Monday, September 28, 2009

Here is our menu for this week. There were some of you who were curious about what we eat since all I really bought last week were chocolate covered pretzels and corn. :) Or very close to that at least.

Sunday was grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches. Easy, peasy for a Sunday night.
Monday will be chicken, potatoes (from Costco last week) and asparagus (frozen from earlier in the summer).
Tuesday will be chicken enchiladas. Again, I have all these ingredients and don't need to buy anything.
Wednesday will be pork loin, potatoes, and brocolli.
Thursday will be our hodge podge night. We will eat whatever leftovers there are and maybe make some grilled sandwhiches.
Friday is always up in the air. We like to go out with friends or have people over so we never know what we are going to have.

The way I can shop now is to just stock up on sale items. About every 3 weeks I buy meat unless it goes on sale before then. A couple of weeks ago, Tilapia was on sale at Meijer for $2.99 a pound so I bought 6 bags of it (sold in 1lb bags) of it. We eat about three quarters of a bag at dinner, and just save the rest. But this is why you see very strange shopping habits from me. I don't go on regular shopping trips.
Snacks around here are pretty irregular too. This week will be Fiber bars, dried cranberries, yogurt, pears, 100 cal snack bags, dry cereal (since I have TONS of that), peaches, and maybe bananas if I go shopping later this week. And if we run out of any of that there is more to be had in my storage. I will probably have to go on a fruit run, but bananas should be about all I will buy.
Hopefully I will have pics up tomorrow of the insane amount of deals that I got yesterday. Good stuff...too bad it just comes to so much out of pocket. :( Oh well. The girls and I had a lot of fun shopping and running around.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Here is a recap of my $300.00 monthly challenge: Week 1: I had $75.00 in cash to work with this week. Here is what I got yesterday:

Stopped at a garage sale:
  1. 1 pair of jeans for myself
  2. 4 t-shirts for myself
  3. 1 pair of capris for Ambry
  4. 4 tees for Ambry
  5. 1 jewelry box for Ambry (not pictured)
  6. 2 VHS movies (not pictured)
  7. 1 play crown for Piper (not pictured)
  8. 1 Websters dictionary(not pictured)
    Total came to $15.50.

Trip to the mall:
  1. 1 Bath and Body antibacterial soap
  2. 1 mini pocket antibacterial hand sanitizer
  3. 1 pair of panties (free panty coupon in the mail)
    Total came to $1.59!

Trip to Meijer:
  1. 15 Del Monte veggies
  2. 3 Del Monte pineapple veggies
  3. 5 100 calorie snack packs
  4. 1 bag of cat food
  5. 2 Huggies wipes
  6. 3 Fast Shake pancake mix
    Total came to $1.86!! I used a $2.00 OYNO from earlier in this week from another order.

Here is a trip to Costco and Rite Aid that I made earlier in the week:
  1. 5lb bag of potatoes at Costco
  2. 1 gallon of milk at Costco
  3. 10 VO5 shampoo/conditioner at Rite Aid
  4. 2 Clean and Clear products at Rite Aid
  5. 3 Snicker bars--one not pictured :)

Total at Costco came to $6.94. Total at Rite Aid came to $.06. I used the rest of my gift card on this order. Before gift card, the total was $6.35. I will be getting $5.00 back for buying the VO5.

Also pictured here is some stuff I got in the mail. I got two $10.00 gift certificates from Kellogg's. I also got 5 FREE (up to $4.00) certificates off any STAR product.

I also bought 2 different painters tape for Caleb to finish painting the house. This came to $5.08.

Budget total this week came to $72.01. I came just under my goal of $75.00 a week. Not too shabby. Not to mention, I was still able to do the deals and got lots of extras. Hopefully next week turns out just as good as this week did.

Something I am gets spent very, very quickly when you are trying to stay on a budget. I also have so much more to learn about all those "free" deals that I get. Yes, they are great deals, but the money still needs to be spent out of pocket in order to get the rebate/ECB/RR back. Whatever the case, I am definitely trying to get these deals figured out so that I can make them even better. :)

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Just a quick update here. Lots of running around today to do--library, Meijer, mall, etc. But I wanted to put up at least one of my before and after pics. This is a corner of my kitchen that I was using to put Ambry's school books and my coupons. It was overrun with my coupons and no organization at all to put it all in order. I am happy to say that this corner now makes me happy. All put together and most importantly, Ambry's school stuff all has an organized place.

