Saturday, March 29, 2014

Week 4 savings

Oh boy what a week, what a long week.  It is Friday as I write this and I know I will not post this till tomorrow because as I write at night it becomes nonsense.  Tired ramblings of nonsense.  I have every legitimate reason for being tired and I will explain.  It also shows up in my spending so lets take a look :

My Splurges
Goggles for my son -$10
New scarf and shirt from an outlet store -$9
And yes I ate out 1 day, so much for that goal -$7
Jay
Random things and eating out ugh not happy about this one, a little is okay but that seems like a lot.  And 80% of it is grabbing food at the gas station -$38
Food and more charcoal to try out his new smoker -$45


The birthday girl!!

Oh what a blessing she is.  Faith turned 3.  I had bought boxes of "Faith" decorations ahead of time on a F resale sight so those were pricy but already paid for.  And I did not even use all of them.  But I have them for years to come and some can be used for Easter and Mothers day.  Same with her dress and her sisters outfit I bought those in fall?  Either way they were paid for.  Again with her presents  her grandparents and grandmother contributed most the presents and I had got her 6 pack Disney princess set on a black friday deal for half price and have never seen it close to that price again.  I just had to hold onto it for 4 months.  What we did spend money on for her birthday was pretty new hair bows -$13 pizza -$14 and her cake -$27

She also wanted to go see Frozen again.  I took all of them plus her grandparents came too to the movies for...FREE.  Because it got released on video a church run theater plays it on the big screen for free and it just happened to be Frozen the same night as her birthday.  They also give you unlimited drinks and popcorn.  It is in a historic theater in MD so a little bit of a drive but well worth it.

Unavoidables
Gas -$75
Groceries -$200
I had to buy these kids school food.  They do not have a lunch program so everyday I have to pack a lunch.  Plus they are now home for  2 weeks for spring break so some of that was for them being home, which I believe is already gone though.

Savings
This week we were not able to add to the savings jars :(  it is okay some week are just tighter than other and I hope we can add some in the upcoming week

Other Awesome Accomplishments

  • I got a part time job at the Y
  • with that comes a FREE membership for me.  I just have to pay the difference for the family one
  • I met my goal spend under $50 in splurges!!!
  • Watched a movie at home Friday night cuddled on the couch for free

Goals
With my kids home all next week our grocery bill climbs dramatically.  I am going to spend some time today doing make ahead meals and meal planning to help curb the cost.  But it is their constant snacking that really adds up.  To try to catch this blog up a bit on other happenings besides spending and savings.

Advice
I think the reason I made my under $50 splurge spending goal was because I was so busy.  Between school, and a lot of time in the lab this week, starting a job, running the kids to a doctors appointment and other places I just had to time to rest.  My advice is focus on things you have or can do that are already paid for or free.  I believe idle time leads to unnecessary spending.  I you sit in front of the computer you have to to web-surf and see awesome deals  (which is not bad) but if you pull yourself away and run in and out of stores with a list and a purpose it might help in overspending.

And stop by Rebecca's to read more from the other saving ladies

Friday, March 21, 2014

Week 3 Savings

Again I blew my goals.  I do not think they are that unreasonable, under $50 splurges and no eating out.  How hard is that to make?  I guess for me it is appearing to be impossible.  The rest was not bad but my spending I need to real in, next week for sure.  But this is how it went:

