Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ramblings :)

Well, after my spurt of goal-posting, I slacked off on blogging! Things are going well, we're just busy. I'm trying to organize my days a lot more, staying off the computer more and making sure to get school done first thing in the morning. I'm also embarking on some housecleaning missions--things got pretty cluttered over the holidays and are in need of some TLC! Jim has had steady work for the past week or so--praise God!--so we've had more of a "normal" schedule around here, which has been nice.

Tonight I was in search of a quick, easy recipe for some kind of meatless soup. I'm trying to be more frugal and stretch the meat in our meals, and right now we are all out of ground beef, except for a pound that I'm saving for lasagna when we have friends over this weekend. I thought soup sounded nice for tonight, since we're getting another big snowstorm today. Anyway, I found this one, Cheesy Vegetable Chowder, and it sounded yummy--and it was! I adapted it quite a bit--threw in some celery seed and onion powder since my family doesn't care much for onion or celery in soup, left out the carrots and threw in a couple of cups of frozen mixed vegetables instead of the corn. We also had to add a lot of salt at the table--there isn't any salt in it otherwise. Anyway, it was good and the older two kids gobbled it up. It's the first time I've ever seen Julia really love a soup--probably because most soups I make have meat in them, and she's not a big fan of meat. :) Jim, on the other hand, pretty much thinks a meal is not worth eating if it doesn't include meat . . . but he graciously ate this and said it was pretty good. Next time I might throw in some cooked chicken or ground beef to keep him happy; I think it would be good with either. :) We had whole wheat biscuits on the side and it was a nice meal for a cold and snowy night!

I also found a couple more new recipes today that I'm dying to try (thanks to Money Saving Mom for the links): Homemade Healthy Poptarts (from Heavenly Homemakers) and Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites (from Two Peas and their Pod). I can't make the poptarts till I get some more butter and yogurt, but I might be able to make the pretzel bites . . . if I have enough flour. Gotta get to the store once it stops snowing!

I had a goal of getting a bunch of cleaning done today, but instead I ended up paying bills and balancing all our accounts, and that always takes me a while. Which leads me to a question, just for fun: in your house, who is the main bill-payer/account-balancer/financial-up-keeper person? You or your spouse? In our home it's me, mostly because I have more time to do it than Jim does, and also because I enjoy it more. I like crunching numbers. :) I am also curious how many of you still pay bills via checks/mail, and how many do all the bill paying online? We still do it the old-fashioned way, but I am contemplating switching to online, just to save some money in stamps . . . but, I'm afraid I'd be more likely to forget bills that way, too. And I kind of like having a "paper trail" of all our bills and payments . . . anyway, just curious, if you feel like sharing what you do and how it works for you. :)

Well, I am off to bed now . . . hopefully more blogging will happen later this week!


Mary Ann said...

I have a soup recipe very similar to that one & I LOVE it! I'm with Julia, who needs the meat? :-) My husband is not a fan though so I only make it when we have company & I'm making more than one soup or for a carry in. It sounds good...I think I need to check out those other recipe links you posted.
In our house I am the main bill payer, account keeper. Like you I just have more time to do it & I am a little more conscious of due dates than Mike. We pay some of our bills online & some by check. I agree with you that it would be nice to save all the stamps but I feel a little wary of doing everything by computer. Even though it's secure I don't feel secure doing it.
Have a happy Wednesday!

Erika said...

i hope others comment, b/c i'm always curious about how couples work the number crunching! i do it for us--and we try to talk about the details together monthly if not more frequently. and i LOVE online bill-pay--i get emails from the companies and i have alerts in my Quicken file to help with the reminder issue. And slowly, I have started doing more and more auto-pay options--I'm starting to like that a lot too! All I have to do is enter the details into Quicken (when I am prompted or for some automatically!)

Mindee said...

I do all the bill-paying. I do everything online, except for the one bill that does not have that option. We have paperless statements for most things, too. I have a spreadsheet I made in Excel where I keep track of due dates. I look at it once a week to make sure things are paid on time.

Mrs.T said...

We have each taken our turn at the bill-paying, checkbook-balancing, etc. over the years. Currently Mr. T is doing it. I am more the type that wants to pay each bill as it comes in (mostly so I don't forget about it!), while he is better at seeing the big picture and what we can afford to pay when, etc. We don't pay any of our bills online. I guess I'm like Mary Ann in that -- I just wonder how secure it all is.

About the soup -- I have a similar recipe and it is good with ham or bacon in it too. Maybe you could make it meatless, but have bacon to sprinkle on for those who prefer it. It's surprising how far one can stretch a package of bacon bits. I do it all the time rather than buying bacon for recipes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Carrie,
It is rather interesting to read how others handle their bill paying etc.Both my husband and I pay bills together.We pay most of our bills through checks and snail mail but have started paying some on line as well.I like to have the paper even if it does take up space...it is easier for me to "see"when it is in paper form.We do not use any fancy system but have found a calendar works good for us.We use one that is just for bills and our bills due dates get written in on this.This has worked well for us as it is hard to miss one when you refer to the calendar often.We keep a separate calendar for any appts. etc.~Nikki

Mrs. Doug said...

I do the bill paying too. It's not that I have a lot more time, but it is easier for me to take
care of this.

Mr. D has plenty to do and during the summer especially so it's better if one person takes the whole responsibility.

I don't make all the decisions though. We discuss these things especially large purchases or gifts.

Your soup recipe sounds good. I like to have soup at least one day/week. We get lots of veggies and so make cream soups... cream of celery, cream of asaragus, we even made cream of mushroom once. We have LOTS of chicken so that's another soup we eat. Chicken and vegetable mostly.

We eat lots of beans too and that cuts down some on the meat. So far we've done well this winter. We're about 1/4 way through the chickens and ducks that we put up in the fall.

Anonymous said...

I am old fashioned :) I pay all the bills by check and am a little upset that I am being forced to pay monthly payroll taxes online or by the phone, I have a bad feeling that I am now really going to mess things up for the company. My dear son (he probably has no clue) has given me a great distrust of using the internet for financial use. He thinks I am not listening when he explains the safest passwords and why and all the computer language he uses. I love to work with numbers and when I have the "free" time I LOVE to organize things. I just cleared off my desk and after I "visit" a few blogs I am going to get serious :) about my paperwork while all my littles are napping. I still plan to comment on a few other of your posts or they may come in the form of an e-mail one of these days...sometime hopefully before March. -Joey

TwoMuths said...

I pay our bills and lately have been trying a new system - we still get paper bills for as many of the bills as we can - although some of the places are wanting to charge for paper statements which I think is RIDICULOUS! Our new mortgage company, for example, won't send us a statement unless we want to pay FIFTEEN EXTRA DOLLARS per month, and our health insurance company charges an extra $8.50 for us to write a check vs having a direct withdrawl from our bank. SO in those cases, we choose the frugal route and set up reoccurring reminders on our Google Calendar. I type in the bill due dates as they come in the mail, and then either pay online or send a check. I usually pay online, because it's easier for me and saves $3/month.

TwoMuths said...

I forgot to say - my husband and I BOTH HATE to pay the bills/figure out the budget, but it falls to me b/c I am home and have greater opportunity...I try to do it joyfully! :-)