Always use Pencil in the Budget!

Grade 8 brings Promises, Purchases and Points to Ponder for the Future.

June is here and our home is full of flutter, activity, scheduling, rescheduling and the promise of Grade 8 graduation in just a few short days.  The excitement is contagious, and we are making pans for the summer…plans that will require budgeting for sure, so I bring out my book, my template and I rework the numbers to see where we can focus on for the month of June and its necessities.  One young lady is very excited about the whole Hair, nails and dressy shoes, and we smile as she carries on the conversation.  This is a time of firsts for her, first ‘date’ to Grad, first boyfriend at 14, first time getting her hair in an updo, that Mom hasn’t done…and first time she will walk across the stage opening doors to High school.

Needless to say, as a single parent this requires some budgeting…and I have met some wonderful friends who have helped me change my reckless path into something positive. Gone are the days of  “I’ll worry about it later” are here…but amazingly…tomorrow is offering a rainbow where dark clouds previously existed.  I sat here this morning, looking at this months Budget and realized…after shoes, hair, nails, pretty dresses, personal items, and transportation…after all is said and done…I will have 6.47 left over!  

Admittedly, we were able to participate in the ‘Cinderella project’  http://www.londoncinderellaproject.com/ this year, so my daughters Dress was provided at no charge (and was not added into the budget), however, shoes, hair, nails and the extras come at a cost…and then add the dinner with friends, transportation, the after party…we’ve covered it all, and they laughed when I added my 6.47 cents to the savings jar.  I smiled at their laughter, because they are as encouraged as I am by the positive changes that we have managed to embrace this past year.  We work together with the grocery list, adding our win fall of coupons to the pile, we price match, and I have a nice stock pile built up in the storage room, and freezer, so we have very few nights were we are going…hmmmmm what to make, what to make…We encourage freedom when cooking, and have learned that we can make a wonderful dinner out of left overs, and enjoy at the same time.  Waste not want not…right?  Groceries have gone from 425 every two weeks, to just under 200.00 one week and less than 100.00 another!  Couponing has its advantages, and you do not have to be an extreme couponer to truly win! One trip to Costco, is a whole month of meet for a table that can at times feed anywhere up to eight people!  (Hint to the neighborhood…if you cannot find your child call here, they usually are parked in my living room, or in the back yard…)

I can feed seven hungry children easily with the following recipe, for LESS than  .90 per serving!

 

1 pound lean ground beef

1 can steewed tomatoes

1 onion diced

1/2 c. mushrooms

1 pkg. Catelli smart pasta (they wont know 😉

2 celery stalks

1/2 gr. pepper diced 

1 jar spaghetti sauce  (Im going to try canning my own this fall)

3 c. shredded cheese

1.c parmigiana cheese grated

 

Brown ground beef; add diced vegetables, tomatoes and spaghetti sauce, let simmer while you boil water for pasta.  Mix with parmesan cheese and toss into large baking dish.  Cover with grated cheese and place in oven at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.  I also make my own garlic butter and will butter a loaf of bread.  All the kids call me mom…my kids call me crazy, my pocket book is sighing a huge sigh of relief.

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