Monday, February 27, 2006

Old tax software

If you got tax returns on your computer a few years back but don't have the software to get them printed out, you can check out that supports all old versions of TurboTax, MacinTax, TaxCut and Tax Act.

It is $24.99 to get use the site and get a pdf copy of your old taxes.

I guess this is a good deal if you need a printed copy of your back taxes in a hurry. Otherwise just make sure you print out copies of your taxes each year and keep the softwar as well.

Poll of the week How often do you go out to eat?

I’m curious to learn more about how all of you think about being frugal, so I thought that I would start running a series of ‘Frugal Polls‘ on various topics.

How often do you go out to eat or do take out?
1-4 times a month
5-8 times a month
over 8 times a month

Free polls from

My answer we eat out or take-out probably about 2 to 3 times a month. I am talking as a family. My husband usually takes his lunch to work but I do know he goes to the cafeteria a few times a week but I really can't track that.

So take the poll and I will post results back next week.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Free pancakes at IHOP

On February 28, 2006 from 7 AM to 2 PM IHOPs across the country will celebrate National Pancake Day (also known as Shrove Tuesday) by offering our guests a free short stack of pancakes*. This is going to be our biggest one day celebration in our history.

National Pancake Day has a rich history that stretches back centuries and has always been a time of celebration. National Pancake Day always falls on Fat Tuesday and this year it will be a celebration at IHOP.

So gather your friends, family and neighbors and come to your local IHOP and enjoy a short stack of pancakes on us. All we ask is that you consider making a donation to a great charity like First Book or other local, worthy cause. Where else would you celebrate National Pancake Day than IHOP? See you there.

* Limit one free short stack per guest. Valid for dine-in only, no to go orders. Not valid with any other offer, special, coupon, or discount. Valid at participating restaurants only, while supplies last

12 daily pro going to close

Atleast that is one step in the right direction. Also, they cancelled GPT convention that was being sponsored by 12 daily pro.

FBI Encourages 12daily Pro Users, still without refunds, to to contact the National Fraud Information Center at 1-800-876-7060 (also on the Web at or to complain to the Internet Crime Complaint Center at

According to these posts at
12 daily forums people are looking for new programs set up the 12dailypro founders and even want to give some of their refund back to her.

I hope everything gets their money back and these ponzi autosurfing scams are shut down for good.

Mold what to do if you have it

The issue of mold in homes has been getting a lot of attention lately – with good reason. Homeowners face costly repairs when property is damaged by mold growth, and, in some cases, families experience serious health problems related to mold. As the problems mount, insurance companies are confronting rising claims costs and, sometimes, disagreements over who is responsible when mold attacks.

First, the bad news: As a general rule, mold is not covered by homeowners insurance policies. Standard homeowners policies cover disasters and accidents, but aren’t designed to cover cleaning and maintenance, which is the category mold falls into according to insurers. An exception: In cases where mold results from some accident or disaster (such as bursting pipes), repairs and eradication may be covered.

In addition, mold can cause serious health problems for people who suffer from asthma or have allergies (an estimated one in five of us), and can worsen cold symptoms like throat pain and congestion for everyone.

Continue reading

Frugal Menu planning week of Feb 26th

Even though we have a pantry challenge going on we have plenty of food to eat and drink. Breakfast will be pancakes, cereal or oatmeal. Lunches usually peanut butter sandwhichs, mac and cheese.

Sun Steak, mashed potatos, green beans,

Mon Sloppy joes, french fries, corn

Tues Pasta and chicken

Wed Left leftover sloppy joes, add some rice, and diced tomatos to make a new meal

Thurs Fish sticks, french fries cub scout and music night

Fri Cheese burger casserole

Sat Homemade pizza

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Pantry Challenge week 1 results

With my pantry challenge this week and next... I had a limit of $20 that I wanted to spend. I came close and would have made it if my husband didn't decide he needed his ice cream. Came to $22.19.

I bought 2 gallons of milk, bananas, salad mix, peanut butter, bread and a gallon of ice cream.

Usually grocery spending is anywhere between $60-$90 a week depending upon what is on sale. I try to stock up on loss leaders (ie good deals) I haven't do a real pantry challenge in a while.

I am going to do this next week as well! We got plently of food in the fridge.

Enjoy your savings!

