Sunday, March 29, 2009

Menu Plan-March 30

Last week was my first attempt at a menu plan. One of my commentors told me to be flexible, and boy, was she right! We had several unexpected things come up and I think I only made 2 of the items on my menu. Here's to week number 2!

Monday: Chicken alfredo over spaghetti noodles

Tuesday: Beef Enchiladas (already prepared in freezer)

Wednesday: Pasta Meatball Soup (using homemade meatballs from freezer)

Thursday: Roast, potatoes, carrots in the crockpot

Friday: Homemade pizza

Saturday: Leftovers? We'll see!

What's on your menu this week? Check out Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie for ideas!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

You Can Make it at Home!

I am the daughter of a master seamstress, yet I had never sewn. That all changed Christmas of 2007 when my husband bought me my first sewing machine. My mom had to come over twice to teach me how to thread my machine, but I was determined to learn how to use it. After that, the crafty bug bit me and didn't let go.

I saw a girls purse made from 2 jeans pockets sewn together and imitated it for my first endeavor. Next, I made the purse pictured below:

It's a baby skirt lined with red watermelon seed fabric and embroidered with a watermelon on the front. I discovered that my daughter loved these purses and her friends would too. For each of the birthday parties she was invited to, I let her pick out a few dollar store items to put inside the purse and that was the gift. An expensive looking gift for just a few dollars. If I had purchased something similar from the store, it would be approximately $20. What savings!

Once people saw the purses, they started asking to buy them. Around Easter of that year, I made over $200. Not bad for a seamstress of 4 months. Making gifts at home can save so much money, make you money, and be a lot of fun.

For other make-it-at-home ideas, visit Cents to Get Debt-Free Finding Freedom Friday post.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


My husband quit his job last August to stay at home with our kids, which allowed me to finish my Bachelor's degree. We've been waiting for the perfect job for our family. For us, the perfect job would be an early morning shift, which got over around 10. Well, after months of waiting, my husband was offered that very job today!

We are thrilled! We never doubted that God would provide, but we also didn't know how long we would be at one income. As always, God's timing is perfect. This entire experience has brought us to a new level in our faith, a deeper faith.

Just wanted to share our blessing with anyone who comes this way. God does provide!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Although all the devotions from Proverbs 31 Ministries are good, today's devotion by Mary Beth Whalen spoke to my heart in a way that few others have. Mary Beth tells about God giving new life to a dream she had given up on. I've long had the dream of being a stay at home mom, but it seems God has a different plan for me. While I know in my head that God's plans are best, the message isn't sinking into my heart very well.

Rather than believing that maybe God just has me in a training period before fulfilling my dream, I find myself throwing in the towel and pouting like a 2 year old who doesn't get what she wants. This devotion gave me renewed hope that God's timing is perfect and that his plans are worth waiting for.

Are there any dreams you've given up on? Maybe it's worth praying about today.

Raisin Bran Muffins

Here's a recipe for delicious muffins that my family loves and an easy way to add bran to your diet.

3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups Raisin Bran cereal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar plus 1 tablespoon, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1 tablespoon margarine, melted

What to do:
Preheat oven to 400*F. Grease 12 muffin cups. Combine milk, oil and egg in bowl. Stir in cereal; let stand 10 minutes. Stir to break up cereal. Combine flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon in separate bowl. Add cereal mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Divide evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Remove from pan. Combine remaining 1 T sugar and remaining 1/4 t cinnamon. Brush muffins with margarine and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar mixture. Serve warm.


This post linked to: Blessed With Grace Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan

I've been wanting to start cooking by a menu for some time now, and I've just never done. The procrastinating is's my first attempt.
Monday: Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans
Tuesday: Chicken Burritos
Wednesday: Mother-in-law is cooking. Off Duty!
Thursday: Sloppy Joes, fruit, cottage cheese
Friday: Homemade pizza
Saturday: Leftover Buffet

Visit Organizing Junkie for lots of other great menu plans!


Inspired by this post by Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt-Free, I decided to try my hand at growing some seedlings. The kids and I had fun planting our seeds and they were very disappointed when the seedlings weren't there the next morning. This whole process has been a good lesson in science and patience!

I've been checking the seedlings each day eagerly awaiting the small fleck of green poking through the soil. As Phoebe suggested, I've kept the container covered to retain moisture. A few days ago I was very disappointed to see some mold growing on the containers. I thought for sure the seedlings wouldn't make it.

Today was the day I was going to throw my first attempt at gardening away, but the promise of new life was there! 3 of our 6 tomato plants had sprouted and 1 of the 6 green pepper plants had sprouted. Have a look...

Too exciting!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Frugal Family Fun

Phoebe at Cents to Get Debt-Free has a post listing lots of ideas for frugal family fun. Here's a few of my ideas:

1. Turn a necessary trip to Wal-Mart into a fun trip! We usually visit the toy department first, just to get it out of the way. The older kids just like to look and we usually get the baby a toy to play with while we shop. Any toys we borrow while we shop we deliver back to their homes before we leave so they'll be there for next time (and so I don't have to buy them!)

2. While strolling around Wal-Mart we sometimes have contests to see which child can spot certain items first. If I have spare change, I award a dime or quarter to the winner of each round and they can spend their money in the check out. That's an inexpensive reward for a good shopping trip.

3. Today as a frugal family trip, we went to an indoor waterpark. It cost us just $16 for our whole family to get in and we got a whole day of fun! The icing on the cake was that everyone was exhausted and napped very well.

4. Finally, our favorite family fun is to go bike riding. We live near a pre-school with great play equipment. If we go in the evenings, the local marching band is practicing on the adjacent football field and we get to listen to them play while we play.


I'm so glad you stopped by for the launching of my new blog. This blog will focus on my family's journey to get debt free and beef up our savings. We're a one-income family because with 3 kids 5 and under, we just can't justify the cost of daycare. What does this mean for us? Watch every penny that leaves our hands.

You'll see our debt ticker in the side bar which shows us cruising to debt freedom (other than our mortgage for now) in 2009. While it's not a lot of debt, we hate that ball and chain and want it gone!

As for our other goal of beefing up our savings, we need a bigger house! As I mentioned, we have 3 kids 5 and under and we're living in a 2 bedroom house. We're ok for now, but we must move before the kids grow together! Got to get the new house fund growing!

Will you join us on our journey?