Sunday, July 31, 2005

Frugal meal planning week of July 31st

My main goal in August is not to go out to eat. We ate out a lot in July due to going on vacation. So my waistline plus my wallet felt it. I still have a batch of waffles and pancakes in the freezer. I was able to hit the bread store and got some day old bread to make some french toast. Yummy!

Sun Steak, veggies, potatos

Mon Chili

Tues Chicken enchildas

Wed Spaghetti and meatballs

Thurs Leftover chicken enchildas

Fri Chicken, veggie

Sat Homemade pizza

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Clothes Diapers FAQS

While I consider myself a frugal momma, I guess I have never really done one of the things that most frugal mommas do use cloth diapers. My husband was really against it and I wasn't too keen on the idea myself. So we did disposable diapers.

But if you debating the savings and the whole FAQ check Clothpin which is a great resource site on cloth diaper, reviews on the different brands and even tips on how to clean them.

Enjoy your savings!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Grocery saving tips

1. I make a weekly meal plan. I do usually post it on my blog if you want some menu ideas. My menu does include leftovers. So if we are in a rush easier to handle and less expensive than the drive threw.

2. I watch sales prices very carefully. I keep a pricebook. A pricebook will keep in mind of what on sale and when. For example, I buy boneless chicken breast on sale for never $1.99 a lb. I tend to stock up a bit on them because I refuse to pay the normal price of $4.00 a lb for them.

3. Make homemade! This will probably be your biggest money saver. Have you seen those Banquet quick meals... almost $5.00 for a box. I can make most of them homemade for 1/2 that price and get a second meal out of it.

4. Garden season is coming up... nothing like fresh tomatos and lettuce coming from your own garden.

5. Dont be a brand snob. Use coupons or buy generic. I find most generic things are just as good as the national brand. In fact most of the generic items are made by the same company.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Find ways to pay for college

Noemi Torres-McKenzie, a single mother of three who lives in Los Angeles, says neither of her two sons, Thomas, 22, or Jeremy, 19, has been able to complete his college education because of the burden costs put on her family.

"The cost for college is becoming so high that education becomes a privilege granted to only people who have money," said Torres-McKenzie, whose sons recently attended Northeastern University and Tufts University, both in Boston.

Okay this irks me. Why do you have to go cross country to attend college. Northeastern and Tufts are great schools but what about the local colleges in California. Her sons could work, go part time, go to community college. There are a lot of options out there.

You can read the whole article at

College cost climb higher

Enjoy your savings!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Dave Ramsey says "Is it smart to rent to own a house?"

Dave Says
By Dave Ramsey
Author of:
Financial Peace and
The Total Money Makeover

"Is it smart to rent-to-own a house?"

Dear Dave,

What is your opinion on rent-to-own house deals? Are they a good idea? How much of your monthly rent payment goes toward the down payment on the house?

Steven in Pittsburgh, PA

Read Dave's Answer

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Did your learn your money habits from your mom?

My parents have a vacation home that my Dad built with his bare hands over 20 years ago that is more beautiful in my house that I live in day to day. My parents decided to build a second home and this home and their first home are completely paid off. Luck, no, hard work absolutely yes.

My Mom and Dad have been married 37 years this September. My Dad came over to this country with nothing in 1964 as he often tells us. My Mom was the oldest daughter of two Irish parents and lived in atleast one dozen apartments while she was growing up. She would have to go to the grocery store each day after school to pick up the food for the next day. Till this day, she still hates that Needless to say, my emptynest parents have cabinets filled with food. My brother and sister joke that we could do grocery shopping from their pantry.

I don't want to say my Mom was cheap while I was growing up, but she knew how to manage a household budget. And she knew how to stretch a dollar. Atleast until I was in college, we were primarily a one income household. Mom was there every day afterschool and we went to Catholic school. Dad was in construction. They didn't talk about money while I was kid but I never felt without.

I honestly do not know if I got my money habits from my mom. My mom looks at me crazy when I talk about online banking. She just started using an ATM this year-she always paid cash for everything. Paying cash and not pulling out a credit card is one thing I do remember. That is one thing I get from her.

