Monday, February 28, 2011

Saved Quarter Challenge Week 8 Sold Some Silverware

Well it is already week 8 of the Saved Quarter Challenge. Sadly we only sold one book on eBay from our eBay store. My auctions were a bust. Nothing sold at Amazon either.
There were no estate sales this weekend so did not find any treasures there. Will go out this week to the thrift stores but pickings are slim.
I did decide to take some silver up to the mall to sell. I had 5 pieces of silverware that I had bought at an estate sale some years ago. I bought this to resell and now mission is accomplished. I received a check for $47.00 that will go into the bank today to help with the short fall this month. With the up coming tax bill and life insurance bill I need to step up with the selling on the Internet and cutting back on the budget to get every thing to balance by April.
How are you doing with your budget and saving money. Do you sell on eBay or Amazon. I would love to hear your ideas and tips. I always enjoy hearing what others sell.
You can see how I did the other weeks by reading my previous postings about the challenge.
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 1
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 2
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 3
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 4
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 5
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 6
Saved Quarter Challenge Week 7

See how others are doing on the challenge here. I am sharing this post here. Take a look to see how others are doing.

Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together... Grace

Hubby's Rich Burger Sloppy Sandwich Pure Comfort Food

One of my favorite meals is my husband's sloppy joe recipe.. he calls it Rich Burgers and it is a sure winner. It is tasty, comfy food and can be enjoyed year round

Ingredients ( he does not measure so this is a guess)
3/4 pound of ground beef
about 1/3 bottle of ketchup
handful of brown sugar
Lawry salt and pepper

He browns the hamburger then spoons off the grease.
Next goes all the ingredients.
Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes

Once done this is spooned generously on hamburger buns where he has placed a slice of Velveeta cheese.

This serves 4 .. for us it gives us 2 meals.

Served with chips, dip and maybe some beans and you have a easy, very tasty meal.
I am sharing this at
Thanks for stopping by..lets keep saving together ... . Grace


Tip for the day cook in bulk not only does making 2 or 3 times my spaghetti sauce, chili,, hot dish or soup save me time and energy but it makes it so much easier at dinner time in the future.
It is a wonderful feeling to look in the freezer and see several meals just waiting to thaw out and heat up.
Last night it was Oscar night and I wanted to just sit and enjoy seeing all the stars in their pretty clothes. I had not seen any of the movies but I have my favorite stars and was rooting for them.
So for dinner I pulled out my last container of chili and a box of Jiffy corn bread and supper was in the oven in just minutes. We had chili corn bake and it was wonderful.
Want to see some of my favorite recipes for freezer cooking just go here
Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together and please always remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Menu Plan Monday 2/28/11 Saving Money Eating At Home

Wow can not believe it is time to come up with another menu for the week. This week will be basically favorites and using items I have in the house.

This week on the menu is

1. Hubby's Rich Burgers with beans and chips and dip

2. Tomato soup and Grilled Cheese sandwiches using 2 different cheeses with chip and dip

3. Chicken and Rice with peas and hot bread

4. Chicken with vegetables and pasta using left over chicken from night before

5. Hamburger stew over mash potatoes

6. Left overs

7. To be decided

I am sharing this at Menu Plan Monday over at Organizing Junkie

so that is what is on the menu over at our house ... thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together... and please always remember never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace


Tip for the day.. buy new to you clothes at thrift store or yard sales..
I hate to buy clothes and pay the cost that they are asking. I do love to search the thrift stores and garage sales for new to me clothes. Recently I found a nice pair of blue jeans at the Salvation Army for just a few dollars and should I lose weight as I hope to I can recycle them at the same store.
A few years ago I bought several items at garage sales. Good clothes and wore them enjoying that I had spent only a few dollars. This summer those that I can not wear any more will go into my garage sale as long in good condition.
So next time you need a new pair of jeans check out the thrift store near you before heading to the mall. Your pocket book will thank you...
Want to find a thrift store near you just go here and search away
thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together and please remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tip For The Day Pick Up Cans and Bottles

