29 April 2008

Set Up Sunday via Tuesday morning ...

I have to work M-Thur this week. Yesterday was 8am-3pm. Today through Thursday will be 130pm to 815pm.
Be has PT on Tuesday and Thursday at 230pm.
At some point I think I have to go to campus and fix my schedule, to the grocery store, and I have a work meeting/thing Friday afternoon.


Monday: Shepard's Pie.

Tuesday: Whole chicken in the crockpot, noodle side, and veggies (I hope).

Wednesday: Black bean chili in the crockpot, corn bread muffins.

Thursday: Leftovers. (Shepard's Pie, Chili)

Friday: Grill Night ... this is our weekly theme night, which we can't seem to have on the same day every week. We're doing burgers or steaks (depending on how rich I'm feeling on Thursday ... haha), grilled tin foil potatoes, maybe roasted corn and peppers. Yay!

Saturday: Pizza ... of what variety, I don't know.

Sunday: Baked Ham? Maybe? I'm not locked into that just yet.

Ah, now I feel better.



Sunday Set Up ... delayed

Yea, that doesn't make much sense, does it? I mean, how does the crazy coupon lady keep track of her week if she doesn't plan it until Tuesday?

I know I would be happier if I did it now. I know I would feel more secure having a plan. I know, I know, I know, but I'm tired ... really tired ... two more sentences and I'm closing my eyes tired.

The plan will have to wait. I do know I'm putting a chicken in the crockpot tomorrow AM before work. That chicken is still in the freezer. Ah well, it'll work itself out ... or we'll eat leftovers ... or starve. My brain is not in the details tonight.

Good night, all.



25 April 2008


I collect envelopes. When the bills come, if I pay them online, I keep the envelope to use for something else later. If the junk mail has an envelope, I keep it. If the statements have envelopes, in the pile to reuse they go. I love my crazy free envelopes.

Just now, a tragedy struck. The magical envelope pile lives directly to the left of my computer monitor to make bill paying a cinch. Moments ago, I tipped over all of two swallows of Diet Pepsi and it rolled into the magical envelope pile. *gasp!*

Any normal person would simply pitch the ones with newly wet edges. Even a pretty frugal person could probably be ok with tossing them into the recycling since they were free to start with. I, am apparently not normal, and I didn't know to what degree exactly until I found myself laying out the envelopes with the wet edges on my office table so that they could dry and be used anyway.

I am such a nut job.



Frugal Friday: Not So Frugal Edition

Most times, I make a menu on Sunday and we follow it, basically, throughout the week. Sometimes, however, my family revolts and decides they're not going to eat anything on any darn menu. Blah. This was one of those weeks. Ugh. I was none too thrilled, but alas, on with the recap ...

Monday we had dinner with friends. It was delish and it didn't cost me anything but the bottle of wine from my gift stash. Yay! $0

Tuesday was World Cuisine Wednesday (except a day early). We had cavatappi with a red meatball and bell pepper sauce or an alfredo, roasted red pepper, and mushroom sauce. There was homemade vienna garlic bread, fried raviolis with ricotta or ricotta and mushrooms, and chocolate molten lava cake with espresso ice cream. What's better? The co-founder of World Cuisine Wednesday sprung for the goods to make everything. Thank you, thank you. $0

Wednesday I got home late in the afternoon and we decided to scrub down the walls of our enclosed porch a la spring cleaning craziness. It did afford me the chance to use up to remnant bottles of cleaners diluted in water, though. Yay for that. Scrubbing exterior walls in an interior porch can be a little on the exhausting side at 5 in the afternoon when the setting sun is beating into the windows. Once we were done, there was no convincing anyone that I needed to defrost food and then start the OVEN. Eeeek. Nope. We went to Subway. Lucky for us, they're having a $5 Foot Long promo. That's $26.50 for all of us with the tax.

Thursday also did not go well. Someone, named Em, forgot to start chili in the morning. This does not generally pose a problem. I use smoked paprika and chili powder and cumin and good smelling things that make it seem like it cooked all day regardless. I have to pull this feat of deception off, however, when no one is looking as my entire family seems convinced that chili must cook for 8 hours or it is inedible. An amazing stand to take since they eat my 10 minute chili all the time, but alas. I did not succeed in the bait and switch, so I let them persuade me to run to town for take out. The good news, is everyone paid for their own out of personal money, not the grocery budget, so my cost is still $0. Muahahaha.

