Monday, April 30, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 4/30

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Chicken and Rice
Thursday- Tacos
Friday- Homemade Pizza
Saturday- Leftover Family Fun Night
Sunday- ??

We had our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday meals without any problems.  By the time that I got to Thursday, I forgot that we were going to have mac and cheese for a side dish so I made rice again because my son asked for it.  On Friday, I had to look back to figure out what we were going to have and I went to the store to get some more pepperoni in my epic shopping day with six stores!!  It was a lot of shopping for me!!  Nathalie, I don't know how you do that weekly because I wouldn't be able to.  I was wiped out after hitting Aldi, Target, Harris Teeter, Safeway, Shoppers and Giant!!  I still had to grab my papers at the library and took a quick break to type up a few blog posts and watch my last two videos that I needed to get the bonus for my My Points.  We had a really busy Saturday planned with stream clean up starting at 8:45-11 am and then our school Fun Fair from 11-1:30 pm and then lunch and 2 pm soccer game so I knew that I had to get things done on Friday if we were going to make it through the weekend without going out again. Grateful to not be cooking with leftover night on Saturday after the busy day but there weren't a ton of leftovers.  We decided that if my son chose to pass on the lunch out at the Fun Fair that we would order pizza for dinner so we ate our leftovers for lunch and then had a yummy Pizza Hut dinner.  For Sunday dinner, we had Steak marinating in the fridge and yummy corn on the cob all that I got on sale this week so it was a great end to the week.

For the coming week, we are going with the same easy basic plan because it seems to be working but I realized that it is already MAY!!!!  Ahhh, I am starting on the meal plan for May know but I need to go through and do a quick inventory to make sure that I can make it through the month with what we have on hand.  I am sure that I will find lots when I go through the freezer because it still seems to be too packed to defrost but maybe I will make an effort to do this before school lets out!!  I might have been saying this for months so feel free to remind me next month!!  Hope you have a good week and enjoy a yummy week!

Friday, April 27, 2018

Pregnant with the Rancher's Baby Book Review

I was reading through my stack of books on my to read shelf and I got to another one that I really don't remember getting.  Of course I made an agreement with myself to read down the pile and keep pushing through the books that I haven't read in the last few years so I knew that I was going to be reading Pregnant with the Rancher's Baby: Reclaimed by the Rancher (The Good, the Bad and the Texan) by Kathie DeNosky.  It was actually a pretty good book with a strange title so glad that I checked it out from wherever I picked it up.

One wild rancher gets a baby surprise, only from USA TODAY bestselling author Kathie DeNosky! When Jessica Farrell shows up on Nate Rafferty's ranch five months pregnant with his child, he doesn't hesitate to propose. But the beautiful nurse can't believe this wealthy rancher will ever change his love 'em and leave 'em ways. Nate tempts her into a month long trial run, and soon they're spending long days—and steamy nights—living in close quarters. But can he give Jessie the love she's truly looking for? The clock is ticking…

I was reading down my pile when I got to this book where Jessica shows up at Nate's ranch to tell him that she is five months pregnant with his child.  Nate was raised by his foster dad to stand up for his responsibilities and he proposed to Jessica.  She said no because it wasn't about romance and all about being responsible.  Jessica wants to go home and continue with her life but Nate has other ideas.  He makes a deal for her to stay awhile so that he can get to know their baby and be part of the pregnancy.  Things change quickly and you have to pick up the book to find out what happens but I promise it is worth the read.  I hope that you enjoy if you check it out too!  Getting lower and lower in my stack of books and I am currently in the middle of reading three library books that are due back soon because of my push to read my own books.  I am going to have to finish them before continuing on my mission.  I better save a few books for the beach because I like to take my own in case they get sandy or wet!!  Can't believe summer is right around the corner but looking forward to better weather but fearing the start of the heat again!!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Talking After Midnight Book Review

I had never read anything by this author but there was still a book from her in my reading pile that I picked up somewhere.  I am starting to think that some are from the free pile at another library instead of the summer book sales because for the life of me, I don't remember getting this but it was next in the pile and next to read.  Talking After Midnight (Plum Orchard) (English Edition) by Dakota Cassidy was an interesting read with different setting and characters.

