Thursday, September 8, 2011

I'm back....

Life just gets in the way of blogging sometimes. I know this is an anonymous blog, but I still won't go into details of my absence. Lets just say I experienced a painful time in my life. I'm working though it, and am confident that I will feel better soon.

On a lighter note, I picked up a part time job. I'm pretty excited about that fact! It's only about 15-20 hours per week, but I really think the extra income will help us reach our year end {and 5 year} goals. We really want to have all debt gone by December 31 of this year, and have the mortgage paid within 5 years.

Lately, things keep popping up. This needs to be fixed, that just broke, etc. With my meager income, I'm hoping to stay on track with the budget, as well as build up savings for those unexpected things. I know for certain that our furnace will need repairing or replacing really soon. Some things you can plan for ahead of time. Others, like major car repairs last month, you just can't plan.

To stay on the ole grocery budget, I really need to watch my menu planning, especially for the days/nights that I will work. I work tonight, so I just put a pot of clam chowder in the slow cooker. I'm going to raise some yeast bread, and bake that before I leave. I think planning will be key to staying away from take out and/or convenience foods. I will only work 3-4 days per week, but I will generally be leaving when I normally start preparing dinner.

I know that this little job may not seem like much, and it will most likely prevent me from being at every family event, but I think a small amount of sacrifice now will be a great benefit in the long run. Becoming debt free will be like Christmas for me! I will dance in the streets and sing joyously and praise God for his help. {I asked Him for guidance on this. Do I apply? After the interview, I prayed to God, and said if it's His will, I would love this job.}

Here's my super easy Clam Chowder recipe. I wait until the clams are on sale, and then I buy a few cans to have on hand. Try it, I guarantee that you will love it!

Clam Chowder

2 cans cream of celery soup
1 can cream of mushroom
2- 6.5 ounce cans of clams, with the juice
1 16 ounce bag of hash browns, or grate a few potatoes
2 cups milk or half and half
2 TBSP chopped bacon
1/4 tsp pepper
optional- 1 small can of sliced mushrooms, or sliced fresh mushrooms

Spray slow cooker. Combine all in cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low 4-4 1/2 hours, or on high 8-9 hours. I serve in soup bowls with a sprinkling of grated cheese and with bread and salad on the side. Makes about 6 servings.

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