Week Ending 03/28/09

This week was an awesome week!! We did spend quite a bit on groceries but it was for 2 weeks worth (at least) so it will even itself out.

Total for the week

Shelf Price $383.00
Price Paid $121.00
Amount Saved $262.00

That is a savings of 68% WOO HOO!!!

It would have been an even bigger savings had we not bought a lot of meat. I didn't pay full price for any of the meat, it was all 1/2 off. The chicken was actually buy 1 get 2 free, which comes to about $1.83 per lb of boneless skinless. We bought enough for at least 3 weeks, plus we still have about 20 lbs of meat in the deep freeze.

I can only think of 1 thing I will need from the store and that's sugar. I haven't even looked to see if it's on sale somewhere.


Busy as a bee

Whew... yesterday was a very busy day for me. We were planning on going up to Harris Teeter last night to get most of our grocery shopping done since it's triple coupons this week. I had to get dinner done early. I started it at about 1 pm. Spaghetti with meat sauce. Yum. Made a double batch so I can freeze the extra and I made a batch of bread.

Christian begged me to put the ground flax seed in there like I have done before so of course I did. The bread was glorious again. I made this loaf bigger so it could be used for sandwiches for lunch today.

We did really good at HT last night. It was quiet in there which is always good, but they were out of about 20 things I had on my list. Caitlin and I will go back tomorrow when the new coupons come out.

All in all we spent $107 for $277 worth of groceries. Not too shabby. I'll post this week's totals tonight.


I love bread

I love it! Love love love bread. It loves me back. Seriously. It told me.

I just made the most delicious bread EVER. And I have made lots of bread. I saw the recipe on another blog and had to try it. I made a few adjustments and it worked perfectly.

6.5 cups of flour
3 cups of warm water
1.5 tbs of yeast
1 tbs table salt (the recipe called for kosher but I am out)
approx. 1.5 tbs sugar (My own addition, and would be awesome with honey too!)

Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and water in a large bowl. Stir until dissolved. Add flour and stir. It's a very wet dough and hard to stir so I did knead it a couple of times just to get all the flour incorporated. Let dough rise until doubled.

I went ahead and greased 4 loaf pans. The original recipe says you can refrigerate and then just take off whatever amount you want to bake for the day or whatever. I just went ahead and planned on baking all of it today. What can I say.... I like to bend the rules. Tee hee.

Once the dough was doubled, I divided into 4 equal parts and turned the dough in my hands to form a smooth top. Remember, this is a NO knead bread but we want it to look pretty. I placed each section into the greased pans and let it double once more.

Preheat to 450 degrees and then bake for about 10 mins then lower the oven to 395 degrees and bake until done. They should be nice and golden brown on the top. I did brush on a little melted butter when the loaves had about 5 mins or so left to cook. Yummy...

I didn't do what the recipe called for when it came to the steam cooking method. I am not a fan of hard crusty bread. I like nice soft bread. This bread is a mix between the 2. The most amazing crispy crust and yummy moist bread on the inside.

I figured for 4 loaves of bread, it maybe, maybe cost around a buck. And I think that is a VERY liberal estimate.

I am making these to go with dinner tonight. Don't they sound yummy??

Don't buy stuff you CAN NOT afford...

Just saw this on another blog and literally laughed out loud.

I think I woke the kiddos.... and the neighbors dog...

It's as easy as that, yet so hard for us to understand.... at least some of us. I totally get it now.


No. More. Overspending. Amen.

For years Christian and I have battled with finances. We played the blame game. He would spend money without telling me and I would get mad and blame him for the money trouble. I would spend money and he would quietly blame me.

See, Christian is a quiet guy. We are opposites, plain and simple. I know he would be blaming me in his head, but the words never really came out of his mouth.

But I knew he was thinking it. I just knew it.

Maybe it my feeling of guilt, maybe it was the looks he gave. I don't know. What I do know. is that it doesn't happen anymore. :)

I knew deep down inside it was my spending that was putting us over each month and I hated that feeling. Still do.

