I have been tracking all monies spent in January. It really opened my eyes to what I was spending on food. There are only 2 of us and we spent:
Food At Restaurants: $ 108.63
Grocery Store: $ 265.42
TOTAL FOOD: $ 374.05
I was hoping to only spend $260. total! Guess I didn't do very well. So my challenge for February is to get these totals down.
Archive for January, 2005
I have been tracking all monies spent in January. It really opened my eyes to what I was spending on food. There are only 2 of us and we spent:
-Homemade Chocolate Raspberry Coffee and a Banana for Breakfast
-I showered yesterday and since my skin is so dry and itchy from the winter, I washed my hair in the kitchen sink with a dab of shampoo. I only use conditioner every other day or my hair gets oily. No shower today-every other day is enough with my dry skin.
- I grilled T-bone steaks (bought at my pricebook rockbottom price of $3.97lb.) outside for dinner (saves electricity rather than use the kitchen broiler) - propane is cheaper than electric. We had both corn and garlic mashed potatoes bought Free after double coupons. I lit a candle for dinner saving on overhead lighting (making it romantic) and serve chilled White Zinfandel(purchased for $ 8.99 for 5 liters- lasts a long, long time and I love Franzia) in my best wine glasses! Dessert was Harry and David Cookies that were a gift.
- Washed one full load of darks in cold water using just one Tide Tablet (1/2 the recommended amount) which I purchased for Free with doubled coupons almost 3 years ago. I haven't bought laundry detergent in almost 3 years and still have a stash. I just hung them to dry on the drying racks in the bathtub.
- Made a big pot of homemade soup for dinner tomorrow using 3 freezer containers of homemade chicken broth and leftovers(beef, chicken, spaghetti(cut into pieces) and sauce, veggies, gravies) that I have accumulated in the freezer. I added a few more veggies and Mexican spices. It is delicious! DH says I make the best homemade soup! Most people throw out their leftovers- what a waste! This will make one meal if not two out of a little bit of this and a little bit of that which would have been pitched everynight! I used to do this when I worked too and take the soup in a microweavable container everyday for my lunch. My co-workers used to rave about the smell and how good my soup looked. If they only knew! :-)
- I opened all the shades on the windows where the sun is streaming in to help the heat- heat the house.
- I baked homemade banana bread from 3 overripe bananas that I got Free at Bashas on sale and with their store coupon a week or so ago. While the oven was hot I made full use of it. I also baked 12 homemade blueberry muffins ( from frozen blueberries that I got for .50 a pint last year) and a pan of homemade cornbread. They all baked together at 400 degrees! When the muffins and cornbread came out at 20 minutes I turned the oven down to 300 to finish baking the bread. I consider this a great way to save on electricity! I froze the bread and 8 of the muffins for future breakfasts. We will have 4 muffins for breakfast tomorrow and the cornbread with the soup tomorrow night and possibly the next night!
- I turned my computer off when not using it to save on electricity!
- I read a great article in a Newsletter that came last week. It was about saving money by grinding your own beef. I could save about $1.00- $ 1.50 a lb. by buying beef on sale and grinding it myself. This way I can control the amount of fat in it and it will be much healthier. I buy 96% or more lean ground sirloin when I buy it and I can never find it for under $3.99 a lb.
I can buy sirloin steaks cheaper than that on sale and save. So I am debating. I already substitute ground turkey for a lot of my ground beef recipes because it is healthier. But then again there is nothing like a juicy hamburger on a bun. So I am gonna spend some time researching this week as to whether it would be cost effective of me to buy the meat grinding attachment for my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer. I need a good price and then I have to figure how much ground beef I use in a month and see if buying the grinder would be worth it!
-Snacks at lunchtime today was FF saltines and cheese. Healthy and filling!
- I washed my kitchen floor with Clorox Quick Mop that I made my own solution to refill the canister. Much cheaper than buying their refills!
