Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Week Three - Eat From the Pantry Results

Sorry. Not going to happen. Let's just say I did REAL bad. On a happy note, I managed to add 108 rolls of toilet paper to my stockpile for this year. I think that puts me at just over 1/2 a year's supply. By the middle of February I hope to have 700 rolls stockpiled for the year and all for around $100. Can I do it???? I think I can, I think I can, I think I can! Oh, and I'm doing MUCH better at the Pantry Challenge this week and hope to post my final week's results at the end of the week!

Hump Day HOT Deals! - 1/27/10

Hy-Vee - click here for weekly ad
Ground beef, 16 oz. roll, $1.88
Hy-Vee canned tomatoes, 2/$.88
whole mushrooms, $.99
kiwi, 5/$1
Hy-Vee baking chips, $1.58
Can't believe Its Not Butter or Country Crock, 8-16 oz., 2/$3
    -use $1/1 printable = $.50 each
Knorr sides, 5/$5
    -use $.50/2 MFC = $.83 ea.
Hy-Vee cream cheese, $.99

3 DAY SALE, 1/29-1/31
whole chicken, $.77/lb.
red grapes, $1.48/lb.
french loaf, $.99
M.C.F frozen veggies, $.77
Weight Watchers Smart Ones, 3/$5
     - use various coupons from inserts two weeks ago

Fareway - click here to view ad
Pillsbury cake mix, $.88
Totinos pizza, 5/$5
     -use $.50/3 MFC = $.83 ea.
grapes, $1.88/lb.
broccoli crowns, $.99/lb.
head lettuce, $.79
Russet potatoes, 10lb, $1.99
Knorr sides, 10/$10
    -use $.50/2 MFC = $.75 ea.
Nacho or corn chips, $.99
AE sour cream, $.79
Green Giant Steamers, $.99
    -use $.50/1 printable = $.49
Tombstone, 4/$10
Hellmans Mayo, $2.99
    -use $.75/1 printable = $2.24
Post cereals, 2/$4
    -use $2/1 printable = FREE!
Ziploc bags, $2.49
    -use $1.50/2 MFC = $1.74 ea.

Aldi - click here to view ad

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge - Week Four

Meal Plan Monday - Week Four

Monday - Loaded Baked Potatoes
Tuesday - Vegtable Soup, sandwich
Wednesday - Hamburgers, oven fries
Thursday - Sauteed vegetable wraps, bean dip
Friday - Grilled Steak, roasted vegetables
Saturday - Broccoli cheese soup, sandwich
Sunday - Homemade pizza

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Birthday Hy-Vee - 12 hour Sale on Sunday!

Hy-Vee rocks this month! They are celebrating their 80th Anniversary by treating us to some great deals! Last week they were almost giving away cheese and this week it is toilet paper and milk! Check out all of the great deals they will be offering up during their 12 hour sale on Sunday, January 24th, from 8 am to 8 pm:

Hy-Vee milk 1/2 gallon, $.88 (limit 2)
Country Pride boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 2.5 lbs, $3.88
Tostitos chips, $1.88
-use $.55 off wyb chips and dip (1/17 SS)
Tony's pizza, $.88
Cottonelle 12 double rolls, $4.88 (stock up, stock up, STOCK UP!)
-use $1/1 MFC or $.50/1 printable
Skippy peanut butter, $.98 (limit 2)

Go here to view the full ad on Sunday at 8 am and please let me know if you find any other coupon match-ups for these deals!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


 Wow. Check out all of the great stuff that I found at Walgreens on Sunday! You'll never guess how much (I should say how little) I spent!

