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March Frugalistas

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I have a couple of  things to share: 

Publix shoppers, do y’all know about Stocking Spree? It’s a rebate program for certain brands.  I just submitted enough receipted items for my third $10 Publix gift card of 2019! I generally don’t intentionally buy things just for the rebate, but there are several brands that I regularly purchase anyway. 

Kohl’s is offering $15 in Kohl’s Cash for every $50 spent this weekend.  I’m going to take my girls shopping tonight. 

I spent about $204 on groceries last night. 😱😅. To be fair to myself, that was some larger stock-up items:  a big bag of dog food, $10 worth of my coffee creamer that was on sale, etc.  

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February was... meh.  There wasn't really any mindless spending (other than the WoW subscription DH forgot to cancel before it renewed!), but a lot of necessary expenses shoved into the smallest month of the year.  Sports fees are mostly paid now until fall, but I have summer camps and next fall's curriculum to buy still.  I'll probably focus on camps for this month and wait until April to buy books.

I spent ~$100 at the store yesterday for groceries, but that included everyone's "treats" for the month, and there were Ibotta rebates for most of them.  No birthdays or food-related holidays for us this month, but my Aldi is closing for a week in the middle of the month to finish a remodel.  It's going to be so awesome when it's done, but I'm not looking forward to paying so much for produce when they are closed (or the crowds on the days before and after the closing, when everyone is trying to stock up).

March Meal Planning, so far:

Friday 3/1 - Leftovers
Saturday 3/2 - Junk Food Night (normally Friday, but I have plans and won't be home)
Sunday 3/3 - Chicken Adobo, Rice, Veggies
Monday 3/4 - Garlic Parmesan Pasta with Kale and Chicken, Salad
Tuesday 3/5 - Taco Tuesday
Wednesday 3/6 - Garden Veggie Quinoa Stew, Breadsticks/Cheese Balls, Salad
Thursday 3/7 - Lentil Shepherd's Pie, Breadsticks/Cheese Balls
Friday 3/8 - Junk Food Night
Saturday 3/9 - BBQ Pulled Pork Roast, Potato Wedges, Veggies

Other than that one nice day we went on a bike ride, the weather has been awful and it's really making me cranky about everything, including frugality.  I don't want to spend money, but I don't want to not spend money either.  I'm just grumpy.  March is coming in like a yeti, and we'll be trudging through 6" of snow tomorrow.  Boo.

 

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I made granola today and used up a bunch of nuts languishing in the pantry. That feels frugal!

I also made baked oatmeal muffins using some very overripe bananas (instead of adding them to the dozen or so already in the freezer 😋🍌) and some PB that’s been in the refrigerator for . . . a while. 

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We stayed in today. 🙂  I swung by the library yesterday to pick up a hold for the kid and grabbed a few more for myself.
On the menu this week:
3/1 - herbed fettuccine with truffle-infused alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, salad, bread, and giant chocolate chip cookies for dessert (dh cooked)
3/2 - breakfast for dinner
3/3 - vegetarian stir fry over rice
3/4 - hoisin glazed pork, roasted potatoes, snow peas (Blue Apron)
3/5 - Mexican chicken & zucchini rice (Blue Apron)
3/6 - pork ragu (Blue Apron)
3/7 - dh will cook..something. Or leftover night
3/8 - dinner out.  DS has a presentation and the family is invited to a meal beforehand.

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Budget was going fine until today.

36 buying books for the kids

120 new dance clothes.  I have lots more to buy too. 

Audition photos 4

My older 2 have an audition for a summer intensive on Sunday.  This summer could get really expensive if they get in!  Fingers crossed. 

They have one show this month.   Tickets and dvids will be around $100

One family birthday this month.   We might go big for it since we are not doing the usual thing of a trip some place domestic or international. 

Spending tons on gas.   

Oh I really like only shopping once every 2 weeks.  I have tons of food left.  Maybe I will have to get some milk and bread.   We eat so much bread out and about now since we rarely eat home on any night. 

The kids got free pizza last night. 

I am going to work more on selling things around the house.   Having some luck with it. 

 

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February was test the dental and eye insurance month.  March will be hopefully be recover from February.  We bought a cow in January so I have plenty of beef and some staples were on sale.  I am hoping to put more away this month instead of spending much.  DD needs a few thing and has a few 4H shows coming up.  Got to buy a few things for that but they will be used for quite a few years.    

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We have 3 family/friend birthdays this month.  I was feeling kinda stressed over it until I realized I had 2 of the gifts already bought.  YAY  

 

 

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from hip2save

Through March 5th, Walgreens is offering a FREE 4×6 Photo PrintBook when you use promo code FREEBOOK at checkout – limit one per household, per account.

