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I paid 25c for all of this food.... 4 boxes of crackers 4 packages of cookies 2 boxes of cinnabon bars 1 hotwheel Had to throw the hotwheel in just cause I had a $1 left to "spend" from my freebie stuff!  How did I do it??? Albertson's...


Allowances, complications, compensating for chores...... It was with surprise and well, a bit of disgust that I was recently reading a plethora of comments on a financial forum I participate in about this very subject. Let's see if I can reiterate without...


Don't waste your energy on credit, you never need it... I love love love Trent at the Simple Dollar.  He has written for a while and has excellent advice, gives wonderful access to financial related resources and well, he's just an all around great guy (have...


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Recipe: Warm Chicken Nacho Dip

Posted on : 01-10-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Uncategorized

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We LOVE this in our house… eaten with tortilla chips… even made a bit thicker and with more meat it’s a yummy tortilla filling.

Warm Chicken Nacho Dip

1 can (14oz) diced tomatoes with green chili’s, drained
1 – 1 lb loaf velveeta (cubed)
2 lg cooked skinless, boneless chicken breasts, shredded
1/3c sour cream
1/4c diced green onions
1 1/2 T taco seasoning mix
2 T minced jalapeno pepper (or to taste)
1c black beans, rinsed and drained

Place the diced tomatoes, cheese, chicken meat, sour cream, green onion, taco seasoning and jalapeno pepper into a slow cooker.  Cook on high, stirring occasionally until the cheese has melted and the dip is hot (1-2 hours).  Stir in black beans and cook 15 minutes more to reheat.

I love cool jars and I got this one free

Posted on : 30-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Free Finds/Yard Sale Finds

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cool jar 1

Cool jar 2

I found this very tall jar at a yard sale, they gave it to me free!  LOVE IT!  It’s about 18″ tall and did not include the pretzels !!

21c Walmart Deal

Posted on : 29-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Uncategorized

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Walmart Deals

Here’s my 21c Walmart deal… 2lbs Velveeta (specific for a recipe), 2 jalapeno peppers, 1 bunch green onions, 24oz sour cream, 1 can black beans, 1 lg. can diced tomatoes with green chilis = 21c.

We recieved a $10 gift card a few weeks back from a manager due to a stocking issue on a product (this was a FIRST), so I used it today :D.

21c + 62c tax = 83c oop

How low can I go???

Posted on : 29-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries

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I’m going to detail our spending for the month of October… it is my hope that we get our grocery spending down to $150 for October for our family of 6.

It’s a lesson in “journaling” our spending… reducing our grocery budget and overall responsibility with our finances.

Starting October 1st I will post a snippet every single day describing any spending we did in the previous day and why, what for, etc.  I’ll maintain a detail for you as well.  You can also check out the “grocery challenge” link above for the breakdown.

I paid $6.76 and I’m bringing home bargains!

Posted on : 29-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries

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Albertson's deals

Although this trip isn’t as impressive as some others, it’s still great!  The Progresso soups came out to 30c each (regular price around $2.50+) and the rolls were 79c each (regular price $2.99+).

How did I do it??  Albertson’s had the soups on sale $1 each.  I had coupons for $1.10 off 3, plus the Albertson’s doublers.  Bought 12  cans of soup, had 6 coupons and 6 doublers.  The rolls were on sale for $2.79 and I had $1.00 off coupons, plus the Albertson’s doublers.  Bought 4 packages, had 4 coupons and 4 doublers.

Now, if you know Albertson’s, you know you can only use 3 doublers per transaction so I had to ring up 3 different transactions, which is no big deal for me!

$6.76 plus 92c tax = $7.68 oop

I paid $1.71 for all of this food…

Posted on : 29-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries

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Edited to add, this is even more impressive when I back out the sales tax (yes, unfortunately I’m in Idaho and there is sales tax).  The truth here is that I was paid $2.01 to buy all of this food. I was paid money to buy food – how cool is that?!

Safeway Deals

I found a great deal!!

I went into Safeway to take advantage of a “Joint Juice” deal that is currently running…. No we don’t drink Joint Joice, however, it’s free and hubby takes glucosamine when he’s working out so we are willing to try it … read on.

Thanks to Krazy Coupon Lady, I found out about this great deal… First of all, I obtained 4 BOGO coupons.  I went into Safeway, bought 8 joint juices for $1.49 each which ended up costing me oop (out of pocket) $6.68… however, I received a $10 oyno catalina AND a coupon for $5 off 7 joint juices… well, let’s repeat this process only this time, using the $10 as cash.  So….

