I Missed My Anniversary!

This past Saturday, February 18th, was the one year anniversary of a day that changed my life- the day I got laid off from my job.

I went to work one Friday morning in 2011 having no idea that by that afternoon I would have my office plant in the back seat of my car driving home.  It was scary and exciting at the same time.  I was working three jobs and while the one I lost was by far the largest and provided 85% of my income I had always wondered what would happen if those extra 50 hours a week required by my full time job suddenly became available to me.

This past year has been one of the best of my life.  I am living on less than 50% of what I used to make and I am so happy.  When I was working I was miserable.  I now eat better, work out more, sleep more and stress less.  It’s funny how when you have less money to spend on things you don’t worry as much about where it is going.

Running this site and everything that goes with it is a full time job.  It’s much more than 40 hours a week.  It means sometimes doing things I don’t want to, working long hours and counting every dime hoping that at the end of the month income is more than expenses.

But I have discovered there is truth in the statement that if you do something you love you never work a day in your life.  I love my job.  I love my fellow bloggers who have been unbelievably supportive and helpful in the last 12 months.  And I love my readers- I love meeting people who want to make their lives better.

So while this post for me is a chance to reflect on the past year of my life it is also a thank you for your support and all the encouragement YOU have given me.  A Frugal Chick readers are the best and I am thankful every day that you have invited me into your life and that there are people who understand my compulsive need to save money!

Side Note: I have also kept my office plant alive for the past year.  This is a MAJOR accomplishment in my life!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


FULL: New Meal Planning Class Open To The Public


In teaching coupon classes the one thing I have consistently heard from people is that they would like to learn more about meal planning.

Whether it’s once a month cooking or just helping to expand their recipe collection people are always looking for ways to make meal planning faster and less expensive.

Sharon from Mom on Dealz and I have heard you and are VERY excited to announce our first Meal Planning Class!

Here are some of the topics we will be discussing:

Once a Month Cooking
Once a Week Cooking
Maximizing Your Slow Cooker
Menu Creating
Freezer Storage Times
Organization Methods and Tools
Everyday Cooking
Cooking From Your Stockpile
Discount Shopping

As we put the finishing touches on the class that list will expand.

In addition to those items we (with you of course) will be building a menu specifically for your household for atleast two weeks, possibly a month depending on which cooking style you choose.

All participants will need to bring a three ring binder as we will have LOTS of paperwork to hand out.  Additionally it would be helpful if everyone attending has a laptop or tablet of some sort as many of the tools will be utilized online.

The class will be March 22nd from 6 -8 p.m. at the Chesapeake Public Library on Volvo Parkway.  As this will be our first one we are making it small- we are only accepting 10 participants.

The cost of the class will be $20.  It must be paid to reserve your seat and there are no refunds or transfers.

If you are interested please use the About Me Tab above to send me an e-mail.  From there I will give you the address to pay via paypal or to mail a check.

I hope you all are as excited about this class as we are- I think it can really make a difference for some Hampton Roads families!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


March Coupon Class Available Dates


My plans for March changed so I have many more dates for coupon classes available than I thought I would!

These are dates where I am available to come and teach.  I am looking for people to HOST classes.  I do not have any open to the public currently.

The classes take roughly 2 hours and as long as there are 6 or more people, the cost is $10 per person.  If less than 6 attend the host is expected to make up the financial difference.  I can teach at a kitchen table or in front of 100 people in a lecture hall.   I have taught classes for MOPS groups, military associates, fraternal groups and congregations.

If you are an organization and would like to talk about a discount for a large class contact me and we will see what we can do!

I also do one on one tutoring.  The price depends on the location where we meet.

The available dates for March are the 3rd, 5th, 8th, 10th, 12th, 15th, 17th, 19th 24th, 26th and 31st.  These dates are subject to change and are filled on a first come, first served basis.

If you are interested check out all the information about Coupon Classes and then contact me!  I would love to teach you how to save big money!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Happy Singles Awareness Day!


Happy February 14th- which in my life is celebrated as Singles Awareness Day!

I hope that no matter who you are you have someone to love- whether it is a great friend or someone super special.

May you have a fantastic day filled with love, joy and great sales!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Why I Had To Quit Watching HGTV

No this is not my house in the picture

In the last year I have been adapting myself to this notion of working at home.  It’s a BIG adjustment going from an office full of people to an 800 square foot condo alone.  And while it has it perks (I get to cook all my meals at home and wear my pajamas to the office) it does get VERY quiet.

