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Grocery Shopping

March 28th, 2008 at 04:18 pm

Today is the last day both dh and I are off until I start work so I dragged him grocery shopping. I did tempt him with a free meal thanks to a mystery shopping job before we went to the grocery store. I will admit that taking him with me has its pros and cons. He is a big help when I am buying a month's worth of groceries. He also tends to help me buy a bit more than we need. Some extras this trip are a new fish (Hector) who also needed a bowl to live in, temporary tattoos, funky yarn for my scrapbooking, and Grey Poupon (it was on clearance). Still even with the extras we came in $24 under my budgeted amount, and between coupons and sale prices we saved $37.01. That was enough for us to have a bit of fun while out shopping.

The best part is that aside from trips to a smaller grocery store to pick up fresh items throughout the next month, we are set on food. It might even last us 5-6 weeks. Planning out that many meals was a chore, but it beats running to the grocery store for a big shop every week. I can probably recycle this menu with a few changes (new meals) for the next two months while I am working too. I guess my challenge now is to see how long I can go without a big trip to the grocery store.

Grocery Shopping & Food Bill

March 17th, 2008 at 06:54 pm

I went grocery shopping this morning and picked up several sale items. I go to two stores as one doubles coupons and ends up being cheaper on some items. I went a bit over budget but the snack cabinets were bare. Also some of the items were for an Easter cookout and others will last into next month.

Honestly with the rising costs I need to bump up the amount in the grocery budget. We eat three meals a day either at home or in the form of a packed lunch. I am looking forward to the garden getting into full swing which will help out with the bill.

I do some things to help keep the food bill lower. I am not brand loyal for most things. In general I will follow the coupons and the sale prices. We have chickens so eggs are free. We also get free meat since dh is a hunter. I mix my own 2% milk by combining whole milk and powdered milk. It is cheaper and tastes just as good. I also do freezer cooking. Even though I am home most days I do not want to cook a meal from scratch every day. Freezer cooking is more than casseroles. It is an easy way to have a homecooked meal on busy days.

Beginning in April dh will be in charge of cooking since he will be home while I am at work. That means easier meals which are a bit harder on the budget. I am hoping to get him more interested in light cooking so we will not turn to processed foods.

Quiet on the Home Front

December 16th, 2007 at 06:58 am

I have not posted much this month mainly due to a lack of anything to post about finance-wise. My only spending this week was at the grocery store for perishable items - milk, vegetables, etc. I am sticking with my plan of eating out of the freezer/pantry. I even managed to do that with the food for our church's Christmas party tonight. I had a large bag of chips leftover from another party. I made dip using spices I already have and a purchased carton of sour cream. I am also putting together a big tray of cookies since I overbaked this holiday season.

Tomorrow I will be making payments on the loans. We should be able to get those well under $5K. I need to start thinking seriously about goals for 2008. I did finally get Quicken loaded and am looking forward to using it to track spending in the coming months.

I Adore My Slow Cooker

October 30th, 2007 at 02:23 pm

I use mine two to three times a week in the fall and winter. I love being able to throw some things in and have a delicious meal at the end of the day. It is wonderful for those days that I might be tempted to plan to eat out. The area I live in really does not have great restaurants or eating out might be a nice treat. It does not hurt that cheaper cuts of meat come out of the slow cooker tasting just as good as more expensive cuts. I end up with a good meal with very little work, which is always great!

Back to Being a Housewife

October 18th, 2007 at 08:09 am

I substituted for two days this week and am happy to be a housewife again. The "work" was very boring, but I guess few people work for the fun of it. I did end up spending a bit as I ate out both days. The money came out of my spending money so the budget was not ruined. I will be happy when the paycheck arrives and a bit more can be knocked off the debt total.

I am off to start working on the grocery list. I am trying to get back to one big shop every four weeks with stops at a smaller grocery store for sale items only. This is always the easiest place for me to cut the budget so hopefully I can keep the spending under control with this shopping trip.

Pantry (Not Panty) Raid

August 31st, 2007 at 01:24 pm

First of all off topic that title makes me think about the time a civic group was doing a pantry raid at people's homes to get food for a needy family. It was announced as a panty raid instead. Amazing the difference one letter makes.

On topic I finally got around to doing an inventory of both the pantry and the freezer. I can truly see what items I need to pick up and what I have on hand to cook with. Both are fairly weel stocked. I hope to make it through the month of September spending about $50 on additional groceries. I vow to "shop" in the pantry and freezer first when planning my meals. We have way too much stuff stockpiled!

Package Arrived and Some Spending

August 16th, 2007 at 12:25 pm

The package from FedEx arrived late yesterday, but early enough that my husband decided we could go grocery shopping. We did well with sticking to the list, and I actually spent only $80 rather than the $100 budgeted amount. I should put the extra toward debt. Instead I am going to keep it in case a good sale appears next week.

I have started back with my one big monthly shopping trip to Wal-Mart. I find the more I go in there the more I spend. By going once a month I cut out the impluse spending. I get produce and dairy items from a smaller grocery store with better quality items. Planning four weeks' worth of menus takes time but works out better for me.

I should have about $80 extra in the grocery budget for the month. If so I will use that to stock the pantry and hopefully lower the food bill even further for the next 3 months.

Can You Have Too Much Cereal?

August 5th, 2007 at 11:58 am

Not if it is free! I did spend a little today but really ended up making money. I got up early for the sale at CVS. DH loves Honey Bunches of Oats, which was on sale 2/$4. The real sale part was that when you spend $20 you get $20 in extra bucks.

The look on the cashier's face when I wheeled up my cart filled with 10 boxes of cereal was priceless. I also bought toothpaste, which was free as well. I had $16 in extra bucks and only ended up paying $4.09 out of pocket after coupons. Dh has a two or three months worth of cereal and a tube of toothpaste, and I have $22.99 to spend at CVS. I try to keep the extra buck chain going so I always have some to spend.

Stretching the Food Budget

August 4th, 2007 at 12:10 pm

I am fortunate that my husband does not mind leftovers. Every now and then we have a clean out the fridge night. I am stretching an extra meal out of my menu plan this weekend though. Last night we had grilled steaks with a nice size piece leftover. I am going to make a steak salad for supper using up some odd and end veggies and lettuce. I cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday and threw out too much. I know we waste too much food, and this is one area of spending I want to stretch a bit further.

Yesterday's Spending

August 2nd, 2007 at 08:36 am

I had some planned and unplanned spending yesterday. The unplanned was a doctor's appointment as my allergies have been giving me a fit. We have a air purifier, and I did not realize how much it helped until it quit. Fortunately it is under warranty so it is being repaired. The doctor's appointment was $70 as I have not even gotten close to my deductible. The two prescriptions were generic so only $23 for those. DH went to the doctor two weeks ago, but we have not gotten the bill for that. It should be $77. I am trying to set up small accounts for expenses such as medical, car repair, and stuff like that. These medical expenses are causing problems since they are pulling money away from the debt. At least we have the money to pay for it. I was not expecting some magic budget formula and should know this is going to be an ongoing process.

After getting my prescription filled, I stopped by the grocery store. I spent about $50 there, but that covers two weeks worth of meals. All of the items were on sale and I stuck to my list. I did splurge on some steaks for dh to grill. Dh takes his lunch and snacks to work with him so that is included in the grocery budget. We have no great restaurants here so we end up eating at home most of the time.

I put $20 worth of gas in my car. I go to a station that gives you 2 cents off per gallon every day with their reward card. It was only a savings of 14 cents but I found 2 pennies so I really ended up with 16 cents.

All together it was much more spending that I hoped for. The rest of the week should be better though.