Monday, March 31, 2008
I only finished $99.60 under my grocery budget this month. I blame that on Easter. We shelled out about $40 just on groceries for dinner, then the majority of everyone that was supposed to be here, had the flu. At least we ate ham all last week. Blech. I should not want ham for at least another year now.
This month might be a little lighter on the grocery bill, hubby is going home to Tampa for a bit to check on his dad and do some work there while we are stuck in a rainy spell here. Me and the kids can make a whole chicken last a week, none of us really care for meat(well, except hubby). I see easy dinners of soup, sandwiches, and salad in my future, lol.
My household goods spending barely made it under budget with only $7 to spare. I do have $32.96 in rebates to send in for Walgreens, $10 in RR, and a cushy $31.91 in ECB for CVS. We have a ton of toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, bar soap, and an assortment of cleaners and air sprays. Unless I can get these for free, I won't purchase any of these things. I am hoping when I go to CVS tomorrow, I'm hoping they have the Soft Soap Body Washes in stock. I also need to make my monthly run to Sam's tomorrow to pick up cat food and litter.
Didn't get the car sold yet. Hoping when the stimulus checks starts going out we will get rid of it then.
The sewing machine is now piled up with Easter stuff still. Maybe in April....
I hope everyone else had a good month! I'll work on my goals for April later.
Have a happy and frugal week!
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Last week, we had more ham leftover than we thought so we ended up not making alot of the ham free dishes I had planned, so if anyone notices repeats from last week, it didn't get fixed. We also have a busy week during the day so we are going to eat a lot of leftovers for lunch.
Leftover beans, cornbread
pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, corn, homemade bread
boiled eggs, grapes
Cheeseburgers, homemade fries, spinach
Sandwiches, chips, grapes
Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread
Scrambled eggs, toast, bananas
chicken and vegetables stir fry with fried rice
leftover stirfry and rice, grapes
Scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, toast
soup and sandwiches, chips, fruit
Grilled hot dogs, mac and cheese, green beans
homemade waffles, sausage, fruit
ramen noodles with shrimp
Roast, potatoes, carrots, biscuits
Desserts for the week
Cheesecake(still haven't fixed one)
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I wish I could be lucky when it comes to repairs around the house. Thanks to the nice water level in our basement from all of the rain last week, the belt broke on my washer and now it won't spin. ~sigh~ And our furnace is getting replaced Monday at the tune of almost $3000. GRRRRRRRR!
If you want a chance at a book, check out http://sidetrackd.com/ next month, she is planning to do another give away sometime!
Friday, March 28, 2008
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
2 Lysol Wipes
on sale 2/$3.49
2 Lysol Toilet bowl cleaner
on sale 2/$2.79
used 2 $0.50/1
3 Xcel air freshners(use these by the litterbox)
on sale for $0.39 each
on sale $1.99 each
used 2 $2/1
2 Oral B Indicator toothbrushes
on sale for 2/ $2.99
1 package peanut M and M's(had son with me, he was starving)
Anyways, when Baby Girl was born almost 15 months ago, her socks were so tiny I bought a mesh bag to wash them in so they wouldn't get lost in the black hole of the laundry pile. When they are clean I keep them in a small plastic box then as soon as I(or she) pulls them off I put them in the bag. They can go from washer to dryer all together.
Then a couple months ago I had a revelation, if it works for Baby Girl, why wouldn't work on the older 2, who at 8 and 11, couldn't seem to keep track of their socks. I went and bought 4 more bags, they each place their dirty socks in one(they hang the bag on the end of their beds). Then when I do laundry, all I have to do is grab the bags and toss them in the wash. I replace the bags with empty ones so their are no excuses. After the socks run through the wash and dry, I just put the whole bag in their drawers. The cycle repeats. If I could find bigger bags, I would do the same for my husband.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
So if there is somewhere out there in Bloggie Land that works for the Sci Fi channel, tell the big wigs to take over Jericho! (oh and bring back SG-1!)
What did one oyster say to the other?
Shell you later! (Can you tell I have children?)
