Saturday, October 30, 2010

October Month End Money Recap

I know it technically ends tomorrow but since I have no plans to grocery shop tomorrow I figure it's close enough :)

1. Spend $100 or less on groceries each week. Once again, close but not quite. But this month I'm not feeling as stressed about it. Having an entire month plan meant that I stayed more on top of my budget than ever and truly didn't overspend. We bought some extras because my parents were here but as loving parents they pitched in and helped with the bill so with a little help from them along with earning $40 back in the General Mills promotion I didn't really go over budget :)

Total spent: $443.80 (plus a few dollars - I know I'm missing a couple small things and didn't include some Target purchases because I couldn't figure out what I saved - it was the applesauce - so add $13.00 for that I think)
Total saved: $594.55 (plus a few dollars - same reason as above)
Earned back: $54.00 in +Up Rewards and Catalinas

My last trip to Harris Teeter for the month I picked up:


(Sorry for the darkness of the picture but the camera flash is broken and we just haven't fixed it yet - on the list to do!)

I spent: $51.66
And saved: $86.10

But what I am most excited about was my second trip (I'd forgotten some coupons so I ran back to HT for a second trip):



I spent: $1.81 (yep, just over $1.00!!)
And saved: $30.95

Do notice that I picked up food that we actually will eat :) Some of what I picked up were treats (Cheesecake bites for $0.74 and free candy bars) but yogurt my kids love and tomatoes that I'll use in next month's recipes as well as butter for a quarter are all good deals!

Most of my coupons were printables so to find those and other great deal match-ups head to Southern Savers - while you're there you may also want to take note that Dollar Doublers starts next Wednesday (11/3) at Harris Teeter and Southern Savers already has a list of coupon match-ups so you can begin to get ready. I know I like to hit Harris Teeter right after I drop the kids off at school on Wednesdays so I don't miss out on the best deals. I'm really hoping that starting the month with dollar doubler will really help my monthly budget for November - I guess we'll see!

2. Pay down debt and not acrue new debt. Sort of. I managed to lose my debit card so only have my credit card. However, each time I use my credit card I record it and set the money aside to pay the credit card off. As soon as I get a new debit card I can stop doing this but I will have the card paid off after the next bill except for a large car repair charge. Remember how credit cards are there for emergencies? Well, it was an emergency. Good news is that again I have a plan to pay it off rather than have it sit there as debt. In every other way we've paid down debt.

3. Budget, budget, budget. I stick very well to the budget I have set except for eating out. Seems that one always goes overboard for one reason or another. I am going to really work on that :)

4. Make a price point book. I'm thinking this is going to be on my resolutions list for 2011 since I'm just not getting to it in 2010!! I will say that I do have a general idea in my head but will often pay more for an item to avoid store hopping - I'm okay with that.

5. Get rid of stuff. Did I ever! A few truckloads worth. Felt so good to get SOOO much stuff out of the house. A good 200 items at least. I'm already looking forward to the spring consignment sales to get rid of more! I did purchase items and brought them in but for the most part it was clothes that the kids need.

6. Organize. In a sense I did by going through so many items but I still have a large number of buckets to go through and as I look ahead at the last 2 months of the year (can you believe 2010 is almost over?!) I don't see a lot of it happening but I have very high hopes for January.

7. Make extra money. This I did. With all my sales I believe I made about $550 in total - talk about helpful!

8. Still buying good kids clothes. Did this too. At the consignment sales I picked up a number of brand name items. I got 2 great Gymboree dresses and am currently bidding on a 3rd coordinating on eBay. I also was able to purchase brand new clothes from Gymboree NOT using a credit card because of the money I made from the consignment sales. I'm hoping to buy a few more matching outfits for the girls this coming month but am holding off till the really awesome Thanksgiving sales to get some cheap ones.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It Pays To Eat Pasta!

From now until October 30th you have a chance to win free groceries for a year (a $5,200 value). 450 First Place winners will also win $100 for a week's worth of groceries.

Sounds like a deal I had to pass along!

To enter go HERE

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Candy At Rite-Aid: Get It Before It's Gone!

Halloween is just days away and I had NO candy! I have to say it's hard to fit candy to give away in my budget. Sure, we eat our fair share but most of it goes to the kids that come to our door. How to save money but still get the good candy?

Head to Rite Aid!

I've been shopping there on and off for a few weeks trying to learn their system which is now very similar to CVS. The Rite Aid by me is newer than CVS and very nice inside. And tonight the manager was very, very helpful making my trip even more pleasant.

