Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Pour leftover wine into ice-cube trays and freeze, then transfer to a labeled freezer baggie (you don't want the kids adding these cubes to their juice). The next time a recipe calls for wine, there's no need to rush out to the store or look for another sustitute. I always hate pouring out the end of the bottle. I measured my ice cube tray and one individual cube holds 2 tablespoons.
Monday, June 29, 2009
13 jumbo bags Pampers
2 pkgs GoodNites
1 Baby bath wash
HEALTH & BEAUTY
I didn’t save my receipts from all the free items I got at CVS and Wags (I figured because I spent zero I didn’t need to keep my receipts – I’ll remember this next month)
I know I bought 1 large shampoo, 2 large conditioners, razors, 2 sun blocks, etc.
Tomatoes (Roma) 1 lb.
Granny Smith Apples 2.12 lbs.
Bananas 18.21 lbs
Fresh Express Spinach
Green Leaf Lettuce 3
Vidalia Onion 1.08 lb
Tomatoes (large slicing) 2.92 lbs
Cherry tomatoes 1 pkg.
Strawberries 1 pkg
5 lb red potatoes
1 bag baby spinach
Fresh Express Chef salad
Fresh Express cranberry pecan salad finishers
Freezer Jam Pectin
A1 Steak sauce 4
Ice 3 10-lb bags
Jarred cherries 1
3 Angus London Broil
Perdue Split Chicken Breasts 14.87 lbs
10 packages of Boneless Pork Tenderloin
6 Boneless Skinless Chicken breasts
1 one lb. pkg Ground beef
2 OM hot dogs
2 lb. cooked shrimp
1.57 lb Turkey breast
1 lb honey ham
4 Apple juice concentrate
6 OJ concentrate
4 sherbert tubs
Ice cream 3 Bryers
7 DiGiorno Pizzas
1 Puff Pastry Sheet
2 Ocean Spray Cranberry juice
3 10# bags ice
22 Ramen Noodles (individual)
6 Elbow Macaroni
8 loaves Pepperidge Farm Rye/Pumpernickle Swirl
1 loaf Honey Wheat
8 loaves wheat bread
½ Sheet Cake
4 packages hamburger buns
4 packages hot dog buns
4 Rice Krispies
4 Multi Grain Cheerios 2
4 Frosted Mini Wheats
1 OEP Enchilada Sauce
2 Chicken Noodle soup
1 jar roasted red bell peppers
5 Cream of Chicken Soup
1 jar cocktail sauce
1 jar maraschino cherries
74 cans of tuna (total cost $32.68)
1 Peanut butter
1 Tomato paste
6 black beans
9 OEP refried beans
4 Tomatoes and green chilies
50 Gallons Milk - Woah! Who knew!
5 twelve count eggs
2 eighteen count eggs
2 Cream cheese
27 Cheese shredded (these were a $ maker at HT)
6 Cheese blocks
36 Yogurt (individual)
1 Whipped cream
2 Cool Whip
2 packages of 4 sticks butter
10 Sour cream (these don't expire until 10/09)
3 Refrigerated dough
3 Ricotta Cheese
6 boxes Hefty Kitchen garbage bags
9 boxes Hefty One Zip bags
8 packages Chinet Casuals Lunch Plates
2 packages Chinet Dessert Plates
2 Greased Lightning
4 Hot Shot Insect/wasp spray
6 Packages of 12 rolls of Scott Bath Tissue
108 Joint Juice individual bottles (&Maker at Safeway)
49 Propel individual bottles($Maker at Safeway)
7 2L bottles Soda
5 Energy Drink
9 Individual canned soda
1 McCormick Rum Extract
1 McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
1 McCormick Almond Extract
3 small McCormick cinnamon
3 bags of Flour
10 packages of Muffin Mix
10 boxes BC Brownie Mix
2 Jello pudding
8 Pancake Mix
1 Pancake Syrup
1 Olive Oil
1 Vegetable oil
McCormick Oregano Leaves
5 Wheat Thins
11 Potato chips
1 Corn Chips
1 Pretzel Rods
10 Individual Candy Bars 10 (total cost .89)
51 FoodLion brand gum (total cost $4.59)
Last month was our family's first go at using cash only for all of our grocery shopping. You can read the results of last month's budget here. Since we came in under budget last month, I decided to cut $20 off this month's budget and set a budget of $340 for our family of 6 for the month. With just 1 day left in the month and no more shopping trips for me I thought I'd run and post my numbers today. To my surprise we came in WAY under budget this month!