Tip For The Day Pick Up Cans and Bottles ... as we go for our walk if I see cans or bottles I will pick up and put in a bag I carry. Not only do I hate seeing the garbage but these cans and bottles can be turned into for cash.
When we lived in San Diego area there was recycle booths that you could go to . Once every couple of weeks I would stop and turn in my cans and bottles and then go to near by grocery store to get my cash. Some recycle stands would pay you in cash right on the spot.
The area where we grocery shopped was always clean of cans and bottles. This was one way many low income people help to support themselves. They would have daily routes they went on and made it their job.
Once while waiting my turn I visited with a man that was homeless. He told me he did this daily and then would turn the money into food to feed him and 2 other people. Of course some of it was turned into drink, since after they finished their day they would sit and have a cold one.
When we lived in Texas I found no place that you could turn in your recycling. It was picked up by the garbage company. Sadly the apartment complex we lived in did not even have recycle containers. I would bring to my sister's house or to the recycle bin in front of the grocery stores.
Now that we are in Minnesota I give my cans to one of my grandsons. He collects cans and saves the money for items he wants.
And should you find a coke bottle with a lid why not go to coke rewards site and turn in the rewards for points. My son saves his for big items I turn mine in for more coke products.
No matter what we do with the cans and bottles I just hope that they are recycled rather than being just thrown into the landfills
thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together ..and remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money even it it is a couple dollars for turning in cans and bottles....

Friday, February 25, 2011


FOOD PRICES ARE RISING.... The news is in the air in the newspaper and on the TV .. grocery prices are rising, the cost of eating out at restaurants will rise or have already.

Eating will cost us more of our hard earned dollars. How are we going to keep our food budget intact. Now is the time to get ready for the food budget battle.

1. Getcoupons organized if in a mess like mine.

I go back and forth between the coupon binder and the clipless method. Having the binder is more work I agree. Keeping it up with clipping coupons every Sunday is work, but I have come to the realization AGAIN that if I do not have my coupons with me I miss out on deals.
At this time I am once again redoing my binder with coupons and throwing out coupon ads that I am not interested in. Have you noticed all those ads for jewelry and cute little dog statues. They are adorable but I do not need any more STUFF.
The garbage bags are filling up with scraps of paper and the recycle bin is filling up with old coupons I no longer need or want. My grocery store does take expired coupons up to 3 months old but after that into the trash it goes. This week this is my goal, between now and Sunday I want it organized.
2. Making our weekly menus is a must. I love doing this and so does hubby. We have never tried so many new recipes as we have in the last weeks. I make it a goal to try at least one new recipe every week. This week it was a different recipe for Macaroni and Cheese. It was so good is now a keeper. Why would you buy a box of Mac and Cheese when you can make your own. It probably will cost more than $1, but the taste is worth it and I know what is in it. Yes it has Velvetta but I like to cook with Velvetta and there is a coupon out there to cut my cost. At this moment hubby is cooking his pea soup. It is friday, we will go do some grocery shopping and treat ourselves to lunch which includes clam chowder. Tonights dinner will be a bowl of pea soup.

3. Watch the price of groceries and make a price book. I am currantly working on making my price book of items we buy the most. Stock up when the price is down so there is enough to last for 6 to 10 weeks when prices are higher.

It is frugal friday .. what are you doing to be frugal? I will be sharing this Life At Mom
thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together ... and please remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money.... Grace

Home Made Simple HomeMailer New Link

I love getting coupons in the mail... here is a great coupon offer to sign up for...

HomeMade Simple has a new link to fill out for this awesome homemailer.
Usually this book has higher value coupons than what we get in our inserts,
Go here to request your free one.

Thanks to Katy Couponers for the link
Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together.. Grace

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sell Some Of Your STUFF on eBay Until The 28th Of February

Got some STUFF to sell on eBay. Now until February 28 you can sell on ebay FREE up to 50 items.
Sadly for some reason it does not include those with an eBay store which is me.
You can read all about it by clicking on the link.. as a bonus you will be able to add buy it now FREE.
So if you have stuff to sell now is the time to give it a try.

