Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Your not poor if you earn $100,000 a year

There was a recent article on Yahoo finance How to Earn $100,000 and Still Feel Poor.    My husband and I have never made 100k a year we have been close-our highest before takes was 95k. Certainly we didn't feel poor then and don't feel poor now even when our annual earnings are down. .  I think they need to reevaluate what "the basics" are and what "poor" means.  I think she could have rephrased poor with the word tight...but that really would be as good as poor and not have over 10k comments. 

They really said : "Is six figures the new minimum wage?"  

No.   It is not.   Making $100,000 is nothing at all like making minimum wage in any way.  There is really absolutely  no comparison   Minimum wage is $7.25 an hour in this country with some states a bit more.   That works out to $15,080 per year if you assume 40 hours a week for 52 weeks.    Making less than $300 a week is  not the same as $1900 a week.  

Here is their monthly expense breakdown 

$ 350 a month for utilities-  Not unreasonable 
$ 300 for car insurance,  -Seems high we have  $120 a month for 2 cars 
$ 175 for Internet, cable and phone.   High-Comcast or many other places have triple play deals for $100 or are they including cell phones 
$1222 a month on our mortgage  Actually not too bad 
$ 250 a month extra on the mortgage
$ 300 on a car loan.    Hmm they claimed no  debt  highly recomnmed that they look at Dave Ramsy drive free plan. 
$ 500 a month on gasoline  higher but they maybe driving alot could look at way to save on gas 
$ 800 on retirement  way too low they should be saving double to even hit 10% of their income 
$1250 for college ($15,000 a year for tuition and books)  Kids need to pay for this and for community college it seems very high.  $4k annually for community college. 
$1000 a month on food.  way to high for a family of 4 even with growing boys- I have 3 and we spend $600 the most a month

I am seeing alot of missing categories  clothes, vacation entertainment.   I don't live in their shoes but their cost of living area is lower than mine and we are  making less than they.   I don't feel poor.    

So what are you thoughts.... 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Frugal dinner planning week of Mar 25th

Last week the craziness was still here, karate and basketball and then dealing with my Dad in the rehab hospital. It is closer takes me 15 minutes to get there and I am home by most nights at 8:30pm.  All in all, we ate at home due to having a meal plan except for one lunch on Friday that was a date with my husband.   We had that for free. One of my husband's vendors gave him a gift certificate for $30 for a lunch place. They had a get a sandwich, salad and a soda for 11.99 which I got and then my husband got the fish and chips for 10.99.     That kept me full until dinner time at 9pm that night.

We have soccer for 2 kids starting this week and also a basketball tournament.

chicken and broccoli stir-fry Here is the meal plan for the week 

Sunday  Steak, roasted butternut squash fries  and green beans 

Monday   Italian sausage with veggies (onions, peppers and summer squash) with pasta and sauce. This will probably have enough leftovers for 2 lunches for me. 

Tuesday  Chicken and broccoli stir fry over rice 

Wednesday Chili over baked potatoes 

Thursday  broccoli quiche with oven roasted potatoes 

Friday Fend for your self night or sandwiches ... Momma is going out with the girls.   

Saturday  Hubby and I are going out with 2 other couples to a local play. We plan on meeting for dinner before hand.   Will make some pizza for the kids. 

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junkie  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Why you should have a Herb Garden

Herb Gardening: The Many Good Things About It

For many years  I didn't plant in herb gardening. I would pick up the spices at the local stores but there is nothing like fresh herbs.

There are a lot of good things why you should have an indoor gardening. Having an herb garden  in particular can be very practical and rewarding. If you start to have one at the back of your home or at any vacant spot at the yard, you will reap the rewarding results of not having to go to grocery store for some.

