Monday, December 31, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Jackie

Jackie is stay at home mom from Nevada who is very new to the frugal lifestyle!

What is your financial life?

I am a stay at home mom to a 4 year old daughter and a 2 year old son, we have ALOT going on right now money wise with an credit card debt, student debt, and car payments. Not easy with one income so I have to keep more control of our money and where it goes!

What is your budget buster?

Debt repayments especially the paying off the credit card bills.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

I am a recovering shopaholic so staying out of the stores and particupating in no buy challenges.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?
I would put it towards the credit card debt.

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I have only really gotten into frugal living the last couple of months. I started readng Mary Hunt's books from the library. I know I needed to do something.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Frugal Meal Planning Dec 30th

Like many others, one of my husband and I resolutions is to try to loose a few pounds. We will be following South Beach Diet starting on Wednesday. My husband is prediabetic and this way of eating was suggested by his doctor.

Sun Steak, french fries, veggies

Mon New Year Eve- Chinese food!!

Tues Leftover Chinese food

Wed Starting South beach diet Asian Ground beef (we use ground turkey, mix browned ground turkey, cole slaw, onions, peppers and soy sauce and lots of garlic)

Thurs Italian chicken in foil (Chicken breast with zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, onions in foil with some italian dressing)

Fri Leftovers

Sat Meat crust pizza

2008 financial goals

Here are my 2008 financial goals

1) Continue to fund husband 401k to 15%

2) Increase monthly contribution to Roth $400 a month

3) $100 a month each (total $300) towards 529 for 2 sons and a mutual fund account for my 3rd son

4) Do estate planning

5) Big purchase a new used car. My husband's mini van is now 12 years old with 106,000 miles. This will probably be in the middle of the year. My 3 yr car loan will be done in June. I do not want to do a monthly payment of more than $250. We will use tax refunds plus my self employment tax savings (I save 25% of all of my money just in case) for the downpayment.

6) New couch We need them big time now.. just waiting for some sales.

7) Save $200 a month towards bathroom remodel for 2009

Saturday, December 29, 2007

2007 year end financial review

Here is my 2007 financial review! All in all not too bad of a year

While not a goal our Net worth did increase $27,000 this year in saving, retirements, college funds, and mutual funds!

Here are the goals that I set-up for ourselves!

1. Continue funding DH 401k at 15%
Yeah we did this! It really has helped with retirement savings.

2. Continue to deposit $350 a month into a Roth IRA for me. This is done through automatic deducation
$4,000 funded

3. Save $5,000 outside of retirement and college saving plans. This will help with a downpayment for a newer car for 2008 and/or bathroom remodel. Will attempt to do an automatic deduction for $220 each payday from hubby's check.

Nope only about $3,000 saved

4. $50 each, each month into kids 529 plans-automatic deduction

Two of boys have active 529 plans. My third son has autism and will probably never go to college so we are saving money into mutual fund instead. We actually increased this to $100 per kid each month in July.

5. Disney trip need an additional $1000 cash! Use tax return money (and money saved for self-employment taxes)

Woo hoo we had an excellent trip to Disney the end of June

6. Excess tax return money will go towards new couches first and then some minor remodeling for our family room.

I forgot that I included couches in our financial goals for 2007. We did add some new barn board to our family room in the basement this year for about $2,000. It looks great!

 Disney World vacation saving tips

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 12/30-1/05

Here are the CVS sale starting tomororw . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up

CVS printable coupons
$4.00 off $20
expires Jan 13th

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)

$5 ECB WYB $15 Mega-T Green Tea Supplement
$3 ECB WYB Nature Bounty Vitamins – on sale B1G1 free!
$3 ECB WYB Osteo Bi-Flex
$3 ECB WYB Two (2) Biotene
$2 ECB WYB Castiva Arthritis Pain Lotion $9.99
$5 ECB WYB $20 - Olay Regenerist, Olay Lotion, Olay Definity, Olay Plus Ribbons, Zest Body Wash, Olay Quench, Noxzema, Olay Daily Cleanser, Zest/Ivory/Safeguard Soap, Old Spice Body Wash
$10 ECB WYB $30 – ALL Roc products