Tonight, Friday, we're having leftovers. Well, I am. There is a ton of pasta/sauce/goodness leftover and I am partaking of it. If no one else wants to, they can starve. That's what I've decided. That makes tonight's dinner cost also $0.

That brings my total for the week to $26.50. Ha! It feels entirely weird to me that I feel like we blew the menu all week, and somehow the budget still came out all right. Good timing, I guess, and of course the generosity of friends.



23 April 2008

And then I went to Target ...

Target is just down the road from Walgreens, so I swung in with hopes of clearing out the O Cell-O clearance sponges with my target coupons. No such luck. Boo. This Target is not my favorite one, by far, and has a much more limited selection, but it was nearby.

11 pkgs Market Pantry beef cold cuts on clearance at 36c = $3.96 (I meant to only get 10, fyi, but apparently cannot count)
1 Crest ProHealth+ bonus Glide Floss on clearance = $1.68
3 Johnson&Johnson Buddy Bars = $2.92
1 pkg of Market Pantry sugar wafer cookies that taught me to never call home while shopping lest someone decide they *need* sugar wafer cookies = $1.19
2 6lb bags GoodLife cat food on price cut = $13.20
1 20oz Diet Coke because it was hot and my from home beverage was el gone-o = $1.69 with deposit
Total = $24.64
- $1 Crest coupon = $23.64
- $1/1 J&J coupons that the cashier pushed through at full value = $20.64
- $2/1 Target Good Life coupons = $16.64
- $2/1 Good Life coupons from inside packages we already had = $12.64
- $10 in gift cards from last week's Target Pepsi Deal = $2.64

Total Savings ... $21

Perhaps I will check out the other Target when I'm on that side of town tomorrow. Perhaps, indeed. I like free O Cell-O sponges. I'm on the hunt for them now.



Score: Crazy Coupon Lady, 1 ... Walgreens, 0

I was out and about today running errands, and in an effort to conserve gas decided to make a stop at Walgreens since it was on the way home. I knew I had more rebates to finish up for the month, and with the BOGO coupon for Palmolive in the ad, why not today?

1st Transaction ...
4 Aveeno lotions ... $2.39 on sale
1 17ct Wrigley's (because my coupon count was off ... I don't know how, still, but apparently it was)
Total with tax = $11.40
- $1.50/2 Aveeno coupons = $8.40
- $3 Register Reward from Crest deal = $5.40

I actually paid $5.32 and I still can't figure out how. They're math is a little wacky, but it's in my favor. I also got a $10 register reward at the end of the transaction from the Aveeno.

2nd Transaction ...
12 Palmolive dish soap ... $23.88
2 packages of Revlon emery boards ... $3.18
2 bottles of Revlon nail polish ... $10.48
1 One Touch Ultra glucometer ... $68.99 ... $19.99
Total with Tax = $59.96
- $12.45 for the BOGO Walgreens coupon = 47.51
- 25c Palmolive coupon (this deal would have been WAY better had I had 12 of them!) = $47.26
- $1/1 Revlon Beauty Implements coupon = $45.26
- $4.49 Revlon Nail Color BOGO Sale = $40.77
- $19.99 One Touch glucometer coupon = $20.78
- $10 Register Reward from Aveeno deal previous (not today) = $10.78

Again, wacky register, I only really paid $10.69.

When I was wandering around, looking for a One Touch Mini to use my last $20 coupon (they're usually $19.99 regular), I stumbled upon one that was marked $89. I was highly confused, so I glanced next to it, since the Ultra is usually $89, not the Mini, and voila! There was the Ultra with a shiny blue Walgreens price tag reading $19.99. When I checked out, the monitor rang up $68.99 on sale. I pointed out politely that the item was marked lower. The cashier nearly had a stroke and called a manager insisting that she couldn't sell it to me for that price. The laws of this state, and their Fair Pricing statues would disagree, and so did her manager. Then, she rings in everything else and I hand her my coupons. The $20 One Touch was on the top. She insisted she couldn't possibly take that either, as I'd be getting it for FREE! *gasp* If she only knew how many free glucometers I've already gotten at Walgreens this month alone ... la ti da. I send them to the free clinic, fyi, I don't keep them to admire or anything. The manager came back, and without batting an eye took the coupon. Yay! I like good managers.