Total for the month of June groceries:
Actual spent: $216.72
Amount UNDER Budget: $123.28
Mail in rebates submitted from this month's grocery receipts: $51
Not counting the money we'll get back for the mail in rebates we spent only 67% of our budgeted amount. That's $54.18 a week for a family of 6! If you count the money we're getting back from the rebates that brings the month's total to $165.72 or nearly 49% of the monthly budget.
You can see by looking at my Meal Plan Monday postings that we eat pretty well, but if you're wondering what you can really buy for $54 a week this list is for you! (Note--we eat lots of frozen veggies that I've stockpiled for pennies a bag so you don't see anything like that on the list this month and you'll remember how prolific our lettuce has been this year so we didn't need to buy any of that!.)
|1||indiv||large sweet potato|
|1||lbs||Kraft american cheese|
|1||16pk||hot dog buns|
|1||8 pk||hamburger buns|
|1||8 pk||hamburger buns|
|1||pk||hot dog buns|
|10||lbs||frozen chicken breasts|
|22.14||lbs||boneless skinless chicken breast|
|3.6||lbs||boneless skinless chicken breast|
|2||cans||sweetened condensed milk|
|2||half gallons||Tropicana OJ|
|2||bags||Lays Potato chips|
|12||oz||bag chocolate chips|
|1||pack||zesty herb marinade|
|1||8pk||Bounty paper towels|
|2||12pk||Cottonelle toilet paper|
|1||bag||Huggies swim diapers|
Monday - dressed up Leftovers.
Tuesday - Piquant Chicken with Basil, salad, and crusty bread.
Wednesday - Ham & pepperoni stromboli (we never had these last week).
Thursday - Hamburgers and Hot Dogs, potato salad.
Friday - Spaghetti, beans, garlic bread.
Saturday - London Broil and Zesty Herbed Grilled chicken, baked potatoes, salad, grilled corn on the cob. Still searching for a dessert fit for the 4th.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Since signing up a few months ago with Swagbucks I've earned 12 $5 Amazon giftcards just by doing my regular internet searches and I'm over halfway toward another one! Rather than opening up google to search, now I open up swagbucks.com. Their searches are powered by google and sometimes you earn "bucks" for your searches.
Swagbucks is offering a special to readers of this blog for extra bucks when they sign up and use the referral code LUVSDEALS (case sensitive.) You'll receive 3 bucks for signing up and 2 extra bucks by entering LUVSDEALS as the swagcode. You'll be on your way with a great start toward earning bucks! The code is good until next Monday.
Just use the widget below to sign up and enter LUVSDEALS as the swag code and let the fun begin!
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Bartering is a great way to save money on items or services you need!
All of us have been blessed with gifts or have aquired skills that are valuable to others.
Bartering is when you trade your talent for someone else's talent.
If you need of a talent you don't possess, think of someone you know who has this talent and what you might be able to do for them in return.
Make a list of the talents you have: cleaning, an ability to organize a room, teach music lessons, car detailing, running errands, tutoring, teaching a struggling reader, gardening, hanging drywall, painting, driving someone in need of a ride, cutting hair, repairing plumbing/electrical, child care, letter writing, baking, cooking, canning/freezing, knitting, sewing, budgeting, financial planning, furniture repair or refinishing, and even your couponing skills. Think of the education you have, the classes you've taken, and special training you've received. Don't forget your hobbies. There are people who need services you can provide and are willing to trade for them!
Your skills are valuable! Others are in need of your talents! Once you have a list advertise your skills. Post a flyer in the library, the grocery store, or take an ad out in the wanted section of a community paper or a neighborhood email bulletin, etc.
When you find yourself in need of a skill, get the word out. Tell co-workers, friends, neighbors, and people you do business with. You would be surprised how willing people are to trade services to avoid the high cost of hiring someone! If you need to, take out a small ad in the paper or post a sign. When you make contact be sure to let them know up front you'd like to barter with them and find out what you could do for them in exchange.
I have a friend who learned how to coupon and match deals to get diapers cheaply. She traded diapers in exchange for art lessons (from a new Dad) for her daughter. My daughter helped clean the art studio or babysat for the same teacher for her art lessons. For two years I have exchanged a homecooked casserole for private music lessons.
