Grocery Budget Challenge Vertical

Grocery Budget Challenge | July & August

The Goal of the Grocery Budget Challenge is to be creative with our meal planning and grocery shopping so that we do not over-spend. We don't want to make our families miserable with bland meals, boring snacks, and not enough food in the house, but we must stay on budget. Lately when I see … [Read More...]

back to school 2014 feature

What’s Next for ME?

At 8:15 this morning, my youngest daughter climbed on the bus for her first day of first grade. It's been a long time coming. Since the fall of 2005, I have primarily been a stay at home mother to our two daughters. My husband and I agreed early in our marriage that our goal was for me to stay at home with our children. Early on we didn't … [Read More...]

Debt Free Stories. Meet Tracy fb pic

Meet Tracy, a Single Mom Who Paid Off $41,587 | Debt Free Stories

Welcome to Debt Free Stories. Today, I am pleased to introduce you to Tracy. She paid off $41,587 in debt in 14 months! She blogs at Happy Healthy Mommy. 1. Tell us about you and your family. Where are you from? What do you do for a living? What are your hobbies? Include anything that you'd like to add to give the reader an idea about your … [Read More...]

Family Togetherness feature

Family Togetherness: Finding Inspiration from Yesterday

Thinking back to my childhood, my parents made parenting seem so easy.Family togetherness was a priority for them, but I'm pretty sure that they never read a blog post, book or article for inspiration and ideas (ahem--like somebody I know). We just spent time together as a family. Nothing elaborate, just time. We ate dinner as a family every … [Read More...]

Debt Free Stories Meet Krista & Jon fb pic

Meet Krista & Jon Who Paid Off $36,000 | Debt Free Stories

Welcome to Debt Free Stories! Today, I'm pleased to introduce you to Krista & Jon. They paid off $36,000 in debt and cash flowed graduate school. They blog at 2 Copper Coins. 1. Tell us about you and your family. Where are you from? What do you and your spouse do for a living? What are your hobbies? Include anything that you'd like to … [Read More...]

summer fun at the creek feature

Summer’s Happening Here

This space has been quiet since my last post on July 9, two weeks ago. There's nothing wrong except summer is happening here. We spend just about every Sunday afternoon at my grandmother's summer cottage where we kayak and tube down the creek. We have spent SIX Saturday mornings at my daughter's swim meets. Thankfully, her last one is … [Read More...]

monthly expenses feature

3 Monthly Expenses to Reduce Without Feeling a Sacrifice

Are you looking for more ways to cut your monthly expenses? When my husband and I wrote our Debt Freedom Plan earlier this year, we made a commitment to scrutinize our monthly expenses to find money to put towards our plan. But one thing we didn't want to do was feel like we were living a life of "lack" or sacrifice. We want to have our cake and … [Read More...]

Bryant Park NYC feature

21 Random Facts about Me

  Have you ever wondered about the person behind the blog? I am a 40-something wife, mother, and small business owner who is passionate about my family, food, running, and our finances. But you knew that, right? Here's 21 Random Facts about Me that you didn't know: 1. My husband and I have been together for almost 23 years, but … [Read More...]

bank of america image 2

July 5 & 6 | Bank of America’s Musuems on Us

  Are you a Bank of America cardholder?  This weekend, July 5 & 6, Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are sponsoring Museums on Us where cardholders can get free access to 150 participating museums in 92 cities. What a great way to enjoy this holiday weekend. The Details: Saturday & Sunday, July 5 & 6 | Each Bank of … [Read More...]

Grocery Budget Challenge 400X400

Grocery Budget Challenge: May & June Meeting

Oops! I completely missed the May 30 meeting. I'll blame it on Ruby, since that was the day that we picked her up from the Brittany rescue--my mind was a bit preoccupied. One more picture of Ruby...and then we'll move on to groceries. I can't help myself...she is so stinkin' cute...even if she is on the couch. Ok, Ok, let's talk … [Read More...]

Ruby feature

My Week: Gentle Leader and Thrifty Sneakers

Our sweet Ruby has assimilated into our family quite well. She's such an easy dog. She rarely barks, rolls straight to her back for belly rubs every time you approach her, and she immediately knew her bathroom was our back yard, not our living room floor. She's a keeper for sure! Our only problem, however, is her inability to walk on a … [Read More...]

Sun-brewed iced tea feature

Sun-Brewed Iced Tea

I love iced tea in the summer time. I rarely drink it during the other three seasons, but from June - August, I can't seem to drink enough freshly made iced tea. My husband and I got hooked on store bought iced tea years ago, but it was loaded with sugar and at the rate we were drinking it, the tea cut into our food budget. At an average of … [Read More...]

ways-to-save-on-summer-activities

15 Ways to Save on Summer Activities

Fun things to do in the Summer don’t have to be expensive. I find that you can enjoy most any activity inexpensively, if you are flexible on the when, where, and how.   Original Photo Credit: Jim Larrison via cc This is a guest post from Raki at Outside the Box Mom: This Summer, I plan to have lots of fun with my kids: skating, … [Read More...]

Our Debt Freedom Plan feature

Update #1: Our Debt Freedom Plan

Back in March I wrote about my family's Debt Freedom Plan. We adapted Dave Ramsey's 7 baby steps to reflect our lifestyle as self-employed small business owners. I added a few steps (our total is 12) to cash flow some upcoming business expenses and to celebrate the huge milestones along the way. Our plan is going to take us several years and I … [Read More...]

How to Grill Fruit feature

How to Grill Fruit

Grilling fruit is one of my favorite ways to eat fruit in the summer. Grilling caramelizes the sugars of the fruits and intensifies the flavors. Top your grilled fruit with Homemade Whipped Cream or your favorite ice cream for a simple summer dessert. Or add the grilled fruit to salads, sandwiches and wraps. How to Grill Pineapple for … [Read More...]

Ruby feature

My Week: We Got a DOG! Strawberries and the Last Day of School

This was a big week at my house. I gave in, surrendered, (and got suckered) by my family and agreed that it was time to get a dog. I've been dragging my heels for years. It's not that I don't like dogs. I love dogs. But when our Toby passed away suddenly back in 2009, I told my husband that it would be a while until we got another one. I had a … [Read More...]

MorningStar Farms feature

MorningStar Farms: More Ways To Eat Smart | PLUS A $100 Visa Gift Card Sweepstakes–CLOSED

The school year may be coming to an end, but my family's schedule will be just as crazy over the summer. We are a busy and active family all year round and I am always looking for meals and snacks that are easy to prepare when our schedule gets hectic, yet good for us too. I was invited to try MorningStar Farms products as part of their More … [Read More...]

Bryant Park NYC feature

My Family’s Weekend in New York City

Over the Memorial Day weekend, we headed to the Big Apple to see a Broadway show with my daughters' Girl Scout troop and their families. We've taken the girls to New York City before for a day trip to Central Park's Zoo, but this was a weekend trip and my girls were beyond excited to see their first Broadway show. We left on Friday night and … [Read More...]

Tips to save money while on vacation

Enjoy Your Summer Vacation Without Breaking Your Budget

Memorial Day is in a few days and the school year is winding down. Hear that....that's the collective sigh of relief that this past winter is OVER! But now, we are entering the summer vacation season. I'm a firm believer in the motto, "work hard, play hard" and my husband and I make time for a vacation every summer, but sometimes funds can be … [Read More...]