Friday, January 24, 2014

Tablet Zipper Pouch

We have 2 tablets that needed something to make them cozy and warm so I whipped up these pouches.  It was a fast and easy project.  I have made quite a few small zippys and I just increased the size to fit the tablets.

Sick Day

I am home for the second day in a row and I feel like I am scraping death's door.  My entire body aches from coughing...

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Chicken Tortellini Soup and a Menu Plan for the Week

 
Cooking soup was the plan for today and this is for dinner on Monday.  I am the only one home, so I thought I would get ahead for the week!





Even though it is for tomorrow, I had to cheat and have a little bowl for lunch.  It was delicious if I do say so myself.







 Carol from CT on a Budget gives me a great deal of frugal inspiration.  If you haven't checked out her blog yet, go right now!  Add it to your feed and you won't be sorry.  Just by incorporating SOME of her strategies, you will save a great deal of money!  Most of my ingredients are pictured, but I did add a few other things.
I chopped the whole onion pictured above with 5 carrots and 2 stalks of celery in my small food processor so it was all in little bits.  That is the way my family prefers their soup.  I cooked it in about 2 or 3 Tbsp. of olive oil until soft.  When I went to return the rest of the veggies to the refrigerator a saw a sad little 8 oz. package of mushrooms so I chopped them up and threw them into the pot.  The beauty is that my mushroom hater won't be able to pick them out from the chopped chicken, so I am safe and the mushrooms didn't get wasted!

 I added 6 cans of broth, 2 1/2 cups of water, pepper to taste and a little bouillon and let it gently boil a few minutes to make sure the veggies were tender. 
I chopped about 1/2 of that bag of precooked chicken and onions (qt. sized) 2 pictures up in my food processor and threw it in with the spinach and let it cook 2 or 3 more minutes.

 I then stirred the tortellini into the pot and removed it from the burner.  There was enough residual heat for the tortellini to be fully cooked when I returned in 10 or 15 minutes.  This step actually has nothing to do with frugality (that is just an added bonus) it has to do with not wanting the tortellini to turn to mush!


This is the final result in my Tupperware 17 cup servalier bowl!  It had to be close to 20 cups of soup when you count what I had for lunch in my red soup crock above.




This recipe could be made much cheaper than I made it.  I look to be realistically frugal, but still make things that my family enjoys with ingredients we love.  For example, some people make their own broth and freeze it after roasting a turkey or chicken.  Sometimes I get a great deal on packaged broth with coupons.  That was not the case with the broth I used today.  As I already mentioned, you could use a different pasta, my boys just happen love soup with tortellini.  I will say though that my spinach was free after gas points at my local store and my chicken was bought on sale and I precooked it with onions and froze it for later use.  This whole frugal, domestic path has to be what works for you and your family or you won't stick to it for the long haul.  I often wish I could be more like some of the other bloggers I follow, but I have to do what works for me.  Keep this is mind as you read other peoples blogs.  There is not one clear way for us to do things.  We are all at different places with career, income, lifestyle, age, debt (or debt freedom) and there isn't a one size fits all solution.

Onto the menu plan for the week:
Sunday - nothing- the rest of the family went to see the hobbit and out to eat.
Monday - chicken tortellini soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
Tuesday - ham and cheese omelets with toast
Wednesday - hamburger helper (yuck - I will eat leftover soup, but the rest of my family actually likes this and asks for it) and carrots
Thursday - rigatoni with meat sauce and some type of frozen veggie
Friday - fried fish, parsley potatoes and a mixture of peas and corn
Saturday - roasted turkey (I have a 20 pounder that I want out of my freezer as it is taking up too much room), mashed potatoes, stuffing (just stove top) and a mixture of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower.
Sunday - turkey pot pie

Busy Stay at Home Day Today

This is what I want to get done today and I plan on trying to get done fairly early in the day.  Let's see if I can accomplish it all!
1.  Cook soup for tomorrow night's dinner.
2.  Organize coupons
3.  Make a simple tablet cover.
4.  Lesson Plans
5.  Figure out a menu for the week.
6.  Tally the damage from shopping and eating out yesterday.  It was bad, but could have been much worse.  We had a good time and it was well worth it.

