Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Month End Money Recap


I can't believe another month has already gone by. It happens SOOO quickly doesn't it?

Another month to look over my goals for the year and see how I've done!

1. Spend $100 or less on groceries each week. I went a little over budget this month. I didn't help myself by shopping on the last day of Feb and counting it towards March :)

With the February 28th spending:

I spent: $458.02
And saved: $751.01
Savings: 62%
I also earned back $130.48 in Catalinas and Extra Care Bucks - this is factored into my savings already so it doesn't add to the percentage.

However, for the year:

I have spent: $1221.15
And saved: $2047.69

So, for the year I'm not over budget confirming to me that our family needs to spend $400 a month on groceries.

2. Pay down debt and not accrue new debt. This we did. I didn't use the credit cards at all.

3. Budget, budget, budget. Still working on it :) It's taking me time to figure out the best way. Mostly it comes down to figuring out where to fit in all those extra expenses that come up every month.

4. Make a price point book. Didn't happen in March - planning on it for April since I don't have 3 consignment sales :)

5. Get rid of stuff. Did we ever! I won't list the entire list but it was well over 100 items - probably around 135 things. Lots of clothes and toys and even bigger items. I didn't count each thing but it was a lot.

Brings my total for the year to 180 at least. Still have plenty more to go. Not sure how I will do in April though I'm starting off with a donation pick-up in the morning so I guess that's getting me off to a good start!

Check out The Finer Things for more people participating.

6. Organize. Again, I made huge strides in March by getting rid of SOO much stuff but I still have a long way to go to feel wholely organized.

7. Make extra money. This I did this month :)

Moms of Multiples consignment sale: sold $370 worth - my take: $296
Classy Kids consignment sale: sold $200 worth - my take: $130
eBay: $140 sold (after all fees I think it's around $100 but I haven't figured that out)
Rebates: $27.50 - received the 2 Pepsi rebates that I submitted a few months ago along with the $10 gift card from Kraft

Total made this month: $553.50

(while I sold at MOPS - the third consignment sale - I have not received my check from them yet and don't know how much I sold there)

8. Still buying good kids clothes. I did at the sales. Nothing new but good used clothes :) For summer I don't care nearly as much! Something about fall jeans and boots that I just have to have!

And that's March. As I look over it I'm excited about how I did but always hoping to do even better in the month ahead.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Triples Trip #2

I know I'm over budget this month. It's been a long month, we've been busy and I'm tired and right now I'm just not going to worry about it. I guess in the course of the year I'm really not over budget but month by month I am.

Anyway, here's what I picked up tonight:



I spent: $36.56
And saved: $76.07

My big savings came because there were a lot of VIC savings this time around and not just coupons - chicken breasts are buy 1 get 2 free as are strawberries and trash bags were buy 2 get 3 free. Since these are all things we use a lot of I went ahead and got them even though it put me over budget for the month. Mostly because I feel that it will be a big savings next month so it's quite worth it.

Also, because I've signed up as an e-Vic customer I was alerted that there was a sale on Ball Park Franks for $0.99 a pack with a limit of 2. I used a $1.00/2 coupon from RP 3/14 and got each pack for $0.50.

As for other coupon savings:

Daisy Sour Cream
- regular price: $2.19/each
- sale price: 3/$5.00 or $1.67
- used 3 $0.60 off 1 coupons from S 3/28
- final price: FREE

Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner (hey, you gotta do it!)
- regular price: $2.69
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free (though it was NOT displayed on the shelf)
- used 2 $0.75/1 coupons
- final price: FREE

Mini Wheats Little Bites
- regular price: $3.39
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used $1.00/1 coupon from RP 3/28
- final price: $0.70

For lots more match-ups check out the Grocery Game - she includes match-ups from this Sunday's paper which was very helpful for my trip today.

I'll post my week's menu tomorrow when I actually make one :) But I know this whatever I make I will use what I have in the pantry - I'm done grocery shopping for the week.