Here's what I picked up in 2 trips:



Total spent: $22.16
Total saved: $39.88

In my first trip I bought $25 worth of candy.

I used 5 $1.00/2 coupons from S 10/17 (Hershey's, Reese's or Kit Kat) and RP 10/17 (Nestle Chocolate Fall Candy) along with a $5 off $25 coupon I still had from a while ago. Do note that these coupons are no longer available for print anywhere - I just had one left that I had not used and it hadn't expired.

After coupons my final cost was right around $15 and I got $10 back in +Up Rewards.

In my second transaction I picked up Pepsi and paper towels. The paper towels that are actually on sale are Bounty and there is a $1.00 off coupon from PG 9/26 but the store was out. I was going to get a raincheck but the store manager was more than happy to give me a substitue and since we are completely out of paper towels I was happy to "sacrifice" my $1.00 off coupon for the paper towels I needed :)

I would highly recommend that if you are in need of Halloween candy that you head on over to Rite Aid and do it quick because I was told that a number of Rite Aid stores were already sold out of the candy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Menu Planning Monday (Week 5)


I didn't intend to go a full week without posting but with family in town this week has been way too busy to get on the computer for more than a few minutes at a time. And before I knew it another week had passed.

So, here I am again planning another week of menus and this week I have quite a few to choose from since we have eaten at home less than I had expected.

Here's what I'm planning for the last week of October:

Monday: Angel Chicken

Tuesday: Beef and Green Chile Enchiladas

Wednesday: Creamy Chicken and Rigatoni

Thursday: Beef-Vegetable Skillet Bake

Friday: Easy Cheesy Barbecued Sloppy Joes

Saturday: Taco Bake

Sunday: Layered Meatball Bake

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Menu Planning Monday (Tuesday): Week Four


Sorry - I did mean to have this up yesterday but time just slipped away from me.

This is my fourth week using my monthly plan and I have every intention of sticking to it. It has made my dinner planning significantly easier! And this week with my parents here all I've had to do is pick the dinners that I think they would like.

This is what I've come up with and I'm hoping they like it!!

Monday: Wahoo! Chili with Beans and Homemade Mac N Cheese (this is my only repeat but since the last time I made it was for lunch it worked out well to have it again)

Tuesday: Gram's Chicken Pot Pie Updated

Wednesday: Our day in DC - we'll be eating out

Thursday: Easy Pleasing Meatloaf (that I didn't make last weekend)

Friday: Mexican Shepherd's Pie

Saturday: Meatball Calzones

Sunday: Chicken Broccoli Tortellini Soup

Saturday, October 16, 2010

My Consignment Sale Goodies

It has been a very busy week but I have managed to survive (barely). I will tell you that all my hard work was worth it. I'm not sure what my total sales were but my total take-home pay was around $550. I'll know more when my checks start coming in but still that's a significant amount of money!

Of course, not all of that money is "coming home" to me :) Most of it went to outfit my kids for the next season. Here's what I picked up:



Yes, my entire table is covered in clothes. Not pictured: a few toys that the kids have already received and begun playing with.

Total spent: $290 (give or take a few dollars)

From the picture it's a bit hard to tell just how much clothing that is but it's a LOT and includes 3 pairs of brand-new, matching Christmas pajamas for the girl's birthday next month. I got pajamas, dresses, pants, tops, outfits, brand new shoes, toys and gifts - there's no better way to shop than used!

With the leftover money I was able to order brand new clothes from Gymboree for the girls so that they would have a few matching dresses for the fall/winter season and a pair of brand new boots each (though the boots are birthday presents so they weren't included in my spending total since they came out of the kids birthday money budget). I once read that buying used shoes for your kids wasn't a good idea since each child has his or her own shoe shape and each child wears their shoes differently. For me, while I've had success with buying used clothes I haven't had as much success buying used shoes so it's something I would rather not do whenever I can.

