This week has been back to normal for us. We also are really trying to control spending and focus on saving. First this weekend, we have been taking stock of what foods we have in our pantry and freezer. I am very pleasantly surprised to say that we are very well stocked with food and not over our grocery budget this month either. I ended up making a meal plan for the month. We are going to have a different meal each weekday with no repeats. I leave the weekends open and we can have something that sounds good or try a new dish if we want. I also went to Food Lion this morning to pick up some lettuce and a couple of other items. My total out of pocket was 59 cent because I used the gift cards that we earned several weeks ago that I talked about.
My bigger saving is on sports equipment. ALWAYS check on line and ask around before buying new sports equipment! Zach has decided to play baseball this fall and after asking around I was able to purchase most of the equipment he needs for less than the price of a new pair of shoes!
How did you save this month?
We have enjoyed the last week as a vacation which included lots of fun but also a budget. Today, I am going to share some of the ways that we are able to enjoy this week without breaking the bank.
1. Schedule- I am very fortunate that my employer has a condo located ocean front that is available to employees only at a great rate. In addition, the price drops almost by half beginning in August. In order to take advantage of this price, I call the first buisness day of January. A deposit of half is due within two weeks. On the budget side, I usually recieve an extra (not budget) check in both December and July. I automatically use this to cover cost.
2. Food- Part of me enjoying our vacation is not spending a lot of time in the kitchen. An average meal out for just 5 of us is $50 times 3 meals a day times 7 days equals $1050, which is three hundred more than our regular grocery budget for a month. So we have found a happy medium, which includes some eating out and more eating in. I purchased snack food ahead of time but this is also a week in which you get to eat much more junk food and individual servings than any other time. This week our menu has looked like this. Breakfast- 2 meals out, Jimmy Dean Breakfast Crosiant x 2, cereal x 1, gravy and biscuits (both frozen) and poptarts. Lunch- Lunchables- this usually go on sale the first of August for $1 each. Matt and I have sandwhiches supplies and pasta salads. Dinner- Baked Ziti (frozen), Pasta Salads (prepared on Saturday morning), Nachos (frozen taco rice), Chicken and broccoli casserole (frozen) Seafood (resturant ), Special Dinner (Privates Voyage- Amanda paid a large part). Leftovers or pizza. This year we decided to try a variety of ice cream shops, one each day actually which totaled around $120.
3. Stuff- We stay in a condo so we must bring or buy all supplies. This year, we are using Disney shampoo and soaps from our trip in December. I also have collect other items from our travels such as dishwashing soaps and single serving coffee packages. I bring fast food packet for ketchup, mayonnaise and mustard. I am usually pretty brand specific for toliet paper, paper towels and laundry detergent, not for this trip. I use ECB especially on Black Friday, to purchase the cheapest possible and store for this trip. Paper products are another way we save money, any left over plates and napkins no matter the occasion are placed in a bag and we use for this trip.
One advantage to the condo is that it has a washer and dryer. I make sure that everything we bring leaves clean. This way we have truly saved a week of electricity. We did leave on our a/c but set the temperature at 85.
Do you have a suggestion for saving money on vacation that I have missed.
1. Our vacation is coming to an end very quickly. I have enjoyed the time with just family as well as some trashy tv, reading and just wasting of time on the Internet .
2. The kids favorite activity of the week has been digging holes. Each day that have attempted to make a bigger as in deeper and wider hole. Lucky for them that the tide is going out during the morning so they can dig for hours without worry.
3. We have walked at least an hour each day usually to the end of the beach which is really cool and everyone likes to find seashells.
4. Matt and I have had talked about everything in general including ideas for a new buisness and ways to stretch our grocery dollar.
5. The weather has been awesome and we have spent hours and hours and hours just on the beach. Life is always good at the beach.
As a special treat, Kendall, Lily and I went for a pedicure and manicure this weekend. We all used birthday money so that made it even better.
I actually have two savings to share today. First, I went to CVS last night and was able to purchase 8 cases of Diet Coke for $10.69 or $1.33 each 12 pack or $0.11 a can, a savings of 81%. I was able to do this by double dipping as I call it. First, CVS currently has a sale that includes 4 packs for $12 and you get 5 ECB. I had 10ECB plus a coupon for a free 12 pack from My Coke Rewards. Putting this all together is easy once you understand what is allowed.
Next, savings at McDonalds. A friend told me about the McDonalds app and what cool free items they have. I downloaded at the pool today. I combined this with a coupon for BOGO Chicken nugget happy meal. The McDonald that I stopped at would not let me use 2 coupons in the same order so I split into 2. I spent a total of $9 to feed four of us dinner tonight. The best part no leftovers!