Tuesday, August 13, 2019

School Days

As hard as it was to say good-bye to our lazy summer days I knew it was time to get back into our school routine. The night before our first day I set up as much as possible to make the morning smooth.

Ready or not 8th grade is here!
Our traditional breakfast bar.  In the past I had served crock pot oatmeal.  Honestly, it's too hot this time of year so I made a change this year.  
Megan loves these muffins.  When I woke her up she commented on how good our home smelled. *smile*

Breakfast was cleaned up and it's time to get down to business. 
School was finished around lunch time and we out to celebrate the first day of school. 
The first day went so well that I was able to treat Megan to a short fishing trip on the way home. 

I'm looking forward to watching my girl learn and grow this year.  Happy back to school!

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

Penny Smart #10

This a place where I share how I've stretched a penny, saved a penny and in many cases spent no pennies.

I found broth on clearance for $0.33 a container.  I added 8 to my pantry.
Someone from church upgraded their refrigerator and chest freezer.   They asked Chuck if he wanted them for scrap.  When he picked them up he realized they were still working.  Our electric company allows you to turn in two working appliances a year and pays $50 for them.  We turned them in and receive a check for $100.
Our local Chick-fil-A offers free Chicken Minis every Tuesday.  We took advantage of them this week along a free hash round on my app.  Megan and I we're able to eat breakfast for $2.28.  The cost of drinks.
Said yes to free canning jars.
Hit a garage sale and Megan purchased all of these fishing items for $2.  A great price since the plastic containers go for over $3 new.  She was able to feed her fishing hobby obsession for little out of pocket.
Since we are taking about money lets talk debt also.  If you follow the numbers on the sidebar you may have noticed that we added to our debt.  It's medical debt from when I ended up in the ER with a colon infection and the ensuing test .  *bummer*  I'm not happy about it at all!  You do what you have to do to stay well.  

It's a great reminder to tackle our financial goals bit by bit. So there you go. I hope this encourages you to do things to save money. The old adage that every penny counts seems to apply more and more these days. I find it's much harder to stretch my pennies into nickles. *smile* I find it encouraging to hear about other frugal adventures and I hope you do also.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends. 

Thursday, August 01, 2019

New Month & Grocery Haul

It's seems that when August rolls around my mind starts drifting to fall. It still feels very summer like so it must be the start of school that puts me in this mindset. The area schools are all in session and I'm busy getting ready for our school year. Our tentative start date is the 12th.

Generally the first of the month means a monthly shopping trip.  I love to see hauls, so I thought I'd share mine.  Before I start lets be clear this is a NO judgement zone.  You don't like what you see then please be kind and say nothing. *smile*  

I went to Wal Mart, Sams and Kroger.  I did some stocking up at Meijer last week that I'm not including in this haul. 
I did forget to pull out a couple of things.  A container of ice cream and a couple of frozen dinners.  Chuck takes the frozen meals for lunch if there aren't leftovers.  

I don't buy meat every month.  This month I needed to add a few things to the freezer.  I purchased the ground beef at Sams and all else at Kroger.  My meat haul was $48.96.  Meat is expensive!  Thankfully I will get more then one meal from each package except the cubed steak. 
My total for the month is $234.  I will to make a run mid month for milk and fresh items.  The goal will be minimal spending at the grocery for the rest of the month.  Oh, in case you wonder how I can make a month worth of meal from this, remember that I have a well stocked pantry and freezer.  

Now to work on making a menu. 

Chuck and I will be working on the monthly budget.  I'm trying something new.  I will be using a calendar and making a new budget each pay period instead of one for the whole month.  I saw Megan at Debt Free Plus Babies work her budgeting this way on Instagram.  
I'll see if it works for us.  Yes, this is all we need to pay a month with the exception of every day expenses like gas, groceries, etc.  All of our debt payments come directly from Chuck's paycheck. Doing it that way makes for a check that must be stretched.  

How are you doing?  Do you have your budget made?  Are you making headway on your financial goals?  

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Cross Roads

I feel like I am at a cross roads as to this little space on the web.  Honestly, I live a simple life that many might think of as boring.  Personally, I love my life! 

I've notice that many bloggers have stopped posting.  I know that I'm still interested in reading blogs.  I'm wondering are all of you?  Have I posted all there is to post about keeping home, our projects,  debt management and so on?  Is posting my thoughts and about our simple life enough to interest readers? 

Will you please let me know if this little space still interest you? 

I am also on Instagram and have removed the private setting on my account for the mean time.  So, if you are interested in checking it out and possibly following me you can find me here.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Changing My Mindset

It feels good to be back catching up on my little space on the web. I spent lots of time today working in the yard. It's a mess! The harsh heat we had last week is hard on plants. All I could manage was to run out and throw some water on things.  Besides the heat, the mosquito population was out in full force.
Needless to say lots of heat and rain made the weeds grow like crazy.  I've not done pulling weeds in all of my beds, but I made a huge dent today. 
Along with the weeding I am trimming bushes and cleaning up plants. 
My veggie garden is pretty much non existent.  My parents are getting a few things.  I went over and picked some things.  Peppers, onions, peppers and green tomatoes.  So far all of the tomatoes are rotting as they ripen.  Sigh.  I stopped by the in-laws to drop some goodies off for them. 
Next on the list was mowing the law.  
School is creeping up on me.  I try to work on planning a little each day.  
I feel like I accomplished a good amount today.  As always there is always more to be done.  That is where my change of mindset comes into play.  I love to make to do list, yet I have a love/hate relationship with them.. Many times I feel like I haven't done enough when I have items left on my list.  

Yes, I know that is my issue.  The fix for is to a have  things done list.  That way when I get side tracked and complete things not on my list I can see all that I did accomplish instead of all the things I didn't complete. 
This is not my original idea.  I remember Laine mentioning doing this in one of her letters.  It's working well for me.  

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Wordless Wednesday

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Kitchen Time

Many times I will pick up a rotisserie chicken if I go to Sam's while I'm doing my monthly grocery shopping. Instead of using it on grocery day I put in the fridge for the afternoon I planned to work in the kitchen.  
After running errands in the morning I returned home and put it into the crock pot to warm.  While it was heating up I got busy.  

The first thing I tackled was to put up chicken.  
Chicken tenders were on sale on Fresh Thyme.  We grill out tenders often and I'm happy to have these added to the freezer. 
Next on my list was corn.  I sat on the back porch shucking it so that I could blanch and add it to the freezer. I hope to find some at a farm stand to put up. 
Megan likes canned corn but Chuck and I prefer frozen.  Home frozen that is.  None us care for store bought frozen corn.  It seems to miss the sweet taste of Indiana corn.  

The cookie jar was filled much to the delight of my family.
A double batch of waffles was added to the freezer.  I like fast, easy breakfast for weekdays. 
By the time dinner was on the table I was done.  I popped the chicken and all the juices in a bag to take care of the next day.  I see chicken salad and stock with bits of meat for the freezer. 
The kitchen was tidied and then I headed outside to join my family.  
Summer had been busy, so it felt good to get some thing accomplished. 

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Debt Free Journey: June

When we first started our debt free journey I was afraid to share our debt total. Why? I guess the main reason was because of embarrassment. I am growing and growing and no longer feel embarrassed to share our debt free journey freely. 

If you have shared your debt free journey I know how hard it was to put it out there. I also know what an encouragement it can be for other that are on this journey.  As you can image this is a vulnerable post. 

If you know anything about Dave Ramsey, you know that he has what is referred to as "Baby Steps" to follow.  We have completed Baby Step #1.  If you are unaware, that is saving a $1000 emergency fund.  
Here is a link for free debt payoff tracking charts, including the one above. 

That money is safely tucked away.  Instead of moving on to Baby Step #2 we are starting another Savings Goal Chart for $1000.  The reason is to have the funds to pay to have a dead tree removed.  After that is complete it is then on to Baby Step #2.  
All of our credit cards are cut up and no longer in use.

Here is our current debt:

                                                          Personal Loan               $ 2,000
                                                          Furnace Loan                $ 2,100
                                                          401K Loan                    $11,080

                                                         Total                               $15,180

Our 401K loan is combination of several things.  It includes the repair of our septic system, credit card debt and medical debt. 

Some may look at this total and think it's nothing.  For us, it's a lot of money.  It won't be paid off over night, but as we all know slow and steady wins the race.  

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations... keep moving forward, friends.