Friday, March 26, 2010

You Know You're Addicted To Coupons When...

(Just having some Friday fun).

1. The first e-mail you check is the specials at your favorite grocery store.

2. That is quickly followed by your favorite coupon match-up site to see what the best deals are.

3. You consider swinging by the grocery store on date night and just know your dear hubby (or wife) will understand!

4. Your 3-year-old doesn't miss the words "mommy's coupons" on a commercial and promptly points it out.

5. When you forget something at the house and need to go back for it your kids automatically assume that you forgot your coupons!

6. When your kids are playing grocery shopping they are sure to play couponing too.

7. You consider it good alone time to go to the grocery store.

8. You get a strange high from spending nothing and saving tons.

9. You are disappointed when the cashier doesn't have to call the manager to override your savings.

10. $25 left in your grocery budget means it's gonna be a good week - you can make it last and you are looking forward to the challenge :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Harris Teeter Triples

I hate to admit that I wasn't thrilled with Harris Teeter's triple deals this week. Maybe it will be better when I check out the Grocery Game's match-ups tomorrow but using Southern Savers didn't really get me very far. I was excited about a few things only to find the HT I went in to didn't even carry the items! Weird.

This is what I got tonight:



I spent: $21.27
And saved: $42.16

That's pretty good! My best deals were not really sales and coupons but just lower priced items with good coupons.

Like the Chex
- retail price: $3.29
- used 5 $0.75 off 1 coupons from Coupons.com
- final price: $1.04 a box - just about my ideal price for cereal

Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls/Entrees/Omelets
- retail price: ranged from $3.29 to $3.45
- sale price: ranged from $2.89 to $3.15
- used 6 $0.75/1 coupons from RP 3/7
- final price: $0.64 to $0.90

Through links at Southern Savers I got coupons for:

Coffee-Mate Coffee Creamer
- retail price: $2.29
- used 2 $0.75/1 coupons
- final price: $0.04

Breakstone Sour Cream
- retail price: $1.99
- used 2 $0.60/1 coupons
- final price: $0.19

A few good deals to be had but I'm always hoping for more :) It's hard to compete with Giant's awesome deal this past week - so sad it's now over!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CVS And Giant Trip #3

If you haven't already heard CVS has some great deals on Pampers diapers this week! Even though I now have 2 potty training I am still using plenty of diapers for the 3rd and for night time so I am on the lookout for diaper deals like these!

Here's what I got:



I spent: $10.03
And saved: $19.94
And earned: $9.99 in Extra Care Bucks

Pampers Diapers
- retail price: $11.99
- sale price: $8.97
- used 2 $2.00 off coupons from PG 2/21
- for buying 2 packs I earned $6.00 in ECB's
- final price: $3.97/pack

Colgate Total Toothpaste
- retail price: $4.89
- sale price: $3.99
- used $1.00/1 coupon from S 3/7
- and earned: $3.99 in ECB's
- final price: $1.00 PROFIT!

I used my $8.00 ECB's from last week to lower my out-of-pocket expenses for today. For more match-up ideas head over to Southen Savers

And I couldn't avoid another trip to Giant :) I keep sharing in the hopes that you get some mix and match ideas of your own and head out to give it a try. I am certainly a visual learner and it is much easier for me to follow what someone else has done :)

Transaction #1:


Oh yes, more yogurt. We go through it around here pretty quick - almost a pack a day! You can imagine what that would be full price.

Instead I spent: $1.75
And saved: $19.55
And earned: $10.00 catalina - it printed just fine even through a cashier's line - they still have trouble scanning them though

I used 1 $0.80 off 2 coupon and 3 $0.40 off 1 coupons from Coupons.com
I also used a $0.55 off 2 coupon from GM 2/7

Transaction #2:


I spent: $1.94
And saved: $21.01
And earned: $10.00

Again I used mostly printable coupons from Coupons.com - $0.75/2 Brownies and 3 $0.50 off 1 cake mix and 1 icing coupons. The bread I picked up to be sure I went over $10 and so we had bread for tomorrow night's dinner :) Since the bread was $2.29 turns out I really did need to pick it up!

