Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Meal Plan

Monday's are never my favorite but I am happy to plan this week's meals. Its not the most exciting menu but I'm going to watch the Food Network for some inspiration :)

Monday- Leftovers
Tuesday - GF Pasta w/ Sauce
Wednesday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Thursday - Beef Nachos
Friday - Gluten Free Pizza
Saturday - BBQ chicken
Sunday - Leftovers

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Night Chit Chat

What are you...

Blogs, blogs and more blogs.  Wanting to read a British romance drama...suggestions?
Downton Abbey :)

Listening to?
Kiddo 2's money app

Mr. Man made Curry Chicken and I made Chicken with Zucchini

Happy you accomplished this week?
Making it through the week without going broke!

Looking forward to next week?
Organizing, organizing, organizing

Thankful for today?
Spending another day with my family :)

Our Weekend, Coupons and the Week Ahead

So I managed to make it through the first few days unscathed and worried the weekend would be a huge challenge. Luckily, it went better than expected.  We drove my parents to a nearby town for a friend's 88th birthday celebration.  There was no stressing since we had money in our entertainment budget for a gift and a little spending cash. We also had plenty of gas money. Jars are nearing empty but I think we can make it till Wednesday when we fill them up again. 

I think next weeks spending will be a lot less since a lot of the household items were purchased this week. Which brings me to couponing.  I consider myself a pretty good couponer but after my 2 month break I realized I was beginning to buy a lot of unnecessary items.  So today was my first day back "on" and I did pretty darn well.  I purchased :
  • 2 bottles of laundry detergent
  • 1 bottle dish liquid
  • 24 pack of water
  • 2 - 4 pks of Scott toilet tissue (Mr. Man's only request)
  • 14 ct Prilosec
  • 1 tube of toothpaste
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 gallon milk
All for 22 bucks!  My plan is to maximize my jar money with my coupons with my main focus being food items since that is the biggest challenge considering the majority of my items have to be gluten free.

This next week will involve organizing, creating a honey do list and beginning to prepare my taxes.  The last which is never fun but I refuse to pay someone for it especially when I get the same final number.  The biggest challenge for me is gathering all my paperwork. Once that is done it is smooth sailing. 

Above are my "jars" or should I say containers.  Only four as of now but next week the Miscellaneous jar will be added! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Getting real...

So today is the first day of the jar method and its already proving to be a challenge.  Went to the grocery store today and my grocery budget for the week is pretty much wiped out.  Obviously we are spending way more than we thought.  Six days till the jars are filled again so we will see.  I had an invite to dinner and looked at our entertainment money... not a good idea.  I declined the invite.  I am so bummed :(  To add to that, I made the big mistake of listening to Mr. Man .  When we were finalizing our numbers yesterday, he asked or rather said "Do we really need a Miscellaneous jar?"  At the time nothing came to mind so I agreed we did not.  Well, lo and behold today I had an unexpected expense pop up.  Kiddo 1 needed some things for a project. So there went my weekly allowance. I'm feeling so overwhelmed its not even funny and its only day one!  I need to get it together and keep focused if I intend on this succeeding.  On the plus side, we have food in the fridge, gas in the car and something left in every jar.  Its just the extras (that realistically we don't need 95% of the time) that I am missing.  I'm hoping tomorrow will be way easier! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Catching Up!

Well, yesterday was a bit hectic and I wasn't able to do my Monday Menu.  So here it goes:

Tuesday - GF Pasta with Meat Sauce (may change this if I find a different recipe)

Wednesday - Soup and sandwiches

Thursday - Baked Fish, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli

Friday - Pot Roast

Saturday - No cooking - Going to a Bday party with the Parents

Sunday - Chicken Tacos

Breakfast will be free this morning as kiddo 2's school is hosting a breakfast with Mom event. Yay! I begin the Money Jar System tomorrow! I am going to finalize my budget today.  I will also be doing some more organizing as well as listing on Ebay.  Hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Starting Money Jar System next week!

So I spoke with Mr. Man about using the money jar system.  He is sort of on board.  He said he can stay within a budget for the week (which I know he can) but he prefers to use his debit card. All that will be in the account is his allotted money for the week so it should work out fine. Next week we will start and  I'm excited but also a bit nervous about ending up with 5 empty jars!

This week I have been organizing so I have set aside a few things to sell on Ebay.  Whatever money I make will go towards 1 particular credit card and medical expenses.  I will be updating my debt totals next week which I'm actually looking forward to doing!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Trying to Keep the Momentum Going...