Bartering is a teriffic way to get what you need and return the favor! Everybody wins!
I can remember wishing someone with "real" organizational skills would come and help me streamline the spaces in my kitchen. I had so much stuff in my kitchen I didn't know where to begin. Thinking about tackling it myself seemed overwhelming. But, I did it. I just took one cabinet at a time. I thought about what the best use for the space could be and I started small. I can't believe how uncluttered my finished spaces look and how easy it is to find just what I need. It is also easier for the kids to help me set up for a party or a meal, and to clean up without my help. My boys would just put clean dishes on the counter for me to put away because it was too dangerous for them to try to balance the dishes so high on the shelves.
This is my other 4 shelf top corner cabinet. This sits in the opposite corner from the cabinet I posted here last week, between my oven and my refrigerator.
The only item in this cabinet that I used regularly was my food chopper. Four shelves - what a waste!
I also kept some serving dishes, a box filled with cake decorating supplies, all my candy making molds (last used maybe 2 -3 years ago).
A waffle maker, a sandwich maker, an apple peeler-corer-slicer, and a carving set were here (they still are).
I also had some candles, a warming pot to melt scented wax discs and lots of these wax discs. (I sure do wish I'd cleaned this cupboard before my yard sale!)
I also had a number of baking spices and extracts. I moved these to my baking cupboard.
Just about anything else in here went in the garbage.
Now the cabinet holds all my serving dishes collected from various other kitchen cabinets. It still holds the waffle maker, sandwich maker, carving set, my slicing/grating tool, and apple peeler-corer-slicer. The only other item in this cupboard is a plastic Tupperware container that holds some CD's. (I have a CD player mounted under this counter). Here is the finished product!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
It's summer travel season! Often all of the prep and packing for a trip falls on Mom's shoulders. Why not save yourself some time and effort and make master lists for your trips? Chances are you bring pretty much the same thing for each trip. Your winter trips might be different than what you need to pack for your beach vacation, but if these are regular trips you make you may find list making an invaluable timesaver. You can make your lists in Excel or Word and type it once and save it forever! Each trip you take you can just quickly print it out or make any additions or deletions based on your destination.
We make the 20 hr drive to my in-laws twice a year usually--summer and Christmas. The more times we make the trip, the less I realize we really need to bring. I've got a summer list that covers van or plane travel or regular family visit or a trip to the beach (but our list might be considered a minimalist approach compared to some others.) Here's our list to get you started with your own Master list for your family.
|2 sets church clothes|
|cell phone and charger|
|bookbags with books and coloring supplies|
|bookbags with books and coloring supplies|
|cooler full of dinners|
|air mattress |
|beach chair |
Hopefully that list can help you get started. A quick search of the itunes App Store also showed at least a couple of apps that you could download to your itouch or iphone to make travel preparations easier.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Finally--I got to post this on a Monday again!
Here's what's on tap for the week:
Sunday: Chinese food take out for Father's Day
Monday: Rosemary-Orange pork tenderloin, grilled potato packets (sliced regular and sweet potatoes and sliced onions tossed in olive oil with rosemary, salt and pepper wrapped in foil and grilled), broccoli. Here's the full article for "fool-proof" grilled pork tenderloin. Includes brining tip and cooking instructions.
Tuesday: Grilled Chicken Casear salads , pineapple
Wednesday: Baja lime chicken, black bean rice salad.
Thursday: Turkey club sandwiches, chips, raw veggies and dip, fruit salad.
Friday: Grilled pizzas (veggie for grown ups, plain cheese for kids) and salads. (I use this recipe for the dough--but add an additional cup flour and a little more water. I use my bread machine to mix it all up and knead it for a while, but never let it run the full dough cycle, then roll out individual size pizza crusts, spray with cooking spray and throw on a hot grill for just a few minutes per side to cook the crust, then top with sauce, cheese and toppings and return to low covered grill for just a bit until the cheese is melted. You need to watch carefully so they don't burn though!)
Saturday: Fajita salads (Marinate thinly sliced steak strips in half bottle of Italian dressing, 1 tsp cumin and a couple of dashes of hot sauce for 1 hour--or however much time you have! In hot skillet coated with cooking spray cook thinly sliced red & green peppers and onions. Add steak--and marinade--and cook through. Serve over salad greens, drained and rinsed black beans, rinsed frozen corn, crushed tortilla chips/taco shells. Top with cheese and dressing made from equal parts sour cream and salsa.)