All this to say, if you have a chance to shop at a consignment sale - DO! Even better, if you have a chance to volunteer - definitely DO! I got 7 outfits and 1 book for $9.00 because I was among the first to shop Dollar Dash at my last sale. I'm trading my time for huge money savings and the trade off is worth it. Maybe not every day - I'm still recovering from three sales in a week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Harris Teeter And A Great General Mills Promotion

Dollar for dollar I felt like I overspent this week even though my total wasn't too off the mark. Just didn't seem like I got that much for what I spent. A few high-dollar, not-on-sale items will do that to you :(

However, I felt redeemed when I got a few Catalinas from General Mills :)

Here's what I picked up:



I spent: $38.70
And saved: $67.34

I earned back:

$3.00 coupon off my next order 10/20 to 10/26
$4.00 coupon off my order 10/27 to 11/2
$5.00 coupon off my order 11/3 to 11/9
$8.00 coupon off my order 11/10 to 11/16

If you add that up it's $20.00 and all I had to do was spend $20.00 on GM products (before coupons) in one transaction and it's pretty easy to do this week when so many items are on sale.

The GM products I picked up were:

Apple Cheerios:
- retail price: $3.99
- sale price: 2/$5.00
- used 2 $0.75/1 coupon from HERE
- final price: $1.00/each

Trix Cereal
- retail price: $3.39
- sale price: 3/$6.00
- used $1.00/2 coupon from S 9/19
- final price: $1.50/each

Betty Crocker Muffin Mix
- retail price: $3.25
- sale price: 2/$4.00
- used 3 $0.50/1 coupon from S 10/3
- final price: $1.00/each

Yoplait Splitz
- retail price: $2.50
- sale price: 2/$4.00
- used 5 $0.50/1 coupon from S 8/22, S 9/12, S 10/3
- final price: $1.00/each (I would have purchased less but it comes as pack of four and 20 is the only way 4 divides to make it even for 5 kids!)

Pillsbury Grands! Bisuits
- retail price: $1.99/each
- sale price: buy 1 get 1 free
- used $0.30/2 coupon from S 9/19, S 10/3
- final price: $0.70/each

Believe it or not I needed rain checks on the other deals I had hoped for except for cat food - go figure - it's only Thursday!

Not sure what you need for the week but I highly recommend hitting Harris Teeter for some General Mills products :) For more deals check out Southern Savers.

One more consignment sale tomorrow/Saturday and then I'll share my deals!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Planning: Week Three


My monthly menu plan is still going very well though this past week has been no less than crazy. We had a little drama over the weekend so a friend provided our meal for us on Saturday. Yesterday was the wedding and for the next 3 days I'm working at Classy Kids Consignment leaving dad to feed the kids dinner :) I've chosen a few recipes that I think will be kid-friendly but tonight he served spaghetti and that wasn't on my original list. Not a problem, I'll just work around it for the rest of the month.

Monday: Spaghetti made my dad

Tuesday: Chicken and Noodles Skillet (didn't make it last week and I think the kids will eat it this week)

Wednesday: Macaroni and Cheese with Meatballs (certainly sounds kid friendly :) )

Thursday: Cheesy Grilled BBQ Chicken Wraps (mom's back to cooking!)

Friday: MOPS consignment sale - fast food

Saturday: Easy Pleasing Meatloaf Grandma and Grandpa are here so I'll be feeding a few more for a week :)

Sunday: Pasta Skillet Dinner - this may end up being plain ziti - depends on what feeds more and what's easier to make.

I did spend just $30 at Harris Teeter for this week's groceries and stocked up on a number of free toothbrushes. Sorry, I'm a few days behind on everything because of the sales and the fact that we've been soo busy! On the plus side I did make over $300 at the moms of multiples sale this weekend and only spent $4.00 myself :) I will be shopping at Classy Kids tomorrow and I'm excited to share what I pick up!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Great MOTT'S Deal At Super Target

I don't normally shop at Super Target but I do check to see if there are any good deals going on before I stop by for something else. So since I had to pick up tights for the girls and was already going I jumped on Southern Savers to see what the best deals were and believe me there's a deal to be had!

This is what I picked up:



Ended up going back twice to stock up on some free applesauce :)

Here's the deal:

Buy 5 MOTT's juice or applesauce products and get a $5 gift card back. Each item is on sale for $1.75.

On my first trip I spent $8.75 and got $5.00 back making my products just $0.75/each. On my second and third trip I spent $3.75 on 5 products using my $5.00 gift card and got back another $5.00 gift card making the items FREE. Once I felt sufficiently stocked up on applesauce and juice (a treat for us since we go through juice soo fast and it's normally quite expensive) I used my remaining $5.00 to buy 5 Lunchables at $1.00/each - my final cost was just $0.13!! A great way to give my kids a treat for their Friday lunch :)

The oatmeal I found on clearance and used 2 $1.00/1 coupons from RP 8/29 or RP 9/12 making it just $0.56 a box. Not bad for a breakfast (yes, we go through an entire box of oatmeal at one breakfast!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Consignment Sale Time!!