So this month has been interesting...I've been trying my hardest to not only reduce our daily spending but stay away from credit.  In years past, January has always been a very tough month due to being wiped out by Christmas spending but this month has been good so far. The next 11 days will prove a bit challenging but I think we can make it through the month only spending cash we have.  I am strongly considering using the jar method of budgeting but I need to get my husband fully on board with that. The bulk of today's to do list will be organizing. Wish me luck!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend Fun and Menu Plan Monday

Had a fun weekend. Happy MLK Day!  Saturday we went go kart racing. It was fun and we spent a total of ZERO dollars at the amusement center.  We had leftover points from our last visit, so before we left, the kiddos picked out a couple of prizes.  Afterwards, my husband wanted to try out a cafe nearby so we had lunch there :) It was a nice treat and we each had the lunch special.  Our total was $36 for pastries and our lunches. Sunday was a stay at home day.  Husband cooked breakfast and dinner which was nice :)  We watched the football game and then picked up some ice cream. Spent a total of $7. I think we did pretty good on spending for both days. 

I'm hoping to spend $0 dollars today but we will see.  I have plenty to keep me busy at home.  The kids have the day off for MLK day so we might do an activity in relation to that.  I also have a lot of organizing still left to do. 

Menu Plan Monday

Monday - leftovers

Tuesdays - Gluten Free Spaghetti and Salad

Wednesday - Crockpot Soup

Thursday - Chicken Stirfry

Friday - Roasted Pork with Zucchini

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Planning for a low spending weekend!

We always try to find ways to entertain tire out the kiddos.  This weekend should be a low spend weekend.  We will be using our free admissions for the battleship museum on Saturday.  For Sunday,  we have 10 free prepaid go kart rides at a local family amusement center.  They were left over from my kiddos birthday party so no spending there.  I will also be going to the used bookstore and selling back some of the kids books and letting them pick out a few. Today, I will be going to the grocery store and stocking up on things we need for the weekend.  Although I have Saturday as an eat out day, I think I will be cooking both days. How are your weekend plans shaping up?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Just Enough To Get By...

Growing up, my parents had just enough to get by.  Being the last in a large family was different financially for me. My father was forced into early retirement due to a near fatal accident which ruined my parents' finances.  They actually were good about saving even with such a large family. Unfortunately, their savings account quickly dwindled down to nothing as my siblings began to graduate then marry.  So when it came to my sister and I, money was tight...very tight.  We never had a lot of extras but there was always food on the table.  I think it set the stage for the way I viewed money.  I assumed, as long as I had enough to get by, that I was doing okay.  It has proven a hard, hard habit to break.  Last year, we were able to pay off a loan and a credit card.  It felt absolutely great to know we had done it.  This year I have a larger undertaking. As  long as the mister and I stay focused, the goal I have set is very possible.  I just have to keep reminding myself that I want to be more than just okay.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Menu Plan Monday

I always feel like a slacker after reading the blogs from my Blog Treasure Trove but they also leave me inspired to do better.  So here it goes:

Monday - Pork Chops with Cheddar Bacon Potatoes and Salad
Tuesday - Three Bean Soup
Wednesday - Crab Cakes with Coleslaw
Thursday - Tacos with Charro Beans
Friday - Pork Roast and veggies
Saturday - Eat Out
Sunday - Barbecue Burgers

Sunday, January 8, 2012

100 bucks gone!

Took my clan for a drive yesterday afternoon.  I think we were caught up in the beauty of the day that we decided spur of the moment to board the above battleship museum and there went 100 bucks! Did I mention we only had about an hour to look around before they closed.  Luckily, we were told we could come again on another day and admission would be FREE!  Glad it kind of worked out but it was very foolish to spend that kind of cash without even using a coupon on admission!  A big positive was the kids had a blast and we get to go back next weekend.  Lesson learned...always plan ahead.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Friday Photo

Happy Friday! Was just reading steady plodding's blog and decided to post a photo as well :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tackling one Goal at a Time

So I've decided to tackle my organizational goal today. Luckily, I give all my unwanted but yet usable items to my mom (she will either donate, use or sell it at the fleamarket).  I do keep the items I can sell on Ebay but everything else goes to her to help supplement her income.  I'm debating whether to post any pics because frankly I'm embarrassed by all my small piles.  I'm by no means a hoarder or anything just have piles here and there of either homework, unopened mail, pictures and items for Ebay.  I'm hoping to make some real progress today so off I go...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Goals for 2012

I kind of started on this in a post or two ago but decided I needed a more concrete list to stick to.  Here it goes:

  • Pay off a total of 4 Credit Cards - total of $5600
  • Stay current with medical bills - total of about $1500 needed to pay to catch up
  • Organize my home - this will most likely be a yearlong task but I know being organized goes hand in hand with being financially stable
  • Start and keep an emergency fund - Goal for 2012 will be $3000
If I decide I'm at a good place to be able to add to my list I will.  For now, I think its a great starting point and I think I can meet all my goals above by the end of 2012.  Wish me luck!

Monday, January 2, 2012

So here's a question... the new year has begun and as always I'm making all kinds of resolutions right and left.  Some I know I will keep...others I know will never have a chance.  As my blog title states...I have lots of questions. So here is my first question of 2012 for you all - What is the ONE piece of advice you constantly give regarding saving money?