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How do I love thee, kitchen items? Let me count the ways!

April 12th, 2015 at 08:52 am

This morning I entered the amount for the few little groceries I bought yesterday into EveryDollar. I also checked balances in my envelopes. I'm doing very well with my spending. When I funded my envelopes last Friday I got $60 for groceries. I'd budgeted $75 for two weeks but wanted to come in under that if possible so $60 seemed like a good goal. I still have $40 of that so I feel as though I've accomplished something. However, there are a few things I need before Friday, the next pay day and I'll probably get those later today or tomorrow before work. I budgeted $25 for gas for two weeks and still have $15 of that and $10 of the $15 I'd budgeted for Sammy the cat. Yeah, all in all I'm doing great!

I posted some clothes and household goods on a local free stuff group. I hope someone wants it all because I very much want the stuff gone. Decluttering is pretty easy for me but I have a few emotional issues with some of it, especially kitchen items.

My apartment is about 540 square feet with a seemingly impossibly small kitchen. It has few cupboards, a tiny amount of countertop, two drawers and no pantry. But I love to cook and do it daily. Fortunately, most of my cooking is simple so all I really *need* are basic items. The problem, though, is that I'm so very attracted to kitchen gadgets and doodads! An all expenses paid trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond is my idea of a great contest prize! Ha ha!

Over the last few years I've managed to calm down that crazy side of myself but I still have things I rarely use. For example, I found a blender at Target three years ago for $6. It gets pulled out a few times a year, generally to make hummus. Keep it or let it go? And there's my KitchenAid mixer. I'd wanted one for many years and scrimped until I had enough to get the red one that made my heart sing. The problem is that I haven't used it for over a year and prior to that its main job was to make shortbread, my all time favorite treat, and that was done only between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The thought of getting rid of that beauty causes anxiety so I keep it. It sits on a counter and takes up space but I smile each time my eyes spy it. I think it needs to stay, at least for now. Maybe soon I'll feel ready to sell it but not yet.

And then there's the electric digital pressure cooker. Another tool I love and one I rarely use now. It produces the best tasting and most tender roast I've ever had but I don't eat much meat now. Of course, I could use it to make vegetable soup. Hmmm, maybe I should try that today. And what about the stovetop pressure cooker? One of my sisters gave it to me a couple of years ago. I've not used it but can't seem to part with it because it was a gift. And let's not even get started on the slow cookers and coffee cup collection!

See the problem?

That darn kitchen. I have so much affection for the inanimate objects contained within it and have saved that corner for the last of the big push to simplify. I thought I'd be ready by now but I don't feel ready. Yes, I know it's just stuff and I know that each item can be replaced easily, if not cheaply, if necessary. But it's still so hard to even consider letting some of those things go.

I think I'll list the kitchen items to which I have no attachment (like a few of the many whisks I have and the wine bottle opener thingamabopper I've used once..what are those even called?) and enjoy the freedom of that for awhile. Maybe then I'll feel ready to rid myself of the other stuff. We'll see. It's a process and for me it's been a long one.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying a day off work and am about to head into the kitchen to give vegetable soup in the pressure cooker a try!

Happy Sunday. :-)

2 NSDs, cooking for one, odds & ends

January 8th, 2012 at 09:42 am

Wednesday was a no spend day and yesterday was another. Awesome! I can't recall the last time I managed that but hope I have many more in the future. Smile

Today was destined to not be one because of the laundry. I went to the washateria this morning but it was closed. I needed to burn about 20 minutes until it opened so I drove to Albertson's and am glad I did. They had boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.79 lb so I got 2 packages of those. They also had boneless sirloin steak for $2.99 a lb so I got a few of those. When I got home I divided it all into one serving portions, used the vacuum sealer, and now have plenty of meat in the freezer again. I hadn't planned on spending that $20 but my supply of meat was getting very low and I don't pass up a good deal on meat, especially when I'm so low on it.

When I got home I put the clothes away (by the way, I spent $2.50 on the laundry) and ended up getting sidetracked by canvas bags. Yes, canvas bags. I had several in the closet and they all had stuff in them and for some reason it was bothering me to not know what all was in them so I cleaned them all out, threw away the old trash, gum wrappers and whatnot, put away other items, etc. and now I have them all hanging together on one hanger. In the process of going through them I found my iPod headphones I thought I'd lost, several small bottles of bath/shower gel, and 15 cents. It was almost like Christmas! Wink

I spent some time yesterday looking at "cooking for one" sites and am dismayed how few helpful ones there are. I found a lot of sites saying that's their purpose but they don't give a lot of practical information or actual recipes. Contrary to what one would think, it isn't always as easy as cutting a recipe in half or thirds or whatever. Yes, it often works that way but not every time. I did find a few sites with helpful information and recipes, though, and will spend time today pillaging and plundering.

Tonight's dinner will be the turkey ham and cabbage from my menu but I'm going to change it a little. I have about 3 ounces of chicken broth languishing in the fridge so I'm going to use that with a bit of butter and olive oil to fry the cabbage, onion, sweet potato, and turkey ham all together. I might pass on the green beans but am not sure about that yet.

I work tomorrow but it's a fairly short shift and I don't get a meal break so I shouldn't need to take lunch or buy anything there. I might even be able to make it a NSD!

Ugh, a spendy day!

January 4th, 2012 at 11:12 am

I paid the rent and water today and they came to $576. I also did some grocery shopping. Y'all, I did pretty well at resisting but still spent $32.36. I've budgeted $100 for January so that's a third of it. One of the items I got was my Vitamin D supplement and it was $6 of the total so meh, perhaps it isn't as bad as I figure.

I don't think I splurged, really, though the can of sugar free mandarin oranges might be considered a luxury. I love that silly salad with cottage cheese, dry orange jello, and mandarin oranges but it's way too high in carbs for me and would require a lot of insulin to enjoy so I haven't had it in close to 15 years. So when I saw the can of splenda sweetened mandarin oranges I got very excited! I can have one of my all time favorite desserts again!! In moderation, of course. Smile

I guess considering the dead weight I cut out today a little splurge of $1.38 for mandarin oranges isn't so bad.

Go, me!

Here and there, this and that...

December 20th, 2009 at 09:07 am

Besides paying bills and putting gas in the van I haven't spent much at all. I forgot to take my lunch to work yesterday and the shift was too long to go without eating or drinking so I spent about $5 but other than that the spending has been kept down to a dull roar and I've managed to have at least two no spend days the last week. Yaaay for NSD! My shift today is a short one and I'll eat dinner before I go so I shouldn't have to spend any money. But I'll take along a small container of soup and a drink just in case.

