Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Last week was Vacation Bible School.  We enjoyed spending our mornings with about 80 kids at the church.  Tim was a team leader (and ended up getting a pie in his face on Friday when his team lost), and I helped with crowd control in 4th grade.  We enjoyed our week, but kids are exhausting!  We are recovering this week.  :)

We had several storms pass through here last week and lost electricity a few times.  I learned that being on a well-water system means that you do not have running water for very long if the power goes out.  After the second power outage, I was prepared with a few pots of water so that we could flush our toilets if the power went out again.  It didn't.

Tim and Sarah seem to have come down with colds, and I have a sore throat this morning.  Isn't this supposed to happen in the winter?  Crazy.

It is finally official.  I am again licensed as an RN in the state of Michigan.  I begin searching for jobs last night, and unfortunately there are not many choices available.  I want a part-time job, meaning maybe one day a week.  Most available positions are for full-time or two days a week.  I did apply for two jobs last night, so now I'm waiting for phone calls.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Walgreens 100 Dollar Challenge: Week 3

I am disappointed, again.  I planned ahead before heading to Walgreens yesterday, and thought I was doing really well.  Then I had some addition errors and ended up spending more out of pocket than I intended.

2 Act 2 Popcorns
Price: $1.00 each
MFG Coupon: $.50 each
Final Price: $.50 each
RR Earned: None
Finesse Shampoo
Price: $3.99
MFG Coupon: $1.00
Final Price: 2.99
RR Earned: None
*  Rebate submitted for $3.00
Finesse Conditioner
Price: $3.99
MFG Coupon: None
WAG in-store deal:  B1G1 free
Final Price: Free
RR Earned: None
Royal Gelatin
Price: $.69
WAG Coupon: $.49
Final Price: $.20
RR Earned: None
2 Reach Toothbrushes
Price: $1.79 each
MFG Coupon: $1.00 each
WAG Coupon:  $.99 each
Final Price:  $.02 Moneymaker
RR Earned: None

Cottonelle Fresh Wipes
Price: $3.49
MFG Coupon: $2.00
WAG Coupon: $1.50
Final Price: $.01 Moneymaker
RR Earned: None

Crest Mouthwash
Price: $4.39
MFG Coupon: $2.00
Final Price: $2.39
RR Earned: $2.00
RR Used: $2.00 from Herbal Essences Shampoo
$5.00 from RepHresh Tampons

Subtotal Before Coupons: $22.25
Subtotal After Coupons: $1.55
Sales Tax: $.74
Savings Percentage*: 93%
*(Note: Savings percentages are calculated prior to tax. Since there’s no way for me to decrease my tax amount, it is simply not factored in.)
Yearly Totals
Amount Spent: $13.45
Amount Saved: $53.04

$7.99 Rebate Pending from Schick Razor and $3.00 Rebate Pending from Finesse Shampoo - Will deduct from amount spent once received

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Grocery Challenge: Week 1, Day 5

Tonight's meal was another SparkPeople recipe, which can be found here.  I am a big fan of anything that can be cooked in a crock pot.  Plus, this dish is mighty tasty.

Slow-Cooker Salsa Chicken, with rice and corn:

This recipe made 6 4-oz servings of chicken.

Total Cost of Meal Above:  $1.30
Total Calories for Meal Pictured Above:  418

You may be wondering why I only share dinner recipes/cost/calories.  Simply, it's a bit time-consuming to figure out all those details.  Plus, I eat differently than my husband and baby.  Dinner is the only time we all eat the same thing.  Or at least mostly the same thing.  :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Grocery Challenge: Week 1, Day 4

Tonight was leftover night.  We enjoy munching on leftovers for our lunches, but somehow we still seem to throw away a good amount of food.  That is why I usually plan to have leftovers every Sunday and Wednesday.  Those are also our church nights, so it is nice to keep things low-key.

My leftovers were Spicy Chicken and Rice Bake from the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I shredded my chicken and covered it with the rice mixture, added some hot sauce, and ate it on a tortilla.

The original recipe made 6 servings.  This tortilla had about 3/4 of a serving in it, but the tortilla itself up-ed the cost and calories a little bit.