My Splurges
Clothes!!  Wow I spent a bunch on designer clothes for my kids.  And before you say well you don't have to buy designer you can buy from Walmart or target cheaply and save.  Well I did save.  And I saved BUNCHES.  But I still spent a lot for me too, goodbye birthday money.  Plus buying better clothes is a far better deal!  They wear and wash better, last longer and just look nice.  When you are passing down clothes from 4 + girls you need the most bang for your buck and the better clothes with better fabric and that people care more about last longer.  My boys, I gave up.  They are to old and their clothes now only last for that kid, if they even make it through the season.  No I do not have 4 girls,only 2.  But since I usually buy them used that is at least 1 prior girl, then my two, then I give my dearest friend all of Gracies clothes that are in great/good shape for free.  Sometimes these clothes have only been worn a few times through all girls for pictures or a holiday so they are nice.
Each year there is a special consignment sale in our area.  Last years shopping trip with that friend.  We look forward to this one each year.  We know we are going to spend money there.  We, meaning me and all the ladies in the area.  Oh yes it is a mad house, when are good deals not?  But here is the thing many of you may not know.  I live in a Mennonite/ Amish/ little city area  and those women show up in droves.  In taxis(Yoder toters, but shh don't say that to loud because the friend who watch all 5 of my kids last week so I could have my birthday dinner, to make an easy 11 kids at her house, is a Yoder, it is not the nicest saying but not to mean kinda like redneck), vans, buggies, and cars form 3 states (only because it takes 30 minutes to get to 3 different states).  In the romanticized Amish fiction, these women may seen kind, naive, Godly and nice, but in reality they aren't.  Godly yes, but you have to be kidding yourself for the rest not all but most I have found to be judgmental, clickish and unwelcoming.  The men however do seem to me so much more helpful and kind.  And it is not because they are in men to women situations but overall.  However if you try to bid against them on anything at an auction watch out!  They will win, even when it is against your toddler son.  I appreciate their communities but they are out to make money, get good deals and then be left alone to live the life they want.
Off my sidetrack rant, I went there this year and battled those women with my tiny team in tow (that sucked) and the deals were just not as good but I still got 4 pairs of shoes for my for youngest 4, 2 swim shirts/rash guards for my oldest 2, a matching sister outfit to 1 I already have by my favorite Lilly Pulitzer for baby cakes, plus a Gymboree capris sweater new with tags outfit for her, 3 different izod possibilities of shirts for my youngest son to wear to match his brothers and sisters for what was supposed to be a valentines day photo shoot that will now be whenever it is warm, if ever.  And a power rangers shirt he will not take off.  2 Dora outfits for Faith, we will never not love Dora apparently, and 3 Gymboree outfits for her.  Plus a big outfit lot.  It is size 9!!  She is in 3 sometimes 4-6 depending on what they are and how they run but certainly not 9.  I love this set!!  I had quickly grabbed it for that dearest friend, who loves Gymboree, and her oldest daughter is probably a 9  but if not they are dresses so she could go up a size or down.  Either way would be nice and they were a steal for the 3 great dresses and perfect jean jacket with bows and 2 matching hair ribbons all for......$25!!  I was going to give it to her for the $25 and I would be happy, but it is so stinking cute I thought I might hold it back for my girls and then she would still eventually get it, or I could sell it and make back ALL the money I spent that day. I checked ebay prices.   What would you do?  Really I am open to comments because I am a bit torn.

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But for the whole day: -$81 at the consignment sale and then another -$35 for my oldest son for his new Air Jordans.  Oh yeah, you can not beat that price either.  I went to an outlet store because he also needed new shoes and there were none his big size 6 at the sale.  Total clothes purchases for kids -$116  :) I rock!

Taco Bell and Sonic, This shopping day had 3 other stops included.  And we, the tiny team and I, were getting cranky and hungry.  I had to quickly feed us.  -$10

Yugio card for my oldest -$1.69

Spending money for my oldest on a field trip -$10

My oldest again, going out to dinner with his friends -$5

Sam's Fundraiser.  A son, Sam,  of my friend was selling pizza for a fundraiser for his baseball team.  I bought 6 pizzas.  I figured they would be good for a dinner each here and at my parents house one night when they watch the kids.  It will certainly make it easier on them. -$37


Jay
eating out and stuff -$35

Unavoidables
Co payments at the doctors.  Nothings wrong, not pregnant, birthday check up. -$20
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new piano book -$6.50

Groceries -$105
Honestly this bill could have been at least half.  I had plenty of food here and a plated delivery this week so I did not need food except milk, fruit and bread.  But when I was there on Monday, St. Patrick's Day they had all sorts of deals BYGO's and deals on corned beef so I though I would just pick up a few calzones at the savings, and make an Irish dinner for my family to celebrate.  They did not like it but at least they tried it.
Gas -$31
I was home this week no school but that did not stop me from driving everyday. 2 days I had to drive my kids in and pick them up for school.  One because of a field trip and two because of another snow day.  We live in a different school district then where my  kids go so when our district is canceled and theirs is not I have to take them.  Oh well I got things done while I was out making use of the trip one day at least.

