Thursday, May 2, 2013

On Hiatus

Due to some family health issues, Frugal Franny will be on hiatus for a while.  All of the previous posts are still here for you to look at.  Choose a page on the left to look through.  Find some great recipes and look back on some time and money saving tips as well as some great series and Bible studies.

Feel free to leave a comment here as to what you have liked about the blog and what you would like to see in the future.  I always look forward to reading your comments.  Thanks for following, and hopefully, we'll see you soon.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Live Faithfully - Week Twelve

Powerful Prayer
James 5:13-20

highlights from this week:
  • the word for suffering in this passage means ill treatment from others
  • Jesus never promised Christians life without sorrow, but He did offer peace along the way
  • suffering can last more than a moment, therefore prayer must be continuous
  • some suffering is the result of sin and some suffering serves to refine us
  • God does not always choose to remove our suffering, but He does promise to hear our prayers and help us through our suffering
  • we can always praise God for who He is in the midst of our suffering
  • thankfully God doesn't always give us what we want; He gives us what we need to grow in spiritual maturity
  • we must remember that all prayers must be prayed in God's will
  • sin can cause physical sickness
  • humanity's greatest disease is sin, the greatest cure is forgiveness
  • all who pray to be healed from the disease of sin will be forgiven
  • we must confess our sins to the Lord and to those who have been affected by them
  • trespass carries the idea of a person who knows better but sins against another and God anyway
  • James used the word healed in the context of a repentant believer becoming spiritually whole again
  • the Word of God and prayer must go hand in hand, for His Word gives us the promise to claim when we pray
  • earnest prayer refers to prayer that is immediate, intense and continuous
  • intercession is the act of petitioning God or praying on behalf of another person or group
  • God is the God of second chances...He delights to restore broken things
Day 4, on page 288, is an excerpt from a speech made by Abraham Lincoln when he declared 4/30/1863 a national day of fasting, humiliation, and prayer.  His words were so profound and so accurate of our country today that I just sat there for the longest time thinking about it.  If ever there was a time to begin intercessory prayer it is now.

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown.  But we have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.  Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us.  It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Label Containers

use painters tape to label food comes off easily and doesn't ruin your container or leave a sticky residue

(how's that for a quick tip)

Monday, April 29, 2013

Real Solutions

We might be making a pretty good effort at making things right in our lives financially speaking, only to give up a few weeks or a few months into the process.  Heck, some of us want to give up in a few days! The real solutions to these problems?  Well, this is where we get stuck and tend to give up.  The key is to be specific about each area that needs fixed financially.  Here are some examples.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm not going to go into credit card debt anymore", BE SPECIFIC.  I'm going to cut up my credit cards or I am going to cancel all of these store credit cards so that I won't be tempted to charge something I want but don't need.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to spend less money somehow". BE SPECIFIC. I will look for used items instead of new ones.  I will meal plan and not eat out.  I will cut coupons and only buy things on sale and only those things that I really need.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to do a better job saving money", BE SPECIFIC.  I will put $50 a month into my savings account each pay period.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to be a better steward of my money", BE SPECIFIC.  I will be accountable to a trusted person about my spending, or I will balance my budget every Friday.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I won't buy on impulse", BE SPECIFIC.  If I see something I want, I will wait at least three days to act on it, while thinking through all of the consequences of the purchase and praying about if it is really a need.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I need to manage my money better", BE SPECIFIC.  I am going to take a class at church about finances, or I am going to read books by Larry Burkett and follow the guidelines suggested.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I need to keep a better track of my spending", BE SPECIFIC. I will create a  budget that accounts for all of my expenditures and stick to it.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I need to stop wasting money", BE SPECIFIC.  I will write down how I have been spending my money and see where I can make cuts for all the things that aren't necessary.

INSTEAD of making the broad statement, "I'm going to be debt free", BE SPECIFIC.  Using a budget, and what I learned in class or from the books, I will map out a plan to reduce my debt until it is gone.

