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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17 Deals on School Supplies & Stock Up Prices

17 deals on school supplies & stock up prices

As you shop for school supplies for your kids this year, here are the price points of how much to pay for school supplies and the stores that have the best deals right now. If you see a better in-store or online deal, please let me know and I’ll update it so everyone can see where they best deals are located.


Backpacks – Kmart has backpacks for $5.00 and Walmart has backpacks for $6.88




Crayons, 24 ct. – $0.25 stock up price (Walmart – $0.25 generic crayons or $0.50 Crayola crayons)



Colored Pencils, 12 ct. – $1.00 stock up price (Crayola Colored Pencils at Walmart – $0.97 or Crayola Colored Pencils atTarget – $0.97)



#2 Pencils, 8 ct. – $0.40 stock up price (Walmart in store – $0.47)


Ballpoint Pens – $0.70 per package of 10 is a stock up price (Bic Xtra Life Ballpoint Pens, 10 ct. at Target – $0.97 each)

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13 Tips to Teach Children to Save Money

Teach Children to Save Money

When I was young, I learned from my parents to save money and be frugal. I watched as my parents would save for an item, then purchase it when they had the money. Even though they may have wanted an item right then, they usually they did without, made due with what they had or purchased an item at a second hand store because it was less expensive. They taught me and my siblings to save most of the money we earned and put it into a savings account. And they said that if we saved money, it would help us to be able to pay for some of our college education. Because of their encouragement, I almost paid for my entire college education without taking out a student loan. You can read more of my story, My Financial Life Journey and the Lessons I Learned by clicking here.

Now that I’m a parent, I want to teach my kids how to budget, save money and stay out of debt. I’ve seen many times where a child grows up and moves out of the house only to start buying everything he or she wants with a credit card. They see what their parents have, and they want all of that now. Some of them don’t realize that it takes years to acquire the items that are in a home. Teaching children to save money isn’t easy. They usually want to spend money they receive immediately. Below are ideas to teach young children and teens how to save money.

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How to Speed Clean the Living Room & Kitchen Video

how to speed clean the living room and kitchen

As a mom with young kids, my house goes from clean to a disaster within a short time. I don’t always have a lot of time to clean, but with the amount of time I do have, I make it count. Today I’m showing you how to speed clean the living room and kitchen. For those of you asking, I used this Swiffer Duster and this Windex Multi Surface Spray Cleaner. What tips do you have for speed cleaning the house?


If you can’t see the video, head over to my YouTube Channel to watch it.





living room


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