Shields up, sugar—things in Plum Orchard are about to get real.  Marybell Lyman is notorious for two things: Her look. The wicked hairstyle, multiple piercings and practiced sneer that say: "Stay back—I bite."  Her voice. The syrupy lilt that's her bread and butter at Call Girls, the prim little town's flourishing phone-sex company.  Hunky handyman Taggart Hawthorn is mesmerized by the contradiction: such sweet tones inside such a spiky shell! He wants to know more about mysterious Marybell, to hear more of her sexy talk—all for himself.  But Tag's attentions, delicious as they are, have Marybell panicked. She's been hiding a long time. She's finally got a home, a job and friends she adores. She won't have it all snatched away by another stupid mistake—like falling in love. So when Marybell's past comes calling, she and the Call Girls will prove no one handles scandals like a Southern girl!

I wasn't expecting anything when I started reading this book but I was quickly surprised when I read that Marybell works for Call Girls, the small town phone sex company.  I thought that it was funny so I kept reading.  There was a great small town of Plum Orchard that this business worked out of and all of the employees stood out like sore thumbs in the strict southern town.  None more then Marybell because she had point colored hair and lots of piercings which scared the old women in the town.  Taggart is a handyman that quickly decides that he is interested in the very different Marybell because she is so very different then all of the other girls.  Find out all of the things that go on in this small town and with Marybell and Taggart when you pick up this book.  I hope that you check out this book and the rest of the series at your local library or bookstore.  I think that you will enjoy this funny story that has lots of heartfelt moments.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Apple Blossom Bride Book Review

I was excited to read this right after the previous book in the series and I was super glad that my version had them in the same book so I knew which order to read them in.  I enjoyed Apple Blossom Bride (Serenity Bay, Book 2) (Love Inspired #389) by Lois Richer.  It was nice to follow along with the story and go from one character in this small town to the next.

After a car accident, Ashley Adams came home to Serenity Bay to heal her broken body - and her broken spirit. Her former teen crush, Michael Masters, was the last person she expected to see in town and he was even handsomer than she remembered. Planning the town's winter festival brought Ashley back in contact with the dedicated single dad, and Ash found herself falling for him all over again, as well as his darling daughter. Yet pain-filled memories of the past threaten their budding romance. Only Ashley's search for the truth can lead them to love beneath the blossoms.
Ashley is a childhood friend of Piper's who we met in the last book and Ashley is now coming back to Serenity Bay to heal just like Piper did.  Ashley is hesitantly revisiting her childhood home after being in car accident and breaking up with her boyfriend.  When she returns, she sees her childhood crush, Michael.  Michael is now a single father who is raising his daughter in the same small town where he grew up with the help of his mother.  He gave up his whole life and is trying to settle into teaching in a small town instead of chasing his dreams.  Both are trying to put the past to rest but you have to pick up the book to find out what happens.  I hope that you check out this book and other Love Inspired books and enjoy them as much as I have!!  I know that you will like this fast read set in this cute small town that pulls together in a crisis.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

His Winter Rose Book Review

I had another book on my pile that I got through my summer reading coupons which was huge because there were two books included.  The first was the His Winter Rose (Serenity Bay, Book 1) (Larger Print Love Inspired #385) by Lois Richer.  I was interested in getting started to see what it was about because I have picked it up a few times and not actually gotten to read it yet.  I am pretty sure it went to the beach with me last year and a few other vacations!!

After many happy summers in the peaceful town of Serenity Bay, Piper Langley had returned to help revitalize the sleepy village. Trouble was, Piper and her new boss didn't see eye-to-eye. Mayor Jason Franklin had the good looks and the take-charge attitude to earn him the town's respect, but not Piper's. To help the place they both adored, they had to find a way to work together. While his faith in God was strong, it would take an even stronger love to thaw the ice around Piper's jaded heart. Thankfully, Jason knew he was the perfect man for the job.