Maybelene Mascara - All
Kleenex Tissues
Colgate toothpaste and toothbrushes (until Tues.)
CoverGirl Clean Makeup (until Tues.)
All CoverGirl Radiance
CoverGirl TrueShine or Incredifull Lip Color
2 Pocket Portfolio

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off

CoverGirl Smoothers
Neutrogena Triple Moisterizer Hair Care
Marc Anthony Hair Care
Gillete Disposable Razors
CVS Premium Notebook

Other deals
Tide 4.99
Bounty Basic Paper Towels 8 Rolls 4.99
Dawn .99
Cascade 2/$5
Febreze 2/$5
Always Pads 2.99
Pantene 3/$10
Head and Shoulders Shampoon 2/$9
Aussie or Herbal Essence Shampoo and Conditioner 3/9.99
Pampers Baby Wipes 2/4.99
Pedialyte 2/9.99
Johnson's Baby Care 2.99
Similac Advance 2/10.99
Pampers Jumbo Packs 8.99
Durcell Batteries 5.29
Pringles .88
Coke 12 Pk. 3/$10

ECB = Extra Care Buck
PSA = Prices starting at
CRT = Cash Register Tape
WYB = When You Buy

Helpful websites!!!,f533

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Smart money tips for joining a gym

I joined a gym this past fall after not being motivated to workout at home. I feel that putting in the effort into my health is well worth the $35 a month that I am spending. I was familiar with the gym that I joined since I was a member many years ago before I had children I liked it location and hours however since it had been many years since I used it last I wanted to double check that it was still a good business.
Here are some smart money tips:
Do a free trial Most gyms offer at least a one day free trial if you go to their websites, but it's possible to get them for much longer, especially at the start of the year, by cannily using special vouchers offered on the web or local papers. If you can't find a trial offer for your gym, just call it up and ask, most will say yes. Negotiate to see if you get the registration fee waived
Take a Tour See how many people are there! Tour the gym at the time you want to work out so you can see how crowded it is. Take a look at the equipment, make sure that's clean that there are things to wipe down the machines as well as the number of machines. Are the locker rooms clean?
Check to see what is included Sometimes a club will throw in a few free personal training sessions. Are group classes included-if they are extra and you want group classes, this gym may not be for you. My gym includes aerobics and weight training classes in the monthly membership fee however you can buy special boot camp classes extra or personal training sessions. My father goes to a more expensive gym where they have a pool and there is an extra cost for access to the pool.
Read the contract thoroughly before you sign the dotted line: Make sure you know if you are signing for a 1, 2 or lifetime (I have several friends that signed up for Lifetime memberships to Bally's years ago for $19.99 a month-not one of them uses them right now) If you need to do an automatic monthly charge, use your credit card so they do not have access to your bank account. Also sure the terms of cancellation are clear as well.
The bottom line-a gym membership is worth it if you are going to go!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Daisy

Daisy is a frugal stay at home mom of 2 girls. She has a blog Learn to Live Well without spending a lot of money where she shares her frugal advice as well as tips on how she makes sure extra money to be able to be a stay at home mom.

What is your financial life?

We are a one income family with 2 kids and 2 dogs. We accrued some debt when my husband went back to school to get his Masters degree. I had to become very frugal, very fast or risk going back to work! I didn't want to put my kids in daycare, so we made LOT'S of changes and are doing just fine.

What is your budget buster?

Our biggest expenses are: Braces for our oldest daughter , State taxes, which are $8,ooo this year.

What is your favorite money saving tip?
Meal Planning! It is an absolute must! It keeps me on track with my budget and keeps me from making extra trips to the store!! (I agree frugal meal planning is a must to keep to a budget)

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?
Put it in our savings account for those unexpected emergencies that can ruin the budget.