For more suggestions, check out Org Junkie's Meal Plan Monday.
Monday - #1 son's 11th Bday! We're having his favorite, Chicken Enchilada's and birthday cake!
Tuesday - Meatloaf, potatoes, beans, rolls.
Wednesday - Ham & Pepperoni Stromboli with sauce and ceasar salad
Thursday - Pork Tenderloin, rice (make extra for pork fried rice next week), veggie.
I had no recipe in mind when I posted this meal originaly. I am updating to add the recipe because I found a super easy one (10 min. before I put it in the oven) and my family loved it.
2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs (I only had 1 cup so I added 1 cup of crushed seasoned croutons) and 1/2 cup olive oil. Spray cooking pan. Place tenderloins in pan. Coat with bread crumb and oil mixture about 1/4 inch thick. Bake at 425 for 35 min or until meat thermometer registers 160 degrees. Let pork rest for 10 min then cut into 1/2 inch slices.l Yummy! And, I have one whole tenderloin left - I was missing 2 eaters from the table that night .
Friday - meatless spaghetti, garlic bread, veggie or salad
Saturday- chicken sandwiches, sliced pinepples
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Right now it is on sale for $1.47/bag.
There are 50c/1 Kraft 2% Qs out there (I got mine from a tearpad at HT a few weeks ago). There are also $1/1 printables on the kraft website here and a $1/1 Q in the June 2009 Family Circle Magazine.
The 5oc Q doubles, so either Q brings you to 47c/bag.
Kraft is also running a Catalina promotion right now (through 7/12/2009): when you buy 3 bags you get a $2 OYNO Cat back, buy 4 bags get $3 OYNO Cat, and 5 (or more) bags get $4 OYNO Cat!
Transaction 1: 3 bags.
1.47 x 3 =4.41 - $3 in Qs = 1.41 + tax and earned a $2 OYNO cat
Transaction 2: 5 bags.
1.47 x 5 = 7.45 - $5 in Qs = 2.45 - $2 CAT = .45 + tax and earned $4 OYNO cat
Total OOP for two transactions = $1.86 plus tax, But I ended up with $4 to spend on my next trip.
This is like getting paid $2.14 to take 8 bags of Kraft shredded cheese home!
This sale ends June 23. Enough time to ask friends and family to print extra IPs for you!
Here is the deal on the pork tenderloin:
1 pkg. of tenderloin was $15.51 - $5 Q - $8.36 club card savings = $2.51.
I regret I only bought 2 of these. I think I'll go back for more!
Saturday, June 20, 2009
I used the $5/15 meat coupon that I posted earlier in the week. Boneless skinless chicken breasts are $1.79 per pound with your club card. I found the packs that were just over $15 (BEFORE USING THE CLUB CARD.) At the check out I scanned the pack of chicken, then scanned the coupon THEN scanned my club card. I paid approximately $1.50 per ~3.5lb package. My total after 6 transactions was $9.61 (before tax) and I walked out with 22.14 pounds.
All afternoon I then played butcher and flattened and trimmed and bagged the chicken. I left just over half of it plain in freezer bags and half of it all set in marinades (for fajitas, jerk chicken, baja lime chicken and balsalmic zesty herb.)
The coupon is good until July 2nd, but chicken breasts are only on sale until Thursday. To get the best deal, make sure you find packages with pre-Bonus Card pricing as close to just over $15 as you can.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Both 8isgreat and I are members of the CVS Advisory Panel. What that means is a couple of times a year CVS will email us asking up to participate in a survey. It could be about store layouts, a new product line they're thinking of, pharmacy experiences--all sorts of different things. In exchange for your time in doing these surveys you earn Extra Care Bucks! I did one recently and very shortly thereafter an extra $10 ECB printed at the end of my receipt!
They are currently accepting more members now. Go HERE to sign up!
Remember that FL is giving 25c back in the form of a OYNO catalina for every FL product you purchase (up to 40 items and $10 OYNO Q per purchase limit). This promotion ends June 23. I've been stocking up on FL tuna fish 67c/can - 25c oyno = 42c/can.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I hosted a High School Graduation party for my oldest this weekend and I was busy all last week (too busy to post anything on the blog!) getting my house ready for guests and planning our party meals.
I did plenty of cleaning & de-cluttering last week.
