Cents To Get Debt Free

This is a great blog that I was led to by several other blogs I read. There are great ideas and tips to help people along the way to get out of debt and become financially free.

There are two things in our house that have been most important for managing the budget. First is menu planning and second is stocking up. These two things go hand in hand.

First you start by planning your meals around all the sales items in the grocery flyers. Then take the savings and purchase more of things that are used frequently to have on hand. Or you save the money to carry over to wait for more sales in the future. Each week stock up on a few items. If you plan on making a recipe and it calls for 1 can of something, buy 2 or 3 cans.

That way over time you build up your pantry and freezer so if necessary you could just plan a meal out of everything you have on hand and not have to worry about shopping. In these times that is a wonderful freedom to have in case of a financial hardship. Start by building an additional week of food,

There are many sites out there that can start you on your way to stocking up. But my number rule of thumb, stock what you eat and eat what you stock! It does no good to have 3 months worth of beans on hand to find out that you can’t stand beans.

Let me know how you are doing with stocking up your food pantry.

Ash Wednesday

Today the Lenten Season begins. I personally fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Since Richard works outside the house and the children are in school I (and our Dioceses) do not require them to fast. However they are required to go meatless. And every Friday we have meatless meals.

Just a quick proud mama moment. My oldest two daughters compete on the Speech and Debate teams. At these tournaments, the schools provide dinners, usually a meat based pizza. They have a tournament today, so my oldest went to the county’s coordinator last week and asked her to please make sure that there were meatless options available for those who are required to abstain from meat since the tournament was on Ash Wednesday. The coordinator was very happy she had reminded her of that fact.

I ask the children to either give up a toy or a food (and no vegetables are not an option). I also ask them to pick someone to pray for during the Lenten season. I do the same. This year I am giving up diet soda. I am also going to pray a Rosary daily.

How do you and your family observe the season?

Another great and easy recipe that is easily enlargeable!

3 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup instant minced onion
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Worcheshire Sauce
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients. Roll mixture into 1 inch balls. Place on cookie sheet living a little space between the balls. When the tray is full place in preheated oven and cook for 10 minutes. Makes about 100 meatballs.

Ground Beef $6.00
Instant Onion $.60
Bread Crumbs $.50
Eggs $.50
Milk $.30

I don’t compute the costs for salt, pepper and worcheshire sauce because I have them in the house all the time and consider it negligible. So a cost for a 3 pound batch of 100 meatballs is $7.90. We use about 10 meatballs per serving for the adults and “big kids” so that makes a cost of $.79 per serving.

I will make a double or triple batch and put them into freezer bags or containers and freeze them in recipe size portions. (They freezer very well when cool.)

We use it in meatballs and gravy over rice or noodles.
You can use it for barbecue meatballs.
How about Swedish meatballs.
Let’s not forget spaghetti and meatballs.


Work on it Wednesday

I was going to have a whole other thing to do this week on Wednesday. But yesterday I was woken up by the phone ringing. On the other end was a member of the local fire and rescue company. They needed me to come over to my friend and neighbor’s house. She needed me THEN. So I hurriedly dressed and went over. I found out that she had found her husband dead just a few minutes prior.

The funeral director told her she needed to bring some things to the funeral home to make arrangement. So we began the task of looking for these papers. However nothing was organized and in one place. She was clueless as to what he had and where it was. Oh and he also did not have a will.

So my work on it Wednesday is to get all these important paper for my family into one place. Plus I am going to make an appointment to update our wills.

Everything that should be accessible in one place in the event of an emergency or death (Dave Ramsey calls this the Love Drawer):

Insurance paperwork
Pension Paperwork
Banking information
Copies of credit card numbers (and contact information)
Any log in names and passwords for online accounts
Birth Certificates
Marriage Certificates
Funeral Instructions

This should be organized so a 9 year old can find ANY document in 30 seconds or less according to Dave Ramsey. Make sure all the people in the family know where this information is located.

So I challenge all of you to get your love drawer together this week and make that appointment to get or update your wills.

PS. Sandy Thanks for the Gem of the Week Award!

Menu Planning Monday

German Pancake

Pork Roast
Seasoned Rice
Green Beans


Beef and Noodles

Open Faced Turkey Sandwiches

Hot Dogs

Alfredo Noodles
Brussel Sprouts

Simple Woman’s Daybook — Monday, February 16

Outside my window… The sun is shining and it is quite chilly.

I am thinking… that I am glad for extra days off from school. Today is President’s day and the children are home.

I am thankful for…doctors. We have spent quite a few hours at the doctor’s this week. I have 4 on antiboditics and other asundry medicines for the nasty cold bug going around.

From the kitchen…homemade pizzas.

I am wearing…jeans, a tunic top and tennis shoes

I am creating… nothing today. I wasn’t able to get the blankets done with all the illness in the house.

I am going… to a follow up appointment for one of the children today.

I am reading… Nourishing Traditions, Encyclopedia of Country Living, Lasagna Gardening, Five Acres and Freedom and The Bible.

I am hoping… get the upstairs storage area cleaned and sorted.

I am hearing… all the children running and playing.

Around the house… I am hoping to get the house vacuumed and dusted.

One of my favorite things… homemade chocolate chip cookies. Time permitting we will make some today.

A few plans for the rest of the week… I have a catechist’s training session tonight. The boys have ice skating with the Cub Scouts sometime today. There are also a couple of doctor’s appointments in on the books for the week too.

Here is picture thought I am sharing…

Layer Bars

This is a quick and simple dessert recipe that we can throw together whenever we decide we want something sweet to end the meal or a snack after school.

1 stick butter
1 package graham cracker (or 1 cup)
1 cup shredded coconut (1/2 large bag)
1 cup chocolate chips (or 1 small bag)
1 cup butterscotch chips (optional)
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the stick of butter in a 9 x 13 pan while oven is preheating. Crush package of graham crackers finely. Sprinkle over melted butter and pat gently to form a crust. Sprinkle coconut over graham crackers. Then sprinkle chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and nuts. Shake can of sweetened condensed milk then drizzle over the top of the other ingredients. Do not mix. Bake in preheated oven 25 – 30 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and cool. Then cut into bars.

If you do not have the nuts or butterscotch chips or you want to lower costs then you can leave them off.

Butter 1 stick $.50
Graham Crackers: $.50
Coconut: $.75
Chocolate Chips: $1.25 (My cost is probably cheaper since I buy the hugo bag at BJs and scoop out a cup or 2)
Butterscotch Chips: $1.25
Nuts: $.75 (I buy the bags at BJs scoop out a cup and chop)
Sweetened Condensed Milk: $.89
Total $5.89

This makes 24 bars so the cost per bar is about 25 cents with both types of chips and nuts.
Just with chocolate chips the cost is 20 cents a bar.