Wordless Wednesday

Kendall was the only one who wanted her face painted

Kendall was the only one who wanted her face painted

Bounce House Fun

Horse Riding

 

Saving on Saturday 6/17/2017

Saving money often takes a little time. This Saturday, we spent time doing some things at home that will save us big money later in the week.

First, we spent about 3 hours this morning cleaning and detailing our vans, in addition to my Mother’s car.   This was a family project because we all get to enjoy the benefit of a clean better smelling car to ride in. My mother paid the kids for helping with hers so it was definitely a winning situation. I am basing my prices from my local full service car wash. A comparable package is $37 plus tax. I am subtracting $7 that we will spend at a car wash for the exterior wash, total saving of $30 a car times two cars is $60.

Next, our trip to Michigan is coming up very quickly so I did some extra cooking today. The items I cooked will each reduce our need to purchase meals by 2 meals so that is a total saving of $100.  Matt has a list of other items that we will be bringing with us that will make this trip even more affordable. I plan to post detail descriptions in addition to total spending and savings once we return.

Matt is working at the coliseum this evening so the kids and I decided to go to a local church which was sponsoring a community day. The kids had lots of fun in the bounce houses and even a horse back ride.  They provided a meal of hot dogs and hamburgers. The kids enjoyed 2 snow cones each for desert!  Total savings $40.

 

Savings for today =$200!

 

 

5 Things Friday

  1. Today is one of my “extra” paychecks. I budget for 2 paychecks a month so on the 2 months a year that I receive 3 paychecks it allows a little bit of wiggle room. This time the majority of the check is going to travel. We are headed on two major week long trips this summer.
  2. Our garden is starting to produce. We are enjoying squash, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers. I have also harvest and frozen basil and oregano. I have been disappointed so far with the cucumbers but there is still hope. I am most excited about the watermelon. We already have one that is soft ball size with lots of blooms and other small one starting to form.
  3. The first week out of school has been just as crazy busy as the weeks before school ended. Monday night was swim team practice. Tuesday night was suppose to be Swim Meet but a storm cancelled that so we headed to Costco. Wednesday night- I got confused and we ended up relaxing at the pool for an hour. Thursday- make up swim meet. Friday- yard work.
  4. We recently lost a close friend who was the spouse of our piano teacher. The girls got a 5 week break from lessons but I am thankful they resume this week. Zach will be attending a reading camp in July so as you can see we are staying busy.
  5. Extra earning this month have been awesome. The current goal is to purchase Zachary’s birthday present with these earns in addition to adding to our Disney fund.

Saving on Saturday 6/10/2017

I should actually title this post making money on Saturday but let me tell you the story to back up the facts first.  This week, Lily made a sweet potato pie and used up the rest of our nutmeg. We also are running low on hand soap for the bathrooms. My original plan was to place an order through Target and use a gift card that I had from MPlaces. Target has changed their rules so that I was not able to get nutmeg shipped to me without a $25 purchase. We also needed some vegetables for a salad. So I decided to head to Walmart. I had $20 in giftcards from Cricket for there. First I checked Southern savers to see if there were any really good deals at Walmart, yes indeed there were. I ended up finding a lot of good deals including free cereal. I checked the list of deals for Walmart and printed out the list that matched coupons I had. I ended up with 10 coupons to use.  I also checked IBOTTA for the deals that she had listed on the site.

At the store, I did not fine one of item on my list and a second items was $1 more than expected so I did not purchase it as well. I also grabbed nutmeg, without a coupon in addition to a watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers and carrots. My total started at $46.36 before coupons and dropped to $38.61 after coupons. While in the store, Lily and Kendall enjoyed doing Shopkicks. I was able to cash out for an additional $5 gift card on Shopkicks in the store.  I used $25 in gift cards, this brought my cash total down to $14.74. I came home and scanned my receipt in IBOTTA where I received back $8.50 in rebates in addition to $5 for a special promotion by cashing in one receipt this month. I don’t often use IBOTTA because I only purchase items we need and rarely find things on their list. In fact the last time I scanned a receipt was January of this year.  You are only allowed to  cash out IBOTTA for amount greater than $20. I  had $11 sitting in the account starting last August so with my additional money today, I moved $24.50 to paypal.  As soon as the money arrived in paypal, I transferred to my bank account.  This entire process from start to finish took less than 10 minutes.

