Monday, August 30, 2010

Month End Money Recap: August Splurge

I know I've said it before but some months are better than others :) And some months you just need to enjoy it. This past weekend was my birthday and we splurged. It was hard for me to add up the dollars and cents - to realize how much each meal cost - how far that money could go for to feed our family but sometimes you have to let it go and enjoy. It's not easy but life is meant to be enjoyed and every once in a while you need to let go and live a little.

But, no matter how much you spend life isn't meant to be lived that way (unless, of course, you can afford it and if you could why would you be reading this blog?!) - the next day you have to pay for it :) And in this case, literally.

So, how did the rest of the month go in general?

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

I spent: $503.33
And saved: $655.94
And earned: $76 in ECB's and other money back

- obviously more than $100 a week but we went away for a week and I set aside extra money for that and that's included in this total so it's not as bad as it sounds :)

2. Pay down debt and not acrue new debt. Done. Despite the splurge NONE of it was on a credit card.

3. Budget, budget, budget. Okay, sort of. Summer is just bad but the beginning of school is like the beginning of a new year - you get to start over and stay more on task :) Actually with the kids gone during the day it's easier for me to plan and stay on budget.

4. Make a price point book. Nope, still not done - some goals may never actually be realized and right now, I'm okay with that.

5. Get rid of stuff. No, but I will be getting rid of a lot in September since I have 3 consignment sales in October to prepare for so I'm not too concerned with the lack of progress in August.

6. Organize. Again, I think summer will be helpful in getting things done - no school schedules, no homework but it translates into no schedules and me home with 7 kids so nothing gets done. September SHOULD be better.

7. Make extra money. Summer is the only time I babysit so I get a weekly paycheck unlike the rest of the year - I guess that's extra :) But I did turn in some Swagbucks for $25 in Amazon gift cards. You are doing Swagbucks aren't you?

8. Still buying good kids clothes. In August I concentrated more on uniforms than other clothes so the brand name doesn't matter :) September will be different as I begin to prepare for cooler weather.

On a positive note - I got extremely stocked up in August for school snacks so I plan to cut back on my grocery bill for September. I didn't even do any major grocery shopping in the last week. I am hoping for better sales at HT come Wednesday morning but for the most part I plan to eat out of the pantry for as much of September as I can :) Make up for the over-spending in August!

Thus the lack of meal plan this week - it's mostly spaghetti or meals I didn't use last week. Very simple.

Splurging is always good within reason - like eating a cookie while on a diet - wets the appetite so you don't feel like you're depriving yourself - but you can't do that forever or all your hard work will be for naught. So, September will be better and my budget will be tighter but we had a great time in August and I don't regret it :)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Toiletries At CVS

I have certainly learned (and shared) that the best way to save money on your grocery bill is to buy your toiletries with "play money" at CVS. This week is an excellent example. I mean who really wants to pay a whole lot for toilet paper?

So, I didn't :)

This week I picked up:

I spent: $19.97
And saved: $19.80 (including $5.00 ECB's from last week)
And earned: $10.00 in ECB's

So after coupons and ECB's - I got 2 huge packs of toilet paper and 6 boxes of tissues (which are perfect to bring in to your kids school) for just $10!

I used coupons from PG 8/1: $1.00/2 Charmin Toilet Paper and $1.00/6 off Puffs Tissues - there are other combos using the same coupon insert but we needed toilet paper.

You haven't already be sure to sign up for e-mails at CVS - if you're new you should get a $4.00 off $20.00 coupon and you'll get notices for the coming week's ad early - I've already seen what's on sale starting Sunday. Seeing it this early means I can decide if I want to go back tomorrow or Saturday for any more of this weeks sales. If I know something great starts on Sunday then I will hold whatever ECB's I have for the coming week. I love planning :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Menu Planning (A Little Late)

It's nearing the end of the month and I only have about $30 "left" in the budget. The budget has been weird this month because we went out of town and I had a different budget for that food but it kind of got mixed together so even though I'm over I'm not technically over. I know, it's hard to follow.

That being said I have come up with a menu plan for the whole week and into next week.

Monday (yesterday): Lasagna

Tuesday: Enchilada Bake with Rice

Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin with Broccoli and Applesauce

Thursday: Tator Tot Casserole

Friday: Pork Stir-Fry using leftovers from Wednesday with Rice

Saturday: Date night - it's my birthday :)

Sunday: We keep Sundays easy with pancakes or sandwiches

Monday: Out to Eggspectation - by us kids eat free on Monday and it sounds like a great way to celebrate the kids first day of school!

Tuesday: Mexican Shepherd's Pie

Sunday, August 22, 2010

General Mills Promotion At HT

We are back!

We had a nice time in Luray. Our food went a long way and other than buying some sheets and towels (I wasn't warned and didn't recall from last year that we had to bring our own) we avoided the grocery store all together! Sweet :) So, for just $30 at 2 outings we spent 4 days away from home. So nice.

