Saving on Sunday

sosOpps!  You are right today is Sunday. I did not get much saving done yesterday because we spent most of the day enjoying the pool.  Kendall had a friend in addition to Lily having a friend spend the night so I got not a lot accomplished except for spending time with the kids. I am starting to realize and trying to enjoy more time just hanging out with the little kids, I know in a flash they will be too busy to hang out! Now back to saving. I did do some shopping today, even with all three little kids in tow. Matt is working for cheerleading so I decided the sales were good enough and we needed most items.

First stop today was CVS. It has been 3 weeks since I last went to CVS, I hope they will not be having another test market of no sales ad in the near future. Today I purchased 7 bottles of shampoo, a bottle of detangle, 2 bottles of Tide free and clear, 4 bottles of body wash,2 sticks of deodorant and a battery powered toothbrush for $36 with a 65% saving, I also have 10 ECB to use in the future.

We also stopped by Aldi to grab fresh produce including cantaloupe, watermelon, grapes and cottage cheese that I need for a recipe. Total spent at Aldi was 18.47

We are continuing to get lots of tomatoes from the garden. I have managed to replenish the shelf of stewed tomatoes and discovered an awesome recipe for spaghetti sauce. I adapted it to the crockpot and hopefully will make at least a batch a week for the month of August. Currently, I am freezing in containers to make Baked Ziti with. My plan is to make 12 of these  and then just freeze spaghetti sauce, even the kids say this is the best sauce they have eaten.

How did you save this month?

 

Budget Update 7/23/2015

This is an accurate representation of my budget for the month. I will be honest and say that I am not really stressing about it this month. We have had a lot of monies coming in and out of the account in addition to the county swim meet and buying of school supplies, so the fact that I can say that all we are not sinking in an incredible debt hole or juggling important bills is a gain for the month. July is also the month that I receive an extra paycheck, so that helped offset a lot of the additional expenses as well. Now for a look at the numbers…..
1. Emergency Fund to $2000.  Met. I did add money but the fund is still extremely low but I am happy with progress in the right direction.
2.
. Groceries: Spend $700 a month .Fail.  Currently we have spent $833.59 so far this month on groceries, this amount does include a large meat order from the beginning of the month. I also have purchased several items to add to the stock pile. As with the rest of our budget August should be a much better month.
3. Gas: Spend $400 a month with any remaining to be move to Auto fund for repairs.  This is a huge FAIL!  I am sure had we just been using this money for gas that I could have stayed under budget for the month; however based on the crazy ways that vehicle tax is now being collected in North Carolina, not only did we pay sales tax on the purchase of our new van but we also had to pay regular taxes prior to being issues a tag.  The other major hit this month was an oil change for the car. In August, we will be purchasing new rails for the van to mount our traveling box on, I have to obtain a new license and the car will  need new tags which will mean taxes and an inspection for it as well. I had planned to reduce this budget to $350 starting in August but with all these expenses I will not make any change until September.   4.
4. Disney- Goal Met!  I was able to pay $1000 toward our trip this month!
5.Eating Out- This is a new category and for the present it does not have a set amount but instead it will be a way for me to gauge how much we spend each month to help in developing a budget for next year. So far this month we have spent $292 eating out.

MIA

Yes, I have been missing in action for at least the past week. But I do have a good reason,  this past Friday and Saturday, our community pool hosted the county wide swim meet. Matt and I both were heavily involved in both the planning and working at the event both days. In fact, I probably spent more hours at the pool in the past week then the entire summer of 2012. I am glad to say that we survived and thrived!   To give you an idea of the size, between the two day there were a total of 385 swimmers and I would estimate over 1000 people in attendance.  Haley came on Friday morning and spent most of the day, guarding the parking gate and then selling t-shirts and heat sheets. Amanda came after she finished work to help sell t-shirts, heat sheet and then she helped Zach drive the golf cart to shuttle people back to their cars. The temperature was HOT HOT HOT!  If you would like a little more information check out the website .

Both Lily and Kendall swam on Saturday which was the day for swimmers younger than 10 years old.  The girls both swam their hardest and I am so proud of their efforts.  Lily won a heat for freestyle which is no simple task and Kendall placed 6 of 18 girls in the Backstroke and also received an ribbon for 3rd place with her freestyle relay team.Lily county County swim meetMy goal is to post everyday to catch up!  Lots of fun and interesting things have also been happening!

Saving on Saturday July 11 2015

sosThis is one of those it is a lot of little things that make a big difference kind of week.