For the trip ...

Original Merchandise Totals ... $120.36
Total Out of Pocket ... $16.01
Total Rebates/Rewards ... $25.99

That's a $9.98 PROFIT when it's all said and done.

Total Savings ... $130.34.

Do you think they get anxious when I skip like a school girl out of the store?



Instant Gratitude

I'm grateful for ...

... new job-o.
... delish homemade dinner with friends last night.
... molten lava chocolate cake with espresso ice cream.
... an adorable Be who loves me enough to fix my broken for more years than I'd like to remember car air conditioner.
... sunshiny spring days.
... toes in the new grass.
... cute little seedlings started from scratch, just pushing the surface and getting ready to meet the world.
... having family around, constantly.
... a great conversation with my best friend about hopes and regrets.
... every new day I get to take part in this miracle of coincidence.

What are you grateful for today?



22 April 2008

Happy Day, Earth.

It's Earth Day!

One part of me immediately thinks, "Isn't every day Earth Day?" or perhaps is that some kind of hippy cerebral malfunction that thinks we should cherish our resources everyday rather than pissing them away for a year and changing our ways for 12 hours? Cynical treehugger, am I.

Since it is annual 'Remember We Don't Live On An Unending Resource' day, I want to vent for a hot second. I am highly annoyed at the increasingly recent trendiness of 'going green'. Don't get me wrong, I will continue to believe that we should be doing everything we currently are and more toward the objective of not killing our blue planet, but I'm getting really annoyed with environmentalism being some kind of yuppie market trend.

You do not need to BUY the reuseable bags at the store. I bet you have some at your house that would work just fine. Who cares if they match?

You do not need to BUY 'green' cleaning items. Most of them are still produced using a crazy amount of energy and fossil fuel and none of them really do any better (or safer) job than baking soda, hot water, and vinegar (not necessarily all used together).

We do not need to convince people that consumerism is the only answer to a clean planet. Consumerism is how we got here in the first place. We bought bought bought bought crap we didn't need, that used tons of resources to produce, that wouldn't biodegrade, and then we threw it away when we forgot about it or stopped caring about it's existence. Consumerism is the OPPOSITE of the answer. Reduction, reuse, recycling, and pure simplicity are the ways we don't incinerate ourselves into an ecological disaster.

I'm glad that 'green living' is getting more PR. I just hate that it has to be in the form of advertising and BS. Trends are not consistent, nor long term by design. Framing this movement, that some of us have been heavily involved in for a long, long, long time as an ad campaign, a cool spring idea, a new way to do things (for now) is not going to serve us in the long term, tragically. That's why it irritates me. We're pretending that we care about carbon emissions by building hybrid SUVs, and it's driving me crazy.

So, do something productive for the planet today, lovelies. Something that doesn't involve you spending money on adding more crap to your house. Don't get pulled into the trap. Simplify. Reduce. Find a new use for things you don't regularly use anymore or find a new home for them. Stop wasting food and buying out of season produce. Support local food and production. Be kind to animals, and avoid eating them if you are so inclined. Take a walk. Breath the sweet air of spring. Be happy to live here, and say thank you to the planet and the universe for the chance.



21 April 2008

The beauty of stockpiles ...

How Long Could You Survive Trapped In Your Own Home?
Created by OnePlusYou

That's a ball park based on their little widgety thing and the amount of food, etc that is stored in our house. That's ... uh ... more than 3 years. Yowza. We didn't get to this point overnight, but little by little every extra or freebie package of something adds up to an investment that could save us in the event of tragedy.