Okay, I promise no more Giant. After all, tomorrow begins triple coupons at Harris Teeter...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu Planning Monday 3/22


I guess you could say this week I'm being a tad lazy :) I'm going with recipes that we've used before and the family likes and mostly use ground beef. Hey, it was on sale at Harris Teeter this week so I have to use it :)

Monday: Chicken Broccoli Casserole (this one is the only new one this week and came out of TOH Mom's Best cookbook)

Tuesday: Mini Meat Loaves with Mashed Potatoes and Green beans (family favorite!)

Wednesday: Raviolis with Salad and Garlic Bread

Thursday: Shepherd's Pie

Friday: Date Night - I so can't wait!!

Saturday: Layered Enchilada Bake

Sunday: Hamburgers (Cheeseburgers) - we'll be grilling :)

I know I should come up with the menu through the end of the month but I'll hold off for now. It's triple coupon this week at Harris Teeter starting on Wednesday 3/24 so I don't yet know what I'll end up with and that could really stretch my dinner budget so that I don't have to eat as much out of my pantry as the month ends. Yea!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Harris Teeter This Week and Giant Trip #2

I don't intend to bore you with all my shopping trips but like to share the best deals I find and show you how I do it. Which is pretty much the purpose of the blog :) I figure if I can do it anyone can do it!

Like I said yesterday, Harris Teeter wasn't too exciting but I did manage a few good basics.



I spent: $42.25
And saved: $40.14

I used very few coupons this time - literally just 5 and 4 of them were the same - Mission Tortilla coupons from S 3/7.

My favorite deal this week was the ground beef. It was on sale for $1.47 a pound which is a great deal for me so I stocked up and bought the limit of 4 (2 I purchased earlier in the week).

But even better was the coupon from last week's paper (S 3/14) - it was a coupon for $1.50 off ground beef if you bought 2 Classico Spaghetti sauces. And since Classico was on sale buy 1 get 1 free this week I was able to buy 2 jars for $2.09 and get $1.50 off my ground beef! Can't beat that. Unfortunately I only had 1 copy - this was one of those coupons that were only in the Washington Post. I'm finding more and more of those so I'm going out of my way to get extra copies :)

I also headed back to Giant tonight for round 2 of their Catalina promotion. I stick to just 2 transactions a day for my sanity as well as for the cashiers :) For some reason the $10 coupons print just fine but they are not scanning and the cashier then has to take them and over ride them and put them in as cash. It's all weird and I hate to make them do it over and over. My cashier did it twice tonight and she was very pleasant and I thanked her for her help but I felt bad that it was so complicated for all of us.

Here's what I got tonight:

Transaction 1:


I spent: $2.61
And saved: $20.79
And earned: $10

Transaction 2:


I spent: $1.79
And saved: $19.75
And earned: $10

In both transactions I bought 1 extra item to be sure that my total was over $10. The Washington Post is my extra Sunday copy and in the second transaction I bought some paper baking cups so that I can actually make all the muffins I'm buying!

Almost all of the coupons I used were printable coupons from Coupons.com other than the $0.50/2 Green Giant Frozen Vegetables and they were from S 2/7 (only in the Washington Post though so I only had 2 of those).

Again, thanks to Moneywise Moms and the Grocery Game for my coupon match-ups this week.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Awesome Deals At Giant!

The deals were light at Harris Teeter this week which was good for me since I didn't want to spend much as I approach the end of the month and because Giant is having an amazing General Mills Catalina promotion.

Right now if you spend $20 on certain products you get $10 back. For all the match-ups head to Moneywise Moms.