Plus, be sure to choose free store pickup at your local Walgreens to save on shipping fees. And you can even choose same day pickup at over 6,500 Walgreens locations, so you can order today AND pickup today!

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Hello, fellow Frugalistas.  I have a question.  If you all use a cash-based budget envelope system, how do you handle multiple stops at the grocery store (or elsewhere) made by more than one person?  For example, what if I hit one store for the main grocery run, but DH stops by the Wal-Mart near his office on the way home from work?  How do you keep up with the cash in this situation?  It's often the case for us that DH will need to stop by for something unexpectedly.  Does everyone who might shop always carry some grocery cash on his or her person?  

We really need to get back to a cash-based system, but I can't figure out how to make it work.

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11 hours ago, hopeistheword said:

Hello, fellow Frugalistas.  I have a question.  If you all use a cash-based budget envelope system, how do you handle multiple stops at the grocery store (or elsewhere) made by more than one person?  For example, what if I hit one store for the main grocery run, but DH stops by the Wal-Mart near his office on the way home from work?  How do you keep up with the cash in this situation?  It's often the case for us that DH will need to stop by for something unexpectedly.  Does everyone who might shop always carry some grocery cash on his or her person?  

We really need to get back to a cash-based system, but I can't figure out how to make it work.

We used to split it into two envelopes for the week.  DH would often be picking up small things, while I (or both) would be doing the main grocery shopping.  In that case he carried about 25% of our budget and I carried the rest.


I had to scratch my whole meal plan almost.  We got a storm on Saturday that kept our Blue Apron box from arriving.  And since Fed Ex doesn't deliver on Sunday....I am not eating anything in that box.  Nope.  I also decided against the vegetarian stir fry last night because we were getting another storm.  I found a pound of ground meat in the freezer, leftover peppers, a couple tomatoes that needed to go, and all sorts of other stone soup scrounging happened in my kitchen to make a large pot of chili appeared on my stove instead.  It was definitely welcomed by all, and there's enough for leftovers today.  I'm hoping we get a refund on the BA box that I can use for groceries for the next two meals. 
Roofers are supposed to be here this morning.  They haven't called out yet, but given the state of the roads and, well, our roof, I don't see them appearing any time soon.
 

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7 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

We used to split it into two envelopes for the week.  DH would often be picking up small things, while I (or both) would be doing the main grocery shopping.  In that case he carried about 25% of our budget and I carried the rest.

 

Thanks!  That helps me begin to wrap my head around it.

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And for the next few days I am forced to use my credit card. *sigh*  I went to take cash out of the ATM today.  It took my card and shredded it instead of letting me put in my PIN and get money.  And the bank it was at just shrugged. 

On the upside, I get cash back with the credit card.  But I didn't really want to have to use it!

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Last month I worked really hard at frugal meal planning and cooking from scratch.  Even though I fell off of doing as well at this by the end of the month (still cooking, but not all from scratch so not as frugally) we totaled just over $400 for the month for groceries and cleaning supplies for a family of 6.  I really should keep it up, but man, I am so cooked out!  So right now, I am maintaining the meal planning and cooking, but allowing myself to use prepared ingredients.

This past week I went to the bakery outlet store and scored.  They always have better prices there than the grocery stores for bread and bagels, but that day they had organic bagels for 50 cents each, and they weren’t even nearly to their sell-by dates, yet.  I spent $20 and got 9 dozen bagels, 8 loaves of bread plus 3 more from their rewards program, and 4 dozen hawaiian rolls.  And 4 little packs of cookies free for the kids, which is why they love going to the bread store.  I double bag the bread and bagels and freeze them, so the bagels will last us a good while.

I decided to use my earnings from selling Goodwill items on eBay to attempt a project I’ve been thinking about for a few years: making and selling a kit for BFSU.  I would love it if I could just buy an all-inclusive kit with everything ready to go instead of having to build my own, and  thought maybe there’s a market for that.  I guess only time will tell if this turns out to be a fiscally wise move, or if my kids are going to wind up with more science project supplies than they know what to do with.

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13 minutes ago, Michelle Conde said:

 

I decided to use my earnings from selling Goodwill items on eBay to attempt a project I’ve been thinking about for a few years: making and selling a kit for BFSU.  I would love it if I could just buy an all-inclusive kit with everything ready to go instead of having to build my own, and  thought maybe there’s a market for that.  I guess only time will tell if this turns out to be a fiscally wise move, or if my kids are going to wind up with more science project supplies than they know what to do with.

