Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Paying 100% down on first home is possible

Following is a post from Crystal at about their journey saving to pay 100% of buying a house with cash.

Celebrating a Major Financial Milestone!
Early tomorrow morning our family is flying to California to visit some special friends of ours.

We're very excited about this trip for many reasons: we're looking forward to a vacation as a family; we can't wait to hang out with some incredible people; and we're anxious to get to introduce our children to what a real beach is.

But this trip is about much more than family, friends, and fun; we're taking this trip in celebration of reaching a huge financial milestone in our family.

If you've been reading my blog for more than a few months, you know that we got this weird idea to pay cash for a house and we set a big goal at the beginning of 2009 to have fully-funded our house fund by the end of the year. We started the year at 33% and it seemed very far-fetched to think we'd actually make our goal.

But God had other plans. He worked some miracles, moved some modern-day "mountains", and by His grace and enabling, I am thrilled to tell you that we are ending 2009 at our 100% goal! We're already seriously pursuing house-hunting and hope to have purchased a home debt-free by the end of April 2010, if not sooner.

Truly, "with God, all things are possible!"

This huge financial milestone did not happen instantaneously. It was not something we just up and decided to we'd aim for a few weeks or months ago. In actuality, our journey towards saving to pay 100% down for our first home began before we were even married!

On Thursday, I'm going to be sharing the nuts and bolts of our story and the struggles, lessons, difficulties, and victories we've encountered along the way. No matter where you are in your financial journey, I hope and pray our story is an inspiration to you to dream big dreams, set audacious goals, work hard, and not give up when the going gets tough. You just never know where it might lead!

Monday, December 28, 2009

9 cent prints at Walgreens

Walgreens has digital prints for $0.09 each on more than 50 prints until Jan 2. if you order online the code is 9CENTS.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

After Christmas Sales

One of the best times to stock up on sale items is after Christmas. Most stores have items marked down, especially Christmas items. It is a great time to stock up on wrapping paper and other decorations for next year at a fraction of the regular price. Also, you can start finding gift ideas for holidays and birthdays throughout the year. If you can find wrapping paper that is not necessarily Christmas themed you can use it for birthdays, etc throughout the year.

Also, if you get in the habit of putting some extra money away each month and designate it for next year's holiday expenses it can take some of the burden off of you next Holiday season.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Free Movie Tickets with Gift card purchase


Celebrate the holiday season with entertainment gift cards for friends and family!

For the 2009 season, Holiday-themed cards are available, and purchasers of gift cards for $25 or more are rewarded with a Buy One – Get One movie ticket and a coupon for two free movie tickets to Marcus Theatres Frosty Flicks family fun series beginning February 6, 2010.

Monday, December 7, 2009

24 days of Giveaways at Dave Ramsey

One of the financial experts I follow is Dave Ramsey. From November 30th to December 23 you can register for giveaways, cash, gifts and tons of "Dave Stuff", Today they are giving away $3,000. Register at Dave Ramsey

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Saving Money using a Crockpot

One way to save time and money on meals is using a crockpot. When you have a meal in the crockpot it can be ready when you get home and it is flexible so you can eat at different times if your family members are on different schedules. Some ideas of things to make in a crockpot are roasts, chicken, pork chops, chili, soups, etc. You can find many cookbooks for crockpots or search online for recipes.

When you know you have something ready in the crockpot it saves you the possibility of stopping for takeout or going out for dinner. In most cases you can put most ingredients together in the crockpot the night before and store in the refrigerator until morning, then just turn it on and it works for you all day. Some of the newer models have a timer so you can set it to start at a later time, if you are going to be gone longer and don't want it cooking the whole time you are gone.

Below is a review of a crockpot cookbook from another blog.

From a post at
In December 2007, Stephanie O'Dea made a New Year's Resolution to use her slow cooker every single day for an entire year.

And she wrote about it - complete with all of the successes and failures in her blog A Year of Slow Cooking.

Now O'Dea has taken her experience and written a fabulous new cookbook called Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking.

And for those of you who love your slow cooker, this book will not disappoint. There are more than 300 tasty, easy-to-make recipes your family will enjoy. All of the recipes are gluten-free and don't cost a lot to make.

I love to use my slow cooker - it is a lifesaver to me on those days when I'm running the kids to various school functions and appointments. It's so easy to just throw the ingredients in my slow cooker and come home 8 hours later to a great home-cooked meal. I also love that I can use cheaper cuts of meat and have them turn out beautifully in a Crock-Pot.

I've got a collection of cookbooks, and a few slow cooker cookbooks, too, but they all seem to be the same collection of soups, stews, and casseroles.

Make It Fast, Cook It Slow is different. O'Dea shares some ideas for your slow cooker that I would never think of doing: Chex Mix in the Crock-Pot? Creme Brulee in a slow cooker? Barbecued Shrimp - really? She's got receipes for them all!

This cookbook has a lot of depth - something I found refreshing for a slow cooker cookbook. For those of you trying to eat out less ( see me frantically raising my hand in the air), she's even got a section called "Takeout Fake-Out." She's got chapters dedicated to vegetarian dishes, baking and beverages. And she also includes a "Fun Stuff" section that shows you how to make play dough, Shrinky Dinks, and even glycerin soap in your slow cooker.

O'Dea gives easy-to-follow instructions for making all kinds of great family meals in the crockpot, including helpful tips for both beginners and slow cooker veterans. She also shares her family's responses to some of the recipes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Saving Money of Phone Service with Ooma

Following is a post by Michelle from about the Ooma phone system. I am doing more research and considering trying it. Right now has it on sale for $150 (reg. $199)

I am really liking our new Ooma phone system. We ordered ours through Costco, as it was the best deal for us. The system generally costs $200 and it costs $40 to have our phone number ported (so we did not have to get a new phone number). We have been using it for about a month now.

My favorite things about Ooma:

:: You NEVER have to pay for phone service again! Ever.

:: And you can take the Ooma with you when you travel or move and just hook it up to the internet and use it anywhere.

:: The system comes with six free months of Premier subscription services (2nd line, call waiting, etc.), but you certainly can live a full life without the Premier service (keeping your monthly cost FREE). The basic system includes voicemail, caller ID, call forwarding and blocking calls, so we do not intend to pay for the Premier service once the free trial has ended. If you chose to subscribe to the service beyond the free trial, it costs $9.95 a month.

:: Ability to Screen Calls: When a caller is leaving a voicemail, you can hear it so you can pick up during their message or screen your calls.

:: With the Premier service, while you are talking to someone, you can also send them to voicemail, so if our 13 year old cannot take a reliable message or find a pen, he can send a caller into voicemail to leave a message for my husband or I. This is cool, but I can't see myself paying for this feature when the free subscription period is over.

:: All Ooma users have access to the online Ooma Lounge, where you can access your voicemail visually (you can also listen at home on the Hub or Scout), make changes to your preferences and changes to your account.

:: With Premier service, you can opt to enter numbers you want to block or automatically send to voicemail. To be honest, this is the only reason I would consider subscribing to the Premier service. We'll see if I dislike the telemarketers more than spending $10 a month. It has been nice and quiet lately...

:: Our US calls are free (so, yes, long distance is free within the US). Ooma proclaims that it has low international calling rates, but I honestly have not a clue about international calling rates (thankfully).

:: 911 service is supported (although you have to keep your address updated with Ooma in order for this to be effective - basically, they route the call based on where you live, it is not automatic like with other traditional phone service).

:: I avoid all those pesky taxes and fees that the phone companies tack onto each bill every month. I *hate* paying those fees and taxes.

:: Saving monthly phone service costs: Our most recent phone service before Ooma was with our cable company. It was bundled for a year and was about $25 a month, then after the year the special rate was offered, it jumped to $47 a month with all the taxes, yadda, yadda, yadda. Basically, for traditional service to our area, we are looking at $45 a month total after taxes and fees. At those rates, we make our investment back in just 5.33 months. After that, we are saving 100% each month, and over $540 a year! That is an amazing number, especially when you consider that we really are not giving up anything for the savings. Even if we opted for the Premier service, we would STILL save just over $420 a year.

:: Easy set up. It was very easy to set up and there are plenty of video tutorials online if you are a visual sort of person.

Things to know before buying Ooma:

:: Your phone system needs to be plugged into the Telo, the Hub or a Scout. So, if you have a phone that has three handsets, they all would work if the base is plugged into the Ooma. The scout would allow you to plug in another system or individual phone. This works for us because we have a phone system base with 5 handsets and then one phone in the garage hooked up to the scout. That is the thing to consider though, if you have four different phones, you would either have to buy 3 scouts, a new phone system or learn to live with one phone plus however many Scouts you choose to purchase. One phone needs to be plugged into the Hub and the Hub needs to be plugged into your router. So, if your system is completely wireless, your Hub may not be in the most convenient location. However, the Scout is smaller and has access to voicemail, etc., so you can just use that on a daily basis.

:: Porting your number. You can usually use your existing phone number (if you go to the Ooma website, you can check if your phone number can be ported), but it costs $39.99 to do so. Another thing to consider is that it takes about 3 weeks to port your phone number, so you cannot use the system right away when you receive it unless you are getting a new number through Ooma.

