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Monthly Archives: July 2010

July 29, 2010

What is a Good Price for Produce?

What is a Good Price for Produce?

 What is a Good Price for Produce?

The best way to save money at the grocery store is to be knowledgable in what a good price is. If you know what a good price is, you will know when to stock-up. Remember that just because the sign says sale, does not not mean that it is a good price. If you are just joining us, I have posted the good buy prices for MeatDairy and Beverage items and pantry items. When I get all of the prices gathered, I will make a master list for you all! Here are some good tips for learning What is a Good Price for Produce!Continue reading

July 26, 2010

How to Organize Finances

My weakness in saving money is keeping track of finances. I am not very good at accounting! I am happy to report that I did set up online bill pay this week! It was easy to do and I think it will help me stay organized. Below are some tips on personal finance organization.

Don't miss our tips for How To Organize Finances to stay on track and in budget!

10 Essential Tips on How to Organize Finances

By: Mrs. Not Made of Money

Keeping finances in order is a difficult task for many people. However, it does not have to be so hard. Here are 10 tips for keeping your personal finances organized.

Use accounting software.
There are a number of companies that have created software specifically for the purpose of helping individuals to manage their finances. Accounting software can help you track your spending over time and to help you successfully maintain a budget. You also don’t have to worry about missing bill payments again, because most accounting programs will allow you to set up reminders. This software can be a huge help during tax season, as you will already have everything you need to complete your taxes neatly organized instead of having to dig through a huge pile of papers to find the information that you need. We use Quicken for our finances and prepare our taxes with TurboTax.

Create an organization system for your important papers.
You should consider investing in a filing system for your important paperwork. This will help you to locate the items that you need in case of emergency or at tax time.

Take a list when shopping.
Have you ever gone into the grocery store planning to get one thing, then left with a basket full of items? Making a shopping list can help you to reduce the amount that you are spending at the store and keep you focused on purchasing the necessities only.

Eliminate bills for useless services.
If you are not using a particular company’s services regularly, stop letting them charge you every month. Instead, call the company immediately and cancel those useless subscriptions.

Store valuables in a safe deposit box.
Storing valuables in a safety deposit box can keep these items safe in case of a house fire, theft, or another adverse event. It will also help you stay more organized by assessing the value of important items in your home.

Sell old items before buying new ones.
To reduce clutter and save money, make it a rule to sell a used item before purchasing a new one. If you are interested in buying some new gadget or gizmo, consider selling the old ones first. That way you can have some money to put toward the new electronics while also removing the old items from your home.

Close duplicate accounts.
If you have multiple credit cards or bank accounts, consider closing the ones that you don’t need or don’t use often, especially if they have monthly or annual fees. This can help you to those fees on those accounts and also help you to figure out what your actual income and expense levels are more efficiently.

Invest in a shredder.
Nothing can make it more difficult to get organized than to have tons of paper cluttering the house. Consider investing in a shredder to get rid of some non-essential papers and protect your identity at the same time.

Review your credit report.
Keeping track of your credit report will help you to keep track of your credit and help you to notify the credit bureaus immediately if there is any strange activity in your name.

Pay the bills online.
Paying bills online helps to reduce paper waste. They can also often be automated to ensure that everything is paid on time.

Keeping your personal finances organized can help you save money and simplify your life!

10 Essential Tips for Keeping Your Personal Finances Organized was reprinted with permission from NotMadeofMoney.com

Do you have tips on How to Organize Finances? Share it with us below.

July 25, 2010

Homemade Basil Pesto Recipe

How to Make Homemade pesto from basil

Homemade Basil Pesto Recipe

This is how you make homemade pesto from basil

You will need to grow or buy the ingredients. I have four basil plants growing in my garden that all started from a small living herb plant from the grocery store. I LOVE basil! I have been using it in my homemade spaghetti sauce, on sliced tomatoes and mozzarella and in homemade pesto.basil plant

How to make homemade pesto from basil

Since my basil is plentiful, I have been making basil pesto and freezing it. Pesto gives so much flavor to recipes and you only need a small amount to make a big impact. It is relatively easy to make and it freezes well. The nice thing about it is that the recipe is quite versatile. I guesstimate the measurements and just blend it to the consistency that I prefer.