The BFSU kit is a great idea!  I have tried to use it several times and just couldn’t make it happen here.  I think having the stuff prepared would solve part of my problem.   (The other part is that I don’t possess the background to talk naturally about science myself.)

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11 minutes ago, hopeistheword said:

The BFSU kit is a great idea!  I have tried to use it several times and just couldn’t make it happen here.  I think having the stuff prepared would solve part of my problem.   (The other part is that I don’t possess the background to talk naturally about science myself.)

Yeah, I love BFSU and think it works great for my kids, but I’ve found through experience that the only way I manage to get it done consistently is if I premake kits for myself the summer before so that everything is on hand.

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I had a flat this month and I didn’t understand how the tire warranty worked. It was just prorated and price was determined by tire tread so I still had to spend quite a bit. 

Dh and his dad did our taxes this weekend so we’ll get money back soon and work on paying down medical, car tag renewal, and credit card. There’s still so much left to pay after that but it’s a start. 

I thought after the FT tutoring position i applied for I was done applying for work, but a priest I spoke to told me about an ad agency I didn’t know about that is always taking applications. They’ve made things for the church. When I find a moment I will send them a resumé. I have to tailor it first. 

Dd is sick and we had to cancel our plans to see a play yesterday. Luckily with help from friends the word was passed on to someone involved with the theater that wanted extra tickets (tickets were digital)  to the sold out show. I got my money back via PayPal. Yay. 

Remember I was supposed to move? Well the items on our list were mostly overlooked and we are very dissatisfied with the home and the activity across the hwy (like sketchy part of town where supposedly drug deals go on). Dh asked for new toilets as the current are low to the ground. They were supposedly going to do that but I got a key this weekend and saw the home. Ceiling still sagging in master. For locks on windows they gave us weird dowels. They are too wide and not smooth wood. The piano was removed but other than that not much was done. Dh sent an email that we are not interested in moving due to safety concerns but now we don’t know what will happen. Technically we could be forced to move or simply tick someone off. Someone else just moved to town so will probably jump at the house and that’s fine. 

All this to say we won’t have a second bathroom or separate rooms for kids unless I figure out a way to make more money and even then not sure it would justify moving costs. 

I missed a shift of work due to Dh being gone and no child care. This week is spring break so I won’t get many hours this month. 

Sigh. 

 

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Some of those are more serious than others.  I would put them into two categories, Heart.  The toilets would be a want, ceiling repair a must, window locks would have to be looked at to determine what could be done.  But that should be specified in the email to housing.

I finally got a new debit card.  Last week felt like a mess.  I was carefully controlling my spending more, which is good, but not being able to have that financial freedom was a frustration in itself.  And then there were the other irritations like not having the meal box I paid for (they refunded us) and getting my car stuck...blech.

On the upside: we took some time to look around for ds's activities next year.  Switching him to a different group will save us about a third of his current sports cost next school year.  We got the roof fixed and there were no surprises - plus they took 15% off the cost when we didn't respond to their initial offer and looked around (everyone was comparable or more).  I found a great set of science curriculum at the library (unit studies with lesson plans and printouts and everything), so I picked up one to try out.  Right now we're just holding steady, I guess.

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6 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Some of those are more serious than others.  I would put them into two categories, Heart.  The toilets would be a want, ceiling repair a must, window locks would have to be looked at to determine what could be done.  But that should be specified in the email to housing.

I finally got a new debit card.  Last week felt like a mess.  I was carefully controlling my spending more, which is good, but not being able to have that financial freedom was a frustration in itself.  And then there were the other irritations like not having the meal box I paid for (they refunded us) and getting my car stuck...blech.

On the upside: we took some time to look around for ds's activities next year.  Switching him to a different group will save us about a third of his current sports cost next school year.  We got the roof fixed and there were no surprises - plus they took 15% off the cost when we didn't respond to their initial offer and looked around (everyone was comparable or more).  I found a great set of science curriculum at the library (unit studies with lesson plans and printouts and everything), so I picked up one to try out.  Right now we're just holding steady, I guess.

I viewed toilets as a want as well but Dh is 6’5.5” so I don’t think low toilets will be practical at all. He has back issues too. 

Glad you found a way to save on activities. 

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Taxes are done and we are getting a lot more back this year.   Even though are income was higher.   We need to figure out how we are going to divide that up. 

This month of dance is less than normal.  Take it.

I have a lot of bills to pay so that always makes being an adult so much fun.  I am kidding.  I hate it. 

Dh is still waiting on bonus and raise info.  Hopefully that will happen in the next 2 months. 

