struggle is that we have been having friends over or going over to a friends house a lot lately and I have to adjust my menu at the last minute. I think this week I've planned pretty well and I'm also making a couple dinners that will feed a crowd and freezing them, so I am always ready. That's my challenge for this week-STICK TO THE MENU. Or at least make something with ingredients I have on hand. Wish me luck!

Sunday: Chips and Dip while watching the Saint's/Viking's Game.
Monday: Garlic Chicken Pasta, Rolls
Tuesday: Meatball Subs
Wednesday: French Onion Soup with Sausage and Bread
Thursday: BBQ Sandwiches, Cajun Potato Wedges
Friday: Pork Chops, Potatoes, Peas and Rolls
Saturday: South Western Burgers, Rice

I am also making a lasagna, Broccoli Potato Soup, and some extra meatballs to freeze, as well as some deer jerky.

Hope you all have a great week! Can you believe it's the last week of January already!?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

$2 Date

Fountain Bleu
Have you ever heard the old wives tale that what you do on New Years Day is what you'll do all year long? Well this year I didn't want to take any chances! And what do I want to do this year? Spend time enjoying my family, and save more money! So we spent the day at out local state park, including a picnic lunch. We had a great time, David had never been to this park and it's one of Bear's favorites. Going to State Parks are a wonderful time. Not only are they cheap-in our case just $1 a person!-but the are so informative. You can learn so much about the history of your area. And the monies made on admission go back into the parks to help with up keep so others can enjoy. Add in that going for a walk and "exploring" is healthy and it's a total winner!
Fountain Bleu
Fountain Bleu
Fountain Bleu
Fountain Bleu
You can go here to find more information on State Parks in your area: http://www.nps.gov/index.htm

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Book Review: Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover

After almost a year of following Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan I finally read the book. I'd been watching his show here: http://www.hulu.com/the-dave-ramsey-show but had never read the book. I checked it out of my local library, but this a book that I definitely recommend buying a copy to keep for your person use. I found some on Amazon for around $10, so well worth the price.

My favorite thing about the book has to be Dave's straight forward approach and his "tell it like it is" style. He's also extremely funny and uses great analogies.

The book is made up of 8 Baby Steps.

1. Get Current on all bills, and Save $1,000 as a Baby Emergency Fund.

2. Get out of debt, by using the Debt Snowball. (Excluding the mortgage.)

3. Finish the Emergency Fund with 3-6 months of expenses saved.

4. Maximize Retirement Investing.

5. Save for your Child's College.

6. Pay off the House.

7. Build Wealth

8. Live like no one else!

He goes into detail about how to accomplish each step and includes charts and formulas to help you plan. He also includes success stories of many other families that have had Total Money Makeovers. He debunks debt and money myths and provides shocking stats like these:

  • 78% of Americans say they would borrow on a credit card if a rainy day came.
  • 60% of people don't pay their credit card every month.

And the scariest stat of all: 49% of Americans could cover less then one months expenses if they lost their income! Do you see a pattern here?

Dave isn't all gloom and doom though, he stresses the fact that there is hope and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's not easy but it IS worth it. He has other personal finance books that can be found here http://www.daveramsey.com/store/cBOOKS-p1.html, including books for children and teens.

I think this book is wonderful and much needed in our current economic climate. It has really changed they way David and I view money, and it's changed our future!

Monday, January 11, 2010

1/10-1/16 Menu and a recipe!

It is COLD here in the South! All I've wanted to do is stay inside watching movies! We've been eating a lot of soup and chili lately. Sunday I made a huge batch of potato soup, and it really hit the spot. It was so simple and healthy and comforting. I have to credit my friend Jodi for this recipe (would you believe her name is Jodi Lynn, too!).

Jodi's Potato Soup
4-5 Cups Potatoes, diced small
6 cups Fat Free Chicken Broth
1 Package Country Gravy Mix

In a skillet saute the potatoes for about 10 minutes, or until soft. In a large pot combine chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper (to taste) and bring to a boil. Prepare gravy using package directions and add to potatoes and broth. Simmer 20-30 minutes. ENJOY!

Makes 6-7 cups.

(I like to top mine with a couple bacon crumbles, and some chives.)

Also, for anyone interested, it's only 2 Weight Watcher's Points per cup.

So, here's our menu for this week:

Sunday: Dinner over at our friends house, she make some awesome Chicken Tortilla Soup.

Monday: Cola Chicken, Rice, Green Beans, and Salad

Tuesday: Crockpot Cheeseburgers, Broccoli, Applesauce

Wednesday: Grits, Eggs, Bacon, Toast

Thursday: Tilapia, Spinach, Carrots, and Fruit

Friday: Swiss Steak, Salad

Saturday: Either out with friends, or leftovers

Hope y'all have a wonderful week!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Valentine's Day is coming!

I love Valentine's Day! I know people say it's too "commercial", and to a certain degree I think they are right, it can be. But it's also one of the most simple and sweet holidays. It's easy and cheap to show someone you love them, and it's IMPORTANT. Especially now, with so many families facing hard times, it's necessary to tell the people who love and support you the most just how much they mean to you. They are the ones you can always turn to, and the ones who take this journey with us. In this economy, with some many outside stresses, the relationships with our significant others aren't always as cared for and nurtured as they should. With the pressure of getting out of debt, performing well so you can keep your job, kids, housekeeping, and other things that need our attentions, it's easy to lose sight of what is really important and what you really are fighting for.

I stumbled across this blog, written by a lady named Cher and her husband. I think it's wonderful and so, so important. She offers such great ideas and inspiration-on a budget!! So go check it out, and share the love!


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Interesting Documentary

My friend shared this link with me, it's a PBS documentary on credit card practices, the Truth in Lending Act, and some insight on the politics behind them. I think everyone should watch this, include your spouse and teenage children.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

2010 Goals and Plans

It's time to start the new year! I am so excited about 2010. Last year was the first year in my entire life that I accomplished my resolution. I made it a goal in 2009 to end the year credit card debt free, and we did. We still have many other financial goals we want to reach and many habits we still need to work on, but accomplishing our 2009 goal has given me such motivation for the next steps in our financial journey. The plan is to continue on the same path, using the envelope system, and the biweekly budget we are using now. As for the goals, here are the 4 we are going to focus on in 2010.

1. Start 2010 with 7% contribution to our TSP retirement. DONE 1/1/2010

2. Have the Bike paid off by June.

3. Have 3 months worth of expenses saved by the end of the year. (About $6,000.)

4. Stay credit card debt free.

1/3-1/9 Menu

I love the holidays, but boy, am I glad things are getting back to normal this week. I love routines, and get anxious when mine gets messed up! This week David goes back to work, and things are settling down here.

Sunday: Deer Cubed Steaks, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans

Monday: Fish, Rice, Sweet Peas

Tuesday: Potatoes and Sausage

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: Cheesy Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

Friday: Chili

Saturday: Out to Dinner, or Leftovers

Hope you all have a wonderful week, and the begining of a happy New Year!