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Interview on DaveRamsey.com: Working from home as a blogger

I was honored to recently have the opportunity to be interviewed for an article on DaveRamsey.com about . If you’re a blogger or someone considering blogging, you might enjoy reading it.

By the way, once I start and finish the Time Management series, I plan to update and repost my Blogging for Profit series for those interested in earning an income through blogging.

In the mean time, if you haven’t read it, you might enjoy my Becoming a Work-At-Home Mom series.

photo from

Super Savings Saturday: A trip to the Bulk Foods Store

We took a field trip to a Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze on Friday with some other friends.

Kaitlynn’s curly hair turned into “crazy hair” with all the wind! That girl has some volume! 🙂

In addition to the corn maze and pumpkin patch, they had some different play areas set up for the children. I think the favorite of Kathrynne, Kaitlynn and Silas was the hay area.

Since it was quite a drive to get there, we stopped by the Bulk Foods Store which was in the area and were able to re-stock up on turbinado buy some other goodies including two pounds of local honey for only $7.34! We ended up spending about $31 on food. Plus, I let the children pick out a few treats to eat on the way home.

All in all, it was a fun day for the children. And I was happy to get in a little bargain-shopping, too!

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Did you snag any great deals or bargains this week or save money in other ways? If so, be sure to post about them on your blog and leave your link below. Please remember that this weekly round-up is to share deals you personally got and/or money you were able to save this week. In order to keep this weekly round-up focused on helping and inspiring others in their efforts to save money, links which have little-to-no content other than promoting affiliate links, etc. will be deleted. Also, to make it easy for everyone to navigate quickly through the links, your link must link directly to your Super Savings Saturday post.

We Paid Cash! :: SUV

We paid cash!

A testimony from Amy

In October of 2008, my husband and I discovered we were pregnant. While this baby was not a “surprise” by any stretch of the imagination, we quickly discovered that our world was about to be turned upside down.

The first dilemma was getting from point A to point B with baby. You see, at that time our vehicles were not purchased with a baby in mind. My husband’s car, while very nice, was a four-door Coupe and not the most space-efficient. A car seat + baby + diaper bag would take up most of the back seat.

My car was a “college car.” It was my first car, purchased used when I was in high school. And, five years later, I was still driving it. It was beginning to become unreliable and definitely wasn’t the safest option for our baby. Because of this, my husband and I decided to start saving for an SUV. We started the savings process almost immediately after seeing the positive pregnancy test.

Our goal: pay cash for a safe, used (but still in good condition) SUV all before baby was due in July.

How We Did It

  • Cut back on the budget. We cut down on the money we were spending on groceries. I started shopping sales and using coupons. We saved about $80 a month doing this. We also had more date nights “in” rather than expensive dinners out. We rented movies rather than going to the theaters.
  • We put all of my husband’s work bonuses into a separate savings account — for the car.
  • We spent less on Christmas gifts. I made a lot of gifts and made our own Christmas cards.
  • We put our savings each month into the account for the car.
  • We applied our tax refund to the car account.
  • We sold my car.
  • We bought used baby items and put the money we saved into the account for the car.
  • We bought used.
  • We weren’t picky.
  • We were patient. (This was hard for me!)

We Paid Cash for our SUVMy husband’s uncle is a car dealer. We talked to him early on in the process and told him what we were looking for. Once we had the money saved up (all $13,000!) we gave him a call and he began the search.

It took him about a month and a half, but he eventually (and before baby arrived!) found the perfect SUV for us. It was a 2008 Saturn Vue in great condition.

The carseat fits great in the backseat and we still have room in the trunk for our dog! We will even have room for an extra carseat come January. 🙂

I love my SUV, mostly because I know how hard we worked to pay cash for it, and how much money we saved in the long run by doing so!

Amy is a stay-at-home mom to a little boy with a little girl on the way. Her husband is a computer programmer who works hard to provide for their family. They are striving to live debt-free and set a good example for their kids of what it means to be good stewards of what God has given them.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? .

We Paid Cash :: Vacation Home on a Lake

We paid cash! Testimony from Lana

All of my life I wanted a vacation house on a lake. I don’t know what gave me this desire and I don’t remember a time that I did not have it.

The Background

About eleven years ago there was a class action suit against the manufacturer of the siding on our house. In the end, we got a check for $6500 in compensation. Our siding was fine so we didn’t need the money for replacement. I asked my husband if we could set up a savings account for my dream of a lake house. He was agreeable.

As I was setting up the account, I prayed for that money to be able to purchase our vacation property. I thought to myself that it was a ridiculous prayer as it was not even enough for a down payment and we couldn’t afford to put any other money toward it anyway.

Then a Big Surprise!

