Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Weekly update

I went shopping Friday afternoon to Walgreens. By then they were out of a lot of the men's products that were on sale and had higher coupon values off. I still saved about $12, though.

Friday night a huge snowstorm started. Okay, for this area, Hampton Roads, 3 inches is a major snowstorm, but this really was impressive. I was stuck inside so cleaned all day yesterday! Yay! I came up with 5 garbage bags full of things to trash and one bag full of giveaway. I thought how great it was that I wasn't even tempted to go shopping until my husband asked if I wanted to go out to dinner. Well, duh, having cleaned all day, of course I did! So we found one of the few restaurants open and ate for $35 with tip. He had a giftcard from work which covered the total cost and tip so we didn't spend anything out of pocket.

By the way, it kept snowing into the early morning today so there is lots more cleaning to do. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

So far behind!

Okay, I'll admit. If my home was as organized as I wish my head was, Martha Stewart would envy me. Get it? Right, neither my home nor my brain is organized right now!

I am getting a birthday present shipped off a week late, still have two birthday cards that need to go out (one from October!!!!) and a list a mile long of other things I need to do. In my dream world, I'm superwoman!! In the real world, I am hanging by a thread most days!

Anywho, I did my grocery shopping for the week today. I spent a grand total of $18 and saved $24 at Kroger. I don't care for Kroger, they have good deals, but few of their staff seems to ever know what's going on. So I make trips there very rarely, but had some great coupon matchups today to take advantage of.

For $18 I got a bottle of hot wing sauce, cream of mushroom soup, 3 cans of Rotel tomatoes, an energy drink, three pears, a bag of pistachios, three bags of Goldfish crackers, two bags of Kraft shredded cheese, corn tortillas, and a cup of organic yogurt. We have plenty to eat up out of the freezer (meat) and the pantry (every other staple), so this should be all I need to spend this week. I'm sure hoping so anyway!!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grocery Trip

Okay, it was a Target trip. I call it my grocery trip because our Target recently relocated and expanded. I can now get the majority of my groceries from Target.

Target vs. Wal-Mart. In my area, they are about 1 minute away from each. I read the blogs, I see where you can get things close to free at Wal-Mart, but it really boils down to my sanity. I would much rather spend a few dollars more at Target (total! not on each item!) to save my sanity. Our Wal-Mart has rude employees, a crowded, dirty store, and don't get me started on the parking lot. Therefore, I shop Target.

Anyway, I may have gotten side-tracked from my initial goal, but in my defense I did have a giftcard from Christmas in my hot little pocket. I didn't veer off course too bad, though. I did buy a few things to donate (this is a monthly expense I have factored in) and stocked up on some meat that was on sale. I needed to buy some towels as I am trying to move towards using fewer paper towels. And with two big dogs I knew I needed something to replace them with! We'll talk about my dogs another day! :) (I have read up on paperless kitchens and they say when factoring in the cost of detergent and water for the washing machine it doesn't end up being that much more expensive.)

So I spent $50 at Target today. The meat I bought will last us two weeks, cereal one week, dog treats a few days :), and I splurged on some ice cream sandwiches. I don't plan to go back to the grocery store again until next week, so I'd like to go ahead and call it $90 out of pocket expenses for the week, as this includes gas money and dinner out Friday night.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Okay, I lied. We're spending $90. Last night, to help the Red Cross and the people of Haiti, I texted "Haiti" to 90999 to sent a $10 donation. This will show up on your next month's phone bill. Be sure to do the same, it's amazing how much can be given just from a $10 donation!!

Week Two

Week one saw me spend about $200 on groceries and various other things.

I am happy to report we only spent $80 this week. This may seem like an awful lot to some people, but just easing into it, we're very proud of ourselves!! :) We were out of milk and cottage cheese so had to replenish that. $40 of it was not supposed to be out of pocket. We went out to eat with a giftcard, only my husband didn't bring the giftcard. You live, you learn. Then we grabbed dinner out last night. I had planned on fixing something at home, but ended up working all day yesterday due to a coworker was sick and left early. By the time I got home I was dog tired! (Yet another good reason to make and freeze ahead of time! Eliminate eating out because you're too tired to cook.) My husband was going golfing today with my dad and really needed some golf shoes. He's slid in his tennis shoes and fell in the mud the last two times he's been out. Anyway, we were out buying golf shoes (with a giftcard that he brought this time!) so grabbed a bite while out.

We have enough food to last us through next week, and milk to get us at least through the beginning of the week so I don't foresee having to spend too much next week. Of course this is hoping no major appliances go on the fritz this week!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eating Cheaper

Now I can try to justify how this is saving money...

I love the website SparkPeople. Right now you can download a FREE printable cookboook. It is 10 slimmed down restaurant favorites. Click here: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1398

Okay, this is how it saves money:
1) The cookbook is free.
2) You can save money (and calories!) by eating the same thing at home rather than eating out. Eating out gets expensive once you figure in tip and tax.

I can't guarantee these are $5 meals, but they're still much cheaper than the real thing! Enjoy!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Coupon Clipping!

I am looking forward to getting some great deals soon! The coupons in this week's newspaper are great.

So far, for two people, I've spent $120 on groceries for the month (!). I did most of my cooking yesterday, then put meals in to freeze. However, that spending made five meals (which will turn into 10 with leftovers), breakfast for two weeks and snacks. Lunch is varied, I eat at work a lot and my husband either goes out to eat or takes a sandwich. So I'd like to think that is $60 a week, which for two people still seems like a lot compared to some peoples' budget and mealplans I've seen, but for just getting started, that's a happy number for me.

I've set up a spreadsheet and am ready to tackle the budget for this year! Wish me luck!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

"Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping."
- Bo Derek

This makes me chuckle, but is definitely something I have to get away from. Money should never be what rules your happiness. Money comes and goes and cannot be depended on to always be there.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Where's the Money??

Oh, the money is there. The money is just always going OUT of my bank account and spending very little time IN my account... This year my husband and I are embarking on a quest to pay off $20,000 worth of debt (car loans and student loans) and build up $5,000 in savings.

Here is where I will chronicle at least my side of the journey. Come join me, it'll be... well, I hope to be very happy come this time next year. :)