Tips for selling on eBay
1. Do a search for your item.. read a few of the listings.. what do you like that you see.. what do you not like. Do not steal someone's wording but use what you like in your own words.
2. Search completed to get a idea to what it may sell for... set your starting price reasonable and hope for the best.
3. Clean your product. Make it look nice and desireable
4. Take a good picture .. get close enough so people can see the item
5. Ship out quickly after receiving payment and send a note to buyer letting them know that item has been shipped.

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together.. Grace

Home Made Mac and Cheese Whats For Dinner

Tonight we decided to make some home made macaroni and cheese, use up the left over bush beans and we had 3 Hebrew National hot dogs in the freezer to use up.

So tonight was lets use up some food from freezer, refridgator and cupboard.

The macaroni and cheese was made with Farfalle pasta. I had a half of box in the cupboard so that is gone now. While the macaroni was cooking I melted about 8 ounces of Velvetta Cheese in the microwave. To the drained macaroni I added the melted cheese, 1 cup of 2 percent milk and 8 ounces of shredded cheese. On low heat we combined that and stirred often till every thing was combined.

Dinner was easy, fast and very tasty. There is some left over mac and cheese to have for lunch tomorrow.
I am sharing this at
homemaker Monday
Delicious Dishes
Made For You Monday
Mouthwatering Monday
Hunk Of Meat
Hearth and Soul
Menu Plan Monday
Tuesday At The Table
Tuesday Night Supper Club
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday
Frugal Food Thursday
Tip Day Thursday
Full Plate Thursday
Fat Camp Friday
GCC Recipe Swap

Frugal Follies Thursday

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together... Grace

Saved Quarter Challenge Week 7 Money Made On eBay

Well it is already week 7 of the Saved Quarter Challenge. Most of the tupperware that I had listed sold and I made some money. I also sold the Janette Oke books on auction at eBay.

No great sales but I need to always remember " Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money ". Sales totaled $93.46. After deducting the cost of the tupperware and Oke books plus the eBay and pay pal fees I have a profit of $33.72.

Some of the tupperware did not sell and will be relisted to give them one more chance. How are you doing with your budget and saving money. Do you sell on eBay or Amazon. I would love to hear your ideas and tips. I always enjoy hearing what others sell.

You can see how I did the other weeks by reading my previous postings about the challenge.

See how others are doing on the challenge here.
Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together... Grace

Menu Plan Monday 2/21/11

Monday already and I am glad. I have been working at the boat show helping out a vendor. Long hours and on my feet most of the time. Made some money which will come in handy but I am tired. Since hubby and I worked many nights we did not eat at home. I would bring chips, fruit and a little candy. Maybe a sandwich but once a day I would buy a barbecue sandwich and a soda the last 3 days.

Some meals from last week will be moved to this week and I have a couple new recipes to try.
Mexican Shepherd Pie recipe to come
Mac and Cheese a different recipe so will post this recipe later
Ham and Scalloped potatoes with corn
Home made pea soup hubby cooks

Grilled Cheese with 2 to 3 different cheeses and tomato soup

left overs

I will be sharing this at Menu Plan Monday over at organizing junkie
Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together.. Grace

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wallet Friendly Wednesday 22 Ways To Fight The Rising Costs Of Groceries

The head lines are telling us that groceries are going up. To bad my or hubby's social security did not go up.
I have the same amount of money coming in, but I am hearing that more of my money will go out for groceries.

I have blogged before about saving money at the grocery store. I think that I am pretty thrifty buying groceries but I know there are ways that I have wasted money weekly at the store.

One item I use to waste my money on was rotisserie chicken. I would spend $6.00 to $7.00 on a cooked chicken. I am guessing that I did this on a weekly basis for at least a year. Yes bring that chicken home was a fast easy dinner but at what cost. Over $300 on rotisserie chicken in a year.

Lets not even get started at that little plastic container of potato salad from the deli that we would bring home every few weeks.

