Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blessing: A House all of our OWN

Today was a BIG day for us.  We bought and paid for a house.  The bank does not own it.  It's ours.  The closing took 5 minutes. We signed 2 papers as opposed to when we closed on our first house. With a mortgage, you sign (what seemed like) millions of papers.

We are elated.  We have worked hard, made sacrifices and lived below our means for years....all for a moment like this!  THANK YOU God....and Dave Ramsey, of course!

The Cashier's Check we used to pay for our HOUSE.  In the amount of $78,167.00.

This house is not our dream house.  In fact, we have countless projects lined up to do in the next few months.  But, there is something about owning a house and not owing a dime on it.  The peace associated with not owning a dime on it is amazing.  We hope to help other couples learn to do the same thing when we host our first Financial Peace University class this fall. 

Here are a few "before" pictures of the house.  I can't wait to start our projects and share all of the before and after pictures.  Most of my inspiration comes from 2 of my favorite blogs, the famous and my friend Jenna's Blog,     Ready.....set.....GO!

Living Room other Side

Living Room

Dining Room

Dining Room


Mud Room (love the space!)

More mud room

Entry Hall--Can't wait to get rid of this blue!

Front Entry


Alexis' Room--next up after kitchen

Austin's Room

Austin's Room

The Master (BLUE ROOM!)  Bye Bye Blue!

Master other side

Master Closet #1

Master Closet #2

Our Home

Finally, A house of our own in Newell!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Frugal Tuesday Tip: Free Menu Planning Tool

One of the ways I save money is to plan a menu so I know what I want to get at the store instead of wandering and grabbing whatever looks good.  A lot of times, I base my menu off of the weekly loss leaders at the store (items they sell at or just above cost to get you in).  For example, Chicken and broccoli were on sale a couple of weeks ago so most of our meals had chicken and broccoli in them. 

When planning a menu, I get a lot of my recipe ideas off of the internet.  Either at Pinterest, other blogs,, etc.  There is a sweet FREE tool out on the internet to get all of your planning in one place.

Say MMM .com is a free menu planning tool that lets you link recipes to your daily plans.  The very sweet thing about the free tool is that after you link a recipe, a pop up menu comes up with all of the ingredients in that recipe, allowing you to make a shopping list off of your weekly recipes. 

2 of my favorite things; technology and FREE, all in one place.  Score!  Happy menu planning!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Frugal Tuesday Tip: My Fitness Pal

It seems like a ton of people are on Weight Watchers these days.  I know Weight Watchers is a good program and I know it works.  My sister has lost over 20 pounds on it in 8 weeks (great job sis!!).  I almost thought about joining Weight Watchers when I saw that she has a super sweet App on her phone that tracks all of her "points".  She can scan a product and it will tell her how many points each serving is.  However, the nearest Weight Watchers meeting is 20 minutes away so that alone deters me from wanting to do it.  Not to mention it's about $10 a week.   I figure it would cost me about $60+ a month to do Weight Watchers plus my time driving there and back each week.  I am looking to lose some weight but I'm not interested in an extra monthly expense or time drainer.

Good news.....I have found a frugal alternative.  :)

 It's called My Fitness Pal.   Top 5 Perks of My Fitness Pal include:
  1. It is FREE.
  2. You can log your food and exercise.
  3. You can connect via the web or your phone.
  4. The phone app has a SCANNER!!  (Let's you scan your food and enters it for you)
  5. You can connect with friends to motivate each other.
I was so excited to find this gem.  I used it about a year ago for a short amount of time but at the time you could only log on using a computer.  I am super excited to be able to track my food and exercise on my phone now because it's quick and can be done anywhere.  If you are in the market to lose some weight, check out My Fitness Pal!