Since my husband was born and raised in Tampa, I have to be on my toes on how to prepare him his beloved seafood (safely!)in a landlocked state. Oysters are low calorie, provide a protein punch, and contain zinc, vitamin B-12, plus omega-3 fatty acids. These little mollusks can be prepared a variety of ways from steamed to grilled, to yes, even raw.
Most people are aware that undercooked or raw foods can pose health risks. Our environment is composed of many different types of microbes, most harmless to healthy individuals but some can pose serious risks to people with compromised systems.
Over at http://beoysteraware.com/index.html there is some handy information on Gulf oysters, including the post harvesting process, symptoms and treatment for the Vibrio vulnificus bacteria, signs that you might be an at risk consumer, educational materials, and some even yummy looking recipes!
Monday, March 24, 2008
That's 24 packages of those ooey, gooey little chickens
For less than $8
I didn't even look in the bag that I know contains more candy.
All I spent was $2.40 on 2 4 packs of Nature Sips for Baby Girl
A couple blogs, Crystal over at http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/blog.htm host Make Your Home a Haven Mondays and another I found http://thehomespunheart.blogspot.com/, Monica is hosting a Spring Clean Challenge.
Told you there was a desk under there, lol. I also found the mouse pad.
After I tackled the desk, I went to the other bad catch all, some built in shelves in the corner. These used to look worse than the before pictures. I had every paper, bill, receipt, and invoice from my husband business piled on here. I invested $10 in some plastic file boxes for him and now all that is left is my junk. Here's the before:
Horrendous, I know. I have an out of control book collection and I have to put them up high or my little sticky fingers likes to play with them. This area tends to collect craft items, cd's, papers, and various odds and ends. Here is the after:
Not as gorgeous as some of yours in Bloggie Land, but a start. I also found a ton of my samples I have been receiving through the mail and I put them in my nifty sample Rubbermaid box in the closet.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
The flu seem to strike the extended family that was supposed to come over for Easter dinner so now I'm stuck with 25 pounds of ham to try to eat. Something tells me I'm going to be really tired of looking at it before the week is over.
Biscuits and gravy, bananas
Desserts for the week:
Cheesecake(didn't make on Sunday due to Baby girl not feeling well and up half the night)
Banana Pudding with Vanilla Wafers
Rice Krispy Treats
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Back in December 2007, me and my husband came to a mutual decision that I would start staying home full time due to a lack of affordable childcare for our then 11 month old. After using the Internet to try to brush up on cutting expenses be couponing and bargain shopping, I stumbled across the lovely world of blogs. Being a newbie in Blogger Land, I kept seeing posts on how people were making money. Curiosity got the better of me and I checked out Pay Per Post myself. Wow! I can earn money without getting out of my jammies, in between chasing an active toddler and taking care of a house! The best part is, I make the decisions. I can decide how much I want to earn and what I want to write about. It fits into my schedule and my lifestyle.
Do I need to earn extra money? Seriously, who doesn't. Earn some mad money for those pair of shoes you have been eyeballing in the mall or online. Save it for Christmas. Put it in an emergency fund. Use it to pay down debt so you don't have to get a second or third job. Use it for just yourself or like me, will probably be spent on my three munchkins. Or my husband, or the cats and dogs. Granted, it will more than likely be there to support my craft habit whenever I run out of ribbon or need some pictures printed, but it's nice to know that even though I am stying home, I help contribute to the household financially.
Check out the link at the right side of my blog for yourself to start posting yourself to become debt free(or to those really cool pair Manolo's!)
I hope everyone had a better week than I did. First, the screen on my laptop broke(on a laptop that is less than 3 months old). Toshiba said it was covered under the warranty, so we sent it in. Then they called us a couple days ago and left a message on the answering machine that it will cost almost $500 to fix!!!!! What happened to being covered under the warranty?????
My husband has been working so he hasn't had time to call them and let them know they are out of their minds!
Then it rained and rained and oh, rained some more. Our basement flooded. Laundry was floating(my laundry room is down there) and it snuffed out our hot water heater and the furnace. Thankfully, the hot water tank dried out and we got it relit but the circuit board in our furnace was fried and cost almost $600 to fix(and we had to because it's still chilly here at night). To top it off, the repair man was quick to point out about another $1000 in more repairs that need to be done. We are looking to replace it, so we are getting bids on that.