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I love forums for people who are living a frugal life. I have learned so much from reading how others save money. My favorite is

If you would like to be profile send an email

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Giving stories that touch your heart and soul

Dave Ramsey did an awesome show on Friday. He asked callers who had given their time or money to help other in need. Several stories touch my heart such as the lady who helped out a stranded Marine and the bible group that made dinner for the parents of sick kids at the hospital.

Giving is the secret to a healthy life. Not necessarily money, but whatever a man has of encouragement and sympathy and understanding. - John D. Rockefeller

Giving shouldn't be just be done in December-many people are focused on this month because of the spirit of Christmas. Random acts of kindness whether it is in money, time and energy are all appreciated.

Listen to these stories and maybe feel inspired yourself- I know I did

Frugal Meal Planning Dec 23rd

Sun Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries

Mon Christmas eve dinner at my mom

Tues Christmas day dinner at my sister in laws

Wed Lasagna

Thurs Chicken dish

Fri Leftover Lasagna

Sat Homemade pizza

Next week after the new years we will be starting South Beach diet

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The perfect last minute gift Amazon gift cards

With a only a few days left in the holiday shopping season, you may find yourself looking for that “perfect gift” for a special someone on your list. Amazon Gift Cards carries a wide variety of merchandise, from books to clothes to electronics. The gift certificates are available in any amount - starting from $5.00 to $$$ - and they never expire…

Walgreens printable $5.00 off coupon

If you need to pick up any last minute stocking stuffers Walgreens would be the place to go today Dec 22nd. Of course check out Walgreen $5.00 off $20 printable coupon

They also have a ton of those last minute deals!

I need to pick up some candy for stocking stuffers and one more book for my mother in law and then I am all done! I am be heading out to the new Walgreens they just openned up down the street.

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 12/23-29

Here are the CVS sale starting tomororw . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up! It seems a little lite due to the holidays

$2 off of $10 non-rx purchase

$5 off Energizer batteries

$3 off of 6 x 8 photos book

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)

$10 ECB WYB $20 of Gillette Fusion or Venus
$5 ECB WYB $15 of Energizer Batteries – limit 2
$2 ECB WYB any L’Oreal HIP cosmetics
$3 ECB WYB Digital Photo Keychain $17.99
$2 ECB WYB Vivitar Mini Digital Camera with Accessory Kit $9.99
$1 ECB WYB Palmolive Dish liquid $1.49

Coke 2 Liter or Evian 1 Liter – Limit 4
Hershey’s Pot of Gold $8.95
Russell Stovers Chocolates $7.99
L’Oreal Infallible Lip Color $11.99
Sprint Prepaid Phone Cards
CVS Alkaline Batteries
Maxwell House (grounds) - psa $3.99
Puff Tissues
Maybelline Great lash or Define a lash mascara
CVS Power Flash Camera
Lays Potato Chips (excludes baked)

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
Holiday Gift Sets
Photo Frames or Albums
Essence of Beauty Glamorous Getaway Travel Bag
Skin Care Gifts Under $10
Assorted Holiday Plush
Select Holidat Toys psa $1.29

ECB = Extra Care Buck
PSA = Prices starting at
CRT = Cash Register Tape
WYB = When You Buy

Helpful websites!!!,f533

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Easy Taco Pie

This is a super easy recipe to bring to potlucks

Taco Pie

1 can refried beans
1 8 oz. cream cheese
1 jar of salsa
2 cups of nacho cheese (or cheddar)
Taco seasoning
Garlic powder or cloves
Jalapeno peppers (optional)
Black olives

Heat the refried beans in the microwave so they spread easier and line the bottom of the 9x13 or pie plate.
Warm the cream cheese and combine taco seasoning to taste and spread on top of re fried beans,
Layer the salsa and the cheddar cheese
Add Peppers, and black olives to the top.