But now we are back and since the kids are the only ones who can survive on fruit snacks and cereal I had to get back to the store.

So here's what I picked up:

I spent: $63.05
And saved: $74.64
And earned: $3.00 from General Mills for the fruit snacks

General Mills Promotion: Buy 20 participating products and get $6.00 off your order or $0.30 off each item

I purchased:

5 Fruit Snacks (also earned $3.00 back for this)
- regular price: $2.29
- sale price: $1.50
- used 2 $0.50/2 from S 8/8
- final price (after coupons, GM promotion and money back): $1.00 for all 5!!

3 Boxes of Cereal
- regular price: $3.29/$3.99
- sale price: 2/$5.00
- used one $0.75/1 and one $0.55/1 printables
- final price (after coupons and GM promotion): $0.70 to $1.10/box

4 Grand Buttermilk Biscuits
- regular price: $1.99
- sale price: 3/$5.00
- used 2 $0.30/2 printable coupons
- final price (after coupons and GM promotion): $1.07/each

4 Yoplait Trix Yogurt
- regular price: $2.79
- sale price: 2/$4.00
- used 2 $0.75/2 coupon from S 7/25
- final price (after coupons and GM promotion): $0.83/each

4 Green Giant Valley Fresh Steamers
- regular price: $2.19
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- no coupons
- final price (after GM promotion): $0.80/each

Most of the rest of my items were necessities that I picked up in order to make meals this week. For a few other deals and links to the coupon match-ups check out Southern Savers (side note - my subscription to the Grocery Game is expired and I haven't had the extra money to spend on it but I sorely miss it - I still think she has a higher number of match-ups and is a better site and as soon as I have a few "extra" dollars I'll be signing up again!)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Menu Planning For 13

I feel like I have been living inside a grocery store over the past week. I have been back and forth to Harris Teeter a number of times as well as Safeway (they are having an awesome Mix and Match sale and it's a great time to stock up on cereal and fruit snacks if your kids like them like mine do!). It's partly due to the sales but partly due to the fact that we are heading to the mountains for a few days with another family so I have been busy planning meals for the whole week for 13 people instead of 7 and since her kids are a little older than mine they eat a lot more!

On the plus side, I have spent so much time planning meals I could recite them in my sleep.

Our meal plan:

Monday: Roast chicken and rice (rice was free; chicken was about $0.75, brocoli was $1.29 at Target - the whole meal was around $2.00!)

Tuesday: Hamburgers and hot dogs - got the hamburger for $1.78/pound at Safeway and the hot dogs free at Harris Teeter - beans, veggies and chips on the side

For Wednesday to Friday I have everything planned - each meal, snacks and dessert - I even made a chart cause yea, I'm a bit controlling like that.


Breakfast: Banana Pancakes

Lunch: Homemade Mac n Cheese with Watermelon

Dinner: Taco Bake with Rice and 7-Layer Dip


Breakfast: Eggs and Bacon

Lunch: Sandwiches (PB&J and Meat and Cheese)

Dinner: Spaghetti, Garlic Bread and Salad


Breakfast: Cereal

- we head home in the afternoon so lunch and dinner will be simple

Lunch/Dinner: Leftovers - I have a feeling we'll have plenty!

Saturday: I'm in the mood for lasagna but I'm not sure if that will get baked on Saturday or not :)

I won't post for a few days but I hope you can get out there and scoop up a few more deals at Harris Teeter before Super Doubles ends tomorrow! I'll be enjoying a few days away from Harris Teeter :) I think they're gonna miss me!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

2nd Super Doubles Trip Even Better Than The First

Like I said - I had to go back today and I'm so glad I did :) Even though they were still out of Kraft Homestyle Mac N Cheese (so bummed) I was able to pick up quite a lot for very little.

Here's what I got:

I spent: $33.89
And saved: $97.27
And earned: $10.00 back from Kellogg's

My total before coupons or VIC card was $133.00!! After my VIC card my total only went down $40 so once again coupons made a very big difference.

I picked up a few similar things tonight as I did last night - more Kellogg's items thus the additional $10.

But I'll share a few more deals tonight:

Ragu Pasta Sauce (picked up last night but forgot to put it on my list of great deals):
- regular price: $3.75/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used $1.00/2 coupons from RP 8/1
- final price: $1.75 or $0.88/each

Ziploc Sandwich Bags
- regular price: $3.75/each
- sale price: 2/$5.00
- used 2 $1.25/2 coupons from S 8/8
- final price: 4 for $5.00 or $1.25/each

Oscar Mayer Hot Dogs
- regular price: $4.39/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used 2 $1.00/2 coupons from S 6/20 (exp 8/15)
- final price: $2.39 or $1.19 each

Not sure if I will make it back tomorrow but I will certainly be back on Saturday as the Kellogg's deal ends on 8/14 and I'd like to give it at least one more shot :) My kids love their cereal, waffles and Pop Tarts - we eat them ALL the time.