Speaking of soup, last night I put the ingredients for split pea soup in one of the slow cookers and I've already had a small bowl of it this morning. I'm on a split pea soup kick right now and who knows how long it will last. I love the stuff and it sure is good when it's cold outside.

Today we have to do a little grocery shopping so we'll go to the bank to get money for groceries and gas. Things are a little tight right now so well get only what we need - creamer, milk, bread, etc. No luxuries, no fun stuff!

There's a young woman at my place of employment who seems to spend too much of her time struggling with finances. Actually there are several young women there like this but right now I focus on the one with whom I work most often. Her checking account is often in the negative and she wonders why she never has money. She lives with family members, half of her income goes to bills and the other half, somewhere around $800, apparently gets frittered. We've talked briefly before about this issue but she approached the subject with me again last night. I quickly explained the zero based budget concept to her and by the time we were finished talking her eyes were tearing slightly.

I think she's truly agonizing over this and doesn't want to wake up some morning to the realization that she's 47 and scrambling to deal with debts, retirement, and the fact that the "plenty of time" she had to plan and save has passed her by. I invited her to stop by the office some time so we could talk more about this. I'm not sure just how to get through to a young person like this but I want to help her if I can. I imagine my mother thought the same thing about me when I was young. But I wonder if telling her about some of my personal experiences and how challenging it is now to play catch up would help. It might. If you have suggestions on this, please share them with me!

Scored at the local 50% off grocery sales

March 14th, 2008 at 06:51 pm

The sale started Tuesday and I wanted to get there earlier but we didn't make it until tonight so there's a lot of stuff that was gone. But here's what we got at the first store:

10 cans salmon for .64 each
2 boxes of Panburger Beef Partner (for those nights when I just can't handle much cooking!) for .49 each
3 cans mixed vegetables (we use them only for soup or chicken pot pie) for .25 each
1 bag of beef jerky (their brand is the best!) for $1.19
18 small pizzas for when the kids are around for .44 each
Bottom round steaks for 1.99 lb

We also got some sour cream and three 20 ounce drinks not on sale. The total at the first store was $35.27.

At the second store we got:

3 bags of blackeye peas for .39 each
1 bag of large limas for .64
1 bag of baby limas for .96
2 bags of navy beans for .46 each
1 bag of great northern beans for .99
4 bags of kidney beans for .49 each
1 bag of black beans for .49
2 jars of DH's instant coffee for 2.68 each
3 jars of my coffee for $2.89 each
3 chicken gravy mixes for .16 each
3 sloppy joe mixes for .16 each
9 cans of chopped chiles for .59 each
8 cans of mixed greens for .37 each
7 cans of chili (my favorite breakfast!) for .69 each
3 boxes of chopped frozen broccoli for .25 each
34 cans of stewed tomatoes (I love em!) for .41 each
1 roasted chicken, not on sale, for $4.99

We spent $60.18 at the second store. We spent a little over $95 total.

I think we did pretty well and we certainly won't go hungry or thirsty any time soon. Wink

Grocery shopping & two week's worth of dinners

March 9th, 2008 at 07:21 pm

We went to the grocery today and spent $74.20. That was more than we'd planned to spend but since we'll have two bottomless pits in and out over the next week, that's fine. We'll need it all and then some!

So here are the meals we'll have for the next two weeks. The menu might change a bit if we go out to eat a time or two (we do plan for those) but this gives the general gist of two week's meals. There are too many carbs in most of the meals but darn it, it's hard to eat low carb on a budget! I just won't overeat..or will try not to. *sigh*

Beef tips and wild rice made with a couple of the charcoal steaks, served with a salad and green beans

Breakfast of turkey sausage, eggs, and toast

Slow cooked beans

Turkey chili with corn chips, crackers, or tortilla chips and salad

Pressure cooked hen with carrots, potatoes, onion, and green beans

Slow cooker chicken and rice made with leftover chicken and wild rice,
probably served with salad and a green vegetable

Breakfast again of french toast and turkey bacon

Skilletini with a salad and whole wheat rolls

Quesadillas made with leftover chicken, low carb tortillas, and served with salad

Pressure cooked beef roast (Ray's 3 envelope roast) and vegetables

Beef vegetable soup made with leftover beef roast and vegetables

Slow cooker chicken and biscuits made with leftover chicken (a new to me recipe I want to try)

Red beans and rice with salad

Leftover beans with more salad! lol

I heart envelopes!

February 16th, 2008 at 09:25 am

This morning I went through the bank drive thru since the lobby isn't open on Saturday. Since I've gotten into the habit of going in to the bank for all transactions I really missed it this morning! But I managed. I gave the teller the list of cash amounts and asked him to put each amount in a separate envelope. He gave me an odd look but did it.

After finishing at the bank, I went to Wal-Mart to do a little grocery shopping. I spent $35, leaving $95 for food.

Someone emailed me asking what payments are 'enveloped' and exactly how we handle our envelope system. The business and larger expenses are funded daily by money that comes into DH's business and things like food, gas, and clothing are funded by my pay.

Here's the breakdown of the envelopes funded by money from DH's business:

The business envelopes are funded six days a week because the business is open six days a week and is mostly a cash one. Each night we sit down together and record what's come in for the day. Some cash and all checks are deposited into the bank. Varying amounts of the remaining cash are put into each of the business envelopes and because we add money almost every day we know where we are with each envelope at any given time. When it's time to pay a bill the money is removed from the envelope and if we have enough in the checking account to pay that bill we pay it and put the cash in other envelopes that need more money. If we don't have enough in the checking account to pay that bill the cash is deposited into the checking account and we write and send the check for that bill and start filling that envelope for the next month. Using this system we're able to know exactly where we stand with bills, pay them on time and not worry about spending food money on advertising or some other need.

The expenses covered by my pay every two weeks are set ones and here's a breakdown of them:

Food - $130 Covers food for two people.

Gas for truck - $130 My pay for this period was less than usual so I only put $75 in it. DH will fund the remainder.

Entertainment - $25 Yes, we do budget a little for entertainment. If we didn't, we might go nuts! We didn't spend the last pay period's entertainment money until last night and it was nice to go out to eat and know it was budgeted for. No pain, no stress, no guilt!

Laundry & Clothing - $20 We don't have a washer or dryer so I go to the least expensive washateria to wash and dry clothes. I don't spend $20 in two weeks and the remainder is kept in the envelope to help with clothing expenses. We rarely buy new clothes and even if we do they aren't at all expensive. We generally spend less than $200 a year on clothes.

Whatever is left of my pay, whether it's $10 or $100, goes into savings.

So there you have it - the envelope system that works for our business and personal expenses both. Is it any wonder I have a mean crush on Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University?

February so far...