I have been SOOO busy for the past month getting items in my house sorted, cleaned, hung and tagged for consignment sales because in the next week I have 3 of them!!

Just wanted to share them with you in case you are in the Northern Virginia area and wish to do some shopping :)

The first sale is THIS Saturday at the Fairgrounds:

PWMOMC Fall 2010 Clothing & Toy Sale With Household Goods
Saturday, October 9, 2010
8am-1pm
Prince William County Fairgrounds (click here for directions)
10624 Dumfries Road - Manassas, VA

FREE ADMISSION


Sale will feature:
Fall & Winter Baby and Toddler Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
(Also some Adult clothing)
Holiday Outfits
Baby/Toddler Equipment
Toys & Games
Books, DVD/VHS movies
Maternity Clothes
Household Items
& More!!!

ALSO,
Vendor Sale & Bake Sale

Come and shop for your family’s and friends’ needs!
A portion of the sales support Prince William County Mothers of Multiples Club, a non-profit organization, and its community projects to benefit area mothers,
children, and families.

www.pwmomc.org for more information


CLASSY KIDS CONSIGNMENT

Your one stop shop for

SAVING, QUALITY and SELECTION!

Next Sale Dates:

Oct. 13-17, 2010

Prince William County Fairgrounds

10624 Dumfries Rd. Manassas, VA 20112



The last sale I'm invovled in is next weekend:

Don’t miss it!!

MOPS
(Mothers of Preschoolers)
Fall Toy and Clothing
Consignment Sale!!!


Baby’s and children’s clothes, toys and equipment

Saturday
October 16, 2010

8:00 am – 1:00pm

(1/2 price sale at 11:30!)

Rt. 29 in Gainesville at Church of the Word next to McDonald’s


It's time to stock up on your kids fall/winter wardrobe as well as to shop early for Christmas so get out there and spend a little to save a LOT!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Menu Plan Monday: Month Plan Week 2


Week 1 went very, very well. I really liked having everything planned out and knowing that the items were already in my pantry. I did do a bit of juggling as needed which was fine and Kirk and I had a last minute date night on Saturday so I didn't cook that night pushing my recipes back a day.

Here's this week's list:

Monday: 30-Minute Mini Meat Loaves (sorry the link was wrong last week - I found that out today when I tried to click on it - oops!)

Tuesday: Layered Enchilada Bake

Wednesday: Chicken and Noodles Skillet

Thursday: Wahoo! Chili with Beans (for lunch - I'm entering a chili making "contest" at Kirk's office) - I will be at the Moms of Multiples meeting a.k.a Olive Garden for dinner

Friday: Set up for the Moms of Multiples Sale - we'll be eating fast food

Saturday: Chicken-Vegetable Soup with Dumplings

Sunday: Kirk's brother's wedding - we'll be eating there :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

DVD's At CVS


In years past we would buy DVD's at full price the moment they came out. Today that just isn't in our budget. But I don't want to cut movies out completely. We love to go to the movies, we love to watch movies as a couple and we love to have "family movie night" with the kids. We've done Redbox plenty and at other times we've done Blockbuster but I prefer to own movies so that we can watch them again and again as well as share them with friends.

So whenever CVS comes out with a movie deal I'm all over it!

Last night I picked up the brand new Iron Man 2 DVD for just $5.00 and since $5.00 is the cost of a rental at Blockbuster and sometimes at Redbox when you've just forgotten about it for too long I think that's a pretty good deal :)

When you spend $25 on certain P&G products you qualify for $15 off the Iron Man 2 DVD in stores this past Tuesday.

I ended up spending $20 on products after coupons and then $5.00 for the DVD. A number of the coupons I used expired yesterday but I encourage you to check out the ad HERE and see what you can pick up to get your DVD cheaper. I have already seen next week's ad (and if CVS has your e-mail you have too) so I know that next week you will be able to purchase a whole other set of products and get $10 off Iron Man 2.

On another note if you don't know already - you can earn a $110 P&G coupon booklet after spending $50 on P&G products between September and December. After yesterday's purchase I'm halfway there and this coming week you can earn $10 in ECB's after purchasing $25 in select P&G products which would be all I need to qualify for the booklet - not bad for picking up items I need.

I've seen the mail-in form in my Sunday paper P&G inserts but you can also go to Southern Savers for a link to the form as well as to find what else is in the booklet.

Just another way to stretch your dollar on things other than groceries!