Total Cost of Meal Above (plus the Diet Pepsi I had to drink):  $1.24
Total Calories:  336

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Grocery Challenge - Week One, Day Three

Dinner, Day 3:

Tonight's dinner was basicallly a homemade Hamburger Helper.  The cost actually turned out to be lower than Hamburger Helper, and I was able to decrease the amount of sodium.  This recipe was found on Spark People's Recipe Website.  I like to use their recipes, because they include the nutrition information along with the ingredients and directions. 

Skillet Lasagna (Makes 6 1-cup servings) with fresh veggies and ranch dressing

The cost:  $1.21 for everything pictured above
The calories:  556 - a bit high, but delicious.  :)

Please note the the cost will be somewhat higher next time I make this.  I had ground beef, tomatoes, and eggs on hand that my mother-in-law had given to me, so they are not included in the price.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Grocery Challenge: Week One, Day Two

Dinner - Day 2:

I am trying very hard to watch what my family eats.  My goal is not only to watch our spending, but to make healthy choices on what goes into our bodies.  I try to keep every meal around 400 calories.  Tonight was Beef and Noodles (a Better Homes and Gardens recipe) with broccoli and the few pieces of cauliflower I had left.  This meal was made with beef we had in the freezer from a previous meal, whole wheat noodles I had stockpiled from when they were on sale, and stockpiled frozen broccoli.

The cost:  $1.44 for the serving below - my recipe made 6 servings.
The calories:  415 for the serving below

Groceries -  Week 1

This week was heavy on dairy.  We have a lot of frozen red meat, but we did need some chicken and deli meat as well.  We also needed snacks for the baby and a few odds and ends for dinner recipes.  Of course, we also needed to fuel our Pepsi addiction!
I visited 3 stores for the best deals.  I saved $19.50 by using coupons and doing a bottle return this week.

Total from Meijer: $38.13
Total from Walmart: $7.40
Total from Walgreens: $2.00

This Week's Total (Including Total From OCB Sunday):  $72.93

Yay!  That falls below our $75.00 limit, even though we ate out.  I am very proud of that. 

A few things I learned today:
1)  I spend less if I actually tally up my total as I am shopping.
2)  I spend less and make healthier choices if I have a set weekly amount to spend, rather than a monthly amount.

Walgreens 100 Dollar Challenge: Week 2

I have to admit that I am not impressed with my totals so far in this challenge.  In order to stay below 100 dollars in a year, I need to spend less than 2 dollars a week.  I have not been doing that.  :(  However, I will cut myself some slack since this is only week 2!  I also collected $14.50 in register rewards today, so the next two weeks should be better.  Here we go:

RePhresh Tampons
Price: $5.99
MFG Coupon: $1.00
Final Price: $4.99
RR Earned: $5.00

Poise Liners
Price: $3.99
MFG Coupon: $3.99
Final Price: Free
RR Earned: None

Herbal Essences Shampoo
Price: $2.99
MFG Coupon: $1.00
Final Price: $1.99
RR Earned: $2.00

Renu Sensitive Contact Solution
Price: $7.49
MFG Coupon: $2.00
Final Price: $5.99
RR Earned: $7.50

3 Hunts Tomato Sauce
Price: $2.97
WAG Coupon: $1.97
Final Price: $1.00
RR Earned: None

2 Jello
Price: $2.38
WAG Coupon: $1.38
Final Price: $1.00
RR Earned: None

RR Used: $4.00 from Schick Razor purchase
$6.00 from Nivea Body Wash purchase

Subtotal Before Coupons: $25.81
Subtotal After Coupons: $4.47
Sales Tax: $1.23
Savings Percentage*: 83%

*(Note: Savings percentages are calculated prior to tax. Since there’s no way for me to decrease my tax amount, it is simply not factored in.)

Yearly Totals
Amount Spent: $11.16
Amount Saved: $32.34
$7.99 Rebate Pending from Schick Razor - Will deduct from amount spent once received

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grocery Challenge: Week One, Day One

Father's Day.  We couldn't let Father's Day go by without eating out!  :)  I am not sure if eating out is technically supposed to be counted as part of the grocery budget.  It makes sense to me that it is, since it eliminates the need to purchase groceries for that meal, and it is the purchase of food.