I don't like the description of this book on Amazon but I am not sure it is wrong but just not what I took away from the book.  Piper went back to Serenity Bay to start her life over and remember the good times from her childhood and to fight against her father's company.  She has many fights with the mayor Jason Franklin because he wanted to manage everything she was doing instead of trusting her judgement.  Then their relationship takes a turn when they work together to make the town better.  Pick up the book to find out what happens.  I hope that you read this book and enjoy lots of the Love Inspired series.  They are really good books that are great light reads for enjoying the book and being able to finish it quickly because you can't put it down.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 4/23

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday- Chicken and Rice
Thursday- French Dip Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Friday- Homemade Pizza
Saturday- Leftover Family Fun Night
Sunday- ??

Last week we had Monday and Tuesday meals went as planned.  I switched Wednesday and Thursday and it went well.  We went with Homemade Taco Pizza and Pepperoni Pizza on Friday night which my son proudly made and we enjoyed them.  Saturday was exhausting and busy so we went with the Sandra's Stuffed Chicken with white rice which was easy and tasty.  I made enchiladas on Friday night while my son was making the pizzas and stuck it in the fridge which was super easy to stick in the oven for dinner on Sunday before work and used leftover taco meat and rice with enchilada sauce and cheese from the freezer.  We did great this week getting food on the table with the schedule that we had going on.  I think that we are going to try something similar this week too!!  We have been so busy starting back up with soccer and spring things happening.  Now I just have to think what to have for Sunday but I am sure that I will think of something as the week goes on!!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Wedding Quilt Bride Book Review

I was excited to get to my second Love Inspired novel in my four that were in my pile to read.  The Wedding Quilt Bride (Brides of Lost Creek) by Marta Perry was an Amish fiction which I love and it was also about a quilt so I was interested to find out what it was about. 

The single mom’s second chance… To become one of the Brides of Lost Creek!

Widow Rebecca Mast returns to her Amish community with her son and a dream—to own a quilt shop. Carpenter Daniel King is determined to help Rebecca and revive their childhood friendship. But as he bonds with her son, Rebecca’s afraid the secret she’s been keeping will be revealed. Can Daniel convince Rebecca he’s a man she can trust—and love?

Rebecca Mast moves back to the small town where she grew up after the death of her husband.  She decides that she wants to open a quilt shop to make a future for herself and her son.  In the process, she has to learn how to be part of a community and rely on other people.  Daniel is her childhood friend and a carpenter that helps her renovate the house that she bought into a quilt shop.  Daniel is great with Rebecca's son, Lige, which makes Rebecca question how families are supposed to be and remind her how she grew up.  Her marriage was so different and her husband had many medical problems that made her life tough.  There were so many stressful parts in this book that had me on the edge of my seat.  I hope that you check out this book and others in the Love Inspired series.  I have really enjoyed them and they are a perfect quick read that sucks you in and doesn't let you put them down.  I hope that you enjoy this one as much as I have because I think that you will have trouble putting it down.

**I was provided a copy of the book for my review but all opinions here are honest and my own.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Racher's Secret Child Book Review

I was super excited that I got a chance to read more Love Inspired books.  I came across this series of books at a library book sale and thought they sounded interesting and there were a variety of subjects that it covers.  The Rancher's Secret Child (Bluebonnet Springs) by Brenda Minton was one of the books that I got.  I jumped at the chance to get to read more...I thought I was getting two and I got four of them!!!

After meeting the son he never knew he had, Marcus Palermo’s simple life turns upside down. Complicating things further is Lissa Hart, the boy’s lovely guardian. She’ll help him become a parent—but falling for a gruff cowboy is not in her plans. Will she realize her future lies in Bluebonnet Springs with the rugged rancher?

