Sunday, August 28, 2016

Stocking the Pantry

Stocking the pantry, a topic that many a blogger discusses.  Some have massive pantries that are not only functional but so beautifully decorated.  I sit in awe of them.  I mean some are decorated nicer than my home.  LOL.  I think to myself------how much time is devoted to this and then how much money did this cost?  Then there are bloggers that have very limited pantries due to finances or space or a combination of the two.  One of my favorite bloggers, Brenda, has a limited pantry because both her and her spouse are disabled and they live on a very. tight.budget.............but she does not allow those budgetary confines to get in the way of providing good food for family and hospitality to friends.  She has to keep a close watch on what she needs vs what funds she has available to spend on those needs.

So all of this leads me to this question-how much do you like to have on hand at all times to feel like you have it under control?  Now we do not have much room at all in our home so that does impact how much we can have on hand but there are some things that I like to have 5 or 6 of, like Rotel or the generic variety.  The generic kind is usually a good 25-45 cents cheaper.  Another item I like to have on hand is cream cheese, especially when I can find it for 1.00.  Cream cheese keeps for a long time and comes in handy when making tailgate recipes for football games.  It makes my mouth water just thinking of  2 blocks of cream cheese, a can of Rotel and a pound of sausage.  Oh my, put them in a crock pot and voila! Deliciousness! I like to have several cans of various types of veggies like french style green beans, corn, beans (black and chili), cream of fill in the blank soups.  You know those basics.  I bought a can of potatoes mixed with red and green peppers from Walmart that were oh my so good!  I think it was the Great Value brand but I can't remember.  I usually buy just one when I am trying a new thing.  I need to go back and get more.  It was delicious in my chicken pot pie.  OH and CHEESE.  Cheese is a must have for us.  The more the merrier.  Flavors range from american to cheddar to feta and everything in between.  You can never have too much cheese.
Peanut butter is also one of those items that I like to buy 3 at a time if it is $1.79 or lower for 18 ounces.  I mean, why is peanut butter so expensive?  

I'm not a huge baker so just one package of flour and one package of various types of sugars suits our needs.  Now someone who is an amazing baker needs much more than that.

We do keep a lot of spices and sauces on hand to make those everyday blah dishes just a bit more exciting and thanks to stores like Aldi and the Dollar Tree, you can get spices for really cheap prices.  I would also throw out there that the spices at Penzeys are great as well.  One thing great about Penzeys is you can buy what you need plus they have some great free items quite often.  So don't let their regular prices keep you away.

Sometime in the next few months most stores will have some good deals on baking goods and turkeys and anything associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas.    I wish we had a deep freezer to be able to stock up on turkeys but we only have the freezer on top of the frig and in all honesty we don't have room for it anywhere else.

Do you cook casseroles and bake cakes ahead of time and put in the freezer to take out when needed?
Wow, this topic could be discussed for days, couldn't it?  Well ya'll have a good night!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Christmas Is Just Around the Corner

Can you believe it?  These eight months have gone by so fast it's a blur.  I don't know about you but I am looking forward to cooler weather and I dearly love to watch Christmas movies especially on the Hallmark Channel.  I know those movies are super sappy and ooey gooey feel good but I like them.  I always wish that life could really be that way.  But I digress....................

Are you ready?  Have you purchased gifts or at least saved up for them?  We've purchased gifts for my sister in laws and really only have my father in law left.  He is one tough bugger to buy for.  He has every thing he needs and he doesn't have hobbies so it's really difficult.

If you have family over to your home for food have you included those costs?  We always travel out of town so we don't have those expenses but we are kind of kicking around the idea of having a friend or so over just to hang out.  So I need to figure out what we want to eat and get the best deal for those said items.

Do you go all out when it comes to decorating or are you a bit more subdued?  There used to be so many homes like the Griswalds but not so much anymore.  I love to look at them.  My husband told me he wants us to do a bit more this year on the decor front.  Nothing outrageous just a bit more festive.