2- Gilette shampoo, clearanced at $1.59
-used (2) $1/1 MFC = $.59 each!
8- BonneBelle Lip Smacker Combo packs - clearanced at $1.59
-regular price of these was $5.99 at WAGS and $4.99 at Walmart!
6- BonneBelle Lip Smackers - clearanced at $1.09
-regular price of these was $2.99!
3- Lip Smackers, clearanced at $.65
-regular price was $1.99!
(I will use all of these for stocking stuffers, birthday gifts, and as party favors for Macy's upcoming birthday)
4- Lindsay olives, $.99 with in-ad coupon
-used $1/2 printable = $.49 each
Aveeno body wash, clearanced at $2.00
-used $2/1 printable = FREE
2- Bayer Meters, $14.99
-used (2)14.99 MFC = FREE + RR's
3- Cover Girl Powder, clearanced at $1.59
-regular price was $5.99
-I had $1/1 MFC's at home - that would have made these $.59 each - Darn!!
2- Quaker snacks, $.99 (these did not make the pic, but were really yummy on the ride home!)
-used (1) $.75/MFC

Total Paid = $3.39 o.o.p., $18.50 RR (Yeah, I'm cool like that!)

Huggies Coupons and Upcoming Deals

If you are like me and go through a LOT of diapers and pull-ups, then you are going to be happy to hear about this! Next week, 1/24-1/30, Walgreens is going to be having a sale on Huggies products: Get $5 RR when you buy $25 in Huggies products. Diapers and Pull-Ups will be priced at $8.99 and there are LOTS of Huggies coupons out right now. Just go here to get them before they are gone! It also looks like CVS will be having a Huggies sale starting 1/31: Get $5 ECB wyb $20 in Huggies products. If you prefer Pampers, don't worry - the week of 1/31 to 2/06, Walgreens will have Pampers on sale: $2 RR wyb 2 Pampers, 2/$20. There were also some $2/1 Pampers coupons in the paper a couple of weeks ago to pair with this sale.

Deal Scenario for Walgreens next week:

Buy 3 Huggies Snug and Dry, $8.99 = $26.97
-use (3) $2/1 printable = -$6.00
Pay $20.97, Get $5 RR back
That is like paying $5.32 per pack! At that price, I'm gonna stock up!

Hump Day HOT Deals! - 1/20/10

Hooray for Hump Day! Boo for ice storms! Good thing I went to town to stock up last night as it appears that we will be iced in for a couple of days. Hy-Vee and Fareway both have a few good deals this week, but check back tomorrow for a list of Hy-Vee's Super Sunday Sale items!! That's right, this week Hy-Vee is going to have a special 12 hour sale on Sunday and there are going to be some great deals to be had!

Hy-Vee - click here for weekly ad
Kleenex, 200ct. - $.99
-use $.50/1 MFC
-use $.50/3 MFC
Oranges - $.48/lb.
Grape Jelly - $.88
-with in-ad coupon
Hy-Vee apple juice - $.99
-with in-ad coupon
Pepsi 2 liter - 10 for $10
Hy-Vee flour - $1.28
Lays chips - 2/$5
Hy-vee margarine - $.55
H-Vee russet potatoes, 10 lb. - $1.88

Fareway - click here to view ad
Betty Crocker cake mix - $.89
Fastco cheetos - $.99
Gold Medal flour - $1.49
LOTS of meats deals! - various prices
broccoli - $.99/head
Dole lettuce bag - $.99
Del Monte ketchup, 24 oz. -$.99
Cheerios - $1.98
-use $1/1 printable
Lays chips - 2/$5
Pepsi 24 pk. - $5.88
Velveeta box - $3.99
Kool-aid Jammers - $1.89

Aldi - click here to view ad

Monday, January 18, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge - Week Three

Meal Plan Monday - Week Three

Monday - Turkey sausage and roasted vegetables
Tuesday - Scrambled eggs and whole wheat waffles
Wednesday - Baked steak, baked potato, green beans
Thursday - Texas chili, bread
Friday - Sloppy Joe's and oven-fried onion rings
Saturday - Dinner at my sister's house
Sunday - Grilled chicken breasts, broccoli and corn bread

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Week Two Results - Eat From the Pantry Challenge

I don't know why, but I am HORRIBLE at this challenge. I think if I had a real, tangible person that I was competing against, I'd be a RockStar Eat From the Pantry Challenger but for whatever reason, I went WAY over this week. Part of it was the pop that I stocked up on, part of it was the stupid Reinbeck garbage bags that I had to buy this week for $7.50, and part of it was that I once again cannot pass up great deals. Bread was on sale at Fareway for $.99 so I HAD to stock up and we eat LOTS of fresh fruit and veggies and it is simply more expensive to buy those items. I have decided to share with you my embarrasing way-over-the-budget weekly totals anyway. I'm no quitter so I'm going to keep going with challenge and hope to do better next week. How did you do this week?

