Tag Archives: tips

Freezer Meals: Week 5

It’s that time of week!

Dug up some really fabulously freezer friendly meals this week for you all. With a short week coming up due to Labor Day next week, I totally foresee myself capitalizing on the ‘ole freezer meals.

Chicken Tetrazzini


Chicken Tetrazzini [http://www.familysavvy.com/chicken-tetrazzini-make-ahead-freezer-friendly/]

FamilySavvy.com gives us a GREAT recipe here for chick tetrazzini – perfect for making ahead! Definition of comfort food, chicken tetrazzini involves pasta, chicken, mushrooms, cream of chicken, cheese, and some spices. It’s creamy and delicious, but doesn’t make you feel totally gross and heavy afterwards. It’s a miracle! If you want to cook ahead and freeze for later, she gives some great freezer tips. First and foremost, cling wrap. This goes directly on top of the assembled, but uncooked, tetrazzini and tuck into the corners of the pan – this prevents ice from forming on top and freezer burns. Also recommended are disposable containers – they’re easiest and don’t require scrubbing and cleaning. Final tip – freezer bags. After cling wrap and tin toil, a freezer bag can provide just one more layer of protection from freezer burn. Once you’re ready to unfreeze, place in the fridge a day or two before serving, remove all wraps, and bake for about an hour at 350…voila!

Loaded Vegetable Soup


Loaded Vegetable Soup [http://www.cozycountryliving.com/loaded-vegetable-soup/]

CozyCountryLiving.com provides us with an awesome soup here – loaded with veggies, hence the namesake. Sometimes I worry that a lot of the freezer meals tend to be unhealthy – with this one, unhealthy isn’t even a word that crosses my mind. This is chock full of nutrients and leaves me feeling light and fresh. Perfect! Prepare the soup in a dutch oven and toss in all the goodies – fresh carrots, green & red peppers, tomatoes, onions, garlic, celery, green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, potatoes, peas, and corn – WHAT A MOUTHFUL, literally. Season and cook as instructed – takes a few hours, but you can  make a huge batch, because this is even better leftover, which is why this is such an incredible freezer meal. To freeze, simply cool to room temp and store in a plastic freezer friendly bag or container. Really couldn’t be easier! We love eating this with some fresh bread for dipping. If you miss the meat, it’s simple to add them in after the fact! Some shredded chicken or turkey sausage would be great in this recipe.

Hawaiian Chicken


Hawaiian Chicken [http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/07/22/hawaiian-chicken/]

Anything that comes from a blog called LivingWellSpendingLess is something that I already know I’m going to love, let’s get real. This recipe promises to come together within minutes with just a few ingredients. It is freezer AND grill friendly – perfect summer meal for a family on-the-go! The marinade includes sweet onion, garlic, olive oil, teriyaki sauce (of your choice), pineapple juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, and black pepper. Yum! If you are freezing, simply make the marinade and throw in a freezer friendly bag with a boneless chicken breast. One tip here – don’t forget to squeeze out all the air! This will guarantee that this will last longer and taste better once you’re ready to eat this meal. No cooking required off the bat. Once you’re ready – thaw and grill 6-8 minutes on each side, basting with any leftover marinade. It’s really that simple. I can’t wait to try this one!

There you have it folks – this week’s roundup! If you try any of these, please let us know how it goes and anything you would change in the recipe in the comments! We love feedback! Stay tuned next Wednesday for Week 6.

Best Free (or almost free) Smartphone Budgeting Apps!

Everyone has their own preference and opinion here – what is the best budgeting app out there?

Each is similar, but has some striking differences that could make one better for you than the other. Here’s the lowdown on the top budgeting apps out there:


BUDGT for iPhone is pretty simple. Imore.com highlights this app as only costing only $1.99. All you do is enter your income or amount of money you’d like to budget. You add in your daily/monthly expenses WITHOUT entering your bank information. The pro here is that you don’t need to hand over your bank credentials, the con being that this is a lot more manual of a budgeting process and you’ll need to be very diligent for this to be worth it.