:: If you have a security system, it will need its own Scout. Luckily, my husband just worked this issue out before we had to cough up a service call fee from our security monitoring system. The scout is about $65 discounted online, but I am hunting one down on ebay as I write this very post (multitasking). Update: I was able to get it off of ebay for $32.95 including the shipping. I still say it is worth it - but judge for yourself. It does push us out to about 7 months before we can realize our investment back in savings. Still, in any market, a 100% return on investment in 7 months is impressive.

Save even more:

:: sells the Ooma (Telo, Hub or Scout) and you could pay for it entirely with SwagBucks if you are patient and save up those $5 gift cards you can earn for with SwagBucks. It usually takes me a 7-10 days to earn enough SwagBucks to get a $5 giftcard, but I was earning them every 2-3 days for a while - it all depends on how much you share SwagBucks with others.

:: I recently received a promotional email from Ooma, offering up three promotional code emails to save $50 on the Telo. If you are purchasing an Ooma Telo and want me to send you one of the emails with the $50 promo code offer, please leave a comment and I will send it to you. There are only 3 emails, so please only request one if you are serious about purchasing the Telo. The code is good through 12-31-09. The Telo is currently $197.85 at, with the additional $50 off, you would pay $147.85.

Full disclosure: I would also receive a $25 gift card when you used your $50 Telo coupon as a referral incentive. However, I would NOT endorse the Ooma if I did not like it and I have been honest in my post about things you need to consider when moving to the Ooma system. And you are welcome to buy your Ooma any old place - just email me if you can use the discount to your advantage.

We have the basic Ooma system and a Scout (I am not being paid or given an Ooma to review, this was bought on our own). The new Ooma Telo looks pretty slick, but I was happy with the deal I found on my older Ooma Hub and Scout. I found our deal at Costco, where I paid $189 for the Hub and Scout together (it was a special purchase).

I wish I could say we are pocketing that $45 a month phone service savings, but since my husband decided to get an iPhone, we are now spending most of that a month for his service. I will say that at least we have more overall service now without any additional cash outlay. (That is my attempt to look on the bright side. How am I doing?)

So, if you have are considering Ooma, I will tell you that although I wondered what the catch is, I have not found it yet and have been very happy with our Ooma system. So, for what it is worth, you have my recommendation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

18 days, 18 video game deals at Amazon

18 days, 18 video game deals at Amazon. Are you planning on giving some a video game for a gift? Then you will definitely want to check out Amazon's 18 Days, 18 Deals. Each day there will be one game that is deeply discounted as well as other video game deals. 18 days of deals

25 days of Free Music from Amazon

Amazon is offering a MP3 download of a different Christmas song each day until Christmas, 25 days of Music

Hallmark Coupons

Be on the lookout for a coupon to save $5 on any purchase in TEN of your favorite magazines. No minimum purchase requirement. You'll find this coupon in the December or December/January issue of the following magazines:

-Better Homes & Gardens
-Country Living
-Family Circle
-Martha Stewart Living
-O, The Oprah Magazine
-Real Simple
-Southern Living
-Taste of Home
-Woman’s Day

If you've found any Hallmark $5 off $5 coupons in your magazines or email inbox, you might want to consider buying some wrapping paper with them. Right now you can get gift wrap for $4.99 per roll. When you buy a second roll, you'll get it for $.98. Buy both, use your $5 off coupon, and you'll get wrapping paper for $.50 per roll!

Monday, November 30, 2009


Two of the most popular topics in our lives are saving money and losing weight. There are similiarities between the two. Both are hard for some people to do. Saving money you have to watch the dollars you spend and to lose weight you have to watch the calories you eat.

Also, with both if you start with small steps and keep going you can make a big difference. If you watch what you eat and end up eating less, you may be able to save money. Saving money and losing weight are both habits that need to be tackled.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Review of The Power of Respect

Review of The Power of Respect, by Deborah Norville
By Nancy Kvamme
One statement on the book’s jacket is, “The respect you give to others is vital to success in every area of your life”. I have also read Deborah’s previous book, “Thank You Power”. The Power of Respect is a great followup to Thank You Power. The book reminds us the importance of being respectful.
Showing respect costs nothing but the rewards are priceless. Being respectful can help you be more successful in every aspect of your life. In your home life it can result in a stronger marriage, more polite children and healthier family dynamics. In the business world, results can be happier and more satisfied employees, lower employee turnover and higher sales. On a personal level it can result in higher self confidence, closer friendships and higher standing in the community.
Deborah includes both scientific research and real life stories to show the importance of respect.
The Power of Respect is an easy read and at 190 pages should not take long to read. The way it is written it can be read at various stages so it is convenient to read if you have scattered periods available to read.
Like many other things, respect is one thing that is not being passed on to the next generation. I think the book is a great reminder of the importance of showing respect and shows easy ways to keep it alive.

Product Details
Format: Jacketed Hardcover
Trim Size: 5.50 x 8.30 x 1
Page Count: 224
Retail Price: $19.99 ISBN: 0785227601
ISBN-13: 9780785227601

I am a Book Review Blogger for Thomas Nelson Publishers. The only compensation I recived for this review is a copy of "The Power of Respect" book.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Free Ebook - Finding Deals

Here is a link for an E Book I wrote about deals in the Fargo Moorhead area. You can also use the ideas in the book for other areas. Finding Deals E Book

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Taste of Home Cookbooks on Sale for $5

Here’s a gift idea for those on your gift list that love to cook. Taste of Home has 20 of their cookbooks on sale for $5 only. These books usually sell for $24.90 so this is a good value. If you spend $20 or more in your order you can get free shipping when you use the code LST02 at checkout.

$10 off $10 JCPenney purchase

Heres a promo code good for $10 off any online JCP purchase of $10 or more, enter the code GR8VALUE at checkout. You'll get the $10 discount if your subtotal was at least $10.

Friday, November 13, 2009

50% off Dave Ramsey products

One of the financial experts I follow is Dave Ramsey. There is a sale of 50% off his products at Dave Ramsey

He has the book, The Total Money Makeover and other books, cds and kids program and books.

Become Aware of What You're Spending

Most people aren't aware of what they really spend in a month. If you've never tracked your expenses, start by writing down all of your normal fixed monthly expenses such as your mortgage or rent, your car payment, any other installment or loan payments, insurance biils, cable bill, Internet provider, health club and so on. Then go back over the last 6 to 12 months and calculate average monthly expenses that fluctuate - utlities, phone bills, food bills, clothing expenditures, auto maintenance, medical expenses and so on.

Finally, keep a record for 1 month of everything you spend money on during that month, no matter how big or small - from gas for your car to coffee at Starbucks. Add up everything at the end of the month so taht your are consciously aware - rather than unaware-of waht you're spending. Check off those items you must pay for and those things that you have discretion over. this exercise will get you conscious of what you're currently spending and where you could cut back if you chose to.

From The Success Principles (How to Get from Where you are to Where You Want to Be) by Jack Canfield

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nature Valley Nut Clusters

About a month ago I joined the My Blog Spark

I received a box of Nature Valley items to review. It included 4 full size bags of the new item of Nature Valley nut clusters, a backpack and water bottle.

They have also offered to send a package to one of my readers.

Leave a comment for a chance to win the package.

This is the first time I had tried Nature Valley Nut Clusters. They taste good and are good for you too. They are handy to take as a treat when you are on the run and since they are clusters you can have a few at a time instead of an entire granola bar. They seem easier to eat also, sometimes granola bars can be hard in texture.

There are a variety of flavors, nut lovers, peanut, almond, cashew.

It also seems like a good value for the price. I intend to buy more in the future.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Retirement Will be here Before You Know it

I am watching a Dave Ramsey special tonight about military families and saving money.

One of the subjects that came up was not saving for retirement as early as they should have. This applies to all people. Like some said other things (Life) kept happening. I know it is hard when you are young and to put money away that you can't touch for decades. I haven't had retirement savings at my job so I have had an IRA for years. I was about 26 when I started my IRA's At that time, it was strange to think I was saving money and it would be more years until retirement tnan how old I was.

Even if you haven't started saving for retirement yet, it is never too late. Anything you can save is better than nothing. One book I have read about this is "Start Late, Finish Rich" by David Bach.

Along with saving for retirement. Another area that gets dropped often is saving for kid's college expenses. When you find a way to send your kids to college, make sure you teach them about the dangers of credit cards and debt. If they end up owing student debt when they are done, it is hard enough without the burden of credit card debt too.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Hasbro Game deal at Toys R Us

I stopped at the Fargo store this afternoon. Most of the cheaper games were picked over, but they are expecting more shipments throughout the week.

I ended up with Pictureka (reg $24.99) sale $19.99 and scrabble (reg. $15.99) sale $9.99. With the $10 gift card and $6. rebates. Regular total of $40 will end up costing $14.00

This is from another blog I follow:

There is a fantastic deal on Hasbro games at Toys 'R Us this week! When you purchase $25 worth of Hasbro games, you get a $10 gift card. And the game sale prices are great!

You can also submit your purchases for a fabulous rebate from Hasbro. This is seriously double dipping at its best!

Here are some of the preschool games that are on sale along with the rebates that you can get for each one. Note that only the original games are part of the promo deal. That means that specialty versions like Strawberry Shortcake or Disney Princesses are not part of this deal (except Memory).