I might be home alone today.  My husband and one of our sons are going to see the hobbit with a friend and some family.  They have been planning this for over a month and are excited.  The other son seems to not be interested.  Maybe he will change his mind and go.  If not, I will enjoy having him home with me!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

I have hit 7/10 no spend days!

I have hit 7/10 no spend days.  Yesterday I bought $41 worth of gas and $36 in groceries.  I also bought 2 zippers and a crochet hook at the Salvation Army thrift store for a total of $2.01 and Vaseline and a bottle brush at dollar general for a total of 2 something.  Not bad.  I carry a thermos of coffee to work every day and I wan to be able to clean it really well, thus the bottle brush.  I had one, but it bit the dust.
Today will be my worst day of spending for the month, but that is ok.  It is planned and it is needed.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Progress on No Spend Days So Far This Month

So I am very excited about my progress so far this month, but have mixed feelings about this upcoming weekend.  I have hit 7 of my goal of 10 no spend days for the month.  I will be able to make this goal easily now, so why the mixed emotions?
This weekend is going to be VERY expensive for us.  We are going to Erie to treat my nephew to dinner for his birthday and my son needs a suit for a mock trial, so that is on the purchase list.  Sunday my husband and sons are going to see Lord of the Rings and out for dinner with some of the extended family.  I will need to fill my car up twice this weekend (I haven't had to purchase gas for my van in over a month)!  The last time I filled up it was the Monday before Christmas and it was free with grocery points.  Also, the van went in for an oil change yesterday and I need 2 front tires to the tune of $257.  We just put 4 new tires on my husband's escape.  OOPS - I just edited the amount - thanks Sluggy!  It was a typo.  The tires are $257 NOT $2507!
Such is life.  All of this is normal, but it seems to really offset the progress I have made with the no spend days.  We also need some groceries.  This weekend is going to be $500 to $700 even without the tires yet.  This is why we budget.  That way we can afford things as they come along and still save some $.  I have serious doubts about hitting my $1500 extra savings goal for the month, but even coming close is way better than the days where we didn't budget and save.  Extra savings goal means that it is on top of what we have automatically redirected for retirement, a new car and the boys college funds.  Right now we are trying to save for a new roof in the spring, some of which I am guessing will end up coming out of the car fund.  This is going to be a very expensive year!
Don't get me wrong.  I am not complaining.  My life is good, our income is strong and I am happy.  I am just trying to set lofty goals and journal my progress.  Becoming debt free was awesome.  Trying to stay debt free is an interesting process!  Who was it that said "Shoot for the moon, even if you miss you will still land among the stars?"

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I hate to Tell You the Lasagna Freezer Cooking Secret!

Ok - the secret is out.  I make lasagna on a large scale, but I do not make the sauce from scratch.  The truth of the matter is my mother always used prepared sauce.  It is what I grew up on, what I am used to and what I like.  Of course, you can definitely make your own, but I don't.
I am going to give you the rough amounts that I use to make 2 pans of lasagna that are 9x13 in size.  I don't go by exact recipe amounts unless I am baking.  That is just the way I learned to cook.
For 2 9x13 pans:

3 - 3.5 lbs. of ground beef - brown in a large skillet with 1 large onion, finely chopped
Drain
Add 4 cans of sauce (or your own homemade if you are a saint)!
Add 1 or 2 Tbsp of white sugar and simmer on low.  If it gets 2 thick, add a little water.

Ricotta mixture - in a mixing bowl combine:
16 oz of ricotta
3 eggs
salt, pepper and parmesan to taste
Set aside.

You also need
9 cooked lasagna noodles per dish (18 total) - I always cook a few extra
shredded mozzarella - 1-1.5 lbs per lasagna (2-3lbs total)

Spray the bottom of each pan with pam and layer in the following order:

Sauce
3 noodles
Ricotta (1/6 of the mixture-just eyeball it)
Mozzarella
Sauce
3 noodles
Ricotta (1/6)
Mozzarella
Sauce
Noodles
Ricotta (1/6)
Sauce again (you need sauce between the last layer of ricotta and mozzarella)
Mozzarella

Each pan will have 3 layers of noodles, 3 layers of ricotta, 3 layers of mozzarella and 4 layers of sauce.  Try and plan accordingly when you are dividing up the ingredients.
I bake a thawed out lasagna, covered in foil, at 325 for about an hour and a half.  The last 10-15 minutes I remove the foil so it browns a little bit.  Let rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.