So a few months ago I started keeping HGTV on in the background, just for the noise factor.  I got hooked on shows like Property Brothers, Income Property and House Hunters.  They showed these amazing homes with granite countertops, soaker tubs in the bathroom, heated floors and giant stainless steel appliances.  It was sort of like “Extreme Home Make Over” without having to cry at the stories.

And at the beginning it was fun imagining what it would be like to live there.  To walk into an enormous bedroom and sink into clean white 8-million thread sheets (have you seen the Biltmore Estate Sheets) on a king sized bed that belonged to me.  To have heated floors and towel racks in the bathroom.  To have a giant walk in closet with shelves that rotated my shoes so I didn’t have to go digging around on the floor trying to find my favorite cowboy boots.

After a few weeks I started noticing things around my house.  A small stain in the carpet, my popcorn ceilings and my “scratch and dent” fridge had never bothered me before.  I was happy to have a roof over my head, hot water in my shower and an HVAC system that worked until I spent too much time looking at vaulted ceilings, rain shower heads and thermostats that could be set from a cell phone.

Like staring at too many magazine covers of airbrushed models I started to obsess over every little thing.  My condo felt small and inadequate.  Suddenly discontentment was becoming an issue in an area I had never cared about.  So I had to turn off HGTV for both myself and my wallet.  I would have put myself in debt for something pretty that didn’t make my life one bit  better.  Everything in my house works perfectly, why should I think I NEED more?

One day when my mortgage is paid off I can take all these dreams I have for my home and put them into play.  When my wants can be paid for with cash they will be all that much more fun.  But for now I will have to keep watching “Once Upon A Time” and “Leverage” because neither of them make me want a new washer and dryer!

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Popcorn Valentines Day Hearts


Momondealz had a great idea for a frugal Valentines Day craft! January 19th is National Popcorn Day and with Valentines less than a month away, this craft is a delicious and fun way to celebrate both!

Materials/Ingredients:
2 Bags of Microwave Popcorn
3.5 Tablespoons Butter
1 Bag of Mini Marshmallows
(1) 3 oz Strawberry Jello
Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter (or knife)

Directions:
1. Pop both bags of popcorn and set aside.

2. Melt butter over low heat in a large saucepan.

3. Add entire package of marshmallow and melt, stirring frequently.

4. Remove from the heat and add 1/2 of the package of jello powder and stir.

5. Add 1 and 1/2 bags of the popped popcorn to the melted marshmallows and mix well.

6. Spread out on wax paper and cut or form heart shapes.

To see the educational activities that coincide with this craft/recipe, visit Momondealz here.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.


Why A Frugal Chick Cares About SOPA


I try to keep you guys out of my special “blogger world” and just let you live in the “saving money” world when it comes to my life.  Listening to me complain about “blogging world” is reserved for my friends and family.

However for today I am taking a stand with many others against a new bill that is making it’s way around Washington DC.  If this bill passes internet censorship will change forever and thousands of sites like mine will be in jeopardy of being shut down.

Without getting into the confusing parts this bill (SOPA) poses a huge threat to my way of life.  If this bill is passed basically all anyone has to do is CLAIM that you have copywrited materical on your site and they shut you down without any proof at all. Literally it says all they have to do is write a letter and the companies that you work with have 5 days to pull everything from you.

So let’s say that another blogger posts the same deal I do- maybe they do the Food Lion match ups like I do or they find the same coupon.  They can then send a notice into Google and Paypal letting them know I have stolen their property and I begin a long and complicated battle to continue my livlihood.

And it’s not just going to affect me either- if you have a Flikr account and someone thinks your photo is too close to theirs, the same thing could happen to you.  This is on all internet property- not just those of us making a living online.

So today January 18th many website are going dark (have you tried to get into Wikipedia today? how about google?)- they will not do any work during the day in protest.  I seriously considered doing this.  And honestly if it wasn’t a Wednesday I might have.  However I know many of my readers get their grocery match ups on Wednesday and I am not going to punish your families by taking those deals away.

On the same token as the vote for this bill gets closer and closer I may ask you to drop an e-mail to your local representative and let him or her know that you think it’s a bad idea.  Talks resume in February so for now we will watch and wait.

I am so thankful every day for those of you who read me site and give me love in comments and facebook.  I have the greatest job in the world and anything that threatens it I will fight.

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It is important to note that this blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorships, paid insertions, or other forms of compensation. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics or posts made in this blog. All opinions stated in this blog belong to its author and no one else. I will only endorse products, companies, and services that I have found worthy of my time and opinion. A Frugal Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to www.amazon.com.