Serve with tortilla chips or use a filling for tortilla

You can also add ground beef to this over the refried beans and cream cheese.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Return on investment for hybrid cars

Hybrid cars are very popular these days. You turn on the TV and there are a lot of advertisements on them. They are better for the environment but do they really affect your pocketbook as gas increases. Edmunds did a recent report of the return on investment on some popular hybrid cars.

The 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid has the earliest break-even point. However, it still takes 2.9 years to save an Escape Hybrid's owner enough money to break even when compared to the cost of a four-cylinder 2007 Escape XLT

The Toyota Camry Hybrid takes 8.2 years to break even compared to the powerful six-cylinder Camry LE and 5.8 years with the loaded four-cylinder Camry XLE. The Lexus RX 400h takes a whopping 13.6 years to break even with the Lexus RX 350.

Check out Edmunds full list!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Caroline

Caroline is a frugal single women in her mid 30s from Rhode Island

What is your financial life?
I was married in my early 20s and divoreced by 30. My ex-husband was very controlling of money and it often caused stress between us. I purchased a condo 3 years ago-luckily I was smart enough to do a 30 year fixed rate. It is my largest expense but I can well afford it. I work as a financial analyst for a mutual fund company. I am currently going to my MBA at the URI. I do have some credit card debt I am still trying to pay off

What is your budget buster?
Going out with friends on the weekend. I am trying not to drink as much and do more potlucks suppers with some friends.

What is your favorite money saving tip?
Stay out of the store. I am a reformed shopalic I realized I don't need 50 pairs of shoes (yes I did have that many at once time and they were not the payless type)

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?
I would put it towards my credit card.

What is your best resource for frugal living?
Mary Hunt's
Debt-Proof Living: got my off my shopping habit and made me realize that I need to start thinking about money.

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 12/16-12/22

Here are the CVS sale starting yesterday . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up!

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)

$1 ECB WYB two (2) Hersheys Chocolate miniatures, kisses, reese’s, almond joy, mounds, rolo, nuggets, or york 2/$5.00
$2 ECB WYB Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara $8.49
$5 ECB WYB any 24.7 Skincare Product
$30 ECB WYB Oral-B Rechargeable Toothbrush
$3 ECB WYB $9 of Smooth N’ Shine Hair Care
$2 ECB WYB Playtex Gentle Glide or Sport Tampons Bonus Size 20-22ct $4.99
$10 ECB WYB $20 of Gillette Fusion or Venus Shaving Products
$3 ECB WYB Schick Quattro Disposable for Men/Women $5.99
$4 ECB WYB Mens Schick Quattro Razor Power, Midnight, or Titanium $7.99
$2.49 ECB WYB Tylenol Vial 10 ct - $2.49 – FREE
$10 ECB WYB $20 of these products: Excedrin ES or Migraine, Doans, Bufferin, No-Doze PSA 3.99
$10 ECB WYB Nicorette, nicoDerm CQ, or Commit Products
$3 ECB WYB Clean Care, Zaditor, or GenTeal Eye care $14.99
$1 ECB WYB Crest Toothpaste or Oral-B Toothbrush PSA $2.19
$3 ECB WYB 6x8 Photo Book 10 pages $12.99
$5 ECB WYB Norelco Face or Bodygroom Shaver $34.99
$1 ECB WYB Irish Spring 18oz OR Softsoap Cashmere/Nutra Oil Body Wash $3.99 – Limit 2

Maybelline Mascara (excludes Great Lash)
All Maybelline Lip Color
L’Oreal Vive Pro Shampoo or Conditioner
CVS Alkaline Batteries
Duracell Batteries
Kodak Power Flash Camera $9.99
Nature Made & Olay Vitamins
Lays Potato Chips

