efore DD was born and throughout her infancy I've pondered disposable versus cloth diapers.
For me the benefit and the cost of using disposable diapers exceeded switching to cloth. But another reason is I just don't know where to find cloth diapers!
I had DD use Huggies and Pampers the first couple of months out of convenience and to save time. After she turned 3 months I swithed to the cheaper brands, namely White Cloud and Parent's Choice and found both to be better than Huggies.
I had a huge problem with Huggies leaking and since I switched to generic diapers I save more money, have no leaks, save time and hassle by using disposables.
I can't imagine being out of the house and having to stuff soiled cloth diapers back into my bag to clean later.
Ilove my family-they are there to help me with anything, but when there is a birthday every month (sometimes more than two) and a funeral, wedding, or graduation at least once a year, dishing out the money for gifts and food can be and is a tremendous expense.
By a huge family I am mainly speaking of my immediate and very close-knit extended family. My 60 plus first cousins are like my brothers and sisters so we help one anothre all the time.
One of the ways I found to save at a big party is to contribute with food and helping prepare the event. I love my family but my goodness are they expensive!!
When I was younger I remember walking into my parent's house smelling the wonderfully decadent aroma of blueberry muffins. More than cookies, bread, and brownies, I savor freshly baked blueberry muffins. So when I received this recipe from a close friend of mine I thought it would be nice to share it. These were absolutely delicious and a very easy recipe to follow!
Mini Blueberry Cakes
24 mini cakes
blueberries [or any small-ish berries]
2 cups ground almond
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 1/2 cups caster sugar
10 large egg whites
1 tsp baking powder
8 oz butter
icing sugar [for dusting]
Preheat oven to 170c [fan assisted].
Melt butter in a pot.
Sift Flour and sugar separately and mix. Add in the other dry ingredients - almond and baking powder and mix again.
Lightly beat the egg whites with a fork. Add in the dry mix and using a plastic spatula, mix everything together.
Add melted butter and mix again thoroughly.
Lightly grease the muffin pan with butter.
Spoon in the cake mix in the muffin pan [leaving room for it to rise] and slowly place the berries in the middle.
Place in the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes.
Let cool for a few minutes in the pan then place on a cooling rack.
For those of us who fail to plan what to cook ahead of time,Snacksby can be a great help.
I would stand in front of my open refrigerator while the power bill goes up, my stomach growls, and I rack my brain with all the recipes I know (and I don't know very much).
It combines all the ingredients from your pantry and generates recipes based on your list. Now if you only have salt, a piece of bread, and old moldy cheese then I think not even McGyver himself can help you out on that one.
I found some ideas for recipes I had not thought of. For me this is a great money saver as well because I can use and combine the products I have at home to cook instead of rushing out to buy some missing ingredient.
I remember there being another similar recipe generator out there but I don't remember what it is.
So what's on the menu tonight? Rack of Lamb..tuna sandwich...tofu?
Snacksby is a different, easier kind of recipe site. You tell us what you've got in your fridge, in your pantry, or just what you're looking to find in a recipe, even how much of each ingredient and wham!, we let you know what your options are.
Yesterday my husband and I financed a notebook computer. We are so bad because we financed it adding to our 10,000 plus debt cloud. But we thought that for $699 at Circuit City with no interest for 5 months was an awesome steal since we needed an extra computer for my husband to use. I am very happy with the decision even though it adds more debt under my belt.
We made the decision based solely on the price of the laptop and the 5 months we are able to fork out to pay it off before January. This is like a productivity investment because then he can do his business stuff on the laptop, we can travel with it, and have added backup for files.
For the features 1GB RAM, 80GB harddrive, lightscribe tech.,64 bit, tru-bright screen, 128 dedicated AVI memory, Windows Media Center with Vista ready, and a remote control, we could not resist.
DD just turned 10 months and has started to say the word "dung" every time she needs something-diaper change, drink, attention, and food. We never said "dung" around her so I guess it's just one of those baby babbles where only her parents know what in the world she is talking about.
It will be funny to hear her say that in public!
At the end of each month my family's main account would come up short so we would have to dig into our savings to compensate for pending bill payments. Part of that I contribute to the crappy online banking service and part of that our finance management. With a new baby sometimes you fail to regain conscienceness in other areas of your life until your are faced with bumpy roads you don't want to have to go through again.
Hence, I decided to search for solutions online via advice or downloads for a Budget manager, and that was when I came across the Pear Budget Excel Spreadsheet. It is FREE, No Limitations and so easy to use! It comes with detailed step-by-step instructions so even if you've never used Excel before it will be hard to mess this one up! Unless of course you can't follow instructions.
I suggest that before you attempt to add your list of expenses, you sit down and go over your bank statements and figure out how much you want to budget on groceries, dining out, gifts, etc..
Dining Out: $50
Lunch Money: $50
Great Calculators is a website that may prove to come in handy for many financial situations in the home.
"Use Greatcalculators.com consulting services for your financial forecasts & projections, basic investment planning, tax planning and preparation for cash flow & budgeting analysis." It has calculators for homebuying and renting, loans, credit card and debt, saving for the future, budgeting, and auto buying and operating."
Now us Moms can have more time to kick up our shoes and relax.
For added interest check out:
The Millionare Calculator
Just like any diet there are claims of a miracle pill or a revolutionary product that will get you to lose weight. Oprah's Debt Diet is a great place to start if you haven't already reviewed your debt health or planned the best way to pay off your debt.