My mom went to work 2 days a week when I was in high school and I cooked, or at least started supper on those nights.  I didn't mind at all and liked cooking right from the start.  She was able to call me from her work and talk me through getting dinner started over the phone.  As a result, it was more coaching by her verbally, than actually showing me.  Perhaps that is why I don't really measure and just kind of make it work.  You don't need to be a math teacher (like nerdy little me - lol) to figure out how to divide the ingredients up!  Just run with it.  If you are really concerned about having enough ingredients, buy a little extra mozzarella and a jar of extra sauce in case you need it.  If you don't need it, you will still have it on hand for another meal.
Cooking is individual.  I used ground beef, you might make meatless or add sausage or a combination of meat.  I add a little sugar to my sauce and you could skip that.  I like the ricotta thinned with egg, you might like chunks of ricotta.  Lasagna can be made a million different ways and still taste good.  Tweak it to your taste.

Frugal notes - try to stock up on ingredients when they are on sale or at least buy the cheese and sauce at a warehouse club in bulk.  I bought 9 cans of sauce at 99 cents each, but had I picked it up the last time I was at Sam's club, I could have bought a jumbo container of sauce.

Can you see how OCD I am from this picture of a shelf in my freezer?  I have to have all Pyrex dishes with glass lids so they stack neatly.  Honestly, it bugs me immensely that they are not all the same color.  Buying those dishes actually has saved me a lot of money.  A few years ago I had coupons for $3 off any Pyrex.  Walmart had sets with a 9x9 and a 9x13 for about $15 less the $3 coupon and I invested in a few sets.  I have used those dishes over and over for freezer meals which ends up being way cheaper than throw away pans from the dollar store over time.  I would hate to go to all the trouble, use a flimsy foil pan and have a fiasco!  You could also pick up dishes at a thrift store, but you aren't likely to find them with lids which saves on the need for foil.
Do you know what is to the left of the Pyrex on the same shelf?  Another freezer secret...  Boneless, skinless chicken that was purchased on sale.  I cut it into bite sized pieces sautéed it with onion and then portioned it into small freezer bags.  Ready to go for a quick dinner on the fly.  I do the same thing with ground beef.  I buy it on sale and cook it with onion before I freeze it.  You can make tacos in about 5 minutes with precooked ground beef and that is exactly what we did last night!
 
This is the first time I ever made 4 lasagnas at once.  I used to do 2, then I upped it to 3 and this time I made 4.  I don't see ever going beyond 4.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chicken Broccoli Penne Pasta Freezer Meal - Freezer Cooking Groove



 We were off for a snow day yesterday so this is one of the little things I did.  I made chicken broccoli penne pasta for dinner.  We baked the large 10x15 pan on the far right.
The blue and pink 9x13 pans went into the freezer.
I started by cutting 5 lbs of boneless skinless chicken into small pieces and cooking it with 2 chopped medium onions.  I then added 5 jars of Alfredo sauce.  It sounds like a lot, but remember this is for 3 dinners in a house with teenage boys. 
I cooked 2.5 lbs of penne and added 2 1lb packages of broccoli during the last minute of cooking.  I put it all in my 42 cup thatsa bowl, added the chicken sauce and combined it well.

Into 3 baking pans it went...
 Two of which were destined for the freezer.
 You can see that I now have the 4 lasagna I made last week (red lids) and the 2 penne pasta I made today in the freezer.

I don't think I will add broccoli again unless it is fresh.  It wasn't as crisp as I would have liked.  We also had more veggies on the side as it wasn't quite a full lb. of broccoli in each casserole.  Some of you asked about my lasagna recipe from last week.  I with give details in the next few days.  It isn't a recipe as much as a process because I cheat and use sauce from a jar!