These games are on sale for $3.99 each. They are eligible for a $2.00 rebate, making them $1.99 each.
Ants in the Pants
Don't Break the Ice
Don't Spill the Beans
Hi Ho! Cherry-O
Memory (all versions!)
Chutes and Ladders
Candy Land

Purchase 7 of the games listed above, and you'll spend $27.93 out-of-pocket.
You'll get back a $10 Toys 'R Us gift card.
You'll get back $14 in Hasbro rebates.
The final cost for 7 games will be $3.93 or $.56 each!
*Note: You must buy 4 different games, not multiples. Games must be purchased at Toys 'R Us.

Below are the other games on the rebate form. The out-of-pocket isn't as low for them, but they might still be great deals if you have older children or adults to buy for.
The Game of Life
Connect 4
Gator Golf
Hungry Hungry Hippos
Giraffalaff Limbo
Scatterpillar Scramble
Topsy Turtle

To see the details of the Toys 'R Us sale, head over HERE. To download the rebate form along with the list of eligible games, head over HERE

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Walmart - $20 Thanksgiving Dinner

Walmart has reduced their prices on many items needed for Thanksgiving dinner. One of the items, Jennie O turkeys are $0.40 per lb.

A turkey dinner for eight as low as $20
According to a survey by the American Farm Bureau Federation, last year’s average cost of a turkey was roughly $1.19 per pound. Beginning today, select Grade A turkeys are available for 40 cents per pound at Walmart.* These gobblers are part of Walmart’s $20 Thanksgiving menu guaranteeing family favorites will be on the dinner table this holiday season. Walmart’s $20 Thanksgiving feast includes:

One 12-pound Grade A turkey*
Three 11 to 15.5-ounce cans Green Giant vegetables
Two 14-ounce cans Ocean Spray cranberry sauce
Three 6-ounce boxes of Stove Top stuffing
One 5-pound bag of red potatoes
One 12-count package of Sara Lee dinner rolls
One 22-ounce pumpkin roll cake

Sometimes it pays to check out the $ stores

Following is a post I found on another blog.

Check out Dollar stores

Another thing to check on at $ stores are helium balloons. Most $ stores have them for $1 or 2 a balloon and they last as long as other stores.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why More Money won't Solve Your Money Problem

Following is a post from the blog Pocket Your Dollars More money wont Solve Your money problem

Alot of people think if they make more money their problems will be solved. In most cases the more money people make the more ways they find to spend it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Old Navy Scarves $1 on Saturday

Stop by Old Navy on Saturday (11/7), and you'll get their performance fleece scarves for $1 each. There is a limit of 5 scarves per customer. I would recommend going early if you want to have a good selection.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Free E Book Thriving in a Tough Economy

Following is a link for a free E book Free E Book Thriving in a Tough Economy

There has been a lot of news about the current economic situations. If you watch how you spend your money it doesn't have to be so bad. Also, if you take steps to simplify your life and watch what you choose to spend your free time doing.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Planning ahead for the Holidays can Save you Money

Sorry I haven't posted for awhile. Getting over my head cold, work and other obligations by the time I get home, I haven't felt like doing much.

So far I just had and head cold and not the flu that has been going around all over.

I was thinking today about that it's November already. Where has the year gone.

With the holidays coming up so do the bills, but they don't have to be so bad. One way is to make a list of people you plan to buy gifts for. By each person put down a set amount you plan to spend and any ideas you may have. Then you have an idea of how much you plan to spend. Also make a list of additional expenses you plan to have, parties, and other get togethers. Even though you only have a couple of months you can start setting aside extra money each pay check to help cover these additional expenses instead of putting it all on your credit card. With these ideas you can have a head start next year, by being able to save each month and keeping an eye out all year for gifts when they happen to be on sale.

By starting to think and look for gift ideas now, it saves going shopping for all of the gifts at the last minute when you are probably busier anyways.

I will be having future posts with other ideas about saving on holiday expenses.

Also, with the current economic situations you may want to consider if you need to purchase as many gifts as you usually do. If you visit with some family and friends they may also agree you don't have to exchange gifts. Or instead of buying gifts you could give your talents such as babysitting, meals, or other things.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Walgreens deal

Today i got over $40 of items at Walgreens for $6.

Red Baron pizzas were on sale 2/$6 i bought one and had a $.75 coupon
vicks (nyquil, etc) were on sale 2/$10 (when you buy 2 you get Register reward, a coupon you can use on a future purchase for $5) and I had two coupons, they were in today's newspaper.

Scope outlast mouthwash was on sale 2/7 ($4 RR when purchase 2) i had two coupons, one was in today's paper.

zinc lozenges were 1/2 price at $4.99

2 bags ricola drops (coupon in todays paper buy 1 get 1 free)

total was $30 before coupons and i had $8 of RR from previous purchase.

final total was $15 and I have $9 RR to use in the next two weeks.

final cost $6

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Review of Find Your Strongest Life

Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham

I have read some of Marcus Buckingham’s other books and was excited to get a chance to review this one. The ideas in the book help women to marry their professional and personal lives so they can have it all. In recent years women have been able to accomplish more in their professional lives but are not happier than women in earlier decades.

Access to a strength test website is included in the book. You take a 20 question multiple choice test to see what your top 2 strengths are. Then there are descriptions of each of the roles along with suggestions of how to make the most of your Lead and Supporting roles.

Another chapter deals with how to accept what you find from taking the test. If you accept what you find doesn’t mean Another chapter deals with how to accept what you find from taking the test. If you accept what you find doesn’t mean you have to settle for a lesser life.

The final part of the book deals with Strong life tactics. How to apply what you learned about your strengths to different areas of your life, career, relationships and your kids.

The book was an easy read, was informative and I am sure I will be returning to it for ideas several times in the future. I recommend reading this book to find out what your strengths are and how to apply them to both your professional and personal lives.

This is a review for Thomas Nelson publishers

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Bank of Mom and Dad

A new show "The Bank of Mom and Dad" debuted on the Soap Net on Wednesday night. its a weekly series about 20-30 year olds that are in trouble with their finances. Their parents move in for a week and with suggestions from a money coach they try to get them on the right track to get the spending under control.

I feel this is a real problem. with young people (and older people) thinking they can buy whatever they want and worry later about how to pay for it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Review of Beautiful Mess, The Story of Diamond Rio
Published by Thomas Nelson ISBN#978-1-5955-5268-6

“Beautiful Mess” is a story of how Diamond Rio got their start and their journey during the past 20 years. The beginning of the book is a bio of each band member of their youth and how they got involved in the band.

Diamond Rio is one of the few country bands which has been together for 20 years with the same band members for the entire time. At one time they were close to breaking up but came together to resolve their problems and made a comeback.
I have been a fan of Diamond Rio for many years and it was interesting to know more of the background of the band members and behind the scenes information. There are several photos scattered throughout the book also.
They have also been very active in charity work also.
The book is a Nelsonfree book, which means when you purchase the book, you get the hard copy, and can download a free audio book and a free e book for one price.
Even if you are not a country music fan, it is an interesting book showing how people from different beginnings coming together to accomplish a shared goal.

I am a Book Review Blogger for Thomas Nelson

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Self growth website

One website i recentlyfound is Self Growth. It covers a variety of different areas, financial, spiritual, business, etc. I have submitted a few articles and plan on submitting more in the future.

I hope you get a chance to check it out.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Blog Spark

I recently joined the My Blog Spark website.

I received a box of Nature Valley items to review. It included 4 full size bags of the new item of Nature Valley nut clusters, a backpack and water bottle.

They have also offered to send a package to one of my readers.

Leave a comment for a chance to win the package.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Cost of OverMaintenance

Sorry, I haven't posted lately. I have been busy with a full time job, starting my money coaching business and had a friend visiting from out of town last week.

Trent at The Simple Dollar has an article about checking how often you have to do maintenance on certain things. The usual standard for changing oil in your car was 3,000 miles. Now some cars can go longer between changes. I have put 3,000 miles on my car since buying it and it shows 47% oil life left. So if you have to do it less, you save money on less oil changes.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Go Shopping in Your Closet

Go Shopping in YOUR Closet

How often do you stand in front of your closet thinking you have nothing to wear? Instead of heading to the mall, take a second look at your closet. I bet if you look way in the back you will find items you have not worn for awhile. It will feel like a new outfit.

Another idea is to mix up your items. If you usually wear the same pieces together, try matching an item with another item you have. If you usually wear a shirt with the same pair of pants or skirt, see if you have pants or skirt in a different color that will go with it. Also, by changing the color of a shirt that you use in layering. Or to change the jewelry you wear.

If you feel you have to go shopping, look for items that will go with the clothes already in your closet. Instead of buying a whole new outfit, you could buy a few items that will go with what you already have and have a number of new outfits for what one outfit would have cost.

Now is also a great time to look for deals. With the end of the summer season a lot of stores have big sales on those items. You may not think of buying summer clothes now, but some shirts can be worn under your long sleeve blouses and sweaters for a new look. Or you can stock up on items now for next summer. And to stock up on items if you are planning on a warm weather vacation this winter, instead of paying regular prices in the winter (if you are able to find summer clothes in the winter).

Since you are going through your closet, if you have not worn an item for awhile (maybe a year or so) then there is a pretty good chance you may not wear it again. Why not donate those items to charities that may be looking for gently used items. One charity in our area is Dress for Success. They offer clothing to women that are returning to the workforce and cannot afford clothes for interviews and jobs.

