Saturday, June 30, 2012

Urban Pantry Book Review

Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen by Amy Pennington seemed interesting when I saw it at the library so I brought it home to check it out.  Because it was another cookbook and I had just read four, it went to the bottom of the pile. 

I finally picked it up and started reading one night.  The preface and the beginning of each chapter provides valuable information about preparing and cooking the topic in the chapter.  There are many items that the author suggests stocking in your pantry that I can only imagine that not every family stocks like emmer flour, whole wheat pastry flour, fair trade organic cane sugar, bittersweet chocolate bars, coconut oil, vermouth, and frozen puff pastry sheets.  I currently have bittersweet chocolate bars in the cupboard but that is only because they were on sale and there was a coupon... plus I love my friends chocolate pie recipe that calls for that chocolate bar!!

I do have items that I keep in my house at all times and I do try to keep the pantry stocked but my pantry isn't nearly as pretty as hers.  I keep flour, sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, butter/margarine sticks, shortening and a bunch of spices.  I also have Karo Syrup and molasses right now which aren't always in the pantry.  I usually have white rice, brown rice, cous cous, quinoa, spaghetti, penne, and a few other grains to make a side dish.  What do you always stock in your pantry?

I didn't find the recipes ones that I would probably make frequently as the author does.  In my quest to the perfect roast chicken, I might try the recipe for roasting a whole chicken.  I am a planner and like to sit down with the calendar and make a plan of what we are going to have every night for dinner with items that are already at the house in the refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.  The author specifically said that she likes to stock the pantry with these items because she wants to make the meal that she is in the mood for when she gets in the kitchen.  As a busy stay at home mom, I just want to get a healthy dinner on the table for my family.  I find that planning and using items that I got on sale helps me to stay under budget and stay more creative so that we aren't eating chicken and rice every night (although my husband has told me many times that would be fine with him).

When I was younger, my aunt used to make homemade dressing and I remember really liking better then all the store bought stuff.  I don't know why I never made homemade dressing but I haven't but I am going to add it to my list of things to do this summer.  I am interested in trying her everyday vinaigrette which is a super simple recipe:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper

If you are interested in being more green and eco friendly, this is the book for you.  Check it out at your local library or bookstore and let me know what you think!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Month End!!

Can you believe that it is already the time for June to be over??  I can't believe we are already so far into the summer months.  I am sort of glad to hear that we are inching by the hotter months but sad that I my little man will be going back to school in a few short months :(

Make sure you take this opportunity to print all of the end of the month coupons and clean out your coupon basket or binders.  It is much easier to save money if you can get what you need from your coupons.  I am going to try to go through mine right away and get cleaned up after making a mess with super doubles!
Check the following sites:
Make sure you keep this list for next month too because the new coupons are normally loaded at the beginning of the month so it is a great time to go back and check.  Please let me know if there are any other coupon websites that you like to visit and I will gladly add them to the list.  Hope you all had a wonderful month and I look forward to hearing all about it!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Price Journal

The best way to start to get good deals for your family is to start a price journal.  This is a great tool for families that might not even use coupons (*GASP*).  It helps keep track of the price of everything in your area which is the most important thing.  Many blogs out there have lists posted with their buy price and their stock up price lists which you can certainly google and use as a starting point but I think that it is also important to start keeping your own notes.

There are a ton of ways to do this:

1. Keep a spiral bound notebook with your shopping stuff and take notes while you are shopping
2.  Keep track with receipt when you get home from shopping trip
3.  Try to remember everything in your head

This is one of those do as I say things, because I keep most of my pricing in my head but it really isn't the best choice.  I am trying to get better and I might actually take some notes or make a spreadsheet (in case you don't know, I love a good spreadsheet and there really isn't a big calling for my skills while being a stay at home mom).  Anyway you decide to do it, just do it (sorry Nike!) because it really is a valuable tool.

If I talked to one of my friends, they might be able to tell me the price of a gallon of milk at their store... because we all have little ones and that is something we buy a lot.  But would they be able to tell me the price of a jar of Pace Salsa versus Chi Chis salsa?  Most likely not.  A little while ago a coupon came up for $0.50 off a Chi Chi's salsa which I knew that I would use a ton when the right sale presented itself.  Since I know that Giant has frequently had the best deals on Chi Chis salsa and I got 6 jars for $0.67 last time there was a sale and coupon, I knew to keep my eyes out at Giant.  It was on sale for $1.50 the last time I was at the store and my coupon doubled so that it was only $0.50 per jar.  Because I know my prices, I would use every coupon that I had to buy the salsa.  Having a price book helps to know when you are getting a good deal or a great deal!

There are a few different ways to keep the price journal but I think that the easiest is to leave a page for each type of item you buy.

Sample Notebook Page:

Ground Beef 80%
                              Reg Price           Sale Price          Size
Giant                      $3.99                  $1.99               only family sized
Wegman's              $1.99                  $1.99               family sized
HT                         $4.99                  $1.99               on any size

You can always note other deals on the page like put the 90% lean on the second half of the page when you have a notebook.  Sadly, we always used to buy 90% or 93% but the prices have gotten so high, we buy whatever is $1.99 or under per pound which has mostly been 80%.

Sample Spreadsheet:

StoreItemRegular PriceSale PriceSize
GiantGround Beef 80%$3.99 $1.99 only family sized
Wegman'sGround Beef 80%$1.99 $1.99 family sized
HTGround Beef 80%$4.99 $1.99 on any size

There are pluses and minuses with each system.  With a spreadsheet, you can choose to sort by store to figure out what is the best to get at certain stores.  You can take notes at the store on paper and transfer them to the computer but that takes twice as much work.  But with a notebook, you can always have it with you and make additional notes when necessary.  Sadly, I am not a neat person so it might be hard to read my handwritting or misplaced.  Pick what you think will be best for your shopping habits.

The main thing is to write down the prices and start now.  This includes listing all the stores that you shop at and all the things that you buy.  Make a quick trip around your kitchen and bring your notebook.  Write the list of everything you see in the notebook.  Then when you go to the store, make an effort to make a note of the items regular price.  Over time, this will help you to come up with a list of items and the price that you will pay for them.