One of the biggest things for me to organize was our finances. Less than 1 month ago we had no clue how to budget. We didn't know just exactly how much we had to work with each month. We were constantly paying late and that meant late charges. Late charges really add up!! I figured we were paying roughly $200 a yr on late charges alone. I don't know about you, but I can think of lots better ways to spend 200 bucks than on late charges.

I know I mentioned in a previous post how I bought "You Need a Budget". I love this program. It's so simple yet so powerful. Now for some people, maybe they can keep track of everything coming in and going out, but obviously I couldn't. This program has truly saved me.

I am keeping track of things like never before. I know exactly how much I can spend on groceries before I leave the house. I know exactly how much is going to be leftover each month. It works. It really does. No more feeling guilty for overspending because there is no more overspending. Amen.


Menu planning

I have been thinking lately about starting a weekly menu plan. I usually have time on Sunday evenings after the kids have all gone to bed and it's the perfect time to do a menu and get all my coupons ready for the week.

Christian and I have enjoyed not having to go to the grocery store everyday to pick up something we need to cook dinner for the evening. Having said that, I think we can still improve our shopping trips. Make them less frequent basically. Less time in the grocery store means more time at home with the family. That's always a plus!

So I am starting tonight on my weekly menu. I am sure it will take me a little while to put one together, but I will post it when I get it finished.

Week Ending 03/21/09

I think we did pretty good this week as far as spending goes. We did however make 3 trips to the grocery store. The first time was for milk only, the 2nd trip was the main grocery shopping for the week and the last trip was for butter and eggs. I usually don't run out of butter and eggs, but we haven't been to the wholesale club store in a few weeks and that's where I like to get my butter and eggs.

Total for the week

Shelf Price $181.00
Price Paid $84.00
Amount Saved $97.00

That is a savings of 54%

I have my binder done finally. I love how easy it is to find items now. I saw a picture of this coupon sorter on an online forum I am in and I was curious to see if it worked.

It's a box, with dividers inside. The dividers are labeled A-Z. I sort my coupons by brand name. So like instead of filing my coupons for Totino's Pizza Rolls in the frozen food section and then in the pizza section, I just file it under the T's sections for Totino's. It's so much easier to find the coupon I am looking for this way. I have dividers with tabs set up in my binder to find the letters easily. It took a lot of tweaking, but I really think this is the best set up for me.

I can't wait to see what good things make the list tomorrow. See ya then!


Over it...

Well I am over my little tantrum I had earlier. I feel better getting that out. I think it was therapeutic even.

After I posted, Christian called and said he was on his way home and boy was I glad. We had a talk and I feel much better and I think he understands how I was feeling. He loaded up Lillian and took her to the recycling center with him and Caitin went back out to play while I put Sophie down for a nap.

When he got home he called about the apartment we wanted to move into and they told us we were APPROVED!!

I can't tell you how relieved I am. It is truly like a huge weight being lifted from my shoulders. This apartment has served it purpose, but now it's time to move onto bigger, better and cheaper things!

Tonight I am figuring the totals for all the shopping done this week. Since I have started entering them as soon as I get them, it shouldn't take too long. We just need to make 1 more trip before the week is over and the new sales start.

I just heard that Harris Teeter, one of my favorite stores, is having triples again this coming week. I really hope it includes our store here in FL. The store I go to is the only HT in the whole state. I have to plan to go there since it takes about 40 mins to get there.

There is NO way we could get as many groceries as we do without going there. And it also gives me some one on one time with Caitlin. She loves to shop with me and I feel like she is learning to be a little more responsible with money.

Feeling overwhelmed....

I've not been having good days lately. I really don't know what it is. I just can't seem to get ANYTHING done. I have so many thing that are just not complete it is literally driving me crazy.

I am beginning to think that I am the only one with dirty dishes in the sink and toys everywhere in the living room, not to mention the HUGE stack of clothes that need to be washed... oh then there's that huge pile of clothes that is washed but needs to be folded and put away. And don't even get me started on figuring out "What's for diner". Does it ever end???

I have bought the "Once a Month Cooking" books, the "freezer" cooking books, the everything books to try and help m e get organized.

Guess what.... I don't have time to read them!!