- I clipped 4 flyers of coupons. Yup-turns out I had 4- one was a Fry's full of Kraft Coupons. I only clipped about 30 out of the 4 flyers! The coupons were lousy. I no longer clip any that are for 2 or more product purchases. If they aren't on one product, I don't want them! I also will not clip any convenience food coupon that won't give me the product for free or pennies. It is cheaper to make homemade otherwise.
- I spent some time reading back newsletters for ideas and to refresh my memory.
- I also pulled some recipes from my recipe box that we used to have all the time 30 years ago but that I haven't made in years. I am gonna work on making them over the next few weeks, especially tuna potpie! I have lots of tuna to use up! We get tired of tuna sandwiches, tuna on crackers and seafood casserole. I need some new tuna recipes!
I am gonna finish my day watching Law and Order and Crossing Jordan- 2 of my very favorite shows!
Yesterday I ran DH around while he did some errands. We also purchased a new rosebush with the rest of our Home Depot GC and planted it.
We also met my DIL for dinner at Damons. Between a GC we got for Christmas and a $10. off coupon, we all had a very nice dinner, dessert and drinks for just a 20% tip out of pocket for the waiter.
Today, I have done two loads of wash in cold water and hung them to dry. I also went and did the weekly grocery shopping at Bashas and Safeway. Boy those $1.00 deals go quickly when there are .50/1 doubled coupons. I made out well though. At Safeway, I spent about $20. and saved $32.06 which was 62% of my bill. At Bashas I spent $25.12 but saved 32.40 so a little less saving there.
Dinner tonight is gonna be cheap! My DIL hates salad and it came free with her dinner. So she had them box it for me to take home. It is a good size and I am gonna add lettuce and carrots, sliced chicken and cheese to it for Chef Salads for the two of us.
The lettuce was cheap last week- $ .49 a head, the carrots were free today with a winetag, the sliced chicken was frozen which I thawed. It is left over from Christmas; same for the LO'L cheese!
I am going to go work on some cross-stitch now.
I just finished my oatmeal for breakfast. I put a load of laundry in to wash in cold water. I will habg it before I go to my appt. later.
While I am out I am gonna go to BBB, Target and perhaps a couple of other places. I have another appt. down the same way 3 hours and 15 minutes later. I may have to come home in between even though it seems like a waste of gasoline. I do also have to fill up the gas tank while I am out. I heard last night on TV that the gasoline prices are headed up again! Yuck!
Since I am so busy today, I took some ground beef out to thaw and will figure out what to do with it later.
Well, I am off to continue my day.
I am planning on picking up a bunch of Free Trial Size products tomorrow at Target. Most of the trial sizes that they carry are about $ .99 each. I have lots of $1.00 off coupons for them that say " Good on any size" and do not exclude trial size.
So read your coupons and use them economically! Free is good!
Some of the tips we use to save money when we eat out:
- Use the coupons from an Entertainment Book(lots of B1G1F)
- Split an entree
- Eat your dessert and drink your beer and liquor at home- these really run up a high tab.
- Drink water if you can; even soft drinks are way overpriced!
-Go to the early bird specials(usualy before 4pm)
-Eat lunch or breakfast out instead of dinner. It's much cheaper!
-Go to all you can eat buffets.
- Take advantage of dining coupons in your local paper.
-Go to restaurants that serve large portions and bring some home for another meal.
-Get Family Meal Deals like 5 for $5.00 at Arbys, etc.
Well, today was beautiful again- warm and sunny!
I decided to check my budget figures for the month since there are only 8 days left and see if I have to cut back for the rest of the month.
Well I am over budget on groceries, medical and entertainment. The medical can't be helped because of DH and I getting sick.
I am $41.00 over budget on groceries so will cool it the rest of the month. My entertainment budget included airplane tickets so I can't get too upset over that. Guess I am not doing too bad.
I cut and filed todays coupons and looked at The Target flyer since I will be going there tomorrow between Dr's appts. I have a $20.00 GC from Christmas.
Dinner tonight was homemade Chicken Lo Mein. Yummy!
Most of the day, DH and I have been watching football!
Well I am off to finish watching the game!
Is anyone else having this problem?