Our decision to eat out was a bit of a splurge, and it's something that is rather uncommon for our family.  This week is just going to require a little bit of creativity and the use of stockpiled foods.

Amount Spent:  $25.40
Balance For the Week:  $49.60

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Walgreens 100 Dollar Challenge: Week 1

I have been visiting Walgreens and attempting to save money using their sales, register rewards, and coupons.  I have decided to become part of the Walgreens 100 Dollar Challenge:  100 dollars, 1 year, 1 store. 

This is my purchase from this week (June 13-19).  Here is the breakdown:

1 Post Grape Nuts Cereal
Price:  $1.99
MFG Coupon:  $2.00
Final Price:  $.01 moneymaker
RR Earned:  none

1 Nivea Men's Bodywash
Price:  $5.99
MFG Coupon:  None
Final Price:  $5.99
RR Earned:  $6.00

1 Schick Razor
Price:  $7.99
MFG Coupon:  $4.00
Final Price:  $3.99
RR Earned:  $4.00
* $7.99 Rebate Pending

1 VeggieTales Toothbrush (I needed a filler item and it's cute!)
Price:  $.49
MFG Coupon: None
Final Price:  $.49

RR Used:  $5.00 from previous Gillette Razor purchase

Subtotal Before Coupons:  $16.46
Subtotal After Coupons:  $5.46
Sales Tax:  $.51
Savings Percentage*:  67%

*(Note: Savings percentages are calculated prior to tax. Since there’s no way for me to decrease my tax amount, it is simply not factored in.)
Yearly Totals
Amount Spent: $5.46
Amount Saved: $11.00
*$7.99 Rebate Pending from Schick Razor - Will deduct from amount spent once received.

Grocery Challenge Blog

I decided to start a new blog to share about our grocery challenge.  Follow along as we set out on to be Frugal Farleys!

Beginning Tomorrow

Tomorrow begins our frugal adventure.  I have been couponing and stockpiling for a few months now, and I feel I am saving money on groceries, compared to last year.  However, I could still use some work sticking to a budget.

As the top of my blog states, I have entered a 4-Week Grocery Challenge.  Our budget:  75 dollars per week.  I am excited to see what I can do with that amount of money!

Tune in for updates!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Update/Grocery Challenge

We have had an eventful few weeks here. After my last post, Sarah came down with bronchitis. That was a difficult week, filled with calls to the nurse at the pediatrician's office, two separate visits there, and a frantic search for Tylenol that had not been recalled. I am very glad we are through that week, and I do not want to repeat it anytime soon! :)

Tim's parents and a niece and nephew came to visit last weekend. We really enjoyed our time with them and had a good time taking them to the beach and just hanging out. We love the fact that we are close enough to have our families visit! It's pretty great!

Beginning Sunday, I am taking part in All You Magazine's Grocery Challenge. You can read details about it here. I am looking forward to this challenge, and I plan to blog about it as I go. I haven't decided if I am going to do that on this site or make a temporary blog for it, but I will keep you posted!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Meet Spot.

Chances are, if you have met Sarah, you have met Bluebeary. Sarah is very attached to Bluebeary, and we have often commented on how difficult it would be if she were to misplace or forget him somewhere. We have not been able to find a double to use as a backup, and we dread the day when we might need one.

While we were at Walmart today, I was looking at the different baby stuffed animals. I found a rabbit, a brown bear, and a dog. I held them in front of Sarah and told her to pick one. Of course, she grabbed them all and placed them in the cart right next to her. We repeated this process 3 times. Each time, she chose all three and smiled. She seemed to show a bit of favoritism towards the dog, so we brought him (and only him) home with us.

Let me introduce you to Sarah's new friend. This is Spot.
Spot is Sarah's daytime lovey. She can still have Bluebeary at naps and at night, but we are promoting attachment to Spot at all other times. He can be replaced, but it looks like Bluebeary can not. She is doing rather well with Spot and really seems to like him. I think he has enough resemblance to Bluebeary that this just might work. We'll see. Tomorrow could be a totally different story. :)

Just a few pictures for you today. I love this one. She was just laying on the floor, watching TV, holding her feet like she's 4 months old and just discovered them. :)

She has watched Daddy get ready to go outside a few times. She likes to imitate. :)