We spent most of the morning in the kitchen preparing food ahead. I made burrito bowls for breakfast and we plan to enjoy the leftovers for several morning this week. I also made tomato/basil biscuit. They turned out awesome and we ended up eating for lunch at the pool today. I will plan to make at least a batch of these every couple of days in order to  keep ahead of our garden. Next on our cooking list was “baked ziti” We made two large pans at the same time. The first of these we will be enjoying for lunch tomorrow with friends. My preparing ahead we will not be tempted to eat our tomorrow after church. The second baked ziti went straight in the freezer this is one of the 4 planned evening meal that we will be using on our beach trip. The condo we plan to stay at has a full kitchen but I do not enjoy cooking on my vacation so we plan ahead and take a couple of meal that just need to cook, by freezing the also serve as ice for the cooler on the trip.

I am beginning to notice a difference in my grocery spending this month. The main reason for this is that after making our “big” meat purchase and completing a trip to Costco, I decided to take the remaining money out of the bank and place in a cash envelope. Because I can physically see the money remaining in the envelope and know we still have half the month left, I have been making some tough decision regarding stocking up on items.  I did run to the grocery store yesterday to purchase provolone cheese for the baked ziti but I was not even tempted by any of the sales they had. We are currently on our last 2 rolls of toilet paper.  CVS is having a good sale on my favorite brand tomorrow, I would normal complete this deal twice for a total of $35 out of pocket. This amount of toilet paper would last us 6 months. However, I will only be spending about $17 tomorrow because of checking the cash envelope prior to planning the trip. I don’t have enough cash to cover two transactions so I will be buying more toilet paper in 3 months as the need arises. It may sound silly right now but I am really working at staying on budget this month, even with some big spending up front.

I spent about an hour tonight updating and learning about the different apps that will actually give you money back for purchasing certain items. I have had a saving star account for over a year and realized that I was eligible for my second payout, the amount is only $5.25 but this is directly deposited into my bank account and I earned it by simply buying items that were on sale with a coupon as well. I am hoping to make some extra change each month by using these apps.

How are you saving?

5 Things Friday

  1.  Amanda took Kendall to Chunky cheese today to celebrate her birthday! Looks like they had fun..IMG_3614.JPG
  2. We have purchased new living room furniture. Matt picked up a new television stand last night and we should receive the new couch we ordered sometime next week. I will post pictures once I figure out where everything is going.
  3. The county swim meet is exactly one week away. I am one of the organizers for the event. Matt and I spent 7 hours yesterday working on printing and tying up loose ends. I am so excited to see the girls swim but also ready to get some of my time back.
  4. We did not stick to our menu plan at all this week. But we are trying to use the veggie from the garden on a daily basis.
  5. Our new budget is working so far. I especially like having cash for quick grocery store trips. I made sure to count and thing about my purchases before making them with cash.

 

Wordless (or not) Wednesday- Kendall’s Birthday

Kendall was sick on her birthday, she actually ruptured an ear drum. But that did not stop here from waking up early to open her gift from us!

You could definitely tell at her choice for dinner “McDonald’s that she was not feeling well.
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Everyone enjoyed her “Hello Kitty” Ice Cream cake.
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But by Thursday when we went for a manicure and pedicure she was on the mend!

Happy 7th  Birthday  Kendall!

Sunday Menu Planning and other Random thoughts

I have really enjoy this 4 day break. One of the main things that has happened is that I am finally caught up.  This upcoming week is a relativity slow one for us. Cheerleading is on vacation, so the kids have swim team practice each day and piano on Friday. My work is also slowing down as everyone (all 3 of us) are working this week a regular schedule so I should be able to get home early most days. As I posted earlier, we are growing the stockpile which means lots to choose from when menu planning.

Breakfast-Cereal, Poptarts, grits, toast and breakfast burritos at least one day.

Lunch- Salad (lettuce is already prepared, tomato and cucumbers from garden), sandwiches, hot dogs or left-overs. I am really encouraging Matt and the kids to eat sandwiches or left overs this week so that we can not waste any food.

Dinner– The exciting news here is that I should be able to eat most night with everyone prior to swim practice! First time all summer.

Saturday- Lunch: Potato salad, Mandarin salad, pasta salad, watermelon.   Dinner- Potluck at the pool.

Sunday- Lunch- Leftovers from the week including Chinese, steak or salads from yesterday.  Dinner- Pimento cheese and bacon sandwich on sour dough bread.

Monday- Grilled chicken, sides will be leftovers from the weekend.
Tuesday- Falafel in the crockpot. The plan is to wrap these up and eat at the swim meet.
Wednesday-Salisbury steak, rice and watermelon.
Thursday-  Options include leftovers, shrimp or chicken nachos . (I will make the decision Wednesday night based on what the refrigerator is looking like and my mood.)
Friday- Pork chops, veggie and fruit.

With our garden in full production, the goal is to freeze a small amount each day, eat as much as we want for lunches and not waste any food!

 

Saving on Saturday! Happy Fourth of July

We spent around 7 hours enjoying the pool today. For dinner, we participated in a potluck which was awesome! Total spent ZERO!