It isn't even that there could be some kind of immense natural disaster, or an all out war. I suppose those things are possible, and it does get awfully snowy here, but not for three straight years. I think of our food and supply stockpile as an insurance policy against bad luck ruining us. In the event that the contract negotiations tanked and there was a strike, for example, we'd need every last dime to make the house and utility payments. We wouldn't have to worry, like so many would, about what was for dinner for quite a long time. It could get a little wacky combination wise once the cupboards started to dwindle, but the likelihood of all of us being unemployable for more than three years is such that I don't think we'll ever even see that wackiness. If we did, there are bigger fish to fry economically.

It's pretty comforting knowing there's always something to eat.



Keep the Change ... right.

Have you heard about this program? Banks, a number of them now, but Bank of America/LaSalle notably, have been offering a service for debit card users that rounds up their transactions to the next dollar and deposits the difference into their savings account. It seems like a nice deal, plus there's a match from the bank based on how much you save in that time.

I have been in love with this idea since I saw them launch it. The problem, we don't have a brick and mortar BOA anywhere near here. They did announce the merger with LaSalle, which does have a number of brick buildings here, but at the time I was giddy about it the program was not offered there (a recent development in the last few weeks). I don't do online banks, as I feel an undying need to be able to go in and give someone a stern talking to (in person) if necessary. I'm less scary on the phone, I suppose. So, no Keep the Change for me. I was none to thrilled, but chalked it up to the way things *had* to be.


Then it hit me ... I can do math. If I just round up the numbers in my checkbook I can then transfer the difference at the end of the month to my savings account. There will be no match from a magical bank, but there also won't be any hassle if I decide at some point to randomly stop doing it. Yay! It took me long enough. Seriously ... what was I waiting for? Why did I think I needed some big scary bank to do it for me? I can add. I can subtract. I can even do both interchangeably with a fair bit of accuracy if I use my fingers.

Now, the hilarious part ... I totally screwed it up the first month (March), and I didn't realize it until RIGHT NOW. Oops. As I went along in March, I rounded up each transaction. I leave both numbers in the register so I can more easily check things that have or have not cleared by their original amount, plus then I know how much to transfer from each transaction. Everything went swimmingly and I racked up $17.89 with a month's worth of transactions. Jeez! For a girl who uses cash for nearly everything, that's still a lot of debits. Yikes.

At the end of the month, I transferred $17.89 out of my checking account and into my savings, and ... then I subtracted it from my checking account. Herein lies the flaw. The $17.89 was already missing from the register total. It didn't need to be subtracted. I subtracted it anyway, not even thinking, and it didn't hit me until 3 or so minutes ago that I had it done it that way. Ooops.

Now, the frugal dilemma. Do I fix it and put the $17.89 back into my balance since the transfer did not actually effect it? Or, do I transfer another $17.89 out (without noting it in the register) because I obviously wasn't missing that first $17.89 enough to notice? Hmmm. I'm headed to my bank's website to hit the transfer button before I change my mind.



Welcome JM Readers ...

My trackback is telling me you're there, reading along quietly. Welcome, welcome, welcome. Stick around, hang out, post a comment or two (and sign them).

Oh, and if you have questions, post them. I'd love to do a mailbag post or two for you.



20 April 2008

Set Up Sunday

I should have posted this recap on Friday, but I was busy driving across the state and wandering around IKEA. Oopsies.

Monday was goulash (and finish my taxes day, boo). $2 for 2lbs of close to expiry burger that I froze when I got home, 39c for elbow noodles, 39c for a can of diced tomatoes = Heaven ... and $2.78. I didn't make a veggie or the garlic bread. I was busy trying not to owe my life to the IRS.

Tuesday was meatloaf with mashed potatoes, cream corn, mixed veggies, cucumbers, and brownies for dessert. I was making up for lost vegetable time, it would seem. Oh, and there was garlic toast ... which I overcooked by not paying enough attention to it. $2 for 2lbs of more close to expiry burger, 30c for onion, 1.27 for bacon (on top of the meatloaf), 24c for 2 organic eggs, 5c for breadcrumbs, $1.00 for mashed potato flakes because I was too lazy to boil potatoes, 78c for cream corn, $0 for mixed veggies since they were fridge leftovers that I already counted earlier, $1 for the cucumber, and 50c for the brownie mix and it's ingredients. I had MSF chikin patties instead. $8.59 total, and the meatloaf made for a couple lunches as well.