Our family moved into our home 4 years ago. We were blessed by the addition of two new babies to our family since we moved in. I think when you are always in "baby-mode" (pregnant and being so tired OR, nursing a little one and being so tired) it is especially difficult to keep your head above water let alone have the clarity to try and figure out the difference between an item that serves you and an item that you serve. My "baby" is 20 months old now. Idecided now was a great time to take a look at my spaces from an un-foggy perspective.
I spent some time in my kitchen re-organizing my cupboards. Before last week I hadn't changed what went where since I unpacked all my boxes 4 years ago. I have lots of cabinet space. I think all this space caused me to keep items that just cluttered up my cabinets.
Here is an upper cabinet between my stove and my sink.
I was keeping vitamins, medicines, and first aid items on the first shelf. Crafts, flashlights, grilling equipment, baby soap & lotion (for sink baths), matches, candles, pens, paper, 4 broken Christmas ornaments and two broken dishes I planned to one day glue together.
I decided I already have a place for medicines upstairs and that it was silly to have more than band-aids and pain relievers here with the vitamins. So when I'd gathered up all the medicine to bring upstairs it didn't all fit in a grocery bag! I needed a bag and 1/3 - and this didn't include all the expired meds that went in the trash! I moved all the vitamins up to the third shelf from the bottom shelf. I think this is safer.
I let myself off the hook and I threw away the broken ornaments and decorative pottery. I threw away any dried up paints and glue. I choose a shoebox sized plastic container to hold all my painting supplies and glue for the kids. Other craft supplies are somewhere more accessible to the children, in this cabinet I only keep what I need to supervise. All these crafts are now on the very top shelf.
Now I have a very large decorative pasta bowl on the bottom shelf, the second shelf up stores my cut glass cake pedestal plate (this gets a lot of use April - October!), my grilling basket fork and turner & matches.
On the third shelf are all vitamins on a lazy susan and some candles.
The top shelf holds the crafts I mentioned earlier.
I will post my other cabinets in the weeks to come.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Yesterday was another busy day, so I'm day late posting my weekly menu.
Salad is on the menu often this week because our lettuce we planted from the free seeds from Earthbound Farms is growing like gang busters and the kids have realized they really like salads when it's really fresh lettuce!
Sunday: Beef shish kabobs, corn on the cob, salads.
Monday: Salmon cakes (never made them last Friday), brown rice (make extra rice for Thursday), broccoli.
Tuesday: Diane burgers, mashed potatoes, salads (baby greens, walnuts, chopped apples and Newman's Own Light balsamic vinaigrette.)
Wednesday: Baked chicken parm, salad.
Thursday: Beef fried rice.
Friday: Pasta and sauce, salad.
Saturday: Kielbasa, carrots, potatoes, green beans.
Check out Org Junkie for more ideas.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Monday - Shish Kabobs (left over from party), Rice, rolls.
Tuesday - Chicken - looking for the recipe - will post when I find printout
Wednesday - Swim meet - PB&J sandwiches, pasta/tuna salad, chips.
Thursday - Taco Cups
Friday - spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Saturday - (Father's Day Celebration) grilled chicken and veggies (using McCormick zesty herb marinade mix), rice, crescent rolls.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Last night our family was generously given tickets to a Major League Baseball game. It was a fun evening, but even with great seats the kids felt a little removed from the action. A much cheaper alternative to Major League Baseball is Minor League Baseball. Many areas have minor league teams. The parks are smaller and the often offer more promotions geared toward kids (running the bases after the game, fireworks, meeting the players, etc.) The price is a significant difference too! The local team here offers $1 Mondays where tickets, hot dogs and drinks are all only $1. All of Minor League Baseball is participating in a promotion with Kraft where if you bring a wrapper from Kraft Singles American cheese to a park on Tuesday night your tickets are buy one, get one free.
To read more about that promotion, click here. To find a team in your area, click here and then click on "Find Team".
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Yesterday was a very busy day so I wasn't able to post our week's menu. Here's what's on tap:
Sunday: Grilled BBQ chicken sandwiches, potato chips, baked beans, carrots, pineapple.
Monday: Fajita salads. (Marinate thinly sliced steak strips in half bottle of Italian dressing, 1 tsp cumin and a couple of dashes of hot sauce for 1 hour--or however much time you have! In hot skillet coated with cooking spray cook thinly sliced red & green peppers and onions. Add steak--and marinade--and cook through. Serve over salad greens, drained and rinsed black beans, rinsed frozen corn, crushed tortilla chips/taco shells. Top with cheese and dressing made from equal parts sour cream and salsa.)
