Thursday, August 7, 2014

Free Lunch

"There is no such thing as a free lunch" is a very common quote in  our society today.  Believe it or not, I am sitting in a school cafeteria right this minute....typing away......while my children enjoy a free lunch. Even though we are homeschoolers, our local school district offers a free summer lunch program for kids of all ages.  The food isn't fantastic, but they have their favorites (spaghetti and chili dogs).  I think they enjoy it more for the experience than the flavors.  Once or twice a week they are given apples and most of the time, we take them home and make an apple pie or crisp, so that's fun.

So is their lunch really free?  They show up between 11:00 and 12:15 and are given a tray of food by a very friendly cafeteria staff member.  (I'm not kidding..the ladies that work here are awesome.)  But is it really free?  Not for me, it's not.  We've had to bump up our gas budget to allow for the extra miles on Tina (the Suburban).  It also takes a lot of time out of my day; right in the middle of the day at that.

So why do I do it?  Becuase they like it.  We've never been able to spoil our kids with expensive dance lessons, music lessons, or costly sports programs.  School lunch is something you don't get when you homeschool so they enjoy the little cartons of milk and prepackaged cheese sticks, carrots, and entrees.  

All of that being said, today is the last day for free lunch and I am glad.  ;)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Beans & Rice

If you're familiar with Dave Ramsey and his program, then you are familiar with beans and rice. Sometimes, so eliquently put by Dave as, "Beans and rice, BAaaby!!" :)  The whole idea is to have a "beans and rice" lifestyle while you're in your debt snowball in order to be as gazelle intense towards your debt as you can be.  Everyone knows that beans and rice are the cheapest way to feed your family; and dinners with meat cost significantly more.

A lot of people don't like beans and rice.  My family actually does, except my husband.  So, when he is on night shift, I try to make some sort of bean meal at least once a week.  Beans - other than the carb load that makes them hard to swallow for diabetics like myself - are pretty healthy compared to pastas, mashed potatoes, etc. and I don't mind serving them to my kids at all.  Their favorite beans are pintos and they love some good old fashioned cornbread to go with them --- another cheap componant to dinner.  Pintos and cornbread costs about $3-$4 for the whole meal and there are usually leftovers!!

So why am I blogging about beans??  Glad you asked.  ;)  I got to thinking this morning that the hardest thing about feeding my family beans is remembering to put them in the crock pot.  I know, I know...that sounds silly.  For those of you who cook, you know that when you have dry beans they need cook.  Some dry beans need to be set out in water the night before so you can cook them the next day.  So what's the problem?  Glad you asked.  ;)  I seem to always forget to set them out.  It really got me thinking that you have to be intentional, even with your beans!!  The key to getting out of debt is to things "on purpose, on paper" as Dave says....even with your beans!  So my personal challenge for myself this week is to be intentional not just about money and my cash envelope system, but also with my beans.  Cheers!!