The Lure of the Coupon

Can a Coupon Lure You?

As I’ve mentioned in other places on this blog we are following the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace way of life. Sometimes it hard…no wait, it’s hard all the time!

I’ve had this desire to purchase a tortilla press for quite some time. I’ve wanted really good tortillas and they have to be gluten-free. I have a recipe for them but not a press.

Making tortillas is supposed to be easy especially if you press them. So I haven’t tried making them since I don’t have the press. Are you following this logic? Ha!

So when the $5.00 off $15.00 coupon from Bed, Bath and Beyond arrived I knew it was time to get that tortilla press.

coupon

$5. off at Bed, Bath and Beyond

It’s been awhile since I’ve been inside this mega wonder store. My favorite place is at the front where all the organizing items are located. I touched, pulled things out and marveled at all I’ve missed while on my shopping hiatus.

Then back to what I came for –the tortilla press. They don’t have them in the store. Now what to do? I had a perfectly good coupon for $5. that’s like a five dollar bill in my hand, right?

I continued through the store searching, hunting and even digging through the clearance shelves. I was transfixed by monitors showing me a new way to curl and straighten my hair. Checked the price on that amazing tool–way over $15.

Before leaving I thought I should go back to the organizing items because there had to be something I MUST OWN for five dollars less.

And then it hit me. The coupon was a lure. The item I wanted wasn’t at the store. An item I wasn’t even sure I really wanted but rather desired.

I’d like to say I handed the coupon to another shopper but I stuck it in my purse–just in case.

I did leave the store without purchasing anything. Now that I’m home I’m glad I was able to resist that urge to spend the money to get five dollars off of ‘something.’

Now, I need to find that recipe, try it and if we like it, order the tortilla press.

 

How about you?

Are you lured into mega stores by coupons?

Have you fought back and won? or lost?

Tell me!

Blessings,

Diana

 

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Financial Peace is Possible

It’s Financial Planning Week!

Yes, it’s me the self-proclaimed, “I don’t do math and bugets are all about math.”
The thing is since taking Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace Course last spring I’ve discovered that life can be sweeter when you know what is going on with your money.
My husband is teaching the course again this fall so I’m going to the classes again.
The difference from the first time I sat in the class and now is startling. 
First time:
  • I was terrified about not having money for day to day expenses
  • I couldn’t talk to my husband about money without tears
  • I had no idea where our money was going or if we even had money for food
Now:
  • Our money has a name so I know where it is going
  • I am not fearful or anxious even though we have debt
  • We have budget/plan and I always know if there is money for food
  • The best part? I sleep at night and we can discuss money without tears
Are you in charge of your money or were you like me–imprisoned by it?

If you are having problems please look for help. Dave Ramsey’s courses are taught all over the country. He teaches in a way that left or right brained, nerd or free spirit will undstand how to manage your money.

Diana

Easy Meal Planning

Can You make a Meal Plan Every Week?

a2z: the Letter ‘E’

Are you good at making weekly meal plans? 
I’m envious of those who write their weeks worth of meals on a blackboard. It’s not that I can’t plan a menu, more that I forget to do it. 
A friend, Jennifer Tiszai told me about EMEALS. I was skeptical about signing up, having someone plan my gluten free meals. 
EMEALS has several plans, from low carb to gluten free. You even get to pick the store you shop at the most.
I’ve been using the gluten free meal plan any-store since March. It has saved us a lot of money. The meals for the week tend to use the same ingredients. Which means that container of sour cream you bought for one meal gets used in several instead of it being tossed in the trash in a few weeks. 
Even Dave Ramsey has approved of this system. 
I asked if I could share one of my favorite recipes and they said yes.
Home-Style Skillet
1 lb red potatoes, cubed
(3T water)
1 lb smoked turkey kielbassa, cut into 1/4″ slices
1/2 cup chopped onions
(1 T Olive Oil)
(2Tcider vinegar)
(2 T brown sugar)
(2 T Dijon Mustard)
(1/2 t thyme)
(1/4 t pepper)
(4 cups baby spinach)
Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes or until tender, draining. 

chopped kielasa and onionIn a large skillet, sauté kielbasa and onion in oil until onion is tender. 

Add potatoes; sauté 3-5 minutes more or until kielbasa  and potatoes are lightly browned.
keilbasa and potaoes
Combine brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, time and pepper, stir into skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; summer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until heated through add spinach; 
spinach in skillet 
 I know! It looks like it won’t fit!
 Cook and stir until wilted.
home style skillet dinner
Home Style Skillet

Can you see that yummy glaze? 

This dish is going to become one of our favorite comfort foods. It’s a perfect fall/winter/early spring meal.
EMEALS doesn’t just provide you with the main dish, they also give you a side dish and shopping list. On holidays they provide special meal plans. Those aren’t emailed to you so remember to check the site if you decide you want to try this service.
Here’s the recipe without photos to make it easier for you to try.
Home-Style Skillet
1 lb red potatoes, cubed
(3T water)
1 lb smoked turkey kielbassa, cut into 1/4″ slices
1/2 cup chopped onions
(1 T Olive Oil)
(2Tcider vinegar)
(2 T brown sugar)
(2 T Dijon Mustard)
(1/2 t thyme)
(1/4 t pepper)
(4 cups baby spinach)
Place potatoes and water in a microwave-safe dish. Cover and microwave on high for 4 minutes or until tender, draining. 

In a large skillet, sauté kielbasa and onion in oil until onion is tender.
Add potatoes; sauté 3-5 minutes more or until kielbasa  and potatoes are lightly browned.

Combine brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, time and pepper, stir into skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; summer, uncovered, for 2-3 minutes or until heated through add spinach; cook and stir until wilted.