So I have laundry that I need to wash(and oh my god, there is A LOT of it) and we shot all my grocery and household frugalness on one repair call.
I hope everyone else had a better week!
Friday, March 21, 2008
Check out Crystal's Blog over at http://www.biblicalwomanhoodonline.com/blog.htm for more great tips.
This suggestion came from my grandmother when my oldest(now 11) was born. At the time, I thought grandma had lost her mind, but I learned quick that she hadn't. My oldest was born in March, so about the time she got to moving around, it was getting hot out. And what to friction and heat usually produce? One heck of a diaper rash. I tried every gooey(and expensive!) cream out there. One day, we were over at her house and I was in the process of cleaning off her fire engine red behind and my grandma said not to put anything on just yet, she had something. About 10 minutes later. she came in with her cast iron skillet full of brown flour. She sprinkled some on her bottom and closed up her diaper. When I went to change her next, the redness was already going away.
So my frugal tip is take your skillet(preferably cast iron according to grandma) turn the stove on medium, get it warm before you put anything in it. Once it's warm, put about a cup of all purpose(gives new meaning to that name, lol) flour in and keep stirring. You want a nice even, brown coloring. When the color is reached, take a Ziploc sandwich baggie(I divide it up in 2, one for the house, one for the diaper bag), place your flour in it. Seal it up and you are ready to combat diaper rashes!
I have learned this works best when first applied to a clean, dry butt. If it is already gooped up with diaper cream, it won't worked so well.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
First and foremost, I would look for a way to make some extra income without having to spend money for childcare for Baby Girl. The easiest would be to care for a couple more kids during the day. I could possibly clean some houses and have a yard sale or 2 to help out.
I would reexamine the grocery bill. We would cut down to bare minimum. No soda, no snacks, no steak(more of a tragedy for my husband). Just the necessities.
Eating out would be cut down to only once a month(or less)
Look for ways to reduce our utilities. We already have the compact light bulbs, wash clothes in cold water, and a few other things, but our house is older and we are in the process of remodeling it.
We paid off our house but we still place that money in an account to be used this summer for remodeling. If came down to it, we could only repair things(like the roof) and fore go adding another bedroom.
Plant a garden to help with the grocery bill.
We currently have prepaid cell phones. 300 minutes cost $30 and they last both of us along time(me more than my husband since I stay at home now). The plan we have, the 300 minutes are good for 3 months(and it takes us that long to use them!) If you refill before they expire, they do carry over.
Cut down even more on driving. My husband is self employed and this is a necessity with his job(brick mason). He would have to do more bids over the phone instead of in person. I would possibly give up my beloved truck for a more fuel efficient car.
I have a grocery store about a half a mile from our house. The only problem is it is not the cheapest store in town. I usually only go there if I need 1 or 2 things and can't justify driving to across town(even though I drive to this store). Any trips would be made on foot(or send the oldest on her bike).
Stay on top of the household spending on clothes. It's not so bad with Baby Girl because the grandparents buy a lot for her but the older 2 are left to me now.
Cut back on spending on toys, electronics, and other entertainment goods. We have about 20 board games that we don' t play with very much anymore because everyone is on the computer, DS, Xbox, PSP, or plugged into a MP3 player(even me as I write this) This would also cut back on the utilities.
We have cut down on present spending for everyone besides our children. Relatives usually receive a homemade gift(which they love) and a bunch of pictures. This Christmas I am planning on making everyone DVDs with pictures, videos, and music of the kids.
I don't think I could pull the older 2 out of their activities. I'd rather do without Dr. Pepper, Oreo cookies, and the latest Stephen King or James Patterson book first.
