Tuesday, March 24, 2009

3/22-3/28 Menu

Sunday: BBQ at the neighbors house.

Monday: Hash brown's Supreme and Sawmill Gravy

Tuesday: Mexi-Meatloaf, Santa Fe Rice, Corn

Wednesday: Lasagna Bake

Thursday: Chicken Cordon Bleu, Potatoes Au Gratin, Broccoli

Friday: Chicken and Yellow Rice

Saturday: Spaghetti

Monday, March 23, 2009

K-Mart Doubles!!!

It went to KMart first thing this morning and really found some great deals. I ordered a ton more coupons that should be here mid-week so I'll be making at least one more trip before the sale is over.

Here's what I got today:
4 bags Purina Carver's dog treats $3.49 each. Used 4 $1.50 MC, doubled =$0.49 each
2 bags Pup-Peroni $2.99 each, used 2 $1 MC doubled = $0.99 each
2 bags Perdigree Good Bites Oral Care $3.29 each, used 2 $1 MC, doubled =$1.29 each
4 Ziploc containers $2.50 each, used 4 $1 peelies, doubled =$0.50 each
2 Ziploc containers $2.50 each, used 1 $1.50/2 MC, doubled = $1 each (Keep the peelies from these to use next trip!)
1 Swiffer Dry refill $3.49, used 1 $0.50 MC, doubled= $2.99
1 Swiffer Wet refill $3.49, used 1 $0.50 MC, doubled=$2.99
1 Dawn plus Hand Renewal $2.99, used $1 MC, doubled= $0.99
1 Glade Candle $2.50, used $1 MC, doubled =$0.50

1 Gillette Body Wash $4.49, used $2 MC, doubled= $0.49
1 Gillette Shampoo $4.99, used $2 MC, doubled= $0.99
2 Secret Deodorants $2.49 each, used 2 $1 MC, doubled= $0.49 each
1 Oral B Twin Pack Indicator tooth brush $3.69, used 1 $2 MC=FREE
2 Oral B Twin Pack Advantage Tooth Brush $4.99 each, used 2 $2 MC, doubled= $0.99 each
1 bag Easter M&M's $2.34, & 1 bag Jelly Beans $1.50, used 1 $1/2 MC, doubled= $0.94 each
1 20 ounce Coke $1.29
Total Before Q's= $87.49
Total After Q's= $ 25.06 + 5.07 tax= 30.13
Used $4.07 Gift Card
Total OOP: $26.06
Total Q's used: $62.19
71% Savings!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


So I got my last check today from my old job. It was $331, so I was pleased with that. I paid $200 to my credit card, and I'm keeping the remaining $131 for my garden, and other random things I might want or need now that I have all the time in the world. Last weekend, David and I prepped the area we'll be using for our garden. It's very, very small, but we have big plans for it! We know we're growing some tomatoes, both big, and small sizes, cucumbers, and maybe some spinach. I'm also growing some herbs, including cilantro, chives, and maybe thyme. I'm going out later today to buy the plants from a local nursery. I've never really had any luck with starting from seeds. Plants can get expensive though, and I'm going to try my hand at starting from seeds again. Now that I actually have the time to devote to it. I'll take some pictures when I get done tonight.

I'm so excited!!! And I'd love to hear any comments or suggestions you have.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Christmas Savings

So I've been thinking...it's only 9 months until Christmas. I know, I know-Christmas was just here. But when it comes to saving up for it, it's never too early. As of right now our "savings" for Christmas consists of the points we earn from our debt/credit card ($50). Last year we were able to cash in our points for $400. But then last year we used the CC a lot, and had big purchases like a move, furniture and car repairs. This year, we aren't earning any CC points really, and a moderate amount for debt purchases, but nowhere near as much as last year. So my question is how should we save for this year? Our options are:
1.) Set up and Christmas Savings Account
2.) Set aside cash each month, like the envelope system.
3.) Rely on points and hope we have enough.

Another option is to buy gifts as I go. I've already bought a few, but the downside is trends, sizes, and preferences can change in 9 months and by then things can't be returned.

So what do you do? What works and what doesn't?

Happily Unemployed! And March 15-21 Plan.

Finally, I am done with work and LOVING life. I didn't realize how miserable I was there until I woke up this morning and didn't have to go. My house is clean, my dog isn't alone in his kennel, I've got a home cooked meal in the crockpot. Life is back to normal, and much more enjoyable.

Food: $75
Gas: $50
Cash: $40
Misc: $50

Total: $215

Money Spent today:
Food: $80
Gas: $50
Cash: $40

That Leaves:
Food: -$5
Gas: $0
Cash: $0
Misc: $50

DH and I each have out $20 spending money, plus our $50 misc fund. The bills are paid, we have plenty of groceries, and both vehicles have gas. So we should be good to go for the rest of the week. I know I was really bad last week about blogging, but it was my last week at work and things got pretty rough. But I'm done with that now and spending this week getting re-organized and used to being home everyday.

3/15-3/21: Menu Plan

This is my first week of staying at home, so I'm excited to be able to cook many new meals at home.