I hope that you start a price journal and it helps your family save a little money in the long run.  Look for an upcoming post on making a price sheet with your buy price and your stock up price!! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

CVS Trip for more Pull-ups

I went to the store to grab two more packages of Pull-ups.  Strange thing happened, the pricing on them has changed since Sunday morning!  On Sunday, they were $9.49 and now they are $10.00... strange but I only paid $1.25 for 2 packages so it was still a great deal.  I have one more store coupon and manufacturer coupon so I might have to buy one more package this week :)

Last Super Double Trip

There were a ton of missing spots on my last run through Harris Teeter Super Doubles but they had the Weber seasoning back in so I got three bottles and paid $0 OOP, savings $8.97.  I was hoping for some of the items to be restocked but at least I got to the store to check and make sure :)  Plus I held back on spending a little more money on things that we didn't really need even if it was a great deal!!  Thank goodness the sale is over and I can take a little break for the rest of the month :)

Harris Teeter Shopping Trip

I made a quick trip to Harris Teeter to get some last minute Super Double deals that I hadn't taken advantage of yet during the week.  I got some Anna's cookies which were $0.35 after coupons which seems liked a great treat.  I also loved the mozzarella the last time I got it so I thought I would get a second block.  The great thing is that this brick holds twice as much as the shredded bags.  It might be a little more work to shred the cheese but I think that it is worth it.  I also splurged on some spray suntan lotion which I have never tried before.  Total OOP was $9.58.  Most of the things that I wanted, they were out of so I figured a quick trip back one more time would make sure that I couldn't get some of the Chinet plates, Smart Balance Butter, Smart Balance Milk, and whatever was left on my list :)

Giant Trip 6/27

We made a quick trip to Giant after spending the morning in the pool.  I didn't think that we were going to make it but we were super lucky that my little man stayed awake long enough. 
We got three of his favorite popsicles, ice cream sanwiches, and hot dog rolls for daddy :)  I was suposed to get a few more things at the store but I knew that we barely had enough time to get what I did.  I will leave the ham, salsa, and whatever else was on the list for another day.  I added $2.51 OOP to my monthly total with my quick addition of ice cream :)  I think that we are ready for a BBQ now!!!

Lighten Up Book Review

Lighten Up: Love What You Have, Have What You Need, Be Happier with Less by Peter Walsh looked interesting when I saw it because I had seen Peter Walsh on a ton of different television shows like Oprah.

I didn't really know what to expect because I didn't even read the inside cover of this book but I was hooked from the introduction.  I think that everyone should read this book!  My sister in law was over visiting and I made her read the beginning and she agreed that she wanted to add this to her must read list.  There is a detailed quiz near the beginning of the book which is really interesting and fun to see how you turn out.  Make sure you take time to think about your answers because it is really thought provoking!!

The book is broken into sections as listed below:

Part 1: From Living on Less To Living with More
   1. The Life You Imagine for Yourself
   2.  What Makes You Happy?

Part 2:  From Audit to Action
   3. The Personal Audit: Your Life
   4. Create Space for What Really Matters
   5. The Financial Audit: Your Money
   6. Face the Financials
   7. The Home Audit: Your Stuff
   8.  Change the Way You and Your Family Measure Happiness

Part 3:  From Today to Tomorrow and Beyond
   9. Checkup and Maintenance

The book is talking about cleaning up your clutter to make a better life.  The clutter is broken down into different sections so that it is more manageable to tackle.  The main three categories are:

Personal:  The chapter was about exploring your limits and where you derive happiness.  Is it from people or from stuff??  This was super interesting because I know that I get my joy from my son and my husband but it was even more clear after this section.  If you had to get out of the house in two minutes what would you grab?  There is nothing in my house that I couldn't live without except my son and my husband.  It really makes you wonder why people put such a financial burden on themselves to get more stuff which obviously leads directly into the two new sections.
Financial:  As someone who has never been in debt before (minus my mortgage), I can't really relate to the financial portions of the book but the lessons still hold true for all families who don't want to get into debt in the first place.  Still valuable to read and make sure that you don't get into the same situation.  I am always working on better ways to work within my means and making sure that I am putting money in savings.  Since I have been a stay at home mom, that has been my primary goal because I don't have any income.  Our family of three have to live on my husband's income in an expensive suburban area so living within our means is always my goal.

Your stuff:  My weak point is the chapter on stuff because both my husband and I are pack rats.  I know that it is a horrible thing but we always think that we can use the items again.  I have gotten better at trying to sell things on Craigslist, while my husband used to sell things on Ebay and has stopped since we have had our little man.  We really need to clear out more things from our basement to make sure it is clear and organized, instead of overrun.  I did bring a bunch of stuff to my friends house and had a garage sale.  I sold a ton and made $150 so I was extremely happy.  If I could only have a big garage sale every weekend and clear out the basement!!!  My major goal is getting the basement more under control over through getting rid of more stuff.

There is a list of excuses:

#1 But, it's too important to let go!  It has sentimental and nostalgic value to me, and represents my family history.

#2 But, I might need it one day.  I could sell it and make a lot of money!

Here is hoping that clearing clutter, clears up our lives and makes us closer as a family.  I know that is what every family wants to do and this book gives you all the information on how to do it- one small step at a time.
I am going to be putting the authors other books on my reading list soon.  If they are half as interesting as this book, they will be wonderful books.  Please get this book from your local library or bookstore and check out all the interesting topics that Peter Walsh covers in this book.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Harris Teeter Trip #4

I got to fit in my fourth trip to super doubles but I had my little man with me.  I tried to get everything that I needed pulled out and in one pile so that I didn't have to bring the whole coupon basket, my bag, and the reusable bags because it doesn't leave a lot of room in the cart for the actual groceries.

I had a rain check to get the Eggland's Best Eggs for $1.67 from a few weeks ago.  I grabbed everything on the list, except the Weber Seasonings because they were all out.  My total grocery check out was $0.00 OOP, saving $41.08.  Then, we went to the pharmacy to get the Sudafed which I hadn't gotten in all my trips to the store because the pharmacy hasn't been open.  I got two boxes of Sudafed and spent $2.98 OOP, saving $8.00.  I was super excited to have such a good trip especially since I had my little man in tow and we were driving a huge rocketship shopping cart through the aisles trying not to hit anyone!!  Mission complete!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Harris Teeter Trip #3

I started off with a return from my last trip since I forgot to use the coupons for two items.  I got a return credit of $7.33 so I was off to a good start.