Trying to figure out what our summer is going to entail.  The older 2 got into a long and expensive intensive.  I had wanted to travel because we didn't do it over spring break because of school and dance.  

I need to get on selling stuff from the house and donating.  Now that it isn't insanely cold I will get to it.   Yay spring.  

Oh the going shopping every 2 weeks totally worked.  We still have tons of food and it is over 2 weeks at this point.  I am going to do it more often.    It is so nice to have it off your list as something to do. 

 

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2 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I viewed toilets as a want as well but Dh is 6’5.5” so I don’t think low toilets will be practical at all. He has back issues too.


I just meant when it came to getting housing to do something. Housing isn't obligated to change a fixture to suit a person.  They are obligated to follow state law and make sure it is habitable, in working condition, and reasonably clean.

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4 hours ago, HomeAgain said:


I just meant when it came to getting housing to do something. Housing isn't obligated to change a fixture to suit a person.  They are obligated to follow state law and make sure it is habitable, in working condition, and reasonably clean.

Yes. I can agree to that but they said they’d do the list. Not we won’t do it. I don’t know what happened but some things don’t appear to have been addressed at all like the ceiling. 

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We're at $492 for the month for groceries, but I shouldn't need to go to the store again until next week.  Aldi closed this week to finish renovations, so I stocked up.  We have enough on hand to plan meals (minus produce and milk) until the end of the month.  I'm also trying to use up what we have before vacation, lest the ants decide to invade and host a party in my pantry like wild teenagers.

After vacation, I'm considering a personal "frugal farmer's market" challenge.  Plan each weekend's meals using only ingredients obtained at the farmer's market on Saturday morning.  I don't think I can extend the challenge into the entire week, especially during the spring when we have flooding, strange weather, and limited in-season produce, but I think I can get enough for a few meals.

Other than kids stuff (and going to see Captain Marvel), we really aren't spending money.  Between an extended family emergency last weekend, lingering February blahs, and only getting nice, spring temperatures when it's cloudy and windy, I just want to hide under a blanket.  Which is free.

Edited by BarbecueMom
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Dh sold a car he has been working on (it needed minor repairs).   Car wasn't worth a whole lot so not like mega bucks here.  But the sale allowed us to pay a bill and dh go to the eye dr and get new glasses & contacts (no eye insurance).  He was way behind on eye visit.

Filed taxes, not getting back as much as I hoped.  But I always hope for more lol.

Dh offered last night to stop and pick up supper on the way home (using some money left from eye dr).   He was trying to be nice saying I deserved a break.   At 1st I said ok because I didn't have a plan for supper.  Then I thought of an easy to put together casserole that everyone likes.  So I text him backing saying "save that money I have supper covered".    Cooking cost us 1/2 what would have cost dh to buy supper and we had some leftovers.

Mostly been staying home.  Reading free books, decluttering house and working on projects I already have the supplies for.  Mostly just reading but it has been so blah I don't feel like doing anything else.   

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This moved to the third page! 😮 How's everyone doing?

We are reaching the end of our week and brighter weather!  I went out and gardened this morning, the youngest played outside, and I burned a bunch of sticks downed from the wind.  I'll go get dirt and seeds later this weekend, and I need to look up our brand/model of lawnmower so I can order a new carburetor for it and see if I can get it running again.  I really don't want to buy a new machine.

We are meeting most of our spending goals (new insurance plan put us over budget at the dentist) and doing pretty okay.  I found out our utilities bills are insanely low for our area, and I'm not sure if that's due to the fantastic construction of this house or our habits.  I'd like to think a little of both, lol.  But I'm hoping it stays that way. 

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Still doing good.  Paying bills and the such. 

A bit of spending on a birthday. 

I get to stop renting another violin, the teacher had one we can use.  Yay.   That will save me $240 a year. 

Refund hit the account.  

Edited by mommyoffive
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Dh has requested we stay in this home. We have no idea how that will go over. 

We are contemplating paying out of pocket to fix up this home if we do stay here. We desperately need a second bathroom. A half bath would be sufficient and the school won’t do it (we’ve asked in the past). 

So let me show you guys what I’m thinking about (though honestly have no idea if this will come to light). We have a corner of the kitchen we don’t really use. There’s a butler’s pantry (holds the Kitchen Aid stand mixer) and a door to the back (one with blinds) that is very difficult. I don’t even use it to get to the backyard. I go through a gate outside instead. The portable dishwasher is right by it and so is the dryer. You can see the edge of the dryer in the photo. Because the kitchen sink is nearby and the washer hookup would this allow a plumber to easily add a toilet? We just want a powder room. 

