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Doin’ the Carlton

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I am dancing around ya’ll, and just so you’ll have a visual, you can imagine how Carlton dances from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Hey, that’s all the rhythm I’ve got! So, let me explain why my children are currently glad their friends can’t see me.

In one of my previous posts we got to talking in the comments about whether or not we should pay credit cards with crazy, stupid interest off first or our furniture loan which is interest free but due to possible trickery, could bite us in the end. Well, this is what happened…

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and……

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The card that had almost $600 on it and the card with a little over $1,000 ? PAID!! I. AM. SO. EXCITED!

Let’s talk about how this was possible, shall we?  My husband has a job that rarely gets overtime.  They have been swamped lately so, he has been working a few hours extra a week to help out. We knew that he would have enough overtime on one check to pay off a good chunk of that smaller balance.  What we did not know is that the weather in our area was gonna go nutso crazy and, fortunately for us, his work is greatly impacted by weather. They sent him out of town, which just so happened to fall on a weekend so, there was lots of overtime. They taxed the heck out of us but in the end it was enough to pay off both cards.

I’m not gonna lie ya’ll, there’s a part of me that really wanted to pay off the small card, put a little on the other card, and have fun with the rest. But, I know that sticking with this is going to benefit us so very much. I also have another confession that I’ll get more into this afternoon.  The crux of it is that we have not been sticking to our budget as strict as we were before.  I’m hoping that these two victories over our credit demons will help us get back on track.

So, what do ya’ll think, was it a good decision to pay these cards off? Or should we have put it towards the furniture loan?


Making a Meal Stretch

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This past week our pantry has been a bit bare, but I’ve been making it a priority to eat what we have instead of making an extra trip to the grocery store. I divide our grocery money into the number of weeks in the month (4 or 5) and try to stick to that amount – no more. We had already used our week’s allotment of grocery money so I was going to have to get creative until the following week.

One night for dinner I decided to pull some enchiladas out of the freezer. Whenever I make enchiladas I always double the batch and freeze the extras, so this was the “extra batch.” Generally when I make dinner I try to make a little extra so I can have leftovers for lunch the next day, but this was a small batch – only 5 enchiladas. My husband ate two, I ate 1 ½, gave the girls ½ and we had sides – refried beans and a side-salad.

For lunch the next day I was totally stumped. We didn’t have enough leftovers to feed me and both girls (only 1 enchilada left), and we’d been eating grilled cheese or PB&Js for the past 3 lunches in a row. I desperately wanted to run to Chick-fil-A or call in some Chinese take-out. I debated it for awhile, but ultimately I decided I needed to figure out a way to make our leftover enchilada stretch into a meal for 3.

What did I do?

Well, although there was only a single enchilada, there was actually a good amount of beans leftover. So I made a little enchilada “pie.” On the bottom of our plates I put a hefty layer of beans, then I cut the enchilada in half (half for me, half shared by the girls), and put it on top. To beef it up, I added some avocado we had on-hand, a little extra grated cheese, and a small dollop of sour cream.

It wasn’t the best or most exciting meal. It was probably 70% beans with a little enchilada and other toppings. But it was a good source of protein (beans), fats (avocado) and dairy (cheese, sour cream). And it filled us up for free as opposed to spending money at the drive-through.

I’ll call that a “win” any day!

 

How do you make a meal stretch? What are some of your favorite budget recipes that you can make from mostly pantry staples?