Wednesday was stir fry, and we ended up feeding 10 instead of the 6 I was planning on. Veggies ran me $12, stupid out of season craziness. I don't ever really buy out of season produce, so these "World Cuisine" nights are kicking my butt. Chicken was $2 (from the freezer) and the ground pork we used was $1.59 a lb orange tagged. We also had crab rangoons (well, they did, not me), but I didn't pay for that part of the meal. Rice was probably about $1 and tortillas 50c. Grand total of $17.09 ... better than last time we had World Cuisine Night for sure.

Thursday ... I do not recall making dinner. Uh oh.

Friday we did not have Fry Day, thank heavens. It wasn't my idea, and I wasn't necessarily looking forward to the mess or the cholesterol. I was out of town on Friday, so there were leftovers for dinner if you weren't lucky enough to be with me at IKEA eating Swedish food. YuM!

Saturday was also leftovers ... must have been ... I don't recall cooking then either.

Sunday ... we've not so much eaten yet. I think Be ate the last of the meatloaf earlier, though. I'm contemplating some fake chikin and some mac and cheese. Total cost, $1.39.

Total for the week, for dinner, for my family of five ... thank you leftovers ... $29.85

Now, the week at hand ...

Dinner w/friends on Monday
PT on Tuesday and Thursday
Grocery/Walgreens trip sometime, probably during PT (to conserve gas)

Monday: No Plans.

Be and I are having dinner at another couple's house. We'll probably spring for a bottle of Shiraz ... but no other food planned. I'd usually make a dessert, but I know they're having cake.

Tuesday: Fried baby ravioli, some kind of magical amazing pasta that I haven't decided on yet, some other awesome sides. I don't know yet, really.

Taste of Tuscany Tuesday! Ok, it probably won't be Tuscan at all, but it's Italian Night for sure. A friend of ours has been coming over weekly and we've been having a different ethnic or regional cuisine each time. I'd call it World Cuisine Wednesday again, but we can't have it on Wednesday night this week. I enjoy alliteration, what more can I say?

Wednesday: Ham Steaks, Au Gratin Potatoes, Veggies.

I promised the boys I'd make this last week and I didn't. I will remedy this on Wednesday for sure.

Thursday: Black bean chili, super corn bread puffs.

Have you seen the Pancake Puff thing from the infomercials? Yea. I have one. It was a gift, and I must say, one of the coolest things I've ever used. It rocks. It's so worth the $20. Go get one. R.i.g.h.t. N.o.w.

Friday: Chicken fajitas or tacos or something involving chickens and tortillas, depending on what I have left by the end of the week.

Saturday: Leftovers? Frozen pizza? Take Out? Probably not the third, but I'm not cooking anything. Period.

Sunday: Marinaded pork chops, mashed potatoes, veggies, layer cake.

I love cake. <3



There is but one frugal nightmare ...

... and it's wasting something, especially food.

Now, generally, I try to use every last bit of every single thing in this house. This is not a perfect frugal utopia, though, and sometimes we lose some of the leftovers to the compost pile. It could be that I made too much. It could be that I couldn't get creative enough to make them look less like leftovers the second or third time. It could be that my family hates eating leftovers in general.

Today was not a leftover loss day. Nope, today I got this brillant idea to empty, deep clean, and totally rearrange my upstairs pantry. It seemed like a much better idea when I started than once I had everything emptied out onto the kitchen table ... and counters ... and floor. I enjoy organizing things, grouping them, putting them in little lines, labeling. I'm nerdy like that. I let that love of OCD blind me to the actual amount of work emptying and restocking ones pantry might actually be. Alas, I trudged through, and I must say it's pretty gorgeous looking right now. I haven't done the labels yet, if that's any idea of how tired I must be. Labels are my favorite part. (sad face)

The nightmare part comes in realizing there are items in the pantry that have made it not only past the expiration date (which bothers me less and less) but have also outlasted the 'last possible second I will consider putting this in my or my family's mouths' by considerable margins without me noticing. Those items, of course, have to go in the trash or the compost pile, and that tears a little at my soul. Every can or box that hits the trash is like an actual dollar bill in my head. Goodbye dollar bills. I'm so sorry I wasn't a good enough steward to keep you around.