The description leaves a lot to wonder what this book is about but I enjoy it.  Marcus lived a little crazy life but all that was in his past when he moved home to make a life for himself on a farm.  He was starting to settle into the small town life when Lissa shows up with his son!!  She tells him that he has a son for the first time and that his past love was dead so he was the only parent left.  He thought that his son would be better off being raised by Lissa because he didn't have the stable life that he wanted to give to a child.  Although he wants to know his child so he still feels like he isn't the best thing for him but his son quickly melts his heart.  You need to pick up the book to find out all that happens to this small family and what they decide for the future.  I hope that you enjoy this book as much as I have and check it out for yourself.

**I got a copy of this book for my review but all opinions here are honest and my own.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

April Middle of the Month Budget Update

My budget for my family of three is $160 per month.  I shop sales and use coupons to get the best deals for my family in order to stay under budget.  We do a month menu plan which I share weekly on this blog so that you can see what I scheduled eating and a review of what we ate the previous week if there were any changes. My shopping trips are very different then they were before couponing but we have more quantity and variety of food in the house with

I was starting off in a very cautious after going over groceries last month but I knew that we needed to still get a few things at the grocery store including Cran Grape juice and chicken.  I can't believe we have almost gone through all the chicken that I bought in November before Thanksgiving to get the turkey deal but we are getting close to the bottom.  I hope to defrost the freezer before filling it again but I still have a turkey left so we might have to eat that soon!!

The month may have ramped up as it was going so I spent more then I thought for the first half.  Check out what I got so far this month below.  I combined the pictures of some transactions so that you didn't look at 10 pictures of tissues or other things and added the tax I paid together but this is everything that we got for the first half of the month.

Harris Teeter $1.90

My husband wanted to try a banana and pear because they were starting to look good and we needed some lettuce for tacos.  I also got the free Hormel Natural Choice after evic sale and coupon.  I enjoyed the cheese and snacks for lunch on the way home.

Harris Teeter $2.05

My husband really wanted these Starburst Jellybeans which I should have gotten earlier but found on clearance and I got two Reese Egg's for me....which may or may not have been eaten before this picture was taken.  They are my favorite Easter treat!!

Giant $0.90

I went to get the free yogurt, mints and kids yogurt.  I figured that I would get my husband another pear and banana for him to enjoy but he said that he liked the ones from Harris Teeter.

Harris Teeter $5.22

I got a free RXBar and three free Kind Protein bars.  My husband and son wanted Kool Aid and it was on sale for $0.17 each.  There was clearance asparagus for $1.25 which was super yummy for dinner that night with olive oil pasta.  I splurged and got the tater tots for $2.79 and will get $1 back for Saving Star and $1 from Checkout 51 so $0.79 after rebates for my husband and son's favorite.

Harris Teeter $0.06

My husband bought these three Kind Protein bars that were only tax.

Harris Teeter $4.55

When I was at the store previously, I promised my son and husband that I would buy the Screamin Sicilian Pizza when super doubles started so it was $3.99 after sale and coupon and everything else was free so it was only tax.  We enjoyed the pizza when I got home for lunch that day.

Harris Teeter $0.15

Free cheese and gravy mix and paid only tax.

Harris Teeter $0.21

I got free pizza dough, ranch spice dip, and Kind Protein bars and paid only tax.

Harris Teeter $0.15

Free pizza dough and spice mix and paid only tax.

Harris Teeter $1.06

My fun trip with two coupons thanks to Maria for sharing.  I got free juice and $0.49 packages of Oreos for my son.  He was so excited that he "needed" one for breakfast before heading off to school.

Harris Teeter $0.26

I went to a different store and found these Chilly Cows that didn't have a sale tag but ended up on sale and free after coupons.  I also got free olives, Kind Protein bars and Listerine floss.

Harris Teeter $0.08 

These were the only thing in stock in this store so I got them and paid only tax.

Harris Teeter $0.18

All free after sale and coupons and only paid tax.

Harris Teeter $0.82

I got some more free pizza dough and Kind bars.  I bought 4 packets of Kool Aid for $0.17 for our summer stash.

Harris Teeter $0.18

All these are free after sale and coupon and I only paid tax.

