Best of Our Cozy Den!

Best of Our Cozy Den!

You guys, I am so humbled and excited to have been chosen as Best Local Mom Blogger by a local publication, Findlay Area Family magazine. They do an annual survey of local parents, and I won Best Blog for the second year in a row! This year, I also added Best Local Instagram and Best Local Pinterest! Since I have a lot of new people stopping by, I thought it would be fun to do a quick tour and rundown of my most popular posts over the years! I’ve been blogging since 2009 — WOW, seven years! I’m not one of the biggest or busiest blogs out Read More

How our family of six lives on $550 a month! ~ Our Cozy Den

Six People. $550 a month. How we do it!

Last year I wrote a post about how we live on $650 a month. I got a lot of feedback from it — both incredibly positive as well as harshly negative. I’m a sensitive person, so negative comments are really hard on me. For that reason, I was hesitant to even post today’s budget update. However, I’ve had a few readers ask if our budget has changed since that time — and it has. So here I am to share our new 2016 budget! Our new total budget is $550 a month. Here’s now it breaks down: Groceries = $175/month I’ve been blogging my weekly menus for Read More

Why we're NOT saving for college ~ Our Cozy Den

Why We’re NOT Saving for College

We have 4 children, so you would assume that we have some sort of college-savings plan in place. After all, we’re huge money-savers, I’m a big fan of Dave Ramsey, and that is one of his Baby Steps to Financial Peace. But it may shock you to hear we’re not saving for college. Not even a little bit. Not even at all. These are just a few of the many reasons why. 1. Homeschooling Since we homeschool, our kids are able to work ahead at an advanced rate. They are advanced in nearly every subject, and moving further and further ahead each year. Because of this, they will Read More

Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy (with FREE printable food pyramid!) ~ Our Cozy Den

Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy (with FREE printable food pyramid!)

I was getting fed up. My kids were asking me for food constantly, and my response was always, “What did you already eat today?” Then they would list foods, while I dissect which food groups they were lacking. Then I would make a few snack suggestions. It got old, and it took up a lot of my time. But I also didn’t want them to have free reign on snacks, because they would choose carbs about 150% of the time. So I decided that we needed individual food pyramids that they could use to track their daily intake. All of the food pyramids I could Read More

drowing in debt financially free

From Drowning in Debt to Financially Free

Sometimes people ask me how I got this way. HOW did I become such a crazy money-saving lady? I think all stories start with parents. Most kids don’t learn much, if anything, about financial management in school, so the bulk of their money education happens at home. My own parents lived a typical life in the 90’s. They had a mortgage, credit cards, little savings and nothing for retirement. So when I got out on my own at 18, I joined the Army. Not long after those paychecks started rolling in, I had a credit card and a big fat car payment. In less than Read More