Some of my black slacks were starting to look a little grayish or white. So late this afternoon, I dyed them in the washing machine with dye. They look brand new! Since they were in good shape except for the fading, I figured it was worth a try!
I have been really busy this evening. I did my baking for the week. When I heat up the big oven, I like to do a few things at a time. I baked apple muffins, banana bread, chocolate chips cookies and a dozen cupcakes. Some of them I froze!
At the same time I made a loaf of herb bread in the breadmaker.
I love doing this marathon and getting it all done at once. Especially since I am saving energy at the same time.
First thing this morning I watched Farenheit 911 and then I returned the 4 movies to Blockbuster. It is such a beautiful day that everyone is out and about. Traffic was horrendous!
I came home and cooked my black beans for my black beans, sausage and rice dinner tonight. I love this meal. It is filling and healthy since I use turkey sausage.
It is another almost 80 day, so the windows are open and I am not paying for heat! Yeah!
I had a good mail day since I got a $75.00 rebate check for my refrigerator purchase in December.
Well, I am off to work on taxes.
I am trying to figure out my day tomorrow. I think I have one more movie to watch before I take all 4 of them back. I got Fahrenheit 911 just to see what all the hype was about. DH does not want to watch it, so I will probably watch it early in the morning.
After I take the movies back, I think I am going to work on our Federal and State Taxes. I think I got the last 1099 the other day. If they owe us, I will mail right away. If we owe them, they are not getting mailed till April 15th!
I also need to do some cleaning in the great room. I think dinner will be black beans and rice with sausage!
Well, I still couldn't get into the CVS site, so I sent them an e-mail and let them know. Then I headed for my CVS.
My pharmacist recommended an over the counter eardrop. It is helping a little! But I think I made out well at CVS. I went in and bought a ChapStick on sale for $.29 to get my $5.00 Extracare bucks to print on the bottom of my receipt! Then I did the rest of my shopping:
1- 260 ct. CVS Vitamins- 9.99
1- Ear Drops- $ 4.49
1-CVS Gold Emblem Cashews- $2.50
I used a $4.00 off CVS Brand coupon, $1.00 off any CVS Gold Emblem snack item and my $5.00 Extra bucks coupon. Then I had them take the balance off a CVS GC that I got free with a script, so Grand total in cash= $ 1.07! I'm happy!
I woke up this morning with what seems to feel like a fluid build up in my ear. After DH's problem, I did not want to fool around. So I called my Dr. for an appt. and the first one he had was Monday at 2:45! ARRGH! If it gets any worse, I will find an Urgent Care but I hate to do that.
I am gonna head down to CVS to see if they have some kind of drops to dry up the fluid, like you use for swimmers ear. I just went and tried to pull up the CVS Internet Site so I could print off my $5.00 Extracare Bucks to use for it and the site is down.
My day is not going well!
I ordered some fruit and goodies for DH, DS's and DIL's and my sister from Harry and Davids today at 80% off. I got really neat fruit and goodie drum baskets originally $49.99 for $9.95+ shipping and I also had a 10% off code which reduced the price further. Who cares that they say Happy Holidays instead of Happy Valentines Day! My family knows me well and knows what a bargain hunter I am! They will love them! :-)
I also have beautiful heart wine glasses for DH and I that I bought a few weeks ago with $5.00 off Meryn's coupons making them Free! So I guess I am all set!
Well, DH and I ended up relaxing and watching "Manchurian Candidate"! We loved it! It was a great way to relax this afternoon.
For dinner I made us big Chef Salads. Lettuce was on sale for $ .49 a head this past week, onions and carrots were in the fridge. I thawed some ham left from Christmas and used up some M. Jack and Colby cheese left from the stuffed peppers the other night. We added croutons and olives and we had a filling and delicious dinner. :-)
I am off to watch The Apprentice in a few minutes!
Today I had to get my hair cut. She went up on her prices- so $16.00! I will make up the difference by not going as often.
I just got back from running all my errands. I had a deposit to make at the bank of survey checks that had been piling up here.
Then I went to Home Depot to get muriatic acid for the pool and Weed B Gon concentrate. I used a GC that we were given for Christmas so no money out of pocket.
