30 June 2008


Tortilla Pizzas. We love these. So good. Soooooo easy.

Fried Chicken Salads and Pitas

Leftover Night ... lots of little leftovers in the fridge need eating.

Thursday Lunch (we have people coming over)
Chicken Nuggets and French Fries, Cheesecake

Thursday Dinner
BLTs! Yum.

Grilled Hot Dogs and Sausages, Homemade Mac and Cheese, Veggies, Watermelon!

Someone else cooks something day, since I'll be working 12 hours.

Marinaded Grilled Chicken, Grilled White and Sweet Potatoes

23 June 2008


I love budgeting. I will not lie to you. I am entirely nerdy and I dig on putting all the numbers in the right spots. I've tried about 103 different ways to do a budget, track a budget, evaluate the effeciency of a budget. My favorite pick so far, the tried and true one that always gets me through is the Zero Based method where all your pluses equal out to your minuses by the end of the month. I like to have all of that figured out long before the month begins so I never have to worry about "losing" money (ie spending it somewhere I shouldn't) again.

Tonight I stumbled on a great primer on Zero Based budgeting at Simple Mom (via Paid Twice's Sunday Link Love). You can check out her post here ...



While I was there, I noticed she's doing a rockin' giveaway. It ends Wednesday the 25th, so get on over there and check out what she has in the works. Her other content, from what I've seen so far, is also pretty rock star. Yay for frugal (and practical) personal finance bloggers! Yay Yay Yay! Check out her giveaway post here ...



Frugal Dad posted an awesome list of tips to survive the down trodden (recessive?) economy that we're living in. I think they're pretty solid ideas for any economy, so that we can be good stewards of our resources. You can check out his post here ...



My Dollar Plan wrote an interesting piece on irregular paychecks. As a small business girl, I'm still struggling with this one on a regular basis. Trying to build a business and keep the lights on is an interesting battle in these financial times we currently live in. I'll take a few points from this piece for sure on making the lean times a little less close to the bone. You can read it for yourself here ...


And! (finally)

Jane4girls posted a nice pictorial on the utilization of rain barrels. We use a system much simpler (and less effective) than this one currently. I love rain catchment for two reasons ... it's good for the planet ... and it's basically free! (Em loves FREE things, always) If you're looking for some great step by steps on creating your own system, check out her post here ...


And! (haha, you thought there wouldn't be any more exclamation points ...)

That's all the link love I have for today, dolls. There are other great posts out this week as well, I just haven't found them in my Reader yet. I'm behind, I think. Have a great start to the week and enjoy the reading.



22 June 2008

Set Up Sunday!

Yay! Two in a row, and on the right day, even!

Leftover Night! We have a ton of random bits of leftovers in the fridge, and I need the room cleaned out. So, while I'm working Monday night, the plan will be to heat up the leftover bits and have a bit of a buffet.

Breakfast for dinner, specifically eggs and pancakes. Yum.

Chicken parma with spaghetti.

Firehouse tortilla pizzas.

BLTs and fries.

Whatever Night. I'll be working, some of the family will be out of town. It's leftovers or cereal or whatever whomever is home feels like eating.

Beef roast in the crockpot, cubed potatoes, carrots.

Here's to a great week!



19 June 2008


I don't often cross post links from my Reader (or where ever I stumble upon them), but sometimes they're of incredible import.

First, check out this post by Jennifer at Personal Finance Advice.

I think it's a pretty crucial read, especially the distinction she makes between the *real* frugality of previous generations and the "frugality" we pretend to qualify for simply by cutting a couple dollars off our convenience food budget. Kudos!

Second, go check out Meredith's posts at Like Merchant Ships.

She is a gem for sure. Simply living, making things beautiful, enjoying little pleasures. I adore her blog. And! Today she's blogging about pecans. I don't necessarily adore them, but I have a craving for baklava. Pecans might just do it.

Go check them both out if you haven't already. They're bloggy rockstars for sure.



15 June 2008

Sunday Set Up Returns!