 


 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

End of the First Week of Carla's Challenge

http://www.halfdozendaily.typepad.com/
So the first week went pretty well.  We did not eat out at all and we stuck to our menu plan!  Friday I spent $37.50 as you can see in this post.  It was for milk and other staples, so that was good.  On Sunday I spent $67.50.  This money was all spent on necessary items except I did buy some diet pepsi which I know is not a necessity.  The rest was more milk, fresh produce, 8 pounds of chicken and sale items paired with coupons.  This isn't bad, but I don't think I am on target to spend only $250 for the month.
The bad news, we had to purchase a new toilet for $89.04 and will pay to have it installed.  We are also down to one computer so I ordered 2 small $59 tablets for the purpose of watching Netflix.  That isn't something I do, but it is something the rest of my family enjoys.  We have never owned tablets, so they may be keepers, or we may send them back.  Time will tell.  We are still on track and will be able to save some more $ this week.  We have already set aside $140 this first week.  It isn't too hard when it is so cold that I don't want to leave the house!
My goals for the month revolved around saving a total of $1500 and menu planning using a lot of what we have on hand.  I feel that I am on track with those goals.  This is a 5 pay month for us, and I only planned on being able to save $90 the first week according to when bills were due, so I am good so far.  The bulk of my savings was to come from our pay on the 10th and I am worried about that now.  We need to buy my oldest a suit this weekend for school and take my nephew out for dinner for his birthday.  It isn't going to be a cheap week!
EDIT - Most importantly, I forgot to mention, I have had 5 no spend days out of 7!  I am very happy with that.  I only spent money on Friday and Sunday.
Additional EDIT - I don't keep my groceries to $250 a month, it is just part of a challenge for this month to try and eat down some of what we have on hand.  Sorry for the confusion!

What can you do on a snow day?

We are having an artic blast here in NW PA that might make Siberia shiver.  It is not the kind of day where kids can go sledding riding to celebrate having the day off school.  It leads to the question, what can we do on a snow day?  Because of where we live, we go to school pretty much no matter what.  It is a cultural thing here, strange but true.  To have the day off is unheard of in my town.
I am a teacher home for the day and my kids are high school boys that want to celebrate by playing video games, so I am going to focus on what people without small children can do to pass the time.  I didn't spend hours thinking about this, I am just writing what pops into my head.
Here we go!

1.  Make homemade soup and/or bread.
2.  Make a batch of freezer meals - I am making chicken penne pasta today and will make some extra for the freezer.
3.  Call your TV provider and ask for the cancellation department.  You might be surprised at what they will do to try and retain you as a customer!
4.  Try and find XX number of items to toss or donate.
5.  If you have credit card debt, call and try to negotiate a lower interest rate.
6.  Make a meal plan based on what you have on hand, write a grocery list filling in what is needed to complete the menu and STICK TO THE LIST next time you go to the store.
7.  Go online and transfer some money from your checking to a savings account.  How much might you have spent if you would have left the house instead of staying home today.  Would you have gone to the movies, eaten out, etc.?  Estimate an amount of money and transfer it!  It would have been gone had you left the house and you would have figured out how to live without it, so transfer it to your savings!
8.  Watch a movie with your family at home.
9.  Play a board game.
10.  Make an appointment with a lawyer to start the process for a will if you don't have a will.
11.  Research term life insurance if you are underinsured.
12.  Find some blogs that will improve your life based on your interests and start following them.  Make reading them a habit.  Blogs have improved my life immensely!  Finance, cooking, homemaking, freezer meals, sewing - anything that you are interested in.  There is a wealth of information out there.  Just be careful with finance!  You want to read to improve your life, not to become a captive audience to someone that is trying to sell you something!
13.  Watch a few old episodes of Suze Orman on CNBC.com
14.  Organize a room - or start small and organize a couple of cupboards or junk drawers.
15.  Watch a youtube video that teaches you how to do something useful.

The list can go on and on, but you get the idea.  I better life starts with a few small changes made one at a time that eventually turn into habits.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Lasagna Freezer Fest - Cooking Groove



 

 I decided to make a huge batch of lasagna for the freezer before I went back to work on the 2nd, so these photos are from the first.  I made three 9x13 and one 9x9 for the freezer.  The label maker showed that the last time I did this was 8-15-13, so I only need to do this a couple of times per year.

This blue dish was also made and baked that day for dinner.  We don't do sauerkraut on new year's.  I can't stand the stuff and I am not superstitious anyway!

