It’s at $9300 right now

I have between $100-$200 for extra payments, or what was going to the EF. It’s difficult in a fixed income to find extra money, so this will probably not change any, any time soon.

I thought about possibly splitting it too. So that way I’m putting something toward the FFEF, but at that rate, it will be long time. I’m sure when the van is paid off, I’ll be very glad I took that route though!

And I’ve recently upped my giving so I’m hoping that God sustains us throughout..and I’m working to trust Him more, no matter what happens!

I promised I would be more active on here..

this is NOT DR related but hey, its all I got for now! Once in awhile we get hit with what we call the plagues of Egypt. By this we mean that we are hit with multiple difficulties at one time. My husband flew to L.A. for business for 3 days and my children from hard places were terrified he would not come back, that he would die, etc. Plus my youngest girls birthday is tomorrow and that makes a nasty brew for these kiddos….they act out like crazy because of their fear levels. Add in me still going through this blasted miscarriage (can we say frustrating…its been 4+ weeks), the two littlest have croup and my eye is hurting like its either a sty or a pink eye, hubster now has really bad jet lag, etc…see what I mean? Lots on our plate that all falls at once. But these are passing and fleeting and we’re so glad that the plagues do eventually abate.

I am pretty excited!

I know the Dave plan works. It still seems insane when you actually see it trickle down to your kids. When my son was in Jr high he was the only kid in his class who knew what a IRA was. They told him to make a fake budget with a credit card and a car payment. He refused. That’s my boy. I am soooo glad I found this wp forum. 🙂

There’s the portion of the software that shows your bank transactions

and those are going to be exactly what the bank sends to Quicken. So if the bank has a single savings account with a lump sum in it, that’s exactly what it’s going to send to Quicken and that’s what you’ll see in the register. Having said that, there are other sections of Quicken which allow you to set up spending budgets, spending histories, and set/track goals. Given what you’ve said, I think exploring those other sections would be worthwhile. In previous editions of Quicken the budgeting section allowed you to do most of what you’re talking about, but in Quicken 2013 some of those options changed. I don’t know if Quicken 2014 restored those options, changed them again, or kept everything the same. But try to think of Quicken as serving two different purposes – a ledger to record what actually happened, and a planning tool to figure out what to do in the future. Those two sections don’t always talk to each other but you can usually figure out how to accomplish your goals in either one or the other.

What I do is keep track of what I spend in every month

Last year was my first year in doing so….

Then, this year—I budget the amount I spent in the month last year….and then I try to beat it.

For example—last January was my high amount at $665…. This year in January–I spent $563..

February last year –I spent $458

Right now, I sit at $257 for the month so far…and am doing pretty well this month–so should beat last year’s February.

Money saving ideas:

1. have a food challenge month—where you only buy the items you absolutely need to supplement what you already have.

2. focus on the sale items each time you go shopping….if really low on something–try to buy extras to tide you to the next sale.

3. make budget meals–meals that are low cost, yet filling.

4. prepare foods yourself–buying processed foods cost more

5. make snack foods for the kids…. at this growing stage…if they wait until meals to eat—they will pack in the food….some ideas: banana bread, homemade pizza pockets, popcorn (can bag in sandwich bags for grab and snack convenience)

I know this is going to sound like

I am tooting my own horn, but you asked so I’ll answer. I work HARD at our food budget. We are three adults and the two guys are meat and tater type fellows with big appetites. So I buy in bulk, use coupons when it works well for us, plant a small veggie garden when we aren’t traveling and COOK FROM SCRATCH, when I can’t buy ready made cheaper.

Here comes the horn part. Read my blog. I offer up several inexpensive meal ideas that are filling, easy and fast to make and you can do in bulk. Then if you see a recipe mentioned you’d like to try and it is in a different color it has a hyperlink to take you to the recipe. I’m back to blogging a LOT now so there will lots of additions to it soon.

Back in the 70’s and 80’s I was an extreme couponer, but with just the three of us I find making my own mixes, bulk cooking and bulk purchasing work better for us.

So that is food alone and NOT other stuff like cleaning supplies, toilet paper, etc?

Just clarifying is all. We have a small family but the cost of food has been going up for us too. I can fill a buggy, have NO meat in my buggy and it easily cost $100! We do not buy a lot of prepared items like frozen lasagna, etc. or boxed stuff. We do like a boxed mac and cheese but I am going to try a scratch recipe when I use up what I have.

On a weekly basis we are buying the following for smoothies:
1 jug fusion v8
several bags of different frozen fruit
fresh bananas
a couple of quarts of yogurt
a bag of almonds
fresh local honey

These ingredients add considerably (to me) to our grocery bill. However, we are making smoothies every morning and it usually makes enough for breakfast and lunch. Dh does his and I do mine. I like the idea of getting “real” food that is not over processed. I don’t know what your kids are eating but maybe some thing like this will help them feel more filled up. You could add a protein powder to help them get that filled feeling for longer.

Our grocery store will have 10 for $10 on some items. You don’t have to buy 10 to get the deal. Recently I bought up a bunch of pasta because we have gotten on a spaghetti kick. I also bought several packs of the small shell pasta for a chicken dish I like. It will also work with homemade mac and cheese. Look for these type offers for things you already eat.

I am only buying meat when it goes on sale. It is too expensive not to do it that way. I have been holding off on getting some ground beef the last few weeks because of this. Besides we have plenty of chicken, some pork chops, and a couple of roasts in the freezer, besides a box of Omaha Steak products a salesman sent us around Christmas.

You might try offering stuff that is filling but cheap for meals … rice and gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy using fresh potatoes not flakes, etc. Rice is used a LOT in south Louisiana and it can be used with so many things as a side. You can cook a lot of it for almost nothing. Cooking basic but flavorful foods from scratch is usually the lease expensive way to go. Try to have leftovers for them to eat on when they get in from school. Hard, I know, with boys to have leftovers for the next day.

Try to avoid expensive snacks like chips and dip, soft drinks, prepackaged cookies, etc. Cookies and cakes are okay but try to make them yourself so they are less expensive. When you bake them you know what is going into them and can try to make them healthier.

I heard the other day that we prepare healthy snacks at the beginning of the week to have on hand that we are more likely to make a healthier choice. They gave examples of cutting up fresh veggies, boiling a dozen eggs at once, etc. to keep in the fridge to grab when hungry and/or in a hurry. How about peanut butter on celery, or crackers or pbj sandwiches?

Hey, I said my family is small and I am stretching to come up with something! LOL Hope that helps.