We've been off menu for longer than I'd like to admit while we've been transitioning back to a crazy schedule. It's been a bit of a disaster, honestly. I'm a big advocate of menus as a tool of frugality. When you have a menu you can shop from a list, take things out ahead of time, and not have that spastic freak out moment after work when you consider pizza or take out rather than the labor of thinking up something to then spend time cooking. I can always tell you what I want for dinner sometime around 2pm, but never ever does anyone have any idea what they'd like to eat at dinner time if there's no menu. It's like I've forgotten how to cook everything, ever.

Menus are my saving grace when my brain vacates my head immediately before dinner, and we've been without one for weeks now. It's killing me. We're eating randomly. It's not healthy. It's not good for one's sanity, and it's super bad for the budget a la "Oh, sure, I'll run down and get syrup for $3.49 so we can have pancakes".

My family has also missed the menu, something I never thought I'd hear. They apparently prefer to look at the menu board and know what is on the line up than wonder if they'll ever eat again. Be would like the menu to return so he can help out by starting dinner before I get home. (awwwww, shucks!) Also, we're trying to dwindle down the deep freeze a bit so we can have room for the new piggie in the fall, so I'm gearing my menu toward things in my freezer already.

Here it is ...

MONDAY: BBQ Chopped Pork Sandwiches, French Fries

TUESDAY: Pepperoni Pizza Rotini Crescent Bake, Green Salad, Green Beans

WEDNESDAY: Whole Roasted Garlic Chicken, Rice and Corn Side, Broccoli

THURSDAY: London Broil, Diced Potatoes, Carrots

FRIDAY: BBQ Chicken Quarters, Cheesy Sour Cream Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus

SATURDAY: Chicken and Cheese Quesadillas

SUNDAY: Oven Glazed Ham, Au Gratin Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Cake!

Ah, that feels better.



11 June 2008

Frugal Melancholy

Very soon, our monthly income will be going from just over $1500 (*gasp*, I know!) to something closer to $450 a month. It will stay that way until one of the following happens ...

1. Someone settles with someone else and someone finally gets paid again (note the intentional vaguity ... haha). The time frame on which is 14+ months from now.

2. My job decides to start paying me something closer to real money.

3. I add an additional or different job. This will happen in late August when I start coaching again, but that only bumps us up to something approximating $650 a month. Boo.

4. We add another roommate who will chip in toward bills. There's only one person I'm ok with this roommate being, and she can't move here until fall, if she decides officially to move here at all.

5. We win the lotto, which we don't play.

Now, the frugal challenge begins, I suppose. I thought we did mighty well on less than $1550 a month, but it's time to tighten the purse strings even more and start cutting things at record speed.

Any suggestions, my frugal friends?



08 June 2008

Top 'O The Month ... Decision

I'm going to hold the Top 'O The Month post until July's info is ready. There wasn't a lot of progress this month, and most of the info isn't really available yet anyway. July will look even cooler, I suppose.

Good news, though! We finally paid off the VSA account balance. Yay! Also, one of the cards in my GP agreement is gone. It's the first one, a year and a half later. I'm quite excited about it.



05 June 2008

Good Deal Alert ...

Run, do not walk, to Meijer.

They're running a 10 for 10 (11th free) sale, of course. That's not entirely amazing or unusual. What's awesome is that Breyer's Ice Cream (pints) are included! A pint of some pretty fab ice cream for 90cents when it's all said and done. Yay! I already stuffed my freezer with them this afternoon, and B has already polished off a solid portion of the Butter Pecan collection.

In other news, I'm still running behind. I haven't done the Top 'O the Month post yet, or the picture posts about our gardening adventure, or the menu, or the recaps ... ugh. We've been eating on the fly here. I've been working like a crazy person and doing a great deal of chauffering when not working, so I'm spending almost no time online these days. I don't mean to neglect you, dear frugal blog readers. I'm trying to manage my time a bit better in the upcoming weeks, but there are new and ever changing challenges to that goal on a daily basis. Things are ridiculous sometimes.

Ah well, there's always ice cream. Mmmmm, black cherry.