Showing posts with label Frugal living. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frugal living. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2015

5 Books That You Should Read To Get You Started With Your Financial Goals

New year is fast approaching and I am sure that you have a new set of goals. Most of you will have a list of New Year's resolution that involves being debt free or just have the need to have control of your money. 
There is no shame in trying to get rid of your debt or learning how to have a budget. You will learn that on this list of books that I personally recommend, the common ground is budget and living a simple life.These 5 books are the books that you should always have on your shelf, or even read every year!

A Bountiful Love is a participant on Amazon Affiliate Program, when an item is purchased through my links I earn a small advertising fee.

 Total Money Make Over 
By Dave Ramsey


I've had this book for a while now and I always recommend it.
Best and inspiring line : " financial freedom is 80% behavior and 20% knowledge "
This book gives you baby and do able steps towards your financial freedom. Married couples can greatly benefit from this book. But it is also geared towards 20 to 30 yrs old. The book also shared real life experience that will really get you motivated. If you think paying off your debt is impossible or even paying a car with cash is a this book!

 Say Goodbye to Survival Mode : 9 Simple Strategies to Stress Less, Sleep More and Restore Your Passion for Life.
 by Crystal Paine


  Let me start with , this book is not just for bloggers. It is for all MOMS. Moms, from different walks of life. Working moms , stay at home moms. Why geared towards moms? Because we always have the "Superwoman" attitude. We love our family and our work so much that we tend to forget taking care of number one--> YOURSELF. We gave into the vicious cycle of having less to no sleep to "do more". We do not  ask for help and simplify things when needed, we are perfectionist, we try to do it all and don't slow down. We fail to manage our finances.  All of these will just result into a very , very bad case of burning out. I've been there, I think we all did at one point.  I like when she shed light on how sacrifices and having faith can greatly affect your finances.

I love this book so much that I actually gave it as gifts for Christmas. Very useful, a book that you need to keep on your shelf all the time as a reminder.

by Ruth Soukup 


How serious are you in changing your behaviors and finances?  If you can commit 31 days into doing her clear and insightful assignments , you will succeed. Do not underestimate this book though, it may be a one focus goal - spending zero, you will be surprised on how she laid out a clean plan , do able actions and helpful resources! No spending in a month can really be a scary and impossible idea for some but this book will show you that it is indeed possible. It will change your behavior and your outlook. Focusing more on the positive side than what you are giving up.

by Steve and Annette Economides


I know, don't raise an eyebrow on me. They’ve been called cheapskates and tightwads. During tough economic times, Steve and Annette have managed to feed their family of seven on just $350 per month, pay off their first house in nine years and purchase a second, larger home, buy cars with cash, take wonderful vacations, and put money in savings. Without degrees in finance or six-figure salaries.They had created a comfortable life for their family and most of all--- debt-free! 

I had read this book over 2 yrs ago I think and I would still recommend it in a heartbeat. You do not have to do every single thing they did. They provided tons of ideas on how to save money and how to stop living paycheck to paycheck!

The Complete Tightwad Gazette
by Amy Dacyczyn


Okay so another tightwad term, that some people find it so offending and shameful. To start with your financial goal, you need to stop being ashamed of being a tightwad and Amy will just make you realize that there is nothing wrong with that. Read this book and it will change your life. Again, let me repeat that. Read this book and it will change your life. She will also give you some insight on raising your kids in a world of materialism. 

Just like any other frugal living books out there, you do not have to do every single thing that she does. Tweak it according to your family. Eliminate what doesn't work .  Let her insights on frugality inspire you to come up with ways based on your family needs. She gave a whole lot of options throughout the book. 

I would love to connect with you!

Shared with:

A Little R & R Wednesdays @ A Little R & R
Tell it to me Tuesdays @ FDean Hackett
From House to Home @ I Choose Joy
The Cozy Reading Spot @ Reading List  Shine Blog Hop @ Deliberate Mom

Monday, December 14, 2015

To the Momma Who Can't Afford Christmas This Year

   It is that season again. Christmas music playing in every store. The cold weather  and the smell of firewood smoke lingering in the air.  Well decorated and lighted houses . Gift suggestions and gift packages on every corner of every store.

