Welcome to my new blog

Thanks for stopping by. I am a wife, mom, sister, daughter, aunt, friend and now a blogger. I care about lots of things as you will find out through my writing. I want to make sure that my family is happy, healthy and financially secure. This is my first blog.  I'm learning as I go so I hope you will all be patient with me. This is meant as a happy place for people so please only positive comments.  Thanks again. I hope you come back soon.

Friday Freebies

So Hubby and I went to a Cancer Fundraiser last Saturday and won some prizes. Does it count as free if I entered to win them? I'm counting them. I could have won nothing. The whole story is here. We ended up with a $50 gift card to Home Depot. I see free garden stuff in my future.

 A Nespresso machine that had 12 pods in the box and 50 pods for the wrong machine outside of the box. We also won 4 concert tickets for the summer.

My son closed at his job. All of this would have been thrown away if he didn't take it. We shared with friends.

He also was given these 2 salads. Someone ordered them online and never picked them up. My son says this happens everyday. Who pays for food and then doesn't go and get it? They let employees have it instead of throwing them away. I had one for lunch the next day and so did my son.

I picked up my freebie from Stop & Shop.

I grabbed 7 rolls of wrapping paper and 3/4 bag of charcoal from a free pile in front of someone's house that is movi…

Our Retirement Plan

Retirement! What all working people dream about. The day that we can stop working and start doing whatever the heck we want. I want to travel. I want to spend time with my kids and (hopefully) grandkids. Hubby wants to work on cars. He likes to work on them now, so I could see him restoring a car. He also says he wants to relax. Maybe get someone to do our yard work. Dreams. They are good to have.  But a plan is even better.

Hubby and I both work. He works full time and I work part time. It works for us now. It may change over the years. I may work full time once the kids are all gone. Hubby's job offers a Roth 401K with a match. My job offers a 401K with a match. We are currently putting about 15% into both of those plus the matches. We talk with our financial adviser as well. We want our money to work hard for us.  
Could we be putting more into our retirement? Probably. We have a long term plan and we are sticking with it. We follow Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps and we are current…

Adding to My Pantry

My grocery budget is $400 a month. I carry over what is left every month. January I did a pantry challenge and only spent $75 so I do have a large surplus right now. I am also trying to get my pantry to a 6 month supply of items without using extra money. In the fall I usually buy bulk produce such as potatoes, corn and apples. They last me all winter. I go to multiple stores every week.  Some more then once a week. Many times I just go in and scan the mark down sections. If there is nothing that I want, I leave empty handed and that is OK with me. I live in an area where there are lots of stores. I have a strip of stores that I drive past to get to work. It is not out of my way .
I stopped in at Stop & Shop on Friday. There were some cookie mixes marked down for 67 cents each. So I got some. I will give some to OD because they are easy for her. 

They also had lots of medicines and vitamins. I grabbed the few we will use. 

I stopped there because hot dogs were requested from Hubby fo…

Free Donuts!

What do you do when you are offered 150 free glazed donuts? You share them of course! I was going around to local businesses asking for donations for an upcoming church fundraiser. I went to a local bakery that always helps us out. I spoke with the manager and set everything up for the event. She then asked me if I wanted some free donuts. They had last night leftovers and they were going to go in the garbage. There were no groups picking up today. Would I like some? I never say no to free food, so she went and got a box. It had 150 glazed donuts. She said there were 2 more in the back so if I knew any groups that could use them to send them over. She explained that most weekdays leftovers go in the garbage. Groups only want it for weekends (that is when I need mine). So I said Thank you and went on my way. So am I going to eat 150 Donuts? NOOOOOO! I had to find them hungry bellies that could give them good homes. My co-workers were happy to help me reduce food waste. About 30 gone. …

Talking To Your Kids About Money

When I was growing up, my parents NEVER talked to my sister's and me about money. I never knew anything about our bills, our budget, what my parents salary was. NOTHING. I remember when I got my first job, my mom told me I had to save some of my paycheck.  That's it. No reason. When I was applying to college's I had to fill out everything of mine and then my parents would fill out the finances. I was told to just sign it. I knew nothing about finances. Hubby's dad was the same. He new nothing either. So we started our married life out with no financial knowledge. It was not all roses. We ended up with credit card debt, car loans and student loans. We took on a mortgage that was too big for us but we didn't know that. No one told us. The banks told us we made enough so we listened to them. Big mistake. It took us years to get out of the money mess we had made.

We want to make sure that our kids never make the mistakes that we made. We talk to them regularly about …

Pasta Fagioli

This is one of my family's favorites. My husband's mom always made it for him when he was a kid. I now make it for him and our kids. It is very filling and costs very little to make. I made it today because a friend of ours is having some health issues.  So I thought I would make her some.  I had everything to make it in my pantry.

2 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 small onion chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 15oz. cans of northern beans ( I have used any small white bean)
32 oz. chicken stock
32 oz. water
1 cup ditalini
1 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste

Cook onions and garlic in olive oil until they are translucent.
Drain and rinse beans. Pour beans into pot.
Add chicken stock and water.
Add black pepper, parsley.
Bring it to a boil., then reduce it to a simmer. Let it simmer for 45 minutes.
Add ditalini and cook for another 15 minutes or pasta is fully cooked.
Add salt to taste.

My kids and I add some Parmigiano cheese on top.


My Frugal List: Week of April 9, 2018

Busy, Busy, Busy. That was my week. It was a really good week. The weather was beautiful this week finally. We had the heat off 3 days and nights. Windows were opened and I finally made it into my garden. My son and I were out there  prepping it so I can get my snap peas planted.

It was a slow week work wise as I only worked 2 days (10 hours) but when the weather is this nice who wants to be inside working. I did get several walks in too.

Hubby and I volunteered at a Cancer Fundraiser through Hubby's work. It was an amazing night and we raised over $16,000! We have been helping with this fundraiser the last few years and all of the people are really great. It is a nice night out and we get to help others too. Unfortunately our family has been affected by cancer as so many others have too. It is a wonderful cause and we also have a great time. Dinner and drinks are included. They do door prizes and a Chinese Auction. This year we won several prizes. First off we won a $50 gift card t…