Walmart - $17.98
Aldi- $23.64
Fareway - $17.64
Target - $11.52
Trunck's - $9.75

Week Two Total = $80.53 (Wow....$50.53 over budget!)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cool contest I found to win free groceries for a year

Hey, I just entered this contest on to win free groceries for a year. All you have to do is put in your email address.

Even if you don’t enter, please click the link to help me win. (I get an extra entry for telling you.) Thanks!

Target - 75% off Toys, Shoes and Housewares!

I can't  believe I'm going to say this, but I actually did NOT make it to the Hy-Vee Red Hot sale today. You wanna know why? Because I pretty much spent ALL of my money yesterday on the A-W-E-S-O-M-E deals that I found at Target! I had originally headed to the store to look through the clearance toys, but found myself in the shoe department first. They had LOTS of kids shoes on sale for 75% off, making most of them just $3 or $4 a pair! I picked up four pairs of super cute shoes for Macy and my total was just $14.96! I spent that much on just ONE pair for her before Christmas! I also found several more toys in the clearance section that I put away for future birthday and Christmas gifts. I even managed to find a few really great grocery deals to finish up my trip and although I didn't buy anything in housewares, there were a TON of great sales there as well! Check out my pictures and totals below to see how well I did!

2- 18ct. eggs, $1.49 ea.
3- Yoplait Yo-Plus yogurt, $1.50
-used (3) $1/1 MFC
3- Green Giant Broccoli, $1.79
-used (3) $1/1 Target coupon (expired 1/16/10)
3- Green Giant Cauliflower $1.79
-used (3) $1/1 Target coupon (expired 1/16/10)
10- Vanilla almond bark, clearance at $1.04 (mmmmm....chocolate covered pretzels!)
2- Chocolate almond bark, clearance at $1.04
2- Red hots, clearance at $1.48
4- Weight watchers meals, $2.54
6- Weight watchers meals, $1.89
-used (2) B1G1 Free MFC
-used (1) $4/1 MFC
-used (3) Buy 3 meals, get 1 free Flatbread MFC
-Total for 10 meals = $4.80!
5- Weight watchers yogurt, clearance at $.38 each

Total = $31.42
Total saved = $25.70

1- black sparkly flats   Was: $14.99   Paid: $3.74
1- silver flats               Was: $14.99   Paid: $3.74
1- brown wedge         Was: $16.99   Paid: $4.24
1- black/pink flats       Was: $12.99   Paid: $3.24

Total= $14.96
Total saved = $45.00

2- Hannah Montana Dolls  Was: $19.92   Paid:$4.98 x 2 = $9.96  
1- Hannah Montana Doll   Was:$17.92    Paid: $4.48
2- Black & Decker Tools  Was: $10.00   Paid: $2.50x 2 = $5.00
2- Disney Cars 2 pack      Was: $6.96     Paid: $1.74x 2 = $3.48
1- Sesame Street remote   Was: $11.88   Paid: $2.97
1- Spike Red Dinosaur      Was: $129.99 Paid: $32.48
1- Smart Cycle Express     Was: $99.99   Paid: $24.98
1- Polar Express Train       Was: $59.96   Paid: $14.99

Total = $98.34
Total saved = $295.16

Target Grand Total Spent = $144.72
Target Grand Total Saved =   $365.86!!!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Target Toy Clearance - 75% off

WOW! Check out what my good friend C was able to grab in the toy section last night at Target! There are apparently LOTS of things marked down 75% off. If you are in the market for some inexpensive toys, head on over fast as I'm sure they won't last long! (I'm so excited about the things she picked up for me! My boys are going to love them! Thanks C!)

