Four Easy Ways to Save Money

When you are trying to stick to a budget, it can be difficult due to the rising prices of basic household and food items. It can be really frustrating to have to budget more and more money month to month to pay for basic necessities! Here are some practical, easy tips to help you cut down on your household spending and save money.

Buy Your Meat in the Clearance Section

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Most grocery stores clearance out meat a day or two before the sell by date. Ask the department manager when they usually clearance out the meat, so you know when to shop. Make sure you grab some freezer bags, because you are going to freeze the meat when you get home. I would suggest dividing the larger portions of meat into smaller portions to make it easier to thaw for later.

Once you have divided up the meat into the bags, write the date and the contents on the bag. I also suggest keeping a list of what you have on hand, so you don’t go out and buy meat that you already have. To make the most out of your savings, you will need to plan your meals around your meat deals. I have a great printable Inventory List you can get when you sign up!

Total Possible Saving Per Year: $780

Don’t Throw Out Fruit that is Over- Ripe

How many times have you bought fruit with the best of intentions, and wound up trashing more than you care to admit? Let’s just all agree that we raised our hand on this one! The good news is that you don’t have to do this!

Grab those strawberries, bananas, and peaches that are going to go bad and put them in the freezer. Peel the bananas and freeze them whole. You can use these later for smoothies, banana bread or popsicles! Peel your peaches and slice them, you can use these for peach cobbler, fruit salad, or a smoothie. For the strawberries, cut off the tops and slice them, you can use these for smoothies or a strawberry pie! There are many ways to use your frozen fruit!

Total Possible Savings Per Year : $310

Make Your Own Cleaning Products and Laundry Soap

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Image via Flickr

Look no further than Pinterest to find a zillion articles about how to make your own cleaning products! There are so many great recipes out there for making your own household cleaning items. The key is to read the articles and reviews on these recipes to discern which ones work best. I personally love Vinegar and Dawn!

Total Possible Savings Per Year : $150

Open a Separate Checking Account

Here is a way to tangibly watch your savings build up! Find a bank that is offering one of those $150 bonuses to open a checking account and open an account with them. Usually the only stipulation is that you have money direct deposited into that account.

Have a small amount from your paycheck deposited into that account every week. The trick is to keep the debit card out of your wallet! By the time Christmas rolls around, you are going to have some extra money for presents!

Total Possible Savings Per Year : $300 – $600 (or more)

When it comes to saving money there are endless possibilities! All you have to do is get creative, and be prepared to put in just a little more effort and time. That little bit of effort can pay off big time!


Why I Don’t Read Parenting Books

I love reading, and I love getting new perspectives and gaining knowledge on almost any subject. But, I don’t read How – To books on parenting. This is not because I think I have it all figured out, trust me I don’t! But guess what I know about parenting: There is no one – size – fits – all box when it comes to raising children. Once you think you finally have it figured out, you don’t! If you didn’t already know that, I am sorry to be the one to break it to you.

Parenting is a Humbling Experience

We all want to be the best parents that we can be. We want to raise our kids up well, and not make the mistakes that our parents did. Those are great goals, but guess what? You are going to make mistakes. You are going to get it wrong.  You are going to need to learn to apologize to your children when you are wrong.

What!? Yes, you are. And no, this does not undermine your authority. This does not excuse their behavior, it corrects the way you responded to it.  What it does is teach your children something very valuable: How to acknowledge when they are wrong. This is something that that will help them tremendously in their career, schooling, friendships, marriages, and parenting.

Having to be right all the time, and never conceding your mistakes will stunt your growth as a person. This is not a trait you want to pass on to your children!


Have you ever heard that saying that God laughs when we make plans? Well I don’t know if God actually laughs at us, but I bet he chuckles the same way a seasoned parent does when their new parent friends start talking about schedules.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Schedules and routines are great things. But they are not EVERYTHING. All of your babies will be different, and you will make yourself crazy trying to make them all the same. So your first baby slept all night at 2 months, napped three times a day, and potty trained at two? That’s wonderful, mine did too. My second baby screamed at bed time, took maybe a nap a day until she quit, and would poop in her pull ups and take them off and leave them there.

Kids need routines.You need a routine! But you have to be flexible. Learning how to roll with the punches is key!


Children are going to have very different personalities. There will be similarities in all of your children, but be prepared for the differences to be much greater. Some kids are really sensitive, some are stubborn, some are easy going, and some are very dramatic. Unfortunately, as much as you may want to, you just can’t parent them all the same.

On a side note, be prepared to have a child whose personality conflicts greatly with yours. You need to recognize this, and be gentle with the way you treat them. It can be easy to fall in to the trap of  “why can’t you be more like…” with this child. This will only strain your relationship and damage your child’s self confidence.

Be prepared to re-evaluate your parenting strategy with every child.

Ages and Stages

Enjoy the ages between 5 and 11. Generally speaking, this will be the least complicated, least exhausting time with your kids. The ages between birth and four are great in many ways, but they can also be exhausting. You have never gotten so much done on so little sleep.

You will spend the years between birth and 13, working, molding, teaching, and really feeling like you have made some great parenting decisions. Then 13 comes, and it will hit you like a ton of bricks. God help us all through the teenage years. I have a daughter who is almost 19, and one who is 13. (and the 9 and 7 year olds) They are polar opposites, and I am just doing the best that I can. If you have teenagers, you know what I am talking about!

Just go ahead and get used to learning something new EVERY day.

