The Best Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

Moist Pumpkin Crumb MuffinsI’ve been in the mood to bake with pumpkin lately now that fall has arrived, and I decided to make these Pumpkin Crumb Muffins. They are so delicious and moist! And the crumb topping adds the perfect amount of sweetness. I always know if the recipe is good if my family loves it, which they do. This batch of Pumpkin Crumb Muffins made about 16 muffins. So next time I make the muffins, I’ll plan to double the batch and freeze some so we can have muffins for breakfast, snacks or lunches.


The Best Pumpkin Crumb Muffins Pumpkin Breads

Here is the recipe to make The Best Pumpkin Crumb Muffins:

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8 Ways to Save Money Shopping Online

ways to save money shopping onlineOnline shopping makes life easier because you don’t need to leave your house to have what you want delivered to your front porch. I really like to save money shopping online, and I especially love shopping online during the holiday season because I don’t have to leave my house, I can shop in my pajamas and I can avoid the crowds, particularly during Black Friday. If you want to know tips how to shop Black Friday deals, head over here. I almost always find just as good of deals if not better deals shopping online rather than going to the store.

Check out these 8 ways to save money shopping online that will save you money.

1. Use Cashback Shopping Sites

Use cashback shopping sites such as TopCashback or Ebates for all your online purchases. Cashback sites are a way for you to save money every time you shop online at one of its partner retailers using a link from the cashback website. A percentage of the purchase is returned to you as a cash back rebate when you complete your purchase. Cashback shopping sites offer cash back at thousands of stores and they are free to use.

I use both TopCashback and Ebates to shop online and like them both. I usually check to see which of the cashback sites will give me more money back on my purchase and then shop through that cashback site for my specific purchase. Here is more information about them:

TopCashback has partnered with more than 4,100 online stores. When you sign up for TopCashback, you’ll receive a $5 sign up bonus which can be redeemed once you reach the $5 minimum payable cash back threshold for purchasing an item through its site. After this first payout there is no minimum pay-out threshold. You can choose to be paid through gift cards, ACH, PayPal, Gift Card and American Express Rewards Card.

Ebates is also a great cash back site with more than 2,000 stores. In addition, you’ll find thousands of coupons and promo codes from Ebates. Every quarter Ebates mails you a check or PayPal payment with the cash back you received from shopping online through them. Sign up with Ebates and receive a $10 sign up bonus.


2. Use Rewards Sites

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Toffee Cream Cheese Apple Dip

Toffee Cream Cheese Apple Dip

I was recently at a birthday party of a friend, and she made this Toffee Cream Cheese Apple Dip. It was SO good! I had a hard time not taking and placing some of this apple dip on my plate every time I passed the food table. Because it was delicious, I knew I had to make this for my family to try, and of course for me to eat.

This Toffee Cream Cheese Apple Dip is only 5 ingredients and takes minutes to mix it together and make it. If you have any holiday parties you are going to, then this is a delicious treat to take with you to share with everyone.

Toffee Apple Dip with Cream Cheese

Check out this recipe how to make this easy Toffee Cream Cheese Apple Dip:

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What’s For Dinner Video: A Week of Meals Ideas

A week of meal ideas what's for dinner

This week I am sharing a video with you of what meals I cooked for my family. I know how busy we are as moms and we don’t have a lot of time in our day to cook meals for our family. I’m sharing simple dinner ideas that don’t take a lot of time to make. If you can plan your meals ahead, even on busy days, then you’ll save your family money because you will be less likely to pick up dinner at a fast food restaurant, and you’ll end up running to the store less often. Check out the What’s for Dinner Video: A Week of Meal Ideas below.



If you can’t see my video, head over to my YouTube channel here.


And below are links to the recipes I made for my family in the video:

Day 1: Crock Pot Lasagna

Day 2: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup with 4-Ingredient Homemade Noodles

Day 3: Crock Pot Macaroni & Cheese

Day 4: Creamy Tomato Soup

Day 5: Chinese Tacos

Day 6: Crock Pot Chicken Enchiladas

Day 7: Leftovers



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Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins

We have been harvesting a lot of zucchini from our garden this year. I’ve been shredding and freezing it, and I’ve also been making Zucchini Cake with Fudge Frosting, Zucchini Bread, and these delicious Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins.

Since this Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffin recipe makes about 52 muffins, once they are cooked and cooled, I’ll put them in gallon freezer bags and place them in the freezer. The muffins freeze great! We love to pull them out of the freezer for snacks for the kids and also for my husband when he goes to work. And we add these muffins to the school lunches. By the time the kids eat their lunch, the muffin is thawed. If you are wondering what to do with all the zucchini in your garden this year, then you’ll definitely want to make these Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins.