   Every year, you promised yourself that you will be ready for the next Christmas season. That you will save enough money so you can give your children, your family a Christmas they truly deserve. Then life happens. Sometime while you are saving .. your car breaks down. Maybe you or your spouse was unexpectedly unemployed. Your insurance won't pay for your medical bills , your water heater needs replacement. Your funds  dwindling,yet again.. You can't afford Christmas.

     You want to teach your children what Christmas is all about. But deep..deep inside you wish you could at least buy them the toy that they always ask for. You hurt because you can't.
     You want to bake all the Christmas goodies you see on Pinterest. You can't because you really can not afford those ingredients. You have bills to pay.  You wish you can buy your family some new outfits, nothing fancy,but some decent clothes to wear on Christmas eve. You can only afford clothes from the second hand store.  No matter how hard you try, you get embarrassed that you can't afford Christmas. There are times you go so hard on yourself. Times when you distance yourself from friends and family because you worry of what they may think of you.

     Here's what you need to know momma, In the eyes of the are rich. You are not a failure.
You are blessed. You have something that few people only understand. You have a family and you have everything.   We all see it everywhere, Jesus is the Reason for the Season. That is the truth. It is not about the material gifts or baked goodies. Christmas is about love.

     Our Jesus was not born in a castle, He was born in a manger.  He was born in the most humble way. He was born because of God's great love. Christmas has become commercialized. Social media plays a great role in this.  We see it, how our news feed is filled with " hey look how beautiful and gorgeous my Christmas tree is " , "hey look how many gifts we have under the tree". " hey, we are this fancy on Christmas". Don't be fooled with this. In reality, we do not know what the story is behind those pictures. Don't beat yourself up just because you can not afford Christmas.

Christmas is about...

 Being together as a family. It is about putting the phone down, and being present.  Christmas is about spending quality time.  It is about looking into our childrens eyes and being intentionally present.

Christmas is about reading scriptures to our family, little children need to know the story of Jesus. How God's great love for us came down on Christmas time.

Christmas is about reaching out to the poor, hurting and broken. Maybe you are wondering , how can you help when you can't even afford your own Christmas. How can you reach out and offer a hand if you are also hurting? There are ways to giving a lending hand and heart. You and your family can volunteer in a soup kitchen , visit a hospice and spend some time with our elderly who may have been neglected by their own families , volunteer to give out gifts or blankets for homeless people.

To rid yourself of negative emotional states,you need to push them aside with positive emotional states and the simplest way to do that is to just go out and lend a helping hand to somebody.” ---Stephen G. Post
Christmas is about slowing down , tuning in and plugging in. Plugging in to your spouse, your kids , your parents, friends and relatives.  Christmas is unplugging from negativity and comparison. 
Christmas is about simple happiness. Grab a travel mug filled with delicious hot coco, drive around the neighborhood and enjoy the Christmas decorations. Trust me, your kids will squeal in delight. Simple moments like this can turn into great memories someday.  Sometimes the smallest things can give us great joy.

Christmas is about celebrating God's grace.  Christmas is about giving yourself grace. 
    There is so much more about Christmas than material things. Whatever situation you may be in right now, it will pass. Our Lord is always..always for you.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

9 Pantry Staples That You Can Make At Home

There are tons of ways to be frugal. One of the areas we can always cut back on is our budget for grocery. Making your own pantry staples is probably the first smart move you can do. There's so many staples that you can make at home. These 9 pantry staples are my must haves, I always have it in my pantry. I made a freebie too! A pretty pantry label for you, download it and print it and adhere to your nice jars or containers. Don't forget to store the staples in an air tight container.

I also love cooking my own beans at home, it is very economical of course , free of any preservatives and sodium ( if you choose not to cook the beans with salt). Since the beans are freezer friendly,  there's also a free label printable for the beans. You can always use a good old marker to label the freezer bags but it just does not work for me, it just fades on me.


I would love to connect with you! 

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Meat Rub

1/8 cup black pepper
1 tsp onion flakes 
2 tsp salt                                         
1/4 cup paprika                                           
1/4 cup brown sugar        
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper ( optional)

Mix all the ingredients in an air tight container. Use with BBQ recipes , pulled pork and pork chop recipes.


