Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Triple Coupon Week!

It's time again to get out your coupons and head to Harris Teeter! It's triple coupon week from now until next Tuesday. I love that they are doing the whole week now!

Want to know about the deals now? Head on over to:

She's got a great list of all the deals you can find there now! I know I'll head over there before Sunday but as always I'll check the Grocery Game on Sunday to see her match-ups.

Happy coupon hunting!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Possible Last Safeway Trip

Probable since my coupon didn't print even though I triple checked (pun intended) my purchases to be sure that I qualified for another $10 coupon but one didn't print so now I have to wait for them to decide I qualified and mail me one. So much for going back this week! I also didn't get another $2.00 water coupon so I'm officially done buying water :)

I spent: $11.11 - see why that $12 was important? Could've been free!
I saved: $35.86 (77%)

Don't let my experience stop you - you still have another week to head over to Safeway for the deals - you can get quite a few kids snacks for cheap. My kids love the Pringles sticks (PG 4/5 - $1.00 off) and the Pepperidge Farms snack sticks are really good too.

Lysol Wipes are a great deal too with the new coupon that was in yesterday's paper (S 4/26) - it's $1.00 off one instead of my previous coupon which was $1.00 off 2 so each pack of wipes was $1.50.

This week's meals:

Monday - chicken, broccoli and potatoes (it was good!)
Tuesday - spaghetti, salad and bread
Wednesday - creamy chicken enchiladas
Thursday - mom's night out
Friday - fettuccine alfredo with chicken - probably with broccoli
Saturday - meatloaf

The good news is that my monthly budget has run out anyway so now I'll stay out of the stores for sure!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Did Pretty Good Again

There's nothing more fun then watching the cashier ring up my transaction at full price and then seeing all the stuff come off :) You know you love it! I do! I always prefer to give my club card after they ring everything up just to see how much I save before coupons.

Here's what I got:

Not pictured: 2 bags kitty litter (2 20 lb bags were NOT going on my table!)

I spent: $45.77
I saved: $120.87

At this point I probably have enough Electrosol tabs to last me a year but for $0.50 it was too good to pass up!

I also got a good deal on the cereal - Kellogg's was 3/$9.00 if you bought Frosted Flakes, Honey Smacks or Raisin Bran plus you got any other Kellogg's cereal free under $4.00. Sweet! I had $1.00 off each box of cereal so I got 4 boxes for $6.00 or $1.50 each which is about as much as I'd like to spend on a single box.

Toothpaste was cheap today too - so far I haven't been able to get it free because I only get $1.00 off coupons and not the $0.75 ones that would double that everyone else gets. But, when it's on sale for B1G1 free and I have a $1.00 off coupon which made each tube just $0.35. I guess I can live with that :)

Do notice I got a lot of fruit and veggies today - it was on sale but saving money on other stuff certainly frees up money to buy fresh produce.

Be sure to check out the Grocery Game for all the good deals in your neighborhood!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Official Coupon Addict

It's official, I'm addicted. It's sad really - I know this to be true and yet I don't care! My cupboards are full - stuffed to the max and my husband is never again going to tell me we could use something lest I use my couponing to overwhelm him! He asked me for water well, he didn't know he'd be getting quite as much water as he got :)

Which brings me to yet another Safeway trip. They're too much fun not to keep going - that and the ground beef was on a big sale - 50% off and I was in desperate need for some (it's not on sale at HT this week or I would've waited for my regular day tomorrow).

I also received my coupons I ordered on Ebay so I went shopping with those - they were from that Unilever insert from 4/5 that I never got.

Also, we happened to be grabbing a small treat at Caribou Coffee tonight and they had our local paper free. When I grabbed it it had last week's coupon inserts which included $1.00 off Caprisun and $0.75 off the Pepperidge Farm Baked Snacks (which are very good, by the way) so I used those again.

And that's my tip for the day - when you're out and about keep your eyes open - you never know what you're gonna find! I've decided I'll send my DH to Caribou on Friday's to get a cheap cup of coffee and grab the paper for me :) I'll save more then he spends!!

Here's what I got:

I spent: $17.49 (because of the meat - it's not part of the promotion)
And saved: $41.94 (71%)
I earned: $14.00 back in coupons so my total spent was really $2.49 - so, yes, I'll keep buying the waters until they stop printing the extra $2.00 back! After all, these waters are great - the girls can drink from them because of the flip top and they're very easy to take along on really hot days.

Tomorrow... my Grocery Game trip at HT

Friday, April 24, 2009

Safeway Trip #3

It's getting easier the more I go. I even brought the girls with me this time. Fun times! They actually do surprisingly well at the store even though they do not ride in a cart or stroller. Generally I can't find out that works for three anyway and they don't like to stay in the cart even if I do. So they get down and walk behind or in front of mom. I just make sure they don't run into people or remove tags from the shelf (or other products).

Even with the girls in tow I was able to spend exactly $30 required to get my $10 back (before coupons) mostly due in part to my careful planning before I went. I added up the full price of the items to see how I could get as close to $30 as possible.

Here's what I got:

I spent: $9.96

I saved: $36.67 (77%) with sales and coupons - pretty much everything I bought I used a coupon from this past Sunday's (4/19) coupon insert so if you just saved last week's paper you can have the same outcome unless you don't have the $10.00 off coupon but still it's a great way to get it started since the promotion runs until 5/5

I earned: 1 $10.00 coupon and 1 $2.00 coupon plus another coupon for $1.00/2 waters so I got $13.00 back - ultimately I made $3.04!

I will also submit my receipt to Reynolds to get back $2.29 on a roll of aluminum foil (I bought 3 - I used 2 $0.55 coupons from this past Sunday's SS insert and the other I paid full price for) so that brings my "earnings" to $5.33.

You may be wondering if I will use all this water and juice :) Believe it or not we will. We go through juice boxes quite quickly around here and since I also babysit over the summer our juice box drinking does not slow down in the off-school months - in fact it picks up with more kids around.

As for the water, my DH keeps us amply stocked in our vehicles so that we will never go thirsty :)

This time I had no issues with printing the $10 coupon so I wonder if I did something wrong last time. I did ask the manager to double check my receipt both times - like I said I don't think the store workers really know how the deal works or how to tell what's actually involved but please be honest at all times - it really helps!! After all, we want them to keep doing sales and giving us coupons.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Where Do You Get Your Coupons?

This is probably the #1 question I get asked. I often end up with multiple copies of the same coupon which of course, I love! But how do I do it?

1. I subscribe to the Washington Post - which is our major newspaper - for $12.00 every six months it's a bargain. I only get the paper on Sunday (the inserts come on Saturdays) so it doesn't clutter up my house with newspapers. It's worth the savings to subscribe to a major newspaper.

2. I subscribe to a local newspaper. This is kind of a fluke but I signed up for it on a whim at a grocery store (no longer under my budget!) but it has paid off in dividends - I get a second copy of the coupons on Sundays.

3. My local paper - I get a free paper every week and it has at least one of the coupons inserts in it (Smartsoucre and/or Red Plum).

4. Papers or flyers that come in the mail - I check them all and I often come up with another copy of the coupons.

5. Ask friends and family to save coupons they don't need. I have 2 friends and my mom save coupons for me so I have another copy of the good coupons.

6. Ebay. Weird, huh? Paying for coupons. Well, legally you are not paying for the coupons you are paying for the person's time to collect them and/or cut them out but I just ordered 6 copies of the Unilever insert that did not come in my paper for $3.00. Since my savings will far outweigh the small cost I find it a great deal. And I was a little annoyed that these great coupons were not in any of my papers.

7. Websites - here are the ones I use most frequently - for more go HERE.

8. Manufacturers sites. I believe Cherie has mentioned this before check out manufacturers sites and see if they have any special offers. Generally by signing up you can get a coupon or two from them.

Let me know if you have other thoughts or get your coupons from other places.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Safeway Take 2

So, I think I have a slightly better handle on the Safeway promotion but man is it a lot harder then having a list printed out for me!! I know, I'm lazy but seriously to do this promotion I've scoured blogs and websites to find the coupons and the deals that I will actually use since we don't tend to eat taste-free products.

I know, horrible but seriously I like a little fat in my food :) Bad mama!!

I ended up doing 2 transactions once again.

First time around I spent $23.61
I saved: $20.86 with sales an coupons and earned a $10 coupon - of course it didn't print I had to go to customer service and ask for a coupon which wasn't a coupon but that didn't matter till the 2nd transaction.

2nd transaction I did better - after fixing the $10 coupon issue (manager just credited me the $10) and using coupons -

I spent: $13.89
And saved: $23.79

I also got a $10 coupon along with 2 $2.00 coupons for the water so I got $14.00 back meaning I made $0.11 on the transaction! Not much but I'll take it :)

I had an issue with the coupon printing the 2nd time around as well and had to see the manager again who just signed my receipt for $10 off the next time. They were very nice about it but I think the whole thing is a tad frustrating to them. There are 3,000 participating products but they are not all marked. Like my bread (Nature's Own) - there was no tag but it was on the list.

So, your tag may print and it may not but if not just check with the manager in the nicest way possible and they should be of assistance.

As for this week - the water deal is still going on - if you buy 2 6 packs of Deer Park water for $1.99 you will get a $2.00 coupon off your next order.

Check Moneywise Moms for the best list of deals - she does a great job of sharing everything she bought and where she got the coupons and on my limited time I can certainly use her help!

Grab My Button!

Also go HERE TODAY ONLY!!! to get a rebate for Reynolds Wrap made from 100% recycled aluminum. Essentially you get one roll free up to $3.99 but you have to print it today!! Did I mention you had to do it today before midnight?? It's an Earth Day thing.

Get out there and start saving!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Free Food!

Check out your local Ben and Jerry's today for a free scoop of ice cream.
The special is available between 12 noon and 8pm today.

You can also check out your local Dunkin' Donuts today and recieve an iced coffee for 50 cents!


Monday, April 20, 2009

Made It To HT

I ended up making it to HT yesterday even after my yummy dinner with Cherie. We had a great time and I paid cash I had set aside! No guilt :)

Here's what I got:

I spent $29.83
I saved $61.56

Here's the thing - my HT has been sending out $20 off your $50 purchase which has been wonderful but last night I had to go back for some more things to hit the $50 - what I spent is the absolute lowest I could spend and still use the coupon (my total before the coupon was $50.33).

Best deals this week:

Bagel-fuls normally $2.69 - on sale for $2.19 - used a $1.00 off coupon (Smartsource 4/19) - paid $1.19.

Shout Stain remover - $3.49 each - on sale for buy one get one free - both bottles had a $0.55 coupon on them (they did NOT double) but I paid $1.20 for each bottle.

Pop Secret popcorn - regular price $2.99 - on sale for buy 2 get 3 free - used a $0.50 off coupon - final price was $1.00 a box.

I have definitely found that some weeks are better then others. Last week HT had a large number of sales and this week not as much. But by going every week I stock up on the sales and have enough stored away that I don't need that much.

By buying what's on sale and not really what I "need" I ultimately spend less and as the weeks go on I'm actually spending less and less but I still have plenty of food to feed my family for the entire week. I rarely spend more in a trip then I used to whenever I ran in because I "forgot something" but now I go in with a purpose and buy what I need.

I do enjoy hearing what you all save so please continue to share!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

1st Safeway Trip

I had some time this afternoon so I took the oppourtunity to run to Safeway while the girls were napping. I scoured other blogs for the deals they used and the coupons they used to come up with a handful that I could work with on my first trip - I'm determined to do even better the next time around but I didn't think I did too bad today :)

This is actually a photo of my combined 2 trips - let me explain -

First trip:

I spent $23.56
I saved $27.79 (after coupons/sales)
And I earned $10 back

Then I did a second trip to buy the grapes, Pepsis and Doritos which were $10 for 3 12 packs and 2 bags of chips and I spent $1.94 after using my $10 off coupon.

So, my whole total spent was $25.50

A few things I learned -

Coupons do NOT count against your total. Doesn't seem right I know but it's true. If the item is on sale for $2.00 then that goes towards your total but if you also have a $1.00 off coupon then it does not mean you have to buy another $1.00 item to reach the $30.00 - this I had to see for myself to believe. But it means you could spend $10 and get $10 back - very cool! Yes, I'm going to figure out a way :)

Not all qualifying items are marked really well - a lot of them had the tag that said it was a participating item but I purchased Pasta Roni which was not clearly marked and I could not have achieved $30 without them so clearly they are a part of the promotion.

The $10 is off anything not just items indicated in the sale. I wasn't 100% sure and couldn't find the answer anywhere so in case you were wondering you can buy anything in the store and save $10 off.

Best deals -

Pasta Roni/Rice Roni are on sale at $0.89 a piece - I used a $1.00 off three coupon from here making them just $0.56 a piece

Finish Powerball Electrosol Tabs - normally $5.99 - on sale for $3.99/each - there's a $2.50 off coupon in today's Smartsource coupon flyer making them $1.49 each and getting me $3.99 closer to my $30 total! I had 2 coupons.

Caprisun Sunrise juice box drinks - normally $2.50 - on sale for $1.99/each - there's a $1.00 off coupon in today's Smartsource coupon flyer making them $0.99 each. Also, when you walk into the store there's a flyer with more coupons and it contains a $0.50 off Caprisun coupon (you can only use one per transaction).

As I said yesterday lots of other blogs list the sales out in real detail so follow my link from then to find more - these are just examples of how I did.

While I am very excited about this promotion and happy about how I did - this is an example of why I use the Grocery Game instead of doing it myself. There was a LOT more leg work involved to track everything down and find all the coupons as opposed to a list that tells me "buy this, save this". This is an example of how triplets really effects my bottom line - I don't have all the time in the world to look everthing up or to store hope but I NEED to save money. I have way too many mouths to feed to pay full price!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Safeway Deals

Safeway is generally not my store but I always check their ads because they often have some pretty good deals.

This week is no exception - in fact that have a HUGE list of items that if you spend $30 on you get $10 back in Catalina bucks which is essentially means you will get a ticket at the register for $10 off your next order.

There are TONS of deals and coupons to be had and used. I have yet to head that way but I am planning to and will let you know how I do when I go. Of course, I'll make my normal HT run but not tomorrow. Tomorrow I will be celebrating with Cherie in honor of her birthday!

Yea, Happy Birthday Cherie!!

For Safeway deals (and their sister stores) - head here:

Grab My Button!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Want To Buy Organic?

I may know a little about coupons but I know next to nothing about going organic. We haven't made the switch - the expense, the taste, the variety. I don't know - we haven't gotten there.

But a lot of my friends have and they have complained about the expense and the lack of coupons.

While I am no means an expert on this subject I have come across a few places that you could check out in order to save money on organic foods.

Check out:

Organic Grocery Deals

Also, if you have joined the Grocery Game you may not know that there is a message board on the site that answers questions and shares what people have saved in their couponing "adventures". You may also not know that there is an entire thread on Organic and Whole Food Topics.

So, if you didn't think you could use the Grocery Game because it doesn't apply to say Whole Foods then I'd think again - you might still be able to buy great food at a discount and still stay organic!

Let me know if you try it and how it goes.

Monday, April 13, 2009

She Did Have A List

And it was a good one and of course, she posted it early - usually she doesn't post till Sunday. Figures. Would've been able to use 2 coupons that expired yesterday - darn it!! And then Rachel shredded one with scissors. Yea, crazy. Don't they know these coupons are sacred?! Okay, not quite but I find myself quite addicted to them and the more I use them the more I can't ever live without them.

Take this week for example -

I spent: $53.16
And saved: $120.84!!

I'm serious - how crazy is that?

Here's what I got:

(Not pictured: 4 12-packs of soda and 2 gallons of milk)

Great sale on No Yolk Egg Noodles :

Regular price - $2.29
Sale price - Buy one get one free - or $1.15 each
I had $0.75 off each one from hereWhich doubles to $1.50
Total for 4 bags of noodles: $0.10 (they would only double 3 of the coupons or I would've gotten like $1.50 more off but it made sense - I didn't think about it that way).

I will say that the Grocery Game did not have this coupon listed - I found it by checking other blogs namely Frugal in Virginia. I do find checking other people's deals helps as well though normally I don't have the time to track down every coupon. But this wee I didn't expect the Grocery Game to have a list this week so I was trying to do it on my own and came across this great coupon so it wasn't a total loss :)

This week's menu:

Monday - Easter ham with mashed potatoes
Tuesday - Crock Pot Chicken w/ Black Beans and Cream Cheese
Wednesday - Stuffed Shells
Thursday - Beef Stroganoff
Friday - MOPS sale - leftovers
Saturday - Chicken Parmigan

I also qualified for HT's gas promotion and got $50 in gift cards for gas. We're saving it to travel to Florida next month and that will be a big help. I also got a $3.00 off coupon for my next trip from the register - so my extras back total $53 which is exactly what I spent so I guess my groceries were free :)

How'd you do this week?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

TGI Fridays

I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Easter weekend. There is nothing better then celebrating our risen Lord!

We have enjoyed a good week off from school and a nice weekend together as a family. As a treat we went out to dinner tonight but of course we didn't pay full price :)

Recently I came across TGI Friday's Stripes Program . Seems a lot of restaurants are offering programs and deals these days and that is great for those of us trying to save a few dollars!

Once you join you'll receive coupons for a free appetizer or dessert as well as a jump-to-the-front-of-the-line pass. How cool is that? Skip to the front and get right in! (There was no line tonight so we didn't need to use it).

After that you receive $8 credit for every $100 you spend though in April you get double points. We spent $44 and got 84 points so we're already close to our 100. You'll also get other coupons in your e-mail. We ended up using a $1 entree coupon instead of the free appetizer because we saved more. Yummy food! I can't wait to go back - will have to be next month though...

There are no couopons in this Sunday's paper and the Grocery Game should be off this week - she takes off 4 weeks a year and this is one of them (though there's a note that she may do it so I won't know for sure till tomorrow). Either way I will not be at the grocery store tomorrow so I will share how I do on my own on Monday.


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

$10 Dinners - A Favorite

Layered Enchilada Bake

(I apologize that I have no picture but you can go here for a video tutorial and picture on how to make it)

1 lb ground beef ($1.98)
1 large onion (I left this out - we're not huge onion people and I never miss it)
2 cups salsa ($2.00)
1 can black beans, drained, rinsed ($0.67)
1/4 cup Zesty Italian dressing (I left this out)
2 tbsp. taco seasoning mix ($0.15)
6 flour tortillas ($1.20)
1 cup sour cream ($0.30)
1 pkg. (8 oz) mexican style shredded cheese ($1.50)

Total Cost: $7.80

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

BROWN meat with onions in large skillet on medium-high heat; drain. Stir in salsa, beans, dressing and seasoning mix.

ARRANGE 3 tortillas on bottom of 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with layers of half each meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Repeat layers. Cover with foil.

BAKE 40 min.or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted, removing foil after 30 min. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Serving Suggestion

Top with chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce and cilantro.

Make Ahead

Line 13x9-inch baking dish with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of dish. Assemble recipe in prepared dish as directed. Cover with foil. Freeze up to 3 months. When ready to serve, heat oven to 400ºF. Bake, covered, 1 hour. Remove foil. Bake an additional 15 to 20 min. or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted. Let stand 5 min. before cutting to serve. To decrease the baking time, thaw casserole in refrigerator overnight, then bake, uncovered, 45 min. or until casserole is heated through and cheese is melted.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Like my toes?

I do!

Today I got a pedicure :) I love pedicures. After all what woman in her right mind would go out in sandals without perfect toes? Okay, I'm sure plenty but not me. I don't want anyone seeing my toes unless they're perfect (or close to it)

But on my budget I can NOT afford a $50 spa pedicure. So, what's a girl to do?

Befriend a manicurist of course!

Well, we've actually been friends for years. I know I'm so lucky :) Even better - I like her a lot!

For the past two years we've been making a trade. I pass down Kaitlyn's wardrobe and in return I get free pedicures whenever we can fit them in our schedules. I help her daughter look good, she helps my toes look good - saves us both some real money.

So, you may not know a manicurist but we all have talents and we can always make trades. We can always trade for babysitting but there are other things. If someone hands you down clothes is there something nice you can do for them? You just got a ton of free clothes - what about a gift certificate for dinner? Or just a free meal that you make yourself?

We all have talents - lets think of ways to share them and save each other some dough! What about you? Anything you trade?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Keep Those Random Coupons!

You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones you swear you'll never use. I have my favorites - Eggo Waffles are some of my favorites but I also look for the food coupons - the ones for cereal, for yogurt, for fruit snacks. These are the ones I use regularly and would cut out no matter what.

Then there are the others ones. The millions plus for deodarant, for cleaning supplies, for air freshener. In another "life" I would have just thrown those out and disregarded them as something I would never buy but not any longer.

The beauty of couponing the way I do for the Grocery Game is that I don't have to actually clip coupons until I need them so there's really no energy on my part to just leave them there. If I never use them they get thrown away when they expire but if I need them then I know they're there.