My last stop was to Blockbuster where I rented 4 recent movies and picked up a Popcorn Tub for the microwave and a 2ltr. Diet Coke. I never get popcorn and soda there but I had a coupon to get both for $2.49 so I treated us. I also had a FREE RENTAL card from the A&H Deal so 1 movie was Free. The whole thing came to $14.+, but I used a GC that DH was given for his birthday so no money out of our pocket. We have a lot of Blockbuster GC's to use up that we got for gifts and a couple that we got for doing My Points!
So except for my haircut, no money out of our pocket today and I even managed to deposit some money. I consider that a Great Day!
DH and I just came in from outside. Once the sun goes down, it cools off fast here in the desert.
We just enjoyed a fire in our firepit along with a Baileys Irish Cream. I have quite a stash of firelogs purchased over the past year or so with firelog winetags. I would wait for the store brand to go on sale and then pick them up for free. Termites are prevalent here in the SW so you don't want to keep a stockpile of firewood. If and when I run out of firelogs, I think I will make logs from newspaper.
The Baileys was left over from Christmas and we certainly don't want to waste it. :-) Which reminds me of the great deal DH got just before Christmas on our appertif glasses. I only had 3 good crystal ones and I was needing 8 for company for a week. DH and DS went out looking for them. They came home with beautiful sets of 6 from Big Lots that were really cheap- about .94 cents a glass. Everytime I use them, I think of their frugal prowess that day!
Since it is so beautiful out today, I decided to catch up on some of the outside work that DH normally does. I sprayed all of the weeds in the front and back of the house.
I also washed our van trying to conserve on water. I filled a bucket with soapy water and washed the car with it. Then I turned on the hose and rinsed it all at once. The car was so dirty that I actually had to do this twice. We get a lot of dust out here so the car will be dusty again in a few days but at least I know it has been washed. I figure I saved twice. Once on what it would cost to have the carwash do it and I also saved on water which is important with the drought conditions we have had the past few years.
Then I took the John McCain book out to the patio, sat in my lounge chair and did some very enjoyable relaxing.
It is an other gorgeous sunny day today. It is supposed to be 82!
Today will be a paperwork day since the arthritis is not co-operating! I have taxes I can work on, research on mutual funds to do or books to read. So basically a quiet day.
I am going to do a load of wash or two. I have already put a roast beef in the crockpot and will have that along with garlic roasted mashed potatoes and broccoli.
Hope everyone had a great day!
I did not know until today that CVS took competitors coupons for Free GC's when you fill a new prescription. I have 15 scripts that I have to fill for DH and I and I certainly can't afford to fill them all at once at $60. a clip. So I am gonna start looking for these coupons at Fry's, Osco, Albertsons, Safeway and Target and hope I can find enough to do our new scripts.
But I wanted to let you all know it in case you didn't!
Well, I got everything done that I wanted to get done plus some.
I went to Bashas and picked up 4.35lbs. of bananas and 2 Hood Carb Countdown Yogurts for a grand total of $ .09 after coupons. I also went to Walgreens and got 8 ActII Popcorn, 6 spices and 1 Bushs Homestyle Chili. I only had 1 coupon for the chili so paid $ 5.12. The chili is the perfect size for DH and I for dinner served on rice. I will save it for a day that I don't feel like cooking. It will be easy and save me from going out to dinner.
It also was a good mail day. I got a $ 5.00 prepaid phone card for doing a survey online and my Refund Cents magazine.
It is supposed to be another 79-80 degree day. I certainly am enjoying this heat wave especially since the heat of OFF! :-)
I am just planning my day now. I think it is time to tidy up my gift wrap bin so that I can see what I have. It got a little messy over Christmas. I have some gift occasions coming up, so have to check the paper and bows.
I am also going to do some major research on our drugs and make a chart for mail order or picking up at CVS to see what it is the most economical way to go. It sure would be nice if through proper nutrition, we could get off of some of these drugs- so that is what I will be striving for.
