Saturday, July 4, 2015

Not So Great Month End Report for June

I have been trying my best to keep track of receipts and stay on budget but everything went out the window with the move to the new house.  My budget is $160 for all household products including groceries, cleaners and anything else that I need.  I have been doing okay for the first 5 months of the year as you can see below:

January        $71.46
February    $1.03
March         $61.81
April             $128.55
May              $151.81

Then June came and we were living in two houses and things were never where we needed them.  I thought that we were eating way too much out but at almost the end of the month, I decided to finally write down my grocery receipts.  Holy Cow!!!  I was over budget and it wasn't even the end of the month (and we were out of toilet paper and lots of food).  I hit the store twice with super doubles to make the money stretch even farther but we didn't stay anywhere near budget this month.

Safeway $2.56 for doughnuts

Giant $2.05 for soda to have with dinner

(no picture but it was just two one liter bottles)

Aldi $28.76

Wegman's $19.53

I don't think that I took a picture of this one unless it is on the camera which is currently packed.  I am not sure but I think that this is the one that I grabbed a container of ground beef and went home and cooked it all up for the month so that we would have a bunch of meals in the freezer like salsa sloppy joes, tacos and French dip sloppy joes.  It was great to have them on hand and not a lot of work to get it all done and in the freezer. (no picture)

Walmart $8.02

I got a container of cranberry juice and a mat for the kitchen sink at the new house.  Not really interesting but I think that is all I got. (no picture)

Aldi $14.60

I can't find a picture on this one either but I got chips, cereal, cheese, chicken nuggets, cookies and ice cream sandwiches.  My son said that it would be really nice to have ice cream sandwiches at the new house for a special treat so I grabbed a few other things and stocked up. (no picture)

CVS $21.85 and $12.60 (done in two transactions by my husband)

Aldi $16.41


CVS $0.96

Safeway $2.56 for doughnuts

Wegman's $41.49

I went to the new Wegmans because they sent me coupons.  I went some crazy way that my GPS told me to go and I ended up right next to one of the libraries so I knew where I was!!   I will make sure to plan my next trip to this new store when I am going to the library and I will be all set!

I had a coupon for $1 off frozen food so I grabbed the ice cream sandwiches which were wonderful.  I also had a ibotta deal for $0.20 off pasta and we needed some so I grabbed a box of the Wegman's brand which was $1.  The other things were purely stocking up because we didn't have any food and I got to use my $3 off $15 purchase coupon (easily).  I should have only gotten one meat because I realized when I got to the car that I had a second set of coupons!  The benefit of having two houses was getting two sets of coupons.
Aldi $11.65

I grabbed a bunch of things we were out of like milk, brown sugar, and parsley.  I also refilled the wheat crackers, nilla cookies and fruit snacks that are good snacks.
Harris Teeter $0 OOP

I went to super doubles and got to do a little shopping before going home for dinner.  My mom paid $14.14 because most of things that cost money were hers (yogurt, eye drops, and strawberries) and I was picking up a ton of overages to pay for most of my groceries so my total would have only been around $2.  I even went to the customer service desk because one of my coupons didn't scan so they gave me $2.09 back to my credit card.  Funny that they asked for a credit card and didn't give cash since my mom paid in cash but whatever!

Safeway $2.05 for doughnuts

Harris Teeter $43.86

I went a little crazy especially knowing that I was already over budget for the month but I spent my son's entire time in summer camp at the grocery store trying to make the most of the end of super doubles.  I ended up saving $104.23 with sales and coupons on the whole order.  I got some clearance sausage for under $1 per package which is crazy good since it is close to $5 normally.  I got some clearance lunch meat which was on sale for $3.99 for free after meat coupon and peelie on the package.  I also grabbed some free Tabasco, Apple and Eve juice boxes, and Melt Buttery Spread. My favorite purchase was the chicken fingers that we love which ended up being $1 for the package which we ate for dinner that night.

Total OOP $226.86

I would love to blame it on one bad decision or another but I purchased a lot this month and I was not doing so great with the couponing so there was a lot of make up for with the last 6 months basically not getting the things that we normally do.  I know that I bought a ton of junk food that I normally don't because I am busy making things in the kitchen like breakfast food and treats and we got doughnuts at the store instead a lot!!  I think that $67 over budget isn't super bad considering everything (of course that doesn't count any money spent on take out or restaurants)!  Can't really blame it all on my husband (also known as doughnuts and soda).  Here is hoping that the move is mostly behind us and I won't have to go crazy with so many other things that I can't take the time to do my grocery shopping anymore!  I almost have my kitchen set up so that should help except for a few boxes that I can't find yet, I think that I will be able to get back to least as much as the summer schedule allows.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June Reading Review

I was reading and reading and reading this month.  There was a lot of moving happening and my only break was picking up a book.  I enjoyed one book after the next.  I have spent a little too much time reading and not enough time moving and sleeping but it turned out to be a great summer month!!  I hope that you have had a great start to summer too!!

