Dollars & Sense, Tip #3: Buying Generic vs. Name Brand


Dollars & Sense Tip #3 is all about how we can save money by buying generic instead of name brand items. For a long time, Jason and I always felt like we had to buy name brand when shopping. It seems like after we had kids and were living on one income, we realized that we were spending a lot more on food and other items than we really needed to.

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Dollars and Sense, Tip #2: Inexpensive Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day


For my Dollars & Sense Tip #2, I thought I would focus on Valentine’s Day, since the holiday is coming up soon. Everyone associates this day with lots of flowers, candy, etc. and those things can be very expensive. Jason and I have never spent a lot of money on Valentine’s Day gifts, but we always enjoy celebrating in our own way.

Here are some ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank:

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Dollars & Sense, Tip #1: Easy Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store


Hi everyone! I’m excited to bring to you a brand new series to the blog called “Dollars & Sense”. I’m going to be sharing tips and ideas for helping you to save your family money. I’m not a money expert, but I do have 4 children who I homeschool and we’ve lived for more than 13 years now on one income. Over the years, I’ve learned a little about saving money and living a frugal (yet very happy!) lifestyle. I’m looking forward to sharing with you some of the things I’ve learned and I hope that you will in turn share with me any tips or ideas that you have learned, as I’m always eager to hear new ideas about saving money!

So here is Tip #1: Easy ways to save money at the grocery store.

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Think you’re cut out for doing a bath remodel? Neither did we, but we did it anyway!!! (And we survived!!)

I mentioned a few weeks ago that we’d been extremely busy with our old house, remodeling the bathroom. I wanted to tell you all a little about how that went. We got the news that my sister was moving out of the house near the end of October. We already knew that the bathroom floor was spongy near the tub and needed some work done. But we had no idea what we were in for….


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Cheesy Ham & Potato Soup Recipe

Hi everyone! I have a brand new recipe for you today! Cheesy Ham & Potato Soup. I’m very excited about this one because it is my very own recipe. I always try to think of ways I can use things that we already have to make meals with, just to try and save money for our family. So I had a bunch of potatoes that needed to be used, as well as some cans of cream of potato soup that were going to expire soon. So I started thinking of potato recipes and started looking around in my cookbooks. I ended up creating my own recipe. In addition to the potatoes, I had some process cheese ( I had used some of it for macaroni & cheese) and some half & half. So I went ahead about bought a piece of ham steak at Aldi and here’s what I came up with:




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Week 4 of the Fast Food Challenge

We’ve come to week four of the fast food challenge. We did really good all week up until Saturday! This weekend we’ve been celebrating Hulk’s birthday (Our 2nd boy, just a reminder that he chose his own nickname and honestly it suits him very well). He turns 7 on Monday! So we’ve started celebrating each of our kids birthdays by taking them out to dinner by themselves, to their choice of restaurant. It is something they love and look forward to so much. We were going to wait until next weekend, but decided to go ahead and take him. 

He chose Golden Corral as where he wanted to eat and we spent around $40 for the three of us. But I think that is pretty good considering that is all we spent for the entire month!  There are only 3 more days left in August and we have a menu plan set for this week, so I think we’re all set to finish the month out.

Since we worked so hard to not spend money on fast food or take out this month, we were able to set aside money for this Christmas. It feels good to have that money in the bank and know that we don’t have to worry about affording a nice Christmas for our kids.

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We are so blessed, when you think about it. So many people in the world are starving and sick and dying and yet we have all that we need and more. God is so good to us.




Week 3 of the Fast Food Challenge

Here we are 3 weeks into the Fast Food Challenge for the month of August. Things are going really well for our family. We have had NO fast food or take out of any kind since July 31st! We have been sticking to our dinner menu plan this past week, with a few minor changes here and there and that has helped a lot. Also, yesterday we went our for awhile and typically we would’ve stopped and gotten the kids some burgers from McDonald’s while out, but we took along snacks from home as well as drinks. So we were able to avoid buying fast food. I think the biggest thing about this whole challenge is just to plan ahead. It helps us to realize ways that we can change how we’re doing things even after this month is over.

Yesterday, Jason and I made these Rueben Roll Ups that turned out so yummy and were very easy to make. They were also very inexpensive. When you can be creative and make things like this yourself, it makes you feel a little better about not buying fast food so much. I will be writing a separate post with the recipe for this one soon.


Here is our dinner menu plan for this week:

Sunday: Sloppy Joe & French Fries

Monday: Cheese Ravioli, Salad & Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Chicken Pot Pie & Rice

Wednesday: Tacos

Thursday: Beef Stew & Corn Muffins

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Homemade Pizza


So that is our plan for this week! How is your month going? Has anyone been trying to cut back a little on eating out maybe? Sometimes you have to just take little steps and work on one thing at a time. You could do the challenge for one week instead of one month, for example. I know it can be hard to go a whole month. Jason is craving some pizza from Papa Johns these days! But we only have another week and a half to go! Please comment! I would love to hear from you!




Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”