Polly Pocket Designables
(2) Courtyard bedroom  Was $33.99 marked down to $8.48.  Saved $25.51 each = $51.02 savings

Polly Designables with pets
Was $32.99 marked down to $8.24.  Saved $24.75

Barbie and the Three Muskateers Fashion Accessory Set
Was $7.99 marked down to $1.98.  Saved $6.01

Disney Princess Ultimate Art Activity Set
Was $11.99 marked down to $2.98.  Saved $9.01

My Little Baby Born (can put her in the bathtub!)
Was $14.99 marked down to $3.74.  Saved $11.25

Moon Sand Royal Castle
Was $14.99 marked down to $3.74.  Saved $11.25

Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure (she can fly!)
Was $24.99 marked down to $6.24.  Saved $18.75

Red Sweaters
(2) Were $12.99 marked down to $6.48.  Saved $6.51 each = $13.02 savings

OshKosh Genuine Kids Vest
Was $12.99 marked down to $3.24.  Saved $9.75

Fisher-Price Smart Cycle Extreme
Was $99.99 marked down to $24.98.  Saved $75.01

Spike Red the Ultimate Dinosaur
Was $129.99 marked down to $32.48.  Saved $97.51

Total saved $327.33

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hy-Vee RED HOT Deals, 1/16 - 1/17

Holy RED HOT cheese deal! I almost can't even believe it! Hy-Vee has some SUPER AWESOME deals going on this weekend and as you can probably tell, I think I'll be making a trip to stock up on cheese! (Once again, I S-U-C-K at the Eat From the Pantry Challenge. Sorry folks - I am not passing up $.20 cheese!) Here are the deals listed below:

Bananas, $.29/lb.
Kraft cheese, 5/$6 and get a $5 coupon to use on your next trip
Frosted flakes, $.99 (limit 2)
ground beef, $4.95/5 lb roll (limit 2)
Pepsi 2 liter, $.77 (limit 10)
Jacks pizza, $1.98
Hy-Vee 1/2 gal. orange juice, $.99

Happy Shopping!

Week One Results - Eat From the Pantry Challenge

Okay, I know that this is a little behind (like a full week - oops!), but I thought I would let you all know how I am doing with the Eat From the Pantry Challenge. It appears that I have a real problem with resisting the urge to pick up great deals that will add to my pantry stockpile. I've only been doing this couponing/stockpiling thing since last April and already I am such a changed person. Deal-seeking is in my blood, people! It is just so hard for me to pass by a great deal, which I know my family will use, and I know I have coupons for, especially when it is almost free or free.  I can no longer bare to pay full price for anything (exception: Diet Pepsi)! That said, you'll notice that I went slightly over my $30/week budget.

Aldi        =  $32.58
Trunck's =  $12.00 (Darn you, caffeine!)
Total      =  $44.58

I may have gone $14.58 over budget but I am pretty okay with that. I mean really, I spent under $45 for the WEEK for a family of six. That is pretty awesome considering that last year at this time I was spending $200-$250 every week. That is a potential savings of $600 a month! If you are doing an Eat From the Pantry Challenge this month as well, I'd love to hear about it in my comments section!

FREE Pizza - My Favorite!

It has been reported that some Fareways may have the DiGiorno 200 calorie portion pizzas on sale for just $.99! There were some $1/1 MFC out a while ago or you can go here for $1.25/1. (You will have to register and then there will be an "offer" (coupon) waiting for you.) Your cashier will most likely just have to adjust the coupon down to $.99 for this to work. There is nothing as tasty and delicious as a FREE pizza! If you find some of these at your store, please comment back so we know where to go!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

HY-Vee RED HOT Weekend Deals, 1/16 - 1/17

Yay! More HOT Deals! I can't wait to find out what they are and I can't wait to check out the coupon book that they are going to be handing out!!! This is straight from the Hy-Vee website: 

These deals are so hot that we have to keep them a secret until Thursday at 5 p.m. So check back then to view the Red Hot Weekend ad. Information will also be available on Facebook, Twitter, and your local T.V. and radio programming.
Some of the deals include: Dole Bananas, Pepsi Products, Kraft Shredded Cheese, Hy-Vee Orange Juice, Kellogg's Frosted Flakes, Jacks Pizza, Fresh Ground Beef and Kitchen Fresh Tenderloin Sandwiches.
coupon bookA Special Bonus For You
For all our loyal customers who take advantage of the Red Hot Weekend, we’ll be handing out customer appreciation coupon books. These coupon books are filled with red hot savings good all next week.

