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Had a restful break

December 29th, 2012 at 10:47 am

I had a fabulous Christmas with my family, and lots of down time.

I weighed myself this morning, and I'm right at 140, which suprised me. My goal weight is anything below 140 and I thought that with all of the desserts and drinks I've had during break that I would have gained. I'm not going to push my luck, though, I'm getting in a good run this afternoon!

I went grocery shopping today and spent $91, but this includes $20 for a deli platter, where I have a rebate to get $20 back in the mail. The kids will be bringing deli meat and cheese for lunch!

I came up with a budget last night with SO in order to keep the house here and keep an apartment in D.C. where SO will be working. The kids and I will stay in the house and she will commute here sometimes on the weekends, or vice versa (about 2.5 hours away). Between the both of us we can manage both places, though this will cut into my monthly savings (retirement savings is still on course). I'm going to keep my 2013 savings goal just the same, I may find other opportunities to reach that goal.

I'm not going to allow myself to get frustrated at how little I will be able to save when the move happens. If I want to stay in this area for the kids then that is the price, 2 households isn't cheap. At least the girls and I have a nice, safe home to live in and SO won't have to short sell to take her next set of orders. I'm going to be pleased with even a little amount that I can save each paycheck, and try not to think of what I used to be able to save!

Ok, I need to get off of this board and get my run in!Good luck to all of you facing fearful challenges, temptations, or difficult relationships. I know every one of us has the strength to do what we know is right, even if it makes us a little uncomfortable for a while!!!

Smart shopping, cooking, working out

August 5th, 2012 at 04:53 am

I did a bit of back to school shopping this weekend.

In the past few months I've earned $30 in Old Navy Rewards with their Visa card (I use this for everyday purchases). I brought those with me to Old Navy with the girls. I also used a coupon good for $15 off of a purchase of $50 or more. So for $16 I received: 2 pairs of teen jeans, 3 t-shirts, 1 girls t-shirt dress, 2 tank tops for me, 1 teen hoodie, and 1 bracelet! I was thrilled! Plus I received $20 in rewards dollars to use in September Smile

Then we stopped by Target to pick up a birthday gift. I had my daughter pay for part of it this time. I give them a dollar a day for allowance, so they can start using some of their money to help pay for things like birthday gifts. Total at Target for the gift was $11 after DD pitched in $5.

I need to stock up my gift closet, then the girls could choose something from there instead of going out shopping everytime a party comes up. They can choose a gift from the closet, or choose to pay extra for another gift. Right now I have more adult gifts in the closet, no kid gifts.

All of my meals this weekend were eaten at home, with the exception of a Sonic Java Chiller I bought as a snack yesterday afternoon! It was tasty, but really made me lethargic and bloated afterwards. I don't do ice cream very often.

Grocery shopping was under budget, yay! We budget $80/week for groceries. This week we hit $64, which includes the purchase of disinfectant wipes for my classroom in bulk, nearly $10. So really only $54 if you don't count my school purchase. I'm happy with the $80/week budget, so long as most of our meals are eaten at home.

Cooking done for the week:
-Charro beans: Half of these will be mashed for burritos this week for the girls. The other half of the beans are used for the grown ups, as they will be a little spicier. The beans will be mashed and a little chorizo will be added. Beans and chorizo make fabulous sandwiches!

Weekly cooking to be done today:
-German potato salad (I have some red potatoes to use up)
-Chicken and Vegetable soup (this will use up the carrots, celery, cabbage, and corn)
-Flour Tortillas

Yesterday I did a 30 minute kettlebell workout at home. Today I plan on going to the park with the girls and the dog early in the morning before it gets too hot and run for 30 minutes. I don't have the distance tracked, so I estimate 10 minutes of running=1 mile. I'm a little faster on the treadmill but I know outside it is hotter and so I am slower.

Once a Week Cooking

July 26th, 2012 at 06:12 am

SO loves to cook and really enjoys trying out new recipes. During the school year SO and I do a lot of "once a week" cooking, where we whip up a big salad or soup on the weekend after grocery shopping and rely on those meals to make lunches for the week.