Harris Teeter $ 0.25

Everything was free and I paid only tax in two transactions for these things.

Harris Teeter $1.97 

There was a deal on the clearance salads that made them a $0.15 money maker per bag.  I got the free spice mix after sale and coupon.  There was a bag of apples for $1 and bananas for $0.71.  The Kool Aid packets were $0.17 each.

Aldi $16.24

We were totally out of milk and Parmesan Cheese so I got them.  I went for a stock up on salsa and chicken fries.  I forgot the darn corn tortillas!!

Harris Teeter $2.21  

Free eggs and Ranch dip mix but I forgot to get the corn tortillas at Aldi so I grabbed them at Harris Teeter because they were on sale for $1.99.

Harris Teeter $0.15 (multiple transactions)

I got these because they were the only things in stock at most of the stores.

Harris Teeter $0.24 (multiple transactions) 

I went to get some tissues a few times to use up some coupons and get some free tissues but instead of putting pictures of two tissue boxes at a time and taking up lots of room on the post, I put all the tissues in one picture.

Giant $0.37 (multiple transactions)

 Did many transactions at Giant to get the rest of the tissues before the sale was over so I used up all my coupons.  Also had overage from an electronic coupon and went to grab a banana once so it was even cheaper then the other transactions.  I also got free Tic Tac gum with my one printable coupon for free.

Wegman's $16.87

I stopped at the store to get ground beef because I was down to the last two bags and I was at the library program next to the Wegman's.  We are set for the next few months!!

Harris Teeter $0

My son went to the store with grandma and grandpa because grandpa needed wine and it was 20% off.  My son wanted Grape Fanta, Orange Fanta, Sprite and the Gingerale Lemonade (and a Coke for dad and Diet Coke for mom).  I used the coupon and got the Zevia for $0.74 (which had a rebate) and the taco seasoning for dinner that night.  I got my $0.97 sugar because we were down to three on the stockpile!! I loaded the $15 coupon on my card which paid for most of the groceries and my parents paid for the rest.  The taco seasoning rang up incorrectly and I went back and then gave me back money which I put against my next trip to the store.  I turned in rebates for $3.25 on this and a bottle of my dad's wine.

Shoppers $0.08

I went to get my free tater tots and paid only tax in the shelf checkout lane.  Went super easy except scanning the phone was a little hard but it worked like a charm!!  I got $1 back from Checkout 51 for buying them so this was a moneymaker!!

Harris Teeter $6.15- $1.01= $5.14

I went to get more toilet paper.  I realize that I have a problem but it was on sale and there was a coupon and a rebate so I couldn't pass up $0.24 per roll!!  Almost 180 rolls so I am going to try to hold off on buying anymore.

Giant $0.12

I went to the store to get the freebie and I grabbed a banana just in case this didn't ring up easily because I felt like I might need some extra in case there was a weird overage and it rang up perfectly with no problems.  Which was great because I brought no coupons or anything else into the store.  This little bottle was supposed to cost $6.99 normally which is crazy high in my opinion but I am going to enjoy it!

Safeway $0.00

I went to the store to get the free pasta...sadly it said that I was supposed to get Monopoly tickets but I didn't so don't tell my son!!

Total Retail $455.71
Total Savings $394.31
Total OOP $61.40

I think that I did pretty well for the first half of the month and left a lot to get the items that we need to stock up on this month.  Lots of free tissues, pizza dough, seasoning, eggs, cheese and Kind Bars to use for months to come.  I need to put a few more shopping trips in my plan for Cran Grape and Chicken but I still have almost $100 to do it with.