I got 7 joint juices at $1.49 each, used my $5 off coupon, added 5 aquafresh toothpastes (on sale for 88c/ea) and paid out of pocket 72c.

The Safeway store was now out of Joint Juice.  Since there is another Safeway store just a couple of miles away and in my driving circle today (in other words, I didn’t go out of my way to do this), I decided to take my 2nd $5 off coupon and $10 oyno catalina and see if that store had any in stock.


I decided to roll this one.. unfortunately this store only had enough for me to make 2 purchases, so that is what I did.

My first purchase I bought 7 Joint Juice’s at $1.49 each (plus a $5 off coupon) and 6 pop tarts at $1.49 each (plus (3) $1.00/2 coupons) for total cost oop of $3.59 (I had to buy 5 pop tarts to get the $1.49 price and my coupons were for 2 so I ended up having to buy 6, which is why my oop was higher than it could have been had the store had enough toothpaste in stock!!).  Remember, I got another $5 off coupon and $10 oyno so I used it again:

My second purchase I bought 7 Joint Juice’s at $1.49 each (plus a $5 off coupon) and 5 aquafresh toothpastes (on sale for 88c/ea) and paid out of pocket 72c.

And, I still have another $5 coupon AND another $10 oyno.

My total oop was $11.71 but I also have the $10 oyno so my actual cost was $1.71.  Not bad!  Sales tax edit:  $7.99 oop before tax.

I’ll be stopping by Safeway the next few mornings so I can continue to roll this catalina and make $4 every time I buy Joint Juice!  Hopefully tomorrow’s sale flyers will actually have some great sales at Safeway so I can get some awesome deals.

Tonights dinner feeds 4 adults, 6 kids and costs $9.67 (with leftovers for lunch)

Posted on : 28-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Yummy Frugal Meals

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Pulled BBQ pork sandwiches (7lb pork roast 98clb, 10 hamburger buns 1.10 )

Mashed potatoes (1/3 of a 10lb bag 46c)

Fresh express salad mix (50c)

Fudge brownies (75c)

All items were bought on sale, with coupons.

There is enough left over pulled pork for 6-8 more sandwiches, yeah!

My goal for dinner costs is no more than $10 for dinner 5-8 times a month, the rest of the time it must be $5 or less for dinner.  We save our $10 dinners for when we have friends over.

Updated:  Ok, it fed 2 adults and 4 kids (3 of whom eat like adults) with 2nds for everyone (except mom) PLUS more than 1/2 of the pork left over for another meal.  YEAH!

I paid 25c for all of this food….

Posted on : 27-09-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Groceries

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25c for all this food

4 boxes of crackers

4 packages of cookies

2 boxes of cinnabon bars

1 hotwheel

Had to throw the hotwheel in just cause I had a $1 left to “spend” from my freebie stuff!  How did I do it???

Albertson’s is running the following deals this week:  If you purchase 10 boxes of select Kelloggs or Keebler items, you’ll get each item for $1.50.  I then had coupons for every single item above, mostly $1 off 1 item, PLUS, Albertson’s was so kind as to offer “twice the value” coupons in last weeks advertising mailer… I was allowed to use 3 of these in 1 transaction.  This meant that I spent $15.00 (10 things at $1.50/ea) and I had $11.00 in coupons.  So $4… however, I also had a $5 “catalina” received from another purchase last week (same as cash) and used this to pay for this purchase… which was why I needed to add something so that I could utilize the full $5.00 catalina.

This is what couponing is all about… getting all of these items for 25c and feeding my family on pennies.

(yes, I’m in the middle of painting my kitchen which is why there are no face plates on!!)

Allowances, complications, compensating for chores… what’s a parent to do?

Posted on : 15-08-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Money

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It was with surprise and well, a bit of disgust that I was recently reading a plethora of comments on a financial forum I participate in about this very subject.

Let’s see if I can reiterate without divulging specific details… the basic question was how do you compensate your kids, be it allowances, pay by chore, etc.

There were lots of different answers, many of which were pretty complicated.  For example, they get X per week based upon a fractional variation of their age in number of months but they can get X+5% per week of they do chore B, but X+15% per week if they do chore F.  Another one was based on requiring a certain number of daily chores, weekly chores and monthly chores.  And another one… ok, you get the picture, COMPLICATED.

What was truly amazing to me were the people that said their children had only one or no required household chores.  WHAT??? Do people not teach their children how to work, share the load, be a family???  We are talking about children ages 8+.  Their child has the daily chore of feeding the animals and if they do that, then they get their weekly allowance.  No other household chores.

I don’t know about you, but in my house, it takes a whole heck of a lot more than feeding the pet to keep the household running and frankly, I am their mom, not their maid.