One hint I have heard of to see how often you wear your clothes is to put all of your hangers on the rod backwards. Once you wear something put the hanger on the right way. After six months to a year see which hangers are still backwards. A way to organize your clothes to make it easier to see what items go together is to organize your clothing items by color. Organize your shirts by color and then your pants and skirts.

Another way to get new clothes without spending money is to have a clothing swap. Invite some of your friends over and have them bring clothes and accessories that they don’t want anymore and you can swap items. They may be tired of the items but they will be “new” to you.

So now you don't have to hit the mall to get a "new" look.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Review of Fearless by Max Lucado

Fearless by Max Lucado
Review as Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger By Nancy Kvamme

Max Lucado’s latest book is “Fearless” reminds us that where there is fear, there cannot be peace; there cannot be happiness; none of the good life that God wishes for each of us. With all of the situations that are going on now, layoffs, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, etc many people are full of fear instead of peace. Since fear and peace cannot exist together. In “Fearless” Max Lucado gives examples using scriptures of ways to choose peace over fear. In most cases the first reflex of most people is fear. The world may be a better place if we found a way to react in faith instead of fear.
Chapters in the book include:
Why Are We Afraid?
The Villagers of Stiltsville
God’s Ticked off at Me
Woe, Be Gone
My Child Is in Danger
I’m Sinking Fast
There’s a Dragon in My Closet
This Brutal Planet
Make-Believe Money
Scared to Death
Caffeinated Life
The Shadow of a Doubt

“Fearless” is a refreshing look at how we can look at current times with peace instead of fear. One quote from the book is “The abundance of possessions has a way of eclipsing God no matter how meager the possessions may be. There is a predictable progression from poverty to pride.”
“If you could hover a fear magnet over your heart and extract every last shaving of dread, insecurity or doubt, what would remain? Envision the day when you can trust more and fear less.”
The book concludes with a Discussion Guide with questions from each of the chapters.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Never Too Late to Start Saving

One of the arguments I hear when I talk to people about saving is that they are too old to make a difference. Whatever you can start saving now can make big difference
One big step is to forget the past and focus on the future. In some cases it was being irresponsible but other cases it was events you could not control (divorce, illness, death, etc).
What’s done is done. You can’t go back and fix the past.
If you look at your expenses and can find $10 a day to save, that adds up to $3,650 a year. Even if you think you can’t save that much if you save a little and work your way up. If you are married and each of you can save $10 a day that would be $20 a day or $7,300 a year. If start this when you are 52 years old, and save for 20 years and average 10% return you could end up with $461,947. If you both work for companies with a 401(d) plan $20 a day + 50% match would equal $30 a day x 365 = $10,950 a year. At 10% annual return for 20 years you would have $692,924 in 20 years.
The main key is watching how you spend your money. If you make a million dollars and spend a million dollars you are still broke. If you track your expenses for a week so you can see what you spend your money on and which ones can be eliminated. A dollar or two here and there may not seem like a big deal, but they do add up to a lot. If you control your spending everything becomes easier.

If you have credit card debt, the biggest problem is the interest growing all the time. If you are making only the minimum or a little more, each month your payment barely covers the interest charged for that month. If you keep going that way it can take you many years to pay it off even if you never charge any more on it. In some instances if you call the credit card company about it they may lower your interest rate. If they know you are having difficulty paying the amount you owe them, they may cut the interest rate if they know it will help you pay them the original amount you owed them. In many cases if you cut the interest rate then the debt becomes manageable.
But in order for this to work, once you start paying down your debt, you have to change your spending habits so you don’t get into major debt again. You have to deprogram the way you have been thinking about money. It is hard with all the advertisements for things to spend your money on.

It’s like training for a marathon, little steps at a time, instead of trying to do the whole thing all at one time.

One resource for information on this is “Start Late, Finish Rich” by David Bach.

Monday, August 31, 2009

In the September issue of Good Housekeeping there is an article A Year Without Shopping where a family quit all spending for an year except for necessities.

They found out ways to reuse items and substitute items for things they needed. And also found things in their house they already had but had forgotten about. So they were able to use them instead of running out and buying them again. It also made them think about purchases more. If they really needed something or if they were just buying it because they wanted it.

You don't have to cut out all purchases but if you take the chance to think about if you really want the item you are thinking about buying.

One of the main concepts of getting ahead with your money is living within or preferably below your means.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Book Review of Knockout Entrepreneur

Book Review of Knockout Entrepreneur
George Forman and Ken Abraham ISBN 978-0-7852-2208-8
“Knockout Entrepreneur” is written by George Forman with ken Abraham. The two-time Heavyweight Champion of the World combines his boxing experience with his business experiences to show what it took for him to become a Knockout Entrepreneur. One of the main principles of the book is to find a passion and taking a leap to begin.

Finding a need and filling it is a key principle for a Knockout Entrepreneur. Your chances of being successful increase exponentially if you not only find a need and fill it, but also can do it better than anyone else.

I knew George Forman as the athlete and the spokesman for George Forman grills but was surprised by his other business accomplishments. He stressed that it isn’t always about doing something just for the money. Although, some of his later fights were for the money, but the money was to keep his Youth Center in Houston open.

I recommend this book as a refreshing look at tips to be an entrepreneur. He mixes what he learned as an athlete and used those things in the business world also.

The book is a total of 220 pages and an easy read so it didn’t take long to read it. Each chapter ends with Knockout Ideas to Stimulate Your Success which recaps each chapter.

This is a book review for Thomas Nelson Book Review Blogger.

This book is also a Nelsonfree book, along with the hard copy, you also get an ebook and an audio version.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Budget Doesn't have to be a Four-letter word

Budget doesn’t have to be a 4-Letter Word

Many people dread the word budget. Money is active, you have to tell it where to go. The basic principle of making a budget is recording how much money you have coming in for the month. From that you subtract expenses for the month. First subtract necessary expenses (rent, mortgage, car payments, insurance, food, etc). Once you subtract the necessary expenses, the remaining amount can be used for savings and other expenses. When figuring your monthly expenses, when you are considering the payments that you may make once or twice a year (car insurance, car tags,
One line item should be savings. To get ahead you should start paying yourself first. Some suggestions are 15% of your income, but if you can’t afford that start with what you can afford and increase it over time. Some people think they can’t afford to pay themselves first. But why work all the time and have nothing to show for it. If you think you don’t have any extra money for this, take a look at what you have been spending your money on and see what expenses can be cut.
Another key action is to live within or below your means. If you constantly spend more than you make each month, you will continue getting in deeper debt.

One way to get your expenses under control, is to track your expenses. For one week if you write down each day everything you spend money on that day. At the end of the week, you can see where your money is going and see if there is a possibility to cut some of the expense.

You must limit your style of living, because you can always spend more than you can make. If someone makes $200,000 and spends $200,000 and another person makes $20,000 and spends $20,000 they are both broke. So it doesn’t matter what you earn, the important thing is how much you save. Also, if your income increases you can increase your expenses some, but try not to spend all the extra you earn.

The act of saving needs to be a discipline and a habit. You need to have the discipline to wait until you have the money saved to purchase something you want. Part of the problems with the current economy is many people give into the instant gratification of purchasing items that they want that they cannot afford. I know it is difficult with all the advertising we see for items and when you see other people with them. But you don’t know what kind of situation they are in. Some people that seem like they are well off because they buy these things may be unhappy and up nights worrying about how to pay for those debts.

I know in some instances people get behind because of medical expenses and job layoffs, etc. That is why it is important to have an emergency fund and to leave below or within your means.

Once you get in the habit of making a monthly budget and living by it, it will get easier and not feel as restrictive as you may think.

Friday, August 28, 2009

$9.99 Sale at Dave Ramsey

$9.99 Dave Ramsey Sale

Many of Dave Ramsey's books, CDs and DVDs are on sale for $9.99 (regular $15 to $25)

Free shipping on orders over $65

Its called the Labor Day sale, so it will probably run until next week.

Dave Ramsey's books are very informative when you are getting your financial state under control and to keep it in control.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How to Save You Cash Makeovers

On Oprah today they had How To Save You Cash makeovers Then Peter Walsh gave organizing tips and ideas of what to do with things you decide to get rid of.

You can get information from the show at

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I found a website Daily Lit which has several books you can get in segments each day. Each book has a different number of segments depending on how long the book is. Each segment can be read in less than 5 minutes. Each segment is emailed to you, you can set when you want to receive the emails.

Many of the books are offered for free. One that I have started reading is "The Art of Money Getting" by P.T. Barnum

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Importance of Teaching Children Financial Literacy

I feel it is very important to teach children about financial matters. One reason that parents do not teach their children about money, is because they are not sure they know how to handle money either. It is one of the things that is not always taught in school. We earn degrees in order to earn a living but are not always taught how to handle the money we earn.

It is important to start teaching children about money when they are young. You can use the world as your financial classroom. Real life triggers lessons you want to teach your child, and since you are probably handling money regularly in front of your child, stop and take two minutes to explain what you are doing.

In the book “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” by Neale S. Godfrey there is a story about a father and his son. He had taken his children on a trip across the country to see their grandparents. Everytime they stopped to eat, one of the sons was always straggling behind. Finally, when they were almost home, the father asked him why he always late. He said he was picking up the money his dad kept forgetting on the tables. The father realized to his son his leaving money on the table looked like he had forgotten his money.