Tuesday: Stromboli, salads, fruit, chocolate cake.
Wednesday: Catalina chicken (marinated chicken in Catalina dressing and then grill), grilled potato packets, green beans
Thursday: Quiche, fruit salad
Friday: Salmon cakes, rice peas
Saturday: At 8isgreat's house!
For more ideas check out OrgJunkie!
Monday, June 8, 2009
Monday - Shepherd's pie and homemade egg braid loaf
Tuesday - Greek-Italian chopped salad & homemade egg braid
Wednesday - Swim Meet - Egg salad sandwiches, carrot & celery sticks, potato chips
Thursday - Chicken Cacciatore (the recipe linked is the one I use, except I add Penne Pasta - The DG doesn't use pasta at all) Ceasar salad, garlic bread
Friday - Homemade Macaroni & Cheese, stewed tomatoes, homemade bread and peas.
Saturday - Graduation (from HS) Party for oldest child - burgers, dogs, beef shish kabobs, deviled eggs, corn on the cob, potato salad, cake & ice cream.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Don't forget! It's free chocolate Friday again!
Get your free chocolate each Friday (while supplies last) from M&M/Mars as part of their "Real Chocolate Relief Act".
Click here every Friday morning through September for a chance to get a coupon for your favorite Mars product: M&M’s, Snickers, Dove, 3 Muskateers, Twix, or Milky Way. Limit 250,000 coupons per Friday!
Arquest is doing another size 4 diaper study. This time you will receive 6 packs of diapers, rather than one. The gratuity will still be $10.
I just finished a study on Wednesday and was able to participate in this one as well.
The number to call is:
Ext 634 for boys (Cheyla)
Ext 646 for girls (Georgia)
Want more details on how it works, read our first post about it here.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I was all out of fabric softner and found this bottle of Downy on closeout at Food Lion for $3.42 (this happened to be cheaper than the FL brand). I mixed it with water (1/3 softner, 2/3 water) in a large screw top plastic bottle. I keep a glove with it to protect my skin. I soak and then wring out a sponge in the solution before throwing it into the dryer with clothes.
It has worked great! I am very happy with the results! I need to add another sponge or two. I spend too much time trying to find my sponge! :o)
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
I've been working on the basement and throughout the house slowly diminishing our "stuff." I had a VERY successful yard sale last Saturday. I cleared $500! I got rid of quite a few large items (A Little Tykes playhouse and toybox, a desk) and many smaller items such as frames, books, toys etc.
I wish I had pictures.
I was the coordinator of a large comunity yard sale in my church parking lot. I brought my camera, however, I was working to help other sellers find their spots and having them remove their vehicles that the buyers swarmed on us before I could pull out my camers. I hadn't even "set up" before I'd sold more than $50!
My best sellers were items I'd purchased using coupons. I sold toothpaste, diabetes monitors, glade plug-ins, razors, toothbrushes, deodorant, shaving cream, shampoo and conditioner among other items. I had quite a lot of these items and I'm sure at least half of my profit was from my "couponing cheapies" or "couponing freebies"!
I live in a very rural area, and I would never get the volume of traffic we got beside the highway and with a crowd of sellers and food to draw customers. The yard sale was a lot of work and a lot of stress. I'm not sure if I'll volunteer to coordinate again - we'll see. Hopefully I will find a yard sale someone else is coordinating in the future.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
A few years back I came across a resource that is such a blessing in it's simplicity. It's by MotivatedMoms.com. She has put together a planner that has daily check lists for cleaning. You save time by spending just a small amount of time each day cleaning, rather than letting the whole house slip into chaos and then struggling to climb out of the mess. The planner offers printable checklists for each week. There are daily chores and then each day of the week has additional chores to tackle. Some will be really quick--like "replenish the toilet paper in each bathroom" others make take longer--like "clean microwave inside and out". A friend who just got the planner last week commented "I couldn't believe how clean my house was at the end of last week. I just went by the list and off I went."
The list breaks cleaning your house into small do-able tasks and don't overwhelm even the messiest of housekeepers. The cost for this resource is only $8 for a whole year of a clean house!
Interested in checking it out for yourself?
To order Motivated Moms planner
If you are interested in ordering and saving $1 use the code GROUP!
It's a complete steal at $7!