The key to following the specific statements and staying focused on the end goal is to decide two things. 
1. The time for action is now, not later.  Staying the way you are will only dig you deeper in debt.  Or if you just make ends meet, staying the way you are will never afford you any savings, retirement, or cushion when things go wrong...and they always do.
2. You can't just SEE that you need to make changes, you have to actually DO something about it.  It is time to make the serious decisions and stick with it.  When you feel like giving up, remind yourself of the end goal and how much better things will look when you get there.  And trust me when I say that after living this way and forcing yourself to stay the course, it will actually become your way of life and you won't have to stop and think about most decisions.  You will already know the right thing to do.  Once you have climbed out of the pit, you will have no desire to jump back in!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Roast Beef Pie

1 pkg refrigerated prepared roast beef au jus, or 1 lb of your own leftover roast
20 baby carrots chopped small
6-7 small (not tiny) red potatoes cubed
1 small onion chopped
2 Tblsp olive oil
2 C beef broth plus 1/3 C flour to thicken
2 C leftover or jar gravy (I used jar au jus)
salt and pepper to taste
1 refrigerated pie crust
1 egg beaten

preheat oven to 375
cut roast into bite size pieces

saute vegetables in olive oil until crisp tender
add beef and seasoning
combine flour and broth until smooth
(or just add gravy)
slowly stir into pan

bring to a boil
cook and stir until thickened, about 4-5 minutes
transfer into 9 inch deep dish pie plate
place pie crust on top
brush with beaten egg
cut slits into top
bake 30-35 minutes

Thursday, April 25, 2013

3 Steps to Boost Weight Loss

Triceps dips
Place palms face down on seat of a sturdy chair and have your feet flat on the floor shoulder width apart.  Use your arms to hold your weight.  Lower your body a few inches toward the floor, elbows bent behind you.  Press back up until your arms are almost straight. Repeat 10 times for 1 set.  Do 3 sets

Single Leg Squat
Hand on hips for balance, stand on one leg with the other is slightly out in front of you with your heel just above the floor.  Bend standing leg as far as you can as if you were sitting down on a chair.  Pause for 3-5 seconds and slowly raise back up.  Repeat 10 times for one set.  Do 3 sets on each leg.

Spine Extension
On hands and knees...hand under shoulders and knees under hips...keep spine straight in a neutral position.  Lift opposite arm and leg, keeping arm straight and knee bent, lifting only from the shoulder and hip, do not let back cave in.  Hold for 10 seconds for 1 rep.  Do three sets of 5 on each side.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Live Faithfully - Week Eleven

While you wait
James 5:7-12

Highlights from this week:
  • no matter what situation God places you in, one thing you must never do is complain
  • complaining Christians are a bad witness
  • patience is the ability to endure pain, difficulties, and hardships without complaining or losing heart
  • establish means to strengthen, cause to stand, or prop up
  • patience is not just passive, it's also active
  • the tongue only speaks what is in the heart
  • grumble means to bear a grudge; to mutter or mumble something in a low or hushed tone
  • condemn means to declare to be wrong; to pronounce judgement; to convict
  • grumbling is usually a sign of a deeper problem - discontentment with our lot in life
  • a jealous person is hostile, suspicious, or envious of one believed to enjoy an advantage
  • when God eavesdrops at your door, does He hear grumbling or glorifying?
  • if you're in a season of suffering, patiently endure until the season of blessing
  • we don't need to swear by any created thing to prove our sincerity; we prove it by acting with integrity
  • people who keep their word don't have to make promises
  • there's no such thing as a little white lie
  • it's all right to say no to one thing so that you can say yes to a better thing
  • a half truth is a whole lie
On day 4 we read about patience and suffering and are reminded of Job.  God meant for patience and suffering to go hand in hand.  We must persevere.  Persevere means to persist steadfastly despite counter influences, opposition or discouragement.  You cannot persevere unless you face difficulties just like you can't experience triumph without tragedy.  To receive the blessing, you must bear the burden.  HOW we do that is what counts to God.  If you look through the Bible at the prophets, you will see that they prove that we can be in the will of God and still suffer.  They show us that sometimes we suffer BECAUSE we are in the will of God.  But they also remind us that God cares for us when we suffer.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Garage Sale Tips

  • a group sale will have more stuff than a 1 family sale, bringing in more shoppers
  • price items according to how you you want to get rid of it or do you want to make money
  • make signs with fat lettering...what looks big to you will look small to someone driving by
  • put the nice stuff closer to the road, and the "man" stuff so they are more likely to stop
  • price something anywhere from 10-25% of what you paid depending on its condition
  • DON'T let strangers into your house to try things on
  • you add up the prices of what people are'd be surprised how many people would like to cheat
  • be prepared for the question, "how much for the whole box" by deciding on amount you would take beforehand 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Generate Income