Here is the before pic:

And the after. Even the lighting is better! See? It is a happy corner. :)
Coupons are now in two boxes rather than one very overrun box. I repurposed some boxes from the post office rather than buying some pretty baskets. The top basket is one that was in the girl's room and not being used. All of Ambry's school stuff is on top. Playdough is in the basket on the left along with all the utensils they use with it. On the left is their painting supplies. Oh the happiness!
Did you tackle anything this week? If so, post pics! It is always fun to share what you did (or last fun for me) to be able to show what you did or to see what others did. Because if your husband is anything like mine, he probably won't even realize what you did. :)

I will hopefully post my ending budget for this week. If it wasn't for a garage sale yesterday...oh well. I am learning more about my spending habits than ever before! More to come later!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My results from a fun little quiz from here:

Sharon, you are a Bohemian Casual
You are interested in creating a place where people feel relaxed. You have a variety of interests and influences and so appreciate different styles, cultures, and objects. Your home is cozy, with comfy chairs, throw pillows and places to set a drink or a book. But it also feels creative and visually intriguing, because you have an artist's eye that allows you to find objects that appeal to you in a unique and personal way—whether from your travels or from a local shop. This gives your home a feeling of being laid-back, and maybe even a bit quirky with its mix of pieces—some of which are classic, some handmade, some ethnic, and some just rich in meaning to you.
You value order. You feel happiest if your home is well organized. You understand that when your house is in order, your mind feels clearer. Rather than a lot of meaningless objects or overly-designed items, you are happier with a few well-placed things. Your home is your respite from a busy life. Try to avoid letting things into your home that you don't really love.
Putting Your Style to Work!
With your style and needs in mind, here are a few tips that will help you make your home a little happier.
1. Your Design Challenge: ORGANIZE The front hall sets the mood for your entire home. Consider how to accommodate all the room's functions as beautifully as possible. At the very least you need a console, and if you're short on storage, consider a dresser. Outfit the surface with nice trays and bowls for mail, keys and sunglasses. Keep a trash can for immediately tossing the junk mail. Closet-door or wall hooks encourage coat and bag hanging rather than dumping. If you have children, try to give each a basket in the closet for hats and gloves. It's nice to have a chair or bench for changing shoes, a mirror for last-minute lipstick checks, and a lamp or sconces for warm light.
2. Your Happy Place Choose a color or two that harmonizes with the tableware you already own, and collect things like linens, glasses, dessert plates, or platters in those hues. This is a fantastic way to liven up a plain, white table setting. And if you can, set the table the night before a dinner party, so you can really take pleasure in tending to the details.
3. Be Party-Ready All the Time! Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you'll be able to set a spread—instantly!Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, keep some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.
You know your style.

What I get from this...definitely very true...I also have been feeling extremely unorganized. It is to the point where I am so frustrated with the amount of stuff (insert crap) laying around my house. I am feeling the need to purge and since I am on a restricted budget I believe it is time to go through and purge like crazy. I am talking rent a dumpster and throw things out to my hearts content. Well, maybe not quite that drastic, but you get the idea.

So here is my challenge to myself and to you. Pick an area of your house that really bothers you. I actually have quite a few and will share those with you. Take a before and after pic. Or not if it really bothers you. :) I am hoping to start on my entry way closet today so I will hopefully post pics tomorrow of the before and after.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A lost tooth and a $.32 trip to Meijer!

First up is my amazing trip to Meijer. I will have to make one more trip yet this week since they were already out of the Del Monte veggies. And those are too good of a deal to pass up.

Here is what I got:

  1. 1 7.5 lb of cat food on sale for $5.97 (should be the 3.5 lb but they were all out of that one)
  2. 3 packs of Huggies wipes
  3. 2 Cafe Steamers
  4. 6 Grands biscuits
  5. 12 Crystal Light packs
  6. 1 pack of canning rings and lids (for Tara since her Meijer was out of them)
  7. 5 packs of 100 Calorie boxes

Total came to $69.25 before coupons. After coupons and instore savings I paid $11.79. The cat food rang up wrong so I got $6.38 back at customer service. After Tara's canning rings purchase of $3.09, I will have paid $2.32! Plus I got a $2.00 catalina back for buying 6 Grands Biscuits. So after all is said and done it will have come to $.32!!! Woohoo! (I am still counting the cash out of pocket and recording $2.32 though).