I'm sure I could make some more changes if I had too. These were just off the top of my head
2 Glade Sprays
used BOGO coupon
5 Lypsyl lip moisturizer
used $15 ecb
OOP $1.07 earned $15.95 ECB
2 Listerine Smart Rinse
used $5 ECB
OOP $1.39 earned $5.98 ECB
2 Oral B Cross action toothbrushes
used $2 off 2 coupon
used $6 ECB
OOP $1.98 earned $9.98 ECB
I spent $4.44 OOP and earned $31.91 in ECB, plus I had several catalinas printed off(I haven't looked at them yet to see what they are)
Monday, March 17, 2008
3 rolls Bounty Paper towels(I picked up more weekly ads so these can be my fillers!)
on sale for $0.79 each
used 3 $0.25 off/1 coupons
1 box Ziploc sandwich bags
used $1/1 coupon
1 3 pack of scotch tape(had planned on 3 but they were all gone!)
on sale this week for $0.99
20 oz Dr. pepper $1.39
1 Reese's egg $0.50
(had more coupons than products so needed the fillers)
used $4 RR
total before $10.51
OOP w/tax $2.91
3 Walgreens are out of the double rolls of Angel Soft so I just purchased the regular rolls to use my RR
1 12 pack Angel Soft regular rolls
used $4 RR
1 12 pack Angel Soft Regular rolls
used $4 RR
1 Jumbo pack Pampers
had to buy a small candy $0.59
3 rolls of Bounty Basic
on sale for $0.79 each
3 packs of Scotch Tape
on sale for $0.99 each
used $4 RR
I purchased $39.04 worth of products for $11.16 OOP using coupons, sales, and RR! Why I didn't shop like this before, I do not know. To quote my oldest after this last trip to Walgreens "Coupon collecting is cool!"
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Grilled Cheese sandwich, tomato soup, apples
Oven baked pork chops, broccoli with cheese, biscuits
Ramen noodles with shrimp, bananas
grilled chicken, baked potatoes, salad
scrambled eggs, bacon, apples
chicken and cheese burritos, salad, grapes
beef and noodles, peas and carrots
pizza rolls, salad, apples
boiled eggs, toast, grapes
scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon or sausage, toast
pancakes, bacon or sausage
Ham, potatoes, mac n cheese, green beans, baked beans, deviled eggs, rolls(family Easter dinner)
Desserts for the week
Birthday cake didn't last so I can't include that, lol. I'll make cookies(oatmeal chocolate chip requested), pineapple upside down cake, and maybe a cheesecake for Sunday.
I have several coupons for makeup, cleaning products, and other various things that I will not use(most expire at end of the month) If someone would like these, send me an email ( firstname.lastname@example.org put coupons in the subject line) and I will get these shipped out to you. No charge! Just want to pass these on to someone who might use them! First email gets them!
I can't wait till my book, Top Titles and Tips, Too, gets here!
If you like crafts, check out her site for some great ideas and links!
Here's what I got
1 Scrubbing bubbles wipes
on sale for $2.50
used $0.75/1 coupon
1 Oust spray
on sale for $2.50(rang up as $3.49, see above to Asst. Manager frustration)
used $2/1 coupon
4 Renuzit Air Fresheners
on sale $1.79 for 2
2 Glade Glass Scents
used 2 $1/1 coupons
3 12 packs of Plastic Easter eggs
on sale for $0.59 each
total before coupons $22.88
also used $4 RR
After coupons(and price adjustment) $8.74
plus earned $4 in rebates
Tomorrow I'm going to CVS to try to get some of their jelly beans that are free after ECB plus a few of the monthly ECB deals.
Friday, March 14, 2008
Dryer switch fixed, cost $5. Hubby was able to replace the switch himself. Woohoo! Now the dryer shuts off when it is supposed to.
Haven't got to the kids room yet. I'm sort of a klutz and ended breaking my little toe the other day and don't think it's a good idea to tackle the disaster in the older 2 kids room. I have been trying to weed out the too small clothes as they make their way through the laundry. I will get to the mega disaster sometime before the end of the month.
Slowly working on the decluttering. At night when I watch tv(after the monsters are in bed), I grab a walmart bag and a drawer. I dump it out, throw away the garbage, and organize as I put it back in. I have found almost $10 and I've only done 4 drawers! I keep this up and might use my new found loot to treat myself to a pedicure.
