Monday, April 13, 2015

Our (not quite) Paleo Weekly Menu

Our Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday -  B.A. Breakfast Sandwiches (not Paleo)

Dinner @ HOME Group

Monday - Paleo Italian Casserole with Fruit

Tuesday - Leftovers

Wednesday Paleo Chicken Pad Sew Ew

Thursday Bacon & BBQ Burger Salad with Fruit

Friday - Black Bean Couscous Salad with Cheesy Burritos (on Cauliflower tortillas)

Saturday - Pizza Salad for Lunch

Salmon, Collards, & Fruit for Dinner

Sunday - Leftovers

Dinner @ HOME Group


School Lunches for Miss Coco: Hard boiled eggs and bacon x 2, Pizza Salad x 2, and Leftovers with apples or bananas, pretzels, and carrots on the side.




Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Friday, April 10, 2015

I Love Great Deals at Eleventh Avenue + 15% Off

Disclosure: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on it.

Every morning when I wake up, the first thing I do is grab my cell phone, turn the alarm off, and check my email.  And every morning, I have about 10 or so promotional emails from various companies.

Most of them get deleted immediately, but there are a few that I must admit that I enjoy!

One of those is from a company called Eleventh Avenue.

If you haven't heard of this website yet, you should check it out.  They have so many awesome and creative daily deals, and if I had all the money in the world, I would definitely spend some of it here.  Okay, even if I didn't have all the money in the world, the prices are usually pretty good deals.

I also love Eleventh Avenue because they have something for everyone.  In other words, I could shop for myself and for gifts for friends and family all on the same site, while saving money!  I think I've seen at least a dozen things that I know my sister would love just in the past week or so.

Admittedly, I have not yet made a purchase from Eleventh Avenue, but I'd say that it's inevitable.  I have a personal policy of not endorsing or promoting products or brands on this blog unless I actually like the brand or have experience with the brand.  In this case, I think the products at Eleventh Avenue are awesome, but I haven't had any experiences with the company...yet.

My most favorite product this week was this one:



I had to show this to Alexander the Great immediately.  We both thought it was great!  Everyone uses the "eating for two" excuse, why shouldn't dads have one too?  Seriously, it's just so cute and funny.   And wouldn't this make the perfect baby shower gift?

I also love their deals on women's apparel, kids' clothes, and home decor.  Here's my latest pick in the home decor category at Eleventh Avenue:



I can't decide if I would choose the "He Has Risen" blocks (shown above) or the "Be Still" blocks.  I love all three options!  And I have the perfect place to put them in my house because we have this great built in bookshelf piece right as you walk in the door, and I could use the right decor to add to some of the shelves.


And right now, you can get a 15% off discount at Eleventh Avenue with discount code: SPRING15!  


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Our Weekly (not quite) Paleo Menu {April 5}

Our Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday -  Eating Out for Easter Lunch

Chicken Salad with Spinach Salad, Tomatoes, and Cottage Cheese

Monday - Leftovers for lunch (Mommy and Baby Prez)

Taco Soup with Salad for Dinner

Tuesday - Naked Breakfast Burritos with Fruit

Wednesday - Leftovers

Thursday - Crock Pot Paleo Chicken and Kale Soup

Friday - Paleo Chicken Pad Sew Ew

Saturday - Pizza Salad for Lunch

Paleo Italian Casserole

Sunday - Leftovers

Dinner @ HOME Group


School Lunches for Miss Coco: Leftover chicken salad, pizza salad x 2, hard boiled eggs and bacon x 2 with strawberries, apples, or bananas, pretzels, and carrots on the side.




Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mission to Financial Freedom: March Budget Update

We Saved Over $3,000 in March for Mission to Financial Freedom


We have officially graduated from Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University!  But that means we are now on our own without the support group that we found in our class.  Nevertheless, we are sticking to our Mission to Financial Freedom.  Last month, we were able to save over $2,000, which was over $1,000 more than we had expected to save.

March was our second full month on the MFF plan, and I must admit that I was not as successful this month with keeping the cash envelopes going, but I'm definitely going to make the effort for April.

For March our goals were:
  1. Put at least $2,000 in savings.
  2. Pay off one student loan bill @ ~$4,300.
  3. Be on or under budget for the month.
  4. Finish and submit our taxes early. - In progress

Overall, I'd say that we were pretty successful at reaching our financial goals for the month.  Now, we just have to get our taxes submitted in the next two weeks!

Budgetwise, we were almost right on budget with most categories, but we were not as disciplined as in February.  Alexander the Great had a fantastic month and earned even more than expected, but my paychecks were less than expected because I didn't realize how much would be withheld for taxes.  Oops!  Overall though, we still came out ahead on the budget!  Yay!


We were over budget in the following areas:

  • Groceries - my nemesis.  ($11 over)
  • Household and Personal Care - I got some amazing deals at CVS, but the out-of-pocket was more than I had budgeted.  ($37 over)
  • Restaurants - Alexander the Great took the kiddos out a few times while I was in Indiana for a conference during the last weekend in March.  ($26 over)
  • School Lunch  ($13 over)
  • Natural Gas - Our budget amount was adjusted up.  Darn!  ($11 over)
  • Gas/Fuel - Probably explained by my impromptu trip to Kansas.  ($42 over)
  • Pharmacy - AKA Lice Treatment.  Gross.  ($25 over)