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
Conair Hair Appliances
CVS Photo Frames/Albums
All Maybelline Foundation, Powder, Blush, or Concealer
All Almay Cosmetics
All Milani Makeup
Got 2B Styling Products
L’eggs Sheer Hosiery
All Revlon Lip, Eye, or Nail Color
Holiday Fragrance Set
Assorted Holiday Toys
Boxed Holiday Cards
American Outdoor, Marshall Collins or Sharp Watches

Other deals
Austin Cracker Sandwiches 5/$5.00
Giant Hershey Bars 4/$5.00
Dove Chocolate Bars 2/$5.00
Aquafresh Toothpaste $0.99 – FREE WITH COUPONS!
Dove, Caress, Lever 2000 2pk - $1.99
Pepsi 4/$11 PLUS get a free pack of Diet Pepsi Max
Gold Emblem nuts $2.9
Scotch Tape – Buy 2 get 1 Free
Buy Any Revlon Foundation get a free Revlon Age Defying Face Primer or Precise Wrinkle Eraser
Accu-Check Compact Plus – Free AFTER MIR $19.99

Frugal Dinner Planning Dec 16th

Sun Steak, potatos

Mon Pesto chicken and pasta

Tues Layered Ground beef crockpot

Wed Leftover pesto chicken and pasta

Thurs Husband's Christmas party

Fri Homemade pizza

Sat Family Christmas party bringing desert and mini pin wheels with ham and cheese

Monday, December 10, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Val

Val is frugal mom to 2 girls from Atlanta, GA

What is your financial life?

I am a working mom who waited until I was almost 40 to have my first child. . I have 2 daughters 6 and 9 years old. I work as a business analyst in the insurance industry. My husband also works in insurance more in the marketing side (we met at work 15 years ago). Our finances are pretty stable-we do not have any credit card debt and have 2 paid for cars. We did recently splurge on a vacation home that is almost paid off. Our home is almost paid off, we don't have one of those McMansion . It would be considered a smaller home but most people in our income bracket $200,000 but we both wanted a vacation home instead.

What is your budget buster?
The cost of upkeep on a second home

What is your favorite money saving tip?

Don't overspend. If you do not have the cash, you can't afford it.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

It would go towards the vacation house payoff.

What is your best resource for frugal living?

I enjoy reading many messages boards including Women in Red msn message boards.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Frugal Dinner planning Dec 9th

Here is our dinning plan for the week

Sun Steak, sweet potatoes fries , green beans

Mon Asian ground beef (basically ground turkey or beef with a bag of cole slaw, some soy sauce, onions, mushrooms-yummy)

Tues Mexican Lasagna this was on my menu last week but I didn't have any salsa in the house

Wed Dinner out or take-out Hubby's birthday!!

Thurs Leftover Mexican lasagna

Fri Spaghetti and meatballs

Saturday, December 08, 2007

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 12/9-12/15

Here are the CVS sale starting tomorrow . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up!

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)
$2 ECB WYB Two (2) Hershey Kisses 2/$5.00
$3 ECB WYB Four (4) Coke Fridge Packs 4/$12.00
$5 ECB WYB $15 of Energizer Alkaline Batteries $5.29
$2 ECB WYB any L’Oreal HIP Cosmetics
$1 ECB WYB Dove Body Wash
$5 ECB WYB $10 of Soft & Beautiful Botanicals, Just for Me or Motions Hair Care
$6 ECB WYB Gillette Fusion Razor $9.99
$3 ECB WYB Two (2) Always pads $5.99
$5 ECB WYB Aquafresh White Trays $29.99
$1 ECB WYB Listerine $4.49
$2 ECB WYB Any Tums Tables 36-150ct
$1 ECB WYB Oral-B Power Toothbrush
$5 ECB WYB Two (2) of these Robitussin or Advil Products $4.99
$2 ECB WYB Mucinex $11.99
$3 ECB WYB 6x8 photo book or larger $12.99 for 6x8
$5 ECB WYB Hot Wheels Turbo Town Playset $14.99
$2 ECB WYB Crest Pro-Health Rinse or Toothpaste – Limit 2
$3 ECB WYB Thera Breath products – Limit 5
$5 ECB WYB CVS Stop Smoking Aid $32.99 – Limit 5