1 tbsp Chili Powder 
1/4 tsp garlic powder         
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp paprika      
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp sea salt          
1/4 tsp crushed pepper

Mix all of the spices together in an airtight container.
** Add 2-3 tablespoons of the seasoning per pound of meat.
** For taco meat, cook until browned and then add the taco seasoning.
add a couple of tablespoons of water to the meat as well.
Let simmer for 5 minutes or so.

Try the homemade taco seasoning with these recipes :
Slow Cooker Tostada
Mexican Pizza
Lentil Tacos
Taco Bites
Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas
Pan Fried Bean and Cheese Burritos


2 cups Whole wheat flour (can use white flour if don't have whole wheat)
8 cups white flour
1/2 cups baking Powder
1/4 cups sugar
2 tsp salt
2 cups shortening
3 cups old fashioned quick oat oatmeal

Mix all ingredients together ( using a pastry cutter). Store in air tight container. Can store for up to 6 months. This recipe can also be cut in half for smaller batches)

***  For Pancakes: ( they freeze well too)
2 Cups mix
1 c. Milk
2 eggs

Mix and drop onto prepared skillet.

*** For Waffles
2 C. mix
1 1/3 cups milk
1 egg
2 TBSP oil

Mix and place in prepared waffle iron until done.

*** For Biscuits
2 1/4 cups mix
2/3 cup milk

Mix and drop on greased cookie sheet. bake 450 degrees for 10-12 mins or until golden borwn
Buttermilk biscuits:
2 C. mix
3/4 cup buttermilk


2/3 cups mayo ( Ive used Greek yogurt in the past)
2 small cloves of garlic
1/2 cup buttermilk                                  
1 tsp dried dill ( or fresh dill)
1/2 cup sour cream                                   
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried parsley                                  
1 tsp salt

Mix all ingredients and store in air tight container. Can store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.


White or whole wheat bread
FLAVORING : can use salt , herbs, Parmesan cheese , pepper, Italian Seasoning , garlic.

 Mix the cubed bread and chosen flavoring in the food processor. Grind the bread into fine or coarse depending on your preference. Store in airtight container in the fridge. They freeze well too.

2 tbsp onion powder or dried onion
2 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp celery seed

** This makes a batch of sloppy joe ( 1 packet).

Mix all the ingredients and store in air tight container.

To make  sloppy joes : . Add 1 cup ketchup, 1 tbsp.Worcestershire Sauce 1/2 cup water, and the seasoning mix to browned ( and drained) ground beef.  Add more ketchup or some water, until it reaches the desired consistency. Simmer for about 10 minutes.


2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all the ingredients and store in airtight container. 1 packet = 4 tbsp.

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1 stick butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Measure flour into a container. Add sugar on top, then baking powder, then salt.   

***To make the cake
Place softened butter into your mixer and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes. Add your dry ingredients and let it incorporate. Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix  for about one minute.
Pour batter into prepare pans. Bake at 350. 20-25 minutes.

There's also a few blank labels, so you can use it on other jars.


Wash / pick through the beans you wanted to cook. Put the beans in the slow cooker , cover with just enough water to cover the beans by about 3 inches. Beans absorbs a whole lot of water , so you may want to add water halfway through the cooking process. Cook on low for about 6-8 hrs. Do not over cook as you may want to cook it again with some recipes that you will use it on.

They are freezer friendly ,  pick a day of cooking your beans and freeze them for later use. This will save you money as well. A package of beans cost about .98 cents to $1.79  and it yields about 6-8 cups as compared to a can of beans ( store bought) that yields about 1 1/2 cups.

I usually measure up 2 cups of beans  and put them in a freezer zipper bags.

Check these recipes that use yummy and healthy beans : Recipes on a Budget

Here's your FREE FREEZER BEANS LABELS , print and use a clear packing tape to adhere onto the Ziploc bags.

Shared with:
Home Matters Linky Party @ Life with Lorelai
Free Fun Friday @ Devastate Bordedom
Awesome Fridays @ Reviews, Chews and How To's
 Home Matters Linky Party @ Life with Lorelai
 Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons