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February No & Low Spenders! Week 1 (2/1-2/7)


Runningmom80
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This needs to be me.

 

Must stop spending....must stop spending....must stop spending.

 

Last month we moved and had a ton of things we needed to buy, and last night I topped it off with more home decor. Sigh. It's a good time to get back on track, and I'm not going to buy anything for the house unless my husband needs to fix or update it (like the new locks when he finally gets a chance to pick a new knob.)

 

And personal spending. No.

 

Clothes for the kids--as necessary, with limits. We put this off for a LONG time because we were saving for the house. My middle daughter looks like she's waiting for a flood.

 

We have three road trips for which we'll have to buy gas, food, lodging. But won't do extra shopping.

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I am mostly concentrating on groceries, since that's my only real problem area. I went this morning and spent $300, I'm hoping the only thing I need from now until the 15th is produce. I have $96 left until then in my grocery budget. I planned out all meals, breakfast lunch dinner, and snack options until then, so I feel pretty good. I'm going to make a goal of only $900 this month instead of $1000 like last month.

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I'm in too. Spent 45 yesterday in groceries with dinner planned until the 16th. We a whole 36 a month for food stamps on the 9th that I will use for a few meals (chicken breasts, sausage and some more fresh fruit for dd, we will also get Wic the 4th) I get another 25 for 2 weeks the 15th but hoping to get our refund before then so we can stock up on basic long keeping staples like canned goods and meat

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I'm in again. I want to keep my groceries under $550, eating out under $20, Kindle/Itunes purchases under $10 and my gas under $100. I have a wedding to go to next weekend and I still need to purchase a gift, shoes, and accessories. I'd like to keep all of that under $150. I'm also planning a rather large yarn purchase later in the month but I think that will be coming out of our tax refund.

 

I spent $148 at the grocery store today. That included laundry soap, toilet paper and shampoo. I still need to get some produce and expect to spend another $10-15 on that.

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Ok, I'm tempted to drop a boatload on Montessori stuff for my twins. Ugh. I need to prioritize, and buy a little at a time.

 

 

I neeeed something to keep them occupied a tiny bit during the day so I can work with ds6.

 

I have m&d lacing beads, 3 puzzles, and a wooden sorting clock in my amazon cart right now. It's calling me....

 

 

Eta: i also want to buy meet the masters for CM artist study. Is there something cheaper I should look at?

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Ok, so my goals for February:

1. no amazon spending

2. no curricula purchasing

3. no eating out except for dates with my husband, limited to $62.59 in budget

4. eat out of pantry, grocery budget limited to $283.89

5. misc. non-food and non-clothing expenditures limited to $90.85

6. re-price auto & home insurance

 

Scout camp fees came unexpectedly due (due 2/5 instead of mid-April like usual) and we have three huge bills due in early March. Thank goodness Feb. is a short month!

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I love all those activities for little hands! You could make a bunch of those muffin tin/bead activities. There are loads of ideas on Pinterest. Most of that stuff can be found at the dollar store. Are they "mouthy?" Not sure if that stuff is safe for two. It's been a long time, lol.

 

Unfortunately, they are mouthy. They still eat crayons, and they are 2 1/2, I totally thought I'd be past this stage by now. Lol. My older DS was done by 18 months.

 

I have the Montessori at home ebook, I'm going to write down a bunch of activites and try to piece them together cheaply.

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I just made a TON of busy bag activities off of ideas from pinterest. Surprisingly, Dollar Tree had lots of supplies.

 

Have you looked at Artistic Pursuits? If you buy quality art supplies through Blick, it works out to about $80-90/year including the book. The prints inside of the book are very high quality.

 

It's funny, that was the other one I was looking at. I think I would like a hard copy book instead of a web program.

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I just made a TON of busy bag activities off of ideas from pinterest. Surprisingly, Dollar Tree had lots of supplies.

 

Have you looked at Artistic Pursuits? If you buy quality art supplies through Blick, it works out to about $80-90/year including the book. The prints inside of the book are very high quality.

 

 

D you have a pin board with these?

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Well, a quick search showed me that most Montessori at that age is very parent directed. I hate to say this but when my youngest was two, we bought a beanbag chair for her and put a small tv in her room. She would watch a video and fall asleep in the beanbag. It was the ONLY way I could get any work done.

 

Your twins probably won't play with the store bought stuff right? How about some cardboard boxes? That is hard age because they get frustrated easily. I had some of those pop up tents..sort of like this but way more http://shopping.yahoo.com/760379191-magic-playground-play-tent/ We had those things forever and they really held up. Playhut brand I think. They break down small and can come out only when you want them to.

 

Haha, I'm trying to unenable you and look what I did!!

 

 

Hahaha!

 

 

Ok so, they don't watch tv! They will watch for 5 minutes, and then they are bored! I would totally use it if I could, lol. I do know that montessori is very parent directed at this age. I was thinking I could get stuff they could do on the floor next to me while I read or help DS with handwriting. Definitely no rice bins. Those scare me. Hahaha.

 

We have a pop up tent, I should get it out. I'm imaging ultimate fighting champion going on inside of it....

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Sounds like food and curricula are at the top of a lot of "watch" lists!! Same here. :)

 

That said, I need to hit Costco and the grocery store today... wish me luck, LOL. I plan to make a list for each place and try very hard to stick with it. I'm also going to have at least a vague meal plan to make sure I have what I need, but not a ton more!!

 

I am going to try to hold off on books and curricula as well. I have most of what I need for next year, and I'm fine for the rest of this year. So it would all be "wants" at this point. ;) I don't think I'll order anything except a few random paperbacks or Kindle books, and I plan to cut back on that as well!!

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I sent you a pm with a link to my pinboards. Some are more montessori-like than others. There are some great blogs out there with montessori busy bag activities that don't break the bank. I wouldn't buy the magnet letter and numbers from dollar tree as I worry about the magnets coming off.....but the fishing pole activity where you sew a washer into the fish's mouth is pretty safe. There are a lot of things on pinterest I didn't pin to my boards because I had already made them..... It's now kiddo #4 who is doing busy bag activities, so I've been building my stash for almost a decade now. ;)

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Want to hear my story of embarrassing freezer ridiculousness? :leaving: When I go to Costco, I often plan to get one of those gigantic bags of frozen, boneless chicken breasts. They are a staple item, especially when I need to make dinner in less than an hour. (Stir-fries, fajitas...). Well. The shelf where I usually put the giant bag was so cluttered and stuffed, I couldn't properly see what was there anymore. I had a notion there were a couple of bags of frozen shrimp and maybe scallops and....I really didn't know what. So I took out the big bag and found an old bag of chicken breasts with like 3 breasts in it. I took it out and found there was another bag with 1 or 2 in it. I would like to say that is all, but it's not. There were five bags with just a couple of breasts left in it! :svengo: I almost made a whole new bag from the "leftovers" in each! Obviously, every time I would get a new bag, I would forget there were a few more left in the old bag and it would get buried.

 

So...what's for dinner? I'm thinking a fair amount of chicken...

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I need to jump in too! Now that we are finally 99% of the way moved I need to stop the money bleed that has been happening over the last few months. Our only remaining expense for the old house is to rent a dumpster and chunk stuff in it that is currently in the garage and back bedroom. We do however have to get a driveway poured, the land leveled and a retaining wall put into the new house, as well as getting some furniture pieces.

 

I am starting by getting our food spending under control. DH still grabs lunch at work most of the time, but it is cheap and frankly he works so hard and such crazy hours, I'm not going to try to make him stop.

 

I quit working for now, it was costing us much more than I was making in terms of my sanity, the cleanliness of my house, School with DS, and the amount of money spent on eating out because I was DONE by dinner time. I might try to pick up a couple bartending shifts a week once we are totally settled, it is cash in hand for little to no extra responsibility, and the hours wouldn't interfere with school too much.

 

Happily we have spent almost no money this week!

 

300 at Walmart last Friday for groceries to stock the new fridge and freezer, and a few household basics.

Sat 0!

Sun- $40 for a new cutting board, dog beds, dishwashing soap at Dollar General

Monday- 0! was free day at the zoo, we took lunch and spend absolutely nothing!

Tues- 0!

Wed- 0!

Thursday- 20 dollars at Dollar General for school/office supplies and toilet paper.

 

Today- 11 dollars at the gas station for 2 fountain sodas, two burritos and two eggrolls for breakfast :o :o :o I have cooked 3 meals a day for 7 days straight. I seriously couldn't even handle making scrambled eggs this morning, and I needed caffeine!! DS was up until 2 having a meltdown last night because he was lonely :crying:

 

I got him signed up for a weekly gym class that is only 13 dollars a month, and a tween co-op that meets weekly, with a group that has other activities going on all the time. Hopefully that will help avoid meltdowns for a while and help him meet some new friends.

 

ETA: I will probably pick something easy up for dinner tonight, DH is sick, my head is pounding, and its 4 o'clock and I have nothing prepped for dinner. I am also about to spend 50 at CLE for more math workbooks and a couple LA ones to sample.

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I have no spare $$ this month, as we are getting DH's car repaired. I went on a field trip today with our homeschool co-op & they all went out to eat after the show -- I resisted because I had packed a lunch for all of us last night. I just need to prepare properly, and then I'm golden.

 

2/1 -- $21 gas, $3 parking at show, groceries $114

2/2 -- $14 pizza after chess tournament

2/3 -- $0

2/4 -- $0

 

Spent the morning shoveling and doing school with the kids, and the afternoon playing & teaching chess.

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Hi everyone! Welcome to February! It's a new month! :D I have to buy some bigger curriculum this month, and that's that. But I am going to wait until we have paid off the credit card before adding to it, so that will be a week or so. Today I resisted buying new sneakers for myself (really need them) while shopping with DS. I got home and think I found the same sneakers on Amazon for $30 less. So yay me! Still can't buy them, LOL, but at least I know where to look when it is time! Another thing on the near horizon is DS's piano lessons. DH is in the market for a new television (we have had ours for 10 years and he wants a larger one that is HD) and we have seen some good deals, but I can't say I am happy about parting with the money. So we'll see on that.

 

2/1: $25 new sneakers for DS 6 (cash), $18 art supplies for project (cc)

2/2: $17 curriculum, $11 computer headset for DS' online class, $10 frozen yogurt (cash), $2 photos (cash), $4 tp (cash)

2/3: $33 sneakers for me, $18 sports cup for DS, $40 gas

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I'm in this month.

 

Have planned a few school purchases, and a large purchase that's planned which may or may not happen this month - depends on if we find exactly what we need. Other than those planned items, I'm in for low spend!

 

Also fighting the urge to buy Montessori supplies, and looking to find busy bag activities to make... So if anyone has some brilliant links, I'd love them.

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I'm here. No real goals since we are doing well staying within our cash budget. Our one big family goal is to not eat out. We budget $300 a month for that because that's how much (and more) we were spending before we started following a budget. Anything not spent at the end of the month goes into a Disneyland fund. We are hoping to have enough saved to go in May 2015.

 

I have some extra expenses in February. We have two birthdays this month. I have to pay for DS11's Korean school this week. We'll be taking snacks for a Valentine's Party, Astronomy club, and our small group so I have to figure that into groceries. We also take snacks to church once a week; that's this Sunday. I'm hoping to take the kids to a play. DS5 is signed up for two art classes.

 

I didn't buy any meat during the month of January. We still have a decent amount of meat but I need to stock up on a few things. I'm starting the month with 20lbs of rice, 25lbs of pinto beans, and enough TP for the month. My baking staples (except vanilla) are decently stocked and won't need to be bought this week.

 

DH is working on a big project this month. The income from that is above and beyond our normal income and will go towards paying taxes, buying a bunk bed for the boys, and buying an Expedit shelving unit for the girls' room. We're hoping there will be enough to add to our school budget too.

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Guest inoubliable

I'm in! Things NEED to be super tight this month. I have a very good chance of buying a house in the next month! Nothing but necessary bills and loan payments this month. Everything else is going towards savings.

 

1/2 - $950 on rent, $76.50 on car insurance, $10 on camper insurance, $60 towards the water bill, $12.80 on camper tax. $100 at the grocery store tonight. Another $150 towards the credit card. (Yay for my refund coming early!)

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We did pretty well last month (didn't post on the thread) though I had forgotten that signing the kids up for tennis lessons meant court shoes. But, we only needed two pair and they were on sale. :) This month I want to get back into the habit of meal planning, not only to limit spending at the store but also to try to get back into our low-carb meal planning. We don't eat out (blessing of food intolerances) though our food budget can be high, especially if I let dh go to Costco without a list. ;) I'm also planning on reducing "snacky" foods, which will correspond well with Lent.

 

I do plan on buying one piece of curriculum (probably as an ebook) if I like the looks after the samples are ready (REAL Science Odyssey Level 2 Bio). Otherwise, we need nothing for school. I want to make dd2 a felt board and some different play/schoolish sets - parts of the face, colors, etc., but I have all the supplies, I think, for that.