The other option is an office closet that shares a wall with the current bathroom so the plumbing is definitely nearby. Office closet is picture with pants on door and tons of misc stuff inside. Yes, still need to declutter. 

Why would I want a bathroom off the kitchen? Because that door behind the cupcake pans is my bedroom. It could be a master bath. Maybe Jack and Jill set up so you could still access from the kitchen if you had to get to the yard? Or the exterior door would become obsolete? No idea. 

One child’s bed could theoretically be moved into the current office. It used to have a bed but it took up a lot of space as it was a full or queen. Ds does not like bunk beds, though that would definitely  save space. 

So at this point I have no idea what will happen but don’t think we’re moving. 

Thoughts on prices/best location? 

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No idea on adding a bathroom.  

You live in university housing right?   Meaning it isn't your home that you own.  I would not spend money to fix that up.  I would think that would run in the thousands.   No way would I do that for something that they could have me leave in a year or whatever.   A friend of mine has a family of 7 in a house with one bathroom.  Her she has 4 teens.  They make it work.    Are there other houses that you could be moved to? 

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1 hour ago, mommyoffive said:

No idea on adding a bathroom.  

You live in university housing right?   Meaning it isn't your home that you own.  I would not spend money to fix that up.  I would think that would run in the thousands.   No way would I do that for something that they could have me leave in a year or whatever.   A friend of mine has a family of 7 in a house with one bathroom.  Her she has 4 teens.  They make it work.    Are there other houses that you could be moved to? 

I know some people can make it work. My family has proven they cannot. Kids have urinated in the bathtub because they couldn’t wait on the person occupying the toilet. TMI but my reality. I’ve tried to make people use better timing and planning but at the end of the day things happen I can’t necessarily control. 

The school granted us permission to move onto the former drama teacher’s home when he retired... but Dh goofed and thought it had more bedrooms than it did. And it wasn’t in as good of condition as another time he’d visited. We didn’t move. 

This home with the sagging ceiling and some other concerns like location, was offered to us. We aren’t getting things addressed like we were told so have given up desire to move there. We are probably going to be blacklisted now. No one is going to offer us another home on campus and they are mostly not any better than ours, anyway. Some are small duplexes. We live in a single family house. It’s not very often that people move in/out of the houses anyhow. My whole street minus one house is owned by the school and occupied by adult faculty members. Two families live around me but they have been here longer than us and don’t have young children. Hardly anyone with young children lives in campus. They commute and send their kids to better schools. 

Yeah I think I’m just going to have to find a job in the city and slowly earn enough to move my family into more expensive housing. The rent will drastically jump up. 

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I wouldn't spend your money to fix up house owned by someone else.  Like previous poster said they could tell you to move right after.  Also even if you don't use the door going outside for it to be a rental they may be required to keep a 2nd escape route out of house. Hope something becomes available for you soon!

Was doing ok on spending but spent some money to eat out with friends.  Also bought dss each a shirt.  And made a couple extra trips to grocery for forgotten items which means I didn't just buy those items ugh. It has been a rather spendy few days.

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1 hour ago, Baseball mom said:

I wouldn't spend your money to fix up house owned by someone else.  Like previous poster said they could tell you to move right after.  Also even if you don't use the door going outside for it to be a rental they may be required to keep a 2nd escape route out of house. Hope something becomes available for you soon!

Was doing ok on spending but spent some money to eat out with friends.  Also bought dss each a shirt.  And made a couple extra trips to grocery for forgotten items which means I didn't just buy those items ugh. It has been a rather spendy few days.

Dh was concerned about the door, too. I said we have three exterior doors.. does it matter? He said yes because in a fire you'd want one closer to the other end of the house.

I just submitted an interest letter for the Advertising Agency I learned about. The website said "upload resume" but literally nothing loaded when I tried to do it. I tried two browsers. I will probably end up having to deliver it some other way to ensure they got it. 

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2 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

I know some people can make it work. My family has proven they cannot. Kids have urinated in the bathtub because they couldn’t wait on the person occupying the toilet. TMI but my reality. I’ve tried to make people use better timing and planning but at the end of the day things happen I can’t necessarily control. 

The school granted us permission to move onto the former drama teacher’s home when he retired... but Dh goofed and thought it had more bedrooms than it did. And it wasn’t in as good of condition as another time he’d visited. We didn’t move. 

This home with the sagging ceiling and some other concerns like location, was offered to us. We aren’t getting things addressed like we were told so have given up desire to move there. We are probably going to be blacklisted now. No one is going to offer us another home on campus and they are mostly not any better than ours, anyway. Some are small duplexes. We live in a single family house. It’s not very often that people move in/out of the houses anyhow. My whole street minus one house is owned by the school and occupied by adult faculty members. Two families live around me but they have been here longer than us and don’t have young children. Hardly anyone with young children lives in campus. They commute and send their kids to better schools. 

Yeah I think I’m just going to have to find a job in the city and slowly earn enough to move my family into more expensive housing. The rent will drastically jump up. 

 

Is the on campus housing free?   

Did you consider Vipkids?  I am not sure if you talked about it or not.  

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1 hour ago, Baseball mom said:

I wouldn't spend your money to fix up house owned by someone else.  Like previous poster said they could tell you to move right after.  Also even if you don't use the door going outside for it to be a rental they may be required to keep a 2nd escape route out of house. Hope something becomes available for you soon!

Was doing ok on spending but spent some money to eat out with friends.  Also bought dss each a shirt.  And made a couple extra trips to grocery for forgotten items which means I didn't just buy those items ugh. It has been a rather spendy few days.

 

Me too.  Then I just got back and found out the dog's leash is broken.   Other than the 9 bucks I spent on Yogurt drinks for the kids, it is normal stuff and we will eat.  Just a bigger stock pile of food. 

Grocery $500 out of $800

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22 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Is the on campus housing free?   

Did you consider Vipkids?  I am not sure if you talked about it or not.  

Not free but significantly lower than anywhere else. 

I didn’t try VIPKID because of the hours and dd being home. 

I drove to drop off my resumé to the advertising agency today (my major was advertising). They are not hiring but said they’d keep it on file. 

On the way back from there I got a phone call from the school district. I have a job interview on Tuesday (for real this time) for a full-time ESL tutor. 

Edited by heartlikealion

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2 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Not free but significantly lower than anywhere else. 

I didn’t try VIPKID because of the hours and dd being home. 

I drove to drop off my resumé to the advertising agency today (my major was advertising). They are not hiring but said they’d keep it on file. 

On the way back from there I got a phone call from the school district. I have a job interview on Tuesday (for real this time) for a full-time ESL tutor. 

 

Yay.  Good luck.   Would you put both kids in PS if you got this? 

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27 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Yay.  Good luck.   Would you put both kids in PS if you got this? 

Dd is 4 and most of the schools in our county don’t offer K4. She’d go to the private school K4 most likely. I think she’d thrive there but the transportation would be an obstacle and the tuition may or may not be justified based o salary, my gas consumption to drive to the city, etc. Dh would want both kids in the private. I don’t know how I feel. I’m kinda leaning toward that as well but again only if it was financially possible and I’d make some profit, not just break even. 

The local sitter wouldn’t be a good option for full time imo. Most kids are younger than dd there and some go home early. When my flat was being fixed I left here there and she complained I left her there too long. It was around 4 hrs or so? 

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21 minutes ago, heartlikealion said:

Dd is 4 and most of the schools in our county don’t offer K4. She’d go to the private school K4 most likely. I think she’d thrive there but the transportation would be an obstacle and the tuition may or may not be justified based o salary, my gas consumption to drive to the city, etc. Dh would want both kids in the private. I don’t know how I feel. I’m kinda leaning toward that as well but again only if it was financially possible and I’d make some profit, not just break even. 

The local sitter wouldn’t be a good option for full time imo. Most kids are younger than dd there and some go home early. When my flat was being fixed I left here there and she complained I left her there too long. It was around 4 hrs or so? 

 

I hope it all works out the way you want it to. 

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This weekend was fun but 😲    Some things we could have done differently (cheaper) but we really enjoyed the day.   So I will try to not stress over that money.   Also we picked up some needed items.  Cost a bit at the time but cheaper where we were than at home.  So that will count as a win.  But it is time to tighten the belt again. 

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How is everyone doing?  

This week will be a bit lower spend.  The kids are on spring break from dance so no 2 hours of drive time everyday. 

I need to go get a new license.  $35

Returning 2 violins.  I will get 1 from a different store with better violins.  

Last week was spring break from their school.  It was nice to just stay home.  

I am trying to plan our summer.  The kids threw me for a loop and wanted to do things that they haven't brought up in the last 2 months.  ARGH.  So I have to find a new plan. Trying to figure out our budget for the whole summer.   They want to try some more things and go back to other ones.    More $$

Dh did get a raise.  Now we are just waiting to hear on bonus.  We talked $ a bit to figure out what we want to do.   I think we are still going to keep maxing savings.  I went through numbers and realized we are saving 36% for retirement.  Calculators so that we will have double what we need.  Sometimes I want to pull back and spend more now.  But with all the unknowns I think I most likely will keep this up.   Who knows how much healthcare will be, how long dh will work, if we will be able to max accounts going forward.    But man would I love to spend that 36%.   

Anyway it was good to finally figure all the budget stuff out.  

I am still thinking of getting a job.   I would like to do it, more for my own self than the money.   I need to stop being scared and do it. 

Grocery still at $500 out of $800

We are thinking of getting a lot of a new furniture.  We haven't bought anything in 12 years and most of it was hand me downs.  We need a kitchen table that we can sit at as my youngest is almost down with the high chair.    $$$      It is time though.  I am going to wait until it gets a bit warmer so I can have the windows open to off gas them better. 

 

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Our dollar store is open. I've walked there several times. I usually buy more than I should but at least if I am walking I can't carry too much LOL. The last few weeks we have just bought milk there. It's $3.50 a gallon vs the Sam's Club ($2.40 at one point, but think it's more like $3 now) but hey, it's convenient and one less stop. I'll go to Sam's again when I need to buy chicken but for now I'm just getting by without. After church we went to get bottled water (more than Sam's Club but again, convenient) and I stumbled on a 5 for $19.99 meat sale so got 5 packs of ground beef. We tried to pick out the ones that had more oz. In the end we saved $2.xx that way. I put some in the deep freeze. They also had a sale on the chicken broth I like so I stocked up. They sell it by the can now and each can was .79 so I bought several cans. 

I don't know if I'm really saving money or not, but I've been cooking a lot lately. Used up the old bananas and made banana oatmeal cookies. I bought the Great Value oats this time. Hope there's no Round Up in those (ugh). I made buttermilk pancakes last night because I never made that green velvet cake and I don't want to waste the buttermilk. Next I MIGHT try to make biscuits. If nothing else I'm learning in the kitchen lol. Oh yeah there's a good coupon out right now like save $1? when you buy two McCormick items... spices and/or extract... or maybe food coloring? I think any of those. I've seen this as a printable and a digital on the coupons dot com app. 

I signed up for Receipt Hog. I hear it's a slow process but worth it. I scanned a bunch of receipts but most are still processing. It took two attempts but they let me register, so if it denies you, reopen the app and see if it lets you in. They keep limiting members for some reason. From what I've gathered you get more bang for your buck if you wait til you accumulate enough points to cash out $40. And I think you can submit a maximum of two receipts from the same location with the same date. Two separate transactions is helpful for Fetch, but maybe not so much with RH because the points are based on totals. 

Since dd and dh are sick I think I will make soup again. I ran out of the fettuccine noodles I like but have some ribbon noodles that may work. 

I had a bit of a flop with a roast meal I made recently. I cooked it on high.... should have used low, even though I followed directions for high. It was never as tender as I wanted and then I got really sick after eating it one meal so I was convinced that's what made me sick. But truthfully have no idea. Could have been the yogurt. The family didn't eat all the roast and that was expensive. Dh did make some bbq sandwiches out of it. I seldom spend that much money on meat so I was pretty upset about some being wasted and/or making me sick. 

 

 

 

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Yesterday didn't go as I was planned and we got home late.  I also didn't plan for supper.  We were out of bread and anything easy to fix (and I just did NOT feel like cooking and cleaning something big as late as it was).  So I ran to the close grocery and bought bread, buns & hot dogs.  Not the best supper but  cheaper than fast food. 

Tonight I have a plan for supper.  

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DS is sick.  That means none of us are really eating properly.  I don't want to deal with food after dealing with ds and his issues.  I have 3 meals ready to go in the fridge and I may pull one out tonight to cook if he can tolerate it.  Otherwise, he gets one of the juice drinks I got on sale (like the Naked smoothies, but it's the Simply brand).  Dh has gotten to eat supermarket salads for work.  I don't want to know what our grocery budget looks like right now because everything is haphazard.

I do know that we returned to a zero-based budget this year, and this month we have about a $600 surplus from where we thought we would be.  That'll go extra on the mortgage on the 30th.