Final math:  $24.50(rebate) – $14.76(cash)= $9.74 profit in addition to the $45 worth of groceries!

Monday Menu Post 6/5/2017

I ended up only working 5 hours today which means I had some extra time at home. The weather here is rain rain and rain so in addition to having a short day at work, we also are home this evening.  I did make a monthly menu plan over the weekend but made a small change already as Kendall was requesting hamburgers. Matt made a grocery store run yesterday so buns were bought and Hamburgers made the dinner. I am starting to get excited as we are cleaning out items and at the same time starting to re-stock the freezer. We have tons of squash coming in from the garden right now so I am hopefully to get this stocking up done quickly.

Breakfast–   Saturday-Bacon and Biscuits.   Sunday- Matt and Zach attended the men’s breakfast. The girls ate eggs and grits. Monday-Cereal. Tuesday-  Breakfast burrito bowls Wednesday- Choices . Thursday- choices .   Friday- Choices.  Choices include :   fried bologna,  eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have sandwiches, grab and go, and salads. I have a salad packed for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and leftovers for Friday.

Dinner-  Saturday-Lunch- Pizza bites  Dinner- -BBQ chicken plates from a local church
Sunday- Lunch- BBQ ribs, baked beans and squash casserole . Dinner- Leftovers
Monday- Hamburgers.
Tuesday- Mini Corn Dogs
Wednesday-  Chicken fried rice
Thursday-  Fried squash and something. I planned to freeze another couple of bags of fried squash. Not sure about the meat so this should be interesting
Friday- Steak Fajita

Saving on Saturday

Sometime saving is not a choice but a matter of necessity.  Late Thursday night, it was discovered that we had a major water leak. Matt spent most of the day Friday, figure out where the leak was and how to fix it. The leak was in the supply line that runs from the water meter under the foundation and addition to our main water line. The water was actually running under our foundation.  This was not something that could wait. After much research and discussion the only option was to replace the main water line. A professional would charge someone about $100 for this. This option was not even possible on our current budget.  We started working around 6pm Friday. Haley helped by venturing under the 18 inch crawl space under the addition (30 feet) and pulled the water line from a foundation vent in a the front back to the main connection.  We decided to insulate and use a second pipe for protection at the foundation vent.

IMG_0270

Next we all started digging.

IMG_0269And digging……..and digging……and digging……and digging.  Several hours Friday night and again for several hours on Saturday morning.

IMG_0268Next we laid down the new pipe

IMG_0271Finally we moved all the dirt back into the hole and planted grass seed.

IMG_0272The materials ended up costing around $150 including the 50lbs of grass seed that we will save and use in the fall.

 

Total savings over $800 not by choice but by necessity.

5 Things Friday

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  1. June is a very promising month with lots of fun planned. The little kids are all on the swim team. We will participate in swim meets on Tuesday afternoons starting the second week in June.
  2. June is also a three paycheck month for me. I get two of these a year. Because I base my budget on two paychecks a month this become extra money. This extra money will be used to help fund our beach trip and other travel plans for the summer.
  3. We will be traveling to Michigan this month with plans to spend a couple of days on Mackinac Island. I really enjoy this trip with Amanda, Haley and Lily (at 9 months) and look forward for the younger guys to experience something totally new and different. Other plans include time spent with Matt’s family and of course Bronner’s.
  4. The Square Foot Garden is slowly starting to produce. This week I was able to harvest snap peas and squash. I am trying something new and “pre-breading” squash for frying. I would like to have 12 packets of frying squash and 12 packs of squash casserole for the freezer.
  5. Matt discovered a major leak in our main water line late last night. We will be repairing it ourselves not so much fun but necessary.

May in Review— April Review just Because

Yes you read that right, I totally skipped/never got around to posting an April in Review. I decided to included both with the best information I have available.  I know that I have some vacation time coming up so I am hopeful to get back on a better schedule. June looks to be a promising month and I am determined to make the best of it!

Debit Reduction:  April- our debt increased by $300.
May- reduction of overall debit by $550. This actually puts our overall debit at less than it was in February so it negated the increase with our payments this month!

Blog Post: April 10
May- 8
Work and our busy schedules have taken over but I am determined to get back on track this month.

Days on Treadmill: April- O
May- 3 days of water walking

Groceries- April – $601
May- $653.62
Both of these were very high spending month of us. Our yearly average is $658 a month and my goal is to reduce this over the summer.

