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A Penny Closer

A Penny Closer
A Penny Closer is for those of us who want to improve how we spend, save, and invest. We want to be able to manage our money so that we can use it to enjoy our lives today while still saving to reach our dreams tomorrow.
Articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


The Costs Of Bringing It All
2008-05-29 00:20:00
My brother has been planning a long distance move that’s supposed to happen next month. Until I talked to my mother the other day, I had no idea how much it would actually cost him to move halfway across the country. I figured it would probably cost a few thousand dollars when all was said ...
More About: Moving , Automobile , Frugality , Costs
Reducipe ? Pork Adobo
2008-05-23 19:30:00
I?ve been trying to share this household favorite for a while now but I kept forgetting to take photos of the rub components. Finally I didn?t forget this time and it?s ready to post. My Pork Adobo is an adaptation from a recipe I found in a diet cookbook. Not only is ...
Manage Rising Fuel Costs With Plastic
2008-05-12 15:00:00
Gas prices have been out of control lately. Now that Melissa is driving to school everyday, our monthly gas costs have gotten much higher and our budget is feeling the pinch (or should I say punch). We do have a plan for reducing our gas costs outside of the obvious suggestion of driving ...
More About: Fuel , Automobile , Plastic , Manage , Costs
You Can Avoid The 24 Hour Flu
2008-05-04 00:28:00
You know why? Because it really doesn?t exist. Most likely what you were experiencing was a bout with foodborne illness. No joke. Why am I talking about foodborne illness on this here blog? Well, as we all know, medical care is expensive. With food prices on the rise more people are ...
More About: Medical , Food , Hour , Avoid
Reducipe: Mirin Wasabi Glazed Salmon
2008-04-23 02:56:00
This is one of those recipes that?s easy to make, tastes great, and it?s good for you, too! This is Eric?s most requested salmon dish and every time he finishes, he licks his plate clean. No joke. It really is that tasty, folks. This Mirin Wasabi glaze is out of this world. ...
Dining Out = Cost Savings?
2008-04-15 22:03:00
Last week was my first week in culinary school . Yea! Right now I?m taking sanitation and soon I?ll be starting basic cookery classes. Sanitation isn?t the most interesting subject (even though it?s important) so the chef instructor likes to interject stories and commentary along the way. He stressed the importance ...
More About: Food , Cost , Frugality , Dining , Savings
Reducipe: Mexican Ham & Bean Soup
2008-04-06 17:11:00
With food prices still going up I wanted to post another bean recipe that we enjoy. Bean soups are a filling and hearty way to satisfy your family and keep food costs down. This one isn?t vegetarian and incorporates a little bit of ham. This recipe is a spiced up version of ham and ...
More About: Mexican , Soup
Debt Becomes Her: The Decision
2008-04-03 18:55:00
Yep, that?s right. We have decided to take on debt. A large amount of debt. I know what you?re probably thinking. Why on earth would you take on debt in this economy? Let me explain. One of my biggest dreams has been to go to culinary school. In fact, whenever ...
More About: Education , Debt , Decision
Paperwork: A Blessing And A Curse
2008-03-24 14:34:00
I have been under the pressure of a deadline lately. One of the most important deadlines, in fact: filing my taxes. Normally I?d have my taxes done by now but this year is different. In the old house I had a desk and an office area where I kept most of our recent paperwork ...
More About: Taxes , Curse , Blessing
Maybe Gift Cards Aren?t So Great
2008-03-17 20:53:00
Gifts cards are a hot gift item these days. I think part of the reason they have grown in popularity is because it relieves the gift buyer from having to guess what the recipient wants. It?s an easy option that guarantees that the recipient will like what they get, mainly because they get ...
More About: Shopping , Gift Cards , Great , Gift , Cards
Reducipe: Southwestern Falafels with Guacamole
2008-03-13 19:25:00
With rising food costs, I think everyone could use a few reducipes that use beans as the main protein instead of meat. Beans are not only a cheap substitute, they are really tasty and versatile. And they are good for you, too! This isn’t your average falafel. It has southwestern style ...
I Buy It 1/2 Off Or You Toss It!
2008-03-12 23:10:00
I just had to write a quick post about my grocery trip today! I wanted to get some Manchego cheese for a Mexican bean soup I?m making this week, but specialty cheeses can be very pricey and I didn?t have room in the budget. I chose to substitute Monterrey Jack instead, even though the ...
More About: Groceries , Frugality , Toss
Last Chance To Use Your Flexible Saving Account!
2008-03-11 23:47:00
If you have a Flexible Saving s Account , or FSA, you know how complicated tracking all your medical expenses can be. If you haven?t been keeping up with the receipts it can be a real chore to get organized, especially now that there is a looming deadline. From our employer?s website: You have until April 30th ...
More About: Medical , Chance
6 Easy Ways To Battle Rising Food Costs
2008-03-10 21:51:00
Have you looked at your grocery bills lately? If so, you are probably seeing what I?m seeing. Food prices are going up ? especially for fresh food and staples. It looks like they will keep rising, too. Check out this article from the Boston Globe. Why is this happening, you ask? ...
More About: Economy , Easy , Battle , Costs
Could It Be More Than A Hobby?
2008-03-07 20:35:00
Last Saturday, I had my first paid catering gig. I spent weeks getting ready and even did two full days of prep leading up to it. It was so much fun and I learned so much from the experience. We had about 20% more people show up than expected and that made keeping the ...
More About: Food , Hobby , Work
I?m Enfranchised!
2008-03-05 19:01:00
Yesterday I cast my vote for the very first time. It was a good feeling wearing that little sticker all day. I?ve never voted before, mostly due to feeling like it really didn?t matter. Eric was surprised that I hadn?t voted before and insisted that the next election I would be at the polls. ...