I got a ton of things not on the list during my trip including Teddy Grahams, Barber Stuffed Chicken, Enchilada sauce, Sorrento Mozzarella and Red Baron Pizza.  I really wanted to get the milk, butter, ice cream, and the Glade Decor (this time with a coupon). 

I was super excited to have time to myself to look and get a few great deals.  I brought the ipad with me and looked up any coupons that I had questions about and went through the store grabbing deals that I didn't even know that I wanted.  I saved $63.91 and spent $13.85.  With the return, I spent $6.51 OOP.

CVS Trip on Saturday and Sunday

I looked at the ad online on Saturday night and saw that they had Honey Nut Cheerios on sale for $1.88 so I decided at 11:30 that I would head up to the CVS and get a few boxes since my husband has been asking for them!  The sale was ending at midnight so I figured that I better look at Sunday's ad and get everything in one trip.

I went to the store and the Cheerios weren't on the ad so I went to price check them.  The price checked wasn't working and started to reset.  The cashier rang one up to check and they were $4.19.  Not paying that price for them!!  I grabbed one of the deodrants on sale for $0.99 thinking that I was going to get my green bag tag dollar back.  I didn't :(  At least I saved, $2.60!

I went back to make sure that they had the Huggies pull-ups that I needed to do the Sunday deal.  I grabbed three packages of Pull-ups and went to the front to check the price.  The price checker stopped working again!  Another cashier checked the price and it was still at the regular price.  I asked him if I could get a copy of the ad to check to make sure that I got everything that I needed for the deal and he told me that he didn't know where the ad was....okay, I guess.

I wandered around every aisle in the store waiting for 12:01 (also known as Sunday morning).  When the clock ticked to 12:01, I walked up to the self check out and scanned my three bags of diapers and handed the cashier the 3 Manufacturer coupons and 3 CVS coupons.  He asked me to wait and walked back to the office and then came back out.  Rang up $6 CVS coupons and $6 Manufacturer coupons after rearranging the order to make sure that there were three of each.  I scanned my green bag tag again (since it was a new day) and it worked.  I got the green bag tag $1 back and did not get the Huggies $10 ECBs :( 

I explained it to the cashier and he told me that I didn't spend enough.  I told him that it was before coupons and he said that I didn't spend enough.  I went back to the aisle and got another package and I was going to check out again with one more since I had my $4 in coupons and $1 ECB so it would be really cheap anyway.  Then the cashier came over and told me that he would help me at the register.  He left the pull-ups at the self checkout and printed me out the $10 ECBs.  I thanked him and headed home at 12:30 am.  An exhusting trip but at least I got a bunch of pull ups since we didn't have enough to last us a week.  Saved $25.20 on the second order.

Total OOP $18.93
Total Saved $27.80

Now I have the big task of spending the $10 ECBs!  I was thinking about going to get two more Pull-ups so that I am totally stocked up and I don't have to worry about spending any more later.  I guess I will try to decide later today before they run out of stock.  Hope that you had a good week at CVS!

Menu Plan Monday 6/25

Monday- SW Spiedies with rice
Tuesday-Buffalo Chicken Wraps with mac and cheese
Wednesday- Lemon Parmesan Spagetti
Thursday- Caesar Italian Chicken with herb rice
Friday- Sloppy Joes
Saturday- Leftovers/Crispy Taco Rice
Sunday-Buffalo Chicken Sliders/Pizza Roll

I am hoping to use up most of the food in the freezer and the pantry and be restocked to plan for July!  Can you believe that this week takes us all the way into July!!!!  I can't.  This month has gone by super fast.  Hope that you have a great week too :)

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Weekly Goals 6/24

Thank goodness that week was over.  I think that I put a little too much in to the hottest week of the year with a sick kid.  I have to start planning a day during the week to run errands like the grocery store and other things with my little man.  If not, we end up with no groceries in the house and that will lead to a very sad summer.  We were down to our last pull-up when I went to the store to get more.  I don't think that we could have gone another second.  Without my free time while the little man is in school, all of the deal getting has gone away.  Working towards a productive summer and better planning!!

Last Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my extended family- Lots of great quality time when the whole family is living in one house.. it is these times that I think that I need a bigger house :)
  • Go to the park with friends- We went to the park with friends and then went to their pool.  It was a great treat to avoid the horrible heat this week, breaking 100 degrees!
  • Splash park for the first time- We were supposed to go and it got rescheduled because of the bad weather... then we thought we would try to do it on Friday but bad weather struck again.  The week was super busy and super hot so we opted out of the spray park for this week.  :(
  • Animals at the library- This one was super interesting but I think that it was aimed at a little older child.  We saw a snake (not my favorite animal), Tarantula, Patagonia cavies, and a chameleon.  Then my son lost interest and wanted to get Thomas DVDs so we left and did that.  Then we went to Target and got tons!
Personal Goals
  • Read Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro - Finished this book on Sunday
  • Cut coupons- I cut all my coupons from last week and got them filed away.  I grabbed a few more papers at the library through the week so I have more to cut now but that is a good problem to have right?
  • Get ready for Super Doubles by making lists- I made two lists of match ups from the websites and then I went through each coupon envelope from May and June to see what $1 to $2 coupons I had that I would make for a great deal.  It was a super helpful list to have and helped when I was at the store.
  • Shut off computer 3 nights to save energy- I got the computer off one night at the beginning of the week but then with super doubles, I had a bunch open on the computer so I needed to get things closed and shut off the computer again but I did it!!  I got it off again on Thursday night and Friday night.
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week- Started off Sunday and Monday right with getting the kitchen cleaned.  I got it done eventually on Tuesday and then Wednesday didn't happen at all (I started off my day with super doubles instead of cleaning).  I cleaned up on Thursday first thing.  Friday, Saturday, Sunday are usually my bad days but I started off Friday cleaning up everything and Saturday took a little longer to get started by I finally got it cleaned up by 11 am.
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning- I started off the week right by forcing myself to get off the couch and wash the dishes on Sunday.  I thought that would be a great start to the week and it was since I started by making more dishes which I washed quickly and then I made more dishes.... back to the sink to wash again.
  • Shop Super doubles at least three times- I just got my third trip in before the week was over and it was super tough.  I was glad that there weren't tons of deals that I needed since (non-couponing) family in town makes it hard to make it to the store... I find people look at you funny if you want to go to the store three days in a row but in order to maintain my strict budget, I have to get all the deals that there are to get during the best deal times before they are sold out.
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday- Done (barely.. it was a tough week)
  • Write Book review of Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro- Done and posted
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family- I posted enough for most of the week by Monday so that I would be able to spend the week with my parents and son without having to worry about my posts :)
  • Work on a few more weeks of Thrifty Thursday to get ahead- I had one more idea that I hadn't finished and scheduled yet so I worked on that one but now I need to come up with some more ideas to get through July!!!  I wrote this before I knew that both my parents were coming into town so I guess I got done what can be expected.
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip- Posted this weeks and got almost all of next weeks in draft or scheduled.
This Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family
  • Go to the Pool with friends
  • Go to the park with friends
  • Go to Music Together class
Personal Goals
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning
  • Make breadcrumbs for frozen bread ends
  • Start on going through magazines
Blog Goals