Red Hot Weekend deals and customer appreciation coupons? It’s Christmas in January!

Hump Day HOT Deals! - 1/13/10

I know that most of my loyal readers (my husband, cousin, aunt and BFF) are already aware of, and slightly addicted to, some of the best deal-seeking, coupon-linking, clearance-finding, and money-saving blogs that are out there. (Check my blog list for the links if you have not already done so.) That being said, I think I'll leave that to the real pros and focus my time and energy on the local stores that are not usually mentioned in those other blogs. For instance, I know that all of you (C and Aunt T) get all excited and giddy when Fareway comes out with their new weekly ad every Wednesday. They have some super weekly sales and what is even better is that Hy-Vee, who also comes out with their "HOT Deals" every Wednesday, will price match Fareway and vice versa. I just found out that Aldi will be running their ads Wednesday to Tuesday as well, so we now have a third store to throw in the mix! Although Aldi does not accept any coupons, I have found the BEST and CHEAPEST produce there almost every week. You can typically buy most in-season fruits and veggies there for quite a bit less than what the other grocery stores charge. Other notably cheaper items include shredded cheese, eggs, milk (usually under $2.00/gal.), salsa, chips, and canned goods. In my humble opinion, this store has really turned it up a notch in the last year or two and is really competing with the other grocery stores to offer some great deals and some great products. Heck, I even did a little Christmas shopping there this year for my kiddos! Anyway, I am going to do my best to bring you this new weekly post, "Hump Day HOT Deals!" every Wednesday, featuring all of the best deals from Fareway, Hy-Vee and Aldi. If you find any deals that I've missed, PLEASE add them below in the comments section!

Fareway - go here to view full ad
Special K cereal, $2.49
Special K bars, $1.99
  -Buy 4 Special K, get one free in-ad coupon
  -$1/2 Special K bars, 1/03/10 RP
  -$1/2 Special K crackers, 1/03/10 RP
Tostitos, 2/$5
Birds eye frozen veg., $.99
Fastco shredded cheese, 8oz., $.99
Quaker products, 2/$5 or 2/$4
  -$3.00 off wyb 5 Quaker products, in-ad coupon
Fastco ice cream, $1.99
Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, $1.79/lb (GREAT price!)
Broccoli, $1.28/head
Lettuce, $.88/head
Onions, $.29/lb.

Hy-Vee - go here to view full ad

Potatoes, 5lb bag, $.79 (GREAT price)
Dole lettuce head, $.88
Onions, 3lbs., $.99 (with in-ad coupon)
Hy-Vee large eggs, dozen, $.99 (with in-ad coupon)
Hy-Vee garden salad, 16oz, $.88
Hy-Vee sandwich bread, $.88
Hy-Vee diced tomatoes, $.39
Mrs. Grimes chili beans, $.59
Hy-Vee ketchup, $.88
Bar-S franks, bologna, salami, 10/$10
Pampers Diapers, box, $17.99
  -$2/1 MFC (from Sun. inserts a week or two ago)

Aldi -  (Coming SOON!)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Making Myself More Accountable in 2010

I came across this great tool on The Coupon Project. I am going to use this Savings Tracker for the entire year and see how well I do with coupons, sales, rebates and saving money! For all of you who already have a budget in place or for those of you who are thinking about getting started on your journey to save money, this would be a great tool to have at your disposal!

Toilet paper challenge: UPDATE

Rolls of toilet paper needed for one year stockpile: 700
Rolls of toilet paper acquired in week one: 128
Rolls of toilet paper needed to reach goal: 572
Percent of toilet paper goal completed: 18.2%

Sweet Sunday Scores!

Another trip to town and another 60 rolls of toilet paper to add to the stockpile! Yippee! I am getting excited thinking that I really may be able to stockpile a year's worth of toilet paper over the next six weeks! Not only did we get lots of great stuff today but I was also able to "roll" the deals to spend very little out of pocket and I managed to come home with quite a few ECBs and RRs again today as well. That way, when I make another trip later this week, I will be able to keep my OOP (out of pocket) very low again. We were in a hurry and forgot to take pictures when we got home today but you can check out my before and after coupon totals below.