Eating Out

My parents took my son to his favorite restaurant and they paid so we didn't spend any money but he super enjoy it.  He went to Parent's Night Out at the local church so he got to play games, eat pizza and have a blast for free.  We haven't eaten out yet so I still have my $40 budget for eating out available but I don't know how much of it will be used because we have so much going on but we might have something at the Fun Fair at our school towards the end of the month although they don't often have food my son likes.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 4/16

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Wednesday-Salsa Sloppy Joes with mac and cheese
Thursday- Chicken and Rice
Friday- Leftover Family Fun Night
Saturday- Chicken something ??
Sunday- Homemade Pizza

On Monday we had my son's favorite meal and on Tuesday we did pasta with huge salads.  On Wednesday, we had chicken and rice because the chicken was defrosted more.  Thursday was supposed to be tacos but we found out my parents were coming to town so we had leftover night on Thursday and moved Tacos to Friday.  Saturday was busy and we ended up eating out at my son's favorite restaurant as a treat from my parents for lunch so no one was super hungry for dinner so we had salads and chicken sandwiches on pizza bread rolls and leftovers.  I made homemade doughnuts on Sunday morning before my parents left and we ate dinner before I left for work and we decided on pasta for my son and quesdillas for my husband and I.  Super quick and easy before I headed to work because we had extra meat from dinner on Friday.

Here is hoping for a good week this week too!!  I have a lot of things going on but I know that I will still be able to make lots of food appear on the table.  I just wish that I did a little baking over the weekend to make it through the week so I guess I am going to have to try to fit that in during the week with the rest of the craziness going on.  Hope that you have a good week!!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Heart of Grace Book Review

I looked at the library for the next book in the series that I was reading and was excited to see that they had The Heart of Grace (The Brothers' Bond, Book 3) (Love Inspired #401) by Linda Goodnight.  It was the third book in the series that I enjoyed the second book so I was super glad to get to keep reading about this great family.  I will be on the look out for the first book because the library doesn't carry it but with my summer reading coupons this year maybe I will find it!!!

It took serious injuries from a roadside bomb to bring war photographer Drew Michaels
back to his estranged wife, Larissa. His need for adventure had ultimately pushed Larissa toward the warm embrace of the church…and away from him. But now, being back in such
close quarters with his first—and only—love, was stirring up feelings of peace and comfort
he'd suppressed long ago. Yet his secrets could once again tear him away from the woman to whom he'd uttered the words "I do."

This book was a quick continuation of the last book with a little history thrown in at the beginning.  This book follows Drew Michaels who is the brother who they thought was dead in the last book.  He blamed himself for a fire that happened years ago and spent a long time in war torn countries trying to make up for his mistakes or to punish himself.  He fell in love and got married but decided that she would be better off without him so he asked for a divorce.  There was a lot going on in the book especially with the foreshadowing from the last book hanging over but I still jumped in to find out what was going on with Drew and Larissa.  It was interesting to watch the healing process and his recovery and how it changed both of them.  I know that if you pick it up to find out what happens you will enjoy it as much as I have!!  I hope that you check out this book and the others in the series if you can find them.  I was super glad that the library had the next book in the series so that I could read it after finishing a book that I picked up at a library book sale.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

6 Things I Use Save Almost $1,000 Each Year

I am not shy that I like to save money!!  I shop sales, coupon and try to make the most of our money but what else do I do to save some money at home without a penny out of my pocket.  I am sharing everything in one place all of the things that I use to make a little money quickly and easily from home that don't cost any money.  This means that everyone can do these from home and work them as little or as much as they want!!

Sign up and join me on a few to save some money at home while you are watching TV or waiting between tasks on your to do list. If you already signed up for some, tell me which ones are your favorites!!  Especially if I haven't heard of it because I can't wait to save even more!!

1. Swagbucks:  I love Swagbucks because it is the easiest way to save money without leaving your house.  You can watch videos, answer surveys, and print coupons and earn money towards gift cards.  I have apps on my phone and use my computer to watch videos and I earned around $500 a year in 2017.  Even with very little effort, I earned $200 in 2016.  Some months are higher then others and there are different sales on gift cards to make the most of the points but I make sure that I participate in all of the promotions and games to make any extra points to get anything toward the next goal.  We were using them mostly at Home Depot for a long time with construction on the house but I am hoping that we won't always be using them towards these things and we can get a few other fun things.