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins on Cooling Rack


Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins on Rack

Here’s is the recipe for the Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins:

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Why It’s Important to Include Sinking Funds as Part of Your Budget

Why It's Important to Include Sinking Funds as Part of Your Budget

If you are wondering, “What is are sinking funds?” and “Why do I need to include it in my budget?” then here is some beneficial information that will help you to become more financially prepared for upcoming expenses.

What are Sinking Funds?

A sinking fund is a fund where you set aside money for expenses that are predictable. You know the expense is coming up and instead of waiting until the expense is due and there isn’t room in your budget to pay for it, you plan ahead for the expense by creating a sinking fund within your budget and set that money aside until you need to pay for that expense.

Many times when people start budgeting, there may be some expenses that they don’t anticipate such as an item in the home breaking that needs to be replaced or the car needing repaired. By creating a sinking fund, you’ll be able to spread out large expenses, or even smaller expenses, over time.  For many people this can be difficult to do because it requires patience and self control to plan ahead and to not spend money on other purchases immediately because they want those items right now.

Here is a list of expenses that you may want to create a sinking fund for and to consider including in your budget:

  • home repairs
  • new car or car repairs
  • family vacations
  • kids sports and activities
  • insurance
  • medical expenses
  • Christmas
  • subscriptions and dues
  • birthdays and gifts


How to Get Started on Sinking Funds

To get started on sinking funds, determine what expenses are coming up and which sinking funds you need. Calculate the total amount of money you will need in one sinking fund and what date you will need it. Then break it down into how much you need to save each month before the expense comes due. Begin saving that amount of money each month for the allotted time frame. For instance, if you know you want to save $1,000 to spend on Christmas and you begin saving in June, which leaves you about 6 months to save, then you need to put aside $166 each month (or $42 each week) to reach that goal before Christmas comes.

Another example is having a sinking fund for upcoming home repairs such as a water heater, A/C unit or appliances that may break down. For instance, a water heater usually lasts an average of 10-15 years. If you know your water heater is about that old and that it will cost $2,000 to repair it, then start a home repair sinking fund and set aside $50 to $100 each month so you have money to pay for a new water heater or other items around the house that begin to break and need replaced. Right now, our house is 12 years old and we haven’t had to replace our water heater yet, so this is a sinking fund we have begun to save for. We know our water heater will eventually break. We don’t know exactly when, but when it does, we will have saved enough money to pay for it because we have started saving for it now.

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Halloween Graveyard Cheesecake Dip

Halloween Graveyard Cheesecake Dip

I love Halloween, and I love making Halloween desserts and treats! This Halloween Graveyard Cheesecake Dip was so fun to make, and my younger daughter enjoyed helping me to decorate the top with the graveyard scene. The recipe makes a lot of dip, which is perfect to take to a Halloween party. If you want to make this Halloween Graveyard Cheesecake Dip for your family, then you’ll want to cut the recipe in half.

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How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget Video

How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget VideoRecently, there has also been thousands of people affected by natural disasters. Because of this and since September is national preparedness month, I want to share with you a video on how to build a 72-hour kit on a budget. In this video I share with you items I’ve added to our family’s 72-hour kits and tips on how to do it on a budget.  You never know when there might be an emergency and you need to leave your house quickly. And having a 72-hour kit that can be quickly picked up as you walk out the door could be a life saver.

This video is to encourage people to get their 72-hour kits ready by starting out simple. Start off by gathering the basics, which include food, water, light, warmth and personal hygiene, then add to it little by little every year. Compiling a 72-hour kit doesn’t have to cost hundreds of dollars. When I first started our 72-hours kits, I found many of the items around the house and placed them in a backpack to create 72-hour kits for each member of our family. Then I slowly added to it, as well as regularly rotated through items each year. Check out the video below on How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget:



What tips do you have to build a 72-hour kit on a budget?

If you can’t see the video above, head over to my YouTube Channel here. And please subscribe to my channel while you are over there.


How to Compile a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget

You can also watch my ABC4 News segment here where I share tips on how to build a 72-hour kit on a budget.


How to Build a 72-Hour Kit on a Budget

And also head over to my post here where I list all of the items I mention in the video.

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Easy Three-Bean Chili

Easy Three Bean ChiliThis easy Three-Bean Chili recipe is one of my favorite chili recipes to throw together at the last minute. Add Fritos or tortilla chips crumbled which adds to the delicious taste of the chili. A friend gave me the recipe years ago and it has now become one of my go-to soup recipes on cold fall and winter days. Here is the recipe for the Three-Bean Chili:

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Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan

I know a recipe turns out to be good when my kids eat up their food faster than I can start eating my food after everyone is dished up. This Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan recipe is one of those delicious, family-friendly recipes that my kids loved. The chicken was so tender from cooking all day long. It turned out to be a yummy dish! And it really was quite easy to put in the crock pot.

It did take a few extra minutes to brown the chicken and breading, but that process is part of what makes this Crock Pot Chicken Parmesan so good. Here is the recipe:

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