Friday, November 27, 2015

Grocery Budget Update - October

Once again  I concentrated my grocery dollars on fresh produce, some dairy and a few loss leader items which I stocked up on.  My deficit at the beginning of the month was $204.97 and is now sitting at $177.51.  Little bit, by little bit I keep chipping away at it.

Our nonfood items came in a at $40.25.  I try to keep this under $25 and most months I'm well under so I don't mind going over this time.  I bought two 16# bags of cat food on sale for $8.99 each and I didn't want to miss out on that great buy.  I also bought fabric softener, face wash for the girls, shampoo and conditioner for all of us and 36 rolls of toilet paper on sale for $10.

Here is the list of all the food items I bought last month.  The items highlighted in red are my stock up items:

Milk - 1 gal
Store Coupon
Sunny D
Weiners (3)
Egg roll wrappers
Bell pepper
Spaghetti (2)
Cole slaw mix
Spinach (2)
Green onions (2)
Clam chowder (4)
Canned fruit
Tortilla chips
Hot Mustard
Beef roast
Customer Appreciation
Store Coupon
Customer Appreciation
Store Coupon
Ice cream (3)
Cole slaw mix (2)
Lettuce (2)
Peanut butter (4)
Store Coupon
Yogurt (20)
Baking chips (2)
Tortillas (2)
Ice cream (3)
Chocolate stars
Milk - 1 gal
Vegetable tray
 $         97.54

$97.54 ÷ 30 days ÷3 people = $1.08 per person per day!

How did you do preparing for Thanksgiving?  Were you able to find some good sales and stock up on anything?

This budget month runs from 10/20/15 through 11/20/15.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you a day filled with good food, family & friends
and many blessings to be counted.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Only One More Month Until Christmas

I cannot believe Christmas is seriously only one month away and tomorrow is Thanksgiving.  I am really ready for the holidays this year.  Probably more so than ever before.  My goals is to have my shopping and gifts done by Thanksgiving.  Well, I'm close.  I should be done by the end of the long weekend.  I have a few more things to order and one more gift to make.

Over the coming weekend I plan to put the final touches on our annual letter and print the out and my Christmas cards.  I've already designed them on my computer and there is an extra color cartridge for the printer just in case.  Last month I even bought the stamps.  Once the cards and letters are printed I'll fold them and address the envelopes.  I'll make some return address labels to put on the envelopes too.  They'll be ready for mailing in no time.

Our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner menus are planned out and I'll be making a final list of items to pick up at the store.  I plan to get those things when I do my regular grocery shopping.  Praying for a good buy on rib eyes or a rib roast.

Our goodie list is also complete and I've done very well in filling our pantry with plenty of baking essentials.  Thanks to a number of great finds at the dollar store I was able to get a lot of what I needed for a fraction of the cost.

I'll be finishing up wrapping gifts in the next couple of weeks and then it will be time to put up the tree.  I'll poke around for a few more stocking stuffers as the date draws near.

Mostly I am looking forward to a lot of quality time spent with family and friends.  Baking, watching Christmas movies, visiting, playing games, listening to music and enjoying the season to its fullest  Of course there will be Horse Doover Night to look forward to.

Are you ready for Christmas or are you just getting started?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

My Dollar Store Finds

Because I've been a bit lacking in my postings lately you are getting two today!  How about that?!

After our big yard clean up Saturday morning we cleaned ourselves up and headed out to lunch at the Cheesecake Factory.  Since both girls birthdays are three days apart they get to take turns each year and pick a restaurant to go out to for a nice birthday lunch with Mom.  It was really nice.  On the way home we stopped at the dollar store to pick up a few things we were running low on.

I was super excited to see they had two pound bags of pinto beans.  Usually they only have one pound bags.  I bought four of those and a one pound bag of black beans.  I also saw they had a small bottle of corn syrup.  About the only thing I really use it in is 7 Minute Frosting and since I'm out of it this was the perfect size to add to the pantry.  Now I can make that frosting.

I also bought more coconut milk for Thai Soup, cute birthday candles for the youngest's ice cream cake, tea lights and candles, as well as a tube of toothpaste and some more bath soap.  A huge bottle of their cheapy dish soap is what I use to refill all of our hand soap dispensers and I grabbed one of those to replace the one I emptied last week.  We like the way it smells and it doesn't dry out our hands, so why not?

While shopping we came across these darling paintable Christmas ornaments.  I thought they would be a nice project for the girls to work on one day this week while they are home from school.  The youngest found these Christmas socks too.