All Life Fitness Vitamins or Supplements
Kodak Power Flash Camera $9.99
Holiday gift Wrap $5.99
Russell Stover Chocolates $2.99
Hersheys Pot of Gold
Doritos $3.49

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
All L’Oreal Cosmetics
CVS Alkaline Batteries
Schick Disposables
L’eggs Socks, Trouser Socks, or Tights
Boxed Holday Cards
All Fragrances or Gift Sets
All CVS Glucosamine Chondroitin
CVS Food Storage Bags
All Sally Hansen or Healing Beauty Cosmetics
All Physicians Formula Cosmetics
All Essence of Beauty Cosmetics
All Marc Anthony Hair Care
All John Frieda Sheer Blonde, Brilliant Brunette, Radiant Red Shampoo/Conditioner/styler

Friday, December 07, 2007

Freebie Friday and coupons

Another great Friday freebies

Free gift from IBM You get a choice of mug, pen, sudoku game or alarm clock. It does ask for a business name.

Papa Murphy’s Take ’n‘ Bake Pizza $2.00 OFF COUPON

Free condoms

Jiffy Lube $5.00 off printable coupon

Kmart printable coupons expire 12/8

SquidSoap by Airborne coupon

Eucerinus skin lotion free sample

Jergens® skin care lotion samples

Free 2008 Calendar


Why should they get a free pass?

"President George W. Bush will outline on Thursday a plan to freeze mortgage rates for five years for many homeowners facing sharp interest-rate resets, an industry source said on Wednesday.

The source, who is familiar with details of the plan, said it would cover subprime loans originated between January 1, 2005, and July 31, 2007, with rates that are due to reset between January 1 of next year and June or July of 2010.

The plan is primarily aimed at borrowers who can afford their existing rates and who are current on their payments, but who would face default when the rate resets higher.

Among those borrowers, homeowners whose credit scores have risen since they took out their loan would qualify for "fast-tracked" loan modification that would hold their interest rate steady for five years.

Borrowers whose credits scores had not improved could still qualify for a five-year rate freeze, but would face more scrutiny before receiving any modification. kE1vAI

I really have mixed feelings about this. While I've been saddened by this housing bubble and the pain it is causing those who got stuck with really nasty ARM's I also know of a ton of people that leveraged their homes like crazy to live a life full of extravagant extra's. I know several people in town who have bragged about refinanancing their houses and takign the extra money out.

We drive cars for 10+ years or until they cost more to maintain then it's worth. We carry no credit card debt and live beneath our means, and have a modest lifestyle. Maybe I should have done the ARM at a crazy low interest rate too.

I just don't get some people. They say "Oh, I didn't understand what I was getting into," or "The bank loaned me the money so they must have thought I could pay it back," etc. . HELLO!! WAKE-UP PEOPLE! A home is most people's single biggest purchase and if you're too lazy to do the research and educate yourself and figure out exactly what you can afford, what all the terms being tossed around really mean, and exactly what you're committing to before you sign that dotted line, I have no sympathy.

I don't even understand those who say "this was the only way we could qualify for a house." Don't buy a house at this point in your life. Know what? That's the way it's always been. Homeownership has never been something that everyone qualifies for. You've always had to save up the downpayment, prove you could pay the loan, and have good credit. If you couldn't do that, then, unfortunately, you couldn't get into a house. I don't know when people started thinking that buying a house was as easy. I know the banks have some responsibility here as wel but people need be their own best resource.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Are you sloppy and getting away with it?

I was listening to Dave Ramsey's radio show the other day and he said I a statement that was made my ears perk up a bit:

Are you sloppy and getting away with it?

