Sunday, January 20, 2019

January Groceries: Week 3

Third week of January and only $132.38 left to spent for the rest of the month!  It could be super tight but hopefully not *so* bad since my parents invited me for a Costco run - details below.

CVS:  $3.73
1 can Aussie hairspray

CVS:  $7.68
1 tube of Cortisone

Costco:  $0
1 40oz bag organic tortilla chips
1 box (3 large bags) Goldfish
1 6 pack blueberry muffins
1 6 pack corn muffins
1 4lb box of kiwi
1 5lb box of red seedless grapes
1 2lb box of strawberries
1 box (30 count) Baked Lays chips
1 28 pack of Gatorade
1 40 pack of Poland Spring water
1 35 pack of diet Coke
1 double pack of premade veggie udon
1 24 oz package of cremini mushrooms
1 1.5 lb package of mini cucumbers
1 2lb package of Brussel sprouts
1 large container of fresh organic salsa
2 dozen eggs
1 box Cascade dishwasher pacs
2 pack of large bottles of vegetable oil
2 pack of Skippy peanut butter
1 large bottle of Balsamic vinegar
4 lbs of butter
1 container of honey roasted nuts
1 jar of chicken better than boullion base
1 64 oz bag of Craisins
1 2lb container of hummus
1 5lb bag of baby potatoes
1 package 30 count premade mini crepes

CVS:  $5.25
1 bottle (50 count) ibuprofen tablets

Dollar Tree:  $15.95
1 package napkins
1 roll Bounty paper towels
2 packages paper plates
1 package (2 pack) sponges
2 glass plate candle holders
4 unscented pillar candles
1 package of 5 emergency tapered candles
1 package Welch's fruit snacks
2 sticks deodorant

CVS:  $17.65
1 (8 pack) toilet paper
2 packages of Always sanitary napkins

Farmer's Market:  $20
1 large bottle of whole milk (plus $2 deposit as we had no returns this week)
1 pint raspberry yogurt
2 containers of baba ghanoush

Big Y:  $35.98
2 packages (4 pieces in each) naan
1/2 lb deli American cheese
2 boxes peanut butter Cap'N'Crunch
4 boxes of veggie broth
2 bags potato chips
1 package (20 count) tortillas

Total spent this week:  $116.24
Left in January budget:  $16.14

So, it looks like I will be trying to stay out of the stores this coming week at least.  It should definitely NOT be as hard as I tend to make it because, if I'm being completely honest, my family and I still have some of the "we want what we want, when we want it" struggles.  And, when I do go back to the stores, it looks like I will be using bottle return money to help gets us through the rest of January....

I feel like it's always a work in progress you know?

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Spending Journal 2019 Week 3

January 13th:  $19.59
Best laid plans, right?  Today WAS going to be a No Spend Day....But, you know what it can be like with kids.  LOL  Guppy 2 told me she needed a few things to work on a project....due this TUESDAY!  Well, I guess I should be happy she didn't wait until Monday night to tell me right?  LOL  First stop was Dollar Tree for poster board and a decorative box.  Out of pocket expense:  $3.19  Then later in the afternoon, her Sharpie "ran out" because she didn't cap it....I decided to go over to CVS to replace it since I needed more hairspray at some point early in the week AND had 5 ECB's to use.  Out of pocket expense was $4.73 - Our brand of hairspray wasn't on sale this week unfortunately AND I did buy a copy of the local paper as well.  I was making Instant Pot beef stew tonight and the kiddos weren't happy I didn't have any bread for it.  I decided to give in because, hey who doesn't like bread with stew right?  Ramsey and G1 ran over to Big Y and bought some fancy ciabatta bread....which was delicious but I should have known better than having those two run to the store since Ramsey is no bargain hunter!  LOL  Out of pocket total was $3.99 for one loaf of ciabatta.  And, finally, one trip to CVS just wasn't enough apparently since G2's sensitive skin decided to flare up and we needed more cortisone gel.  Another $7.68 spent.

January 14th:  $20
G1 had her first visit with a GP doctor as opposed to a pediatrician.  At 20 years old, it was time to transition.  Copay:  $20.

January 15th:  $35.25
I had therapy today with the usual copay of $30. 
Then, Ramsey (G1's boyfriend) twisted funny or something and decided he had to go to the walk in to be checked out.  (NOT on my dime thankfully as he is a bit of a hypochondriac)  Anyway, he came back with a minor diagnosis that I can't remember.  I DO remember him telling us the doctor said he usually sees this problem in little girls - LOL!  Ramsey was supposed to take some ibuprofen for pain and I only had Tylenol in the house....A quick trip to CVS left me $5.25 poorer.