Dinner will be stuffed peppers using the nice peppers I got at the produce market yesterday, the cheap ground turkey that I have been getting for a couple of weeks, some rice, sauce and seasonings.
I will check in with you all later after my day gets going. It is only 8:30am here.
I went ot CVS to pick up my prescription that I am almost out of. It was $ 60.00. The druggist said the drug plan would not pay but a few dollars for this drug. It is one that I have to have for my asthma. I looked up in our plan and even if I mail order it, the price is the same. But I have to have it, so I guess I will have to cut back in other areas to pay for it.
While I was at CVS, I did the Pepsi/Lays Rebate Deal. I purchased 3- 12pks of Diet Pepsi and 3 Doritos for a total of $15.00 minus a $3.00 off 12.00 purchase CVS coupon= $12.00 minus $10.00 Rebate I am mailing in for minus $5.00 in CVS Extra care bucks that will show up on my card in 2 days so I make $3.00 on this deal. I would not buy this junk otherwise. It will be nice to have for snacks and drinks over the next month.
I also purchased 2 pair of Magnavision Reading Glasses for $22.00 each on sale for B1G1F and used a 4.00 off 12.00 CVS coupon and got 2 pairs for $18.00. I have no eye plan and have almost perfect vision so this works for me.
Then I went to Safeway and did their $10.00 Instant Rebate Deal:
I got 6 Ragu Spaghetti Sauce for 1.50 each = $9.00 minus .50/2 coupon doubled= 8.00 and then they give you 10.00 off instantly at the register so I made $2.00 on this deal and applied it to a package of meat. I also picked up a pkg. of ground turkey and used my last $2.00 off turkey winetag. I needed the sauce really badly for those days when I don't feel like making my own.
Last stop was the Produce Market where I got 2 lbs. of carrots, 4 lbs of broccoli, 2 orange peppers and 2 yellow peppers for a total of $3.54! I am planning on making stuffed peppers tomorrow with the ground turkey and rice.
Dinner tonight will be my homemade pizza. My pizza tastes so much better and is so much healthier than Pizza Huts. I make my own dough in my breadmaker which costs pennies to make. Then I use a couple of 8oz. tomato sauce that I bought 8 for $1., lots of Italian spices, mozzarella cheese that I buy in 5lb. bags at Costco and pepperoni that I bought with a $1.00 off coupon. I can make 2 pizzas for about $4.00 total. Two same size pizzas would cost be about $16.00 at Pizza Hut. So for a little bit of work, I save $12.00! And they only take me about 10 minutes to make and then put in the oven. That works out to a wage of $72.00 an hour.
Well, it is almost 80 out and I am off to enjoy a glass of 3. Buck Chuck wine on the patio!
The sun is shining and it is gonna be another 75 day. I turned our heat off yesterday since we are gonna be mid 70's all week. This ought to make up for the high heat bill I just got. It was $20. more than last year due to the fact that it was so cold compared to last year and the fact that I had 8 guests for a week over Christmas.
Just having finished my oatmeal for breakfast, I am planning my day.
I have laundry to do which I will wash in cold water and then hang to dry. I have a small grocery list to make and some coupons to pull.
Errands will be to pick up a prescription at CVS, stop at the grocery store and pick up my produce for the week at the produce store. I will buy whatever is in season and cheap.
Off to take my navy shower.
DH's spirits are so good this morning. He actually was able and wanted to make breakfast. He made us an omelet with ham, onion and cheese. He also toasted some of the wheat bread that I made the other day. The ham had been in the freezer left over from Christmas- a Honey Baked Ham. We added some oj and Amaretto coffee and everything was delicious.
It is such a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it is gonna be about 74 today. Yeah- warm weather!
I am going to make some turkey soup for dinner using leftover turkey broth I made, celery that I have chopped up in the freezer, a can of corn and a container of already made rice from the freezer. I will add lots of seasoning and we will have it with homemade bread for dinner.
My bagels turned out well yesterday. I froze them for future breakfasts.
I have coupons to cut and file, a bathroom to clean, and some research to do today. So I will be back later.