Here's what I got tonight:

Transaction 1:

I spent: $10.92
And saved: $10.57
And earned: $10 Catalina back

I used 4 printable $0.50 Betty Crocker Muffin Mix coupons from HERE.
I used 1 printable $0.60 Bisquick coupon from HERE.
And $0.55/2 Toaster Strudles coupon from HERE.

Since the $20 is based on shelf price and not sale price it is very easy to hit the $20. For example the Toaster Strudles are actually $2.99 but on sale for $2.00 - you can buy 6 boxes and hit $18 towards your $20 goal while only spending $12. Adding coupons saves you even more.

Transaction 2:

I spent: $2.24
And saved: $20.05
And earned: $10 Catalina Coupon

I used 3 $0.80 off 2 coupons from Coupons.com which doubled to $1.60
I also used 1 $0.50 off cake mix and icing from Coupons.com which doubled to $1.00

In my second transaction I had to get an override because it's possible that all my items were free and I was only paying the tax so it's possible that you may have to add other items in to go over the $10 when you go back through but this is a great way to stock up on items you use every day! I know I will be going back several more times this week.

Thanks so much Moneywise Moms for the heads-up!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rolling Your Extra Care Bucks

I've written a lot about CVS over the last few months but I wanted to do a post to show how I roll the extra care bucks from one trip to the next.

First trip (3/6/10):



I spent: $1.69
And saved: $15.97
Along with coupons I used $8 ECB's from a previous trip.
I earned $10.99 in ECB's.

Second trip (3/13/10):



I spent: $1.31
And saved: $20.55
I didn't have coupons for this trip but I used the $10.99 ECB's from my last trip to spend so little on my 4 packs of Pepsi products. I also earned $3.00 in ECB's.

Third trip (3/17/10):



Today I took my $3 extra care bucks and headed back to CVS.

I purchased 4 boxes of Stayfree Pads with each box I can earn $2 more ECB's.

I used 2 buy 1 get 1 free boxes of Stayfree from RP 1/3
I also used 2 $1.00 off printables from HERE
I used my $3.00 ECB's from last week.

I spent: $3.12
And saved: $12.38
And earned: $8.00 in ECB's which puts me right back where I started a few weeks ago :)

In three trips I spent: $6.12
And saved: $48.90 (an 89% savings!)
And earned: $21.99 in ECB's

This is how I get a lot from CVS for a little. As you can see it's not immediate but it is worth it. I try to only go in when I can get an item free or close to it. By going weekly I can stock up some great household and even food items free.

For great weekly match-ups at CVS be sure to check out Southern Savers.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Menu Plan Monday 3/15


It's back to the grind for cooking this week :) No more slacking off! I don't mind I like cooking for the family and find it really fun to make new recipes - especially when we actually like them! I finally got around to making the ham and cheese calzones I had on my menu a few weeks ago and they were very good. I will definitely make that again! Taste of Home has the most awesome recipes.

But this week I am using a different cookbook.

This one is from Southern Living and it's titled Easy Weeknight Favorites.



I've had this cookbook for a while and have a few staple recipes in it but decided I would try and branch out this week for a few new options. Not sure if it's still sold through Southern Living but I did see it on Amazon and I highly recommend it as one of my favorites.

Monday - Meatball Hoagies w/ Homemade Mac N Cheese p. 134

Tuesday - Chicken Parmigiana w/ Egg Noodles and Broccoli p. 81

Wednesday - Creamy Chicken Casserole w/ Corn on the Cob p. 19

Thursday - Steak Stroganoff w/ Egg Noodles p. 56

Friday - McDonald's - set-up night for MOPS consignment sale

Saturday - Creamy Chicken Divan p. 90

Sunday - Leftovers

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Groceries This Week 3/14

I apologize for the long gap in posting. Three consignment sales in one month are really doing a number on me. I worked every evening last week and then used Friday and Saturday to catch up on what I had gotten behind on! Mainly grocery shopping. Last week my bill was very low because I knew I wouldn't be home cooking and sure enough I wasn't. Never got to use the stove until Friday night for a quick meal in. I actually miss it when I don't get to make the family meals.