February 8th, 2008 at 08:52 pm

We started on February 1st using Dave Ramsey's envelope system for our personal expenses of food, gas, clothing/laundry, and entertainment expenses. And so far we're doing very well. We'd budgeted $86 for food for 14 days and we're at $108.22 only 8 days into the month. Interestingly enough, that's about the amount we haven't spent by not smoking, which right now is $108.19. Ha!

We've definitely spent more than we'd budgeted. However, we still have $24 in the food envelope. The difference between the $108.22 and the amount we've spent from the envelope, $46 and some change, came from a combination of our personal spending money and entertainment money. A little over $24 of that was actually for nicotine patches rather than food so it isn't quite so bad as it looks. But I include it all in food here because I'm lazy. Wink For you purists, I have it all properly broken down in my spreadsheet, though.

This month we're trying to spend as little as we can for most things. We're hot and heavy on the trail of an increased emergency fund and paying the bills! In light of that, we're using quite a bit of food from our pantry and eating meals like slow cooked beans, rice with a little chicken gravy and tossed salad, homemade taquitos, chili, etc. We have a beef roast, some ground beef, and several big hens in the freezer but I'm cooking with less meat for health and wealth. So rice, beans, small amounts of meat and lots of vegetables are the way to go this month!

So here's what we've spent so far:

Business rent, utilities, advertising, etc., $1000

Food, $108.22 This includes spending for groceries, eating out, snacks and drinks at work, and cat food

Gas, $49 (budgeted $86 for two weeks - will be re-funded on the 15th)

$100 for Financial Peace University

$35 to oldest stepson (we'll more than likely do this every week or couple of weeks for awhile so I might create a new envelope for it)

$60 supplies for office (not something we buy monthly - we usually don't spend even $5 on office supplies in a month)

$15 personal (budgeted $20 each for two weeks - will be re-funded on the 15th)

$7 laundry and $11 for a work shirt for me (budgeted $21 for two weeks - will be re-funded on the 15th and will have to increase that amount a little I think though I don't buy any kind of clothing every month much less every two weeks)

So far, so good. We have bills due again starting in a few days but we have most of the money for those and will have the rest by their due date, I think.

All in all, Financial Peace University and the envelope system are really helping us. And it's great to know the bills are paid..or almost paid!

It might just be shuffling money but...

February 1st, 2008 at 12:20 pm

It's hard to describe what the last three days have been like for me. I've been in the depths of despair and have been almost elated, also. Why? Well, let me tell you!(Glad you asked!) And no, we didn't win the lottery!

About three weeks ago or so (after we last paid bills) we set aside envelopes to put cash from the business in to pay expenses. We realized that if the money is in our pockets it gets spent. So we wrote things like Rent, Electric, Advertising, and Materials and Supplies on regular envelopes and every night, after the shop closes, we sit down together and go through the sales for the day and put it in the envelopes. Business is slow (apparently in this field it drops off somewhere around Christmas and stays slow until early to mid February) so there have been days when we only had $25 to put in envelopes but we'd put $5 in this one, $10 in that one, etc and keep just a little for ourselves. We do this every day we're open, 6 days a week. Keep in mind this is our first time of doing this and we had no idea if it would work.

Then recently we opened a checking account at a bank closer to the shop. My checks go into that account as have some cash and all checks written at the shop. I've managed to be very careful with that checking account and rarely write checks from it. DH has a debit card for it but I don't because I KNOW from experience that it's just too easy for me to spend money with a debit card. Long story there but for me plastic just isn't money. It's.. plastic! Instead I get a little cash from when I need it. When it's gone, it's gone.

We just started Financial Peace University (FPU) last week and got Dave's envelope system. Since we already have one going for the office expenses so we decided to use the FPU system for things like food,
clothing, laundry, gas for the truck, etc. After looking at that cash flow plan a couple of days ago I didn't see how we could possibly do this and was so upset! And I'm still not sure how we're going to do it. But yesterday I realized that all this is just part of getting control of the finances and rather than panic and worry I need to stay calm, learn from this, and USE it to help us.

So last night I realized we needed to get the phone bill paid immediately or we'd incur a late charge. Now mind you, in the past even if I had the money to pay on time, I rarely did. I just didn't think about it and we constantly were late on bill payments and paid those late fees.
But last night I did think about it so I called the phone company and paid the bill over the phone with an e check, making sure I noted that in the checkbook. We had the money in the checking account so there
was no danger in me doing that. Plus we had the money for that bill in the Phone envelope set up recently.

So, this morning I picked up my paycheck and went to the bank. I took the FPU envelope system with me. It's very small, looks much like a wallet and fits in a purse easily. I knew the amount of cash I needed to get for the next two weeks and knew how much for two of the four categories I needed. I couldn't remember the other two amounts but knew the total amount to get. So I get to the bank and rather than go through the drive through I walked in. Why? Well, there were a couple of reasons but one was something that just dawned on me this morning. When I use an ATM or drive through it's just too easy. It's too easy to get cash from the ATM or a drive through teller without THINKING about it. For me, it's similar to using plastic. So I decided to go in to the lobby because that makes me THINK about money. Ehh, it's hard not to think about it with all the money related stuff staring at me. Also, I needed the cash broken down into certain bills and it was going to take a little while and it's cold outside and there's no need to hold up other customers while I piddle with money. So I went to the teller, gave her the deposit slip and check with the 'less cash received' part filled out and said, "I need this cash in a certain way." No problem.

I got $87 for food for two weeks, $87 for gas for the truck for two weeks, $25 for entertainment for two weeks (not that we will use it but we figured that amount in on the CFP sheet so I did it) and the remainder was $51. I walked to a side counter and put $87 in the food envelope, $87 in the gas envelope, $25 in the entertainment envelope, and left the $51 remainder in the bank envelope. Then I headed to Wal-Mart because we needed bread, lunch meat, and a little fruit.

Okay yall, this is where it gets good! Why? You'll see change of thinking popping up a lot though you may see some of that already. I got to Wal-Mart and walked in with my little envelope system and my keys and my cell phone and nothing else. No checkbook, no cards, not even my purse. I walked by the deli and saw they had my favorite egg rolls at 2 packages for $5. I bought a package of orange chicken a few days ago for dinner one night this week and figured egg rolls would be great with that so I got one package. Not two, not three, just one. Then I picked up bread, lunch meat, 3 bananas and 2 apples. That's it. I didn't wander around the store, I didn't look at every thing there. Oh, I thought about it but I had $87 in that envelope to last two weeks so I knew I couldn't fritter it away. I got what we needed and went to the self check out stand where I rang it all up and paid cash - $10.59. I paid for it, put the bills and change I got back back into the food envelope, wrote on the envelope what I'd paid and the new balance, and got out of there.