Haven't got the car sold, yet.
Found a few ways to make some money. Signed up for Pay Per Post(waiting on approval) I have made almost $15 doing surveys so far. Not much but a start. Also organizing stuff for a garage sale and for Ebay.
Haven't touched the sewing machine yet. Right now, it's piled up with birthday decorations for tomorrow.
I didn't do much shopping this week(aside from birthday stuff). The "Easter bunny" needs to make a stop at Walgreens to pick up a few things with RR for the big day. I did find some class Valentine card's at Dollar General for $0.20 a box. Made my son pick out his ones for next year. (the $0.49 a box I paid this year was just way too much, lol)
Have a happy and frugal weekend!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
My menu is a little light this week, my oldest daughter has an orchestra concert Monday night, Thursday is her birthday, Saturday is her party, and Sunday we are going to the circus!
Breakfast Cereal, grapes
Lunch Meatball sandwiches on toast, leftover salad
Dinner sandwiches and soup or salad
Breakfast Scrambled eggs, toast
Lunch Ham and cheese sandwiches, chips, apples
Dinner salad, baked potatoes
Breakfast Oatmeal, bananas
Lunch Baked potatoes with cheese and bacon, grapes
Dinner Oven baked chicken parmesan, salad, garlic bread
Thursday Happy 11th birthday, Hunter!
Breakfast Cinnamon toast, apples
Lunch Taking Taco Bell to Hunter for lunch
Dinner Eating out, birthday girl's choice
Breakfast Boiled eggs, bananas
Lunch Fried rice, spring rolls
Dinner Pizza, salad
Breakfast Scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon
Lunch Ramen noodles or sandwiches
Dinner Not sure, Hunter's party is today and depends on how tired everyone is
Breakfast Pancakes, bacon, fruit
Lunch Homemade Beef Stew, biscuits(going to circus this afternoon, want the kids full before we go!)
Supper More Beef Stew
Desserts for the week
Rice Krispie treats, pumpkin pie(froze 1 I made last week), homemade cookies, and of course homemade birthday cake
Friday, March 7, 2008
Thursday, March 6, 2008
I'm ashamed to say, I milked Walgreen's for all I could this week. Well, I had coupons! I hit a new one everyday.
3 herbal essence conditioners
used b2g1 and $2/1
1 aussie shampoo, 1 conditioner
1 old spice red zone body wash
total before tax...$11.67 earned $12 rr
2 packages ivory soap
used 2 $0.35/1
price rang up as $2.39 and still earned $4 rr (I was in a hurry and didn't ask why)
2 packages zest soap
used 2 $0.25/1
$3.65 earned $4 RR
2 packages olay soap(which I believe are the last 2 in town)
used $2/1 coupon
2 bottles 11 ounce dawn dish soap
on sale for $0.99 each
used 2 $0.25/1 coupons
2 bottles febreeze air effects
on sale 2/$5
used 2 $2/1 coupon
2 boxes candy
total before coupons $12.98
used $5 rr(was about to expire)
OOP $3.70(lady behind me said "Holy crap") earned $4 rr
It would've been cheaper but had my older 2 with me and I had to have a bribe for dragging them through another Walgreens. Hubby just rolled his eyes when I walked in with yet another bag of stuff.
2 packages Olay soap
used $1/2 coupon
oop $3.38 earned $4 rr
I plan on using my RR to stuff the Easter baskets and buy some deals later on in the month
Me and hubby went to the Goodwill store to find him some work pants(he's a brick mason, so they get ruined) We didn't find any in his size but for my 8 year old son I found 2 new pair of jeans and 1 pair of dress pants(just in time for Easter!) for $7(all of them still had the tags attached)
Found a nice jean jacket(practically new) for baby girl for only $1
One of our local Dillons(Kroger) stores had an overstock on half a gallon whole milk. Bought 6 for $6.34
I didn't even make it to CVS this week. The only things I'm really interested in from there is the monthly ECB deals(toothpaste, toothbrushes) so I might go there Sunday.