Did you get your money habits from you mom? MSN just wrote a series of articles about women and money. If you want to read them, Women and money

Friday, July 22, 2005

Saving money just got easier. ING rates rates to 3.15%

ING is a great place to put your emergency fund.

Ten Cars With the Best Residual Values

NEW YORK - BMW badges should be gold-plated.

The luxurious, sporty German cars they adorn keep their value better than any other vehicles. In recently calculated data from car-pricing bible Kelley Blue Book, BMW was the only brand name with two entries—the 7 Series sedan and 6 Series two-door—on a list of the ten new cars that should best hold their value over a four-year period.

You can see the ten cars in the slide show that follows. While the cars in the slide show are unranked, a spokeswoman from Kelley Blue Book said the 7 Series has the best residual value on the market. In the past, Kelley has also assigned BMW's X5 sport utility the title of highest automotive residual value.
Continue reading

Frugal Mom's budget wisdom!
Do not buy a brand new car. Buy something a few years ago and then drive it until the doors are falling off. A monthly payment of $200 for 3 years is much better than a $500 car payment for 5 years. Drive the car for atleast 8-10 years and you will save a lot of money over your lifetime.

Enjoy your savings!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Netzero offering free 10 hrs a month

This is a great deal. If you are looking to really cut down expenses or need a back up isp if your cable modem or dsl lines go down.

Get Free NetZero Internet Access for 10 hours per month

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Dave says weekly column "My wife is a shop-a-holic"

Dave Says
By Dave Ramsey
Author of:
Financial Peace and
The Total Money Makeover

"My wife is a ‘shop-a-holic’! I need help!"

Dear Dave,

My wife is a shop-aholic. She’s good at shopping; using coupons and finding good deals. But I can’t convince her that just because something is a good deal doesn’t mean we need to buy it. For instance, we only need so many clothes. Any suggestions to help out?

Jorey in San Antonio, TX

Read Dave's answer

Monday, July 18, 2005


Free glowstick

Free notepad

Free Organic Valley Stuff

Free Baby Dental Wipes

Enjoy your savings!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

How to make your teenager a millionaire!

Teen years not too early to consider IRAs

New York - If your teenager has a paying job outside the home - as do 40% of high school students - it makes sense to put his or her earnings into a tax-advantaged retirement fund. This could pay off big later on.

Just as any other earner, a child is allowed to invest up to $4,000 of earnings every year in a regular Individual Retirement Account. That tax-deductible money is free of federal income taxes until it is withdrawn.

But an even smarter choice for your teen is to put the money into a Roth IRA. That money is taxed immediately, but no tax is due when it comes out.

"Since teenagers are usually in the lowest tax bracket, a non-deductible Roth IRA contribution won't increase their tax burden today. But it could save them five or even six figures in taxes when they retire," says Kevin McKinley, author of Make Your Kid a Millionaire : 11 Easy Ways Anyone Can Secure a Child's Financial Future

There's no minimum age for contributing to an Individual Retirement Account, or IRA. So as soon as your child has earnings from work, be it baby-sitting, helping at your office or mowing lawns, he or she can open an account. This is a great way to teach your child how to keep track of his or her earnings and how saving a little money now can mean a hefty payoff later.

"At a hypothetical annual return of 8%, four years of $4,000 Roth IRA contributions during high school ($16,000) could be worth over $750,000 when the child turns 65," says McKinley. "She would have to save $2,000 per year from age 22 to 65 ($86,000) to get roughly the same amount."

Of course, it's not always easy to get your teen to think about retirement, let alone persuade him or her to agree to save, rather than spend, their earnings. Many parents have success with matching their teen's contribution. So if your child only wants to contribute $1,000, you can also contribute $1,000, just as long as the total amount going into the account isn't more than your child's total yearly earnings

Friday, July 15, 2005

Financial Planning for Singles

Hello and Welcome!