-one less thing to think about each day (what am I going to eat for lunch?)
-easy lunch packing
-healthy (we choose recipes with lots of veggies and good stuff)
-way cheaper than buying lunch
-cooking together on the weekends is fun (most of the time!)

-by Friday you can get a little tired of the same meal

The Pros outweigh the Cons, so it's a keeper! We switch up the fruit or side dish so we don't get too bored. And we are grown ups, so if we get tired of the same meal, well, next week it will be something different, suck it up, buttercup.

I need to get better at taking the meal and whipping it up into something new. Kind of hard to do with soups or salads but I know that with entrees some cooks are really good at getting several different meals out of a "starter" meal.

Under budget for groceries!

April 11th, 2011 at 02:44 am

Only spent about $50 on groceries this week. I allot the family $320 on the 15th of every month for groceries for 4 weeks. SO and I realized we only had about $70 "left" for groceries till the 15th. That made shopping easy. Taking money from another account to cover groceries was not on option. We only purchased what was on our list, and it paid off at the checkout counter!

Struggling with grocery bill

April 6th, 2011 at 02:51 am

(Self-analysis of why our grocery bill is going up instead of down)
I wanted grocery bill to be under $70/week. The past couple months, though, it has been steadily around $100/week!
-we have reduced our eating out from a couple times a week to maybe 3-4 times a month, requiring more meals at home.
-we all take lunch to work and school.
-we buy a lot of produce that adds up each week.
-we buy plenty of disinfectant wipes, napkins, paper products weekly.
-we use coupons...

What am I willing to change in order to make my grocery expenses go down?
- STICK to the LIST. Even if we have a coupon for something else, unless it ends up being a stock-up steal, we can do without. While we have been saving a lot with coupons, I think they are encouraging extra spending on things we might have done without in the past.
-Find a cheaper way to get cleaning products. Does anyone have an at-home alternative to the disinfectant wipes? My roommate is squeamish about sponges and is hooked on those wipes, but there has to be an alternative to these things.

Ok, we'll see what happens Sat. after weekly shopping trip...

grocery update

January 25th, 2011 at 02:23 am

I'm averaging around $70/week for groceries. I was aiming for $60/week, but I keep finding great deals that I stock up on. So maybe eventually it will get down to $60/week? I'm also not scrimping a whole lot in groceries. I buy what we want, mostly, just try to do it with coupons and sales. I could easily cut it down by really getting tough on the purchases. But I don't have to be THAT tough yet, I'm seeking a balance between smart shopping and being a miser! Otherwise I will not enjoy eating at home and I will one day break down and spend all my money on some restaurant food instead and then be hungry the rest of the month!

Getting the hang of using coupons

January 15th, 2011 at 03:43 am

I officially have no shame at the grocery store! Last night I used 24 coupons for pasta along with a bunch of other coupons, saving $36 on my grocery bill. We bought our regular groceries, stocked up on meat and of course pasta. Spent $62 and will be getting $10 back in rebates. I consider that a victorious shopping trip for a coupon newbie!

Grocery totals

January 5th, 2011 at 02:19 am

1/2/11A little higher than my intended goal of $60.00, but I'm happy with it, because we purchased a lot of personal products for the upcoming months.

1/8/11 Again a little over, today was a nightmare shopping trip! Lines to the other side of the commissary, in the chaos of trying to get out of there I didn't use all of my intended coupons. Grr!

Saving on food

January 2nd, 2011 at 04:21 am

Food is by far the easiest line item to save on in my budget. I used to average $80 a week for four. My SO and I started using coupons and really taking our time to find deals in the grocery store. Took lots of time, but dropped our average bill to $60 a week, without any difference in our eating habits.

The past month of so, because of holidays and parties, the food bill has not been anywhere near $60 a week. NOw that 2011 is here, though, I'm recommitted to getting our grocery bill average to $60 a week once again.

Today will be our first grocery trip of 2011, I'll post the damage later!

In the meantime, I'm patting myself on the back for eating in last night, despite just returning from a weekend trip and coming home to an empty fridge. Using freezer chicken and our pantry stash, we ended up having a tasty dinner that didn't cost a dime! That saved us a lot of cash,and loads of calories, too.