Bill and I both work at Walmart. People often ask how we can live on what we earn and seem to have more than enough. The answer is simple, we live well within our means. Instead of cable, we have Netflix which saves us $40 a month. We have two cars, both eight years old, but mine is paid off and his will be at the end of October. The money that would usually go for his car payment will be going into a savings account in January. I coupon only for household chemicals and beauty supplies, which saves quite a bit if you do it right.  I make weekly menus, lists, and cook from my pantry or freezers most of the time. We pay bills when they’re due and almost never have overdrafts. We have zero credit cards. We both learned the hard way before marriage.

That’s not to say if we want it we don’t buy it. We won’t if we don’t have the money. Because of our fiscally conservative ways we were able to splurge on the Galaxy tablet Bill wanted. If we were stupid with our money we would never be able to afford it. That pay period was tighter than normal and we couldn’t go out to eat or buy anything at the last minute if I needed it for a recipe; but we had our bills paid, the groceries bought, and gas money for our cars. We make sure the essentials are covered and then we have fun. Our fun is usually dinner out and a new $5 movie, so even there we’re cheap. It’s a decision we made before we got married that we were not going to waste money on the things we consider unnecessary.

Because I cook a lot from my pantry and freezers there are ingredients I always have on hand to make our favorite dinner. I foundn the original recipe on Food, but I’ve changed it a bit and made it my own.

Black bean, corn, and chicken with salsa and cream cheese
2 frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 frozen boneless, skinless thighs
2 cups of salsa
Chili powder
Garlic powder
8 oz cream cheese

Place chicken on the bottom of the crock pot.

Mix salsa through cumin and place in a bowl.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Thirty minutes before eating place cream cheese on top of mixture and replace lid.

Stir cream cheese into chicken, which shreds it, and serve with soft tortillas or chips.

Top with sour cream or shredded cheddar if desired.


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