Simply Saving Saturday - February 6

This week my husband's employer hosted an employee appreciation dinner. We ate a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant for free.

I cooked a whole chicken in the crockpot and made chicken stock with the chicken scraps. I also used vegetable peels that I froze after prepping vegetables. I will use the leftover chicken and the chicken stock for meals next week.

I reused freezer bags.

We ate dinner at home every night.

I worked four days this week and my husband and I brought our lunch to work everyday.

I downloaded a free desktop wallpaper for February from

I used the free version of EveryDollar to set up a new budget for February and used online bill pay to pay a bill.

How did you save this week?

Earn Extra Income as a Substitute Teacher

If your children are in school full time, substitute teaching is a great opportunity for stay-at-home parents to earn extra income. I started substitute teaching almost a year ago and have found it to be both challenging and rewarding.  As with any job, there are positive and negatives that you should consider before applying.

  • As a stay-at-home mom, one of the biggest benefits of substitute teaching is that I have the same schedule as my children and there is no need for a sitter. My work day is done at the same time as my children. If my children have a school vacation, holiday or snow day, I also have those days off.

  • Substitute teaching is very flexible. If one of my children is sick or I have an appointment, I can decline to work that day. In my school district, a substitute can also stipulate which days they can work and/or what grade level or school they want to work in.

  • One of the reasons I love substitute teaching is that there is a variety of work and no two days are exactly the same. One day I could work in the middle school; the next day I might be in the elementary school. I have worked in special education, resource rooms, main stream classes and with students with disabilities. The variety of work ensures that I am never bored!

There are also a couple of negatives about substitute teaching that you may want to consider before applying.

  • Substitute teachers aren't eligible to receive holiday, vacation or sick pay and, of course, there isn't any work available during summer break. 

  • Income earned as a substitute teacher varies from week to week.

If you are interested in substitute teaching, contact the Superintendent's Office or look on the school district's website for an application and more information. State laws may vary, but in the state that I live in, every substitute teacher is required to have an Ed. Tech. Certification. Submitting an application to the state for certification and a national background check is required. You can get more information about the requirements in your state by contacting the Superintendent's Office or going to the Department of Education website for your state.

Simply Saving Saturday - January 30

After entering all our transactions into EveryDollar for this month, we are over budget for the month of January.  It wasn't a surprise to us since we paid for two home repairs and a very expensive vehicle repair. We will use income from previous months and money from our savings account, if needed, to cover the difference. Hopefully we'll be able to stay on track next month!

I didn't have a lot of savings this week besides the every day things that we do, but here are a few savings from this week:

I worked four days this week and my husband and I both took lunches to work every day.

We borrowed several books and a movie from the library.

I used Swagbucks to purchase a $25 Walmart gift card.

My husband used his Irving Rewards and paid $1.79 per gallon of gas for one fill up. We are very thankful to see gas and oil prices going down this year.  While everything seems to be increasing, that is one budget item that is decreasing!

We used a gift card to eat out.

I gave the boys a haircut.

I bought bread at the bread store for $1.03/loaf and English muffins for $.99/pkg.

We ate popcorn that I made on the stovetop while we watched the AFC Championship Game.

How did you save this week?

Meal Plan Monday - January 25

Instead of having a taco last week, I made myself a taco salad.  It was so delicious that I decided to have taco salads this week! Here's what our family will be eating this week.

Baked Ravioli, peas

Taco Salad, pineapple

Cornmeal Oven-Fried Chicken, Yogurt Biscuits, salad

Biscuit Pot Pie (made with leftover Yogurt Biscuits)

Breakfast for dinner: breakfast sandwiches, Meatless Hash, leftover pineapple

English Muffin Pizzas, carrot sticks, applesauce


Get more meal plan ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

Simply Saving Saturday - January 23

We signed up for a free offer from Dish Network for four free movie channels for a month.

I cooked a big pot of pinto beans and I added them to four of the meals that we ate this week.  Three meals this week were meatless meals.

Whole chicken was on sale for $.88/lb. last week.  I bought two and put one in the freezer and cooked the other in the crockpot.  I also made chicken stock with the chicken scraps.

I saved veggie scraps and froze them to make chicken stock.

I made banana muffins with the very ripe bananas that I froze a few weeks ago and reused the freezer bag that the bananas were in.

Thanks to a free graphic found online and a photo editing program, I was able to change the design of the blog for free.

How did you save this week?