I got back to the office and told DH how much my check was and such. I balanced the checkbook, told him what's in it (a little more than we usually have, even on my payday!) and started showing him the envelopes with the money. He had the office envelopes in his hand and we started going through those while we talked. He said something about being a little short on the rent money which is due today then commented that we had enough in the bank to cover it. At about that time he handed me the phone bill envelope and told me to go ahead and deposit that and send the payment. I said okay then it hit me. I paid that last night out of the checking account! I told him and he told me to just deposit it then. But he'd just said the rent money was short so I asked what he needed for that. He counted and told me. I opened the phone envelope and handed him the money and said "There, done."

I know, this is simple stuff to some of you but this is a light bulb moment for me! He took the money, grinning, added it up, saw that it was enough and called the landlord and told him to come get his money when he was ready. After giving him that money I had $25 left of the phone money. We slipped that into the electric bill envelope which is still short but we have until the 12th to pay it.

Okay, so the phone was paid last night, the rent was paid today, the electric bill envelope has about 1/4 of what it needs with about 11 days to go, and we have plenty of food because we believe in stocking up when prices are really good.

Realizing the bank account was in the positive(not a lot of money there but a little), he went ahead and ordered something he needs for advertising purposes. The cost was only about $38 or so but he did it over the phone. Afterwards, he realized that he had $30 of that $38 in the advertising envelope so he got that out and moved it to the savings envelope. Yeehaw, another $30 in there!

At this point, yall are probably thinking "Big deal, they're just shuffling money around!" and that's true, we are. But this is our first time doing this and it takes awhile to tweak it so that its just right. For awhile, it will go on like this and that's okay. The point of all this, though, is that we're beginning to see the light about how we spend and we're beginning to be able to pay things when they need to be paid, and still have a little left. And more than that, we actually have money to shuffle!! I can't tell yall what this feels like to me!

The main reason we can do this is the Cash Flow Plan and the Allocated Spending Sheet. They're helping us prioritize what needs to be paid. A lot of people can do this without help but we need help and FPU is giving it to us.

No, it won't be easy and it's going to be very rough at times. We have a lot of old debt to deal with and at some point we will. But we have to take care of the four walls and the business and that's happening, slowly but surely. And my next check will be very small since I am only working a few hours this week. But most of the bills will be paid and we'll have food. And life will rock on, even if it rocks a little slowly. Smile

I hope all this makes sense to yall. I'm just so excited I had to tell somebody! I think I see light at the end of the tunnel.

That poor little chicken!

January 25th, 2008 at 09:31 am

I just used the last of the chicken I cooked on the 19th. It gave us three meals for two people and three more meals for one person and I finally finished it off making today's lunch for two;chicken dressing and gravy with green beans. Yum! So that one little chicken provided eleven meals, total. Hmm, that comes to about .11 per meal, right?

Wow, that was one thrifty and rubbery chicken!

Ouch! Today's spending

January 20th, 2008 at 01:02 pm

DH has an eye infection and the drops the eye doctor gave him didn't clear it up so I just went and got the prescription drops. After my discount, they cost $68! We didn't have that in the budget for this month but oh well, infections happen! At least I got the discounted price.

While there, I picked up a bag of frozen Orange Chicken. Since the Cashew Chicken was so good I wanted to try this one. I also got a dozen eggs. Again, I used my discount but it still cost me a little over $6.

The total discount I got was $8.27 and I'm adding that to my challenge money giving me a new total of $69.10. Go me!

So, today's spending is about $75. I hope there's no more spending today...

Thrifty Ideas, Part 3

January 20th, 2008 at 10:35 am

On January 6th I posted Part 2, then got busy doing other stuff and forgot to post Part 3! So here it is, Part 3 of my thrifty ideas!

If you have stores around you that double or triple coupons, combine the coupons with the sales for a really good bargain. I don't know how it's done everywhere else but in our area the sales on the items in this Sunday's paper won't happen for a couple of weeks. So just clip the coupons, organize them so that you can get to them easily, and watch the sale papers. Our stores double coupons occasionally and never triple them so I don't get a large savings using them like many people do. Also, most of the coupons I find aren't for things we eat. But it can't hurt to keep an eye on the coupons and sales and try to bring them together for more savings.

It doesn't matter how cheap something is;if you won't eat it, don't buy it! It isn't a bargain at any price if it sits in the cupboard or freezer and doesn't get used. So forego that on sale container of rice milk if you won't drink it. Get the regular stuff and enjoy it. Wink

Spend an extra $5 a week (or every two weeks if that's what you can handle or $10 a week if you can handle that!) to build up your pantry with loss leaders and sale items. If you use a lot of mustard and it goes on sale for .33 a jar, wouldn't it be smart to buy 10 jars of it? Sure it would if you will go through that much before it expires! If you go through 8 a year, that's over a year's worth! Just check those expiration dates. If there aren't any good loss leaders or sales that week and you don't spend your $5 put it somewhere safe. You might find a great deal later and need it!

Pay attention to the unit price of items (the ones on shelf labels are often incorrect) and make sure you have somewhere to store a large quantity of an item if you're thinking of buying it. A 25 lb bag of flour is usually, though not always, cheaper than five 5 lbs bags. But if you have nowhere to put the flour and it sits out and goes rancid, that wasn't a deal at all. This works for sugar, oats, and other staples. Remember, though, that a lot of things can easily be stored under beds, in closets, in corners, etc. By the way, it's a good practice to put flour, sugar, corn meal, and oats in the freezer for a few days to kill any bugs or larvae that might be present.

Milk can be frozen so if it goes on sale at a good price buy all you can afford and for which you have room. Most people open the container, remove about a cup then put the lid back on and freeze the container. I've never done that and have never had a milk tragedy in the freezer but if you're concerned about expansion, try that.

Cheese can be frozen (I have about 20 bags of shredded cheese, bought at $.50 a bag in my freezer right now) but it gets somewhat crumbly so I use it for salads, casseroles, etc.

Large packages of meat are often a few pennies less per pound than their smaller counterparts and can be broken down into 1 lb packages and repackaged for your freezer.

Check your stored foods periodically and rotate the items. We rotate every 6 months, eating the oldest items and leaving the next oldest (now oldest since the real oldest got eaten) in the front with the newest in the back. All the years working in retail have taught me something. Wink

More to come!

Midnight musings...

January 18th, 2008 at 10:46 pm



It's actually after midnight but I figure "Midnight musings" sounds better than "12:34 AM thoughts"...