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Harris Teeter Trip #2

This time my mom and I were able to keep our bags a little better separated so this is just my order.  I got free Kikkoman soy sauce, Weber seasoning, Smart Balance butter.  I got a bunch more meat- 2 Hormel Ham Steaks, 2 Hormel Pork Loins, and 2 Smithfield Pork Loins.  I also go some Tyson's chicken, Front Porch Ice Cream and Cabot Cheese.  It didn't seem like a big trip but the total was near $100 when the check out was complete.  Then came the Harris Teeter savings and the coupons to bring the total down a ton.

Total OOP $29.19
Total Savings $70.88

I was a little confused that it was high enough that I had to sign the receipt because that doesn't happen a lot during super double.  After I got home, I realized that I didn't give the cashier two of my coupons with all of the confusion of shopping with a non-couponer.... OOPS.  I have to go back and return the Glade plug ins the next time that I make it to the store.  Mistakes happen and the good news is that I figured it out :)

Friday, June 22, 2012

CVS Trip 6/20

After trying to get to CVS all week, I finally made it late on Wednesday.  I had some ECBs that were expiring because I haven't been finding any deals at the store to get recently. 

We are totally out of Excedrin which is a staple in this house and since it was recalled, we haven't been able to get anymore.  I saw that CVS had a B1G1 deal on their brand of medicine so I wanted to get two of the CVS Brand headache medicine. 

I went to the pain relief aisle and found two different kinds but the one didn't have a sign.  My mom went to use the price checker and the whole system rebooted so you couldn't check the pricing!!  Strike one! 

The woman at the register told my mother that they were both on sale so I grabbed two of the one that they had two left.  I rang up at the self check out register and they were not on sale.  Strike 2! 

Nothing better than standing in a full store with a line and the stuff isn't the right one.  The woman wouldn't cancel the sale and told me to get the one that I wanted.... umm, that was the one that I wanted... still confused on how it isn't on sale.  I ran back through the store and grabbed the one of the other Excedrin like medicine and had to stand and find any other medicine that was close in price.  I gave up and grabbed the Ibuprofen which was $2.99 so it would be free.

The cashier was guarding my self check out machine (with my mom standing next to her looking as confused as I felt) and a line of other customers wondering what the heck I was doing.  She finally voided the other two medicines that weren't on sale.  Then I rang up my two medicines but the free medicine didn't come off.  I pressed the finish and pay to see if it came off.  Luckily, it did.  I used my $2.50 ECBs and spent $1.09 OOP.

It was a rough trip but I made it out with medicine and only spending $1.09!  Thank goodness I didn't have to try to go again because I never would have made it!!  Hope you guys are finding some good deals at the drugstores and doing better than I am.  Since I don't have any ECBs, I am probably out of the game until a really good deal comes along.  Here is crossing my fingers that we see one soon!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Harris Teeter Super Doubles Trip(s)

I went to Harris Teeter with my mom and we got tons of great deals because we were there super early.  We checked out separately but then the bags got smashed together in the car so I just put them all in one picture rather then go through the receipt and separate the two transactions because we were running off to our next fun adventure, a day by the pool with friends :)

We got free Hormel Ham, Weber Seasonings, Weber Marinates, Smart Balance Milk, Smart Balance Butter, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, Kikkoman Marinates, and Glad Decor Air Fresheners.  The other great deals included:

Using Coupons and Evic coupons:
Advil 50 ct                       $0.49
Children's Advil                $1.39
Raisin Bran                       $0.68

Using Coupons:
Hormel Pork Loin            $2.99
Tyson's Chicken Nuggets $3.49
Ritz Crackers                   $1.13
Red Baron Pizza              $1.00
Front Porch Ice Cream    $0.50

Sadly, this deal didn't have a ton of things that I actually needed to stock up on but they were some great deals and I know that I will use them tons!!  I was crossing my fingers that there would be some great deals on the list of things that I wrote on my shopping list at the beginning of the month.  Who doesn't need free milk and butter :)  Two of my favorite deals!!!

Total OOP $24.12
Total Savings $140.90

My receipt had $90.67 savings and my mom's had $50.23 (It actually had two things that didn't ring up right so we had to exchange them for the correctly priced item so that is the adjusted savings after our exchange.)  Super excited to start another round of super doubles but sad that it happens when I have company and can't make it to the store too many times.  Crossing my fingers that I make it three times!!

Thrify Thursday: Tracking Usage

When I started couponing, as many other couponers can attest, I had to find balance.  It is really easy to get caught up and have to go after every deal out there (and there are a lot of them).  So I decided to implement three steps to assure that we are actually saving money.

1.  Use coupons to save money
2.  Make on a budget
3.  Track the usage of items

Of course, given the fact that I had to figure out these steps on my own, they took about a year between to move to the next one :)  I am giving you a heads up that it is much easier to implement the steps faster so that you don't have to wait so long between each!!

