Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Slow Cooker Beans and Ham Hocks

Now that I am a working Mom, I am trying to find ways to feed my family healthy meals that have that homemade feel and taste that they are used too. One way I am finding to do this is the slow cooker. I made Beans and Ham Hocks and it came out so delicious and was so simple to make that I had to share.


1 lb. pinto beans
1 large onion cut into chunks
2 or 3 ham hocks (optional)
2 cloves garlic
5 cups water or until just below the rim of your crock pot
Salt to taste before eating


Rinse beans and put them in your slow cooker. Add the ham hocks, onion, garlic, and water.  Set you slow cooker on high and set aside for 6 to 8 hours. Salt to taste when they are done.  Serve with corn bread or tortillas. You can top these with shredded lettuce or cabbage, diced tomatoes, cheese, sour cream. Makes a yummy comfort food.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Bill Binder ( how I stay on top of our finances)

I have a few binders that I use regularly. My Family Binder, My Kitchen Binder, My Farm and Garden Binder and my Bill Binder. I will make posts about all of these binders and how I make/use them in later posts. I want to start with my Bill Binder first.
My Bill Binder has been so helpful in creating and sticking to a budget. It is where my bills go as soon as they come in the mail and it's where I go on pay day when I am paying my bills. I know what is due and to who. I can make little notes like school picture money due and the date or So and So needs $ for the football game on this date. All my expenses are written in there.
My go to place for organizational printables has always been Donna Young. When I was homeschooling she was invaluable. I still use her site.

Now lets build our Bill Binder.
First you will need a three ring binder. Any three ring binder will work. Some people like to cutsey theirs up, some like to keep it simple. It's up to you. I use the these clear view binders. Then I can make a cover for them and slide it into the clear pocket on the front. It makes me feel crafty.

Next I add 2 folders with pockets. One is for paid bills and one is for bills that need to be paid.

 I also like to add a pencil pocket. I always write in my Bill Binder in pencil because I sometimes have to change when I will pay a bill or amounts. I also like to keep a highlighter in there, when a bill clears my bank I highlight it. This makes it easier to balance my account.
And finally I print out one page for each month of the year. (12 pages total) Just click the link below.
I hole punch it and it goes into the binder as well. 
Now when I receive a bill it goes into the To Be Paid folder and I write it on the page for the month that it is due. 
Here is a sample of a page in my binder. 
Remember these are Donna Young's Printables.......Not mine. I have been using them for years and they are EXTREMELY helpful.