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH EMEALS MEAL PLANS

I’m providing a link for you to check out EMEALS. I am an affiliate seller of EMEALS. If you click my link I will get paid. I only recommend what I’ve tried and think is worth the money.

Diana

SAVE TIME AND MONEY WITH EMEALS MEAL PLANS

Live like No One Else

Living Dave Ramsey Style

In the beginning it was hard to decide if I loved Dave Ramsey or wish I’d never heard of him.

We took the Financial Peace Class this spring.

Book cover of fiancial peacy by Dave Ramsey

The glowing sun is from my camera. It’s not on the book cover, but maybe it should be. Think of it as the sun rising on a new day in your financial life. Hey, maybe Dave should hire me?

As I was saying…love or hate? When we started I did not like this program. It was hard! We had to be adults and figure out where we were spending money. Money is like math to me…it exists and I use it blindly and pretty much incorrectly.

While hubs was telling me that the program was working it didn’t really sink in–until I noticed this:

white plastic bag with the target store logo repeated

I went numb.

This is the bag where I stuff all the target bags after I empty them. It used to be overflowing. If that wasn’t enough evidence that the program works, I went to target and discovered they’d moved everything around since my last trip. Very disconcerting as I was the friendly shopper who could tell another lost shopper where to find anything in that store.

What happened to me? I’ve lost my spending gene.
And that’s okay with me.

I haven’t lost my shopping gene. Now I shop for what I need and look for sales. On a recent trip to the consignment shop I bought my entire winter wardrobe for less than $90. and these were not cheap clothes. Let me drop some names for you, Ann Taylor, Talbots, JJill, and Micheal Kors. Cashmere sweaters for $4.00 with the price tag still on them. Feel free to call me the Name Dropper.

Those clothes and the purchase of the hardwood floor came about from learning how to save from Dave Ramsey.

If you’ve taken the class or have a way to save please share in the comments.

The Money Secret-my rant

Our church has been hosting a Dave Ramsey seminar and we are a little over halfway through it.
Money is a huge big deal in everyone’s life and yet…no one talks about not having any any.
More and more people are living on their credit cards. We we’re guilty of that.

Why? Why would anyone want to do that? It’s easy. Shopping with a credit card for me was painless. It didn’t matter what it cost because Visa was in my purse and ready to slide at a moments desire.

Even when the bills came for me it wasn’t a big deal. I just handed them to my husband–unopened. (I’m sorry Ed!)

Since we started paying with cash or a debit card I’m now aware of what I’m spending. (sorry Visa) I’m know just because you have a card you don’t get to buy what you want. Only what you can afford.

It’s been a challenge to walk into my favorite store (Target) and walk past all the things things that call to me, a new t-shirt, pretty glasses to use for summer or gasp inkpens! I don’t need any of those items right now–I just want them.


The big secret is many of my friends are doing the same thing. Shopping as if they have the money. And we let each other do it! (sorry Barb!) Oh it’s just a yard of material, a new quilt pattern isn’t that much and besides I’m sure we’ll save money by giving it as a gift. Hmmm, my sewing room is full of unmade and ungiven gifts.

We don’t discuss money or bills or debt. It’s a rule right? Never talk politics, religion or money-how many times have you heard that? I think it’s time we start being honest with our family members and friends. Own up to the fact that you can’t spend as much on gifts because you have to pay a bill, or buy long term care insurance. I’m pretty sure my kids would be happy to take less in gifts if it means they won’t have to find a way to pay for me when I’m old, broken and need nursing care. I’m certain my friends would understand if I said, “Can we go for a walk in the park instead of eating out this time? Money is tight and I’d love to spend time with you–just not at a restaurant.”

Maybe we should assign ourselves designated shoppers to stay sober and keep us from harming our financial lives? I truly want to, as Dave says, “Live like no one else so that we can live like no one else when we retire.” It may be to late for us, but it’s not to late to make a bad situation better.

Haven’t heard of Dave Ramsey? There are classes offered nationwide. Check his website for one near you. It will change your life–for the better, especially if you’re in your 20-30s and you start now.

And no I don’t get any money or commission if you click his link. My desire is for everyone to know the money secrets to “Live like no one else, so you can live like no one else!”

Wood Floor = more creativity?

Natural Red Oak

Photo isn’t the best but I promise to show you the entire thing when it’s finished.
Our weekends have been all about pulling up carpet, staples and nails and then installing this beauty.

I also painted the walls this week. Don’t be fooled by the paint and primer in one can marketing. This isn’t a big room and it took 2.5 gallons to paint. One wall is mostly windows and the other has double doors. Not sure where all that paint went. It looks blue in the photo but there it is more teal than blue.

Next step is a trip to Ikea for desks and bookcases.

I’m positive once this is all done and my mess is reorganized I’ll be able to write better and faster. Just like when you get new shoes and can run faster–that’s what this is going to be like. At least for a week until I start piling papers and books because that’s what I do. For now though I am going to dream a little dream.

All of this has been made possible because Barbour bought my book, A Bride’s Dilemma in Friendship, Tennessee. It will be coming out in May.  Without that there would still be yucky carpet because we have undertaken the task of becoming Dave Ramsey people. IE. RESPONSIBLE ADULTS paying cash for what we want instead of using our credit cards and using money we don’t have.

Dave Ramsey is an easy thing to do but it is so HARD! Especially if you are an impulse buyer and you can’t do math like me. I’m the one standing at the cash register with the freaked out look. You know the one that says, “Are you kidding I spent that much? How?”

We’re only on week 2
Week 4 the scissors bite the credit cards in half.
I may die.

Are  you working with a budget? How’s that working out? I really want to know that I will survive this.