As prices of groceries go up while our pay does not go up at all or very little we need to get even more clever at the grocery store.

Here is an article I found at MSN money.. " 22 ways to fight the rising cost of groceries"

1. Eat at home
Dining out is expensive. Just about any nutritious meal that you buy in a formal restaurant can be made at home for a fraction of the price. Even good coffee is cheaper to make if you do it yourself. Fast food is excluded from the category, as high-calorie, low-quality food can be had a bargain price, but the impact on your long-term health overrides the benefit of short-term savings.

2. Shop with a plan
If you stumble around the grocery store and fill your cart with everything that catches your eye, chances are you will spend a lot more money that you need to. To minimize your cash outlay, prepare a shopping list before you leave home. Plan your meals for the week ahead, and make careful note of what you need to buy in order to prepare those meals. Once the list is made, purchase only the items on the list, and avoid impulse buys.

3. Put on blinders
Grocery stores are designed to make you go through a maze to get to the most basic items in the hope that you will make a few impulse buys along the way. If you keep to your planned list, you won't be tempted when you get forced down the junk food aisle to get at the milk. Because most necessities and basic cooking items are found along the outside edge of the store, start there and work your way around the perimeter and step into the maze only to grab any leftover items on your list.

4. Eat before you shop
When you are hungry and you walk into a building full of food, you're likely to fill your cart with unnecessary and expensive purchases that appeal to your taste buds. To keep your costs down, eat first and shop on a full stomach.

5. Avoid prepared foods
Our fast-paced society encourages convenience, and grocery stores have capitalized on this trend. Ready-made meals are easy to buy, but they come with a premium price tag. Instead of putting that rotisserie chicken and macaroni salad in your cart, buy the ingredients and prepare the meal yourself. The same concept applies to frozen entrees, baked goods and any other foods that have been prepared in some way for added convenience.

6. Skip the bottled water
If you don't like the water that comes out of the tap, buy a water filter. The per-gallon cost is significantly less than the cost of bottled water -- and without all the plastic bottles to discard, it's a lot easier on the environment.

7. Shop without the kids
Hungry, tired, cranky children increase the amount of time it takes to get your shopping done. Every extra minute that you spend in the grocery store increases the likelihood that extra items will find their way into your cart. Making shopping a grownups-only activity will keep you from spending on toys and snacks designed to keep the kids quiet while letting you focus on finding a few bargains.

8. Buy in bulk
Bulk buying can save you a significant amount of money. Pay attention to the prices and pick up the family size package if the per-unit cost is lower and you have a place to store it. Shopping at big-box bulk retailers like Sam's Club and Costco can also save on your bill if you shop there frequently enough to cover the cost of membership, but pay careful attention to your spending habits. The big boxes are often no bargain compared with sale prices and coupon savings at other stores. In addition, they may encourage you to buy more than you need, driving up your grocery bill.

9. Use store reward cards
If the store you visit most frequently has a reward card, be sure to sign up. In some cases, stores raise their prices when they offer reward cards, and without the card your bill will certainly be higher. If the reward card offers other benefits, such as a ham for the holidays or a discount on gasoline, be sure to maximize your benefits by paying attention to the cutoff dates on such offers and cashing in your points before they expire.

10. Use coupons
Coupons provide an easy way to save money. Clip them and cash them in, paying particular attention to stores that double the value of manufacturers' coupons. A number of websites also offer coupons exclusively, and they are a great place to search for discounts on the items you have on your list. If you frequent the websites of your favorite brands, they will often offer discounts to their faithful customers. A few minutes of surfing online can make a big difference at the register.

11. Buy locally
Locally grown or produced food is often available at a lower price because you don't pay for long transportation costs. Farmer's markets, fairs and the local aisle at your grocery store are all game for deals on tasty and fresh food.

12. Look down
Stores often place the most-expensive items at eye-level. To find less-expensive items, look down. Also, by searching the area around brand-name foods, you can often find a cheaper generic alternative. Generic label products are often nearly identical to name-brand goods (in fact, they're often produced in the same factory), so don't pay for packaging when what you really want is the food inside.

