Thursday, March 16, 2017

Coupon Savings and Paying Off Debt

To encourage myself to cut and use my coupons, I have decided to transfer the money I save from coupons to our credit cards.  Jeff and I have been following Dave Ramsey's plan for two years now after taking Financial Peace University from our church, Cross Way UMC.  Since getting on a budget, we have paid about 73% of our debt, excluding our mortgage.  Today, I transfered another $27.75 to one of our credit cards!!

Proverbs 22:6-7Common English Bible (CEB)

Train children in the way they should go;
    when they grow old, they won’t depart from it.
The wealthy rule over the poor;
    a borrower is a slave to a lender.

Proverbs 22:15New Living Translation (NLT)

15 A youngster’s heart is filled with foolishness,
    but physical discipline will drive it far away.
Love this study note from my bible, "Wisdom is learned, not inherited or innate.  It takes discipline, sometimes physical, to change foolishness into wisdom."  I am thankful we were able to take this class since it has allowed us to get on a budget which in turn will help teach our children the way to handle money.

We were out of stock of Windex and it was also on sale at CVS.  The furniture around the baseboards in the main area of the house is moved around since we are in the process of getting the house painted this week and possibly our tile and grout cleaned and sealed.  The goal is to go around the baseboards prior to moving furniture back into place and clean them this week.

CVS Shopping Trip

$4 ECB wyb (4) participating Household Cleaners

2 - Windex or Scrubbing Bubbles, $2.99
  • -.50/1 Windex product, excl trial size, SS 03/12
  • -.50/1 Windex product, excl trial size, SS 03/12
2 - Ziploc storage bags, $2.99
-$1.00 CVS Coupon "Food Storage" via CVS App
-$4.00 ECB coupon from Monday
=$6.46 Total
GET back $4.00 ECB for next trip

I started following Southern Savers many years ago.  I find it nice to have the store advertisements matched to particular coupons.  Using Jenny's blog, I went to Target yesterday to pick up primarily household products such as toilet paper, paper towels, mouthwash, laundry detergent, contact solution, allergy medicine, and a few other odds and ends.  Many of these items were advertised on sale and a few included gift card deals.  Paired with coupons, I was able to save the discounted store price along with my coupons which totaled $26.75!

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Kids Helping in the Kitchen

Ashlyn and Jakob have sure enjoyed helping in the kitchen more since we started receiving dinners from Hello Fresh.  They both are excited and are interested in helping me in the kitchen more.  An easy way Ashlyn helps is by shaking the vegetables and potatoes with a bit of olive oil and seasoning.
February 15, 2017

February 26, 2017
Jakob helped me last Monday, March 6th, in the kitchen by preparing a taco seasoning recipe from All Recipes.  I have been working on getting both kids in the kitchen more and love they are wanting to help!

Our next Hello Fresh kit will arrive this upcoming Saturday!  My goal for Jakob is to begin getting him to cook one of the three dinners.  The instructions are step by step with pictures which would help him learn the basics of cooking.  Jeff and the kids like fish, so I ventured with adding the salmon recipe.

My Hello Fresh Menu for March 25th - March 31st:

  • Wasabi Lime Salmon over Soy-Simmered Rice with Baby Bok Choy
  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Lemony Potatoes and Zucchini
  • New York Strip Steak with Truffled Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans Amandine
To attempt to the keep the cost down on Hello Fresh, I normally add additional vegetables to my weekly grocery trip based on the recipes and cook those portions as four people per the recipe (give or take).  Hello Fresh has simplified my dinner plans and the stress of planning every week.  On average, we receive Hello Fresh twice a month now.  I have enjoyed the variety of the dinners and how the dinners are Weight Watcher's friendly and follow the plate method concept.

When Jeff was diagnosed with pre-diabetes, we quickly learned about the plate method.  Roni, my Weight Watcher's leader, recently also discussed dinner plates used to be nine inches.  Our current plates are approximately twelve inches, but have a rim.  The inside of the plate is about nine inches which is where we tend to place the food.  Through learning how to eat better, Jeff within the first year of being diagnosed pre-diabetes, was no longer pre-diabetic.  Over the last year, the two of us are continuing to exercise and eating healthier.  I love how we are teaching our kids how to cook and eat well balanced meals.

Monday, March 13, 2017

CVS Trip: 3/13/17 - FREE Colgate Toothpaste

Made a quick trip to CVS and Wal-Mart this evening to pick up a few items with coupons.  I used iBotta while at Wal-Mart to save on milk, produce, frozen items, and cleaning products.

Make sure to stop in this week to pick up FREE toothpaste from CVS!

$2 ECB wyb Colgate Max, Total or 2 in 1 toothpaste, $2.99, limit 2

-$2.00 CVS Coupon
=$3.98 Total
GET Back $4.00 ECB for next trip

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Sunday Reflection: March 5, 2017

March 5, 2017 from Jesus Calling

Make friends with the problems in your life.  Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign over everything.  I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Me.  Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be.  The very same problem can become a stumbling block over which you fall, if you react with distrust and defiance.  The choice is up to you, and will have you choose too many times each day whether to trust Me or defy Me.

The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them.  This simple act opens your mind to the possibility of benefits flowing from your difficulties.  You can even give persistent problems nicknames, helping you to approach them with familiarity rather than with dread.  The next step is to introduce them to Me, enabling Me to embrace them in My loving Presence.  I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.