I just recently started tracking the date that I started using something and the date that it was all gone.  There are a few things that I am starting with first and then I hope to add additional items:

1.  Windex
2.  Dishwasher Detergent
3.  Dish Soap
4.  Paper Towels

I started with the Windex since this is something that we use every day to clean the counters and we went through a time when we were always out of it.  Plus it was on sale with coupons so I needed to see how many I should get.  I wrote on the first bottle with a black marker the start date of 2/14.  Later when I finished the bottle, I noted the date was 3/28.  I put the information into a spreadsheet (because I love spreadsheets but the pen and paper method works great too) and it calculated that the Windex lasted 43 days which would mean that I would need 8.5 bottles to last me a year.  With the next sale, I stocked up and got the best price that I could and bought 10 bottles so I will have enough to last me a year.  The next bottle only lasted 35 days which means that I would need over 10 to last for the year.  The number might change but overall, we will still get an average to make sure that I keep enough on hand and get it at the lowest price possible.

With only one usage period, I am starting to get a better idea for my other three consumables.  The dishwasher detergent lasted 70 days which means that we would need 5.2 bottles to last a year.  The dish soap lasted 43 days which means 8.5 bottles to last a year.  The paper towels lasted 23 days which means that we would need 15.9 rolls to last a year (plus the ones that I have to send to my son's school).  After a few more times, I should get a good idea on how much needs to be stockpiled so that I we have just enough and not too much!

Make sure you wait a little bit for your marker to dry and then do the wipe test with your finger to see if it stays on the surface.  If it doesn't like this one didn't on the top, try another spot.  Between the two, I should be able to read this when I need to :)
Okay, so everyone just read through the whole post and said that sounds like a interesting idea.  Some of the people said, I am not going to bother doing it because it takes too much time and some said.... How is that going to save me money? 

Really simply!  If you have 4 bottles of Dawn detergent in your house, you know that you don't have to bother paying $0.50 for a bottle because you don't really need it because what you have is going to last six months.  That means that you have six months to find the deal to get free Dawn somewhere and save money.  It is like buying from a price journal at the lowest price but you know exactly how long your current stockpile is going to last so you know not to worry and buy something on impulse.  Like my mother in law says "Because the coupon was burning a hole in her pocket!"

This would be something great to figure out with food products too.  The only product that I have figured out that we go through too quickly is flour because I use about 5 pounds a month.  I have been trying to make more food from scratch and it goes quickly. 

I hope to track toilet paper and laundry detergent next :)  What items around your house make you wonder how long they last??  What are you going to track first?  I hope that you decide to track some things in your house to see how long things last your family.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Confessions of a Slacker Wife Book Review

Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro looked like an entertaining read when I saw it on the shelf at the local library.

The book did not disappoint starting with the topics covered and the titles of the chapters!

Meet the Mrs.-  about the fact that you have now taking on the first and last name of your husband.

Can we talk dirty?-  about not getting to take a shower and what being dirty really is for moms.

Old enough to know better- about aging and the effects on the body of a woman.

Are we having fun yet?- about over committing to many events and activities and putting more energy into  being a hostess so that you don't enjoy the party.

Doing less and loving it- about how the wife handles all of the social interactions like gifts and thank you cards because if we waited for our husbands, they wouldn't do it!

Joined in matrimony, just not at the hip-  about doing things by yourself and keeping your friends.

Supermom I'm Not- about how the mom takes the lead on the child rearing and is responsible for knowing the size the kids where and what their friends names are and the dad doesn't have to know the same details.

I knew there was something I forgot to do today!-  about sex life and adding it to the to do list.

Trivial pursuits- about woman's magazine having no substance and keeping up on topics to have conversations with your husband about different topics.

Slackers, unite- was the final chapter about how men could do a better job of chipping in on household tasks but it seems that wives have a high expectation of the things that should get done.  Lower your expectations and don't aim for perfection because it is unrealistic and unnecessary.

The writing style was quite humorous and truthful.  I really enjoyed the chapter "Are we having fun yet?" Talking about how people go the extra mile when they are expecting guests and try out new recipes that leave them frazzled when the guests arrive.... for those of you who personally know me, this is a problem that I have!!  I over cook for all events.  This is why my husband has tried to limit the amount of time a year that I entertain at the house :)  I have tried very hard over the last few years to decrease the amount of items that I make when having company by planning ahead and making a list that I think would be good for the amount of people we are having and I try to do pot luck.  The mental idea that more food is coming, helps me to stop cooking earlier.  I could probably make a meal based on the food that made but at least I am cutting back :) 

I am sure that all wives and mothers can find a chapter that relates to you so closely that you will wonder if it is describing you!!  I highly recommend reading this book so please look it up at your local library or bookstore.  Let me know what you think about it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Making Easy Chimis for dinner

I bought these burrito sized flour tortillas and I didn't know what I was going to do with them but they were such a good deal at Harris Teeter on clearance that I couldn't pass them up.   I think that they were $0.25 per package.
They are measured by my famous unit of measure that my husband always makes fun of.... they are bigger than my head!  I decided that I would use some of my homemade frozen enchilada sauce and they tortillas to make a pan of chimis.  These are a self made recipe which changes every time but the method is still the same.  I had a friend ask how I made them so I thought that I would post it even though I mostly just made it up from watching cooking shows and working with what I had in the house.  Hope it helps you try this super easy recipe.

I shredded a big block of cheese that my mother in law bought us while she was visiting- we love cheese.  I made a pan of taco meat (cooking the ground beef and taking out the fat) and adding the taco seasoning from a packet.  Then I added leftover meat already seasoned, and two containers of pre-cooked seasoned rice.  All of this made for a huge pan of filling.
1.  Put the tortilla on the counter

2.  Add piles of cheese

3.  Add meat filling (or meat mixed with rice to make it a little more filling at lower cost)

4.  Top with more cheese (did I mention that we love cheese?)

5.  Fold over two sides towards center of filling.  It is best if they touch but they don't have to.

6.  Fold over two remaining open sides and quickly flip over so that opening is held close by the counter.

7.  Heat oil in skillet and lower to medium low and add flap side down to the pan to seal the open section.

8.  When the oil stops sounding like it is boiling and it is not bubbling as much, flip the whole chimi over to cook on the other side.  I usually use a flipper like I do for pancakes but one with slots to let the oil through.