2. My Points: There is another quick check in where I go in daily through an email on my phone or on the computer and do my daily 5 tasks which include discover a deal, "printing" a coupon (you just have to look), read an email, visit another website, watch a video, take a survey,  or daily poll.  I can do this in minutes a day and I get at least 6-10 points a day which adds up quickly with bonuses and your daily activities.  I use this account to buy Amazon gift cards to save towards Christmas presents but it can be used for lots of different gift cards with lots of low price options to cash out early.  I have only gotten $34 in gift cards from this in the past two years because I haven't put in the effort and didn't know how to do it easily.  I am making a big effort this year and I have been getting high points every month which puts me on track to earn at least a $25 gift card every quarter which is good for little effort for $100 per year.

3. Ibotta: My highest money making rebate app which I have on my phone and add coupons to get money back on the groceries that I purchase.  All of the money in the account can be transferred to Pay Pal to use for other purchases like Home Depot, Target, or Stride Rite online which is the majority of my purchases using my Ibotta money.  The transfers happen immediately as long as you have over $20 in your Ibotta account.  My lifetime earnings is $222.79 since 2013 which was around $1-$3 per month early on and in the last year has been $12-$36 monthly (around $150 per year).

4. Checkout 51 Website or Checkout 51 app: My medium money making app which I have on my phone and I add a plus sign after coupons on Thursday when they reset (or before I go shopping) to note the items that I am interested in and then I take pictures of the receipt after I purchase those items and find out almost immediately if I get the money or if there are any problems.  The money is put into the account but you have to request a check when you reach $20.  I haven't ever requested a check so I am not sure how well that part works but getting close to lots of money and I will request soon.  I joined 4 years ago and only put in 3-4 receipts for the first two years and then it went up to 10-11 receipts.  Within the last year, I have turned in 37 rebates.  Just being mindful of what you are getting and taking a picture of your receipt right after you buy can add up quickly with $68.40 in my account (about $50 in the last year).

5. Saving Star:  This might be one of the easiest rebate apps of all time.  You can use it on the phone or on the computer and add all of the rebates to your account and all of your cards are registered so every time you buy something with a store card that is registered, you get the rebate added into your account.  The hard part is that you have to be patient because it takes up to 30 days to get the credits sometimes.  All money can be easily moved to Pay Pal or Bank Account to be used for gift cards to Starbucks, iTunes or AMC Theaters. My lifetime earnings is $190.57 for just making sure to use the card that I already have to use at checkout (easily earning $75-$100 per year). 

6. Fetch:  Referral Code V8RUW. My newest rebate app that I loaded on the phone and scan all my receipts in whether I have bought something special or not.  I get 25 points for each receipt and then more if I buy something that counts towards the products they have bonus points for.  The points add up and you buy gift cards for places like Target, Walmart and restaurants. This one seems slow going for me but with three months in, I have almost earned $10 gift card (or $40 for the year).

The best thing that I can share is that it might not seem like it matters but every little bit helps!!  I earn almost $1,000 without having to work.  I think that most people would see that as a great addition to their budget!  It can pay for Christmas, Holidays and other fun things that you wouldn't be able to otherwise fit into the budget.  What do you use to save your family money that doesn't cost any money?  Stay tuned for things around the house that I do to save money!!

Monday, April 9, 2018

Menu Plan Monday 4/9

Monday- Chicken fries, Chicken Wraps and homemade fries
Tuesday- Pasta
Thursday- Chicken and Rice
Friday- Leftover Family Fun Night
Saturday- Chicken and Mac and Cheese
Sunday- Homemade Pizza

On Monday, we had our normal Monday meal without any problems.   On Tuesday, we had Marsla pasta with chicken and I made spaghetti and my son which was a nice change for us.  On Wednesday, I decided to change to French Dip sloppy joes because my son and husband ate almost all the salsa so I didn't want to not have enough to make the meal but we still had mac and cheese.  On Thursday, we had grilled chicken and rice and we ran out of rice so we obviously need to make more since our little guy eats so much now.  On Friday, we did leftover night and watched Paddington.  On Saturday, we went to Harris Teeter and got some clearance asparagus so we had pasta with asparagus that was amazing and super cheap.  On Sunday, I got a migraine so I took a nap before work and didn't get dinner made before leaving to work so I grabbed a yogurt for dinner and my husband fixed up some leftovers for them.