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The bottom left is their school.  No snow days for them when mom has 2 four wheel drive vehicles.

Yearbooks for my older 2 -$36

Savings
Family savings Jar +$10
Pellets/Propane savings jar +$10

Other Awesome Accomplishments

  • PA has no clothes sales tax so all the clothes and shoes were tax free.
  • I returned a pair of shoes I had bought that I was only guaranteed the sales price for but not + s/h and because I stayed on top of them and watched for the credit I got the full amount back +$21
  • Gas prices went down a little here
  • again ate a lot of leftovers.  I had some I really did not want either put I could not refreeze (I think that is gross) and did not want to throw away.  So I made a totally awesome chicken cordon bleu form the left over plus all other ingredients I had on hand.  Recipe will be up later this week please check back
  • I took my kids to school on the snow day.  They could have stayed home no problem but I had paid for them to be there that day and they have missed so much because of snow this winter all ready.  Plus they very much wanted to go in and pinch people, little leprechauns.
  • I don't think I had coffee out once this week!

Goals
Same ones no eating out try not to spend over $50 in splurges.  I am curious to see if there is a week I can actually do it?

Advice
Lets borrow this one from an honorable mom of many Michelle Duggar, mom of 19+  "Buy used and save the difference"  Kids need clothes and often.  You can find good deals and good swap circles with other moms allowing you to save lots.

And of course to see other awesome savings form mom click here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring cleaning- the pantry

Last week we had warm beautiful temperatures, then wind and cold warnings.  Windchill's dropping back down to nothing back to the negatives.  With the warm temps came open windows and spring cleaning, sorta.

It wasn't by choice.  Some how a bottle of apple juice spilled in the pantry.  It soaked the floor and everything on the floor.  I found it not right away but the same day.  So it had time to spill, leak and seap into stuff.  wonderful.  Cleaning the pantry was something that needed to be done but not something I had wanted to do that day.  However now I was forced to.  I started to get everything off the ground to clean up the liquid and I pulled a tower of cans the kids had stacked.  They are always stacking cans so I thought nothing of it.  But they had stacked this tower to hid that they had broke the sport beam holing up the shelf.  It had actually been broke for a while and their dad and I just "band aided" it back together so it was so weak.  I am actually surprised and impressed they thought to hold it up with cans.  As I pulled the can out the shelf and everything on it came tumbling down.  It was now an even larger mess, great.


I could not deal with it right then so I mopped up the juice and left it till the morning.  Since the mess was everywhere the kids could not get to the laundry room so on top of the food and mess they through dirty clothes!

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Right after coffee I tackled it with Smiley.  He was eager to help.  Sunday he had made a bank at church.  They were supposed to do chores around the house to earn money for something.  He helped me moves all the cans and boxes out of the pile on the floor.  He helped pull the clothes out and take them to the washer.  And threw all the trash in the garbage.  As we were unearthing layers I would find all sorts of change.  Everything I found I gave to him.  And he was over the moon.  He knows no difference between 1 cent to $10.  The more coins he got the more money he had.  After everything was moved I was able to sweep and mop the floor.  We were surprised by their dad coming home mid day from work so in his time before going back we was able to attach strong railings to the wall.  I can't say how wonderful that was!  I did not even ask he just said since you have everything out I will fix it right.  Smiley replaced all the boxes, bottles and can on the fixed shelf and in front of the bottom space.  A kinda odd arrangement but as we watched him eagerly do it for more money Jay said "you get what you pay for".  Well he is still cheap, and certainly cheaper than the older kids, but look like I would be redoing it soon.  Still I was happy enough.