I think a lot of people are sloppy with their finances. I know I can get sloppy from time to time and then I need to tighten up the belt so I am no longer sloppy.

You might be sloppy if:

1) You are carrying a credit card balance
2) You have car loans outstanding that are more than 1/2 of your annual take home pay.
3) Your mortgage or rent is more than than 30% of your income.
4) You are not budgeting
5) You don't have an adequate emergency fund
6) You are not saving for retirement
7) You need to take that fancy vacation each year
8) You have a lot of toys but they are not paid in full

Are you getting away with it? You may be getting away for it for a few years or you maybe headed down a slippery slop.

If you or your spouse lost your job, would you be able to survive financially? Will you be eating steak or Alpo when you retire? Are you eating ramen noodles while driving a brand new car? Did you do an adjustable mortgage because the 30 year fixed rate was too expensive for your monthly income.

How about this-starting paying off those credit cards aggressive, driving your cars for 10 years, saving for an emergency and retirement it can be done. It takes a little effort, planning and the ability to say NO.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Frugal Five Meet Lisa

Lisa is a frugal mom to be from South Carolina who runs run a 6 year old collie educational portal, rescue directory, and merchandise store. They can be found at,, and

What is your financial Life?

My name is Lisa, I am 25 years old and have lived in mid South Carolina my whole life. I have been married since June of '06 and we are expecting our first child on May 6, 2008. During our first year of marriage we both worked full time and racked up some serious credit card debt. We have finally gotten our finances straight - we currently have 1 year left to pay on both of our cars (a 2004 and 2006), we own our home, we don't use credit cards (as of Nov. 06) and we're down to one income since my layoff in October 2007.

What is your budget buster?

Our biggest budget busters is the high price of gas! We try to use our economical gas saving car most of the time now that I don't work.

What is your favorite money saving tip?

Favorite? I have a LOT! But my favorite would be - STAY OUT OF THE STORE. If you aren't there, you can't buy it.

If you had an extra $1000 what would you do with it?

Send it to the credit card. We have 3000 left to pay off out of the 11k we owed at the start of the year. After that we will be "unsecured debt" free!

What is your best resource for frugal living?

My best resources for frugal living are forums, (for when i MUST buy online) and

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Frugal Dinner Planning Dec 1st

Sun Turkey burgers, french fries, veggie on the side

Mon Broccoli and cheese cups made with leftover turkey from the freezer

Tues Mexican Lasagna

Wed Tuna noodle casserole

Thurs Leftover mexican lasagna

Fri Leftover tuna noodle cassorole

Sat Homemade pizza

How to winterize your car

It is absolutely essential that you winterize your car each year to make sure you keep it in tip top shape to avoid any mechanical failure which maybe deadly. My husband makes sure both of cars have been winterize. He spent his Saturday doing this! Both cars went to the mechanic  for basic oil changes (I had coupons for $10 off each one so a total of $50 there) Here are some tips he said I could share with you :

1. Check antifreeze mixture Not just how much fluid is in the radiator, but the ratio of antifreeze/water content. A frozen radiator can cause your car to over heat and it can also crack your radiator and or damage the water pump. Always keep some extra anti-freeze in your car during the winter months.

2. Change the engine oil. Change your oil and oil filter as specified in your manual -- more often (every 3,000 miles or so) if your driving is mostly stop-and-go or consists of frequent short trips.

3. Inspect the belts and hoses. Cold temperatures can accelerate the demise of a belt or hose. Before winter starts, have the belts and hoses inspected on your vehicle.

4. Replace the windshield wiper blades Put windshield washer fluid in the windshield washer reservoir (plain water will freeze).

5. The battery Very cold temperatures can reduce a vehicle's battery power by up to 50 percent. If your vehicle battery is older than three years, have it tested at a certified automotive repair facility. Also, make sure the posts and connections are free of corrosion.