If you missed the review or want to see it again, make sure you click on the title of the book and it will take you back to the original post.  I hope that you add a few of these to your must read list this summer.

by Richard Mabry 

by Sherryl Woods

by Sherryl Woods

by Sherryl Woods
by Sherryl Woods

by Sherryl Woods

by Sherryl Woods

 Seaside Christmas
by Sherryl Woods

The Christmas Bouquet
by Sherryl Woods

Dogwood Hill
by Sherryl Woods

Summer's List
by Anita Higman

Sandcastle Bay
by Sherryl Woods

Wind Chime Point
by Sherryl Woods

Sea Glass Island
by Sherryl Woods

Two Roads Home
 by Deborah Raney

They Almost Always Come Home
by Cynthia Ruchti

Stealing Home
by Sherryl Woods

Total Books Read 2015

January       9
February     13
March         14 
April           9
May          12
June          17

Total Books    74

Currently Reading:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Stealing Home Book Review

I decided that after I finished my last series from Sherryl Woods that I would start on another one.  I went to the library and decided on the Sweet Magnolia series which they only had the third one on the shelves.  I quickly reserved the first and second book before checking out the third book.  When it came in, I was happy to read Stealing Home (Sweet Magnolias) by Sherryl Woods.  It was the first of another long series of books that I was hoping to get me through lots more of the summer.

Maddie Townsend might live in a town called Serenity but there's been nothing calm or peaceful about her life since her marriage broke up. This stay-at-home mom has no job skills, an out-of-control sixteen-year-old son, a talkative fourteen-year-old who's suddenly gone silent, a six-year-old daughter whose heart is broken, an ex-husband whose younger girlfriend is expecting their baby and two best friends who think she's somehow qualified to help them open a fitness spa for women.  But if Maddie is a tad on edge with all that on her plate, it's nothing compared to the chaos that ensues when she discovers that her son's baseball coach has feelings for her and the whole town disapproves. Maddie's faced a lot of challenges lately with strength and resolve, but Cal Maddox may turn out to be more than she can handle. Then again, he could just be the one man in all of South Carolina who can help her find serenity.

I really enjoyed getting to know this new town and all of the characters.  I love stories set in small towns and this little gem was no different.  The characters were all ones that were totally interesting and had lots of different things going in their lives to make any of the characters interesting to follow.  I loved following Maddie through this story with her break up of her 20 year marriage and trying to get her footing to start her new life.  I can't wait to follow other characters through the rest of the series.  I hope that you check this book and others in the series out at your local library or bookstore.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

They Almost Always Come Home Book Review

I received a copy of They Almost Always Come Home by Cynthia Ruchti with a book that I read last month for review from the publisher (this was sent as a bonus).  It has been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it for a little bit.  I finally had time without any library books and grabbed this book eager for something just like the last book I read by the author.

When Libby’s husband Greg fails to return from a two-week canoe trip to the Canadian wilderness, the authorities soon write off his disappearance as an unhappy husband’s escape from an empty marriage and unrewarding career. Their marriage might have survived if their daughter Lacey hadn’t died . . . and if Greg hadn’t been responsible. Libby enlists the aid of her wilderness savvy father-in-law and her best friend to help her search for clues to her husband’s disappearance…if for no other reason than to free her to move on. What the trio discovers in the search upends Libby’s presumptions about her husband and rearranges her faith.

I was shocked to read this book because it was so different from the other book.  It was mostly a sad book with the story about how this women thinks that he marriage is over so she thinks that her husband has gone off on a fishing trip and left her because he never comes home.  It is amazing to read this book and feel all the emotions right along with the wife.  There is a little part towards the end of the book that is written from the perspective of the husband which is also great and emotional.  This book was very emotional and totally worth the read! It wasn't anything that I was expecting which is always great in a book.  I thought that it was amazing and really showed some things that everyone could love at in their own relationships.  I hope that you pick up this book at your local library or bookstore soon!!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Sea Glass Book Review

The third book in the series Sea Glass Island (An Ocean Breeze Novel) by Sherryl Woods was both a happy and sad book for me.  I was so glad that I got to enjoy the wonderful series and sad that it was over.  I couldn't believe that I read it all in only a few days.  I can't wait to investigate my next great series by Sherryl Woods!!