 

Otherwise, we are really trying to save money for a hopeful summer vacation. We also decided that during Lent (starting 2/13), we aren't going to spend money on anything except food (and household stuff but that's a very small part of our budget), unless it's an absolute emergency (extreme growth spurt during those 6 weeks in one of the kids).

 

So, reduced food budget (or more mindful spending with meal planning), one potential piece of curriculum, and otherwise, no extra spending (though I think we'll sign the older two up for tennis lessons again and dd2 for the city's tiny tots gymnastics program, which I "write off" as physical therapy).

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Oh! I also want to thank all you folks for reminding me to get some new budgeting software set up. We have Quicken on our other laptop, but we never have it set up because the cord is tricky and stops charging the battery if you bump it. Children bump things a lot, so we just don't set it up right now. We're checking out Mint, Yodlee MoneyCenter, and Microsoft Money on our main computer this month. I also inventoried and organized my cupboards!

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anyone know how long we can edit our posts for? i'd like to just edit my post for a week, and then post again the next week. But I don't know if we are locked out before a week.

 

That's how I did it each week. I didn't have any trouble editing all week. Someone else mentioned not being able to edit their post. I only edited once a day at most, so many it isn't a time period but rather number of edits.

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Want to hear my story of embarrassing freezer ridiculousness? :leaving: When I go to Costco, I often plan to get one of those gigantic bags of frozen, boneless chicken breasts. They are a staple item, especially when I need to make dinner in less than an hour. (Stir-fries, fajitas...). Well. The shelf where I usually put the giant bag was so cluttered and stuffed, I couldn't properly see what was there anymore. I had a notion there were a couple of bags of frozen shrimp and maybe scallops and....I really didn't know what. So I took out the big bag and found an old bag of chicken breasts with like 3 breasts in it. I took it out and found there was another bag with 1 or 2 in it. I would like to say that is all, but it's not. There were five bags with just a couple of breasts left in it! :svengo: I almost made a whole new bag from the "leftovers" in each! Obviously, every time I would get a new bag, I would forget there were a few more left in the old bag and it would get buried.

 

So...what's for dinner? I'm thinking a fair amount of chicken...

 

 

BTDT! It's crazy how those bags with just one or two pieces left get shuffled to the back. :)

 

 

 

Just realized I forgot to post totals...

 

I'm going to track non-essential spending, like a PP - so no bills, groceries, gas, etc. Just all the other stuff that eats away at our budget. And I'm going to do some meal planning for the month asap.

 

2/1 $0 (Yay!!!)

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I'm going to track groceries and variable/non-essential items. So not gas or bills, but dining out, books and curricula, etc. Groceries only because it will help see how much I'm spending and where it's going. I do lump groceries, cleaning, paper, consumable household products all together, so it may be higher than average... how do most of you count that??

 

Went to Costco and Target today, and although it was a chunk of money, we kept it reasonable. :) For groceries/household, I spent about $253. I also bought my son an Icee, so...

 

2/1: $255 for groceries/household items, and an Icee ;)

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After my low spend month in January, February isn't off to a great start :001_unsure: . The result of "shopping" the pantry/freezer/garden first meant by the end of the month we really needed to restock. February also brings with it all the back-to-school costs (stationary, book fees, course fees, school donation, scout fees, sport fees, etc.) Thankfully we only have ds#2 in school, but PS definitely is NOT free.

 

My goals for February include:

---After restock of staples the 1st of the month, buy only milk as needed & restock fresh produce on the 15th.

---Menu Plan dinners to make best use of time & resources

---Keep up-to-date with the garden to best provide fresh produce, thus bringing down our food costs

---Keep eat out budget (for me) to less than $25

---inventory staples now & at end of the month to get a better handle on what we use to not over stock next month

---Do major declutter in all areas, as the more I declutter, the less I am tempted to buy

***Keep totals below my 2012 monthly average in food, Beer/eat out, & fuel

 

 

Spending so far:

1 Feb = $1.20 parking + $6 milk + $44.66 fuel for my car + $128.06 grocery + $26.93 grocery + $16.45 grocery + $6 McD + $332.38 grocery

2 Feb = $3 book + $12 misc. tools

3 Feb =

4 Feb =

5 Feb =

6 Feb =

7 Feb =

 

Food = $509.82 /$1200

Beer / Eat Out = $6 /$200

Fuel = $44.66 /$400

DH's misc. spending = $15

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After my low spend month in January, February isn't off to a great start :001_unsure: . The result of "shopping" the pantry/freezer/garden first meant by the end of the month we really needed to restock. February also brings with it all the back-to-school costs (stationary, book fees, course fees, school donation, scout fees, sport fees, etc.) Thankfully we only have ds#2 in school, but PS definitely is NOT free.

