Could You Live on 18% of Your Income?

Yes…if you had to.

I did the math again last week to see what percentage of our former income we were living on this year. It is down to 63%. I thought that was pretty good until I heard of a man whose income was cut to 18% and he not only survived, but now does what he wanted to do all of his life.

The man was a successful surgeon. His father was a successful preacher. He wanted to go on medical missions trips and help others around the world.

His father died and he felt God telling him to close his practice and go help in his father’s church. No, he did not become the Pastor. He helped, behind the scenes with no glory or recognition.

He lived on 18% of his former income and just helped for six years.Then he was given the opportunity to go on a medical missions trip. He knew he was where he was supposed to be.

Now he spends six months out of the year on medical missions trips and the other six months he helps his brother, Joel Osteen, at his church called Lakewood. His name is Dr. Paul Osteen.

To give you a visual picture of 18%, I decided to post a photo of the leftover shepherd’s pie.

18% of a Shepherd's Pie


Never Serve Leftovers Again!

My son complained about the amount of vegetables I put in the Cheesy Chicken Casserole I served on Friday night. He actually refused to eat it.

I decided to trick him by adding chicken stock to it and serving it as Cheesy Chicken Soup on Sunday. He ate all of it!

The men in my house are leftover snobs. They used to make me so mad until I decided to outwit them. Now if I have enough leftovers for another meal I freeze them.

Last week I had goulash. I froze the leftovers and pulled them out on Saturday night. I added Spaghetti Sauce and topped it with Mozzarella Cheese. They loved it.

Last week I cut up the two leftover pork chops and made stew with them.

And don’t get me started on rubber chicken! Roast it for one meal. Make stock out of the neck. You should have enough meat leftover for two casseroles. I used the stock with half of one casserole to make the “Cheesy Chicken Soup”.

Tonight we are having “Shepherd’s Pie” and buried in the bottom of it will be the leftover cheeseburgers.

Cheesy Chicken Casserole

2 c. chopped chicken

1 can cheddar cheese soup

1/2 can milk

2 cups cooked rice

1 package of California Vegetables

Mix milk and cheddar cheese soup. Add chicken, rice and vegetables. Zap for ten minutes.

To make soup add one can or 2 cups homemade chicken stock.

How to Tell Your Money Where to Go!

There are two kinds of people:

1. Those who tell their money where to go.

2. Those who wonder where it went.

I write out the checks the day before payday and mail them after we make a deposit.

I have a spending plan, so I know how much I need to have in the account for groceries, etc.

The first check I write is a tithe check to my church. (Put God first.)

The second is to savings. (Save for a rainy day.)

The rest are written according to my spending plan.

To quote Debt Proof Living, make a plan, then live the plan!

Header Pictures

I wanted to explain why I chose each of the photos that randomly show across the top of my blog.

©StudioK Stuck in a corner?





©StudioK Sit and think.





©StudioK Take the first step.





©StudioK Keep climbing.





©StudioK Be determined.





©StudioK Be strong.





©StudioK Don't lay down and give up.





©StudioK Don't look over the fence.





Most importantly, never, ever give up!

Checks and Deposit Slips

I am irritated with the check publishing companies because they no longer put one or two registers in each box. I liked using two lines when I recorded my checks so I could make notes.

I pay most of my bills electronically through my banks free bill pay service, so I need to record those transactions, and the automatic mortgage payment, on the register also.

I had to switch to single line entry.

My freedom checking account, (see Debt Proof Living), gets a deposit once a week, but I only write one or two checks from that account per week. I ordered extra deposit slips for that account and found they were twice as expensive as the checks! Now when I run out of deposit slips in the back of each book of checks, I get free, blank deposit slips from the bank teller.

I do not use a debit card. They are easy to abuse and have no protection if they are stolen. I recently read that banks are going to add a per use charge to debit cards. I have enough trouble getting the checks my husband and I write recorded without having to worry about things purchased with a debit card.

When I do order checks, I use the “buy three boxes, get one free” discount. I do not order duplicate checks because half of the time the check would be ripped out and filled out at the store. I also skip the monogram and fancy lettering.

Before I place my order, I do a search for discount codes for the company I am purchasing from for free shipping and special deals. The last time I ordered I got matching address labels for half price.

