March in Review

I am giving a huge sigh of relief as I type this.  March was a long and busy month but I honestly don’t feel like I was overwhelmed by it. The best news of all is that we are ending the month on a good financial note. I still have to pay for pool dues for the year but other than that yearly expense, we are on track. We did not make major gains this month but we did not have major loss either.  Personally I have spent several days this month working in the yard and even managed a walk one day. Spring appears to have finally arrived as well. The weather shows highs around 70 for much of the week.  We did turn off the heat on Thursday, so my fingers are crossed for an entire month without heat or air.

Financial- We are attempting to use a cash only method for the first six month of the year in order to get us some better financial balance.

  • Total paid to credit card debit $2096 total reduction in credit card debit approximately $200. Amanda purchased a new washer and dryer that she is paying for and has already covered over half of it. It is very difficult to get a good read on the actually numbers but we are basically at the same level of debit as we were in January. Slow and steady progress is the best method and unlike last year, in which we started increasing our debit in March and never looked back.
  • Grocery budget $475- Total spent $726.27. Yikes, I did spend extra to purchase ground beef and had several trips to stock up on good deals. I have already discussed with Matt that we will be on a purchase only if we are out grocery budget for April.  I am allowing my self 2 exceptions, chicken breast from Zaycon at the end of the money if we have enough remaining out of the very small $100 budget and purchasing Suddenly Salad if they go on sale for $1 or less a box.
  • Gas budget- $280- Spent $261. This is really impressive since this was a 5 week month.
  • Kid/Summer expenses : uggh lets just say Lily had a 3 night play that was $9 a ticket and Zach started Baseball along with several field trips and the purchase of year books for Zach and Kendall. I really don’t feel like finding a number but it was all covered.
  • Earned $100- this is indeed a much lower amount than any of the previous months I have tracked but it is still extra money and I hope to see this number double in April.

Personal- 

  • Blogging- 11 for the month. Super busy this month. I initially set the goal for 20 but 15 may be more realistic.
  • Exercise- 4 total days for the month.  a goal of 15 but not sure if that is realistic or not.

Monday Mania 3/26/2018

We SURVIVED!  Our busiest week of the Spring if not the year was last week. We managed to get everyone to their events and only ate out one  time as a family. I did eat out on Tuesday night but that was planned. My plan is to post some picture this week but we know how things go around here.

Kendall enjoyed her first “Battle of the Books” competition and even got a autographed book from her favorite author.

Zach was the catcher at his first baseball game of the season. Unfortunately, his team lost 10-9 so they only played one game in the tournament. Zach will be playing catcher all year!

Lily participated in the Lexington Youth Theaters “Happy Days” musical. We attended all three shows!

Matt and I both worked and managed to keep the house from falling down.

We had thought that tonight (Monday 26rh) would be the first night at home for everyone in several months but Matt was called in to work. So even with this week being much slower than last week. Everyone will not be home together until Friday night. No wonder I am tired.

Saving on Saturday 3/17/2018

I mentioned yesterday that we had purchased a trailer of mulch. The cost of the mulch was $15. I was totally amazed at the amount of mulch that we received. Here is a picture of the trailer AFTER I worked on spread for a couple of hours on Friday night.

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This was a picture of the mulch uncovered about half way through Saturday. F04326A2-961B-4E22-97B5-3DD6D659BC09

I have never purchased mulch this way before. I am used to purchasing by the bag at Lowes.  I would have been able to purchase approximately 7 bags at Lowes during the best sale which is $2 a bag. This was ALOT of mulch. We were able to apply mulch to all 3 flower bed around the house in addition to the two areas in front of the building and the new area I started in front of the kids play house.

8FAE3612-7839-48E7-A581-43F5C55CAFDC57878C0A-03E0-47E6-9DC4-B9A4B5CD62EFFinally I decided to add mulch around the square foot garden and mulch in the area directly beside several of the beds. I have been doing some research and the mulch should help maintain the temperature better, hold water and prevent weeds.

E46F18F3-8B5C-4FE1-8ABA-913F6A383F0E 0AE1EE75-92D9-4434-90C3-8D57D61F9780 EA87F234-42A5-4F78-B7FC-7EE2F7774505I will admit defeat, I was unable to use the entire trailer of mulch, left approximately a fourth of the mulch for someone else.  It did take a lot of effort or more accurately plain old hard work but we saved over $200 in mulch.

Five Things Friday

  1. We have made it halfway through the month of March.  I am so excited to say that we are on track financially for the month!  We have spent $371 for groceries and $153.70 for gas.
  2. Both the vans had an oil change this week and Matt was able to change the brakes on his van.  This was one of the expenses we used our tax return for.  Even better he stayed under budget.
  3. Next week is quite possibility the busiest week of the year.  Kendall has her Battle of the Books. Zach has a preseason baseball tournament. And Lily play starts on Friday night with longer practices every night.
  4. I decided to go ahead and purchase new glasses as I am starting to have trouble seeing. I purchased from Zennni Online.  The total cost was $131. I am very anxious to try them.
  5. We purchased a trailer of mulch today. More details hopefully to follow…

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Menu Plan Monday-3/12/2018

I ended up with half a snow day today so decided to add dessert and homemade mac and cheese to the menu. Both turned out well and we (the kids and I) spent some quality time together.