Frugal Pet Care Herbal Dog Shampoo

Low-Cost Herbal Dog Shampoo: You can make an excellent and inexpensive herbal dog shampoo from things that you probably already have around the house. Simply dilute a handful of Aloe Vera gel with water and work it into your dog's coat (it's best if your dog's coat is dry!), then rinse well with water. If you like a little more foaming action, add a touch of baby shampoo to the recipe. This shampoo is very mild on your dog's skin and will leave his coat gleaming! For more dog care tips, visit

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pantry challenge

I am a little short on food money this month due to being at a constant stream at the doctor's these past few weeks. $25 bucks for a co-pay and then all the medicines. Oh how I wish I signed up for a medical savings plans because I know I won't spend all that much to get a tax deduction.

My pantry is pretty full so I am challenging myself these next two weeks to stay out of the grocery store except for milk, eggs, banana, banana and salad.

We should be okay and of course no eating out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Electric bill update!

As mentioned last month
electric bills was over $200 for two months in a row. I was hoping to get my bill back to atleast $150 for this month. Well I am happy to announce that I am almost there. It was only $157. I still have lots of work to do.

Total KHW The month is billed the from the 16th to 15th.

Jan 2006 1324
February 2006 1045
Februuary 2005 was only 940

I am hoping that my usage will be under 1000. March 2005 was 1010.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Easy pancake recipes

This week is National Pancake week! We often have pancakes in our
house. Hubby is the maker of our pancakes as I never get them right.

Pancakes also remind me of my Nana. She would make Silver
Dollar pancakes anytime we would sleepover.

Silver Dollar Pancake Recipe

Applesauce Pancakes

Cornmeal Pancakes

Pancakes with Cider Sauce

Oatmeal Pancake Mix

Pancakes with Maple Yogurt

Pancakes with Maple Syrup

Cornmeal Batter

Oven Pancakes

Rice Pecan
Griddle Cakes Pancakes

Blueberry Pancakes


Sweet Potato Pancakes

And of course some syrup

Homemade Pancake Syrup

2 cups sugar

1 cups water

1 Tablespoon maple flavoring

In a medium saucepan combine sugar & water. Bring to boiling over medium-high
heat. Reduce heat & simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat &
stir in maple flavoring. Serve warm or cool.

Mixture will thicken somewhat upon cooling. Cover & refrigerate remaining syrup
for up to 1 week. OR put in canning jar & process in boiling water bath for 10

Homemade Fruit Syrup

1 cup fruit Berries, cherries, pineapple, bananas etc

3/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup water

Cook fruit with sugar and water until thick. Smash fruit while cooking.

For a thin syrup - press through strainer. For a thicker syrup, process cooked
syrup in a food processor.

Serve warm. Store in refrigerator.

Check out even more easy frugal recipes

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Extra money

Extra money!

We got a little bit of windfall. Just $300 from our mortgage company for an overpayment on the escrow account . I put that in our ING account which has our emergnecy fund. Since I need to get that fully funded again.

Our mortgage payment which includes property taxes and home owner insurance has decreased by $75 a month. I am debating on whether to continue to make the same payments or add that to our emergency fund each month.

Frugal Dinner planning week of Feb 19th

Last night was the Cub Scout banquet. My husband is one of the den leaders-so he sets up and helps cleans up. He brought him two huge trays of chicken parm and ziti. So we will have that for dinner for a few nights. There is enough salad to feed an army as well.

Sun chicken parm, ziti

Mon Hamburger and spinach casserole

Tues Leftover chicken parm

Wed Meatloaf

Thurs Fish stick, French fries

Fri Clean out the fridge night

Sat Pizza

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Frugal Pet Care Dog's dry skin

Many Frugal moms and dads own dogs, cats or even a ferret or two. Taking care of our pets is not always cheap.

How to treat a dog's dry skin

The unfrugal way
Tomlyn Nova Pearls Sensitive Skin Formula Shampoo for Seriously Dry Skin
Formulated to provide an instant moisture surge for seriously dry, sensitive skin as it gently cleanses and conditions. Power moisturizers are slowly-released to keep the skin moisture-rich for days after. Safe and gentle. Cost 9.99 at

Frugal way

Low cost home remedy (less than $1.00!) for your dog's dry skin: chamomile tea. Just brew a few cups, allow it to cool, and pour it over your dog, working it gently into his skin. Not only is it soothing, but it won't leave any oily residue. For more dog care tips, visit BarkTalk

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

10 Tips to Assist in Tax Preparation

Hello and Welcome!