Another lost tooth for Ambry! She was more than excited. :) Here is with her second tooth.

And rather than have to subtract money out of my $75.00, I went downstairs and pulled out a notebook and some sparkly markers for her treat. Perfect...or at least we thought so. :)

Since Sunday, that brings my spending up to $17.42.

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Monday, September 21, 2009

I am starting the $300.00 challenge! Esther has been doing this for the last couple weeks and I have decided to jump in now and see how I do. My first day was yesterday and I have spent $15.10 so far. It could have been less if I wouldn't have been in such a hurry and forgot some coupons and didn't figure out each purchase correctly. Oh well.

Here is what I have gotten so far:

Rite Aid:
  1. 3 packs of Huggies All Natural diapers
  2. 2 packs Huggies diapers
  3. 2 Sunday newspapers
  4. 1 bottle Proantix--not pictured, but it is a free after rebate item, plus after coupon a $3.00 money maker!!

Total came to $18.71. I had a $25.00 gift card to Rite Aid from a previous rebate and used that to pay for it. After the $10.00 rebate on the diapers and the $6.99 rebate on Proantix, my total will be $1.72! Unbelievably awesome deal for diapers!!


  1. 1 package Carefree pads
  2. 3 Sally Hansen nail polishes
  3. 2 Scotch Brite scrubbies
  4. 2 Thermacare
  5. 2 Lolli-pops for the girls (fillers)
  6. 1 Sunday newspaper
  7. Chalk plaything (filler)
  8. 4 erasers (fillers)
  9. 2 Root Care moisturizers
  10. 1 Aussie hair gel
  11. 1 Aussie hair spray
  12. 2 Oral B toothbrushes

I split these up over 5 different transactions. If I would have taken the time to figure it out, I could have spent even less. :( Oh well. Total came to $8.79. This was after coupons and RR's ($27.50 used and $32.50 back).

We also went out to lunch with Caleb at Wendy's and spent an additional $6.31. Boy oh boy, does this ever add up fast!

In case you are wondering, I have $75.00 in cash in my wallet--that is how much it comes to per week out of the $300.00. I am counting any type of food, drink, "deal" purchase, etc. all out of the $75.00 a week. The only thing I am not taking out of that amount is gas. We'll see how we do. Here's to hoping for a good week!

Check out this blog here for her challenge. This is where the challenge first started. :)

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Piper and her gigantic sucker from B.J. (Nicole's boyfriend). Seriously, I don't know what he was thinking. :) But the kids sure loved them. Piper ate more of her sucker than either Lindzi or Ambry. She was cracking pieces off that sucker and eating it so fast. Probably worried I would take it away from her. :) Talk about sugar buzz!
Look at her quick try to hid her sucker. I only want a pic, don't worry.
Much better. Nice big smile once she realized I would let her have a couple more bites.


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ambry lost her first tooth! And I am just getting around to downloading pics from my camera right now. This happened about a month ago! I am so behind. Anyway, if you look real, real close you can see her teeny, tiny little tooth. She pulled it out all by herself and couldn't have been prouder. Caleb even had the pliers out and he was trying that but no luck. We told her it had to come out that night. It had been hanging on for days and her new tooth was already coming in.

If you look really close you can see her tooth way down at the bottom right hand side of the bag.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Girls Night Out...We called it our Fancy Night. We got "fancy" mexican food, went to Gerrit and Jen's house, played cards, and the girls got to watch a movie. Super fun. :)

Piper was being an absolute stinker and wanted nothing to do with pics.
I tried to bribe her here and told her to give a big smile and this is what I ended up with.

The girls and I just before leaving. :)


Thursday, September 10, 2009

A quick trip to the beach with just the girls and I...and we run into Poppa and Grandma and Lindzi! The girls couldn't have been happier. What started out as a late dinner picnic turned into a boat ride and a late night watching the musical fountain. So much fun!

Can you see Piper's happiness here? (insert sarcasm) She was having so much time popping out of the cutty and playing with Grandma.
Then she wanted to try to climb out and sit up top. One little let gets out...
...and up she pops! She was so happy she could do it all by herself!
Piper and the sunset. Little stinker wouldn't look at me.
Poppa swining Piper in the water. She wanted to go swimming so bad.
Thanks Poppa and Grandma and Lindzi for taking us out on the boat. We loved it! Although I think we need a new pick up spot. Pier walls are not meant to be climbed down while in a skirt. :)


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