Spendbook is also an iPhone app costing $1.99, but seems a little bit more involved of an app than BUDGT. Tom’s Guide lets us know that you still enter your income here and expense transactions – you can add photos (such as the item purchased or a receipt for a transaction) as well as categorize expenses and income sources. You can get as detailed as you need to get here to keep yourself organized and on track. Users of this app can also view a daily or monthly summary of expenses – charts, infographics, they’ve got it all!


Mvelopes is an Android/iOS app that is built around the envelope method of budgeting. Tom’s Guide lets us know that you can link up to 4 different online banking accounts to your profile and create a custom budget based on spending and saving goals. The app automatically adds in your online transactions and displays yous input and output in an actionable and easy way. You can also pay for this app and get some premium extras, like videos + chat support.


Prior to my research today, Mint was actually the only budgeting app I was aware of, and apparently for good reason! This is pretty awesome. IMore.com says that if you want fine-tuned control over all your personal finance accounts in one app, this is your go-to. You can link cards to this app, and Mint pulls everything into one place for an overview. The best part about Mint, in my opinion, is that since the app allows you to set limits on certain categories (ie. Food & Dining, Bars, Groceries, etc.) it alerts you when you are nearing a limit of any of these categories. The ultimate guilt-inducing app.


Wally is free app for both iOS and Android that brings all your financial information to your screen for easy viewing. Users can set savings targets, spending budgets, and income. Tom’s Guide notes that they like that you can quickly create and view expenses, keep track of money saved and savings goals. One especially neat feature is that this app includes social and location tools – which shows where you spend the most and with who you save the most. Time to stop hanging out with that one friend…

Level Money

Level Money is a free app for iOS and Android. It’s simple + free, yet a great option. Tom’s Guide refers to it as ‘low-frills’ – yet it syncs with your credit cards and quickly displays how much money you can spend on any given day based on budgeting and savings goals in an easy to read, infographic manner. Seems like an awesome starter budgeting app to me.

Let us know which app YOU prefer and why! These are incredibly useful if used diligently.

Learning about Fiverr

I’ve been doing some research on Fiverr.com, and I think that this is such a good source of both making money and paying minimal money for services that it is definitely worth sharing with my readers!

Fiverr is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed (namesake!). The site is primarily used by freelancers who use Fiverr to offer services to customers worldwide. These services can go up to $500 and include things like writing, translation, graphic design, video editing, and programming [wikipedia]. Though these are the general services, if you dig around this site, you can find some truly absurd tasks. Things you didn’t know you needed and things you didn’t know  you could make money doing. It’s insane!

The service is completely free to join and free to list your services on with no hidden fees. Fiverr makes their money by keeping 20% of each transaction made. 80% profit isn’t half bad for tasks that (generally) take minimal effort anyways. Beyond this, Fiverr really allows you to be in control. As their site mentions, you have full control over your brand (profile, services, portfolio), your communication (secure platform to talk to potential clients or vendors), your payments (accepts credit cards, paypal, and even bitcoin), and your pricing (no negotiation, fixed at levels).

It sounds almost too good to be true, right? It’s not, if you use it right.

US News published a great article on how to best use Fiverr services for profit. They note that Mark Mason, a semi-retired publicist in Chicago, recommends that Fiverr newbies always start at $5, and then slowly build up as your reputation builds. It’s incredibly important that you have great recommendations and reviews – the more trust users have in you, the more trust other users will have in you.

A successful Fiverr wrote a tutorial describing his climb to Fiverr success. He says that it’s super important to create your gig image (something eye catching and something that stands out) as well as your gig description. Don’t copy anyone else’s, or you will get banned. You will need to use your own wit to woo customers your way. He also mentions that tagging/keywords are important as well as guaranteeing your service for 1 day turnaround. No one wants to wait.

Another successful Fiverr wrote a tutorial describing his top tips as well. His tips that caught my eye? Offer incentives for repeat orders, encouraging long lasting customers. Keep your response time low, always be available, and never offer services that take more than 24 hours to do – people want results quick – that’s why they user Fiverr! Lastly, share your gigs on social media! More eyes that see this – the better.

Are you inspired? I sure am. Seems like an awesome way to make easy money in spare time…what would your Fiverr service be?