Cooking  uses for herbs

Herbs have many uses for different people. The most common is its being an aroma or spice enhanced for a lot of cuisines and dishes around the world. The culinary use of herbs can be traced back to many prehistoric documents. The history even says that it was used for cooking foods back then not only for the ordinary people but more so for the heads of groups or for the royalties. I love mixing in some fresh rosemary or dill in with mashed potatoes or adding in some cilantro to my tomatoes for salsa

Where to plant them

Herbs come in many kinds. And there are those that can be grown at the comfort of your home. Some choices easily grow on a bed of garden. If you are a starter, you can have parsley, oregano, thyme, and basil. These are some of the known most versatile herbs because they are commonly and often used for cooking food and for therapeutic uses.

In terms of making your own garden, you can easily make a single bed of soil and here you can grow your herbs. If your yard is bigger, you can have several beds to plant them. Just be sure to nurture them so they will grow properly. With a bed of planted herbs, it will be convenient for you whenever you want some spice for your cooking and some stuff when you want to alleviate some sores and pains.

It would be great idea, but if you don't have a wide space at your yard, or if you are living in an apartment or condominium where there is no space for gardening, there is always another option. An indoor gardening is always possible. You can start off with having some pots and planting them with the herbs of your choices. You can place the pots with the planted herbs by the windows on your kitchen and some can even be placed by the windows in your bedroom.

You can also use pots that can be used for decoration of the house without the need to redesign or renovate the place. Just be sure that they have proper drainage holes for the watering. Engaging into this activity not only provides herbs for cooking or therapeutic effects, but having your little indoor gardening can shake off your stress because they can provide air to relax you a bit after working the whole day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Cleaning products printable coupons

I usually try to do homemade cleaning products as much as I can but sometimes you can get lazy. Here are some cleaning product coupons.

  $0.50 off Pledge Multi Surface product 
$1.50 off 2 Pledge Furniture Care products 
$1.00 off any Pledge or Armstrong cleaner 
$0.50 off Scrubbing Bubbles fantastik 
$0.55 off Scrubbing Bubbles Vanish Drop-ins™ 
$0 .75 off Scrubbing Bubbles Fresh Brush 
$0.75 off Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Cleaning Gel 
$0.75 off Scrubbing Bubbles Active Scrub Cleanser 
$0.50 off Scrubbing Bubbles Shower Foamer 
$1.00 off 2 Scrubbing Bubbles Bathroom Cleaners 
$0.75 off 2 Shout Color Catcher 
$0.75 off 2 Shout Laundry products 
$0.75 off 2 Windex Glass cleaning products 
$1.00 off 2 Windex Multi-Surface products 

Frugal Meal Planning week of March 18th

I got better on track without eating out even with my father having surgery last week.  I had my meal plan in place.  My husband got the boys to eat  at their normal times and sometimes I eat dinner at 4pm and had a late night snack and sometimes I had a an afternoon snack at 4pm and then dinner at 10pm.  All in all no fast food trips. Who wants pink slim.   Dad is still recovering and got moved to a rehab hospital that is closer down the road, so this week will be a bit crazy as well.
Dinner is Served [307/365]

Sunday Turkey burgers, roasted potatoes and salad 

Monday   Turkey  breasts and sweet potato pancakes, green beans 

Tuesday Cabbage rolls  I am attempting to make this as in inspiration from Life as mom recipe swap last week.  Cabbage was on sale so I picked some up.  

Wed Chili 

Thursday Leftover cabbage rolls 

Friday  Fish, rice and veggies 

Saturday Homemade pizza 

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junkie 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Gas Saving myths to ignore

Gas Pump with Zip CodeThere are many ways to save money on gas but here are 4 gas savings myths that you should ignore from

  Buy gas early in the morning. 
Gasoline is denser at colder temperatures, so the theory here is that if you fill up early in the morning while it's still cool out, you'll get more bang for your buck -- a gallon of gas bought cold will expand to be a little more than a gallon when it gets warmer. But as we explained in our look at common car myths, gas at gas stations is stored in underground tanks, where the temperature varies a lot less than it does on the surface. As such, there's going to be little to no perceptible difference in the density of the gasoline whether you buy it in the morning or at night. With that said, it still might be worth it to fill up in the morning, because given how quickly gas prices have been rising, you might find that the price has gone up by a few cents by the time you get back to the station that evening.