9.  Remove and let rest on paper towels to absorb the grease.  Then put them in oven safe dish and top with enchilada sauce (and more cheese is optional but yummy).

I also ate one for lunch without the enchilada sauce just like a hot pocket while I was finishing making dinner.  They are a super good way to use up leftovers by adding anything your family would like to the taco meat or making it vegetarian.  The even better thing is that you can make these ahead and heat them up in the oven when it is dinnertime.  I hope that you enjoy some today and let me know what you think :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 6/18

Monday- Rosemary Chicken with egg noodles
Tuesday- Lasagna from the freezer
Wednesday- Whole Brick Chicken with mac and cheese or scalloped potatoes
Thursday- Parmesan Spaghetti with fried zucchini
Friday- Tacos
Saturday- Kielbasa/Take out Pizza or Chinese
Sunday- Burgers, Brats, and Dogs/??

My parents are coming into town for another flower adventure where my father tours the VA/MD area to help in every garden he can so dinner went from 2 to 4 with a few small changes.  Not sure what we are having on Sunday night but I am sure that we will figure it out before then or end up eating all the leftovers in the fridge :)  I am sure that some sale will pop up that I get and we will eat that exciting food that we have to eat on Sunday!!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Weekly Goals 6/17

Last Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family- We had a great time all busy week!
  • Storytime at the library- We had a great time at storytime and picking out books
  • Pick up Aunt Lynn to the airport- Done, even though my son didn't stay awake through the trip
  • Bubbles Science and Storytime at the library- We were a little late getting there but we had a great time with bubbles and luckily I brought extra bubbles to play after and the boys had a great time.
  • Go to the park with friends- There were many trips to the park and my son had tons of fun!
  • Fire Safety Puppet Show at the library- Dylan laughed the whole way through this and enjoyed getting his hat and coloring book.
  • Movie at the library- We decided to skip the movie because it was Max and Ruby and I don't think that Dylan would sit still since he had never seen them before... so we went to the park again.
Personal Goals
  • Read second half of  Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money by Kate Levinson and try to finish- I tried to get some good reading time in to make some progress so that I could try to move on to the next book....finally finished it Tuesday morning.
  • Cut coupons (including pile from my parents and friend)- After almost losing a finger to my coupon cutting and filling the recycle bin, I finally finished all the old and new coupons are cut and organized!!! YEAH!!!
  • Organize the coupon basket and get rid of expired one- I went through all the printed and newspaper ones and got rid of a ton of expired coupons which is sad because I went through the basket two weeks ago!!
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week- I have kept the kitchen and the rest of the house clean this week.  It was much easier to keep it clean when you do the dishes the night before :)
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning- I had a pile of dishes in the sink from cooking and baking on Monday night and I decided to do them all and get ahead of my list for Tuesday morning.  I was super happy to get everything cleaned up in the kitchen and leave a clean kitchen when I go to bed.  I wish that I could do this every night but I am so tired after a long day that it doesn't always work that way.  I did them again on Wednesday night and Thursday night!! 
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday- Done.  I think that this goal is getting easier and easier to do since I am working ahead and scheduling the posts.
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family- Done.  I got 7 posts scheduled already and I just have a few more posts to finish and schedule.
  • Work on a few more weeks of Thrifty Thursday to get ahead- Done.  I got this week and two more weeks done at the beginning of the week so I have the rest of the week to work on more posts.
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip- Done
This Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my extended family
  • Go to the park with friends
  • Splash park for the first time
  • Animals at the library
Personal Goals
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning
  • Shop Super doubles at least three times
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday
  • Write Book review of Confessions of a Slacker Wife by Muffy Mead-Ferro
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family
  • Work on a few more weeks of Thrifty Thursday to get ahead
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Ever wanted a baked treat but you though that it would be too much effort or you didn't have the ingredients?  The easy pumpkin muffins are super easy to make and only takes two ingredients.  One box of cake mix and one can of pumpkin!!!  I got this recipe from my weight watchers leader years ago and I shared it with all my friends and family.  It is super easy and quick to whip up a morning treat.  I decided to make in a quest to clean out my pantry.  I was looking for an idea for our Sunday morning breakfast and I saw a box of spice cake mix left.  It was calling to me to make these muffins :)

The original recipe is as follows:

15 ox can pure packed pumpkin
One box Spice Cake Mix

Mix spice cake mix (dry) with pumpkin in bowl until smooth.  Put in 12 greased muffin tins and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. 

**NOTE:  Don't use paper liners because dough will stick to and you will loose a lot of muffin

The dough will be really thick so mix with a fork to get through it all.  The muffins will be nice and crispy on the top when they come out of the oven.  However, when you store the muffins, the tops gets a little soft.  If you don't like the soft top, stick them in the toaster oven or oven for a few minutes to heat up and the top will get nice and crispy again.

I have tried a few other cake mix flavors and none of them are a yummy as the spice cake for me because of the great way the spice mixes with the pumpkin flavor.  Although the chocolate cake mix is good, add a few mini chocolate chips to pump up the chocolate flavor.  The yellow cake mix is good but I suggest adding a little cinnamon to up the spice flavor.  The best part is that you are eating a really healthy snack because pumpkin adds a lot of vitamins and there is no added oil or fats.  Feel free to customize the recipe to fit what you have in the house.  I am sure that you will come up with your new favorite muffin.

I hope that you enjoy and let me know if you come up with anything that I need to try :)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Emotional Currency Book Review

Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money by Kate Levinson is a book about dealing with your relationship with money. 

The book is broken into three parts.  The first talking about understanding money and how it is an emotional currency by writing a money memoir.  The second part was about exploring your emotions around money- fear, confidence, shame, pride and love.  The third part was about transforming your relationship with money by healing your relationship to money and making a money action plan. 

