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In This Issue
Special Announcements
Blog Highlights
Featured Website
Freebie of the Week
Recipe of the Week
Weekly Tutorial
Idea Center
Molly's E-Books
Molly Makes

Molly Makes $5 Dinners and $3 Desserts
 Molly Org
Molly Gets Organized All In One Place
And coming soon...Molly Makes $7 Slow Cooker Meals
Molly's Money-Saving Digests

Feb Molly

Living the Good Life--Frugally

Jan 2010 Molly
Molly Org
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Frugal Family Fun

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tax time
© Cathyclapp... | Dreamstime.com

It is the middle of February, and tax time is getting closer and closer. Are you ready? Have you gotten all your receipts and documents organized so that you can file your taxes without stressing out?

I am not one to procrastinate when it comes to tax time because my husband and I get back quite a bit. We have more money taken out during the year so we can get a large chunk back for major purchases.* In fact, this past weekend we got our tax refund back and made our big purchases for the year. We searched Craigslist and found two great bargains that we could not pass up! We purchased a boat and a Class C motorhome. Both items need a little cosmetic work which we are going to do, and you can read all about in an upcoming Molly Goes Camping E-Book you can look forward to in the near future!

This week's newsletter will hopefully help you in preparing for that big tax day. The more organized you are, the easier it will be to file them.

Speaking of organization tools, don't forget about the forms that you can find in each new Digest. These are printable so that you can easily create a home binder to help organize your paperwork monster!

*Note: If you are disciplined with your money, it is better to put the extra funds into savings rather than having extra withheld from your pay to get back at tax time. Better you receive interest on the money than loaning it to the IRS tax free. However, if it's unlikely you'll actually hold onto the funds, a tax refund is a relatively painless way to pay finance major purchases.

Special Announcements

Molly Makes $7 Slow Cooker Suppers should be in the store this week! Are you excited? I know I am! This E-Book is over 150 pages of yummy, delicious recipes that you are not going to want to miss. Over half include "real-life" photos all include cost breakdowns and every recipe was taste tested with tester comments and tips. Not only that, there is even a bonus dessert and breakfast section!

We will also be launching our Molly Membership program in the next few weeks! This is an amazing program that you are going to love. More Molly~ Less Money! But that's all I'm going to say for now. Don't worry. I'll keep you updated!

Blog Highlights
Tips and Ideas From Econobusters 


Featured Website 
Turbo Tax

I love using Turbo Tax to fill out my taxes. I have been using it for several years, and it has really helped save me a ton of money. It finds deductions that I never even dreamed could be a deduction!

It is so easy to use, so if you are looking for a program to do your taxes on, try Turbo Tax online!

In fact, if you have a simple return (or know someone that does) you can prepare and file a 1040EZ, using their software, for free. In fact, I just did this for a neighbor boy last week! And the neat thing about e-filing is that you get your refund in about a week if you have it auto deposited.

Also, if you made less than $57,000 this year, you can also free file your taxes through the IRS website. You can read the details here.

Freebie of the Week
Free Quickbooks Simple Start

I know I posted this freebie last month, but it was just too good to pass up since we are talking about tax time tips. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep your tax documents and papers organized. It makes for a much smoother tax filing session.

You can download your copy here.
Recipe of the Week
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

 Istockphoto @ Elkeflorida

If you've never made homemade macaroni and cheese because you thought it too difficult, then you must try this easy recipe. This is a family recipe that every woman on my mom's side of the family bakes . . . no box mix for us! One idea is to bake the recipe below adding in leftover ham to the cheese layer for an easy Ham and Cheese Casserole!
16 ounces elbow macaroni (I use gluten-free elbows)
16-24 ounces shredded cheese
6 teaspoons butter, room temperature
salt and pepper
Boil the macaroni according to box directions. Grate cheese while macaroni is cooking (or use shredded cheese). The amount of cheese you will use depends upon how cheesy your family likes their mac & cheese!
Drain the macaroni, and place half of the cooked pasta into the 9 x 13 pan. Cover with half of the shredded cheese. Top with the rest of cooked pasta and then the second layer of shredded cheese. Place six teaspoon-size dollops of butter on top of the cheese. Pour milk into the middle of the pan and watch for it to appear on the bottom of the pan. You only need about 1/4 inch of milk in the bottom of the pan.
Sprinkle the top with the salt and pepper. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes and then check the top to see how the cheese is melting. We like our cheese to turn slightly brown and crispy on top, so we will cook our dish another 10-15 minutes.
Let the dish cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
(makes a 9 x 13 pan)