I have all the e-books printed out and put into binders, but not hole punched. We have an old 3-hole punch and I can not push that thing down. So I have to wait for Christian to do it. Well.... I am still waiting. Waiting for that and a looooooooong list of other thing he is "supposed" to be doing for me.

I love being home with my kids, don't get me wrong.... I just feel like I am not getting any help around here and it's really taking it's toll on me lately. I just want to SCREAM!

I need a chart for Caitlin, my 9, almost 10 yr old so she can take on some responsibilities. I just can't do it alone. Anyone have any good tips on making or printing a chart??

I have all but given up on my bow business. I just don't have the time to keep it up anymore. I love making them, but it is very time consuming for me. I feel like my kids are the ones that get shortchanged when I am working and I don't like that feeling.

On a positive note, I am becoming very organized when it comes to our finances. I am keeping track of thing like never before. So yay for me there. That, honestly, was a biggie for me. I never knew how much we could save by just watching everything coming in and going out money wise. It's been a real eye opener.

When I start feeling like I have been lately, I think to myself about a prayer I said long ago. I prayed that God would give me patience. Boy howdy has he been trying to teach it to me ever since.

I know I don't have a lot of patience.

I can admit that.

I wish I had more.

For my kids sake.

And my own.


Apartment hunting....

When Christian was on his way back from the store this morning, he saw a sign. It said "Move in special! $1.00 moves you in!!". Well I was always told by my mother, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." So of course that's what I tell him.

But then I got to thinking..

what if...

what if we can move for only a buck. We have been needing to move from this small apartment for a couple of years and we just keep putting it off. It wouldn't hurt to at least call and ask about it.

They were very nice. The lady assured me that, yes, indeed a single dollar could move you in. That covers the application fee, $50.00 for EACH adult and our security deposit, $250. That's great for this part of town. Usually places ask for security deposit equal to first and last month's rent, so 1 little dollar is sounding REALLY good.

The place is only 2 complexes down from us so it's on the very same road. Love that! She told me the prices of them next. Ouch. I then had to call our apartment and find out what our rent is going to at the end of next month. Double ouch.

Actually there isn't that much difference really. Only about $100. Which is totally doable. Oh AND they cover the water and our electric bill would go down about $100. So there ya go... I made up the difference. Works for me.

I didn't even mention the best part of all....

It's 3 bedrooms. 3. I get my own room again. YAY! Not to mention it's also 500 sq ft bigger!! We rushed to go take a peek. It's so nice. Big rooms, a screened patio, new appliances and a washer and dryer. Lovely. And 2 full baths.

Ooooohhhhh I hope we can get in there.

We will know tomorrow.

Crossing fingers.


Cookies anyone???

I have to admit... I lied. I lied when I said I was baking cookies on Saturday night via Twitter.... I intended to make them, I just got too lazy busy to make them. So anyway, I made them last night. After dinner. When I was the MOST tired.

And you know what... I loved EVERY minute of making them. I haven't made cookies in the longest time. I take that back, I have made cookies. Just not HOMEMADE cookies. From scratch. Did you hear that Martha??? Homemade cookies.

I also did something that I never EVER do. I took pictures!! Mind you it was late and my camera is not the best at taking pictures. OK... I admit... it pretty much stinks at taking pics. But, it serves it's purpose I guess.

I followed this recipe. I added 1/2 the amount of chocolate chips it called for, but added raisins to make up for the lack of chips. They are pretty much awesome. Awesome I say.

Christian was happy right before this shot. He got to lick the batter. Have you ever seen a grown man lick the batter off of beaters?? It's funny. Makes me wonder if his mom never let him lick the beaters. He gobbled that stuff up quick.

Don't you just love my retro bowl and spoon?? I found that bowl at Goodwill a few years ago. If I remember correctly it was $0.65 and it's Tupperware. I love it. The spoon is awesome too. It belonged to my mother. I have a whole set of those utensils. Love them.

Here is the finished product. Want some?? I have 4 and 1/2 dozen... make that 3 1/2 dozen. We had them for breakfast. And lunch.


