Monthly Archives: October 2010

October 28, 2010

Documenting Assets for Insurance Purposes


This post comes at a perfect time! I am meeting with our insurance agent today to go over our policy. I recommend that you meet with your agent every once in a while to make sure that everything is covered. I know some things have changed around our household and I need to make sure that we have the coverage we need.

How To Document Your Assets For Insurance Purposes

by Mrs. Not Made of Money

Everyone tells you that you must have homeowners insurance or renter’s insurance to protect your assets. After all, the property coverage in these insurance policies will replace any lost or damaged items in the event of a catastrophic loss. What everyone doesn’t talk about, however, are the steps that you need to follow to ensure that you can document your loss.

For the most part, insurance companies will give you some leeway when it comes to replacing generic items like clothing or kitchen goods. The problem comes when you own something special. Perhaps you have a state of the art Kitchen Aid mixer, rather than a standard hand mixer. Maybe you have a massive collection of CD’s that make your local radio station’s archives pale in comparison. Anytime you own something that is out of the norm, you really take the steps to document that asset.

Begin by taking pictures.
Do you own a special piece of jewelry? Maybe you have an assortment of antique furniture that your grandmother gave you. Taking pictures of these items will prove that you truly possessed them and display their condition. While your camera is out, you should also take pictures of the various rooms in your house. These will help you when you have to list the more commonplace items for your insurance claim, too.

List your rare or expensive assets.
Some insurance policies actually require that you name particularly expensive assets in the insurance policy. Even if you aren’t required to take that extra step, though, you should probably start your own list of assets. Write down the name of the asset, any details you can name about it (manufacturer, age, and special features), and attach the receipt if it’s available.

Store your records in a safe place.
If you have a safety deposit box, you should place your asset listing and your pictures (or a CD with the picture files) in your safety deposit box. You can keep your records in your home, however, if you take the time to protect them. Place them in a fire safe to preserve them from any catastrophes they might need to endure.

How To Document Your Assets For Insurance Purposes was reprinted with permission from

Now it’s your turn!

If you are a blogger, write a post about your idea for making dollars out of change. It can be on any topic as long as it has to do with saving money. Please link directly to your post and not your homepage.

If you do not have a blog, we still welcome and encourage your participation! Please leave your thoughts in the in a comment below!

This post is linked at My Coupon Teacher.

October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Carving: Mess Free & Preserve for Years

Pumpkin carving is a messy job. It’s fun, but messy. The carved pumpkin never seems to last very long either. It either starts to turn green and hairy or it is eaten by critters.

Jenny came up with a wonderful idea! Carve faux pumpkins! Buy a faux pumpkin and have your kids draw their design with an orange sharpie. Take a knife or pumpkin carving tool and carve out the design as usual. Use a battery operated tea light to light your pumpkin!

The best part, you can have your child sign the bottom of the pumpkin and keep it! It will be neat to see the progression of designs over the years.

Michael’s and other stores should have their Halloween decor at 50-75% off soon. Stockup on faux pumpkins for next year.

I just love this idea! By the way, Jenny is not just creative with her crafts, if you are looking for a photographer, she does a fantastic job! We recently had a quick photo shoot with Jenny and she caught both my boys smiling at the same time- an amazing thing when it comes to pictures!

Photo courtesy of Jenny M Photography

Check out fun Halloween Recipes!

Check out MadameDeals Halloween page for fun Halloween recipes, decors, crafts and more!

October 25, 2010

Potato Cheddar Cheese Soup Slow Cooker Recipe

One of the things that I really like about Fall is that the warm and hearty meals are back on the table. My husband and I both enjoy soup. We are working on the kids- the two year seems to like soup okay; no such luck with the four year old.

One soup that I really like is Potato Cheese Soup. It is easy to make in a slow cooker and it is a hearty meal on a cold night. It is a versatile recipe too. Use what you have on hand.


Potato Cheddar Cheese Soup

4-6 Potatoes (I use Russet)
2 tablespoon Butter
3 Leeks, chopped (or yellow onions if you prefer)
4 Cups Chicken Broth (or vegetable)
1 cup Milk
1 cup Cream (if you want lower calories, just use all milk)
1/2 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Pinch of Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper

Peel and chop potatoes and set put in slow cooker. In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add leeks or onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Place the leeks/onions in slow cooker with the potatoes. Add chicken broth, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours.

To make the soup creamy, blend with a stick blender or transfer to a regular blender (be careful as it will be hot!). Puree soup until smooth. Place in a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add in milk and cream and heat until warm. Slowly stir in shredded cheese.

For some extra flavor, throw some bacon bits on top!

October 21, 2010

Packaging Meat for the Freezer

making dollars changes

We are a meat eating family. Both my husband and I grew up on a meat and potatoes diet. I try not to cook with red meat more than once or twice a week; although we do really enjoy it! To save the most money on meat I buy when the prices are low and freeze it in dinner size portions. In fact I have not bought chicken, steak or pork for over a month now. We have been relying on our nice freezer stockpile.

Since I do not have a Vacuum Sealer (the FoodSaver is on my want list!), I use Glad Press n’ Seal and freezer bags to store my meat. Press n’ Seal is one of my splurge items. It rarely goes on sale but it works wonders!


What I do is wrap a piece of meat individually with the Press n’ seal. Wrapping the meat tightly will help prevent freezer burn. I then place the individually wrapped pieces into a larger ziploc freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. By wrapping the pieces individually it makes it easy to pull out just one cut of meat or however many you need.

For boneless skinless chicken breasts I like to add marinade to the freezer bags. That way the chicken marinates while it defrosts!

How do you freeze your meat? Do you buy in bulk?

Now it’s your turn!

If you are a blogger, write a post about your idea for making dollars out of change. It can be on any topic as long as it has to do with saving money. Please link directly to your post and not your homepage.
If you do not have a blog, we still welcome and encourage your participation! Please leave your thoughts in the in a comment below!

This post is linked at My Coupon Teacher.

October 6, 2010

Polenta Recipe

I try each week to tackle motherhood, working, co-owning a business and trying to be creative in the kitchen. I have come a long way from thinking you boil the water for 7 minutes then you add the pasta sauce. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

I would have a super picture for you of this great meal but I didn’t have the card in my camera as I snapped away.  Yes, I am embarrassed to admit that but I got the family fed. This recipe was submitted by Heather.  This was super yummy and easy. Thanks Heather!

Polenta the easy vegetarian dinner-

Polenta. (I cheated and bought the already made stuff at the grocery store)
Easy to make with cornmeal. (Just slowly add 1 cup of cornmeal into 3.5 cups boiling water, stir until thick. Spread into shallow dish. Cool. Then refrigerate. You can then cut into squares and heat as needed.) I added garlic powder and cumin to mine while cooking.

Top with 2 cans of drained black bean heated with tomatoes, cilantro, and peppers. ( I did yellow and red peppers one of each)

Then you can top with sour cream (or plain yogurt), cheese, salsa, and avocado. (We did all of the options and black olives)