Reducipe – Southwestern Meatloaf
2008-02-29 16:00:00
Ahhh, meatloaf. Loved and yet hated by the young and old alike. It’s so good when at its best and so bad when messed up. I think people develop their meatloaf preference early on and their first experiences with the stuff can make or break it. Many mothers, in an effort to pinch pennies, have thrown together makeshift meatloafs that lack flavor, moisture, and flair. It ruins its reputation. Meatloaf , when done right, is succulent, moist, hearty, and best of all, cheap eats. It just takes a gentle touch and a fabulous glaze to turn even the most opposed into meatloaf fans. This recipe is one of my most popular. Everyone loves it and Eric requests it often. I have even served it at an hors d’Oeuvres party by increasing the amount of crumbs and forming meatballs. What a hit! It’s juicy, tender, and anything but dull. The bold southwestern flavors helped me win first place in a meatloaf cook-off contest a few years ago. It is definitely worth a try, even if you hat...
A Tale Of 3 Applications
2008-02-28 18:25:00
In our search to find tenants for our rental property we have received 3 applications. Of course, we have had many more visitors and serious inquiries but 3 people actually completed an application and gave their deposits to rent the property. That step is what separates the ?serious? from the ready to rent. These ...
More About: Applications , Housing , Tale
What Your Landlord Thinks Of You
2008-02-27 17:55:00
Well, maybe it’s more of what your landlord thinks of your rental application. Evaluating applications from renters wanting to lease our old home has given us an interesting look into what landlords value in a tenant. I assumed the optimal tenant would have a good credit score and payment history. I learned ...
More About: Housing
No Longer Alone But Technologically Stranded
2008-02-26 23:06:00
My cable has been down since early this morning and it feels like I?m all alone without phone, internet, and TV. It?s a good excuse to do some chores though. We now have one house next door and yesterday it looked like the new neighbors were moving in. When I opened the ...
More About: Relationships , Household
Reducipe ? Pork Potstickers With Tangy Ginger Lime Sauce
2008-02-22 23:52:00
I decided to post this particular recipe this week because it is one of the ones featured in my upcoming catering gig (I modified it for vegetarians). I?ve been working on this recipe for years and it?s so good that we think it will be the crowd favorite at the event. Potstickers are an inexpensive ...
More About: Food , Pork , Ginger , Sauce , Lime
Creating Something Useful From The Sentimental
2008-02-20 17:30:00
Sorting through all these old clothes, especially the high school stuff, has put me in a strange position. Although I?m donating the majority of the items, there are still those pieces that I feel I can?t part with. I know it’s a little irrational; after all, I haven?t even seen these clothes in ...
More About: Household , Creating , Sentimental
$728 Worth Of Stuff Out The Door
2008-02-19 20:42:00
This weekend we gave our first big clothes donation to Goodwill. We sorted through all the clothes in our closet and pulled out anything we didn?t intend to wear again. A frilly tie-dyed blouse (with sequins, no less) and a bright Mai-Tai patterned Hawaiian shirt found buried in the back of the closet ...
More About: Taxes , Charity , Household , Stuff , Worth
It?s My Turn For The Book Meme!
2008-02-15 20:12:00
I’ve been tagged with a few interesting memes lately and I?ve been meaning to find the time to respond to them. My plan is to fit in one a week so we don?t get meme?d out. I love that I?ve Paid Twice For This Already tagged me for a cool book meme going ...
More About: Meme , Food , Book , Turn
Make Valentine?s Day Special Without It Being Special
2008-02-14 16:00:00
When Eric and I first started dating he definitely worked to impress me, especially on Valentine ?s Day. He would buy me flowers, take me to a nice restaurant, and get me gifts. That kind of Valentine’s date is practically a requirement for new relationships. I loved it back then and thought he ...
More About: Relationships , Special , Make , Reflection
Rent Or Sell: The Decision
2008-02-13 18:26:00
I apologize for not writing about our decision on whether to sell or lease out our old home earlier than today. I didn?t realize I left you all in the dark until this week! Shame on me. The house has been on the market since January 26th. After careful consideration, we decided to ...
More About: Housing , Decision , Sell , Rent
Not Good Enough For Goodwill?
2008-02-08 20:47:00
I?ve been donating a lot of stuff to Good will and have discovered they can be pretty picky sometimes. A few years ago, we brought a U-Haul worth of old furniture (Eric?s old stuff) to Goodwill and the manager came out to sort through it. She took most of the things but the biggest ...
More About: Charity , Household
Embarrassed By Your Accomplishments?
2008-02-01 21:00:00
I find myself in a strange dilemma these days. I often get asked how I like the new house and to tell them all about it. I consider getting the new home to be a huge accomplishment for us. It took effort, sacrifice, and hard work to manage to ?move up?. ...
More About: Relationships , Housing , Psychology , Embarrassed
Reducipe - Green Beans With Caramelized Onions
2008-01-31 17:41:00
I have vivid memories of picking fresh green beans as a child. I remember searching for them like prizes, cracking off the crisp ends, and eating them raw. They were so fresh and vibrant. Their flavor so undeniably green. Of course, after a few bites I’d remember that they were vegetables and stop eating them but I’d ...
More About: Food , Beans , Green , Onions
On My Own (For A While)
2008-01-29 17:54:00
Yesterday, before the sun even came up, Eric was on his way to the airport for an extended trip. 2 weeks. He doesn?t even get to come home over the weekend. It?s the longest we have been apart since we have known each other. It?s going to be a lonely few ...
More About: Relationships , Budgeting
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