13. Avoid the temptations at displays and the checkout area
Those displays placed at the end of each aisle often feature premium brands. Rather than grabbing high-priced batteries or an extra box of cereal there, walk down the aisle. Chances are good that taking a few extra steps will reward you with a less-expensive option.

Further, many grocery stores now offer checkout lines that don't feature candy. Using these lanes not only helps you avoid the temptation to spend your money on sweets, but it also encourages a healthier lifestyle.

14. Compare prices and stores
Some consumers often have trouble calculating the per-unit cost in their heads, but it's something that gets a lot easier with practice. You can even carry a calculator. Looking at the brands and comparing prices is an easy way to shave a few cents off most purchases.

The store that features the lowest average prices in your area is often the best place for routine shopping, but the higher-priced competitor may run sales on specific items that beat the cost at your most frequented venue. Watch for these sales and take advantage of them when possible.

15. Shop for sales
As mentioned above, sales can be a great incentive to switch stores -- but only if you need the items on sale. Pay attention to sales on necessities and stock up on non perishables and freezer goods. Keep an eye on prices so you know when a sale price is merely a small savings and when it is a significant discount to the normal price.

16. Watch 'best before' and 'sell by' dates
As the "sell by" or "best before" date approaches, you are virtually guaranteed a discount. For example, grocery stores lower prices as meat ages. Ask the butcher when the meats get marked down. Most stores have a fairly regular schedule that you can learn and follow. When you get a good deal, stock your freezer so you can avoid buying when the price is high. And if you plan on freezing the food, "best before" dates shouldn't worry you; the product will stay fine until you thaw and cook it.

17. Substitute recipe items
If you have a higher-priced item that recurs in your favorite recipes, it may be time to shake up your taste buds. Often a lower-priced alternative can be found. For instance, if you consistently bake with olive oil and you see that the price has skyrocketed, a simple switch to applesauce (something that you might even be able to make if you have an apple tree) can make for a cheap and low-fat substitute in many recipes. (You can discover other such substitutes at the Cook's Thesaurus.)

18. Keep your kitchen stocked
A well-stocked kitchen means that you won't run out of staple items and need to buy them on the spur or the moment. Knowing what you have in the pantry means that you can wait to make your purchases until items are on sale.

19. Shop infrequently
Reducing the number of trips you make to the grocery store reduces the odds of unnecessary purchases and minimizes the amount of gasoline spent getting there.

20. Pay attention to time
Weekly sales often run from midweek to midweek. If you hold off on your shopping until after you've clipped coupons from the Sunday paper, you could end up getting both the coupon and sale discount on some items. Shopping in the evening or early in the morning also helps you avoid the crowds so you'll spend less time in the store.

21. Pay in cash
When you put groceries on your credit card and don't pay off the card in full each month, you pay interest on the balance. To avoid this extra cost, pay in cash when you shop and keep necessities off your credit cards.

22. Check your bill
Electronic scanners make checkout faster and more convenient, but scanners aren't perfect. Get in the habit of taking a look at the receipt to make sure your coupons and discounts were taken into account.

Shop smart
Food is one of those purchases that you just can't avoid, but careful shoppers can minimize the amount spent on this necessary purchase. All it takes is a little time, patience and effort.

This article was reported by Lisa Smith for Investopedia.
I am sharing this at Wallet Friendly Wednesday
thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together and please remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Calico Bean Casserole What's For Dinner Saving Money Eating At Home

Last night hubby and I made Calico Bean Casserole and baked potatoes. We love to cook together. Makes everything go faster and easier. He washes the potatoes while I chop the onion and brown the hamburger. He opens the cans of beans while I measure out the ketchup and brown sugar. Dinner in the oven and we can just sit and wait for a delicious Valentines dinner at home

Calico Bean Casserole
1 pound of ground beef (I like 80 percent and then spoon out the grease)
1 small onion diced
1 can of baked beans
1 can of white beans ( drained)
1 can of kidney beans (drained)
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/2 cup of brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
( if I had had bacon in the house I would of browned a couple of pieces up and put that in also.)