Tonight, I was able to pick up 2 more boxes of Pop Tarts almost for free and that will give me 2 more codes towards another free movie ticket. Remember to check your packages all the time - whether it's a Box Top for the school or a free movie - there's always an additional way to make your money go further! After all, I am a tightwad :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

1st Super Doubles Trip

I am SOOO excited that Harris Teeter is doing Super Doubles this week. My pantry and fridge are bordering on empty - really, we are about out of snacks - my pantry and my budget were in need of some good deals. Super Doubles or Triples have been rumored for weeks but no such luck. And this week they're finally here! Yea!!

Here's what I picked up on my first trip:

I spent: $39.63
And saved: $68.79
And earned: $13.00 back in Catalinas

Best deals:

By far my best deal was the Kellogg's offer that is going on for a few more days: Buy 10 Kellogg's products get a $10 coupon for your next order.

I purchased:

6 Eggo Waffles
- regular price: $2.19
- sale price: none
- used 3 $1.00/2 coupons from RP 7/25 that doubled
- before Catalina $1.19/each
- after Catalina $0.19/each

2 Boxes of Pop Tarts
- regular price: $1.99
- sale price: none
- used 1 $1.00/2 coupon from RP 7/11 that doubled
- before Catlina: $0.99/each
- after Catalina: FREE

2 Boxes of Kellogg's Fruit Snacks
- regular price: $2.85
- sale price: $1.99
- used 2 $1.00/1 coupon from HERE that doubled
- before Catalina: FREE
- after Catalina: make $2.00!

Total spent on Kellogg's products: $8.00
Earned back: $10.00

Other Catalina deal earned me $3.00 from Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks:


5 boxes of Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks
- regular price: $2.29
- sale price: $1.50
- used 2 $0.50 off coupons from S 8/8
- paid: $5.50 for 5 boxes
- earned back: $3.00 in Catalinas
- total for 5 boxes: $2.50 or $0.50/each

Other good deals:

Dannon Danimals Drinkable Yogurt
- regular price: $2.69
- sale price: $2.00
- used $1.00/1 coupon from S 7/18
- final price: FREE

E-Vic Special (you are signed up aren't you?!): Peter Pan Peanut Butter and/or Welch's Grape Jam/Jelly
- regular price: $2.49/each
- sale price: 2/$3.00
- e-Vic sale price: $0.97 each (limit 3)
- used $1.00/2 coupon from S 6/6
- final price for 3: $0.91 or $0.30/each (for Jam!!!)

For lots more great deals and match-ups check out Southern Savers - I know I will be heading back to Harris Teeter as many times as I can in the next few days. I used 17 coupons today that doubled and the limit is 20 per day. There were quite a few deals that I wanted to pick up but they were already out of!! It's only the first day!! I'm hoping they will be back in stock before next week.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Saving At Target

This week I ventured outside of Harris Teeter and into my SuperTarget. I like Target for toys and school supplies but for the most part don't find their groceries to be that inexpensive. However, this week I couldn't pass up the great Kellogg's deal (I should insert here that almost every store is having a deal on Kellogg's cereal this week)

Target's deal is buy 4 Kellogg's items get 1 free and since you can stack a manufacturers coupon with a Target coupon (meaning you can use 1 of each on the same item) it's a real money saver. I ended up spending $5.75 on 5 boxes of cereal! AND on 3 of those boxes are special Kellogg's bucks which put me halfway to another free movie ticket!

Here's what I picked up:

I spent: $29.57
And saved: $27.05

That may not sound like a ton (about 50%) but my total before handing her my stack of coupons was $48.95 - almost $20 of my savings was coupons! She even asked if I planned to pay my whole bill in coupons :) If I could I would!

Some of the coupons I have had a for a while or received in a coupon booklet a few months ago but for the Kellogg's match-ups for Target as well as Harris Teeter check out Southern Savers for the Target printables as well as the manufacturers coupons. I will say I was able to use 2 Target printable $1.00/2 Kellogg's cereal along with 1 $1.00/2 manufacturer's coupon as well as a $1.25/3 coupon even though one of the boxes was technically free.

It's not always worth it to check another store but for this week I found some deals at Target and figured I'd share :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Back To Menu Planning

I'm trying to get back into the swing of things. Slowly :) When I think about the whole week it seems daunting but I know in order to have food for the family I have to make my brain work!

Here's what I've got for this week:

Sunday: Chicken with Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad (easy and good!)

Monday: Beef Stroganoff with Egg Noodles

Tuesday: Pork Tenderloin with Applesauce, Rice and Salad

Wednesday: Spaghetti

Thursday: Moms of Multiples Monthly Meeting

Friday: Dinner at Friend's House

Saturday: Family for Dinner - probably Mexican