What We Ate this Week on a Budget 01.30.15

This Week's Dinners: Saturday: Ham loaf, cheesy broccoli rice baked potatoes, homemade sugar-free applesauce. Have you heard of ham loaf? It might be a central PA thing, but we LOVE it. I buy the loaf at a farmer's market. It is already prepared, but I need to bake it. Sunday: My … [Read More...]

Choose Thrift First Challenge

Choose Thrift First Challenge – January Meeting

In 2015 I'm challenging  myself to rethink purchases by taking advantage of more cost effective solutions like borrowing, buying second hand, or just making do with what we already have.  We have some hefty financial goals this year and this is just one more way for me to squeeze more from our budget. In January, I only ventured into Target … [Read More...]

why we want to be debt free

WHY We Want to Be Debt Free

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had an intense discussion about finances. By the time it was over, we were both exhausted and probably a little bit frustrated each other. We're in a place that will take us several years to come out of. It's frustrating to work hard and see only slight improvements and achievements. Frustration makes you … [Read More...]

Benefits of Swimming lessons for kids & parents

The Benefits of Swimming Lessons for Kids & Parents

Today's guest post is from Kaitlin Gardner, who owns the blog, An Apple Per Day. When my kids are at the pool, I want them to be well prepared to enjoy themselves and be safe at the same time. So I have made a commitment to enroll them in swim lessons when they are old enough. While the lessons teach my kids to swim, there are benefits to me … [Read More...]


What We Ate This Week on a Budget 01.22.2015

This Week's Dinners: Saturday: We spent the afternoon at the PA Farm Show in Harrisburg and dined at the show. We're not farmers, but the Farm Show is a yearly attraction that we do NOT miss. It is the largest indoor agricultural show in the nation that features 6000 animals, competitions, exhibits, vendors, and a 1000 pound, life-sized butter … [Read More...]


Meet Aja. She & her husband Paid Off $110,000 in Debt

Today's debt free story is from Aja. She writes about family, finances and faith at her blog, Principles of Increase. 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 add to give the reader an idea about your personality. Kelvin and … [Read More...]

cheesy broccoli twice baked potatoes square

Cheesy Broccoli Twice Baked Potatoes

These Cheesy Broccoli Twice Baked Potatoes couldn't be any easier to prepare. I don't typically buy russet potatoes, but I couldn't resist when they were on sale for 99 cents for a 5 pound bag. Enjoy with your favorite burger or barbecue. [amd-zlrecipe-recipe:15] Serve these potatoes with: Red Pepper & Feta Turkey … [Read More...]


What We Ate This Week 01.16.15

This Week's Dinner: Saturday: Both of my kids were not feeling well and not very hungry, so thankfully we had enough leftovers from the previous week. I didn't mind the break from cooking. Sunday: Parmesan chicken tenders, roasted potatoes, broccoli. I coated the tenders with flour, shredded Parmesan, and seasonings. Drizzled with melted … [Read More...]

old dresser

Thrifty Finds: a New (to her) Dresser, Valentine’s Day

The challenge on the blog this year is to Choose Thrift First, where we're rethinking our purchases to find more cost effective solutions. To be successful, I've been keeping a list of things that we need as they come up. And the first item on the list was a new dresser for our younger daughter. Two drawers of her dresser pretty much … [Read More...]

Chicken stock on the stove top 2

Two Ways to Make Homemade Chicken Stock

I've been making homemade chicken stock for years. Ever since Ina Garten showed me how simple roasting a chicken was in my early days of home cooking. You see, I didn't start cooking until I became a stay at home mother at the ripe age of 36. Prior to motherhood, we sustained on take out and cereal...seriously, I could eat cereal 3 meals a day … [Read More...]

Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas 3

What We Ate This Week

If you followed along last year's Grocery Budget Challenge, you'll know that my grocery spending ranged from $425 - $500 throughout the year. While I would love to stick with the $500 budget--it makes life a little easier--I really need to tighten the belt this year to help us hit our debt payoff goals. Selfishly, the reason for this weekly … [Read More...]


Meet Stacy. She and her husband paid off $20,000 in 8 Months.

Today's debt free story is from Stacy. She shares delicious recipes, money saving tips and frugal living posts at her blog, Stacy Makes Cents.   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 add to give the reader an idea … [Read More...]

Choose Thrift First Challenge

Introducing the 2015 Choose Thrift First Challenge

For the past two years, I have held monthly accountability challenges on the blog. In 2013, The Christmas Savings Club encouraged all of us to save monthly so that we could have a cash Christmas. In 2014, the Grocery Budget Challenge encouraged us to keep our grocery spending in line and to be creative with our meal planning so that we do not … [Read More...]

Take control of your money in 2015 feature

Take Control of Your Money in 2015

New year. Fresh start. Lots of possibilities and many opportunities. Every January 1, I get caught up in the hopeful feeling of the upcoming new year. And 2015 is no different. My husband and I make some financial goals at the start of every year. Most of them are related to our small business, my husband's chiropractic office, but last … [Read More...]

Jumping off the train to crazy-ville square

Jumping Off the Train to Crazy-ville

This post is written as part of Ruth Soukup’s Secret 13 Blog Tour, which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more about the blog tour and join us, click HERE. To find out more about the Secret 13 Essay Contest and your chance to win a weeklong Carnival Cruise for 4, click HERE. Last year at this … [Read More...]

12072014 Christmas tree fun square

We Wish You a Merry Christmas & a Happy 2015!

From my family to yours, Merry Christmas! My kids come home from school early today, so I'll be offline for the next week. Have yourself a safe and merry, merry Christmas. And I wish you all a Happy & Healthy 2015! See you in January! … [Read More...]

10 More Free but Thoughtful Christmas Gift Ideas Square

10 MORE Free (but Thoughtful) Christmas Gift Ideas

Last week's post, 10 FREE (but Thoughtful) Christmas Gift Ideas was so successful that I have dreamed up 10 more ideas. Seriously, the possibilities are ENDLESS when thinking outside the (gift) box. 10 MORE Free (but Thoughtful) Christmas Gift Ideas 1. Create a Family Favorites Recipe Booklet If your family has a lot of favorite recipes … [Read More...]

Minute Rice feature

Homemade Burrito Bowls

On crazy busy weeknights, I need a quick & easy, but hearty dinner to satisfy my active family.  My new go to meal is Homemade Burrito Bowls. I use rotisserie chicken, Minute® Rice, and all the fixin's. Everyone creates their own bowl to their liking and no one leaves the table hungry. Instead we're all ready to tackle our schedule. This … [Read More...]

cheap gas 2 feature

My Week: Our First LIVE Tree & I Saved BIG at the Gas Pump

Our First Live Tree My husband and I have been married for 14 years. For the first 13 years, we had an artificial Christmas tree. We liked the laziness factor of our artificial tree. It came with lights already attached to the tree and easily stored in our attic. It was easy, but it was fake. This year, I wanted a real tree. I wanted that … [Read More...]