“And we know [with great confidence] that God [who is deeply concerned about us] causes all things to work together [as a plan] for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to His plan and purpose.”
‭‭ROMANS‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭AMP‬‬

“So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense. But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1:23-24‬ ‭NLT‬‬

From Proverbs 31 First 5 App:

P31 Daily Devotions

He understands our weak places. He knows what to pray. There is a purpose to this weakness. Though it doesn’t feel good, things will be worked out in a way that good will come from it. (Romans 8:28)

But Paul has received word that problems are brewing in the church, and they are in desperate need of correction and help. So Paul is writing this letter to correct major issues, answer questions and clear up confusion.
Paul’s first appeal, right from the beginning, is for the church to come together and be perfectly unified in Christ. They need to quit letting nonessential issues divide them. You see, there was a competition going on among the people. They were separating themselves into cliquish groups and fighting over which leader they were following. Each group thought their leader was the best, and they were forming personality cults. The internal bickering was causing a split in the church, and it was all motivated by pride. But even worse, it was dishonoring to Jesus Christ and the gospel.
Paul pushes right past their spiritual elitism and pride to remind them … and us … that Christianity is not a popularity contest. It’s not about who’s following whom, or who is baptizing whom or the number of “likes” a person gets. It’s not about worldly wisdom, a charismatic personality, having personal eloquence, growing a platform or gaining scholarly knowledge.
It’s not even about being an amazing Christian leader who is doing incredible ministry work for the kingdom of God like Paul, or Peter or Apollos. In essence Paul is saying, “It’s not about me! I didn’t go to the cross for you.” Only Jesus did. A leader-centered approach always displaces the significance of Jesus.
Christianity is about being a follower of Jesus Christ. It’s about keeping your heart and mind focused on Jesus and the gospel. He must be the center of our attention. That’s one reason why Paul says; “We preach Christ crucified … Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24)

PrayerDear Lord, I know I am nothing without You. I want Your strength to be present in every area of my life. Thank You for hearing the pleas of my heart even when I don’t have the words to express how I feel.  You are the wisdom and power of God. You are the centerpiece of salvation. Forgive me for the times when I get off track and allow other people or worldly wisdom to distract me and displace my loyalty to You. You are the cure for division and pride. Prompt me today to keep my focus on You and may You be at the center of all I say and do. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Sunday Refection: February 26, 2017

February 26, 2017 from Jesus Calling
I am leading you, step by step, through your life.  Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day.  Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy - even precarious.  That is how it should be.  Secret things belong to the Lord, and future thins are secret things.  When you try to figure out the future, you are grasping at thins that are Mine.  This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for you. Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me.  I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that.  Relax and enjoy in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go.

 ““The LORD our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.”
Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT

“The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Psalms 32:8 NLT


Scripture always has a way of talking to me at the right time.  It always seems like what I need to hear happens to talk to me when I need to hear it.  This week has been a busy, hetctic, and quite stressful.  When I first read these two scriptures, I visualized a roadmap.  After completing a Google search for images for these scriptures, one that stuck out was a compass.  It also brought to mind the pictures from camping.  I love taking the pictures of our camping trails.  The peaceful view of the road ahead is such a calming thought for me.  I am ready for the weather to get a little warmer and stay consistent to allow us to go camping as a family. I am ready for some relaxation time to unwind, spend time with God, and unplug.

Through these scriptures and the stressful week, I feel I am being reminded to pray about things I might (am) worrying about instead of stressing over them, even though this is easier said than done.  The future is unknown as scripture states.  Things tend to have a way to work themselves out.  However, I must say, today has not been easy.  Many tears were shed through frustrations due to an event which brought up emotions and for some reason reminded me how I feel as if I do not have many friends. I am also thankful for my church family and the connections I have made with my church family.  It has been a rough day and reflecting on how grateful I am for them since I feel I really do have friendships with them.  The question I always wonder is did we find Cross Way UMC or did Cross Way UMC find us.  No matter the answer, I am thankful.  Through this time of Lent, I feel I am being reminded to slow down.  The hustle and bustle is catching up to me.

 From Proverbs 31 First 5 App:
Before we consider what God keeps secret, let’s talk about what He reveals. In Deuteronomy 29, Moses recounts all God has revealed to the Israelites: 
God had revealed so much to the Israelites, but did they make better choices because of it? Sadly, the answer is no.
They turned their backs on God—not just once, but many times—choosing to disobey His commands, while giving their allegiance and devotion to false gods.
If the Israelites were repeatedly unfaithful after all God had revealed to them (and done for them), why then should He reveal what was considered “secret” and sacred?
They had repeatedly scribbled on God’s laws and pouted over His holy covenant. They didn’t treasure His gifts or follow the instructions He provided. Sadly, revealing more wasn’t producing more obedience or trust in God.
Honestly, I don’t always treasure the gifts God gives me like I should. I’m quick to say, “God, reveal more to me.” But the truth is, I sometimes struggle with following through and stewarding well those things He’s already revealed to me. Does that ever happen to you?
Yes, it’s true God keeps some things reserved as secret. But He generously reveals and gives us full access to His Word. So let’s be faithful and stay committed to read Scripture every day so we can learn from it, be nourished by it and share God’s truth with others.
Let’s not get all tangled up in wondering what God has kept secret from us. Instead let’s trust those “secret things” to His care and believe that whatever is beneficial for us, He will reveal in His perfect timing.
PrayerHeavenly Father, thank You for all You have revealed to me in Your Word. Help me to be faithful with what already belongs to me and trust You with the secret things that are not beneficial for me to know about. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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