Before it gets too melodramatically parsimonious in here, I only ended up pitching like six or seven items. That's pretty miniscule in comparison to my huge stockpile of food. I had to part with a can of crushed pineapple that expired in 2005 (um, 2 years before we MOVED it to this house, fyi), two boxes of crappy assemble the pieces oven meals that none of us liked (and which should have gone to the food pantry, but didn't make it), and a handful of oatmeal packets from 2006. I'm pretty sure that oatmeal is still ok, but it had little apple pieces in it and they weren't so great looking and ... well ... for peace of mind, I suppose, in the compost bucket they go.

There is still, of course, expired food in my pantry. There always will be. Do not let this be some kind of educational tutorial on food safety, though. There is no safe set standard for eating food past it's expiration. I've just figured out what I am and am not comfortable with over time. I used to dump the milk two days before it expired, for the record, because the thought of turned milk (which I was convinced happend at 12:01 on the expiration day, if not before) makes me want to hurl. I just try to use my best judgement. I don't risk things that could probably kill us, like poultry or dairy, but I regularly open a new box of cereal or granola bars that were 'best by' 2007 and are doing just fine in 2008. Don't follow my rules, though. I don't want a bunch of comments about how you spent the weekend chained to the toilet because you ate rotten hoisin sauce or some such thing.

Throwing out food will always bother me. It's probably that "There are starving kids in Africa" thing that my parents pulled on us 20 years ago. They were right, though. There are starving kids in Africa, and South America, and Iowa. That's part of why I live the way I do, and blog about it (the other part is pure self indulgence ... lol). I don't ever want to be ok with wasting resources. I want to feel bad about it. That's what keeps me true to the mission at hand.



17 April 2008

I *heart* free stuff.

So, I went shopping.


That tends to conjure up visions of credit cards and great glossy paper shopping bags. Not here. I don't use credit (anymore), and we use cloth bags someone scored for me from the Women's Expo plus the two recycled boat tarp ones I bought at IKEA. (For the record, Em loves some IKEA ... I'll be there tomorrow actually, muahahaha) There have been some particularly wonderous sales and specials lately, and that plus my adoration of coupons can only mean one thing ... FREEBIES! Yay!

You can check out pictures of the glorious bounty, all laid out on the kitchen table if you like. It's one part bragging rights, one part way easier to put things away. I promise I tried to embed them, but PhotoBucket, Blogger, and I are having a wee tiff over sizing and pixel counts (and I'm not winning). Here's the link ... http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p239/NCB123bank/4172008002.jpg.

Are you itching for the nitty gritty details? If you're a coupon fan like me, you probably won't mind. If you think coupons are for old ladies, then you'll likely care less (and you're probably reading the wrong blog, fyi). First, what I bought, since I can't embed my stupid pictures.

2 Market Pantry Sugar Wafer Cookies
3 Market Pantry Vanilla Wafers
1 Giant Box of Wheat Thins (2 20oz bags)
1 box of Nutter Butter Soft Cookies
3 boxes South Beach Diet Woven Crackers
2 boxes of Icee and Freezee pops
6 bottles Dasani flavored water (thank you random display tear pad)
10 bottles Fuze (thank you Vocal Point BOGOs)
9 bags Purina Healthful Cat kitty food (FREE!)
4 boxes Whiskas Purrfectly Fish kitty food
2 bottles Pounce kitty treats
1 Haartz flea shampoo (on clearance at Target for less than 50c)
4 bags Meow Mix kitty Treats
2 bags Whisker Lickins kitty treats
2 bags Natural Temptations kitty treats (FREE!)
1 Beneful wet puppy food (FREE from a home mailer!)
2 rolls Reynolds Wrap
1 roll Target Cling wrap
1 Pur Fridge Pitcher (Reg. $29.99, Meijer price drop to $10.99 - $5 PG Pur q = Yay!)
2 Pur 3 Stage Replacement Filters for my sink mount
1 KY Touch Massage full size with back massager thing (Target clearance, FREE after q)
1 KY Touch Massage mini sampler (Again, free after q)
1 2count Jumbone
1 2count Busy Bone
6 Dry Cleaner's Secret packets (FREE!)
4 O-CelO Scrubber Sponges (FREE! and they rock, FYI)
3 Crest Pro Health toothpaste with FREE mouthwash attached
8 Dr. Scholl's for Her Foot Repair Lotion (pennies after Target clearance plus qs!)
1 Old Spice Clinical Strength with travel size attached (more Target clearance!)
1 Revlon Nail Polish (FAR!)
2 Revlon Nail Clippers
2 Colgate 360 Toothbrushes (FAR!)
2 Nature Made Rx Essentials Vitamins (FREE!)
3 NexCare Extra Large Bandaids (FREE! - found in Walgreens clearance)
4 One Touch Ultra Mini glucometers (FREE!)
5 small Aveeno hand lotions
3 large Aveeno Baby lotions
6 Glade Candles
2 Glade Scented Oil Candles
8 Glade Scented Oil Candle Refills (FAR!)
Plus a bunch of cold stuff and regular grocery or produce-y items that aren't pictured, like 10 packages of cold cuts from Meijer, etc.