In this week's issue Living on a Budget in a Non Budget World

Money Saving Tips
Featured Article Financial Planning for Singles
Frugal Kid Fun
Top Conversations on the Money Saving Forums
Freebie, Contest, Coupon Exchange Alerts
The Frugal Five
Frugal Food Homemade BBQ sauces

Read this issue at:

Enjoy! Best of luck in your savings

P.S. Would you like a $500 Amusement Park Pack by participating in a special promotion?

Click Here

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Are you a slacker?

Are You A Slacker?

Jul 12, 2005 1:31 pm US/Eastern
(AP) A new survey finds that the average worker wastes more than two hours a day, and that’s not including lunch.

That means companies spend as much as $759 billion on salaries annually for which they receive no apparent benefit.

The results are from a Web survey by America Online and

The top excuse for wasting time nationwide is not enough work.

The second most popular is socializing with co-workers.

The survey found that workers in Missouri topped the slackers list, wasting an estimated three hours and 12 minutes a day. The survey didn’t offer an explanation.

But Governor Matt Blunt rejected the results, saying Missouri workers didn’t want to waste their time on the survey.

List: State/Daily Time Wasted/Salary Dollars Wasted

1 Missouri 3.2 hrs. $28.1 billion
2 Indiana 2.8 hrs. $25.1 billion
3 Kentucky 2.8 hrs. $15.4 billion
4 Wisconsin 2.8 hrs. $23.8 billion
5 Nevada 2.7 hrs. $9.7 billion
6 Oklahoma 2.7 hrs. $12.0 billion
7 Virginia 2.7 hrs. $29.0 billion
8 Pennsylvania 2.6 hrs. $43.0 billion
9 Connecticut 2.5 hrs. $11.8 billion
10 Idaho 2.5 hrs. $4.2 billion
11 New Mexico 2.5 hrs. $5.7 billion
12 Tennessee 2.5 hrs. $19.3 billion
13 Texas 2.5 hrs. $68.0 billion
14 Alabama 2.4 hrs. $12.8 billion
15 District of Columbia 2.4 hrs. $4.6 billion
16 Maryland 2.4 hrs. $17.0 billion
17 Mississippi 2.4 hrs. $7.6 billion
18 New York 2.4 hrs. $56.3 billion
19 Nebraska 2.3 hrs. $5.8 billion
20 California 2.2 hrs. $84.4 billion
21 Florida 2.2 hrs. $44.4 billion
22 North Dakota 2.2 hrs. $2.0 billion
23 Illinois 2.1 hrs. $30.7 billion
24 New Jersey 2.1 hrs. $21.3 billion
25 Ohio 2.1 hrs. $28.6 billion
26 Wyoming 2.1 hrs. $1.3 billion
27 Arkansas 2.0 hrs. $5.7 billion
28 Delaware 2.0 hrs. $2.1 billion
29 Georgia 2.0 hrs. $18.8 billion
30 Colorado 1.9 hrs. $9.7 billion
31 Massachusetts 1.9 hrs. $14.0 billion
32 Michigan 1.9 hrs. $19.1 billion
33 Minnesota 1.9 hrs. $11.8 billion
34 Oregon 1.9 hrs. $7.1 billion
35 Maine 1.8 hrs. $2.4 billion
36 Montana 1.8 hrs. $1.6 billion
37 Vermont 1.8 hrs. $1.2 billion
38 Washington 1.8 hrs. $10.7 billion
39 Iowa 1.7 hrs. $5.1 billion
40 Louisiana 1.7 hrs. $6.7 billion
41 Arizona 1.6 hrs. $7.4 billion
42 Utah 1.6 hrs. $3.4 billion
43 Alaska 1.5 hrs. $763 million
44 South Dakota 1.5 hrs. $982 million
45 Kansas 1.4 hrs. $2.8 billion
46 New Hampshire 1.4 hrs. $1.3 billion
47 North Carolina 1.4 hrs. $8.1 billion
48 West Virginia 1.4 hrs. $1.6 billion
49 Hawaii 1.3 hrs. $975 million
50 Rhode Island 1.3 hrs. $805 million
51 South Carolina 1.3 hrs. $3.0 billion

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Bait and Switch: Car Ads

Having bought a new to us used car this story caught my attention. Watch out for the fine print in these agreements. You are better off paying as much cash as you can for a used car. Who wants a $600 a month car payment. Buy a used car 2-3 years old, save up for a decent down payment and drive it into the ground. Most cars are going to go atleast 100k and many up to 200k miles today if you keep up with proper maintenance Buying a used car vs a new car is probably one of the biggest ways that you can save money over your lifetime.