January 16th:  $0
No Spend Day!  As a matter of fact, I only left the house once to bring G2 to school in the morning!

January 17th:  $53.60
A possible snow/ice storm is heading our way this weekend - Saturday night into all day Sunday.  A quick replenish of some emergency supplies was in order.  Dollar Tree was my first stop for a few more candles, paper plates and the like.  Out of pocket expense was $15.95.  Next stop was....wait for it...CVS AGAIN!  I needed to pick up some prescriptions, toilet paper (didn't realize how low we were getting), and sanitary products.  Out of pocket:  $37.65
January 18th:  $6.79
Sooo close to a No Spend Day but we just didn't make it....The Guppies & I went to see Impractical Jokers in the evening.  Papa drove us so we could avoid parking fees and he could visit with his mom while we were at the show.  We opted to not purchase any merchandise this time - although I did offer G2 the opportunity if she wanted since this was her first time seeing them live.  We had such a great time - it was a fun experience to share with them both.  Anyway, on the drive home, both girls were starving so we stopped at McDonald's drive-thru for 2 large fries.  Out of pocket:  $6.79

January 19th:  $173.64
The calm before the possible ice storm....
Papa gassed up his car for $35.
We did go to the farmer's market for a few things.  Out of pocket there was $20.
I had to go to Petco to grab our pup her special food - $82.66 including a $2 donation to homeless animals (which I always add to my total).
And finally, we ran to Big Y for a few things....including the things needed to make for turkey brine as we are roasting a turkey tomorrow as long as the power stays on.  The total there was $35.98 because of course I grabbed a few more things too.
It's a little after 1 pm as I write this out but I don't think we will be going anywhere else/spending any more cash today.  IF for some reason we do, I'll edit this post I guess.  LOL

Total spent this week:  $308.87

It was nice to see another week's total go significantly down! 
Next week's probably will be a different story as we still have to get G1's textbooks.  I did price them out and this semester *should* be significantly cheaper at around $270 but we are waiting to purchase them as there is a question regarding one of the class textbooks and we are waiting for a response from the teacher.
I plan on continuing to question all purchases even more next week as I still feel there is room for improvement!

How are things going in your world? 

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

First Check In On Janaury Goals.....

I'm taking a cue from the amazing Rachel over at Living Better One Day at a Time and decided to do a mid month check in on how January's goals are coming along....

Let's take a look!

Anything highlighted in green means I'm on track/completed/or making good progress.
Anything in red indicates that this goal isn't happening this month.
Anything left alone in black print means it's success/failure is yet to be determined.

January Goals

On the Financial Front...

1.  Set up payment plan for G1's Spring tuition.  I love the fact that we can break it into very manageable monthly chunks!  -DONE!!!
2.  Buy G1's college books CASH. - DONE!!!
3.  "Find" at least $100 this month...whether it be in bottle returns, finding hidden loose change, helping my neighbor with her kids, whatever.  I think that starting with $100 is a good way to set myself up for success here - 2/3 of the way there!
4.  Make that zero based budget! - Nope not happening this month!
5.  Pay at least double what the minimum payment is on Papa's credit card.  Considering we have G1's 20th birthday this month, I think this is a doable figure.
6.  Keep the online Spending Journal and post every Sunday. - on track
7.  Keep grocery spending at or under $300 this month by using up a LOT of what I already have in the kitchen!
8.  Weekly menu plans. - on track
9.  Put $250 towards Emergency Fund.
10.  Have at least ten No Spend Days.

On the Physical/Mental Health Front....

1.  Make an appointment to see my GYN. - Made appointment for early February.
2.  Walk at least 372K steps for the month. -on track
3.  See my therapist for our weekly sessions. - on track thankfully as I really need the support this month!
4.  Cut back on my soda consumption. - not nearly

On the Personal Front...

1.  Get into a schedule with journaling by setting a specific time/routine.  Journal at least three times per week to start.  Not happening this month I don't's been too crazy a month.
2.  Read 2 books. - On track hopefully.  1 read one so far.
3.  Look into some fun adult education classes - Nothing in the Spring catalog came even close to piquing my interest unfortunately.
4.  Go out with Papa on at least two dates while keeping the cost to a minimum - $100 max for both dates! - On track here!  We had one date to the used bookstore with zero out of pocket expense thanks to a gift card!
5.  Write for at least ten hours this month.