Hoping for a good week next week and keeping the plan pretty easy and have some yummy meals!!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Red Sky Over America Book Review

I was a little confused over the summary of the book whether I was going to like this book but I took a chance on Red Sky Over America (Ladies of Oberlin) (Volume 1) by Tamera Lynn Kraft.  It is a historical fiction book about the reality of living in the south with slaves.  It was an interesting and entertaining read that kept me on the edge of my seat. 

William and America confront evil, but will it costs them everything?

In 1857, America, the daughter of a slave owner, is an abolitionist and a student at Oberlin College, a school known for its radical ideas. America goes home to Kentucky during school break to confront her father about freeing his slaves.  America's classmate, William, goes to Kentucky to preach abolition to churches that condone slavery. America and William find themselves in the center of the approaching storm sweeping the nation and may not make it home to Ohio or live through the struggle.

I looked at the description of this book and I thought I want to read it, nope don't like historical fiction, but I think that I might like this one.  I decided to stop my internal fighting and try it out.  I thought it was a well written book about the reality of living with slaves and having to change your whole way of life versus the evils of slavery and abolishing it.  It was interesting to see it from a different perspective because I am sure that everyone would say that slavery was a horrible act and that slave owners were evil but looking back gives us a different vision then those in the middle of the time who were barely surviving and the slaves were something that they paid more money for then most of their property so they had to sell them or use them for farming and other labor in order to make ends meet.  It was amazing to see America go home to Kentucky from her college education to spend a break with her family and realize that the ideas that she thought were easy were a lot harder to manage in practicality.  That the women that raised her and loved her through her childhood was a family slave and she didn't get the same privileges because of this fact but there was nothing America could do about it.  William came from an abolitionist background where both his parents fought against slavery and he never knew the southern life with slaves.  He quickly passed judgement on America for her life and her fathers choices without understand all that it entails.  It was great to read the book and see the changes in both America and William and all the hardships that they go through with their beliefs.  I hope that you check out this book and see for yourself all the amazing things that happened in this book.  I don't think that you would believe it if I told you.  I hope that you enjoy it as much as I have while reading it!!

**I was provided a copy of this book for my review but all opinions here are honest and my own.

March Reading Review

I have done the worst job at keeping track of anything this month!!  I could say it was the sickness but that happens much later in the month so there really isn't anything to blame but not putting a priority on it.  I read books and I had trouble keeping up with reviews and didn't even keep a list this month of what I read but I recreated it below the best that I could.

I read two of my review books before I was supposed to review them.  I thought that they were supposed to be done as soon as possible because there were four books in the set so I would spread them out and do one at a time because why would you want them all done on the same day so I started reading but the reviews are going to come later because they have an April release date and they want the reviews done near then or towards May but they are on my list because I read them so stay tuned for the reviews soon!!

If you missed the summary and review the first time, please click on the title and it will bring you back to the original post.  I hope that you check out a few and add them to your reading list and enjoy them as much as I have!!

The Story of Arthur Truluv
by Elizabeth Berg

Organizing the Disorganized Child
by Martin Kutscher and Marcella Moran

Sisters Like Us
by Susan Mallery

High Cotton
by Debby Mayne

His Risk
by Shelley Shepard Gray

Hannah's Courtship
by Emma Miller

by Linda Goodnight

by Missy Tippens

by Kara Lennox

The Rancher's Secret Child
by Brenda Minton
(review coming soon)

Total Books 2018

January   8
February  10
 March    10

Total Read   28

Currently Reading:

The Wedding Quilt Bride
by Marta Perry

Red Sky Over America
by Tamara Lynn Kraft