Gas: April-$303.75
May- $275

Earnings:  April $170
May- $200- best month EVER
Matt has been able to earn around $1500 this month through a variety of side jobs and also an upgrade to one of this websites.

 

As I was typing up this update, I realized that April was a month of complete failure. I did not manage to come close to any of my plans or goals for the month. This is most likely why I did not get around to an update.  I am hoping for more steady progress in the next couple of month

Monday Menu Plan

As we continue with our busy lives and race into the Summer, meal planning becomes even more important for us.  We enjoy spending time at the pool. In fact we spent close to 18 hours at the pool just this 3 day weekend. If we are not diligent about making and sticking to a menu plan, we often end up ordering pizza, picking up fast food or Chinese on the way home.  Today was our anniversary, so as a treat we had planned to order pizza, we spent $33 for pizza for our dinner. Even at once a week, that adds an extra $120 a month to our budget, over the course of the summer that is half the cost of the condo we rent at Myrtle Beach, so 4 days at the beach vs. pizza once a week.  We have built in a little bit more flexibility this summer as we are beginning to start some harvesting from our garden. I want to use and maximize as much of this food as possible.

Breakfast–   Saturday-Pancakes. Matt ended up making a super double patch, which means they will be a choice for breakfast over the next couple of weeks.   Sunday- Gray biscuits. (I made extra gravy, to use as dinner or as a choice as well.) Monday-Banana/chocolate chip muffins. Tuesday-  Choices Wednesday- French toast in crockpot . Thursday- choices .   Friday- Choices.  Choices include :   fried bologna,  eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have sandwiches, grab and go, and salads. I have a salad packed for Tuesday, chicken salad wrap for Wednesday and leftovers for Friday.

Dinner-  Saturday-Lunch- Hot Dog with chili and slaw Dinner- -Pasta salad with chicken
Sunday- Lunch- Roast and sauté squash. Dinner- Leftovers (Zach-hot dog with cheese grits, Kendall-broccoli cheese soup, Lily pancake, Matt- sausage ball, and me egg over grits and gravy.)
Monday- Pizza to celebrate our anniversary
Tuesday- Tacos
Wednesday-  Pork chops with squash and/or carrots
Thursday-  ?? Beef and broccoli
Friday- Grilled chicken salad.

After starting this post I realized that I have not posted this since mid March. Opps. So I thought I would give a food update as well. We have used approximately 1/2 of our whole cow. One of the biggest problems right now is not eating beef 5x a week. We are actually starting to run out of vegetables which works out well. I did purchase and freeze 2 gallons of strawberries earlier this month in addition to make jam. We have to finish up out sweet potatoes from last year before September.  A final food challenge of the month is our planned trip to Michigan at the end of the month. I need to sit down and make a plan, at least for our travel days, we have already been gathering gift cards that will make it much easier and decrease the overall expense.

Saturday Update 5/27/2017

As predicted, this past week has been busy. I have struggled this week and realized that I NEED to “Count my Blessing” more than I need to worry. So my plan for this update is to “Count my blessing, name them one by one, to PROVE what God has done.”

  1. The extra hours at work do mean extra pay. We are slow regaining financial ground and extra pay is always helpful.
  2. We scheduled a trip to Disney World for this November. I actually booked the trip almost a year ago. Because of the struggles we have been experiencing, I was considering changing/postponing the trip. However, God has provided a very unexpected but concrete method to ensure we can pay for  this trip. In the morning, I will be making dinning reservation.
  3. We are very blessed to be able to travel to Michigian this June to celebrate Matt’s father 90th birthday. This blessing is so much more real and important with the lost of my dad.
  4. Our square foot garden is growing and thriving, I have frozen several packs of broccli, made a squash side dish and the kids enjoyed a handful of snap peas. The plants all appear healthy and relatively bug free. I anticipate a good squash harvest this week and we should actually start with cucumbers in two weeks or less.
  5. The kids and I got to spend 6 hours at the pool today. We really enjoyed the time with friends and I was able to just sit for several hours.
  6. I somehow got a screw in my tire last Saturday. My brother was able to patch it on Sunday. The patch worked until Wednesday and then Matt was able to take to the dealship to have fixed.
  7. I will NOT be working on Monday. Instead the plan is to spend most of the afternoon/evening at the pool just enjoying life.

Seven is the perfect number and the number of completion so I will stop there. Do you have any blessing to share?