I am not a parenting guru, but if  I could give you one piece of advice it is this: Pay Attention This does not mean that you have to be all up in their business and helicopter hover around them. Just pay attention to what is going on with your child, while giving them the space to become who they are. It’s never an easy balance, and you are going to mess up sometimes. That’s okay. Humility and Grace. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Point your kids in the right direction – when they’re old they won’t be lost. Proverbs 22:6 MSG


Turkey Meatballs

I don’t usually buy ground turkey, but I found some on clearance the other day and decided to try a little experiment. See, my husband always notices when I replace ground beef for ground turkey. I think it tastes fine, but he isn’t a fan. I decided that I would try making meatballs with the turkey instead of trying to sneak it in a dish.

It worked! They didn’t even know it was turkey!

Actually, it worked so well, that we wound up using most of the meatballs that I had made to freeze for dinner the next night! All of my kids loved them. My son, Caleb even ate them, and he doesn’t eat anything. I was so excited!

The great thing about these meatballs is that you can mostly use what you have on hand to make them.  They can also be served by themselves as an appetizer, in spaghetti, or with vegetable sides as you meal. If you don’t have turkey, you can always use ground beef or ground chicken instead. And you can double or triple the recipe.


Turkey Meatballs

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  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1/3 cup plain oatmeal
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tblsp ketchup
  • 8- 10 crackers smashed or 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp House Seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Italian Seasoning

  1. Preheat Oven to 350. (Unless you are freezing them)
  2. In a large mixing bowl combine meat and all ingredients one by one, stirring well.
  3. Once all of the ingredients are well mixed, line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  4. Form meat balls about 1 inch - 1 1/2 inches around.
  5. Place each one on the lined baking pan as you finish forming the balls.
  6. (If you are freezing, once you have made all your meatballs, you will place the baking sheet in the freezer for about 10 minutes, then remove and put them in freezer bags and store in the freezer)
  7. To Cook:
  8. Using a frying pan, brown the outsides of the meat balls in a frying pan. About 5 minutes each side.
  9. Place on a foil lined baking sheet.
  10. When you have browned all the meat balls, you will then bake them for about 15 minutes.

Yield: 4

Freezer Cooking Friendly!

If you are having a freezer cooking day, these are a great item to make and freeze. Buy extra meat (especially if you find it on clearance) and make a bunch. These will only take about 30 minutes!


Easy Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

A long, long time ago when Josh and I first got married, I found a very simple Tortilla Soup recipe. It was tucked into the coupon insert of the Sunday paper. That was one of my very first recipes that did not involve any type of Hamburger Helper. It was so good that I still to this day get asked to make it.

That was almost 18 years ago!

Since then, I can’t seem to find the Mahatma Red Beans and Rice anymore, so I decided that I would adapt my old recipe to add in a few new ingredients. It is still just as easy and delicious as ever!

Slow Cooker Tortilla Soup

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  • 1 lb cooked chicken breast diced
  • 1 cup dry black beans (pre-cooked)(or two cans)
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 Chicken Buillion Cubes ( or better than Buillion)
  • 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 pack Taco Seasoning (or make your own mix)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Sliced Avocado
  • Cilantro - chopped
  • cheese
  • Tortilla Strips or Chips

  1. Put the chicken, beans, water, buillion, tomatoes, and seasoning in the crockpot.
  2. Stir well.
  3. Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
  4. Add rice in about 30 minutes before you are ready to eat.
  5. Slice Avocado and chop cilantro.
  6. Top with Tortilla Chips, cheese, avocado and cilantro.

This Tortilla Soup recipe is very versatile.

Use red beans instead of black. Brown rice instead of white. Skip the Avocado. Use chicken broth instead of water and buillion. Use boxed red beans and rice. Seriously, it will still be delicious!


Looking for more soup recipes? Try Chicken Noodle Soup !

For The Mama That Dreads The Hairbrushing Drama

My Weekly Deals at Kroger

This morning I went and found some great deals at Kroger, including 2 money makers! As promised in my video below, I am listing out what I got today at Kroger!

Here are the 20 Items that I got for the Mega Event:

Trix Cereal – Final Price $1 after $1 off/2 Kroger E coupon

Cinnamon Toast Crunch – Final Price $1 after $1 off/2 Kroger E coupon

Weber Seasoning – Final Price .04 cents after $1.25 Checkout 51 Rebate – (bought 2, limit 2) Great Deal!!!

Nature’s Own Bread – $1.50

Ruffles Chips – $1.88

Harvest Snaps – Final Price .49 each after $1 off/2 Kroger E coupon Great Deal !!!

Mrs. Butter Worth’s Syrup – $1.69

Palmolive Dish Liquid – Final Price .49 after .50 off Kroger E coupon

Juicy Juice Boxes – .99

Oral B Toothbrush 2 – pack – Final Price – $2.49 after $1 off Kroger E coupon

Colgate Enamel Health Toothpaste – Final Price – I made .51 after $2 Kroger E coupon and $1.50 Ibotta Rebate Great Deal !!!

Oral B Floss Picks – Final Price -.99 after $1 Kroger E coupon

Stonyfield Tubes – Final Price $2.19 after $1 Ibotta rebate

Heluva Good Dip – .99 (bought 3)

Kroger 32 oz Shredded Cheese – $4.99

Kroger Makeup Brush – Final Price $1 after $1 off Kroger E coupon (There is a $1 brush you could get for free)

Todays Free Friday : Core Drinks (as seen in video)

Money Maker: Last weeks Free Friday was for a Vitamin Water Active and there is an Ibotta rebate for .25 for any brand sports drink!



So there you have it! Happy Shopping!