We did get our seeds planted already. 🙂  I know y'all in the sunny south are laughing but it snowed as recently as this week. And we did it for mostly free. DS gets an advent calendar every year, usually from my sister.  This one had cardboard inserts which made it even easier to turn into a planting tray (usually I drill holes in the bottom of the plastic ones).  I set it on a waterproof packaging bag and ds and I planted all sorts of veggies that I had saved seeds for.  The oldest kid cleaned out the previous owner's shed and found me a treasure trove of planters, both starters and more permanent, plus tools and bags of dirt.  So I have all sorts of things started upstairs under the skylights, getting ready for being able to go out in the garden and window boxes. 🙂

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17 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

DS is sick.  That means none of us are really eating properly.  I don't want to deal with food after dealing with ds and his issues.  I have 3 meals ready to go in the fridge and I may pull one out tonight to cook if he can tolerate it.  Otherwise, he gets one of the juice drinks I got on sale (like the Naked smoothies, but it's the Simply brand).  Dh has gotten to eat supermarket salads for work.  I don't want to know what our grocery budget looks like right now because everything is haphazard.

I do know that we returned to a zero-based budget this year, and this month we have about a $600 surplus from where we thought we would be.  That'll go extra on the mortgage on the 30th.

We did get our seeds planted already. 🙂  I know y'all in the sunny south are laughing but it snowed as recently as this week. And we did it for mostly free. DS gets an advent calendar every year, usually from my sister.  This one had cardboard inserts which made it even easier to turn into a planting tray (usually I drill holes in the bottom of the plastic ones).  I set it on a waterproof packaging bag and ds and I planted all sorts of veggies that I had saved seeds for.  The oldest kid cleaned out the previous owner's shed and found me a treasure trove of planters, both starters and more permanent, plus tools and bags of dirt.  So I have all sorts of things started upstairs under the skylights, getting ready for being able to go out in the garden and window boxes. 🙂

 

Awesome.   I know a lot of people that are paying extra on their mortgage.   It will be so awesome to have that payed.  Sometimes I wish we were doing that.  And we could, but I guess it isn't one of our goals.  I guess our goals are maxing retirement and traveling now.   But I always wonder if we are doing the right thing.   Where is my crystal ball?   I think there are so many paths to a good future, so for me it is hard to decide which one to go on. 

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22 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

 

Awesome.   I know a lot of people that are paying extra on their mortgage.   It will be so awesome to have that payed.  Sometimes I wish we were doing that.  And we could, but I guess it isn't one of our goals.  I guess our goals are maxing retirement and traveling now.   But I always wonder if we are doing the right thing.   Where is my crystal ball?   I think there are so many paths to a good future, so for me it is hard to decide which one to go on. 

Dh and I really wanted a 15 year mortgage but couldn't swing the numbers.  Instead we just round up the payment to the next even $50 amount (so about $32 extra each month) and then pay extra when we can.  We have our savings goal on track, our vacation for next year looking to be planned by Sept, and he's already retired with a second retirement account being maxed out for us. 
We figured out that our usual extra each month is saving us about $14,000 over time in just interest.  That takes a full year off for the price of a night at the movies for dh and I.  We'd like to also add an extra full payment each year so that we're sitting at about a 20-22 year mortgage.  It's slow and steady, but our goal is to be able to use this place as a summer rental unit in our old age and use it to pay for our travels later.

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Had to share this. I got one for every sink in the house after testing one for over a month. My kids were going through way too much soap when they wash their hands and I got tired of refilling it. These suckers only require a tiny bit of regular liquid hand soap and the rest gets filled with water. After a few priming pumps, we have foam soap. One bottle has lasted over a month. They are going to save me a bunch of money and reduce our plastic, so I consider it an investment. 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Better-Homes-Gardens-12-Ounce-White-Foaming-Soap-Dispenser-Pump-1-Each/55456563?selected=true

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It's finally time to sell the kids playhouse. I'm hoping that will help pay for some curriculum for next year. 

I want to go back to LCHF diet, but it gets expensive. And these kids are eating a lot right now.

Last night's dinner was taco salad. Taco seasoned hamburger meat and a bag of salad mix with some cheese and salsa mixed with sour cream for the dressing. 

Tonight we're having breakfast for dinner. I have a packet of cornbread mix the kids can have with it to help fill them up and hopefully I won't be tempted. 

Tomorrow night we'll have egg roll in a bowl. 2 bags of coleslaw mix and ground pork. 

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38 minutes ago, Plum said:

Had to share this. I got one for every sink in the house after testing one for over a month. My kids were going through way too much soap when they wash their hands and I got tired of refilling it. These suckers only require a tiny bit of regular liquid hand soap and the rest gets filled with water. After a few priming pumps, we have foam soap. One bottle has lasted over a month. They are going to save me a bunch of money and reduce our plastic, so I consider it an investment. 

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Better-Homes-Gardens-12-Ounce-White-Foaming-Soap-Dispenser-Pump-1-Each/55456563?selected=true

 

Oh wow.  What a great idea.  I think I need 4

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