Overinflate your tires. 
Yes, it's true underinflated tires lead to decreased mileage, so you should make sure your tires are properly inflated for fuel efficiency and safety reasons. But some people have taken that to the logical extreme by overinflating their tires beyond the recommended pressure, the theory being that an overinflated tire will have a smaller contact patch with the pavement and thus less resistance. Alas, it turns out that's not really the case: Popular Mechanics tested this one and found almost no difference in gas mileage between 32 psi inflation and 45 psi.

Turn off the air conditioning and lower the windows. 
The theory here is that air conditioning draws energy from the engine, and that lowering the windows reduces drag. Thus, on a warm day you should turn off the air conditioning and lower the windows to boost your gas mileage. Unfortunately, there appears to be little truth to this method: Edmunds tested it back in 2005 and found that the mileage was the same no matter which method they used to cool themselves. If it's hot out, don't hesitate to blast the A/C.

Leave your tailgate down. 
Many pickup truck drivers will leave the tailgate down, the idea being that having it up will "catch" the air flowing over the truck, acting as a sail that increases drag and makes you burn more gas. But the Discovery Channel's hit show MythBusters tested this one and then re-tested it and found that fuel efficiency was actually a little better with the tailgate up. That's right, keeping your tailgate open actually made things worse, and putting a cover on the pickup truck's bed had no real impact on fuel efficiency.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Frugal menu planning week of March 11th

Here is the menu plan for this week for March   we ended up eating out twice last week due to pure laziness on my part .Hopefully we can stick to the menu better this week.

Sunday  homemade pizza and  mushroom  crusted pizza (was planned for Saturday night but we went out for pizza instead)

 Monday soup and sandwiches for me and the kids-hubby has a business dinner

Tuesday  Beef and broccoli stir fry

 Wednesday Turkey meatloaf, mashed potatoes and veggies

 Thursday Broccoli and turkey sausage egg bake

 Friday  Fish, veggies and rice

 Saturday Homemade pizza

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Frugal advice for a new mom to be