Another big issue, is teaching the difference between wants and needs. I know when you are a child it is hard to know the difference, but if we don’t teach them when they are younger, it is harder when they are older. That is part of the problem how people spend money now. They grow up not knowing the difference between real wants and needs. Then get into trouble with debt because they feel like they deserve anything they want.

Many people put their financial lives into jeopardy because they want the instant gratification of buying things they want instead of saving until they can afford them. Previous generations started with small houses and cars and worked and saved and gradually improved their way of life. Many people today, start first jobs and expect to have a big house and expensive cars right away. They figure if you can afford payments you can afford it. But that isn’t always the case. And living that way, you have no money for savings. It is important also to have an Emergency fund. Especially in today’s economy with the way the job market is. People get into trouble when they get used to living paycheck to paycheck on two incomes and then if one (or both) of them lose their jobs then they will be in trouble.

Another source for information on teaching children about finances is Dave Ramsey has books directed to kids and a Financial Peace Jr. kit with a book about saving your money and charts and envelopes to manage their money. One of his principles is to Save, Give and Spend. His program has envelopes labeled Save, Give and Spend.

In the book “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees” some of the chapters cover How to teach your children the basics of money management, When to start your child on an allowance, How to use the World as your Financial Classroom. It also has games for different age groups on teaching children about money.

Another book I recommend is “Rich Dad Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki. The subtitle is “What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money – That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!”
I also feel if you teach children the importance of saving money and the power of compound interest. Even if you can only save a small amount it is better than nothing. If you gradually increase the percentage it will eventually add up to a lot.

In closing, I feel the most important issues are to teach children to pay themselves first and save some of what they earn, difference between wants and needs and the power of compound interest.

It’s not How much you earn that matters, its how much you Spend!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

KMART financial literacy program

Kmart is promoting financial literacy for our kids. They're working on a Money Smart curriculum that helps parents and teachers educate students about spending wisely and staying out of debt. You can check it out at

Monday, August 17, 2009

How to Bounce Back from Bankruptcy

Following is a story from the Parade magazine that was in Sunday's newspaper

How To Bounce Back From Bankruptcy
by George Anders
published: 08/16/2009
Related Features
1. Don't Get Clobbered By Credit Cards!
2. Clobbered By Credit Cards!
3. You Can Get Out Of Debt More than one million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy last year—an increase of more than 30% over 2007. Unexpected medical bills are a top cause of personal bankruptcy. Other reasons include losing a job, struggling through divorce, getting stuck with an unmanageable mortgage, or simply going on a $30,000 credit-card spree. While a bankruptcy will remain on your credit record for up to 10 years, you can still bounce back and reestablish a good credit rating. So if bad circumstances—or tough decisions—have led you to file, don’t despair. In a best-case scenario, after having your debts discharged by a court, you could qualify for a car loan with good rates in a year and a mortgage in two to four years.

How Americas Thriftiest Families Save Money and Still Have Fun

According to attorneys and consumer advocates, the path back usually involves careful steps to reestablish creditworthiness. Here’s what to do.

1. Start with one credit card. Get a card with the lowest possible fees and accept a spending limit as low as $250. Consider a “secured” card, which allows the bank to make deductions from a savings account if you don’t pay what you owe. Some lenders hawk cards with 29% rates and $49 application fees, so use sites like to hunt for better terms. Make sure that the card issuer will report your new payment history to the three main credit-rating agencies so you can establish a record of paying back debts reliably.

Even after you file for bankruptcy, card issuers will be jockeying for your business. “You’re a good credit risk,” says Alan Pressman, a bankruptcy attorney in Islandia, N.Y. “You have no debt, and they know you can’t file again for bankruptcy protection for as much as eight years.”

2. Make prompt payments 100% of the time. “A single late payment can set you back by six months to a year,” says Evan Hendricks, author of Credit Scores & Credit Reports. “It can undo all your hard work and drop your credit rating by 40 to 90 points.” In contrast, paying off debt quickly not only rebuilds your creditworthiness, it also helps you avoid steep interest charges.

How to Earn Extra Cash in a Tough Economy

3. Ask for lower rates, especially as your credit improves. “ You have to be patient,” says attorney Nicholas Gebelt of Whittier, Calif. “It’s going to take about a year of good payment history, but gradually the rates will come down.” Some lenders make these adjustments automatically. Even so, it never hurts to treat credit terms as negotiable and to shop around when necessary.

4. Avoid “credit-repair” schemes. Some services assert that they can fix bad credit in two weeks or less, for a fee. These outfits bombard credit-scoring agencies with claims that various defaults and late payments didn’t happen. That can cause your delinquencies to be delisted temporarily, but they can ultimately be added back to your credit report.

5. View a car loan as the next big step. While car dealers typically want to see at least a year of good payment history before financing a post-bankruptcy buyer, some dealers aren’t picky these days. Initial rates can be as high as 22%, but reliable payers can refinance at better terms later on. Opting for a used car can keep costs down.

Smart Money Moves

6. Keep balances under control. Post-bankruptcy borrowers who seem to be handling new debt well will find that their credit limits increase rapidly. That’s gratifying but dangerous, says Ira Rheingold, executive director of the National Association of Consumer Advocates in Washington, D.C. “Keep low limits on your cards and live within your means,” he advises.

7. Plan for a mortgage. Some of the biggest home-loan programs won’t consider borrowers who have filed for bankruptcy in the previous four years. Loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration often provide the fastest path back to home ownership, usually with a two-year wait after bankruptcy. Banks trying to sell foreclosed propertiesmay also be more flexible.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Haircut leads to a Handy Acronym

Following is from a blog i found online, about how to think about purchases before you make them. If it is a need or want and what it will end up costing you in the end.

How a Haircut Led to a Handy Acronym
Wednesday, 12th August 2009 (by J.D.)
This article is about Hints and Tips, Money Hacks
This is a guest post from Lynn, a long-time reader of personal-finance blogs. Lynn is a potential Staff Writer for Get Rich Slowly. In her first post, she explained where to find free activities and events in your area. Lynn is the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of her family, and is working hard to increase her financial health after years of many poor financial choices.

From my toddler years on, I’ve had long hair. There were a few years when I would get it cut shoulder length, but I never ventured into short hair territory. That is, until about a month ago.

I found a cute hairstyle from the virtual salon at (you can upload your picture and try on different styles — it’s free!). I printed my new style and ventured out to the hair salon. I showed the hairdresser the picture and sat in the chair. I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach as the cape was placed around my neck.

I should have listened to my gut — it was trying to tell me something. Before I knew it I heard the scissors and she held up a long clump of my hair: “There’s no going back now.” I managed a nervous smile. No…there wasn’t.

The hairdresser was great. It took about 20 minutes for the cut and then the fancy hair product came out. She explained everything she was using so I could learn what I needed to do. First up was the root boost to give my hair some volume. Then my hair had to be dried with a hair dryer in a specific way to make the ends flip out. To give the style even more “sassiness” as the hairdresser put it, she used a curling iron to curl the ends up. Sculpting wax and hairspray locked the style in.

What did I get myself into? For the past ten years all I had to do was wash, brush and let my hair air dry. It was perfect for my busy schedule. I feel a bit embarrassed about the whole situation because I didn’t do one thing…

I didn’t really think through my purchase before I made it.

One of the best tips I have picked up from reading personal finance blogs is that I should ask myself whether something I want to purchase is a want or need. That single question has saved me from many frivolous purchases. The decision to get my hair cut passed the want or need test through some creative justification on my part (more about that in a bit).

With my haircut experience as my guide, I came up with a set of questions that I felt would help me really think through purchases - beyond the want or need aspect. My memory can be rusty at times so I needed something to help me remember them. It took a while to situate the questions and the wording, but finally I came up with an easy to remember acronym…WEALTH.

Here’s how it breaks down:

Want or need? Even though I was looking for more questions to ask myself, this question is still important and at the top of my list. My haircut was a want, yet I ended up justifying the purchase. I convinced myself that I needed a change since I’ve had the same hairstyle for over a decade. My mind has a sneaky way of justifying things sometimes.

Ego? Was I getting a haircut to boost my ego or keep up with the Joneses? I became fixated on the picture I printed. I thought I would look more attractive with the shorter cut. In hindsight, I didn’t appreciate what I did have with my long hair.

Add-ons? The haircut itself was one expense, but I didn’t take into account the added cost of hair product. The product ended up costing as much as the cut - doubling the amount I originally planned to spend.

Lifestyle? I thought short hair would be easier to handle than long hair. Oops! I should have done more research and asked the hairdresser what was needed to maintain my style even before I sat in the chair. I’m a wash-n-go type of gal, and my new haircut is far from that.

Time? Is the purchase a one time thing or will there be multiple purchases in the future for upkeep? To maintain my haircut, the hairdresser recommended coming back to the salon every six weeks. A $25 haircut was going to be over a $200/year expense (my previous expense was once every few years since I trimmed my own hair). That’s not even counting the cost of replenishing hair product after it runs out.

Happiness? My haircut is cute, but the happiness started to fade the first time I tried to recreate the style on my own. My little pic used for the audition here at Get Rich Slowly was taken right after I got home from the salon - my hair never looked the same again. It didn’t take long for frustration to set in and I found myself spending way too much time getting ready in the mornings. I would rather do other things during that time.
The WEALTH acronym has already come in handy. A relative was selling a canoe in excellent condition that would fit our entire family. It has been a want of ours for some time, but the price was such a great deal ($150) that the want versus need question was teetering. After going through the other questions, there were add-ons to consider (canoe carrier for our vehicle, extra oars, etc.) and I wondered how much a canoe would affect our happiness. After all, we had a problem spending money in the past on things we thought we would use for family fun but rarely did.