 

My goals for February include:

---After restock of staples the 1st of the month, buy only milk as needed & restock fresh produce on the 15th.

---Menu Plan dinners to make best use of time & resources

---Keep up-to-date with the garden to best provide fresh produce, thus bringing down our food costs

---Keep eat out budget (for me) to less than $25

---inventory staples now & at end of the month to get a better handle on what we use to not over stock next month

---Do major declutter in all areas, as the more I declutter, the less I am tempted to buy

***Keep totals below my 2012 monthly average in food, Beer/eat out, & fuel

 

 

Spending so far:

1 Feb = $1.20 parking + $6 milk + $44.66 fuel for my car + $128.06 grocery + $26.93 grocery + $16.45 grocery + $6 McD + $332.38 grocery

2 Feb = $3 book + $12 misc. tools

3 Feb =

4 Feb =

5 Feb =

6 Feb =

7 Feb =

 

Food = $509.82 /$1200

Beer / Eat Out = $6 /$200

Fuel = $44.66 /$400

DH's misc. spending = $15

 

 

I had a day very similar to yours!

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Yesterday, I spent $300 on groceries, but like Deb, our fridge and pantry were empty. I'm hoping to only need produce until thte 15th, but I've already remembered a few ingredients that I've forgotten that i will need to buy.

 

I spent $62 at target on "busy box" items. Plus $16 at the dollar store, and $10 on amazon. I counted those in curriculum because hopefully my twins will do the activities while DS6 does school. $40 each including the boxes isn't so bad, right? :)

 

I also bout harmony fine arts for older DS. I plan on buying grammar island and practice island this month as well, but I think I'm going to wait until next pay day.

 

 

/justification of spending spree

 

PS: am I the only crazy that buys valentines treats for the kids? I usually spend about $15 in each, this year I'm going to try to keep it to $5 each. I have to make our candy because of DS allergies. I'm thinking maybe coloring books for the littles and a comic book for DS.

 

ETA: I need to go to Jo-Ann's for some project supplies today. After this weekend, I will be applying for part time jobs. :-/

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Okay. I'm on my way out the door right now and I want to respond to a bunch of you. But for now, here are my goals:

 

Goals:

Groceries (including all household items): 0/$700

Medical: $50/$100 (This is the month we need a buy our kids' medications!)

Gas: $0/$550 (This is a KILLER!!)

Kids' activities: $0/$1700 (Again, this month is a KILLER - payments for rowing, gymnastics, orchestra, and karate are all due. But, it's all budgeted.)

 

Things I'm going to try to curb this month and I hope to bank the difference in our vacation account:

Eating out: 0!!!

Coffee: 0!!!

 

Now, tell me I don't NEED to stop on the way to gymnastics and buy a cup of Starbucks coffee. Right? Make a cup here at home before I leave.

 

Extra income (hopefully!):

Goal: $58/$400

(Dh occasionally gets "tips" for his services as a priest - wedding, funerals, etc. He has a funeral next week. I also hope to sell some things on line. And, that will be banked in our vacation account!!)

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Now, tell me I don't NEED to stop on the way to gymnastics and buy a cup of Starbucks coffee. Right? Make a cup here at home before I leave.

 

 

Starbucks is my kryptonite!

 

 

We bought a French press a couple of months ago, and at has helped. It's super easy to just make a cup at a time, and it tastes amazing!

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Starbucks is my kryptonite!

 

 

We bought a French press a couple of months ago, and at has helped. It's super easy to just make a cup at a time, and it tastes amazing!

 

 

I need to look into a french press. I REALLY like REALLY strong coffee. Like peel paint off the walls strong. I'd rather have one small cup of that than 3 cups of a weaker cup. That's why I love Starbucks! So, french press coffee is strong?

 

Gotta run!!! Meg is late for gymnastics (which is what she wants anyway - she HATES the running as warmups!!! :))

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I need to look into a french press. I REALLY like REALLY strong coffee. Like peel paint off the walls strong. I'd rather have one small cup of that than 3 cups of a weaker cup. That's why I love Starbucks! So, french press coffee is strong?

 

Gotta run!!! Meg is late for gymnastics (which is what she wants anyway - she HATES the running as warmups!!! :))

 

Yes! I think it is at least. We always buy dark roast, so that's part of it.

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