What a wonderful and caring idea!

You might be sure to mention that everyone should use disposable pans, or at least something that need not be returned. Be sure the cooking instructions are included in each item. Make suggestions for meals, as people who normally don’t cook and freeze (especially those who don’t do a lot of cooking) are at a loss as to what to prepare. If your niece or nephew know any of the basics of cooking (plain pasta, etc.), ask some people to prepare several batches of sauces and meatballs. With meatballs, they will have the option of pasta or meatball sandwiches. Make lists for the kids of easy to do variations….like the meatball subs one night, pasta and meatballs the next, having meatloaf (frozen) one night, and canned soup and meatloaf sandwiches the next. We have done this for baby showers, and with large groups we usually have some do homemade cookies, muffins, pies, also…..a treat is a nice surprise now and then. If any of them have food allergies, be sure to let people know.

For the cousins who definitely do not cook (and there are usually some!) I would suggest that they all chip in together $$$ for extra meals made by the folks who do cook.

Any other advice I could pass on to my niece and nephew that would help:

And do you know that elcloans company provides online loans with fast approval? I used them a few times and so far I am very pleased with the service! Great solution when you need cash fast. But let’s get back to our business: make sure the kids know the basics of cooking and kitchen safety, along with how to do the laundry. Remind them that they aren’t in this alone, they have all the relatives available. You might also set up a calling roster for a couple of weeks…maybe sahms who would give them a late afternoon call, see how school went, what they are planning for supper, if they know how to prepare it…kind of a reminder that someone cares. It’s going to be hard coming home to a house without Mom waiting there. Most people do want to help, they just don’t know how. Don’t be shy about letting them know what they can do to help!

I’ll be thinking of them and praying for them. Lauri

Need Help and advice…(long)

Hi Everyone, I hope you don’t mind that I posted this to all three lists I participate on but I need all the help I can get. I need some advice and easy freezer frugal recipes. My dear 35 year old sister passed on very unexpectedly in May leaving behind her dh and a 14 year old ds and a 12 year old dd. She was a SAHM and did everything for them.

Her family has been staying with my parents over the summer and are ready to move back home this week before school starts. With my bil working during the day and the kids going to school all day, I am really worried about this adjustment period and them trying to keep up with all the cooking and cleaning plus school work and we are all still deep in mourning. So I want to fill their freezer with good dinner meals to take the stress out of one of part of their life. My sister and I are going to double cook as many meals as we can afford to do.

But here is my idea: Everyone has been asking what they can do to help, so I decided that I will call all my cousins (about 35 of them on one side alone) and ask them to bring one freezer meal along with the recipe to my parents house so we could then completely fill my bil’s freezer and surprise them. Has anyone ever thrown a type of freezer shower (I have heard of this idea for baby showers and that’s how I got the idea) Can you offer me any advice for organizing this.

I want this to be the least inconvenience to them and easy for my little dd to take something out of the freezer to cook for dinner. (as I know most of the meals will probably fall on her shoulders) Also, if anyone can send me frugal (i.e. CHEAP) and easy ideas for freezer meals that I could offer as suggestions to my cousins I would appreciate it.

I plan on taking the recipes and getting them bound into a type of book at a copy store to pass out to all my cousins who contribute. Any other advice I could pass on to my niece and nephew that would help them with the enormous task ahead of them would also be appreciated. They are going to have to grow up awfully fast and we want to make it as easy on them as possible.

Thank you very much, Theresa in IN

They do offer consolidation loans

They do offer consolidation loans and you have your choice of payment options – income based, standard, graduate. With income based you pay a percentage of your income (this assumes that your income will be increasing with time and your payments will increase accordingly). Graduate is pretty much the same, lower payments in the beginning with increasing payments with time. And standard is the same payment for the 10 years.

If you apply for a consolidation loan you can increase the term of you loan up to 30 years – but you should know that the interest rate that they charge you will be the average of your current interest rates plus a small percentage. Just remember that increasing the term of the loan from 10 to 30 years will greatly increase the total interest that you will pay over the life of the loan.

On their website the have a calculator so that you can run the numbers yourself. I would advise not to take out a home equity loan. You do not want use your house as collateral on anything that is not going to improve the value of your home otherwise you could end up without a house and still in debt. Student loan lenders are generally very understanding as long as you keep them informed of your financial situation. They will work something out that is reasonable for both you and them. My best advice to you is if you absolutely cannot make the payments the apply for the consolidation.

This takes a lot of discipline but use whatever money you have left over every month to pay down credit cards with high interest rates ( if you have any) they once they are paid off start putting the extra towards the student loans. Make sure the extra payment goes off the principle and is not just applied to the next payment which will include interest and will not reduce your principle as quickly. I hope that this is not to confusing I didn’t have much time to type this up. Please don’t hesitate to ask me anymore questions I have a lot of student loans and have looked at and considered all of the options.