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I did not organize the upper shelves.  I had a lot of other things I had to do that day and did not want to get into a project I would not have time to finish.  Which turned out to be a good thing because....

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A few days later as I was getting some bread from the very top I knocked over powder chicken gravy, Sams club size, and it spilled everywhere on every shelf the whole way down.  Ugh!!  Smiley just cheered and said YES!  Mom now we get to do it all again :)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Week 2 savings

Week 2 of my scrimping and saving did not go that well.  I was surprised how much got spent this week.  I did not meet any of my goals from last week to spend under 50 on splurges and no fast food.  It was an expensive week.

My Splurges
office supplies.  Sometimes you are just out and you need them not really a splurge it was nothing fun.  -$8
Secret Sister Gift. found a super cute chunky necklace and matching earrings at target on clearance.  -$7

Getting a Garden Going
I am not a gardener.  I do not have room to garden but most importantly I do not have a green thumb.  I have a black one that is like acid when I touch any living plant I kill it quickly.  My family teases me that I only bring plants home to die.  It is true.  None the less I went to Lowes after searching on pintrest when to sow seeds inside and bought a few packets of seeds and dirt circles that go in a tray I already had.  This could be a money saver if it works (which it won't) but with my history it should be considered a splurge or more so just burning dollars.  I am starting with 2 different types of peppers hot poinsettias and Anaheim.  We eat so many pepper this could save bunches but honestly the are not expensive anyways. Colorful carrots, even my kids said as I threw them in the cart "come on mom you tried this before remember epic fail." brats.  Broccoli it was gonna be cabbage too but I could not find any.  So instead we got okra which I love and kale which I use a bunch in Zuppa Toscana yum!  And I promised my son I will get him pumpkin seeds when it is time to plant them.  Plus down the line I am sure we are going to get a patio tomato plant. -$14 (death march playing)

I did not meat my goal of not eating out.  I got stuck at school one day hours later than I had planned and was starving.  I broke down and stopped by taco bell but the good news was I had put it off so long that it was happy hour at taco bell and they now had a $1 menu for some pretty yummy things. -$5  (okay -$1 was for some much needed coffee from McDonalds.  Not much needed McDonalds but much need coffee on my way to school that morning- it was the day, the Monday after time change.-  And yes I could make coffee at home, I had made 2 pots for me and the kids, no opinions needed that is a whole other issue- but I was dragging, in fact it is late now Wednesday and I still am dragging, stupid time change!  At least it was not from the more expensive Starbucks just across the street or next to my school.  Although that would have been better it taste better and I have a gift certificate...there is always tomorrow)
 Friday birthday coffee -$3

USB flash drive for my son -$7

American girl stuff for my daughters.  Some of it will held back till Easter for the girls hairs, and the rest will be held back to July (if I can make it that long) for my youngest birthday.  I did not plan on buying stuff for them or their dolls but there was a super sale and what I got were such reduced prices, you just don't see stuff that low but a couple times a year.  And now my baby and her bitty baby's birthdays are done, for the most part. -$58

Jay
eating out -$15
parts for his smoker -$14
A new smoker.  Did he need it?  In my opinion no.  Am I mad, no.  Because at the end of the day it will make some delicious food for me.  So I can live with it.  Plus I found it at Lowes on clearance and told him about it.  I had a $25 VISA gift card from my secret sister and he had a $25 check of birthday money so it was only -$8 we actually had to add.
charcoal -$7
other grill things -$20

He went to the store to get stuff to make a cake for me and  some ice cream to go with it too.  So how does that turn it to -$60????

I have 5 clues...
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My Birthday
This week I turned 35.  It was a bit harder than some of the others I am starting to feel old.  It was not fun.  But there were some highlights like watching these 6 try to make a cake, a $60 birthday cake.

