Following are a few recent articles about how to get out of debt and stay out of debt.

10 reasons You are still broke – the money spent or lost by these things can add up over time, especially if you are guilty of a number of these items.

How to pay off credit card debt in a year, as stated in the article, even if you don’t get it paid off in a year it is still important to make an effort to pay it off as soon as you can. The longer you carry a large balance, the more you will end up paying in interest charges and have the additional stress of the debt.

1 in 3 Americans have “debt in collections – The amounts in collection range from $25 to $125,000 with the average being owed at $5,200.

Dave Ramsey wrote a post about a high school teacher that is teaching personal finance to juniors and seniors hoping they become millionaires.

There is a current deal at Steals from StarTribune for half price on adult admission tickets for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival tickets. The tickets are valid for certain weekends. See the link above for valid dates and other details. The $22.95 tickets can be purchased for $11.50.

Recently, I was looking for a recipe for muffins or bread to use the blueberries I had purchased. While looking through one of my Taste of Home Cookbooks, I came upon a recipe for Berry Mini Breads.

I happened to have the cranberries on hand and used about a tablespoon of lemon juice in the cup of milk instead of buttermilk. I have heard to use either lemon juice or vinegar added to milk in place of buttermilk for baking recipes.

Since I live alone, I prefer baking smaller loaves of bread so the extras can easily be put in the freezer to use later. It would also make a great gift added to a basket with a few other items.

Taste of Home publishes a monthly magazine of recipes submitted by readers. Each year those recipes are compiled into an annual cookbook. I have cookbooks from a few different years. I also received the magazine for a year or so but prefer the cookbooks.

The recipes are submitted by home cooks and are usually simple recipes that are easy and call for common ingredients.

I have received many compliments on dishes I have made from these recipes. Many of the recipes are also available for free on their website or Facebook page. This recipe was in the cookbook but I found it online to include in this post.

I have posted numerous times previously about getting good deals on products at drugstores. Below are a couple of links to current deals starting Sunday, July 27.

The red underlined links are to coupons that may be printed off the internet and used. The other coupons are listed by the date it was in the coupon circular in the newspaper. Instead of clipping all of the coupons at one time, some people keep their coupon circulars organized by date so they know where to look for the coupons they want since many blogs and websites list them this way.

At CVS, you can sign up for a free Extra Care card so you will receive sale prices on advertised items and ECBs (Extra Care Bucks) which are like coupons to use on a future purchase. ECBs are usually valid for 30 days after the purchase.

At Walgreens, Register Rewards are similar to ECBs but are only valid for 2 weeks after the purchase.

At Riteaid, they are called UP Rewards. We don’t have a Riteaid in our area, so I am not as familiar with them.

In many cases, when you use the ECBs, it will be like getting the original item purchased for free.

Here is a list of drugstore deals from 5dollardinners.com and one from SimplyCVS.com.

There is more information on each of the posts about drugstore shopping.

Last night I went to the Trollwood Production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and really enjoyed it. It is at the Imagine Amphitheater in Moorhead, MN.

The show continues July 23-26 and July 30-August 2. They are offering a Buy one Ticket get one Free for Friday and Saturday shows. The tickets need to be purchased thru the box office at 218-477-6502 or Trollwood Box Office. General Admission tickets are available thru the Box Office, Hornbachers stores or at the gate if there are any more available.

General admission tickets are $15 and Reserved tickets range from $20 to $30.

It may seem like school just got out but with stores starting to have sales on school supplies it may be the perfect time to start looking for items before they get picked over.

Another reason to start shopping now is that you can spread the expenses over the next couple of months instead of a large bill before school starts. By sitting down and making a list of items you need, you can look for sale prices and stock up on items when you find them on sale.

Here is a Pinterest board I compiled with back to school ideas.

For some items you may be able to save money by shopping at Thrift stores. Many times kids outgrow items so quick that they are almost brand new when they are donated. In most cases , no one will know they were purchased second hand

In the Fargo/Moorhead area United Way is having their annual School Supply Drive. Donations of supplies or money are being collected thru August 1. Distribution dates are August 9 and 12. There is more information on supplies needed, volunteer information and distribution information at the link above.

PocketYourDollars is a website with information on sales, deals and other ways to save money.

Each Friday morning they do a segment on a Minneapolis radio station about current Freebies and list them on their website. Since they are based in the Minneapolis area, some of the deals are for the local area but some are mail in rebates or freebies available nationwide.

One way to save money and keep your house a little cooler is to use a crockpot. You can put the ingredients in it before you leave for the day and have the meal or most of it ready when you return. I recently came upon a blog series of 100 days of summer slow cooker recipes. It started in May and she adds a new recipe to the list each day.

One of the recipes that caught my attention is a new take on Tater tot Hotdish. It uses chicken breasts instead of ground beef.

Some of my perennial flowers are starting to bloom. I cut some to put on my desk at work. Since they are smaller blooms, I was looking for a smaller vase to use. I used a mason jar I had and a piece of ribbon.

If you don’t have flowers of your own, many stores have bouquets for $5-$10. Shotwell Floral at 4000 40th St S, Fargo has 5 Buck Fridays, where you can purchase a bouquet for $5. The photo below is from their Facebook page from a recent 5 Buck Friday.

In addition to using vases, you can also use other items, such as pitchers and jars.

The following is from the Facebook page of a friend of mine.

North Dakota Veterans with PTSD can now receive a free service dog to help them to deal with their PTSD and let them enjoy life, their families, and sleep well without as many nightmares! Call Service Dogs For America Jud, ND 1-701-685-2242. ( Jacob Runzel) get a special application for PTSD. Legislature is going to pay for 50 more placements in the next biennium!!