Breakfast- Saturday-Cereal and left-overs , Sunday- Breakfast bowls (leftovers turned into burritos) , Monday Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday- Choice of cereal, eggs or left-overs, Thursday- Baked oatmeal

Lunch- Saturday- left-overs  , Sunday- Stuffed Green Pepper soup , Monday- Pigs in a blanket. The kids are taking 2 day of sandwiches and 2 grab and go days.  I plan to eat at work a couple of times this week as they have my favorite sandwich.

Dinner – Saturday- Ground beef enchiladas , Sunday- Breakfast including gravy and fried eggs.    Monday- Chicken Nuggets, mac and cheese, pears and peanut butter cookies, Tuesday- Leftovers, Wednesday-Hamburger Helper, Thursday- Country style steak or chicken from Costco, Friday- Pork chops or pulled pork.

Seven Things On Saturday- 3/10/2018

  1. My work schedule for the past several weeks has literally been insane. I am working most days from 8am till 5:45pm. I have to leave at 5:45 in order to pick up Lily from practice at Lexington Youth Theater.
  2. Yesterday, was a very long and stressful day. Our good friend experienced a stroke. We are praising God that he has regained all movement and is expected to make a full recovery.
  3. I spent most of the morning working on bill paying and update our budget. I am happy to say that we have survived! Our state tax return came in and with that I finally feel like we are on a solid financial track. We are still working on paying for summer camps and pool dues but those are the only extra expenses I see from this point forward.
  4. Our cable was scheduled to increase by $35 dollars this month. Matt and I are in agreement that we can not continue to pay so much for internet, cable and home phone service. After 3 separate phone calls, we managed to keep our favorite television stations and increase our internet speed but reduced out bill down $60. We are losing our home phone but in the end this works well for us.
  5. Zach is playing spring baseball, we have purchased a new bat and glove. We are very fortunate that he has been loaned the gear to play catcher. I am most definitely ready for warm weather and baseball.
  6. Kendall will be completing both her sign language club and Battle of the Books this month. This will definitely allow for more home time.
  7. We are expecting (predicted) to have one last winter event Monday. I am so ready for spring.

A Very Expensive Day

I often post about how I save money but today I am going to share about why it is important that we save everywhere we can.

Today, all three of the little kids have eye appointments. The appointments are in Greensboro, which is approximately 30 minutes north,   The first stop of the day is Costco.  We needed to fill my van, $26.50.  We needed to pick up several spices and I found a new dress that I love !    Total spent is $58.70. By 10:30, we have already spent $85.20.

Actual eye appointments cost because we have to see a specialist out of network, is $225.   The reason for going out of network is simple, there is currently not a provider in network.

Lunch is a requirement because it is 12:30 and every one is hangry.  We agreed on Mo’s Southwest Grill.   Each of the kids ate an entire kids meal, guess I miss the days of one kids meal for all three,   Our total for lunch $38.70.  Total at 1:30pm is. $348.90.

Now that we are civil again, we are headed to VisionWorks to purchase glasses,  VisionWoorks has a special Buy One Get One Free.   The original plan was for each of the kids and me to get a new pair of glass.  The estimate for my pair was $630 so we decided to order online.  Zach ended up with 2 pair for a total of $299.95 and both the girls got a pair for $229.

The final stop is Costco to order Lily,s contacts.  Lily,s total is $177.95

Total for day= $1054.90,   Yes that is expensive,

Saving on Saturday

Find out the day that your local supermarket reduces the meat and that is when you shop.

I can honestly say, I have heard of this  way to  saved money  but did not believe it was true until this week.  I had planned to shop at Food Lion this weekend due to Lunchables being on sale for $1 each. These are quick and easy lunches that my kids consider a special treat. In the past, I have been able to stock up on these just prior to school starting but that was not the case this year.  My mother was with us and helped to find some of the deals. I was able to purchase over one hundred dollars worth of meat for $66. This is a 40% savings on meat!

I grabbed several packets of thin steaks for Fajitas, a pack of steaks, several pack (ok 6 packs of chicken nuggets with cheese, meatballs and both chicken and pork bites.   These are not the typically way we would eat these items but I am super excited that we have a chance to try some new and different things without breaking the bank.

This meat deal could have not come at a better time for us as we will be purchasing a whole cow in the next 2 months in addition to 80# of chicken from Zaycon. But in the meantime we still need meat and the kids insist that they have meat at least 2 of the 3 meals

What good deals have you found lately? Leave a comment to prove you read!