So that's where things stand.  It is interesting to note that I continue to discount those things that primarily are focused on or are about me.  This is one of the things I have been addressing in therapy but, after seeing all the red above, obviously have more work to do.

How are your goals coming along?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

What's Cooking? Menu Planning January 2019 Week 3

I'm still trying to keep up with the menu planning to the best of my ability.  While some things may not happen *exactly* as planned - I'm looking at you last Saturday's BBQ ribs, menu planning is still helping me stay a tad more organized and keeping my food waste down.

Here's what has happened/is planned this week:

Yogurt with homemade granola and fresh fruit
Corn Muffins
 Blueberry Muffins
Everything Bagels with cream cheese
Cold cereal
Fruit filled crepes

Tomato Soup
Veggie filled crepes
Freezer snacky items

Instant Pot Beef Stew
Ciabatta Bread with butter

Keeping it real here....
Last night G2 and I ended up being out later than predicted so we did take out.

Balsamic Chicken Breasts
Roasted Baby Potatoes
Roasted Broccoli

Instant Pot Beef with Broccoli
Jasmine Rice

Black Beans & Rice

Probably take out again since the Guppies and I are seeing Impractical Jokers

Roast Turkey (my mom had given me one before Thanksgiving that had been in her freezer for awhile so let's hope it's not too freezer burned!)
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Possibly fresh cranberry sauce since I have some left to use up

Hope you are all having a good Tuesday!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Spending Journal 2019: Week 2

January 6th:  $51.65
Papa and I wanted to go on a mini date today.  I suggested we head over to our semi-local (next town over) used bookstore as 1. we love it there and 2. I had some books to trade in for credit.  It was a nice ninety or so quiet minutes to ourselves!  While we did each find two items to purchase, our out of pocket expense was $0 thanks to a small gift card we received for Christmas!
Guppy 2 really wanted Dominos for dinner...While I hate Dominos pizza, Papa said to go ahead and get it for her since she was actually going to eat!  (Remember G2 is my super picky kiddo).  So, against my better judgement, Dominos it was.  A large bacon pizza, a large cheese pizza, and order of parmesan bread bites left me $28 (including delivery tip) poorer.
Oh, and before we went to the bookstore we had to gas up the Honda (my car) to the tune of $23.65.

January 7th:  $7.77
I was really hoping that I would have a No Spend day today but, sadly, Papa told me this morning that his last razor blade AND the razor handle were shot!  How I wish I knew this last week when I had those $15 in ECB's burning a hole in my wallet!  Anyway, I took a quick trip to CVS where they were having a promo on Schick replacement blades (buy 1/get $5 in ECB's) plus I had a $3/12 coupon. After a quick scan of my choices,  I found a package of blades with a free bonus handle - score! I ended up using the balance of the gift card we used at the bookstore yesterday and my out of pocket expense was $7.77 with $5 in ECB's to use in the near future.

January 8th:  $182.61
Well, it definitely doesn't look like I will be getting any No Spend days in this week, which is a bummer....
Today I had a therapy appointment - $30 copay.
Then I scooted over to Petco to pick up more ferret supplies and find some new limited ingredient canned dog food for our senior pup....Man that stuff is expensive!!!   $2.99/can twice per day is going to really add up big time!  IF she enjoys this brand, I will search for better pricing online. Out of pocket for 2 bags of ferret food (I mix two varieties for him), a tube of ferret supplement, and 8 cans of different flavor (same brand) canned dog food ended up being a whopping $73.67!  Ouch!
To add insult to injury, I made the big mistake of stopping at our local grocery store for "a few things" and tried to justify it by being tired and needing specific drinks not carried by Aldi.  Oh, did I mention I hadn't eaten all morning either?  It was a train that I should have known better and could have prevented....$78.94.  One more thing too....The cashier assumed I was a SENIOR CITIZEN and gave me the senior discount! It literally states it black and white on the receipt!!!  Guys, I'm 48 years old!  I just about cried the whole way home....

January 9th:  $50
Papa, G1, and I arranged to have lunch in New Haven with Papa's old intern.  Since he is a struggling college student (and an all around awesome kid) we treated him.  Lunch including tip ended up being $50 - almost exactly what we had planned on spending for it.

January 10th:  $0
No Spend Day!  I'm so happy I was able to eke this one out this week as I was fairly sure it wouldn't happen.