Brown hamburger and onion then spoon out the grease.

In a casserole add beef mixture, beans

brown sugar and ketchup.

Mix all together

and bake in 350 oven for 40 to 60 minutes. We added some potatoes to bake along the casserole.

Tasty, comfy food and one of our favorites. I have not made this for about a year so we really enjoyed it.

I will be sharing this at the following sites during the week

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together and please remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace

Monday, February 14, 2011

Saved Quarter Week # 6 Sold Some STUFF On Ebay and Amazon

Week 6 of Saved Quarter Challenge.. another week of not saving anything from my grocery budget. This week what I did not spend on groceries was spent on buying STUFF to sell on eBay and or amazon.

We went to a couple of estate sales and I found some vintage Tupperware to sell. Also found some Janette Oke books that should sell on eBay. 8 hard covers 2 stories in each book so here series right her in 8 books. She writes Christian romance novels.

They are up for sale as are some old tool books I found in the basement.
So far we have one bid on my Tupperware, the measuring cups and spoons.
$32.00 of the money spent had to come from next weeks money for groceries.

yellow canister set

orange canister set

also found green canister set plus other Tupperware items

measuring cups and spoons have a bid already.
I bought lots of Tupperware so hopefully I will be able replace the money spent, have extra to put into the envelope for buying STUFF and put some to savings.

We try to go to the estate sale the first day and buy what we think may not be there the next day. If there is items we want to buy cheaper we will go the last day and buy items at half price. Some times we win and some times we do not win by playing the waiting game.

Last week I sold Campbell soup rewards and rewards for education on eBay plus one book on Amazon for a total profit of $7.67 from both places.
This money will go towards replacing next weeks grocery money that I spent.

Good news is some of my granddaughter's Manga books sold. I had listed these Super Bowl Sunday night. One set sold for way over $100. I have a total of over $200 to give her minus my eBay selling costs.

Just need to get paid for all her books from the buyers, so I can give her money to her.

She says she wants to save some and buy some clothes.. Way to go girl save some and buy clothes. I am so proud of you. Plus I sure will have my eyes open for these books.

Well that is how my week went for the Savings Quarter Challenge. A profit of $7.67.
I will be sharing this over at Savings Quarter Challenge.

thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together.. and please remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace

Menu Plan Monday 2/14/11 Saving Money Eating At Home

Time for Menu Plan Monday again...this is what is on the menu in our home. Tried and true recipes this week using what is in the house and what was on sale a couple of days ago when I went shopping with my list and coupons

Calico Bean Casserole with baked potatoes .. easy to make and great comfort food .. recipe to come.

Spaghetti Sauce over pasta with garlic bread... a family favoite and I will make a double batch and feeze half

Mac and Cheese using cottage cheese quite interesting flavor or maybe I will search for another recipe.. time will tell

Chili .. our famous recipe with crackers .. will double this and freeze half

Chili Hot Dogs ( using the 3 left over hot dogs from freezer. why is there 7 hot dogs in a package and 8 hot dog buns.. a mystery ) baked beans and left over Mac and Cheese

Ham and scallopped potatoes with vegetables

Pea soup with left over ham

thats what we will have this week.. sounds good to me.. Happy valentines day..

Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together.. grace
I will be sharing this at Menu Plan Monday .. see what others are cooking up.. Leave a comment here and there. I always love nice comments.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Do It Yourself Tissue Paper Rosettes Valentine’s Wreath

Thrifty Decorating shows us how to make a Tissue Paper Rosette Valentine’s Wreath for around $3!
Almost Valentine time... while at her site she shows us how to make other projects that may be quicker if your time is limited.
Lets have fun the thrifty way...
Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together.. Grace

Friday, February 11, 2011

2011 Booking It January Reading List

I am part of the 2011 Booking It at Life As Mom reading club. I am challenging myself to read two books a month.
During the month of January I read a great mystery/thriller by Vince Flynn " Protect and Defend"
Vince Flynn is one of my favorite mystery writers I love his characters.
New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn returns with his most explosive political thriller yet. A tour de force of action-packed suspense, Protect and Defend delivers an all-too-realistic and utterly compelling vision of nations navigating the minefield of international intrigue. A true heavyweight in the political thriller arena (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Vince Flynn has created a flesh-and-blood hero that readers can cheer for and a finger-blistering page-turner they won t dare put down.