What I like about the program is #1 it is free! When you begin the program you understand your spending habits and learn ways to save, applying remaining cash to your debts. The plan also involves worksheets that provide an easy way to organize and record your finances.
Some of these tips include:
- Don't carry credit cards in your purse (only debit/ATM)
-Write checks, pay cash
-Turn down credit line increases
-Take a look at your calendar and note any special events that may cost money.
-Complete your spending plan by making the best estimate of your upcoming bills and other needs for the month. Tweak the payments in all categories to determine the minimum amounts that can be spent without creating a sense of deprivation.
-Don't forget to include an amount for your savings cushion so you have a resource available for emergencies.
-Calculate your cash flow. What is the amount left over after you subtract the total expenses from the net income you will have for the month?
My family and I were at Barnes and Nobles yesterday when the Impulse Shopper Fiend appeared and tempted me with books to purchase. I struggled to maintain sanity and did not buy anything. It helps to think about saving for bigger things to buy later like that big screen TV or a travel destination within the next month.
I don't believe that people should save every minute because life is too short not to enjoy experiences now. Having a spending limit and sorting through priorities will help to achieve these things and enable a more balanced financial diet.
1.Take Ari To Disneyland and SeaWorld
2.Save for a New Car
3.Travel To Europe
4.Travel to Japan (Bill wants to watch Drifting)
5.Publish a Book
6.Go on a Cruise
7.Open a business
8.Take Ari to the beach on Guam
9.Go scuba diving
10.Take a roadtrip to see family in California
Our Money Makeover 1. Try to contribute as much as possible to 401K while staying on top of paying off debt
2. Pay Down Debt with Accelerated Debt Plan within 22 months
3. Open a College Savings Plan for Ari
4. Find alternate sources of income
5. Look into stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
Many Moms understand the value of clipping coupons because in the long run coupons can save hundreds within a given year. There is more good news for the Frugal Coupon Clipping Mom. Teri's Grocery Game proves to be an invaluable source of insider deals from your local grocery store. The Grocery Game was also featured a few weeks ago by the Today Show.
You gain access to Teri's List by signing up for a $1.00 4 week trial membership at which you can cancel anytime. The GG message board is a fabulous spot to gain insight and tips from other moms. There are five lists in total from which to choose from, mine include Fry's, Safeway, Albertson's, Walgreens, and CVS. The great thing about each store list is Teri has taken the liberty to highlight each item; black for regular sale items, blue for items you should stock up on, and green for items that are free.The list is organized as followed:
Manufacturer's Coupon (from newspaper)
Why can't I just do this on my own?
...members of The Grocery Game eliminate all of those time consuming hours and usually save even more time and money than most "coupon pros". Even "coupon pros" can make costly mistakes. Just because an item is on sale doesn't mean its time to play your coupon. The Grocery Game databases differentiate between "phantom sales" and "rock bottom" sales, saving members even more money. Now, the best possible savings are quickly accessible to "coupon pros", busy professionals, overworked moms, single adults and anyone who wants to cut their grocery bill by as much as half or even more.
UPDATE Before You decide if Grocery Game is for you check out these other sites as well:
The problem with the grocery game is that it makes you pay for information that is readily available at MANY other sites for free. My favorites are HotCoupon World and Families.com, as well as Refund Cents. I am a HUGE coupon advocate, but am a huge advocate of saving any money that needs not be spend and people who just look a little further down the google page, can find the information for free, very easily.
Meredith wrote: Try budget101.comit's like the grocery game but free.
I was just perusing Google Video and came across this hilarious clip of talking cats. I had to share it since it made my day...tears were falling down my cheeks!
Hopefully it's as funny for you as it was for me. Enjoy!
What Makes Us Tick is a neat video that simplifies and animates the stock market. Now if only it really were as easy as the video portrays.
I'm probably the only person who just found out about Amazon's Bargain and Friday Sale Outlet, but I will post it anyway. I love being a huge bargain hunter, but what I love even more is sharing these deals with other people.
Bababa.. dada dada..ma booahh ahh
Uncommon Cents is proud to declare to the blogosphere universe that 9 month old Ari is walking. It all transpired on August 9th on a bright sunny afternoon when mommy let her stand on the kitchen floor all by herself. She fearlessly took one step, then another, and another! Until she was finally in the arms of her loving beautiful mother. Today Ari resumes her normal daily life being a baby and performs daring physical feats by walking from coffee table to chair and dining table to coffee table. Please do not be alarmed for her beloved parents keep close watch out for any head or bodily injuries. (WARNING:Children under the age of 9 months should not try this at home)This is what Ari had to say,"Bababa..dadadada..mabooahh ahh."And there you have it folks. If we live our lives not conquering our fears then we wouldn't progress and learn because to live through our fears is like taking that first step into new possiblities and new opportunities. Remember you heard it here first on Uncommon Cents and Have A Fear Conquering Day!!
When I was single, my finances we so much easier to manage. Having a family added great challenges and joyful experiences in my volatile financial world.
I knew our financial diet was in jeopardy when we had to use my credit card to pay bills and began to live the "paycheck to paycheck" routine.
Like any person, I went over our monthly statements and unearthed the culprits behind those nasty expenses. Most of our expenses went to buying name-brand groceries that were more of a luxury than a necessity and eating-out.
Alas, once I budgeted those two areas we were able to see a surplus of about $500! Well that didn't last very long because I allocated each and every cent into paying down our debt.
So now I am here at Saving Advice with my new blog where I will post all my trials and tribulations about our financial past, present, and future. Won't this be fun!?