Yesterday I made up for the lesser amount from last week and spent all of my budget and then some.

Here's what I got from Harris Teeter:



I spent: $96.91
And saved: $92.51

50% isn't bad but I prefer to do better. Still, for the week after having to play a bit of catch-up it wasn't bad.

Best deals:

No Yolks Noodles
- regular price: $2.29/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 3 $1.00/2 coupons from S 2/21
- final price: $0.65/each
(Some papers the coupon is for $0.75/1 and it doubles to make it free but not in the NoVa area)

Kellogg's Mini Wheats
- regular price: $3.39/each
- sale price: none but if you buy 3 boxes you get $3.00 off your order; 4 boxes you get $4.00 off and 5 boxes you get $5.00 off your order - automatically taken off at check-out (obviously that's $1.00 off a box)
- used 2 $1.50/2 printable coupons (can be found HERE along with a great Target deal to get Mini Wheats even cheaper)
- final price: $1.64/each

For more deals at Harris Teeter check out the Grocery Game.

After my big order at Harris Teeter I headed to Safeway because they are once again having their buy 5 get $5.00 off sale and I have found this to be the best way to stock up on fruit snacks and cereal.

Here's what I picked up:



I spent: $10.95 in two transactions
And saved: $42.27

Here's what I did:

First time through I picked up:

10 Boxes of Fruit Snacks/Fruit Roll-Ups
- regular price: $2.79/each
- sale price: 2/$4.00
- used 5 $0.50/2 coupons from S 3/7
- got $10 off my order for buying 10 boxes
- final price: $0.50/each
- earned back a $3.50 Catlina coupon

(also purchased Mott's Apple Juice for $0.99/each which was a weekend special)

I spent $7.22 on my first order

Second time through I bought:

3 Boxes of Lucky Charms
- regular price: $4.29/each
- sale price: $3.00/each
- used $1.00/3 coupon from GM 2/7

2 Boxes of Fruity Pebbles
- regular price: $3.29/each
- sale price: 2/$5.00
- used $1.00/2 coupon from S 2/28

Got $5.00 off my order and used $3.50 Catalina coupons

On this order I only spent $3.73 making it just 40.75 per box of cereal! I like that price :)

For more Safeway deals and other ways to get great prices on the pick 5 deal check out Moneywise Moms.

Total weekly groceries: $107.86 ($7.86 over budget)
But I saved: $134.78

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Consignment Sale Goodies

Today was shopping day at Classy Kids. Three times a year I get 2 hours to myself to shop for the next season's clothes along with a bunch of other goodies. Some sales I find a lot of great stuff and other times I don't do as well.

Today I did okay according to me. According to Kaitlyn and Caleb I did fabulous! They were thrilled with the few little things I picked up for them:



I was most excited about some beautiful dresses I picked up for the girls.



They were too - they've already worn them even though I thought they were nice enough for Easter! At least they looked cute.

Total consignment cost of purchase: $177.83
Total out-of-pocket: $31.83

Because I volunteer I get reimbursed for my hours which allowed me to take $96 off my purchase plus I had a $50 gift card that I won for volunteering at the last sale.

I guess I can't complain after only spending $30 on everything :)

And the sale last Saturday was very successful - I was able to get rid of more than $350 worth of items! I get 80% of that so more than enough to cover my purchases today. Of course, some of it had to go to expenses like babysitting and eating out but still, so very worth it.

Still have 2 more shifts at this week's sale and another sale next week but for both purchasing and getting rid of consignment sales are a great idea so be sure to look for some in your area.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Harris Teeter Trip 3/7

I am still recovering from our fabulous moms of multiples sale this past weekend and gearing up to work all week at Classy Kids - the large thrice annual consignment sale I work at - but I did manage to make it to the grocery store last night for some pretty good deals. I didn't have a lot to buy because I won't be cooking all week - made the trip easier and cheaper :) Should have a week like this every month!

