Sunday Shopping Secrets

One thing is for sure, I have been doing a lot of shopping this week. I thought I would share with you some of the reason/tips I am using to shop this week.

  • Most coupons site, tell you that sale cycles are every six weeks. They are very direct in saying you need to buy only enough to last for that six week cycle. I disagree, my best example is the Quarter Back Sale at Food Lion. I have been shopping and loving this sale for at least six years with my first blogging about it here. Initially this sale ran in January and June, things have definitely changed with it only occurring once last year. So I am taking advantage of it.  I made a list of all the items I remember purchasing in the past, checked to see if we had a year’s supply of and then made my shopping list.  If the sale occurs again this year, I will only need to restock items that I am low on.  For example I did not buy onion soup mix or taco seasoning this time because I have enough for at least a year. I did purchase 12 ketchups and 10 mustards.  For this sale, I try to stock up for a year for most other sales, I plan to stock for 3 months at a time or stock depending on storage space.  When we start to get low on items I start checking for sales and usually am able to grab the items before running completely out.
  • ALWAYS scan your loyalty card and read the coupons when it is an option. This week, I received a BOGO coupon for any soda at Food Lion. The next trip I received a coupon for $1.00 off any Dole Salad. I checked the prices on salad and actually picked up a small bag for FREE. I did not need the salad and would not have purchased for free is always for me. CVS gives out different coupons to different customers but it still is nice to check out the deals. I was able to combine my coupons and a red machine coupon to purchase Easter candy.
  • My final secret is simple sounds but probably the most important one. Have a basic idea of what things cost and if you find at or below that price grab up as many items as you have coupons for or as many as you can easily store. Here are my simple rules I always use:
    • Less than a dollar usually is a great deal, except for toothpaste. This week I found 2L Diet Cokes for $0.79 this is an awesome deal, so far I have purchased 30 at this price  but am out of room to store.
    • I will only buy toothpaste when it is twenty five cents or less. Most of the time I grab the free stuff.  I always make sure to grab free toothpaste even if it is the only item I get.
    • Toilet paper should only be bought when it is less than 40 cent a roll. To figure this out simple divide the price of the package by the number of rolls.  I don’t count double rolls in this because really I am not paying by the sheet!
    • I check on SouthernSavers.com if it is listed on her site, I will consider buying just because it is at least 40% off.

 

5 Things Friday 4/7/2017

  1. I have done lots of shopping this week. We did our monthly trip to Costco, I headed into CVS for an awesome deal on shampoo. And so far I have made four trips to Food Lion.  I actually convinced my mother to head to Food Lion tonight and helped her get a great deal on our Easter Ham and drinks.
  2. Spring is here, I am so excited to say that all my plants have survived the winter except for the mosquito bush. I will definitely be replacing it! The trees I planted in the fall have started to bloom as well.  On my kitchen sink, I have sweet potato slits growing in addition to 6 pear tomato plants!
  3. We have been officially without heat or air for the past 14 days. The temperature is suppose to drop in the thirties today. I hope this is the last cold spell and my goal is to keep the heat off as long as possible. It would help the budget if we could lower electric cost to $150 for April and $200 for May.
  4. All three of the little kids are on Spring Break next week.  Lily has decided that she is going to continue with charter school next year. So we have 7 more weeks until the summer.
  5. Kendall and Zach brought home their report cards today. Kendall has straight A and Zach has 3 in all areas except for spelling. Lily received her report card last week and has all A’s as well.  I am so proud of these kiddos!

March in Review

I am super behind on blogging for the month. Our cheer trip threw me off, in addition to our crazy busy life. I am hoping to get up several post in the next day or so.

Debit Reduction: This month our overall debt increased by $175. This is sad but because our trip was the last couple days of the month it had a negative effect. I will establish a goal to reduce our debit by at least 200 next month.

Blog Post: 14
Days on Treadmill: 0  Everyone feel we should get credit for the day we spent walking at the outlet stores.

Groceries- $220- This is a great success! I am hoping to keep spending down to $300 for the month of March. My favorite sale of the year is on but other than a trip to Costco this should be our spending for the month.

Gas: $370 spent. This is over-budget, we purchased new windshield wipers for all the vans and our trip to the beach is included on this purchase.

