Saturday, July 31, 2010

Month End Money Recap: July

Oh man, I can't even believe it's that time of the month again. No, not that time - the other time :) Sorry, couldn't resist. Anyway, another month has gone by meaning 2010 is more than halfway through. Sooo crazy!

I have to admit (again) that summer is a hard time for us. I think I plan for it but every year I realize that I'm not as prepared as I thought. Kind of like Christmas. I'm hoping August is better but not really counting on it.

But I'll go over my goals again anyway :)

1. Spend $100 or less on groceries per week. I confess I have no idea. It's sad. I'm sorry. I have no idea how much I spent on groceries this month - partly due to the trip home at the beginning of the month and partly because we had company for a whole week - I got off track. But just because I got de-railed this past month doesn't mean I'm done for good. I'll jump right back on in August all the while knowing September will be easier when the kids go back to school :) But I'm going to do my best! We only have one trip this month and I already have extra money set aside for that so hopefully it won't interfere with my general budget.

2. Pay down debt and not acrue new debt. Didn't make a huge effort to pay stuff off but at least we didn't add anything new :)

3. Budget, budget, budget. Aagh! Working on it. Weird month. Some of Kirk's pay got messed up - twice - so we're working around that. Such a pain...

4. Make a price point book. Okay, still trying. Maybe, just maybe it will get done this year.

5. Get rid of stuff. I donated a box of clothes that I was supposed to have donated last month. This is a big thing to work on in August as we move closer to the fall consignment sales.

6. Organize. Nope, didn't happen this month - same as #5 I'll be working on it in August.

7. Make extra money. This month we sold the playground that was supposed to have been sold last month - details - so that was $120. This month was the consignment sale and while I didn't sell anything and make money that way by working the sale I earned $72 (all of which went to clothes there but hey, it was like free clothes!)

8. Still buying good kids clothes. Most of them I bought at the consignment sale for cheaper which was great but I also redeemed some Gymbucks and got my oldest a few little things.

Another fun thing I did this month was make Kaitlyn's 10th birthday cake as well as a cake for another friend. It was a great way to save money on her party and have a fun cake. I'll post about those later but I had a lot of fun making cakes this month :)

How are your yearly goes going? Now that we're halfway through the year have you stuck with your goals? Made new ones? I had a loose goal of doing new things every month. This past month was making cakes - in August I'm hoping to cook some new things - should be fun!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Diapers At CVS

I try and try to say the cheapest way to get diapers is to shop CVS. Seems odd and it takes a while before people believe me but once I show them my receipts they are shocked that diapers can be this cheap :)

Here's what I picked up over the last 2 trips to CVS (not pictured - pack of Pampers wipes):

I spent: $23.40
And saved: $35.49 (using $8.00 in ECB's from last week)
And earned: $24.99 in Extra Care Bucks ($10 of which I have to use next week)

For barely the price of one box of diapers I was able to get 2 boxes plus pads plus wipes and earn $10 more dollars back.

Diaper coupons can be found at PG 7/4; PG 6/6 and RP 6/20
Printable Kotex coupon can be found by going to Southern Savers

On a side note be sure and double check your CVS receipts - I was able to use an extra $4.00 off coupon buy adding wipes to my order - making the wipes free and getting me more money off my diapers. The wipes I passed along to my neice who has been visiting for the last week and is the reason I haven't been posting much :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Harris Teeter: Save Those Rainchecks

Big trip tonight - already over budget for the month - have company for dinner tomorrow night and family in town for a week starting Friday plus two more mouths to feed every day of the week.

Here's what I got:

I spent: $93.42
And saved: $71.90
And earned: $5.00 in a Catalina from Kraft Foods

There had been rumor of triple coupons this week but no such luck. Maybe next week but who knows? I was kind of bummed because I had some great rain check/coupon match-ups that would have been even better if it were triplets but I couldn't wait another week.

My rain checks were on Eggland's Best Eggs and 9 Lives cat food - both were buy 1 get 1 free and I used coupons for both. A few weeks ago there was no coupon for 9 Lives cat food but by waiting a little bit and checking The Coupon Mom before I left I was able to use 3 $0.75/1 coupons.