In Protect and Defend, the action begins in the heart of Iran, where billions of dollars are being spent on the development of a nuclear program. No longer willing to wait for the international community to stop its neighboring enemy, Israel launches one of the most creative and daring espionage operations ever conceived. The attack leaves a radioactive tomb and environmental disaster in the middle of Iran s second largest city. An outraged Iranian government publicly blames both Israel and the United States for the attack and demands retribution. Privately, Iran s bombastic president wants much more. He wants America and Israel to pay for their aggression with blood.

Enter Mitch Rapp, America s top counter terrorism operative. Used to employing deception, Rapp sees an opportunity where others see only Iranian reprisals that could leave thousands of Americans dead. Rapp convinces President Josh Alexander to sign off on a risky operation that will further embarrass the Iranian government and push their country to the brink of revolution. As part of the plan, CIA director Irene Kennedy is dispatched to the region for a clandestine meeting with Azad Ashani, her Iranian counterpart.

But Rapp isn t the only one hatching plans. Iranian President Amatullah, has recruited Hezbollah master terrorist Imad Mukhtar to do his dirty work. For decades Mukhtar has acted as a surrogate for Iran, blazing a trail of death and destruction across the Middle East and beyond. When Kennedy s meeting with Ashani goes disastrously wrong, Rapp and Mukhtar are set on a collision course that threatens to engulf the entire region in war. With the clock ticking, Rapp is given twenty-four hours, no questions asked, to do whatever it takes to stop Mukhtar, and avert an unthinkable catastrophe.

If you have not read Vince Flynn and love thrillers start out with his first book Term Limits and read them in order if possible. Mitch Rapp does not become his main character till the second book by Flynn but Term Limits is his first book and is a fantastic thriller.

My second book was a non fiction book to help me understand my Irish family and what they went through to come to the US. Most of my ancestors came before the revolutionary war but my Irish family came in 1852. I enjoyed this book and it will remain on my bookshelf for me to go back to over and over.

" The Irish American Family Album " by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler

The Irish American Family Album is a remarkable history and memoir. In their own words--from diary entries, letters, interviews, and personal reflections--and with photographs and clippings pulled from family archives and the press of the day, the rich and colorful history of the Irish immigration to this country is told with a passion and wit that is uniquely Irish. Life on the "ould sod" and the hardships of the great potato famine and British rule, the decision to leave, the arduous Atlantic journey, first impressions of their new home, settling in and building a new life--all are made immediate and real through the words and snapshots of the participants. But not all are happy memories. Most of the immigrants were young people and left Ireland with a heavy heart, believing that they would never again see those they left behind. They faced prejudice in this country--"No Irish Need Apply" was a familiar sign in shop windows and in newspaper advertisements--and living conditions in the tenements they could afford were a far cry from life on the farm back home.

Many immigrants found their first jobs here as laborers. They were among the workers who built the Erie Canal, the transcontinental railroad, and the Statue of Liberty. In the west, Irish laborers found work as miners during the gold rush. Irish women often worked as servants in the houses of the upper class, or worked in the cloth mills of New England. Though prejudice tried to keep the majority at the bottom of society, the very size of the Irish American community made them a powerful political force, and in cities such as Boston, New York, and Chicago, the Irish took control of local political organizations and were soon a force to be reckoned with.

It is now February and I am reading another mystery / thriller. This one is by

John Sandford and I am really enjoying it. Will review later.

Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together .. Grace

10 Things We Can Waste Our Money On Every Day

This article was on MSN today ... 10 Things You Waste Money On Every Day
So many of us are living on budgets that are tight. We look for deals on food, clothing and household items. But every day we spend small amounts of money that we may not spend if we were to add up our yearly cost. Just by cutting down some of these items could save us thousands of dollars.

Lottery Tickets .. do you dream of a big win...
With mathematicians estimating your chance of winning a lottery jackpot at around 1 in 13 million, it's safe to assume that you'll never win the big one—or even win back all the money you've spent on tickets over the years. Every time I think of buying a lottery ticket I step back and realize it is really throwing away my money.
Expensive Coffee Drinks
We love our coffee, but many pay a high price for it. Driving by the coffee shops I see people sitting at the tables drinking those expensive cups of coffee. Yes they are yummy.. twice this year I have treated my self to a mocha coffee, but after finishing it I think was it really worth the $4.00 I spent. Just think if you spend $4.00 every day on these coffees that it cost over $1,000 a year.
News stand Magazines
Sometimes while I stand in the grocery line looking at the magazines. I have to admit that there are a few times I have picked up that magazine at $4.99 or more. Once I get home and read the magazine I think " What a waste of money". You can get subscriptions that will give you these magazines for less but even that seems like a lot of money to me. Every once in awhile hubby and I will go to the mall and go into Barnes and Noble and sit for an hour looking at the magazines that interest us.
Dry Cleaning
can be very costly. I take my winter coat in once a year but other than that I buy clothes that are washable.
Premium Gasoline
Many believe that they have to have premium but could you get by with regular gas.. read the article for more on this.
Movie Concessions
I hate to admit that we rarely go to the movies and if we do go it is to an afternoon movie at a cheaper price. And I always want a soda and popcorn . The price of a soda is what I would pay for a six-pack at the store. I guess all of this is why we just stay home and watch TV or rent a movie.
Workday Restaurant Lunches
We no longer work out but those daily lunches can be fun but oh so expensive. Better to bring your lunch. Not only will it will be cheaper but probably less calories.
Professional Manicures and Pedicures
There is nothing like having my nails done. I would treat myself to this while living in Texas every few months. The prices were reasonable. I moved to northern Minnesota and called up the nail saloon at the mall for a price. $60.00 to $80.00 to have a pedi cure. No way I just take care of my own feet and my hands. When I visit Texas I will visit Rosie and I can have both done for about $35.00. I miss you Rosie.
High-Priced Grooming Products
Okay we all know that the products in the salon are so much more than what we find in the drug store. And in the drug store we may even get CVS bucks or Walgreens Register Rewards to spend on other products.
Premium Cable Channels
It is unbelievable to what these premium cable channels can cost. We get basic cable and that still costs more than I would like, but I want more than 3 channels to watch.

Can you see any of these items that you spend money on that could be avoided or at least cut back on so you could put that money on debt or into the bank.

The two areas I need to watch myself on is the magazines in the check out line and maybe a mocha coffee every once in a while.

Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together.. Grace

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Grocery Shopping Roundup 2/10/10

Another week of grocery shopping ... this week included diet coke for a super bowl party and I bought an extra one for us as a treat.

Super One
2 24 packs of Diet Coke $5.95 each
2 margarine 49 cents each

Total out of pocket $13.82

Cub Foods

2 jars of store brand gravy $1.49 each
2 cans of store brand mushroom soup 98 cents each
1 store brand egg noodles $1.49
1 package of skinless chicken breast $2.99
4 pounds of ground beef $2.99 a pound
Ham steak $1.36
5 pounds of potatoes $2.49
1 loaf of french bread 99 cents
1 loaf of bread $1.49
milk $2.99

total oop $30.70
trip to Walgreens details here.

total oop Total out of pocket $3.97 and I have a $4.00 register reward to use next week

total spent this week $48.59
total this month so far $89.28
left of monthly budget $150.72

I will be sharing this at

Homemaking Mom

Frugal Follies

Deals and Dishes

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together.. and please always remember
Never under estimate the value of a small amount of money... Grace