Here's what I got:



I spent: $33.83
And saved: $56.64

Quaker Deal: Buy 7 products get $3.00 off your order

I purchased:

2 Boxes Quaker Chewy Granola Bars
- retail price: $2.99/each
- sale price: 2/$4.00
- used $1.00/2 coupon from RP 2/14
- additional $0.43 off each
- final price: $1.07 each

2 Boxes Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix
- retail price: $2.89/each
- sale price: $2.49/each
- used $1.00/2 coupon from RP 1/3
- additional $0.43 off each
- final price: $1.56/each

3 Boxes of Cap'n Crunch Cereal
- retail price: $2.50
- sale price: 2/$4.00
- additional $0.43 off each
- final price: $1.57/each

Because these are products we use every day this was a great deal for me. Enough of which I may go back (if I can after working) for another go around to stock up on some more pancake mix and grab some syrup :)

Other deals:

Birds Eye Steamfresh Vegetables
- retail price: $2.35/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 2 $1.00/2 coupons from S 2/7
- final price: $0.68/each

Kellogg's Apple Jacks/Fruit Loop Cereal
- retail price: $3.45/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 2 $1.00/2 coupons from RP 3/7
- final price: $1.23/each

For more great deals this week check out The Grocery Game.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Back To CVS

I really didn't make it to CVS in February. With the weather and being sick I didn't hit the stores but this week CVS gave me reason to head back in :)

What's that?

A diaper sale of course!! Yes, I know my girls are potty training but still at this point it's just Julianna so I still have two in diapers and believe me we're still going through plenty.

I picked up:



I spent: $15.20 ($2.00 was for a needed item and not a pictured item above)
And saved: $15.99 (used $10.49 in ECB's from a previous trip)
And earned: $8 in extra care bucks

Huggies Diapers
- sale price: $19.99
- used $2.00 off printable coupon (links can be found at Southern Savers) - but there is also a $1 off coupon from S 2/28
- earned back $4.00 ECB's
- final price for large box of diapers $13.99

No coupons for the body wash but it was priced at $4.49 and I got $4 ECB's back so it was only $0.49 which I think is a pretty good deal :)

Hoping for some even better ones next week to make my $8 ECB's to go farther.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu Planning 3/1


Two themes this week: Ham and Taste of Home cookbook :)

Ham was on sale this week at HT. I maybe could have spent less on meat but I have been dying to have this soup with ham that I made over Christmas so when I saw a huge ham at half off I decided that would be our meat for the week. It was still $15 of my week's budget but it will be worth it as it will be the meat for the next week. Next week I'll pretty much have no meal plan since I will be working a local consignment sale all week and won't be home to cook.

This week I found recipes from 2 Taste of Home cookbooks but this was the main one and is brand new:



I'll let you know how I like the recipes from it next week.

Monday: Pork Loin with baked beans and corn (no recipe)

Tuesday: Ham with potatoes and carrots (no recipe just baking the ham)

Wednesday: Cheddar Ham Soup (TOH Simple & Delicious p. 124)

Thursday: Moms of Multiples Club Meeting

Friday: Set of for yard sale - fast food

Saturday: Quick Calzones (TOH Mom's Best p. 77)

Sunday: Ham 'n' Cheese Pasta (TOH Mom's Best p. 74)

In order to have all the ingredients for this week's meal and Friendship bread (I had no idea the darn thing required so much stuff and I never bake except from a box so I had to get everything!!) I took a trip to Safeway. I thought I would use some coupons and do well but I came home disappointed.

No picture because I didn't even feel like I got any good deals to pass along.

I spent: $51.15
And saved: $22.06

Sad right? And because of a trip to CVS I am already $150 into my monthly budget! Yikes! Thankfully next week will be light since I won't be cooking :)