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The best part was going out to dinner just Jay and I.  We had not been out together alone since my birthday 2012.  You can not believe how hard it is find someone to watch 5 little kids.  You only imagine how expensive it is too.  So we never get a date night.  Last month we had a horrible experience at Marconi Grill.  I had asked for apple juice for my 1 and 2 year old and instead of putting apple juice in their drink they put a cocktail mixer.  My daughters were throwing up all over the restaurant would not/could not eat.  No one even gave us napkins to clean up, and we still had to pay full price for all 5 meals and drinks even the big mistakes.  I was so mad I called when I got home and in trying to make it right they sent me a $50 gift certificate.  Have you ate there that barely touches the price but it did cover the tiny teams meals.  I had another $25 gift card for them I had got for Christmas so Jay and I took both gift cards and went out on a date, just us.  -$75 in gift cards and we only had to pay -$11 out of pocket  not bad at all for 2 meals and a bottle of house wine.  We went to a different one too.

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Unavoidables
food -$120 (not including the -$60 above)
gas-$105
post office -$7

Savings
Family Savings Jar +$10
Pellet/propane Savings Jar +$10
My sons birthday money went straight into his CD +$25

Other Awesome Accomplishments

  • We ate a lot of leftovers again.  We spent a lot in groceries but most of that is milk, juice, water, soda.  We need to move to tap water obviously.
  • A special family I have had in my life forever sent us a package with 4 new books.  Rush Revere and the first patriots!!  We really wanted that book after we read and loved the first so much.  Plus there were other beautiful book about George Washington and Paul Revere and a cute Amelia Airheart one too.  These are also perfect for my oldest who is going to Mount Vernon next Friday, George Washington's home.
  • in the 4 days since I have planted the seed some of them are sprouting
  • The weather has been warm all but 2 days so we used considerably less pellets and a little less propane.  
  • We took three walks out in the sunshine!
  • I filled up my suburban for $76!  I had earned enough gas points from groceries to receive $.70 off a gallon!  I ended up paying $2.85 a gallon, gas is high in PA
Advice
This sounds stupid but, simply put your trash out on trash day.  My neighbors are terrible at this.  They never remember to get the trash out the night before or morning of and it seems 3 weeks out of each month they miss it getting picked up.  Which forces them to take it to the dump.  What a savings it is to use something you all ready pay for.

Goals
My goals for this week are going to be the same no fast food, and try not to spend more than $50!!!  I am going to work harder on it this week though.  I am going to try too nurture and figure out what to do with those sprouting seedlings.

And again to see how the other mommas are saving cents go here.  And thank you all for visiting!  Your encouraging and suggestiuve emails last week were so nice.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Evan turns 9

Evan turned 9 this week.  He is now in the count down to the big 10, yes already.  He had the longest birthday day.  It just kept going on and on, it was so very busy.   Here he is celebrating his circle of life with 1 brother and 2 sisters plus his whole class.  I really enjoys this every year and it is kinda sad because I don't think they have it in upper el.


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Gracie was reconnected with Sweetie Pie.  We kept Sweetie Pie over the summer and it is the SAME Sweetie Pie still!  (A hamster)  She really enjoyed the hamster this summer and was all smiles to see her again.
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Evan shared a photo time line of his life and I just love this picture of how he and his brother were sharing Evan's years growing up.  But it was a picture of Evan in a diaper,

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Me and my 9 year old birthday boy!  Oh I love him!!!

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And I really like this picture of my parents.  They came up and took us all out to Evan's choice of a restaurant for dinner.  Delicious as always and a fun time.

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oh Faith.  Yes she does not learn a lesson.  She was bound to repeat the same mistakes.

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Yum Lemons!

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OMG I don't like lemons!!

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Well let me try again to be sure.

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They brought out Evan fried ice cream as they sung Feliz cumpleaƱos to him.  He was so happy.

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And then they said "we will feed you the first scope", and shoved it right on his nose!  He was less happy then.

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And after all was said and done we had a small celebration of presents and cake at the house.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET EVAN, 9 year old EVAN!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Week 1 Savings

As I mentioned I am trying to save money and pinch pennies.  I kept tract for this first week in March to see where the money goes.  I am looking for ways to cut corners and live cheaper.  Here is how it went...