Shop around. You can buy checks for $5.96 a box at!



Quit Praying To Be Poor

Stop praying, “Dear God, Please help me to lose weight.”

I was reading in James 4 about not having, because we did not ask God. I have read that verse many times. Today as I was blogging about it on, I felt God say to me…

“You ask me to help you lose weight. But you refuse to exercise. The only way I can help you, is to keep your income low enough that you buy only the food you need. That is why you had to cut those “Buy One, Get One Free” muffins off of your grocery list this week.”

(I immediately exercised.)

I am going to exercise like I plan on eating muffins every day for breakfast. I am going to continue to eat a healthy diet, so when my income increases to the point where I can buy  those muffins, that it will not harm me when I occasionally do!

Of course, until that day…I will make my own muffins!

So I Am Not The “Cake Boss”

"Drum Set" Birthday Cake












I got inspired watching “Cake Boss” on TLC and decided to make a cake for my son’s 19th birthday. He is going to college on a Jazz Band Scholarship. He also plays the drums for a Blues Band and for church.

I baked the batter in a small, metal mixing bowl; a clean, Hunt’s spaghetti sauce can and a clean, soup can. The bass drum came out of the mixing bowl. I cut the Hunt’s spaghetti sauce can cake into a floor tom and a snare drum. I cut the two tom drums out of the soup can. Derek only uses one tom drum…so I ate the other one!

The cymbals were cut out of pie dough crust. The temperatures were in the 80’s the day I put the cake together, so I tried to bake the pie dough in the microwave. They got a little overdone. They rather look like slices of banana.

I put the pie dough cymbals on dowels and stuck them into the frosting on the drum to keep them steady. I ended up putting the snare drum on top of a clean, plastic lid from a spray bottle.


My family was not.

By the time we had the party, the tom drum had fallen over on the snare drum and it was tipped sideways. (Note: Cakes should be refrigerated until the party.)

My son couldn’t figure out what it was!

Then, when I cut the cake, everyone laughed. I used a red velvet cake mix.

My daughter said, “It looks like the ‘Armadillo Cake’ in the movie ‘Steel Magnolias’.” (In the movie, no one wanted to eat the cake because it looked like the armadillo was bleeding.)

Anyway, my frugal tip is to make your own birthday cakes. If it doesn’t turn out the way you planned, then, at least you have made a memory!


Out of Eggs?

Today as I was eating my “Apple Turnover Oatmeal”, (Add chopped apple, cinnamon and brown sugar to your oatmeal), I thought of the pioneers and wondered what they did when they ran out of eggs. Then I remembered a recipe from my Aunt Myrintha for a chocolate cake without eggs.

Wacky Cake

Sift together:

1 – 1/2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

2  Tablespoons cocoa

1 Teaspoon baking soda.

Place in an 8 X 8 pan. Make three holes in it.

Hole #1)  1 Tablespoon vinegar

Hole #2) 5 Tablespoons melted shortening

Hole #3) 1 Teaspoon Vanilla

Pour 1 cup of boiling water over all of it and mix.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.

After removing from oven spread chocolate chips on top.

Wait a few minutes for the chips to soften, then spread.

It makes a hard, crust for frosting.

It makes me wonder if you can substitute a teaspoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of vinegar for the egg in pancakes.

Anyone want to try?

How To Feed Four With One Egg

Easy. Make Pancakes.

I read a lot of books about cowboys and pioneers who settled the west. You rarely hear of them having eggs and bacon for breakfast. Usually, they have flapjacks.

It only takes one egg to make a batch of pancakes.

Today I was wishing for a Cinnamon Roll for breakfast, but the menu called for pancakes. I added cinnamon to the batter. I forgot put butter and powdered sugar on it, but it was great with maple syrup, too!

Only one egg is needed to make pancakes.

Have a Hankering for Rocky Road Ice Cream?

I found another healthy, frugal substitute today. I love Rocky Road Ice Cream. It loves me back so  much that it sticks with me permanently…usually latching on to my belly.

Anyway, at our house Friday is Chocolate Malto Meal Day. Today I put a tablespoon of cocoa (for the dark chocolate flavor), almonds and marshmallows into my Chocolate Malto Meal.

It was so good that I didn’t take the time to take a picture of it. I was like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”. I ate it all up.