Two weeks later, I was listening to a garage sale program on a local radio station. A man called in with a 1/12 share of a cottage on a lake for $6000.  Well, I was so excited I didn’t even write down the phone number. I called the station after the program and they had the number in their notes.

We ed the owner and went to look at the house that afternoon. We agreed to purchase his share of the house. He told us that he had paid $5000 for his share 18 years earlier and he just wanted another family with kids to enjoy it now.

What We Gained

We have been blessed by being able to get away one week out of every season for over 10 years and we only pay 1/12th of the cost of keeping up the house. Our share of the upkeep is less than we would pay to rent a house for only one week.

We could have spent that settlement check on so many things but have been so blessed to have saved it and invested it in this way. Property values have tripled on the lake, so our money will someday give us a good return. We have also been able to share our time with friends who needed a break and could not afford to pay for a vacation.

(No picture — we have been going over there so long that we have long ago stopped taking pictures!)

Lana, and husband Bill live debt-free in Wellford, SC. They homeschooled their five children for 23 years and they are all grown and either married or in college. She enjoys teaching young women how to coupon and stretch the family budget.

Have you saved up and paid cash for something — large or small? .

Time Management: What questions would you love to have answered?

I’ve been getting a lot of emails recently asking “How do you do it all?”

Well, the truth of the matter is that I don’t do it all — and that’s the only reason I can have three young children, homeschool, keep up with a large blog, stick to a budget — and still have time to read, have a clean and organized home (most of the time!), get enough sleep (most nights!) and go on dates with my husband.

I’m speaking some on balance and time management at next week (can’t wait to meet some of you there!) and since so many people are asking for my practical suggestions on time management and how I manage to accomplish what I do, I thought I’d share some of what I’ll be sharing at Relevant in a series on time management here, as well.

However, in an effort to make this series as helpful as it can be, I wanted to open up the floor for requests. If you had a specific question you’d like for me to address regarding time management, what would it be? Email me with your question or leave it in the comments here.

I plan to begin this series near the end of October and will be posting one post per weekday until it is finished (no making you wait a week or two or 15 for the next installment as I’ve sometimes done in the past!) No promises that I’ll have a great answer to your questions and am pretty positive I won’t be able to address everything regarding time management in the series, but I’m hoping to make this series as comprehensive and helpful as possible based upon what is working for me.

Revamping My Freezer Cooking Methods

As I’ve mentioned in the past few months, I’ve been simplifying and streamlining a lot of areas in my life so that I can focus on the most important priorities, not overload my plate and have time to “stop and smell the roses” instead of feeling like I’m barely staying afloat.

One area that I’ve felt needs some revamping is my method of Freezer Cooking. When I had one and two small children, it was pretty simple to pull off a six-hour Freezer Cooking Marathon if I did a few hours in the morning while the girls played or helped me and a few hours in the afternoon during naptime.

Now that I have three children and a big chunk of our day is dedicated to homeschooling, I’m finding that fitting in a Freezer Cooking Marathon is just not, well, fitting in. In addition, we haven’t been eating casseroles and instead are mostly eating simple dinners of meat, veggies and either fruit and/or mashed potatoes, rice or bread. These meals don’t require a lot of prep work ahead of time, unlike the meals I used to make on Freezer Cooking Days.

The past month, I’ve been experimenting with doing a 30-minute batch-cooking session once or twice each week — marinating four meal’s worth of chicken breasts, quadrupling a batch of meatballs, making up a quadruple batch of pancakes or cooking a roast in the crockpot and then shredding it and turning it into a few meal’s worth of barbecued beef. I usually tack this onto our regular dinner prep in the late afternoon and I’m discovering if I do this once or twice each week, we consistently have at least a week’s worth of meals in the freezer at all times.

I was feeling guilty about doing Freezer Cooking this way as it just didn’t seem “right” compared with how I’ve always done it. When I was talking with about the guilt I was struggling with in admitting to you all that having a Freezer Cooking Marathon is just not working for us right now, she reminded me that there is no right way to “do” Freezer Cooking.

It’s not about trying to copy what works for someone else or trying to mimic what once worked for us. Being a successful homemaker, wife, mother and home economist is about finding what works for you and your family and doing that — and having freedom from guilt about what others do or don’t do.

So, I’m going revamp my previous Freezer Cooking methods and do what works for us right now — which is just having a mini freezer cooking session once or twice a week. I might not stay as far ahead or have my freezer quite as stocked, but it will still save us a great deal of time. And I really don’t think it will end up taking any extra time and my kitchen won’t get so utterly destroyed all at once (though I might end up washing a few extra dishes by breaking it up like this).

I’ll still be posting an occasional freezer-friendly recipe, but for now (she so generously offered to take over the shouldering of it for me!). I may pick it back up again in the future, but for now, I’m going to guiltlessly enjoy doing what is working for our family.

photo from