Hope everyone else had a frugal and fullfilling week!
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Monday, March 3, 2008
2. Do a massive clean out of the kid's room. Clothes, toys, and other things have got to go. My oldest changed her shirt 3 times this morning because her first 2 choices were too small. Thankfully, we have several children's resale shops here and I could hopefully make enough in exchange for warm weather clothes(if it ever does warm up here!).
3.Do some serious decluttering of everything. I have been gradually cleaning room by room, but they can all stand at least one more run through. I need to make my trashman earn his $13 a month! I'm sure I'm his least favorite stop after a week of cleaning, my roll away is always packed and there's several lawn and leaf bags stuffed to the tops sitting beside it.
4. Get our car sold. We are lucky that we haven't paid for the 3 vehicles we own but we only have 2 drivers and 3 car insurance payments a month(plus taxes and tags). We decided it was less costly to keep the trucks and sell the car.
5.Get a plan worked out so we can grow some more veggies this summer. Last year we did tomatoes, cauliflower, onions, carrots, and bell peppers and exchanged some of them for zuchinni from a friend of my mother in law. This year, we are going to try more tomatoes, zuchinni, peas, green beans, peppers(spicy and bell), sweet corn, lettuce, watermelon, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and onions. Plus this year, I am adding herbs. Phew! Plus my hubby bought a peach tree to plant. (we had a bad ice storm last year and resulted in 4 trees dying in backyard, so we have more room now!) I guess by the end of summer I need to learn the fine art of canning to maximize our produce.
6. Learn to sew using my sewing machine. My mother in law gave it to me 3 years ago and it just sits there. The bad thing is, I don't think I can even thread the thing(embarrassing) I yearn to learn(lol) how to quilt and make matching outfits for my 2 girls(they are almost 11 and 14 months so I can't really find anything off the rack that matches)
7. Learn how to make some money while at home. I would really like to cover dance and martial arts(around $300 a month total) and possibly my photography and craft habits, but I wouldn't complain for a little more.
Not much, right? Hopefully, I can accomplish it all with what little of my sanity that I have left, lol.
Sunday, March 2, 2008
Cinnamon toast, bananas
leftover grilled chicken and pasta salad
pork chops, baked potatoes, corn on the cob
boiled eggs, toast, grapes
grilled cheese, chips, strawberries
homemade chicken and rice soup, homemade bread
leftover soup, bread
hamburgers, homemade fries, green beans
pbj's using leftover hamburger buns, leftover green beans
tuna and noodle casserole, corn, biscuits
cinnamon toast, grapes
leftover casserole and biscuits
clean out frig/sandwich/ ramen noodles
scrambled eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast
ramen noodles with added shrimp, whatever fruit is in frig
homemade waffles, sausage
spaghetti, garlic bread, salad
My menu's aren't set in stone on what day we eat, life happens and sometimes we have less time.
During the weekday, it's just me, baby girl and sometimes hubby(depends on what time he has to work) for breakfast. The older two like to eat at school, but in case we overslept or someone has a case of the poke alongs, I keep pop tarts and cereal bars in the cabinet.
Snacks are a must, the older 2 always come home starving, and the last week or 2, it seems they are even hungrier(my luck ,it's a growth spurt, and I just bought them 4 pairs of jeans each on clearance at Target) Baby Girl is a grazer and my son has been coming home and eating a sandwich and a bowl of oatmeal, then dinner, and then dessert. I bought/was given alot of yogurt, fruit roll ups, peanuts, oatmeal, ramen noodles, 2 boxes of cereal for $0.24 each, and cheese hoping this will curb their afternoon munchies.
I did some cabinet cleaning and found several cans of pumpkin and evaporated milk(and 2 pie crusts in the freezer) so I'm making 2 pumpkin pies for the week. I'm also going to make some chocolate chip cookies(3 dozen) and I'm going to attempt to make a pineapple upside down cake from scratch. Popcorn is also a dessert staple at our house(usually made into Kettle Corn, yummy). My mom gave us a box of Rice Krispies so next shopping trip I'll have to pick up some marshmallows to make rice krispie treats for next week