In the end, we didn’t make the purchase and the WEALTH acronym had its first success story. Hopefully there will be many more to come - including when it is applied to my next hairstyle — I’m letting this one grow out

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

FREE $25 Nabisco/Kraft deal

There is a deal on now until Aug 23, at participating grocery stores, including Hornbachers in our area. If you buy $25 worth of participating Nabisco/Kraft items, you can end up getting them for free. You will receive a coupon for $5 off your next order when you check out. And also, a rebate form for $20 rebate will print out. Also, most of the items included are on sale, so you save even more.

There is information on it in the Hornbacher's flier that came out today and is good until next Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review of Everyday Greatness

The book, Everyday Greatness is a collection of inspirational stories which were originally published in Readers Digest. Each story is followed by insights and ocmmentary from Stephen Covey.

Each of the seven chapters is finished by a series of quotes relating to that area. The seven sections include Searching for Meaning, Taking Charge, Starting Within, Creating the Dream, Teaming with Others, Overcoming Adversity and Blending the Pieces.

It may be intimidating once you see the size of the book of over 400 pages but once you start reading each section, it is difficult to put it down.

I highly recommend reading Everyday Greatness. Since the book consists of a series of short stories it is a great book to read whenevery you have a few minutes to spare. Each story is separate so you don't have to read it in a short amount of time so you remember what's going on like in most books where the whole book is one story.

The stories included have been written by a number of different people from various professions and walks of life. Some of the authors are Walt Disney, Ed McMahon and Maya Angelou.

Following is a link for more information on Everyday Greatness Greatness&authors=Stephen-R.-Covey-David-K.-Hatch

Sunday, August 9, 2009

It's Not What you Earn, It's What You Spend!

If you track all the money you spend each day for a week, or even for a month to see what you really spend your money on. When you look at the results, you can decide which expenses you may be able to eliminate.

It is surprising how "small" expenses to add up.

If someone makes a lot of money but spends most of it, they are no better off than someone that makes a lot less.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Deal at Hornbachers this week

In this week's Hornbachers flier there is a deal that if you buy $30 or mor of participating General Mills and Unilever products you will get a coupon for $15 off your next shopping trip.

The sale is until next wed 8/12.

Most of the items included in the offer are also on sale. Some items included are General Mills cereals, Betty Crocker muffin mixes and cookie mixes, Knorr side dishes, Progresso soup, Suave hairspray, mousse, gel and body wash.

There are almost 30 different items to choose from.

If they are items you would be buying anyways, with getting $15 back plus items being on sale, you save over 1/2 price what you would have paid other wise.

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Business

I am starting a Money Coaching business. For several years it has been a passion of mine to learn about saving and managing money. Now I want to have the opportunity to share what I have learned with others. I feel it is also important to teach children about managing financial matters.

my website is In the Black

It is not about how much you EARN but how much you SPEND!! It is also important to take a chance to track your expenses so you know where your money is going and possibly what expenses you don't need to make in the future.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Secret to Saving Money

Following is an article by Dave Ramsey about the Secret to Saving Money. It has to be an emotional decision. No matter how much money you make it will not make a difference until you make a decision to save money

Saving money is not a matter of math.

You will not save money when you get that next raise. You will not save money when that car is paid off. You will not save money when the kids are grown. You will only save money when it becomes an emotional priority.

We all know we need to save, but most people don't save like they know they need to save. Why? Because they have competing goals. The goal to save isn't a high enough priority to delay that purchase of the pizza, DVD player, new computer or china cabinet. So we purchase, buy, consume all our dollars away or, worse yet, go into debt to buy these things. That debt means monthly payments that control our paychecks and make us say things like, "We just don't make enough to save any money!" Wrong, wrong, wrong! We do make enough to save money; we just aren't willing to quit spoiling ourselves with our little projects or pleasures to have enough left to save. I don't care what you make—you can save money. It just has to become a big enough priority to you.

If a doctor told you that your child was dying and could only be saved with a $15,000 operation that your insurance would not cover and could only be performed nine months from today, could you save $15,000? Yes! Of course you could! You would sell things, you would stop any spending that wasn't required to survive, and you would take two extra jobs. For that short nine months, you would become a saving madman (or madwoman). You would give up virtually anything to accomplish that $15,000 goal. Saving would become a priority.

The secret to saving? Focused emotion. The secret to saving money is to make it a priority, and that is done only when you get some healthy anger or fear and then focus that emotion on your personal decisions. Harnessing that emotion will make you move yourself to the top of your creditor list. Ask yourself, "Which bill is the most important?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Online games to teach kids about Money management

Check out /The Great Piggy Bank Adventures, online games produced by Disney and T. Rowe Price to help teach kids about money management. /HERE> is an article about it. If you have kids that already play online games, they may really enjoy these and learn something at the same time!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cash for Clunkers Program

The government is offering a discount program for people who trade in cars for a new car which is more environmentally friendly. More information is available at Cash for Clunkers. The program is suppose to run until November but there has been so much interest that I heard on a TV program last night that it probably won't last that long unless they add more money to the fund. They are discussing adding funds to the program since there is so much interest.

The CAR Allowance Rebate System (CARS) is a $1 billion government program that helps consumers buy or lease a more environmentally-friendly vehicle from a participating dealer when they trade in a less fuel-efficient car or truck. The program is designed to energize the economy; boost auto sales and put safer, cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles on the nation's roadways.

Consumers will be able to take advantage of this program and receive a $3,500 or $4,500 discount from the car dealer when they trade in their old vehicle and purchase or lease a new one. Consumers you do not need to register anywhere or at anytime for this program. However, to find out eligibility requirements

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Paying Our Fair Share

Following is a letter from Dave Ramsey's website. It shows the importance of paying attention to how you spend your money. If you are careful in the beginning it will pay off BIG in the end.

Paying Our Fair Share

By Mike in NE
We married in 1969 at 19 and 21 with no money but no debt. Our friends had student loans, but I worked a full-time job, and it took me five years to graduate.

Our friends bought new houses with big mortgages. We built our house and borrowed only what we needed. Our friends bought new cars with financing. We bought used cars for cash. Our friends bought vacation homes at the lake (with mortgages). We invested the $5,000 we had in a business (which now pays more than $750,000 per year in salaries). Our friends went on expensive vacations with their credit cards. We bought investment properties for cash.

So in 2009, we have a net worth of more than $6,000,000 and are cash flowing about $1,000,000 per year. Now we have several homes. We go to Europe whenever we want. We buy whichever new car we want for cash, but only one for each of us about every five to seven years because of our conservative nature. We paid about $300,000 in 2008 for state and federal income tax. Tell me why we should feel guilty for being too "acquisitive." Do you think we are "stepping up to the plate" and "paying our fair share"?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Free Mary Hunt Book

Following is an email I received from Mary Hunt. If you subscribe to her online membership, she will give you a free copy of one of her money saving tip books.

Debt Proof living
Dear Friend,

I love getting emails from my readers who tell me they're making progress in cutting their daily expenses, even as costs on just about everything seem to be going up. But I want to do more. I want to help you make financial progress so you can get out of debt sooner and build your emergency fund faster. I know you can do it and I've been racking my brain for ideas for how we can do this together.

I came up with an idea and convinced my husband and staff that we should offer you this deal: I will send you one of my books--the hardcover edition of "Live Your Life For Half The Price," FREE (plus shipping/handling) when you buy, give or renew a one-year Debt-Proof Living Online membership ($29). I hope you agree this is a win-win situation!

This hardcover book that retails for $23.99 is jam-packed with tips, tricks, resources and how-tos for slashing the cost of everything you spend money on in your normal day-to-day living.

There are so many reasons that you need to become a part of my Debt-Proof Living family. Whether you're deeply in debt and worried about the future, or doing well and want to make sure that continues, we offer the help you need to get out of debt, the community you need to make sure you are not alone and the resources and tools you need to make sure you are successful.

Do this: Go to the DPL Bookstore, put a One-Year DPL Online Membership and one copy of "Live Your Life For Half The Price" into your shopping cart. Before clicking checkout, use this COUPON CODE: LYLFREE in the discount code and you will get a credit for $23.99 (the price of the book) as you complete the transaction. That's it! You can also get details on my webdesk.

This deal is available for one week only, so don't delay. And yes, you can share the coupon code freely. Help us spread the word!

Have a great week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pay It Forward

Here is a link for a story I saw on the national news last night, Pay it Forward. About a Pay it forward chain at a coffee shop. At the time of the story over 1,300 people had kept it going and it was still going.

Along with paying what they would have paid for their coffee, many people are donating more and they are starting a fund to donate to people in need.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stores No Longer offering Back to School shopping Lists

There is an article in the Prosperity 4 Kids newsletter about stores not offering shopping lists for school supplies because of the chance of referring items containing lead paint. The article gives suggestions of school supply lists.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Financial Education

On the Suze Orman Show on Saturday night there was a 28 year old with $210,000 in credit card debt. He has also filed bankruptcy twice before. When asked he thought he had $100,000 of debt. Suze said when they added it up, it was $210,000. His parents have bailed him out twice before and 90% of the current debt is in their names.

