Saturday, July 31, 2010

I Hate Leftovers

Seriously hate them.  But when you are budgeting you have to eat them.  I try my best to not waste any food.
So what I've been trying to do is re-purpose my food vs. re-heat and eat.

So here's the rule I've been stickin' to.
1. Re-heat leftovers are for packed lunches or Saturday lunch. (=fridge cleanout)
2. Re-purpose 1 meal a week.

My examples so far:
Chicken breast, baked potatoes, and veggies.
Re-purpose meal- BBQ chicken and veggies pizza-  I used the left over chicken and veggies to make a pizza, so the only new ingredients needed were pizza crust and cheese! (I used bbq sauce as the pizza sauce)

Tacos, mac n cheese, and refried beans
Re-purpose meal--Mexican shepherd's pie- Yum!  Used the ground beef, layer of beans, (Andrew loooves refried beans) frozen veggie medley and instant mashed potatoes.  Easy! Delicious!

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I looked back at my original posts and realized I never showed you home. (let alone my motivation for staying home)
First time holding him, and first time falling in love!

A few months ago, letting me know he wasn't happy with my photo shoot!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More more more!!! Coupon links/websites

Alright in my "goal" to get my groceries cheaper I've been webbin it up and found more places.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fail but try again

Alright so I was a bit upset about my grocery failure. So today, once I finished my daily cleaning routine I sat down and went blog searching.
So far I've found:
I had thought about buying the Sunday paper in order to get access to the day's coupons.  But I found a link on listing the coupons and none of which we would have used. I did put this "rule" in place for my grocery shopping:
Don't buy it because you have a coupon, buy it because you will use it!
In the past I've made "coupon" mistakes and bought it because I had a coupon. This lead it to sitting in my pantry, fridge, cupboard unused.
Coupon mom offers tutorials on using your flyers wisely and access to more coupons.

Addition: Not just groceries!

Sunday, July 25, 2010


So I send Andrew to the grocery store with a list. He stuck to it....... pretty well...... minus the $4.00 can of refried beans.............. but I went over budget. I set it at 80-90 and we ended up at 110. Boo!
I do have to remind myself that I bought the following things for freezing/later:
1 lb of gr beef
lean cuisines
Fiber one bars (for when Andrew goes back to work)

So hopefully I can get closer/under budget next week.

Step 2- Efficient grocery shopping, meal planning

Budget- $80 a week (all groceries, home care supplies, and baby supplies)

Thursday is the day our grocery fliers come so this week I decided not just to grab the Giant flyer, but to actually page through all of the fliers.  Initially I was handwriting all of the different ad's items and prices, but 5 post-it notes later and a ceiling fan "incident" I was frustrated. So I decided using technology was the best way to plan my grocery calculations.

First I categorized the items in the A column.  I started my spreadsheet the way I typically went through the grocery store.

Lunch meat
Boxed goods
Deals/Bonus Card

Then across the spreadsheet I put the store names followed by a Coupon column.  I gave myself a time limit (this could take me 2-3 hours if I really left it) of 30 minutes.

I then thought about what would make it worth to shop at what stores.

1. Most sales vs. cheapest items (most sales one this time)
2. Deals that could be used later (Giant and Walgreen's had these)
3. Most items on sale from meal plan menu
4. Closest to one another
5. If I could use coupons or other newspaper coupons

By the time I was finished I decided which 1-2 grocery stores and which 1 pharmacy I was going to go to.  I'm going to head out to Giant and Acme as well as the Walgreen's.  Giant and Walgreen's each had a deal/bonus card that will later reduce another bill.  Giant's shopping will save us 60 cents a gallon in August and Walgreen's we will earn a $10 gift card.

I also sat down and meal planned for the week. I selected 4 "first dishes" and 2 leftover dishes. Leaving me one day of no planning, but using a freezer supplied item.

Good luck with your grocery shopping!  Once I've used my spreadsheet a few times and worked out the bugs I'll be willing to share!  I'll update later how much money we saved and how close (hopefully below) I stuck to our $80 a week budget!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Step 1- Reduce bills

So step one of me becoming a SAHM is to be able to afford to be one.  Last year my husband lost his teaching job...... we were 6 weeks pregnant and didn't see the layoff coming. We spent a year on 1.5 incomes (he found work, but not full time). So our budget was already tight. Now he is working full time, getting a "raise" (or back up to his old pay).  I also am/about to be was/ a teacher and make less than he does.

So we calculated it.... cost of childcare being covered by my job leaves us an extra $800 a month. So.. we calculated again... where can we cut out $800 a month so that I can quit my job to raise our son.  We made a list, we researched money saving things on the internet and here we are:

1. Called cable/phone/internet company- reduced bill by $80.
2. Called car insurance and said I'd be a SAHM- reduced bill by $50
3. Called cell phone company- reduced bill by $20
4. Called grocery store and reduced bill to $250. (okay I didn't call the grocery store we set ourselves a budget)

Budget reductions-
Eating out- sorry thunder thighs, no more eating out 2-3 times a week (reduce grocery/food bill to $250 gives us back another $200)
Gas money- out goes my 23 miles each way trip to work, in comes $100
Thermostat- up to 78 in summer down to 72 in winter (not sure of savings)
Target- oooooooooh so that's where all my money went....... no more $100 trips every 3-4 weeks. (Can't even tell you what I was buying anyway)
Cloth diapers- back fully into cloth reduces our spending habit by $50

So let's do the math
Need 800
-150 (bills)
-450 (budget reduction)
=600 still 200 bucks short.

Well............ we're still going with it anyway. My husband supplemented our income while he was laid off with construction. He was bringing in an extra $500 a month (we didn't add this into our initial budget) and I can tutor kids or sub a few days a month.

I'm also going to research more ways to save money.
First up: Coupon hunting and efficient grocery shopping

Be SAHMone-- What does that mean?

Everything. SAHM- Stay at home mom

So be a stay at home mom, be someone. Someone that matters. Someone that makes the biggest impact on my biggest accomplishment so far- my son. I have the opportunity to raise him, to be his primary caretaker, to be his teacher, to be his guide, to be his set of morals, to be his parent. I won't have time to be his friend, this is what I would have been if I had gone back to work. I would have been so guilty that I would have ended up his friend. He's not ready for that. I'm not sure I'm ready for this, but ready or not, here I come. I'm becoming someone. I'm going to be SAHMone. This is my journey.