My sister in law is expecting her first baby and is thinking that these baby years are very expensive. They don’t have t be.  Wait until they are older and want all the electronics in the world and the designer clothing labels. I wanted to share the advice I gave her as a frugal  mom over the past 14 years. 
Saving money on your  young  children can be quite easy. It doesn't take a lot of work or scouring garage sales on your weekends. All it takes is a little wise shopping and some recycling.
Let's start with the shopping. When it comes to clothes, remember that bigger is always better. A little room to grow will make an outfit last longer. Think about whether or not you will really dress your child in the outfit. Yes, cute dresses and little suits are precious, but if the child won't wear it but once, it's probably not the most frugal decision. You maybe able to get one as a hand me down. Don’t be afraid to let your friends know  you don’t mind   taking these. Think about what the child really wears. For instance, little girls are cute in dresses and stockings, but when they are at the crawling stage, they can't get around very well. Plus, stockings get dirty easily.
Many parents like to try shopping at resale or consignment stores. These stores are great if you actually spend less. Too many people simply spend the same amount, but bring more home. Some people spend more without realizing it. A child can have too many clothes. If there are clothes that don't get worn, they were a waste of money. I acknowledge that it takes a little trial and error to find out what are good purchases, but eventually it comes. This is where you can get really good deals on clothes.  When my sons were smaller I would take their good outfits that and sell them at a semi annual consignment sale and use that money to buy stuff at the same sale. Usually I hardly paid anything out of pocket. 
Buying out of season clothes off the sales racks is a little risky. You need to be sure that your child will be that size come the next winter. You can't always think that a one-year old will wear a 1T or 12 month outfit. My one-year old wears anything from 3 to 9 months, depending on the brand. My friend's ten month old is wearing 12 to 18 months. We all come in different sizes, even as children.
The good news is that stores are often putting the season's clothes on sale long before the season is over. Winter coats can often be found on sale in December or January. This is great for kids that hit a growth spurt mid-way through winter. You can think long term about outfits too. A little outfit with a short sleeve shirt and jeans only needs a sweat-shirt or a jacket to become a fall or winter outfit. Keep in mind that most of your clothes are worn year round.
Personally, I shop for my child once every season. I get everything I know she will need at that time. Then I don't go back into the clothing section for anything, unless I am there for a specific item. Otherwise, I'm buying socks each time just because they are cute or picking two or three outfits off of the sales rack that I don't need.
When it comes to toys, be practical. One of my younger son’s  favorite toy in the world is a plastic pop bottle. He would  be occupied for a long time with a bucket full of odd things. I know that there are many things around the house that he has yet to explore. Think of things you can introduce to your kids as fun and educational that you already own.
When you are shopping, think about how fast your children are growing. If you have a 6 month old and a toy is recommended for a 6 month old, you might consider looking for another toy that will interest the child in a couple of months. Stretch things out as far as possible. There are great toy combinations out there that last a child forever. For example, you can buy a play board that turns into a walk-behind toy that then turns into a scooter. It covers six months to two years in stages. And saves you from buying three separate toys.
And remember, a lot of toys aren't necessary. Your child would much rather play with you and a piece of yarn or go for a slow walk than play alone with a toy. Often the most frugal items, like a bed-time book, are those that take a little time on your part. To many frugal people, it is better to spend time than money.
You will find that there are hundreds of ways to save money with your children. From recycling paper grocery sacks into drawing paper to cutting up magazines for picture books, the possibilities are endless. It's all about being a little creative and keeping it fun.
The young child isn't going to remember how much money you spent on them... memories happen!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Spring cleaning the budget

dust pan
Spring clean more than your house
Spring will be here in a few weeks and it almost the end of the first quarter of 2012!  It is a good time to relect  and do a little bit of spring cleaning not only in the closet but also  on the budget.  I know I planning on setting up a meeting soon with my husband to make sure he knows. 
Good financial practice means that family  budgeting should be something you already have under control. You should know exactly where your household money comes from, where it goes, and that all of your financial priorities and goals are being met.  How old is the budget that you have created?  1 year, 2 years or even more.  
When my husband and I were in major debt payout mode, we would have a monthly budget meeting.  Now that we are debt free, we have gotten lazy and should look at it more often Although you might think that your  money  are working at the best they can, if you haven't taken a look at your budgeting for the past year, the chances are that your budget could use a spring clean. Gas prices increases .  Income from a job  usually changes over the course of a year whether because of salary increases, or income tax changes.  Grocery store prices fluctuate making your food  bills higher now than they were when you set your budget in place. So unless your budget was made in the past  few months , it's probably time to dust it off and take another look at it.
Spring cleaning your household budgeting isn't just about ensuring that your finances are up-to-date however. If you are on a tight budget it's also a great way to motivate yourself into sticking within the financial boundaries you've set. Seeing the outstanding balances on your debts decrease is a surefire way of re-igniting your passion for your budget!
So don't let your budget stagnate. Make sure you schedule a time at least once a year for a financial spring clean just to make sure that your finances are working for you, and that your family’s budgeting plan is on track for a good financial future.

Do you spring clean your budget?

Monday, March 05, 2012

Frugal Menu planning week of March 3rd

Here is the menu plan for this week for March 3rd. I am trying to eat healthier less stuff out of the box morec clean eating.
Info - Menu Planning In These Times HM0010
Sunday Steak, green beans and butter nut squash fries for me and regular fries for the kids.