The key to generating more income is being willing to do whatever it takes.  Using the resources and abilities you have there are ways that you can make money from home or pick up a part time job.  Remember that, depending on your situation, this may only be temporary and you'll need to put up with any inconvenience it may cost you in order to get on the right track with your finances.  You may lose out on playing on a recreational sporting team, you might need to give up a weekly book club meeting, or you may even need to lose a little extra family time for a little while.  Then again, you might enjoy what you are doing so much, it may become your regular job or part time job...that "me" time we are always looking for.  Here are just a few ideas.

  1. Do web or blog design.  If you are savvy in graphic design, there are plenty of people and businesses out there that need you.  Even if you only made blog templates or backgrounds, the number of blogs out there are staggering.  I'd pay $20 for a simple layout design.  And if I would, at least 100 other people out there would as well (as you can see by visiting a bunch of blogs and seeing how a lot of them are using the same design) That's $2000 for designing something only once.  Web design can run much higher, but there is also a lot more work involved designing every page within it.  If you have these skills you can easily make some extra money.
  2. Make jewelry, or any other crafty kind of thing.  I have a lot of friends who have a "store" on ETSY selling their homemade crafts from jewelry to cards to knitted things.  They also sell some on Facebook and local craft events.  They really love creating things, so it's a win win to also be able to sell them.  Beware of starting a new hobby, though.  Start up costs can be expensive depending on what you want to do and you want to be sure you can make money before you sink a lot into supplies.
  3. Maybe you are a good photographer.  Your options are many.  You can take photos for friends and family for events or Christmas cards or senior pictures.  Maybe you can get hired to cover an event for a company.  You can also sell photos to stock companies online.  Just be sure to know all of the ins, outs, and longterm benefits to each option.
  4. Can you sew?  If so, I'm jealous.  I have tried and's just not my thing.  Making clothes, bags, scarves and other things is really big.  I know a few stay at home moms that make money on the side by sewing 3-4 of the same outfits they are already making for their child and then selling them.  They will also take custom orders.  And people like me would be happy to have something that fits just us.
  5. Maybe you can do some kind of online work from home.  I've heard of people writing reviews and doing editing from home.  Just check everything out first, and be sure you know all of the fine print.  Anything that asks you to pay money to "work" is probably not what you need right now and might be a scam anyway.  Check out legitimate well known companies for this kind of work.
  6. Paint!  Not only inside walls of someone's home, but maybe crafts of some sort.  Whether it be on canvas or repainting furniture to resell, find what you love, are good at, and don't put a lot of money into up front.
  7. Maybe you are really good at that would be me!  I have helped a few people completely re-do their closets.  Now that I know I'm kind of good at it and have a system, I can branch out from friends and family and make a little money doing this.  Maybe your specialty is organizing paperwork to make tax time a breeze.  I know some people who would pay for that service!
  8. Clean homes.  We all know HOW to clean, but do you LOVE to clean?  Because there are plenty of people who don't!  Plus, if you can beat the prices of the companies and save people money, everyone wins.
  9. Use your job or everyday skills to fill needs.  Maybe you are a personal trainer.  Get a group of people together from church to lead a class and charge them a lower group rate for an evening or Saturday.  Maybe you are very knowledgeable in the job market.  You could help people find a new job, tell them what skills they need to improve or help them write resumes.  Maybe you have a teaching degree...consider tutoring.  Look around at what holes you see in people's lives or what kind of things you see on the internet.  How can you fill any of those holes for people and make some extra income?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pork Ragu

pic from Google images

3 lb pork shoulder cut into quarters, trim some of the fat
2 14oz cans diced tomatoes, drain well
2 med carrots cut into small dice
1 large onion chopped
1/2 C chicken broth or your own stock
oregano, salt and pepper to taste
12-16oz box substantial pasta, pic shows pappardelle we used rigatoni and very al dente bowties
serve with parmesan on top

combine all ingredients except pork in 6 qt slow cooker
gently add pork
cover and cook 7-8 hours on low, 4-5 hours on high
remove the pork and shred
add back to slow cooker and stir well
prepare pasta, when it is ready, so is the pork
serve pork mixture over pasta