5 Things Friday

  1. I have just completed the busiest work week all year. I worked eight hours over this week. I am very grateful for this extra income but really do miss seeing my kids each night during the week!
  2. The cow we purchased is currently hanging. It did turn out to be larger than expected but I budgeted enough excess that we still should cover the cost without touching our monthly budget. After much thought and discussion, the way to account for this purchase is by dividing the amount over the first 6 months of 2017.  I will take that amount out of each month’s grocery budget and pay toward our credit card debit.  December provides an extra check for me, initially I planned to use to pay down our debit but this was a deal we could not pass up so instead we purchased meat.  Once the final cost for the cow including processing is paid. I will share what amount will be deducted each month from our budget.
  3. I am planning on doing holiday baking tomorrow. I checked out my baking list and hopefully have purchased everything we need for this fun day. We will make another batch of cookies on Christmas Eve for Santa.
  4. I am finished shopping for the month of December. I will continue to watch sales but unless the item is a need and at the lowest available price, I am going to avoid shopping the rest of the month.
  5. All three of the younger kids will be performing this weekend in our church’s Christmas musical. This should make the weekend go by really really quickly.

 

Menu Plan Monday

 

As I was putting together this post I realized that I have not posted a menu plan in over a month. We are continuing to plan a month at a time but are pretty flexible with changes if need be. Over the past month and again in December, I am making an effort to clean out the freezer. We are purchasing a cow and need to make space to place the meat. One thing you will notice is that we are eating out several times this week. The reason is simple Lily’s birthday.

Breakfast–   Saturday- Left-overs including hash brown casserole, eggs, grits and gravy. Sunday- Choices.  Monday-Left-overs or choices. Tuesday- Baked Banana oatmeal Wednesday- choices. Thursday- Breakfast burrito bowl Friday- Choices.  Choices include : leftovers, eggs, grits, French toast,, toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have tomato soup, spaghettios, uncrustables x2 and chicken nuggets. I have salad x 2, sandwhich wrap and leftovers.

Dinner-  Saturday- Lunch- Pizza Hut (used coupons).   Dinner- Outback .
Sunday- Lunch- Baked Potato bar. Dinner- Chill (leftover from lunch and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Monday- Kielbasa and rice
Tuesday-Taco Tuesday
Wednesday-  Grilled Chicken
Thursday- I have a party so leftovers or soup for the rest
Friday- Kids are having pizza at church and Matt will eat at Taco Bell. Not sure what I will end up doing.

Why I Have Not Blogged-AKA My crazy life

This weekend we were suppose to be in Gatlinburg Tennessee for a cheerleading competition.  Due to the wildfires, it was cancelled on Tuesday. I decided to use the time to catch up on things.  On Thursday, I shopped at Harris Teeter for the sale on can goods, followed by a trip to Hanes Mall to return some items and then grab a couple  of gifts to finish up my list. I also did a solo trip to Costco for groceries for the month.

Friday night- Amanda took the kids to see the lights at Tanglewood. Matt and I had a nice dinner that included wine and desert. We finished up by wrapping up all the gifts. I am so glad to be finished with this part of Christmas.

Saturday was the celebration of Lily’s birthday. I have to work a longer than normal day on Tuesday in addition to her cheerleading practice so we decided to spend the day doing the things she loves most, eating and shopping. We ended up shopping in Lexington and then returning to Hanes Mall.  We finished up the night by eating at Outback.  I promise to post pictures on Wednesday.

Today(Sunday)- We attended church and I spent the rest of the afternoon make a calendar for my Dad’s birthday.  I know the next couple of weeks will be just as busy but hopefully with my to-do list caught up, I will be a little bit better at blogging.

Now on to some ways I have been saving first is shopping sales. This is a no brainer. However the thing to remember is consistency.

I also have been enjoying shopping at Sears recently. They offer a program similar to CVS-Extra Care bucks. Over the past several weeks they have had items such as boots on sale with bonus bucks on these purchases. I have been using to purchase gifts, the great thing about this promotion is that it can be used to cover both taxes and shipping.

Another good tip is to keep your coupons and other rewards  items together. On Saturday, we used the kids reward coupons for reading to purchase lunch at Pizza Hut for $20 for the five of us. I also had $5 in rewards dollars for The Children’s Place. I used this to help with a purchase of tights. I also had coupons for JCPennys and Bath and Body Works.

 

November In Review

A day late again but at least I am being consistent.

Personal-
1. Blogging
Post 20 per month. Fail. But there is some good news, I posted seventeen times in the month of November. Improvement is a good and positive thing.

2.Weight Loss– 175#. Did not gain anything, got on the treadmill a couple of time. Still a fail but not a total lost eitehr

3. SpiritualSpend at least 5 days a week, reading and studying The Bible. This continues to be a challenge for me. I need to find a time to set for this but so far not happening.