There was a handful of other things that got put away before I got out the camera like three boxes of food storage bags, a 72 ct. package of bobby pins, a tube of mascara, and some facial cleanser.

My vintage half gallon canning jars refilled.

Not a bad haul, I think.

Garden Clean Up & Winter Prep

Frost bitten pepper plants

Normally by now we have already done the big garden clean up and prepped everything for winter.  But until a week ago our garden was still going strong and the leaves were still on the trees.  Now the leaves are falling to the ground and a couple good frosty mornings have finished off the garden for the year.

The chickies were so helpful in getting the tomato plants pulled.

In anticipation of the coming frost we had already come out and picked all the green tomatoes as well as any peppers that were ready.  Then it was time to get busy and put the garden beds to rest for the winter.

After removing the spent plants and tomato cages we raked up a nice pile of leaves to mulch the beds with.

The yard debris we used in the fire pot to help us stay warm while we worked.

The chickens were really happy to get some yard time with us.  While they roamed I raked out the pen area and fresh bedding went into the nests too while the old stuff went under the roost to collect droppings.

Over the next few weeks we'll continue to tackle the leaves as they fall from the trees and get them loaded into the trash bin each week for pickup.  Hopefully before the snow comes.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Last Week's Thrifty Moves

I started out on Sunday completely exhausted.  Too much activity the week before wore me out so rather than push myself to the point of making myself sick I gave in (not something I do well) and took some time for myself.  I stayed in my pajamas, read a book and even took a nap in the afternoon.  It was exactly what I needed to rejuvenate me for another full week ahead.

Monday I took the youngest to Honor Orchestra, the oldest to a meeting at the university and then stopped at the library to return books and check out new ones.  Then the grocery store on the way home for bread and milk.  I ended up eating a tuna sandwich for supper in the truck on the way to the meeting.

Tuesday it was back to the university for my oldest to attend her engineering workshop.  The youngest and I hung out at the Student Union Building and waited for her.  We watched a couple shows on my laptop for free.

A friend of mine was kind enough to give me a really nice 9" X 13" Pyrex baking dish.  She is thinning down her kitchen and decided to pass it along.  I was thrilled because after our big purge I was actually thinking I really missed our extra pan and wished I still had it.  Sometimes I could really use two.

I shopped for bread, milk, lettuce and a half gallon of ice cream (oldest's birthday) this week.  We are still enjoying tomatoes from the garden as the green ones we picked have been ripening.

I washed out a two gallon Ziploc bag to reuse and a cute jar that had hot fudge sauce in it.

After refilling the hand soap dispenser at the kitchen sink with the dollar store dish soap I like to use I rinsed out the empty bottle and used that to wash a few dishes.

I mended my youngest's bathrobe.

We fed the chickens lots of really good kitchen scraps and some stale hamburger buns.  In return they gave us two eggs every day.  I also composted coffee grounds, tea bags and egg shells.

I sold two dozen eggs.  We almost have enough saved for a new bag of scratch grains.

I trimmed my bangs.

We took our glass in for recycling.

I stopped at the dollar store to get some items we were low on.

My youngest ordered a slice of this - Reese's Cheesecake
On a not so thrifty note I took my girls to Cheesecake Factory for lunch to celebrate their birthdays.  I was sooooo expensive.  We don't do it very often, but still….  Yikes!

How thrifty were you last week?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

I Cleared The Paper Clutter

Papers drive me crazy!  Especially when they are in stacks all over the house.  Between work, two girls bring stuff home from school and the colossal amount of junk mail we get in the mail this time of year it was rapidly taking over the house.

Normally, I manage to take care of paper as it comes into the house.  However, lately our schedule has been so hectic I've neglected to keep up on it and it was really piling up.  On Sunday I'd had enough.

I walked through the entire house and collected every bit of paper that strewn throughout the house.  Unbelievable, to me, it was everywhere!  On top of the dryer, my desk, the bread machine, next my recliner, you name it I found it.

I piled it all on top of the dining room table then began the laborious task of ruthless sorting.  I had three piles when I was done - File Or Deal With - Trash - Shred. 

Trash was easy.  File and Deal With took a little longer but I got through it in a decent amount of time.  I celebrated by taking Shred and a match out to the fire pot and making it into ash for the compost bin.  It was the best hour I spent that day.

Now all the paperwork that needed to be filled out, signed and submitted is finished.  There are no more piles around the house, and our shreddables have been disposed of so they don't end up in the wrong hands and the clutter is gone so things look much neater.  All I have to do is stay on top of it so I don’t end up with another mess to deal with.