Anyway, I'm listening to archived Dave Ramsey shows, reading news stories about the President's proposed stimulus package, and eating a bean burrito. I need to get to bed soon but can't sleep. Fortunately I don't have to be at work until 4 PM so I should be able to sneak in a nap or two.

After hearing the commercials on Dave's show, I checked out e-Mealz. It seems like a pretty good deal at $1.25 a week so I looked at some of the sample menus. I was particularly interested in the low carb menus but was disappointed that they featured quite a few items we don't eat and they don't seem to have a menu plan for kosher diets. We don't eat rabinically kosher but it's very close to our diet. Not that I am seriously considering signing up for e-Mealz but I know a few people who might really benefit from it. I already do what e-Mealz says they do but I don't spend hours on it like the commercial mentions. It takes me 10 to 20 minutes to create a frugal but healthy menu plan for two weeks and I think we do pretty well feeding two adults for $30 to $45 a week with some weeks coming in well under the $30.

Speaking of frugal food, it's the time of year when we normally begin garden planning but we haven't considered it yet because we don't know where we'll be when it's time to plant. We might be in an apartment and only have a few pots in which to plant but it's possible we'll find an affordable lot somewhere and be able to put in a full sized garden. I'm praying for the latter.

Tomorrow before I go to work I'm cooking a whole chicken. It will feed us dinner tomorrow night and several meals through the week, including my lunches at work. Yaaay for stretching chickens! We'll also eat some meatless meals which means more money will be added to the challenge!

Okay, I'm off to bed now. I'm finally tired and it's about 1 AM.

Monday's spending, new challenge total and more

January 14th, 2008 at 07:17 pm

I spent $6 on a dozen homemade chicken tamales this morning. The maker of the tamales does a very good job and delivers them hot and fresh. I don't get them weekly but talked to her about giving me a discounted price if I buy 6 dozen or more. She agreed so I might do that soon. It's nice to have them in the freezer for nights when I work late or we're simply in the mood for them. They're great with a little chili on top, reheated for lunch at work. Yum!

Later we went to Wal-mart for a few groceries and spent $34.75. We used $8.80 in coupons for free stuff so that was a nice savings and that $8.80 goes in to my challenge money. The new total for the challenge is $42.83.

I have my lunch and snacks packed for work tomorrow;a turkey pastrami on whole wheat sandwich, a few potato chips, a tin of kippers (I run everyone from the break room with those!) and an apple. I have no drinks to take but I can get free ice water from the grill so I'll do that.

This week we'll have two of the four needed signs installed for the shop. It will cost $200 for the two big ones to go by the road. Next week we'll have the two smaller ones brought in and install them ourselves. Those signs will cost about $100 but we'll save $100 by installing them ourselves rather than have the sign company do it. The signs are vital, though. We're on the major drag in this town but the little office complex we're in is easy to miss. Signs will help increase the business and make us easier to find for the ones sent here by the local optical shops. A well written map doesn't seem to do the trick!

I also need to get my car registered so I can drive it instead of the truck. That will cost about $60 plus gas for the 50 mile trip to get it registered. And I need to pay my car insurance, about $55.

Wow, this is going to be an expensive week so I really need to make sure to take my lunches and snacks to work and not buy a thing that isn't necessary. Fortunately, the shop gives us some daily cash flow but today was slow as was the last part of last week. I get paid Friday, though. Half of that goes to savings and the other half to bills if we need it. If not, it will sit in savings. Hopefully the rest of this week will be good for the shop and we can save more than half of my pay.

Hey, a girl can dream! Smile

Thrifty Ideas, Part 2

January 6th, 2008 at 08:26 pm

Buy the things you and your family use the most in quantity when on sale. Here's a good example of that. In December of 2005 a local store had rump roast on sale for .99 a lb. It had been awhile since I'd seen it at that price so I went to get some. They were out but I got a rain
check. The rain checks there always have a limit of three on them. A few days later, DH and I went to the store and there in the meat case was one roast. The butcher told us that they came in very large pieces and each one was cut up to make the roasts we normally see in the case. DH asked her to bring one of those large roasts out and she did. It was well over two feet long, close to 30 inches! He asked her if we could get 3 of those with the rain check;she said we could so we did.

For those three roasts we paid about $50. BTW, that was about $200 worth of meat! We brought them home and cut them up into smaller roasts suitable for our family and cut some into stew meat sized chunks for soup, stew, casseroles, etc. Unfortunately, no one around here has sales like that lately so we aren't eating roast as much now. But the principle is still alive and well.

Another thing you can do that will save you money and improve your health is to view meat more as a condiment rather than a main dish. Using it in casseroles, soups, baked with veggies and such is much
cheaper than serving slabs of it to your family. It's also better for weight, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure. Most of us eat way too much meat and it's hard on the body and the pocketbook. Practice cutting down that meat! I'm a meat eater so I know it's hard but it really does help the health and the money situation! It doesn't hurt to institute a meatless meal or two or three a week rule, either. We have several meatless meals a week and manage just fine. I'm trying to increase the number of meatless meals but it's not so easy when the household consists of meat lovers. Progress is progress, though. We take it one step at a time.

I don't know if you eat cold cereal but it's one of the worst buys for your money. It has very little nutritional value and is outrageously expensive, even when on sale. Instead of trying to fill up on cereal, eat eggs, oatmeal, cream of wheat, french toast, waffles and pancakes, breakfast casseroles, breakfast tacos, cottage cheese, yogurt, homemade muffins and breads, even leftover fried chicken...but think of cereal as a special treat, one that's very expensive. Because of our dietary restrictions, DH and I can't fill up on oatmeal, waffles, biscuits, etc. so breakfast is one of our more expensive meals. Every one is different and you have to work with what you're given.

Set rules about food and keep them. If it's acceptable to you to only buy meat when it's on sale, then make that a rule and stick to it. You can save a fortune if you do that, especially if you buy a large amount on sale. Only buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. Not only are they cheaper, they're better for you. I prefer frozen vegetables over canned so I buy them when they're on sale and try to buy enough to last me til the next sale. But I know a deal when I see one and I buy canned veggies too, especially when they're on sale at a great price. Don't be afraid to buy and eat canned vegetables and fruits. They really can be part of a healthy diet.

Here's another rule a lot of families implement;limit kid's snacks and don't let them snack on sugary or expensive foods. Kids can eat you out of house and home, I know! I had two boys 13 months apart
and it was a nightmare to feed them at times. I encouraged them to have 2 to 3 fruits a day (a serving of grapes is 10 to 15 depending on the size of the grapes, not half the bag), celery with or without a filling like peanut butter or a bit of cream cheese, chunks of cheese in a bowl mixed with a few raisins and sunflower seeds, a container of yogurt, cheese/herb crackers, etc. Cookies and crackers were all homemade and were eaten fairly sparingly. Sugar, whether we like it or not, isn't good for us. We may love it, kids may love it, but we don't need it! We had desserts rarely on Saturday night or Sunday, not several nights a week like a lot of families. As a side note, obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure run in my family so I was trying to teach my boys good habits. I think I succeeded.