Here it is in all it's glory, baked and ready to eat with a side of garlic bread and a mixture of peas and corn!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sunday Night Chit Chat

  • Reading:  Blogs - finance, frugality, cooking, etc.
  • Listening to:  HGTV
  • Watching:  I just turned on HGTV.  I am going to watch beachfront bargains.  It is going to hit -5 here this week, so I need to at least look at the beach!
  • Cooking/Baking:  This weekend I made homemade rolls, hot sausage sandwiches, cheesy ham/potato/corn/bacon chowder and ham/scalloped potatoes.  It was a high calorie, comfort food weekend so we will be having grilled chicken salads on Monday!
  • Happy you accomplished this week:  3 1/2 pans of lasagna for the freezer
  • Looking forward to next week:  Actually going to work and getting out of the house.  It is freezing cold here at it gets too easy to stay in the house and be a slug!
  • Thankful for today:  My family, our health and good jobs.
  • Bonus Question: Do you enjoy winter activities?  Not any more.  I loved skating, sledding and cross country skiing as a kid.  I won't go out into the cold to do those things anymore!

  • Saturday, January 4, 2014

    Cooking Groove - Ham and Potato Edition

    For some reason, I can't seem to upload a picture right now so we are going to have to do without!  Today I cooked a few different things.  I found myself wanting to go to the grocery store and pick up something easy, but instead I just dug in and started cooking from what I had on hand to forget about running to the store. 
    I started with ham and scalloped potatoes.  I make it in a 9x13 pan because it is shallow and does not need to bake as long as a deep casserole dish.  Turns out my sons had 2 friends over and they were going to be here when we ate so I made 2 pans.  It was served around 1 o'clock with a side of corn.  It was a good thing I made 2 pans because the boys were hungry.  The leftovers went into the fridge.  Son #2 had more around 7 when he returned from playing basketball and my husband takes leftovers to work for lunch. 
    While the potatoes were baking I did a package of bacon in the oven on the other rack.  It takes about 25 minutes to get done to our liking.  I forgot to mention that I had also started dough in the bread machine for hoagie rolls.  When the bacon was done, I put in a tray of 10 hoagie rolls for tomorrow.  I then started on cheesy ham/bacon/corn chowder while the casseroles and bread were in the oven.  This soup is a great deal of work and very heavy on the calories, but it is one of my kid's favorite soups.  We only have it about twice a year because it should really be named heart attack in a bowl.  I made a big batch of this as I wanted to take some to my husband's aunt as it is also her favorite.  By the time the casseroles were done I had also finished the soup and rolls for tomorrow.  We will have the chowder and hot sausage sandwiches. 
    Truth is, it would have been much easier to run to the store but this helped put a dent into what we already have on hand.  I will go to the store tomorrow because it is a big Sunday for coupons and I will also get some fresh produce and milk.  We will have grilled chicken salads on Monday after tomorrow's caloric fiasco!

    Friday, January 3, 2014

    Round 2 of the Flu - Bleh!

    So 8 short days after our first bout with the flu, I seem to have come down with it again.  I didn't even know that could happen!  My mother-in-law invited us in for fried fish and I had to pass.  I am thankful that the rest of the family had yummy food without me having to think about cooking!  I started with 2 no spend days, but today I did spend money.  $7.50 for 2 gallons of milk.  Do you think that is high ($3.75 each)?  We have a state minimum price for milk here in PA.  My in-laws made a trip to Sam's club (about 70 minutes away).  I won't be going there any time soon, so I had them pick us up a few things.  I am not sure of the exact actual price, but my husband gave them $30 when he picked the items up.  A cool thirty bucks bought us 1 jar of beef base, 1 jar of chicken base, 1 large container of ranch dressing mix, 1 large container of taco seasoning and 1 jumbo box of frozen egg rolls (a favorite snack around here).  I know there are recipes for dry powder seasonings online, but I don't think they can be made for less.  $37.50 of my $250 spent for the month and it is only the 3rd.  That is kind of scary.  The whole point was to eat what we have and the $250 was for staples and loss leaders and that is what I spent it on.  We will see how it goes.
    We did have lasagna one day this week.  Instead of 3 total pans, I managed to make 4 9x13 pans and 1 small square.  This gave us 1 lasagna for supper and 3 and a half for the freezer.  I am very happy that is done.  When I turned on my label maker to mark them I saw that last time I made lasagna was 8-15-13.  That means I only have to do it to this scale 2 or 3 times per year.  I know that is a lot of lasagna, but my kids love it and it is so easy when I am feeling lazy.  I wanted to cook our huge turkey tomorrow to free up space in the freezer but no one is interested, so I will pull something else from the plan for the month.  I really want to make it through this week with very little spent so I can save the rest.  Hopefully it will go as planned.
    I will be spending on Sunday.  I will pick up a few newspapers, a prescription and some produce.  There will be 6 inserts this Sunday so I think there will be good deals to be had over the next few weeks with those coupons.  Hopefully tomorrow will be my 3rd no spend day for the month.