Weekly Tutorial
Create a Home Financial Binder

© Atraks | Dreamstime.com

I found a great tutorial on how to create a financial binder. I can now add this to the other binders that I have created--household, homeschool, and now a financial binder.

You can find the tutorial on how to create your own by clicking here.
Idea Center
Articles to Help You Prepare for Tax Time

  • Dave Ramsey has a great article with tax time tips.
  • About.com has a great article on how to maximize your refund.
  • Crown Financial has an article on last minute tax tips.
  • Irs.gov has tons of downloadable forms if you want to try doing your taxes at home, or you can also use them if you are teaching your children how to fill out taxes.
  • If you want to do your own taxes but don't feel qualified, H&R Block offers an online tax course.
  • Money Instructor has lesson plans for teaching about taxes and how to file them.
  • About.com has another good article on Teens and Taxes.

Molly's Money-Saving Digest
Living the Good Life--Frugally
Feb 2010 Molly
Has winter left you waning?
Does your budget need a boost?
What's for dinner, anyway?
What keeps your abode bright, beautiful, and bouncing along?

Do you agree that much of your time is spent serving others in one way or another? While it's a high calling and privilege to be sure, doing so in love day after day can sometimes be a challenge. That's our featured topic in this Digest--simple ways to share the love without running ourselves ragged or straining the budget.
Check out some highlights of this issue:

Learn almost everything you wanted to know about the simple but versatile potato--with 6 spud-tacular recipes!

Utilize four new printable forms to keep you organized.

Set up a "gift closet" and take the stress out of blessing those you love, while saving a bundle!

Fix your family a "love fest" of meals--another great weekly menu with recipes, tips, and a shopping list!

Take a quick glimpse at the features you'll find in the February 2010 Digest:

  • "45 Ways to Say I Love You: What's a "love language"? Need suggestions for simple, inexpensive, or free opportunities to show your loved ones just how precious they are? You got it!
  • Gift Closet Strategies: Have you spent far more on a gift than you wanted to or could afford? This could be your answer! Stock a year-round gift closet from which you can shop as needed, and you'll possibly save hundreds of dollars, hours of time, and loads of stress in a single year!
  • Eight Ways to Survive Cabin Fever With Kids: Is your home a cozy, happy place--even when you're "stranded" in uncooperative winter weather? Liven up the day when you share these fabulously fun ideas with your youngsters!

We Want to Hear From You!

While we're on the subject of crafting-I'm looking for submissions for my April Digest which will feature a section on homemade games and toys.

Email me if you've made a game or toy and would like to share a photo and instructions with our readers. If I use your submission you'll get the Digest FREE.  Thanks!

Until next week!

Molly Signature

Do you have something to share?  Write to us at MollyGreen@Econobusters.com.  All submissions become the property of Econobusters.com and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC ("TOS") and will not be returned.  Making a submission constitutes full consent to the Econobusters' Submission Guidelines and Release, and a grant of unlimited permission and continuing, non-exclusive rights for Econobusters.com and TOS, to print, publish, broadcast and use all portions of your submission, including without limitation your full name, on Econobusters.com and other Internet websites owned or operated by TOS, in Molly's Money-Saving Digest and all other electronic, digital and print publications produced, created or published by TOS in accordance with the Econobusters' Submission Guidelines and Release posted at Econobusters.  TOS will make reasonable efforts to withhold personal names if requested at the time of original submission.
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