Boys Haircuts
I thought girls would be the expensive ones for hair but it is the opposite (for now).  My boys all needed hair cuts they looked so shabby and with all the birthday pictures coming up they needed a trim.I have no idea how to cut hair so this is an expense.  Unfortunately  -$34

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My Splurges
Well with all the time spent at the beauty salon I sent a little money to.  But I spent to save.  I got an awesome deal on 3 new OPI nail polishes for me and the girls.  Buy 1 get 2 free!! -$10
That is still far better than having them done too.

Plated.  I belong to a food delivery service called plated.  They send you fresh meals to your door step and make it all to easy.  They do the shopping, they do the meal planning, they portion it, it come fresh not frozen and they bring it to your door.  Perfect for a busy mom.  They had a deal this week for 4 plates and 3 month membership(which that part I did not want) and delivery all for $20.  That is $5 a meal and I do not have to do anything but put it together and cook it.  You can not even eat at McDonald's for $5 trust me we went today, and this food is so much better.  Give it a try!  It is a great gift idea and if you order through my link I get a free meal :) I am not real sure whether to categorize this one as a saved or spent? -$20 

https://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.plated.com%2Finvites%2Fd50854&h=DAQEgLzHw

Tacos for my kid after another trip to the oral surgeon.  Just a post op check up all is well!!! -$4
Jay
club key -$20
eating out and junk -$44
orange hunting gear -$40

Random Purchases 
birthday present for Jay -$5
(I had all ready got him a nice one in January, and I will make him something special for dinner)
Tights and socks for the girls, on clearance, 3 tights and 12 socks for each of them -$20
It was Faschnaut day, we had to enjoy those tasty treats -$8
Birthday Present for Gregory's friend -$20

Unavoidables 
groceries -$212
gas -$86
piano lessons -$120

Savings
Family  Savings Jar +$10
Pellet/propane savings Jar +$10

Other Awesome Accomplishments

  • I did not buy any of the new release from Matilda Jane.  I wanted to but I did not want nor have the money to spend.  No keeping up with the Jones' this week.  I will wear my older clothes that I loath.  I am also trying to lose pounds for the summers so I tell myself I will buy clothes when I am the size I want to be.
  • Made +$6 after shipping and fees for selling a little monogrammed bikini of Gracies from last summer.
  • Sold a text book on Amazon, after fees +$33
  • Jay was only scheduled 28 hours, he was able to pick up another shift and a half to bring the total up to 39
  • My parents came up and took us all out to dinner twice this week.  We had a delicious and awesome time for Evans Birthday
  • Except for the cake and cupcakes I had already bought all stuff for Evans birthday so I did not have to spend much this week on it and he was so very happy.  He had a great day.
  • The kids and I ate a lot of leftover.  And I froze some food to not lose it.+
  • We did not go out to the movies but watched some new ones on cable for free.

It was not that bad of a week in spending, but we still spent more than we made, and most those purchases were on credit cards.  A few things to real in like Jay can certainly stop grabbing a bite here and there because it adds up.  The rest of his purchase are not ones that occur ever week or often.  And I of course did not need nail polish.

Next week without having to drive over an hour each way to a doctor appointment should cut down on gas.  And the boys will not need haircuts again for a bit.  We have a few more birthdays next week but again I bought the presents in advance on sale or clearance.

Goals
 I am going to try to do what I can to spend under $50 in splurges or random and to not eat out next week.

Advice
look around your house and see if there is anything you can sell online or yard sell sites.  Items you may not need any more someone else might.  If you sell them before they get forgot and ruined you might be able to make back some money.

And if you would like to connect with other women who are trying to save not spend you can find more links here.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baked Spaghetti

This was such a super easy meal to make I almost feel guilty.  I like it, it was a creamy, rich and cheesy take on spaghetti.  I thought my kids would like it but those picky eaters are hard to please.  Each of them found one ingredient they did not want to eat in it, so none of them would eat it.  Brats.  It is also easily adaptable you can change it to your like and your kids.  On the plus side if you have kids you have everything you need to make it in your cupboards.  Good for potlucks also.