Frugal Queen has some great posts on how her family has frugal Christmases over the past few years. Go to her blog and check them out!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Near Miss

Wow.  I had a major near miss.  I can't go into details, not yet, at least but let's just say that our finances missed taking a HUGE hit.  This has kept me up at night and worried me for days.  Today I received good news but won't know for sure for a little while.

I do know that this has given me a kick in the you know what.  I told the hubster that this has really affected me and how I want us to re do our budgets by putting as much as possible of my checks into savings AND paying as much as possible on the mortgage with his checks.  In theory our mortgage could be paid off by January if we follow this plan.  That way, if this situation were to happen again, then we would able to ride that wave!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Aldi Run

Well today I made a small Aldi run. I bought some onions, bananas, grapes, whole wheat bread, eggs, granola bars, Asian noodles, and baby bell peppers. That store gets busier every time I go. I know the store is set up to be streamlined however they could use more employees manning the cash registers. 

Do you shop at Aldi?  If so, what do you like?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Inexpensive Asian Inspired Meal

Tonight was one of the those meals where you hope what you've planned tastes as good as you think it will.  I am not much of a chef and don't have a lot of imagination in the culinary skills.  Well I have to pat moi on the back tonight because it actually worked tonight.

I used some Asian Sauce and noodles that I bought at Aldi.  I cooked some chicken in the Asian sauce.  I cooked the noodles in a separate pot.  Put the chicken on top of the noodles and voila!  It tasted really good.  And did I mention it was cheap?  The sauce is $1.99 a jar, the noodles I think were like .79 cents and the chicken thigh pieces were from a package of chicken thighs that the total price was a bit over $3.

For sure we will have this again.  If I change anything it will be to put more of a spicy kick to it.

What are your cheap easy to make meals that you trust over and over?

Friday, August 5, 2016

My FICO Score Went Down! GRRRR

Why, pray tell?  Because I am not charging!  Go figure.  I am paying down debt while not charging, or at least charging very little (think items on Amazon).  Now don't get me wrong. My score is still excellent but it annoys me that paying cash and doing what is best for my family can come back to bite me!

I've heard Dave Ramsey say many times that the FICO score is really a debt indicator not a financial or money indicator.  Maybe not those exact words but you get the jest of it.  I am now realizing what he is saying about this is so very true.

Oh well.......I will keep on keeping on.  Pay off the mortgage.  What will the FICO score look like then?

BTW-if ya'll order something online like Amazon you use your credit or debit card?

Have a good day!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

One Debt Down

I made a large $4260.60 payment today and one debt is gone. I told the hubster that some weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. 

Now I don't stay up at night worrying about our debt but it still is on my mind. I wish I had been this smart 30 years ago. Heck even 10 years ago but that's water under a bridge now. 

I can see a glimmer of light in our debt tunnel. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Not Shopping at Target Has Saved Us Loads of Money

Let me explain.  Our prescriptions have been filled at the Target pharmacy for a long time.  Then CVS took over and the service seemed to be different.  They didn't have what we needed in stock or it wasn't ready when they said it would be.  So........................we have been tossing around the idea of going to another pharmacy in hopes that service and availability would improve.  Target was for me a huge drain on my purse.  I could not go in that place without dropping way more money than I planned.  I took one of my prescriptions to Walgreens and they had what I needed when I needed it.  '

I never realized just how much I dropped in Target until our pharmacy experiences. 

Is there a store that you have to say NO to? 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Murder She Wrote Monday

I am one of the biggest geeks when it comes to MSW. I've loved Jessica Fletcher from the very beginning. So much so that I have all 12 seasons on DVD. 

My husband came up with a grand idea. We've chosen a night to watch one episode. We're starting from the very beginning. The shows go by much faster when commercials are cut out!!  

Last night we watched the pilot. Who killed Sherlock Holmes. Ahh. It's so good to watch JB in action.