At the end of each chapter, the author poses questions.  These questions would make great discussion points to talk over the book with others.  In addition, they are supposed to help you write your money memoir.  They are certainly thought provoking questions.  Here are some examples from the end of the Love chapter:

  • Was money used in your family growing up to express love, approval, or disapproval?
  • Have you felt loved through gifts of money?
  • If so, when and how?
  • Was money ever used in an attempt to "buy" your love?
  • If so, was it successful?
  • Have you ever used money as a means of maintaining a relationship?
  • Was anyone in your family given more than others were?
  • Did you ever feel jealous of displays of love between other family members that involved money?
Did any of these questions make you think back and wonder?  I promise that all of the questions at the end of chapters stopped me to think about what they were asking.  I hope that if you stopped to think about these questions, that you are also going to stop and think about reading this book :)

It has some great insights into how everyone reacts to money differently.  Two people grow up in the same environment and one decides that they should live frugally and one decides to live extravagantly.  Growing up poor makes one child grow up and live frugally because they don't want to end up in the same situation.  The other child spends every cent that they get to enjoy life.  Dealing with the emotions around money is important because it has little to do with the money and more to do with the feelings associated with it.  Both ways of living aren't healthy and we need to deal with the emotions in order to deal with the way we manage our money.  Easy to understand and hard to fix :)

There is an story of a daughter getting an inheritance from her father after he passed away and the mother didn't get as much.  In response, issues came between the mother and daughter and the mother was suing the daughter for the money she feels like she deserves.  At a time when a family should be pulling together, money gets in the middle and then the emotion that they should be feeling turns towards the money instead of towards the loss.

There was another story about a daughter who was going to private school and her mother told her that she couldn't go there anymore because she was naughty.  She had friends and loved her school so it was a tough change in her life and the additional burden that it was her fault was very hard.  She overcame it and ended up going to college.  Her mother told her that her parents were no longer going to support her going to school because they heard that she had tried alcohol.  She continued through college and graduated.  Years later after a very strained relationship with her parents, she talked to her father who said that both issues were because the family didn't have the money to pay for the schooling anymore.  He didn't tell her this because the father felt his job was to provide for the family and he was embarrassed that he couldn't.  The father's issues with money affected his daughters whole life.  This made a big difference in her resolving the issue and coming to peace with the fact that she didn't think that she was worth spending money on.

After reading the whole book, I thought it was a little slow starting but a valuable book.  I thought that it was directed at women that have found themselves in debt but it never really talks about debt.  Then there was a section that I thought it was dealing with inheritance.  Another section discussing dealing with money after divorce.  I think that the book covered so many topics and life changes that cause people (women in particular) issues with money.  I think that this is a valuable tool for all women to read.  Regardless of your financial status, life status, or feelings towards money, I think that this book can lead you to think more clearly about money. 

Please pick up this book at your local library or bookstore.  Let me know what you think and if you learned anything!!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Be Organized for Grocery Shopping

Make sure you have lists of your pantry, fridge and freezer- and this means not jut in your head!  I keep one list for my pantry, one for my fridge, and one for my freezer (but you can combine them) so I know what I have and what I don't.  After you make the list, make sure that you bring them to the store with you too :)

How many time have you been at the grocery store and passed the brownies and remembered that you needed to make some for a picnic you were going to so you grabbed a box???  Got home to put things away to find that you already had 4 boxes in the cupboard because you keep buying one every time you are worried that you might not have one.  Obviously, you can always use another box of brownies :) but it means that you might have just paid full price to get that item and didn't wait for them to be on sale.

The best rule of thumb is to know what you have so that you can get what you need.  At the end of the month, impulse purchases add up quickly to added money you didn't need to spend.  If you have a little extra money to spend, you can get some of the great bargains at your store and stock up.  It is also cheaper to buy more of something when it is on sale.  The boxes of brownie mix go on sale for $1 during the summer picnic season so if you buy a few more boxes, you save a lot of money (and effort) later because you have what you need to make those brownies without running back out to the store. 

Plus many Americans don't use the items before the expiration dates and end up throwing them away.  If you keep track of what you have in the pantry, fridge and freezer then items don't go bad.  You can use everything before it goes bad with just a little bit of planning.  Many families can go at least a week without going to the store at a drop of the hat if they just use the items that they already have.  It is a great challenge to see if you can do it!  It might mean one night eating pasta instead of having tacos but I think in the long run it teaches both the adults and the kids in the family that not everyone has it as good as we do here in the states.

Did you know that there are certain things that are on sale at different times of the year?  Summer is the season for ketchup, mustard, and pickles because it is the season for BBQs :)  Winter holidays is the time to buy flour for half the price.  If you have a little extra money in your budget, you can stock up on things that are cheaper for use later.  I don't know about your family but we use ketchup and flour during the whole year.  A few more items added to your cart when they are at the cheapest price can save your family lots of money through the year.

Stayed tuned for the next weeks posts on keeping a price journal in order to figure out when to buy and tracking family usage to figure out how much to buy :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Quick Harris Teeter Trip 6/12

It was the last day of the sale so I thought I should go and get a few things.  I jotted down a list earlier in the day but didn't make it out until after dinner...exhusted and unprepared.

There was a deal on Suave Body Wash (normally $2.29 each) to get for free with sale, coupon and evic so I couldn't pass that up.  There was suposed to be a deal on the Newman's Own Salsa and Chi Chi's salsa but the Newman's wasn't listed on the shelf and my store doesn't carry Chi Chi's brand.  The Hefty Value Pack (normally $4.59 each) were on sale B1G1 and there was a printable $0.55 coupon through their facebook page so both boxes ended up being $2.39 or $1.20 each. 

The last deal was the Wanchai Ferry Frozen Meal (normally $8.45) was on sale B1G1 so it rang up $4.22.  I had a $1.60 printable coupon and $1.50 Evic coupon so it ended up being $1.12.  The big bonus is that there was also a Savings Star coupon for $1.50 that will be loaded into my Savings Star account so it will be a moneymaker when that comes through. 

Total OOP $4.05
Total Savings $18.70

Total Monthly Spending $5.43
Total Monthly Savings $78.68

Super exciting news is that the rumor is that Super Doubles starts on 6/20.  I am going to try to get prepared by going through my coupons and making a list of all the coupons that I might want to use.  It was really helpful last time during triples!!!  Hope that you are having a great shopping month too :)

Everything Meals on a Budget Book Review

The Everything Meals on a Budget Cookbook: High-flavor, low-cost meals your family will love (Everything (Cooking)) by Linda Larsen was an interesting book that jumped off the library shelf the last time that I was there.