But, we were under budget in a few areas as well:
  • Cable/Internet - We got a new deal this month, which decreased our bill by $10.  ($10 under)
  • Clothing - No purchases, so $20 goes into the sinking fund for clothing!  It's garage sale season, so I'm hoping to pick up a few more things before Baby Girl arrives.  ($20 under)
  • Doctor Bills - I'm pretty sure this will go up next month, but this month, we ended up paying $22 less than we thought.  ($22 under)
  • Optometrist - Insurance ended up covering all of Miss Coco's optometrist appointment AND glasses.  ($500 under)
  • Life Insurance - We'll be starting with our life insurance in April instead of March.  ($75 under)
  • Daycare - ($20 under)
  • Entertainment - ($22 under)

We also added money to our sinking funds:
  • $50 to car repair and maintenance
  • $50 to car taxes and taxes
  • $40 to pet supplies
  • $75 to gifts
  • $20 to clothing

Thanks to our savings goals for the past three months, we have fully funded our $1,000 emergency fund, expected expenses for Baby Girl's arrival in June (prayers that there are no complications), insurance for Baby Girl until my new job starts in August, and moving expenses for the big move to South Carolina this summer.  It's so nice to know that those things are already taken care of.  We've also been able to set aside funds to start paying down debt after Baby Girl Harvey arrives!  In March, we saved over $3,000 towards these goals!

It feels amazing to see the amount in our savings account continue to increase each month...even more than expected in some cases!  But I'm also so very excited to start the debt paydown process in a few months.  I can't wait to see those debt snowball balances start to go down, down, down!

You can read more about our Mission to Financial Freedom HERE.






Thanks to PicMonkey for awesome photo editing online!

*This post may contain affiliate links.*

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Our Weekly (not quite) Paleo Menu {March 30}

Our Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday -  Driving home...Mr. Harvey and Miss Coco on their own

Dinner @ HOME Group

Monday - Leftovers

Tuesday Almond Crusted Paleo Chicken Strips with Sweet Potato Fries and Salad

Wednesday - Ground Beef Paleo Stroganoff with Spaghetti Squash and Salad

Thursday - Paleo Bacon & BBQ Burger Salad (making this ahead because I'll be a business reception)

Friday - Leftovers (since I'll be at a business dinner)

Saturday - Leftovers

Salmon, Collards, & Fruit for Dinner

Sunday - Eating Out for Easter Lunch

Chicken Salad with Spinach Salad, Tomatoes, and Cottage Cheese


I also want to check out these Paleo cookbooks: Against All Grain by Danielle Walker and Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott!





Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Credit Card I Use Despite our Cash Budgeting Plan

Disclosure: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

As you know, we've been trying to follow the Dave Ramsey cash budgeting plan.  Despite understanding the good reasons not to use credit cards as our primary method of payment, I still pull a few credit cards out once in awhile.

One of those cards is the Target REDcard because it truly saves me money on the items I regularly purchase from Target, plus things like wedding gifts and baby gifts and other purchases that I simply like making at Target.  For a long time, I avoided applying for a REDcard because I did not want to have too many credit cards, but I am SO glad that I finally decided to do so.  I've had my REDcard for about 3 years now, and I can't believe that I didn't sign up sooner.

Target REDcard

My favorite feature (by far) is the 5% of every purchase!  5% may not seem like a lot, but it definitely adds up.  Each time you check out, your receipt will tell you how much you have saved throughout the year with your REDcard.  Plus, you can still use the discount with manufacturer coupons, Target coupons, text offers from Target, AND Target Cartwheel.  You can save tons when you stack and combine all of these methods!

Beyond the discount on every purchase, I love the benefit of free shipping from Target.com!  This comes in handy around Christmas each year.  Last year, the Target store location didn't have the toy we wanted to Baby Prez for Christmas, so while I was in line to check out with my other purchases, I ordered the gift from Target.com using my cell phone.

There are so many more benefits like an extra 30 days to return purchases, easy online card management, an immediate approval process, and the choice between a debit card and a credit card.  And through the Take Charge of Education program, you can choose a school and Target will donate up to 1% of your purchases to the school of your choice!  (I'm excited about implementing this part once we move to South Carolina this summer.)  Target has donated over $400 million to schools around the country since 1997!

5% off and Free shipping with Target REDcard


To sign up for your REDcard, CLICK HERE.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Our Weekly Menu {March 22nd}

Our Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday -  Driving home...Mr. Harvey and Miss Coco on their own

Dinner @ HOME Group

Monday - Homemade Cauliflower Crust Pizza with Salad

Tuesday - Pork Roast Paleo Sandwiches with Salad and Fruit

Wednesday - Zoodles and Marinara with Sauteed Mushrooms

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Italian Mushroom Casserole with Veggies

Saturday - Leftovers for Lunch

Pork Roast, Veggies, and Salad for Dinner

Sunday - Leftovers for Lunch

Dinner @ HOME Group

Monday - Almond Crusted Chicken Strips with Carrots and Fruit

Tuesday - Chicken Salad with Spinach Salad, Tomatoes, and Cottage Cheese


I also want to check out these Paleo cookbooks: Against All Grain by Danielle Walker and Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott!





Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Our Weekly Paleo-ish Menu {March 15th}

Our Weekly Meal Plan

Sunday - Bacon and Eggs for Lunch

Dinner @ HOME Group

Monday - Almond Crusted Chicken Strips with Carrots and Strawberries

Tuesday Chicken Pad Sew Ew

Wednesday - Collard Wrapped Turkey Burgers with Cucumber Salad

Thursday - Leftovers

Friday - Homemade Paleo Pizza with Cauliflower Crust and Salad

Saturday - Baked Salmon, Collards, & Fruit

Sunday - Leftovers for Lunch

Dinner @ HOME Group


Lunch Boxes for Miss Coco: Egg salad, Leftover turkey burger, Boiled eggs & turkey bacon, 2 lunchables





Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post contains affiliate links.