Monday, June 1, 2009
This month was the first I tracked my purchases and used only cash for groceries. Dave Ramsey (author of Total Money Makeover) writes that people spend 18% more when they use "plastic" to make their purchases over cash. I thought we did pretty well already in the grocery area--but decided to see if using cash only made a difference. It did! I thought more about each purchase I made and would need to be aware how much cash I had on me when I was in the grocery store.
At the beginning of the month I took out $360 in cash. I thought that was reasonable for a family of 6. That covered all grocery, baby, cleaning supplies, health and beauty items.
I spent $324.48. I came $35.52 UNDER budget this month. I also submitted $87 in mail in rebates from those grocery receipts. If you count that money back I'm getting, I spent $237.48 for the month. (And I still have $12 in catalinas that I can use on June groceries!) I was hoping to spend even less than I did, but you'll see in the list posted below that I stocked up on a LOT of different items this month, hopefully meaning next month's spending will be even less.
In the month of April I spent $523.55. Not counting the $87 I'm getting back in mail in rebates, I spent $199.07 LESS in May than April. I'm not all that good at math--but I think that's a 38% savings from last month!
When I got back from the store I input my receipts into Excel to track not only what I spent, but what I bought. (I was curious how much milk I get each month, how much bread we eat, how much produce we go through in a month, etc.) I also put what I've spent into my itouch as soon as I get home from the store, that way I have a running budget in my purse at all times.
From what I purchased this month, I was able to I donate over $200 worth of groceries to the food bank.
So, what did $324.48 cash buy me this month?
|18 oz pk||blueberries|
|2||indiv||portabella mushroom caps|
|1||head||green leaf lettuce|
|1||indiv||extra large tomoato|
|1||lb||Kraft American cheese|
|1||pint||heavy whipping cream|
|1||lb||Kraft American cheese|
|1||lb||Kraft American cheese|
|2||4pks||Yoplait yo-plus yogurt|
|4||lb||Kraft American cheese|
|2||16 oz||Breakstones sour cream|
|1||8 oz||Daisy Sour Cream|
|1||pk||hot dog buns|
|1||16 pk||hamburger buns|
|10||lbs||frozen chicken breasts|
|2.6||lbs||ground turkey breast|
|1.66||lbs||london broil steaks|
|1.5||lbs||eye round steaks|
|2||lbs||NY strip steaks|
|1||lbs||thin cut fajita steaks|
|13.33||lbs||90% ground beef|
|2.6||lbs||ground turkey breast|
|12||indiv||beef shish kabobs|
|1.5||lbs||thin cut fajita steaks|
|1.25||lbs||ground turkey breast|
|1||jar||seedless red raspberry jam|
|1||30 oz jar||mayonaise|
|3||bottles||Kraft ranch dressing|
|20||bottles||Kraft BBQ sauce|
|130||bottles||Kraft BBQ sauce|
|2||bottles||Kraft salad dressing|
|2||bottles||Newmans Own Balsamic Vineg.|
|1||jar||skippy peanut butter|
|2||boxes||Special K yougrt|
|1||boxes||Frosted Mini Wheats|
|5||boxes||Frosted Mini Wheats|
|2||boxes||Frosted Mini Wheats|
|2||boxes||Barilla Picollini bowties|
|3||boxes||Uncle Bens brown rice|
|20||packs||McCormick Zesty Herb marinade|
|10||pks||6 ct Deer Park water|
|4 ||12 pks||Coke|
|1 ||1/2 gallon||Tropicana OJ|
|1||1/2 gallon||Tropicana OJ|
|1||bottle||Deer Park Sparkling water|
|12||boxes||Fiber One bars|
|2||indiv||reusable shopping bags|
|2||bags||Lays potato chips|
|2 ||12ct boxes||Poptarts|
|3 ||8pks||Paper towel|
|1||12pk||Cottonelle toilet paper|
|3||pks||36 ct Chinet plates|
|2||box||Mr. Clean Magic Erasers|
|10||bottles||Lysol toilet cleaner|
|2||boxes||Ziploc gallon freezer bags|
|1||pk||184 Huggies wipes refill|
|1 ||1/2 gallon||vanilla ice cream|
|3||half gallons||ice cream|
|1||box||ice cream sandwiches|
|3||half gallons||ice cream|
We always pay our credit cards off each month so I thought I was doing a good thing using plastic and getting 3% back on all the purchases. I think I'd rather have the 38% savings instead!