• Budget Smart Cook,  Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Top Tips for Sticking with Your Budget

        So you have a family budget. There’s only one problem – you haven’t stuck with it! Maybe your budget is nicely outlined and detailed, but sits unused on your computer or in your desk drawer. Formulating a budget is a challenge, but once you have it done, it doesn’t do any good unless you stick with it. Sometimes you need to compromise and be somewhat flexible but oftentimes can tweak and adjust your budget to make it easier for you to stick with it. Here are some creative and even fun tips for doing just that… Have a Look-See Maybe your budget didn’t work out because it didn’t fit…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Do You Really Need an Emergency Fund?

      Everyone should have an emergency fund because life is full of changes – many of them sudden and not good – and having that “cushion” can help you feel ready and calm. What’s the best approach and does it need to be a huge amount? Here are some ideas and suggestions – What are my expenses? First, determine your expenses. Look at three to six months’ worth of living costs and count on saving that much in a fund. This can help you keep your standard of living for a time if you lose your job, or it can cover a large expense such as vehicle repair.  Next step…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Practical Steps to Getting Started on a Family Budget

        Are you ready to get started on a family budget? Are you overwhelmed? It can seem complicated at first – how do you categorize everything? What about expenses that fluctuate or aren’t monthly? The best thing to do is take a step back and look at some practical steps toward formulating your family budget. Here are some tips.   Estimates and Actuals, not Ideals   Remember that your budget is a tool, not a dream machine. Goals are important, but a family budget should first focus on the numbers you’re dealing with. That’s the basic first step. Once you have a grasp on that, you can begin a…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Three Ingredient Summer Cooler

      If like me, you live somewhere that’s been hot and humid this last week or so, you’ll appreciate this quick and easy three ingredient smoothie…slushie, call it what you like depending on whether or not you add ice to the mix or even serve it over ice. It’s refreshing and makes two 8 ounce glasses.   In a blender, add 4 cups frozen chopped mango     1 cup mango juice   <iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=susiep-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B01N9V5N0P&asins=B01N9V5N0P&linkId=15edc57e776b20115421bba41952201d&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff”></iframe>     1 cup coconut cream   <iframe style=”width:120px;height:240px;” marginwidth=”0″ marginheight=”0″ scrolling=”no” frameborder=”0″ src=”//ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=susiep-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00R61K7FO&asins=B00R61K7FO&linkId=df6d47b95e0555674ff4ce17bed962f6&show_border=false&link_opens_in_new_window=false&price_color=333333&title_color=0066c0&bg_color=ffffff”></iframe>   Blend until smooth and pour into glasses with crushed or cubed ice for a truly…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide,  Products and Companies Worth Checking Out

    Creativebug’s Having a Sale

      One of my hobbies is arts and crafts so a few years ago I signed up for a subscription to Creativebug Great thing is with your subscription you can take as many classes as you want, sewing, cooking, painting, you name it. You even get to put 12 classes per year into your own library so if you ever quit your subscription they’re still there for you. I’ve learned a ton of stuff from their site. Yes, even stuff like sewing skills that can save me money. I’ve even learned some art skills and sold a few of my doodles so you can make money too! I enjoy the site so…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Are You On Track With Your Financial Goals?

        We’re almost mid-way through the financial summer makeover/challenge so how are you doing? Are you on track to meet the financial goals you set? Here’s my update. I’ve been keeping track of money I spend and what I spend it on. It’s taught me a couple of things. One, there’s always room for improvement because even the most budget conscious of us will splurge once in a while. It’s human nature I guess, and yes, like a diet it’s sometimes a good thing because it stops you from going off the diet completely. Second thing is that being accountable if only to myself, is improving my ability to be totally…

  • Budget Smart Girl's Guide

    Ways to Save with Amazon

    Before I begin, a full disclosure, I recently signed up to be an Amazon associate which means I can earn affiliate fees if anyone clicks on or makes a purchase through one of the links I’m providing in this post… and actually that’s my first tip for saving and making money on Amazon is to become one of their associates. Coupons I never thought I’d find coupons on Amazon but yes, they have them and here’s a link (no, this isn’t one of the affiliate links). You can use them for lots of stuff and another way to shave off some money from your order. https://www.amazon.com/Coupons     Prime Member and…

  • Budget Smart Cook

    Slow Cooker Mexican Shredded Chicken

    A few of you asked for a recipe to serve with the cilantro-lime rice I posted last week and here’s one of my favorites. This delicious, healthy slow cooker recipe is as easy as it is versatile. This flavor-packed chicken is perfect for burrito bowls, lettuce wraps, (or over a bed of flavorful cilantro-lime rice0. Tip: Don’t skip the squeeze of fresh lime juice after cooking. It really brightens the flavors and pulls them all together.   Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 3–8 hours Serves: 4-6 Ingredients: 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 10-oz. cans Rotel fire-roasted diced tomatoes & green chilies, undrained 2 15-oz. cans black beans,…

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