With her two younger sisters heading for the altar, will Samantha Castle exchange old dreams for new ones? Lately she'd rather be on the North Carolina coast with family than in New York with agents and actors. Though she vows not to let her teenage crush on Ethan Cole influence her decision, it's hard to ignore her feelings for the local war hero.  Ethan lost more than his leg in Afghanistan. He lost his belief in love after coming home and losing his fiancĂ© because she couldn't take him not being "whole". Even being surrounded by couples intent on capturing happily-ever-after won't open this jaded doctor's heart. It's going to take a sexy, determined woman—one who won't take no for an answer.

The great conclusion to a great series!  I loved getting to know the third sister in this book and learning a little more about the other two in the process.  This book was filled with the great charm of the North Carolina town and the residents and the wonderful Castle family.  I hope that you pick up this book and the others in the series.  I know that you will love it as much as I did!!!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Two Roads Home Book Review

I picked this book from the publisher when I got the email because it seemed interesting.  I did love the cover and who doesn't love to see books set in inns!!  I thought about not choosing it because it was the second in the series but I thought that I might love it and why pass up the chance to check out a new series.  Two Roads Home: A Chicory Inn Novel - Book 2

Minor-but-nagging setbacks continue to sour Grant and Audrey Whitman’s initiation into the world of innkeeping, but larger challenges brew when an innocent flirtation leads to big trouble for the Whitmans’ son-in-law, Jesse. Jesse Pennington’s friendly, outgoing personality has always served him well, especially in a sales career that has earned him and his wife, stay at home mom, Corinne a very comfortable lifestyle. But Corinne and Jesse are both restless—and for similar reasons, if only they could share those with each other. Instead, too many business trips and trumped-up charges of harassment from a disgruntled coworker threaten their marriage and possibly put their three precious daughters at risk. With their life in disarray, God is tugging at their hearts to pursue other dreams. Can Corinne and Jesse pick up the pieces of what was once a wonderful life before it all crumbles beneath them?

The book takes a little bit to get into the characters for me because I wasn't following them over from the previous book but it does stand on its own as its own book.  The characters seem to have a lot of complaining about the things in their lives that are going wrong.  Audrey Whitman, the innkeeper, is complaining if she has guests because she doesn't want to feel put out and not be able to have her family around but then she is complaining when there are no guests at the inn to pay for the upkeep on the place.   Audrey seems equal whiny about having her grandchildren with her because they are too loud for the guests at the inn even though no guests have complained and she is forever going out of her way to fix breakfast at all hours for guests.  I think that most of here problems could be solved by letting families and any people stay at the inn and having set times for serving breakfast (like almost all bed and breakfasts have). I think that the same lessons hold true for the rest of the people in the family that they need to set boundaries for themselves and the rest of the people in their families.  That being said, once I got over the lack of backbone of the characters, I actually liked the books.  The characters grew and chanced with the things that they had to overcome.  It wasn't a book that I couldn't put down but I was entertained by reading it.  It took such a long time to get the different issues with the characters resolved and then the end came a little too quickly for me.   I hope that you check it out for yourself and see what you think.

**I received a copy of the book for a review and honest opinion.  All opinions here are my own.  My amazon review can be seen here.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Wind Chime Point Book Review

The second book in the series, Wind Chime Point (An Ocean Breeze Novel) by Sherryl Woods, was the next book in my pile to read.  I picked it up on the day that I was at the new house waiting for contractors and my husband was out of town.  A horrible storm hit and instead of being scared out of my mind, I crawled into bed and read most of the book before he got home.  I finished this book in less than 24 hours and was ready to jump right into the last book in the series.

Facing a personal crisis, ambitious and driven Gabriella Castle retreats to the welcoming arms of her family. Everything she's worked for has been yanked out from under her, and she seeks the serenity of her grandmother's home on the North Carolina coast. With difficult decisions to make about her future, the last thing she wants is an unexpected love.  Wade Johnson fell for Gabi the first time he saw her. It's not the only time he's found himself in the role of knight in shining armor, but Gabi isn't looking for a rescuer. To get her to stay, Wade will need a whole lot of patience and gentle persuasion…and maybe the soothing sound of wind chimes on a summer breeze.

Even better than the first. I couldn't put it down and had a hard time stopping so that I could go to sleep.  I loved to read about the over stressed and over worked Gabi Castle trying to relax and embrace a new life....since I am still working on that after quitting my job over 4 years ago, I understand that it takes time.  The plot and characters followed straight from the first book and straight into the third.  I hope that you pick up this book and others by this great author and this great series.  I know you will enjoy them as much as I have!!!