A lot of families drink water more than anything. I do that, myself, but I keep diet cola around too because I get bored with water and tea. But a lot of people find that drinking water 99% of the time saves a lot of money and yes, it would! But that rule is a bit too much for me. I like my coffee and I drink iced tea now and then, too.

More to come!

Thrifty Ideas, Part 1

January 5th, 2008 at 05:42 am



Gone are the days when grocery prices were like those in the image above but grocery spending is one area that really is flexible and one where we can see substantial savings with a little planning and work. Of course, sometimes you're already down to bare bones and eating beans and rice and little more. I've been there a few times and didn't like it but managed quite well.

I've managed to feed two adults for $100 to $150 a month and a family of two adults and four teen boys for less than $250 a month. Compared to a lot of the nation, food here is low in price so you might not be able to spend as little as I do but surely there are things you can save on, some way or another.

If you haven't done so yet, start and keep a price book, at least for several months. Some people use them for years, some give them up after a few months. But they're marvelous and will help you keep track
of sales in your area. The whole purpose of that is to enable you to know what a good price is and how often certain things go on sale so when they do, you can buy enough to last until the next sale. Budgeting101.com has lots of information on price books, I believe. So does organizedhome.com. Mine is a spreadsheet on my computer but find what works for you.

Plan your meals around sales, loss leaders, and what's in your pantry.
Remember that loss leaders are the items usually (but not always) featured on the front page of the sales ads. They're put there to get your attention and lure you into the store to buy those loss leaders with the hope that you will buy other stuff while you're there.

When the sale papers come, sit down and mark the items that you will use that are priced right. This is where your price book comes in handy;you won't have to remember how much you paid for roast beef last time. Make a list with those items and seasonal veggies and fruits, canned items, to go with those dishes, etc. Get good rest the night before you shop, eat a good meal, get together any coupons you're going to use, grab your price book and list, and hit the stores! It's okay to go to one store for canned corn 5 for $2.00 and nothing else. It's okay to hit another when they have chicken leg quarters and pick up 15 lbs of quarters and nothing more. Take into consideration the amount of driving you have to do since gas is so high now.

Say what want about Wal-Mart's practices and ethics - I don't agree with some things they do, either. But we buy most of our groceries there because they price match the competing grocery store sales and it saves us time and driving. When you get to the stores, remember why you're there. You're not there to buy cookies, cakes, and soft drinks unless they're on your list or you have a real need for them. And come on, how often do you need those? You're not there to spend all the money you can. You're on a mission and that mission is to get the best, most nutritious food you can for the least amount of money!

Shop the perimeter of the store first because that's where the fresher,
healther food is, avoiding the inner aisles where the more expensive food is. If you need something on one of those aisles, go for it last, find it, get it in the basket, and leave that aisle quickly!

More to come!

Dealing with poverty or near poverty..or thrifty ideas to help you get by

January 4th, 2008 at 09:04 pm

You know, a lot of the blogs here deal with saving and investing and those things are so important. Some of the members are real financial pros in my opinion. I hope to be like Julie (Ima Saver) when I grow up and be able to save money seemingly with each breath and have investments for the future. But I'm not there yet.

It isn't just that I never learned how to save, though that is a factor. It's also that for most of my life I've lived at, just below, or just above the poverty level. I make minimum wage or slightly above and my other half has struggled with several failed businesses. Technically, we're poor. He tells people we're so poor that where we come from it's spelled poooor. He jokes but there's some truth to it.

The 2007 poverty guidelines show this for a family of two:

100% of poverty is an income of 13,690, 120% is 16,428, and 133% is 18,207. For the last few years I've generally been somewhere around these figures, sometimes a little higher. But you get the picture.

It's not easy to live day to day with that kind of income, much less save. Yes it's manageable but it can also be incredibly stressful and wreak havoc in lives.

I'm really working to improve the saving issue and am making headway on it. But it's an uphill battle because, simply put, after bills are paid, food is bought and gas is put in vehicles, there's precious little money to save.

There are things we do, though, that help us not just get by but get a little put back here and there. It's a work of progress, learning to save and the folks here at SA have helped me tremendously. Someday I'll need advice on investing and when I do, I know where I'll look. In the meantime I want to share some suggestions that can help anyone, rich or poor, get by just a little better. So my next entry will be Part 1 of Thrifty Ideas.

So I went 21 days without grocery shopping

October 17th, 2007 at 07:13 pm

Yippeee! Not bad at all!

My mother and I went grocery shopping today and I made up for it. I spent about $130 on groceries today but I'm okay with that and here's why.

I bought a lot of meat on sale, enough to last at least a month, two if I'm very careful. Almost every item I bought was on sale for a very good price and none of it was unhealthy or something I won't use.

Tomorrow I'll repackage the meat in servings for one or two, label the packets, and pop them in the freezer. Over the next two to four weeks I'll need to buy milk, bread and fresh produce but that should be it.

Since I shouldn't have to spend much more on groceries for the next six weeks or so, all in all I think I did well. Now I just have to come up with menus for the next couple of weeks to make the most of the food I have.

Grocery shopping for two weeks - success!

October 14th, 2007 at 11:10 pm

I posted on September 30th that I'd spent most of the $50 I alloted for two weeks of groceries but that I was set on chicken breasts and a few other things.

Well, I'm happy to report that I haven't spent any more money on groceries since that date. And I still have chicken breasts, turkey ham and some other things I bought then! Instead of eating as I'd planned I decided to experiment in the kitchen to see just how frugal I could be.

I had scrambled or fried eggs a few times for supper, sometimes with a thin slice of turkey ham and a slice of cheese on a low carb english muffin, made beans twice, chili once, made soup twice, had grilled chicken a couple of times, and used the ground beef I had more as a condiment than a main dish. I even managed to turn one pound of ground beef into six meals. No, they weren't meaty meals but I don't need to have a lot of those, anyway, so that worked out well. I ate plenty of fresh and frozen vegetables and even had a little fruit. I think I did really well and the meals, though not perfectly nutritionally balanced, were pretty healthy.

I imagine I'll do some grocery shopping tomorrow or Tuesday as I'm out of milk, peanut butter, and a few other things and am almost out of several more. But I'm sure I can stretch that into three weeks of eating, possibly more with what I still have from the last grocery trip.