Between his 2 previous bankruptcies and the current debt, the total amount is almost a million dollars.

He has 65 credit cards, which half have balances. Half of the credit cards are in his parents names.

His parents are both 63 years old and retired, so it is getting difficult for them to continue bailing him out. When he runs up the credit cards, his parents take an advance on another credit card in their names to pay off his debt.

He is still spending almost $1,000 a month on eating out, coffee, going out, etc.

This is another example of why I feel is it very important to teach children about financial matters and consequences of getting into trouble with debt.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Suze Orman on Oprah

On Wednesday, July 15th Suze Orman will be on Oprah with a Recession Rescue plan. This show first aired in April 2009 and gives ideas about ways to get through our economic times.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kelloggs $10 Rebate

There is a $10 Kelloggs rebate. If you go to this link and click on save $80

Buy 10 participating products, get a $10 rebate check and a $70 coupon code for Dell by mail. Items must be purchased between 7/6/09 to 9/30/09. Purchase by 9/30/09 and get it in the mail by 10/9/09. You have to send in UPC symbols, form, and the original dated register receipt. All items must be purchased in a single transaction.

Participating products:

any Kellogg's Cereal (10 oz. or larger)
any Keebler or Austin Product (8 oz. or larger)
any Sunshine Product (8 oz. or larger)
any Eggo Product (4 ct. or larger)
any Kellogg's Nutri-Grain Cereal Bar (8 ct. or larger)
any Kellogg's Special K Cereal Bar (8 ct. or larger)
any Kellogg's Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries (8 ct. or larger)
any Kellogg's Reice Krispies Treats Squares (8 ct. or larger)
any Kellogg's Fruit Flavored Snacks (6 ct. or larger)
any MorningStar Farms Veggie Foods Product (5 oz. or larger)
any 100 Calorie Right Bites (6 ct. or larger)

Most of the time when there is a rebate like this alot of grocery stores have these items on sale and sometimes there are coupons for these items.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Book Review of The Noticer by Andy Andrews

The Noticer by Andy Andrews
I really enjoyed reading The Noticer by Andy Andrews. It is a quick read, I read it in a couple of evenings. It consists of various stories that merge together, so you can read it in stages if you don’t have time to read the whole thing at one time.

It is a story about seeing situations in different perspectives. The story starts with a 23 year old Andy who was down on his luck meeting an older man named Jones. Jones continues to unexpectedly show up various times thoughout the coming years.

Some of the stories are of Jones helping a couple having marriage problems and a young man that is having problems. He convinces an elderly lady that her life is not over just because her husband has passed away and her children have moved away. Just because things have changed there is a reason to keep going. The stories show different ways to look at things. They are common sense things but the book gives ideas of looking at different perspectives. How problems can be easily solved when you look at it a different way.

I have heard about Andy Andrews and read another one of his books. I was excited to read The Noticer really enojoyed reading the book. I recommend it and will continue recommending it to friends of mine. It is one of the many books I plan to reread many times in the future.

CVS deals

With sales and coupons I got about $35 of products for $18 plus I received $7 in Extra care bucks which brings my total down to $11.

Pantene products were on sale for $3.33. In sunday's paper there was a coupon that if you bought a shampoo/conditioner you got a styling product free. So instead of the regular price of almost $5 each I got 2 for $3.33. Head and Shoulders was on sale and you received $2 ECB for each one. Also in the Sunday paper there was a coupon if you buy one you get one free. I also got $4 ECB since I bought two. So instead of $10 regular price. I ended up getting 2 for $1.

This is another example of stocking up on items you use when you find them on sale. And to keep your eyes open for coupons and matching them with sales.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Free Month Subscription to My Total Money Makeover

I was so excited to discover today, thanks to Shelby from Shelby Making Cents that you can get a free one-month subscription to Dave Ramsey's right now. This is a website with massive amounts of helpful financial information including all three hours of the Dave Ramsey show, very active forums, articles, budgeting software, and much more.

To start your free one-month subscription, just click heretotal money makeover to get your coupon.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Should you Buy Extended Warranties

I have heard from different sources the cons of buying extended warranties on automobiles, electronics, etc. Most of the time you pay more for the warranty than you will get out of it. Some salespeople will try to talk you into it by saying it is insurance against things going wrong with the car. But they price them higher than the average cost of repairs to make a profit on it.

I have had the extended coverage on a couple of my cars. In one case the one thing that went wrong wasn't covered by the warranty and the other one what it cost for the repairs was about the same as the price I paid for the warranty.

Stores offer extended warranties on most types of electronics. About a month ago, I bought a battery for a spotlight flashlight and they asked if I wanted the warranty for it. In a lot of cases, with electronics, it pays more to fix it than to buy a new one.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Do you Suffer from Money Delusions

There is an article on MSN about why many people may suffer from money delusions

Most brains get excited by large sums of money. Now when prices have gone up on many things the money doesn't go as far, but our brains don't comprehend that.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Financial Peace University

Financial Peace University is a 13 week program put on by dave ramsey. It is a dvd program that is usually sponsored by area churches. On the website you can enter your zip code to learn more about offerings in your area. It takes you through different aspects of dealing with your finances. You purchase the workbook materials and attend the workshops. Once you purchase the workbook and materials and you can attend it as many times in your lifetime as you want without any futher cost.

I have not attended the Financial Peace University but have heard great things about it.

There are offerings at various churches in the Fargo area.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Couples Checkup

On Dave Ramsey's website there is a Couple checkup to see how you and your partner deal with finaces. There are about 25 questions that you both answer. There is a $19.95 cost for it, but if it can help you with your financial future. On the website it shows the list price of $42.90, but it is new so the introductory price is $19.95.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Coupons in Parade Magazine

There were more coupons in the Parade magazine in Sunday's paper than there usually are. Usually there is only about one.

There were coupons for the following:

$1.00 off CoverGirl product
$2.00 off 2 CoverGirl products
$2.00 off CoverGirl & Olay Simply Ageless
$1.00 off Bit-O-Luv Dog Treats
50 cents off Cottonelle Soothing Clean Wipes Tub
$1.00 off Cottonelle toilet paper Aloe & E 12pk

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dave Ramsey Books & CDs on sale

Most of Dave Ramsey's books and Cds are on sale for $10 until July 6th. Most of the books and CD are regularly $15-$25. The Total Money Makeover book is a great book to help you get your finances on the right track.

The sale is at dave ramsey

Saving "Bread" on Bread

Another tip I use to save money is to buy bread and buns, etc at Bread Outlet stores. The one I usually go to is Country Hearth. Most of the items are cheaper than the grocery stores and many items are between $.50 and $1.00. I usually buy about 6 loaves or so at a time and put the extras in my freezer. This is another case, where it "pays" to have a chest freezer.

As with other money saving tips, you can't usually go looking for something specific. But is an easy way to save money.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Junior Achievement Speaker Panel

A few nights ago I attended a speaker panel about How to deal with money with your kids. It was sponsored by Thrivent and put on by the Junior Achievement. There was a speaker from Thrivent, The Village Family Center, an elementary teacher and a high school business teacher.

More information and handouts are available at the Junior Achievement website is
Junior Achivement

Some the things discussed were teaching kids the difference between wants and needs. Realizing what things cost and where money comes from. Some times when kids see their parents paying with checks and credit cards they don't realize that you do have to account for that money. There have been times when kids want something and their parents say they can't afford it, and the kids say just write a check.

Another thing is to teach your children the dangers of using credit cards. On college campuses there are many instances that credit card companies set up to get students to sign up for a credit card, many times giving incentives like free tshirts or fast food coupons. They may get the card thinking that they won't use it or just use it for emergencies. But many times once they have it they will start using it and it can get out of hand. They also mentioned that some kids take out more in student loans than they need for school expenses to use on other things. They have to realize they eventually have to pay that back.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Being Honest about your finances

On the Dave Ramsey show last night a few of the callers were wives that had major credit card debt that their husbands didn't know about. One of them had about $78,000 in credit card debt and they only made about $60,000 a year. She had tried refinancing their house by her house to help with the situation and found out they both had to sign to refinance.

Dave suggested to have both spouses be involved and in agreement with the spending. In a lot of couples if one makes the money they leave it up to the other one to manage the spending. But if they get to being over their heads all of the weight and worry is on one person.

Studies show, one of the major cases of marriage problems is because of finances. So to have a better marriage it was suggested to work together on the finances.

Even if you aren't married, some people lie about their finances. By pretending to be able to afford things they can't afford. But evenutally it catches up to them.

Restore Stores - Habitat for Humanity

One place to look for discounted prices on home improvement items is the Restore stores that benefit Habitat for Humanity houses. There is a store at 210 11th St N in Moorhead. You can search Habitat for Humanity to see if there is a store in your area.

They have a variety of home improvement items. Some of the items are used items dontated by people and other items are new items donated by stores and contractors. Because it is run on donations, you can't usually go looking for specific items.

Some of the items they usually have are paint, stain, doors, windows, trim and carpet. The store in Moorhead recently has new carpet for $1/SF in different sizes.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Learning to Manage What You Have

Many people think if only they could earn more money they could be rich. But many times when earnings increase, your way of life and expenses also rise. It seems the more money you have the more money you think you have to spend. Alot of people that earn more money probably don't have any more saved than people that make a lot less.