January 11th:  $287.66
We had to gas up both cars to the tunes of $20.76 (mine) and $36 (Papa's.)
The ferret had his yearly check up this morning.  He's doing great and all is well....except he's been itchy like when we first got him.  A quick culture of his ears confirmed what the vet figured....the mites he had last year (while mostly eradicated) must have had a few survivors.  Crazy it could take a year for him to feel uncomfortable right?  Of course the other possibility is he picked it up while he was boarded for our trip to Disney.  Either way he is on a three month course of meds to absolutely positively make sure they are gone this time around!  Out of pocket for the visit:  $230.90.

January 12th:  $37
We haven't been to the farmer's market in over a month since they take a few weeks off for Christmas and then re-open in an indoor space in January for the winter months.  Even though there are a lot less vendors (all that's left for fresh produce is root vegetables really), they still have dairy, mushrooms, cheeses, meats, breads, and locally prepared foods.  We splurged on some mushrooms to be used in a tart for dinner tonight and I tried a locally prepared baba ghanoush which was amazing!  I brought $40 with me to the market and left with $3.  Pricey during my low spend grocery month but well worth it!

Total spent this week.....$616.69

While I did spend a little less than half of my total last week, it was still another week of a few large bills.....AND we haven't even been able to get G1's textbooks as the teachers haven't told her which books she needs yet!
A quick glimpse in my calendar for the upcoming week shows some promise (hopefully).  There isn't a whole lot going on besides two medical copays - one for G1 and one for me, and we have our Impractical Jokers show on Friday.  I'm hoping to save on parking costs by having Papa drop us off/pick us up and visit his mom (in the relative area of the venue) while he waits for the show to be over.  As for the Guppies wanting any souvenirs/merchandise, well they can use their Visa gift cards from Christmas to do it.  And, since I got a sweatshirt the last time we saw them, I have no need/use for anymore merchandise.
My parents are probably heading to Costco on Monday and asked if I wanted to tag along/get some stuff.  My freezer is pretty stuffed still so I will most likely stick to produce, drinks, snacks for the kiddos, etc.  They didn't know I was trying to do a low spend January grocery budget...they just have awesome timing!  LOL

Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

January Groceries: Week 2

If you recall from last week's grocery post, I am attempting a low spend January - allocating $300 to my groceries (all food, paper, bath, health products included).

As of last week, I spent $43.87, leaving $256.13 for the rest of January.

Let's see what happened this week, shall we?

CVS:  $7.77
1 set of Schick razor blades with bonus handle - the blades should last Papa a few months (I hope).

Big Y:  $78.98
1 loaf brioche bread
1 package Naan
1 loaf white bread
1 pint store brand heavy cream
3 (12 packs) Diet Coke products
1 (12 pack) Snapple
1 (6 pack) Poland Spring water
1 store brand Mio style water flavor enhancer
5 (32 oz) Gatorades
1 family sized package chicken cutlets
2 packages baby back pork ribs
1 package fresh snap peas
1/2 lb bananas
2 pints fresh raspberries

Farmer's Market:  $37
1 gallon whole milk
1 pint heavy cream
1 pint cherry yogurt
1 pint blueberry yogurt
1 lunch sized bag (no clue weight) shitake and hen of the woods mushrooms
1 8 oz container of baba ghanoush (sooo delicious!)

Total spent this week:  $123.75
Money left in January grocery budget:  $132.38

With almost three full weeks left in January, if I am to stay on target with my low spending goal, I only have a little over $44/week!

So, yeah.....

It's definitely going to be tight!

I'm thinking that I need to allocate most of the remaining money towards produce, dairy, eggs, and butter.  My pantry and kitchen cupboards are still mostly bursting at the seams so that's a plus.
And, I will be returning bottles to offset my diet soda purchases so I won't need to deduct it from the remaining grocery money.  I guess that's semi-cheating but I'm okay with that since it's extra incentive to remove the bottles from our garage.  =)

Have a nice Saturday!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

What's Been Cooking? Menu Planning for January 2019 Week 2

It's so weird to be posting this so late in the week!  Have to make sure I don't do it again next week!

The usual fare:
Homemade Egg McMuffin style sandwiches
Breakfast Delights
Cold Cereal
Granola Bar & Fresh Fruit
Toast with Peanut Butter or Butter

Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Eggs & Rice (a G1 favorite)
Pizza Rolls (a G2 favorite)


Dominos Take Out

Macaroni & Cheese

Soy, Ginger, & Honey Glazed Chicken Cutlets
Jasmine Rice
Buttered Snap Peas

Stuffed Shells

Brioche French Toast with Raspberries & Blueberries
Home fries

Chicken Vindaloo
Jasmine Rice

Instant Pot BBQ Ribs
Onion Rings
Roasted Broccoli

What's cooking in your part of the world?