This book has a short but good introduction to explain how people can work on a budget to make their grocery budget go further.  I always think that it is a good introduction for people who haven't thought about some of these concepts before and in under 20 pages, it provides a great starting point to save money on food.  Cooking from scratch saves money and allows you to make yummy fresh goods whenever you want them (when you have the time).

There were a ton of recipes that looked great to me which included peanut butter bread, crescent rolls, graham cracker strudel muffins, beer cheese soup, corn dogs, potato tacos, and lemon chocolate pie.  The best part is they were things that my picky son and husband would also like ranging from snacks, breads, breakfast, soup, sandwiches, salads, meat and meatless main meals, and dessert.  I found 63 recipes that looked like they were made with ingredients that I either had or normally bought.  I am pretty excited to try some of these recipes and look forward to sharing them with you when I do make them!! 
Pick this up at your local library or bookstore to see if you are interested.  I hope that you like it as much as I did!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Once A Month Cooking Book Review

Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites: More Great Recipes That Save You Time and Money from the Inventors of the Ultimate Do-Ahead Dinnertime Method by Mary Beth Lagerborg and Mimi Wilson looked like good book when I saw it at the library the other day.  I really want to do more once-a-month cooking so I thought it would be worth checking out.
I read the whole book and found 42 recipes that I truly liked and thought that I could make.  I don't think that I would be able to follow the plan that they have in the book because I don't like 100% of the recipes in each cycle (we don't eat seafood).  They have done all the work and written the shopping lists and told you what order to do everything in.  If your family is more flexible than mine, it is a great book to follow the instructions step by step. 

Step 1 read the book, Step 2 follow the book to have a fully stocked freezer!!  I realize that this is sometimes easier said than done.  I am going to try to get better at doing it but I am still going to work with the sale cycles and not getting everything all at once to cook for one whole day :)

In reading this book, I realized that I did many of things that they suggested already.  When I buy boneless, skinless chicken, I cut them all in tenders so that everyone can take exactly what they want instead of leaving them in whole chicken breasts.  I put the marinates in bags and label them in the freezer so that later we have a list of the "meals" we are going to have based on the chicken in the freezer.  I also cook bone-in chicken breasts when I get them in order to shred the chicken.  I freeze the bags of shredded chicken to use for a variety of recipes.  It is great because it saves time and freezer space.  I took some out the other day and made a buffalo chicken pizza which was super yummy.

I hope to go one step farther and do some of the other tips in the book.  I am going to read through all the recipes that I thought were super yummy sounding and see what stuff I need to add to the grocery list to start a few new recipes.  I have some of the items on hand to make the spaghetti sauce and a few other recipes that I might try first.  I can't wait to try the stuffed shells :)  I have never made them before!!
Check out this book at your local library or bookstore.  I think that almost anyone can find a yummy recipe that they hadn't thought about before!!  I know that I did :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Menu Plan Monday 6/11

Monday- BBQ Spiedies and rice
Tuesday- Chimis
Wednesday- Orange Ginger Chicken with brown rice
Thursday- Philly Cheesesteak Pasta
Friday- Whole Chicken in a pan
Saturday- Leftovers/BBQ

I don't know what the week holds other than relaxing from a busy week.  I have a few ideas for the missing meals but we might end up with a frozen pizza so that I am not in the kitchen :)  Plus it is father's day so I am going to make sure we do what my husband wants to do!!  Hopefully I will come up with a brillant plan that he loves.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Weekly Goals 6/10

Last Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my much smaller family- We had a good and quiet week!
  • Playdate at a new park and nature center- We had a ton of fun at the park and nature center (minus mom and the snakes!! UGH)
  • Playdate with son's friend at the house- We had a great time playing after our short break even though my son slept through most of the playdate.... that is the way it works out sometimes.
  • Take Aunt Lynn to the airport- Done and the little man stayed awake and got to see a plane... almost ran out of gas since I didn't plan ahead!  OOPS!
  • Storytime at the library- We had a great time at the storytime at a library even though it wasn't a great storyteller but we haven't been to in awhile.
Personal Goals
  • Work on Monthly Menu Plan for June and shopping plan- Moved things around on the calendar and I only have a few days empty waiting to be filled but they are mostly weekends so I am calling it done and I made a shopping list.
  • Read Emotional Currency: A Woman's Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship with Money by Kate Levinson at least half- It was hard to keep my eyes open most nights to get a lot of reading done but I read a little bit shy of half.
  • Read cookbooks to find new recipes- Read a ton of cookbooks in my pile (4 to be exact) and wrote a list of recipes that were interesting out of each.
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week- I got the dishes done a few times a day so that they were always clean.  I missed the counters and floors on Tuesday but kept up the rest of the week.
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning- I washed the dishes at night a few times even if I didn't finish them all which was great because there seemed to be a ton of dishes this week for only have a family of three!  I got them all done and put away on Thursday so I was pretty happy to have the morning with nothing clean :)
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday- Done.  I barely got my one post a day up but I did it.
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family- I did almost all my posts ahead of time this week which is my favorite way to do it because I know my post is already there.
  • Work on a few more weeks of Thrifty Thursday to get ahead- I did this weeks and started on next week but didn't get much farther but I do have two other ideas in draft.
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip- Done!!
This Week:

Family Goals
  • Spend time with my family
  • Storytime at the library
  • Pick up Aunt Lynn to the airport
  • Bubbles Science and Storytime at the library
  • Go to the park with friends
  • Fire Safety Puppet Show at the library
  • Movie at the library
Personal Goals
Home Management Goals
  • Clean dishes, counters and floors at least 6 days of the week
  • Clean dishes one night and not wait until the morning
Blog Goals
  • Post one post everyday
  • Schedule at least 5 posts so that can spend more time with family
  • Work on a few more weeks of Thrifty Thursday to get ahead
  • Post Weekly Goals, Menu Plan Monday, and Thrifty Thursday Tip