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The Year in Review and Looking Forward

The Year in Review and Looking Forward

I may have been compensated for this post. Please keep in mind that it affects you in no way financially. If an item is being reviewed, I am not obligated to give a positive review and always use my own words. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. If you would like a review done contact Dannelle at op40k@aol.com

As 2019 comes to a close and we start looking forward to 2020, it is time to look at the past to see what worked and then to the future to see what may need to be changed. We did just that, with our year in review, and have a few things up our sleeves around here.

Year in Review and Looking Forward

We are Sliding into a Recession

It is pretty common during an election year, but it is still a little scary. I heard on the radio just the other day that 4,000 truck drivers were laid off. That is a fair indication of the current markets as they transport goods. Either people aren’t buying, so there is no need to ship anything, or those companies have laid people off for other reasons, and the trickle-down effect of that means more people out of work.


Since we started this site ten years ago, in the height of a recession, we are going back to our roots: saving money and making money tips. That includes meal planning and recipes, as cooking at home is always cheaper than dining out. I am going through the old posts and updating them to make sure they are still relevant and helpful for today’s economy.

We had strayed from that kind of content over the years, as we saved the money for our new house and then bought one. Our kiddo kept growing and went from a toddler to a teen. Activities and interests have changed so much that this became a lifestyle site. As we audit the content on Operation $40K, we are splitting off what isn’t relevant to the goals here and shifting that content (along with newly added content) to new sites.

The Traveling Cheesehead

We love to travel. We have dabbled in Europe, but also enjoy wandering this great country of ours. The Traveling Cheesehad has been broken down between Europe and the US, with the USA broken down further into tabs for each state. This also works with the books I have been busy writing on family-friendly travel. There are also family-friendly travel tips, as well as frugal travel tips for land, air, and sea. If you love to travel too – check it out!

Gastric Bypass Gal

March 1, 2018, changed my life with my Gastric Bypass Surgery. I have lost over 150 pounds, reversed pre-diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as increasing energy. I talk about my journey, as well as cover question people generally ask, as well as tips and tricks for anyone going through the same procedure. We talk about what to eat and exercise, with a series of intuitive eating coming soon! Gastric Bypass Gal is where a lot of the health content is going. When looking at the year in review, we had put a tad too health content much on Operation $40K.

Try To Garden

While gardening is part of the frugal lifestyle, this deserved its own site. I had a lot of garden hints and tips over the years and am taking it to a new level. From starting a graden by scratch to making your potting soil blend, you will find lots of tips and tricks on here for everything from raising your produce to creating that picture-perfect yard. Try to Garden should be a great resource.

Bug Out With Dannelle

I had enough disaster preparation material on Operation $40K to create a book! On Bug Out With Dannelle, we get a little more in detail. Everything from how to make the perfect Bug Out Bag to how to create your stockpile.

Crazy Camping Girl

Two years ago, we got a pop-up camper. That stepped up our tent camping game and let us try out a lot of different things last year. With Crazy Camping Girl, we talk about things like how to keep food cold without a fridge, ways to get the black marks off a camper, and even how to entertain the littles.

Joyful Xmas

If you have been following me for a while, you know how I love all things Christmas. From the Elf on the Shelf to being at midnight mass on Christmas Eve, it all makes me happy. On Joyful Xmas, we cover the history of many things we now tie with the holidays, as well as ways to get the most out of them. We decided, during our year in review, that saving money is non-denominational and that Christmas isn’t alwlays budget friendly.

A Monkey on a Cupcake

I had over 100 cupcake recipes on here! While they are fun and festive, they certainly aren’t frugal. All things cupcakes are going to A Monkey on a Cupcake, and there will be lots of hints and tips to master everything from baking to decorating them.

They are Getting Older

My father-in-law is almost 97, and now living in a nursing home. He is doing pretty well, but dementia is currently an issue. We have dealt with everything from getting an electric scooter to taking him off blood thinners. My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six months ago, and there are a lot of new challenges we are facing. There isn’t a lot of great information out there, and what is there? It is all in technical terms and harder to understand. They are Getting Older is in the works and perfect for others like us: in the sandwich generation.

Beauty Awesome

This is the natural beauty site I have had for over a year. A lot of DIY tips for skin, nail, and hair care that save money. We have a ton of recipes on there for making your luxury bath products too. Beauty Awesome might be for you if you like to spoil yourself, but hate the idea of pumping your skin full of toxins or spending a ton of money for simple items.

Sarah Lyn Gay

Sarah Lyn Gay is where we had moved a lot of STEM and educational stuff for the littles. Miss Sarah has been on a roll with book study ideas, movie lessons for kids, and more. If you have kids under the age of 12, you may want to go check it out. I have written a series for “Talking to Tweens” about different topics too.

Wrapping it up…

That brings you up to speed on what is going on behind the scenes here with our year in review. I invite you to check out any of the other sites and jump on their email lists! At this point, the plans are to send out only one email a month for each site, with timely relevant information. We may create one or two more new sites yet, but think we have simplified pretty well so we can get our focus of Operation $40K back on track.

While we aren’t saving money to buy a new house anymore, we still stay pretty true to a thrifty lifestyle. We paid cash for both of our cars (a 2018 Kia Sorento and 2020 Kia Forte), and have a kid in college, and can’t touch her college fund yet (because she started taking classes when she was nine). I have bumped our grocery budget from $100 a month (10 years ago) to $200 a month, still use coupons, and always meal plan.

If there is anything that you want to see more of, please let us know!

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