Our children are expected to help with daily chores which include: keeping their rooms cleaned and beds made; taking care of the pets (feed, cat boxes, poop duty); vacuuming; sweeping; dishes; etc. as well as particpate in bigger cleaning events we do as a family such as cleaning the bathrooms, “spring” cleaning, etc.

Our children do not get compensated for any of these household chores… it’s part of being a family.  It teaches responsibility, discipline and character.  It’s no wonder kids today are so lacking in self-discipline and personal responsibility, their parents aren’t teaching it!

When you get into the game of compensating for every little thing, you have to continue the game.  Were is the heart of service, giving and sharing involved in that?  A job is for making money, household chores are for being a family.

Each person in our family receives a monthly allowance, parents and kids alike. This allowance is because we are all part of the family and it is not dependent upon doing a household chore.  That’s how we give out allowances.  For additional money the kids want, they have to earn it by being entrepreneurial.

We happen to pay for mowing/edging the lawn.  We used to pay for a service, but one of the kids wanted this responsibility so we gave it to him this summer and he reaps the financial rewards because of his desire.  We’ve never had to take this away from him because he does it happily every single week without being reminded.  Were he to not do this, we’d simply go back to the lawn service again.

Don’t waste your energy on credit, you never need it and I’ve got the proof:

Posted on : 08-08-2009 | By : The Wife | In : Uncategorized


I love love love Trent at the Simple Dollar.  He has written for a while and has excellent advice, gives wonderful access to financial related resources and well, he’s just an all around great guy (have never met him, haven’t ever even spoken with him, just my personal opinion based upon reading his blog for a couple of years now).

He recently wrote a post that I want to highlight here and “counter” so to speak :).  I’m now of the belief that credit is absolutely unnecessary and the benefits of not having credit far outway the miniscule benefits of having credit.  In fact, the benefits of having credit are more often than not, myths!!

Trent contends that there “are a lot of upsides to healthy use of credit” and they are:

  1. helps your insurance rates
  2. helps you with employment options
  3. offers great buyer protections
  4. helps you with renting

Trent summarizes that it “pays to have a strong positive credit rating”.

Let’s look at this in perspective.  First and foremost, all too often we are comparing a good credit rating with a bad credit rating.  Most people see our credit ratings as one or the other.  In fact, there is another option and that is no or a minimal credit rating.  If you do not use credit, you have no credit rating.  Do you realize that someone with no credit history is often treated like someone with a good credit history?  Especially when they can provide references?

Let’s look at each item in order:

  1. helps your insurance rates: there are company options out there that do not consider credit rating in their pricing factors, barring that, most companies consider bad credit to receive the lowest ratings, therefore the highest rates and premium credit to receive the highest ratings, therefore the lowest rates.  An individual with no credit history generally falls somewhere in the middle.   The price difference?  Literally minimal.  In fact, the price difference is a fraction of the cost that having credit financially costs you, in interest rates (yes, I’m including mortgage interest rates), in annual fees, in costs of time to manage it and take care of the payments, etc.
  2. helps you with employment options: yet again, another one that is often brought up and all to often used as an excuse to “have credit”.  Let’s look at this one in reality – what % of jobs demand that an individual actually have a high vs. a non-existant credit rating?  Minimal.  In fact, even with that minimal %, the likelihood of the issue actually being a determinant of the amount of DEBT the individual has – relating to the possibility of them accepting bribes, becoming financially corrupt, etc. as opposed to them having zero debt and zero reason to be a security risk… yeah, that’s what I thought.  Being out of debt is a good thing and shows strong moral character.
  3. offers great buyer protections: let’s see… so do debit cards!  Debit cards offer the same buyer protections as credit cards, especially when using them with a signature vs. a pin.
  4. helps you with renting: actually, no it doesn’t.  What helps you with renting is a good rental history and no bad credit on your report.  Renting does not require “use of credit”, it only requires no bad credit.  I have first hand experience with this: my sister owns a large property management company and hubby and I have rented homes in 5 different states and 8 different cities.

Let’s look at all of this in reality – most of us have a credit history.  For those that do not yet, DON’T DAMAGE it.  Just stay away from credit and live within your means.  For those of us that already have a credit history, getting out of debt and getting rid of the credit cards, auto loans and mortgage loans will have an excellent effect on our credit.  You won’t be opening more lines of credit and you’ll be paying off debt.  Once things are paid off, the history stays sometimes indefinitely.

So there you have it – credit is NOT required, period.  When you keep your credit report clean, you are good to go.  Keep it clean, even non-existent, don’t live beyond your means and you’ll have full power and control over your money, without being a slave to debt.