Earnings:  Matt and I combined for a total of $180 this month from our apps and Swagbucks. This is a higher number than both February and January.

I am a bit frustrated with us raising our overall debit but we needed and enjoyed our trip to the beach. I have high hopes for April, small changes over a long period of time always works.

Saving on Saturday 3/26/2017

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Today has been a good day. One of the main reason is that I was able to check off most if not all of my to do list!  In the process, I have been putting my idea of each little bit helps into practice. The list of the ways I am saving today is a great starting point for anyone who wants just a little extra.

  • My laundry goal for today is 15 loads, I currently have load number 13 in the washer. The ONLY reason that I have been able to complete so many loads is by hanging things up to try. I did SEVEN load of bedding today and all went outside. These would take at least an hour and half each to dry in the dryer so there is 11 hours that my dryer did not run. I also washed my uniforms, I chose to hang these as they last much longer and actually look less wrinkled. I also have a load of sweaters laying around drying. Spring is here and I seriously doubt I will be wearing most of these again. Total savings 15 hours of dryer use = $5
  • The heat is off!  I actually have a window open. The goal of course is to make it 6 weeks without use of heat or air. This will place us in mid May. By eliminating heat and air, our electric bill should drop below $200 for both April and May!  Total savings= $100
  • The kids spent a hour or so this afternoon painting wooden items for our outdoor sign. I was able to purchase these last year after Easter for 50% off. Hopefully I will get them hung and pictures posted for Wordless Wednesday. Total savings= $2
  • The girls asked for some flowers to place outside their playhouse. I decided to check out a local discount store this afternoon instead of heading to Lowes. We found flowers for $1.79 a six pack and dirt for $1.99 a bag. The girls enjoyed planting these flowers and even if they all die, I can replace for the same cost I would spend to purchase at Lowes.  Total savings= $10
  • I also stopped by the SAVE ALOT store to grab 6 cases of Diet Coke. Total savings= $6
  • Ate at home for all three meals today.  I made French toast for breakfast and also some croutons for salads to use up bread. Lunch was leftovers so that is the meal I am going to count toward saving! Total savings = $20

How did you save today?

5 Things Friday 3/24/2017

  1. I am starting to really enjoy my work schedule. I have two really long days on Tuesday and Wednesday but Thursday is my day off. I switched things up a bit and Friday (today) is designed to be a shorter day. This actually is giving me time in the morning at home to get ahead and I am home by 5 so dinner is very easy to enjoy.
  2. Matt is working Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. This is a great thing but it also means that I have some extra chores to finish as we have a competition next week and will leave on Thursday for a mini vacation.
  3. One of our planned activities for our  mini vacation is shopping at an Outlet Mall. I am very excited to grab a couple of Nike gift cards using Swagbucks. My goal is to get at least one pair of shoes for FREE!
  4. I have ended up shopping quite  a bit this week. Including two trips to Walmart and a trip to Food Lion and a trip to Lowes.
  5. Food Lion is changing things up and running my favorite sale of the year. This is the quarter back sale. I made a trip on Wednesday night and plan to make at least 3 more in the next month during the sale. This week I did a total of 3 transactions spending $57.

Shopping on Their Dime

Today I went to Walmart, to search for a special hair product for Lily.  I was not able to find what I was looking for but decided to pick up some special  treats for our trip next week instead. I grabbed 3 different snack size candy bars, a box of Chex mix, a can of hair gel and some special treats for dinner tonight.  My total out of pocket was twenty four cents.

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You will notice on the above receipt that I used three separate gift cards.  The first one was from Shopkicks. Which is the newest app I am using.  It is super simple, open the app as you walk in the store, find certain items and scan the barcode.  I do know that additional credit is given for purchasing items but since there  has not been any items that I normallly purchase I have not.  I have only been using this app for six weeks and this was my first cash out.  I asked for a gift card last night and it was available for use within  five minutes.

The other two card where redeemed on the cricket app. We do not use cricket services but the app offers additional rewards through the mplace app.   Currently I am earning about 1000 points on Mplaces a day. Which this month is averaging out to be a five dollar gift card every 7-10 days!

Free food always takes better!