CVS Total before coupons: $97.31
Total out of pocket after coupons: $11.41
ECBs remaining: $11.00

(3) 20 double rolls Cottonelle
(6) Natures Bounty multi-vitamins
(2) Soy Joy bars boxes
(3) Sweetheart candies (for kiddos)
(1) Little Debbie valentine cake-thingies (for kiddos - I'm such a nice mom!)

Walgreens Total before coupons: $24.51
Total out of pocket after coupons: $10.11
Register Rewards remaining: $12.50 (Notice that this is $2.39 money maker today!)

(5) Thermacare heat wraps ($1 money maker on each one)
(4) Kleenex (I got these for $.04 each!!!)
(1) Aveeno body wash (FREE after coupon)
(2) John Frieda hair spray (FREE after coupon)
(4) Christmas wrapping paper (clearance for $.25 each)

Eat From the Pantry Challenge - Week Two

Meal Plan Monday - Week Two

Monday - Vegetable Soup, sandwich/wrap
Tuesday - Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles, green beans
Wednesday - Grilled chicken salad, leftover vegetable soup
Thursday - Hamburgers, zucchini fries
Friday - Whole wheat spaghetti pie, broccoli
Saturday - Cheesy potato soup, sandwich/wrap
Sunday - Roast, carrots, potatoes

*Click on the above links for Weight Watchers-friendly recipes and points values*

Sunday, January 10, 2010

SUPER Saturday Savings!!!

Macy and I headed out early Saturday morning to get started on our $100 toilet paper and diaper challenge. Thank goodness that daddy kept the baby because it was -17 degrees when we left home! Despite the miserably cold temperature, we made several stops and used TONS of coupons, Register Rewards and Extra Care Bucks, and we did A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!!

CVS Total before coupons: $116.83
Out of Pocket after coupons/ECBs: $19.99
ECBs left over: $10 ECB

Walgreens Total before coupons: $55.25
Out of Pocket after coupons/RRs: $7.00
Register Rewards left over: $6.00

Great Deals at Fareway:
10 oranges for $2.00
$.99 cottage bread
$.99 Marcal t.p. (used $1/1 MFC=FREE!)

Great Deals at Target:
12pk. Pepsi, $3.00 (used $1/1 Target coupon)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Yet Another Challenge

Okay, so call me crazy, but I am going to give myself yet another challenge for this month. Michelle over at Money Saving Madness claims that she can get a year's worth of toilet paper stockpiled for her family for next to nothing. You can check out her post here. Toilet paper is one of our biggest expenses and something that is very hard to get a good deal on. I would be thrilled if we could get a good stockpile going and not have to break the budget by doing so. This month we are blessed to have a little extra money in the budget and I am going to put it to good use. Last week alone I spent $50 on diapers (which will only last two weeks) and $14 on toilet paper. Yikes! That is $64 dollars out of a $110 weekly budget and I of course still had to buy things like milk, eggs, bread and other necessitites. That being said, I am going to take on Michelle's challenge, watch her blog for deal scenarios, and see how far I can stretch $100. Granted, I will have to spend a little money initially to get going (I have no ECB's to start off with). My goal is to get a major stockpile of both toilet paper and diapers going. The last time I did a challenge like this I took $100 and bought Walgreens diapers during a major sale. Those diapers lasted me six months, diapering two kiddos! It was so nice during that time not to have to worry about finding money in the budget for diapers. I'm going to try and start my stockpile this week by using Michelle's deal scenario posted here. Anyone wanna join me on this challenge? C'mon - you all are going to be jealous when you see my free t.p.!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge: UPDATE