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

Money Saving Tips
Featured Article Top 10 Tips to Assist in Tax Preparation
Money Blog Spotlight
Top Conversations on the Money Saving Forums
Freebie and Contest Alerts
The Frugal Five
Frugal Meal Planning Layer Beef Crockpot Casserole

Read this issue at:

Enjoy your savings!

Snapfish I'm loving it!

Last week we had my son's birthday party and it was crazy and I wasn't able to snap any pictures. Imagine 12 kids running around so my sister in law used her digital camera. She sent me the pictures via Snapfish and with in an hour I went down to Walgreens to pick them up. The pictures came out great and I was very satisfied with their service.

I may have to rethink this digital camera thing again!

Enjoy your savings!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine Day a Hallmark Holiday?

From candy and cards to dinner and diamonds, consumers will be opening their wallets to shower their sweeties with special gifts on Valentine's Day.

According to a National Retail Federation survey conducted by BIGresearch, the average consumer will spend $100.89 on the holiday, up slightly from $97.27 last year.

With 61 percent of consumers planning to celebrate, total Valentine's Day spending is expected to reach $13.7 billion, an increase from $13.19 billion in 2005.

Men will be the biggest spenders with the average male spending $135.67, almost double the $68.64 the average female will spend. The survey says 62 percent of consumers plan to purchase at least one card and 47 percent will buy candy.

How much did we spend as a family? Under $10 I don't remember the exact amount. It was for the kids cards, some cookies for the preschool and I made red pankcakes for breakfast. We really don't celebrate Valentine's Day. I think that it is a Hallmark Holiday. Every day is Valentine's Day and I don't need a day on the a calandar to remind me to tell my husband or kids that I love them. We did wish each other Happy Valentine day this morning and told him that I got everything that I actually need-him and the kids.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Frugal Meal Planning week of Feb 12th

Blizzard... not as much as some of the other past storms but enough to keep us in the house.

Sun Patty melts, lots of onions, french fries, grean beans

Mon Roasted Chicken, mashed potatos

Tues Pork Sirlon in the crockpot

Wed Leftover chicken probably with some pasta

Thurs fish sticks, mac and cheese, veggies

Fri Meat crust pizza

Sat Cub scout baquet no dinner planned

Auto surfing more investigations

Last week I posted about Auto Surfing Program going bust which is especially about 12daily pro.

The United Kingdom is now looking at 12 daily pro as being fraudulent calling it a "ponzi scheme" Ponzi schemes, typically promise people a large return for a small investment. But the scheme only works as long as there are new investors to cover everyone else's investment. The scheme collapses when there are no new investors. More states are looking into this as well The Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs in Georgia is warning consumers to stay away. The Feds are looking at these pyramid schemes as internet fraud is a top priority.

The payment processor who some of 12 daily pro supporters are saying that Stormpay is behind the downfall of 12 daily pro. Tennessee Division of Consumer Affairs is also investigating stormpay since it located in that state.

I still say stay away as many 12 daily pro autosurfers are now contributing to the 12 daily pro legal fund to help the owner.

Enjoy your savings!

Homemade french fry cutter

I remember when I was first married I made homemade french fries with eggs. Eek... my hubby still laughs at me about it. It was a recipe from Oprah's chef Rosie. They were disgusting.

I do make oven fries alot but they are not french fries. So I am debating on getting this Progressive International Vegetable/French Fry Cutter Maybe I can trick my kids in eating the healthier fries.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Here is a recipe that I use that could be easily adapted to the use the French fry cutter.

Peel potatoes. Cut into strips, about 1/4 inches in diameter. In a bowl, combine potatoes with olive oil, and mix well so that potatoes are evenly coated with the oil.

Place in a single layer on a baking sheet in preheated oven. Bake at 450 degres until potatoes have been browned, about 20 minutes

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Money Sickness Syndrome

The physical symptoms of Money Sickness Syndrome can include palpitations, shortness of breath and headaches, a 'tight' feeling in the stomach, nausea and diarrhoea, indigestion, a lack of appetite and poor sleep.

