America Saves Week is Feb. 24-29

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As part of America Saves Week 2020, scheduled for Feb. 24-29, the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service is spreading the message of saving successfully and urging its network to encourage people to make savings automatic.

Each year we take this week to do a financial check-in with our community and focus on the importance of saving. Having a savings goal is a significant first step, but savers who have a plan are two times more likely to save successfully.

Developing an action plan for your savings goal allows you to identify how you’ll achieve your goal. For example, instead of merely stating, “I’m going to save $500 for an emergency fund,” create a plan for your saving journey. If you have a savings account with at least $400 accessible, not only will the “unexpected” only be a minor inconvenience, but you will have more savings than approximately 60 percent of Americans. Preparing for retirement can easily be pushed into the “someday” category, as we focus on present needs and expenses.

In fact, very few Americans have a plan for retirement savings that is adequate for their desired standard of living after they retire. When you actively reduce your debt, you save on interest. When you pay on time, you save on late fees and maintain your credit score – which will save money long-term.

March is National Nutrition Month so we are going to provide information about nutrition and how you can use it to reduce your risk for certain cancers over the next month. To join the Extension Office at our next Lunch N’ Learn workshop on Tuesday, Mar. 10, bring $5 to register by Friday, Mar. 6.

Try the following recipe courtesy of Utah State University. For more information on Food for Thought programs, activities and recipes, check us out online at http://facebook.com/persongranvillefcs or email jbgrable@ncsu.edu

Potluck Chicken Casserole

serves 8-10

1/2 cup chopped fresh mushrooms

3 Tbsp finely chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Tbsp canola oil

3 Tbsp flour

1 1/4 cups milk

4 cups cooked and cubed chicken

3 cups cooked rice

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

3/4 cup crushed corn flakes or breadcrumbs

Sauté mushrooms, onion, and garlic in canola oil until tender. Stir in flour, then gradually add milk and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until mixture is thickened and bubbling. Remove from heat and add chicken rice, celery, peas, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix well and spoon into 9x13 baking dish. Sprinkle corn flakes or breadcrumbs over casserole. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.

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