And sometimes it really pays off. I am not one to go out and buy home fragrances or home candles or the Glad plug-ins or whatever else they come up with. It's not in my budget - my concentration at the store is always food. Not that I don't want my house to smell nice but seriously that could be a chunk of my money to feed my family!

Anyway, this week the Airwick Starter Kit was on sale buy one get one free. Normally they are $9.99 each (see how that doesn't fit in my $100 a week grocery budget?!) $5.00 is a little closer but I'm still not feeling it. However, if you give me a $4.00 off coupon then I'm all for it! So, instead of paying $9.99 for an item that I would use but didn't really want I paid $1.00 for a savings of 90% and in my world that's pretty cool.

Moral of the story - keep those weird coupons. You never know when they may come in handy!

As for the rest of my trip to HT (you knew I had to go!) I got:

(Not pictured - 4 gallons of milk)

I spent: $48.93
And saved: $75.48

The deal on the starter kit helped my numbers quite a bit :)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I Tried Giant

I know I said I was going to stick with Harris Teeter but Giant had a lot of stuff on sale and they have started doubling coupons up to $0.99! This makes a HUGE difference on my bill. They still don't have as many sales at HT but this week I compared the 2 and found more things I needed at Giant. I'm sure I'll still do a HT run later this week but for tonight exhaustion and expediency won out so I ran across the street (not quite but close) to Giant.

How'd I do?

Not bad...

(Not pictured: 2 more sodas)

I spent: $26.82
And saved: $29.98

It seems that I track down the store that has the best deal on Eggo waffles. We go through a TON of these and they are often on sale. This week I also had a $0.75 coupon. At Giant they were on sale 2/$4.00 so I only paid $0.50 a box. Not bad for one or two breakfasts.

Sour cream was on sale for 2/$3.00 and I had a $0.60 coupon on 1 that doubled to $1.20 bringing my cost to $0.30 each.

I felt good that I stocked up on some things we use a lot for cheap. Giant has been trying to compete with HT by adding special coupons in the paper - this week they doubled 4 $1.00 coupons. So, I have decided to use the Grocery Game at Giant again and see if I can get some good deals there as well. I'll keep you updated!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Finding Freedom Friday: 2009 Goal Update

This week's Finding Freedom Friday on Cents to Get Debt Free is about checking yourself to see how your 2009 goals are going. Remember those? The ones we often make and rarely keep? I do!

At the beginning of the year I resolved to:

1. Spend $100 or less each week on groceries -

I have found that it averages out more like $125 because stuff comes up like the cat's food/litter and baby shower gifts like diapers which I include under here when I buy them on my trips but I am going to try and cut it down to $100 a week by sticking to one store unless another store has something SOO amazing I can't pass it up.

I've also decided to do Harris Teeter first every week with the Grocery Game that way I go to any other store second and only pick up the very best deals an item I might be lacking. When I go the other way around I definitely spend more. We also did a BJ's run tonight with coupons and spent about $100 on food which I will take off my monthly grocery budget and just supplement at the store each week - we'll see if this helps or hurts me long term (I'm always experimenting). I had originally also thought this to include going out but right now it doesn't - maybe as the year progresses and I have the best means to save money figured out!!

2. Pay $10 or less for dinner -

This we are very, very close on - a few go over but not many.

3. Pay down debt -

We're not wholly concentrating on this but I haven't added any new debt in months so it stands to reason that by the end of the year I will have paid off quite a bit.

4. Continue to buy brand name clothes but pay cash -

Yep! The kids are still in Gymboree and I've paid for it with the money I've made selling Gymboree. I am currently almost up to another $200 to use during Gymbuck redemption period which is in 2 weeks. I earned my $200 Gymbucks by spending $400 in Gymboree's store - all in cash and I have TONS to show for it as I NEVER pay full price. I'll post on that soon but generally I pay about 50% of retail at all times.

5. No more credit cards - check!

That's it! Those were my 5 big goals for this year and so far I am sticking to them as best I can. With my obsessive personality I check and re-check the budget just about every day and am getting a tad anal about where every penny goes and where it comes from. It's not as bad as it sounds - I feel a lot more in control of my money rather then the other way around.

I certainly hope you have been keeping your New Year's Resolutions! Can you believe we're already in the 4th month?!!