I am having a good morning so far. I have cleaned the Master Bedroom and stripped the bed. The sheets are washing right now. I already did one load of jeans and they are hung to dry.
Soon, I will take DH to the drugstore for something he wants.
Then when I return, I want to make a loaf of wheat bread for turkey sandwiches tonight and while that is baking I want to try my hand at making bagels. I will let you know how they turn out.
I also need to clean out some files in the office, so will be working on that. Things got kind of backed up with health problems this week. I have to get things done or I will be stressed. I like things decluttered.
My DH dropped his electric beard trimmer a little while ago. It was an expensive one that we had paid almost $60. for. The comb type attachment on it broke. We contacted the company and found out that the part was only $5.00; however they wanted $15. shpg and handlg for it! So DH and I went to BBB and looked at a trimmer by the same manufacturer. It had the attachment and some others that were exactly the same as ours. It was $19.95 and I had a 20% off coupon! So we got our part plus some spares for less than the manufacturer wanted!
So it isn't always cheaper to buy the part. You have to look at the alternatives all around you!
I was raised by my grandparents and mother in what was considered an untraditional home in the 50's and early 60's. My father was not in the picture from the time I was 3. My mother moved in with my grandparents so that she could work and my grandmother could take care of me and my baby sister. My grandfather and mom both worked Mon-Fri. My mom also worked at the local movie theater on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday to make ends meet. Most of what my Mom made was paid to my grandmother for room,board and child care.
I never felt poor or deprived but I always knew there was not much money. We lived frugally on one floor of a two story home that my grandfather owned. He rented the other floor to relatives. We were fed well but there was never more than a weeks worth of food in the house. One portion of food was put on your plate and there were rarely seconds. A treat each week was 1 qt. of soda that we shared and once in a while we had chips. My mom and grandfather took the city bus to work. Neither owned a car until I was 14 and they purchased used cars for cash. We heated with the old coal stove. They washed clothing by hand and hung it outside all year round and this was in NY. I was raised wearing hand me down clothes. My first bicycle was given to me by a neighbor when I was 15 after her daughter had gotten a new one. We had few toys. Christmas gifts were usually 2 pieces of clothing that we needed and one toy. We always had stockings full of oranges and nuts!
On the other hand, my sister and I saw every movie imaginable 3-6 times a weekend because Mom had to take us to work with her on the weekends to give grandma a break! Mom and grandma saw that we went to a private Catholic High School because it was family tradition. They rented a camp on a beautiful Saratoga Lake every summer for about two months.
Yes they were frugal so that they could save for the things that they felt were important! Their luxuries for my sister and I were private High school and getting us out of the city for summers.
If either of them had lost their jobs, we would have been poor. I don't think they had much saved for a rainy day! I think that is why I have been such a saver all my life. I have always wanted to live frugally because of the way they raised me; however I wanted to always have plenty in the bank to fall back on so that my family would never live on the edge!
I got back from CVS a while ago. DH's scripts were only $60.00 but it is still double what we were paying on 12/31/04. But when you need them in a hurry, you have to pay the price. I am just hoping this helps DH. The Dr. only gave him a 40% chance of recovering his hearing.
After the drugstore, I came directly home to check on DH. Since he was doing ok, I snuck over to the grocery store. Fortunately it is only 1 block away.
I got 3 pkgs. of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey for $ .07-.14 a pkg. after using a 2.00 any turkey winetag on each. I also picked up some Braeburn apples using a $ .50 store coupon. I have been so happy to be able to pick up so many turkey products with those winetags. We always use ground turkey in place of ground beef because it is so much healthier. When I use it in a casserole especially something like taco rice, I can hardly tell the difference.
We have always been a fan of Delicious apples, but after tasting these Braeburn apples, we switched. They are so good and stay so crisp in the fridge.
DH says he does not want turkey for dinner so it will just be me eating it. Over Christmas, I had a honey baked ham and froze the leftovers in portion sized freezer bags. So I took one out to thaw because DH is really craving ham salad. He has been through so much this week, that I don't mind catering to him.
I"ll be back later.
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