 

Monday Menu Planning 3/20/2017

I am very hopeful that Spring has finally arrived and will be staying around for awhile. This week, we have 3 baseball practices, 2 nights of cheerleading for each of the girls, piano, church and Matt will be working 3 nights this coming week.   Thankful our breakfast choices have definitely improved after a trip to Aidi on Sunday.

Breakfast–   Saturday-Breakfast burrito bowls.  Sunday- limited choices Monday-choices Tuesday- Spinach egg cups  Wednesday- Baked oatmeal. Thursday- choices .   Friday- Choices.  Choices include :  poptart , fried bologna,  eggs, grits, left-overs , toast or cereal.

Lunch- Zach and Kendall have sandwiches, chicken nuggets, , homemade lunchable and salads. I am taking left-overs this week. Nothing new or exciting here. I have gotten slack with taking my lunch so I already have a salad packed for Monday!

Dinner-  Saturday Sandwich and chips Dinner- Dinner out for  Haley’s birthday
Sunday- Lunch- Hamburger and hot dog’s at Mom’s   Dinner- Gumbo over rice
Monday- Grilled chicken pasta and mandarin orange salad
Tuesday- Chicken Enchilada
Wednesday-  Beef and Broccoli
Thursday-  left-overs or homemade pizza
Friday- Breakfast casserole.

Shopping on Sunday 3/19

This morning we were running really low on breakfast items, in fact we had no cereal, poptarts or grits. So a trip to Aldi was definitely in order. We attended an early service this morning so were able to breeze through the store and totally restock our breakfast supply. Total spent was $45.

The next stop was CVS. I was unsuccessful in grabbing the scrubbing bubbles deal from last week so I started with 12 ECB. I was able to purchase 2 18 double roll packs of Scott Bathroom tissue and 2 containers of mouthwash for $3.87 out of pocket or a 92% savings. I also received 9 ECB in return. I am really excited as this was an easy transaction with no glitches!

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Total Grocery Spending for March $135

5 Things Friday 3/17/2017

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  1. We are managing to stay under budget for groceries this month. So far we have spent $86 after our Costco check. My goal is to spend $150 or less for the month.
  2. We have managed to reduce our credit card debt for the third month in a row! The reduction is VERY slow but the fact that we are able to achieve this goal for three month in a row is awesome!
  3. I ordered 16 bags of dirt that arrived last week. The goal for the weekend is to get the dirt spread in the square foot garden and make a planting plan for the year.
  4. We don’t have a cheer competition this week which means I am planning to spend 3 nights at home and going to bed on a regular schedule.
  5. I am definitely ready for Spring, during the past week, the temperature has turn cold again and I am not liking that at all. Give me 60 degree days PLEASE!

 

Counting My Blessings! 03/13/2017

Both Lily and Kendall participate in competition cheerleading. This continues to be a choice that we make as a family to participate and pay toward. Matt often works events at the Coliseum to help fund this activity. I will be the first to say that it is EXPENSIVE. Just as an example, we pay $110 tuition in addition to competition fees, chorography fees and of course the cost of uniforms. The above fees are paid directly to the cheer gym but they do not include the cost of travel, food and admission to events.

On Sunday, we planned to attend an event at UNC- Charlotte to watch Lily compete, in the normal budget this is a relatively cheap event. First off the travel is less than an hour. Next the advertised admission price was $10 for adults and kids under 10 are free. Usually  we pay $20 for adults and $10 for each kid that is not in the competition. Parking fee run around $10. Finally, I have been saving gift cards for the past 4 months to pay for meals while we travel. Our plan was to stop at Applebees and use gift cards to pay for the meal.

I ended up spending a total of $5 yesterday, this is a HUGE blessing!  First no fee to park, next up was no cost for spectators!  This is highly unusual and  amazing even to save $30 made me smile.

After the completion, we headed to Applebee which was very close to UNC-C. The experience was BAD!  Waiter with his underwear showing, our table need to be refilled with both Ketchup and Sweet n low, no knives to cut food with, wrong food or food not cooked correctly, used kid’s menus and sun directly in my eyes. Needless to say not a good experience, I spoke first with the manager and then with a area manger who after hearing our experience, covered our meal. I count this as a BLESSING!   I did not expect or anticipate the entire meal being covered but it was a BLESSING!  I left a small tip because the waiter did refill glass but his serves was equal to the setting.

An estimate of the total BLESSING we received yesterday= $100!