Ok, so I spent $182.68. Wow, that seems like a lot of money now that I posted it. Ick. I do have a $400 per month grocery budget (and a family of five) so it isn't so awful in comparison. The money I used is actually left over from last month. I haven't even tapped into this month's cash yet. I never ever spend the whole $400 in *one* month, but shhhhh, that'll be our secret.

On the other hand, I saved ... $539.86, bringing my savings for the month to $1438.91. Yay! Doesn't that make you want to dance out of the grocery store? Ok, well, it would if it was your $1400 being saved. I have to stop myself from skipping more often than I'd like to 'fess up to.

Now, I have to go figure out this Suave Walgreens deal before it ends. A frugal girl's work is never done. Muahaha.



14 April 2008

Set Up Sunday

I like to figure things out ahead of time ... who needs to go where, what we're having for dinner which night, what needs to be prepped or defrosted, etc. I unfortunately do not the greatest at this set up and have a tendency to scramble things together at the last minute increasing both my stress level and my underlying desire to order take out.

PT: Tuesday and Thursday afternoon
Post Office: Tuesday, taxes ... booo.


Goulash, steamed veggies, and garlic bread.

Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, veggies, and crescent rolls.

It's World Cuisine Wednesday! This week is mongolian bbq style stir-fry with rice or tortillas. I'm also thinking of making fake crab cream cheese wontons. I wish I had fresh bean sprouts ... boo.

Ham steak, au gratin potatoes, stuffing, cauliflower gratin, and biscuits

It's Fry Friday! Fried fish, cut belge frites, mushrooms, cheese sticks, and blooming onions. Can we just rename it Heart Attack Friday? Maybe we'll even fry up some green beans. Yum.

Pizza of some variety or another ... I'm not sure on the crust yet and we don't have much in the way of toppings, but I'm determined to overcome those measly obstacles because everyone loves pizza!

Whole roasted chicken, potatoes, roasted carrots, fresh biscuits, and layer cake. Mmmmm, cake. I *heart* cake.

13 April 2008


Ah, the glorious first post in a new blog. Yay! I've long been pondering both the feasibility of a new blog based on frugality and my desire to make it happen. The 'ayes' seem to have it, and here we are.

I come to frugality as a mindset. I very much believe that we are all entrusted to be the best possible stewards of our resources, be they natural, man made, or financial. To that end, I try to consume less and recycle or reuse more. I've been on this journey for quite some time, and luckily many of my regular endeavors have become habits that don't require enough thought to make me rationalize not doing them. There is much improvement to me made, however. We use cloth grocery totes (when I don't forget them in the car). We recycle every possible item we can (when someone doesn't get lazy and pitch a cardboard container when I'm not looking). We use coupons and rebates to save as much on groceries as is possible (when I don't get lazy while shopping and buy frozen pizza for that night's dinner). It's an ongoing growing process, but I'm getting there.

I hope you decide to hang around and keep reading, if you've happened by. I'll try to keep it interesting.