As you all know, as part of my Eat From the Pantry Challenge this month, I am giving myself only $30 to spend each week on fresh produce, milk, etc. It appears that this may be really hard to accomplish. You see, I have an addiction to Diet Pepsi and unfortunately, I have yet to be able to find coupons that make it free. That's right, I broke down today and bought myself a big old cube of caffeine. Our groceries on Sunday cost $32 and I spent $12 at the local store today. Thankfully, there is a blizzard on the way, so I will be stranded at home for the next several days and unable to make it to the store to blow my budget again. In all honesty, my typical budget for groceries for a week is $110 so I am still WAY below that. Budgeting and saving money is not always easy and it is not always realistic. If you read any of Dave Ramsey's books, he will tell you that too. Each month is different from the next and it may take a few months to really get a budget figured out. I may have gone over this week, but I am pretty darned proud of ourselves for the changes we have made and the goals that we have set for ourselves. Oh, and in case you were wondering, this $12 pop is G-O-O-D!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Eat From the Pantry Challenge - Week One

So it is official. We have started our Eat From the Pantry Challenge! I am super excited to see if we can really make this work for the next four weeks, and a little bit nervous at the same time. I have a well stocked pantry to "shop" from and a freezer full of beef, but you all must remember that I have two kiddos in diapers and two in pull-ups. (While we are on the subject, does anyone have any ideas to help keep your kids from wetting at night?) Anyway, our challenge does become a little bit more complex because Michael and I are following the Weight Watchers program right now. That means lots of healthy fruits and vegetables which we all know are much more costly than canned goods and junky snacks.

In order to make this work for our family, I will budget $30 each week for the next four weeks for milk, produce, eggs, etc. The rest of our meal ingredients will come from our existing stockpile. We have come up with a meal plan for the entire month of January based on what we already have on hand. These meals may be altered based on what sale items I can find each week. I will share with you our menus and our successes each week. By spending only $30 each week for the next four weeks, we will be saving more than $300 for the month! I encourage you all to give it a try - even just for a week!

Meal Plan Monday - Week One
(Okay, so it is Tuesday. Next week I will be more timely. Promise.)

Monday - Mini Meatloaves, Green beans, Corn
Tuesday - Broccoli/Cheese soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
Wednesday - Whole wheat pasta and sauce
Thursday -  Sloppy Joe's and oven-fried onion rings
Friday - Chili and cornbread 
Saturday - Vegetable stir-fry and brown rice
Sunday - Pot roast, carrots and potatoes

Breakfasts and lunches will consist of cereal, fruits, sandwiches, mac n cheese and leftovers.

Anyone want to comment on their own Eat From the Pantry Challenge? 

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'M BACK!!!!!

Okay, so my New Years resolution involves getting back to my blog and back to my frugalicious shopping habits. Apparently, since the birth of my fourth child, I have been able to get nothing accomplished ever, including blogging, shopping, couponing, cleaning, laundry, organizing, brushing my teeth, etc. Now that baby is 5 months old and sleeping through the night, I plan on getting back to business and back in the money-saving game. One of my favorite blogs, Money Saving Mom, has challenged her readers to an "Eat from the Pantry Month." She has done this before for a week or even two at a time, but never for a month. Seeing as how we spent a little extra money just before Christmas and haven't been real great at sticking to our frugal budget, I decided that I was going to join her in this challenge. For the next month, I am going to budget only $30 a week for my family of six for groceries, toiletries and diapers. We have LOTS of beef in the freezer and are stocked up on diapers and wipes for a few weeks, so that will help tremendously. In order for this to work, I went through my pantry and came up with a meal plan for the entire month of January. We will buy mainly produce, milk and eggs for the next four weeks, allowing us to save $330 by the end of the month!

I have also been very motivated by fellow bloggers and their personal financial goals. For instance, Money Saving Mom and her husband have saved up for the past seven years and are going to pay for their first home with cash! Can you imagine?!?!?! I'm not going to get quite that crazy, but one of our personal financial goals for this year is to get our vehicle loan paid off. I am going to come up with some very specific goals and timelines and post them on my blog from now on. I think that by sharing our financial goals, it will help me to be more accountable and in turn, more frugal with our money. Remember Dave Ramsey's tag line: Live like no one else, so that later you can LIVE like no one else! Let 2010 be the year that you cut up your credit cards, pay down your debt and take steps towards FINANCIAL PEACE!