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    No Spend Day 2 and Potato Cakes

    Today was my second no spend day for the month.  We are in a deep freeze here in NW PA so it is pretty easy to stay in and not spend $.  Some bloggers think the no spend days or weeks are a good and idea and some bloggers think it is silly.  I can logically see both sides of the argument.  I think it depends on how it is done.
    You can plan no spend days or weeks and stock up before and/or after and the no spend event becomes a pointless wash.  OR you can make do with what you have and actually save some money.  Sluggy thinks it is our habits that we need to change and I completely agree with that.  I think that no spend time periods help to reinforce frugal skills and in turn give us better habits.  For example, I had leftover mashed potatoes in my fridge.  Sometimes that leftover gets made into something in my house and sometimes leftover mashed potatoes end up getting tossed.  That is a very bad habit on my part.  However, the no spend challenge forced me to think outside of the box when cooking dinner and they were made into very tasty potato cakes.  So Sluggy is right, my habits need to change.  I also feel that I am right in that the no spend day quota that I have set for myself helps me foster new, better habits.
    Another bad habit of mine is picking up extra stuff when I am in the store.  We would all agree, that is a habit that needs changed.  I say, the more no spend days I have, the more I stay out of the store.  The more days I stay out of the store, the less crap I throw into my cart.

    Potato Cakes - makes an excellent side dish!

    left over mashed potatoes
    1 egg
    Italian bread crumbs (or dried bread crumbs of your own and Italian seasoning)
    Salt Pepper
    Parmesan cheese (optional but YUMMY)

    Mix everything but the cheese together in a bowl.  Heat oil (maybe 2 or 3 Tbsp.) in a large skillet.  Drop balls of mixure (about 1/2 cup) into hot oil in pan.  Gently press with spatula and sprinkle with some parm.  Let brown.  Turn and gently press into patty shapes (about the size of a decent burger) and brown.  Yummy, yummy, yummy.  The bread crumbs help to give you a crispy result.

    By the way...  Sluggy is one of my favorite frugal bloggers along with Carla.  I have learned so much from both of them!

    Wednesday, January 1, 2014

    January First

    Well here we are back at the first day of another new year.  Where does the time go?  I've had some really good years and some really bad years, but I am happy to report that 2013 was a pretty good year.
    The most significant milestone we hit last year was complete debt freedom.  It is a great feeling, but honestly the day it happened was just like any other day.  Perhaps because we knew it was coming.  It wasn't a surprise from winning the lottery, it was the result of a great deal of careful planning.  The thing is, it is kind of unnerving.  It is really cool, but how hard will it be to stay debt free?  2014 is going to be the year we need at least one replacement car and a new roof.  We have a plan in place for the car because we have been saving for over a year.  What about the roof?  Saving for that became priority #1 as of today.  It is going to be thousands of dollars.  :(  Opening and maxing out a Roth IRA was the #1 priority before the end of 2013.  It happened, but not without a great deal of sacrifice.
    This is where it gets hard for me.  Don't get me wrong, we have a strong household income, but there is still a finite amount of money to allocate for all of these things.  That is why a budget is key.  I wish that I would have always been smart enough to use one, but it has only been the last few years.  I also believe strongly that it is very important to give back.

    So back to my January goals:
    1.  Put $500 in my Roth IRA
    2.  Add $1000 to our emergency fund (which will be used for the roof in the spring).
    3.  Stick to our meal plan.  I would like to come in under $250 in groceries for the month.  It should be doable because our freezer and cupboards are bursting.  This money will be for milk, bread, produce and restocking anything that is free or almost free with coupons.
    4.  One last goal that I am going to keep a secret until the end of the month when I report back.  It is not $ related.
    5.  Have 12 no spend days.  I already had 1 today!

    My goals for the year:
    1.  Max out my Roth IRA
    2.  Replace car without incurring any debt
    3.  Replace roof without incurring any debt
    4.  Try to end the year with 4k more in emergency fund than we started the year with.  This is a lofty goal since we will be doing our roof.  We will see if we can make it.