 Monday Italian sausage and baked spinach cottage pie

Tuesday  Easy crockpot creamy chicken and black beans

 Wednesday  Hubby has a business meeting so probably easy sandwiches

 Thursday Leftovers of the creamy chicken in tortilla wraps

 Friday  Fish, veggies and rice

 Saturday Homemade pizza

Are you looking for even more menu ideas check out  Monday meal plans at organizing junky

Sunday, March 04, 2012

CVS, Rite Aid and Walgreens drug store deals of March 4th week

If you want to maximize your   drug store shopping for the week of March 4th 

CVS coupons and deals


$10 CVSCash Card when you spend $30 on these products: Limit 5
* The coupon for your free CVSCash Card will print at a minium of $29.40.
* Limit of 5 free $10 CVSCash cards per cardholder per week, while supplies last. No Rainchecks.
* $30 is before coupons. You don't have to buy $30 at once, you can purchase small amounts during the week until you reach $30.
* If you don't reach $30 by the end of the sales ad week, it will reset to $0 on Sunday. The balance will not roll-over.

- BOGO 50% off: ALL Almay Cosmetics 
~ $1.00/1 Almay Cosmetic Product, any - 02-05-12 SS
- BOGO 50% off: ALL Milani Cosmetics 
- BOGO 50% off: ALL Sally Hansen Cosmetics
~ $2.00 off Sally Hansen Beauty Tool Purchase of $4.00 or more, any - All You, March 2012
~ $1.00/1 Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure, any - 02-05-12 RP **EXP 3/5**
~ $1.00/1 Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips - 02-05-12 RP **EXP 3/5**
- $7.99 Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Foam hair color
~ $2.00/1 Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme - 02-05-12 RP
- $14.29 Lumene Time Freeze, Vitamin C+ or Sensitive Touch 0.17-1.7 oz. or Beauty Drops 28 ct. 
~ $2.00/1 Lumene Vitamin C+ Products, Full Size Only (CVS Coupon) (Limit 1 Per Customer) (Cannot be Combined with any other CVS/pharmacy coupons) - CVS/pharmacy Reinventing Beauty, December 2011
~ $3.00/1 Lumene Sensitive Touch 5 Min SOS Cream, Day Cream and Night Cream, Full Size Only (CVS Coupon) (Limit 1 Per Customer) (Cannot be Combined with any other CVS/pharmacy coupons) - CVS/pharmacy Reinventing Beauty, December 2011
- ALL Boost BOGO 50% off
~ $1.50/1 Boost Nutritional Drink or Drink Mix, any multipack or canister - 01-29-12 RP
~ $2.00/1 Boost Nutritional Drink or Powder - sign in or register
- $4 All Laundry Detergent 2x Ultra, HE, Small & Mighty 28-32 loads 
~ $1.00/1 All Mighty Pacs Or Liquid Detergent, 24 Loads +, Any - 03-04-12 RP
~ $1.00/1 All 28 load or larger - "like" on FB
- 2/$5 Lysol Cleaner 24-32 oz., Disinfecting Wipes 35 ct. or Neutra Air 10 oz.
~ $1.00/1 Lysol Neutra Air Fabric Mist or Neutra Air Aerosol Can, any (Limit of two (2) like coupons in same shopping trip) - 02-05-12 SS **EXP 3/6**
~ $1.00/2 Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, any (Limit of two (2) like coupons in same shopping trip) - 02-05-12 SS **EXP 3/6**
~ .50/2 Lysol Disinfecting or Dual Action Wipes - sign in or register
- $2.99 Scott bathroom tissue 4 pk. 
- 2/$5 Blue Diamond Almonds 6 oz. 
~ $1.00/1 Blue Diamond Almonds, Any 6 oz Can or Larger (Limit one coupon to a customer) - 01-29-12 SS
- 2/$6 Frito Lay Munchies 8 oz. or Doritos 11-11.5 oz. selected varieties (excludes Baked) 