Fresh Basil

Basil Pesto Recipe

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1/2 cup Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese (omit if freezing)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

Wash and pat dry basil leaves. Pour 1/4 cup Olive Oil in bottom of blender. Add in half of the basil leaves, garlic and chopped nuts. Pulse the blender a few times. Add the remaining basil leaves and olive oil. Pulse the blender again. If you are using the pesto fresh, add in the cheese and pulse.

If you are freezing the pesto, omit the cheese. Add the cheese after the pesto is defrosted and you are ready to use it.

basil pesto cubes

Fill an ice cube tray with the basil pesto to freeze. This is about the perfect size for adding some flavor into recipes! After the pesto cubes are solid, place in a freezer bag and express as much air as possible. I love to add pesto to my Garlic Shrimp. I also use it a lot on bread when I make my famous spaghetti sauce. Yes, You can have the recipe homemade spaghetti gravy. I promise having pesto frozen will make your life so much easier.  Homemade Pesto from basil is easy to make and healthy.

spaghetti sauce

Recipes that use pesto

Low calorie Chicken Pesto Kabobs

Grilled Turkey Pesto sandwich 

Homemade pesto pull apart bread 

July 24, 2010

Roasted Potato Salad Recipe

Roasted Potato Salad Recipe

Roasted Potato Salad Recipe

Roasted Potato Salad is a classic Southern side dish.  We’ll serve potatoes with chicken, beef, pork, and seafood.  Southerners believe potatoes pair nicely with just about anything.  Potatoes are a natural carbohydrate, high in vitamin C and potassium, and a good source of fiber. Potatoes are also inexpensive and filling, making them a thrifty choice when on a budget.  Potatoes keep well in dry, dark, cool spaces.  If stored properly, you’ll be able to enjoy potatoes for quite a while.  To make a hearty meal, you can top potatoes with meat sauce, broccoli & cheese, beef tips and gravy, seafood Newburg, or the classic sour cream & chives.Continue reading

July 21, 2010

Cream Chicken Pasta and the Brie Strata

once a month cooking

I am working on winning the dinner time battle. I can’t handle cooking, working, and three kids. My job often requires me to work right up until and sometimes through dinner since it is virtual. This presents a huge problem at meal time. I came across the Once A Month cooking method and decided to attempt their free one week meal plan. I started last week but I didn’t eat anything I made because my husband was out of the country and I was in survival mode. Click here to see how I got started. Here is the Recipes I used.

Does it work? Yes! We have eaten two meals so far. We had the Cream Chicken Pasta and the Brie Strata. They were so easy to heat up and serve. My son even ate chicken. If you knew my son you know that is a big YEAH! We also ate the Brie Strata and it to was super. It was enough for dinner and breakfast for the kids the next morning. I look forward to eating the list below this week. Then I am going to make my way through the book.

Cream Chicken Pasta

• Brie Strata

•Three Bean Chili

• Pesto Grilled Chicken Breasts

• Spicy Taco Salad

• Citrus Salmon

• Fettuccine & Herbed Shrimp

Pass on your FAVORITE freezer recipes to me. I am excited by this new freeze ahead cooking method!

July 11, 2010

Ask A Swim Instructor: What do you need to know to keep your kids safe

The sun is out and my little one is on the run. She is usually on the run straight towards water. I have thought about taking her to swim lessons but I am strapped for time. My husband also taught people how to swim when he was in the Navy; so he wants to do it. I keep seeing articles on children drowning and most times drowning occurs while the parent is right there. My husband actually rescued a three year old when she was in the pool with her babysitter. She was very lucky that my husband knew CPR or she wouldn’t be alive. It only takes a couple of seconds to go from fun to an emergency.

I asked my friend Angel if she had some tips to help me keep my little angel safe.

  1. Keep your eyes on your child at all times in and around water.
  2. Do not use floaties or rings to play with children in the water.This creates a false sense of security in an unskilled child.
  3. Utilize pool fences, alarms, etc. for barrier safety.
  4. ** Find an instructor in your area at Infant Swim to teach your child life-saving self-rescue skills by an ISR instructor. In case they fall in alone. “The sooner…the safer.”

Angel is an instructor for Infant Swim. Her website can be viewed here. I watched Angel on the news and I learned I need to teach my child how to float on her back. Then she should swim for the side. This little bit of information could be the difference in her surviving if she fell in the pool.  I say fall but what I mean is run full speed and jump into the pool when we are not around or not paying attention to her.