Do you want to manage your money well, pay off debt, build savings and reach your money dreams? A budget is the perfect tool that will help you do all this!

I'll show step by step how you CAN have a successful budget with my free course. 
 YES!! I want a successful budget!

Best Posts of 2015


As my first year of blogging comes to a close, I wanted to pause and say Thank You, before showing you the Top 10 Posts of 2015!

Thank for welcoming me into the blogosphere with open arms and encouraging me along the way. There are so many people I have connected with and have dropped by to read what I have shared, which has been very inspiring to me!

I was a little surprised to see several of my recipe posts hit the top 10 list. I was not trying to make this blog another foodie blog, but I will do more frugal recipes in the future since that is what you all like. 

You were also interested in ideas on making money on the side, how to plan a successful budget and how to prevent overspending.

Frugal gifts were very popular with two different posts. I will bring you more frugal gift ideas for different holidays throughout the year. 

Drum roll please….Here are the 10 most popular posts of 2015! 

10. Plan a successful budget

Creating a successful budgetThe Planning a Successful Budget worksheet was so popular, that this post quickly became part of the top ten in just the final month of 2015.  You need to review how you handled money the previous year and look ahead to see what you can reasonably expect financially in order to make a successful budget going forward. Choosing just one money goal to focus on is so hard, but much more effective. 

9. 35 ways to give yourself a raise

35 ways to give yourself a raiseThis was such a fun post to write. I am a firm believer that everyone should have some sort of money making venture on the side for two reasons. One, to control how much of a raise you get each year and two, to make great progress on your financial goals. Here is a collection of various ideas you can do to earn extra money on the side. 

8. My debt free story

paid off debt envelope systemI share my journey into debt with credit cards, student loans, and a car loan, and how my hubby and I were able to pay off all our debts just shy of two years into our marriage. Hopefully you leave with the hope that you can too, pay off all your debts and experience financial freedom. 

7. 9 tips to using a whole chicken to save you money

9 tips to use a whole chicken to save you moneyBuying a whole chicken is very cost effective. You can make several meals from one chicken (I made 4!) and then you can use the bones to make homemade stock. It’s nutritious and really amps up the savings. 

6. Psole

Psole for a crowdThis recipe is a spicy, tomato based soup with hominy, which my mom would often make for New Year’s Eve. You can make a double batch, serving 16, for $8.52. Add a little cheese, cilantro and avocado; it’s almost like getting a hug from the inside! 

5. How to make amazing homemade vanilla for a frugal gift

how to make amazing homemade vanilla for a frugal giftThere is nothing better than homemade vanilla! It smells so rich and makes your baked goods have another depth of flavor. You know what, if you make vanilla as gifts, you better make sure to keep making more. You can’t stop! All your friends and family will now consider you to be their source of amazing vanilla and will come back with their bottles to be refilled again and again. 

4. How to make the best mouthwatering Chicken Tortilla Soup

how to make the best mouthwatering chicken tortilla soupI love Chicken Tortilla Soup so much and you did as well too! I got this recipe from my friend Diana. Jam packed with vegetables, chicken, and a touch of Chipolte heat, this is another recipe that feeds a crowd for cheap. Don’t forget the toppings, chips, avocados, cheese, green onions, sour cream, and cilantro for a truly enjoyable meal. 

3. Sour Cream Enchiladas

Inexpensive Chicken sour cream enchiladasSeveral friends gathered together to make these sour cream enchiladas for my wedding, since it was one of my favorite recipes from my friend Sheli, which was truly special. If I want to make this a more filling meal, I will add chicken, spinach, and red bell peppers to the enchiladas. Either way, they are delicious! 

2. 29 proven ways to help you slash overspending now

29 Proven Ways to Help YouOverspending is real. Even I, after budgeting for many years, still overspend at times. There is nothing more frustrating than to have a money goal, but you can’t make much progress toward it at the end of the month, because you overspent in several categories. Here are some great practical tips on how to prevent overspending once you realize overspending is a symptom of behavior. 

And the most popular post was…

1. 18 wonderful ways to have a frugal Christmas

18 wonderful ways to have a frugal heartfelt christmasI collaborated with several amazing bloggers to bring you a gift guide on frugal DIY gifts for Christmas which cost less than $15 each, and most much lower! You can still have a nice Christmas and be generous, without spending a lot of money. These 18 ideas are just what you need. (Shh, several of these gifts can be made for birthdays, teacher appreciation, or other events as well.)

Thank you!!

I want to thank you for making my first year of blogging such a success, by coming by to visit my blog, leaving comments, and sharing what you are going through. You have also shared the articles with your friends. You have encouraged me and become my friends.

People all over the world have visited my blog. In fact, my website has had 21,302 unique views over this past year. There are over 150 people who have followed me on Pinterest. 400+ are following me on Twitter, just over 100 people on Facebook and 65 on Instagram. (You can join them too!)

I am closing in on 200 email subscribers. Say What? You aren’t getting my emails with great tips on saving money, living on a budget and paying off debt? 

In all honesty, this blog is here to help you live well on a budget so you can gain control of your money and reach your financial goals.

There are a lot of ideas I have for 2016, but I really want to hear from you, since without you this blog would not be here. 

Would you take a moment to respond to one of theses questions in the comments? You will be contributing towards future content here on Cook With a Shoe.  Thank you!

How can I best help you in 2016?

What are you struggling with the most?

What topics would you like to see covered? 

Like this post? Check out all the rest in :

About the Author

Hi! I'm Charissa. I was able to pay off all my debt, pay cash for my husband's education, and build up my savings-all because of using a budget. I love to share all the budgeting tips I've learned with you so you can have a successful budget too! Read more...

Danita Carr
2016-01-04 20:56:12
All of these look great! 2015 was a great year :) Thanks for sharing!
2016-01-05 08:11:02
There are so many great ideas here, I did not have time to look at all of them....I can't wait to come back and check out all the posts!
Sandy Sandmeyer
2016-01-07 18:10:36
These are all really great posts. Thanks for sharing your top posts with us.
2016-01-09 08:32:38
Thank you Sandy! Glad you liked them.
2016-01-09 08:33:12
Oh Thank you Renee! I hope you enjoy the posts.
2016-01-09 08:36:16
Danita, thank you. Yes 2015 was a great year, and I am looking forward to 2016 as well.
2016-01-11 21:06:55
Congratulations on a fabulous 2015!! And I love your new look and graphics! Thank you for entering this in #ThePinterestGame -- good luck! (Double check your link on the pin, though. :) )
2016-01-18 14:01:53
Thanks Wendy! I feel so much better about my new look, now to just finish changing all the rest of the graphics.