At the beginning of February I started to keep track of every dollar spent in our household. I have always had an interest in personal finance/budgeting but sometime months fly by and you have no idea where you spent your dollars.
I think I mentioned before I bought a cute budget book to track our spending. This is just a portable bill paying center. It has a pocket sleeve for each month’s bills, a blank budget form for each month, and a monthly finance tip. You could make it yourself and save a few dollars too.
I have actually been having fun with it! For the month of February I decided to just spend as I usually do and then go over the numbers at the end of the month. My friend Chrissy “the frugal Mama” has also inspired me to learn unit prices. My mom has always been great at that, to this day I’m amazed at her memory of the best deals in town.

I guess this is a natural parental unit thing to do. When your family expands you have to start saving for the college education! $$
I read a cute book from the library that had some helpful tips and recipes in it.

It was interesting that the writer of this book, Jonni McCoy, lived in The Silicon Valley from the age of 15. It was written a few years ago, so some of the prices on food are out of date but all the information still applies.

THE ELEVEN MI$ERLY GUIDELINES

1) Don’t confuse frugality with depriving yourself.
2) Give up things that provide the least value.
3) Keep track (written down) of food prices.
4) Don’t buy everything at the same store.
5) Buy in bulk wherever possible.
6) Make (and grow) your own wherever possible.
7) Eliminate convenience foods.
8) Cut back on meats and poultry.
9) Waste nothing.
10) Institute a soup and bread night once per week.
11) Cook several meals at once and freeze them.

As you can see, these are not easy tasks! šŸ™‚

Do you guys keep a close track of your grocery budget or just buy whatever willy nilly?
Any tips for a soon to be Miserly Mom?

So for tonight I decided to follow #10 and make a recipe from the book. I spiced it up a wee bit.

BLACK BEAN SOUP
2 cans (15 oz.) Black beans~I used one and one can of corn niblets.
1 can (15 oz.) Stewed tomatoes
1 can Chicken broth
1 Onion, chopped
1 Garlic clove, crushed~I used a couple
Salt and Pepper~I only added pepper
1 T. Oregano
2 T. Lime juice~ did not have any of this

I added in some cumin~1 tsp. and some hot red pepper flakes~1/2 tsp.

Combine in large pot and simmer until cooked through. Add lime juice after cooked. Served with rice would be nice.

I topped mine with grated cheese. It was delightful.

To cool off the heat, I enjoyed a ramekin of this…

I can’t believe that I found it a little on the sweet side. I liked the chocolate waffle cone pieces, and when Mikey was not looking I picked them out of the carton! SSHHH!
The ice cream base had caramel swirl throughout and was a tad bit overkill for me. Where did my sweet tooth go? Ever since being pregnant it kinda faded away.

A tiny amount was enough! Maybe that is a good thing?

Have a good night my peeps!

* Side note~ I guess when you type the number eight and a bracket you get a sunglass smiley dude 8)

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