Personal goals are a failure for the sixth month straight. I do feel much better about my lack of progress this month. I am working to met goals, slow and steady wins the race.

Financial- 

1. Set aside money each month in every budget category. Fail. No change in this category. I will admit we have acquire debit this year so now we focus on getting back on an even footing.

2. Establish and maintain Emergency Fund- Fail.
3. Groceries: Goal is for $550. Goal Met. We spent $460 in the month of November on groceries. We did commit to purchase an entire cow for our freezer in December. I am not sure how to handle this expense. In the past, I have always counted in the month it was purchased. This time I am not sure if I should do that or spread it out over the first six month of the year?  Decisions Decisions, Decisions.

4. Gas: Spend $300 a month- Goal Met!  Actually under budget at $210 for the month. The price of gas remains around $2 a gallon so this has helped our overall expense. I am very anxious to see how we end at the end of the year as far as a monthly average goes.

5. Pay off all Credit Card debit by December 2016- Fail. This will definitely be a focus and goal for next year.

6. Money Making Apps- I am adding this for monthly reporting. This is becoming a game to me!  We collected $175 in gift cards and purchased another $60 of items that were free including shipping.

Success in three of six areas is going to be considered a success!  We hope to keep up the steady stream in December. I will say that most if not all of our shopping is complete so I don’t expect this to be an expensive month at all!

American Girl Bistro and Store

One of our special events included in our quick trip to Atlanta was a trip to the American Girl Store and Bistro. We actually ate deserts at the Bistro. Of course we left our dolls at the hotel but the Bistro had dolls and chairs to share.
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Kendall purchased a dog for her doll along with a hat and hangers. Kendall was able to bring both the tea set for her dog and the borrowed doll home to have another tea party.
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Lily purchased an outfit, cook book and apron/mit set for her doll. She said the chocolate flower pot was the best ever!
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Kendall was the most happy and excited I have seen her in a long time.  She was in heaven, baby dolls, stuffed dog, tea party, ice cream and root beer.  Just enjoy the smile!
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Thanksgiving Thoughts

There is no doubt in my mind how blessed we are as a society, a country, a family and even personally. I could list a million things that I am thankful for but does that make me any better of a person or blogger. I personally don’t think so. I know I am blessed and I need to use gratitude every day all day and not just one day a year. So instead of a list of things I am thankful for, I am going to tell you some special event and things that are happening in my life.

We are currently in Sandy Springs Georgia which is just outside of Atlanta. Both the older girls have work commitments so it is just Matt, myself and the not so little kids. We spent today with Matt’s sister, her family and Matt’s Dad. The kids had a truely special treat by going to “Legoland” with their two older cousins this morning. They really enjoyed it and I honestly could not be sure who had more fun the big or little kids. The rest of the day was spent enjoying conservation and tine with family that always loved not always close enough to share with.
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I am also extremely grateful for a daily devotional given to me by my sister in law called “Daily Gratitude”. I can’t wait to start getting a daily reminder of who and why I am blessed.

The plans for tomorrow are very vague at this point but I do know that we have “Afternoon Tea ” schedule at the American Girl Bistrow, my girls are so excited and so am I.

Saving At CVS 11/20/2016

I will not be able to shop at CVS on Thanksgiving or Black Friday because we are out of town. But I was able to make a quick but thirty trip today.

 

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I managed to save 81% or $21. I also grab some needed soda for myself. Total spent was $4.73 or less than the price of 3 2 litters.

Have you found any great deal yet?

Saving on Saturday 11/19/2016

sos

I will admit that I have been doing quite a bit of shopping both online and some in person the past week. Last weekend, I ordered the girls some new boots. Kendall needed a new brown pair and both needed black boots to wear to cheer competitions. I found a decent sale at The Children’s Place.  This weekend OLD NAVY has a good sale on jeans, Kendall does not have enough jeans to wear for a week so I ordered both girls a couple of new pair. The best part of both of these is that I shopped online and order through a link on Swagbucks so should receive back money on both. I did not pay shipping on either.

I went to Harris Teeter on Thursday and spent $90, I was able to save $160. This was a very planned trip that included 10 cases of diet coke and 3 6 packs of bottles. Everything I purchased was on sale or a rain check and my saving average was right at 60% so I count it a win.

I have been finishing up my Christmas shopping. Today on Shutterfly I order a calendar and a couple of other small gifts. I also used a cartwheel at Target for 30% off toys which was in addition to 5% off and free shipping for using my Target card.

I am extremely happy to say that I need to order one additional calendar and purchase a gift card which will be the official end of my shopping for the year.