I have been there and done that. Right after  my youngests were   born, we were really struggling to get pay our bills. I left a good paying part-time career and my husband income wasn't covering the bills. I felt like I was robbing Peter to pay Paul. I felt sick to my stomach anytime I thought about money. My mother was keeping us supplied in diapers and my father slipped me a $20 each week that was almost our food budget. "Buy something for the kids" he would say.

Our savings almost went down to nil. Luckily, my business picked up, I was able to budget better and I became a "home executive" where my main job was to stretch the dollars coming in.

Read more about Money Stress

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Debt free, Money Young, and choices

Here are some great posts in the money blogging world!

No credit needed celebrates his debt freedom day! It is a great feeling to be debt free! Congratulations!

Everybody loves your money has a few money reflections on his wild younger years.

The Budgeting Babe reflects on the money choices people have! Great discussion follows!

Enjoy your savings!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Debt Freedom day in UK

Finanical Choices UK reminded us that today is Debt Freedom day in the United Kingdom.
It takes the average earner 35 days to pay off the £2,350 average level of interest on credit cards and loans.

That makes Monday February 6th 'Debt Freedom Day', IFA Promotion reveals.

Although Debt Freedom Day falls four days earlier this year, as a result of the number of credit cards and personal loans held by UK residents falling from 62.3 million to 59.4 million, it still takes over a month for the average UK consumer to pay off the interest on their debts.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Frugal Meal Planning wk of Feb 5th

Sunday Breakfast for dinner Kid requested

Monday Crockpot Layered Beef w/brown rice casseorole-got it off the South Beach boards .

Tues Chicken Stragnoff in the crockpot

Wed Lefotvers of cp beef or chicken stragnoff

Thurs Fish sticks and fries

Fri Pork chop and coucous

Sat Pizza Trying the new Whole wheat Boboli crust

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Frugal Homemade Acne treatment

Acne is a problem that strikes people of all ages, from teens to adults. In order to have a better grasp on treating acne, one must first understand what causes it.

Causes of Acne Include:




Poor Diet

Clogged pores due to oily cosmetics or skin care products

Certain Medication

Frugal Homemade Acne Treatment

A paste of nutmeg and milk

Honey mixed with cinnamon and applied to pimples

Witch Hazel

Tea Tree Oil

Lemon rubbed on the face

Grated Potato

Toothpaste applied to pimples

Baking Soda Paste

Also be sure to wash your face twice daily with gentle soap or cleanser. Be sure to eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, and drink lots of water. Try to avoid unneccesary stress. Last but not least, check all cosmetics and skin care products to ensure they are oil-free. Refrain from touching your face frequently and try not to lean your chin on the phone receiver when talking. Always cleanse your face after exercising to prevent sweat from clogging your pores.

If you are taking any medications that you think may contribute to your acne, be sure to speak to your doctor.

. Find out more ways to prevent and treat acne at

Auto surfing program going bust

I have seen the hype about the autosurfing programs. Earn 44% in 12 days... give me a break.

12dailypro assets have been frozen.. see video

I think the old saying if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Lots of people deposited money and were encourage to "roll over: their earnings.

I hope people get back their original investments and file it as a lesson learned.

However some don't believe that it is going downhill... that is just a temporary problem. Poll on and the actual forums at 12 daily pro.

Friday, February 03, 2006

$200 Birthday party

My oldest son's 7th birthday party is tomorrow. We are doing it at a local rollar skating ring. It is not necessarily a frugal party but no way near 3500 for another 7 yr old birthday party

Here is the breakdown....

$144 12 kids, roller skating, pizza, drink, 5 video game tokens
$20 in video game tokens I figured rather than gift bags (I hate cheap gift bag stuff)
$10 for extra pizza for some adults that are coming
$5 for a pitcher of soda
$20 for cake

Grand total $200

If we were struggling for money the party would be at home with just a cake and a few friends.

Friday Freebies!

Free tax software

Reynolds free crockpot liner

Free cookie dough sampler

Free breastfeeding guide

Free Pet food sample

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

How to build a good credit history

Hello and Welcome!

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

Money Saving Tips
Featured Article How To Build Good Credit History
Money Blog Spotlight
Top Conversations on the Money Saving Forums
Freebie and Contest Alerts
The Frugal Five
Frugal Meal Planning Baked Chicken

Read this issue at: