I buy chicken on sale.

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Sometimes it is whole chickens sometimes pieces. I then roast them and wait till they are cool and shred them. Put the shredded chicken in a pan with some canned roasted tomatoes and taco seasoning and cook down. You can keep the chicken in a crock pot so it stays warm. When you go to serve have some shredded lettuce, tomatoes, refried black beans, sour cream and some cheese. I do it with the mini taco shells they come in a pack of 24 and since it is going to be a potluck 1 or 2 should do a person or you can bring tortillas chips and they can make their own chicken nachos.

Great job

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on getting it paid down and saving a sinking fund! One thing youcould do, is leave the sinking fund be until you only have $4000 to pay off then dump it on it. That way, you have cash for repairs if necessary while you are still making payments, and $1000 plus the snowball for that month should you have a big repair. I agree you don’t need a replacement fund until you’re out of babystep 2 if you have a decent vehicle already. I also love that it will free up your payment to make progress on other things.

I like to put together what my calls “a mean batch of nachos”

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which shouldn’t be very expensive:

Ingredients:
1 bag tortilla chips, round or triangular
2 8oz cans of refried beans (or you can cook up a batch of refried beans if you wish)
1 jar of salsa or picante sauce
1/4lb of pepperjack cheese

Steps:
Using a microwave-safe platter or large dish, first spread out the bulk of the chips on the platter, as a base.
Then spread the refried beans over the chips (they spread easier if they’re warmed up)
Then pour the salsa or picante sauce over the beans, as much or as little as desired (we like a lot!)
Slice up the pepperjack into slices and arrange on top, or shred over the top

Microwave for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

That feeds us for two days. So it might not be big enough for a party, but it’ll be a darned tasty part any meal!
what about doing enchiladas with cheese only on the top and just the meat & peppers for filling… could add beans to the filling… Ive had some like that too.
that would go lighter on the cheese. What about some sort of rice & bean dish… seems that mexican dishes use those as a protein in place of actual meat sometimes.

the car loan is down to approx $7900..

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I’m considering using the $5k auto replacement “sinking fund” envelope and then scrape together the rest. It is one of the few budget items I can get rid of. Credit cards are paid off. Then I’d have $300/mo to add to the old medical bills and they’d be gone fast.

I have a couple of large debts that are essentially added to Baby Step SIX because of the amounts.

It’s scary to lose the sinking fund, but it does seem like I’ve been dumb to have it there and have a car payment. The vehicles aren’t fancy, but they’re not clunkers either.

the average family spends 76$ on this holiday

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I admit to spending much more in years past, it’s VERY easy to do when you have a big family.
But this year we spent $12.00. I am very excited to report that small fact. Especially since we are still in the shadow of a major move, which would have been (in previous years) enough of a reason to give myself permission to go off budget. But this time we didn’t. I think the idea of DH coming home so soon is scaring me straight (or crooked depending on your perspective!)
I was able to get the candy for treats at a good price. My downfall was that DH went to Hobby Lobby to get thread and saw the decorations—he did fairly well since everything was 50% off, so only $10 there. I did have to pick up a six pack of Bud Light for my neighbor….I left him talking to our whiney 65 yo neighbor, so I owe him for that, he’ll get it Halloween night.

Good reminder!

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Each holiday season, I *try* to shop our local downtown square. There are lots of shops–most of them gifty type stores. Once I’m down there, I always think–why don’t I shop here more often? The shopkeepers are so helpful and really enjoy finding out about what you are buying and for who. But the part that really makes me smile is when they hand you your purchase and say–Thanks for shopping local!
Makes me feel like I’m making a diffence in my local economy.

Speaking of holidays,

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a friend of mine just forwarded a note to a bunch of us, about buying Christmas gifts this year from local, family owned businesses. I didn’t want to pass on the email itself because it’s one of those that has been forwarded 50 gazillion times. But it did remind me of the website someone here sent me, when I was looking for Made In The USA power tools earlier this year:

That website is a clearinghouse of companies which are owned and run within the USA, employing American workers, making goods for the American people. As we start to figure out what to give for the holidays, I would humbly but strongly suggest we keep our dollars home as much as possible. Whatever your gift-giving categories (clothing, accessories, home decor, artisan goods, baby gear, appliances, etc), that website provides links to companies who make and sell those products. Here’s to keeping our dollars in the good old USA, and helping to boost our fellow American employees and business owners.