- ALL CVS Batteries (Limit 4)
- ALL Nature's Bounty or Flex-a-min (Limit 6)
- Arizona beverage 23 oz. selected varieties. Plus deposit where required. (Limit 10)
- Nature Made Heart Health CoQ10 40-80 ct., Cholest Off 60-120 ct., fish oil 60-300 ct., flaxseed 100-180 ct., krill oil or astaxanthin 60 ct.
- ALL CVS Letter Vitamins, Calcium Supplements or Multiple Vitamins
- ALL CVS Hearing Aid Batteries
- IDT Long Distance Prepaid Phone Cards (excludes Penny Talk). Terms, fees and conditions may apply
- CVS Power Flash all-purpose camera 27 exp.
- Hershey's milk chocolate bunny, Cadbury egg, Reese's single egg 

Rite Aid Deals 

21st Century select products BOGO
- $2 +up WYB 2 (limit 2)

Aleve 100ct or liquid gels 40ct $8.49
- $2/1 from 1/1 SS
- $1 February VV (must watch by 3/3)
- $1 March VV
- $1 +up (limit 4)
= $4.49 each

Allegra tablets 45ct $23.99
- $6/1 from 2/26 SS
- $4 +up (limit 4)
= $13.99 each

Get $5 +up WYB $15 of Biosilk, Tigi, Bedhead, or Tigi catwalk hair care (limit 2)

Blink eye drops (all), Revitalens 10oz, or Complete 12oz $7.99
- $4/1 peelie or blinkie (peelies have been spotted all drug stores)
- $4 +up (limit 2)
= $0.01 MM

c.Booth derma, dermasilk, eclos, VitaK, or Yes to Skin Care or Purespring bath care BOGO50
- $5 SCR WYB c.Booth (limit 1)
- $5 SCR WYB eclos anti-aging (limit 1)
- $3 SCR WYB eclos anti-aging mask (limit 1)

Clairol nice n easy color blend foam hair color $9.99
- $2/1 from 2/12 RP or 3/4 PG
- $1 +up (limit 2)
= $6.99 each

Walgreen deals of the week


OnTheGo Multi-Vitamin Orange Rush Drink Mix 30 ct., $8.00

Buy 1, Earn a $8.00 Register Reward
Total OOP $8.00 + tax (Final Price FREE after Register Rewards)

Natrol Melatonin 100 ct., $4.00

Buy 1, Earn a $4.00 Register Reward

Total OOP $4.00 + tax (Final Price FREE after RR)

Renew Life Ultimate Flora Daily Care Probiotic 30 ct., $10.00

Buy 1, Earn a $10.00 Register Reward

Total OOP $10.00 + tax (Final Price FREE after RR)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Teaching kids about money

I feel one of my jobs as a mom to help my  boys to succeed in life is to teach them about money. and how to manage it properly.   Parents who know that their kids understand how money and debt work can rest assured that they will be able to take care of themselves even when they are not around. If you need some tips for teaching your kids money lessons, this article might be able to help.
24 - kids walking
If you give your kids what they want when they ask for it or if you regularly give them money just because they want it, you need to stop doing that. If you really want your children to learn about money and its value, you should make them work for what they want.
Making your children work or do chores in order to earn money provides them with some very valuable lessons. For instance, they may learn the self-discipline that is required in order to successfully complete a job on time. They will also learn to associate money with work and the next time they go shopping, they might think twice about purchasing something they do not need, since they will be thinking about how many work hours go into paying for it.  This has been very helpful for my 10 year old and he has become much more frugal with his hard earned cashed.  However when Nana simply handed him some cash for a gift or just being a great grandson, the money would burn a hole in their pocket.   
As soon as my kids knew  how to do basic math, I  started  teaching them about savings accounts and how they work. It may be useful to make a chart that demonstrates how money grows as it is being saved.  My younger son wanted to get a new Nintendo DS  game and we made a nice chart on how much he would need to save or earn  each week to  get it.

Teaching kids money lessons is possible to kids as soon as they hit school   They need to realize "money doesn't grow on trees" . All you need to do is regularly discuss how money is saved and how debt works.    If possible, give them some real experience with money by letting them earn, spend, and save it for themselves.

How do you teach your kids about money