Bounce House Fun
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!
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!
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
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
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.
Next we all started digging.
Total savings over $800 not by choice but by necessity.
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.”
Seven is the perfect number and the number of completion so I will stop there. Do you have any blessing to share?