(CBS) Ryan Gutierrez is still haunted when he goes through the paperwork from a car he bought five years ago. He's still fighting in court over a purchase that started when he saw an ad on TV.

He recalls the infomercial: "Big, flashy number, $249, zero down, big letters, give us a call."

But, as CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone reports, in his lawsuit Gutierrez says he ended up getting caught in a bait-and-switch. It's a tactic long used by car dealers, says consumer advocate Ken McEldowney.

"What they want to do is get you inside the door because they know that when they get you inside the door they have a really good chance of you walking out with a car," he says.

Once Gutierrez was inside, the salesman told him the Dodge Durango he wanted, one that seats seven, would cost much more than advertised.

"He said it would be $589, I believe, a month" says Gutierrez.

It was far more than the $249 a month the ad promised.

"Yeah, well, they said that it would be another car without the third row seat and with nothing in it," he says.

And as for the zero down, well there was some fine print in that TV ad specifying a hefty "drive-off fee."

How can they say zero down then in the small print charge a $3,500 "drive-off fee?"

"Because no one monitors, no one enforces deceptive advertising claims," says McEldowney.

In an e-mail response, Auto West says it "acknowledges the challenges … in presenting advertised offers" in and industry where there can be "multiple options … as well as varied financing incentives."

Gutierrez says under the salesman's pressure he ended up leasing the Durango for $489 a month, nearly double the advertised price. He had second thoughts soon after and has been in litigation ever since.

"It's not a good feeling to know that someone knowingly took advantage of you and cheated you," says Gutierrez.

Gutierrez and his wife Jamie replaced the Durango with another car long ago but they are now better consumers, having learned that if the deal that brought you in the door isn't there, turn around and walk out the door.


Friday, July 08, 2005

Need to keep DH out of the grocery store

Hubby went to the grocery store last week and bought an Entenanan's lemon cake with frosting and coconut on top. $4.29 for this little cake. I wanted to smack him (I'm pinching pennies and he is spending dollars )
If he wanted cake, I would have been more than happy to make him some. I had several cake mixes already bought and there was chocolate frosting as well. I could have made the cake basically for free from what was in the house and less than $3.00 if I went to the store to buy it for his cake craving. It would have been a bigger cake too!!

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Free Thursday at 6 flags

there are several Thursdays listed...all you have to do is have a pentax camera to show! It's unclear how many admissions you get, but maybe you could beg and borrow friends & neighbors' cameras for the day to take full advantage of this deal!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Cooling down your air conditioning bill

Many people see their monthly electric bill double or even triple when the hot weather months arrive and they crank up the air conditioning.

You could be wasting power and money if your home's cooling system isn't working as efficiently as it could be.

The Alliance to Save Energy says your air conditioner needs regular tune-ups, just like your car. Call in a professional to make sure everything is working well, so the system doesn't strain and use more energy than necessary.

Don't forget to check your filter, or filters. The alliance says if they're dirty, clean them -- if they're the type that gets cleaned -- or replace them. Clogged filters can make the system work harder and not provide the cooling that you really want.

Finally, if your air conditioner is more than a dozen years old, consider replacing it with a new, more energy efficient model.

Strengthen your marriage by putting finances in order

Hello and Welcome!

In this week's issue Living on a Budget in a Non Budget World

Money Saving Tips
Featured Article Strengthen Your Marriage by Putting Finances in Order
Top Conversations on the Money Saving Forums
Freebie, Contest, Coupon Exchange Alerts
The Frugal Five
Frugal Food Frugal Summer Dessert and Snacks

Read this issue at:

Enjoy! Best of luck in your savings