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Archive for September, 2015

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #12 – Don’t Stock Up Too Much

Katrina’s Coupon Tip #12 – Don’t Stock Up Too Much

CT12_DontStockUpAre you stocking up so much that you are bursting at the seams and your kids’ closets are now full of toilet paper instead of clothes?  It’s really easy to get in the mindset of making sure you don’t let any coupons go to waste.  This can be very dangerous.

If you stock up a bunch on an item without paying close attention to the expiration you can get more excited about the money you are saving and end up buying a lot more of the product than you can actually use before it expires.  You may find yourself throwing food away that has expired and then you realize that the great deal you thought you found for that product is actually not really that great of a deal.

A perfect example is condiments.  One time I came across a great sale on Ranch dressing, we use a lot of it, so I purchased 8 bottles of it with my coupons and didn’t pay attention to the expiration date.  I ended up throwing away 4 bottles because they expired before we were able to use them all.  This is very easy to do with all sorts of products, so just make sure that you can use or can give away all the products you purchase that have a short expiration.

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September 22, 20150 commentsRead More
Katrina’s Budgeting 101

Katrina’s Budgeting 101

Budgeting101I’m laughing out loud at myself right now.  That title, ‘Katrina’s Budgeting 101’ sort of cracks me up – ok, it REALLY cracks me up!  I feel like I missed the “budget” train my entire childhood, either I wasn’t paying attention all the times my parents tried to talk to me about it or I’m just crazy.  I do remember being a natural ‘saver’,’ when I would get my allowance, I would save it, and save it, and save it.  Then my big brother, whom I thought walked on water, would somehow talk me into going to the local grocery store and using it all to buy “us” candy (which he would proceed to eat most of).  He was a smart big brother, using his money-saving little sister to enjoy an afternoon snack.  I still love you though, Ry-fry (my nickname I called my big bro – Ryan).

I do remember getting my first checking account when I was around 14.  I had a job working with my dad at Promise Keepers, I worked in the mail room (was a GREAT first job) and had so much fun!  There was a bank very close to the office and all a sudden I remember my mom and dad deciding I needed a checking account and a checkbook, and needed to start balancing that checkbook.  To this day, I still have the hardest time balancing a checkbook, thankfully, Cassidy does this for us now.  Anyone else struggle with that?  I really hope I’m not alone on this one…

As I grew up, my dad was always there to fall back on when I messed up with my saving or with my bills and I guess I just assumed that when I got married that my husband would just do the same thing.  I never really thought there was too much to the whole money thing, I just figured someone else would take care of it for me, so why should I have to learn too much about where my money goes?  As I write this I can’t believe how naïve I was!  Ohmygoodness!!!!!

Fast forward a few years and I’ve met Cassidy, the man of my dreams and we are getting married.  We didn’t talk very much about money when we were dating – I assumed he had a lot more money than he really did, after all, he was a college graduate, he had an established career and job with a big company, he drove a very nice car and he also has just envelopesystempurchased his first house (a brand new one that was not huge, but very nice for a first home).  Appearances are not always reality for sure.  While he was very well off for a guy his age, he did have quite a bit of debt from school, his fancy car, and his house.

At that time, first of all, I didn’t care, and second of all, I thought everyone had debt.  As a wedding present, my adopted set of grandparents (long story – but they “adopted” me and loved on me like real grandparents do) gave us Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University kit and a free tickets to a 12 week class to learn all about it.  Although I was not super excited about this gift at all, I loved the KitchenAid Stand Mixer we received much more, we agreed to attend the class.  12 weeks later our lives were radically changed!  We dove in head first, worked extra jobs and a year later we managed to pay off all of our $90,000 in debt and have paid cash and lived debt free ever since.  I’m talking 13 years later, we are still debt free, we use the envelope system for our cash and expenditures, we have a monthly ‘budget committee meeting’ where we both sit down together and work on that’s month’s budget and we LOVE it!

CassKatDave Ramsey says that with most couples, there is usually one free spirit and one nerd.  I’m the free spirit for sure!  I tend to watch a lot of what Cassidy is doing to put together our spreadsheet for the monthly budget, but I’m still present and helping.  Thank goodness I have Cassidy, because if it was just me I know for sure that I would never make a real budget.  I don’t love having to take the time each month to sit down and work on the budget, but I’m always glad we did.  It’s a freeing feeling to know exactly how much money we have.   We try to plan out everything that is happening that month and we truly do spend every dollar we have on paper before the month begins.  That’s the key, to make a zero based budget and to stick to it.  If you spend more out of one category you have to take from another category.  Here is a great post that my husband wrote about how to create a zero based budget, READ NOW.

I highly recommend that if you are married that you do your budget – TOGETHER – it’s so important for couples to be on the same page with their money, otherwise how in the world can you stick to it?  Also, if budgeting, especially with a zero based budget is new to you, then I highly recommend checking out Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University books and courses.  Better yet, enroll in a class near you – you will get so much more out of it if you do the course with a small group of like-minded individuals who can hold you accountable.  In fact, we loved the classes so much and loved what they did for our family that we started teaching his classes at our church!  It’s such a fun class to be a part of and to teach!

I’d love to know if you have done Dave Ramsey’s classes and how much debt you paid off in the process!  Share your stories of success or even frustration in the comments below.



Dave Ramsey did not ask me to write this post about his courses or books.  All opinions are mine.  
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September 10, 20150 commentsRead More
Dump Salad Recipe

Dump Salad Recipe

Yeah, ok, so this may sound gross, but it’s a super delicious salad!  I like to call this my Dump Salad because it’s loaded dumpSaladwith wholesome goodies that are also leftovers from several other dinners cooked last week!  :) You must try this and let me know what you think!


Dump Salad:

  • Red or Green leaf lettuce – washed and ready to eat
  • 2 slices of crispy Bacon
  • Crispy chunks of cooked red potatoes
  • Blue Cheese chunks
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Avocado slices
  • 1 Hard-boiled egg
  • Bacon Dressing

Bacon Dressing:  This is super easy to make – I like to cook my bacon slices on a roaster pan with slats in my oven so all the bacon drippings drip to the bottom pan.  After I cook the bacon I reserve all the drippings and pour them into a sauce pan and add a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar and crumble 1 slice of bacon into the mixture.  Heat until it boils and you are done! It’s amazing and tastes so good on the salad.  A little goes a LONG way too!20150901_121351

The salad is super easy to throw together, especially if you have made some of the other items days earlier for other recipes.  I like to use bacon in a lot of recipes, so I’ll cook up a whole package and try to use the rest throughout the week when I need an extra crunch.  We also keep a lot of hard-boiled eggs on hand for the whole week to grab as a quick protein packed snack and my kids love them in their lunches.  The red potatoes are a regular side item in our house for dinners, so I just usually make a little extra any time I make them so we can use them in this salad, or as a side along with scrambled eggs for breakfast in the morning.  When all these things are on hand, this is a really easy lunch salad to throw together!

Keep in mind, you can “dump” other things on this salad from your leftovers, some sliced chicken, or ham, might be really nice.  You can also experiment with different cheeses, like feta and maybe some olives and pepperoni slices would be yummy as well.  There are so many ways you can go with this idea of a Dump Salad, so have fun and experiment!

Hope you love it as much as I do!  Try it out and let me know what you think, and let me know if you made any substitutions!  I’d love to know what combination of ingredients you like best!  Hugs!



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September 2, 20150 commentsRead More