Okay, this might be addictive trying to figure out just how long I can eat fairly nutritious meals on a deliberately tight budget. Yeah, it's a new game for me. That's the ticket!

Supper menus for the next week

October 8th, 2007 at 06:26 am

Tonight I'll have a homemade egg, turkey ham, and cheese sandwich on a reduced carb english muffin. Then, for the next week, I'll use food I have so I don't need to do more shopping. I'll have, in no particular order:

Chicken Fajitas with a side salad

Scrambled eggs with a thin slice of turkey ham and one slice of whole wheat toast

Roast beef hash served with green beans and spinach

Chef salad made with roast beef, chicken fajita meat, and turkey ham

Tuna salad rolled up in leaf lettuce and served with a salad

Veggie meal which will more than likely be steamed cabbage, carrots, green beans and spinach

Homemade beef and vegetable soup with a salad and a slice of buttered whole wheat bread

Those are all frugal meals and most will be planned overs or left overs. Yaay for 'used food'. Smile





My pantry

October 2nd, 2007 at 12:32 am

Part of starting over, at least for me, is building my pantry contents. I'm a real believer in keeping a well stocked pantry and it surely keeps me from having to run to the store for one or two things and coming out $50 poorer.

I haven't been too concerned about food partially because I wasn't sure if I need to stock up like I used to and partially because, well... I wasn't in the mood. But now I am in the mood so I just started the process this week.

It's going to take me awhile and without the large pantry room, generous kitchen cupboards and deep freeze, I'll have to be very creative about how and what I buy and how and where I store what I buy.

As of tonight, here's what food is in the house, excluding the contents of the fridge (whole wheat bread, eggs, milk, cheeses, fresh vegetables and fruit, etc):

Non-Perishables

Two 1 lb 9.6 oz bags of powdered milk
Three 1 lb bags of instant potatoes
Two 14 oz bags of farina
Two 30 count family size tea bags
Five pounds regular plain coffee
One lb flavored coffees
7 oz instant coffee
2 boxes taco shells
18 oz can Uncle Buck's Biscuit Mix
One 14 oz box whole grain brown rice
One 7 oz box instant rice
One 6.9 oz box chicken rice mix
One 7.5 oz box quick cooking wild rice
about 10 lb of long cooking white rice
10 lbs various beans
4 lbs various pastas
3 sleeves saltines
10 oz onion soup mix
1 large bag Splenda
1 small box Splenda packets
4 lbs white sugar
68 oz olive oil
Two 28 oz cans Italian green beans
Three 7 oz cans mushrooms
Four 14.5 oz cans stewed tomatoes
Two 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
Three 10 oz cans Ro-tel tomatoes
One 15 oz can chili
One 14.5 oz can carrots
One 14.5 oz can green beans
Two 10.5 oz cans vegetable beef soup
One 16 oz jar Alfredo sauce
Two 16 oz jars mild Salsa
Diet Pepsi
Miscellaneous baking ingredients and spices
Several packages of gravy mix, spaghetti sauce, etc.

Meat & Frozen Goods

Two lbs boneless beef rump roast
Six lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
2.5 lbs lean ground beef
4 bags frozen vegetables

It's almost depressing to look at this list but hey, I have to start somewhere! Over time I'll get the kitchen stocked as I want it....

I just love freebies! And cheap stuff, too.

September 30th, 2007 at 07:35 pm

Today I went to lunch at Cheddar's with my mother, stepfather, and some of their friends. I didn't have to pay so it was a very nice free lunch and I brought home quite a bit of my Dijon Mushroom Chicken and will have that tomorrow for lunch or supper. That was my first time at Cheddar's and I imagine I'll go back some time.

In yesterday's mail I got 25 coupons for a free bottle of Country Bob's all purpose or spicy hot sauce. I just love that sauce and will buy it when I have no coupons but I'm happy to do as Al asked and get 4 bottles for myself and give away the other 21 bottles. I have no problem spreading the word about such a great sauce! If you haven't tried it, go to countrybobs.com for a coupon for a free bottle of it. Tell 'em Denise sent ya. Wink

I also got a very pretty hand made hot pad from a friend online. It's varying shades of green and looks nice in the kitchen.

And today I finally found a clothes line for inside the house. My back yard, if you can call it that, is too small for a line and I wanted something that would work inside. Today I found a retractable clothes line for less than $7 so I bought it and installed it over the tub. It has shorts drying on it and so far, so good. Anything that helps save me money is a good thing! $7 isn't much to pay to stay out of laundrymat, huh?

And I've now spent all but $6 of the $50 I got for groceries for 2 weeks. But I'm set for boneless skinless chicken breasts, ground beef, frozen vegetables, and coffee. Yaaaaay!

It's been a good couple of days for freebies and cheap stuff. Smile

Oh, the humanity!

September 27th, 2007 at 06:29 pm

Of paying bills, that is. Yes, today was bill paying day.

For most of the last 25 years of my life, bills were rarely paid on time. Yes, there were months when I was flush and they got paid on time or even a tad early but for the most part, it's been a major source of stress for me.

However, I have a new system that involves my mother helping me pay bills. At 45 I really shouldn't need her help but honestly, I have serious math problems and stress-over-money issues and this works for us. We sit together with a cup of coffee or a soft drink and go over the bills then write out the checks, drop them in the mail and go for lunch and just a little bit of shopping. There's a lot of giggling in there, too!

The total for rent, cell phone, and everything but the electric bill since I haven't gotten it yet and the storage unit since I want to move to a smaller one pronto, was $835.95. Ouch! But that includes $150 for spending money for me for two weeks. No, that really isn't all fun money since $50 of it is for groceries and $50 of it is for gas. I don't use $50 worth of gas every two weeks but since I'm looking for a job I might need that much. What I don't use will be put back in the account.

After we got checks made out and mailed we went to a local place for lunch then went to Wal-Mart and Target. I got a few little things I need and spent $19.88 and that included the cost of curtains for the living room. Then I got a couple of things at CVS and spent $8 and some change. I'll wait til Monday or Tuesday to do the grocery shopping since I'm okay on food right now.

Anyway, my bills other than those two are paid, I have money to go grocery shopping and put gas in the car and I feel fairly good about my financial situation. No, it isn't easy and I need to find at least a part time job but wow, it feels absolutely great to have paid the bills before their due dates and to know I only have two more to pay over the next month!

The last couple of months have been hellish but my mom has really been here for me. I'm blessed to have a mother who loves me as she does and tries to help me keep the stress under control. At some point, she'll turn the reins back over to me but not until I tell her I'm ready.

So that's my financial day in a nutshell. Smile

Making a realistic budget

September 25th, 2007 at 10:27 pm



So, I've been working on my new budget, trying to come up with a realistic one.

