Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I am in a new home and have had to really tighten my belt. It's been a difficult transition, and for anyone that knows anything about me, I have some flaws (shocker I know). One is that I love shopping and another is that I HATE dealing with money. I'm just one of those people that feels like money is a necessary evil that should just always be there rather than a source of stress. So, I never really balance my accounts, and just always kind of know what I have and am usually about right. But, this month has been hard since I have had to face two of my weaknesses, shopping and money. I can no longer shop freely and can no longer ignore my money because I need to know that it's going to be there to pay the bills the next month! I've been looking for way to REALLY save some money so that I don't feel the pinch so much, not so that I can shop more oddly enough.
About 18 months ago I started couponing and at first was really into it. It did save me money and my stockpile of groceries was getting pretty big. Then I started working and quit, for the most part, couponing. Yeah, I would still use them if it was a spectacular deal, but life got busy so couponing fell to the wayside. Not any longer my friends. On my blog there is a link to freebies and deals - yes it's a blog that is no longer updated, but the links on the left hand side link you to a world that was previously unknown to me and has become somewhat addicting. I now get free samples in the mail almost daily and print amazing coupons and learn all sorts of cool things. I check it a few times a day while I'm at work and it's no biggie at all. I had convinced myself that I just wasn't the coupon type until this last week when I started reading peoples experiences that take it seriously - I mean REALLY seriously. They save about $10,000 a year with couponing! Couponing! REALLY?! I started to read more and learn more and want to know more, after all, who can't use an extra $10,000 a year? I can. I would be happy if it was just $5000 a year. Heck, I'd be happy to have an extra $1000 a year. So I decided to once again try this couponing thing seriously, not just 1/2 way, but all the way.
So, I ordered a book that the "Krazy Coupon Lady" wrote that is actually very good and has some amazing insights, and here goes the really crazy part for me - I just subscribed to recieve 5, yes 5 sunday papers. It's only $20 a month and I figure I can easily save that much using the coupons. So, as the Krazy coupon lady put it, is it worth spending an hour once a week, and taking a little more time grocery shopping to save an average of $700 a month? I think it is and I'm going to try it.
So, I'm going to start growing my little money tree and am curious and excited to see how it will work and how much money I can really grow :)
I will keep you all posted, but if you see me in the grocery store with a huge binder of coupons and looking ridiculous, just ask yourself, would you walk down the aisle looking silly if you knew it was going to save you thousands of dollars? Heck, I would do a lot more for a lot less!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

SO SO SO Yummy and Naughty

The other night Jane wanted to make a snack. Let me qualify this by saying that Jane is like me and always wants a snack that is a dessert. So, as usual I was exhausted after working all day and didn't want to either help her make something or clean up a huge mess that she inevitably would leave behind. So to we went to find a simple peanut butter bar (the good thing about having a daughter that wants to make treats is that I can convince her that she really wants to make something that I want without her realizing it). Into the kitchen she went and 30 minutes later, heaven was born! I have to say that these peanut butter bars were the BEST treat I have EVER had and we, as a family (Sam did more than his fair share) had no problem eating an entire 9x13 pan of them in about 3 days! So here is the recipe for you all to enjoy as much as we did.

1/2 cup margarine
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (creamy)

Mix and press that into a 9x13 (we used a little smaller pan to make them thicker, but I would make it in the 9x13 next time - they were too thick in the smaller pan)

In the microwave melt 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips with 4 Tablespoons peanut butter, stirring about every 30 seconds until it's smooth.

Spread it over the bars and refrigerate for an hour, then get ready to dive in.

They are really rich, but you won't have any problem shoving them down!