How many heartbreaking times have you looked in your fridge and found food that WAS perfectly good a few days ago, but ended up spoiling after you forgot about it? This happens here far too often, and it really hurts my feelings. However, we recently caught two almost-victims in the nick of time. The first is a turkey carcass that we used to make broth. We covered it with water, brought it to a boil, simmered it for about a day, and salted and seasoned to taste. We will probably boil some noodles in some of the broth and have turkey noodle soup for a lunch. The rest will be frozen and used in potato soup or any recipe calling for chicken stock. The other treasure we found was leftover sausage dip made with Rotel and cream cheese. This made the perfect snack for my husband while he watched our bowl game! I'm planning to go through our kitchen again in a few minutes and look for other useful items that are running out of time. I know I have a bunch of bananas I could use to make muffins or mini-loaves of banana bread! My kids love it when I throw a few chocolate chips into the banana bread batter, and I already have everything I need to make it. Putting these items to use helps keep grocery spending to an absolute minimum. Taking homemade snacks when you go places can also help you avoid fast food purchases! What forgotten treasures are hiding in your kitchen? Is there still time to save them?
And now for the kids...
All four of my spending freeze buddies during a recent shopping trip.
We won't be doing this again for a while!
I told my kids we were having a voluntary spending freeze. I explained that we did have money, but we wanted to use it to accomplish certain goals, and therefore we were choosing to save it. I asked them to tell me a few things we might need to save money for. Here is the list they gave me:
Vacations/travel ("Disney World!!!")
"Important property" (I think Ivey meant things like expensive tools)
Garage (adding on to our house)
Then they seemed to be drawing a blank. Since we have discussed money with them before, of course, I was surprised they did not mention the most important things! I added to their list:
Then I explained why it's important to save for each one. We briefly discussed the debt that can result from NOT saving up for these things, and the consequences of that debt. I explained the concept of interest--both paying interest on a debt you owe, and receiving interest on money you have saved/invested. I'm sure Suzi will retain a lot more of this information than Ivey and Robert. One of the benefits of me blogging it is that I'll be able to refer back and offer a refresher course in a year or two!
As we talked, I made a list of questions they had and things I wanted to discuss in more detail later. So far, we will be going over the basics of a monthly budget, how and why to avoid a car loan, and the importance of an emergency fund. I'm looking forward to diving into these topics and many more! Of course, they will also see Jordan and me working on our little projects and participate when possible. If you have any tips or ideas for helping kids learn about money, please share!