Originally, I'd budgeted $100 a month for food. I'm slightly over that for September and the month isn't over. But the grocery money is gone so I'll make do with what I have for the next six days. And I really do think I can do with $100 a month as long as I'm very careful about what I buy.

I registered at thegrocerygame.com and will see if that helps. Of course, after I registered and paid, I found groceryguide.com which is almost the same but free. Argh! I talked to a few people who have tried both and they all prefer the grocery game. I'll try it for the few weeks I paid for and if I don't like it, it's worth the money to know that.

Most of my expenses are fixed and I'm trying to keep the ones that aren't fixed under control. One of the big concerns I have is paying the electric bill. For nine days in September it was almost $37. Of course, those were nine very hot Texas days!

That doesn't sound too bad until you multiply it by 3 and see that a month of electric usage is about $120. That might not seem like a lot to some people but that's more than I can handle right now so off the AC went and off it's going to stay for some time. Unfortunately, the unit that cools is also the unit that heats so once it's cold, I'll have to use it unless I come up with an alternative. There's always layering clothes and hot coffee, though.

Here's to cooler weather and low grocery spending... may they be with me for awhile. Smile

My food budget is sooo blown this month!

February 25th, 2007 at 09:40 am

We've been doing a lot of commercial satellite jobs and they've taken us far from home. We're generally home each evening but on the road for hours a day. Well, because of that we've spent almost $400 on food so far this month! That might not seem like a lot to some but we generally spend less than $200 a month to feed 4 people so $400 by the 25th of the month, and a good deal of it fed only two people, is just outrageous! We have to put an end to that, period. We can't afford it. I don't think there will be more commercial jobs for awhile so that will solve most of the problem right there. But I need to come up with a back up plan in case we end up doing another one or two or twelve. The money is good so we won't turn them down but we need to not eat out every time we do those jobs!

Anyone have ideas on something to take to eat other than sandwiches?

USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food

January 23rd, 2007 at 06:27 pm



For November 2006, the USDA's "Thrifty Plan" for a family like mine of three men and one woman, is $571. Wow, that seems like an awful lot of money for groceries to me. Or is it just that I'm so accustomed to spending less that it seems too high? Granted, we live in an area with a lower cost of living but I work hard to buy and cook on a very limited budget.

Anyway, the USDA's info is here for those who haven't seen it:

http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodPlansCostofFood.htm

I'd like to know what others think of the federal government's ideas on how much money it takes to feed a family.

Kitchen cupboard inventory and what's in your pantry?

January 22nd, 2007 at 09:19 am

While I was in the process of cleaning and organizing the cupboards yesterday, I updated my inventory. I didn't include the freezers, fridge, or outside pantry, just the kitchen cuboards.

I got to thinking of what a boon a well stocked pantry is. I haven't had to run to the store for one or two things for a meal in many, many years. If I don't have it, I substitute and if I can't do that for some reason, I don't make the dish. I just prepare something else and move on.

I truly believe that being well prepared is one of the things that's enabled me to feed 4 adults on $200 to $250 a month, most months for less.

So, what's in your pantry?

Here's part of what's in mine:

1 jar of garlic parmesan sauce (which we love over chicken and broccoli)
1 can spaghetti sauce
3 bottles misc. hot sauces
1 bottle worcestershire sauce
1 jar mayo
1 16 oz bottle honey dijon dressing
17 cans green beans
7 cans ranch style beans
2 cans sweet potatoes
10 cans corn
5 cans sweet peas
10 cans spinach
2 regular cans black eye peas and 1 6 lb can of black eye peas
1 can kidney beans
7 cans Bush Vegetarian baked beans
2 cans asparagus
1 can mixed vegetables
3 cans saurkraut
7 cans potatoes
2 1 liter boxes of Creamy Chile Poblano soup (anyone have ideas what to do with that?)
1 can bamboo shoots
3 cans tuna
1 can beef in juice (will be used in stew at some point)
1 bag Szechwan Chicken
1 can beef luncheon loaf
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 can black olives
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can mushrooms
1 can apricots
1 can mixed fruit
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can pumpkin
2 cans pineapple
3 16 oz bags of instant potatoes
2 26.5 oz bags of powdered milk
1 quart of low fat shelf milk
8 cans milk
6 lbs rolled oats
10 lbs farina
15 lbs white flour
10 lbs whole wheat flour
3 lbs soy flour
3 cake mixes
1 container of frosting
1 box dates
1 bag chocolate chips
8 lbs white sugar
4 lbs brown sugar
1 jar molasses
1 bag splenda
lots of spices
baking goods like yeast, baking powder, etc
teas and coffee
7 bags beans, misc. varieties
8 lbs rice
4 large bags of pasta, misc varieties
2 6 lbs cans whole tomatoes (what in the cat hair do I do with those? I'm thinking homemade spaghetti sauce for the freezer)

January 5 spending and more

January 5th, 2007 at 04:36 pm

We needed a few things from the store today so we went to the local grocer and dollar store. We spent $ 12.87 at the grocer and $1.08 at the dollar store. We also deposited a little over $71 in the bank.

Our salesman just called to say he had sold 8 ads and we're going to meet him in the morning to get the paperwork and money. I don't know the total dollar figure for those ads but will find out in the morning.

DH is on board! Yippeee! I'm not sure yet just how on board he is but he's almost fired up and I'm thrilled! He even listened to several hours of Dave Ramsey's archives with me. Yes, indeed, things might be looking up!

January 1 spending

January 1st, 2007 at 04:48 pm


I'd hoped today would be a no spend day but we had to meet a client so we had to put gas in the truck..again. That was $10. We also got two drinks at the gas station so the total was $12.35. There isn't a Wal-Mart Supercenter in our town so while we were in that town we stopped at WM and got:

Milk $3.58
Altern $5.24 (WM's version of Splenda)
2 cartons of half & half $3.34
Several boxes of sugar free pudding and gelatin $4.95
5 dozen eggs $5.82
Colombian coffee $5.58
Sugar free peanut butter $2.27
Regular peanut butter $2.23
2 bunches of celery $1.00
12 ounces walnuts $4.18 (ouch! DH wanted these)
whole wheat bread $1.36
Cottage cheese $2.26
3 lb. Smart Balance $4.38
Creamer $$2.26

The total was $50.83 but we shouldn't need anything but milk and bread for the next week or so. I generally get milk for $2.99 at a convenience store near where we normally shop for groceries but I knew we wouldn't be anywhere near it today so we paid the higher price for the milk at WM.

Spending for the day $63.18
Business Deposit $125.00

I don't know that we'll even leave the house tomorrow. I hope we don't so we don't spend a single cent!