Sunday: Meatball Soup
Monday: Crockpot Chops and Potatoes
Tuesday: Cabbage Rolls, in honor of St. Patty's day.
Wednesday: Tacos
Thursday: Shrimp Alfredo
Friday: Spaghetti, garlic bread
Saturday: Out to Dinner

Lunches: Sandwiches, leftovers, canned soups.
Breakfasts: Eggs, bagels, Sausage

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

3/3 Budget Check-Up


General Spending:
$36 Credit Reports (2)
$36 Gas for DH's truck
$18 at gas station for snacks for DH. He'll be out at a "mock war" and needed jerky and energy drinks.

Total Spending:

That leaves:
Food: $0
Gas: $-16
Cash: $20

And here I was thinking we'd have a lot left over for savings. Guess not this week. But, we did spend a total of $320 going home last weekend for a death in the family. So when you factor in that we went home on money in the checking account, and didn't have to draw from the emergency fund, I think that's pretty good.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Budget Clarification

I was looking over my budget and realized there are some things I haven't explained yet. My husband is a Marine, and because of that there are certain expenses we don't have. For example, our house, and all utilities except cable and Internet are paid for by the military. As well as all our health care and life insurance. You won't see those expenses coming out of our income. As for income, I don't know if I should post the amount, but just so that my budget makes sense I will say that it's more then $45k, but less then $55k a year (not including my income of $1400 a month since I am quitting next week.) I don't mention our retirement because it's a TSP, (Thrift Savings Plan) the military's version of a 401K, except the don't match. The reason I don't mention it is because we started it when we were 18 years old, and it comes straight from his pay. We've never seen that money, and it's just nothing something we have to think about monthly.
And probably the last thing you might notice is that while we have 2 vehicles I only make a payment on one. DH drives an '02 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab, which we are still paying on. I drive an '02 Pontiac Grand Prix, which we were able to pay off within the first year of owning it thanks to a deployment to Iraq. Have a vehicle paid off and completely mine is a wonderful feeling, however we are far from paying off the truck, and I think it's going to be a 2010 goal to pay it off in full!

So I think that should clear things up some. I think it makes my budget make more sense when you know the basics. If you have any questions let me know!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Trying something new...

So I'm thinking about posting EVERY PENNY I spend for the next weeks. I just want to see if it helps me stay more organized and aware of things.

DH got paid on Thursday of last week, but I haven't spent any because technically it's the March 1st check, which is starts this next 2 weeks pay period. Here's what I spent today:

Regular Bills: (Just a side note. DH gets paid bi-weekly on the 1st and 15th. I refer to them as Check #1 and Check #2. With the first I pay all bills due from the 1st through the 14th. With the second I pay all bills due th 15th through the end of the month.)
$240 on Insurance for both vehicles, and house.
$103 on cell phone (we have a family plan).
$63* on my parents Dish Network Bill.
$48-the balance on my Ann Taylor Master Card.

General Spending:
$49.94 on groceries at Wal-Mart
$20 on a gas at Wal-Mart
$20** ATM-DH's cash for the week.
$14 DH had to charge something for a co-worker who didn't have his card. It'll be paid back, but still needs to be noted.

Total Bills: $454
Total General: $103.94

That leaves:
Food: $0
Gas: $20
Cash: $20**
Misc: $36

*I pay my parents Dish bill because 2 years ago when DH and I lived in NC we had Dish, then he deployed to Iraq again and I moved home. We were under contract for 18 months with Dish so I couldn't cancel. Instead I had the service moved to my parents house. I am no longer under contract, but I have auto-pay set up and it's just easier for me to continue to pay it. Plus my parents are awesome and are there for us no matter what. $65 a month is the least I owe them for all they do.
**I don't count ATM fees, because my bank gives me a monthly rebate of all ATM fees.

I really think is going to work well. I like to see daily how much I have left for the week. Let me know is it's easy to read and understand or any other suggestions!


That is how much I spent on groceries today!!!! Just under my $50 budget, but still UNDER it!!! I also spent $20 on gas for my car, leaving $30 still in the budget for gas.

I had to do all my grocery shopping at Wal-Mart, which I hate! I could save so much more money at the commissary, but it's an hour drive from here, and the are closed on Mondays. Naturally my only day off this week is Monday. I work in the same town as the commissary, but they are only open until 6pm, so by the time I get off work they are either closed or about to. My neighbor loves going to the commissary with me, so we are thinking of making a weekly or bi-weekly trip once I quit work. (Only 15 more work days left!!!)

Menu-March Week 1

Sunday: Driving home from my Parents house, ate on the road.

Monday: Tacos

Tuesday: Pork & gravy over mashes potatoes

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: BBQ Sandwiches

Friday: Out to dinner on a gift card.

Saturday: Grilled pork chops, au gratin potatoes, peas

I really want to concentrate on keeping the grocery budget this week. I think with what I have the house I'll only need to spend $20 on food for these meals. I also need a few staples like butter, milk, bread, and meals to take to work. I hope to keep it at or below $50. I'll check back in the afternoon after I get back from the store.

3/1-3/7 Plan

This last weekend was hectic, we had to go home for a family emergency. But it's Monday now and time to start a new week.

3/1-3/7 Budget:

Bills: $454
Groceries/Household: $50
Gas: $40
Cash: $40
Misc: $50

Total: $634