6. Tires Make sure the tires are in good condition. If you are not sure what this means, ask a mechanic for an opinion. Examine tires for remaining tread life, uneven wearing, and cupping; check the sidewalls for cuts and nicks. Check tire pressures once a month. Let the tires "cool down" before checking the pressure. Rotate as recommended. . Make sure there is air in the spare tire and that all the proper tire-changing equipment is in the trunk.

7. Ignition System Cold temperatures increase the demands of the ignitions system. Colder air requires more energy to fire the spark plugs. Weak ignition systems usually cause a flooded engine or kill the battery from extended cranking periods. Have your Tune up checked before the winter.

8. Fuel Put a bottle of fuel de-icer in your tank once a month to help keep moisture from freezing in the fuel line. Also a gas tank which is kept filled helps keep moisture from forming.

9. Lights - Inspect all lights and bulbs; replace burned out bulbs; periodically clean road grime from all lenses.

10. Emergency Kit Put together an emergency kit including blanket, extra boots and gloves, ice scraper, small snow shovel, flashlight and kitty litter (for traction when stuck in the snow). Also consider getting an emergency or prepaid cell phone if you don’t have one already. Some high energy snacks as well.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

CVS weekly extra care bucks deals 12/2-12/8

Here are the CVS sale starting tomorrow . Of course check your coupons to see if you can match any up!

ECB Specials (All limit 1 unless noted)
$5 ECB WYB $20 of these P&G Products: Tide $4.99, Bounty $6.49, Charmin $2.49, Duracell $5.29, and Pampers Jumbo pack $8.99
$5 ECB WYB any 24.7 skincare product
$2 ECB WYB two (2) hershey’s large bad $4.99
$2 ECB WYB two (2) Sunshine/Keebler Pecan Sandies/Cheez-Its 2/$5.00
$2 ECB WYB two (2) Pringles 2/$4.00
$1 ECB WYB Chef Tony Knife Set $9.99
$5 ECB WYB $10 of Febreeze noticeables 6.99, Fabric Freshener 2/$5.00, or Air effects 2/$5.00
$3 ECB WYB any Garnier Nutritioniste
ECB WYB Softsoap
$4 ECB WYB Schick Quattro or Intuition Razor for Women $7.99
$2 ECB WYB Oral B Vitality Rechargeable toothbrush $19.99
$1 ECB WYB Listerine $4.99
$30 ECB WYB any Oral-B Rechargeable toothbrush shown
$5 ECB WYB CVS Sonic Toothbrush $49.99
$1 ECB WYB KY Intrigue
$5 ECB WYB Braun Pocketgo Shaver $9.99
$2 ECB WYB Nutrisse Haircolor 2/$10.00
$1 ECB WYB Tampax or Always 2/$6.00
$1 ECB WYB selected Crest or Oral B advantage items
$2 ECB WYB Any Zantac Product
$5 ECB WYB $10 or Tavist, Theraflu, Buckleys, Comtrex, Triaminic, or 4 way Nasal Spray
$5 ECB WYB Miralax $23.99
$1 ECB WYB Mennen Deodorant (excludes men 24/7) $1.99
$6 ECB WYB Gillette Fusion Razor $9.99
$7.50 ECB WYB $15 of qualifying products: Pepsi 12 packs 3/$10, Doritos 2/$6.00, Propel, Gatorade, Stacys Chips
$10 ECB WYB 1 Fit Shower Chair $59.99

Scotch Tape
CVS Power flash camera $7.99
Covergirl TruShine or Incredifull Lip Color

Buy ONE Get ONE 50% off
All Covergirl Face, Lip Color, and Mascara
Assorted Holiday Toys
Neutrogena Cosmetics
Photo Frames/Albums

Other deals
* Buy Kodak C613 ($99.99) and get 25 – 4X6 prints Free
Save $2 on Energizer E2 Lithium Batteries
M&M’s $1.88
Kelloggs Cereal 2/$5.00
Breeze 2 Blood Glucose Monitor $14.99 – free after MIR