Ingredients
1 16 oz package cooked  spaghetti
1 (28 ounce) jars prepared spaghetti sauce
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 clove garlic, minced
8 ounces cream cheese
5 ounces shredded mozzarella 
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions
Cook spaghetti al dente and pick out a pan you want to use that is oven safe to bake in.  I chose a pampered chef stoneware mini baker which is 8 inches so I actually took the recipe above down sized it a little and changed it to my own (the ingredients that are listed are mine in this dish) from the inspiration recipe I used, except for the cheese I kept that the same.  We love cheese.  The more the better and I figured if I smothered it in cheese my oldest would not realize we are eating spaghetti, again.  Dump spaghetti, rinse and drain.

Brown ground beef and drain the fat.

In the pot used for spaghetti add the cream cheese on a lower temp in order for it to really soften.  And the Italian seasoning plus the garlic.  Cook stirring it until it become a nice consistent creamy mixture thicker than a sauce.  Add in your desired amount of spaghetti sauce, mine was about 3/4 of the jar.  Save the rest and you can use it for a dipping sauce for garlic bread to accompany the meal.  Add in the ground beef or you could use sausage too.  Whatever fits your fancy.  Now return the noodles to the pot.  Mix until all noodles are evenly coated.

Dump the noodle mixture in to your pan but not filling it to the top, leave space.  I left about a third of space.  2/3 spaghetti mixture and 1/3 left over for cheese.  Yes add the mozzarella as generously as you like.  Top the mozzarella with the Parmesan.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until it has a nice crisp bubbly look.  And enjoy.  It also freezes well for a make ahead meal or meal to hand out to someone home from the hospital.  Or in my case if it does not fool your kid that it is spaghetti and you now have a bunch that you will be eating for a while.  I froze mine in easy single portions.  Simply put what you have left over in the freezer long enough for it to firm but not freeze the cut into portions you can take with you for lunch, bag those or box them whatever freezer method you use and now you have take along yumminess that would cost you a lot more and taste terrible if you bought it in a boxed freezer premade meal.


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Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Madness

Oh we have rolled into this time of year again, March.  Busy dreaded crazy March.





That actually sums it up quite well.  It says "Hang on Piglet, it's March " (sorry it got covered up by the stupid pin it sign but my picture limit has been reached so this was a way to get around it before I open another photo hosting account) Not because its blustery nor the awakening of spring but just hold on.

March is our birthday month.  Most everyone in our family was born in March.  We have 8 imitate family birthday in March, my nephews was at the end of February and then we have both mom's in April.  There are 11 birthdays with in 45 days, in is crazy.  And everyone hates cake by the third one.

March is not off to a good start for us either.  It is very cold and we are expecting near another foot of snow over the next two day.  And we are in another round of sick family.  I came down with a sore throat and cold and it has been spreading one girl and son have caught it too.  I sure hope this passes quick.

As you can imagine March hits us hard finically too it is like Christmas, maybe Hanukkah would be a better comparison because it just does not end.  Did you know there will be no thanksgivingkah this year, that was pretty rare but there will be Christmas evekah.  Yes Hanukkah ends on Christmas eve.  What a great way to continue it for all those double dippers.  In addition to ll the birthdays the older boys will be home for 10 days+ too.  We are looking at no school Monday, spring break, they have off St. Patrick's day (why on earth do that have that off?  All I can think of is our teachers like to party.  Every year they have off the day after the super bowl too.)  With them home so much it unbelievably adds to our grocery bills.  I send them a luch everyday to school but when they are home the become grazers and eat/snack all day.  Instead of 1 maybe 2 bowls of cereal each they will easily eat 4.  If one is eating then the rest our hungry.  It is boredom eating for the most part but when you are snowed in you do get bored more.

Before after and during March I really need to watch my finances.  I am going to try this month to make the best effort at spending as little as possible.  I will include you on my journey to see where and how money can be saved.
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