Week Ending 03/14/09

This past week was one of my best. I ended up stocking my bathroom for months to come. We won't have to buy shampoo, conditioner or hair color for a good 4 months. Here are the totals....

Total for the week

Shelf Price $703.00
Price Paid $260.00
Amount Saved $443.00

That is a savings of 63%


Gonna hit the stores once more this week...

So today is the last day for the sales, new ones start tomorrow and I couldn't be happier. I missed out on quite a few things this week so I am hoping the shelves are stocked back up.

I have a few more categories left to put in the new binder and then I will be DONE!! WOOT!!

I should have the tally of this week's purchases coming tonight or tomorrow. I totally scored this week at the drug stores. One trip alone I saved over 140 bucks!

As far as the You Need a Budget software thing, DH got paid on Friday and I have already done the budget and paid all the bills with some left over. YAY! It goes into the buffer that we are trying to build up.

I just took a quiz over at this blog and it got me interested in the other quizzes. I just took this one and I think it pretty much sums me up. The Christian part of me is very conservative but the once-single-mother-going-to-beauty-school part of me is pretty liberal.

You Are a Moderate Mama

You're not overly political, and your views fall more with the American mainstream.

In fact, it may be difficult for you to decide who to vote for at times!

Your approach to politics is reasoned and well though out.

Lemme know how yours turns out.


Budgeting 101

I started a new budgeting program to help us get our spending under control. Well.... wait. It's never been out of control. Or so I thought. We live very modestly. VERY. But I wasn't raised that way. I never had to want for anything. I think that may have carried over to my adult life.

Fast forward X amount of years to now..... I haven't balanced my checkbook in... oh... about 15 years. Yeah.... I had to pick my jaw up too. I haven't been tracking our spending like I should have been and now, just within the last 4 days, I can see where our problem areas are and where we really need to be cutting back. My dad recently gave me a book entitled, "The Money Answer Book: Quick Answers To Your Everyday Financial Questions" by Dave Ramsey. I love this little book. It has put things into perspective big time. There is an answer for everything in this book.... seriously.

So the point I was getting to was that I started a budgeting system, a plan so to speak. A program. But with 10 steps not 12. Thank GOD I don't need a 12 step programs. Whew...

The program is called "You Need a Budget" or YNAB and it is truly my saving grace. I bought it, installed it, and had a budget in place in less than an hour. And that included a video tutorial!!

It's really VERY easy to follow and they even have a trial period if you don't want to fork out the moolah at the moment. Oh, and they have a money back guarantee!! Yippie!!

Go try it. I hope it will work for you.

P.S. Thank you to the ladies on the GG that talked about this program. Muah!


Week Ending 03/07/09

Everyone has been sick in the house this week so I had to make a few trips to the drug store for medicine. We don't get sick here too ofter so of course all the meds that I had here were out of date.

Total for the week

Shelf Price $339.00
Price Paid $155.00
Amount Saved $183.00

That is a savings of 54%

Week Ending 02/28/09

We bought lots of groceries this week. Oh forgot to mention.... we also have 2 little ones in diapers, so most of the time this includes those as well as items from Walgreens and CVS.

Total for the week

Shelf Price $547.00
Price Paid $282.00
Amount Saved $265.00

That is a savings of 48%

Week Ending 02/21/09

We did buy a family freezer special from the meat market. It was $89.00 for about 35 lbs of meat. Our freezer looks awesome right about now!!

Total for the week

Shelf Price $175.00
Price Paid $150.00
Amount Saved $25.00

That is a savings of 15%

Week Ending 02/14/09

I found lots more receipts that I thought I had put in here so I went back and re-did all the previous posts.

Total for the week

Shelf Price $230.00
Price Paid $99.00
Amount Saved $131.00

That is a savings of 57%



So I am slacking. I have a stack of receipts I need to go through and I just don't feel like it right now. I have been working on my coupon binder lately and man o man, it sure is a lot of work.

I used to use one of these. It was very difficult to use. Easy to sort, but took lots and lots of time to find coupons.

And now I am doing this....

With these on the inside.

So each type of product has their own little pocket. Making it sooooo much easier to find them. I can just flip through and see exactly what coupons I have.