Also, some people hope to win the lottery. Studies show that of people that have won large prizes from the lotter, within 5 years a majority of them have lost it all or most of it. This is because even though they have a large sum of money, they still don't know how to manage it.

I have been thinking about writing about this lately and the other night I watched the movie "Mad Money". Its about a few people working on the cleaning crew at the Federal Reserve that figure out a way to steal money that is going out of circulation and being shredded.

Just remember it doesn't matter how much you earn, its how much you SPEND!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Speaker's Panel - Talking to Kids about Money

Speaker's Panel presents
How to Talk to Your Kids about Money & The economy
Carl Ben Eielson 1601 13th Ave S, Fargo
Tuesday, June 23 7-8 pm

Panelists will give you tips to talk with children of all ages about smart money management, budgeting, investing, saving and emotional stress and family difficulties during these economic times.

open to public, free to attend

RSVP to Lisa Metzger or 241-8628

How to Live Like a Millionaire

How to Live like a Millionaire

How do millionaires live? What kind of spending choices do
they make? How do they handle their money? These were the
questions that Drs. Thomas Stanley and William Danko,
authors of “The Millionaire Next Door,” tried to answer
through their 20 years of studying and researching people
with a net worth of over a million dollars.

What they found through their research was surprising. Most
garden-variety millionaires (not celebrities or sports
stars, but just average wealthy people) do not drive
expensive cars, wear expensive clothes or jewelry, or have
homes the size of the White House. Most of the people Drs.
Stanley and Danko interviewed look and act very much like
the rest of us. The only difference is that these people are
millionaires while the rest of us only dream about it.

The fact that most millionaires in America are so much like
the guy next door surprises many. Most of us think of
millionaires as being people who are easily identifiable
because of the cars they drive, the luxuries they enjoy, and
the neighborhoods they live in. But as the authors point
out, “Most people have it all wrong about wealth in America.
Wealth is not the same as income. If you make a good income
each year and spend it all, you are not getting wealthier.
You are just living high. Wealth is what you accumulate, not
what you spend.”

Below are a few of the points about millionaires found in
“The Millionaire Next Door.” Let’s see what lessons those of
us who aren’t worth millions of dollars can learn from those
Americans who are.

1. Most average millionaires live well below their means.
They could afford to spend more and enjoy more luxuries in
life but they choose not to. They know that they would have
probably never become millionaires while supporting an
extravagant lifestyle.

Lesson to the rest of us: It’s hard to accumulate wealth if
you spend all you make. Living below your means allows you
to save, invest and accumulate more. Ben Franklin once
wrote, “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a
great ship.”

2. Most average millionaires live frugally.
These people are not typically big spenders. They watch all
of these expenses, both big and small because they believe
being frugal is the key to achieving financial independence.
As authors Stanley and Danko write, “Being frugal provides
them with a dollar base to invest.”

Lesson to the rest of us: Frugality is a tool that can help
get you where you want to be financially.

3. Most average millionaires are more concerned with
financial independence than social status.
They believe in the statement, “You aren’t what you drive.”
They understand that many people who appear wealthy actually
have little wealth because they spend it all in order to
support a lavish lifestyle.

Lesson to the rest of us: Benjamin Franklin also said,
“Rather to go to bed supperless than rise in debt.”
Unfortunately this concept is totally foreign to a big
portion of the population. Too many Americans are stuck in
the cycle of spending tomorrow’s cash today in an effort to
attain and maintain social status.

4. Most average millionaires believe in the value of hard
work and being self-sufficient.
A majority of these people did not receive significant
financial support from their parents, nor do they provide
financial support to their own children.

Lesson to the rest of us: The authors state that the odds of
becoming wealthy by inheriting a fortune, winning a lottery,
or becoming a celebrity are about 1 in 4000. However, the
odds of having a net worth over $1 million is about 3.5 in
100, and more than 80% of the people in this category are
just ordinary people who accumulated their wealth slowly and
steadily. In other words, don’t bank on becoming financially
secure by chance. Hard work is a much more reliable ticket
to financial security.

5. Most average millionaires use their time, money and
energy wisely.
“These people understand that efficiency is one of the most
important components of wealth accumulation,” write Stanley
and Danko. Thus, they allocate these resources in such a way
that helps them increase their net worth.

Lesson to the rest of us: Wealth rarely “just happens.” It
is almost always the result of hard work, planning, and
controlling consumption. If these things aren’t part of your
financial planning, you probably don’t have what it takes to
accumulate wealth.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Relative Value and its Importance

Relative value is the cornerstone of teaching responsible management, and the basis for making intelligent decisions about money.

Relative value means what one thing costs in relation to what you personally have to do to pay for it. Relative value is the "real" cost of something, and it can make your and child's purchasing decisions much clearer.

For example, to take your family of four on vacation for a week to DisneyWorld, it may cost you a total of $6,000. Now think of the cost of that vacation in a different way. Did you have to work one week to earn the money, or eight weeks? You may have spent $6,000 in money, but in terms of relative value, that vacation cust you X number of weeks of sweat.

Also, when thinking of the cost of something. You may think it is only so many hours or days of work, but if you get too many of those things, they may end up being most or all of your pay.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wants Vs Needs

I feel part of the reason some people are in the situations they are in concerning money is not distinguising the difference between wants and needs.

Need is defined as something without which your daily living would be impossible, or very difficult.

A want is something that if you had, you'd be happier, but if you didn't, you could live without it.

Wants and needs are different for all people. When looking at your financial situation you have to decide if you are willing to give up something else to afford something that you want and may not necessarily need.

I also feel it is important to teach children this difference. That they have to decide what they really need and they may not be able to get everything they want.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ideas for Bargain Summer Travel

Here are some ideas for affordable summer travel Summer Travel ideas.

Another idea is a staycation. You can research attractions in your home town or surrounding area. Many people don't take the chance to explore places right in their back yards. Just to take a chance to get out of the house and doing something different.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Suze Orman's Recession Rescue Plan

On Oprah's website Suze Orman has ideas for a Recession Rescue Plan

She has ideas to save money and get by if you have lost your job or to be ready in case you do. The economic problems have been worse in other parts of the country but the effects are starting to hit our area too.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

What Would You Dare to Live Without?

Thursday on Oprah the topic will be what things you can give up. They will follow a few families for a week as they try to cut back on shopping, TV, video games, etc.

Also, trying to cut back on wasting food, electricity and water.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Sears - $50 Reward Cash

Purchase $50 worth of men's pants or jeans from Sears by June 21, 2009, and you'll receive $50 in Sear's Reward Cash. This Reward Cash can be used on any men's apparel in July and August. The rebate form is at

The Difference

I recently read "The Difference", the new book by Jean Chatzy. The front cover says Some People Have Secured Their Financial Future - What They Know That You Don't The Difference

Through candid interviews and a study of more than five thousand people Jean reveals the traits and habits of those who moved from the lowest economic strata to the highest. The Difference helps you take a look at where you are now and offers simple strategies for going where you want to go.

Following are a couple points from the book:

The Healing Power of Saving. Part of the difference is understanding that spending more than you make is just as bad for you emotionally as it is financially. It certainly won’t make you happier. In fact, it does just the opposite. And the worry that comes with financial trouble can quite literally make you sick. Saving money, on the other hand, is actually good for both your health and your wealth. As one noted researcher put it: “Saving money is like healing your sould a little bit every day”. The wealthy get that.
The Difference isn’t easy. The Difference is an advanced concept. And yes, you have to want it becaue it will-in all likelihood – occasionally put up a fight. It is, in that way like the marathon you want to run, diet you want to undertake. The smoking you want to stop. And the money you want to save. The Difference is a choice that you make every day.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

21 days to a new Habit

I have read different places that it takes about 21 days or 21 times of doing something to become a habit.

Like I've said before, I don't expect you to use all of the tips I write about, but I hope you get a chance to try some. Every little bit helps. A dollar here and there may not seem like alot. But if you consider saving $1 ten times, that equals $10 saved. ( and $20, so forth).

Some people say they don't have time. If you try a few quick tips when you get a few minutes, you may save yourself time and money in the future. If you have items on hand and prepared ahead of time, it can save you from stopping for takeout, etc. Sometimes if you have things prepared, you can have a homecooked meal ready in about the time it would take to stop for something.

Another way to save time on meals is to use a crockpot. There are many cookbooks and websites with recipes. This way you can get things ready the night before or in the morning and have it cook all day and have home cooked meal when you get home.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

The Number One Way to Save on Food

Michell at leaving excess has a post on saving money by stocking up on items when they are on sale.

This week Hornbachers has raspberries, strawberries and blueberries on sale. I bought 2 pints of raspberries, rinsed them and drained. I put them on a cookie sheet to freeze and then bagged them to use in the future, for smoothies, etc or just for a snack. I did the same with the strawberries, I rinsed and drained and then sliced and froze.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Making Use of Dried Bread

If you have dried out bread or the ends of loaves, let them dry out and crush in food processor or blender to make bread crumbs. You can add seasonings to them to make seasoned bread crumbs instead of buying them. Or before letting the the bread dry out, cut into small squares, brush with oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt or other seasonings. Bake at 200 degrees until they are dried out and you have homemade croutons.

You can bag the bread crumbs and croutons and keep in the freezer so they last longer.