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Author Archives: cooponmommy

Baby Steps to Creating a Budget….

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Over the past few months I have read more and more posts on different blogs I read and have recently become very determined to start tracking my money, see how much is going where, and then eventually I will switch to a cash only budget. But since as of right now “cash only ” seems to be a little over my head, I’ve started with some basics.

We are taking baby steps… The first one being my boyfriend and I decided that every Friday (pay day) we would each take $20 out for ourselves for spending cash. Yup, you read that right… only $20!! From keeping an eye on my bank account the past month I’ve realized that a lot of money was going to Starbucks, To Go Lunches, Gum, etc. so we decided to start with $20 and go from there. That means anything we need that is “extra” for ourselves has to come out of this money, no questions asked, but when that $20  is spent there’s no more random walgreens spending or energy drinks for us, until next paycheck (and if there is any left over that’s up to ourself what we decide to do with it).

This week the $20 cash worked out great, we were both much more cautious of what “extras” we were buying. Having a bank card in your hand makes it so much easier to spend money, $10 here, $7.14 there, you don’t realize it… but those small amounts add up ((and for us it was adding up to well over $20 each))! I’m sure we will have to tweak this and configure a small amount for our son’s extras (like a cookie while we walk by dunkin donuts or something) but for now we’re starting here.

My second baby step is that I have started hand writing EVERYTHING that was coming out of our bank on a piece of paper and dividing it into groups… bills, groceries, gas, “mistakes” etc. I look forward to being able to see where our money went and how much we have saved in comparison to other weeks. The other perk is that we can see what mistakes we made, and what we can cut out.

So in summation this week is the first week that we will start our budgeting and cash only system. We’ve begun with two baby steps and I’m hoping this will help others too :

1. Take a small amount of CASH from each pay check as your “play money”. DO NOT swipe your card for anything you do not NEED. i.e.- gummy bears and bottle of water. ((but we are still allowing ourselves to swipe for groceries, gas, diapers, etc))

2. Write down and catorgorize EVERYTHING that is coming out of your bank account ((we’re doing it from Pay day Friday to the end of Thursday)), you will be surprised to learn where your money is going and how fast quick trips add up!!


What’s for Dinner??? :: Slow Cooker Marinara Chicken and Vegetables

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I know I’ve been gone for a while, things started getting a little crazy.. but I’ve decided to come back, and what better way to kick off a comeback than with a new section??? I’ve decided I’m going to start a “What’s for Dinner” section of the blog. I pride myself on cooking dinner just about every night, and it’s (almost) always something healthy ((and for the most part pretty cheap too!!)). So I figured I’d share what’s for dinner, and if its something new to the house, I’ll tell you guys how it came out too !

Tonight Menu is Slow Cooker Marinara Chicken and Vegetables (Chef Meg’s Makeover) from Spark Recipes. This recipe is super easy to follow and *hopefully* just as tasty!!
I did change the recipe a little…

  • I used 4 zucchinis insead of 2
  • I added a diced Red Bell Pepper
  • Added a diced Onion
  • Added a few shakes of Oregano
  • Added some freshly grated mozz to the top (around a cup give or take)
  • Omitted the celery (didn’t have any)
  • Omitted the thyme (not a huge fan)

I cut the chicken breast up to about the size of tenders, and they were half frozen when they went in so they will take a little longer, but can’t wait to try it!

$10 off $40 Pier 1 Coupon… ((printable only today, valid through 1/22))

Pier 1 coupons come few and far between so make sure you print this $10 off a $40 purchase coupon!!! It’s only able to be printed today, but is valid through Jan. 22. I haven’t been into Pier 1 in a about a month, but last time I was there they still had some great seasonal things left!!






Victoria’s Secret Semi Annual Sale Ends Sunday ((Jan 22)) FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $25!

Victoria’s Secret’s Semi Annual Sale ((Which has always been one of my FAVORITES!)) is going on NOW through Sunday ((Jan 22)). Use the code SHIP25 to score FREE Shipping on orders over $25!



FREE Pink Chiffon 2 oz Body Lotion at Bath & Body Works (Jan 20-22)

Valid January 20-22 Bath and Body will be giving away FREE Pink Chiffon 2 oz Body Lotions ($3.50 value)…and the best thing is, NO PURCHASE NECESSARY!!!! ‘Like’ Them on facebook and PRINT OUT THIS COUPON and bring it into your  Bath & Body Works to score your free lotion 🙂

p.s. In stores only! ((while supplies last))


FREE 2 Year Subscription to LEGO Magazine

FILL OUT THE FORM and allow 4-6 weeks delivery for your first magazine 🙂


M&M & Nascar Instant Win Game!!!

M&M and Nascar have a really cool new instant win game with thousands of prizes, and  the Grand Prize being a 2012 Toyota Camry!!! When you play the instant win game you get an automatic entry to the grand prize!! Play daily through 11/21/12! ((use UPC code 04010207 to enter!))


***They are also offering a 15% off coupon code for  NASCAR.COM/Superstore ((USE CODE::   MMSNASCAR))