With coupons my best deals came with rainchecks but other than that there's a great deal on Kraft Foods. When you buy 5 you get a $5 Catalina printed out. There's a coupon match-up for the sour cream but not for the cheese - still a great deal though. Check out Southern Savers for the link and a few other match-ups.

Even though I spent a little extra what I bought will feed a large number of people including a pork chop dinner tomorrow night with our guests. I'm hoping August will be more on budget but I'm doubting it - with 7 kids home all day every day we are going through food a LOT faster.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Feels Like I'm Treading Water

I have been meaning to post for a while and yet one thing after another comes up. Last week was the consignment sale I volunteer for (the summer before-school sale) and I was able to get most of Kaitlyn's school and winter wardrobe for around $50. Yes, seriously.

I spent $122 in total and got quite the car load of things. Since I am a paid volunteer that total is after my $72 pay. Because I shopped twice I didn't get a picture of everything and I won't bore you with a list but I promise it was quite a bit.

The big reason I was able to keep my total low was because I shopped the 50% off day and because I am a volunteer I was able to shop first I got a number of great deals including a uniform sweater for Kaitlyn from Gap for $1.50 and long-sleeved tees for her for $0.75 to $1.50 and jeans that she loved (that I had picked out at full price but decided to put back) for $3.00. She's happy with what we picked out together and I'm thrilled about the price.

Just another reason to volunteer - that would be my #1 tip for saving money on kids items - volunteer at consignment sales! #2 would be shop consignment sales but I'm convinced that just shopping isn't enough. Do whatever you can to put in the little bit of extra time to see everything first. It really does pay off.

As for grocery shopping I'm still going - picking up deals here and there. I haven't done any massive grocery shopping mostly due to time - last week was the consignment sale AND our church's VBS AND Kaitlyn's birthday party so you can see why I wasn't around to post.

I do hope to get back to regular posting but our summer is so much crazier than the school year and since I am back to "work" - meaning I now have my 5 kids at home plus 2 more - life is anything but dull.

Just want to add a quick Happy 10th Birthday to my oldest daughter, Kaitlyn. Hard to believe we've reached double digits...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Cheap Shopping Trip Thanks To Kraft First Taste

We made it home! After 16 long hours we made home sweet home. The kids did pretty well - amazingly no one slept till after 9 at night! And that was after waking all of them up at 6 in the morning. For some kids maybe 6 AM is normal but for mine it is not.

Today I fed the kids from what we had stored in the cabinet and a few things Kirk picked up while I was gone. Dinner was also from the cabinet - chicken with egg noodles and broccoli - it was good :)

But I still had to go to the store and pick some things up to get us through the remainder of the week and hopefully into next week. Because of a party I used 1/4 of my budget already and have just $300 left in the monthly budget.

Fortunately a few things helped me stay on track tonight. Here's what I got:

I spent: $38.94
And saved: $77.36

How did I do it? I know, I know you're thinking coupons and yes, it was coupons but not exactly how you think.

See, while I was gone I got a small pack of coupons from Kraft First Taste for 6 free products! Yep, I said 6 - and not weird products but good ones that you'd actually want to eat so tonight I bought 5 of them and that accounts for over $15 of my savings. And I am so excited to try them - it even includes homemade mac and cheese - yum - as well as sandwich meat and snack cheese. If you aren't already I highly recommend becomming a member of Kraft First Taste and being among the first to sample their new products for free!

Beyond my free products my best deals were:

Turkey Hill Iced Tea
- regular price: $2.19
- sale price: $1.19
- used 1 $1.00/2 coupons from RP 4/11 (exp. 7/11)
- final price: $1.38 or $0.69 each

Crystal Light Pure & Fit
- regular price: $2.19
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free ($1.09)
- used $1.00/1 coupon from link at Southern Savers
- final price: $0.09

For more coupon match-ups head to Southern Savers - for some great deals head to Kraft First Taste !

And if you're wondering, yes, my meal plan for the week does include the meal deal at Harris Teeter! Just another great way to save money - believe me I look for deals everywhere :)