June in Review

June has come and gone!  I am enjoying my summer off but to be honest, we are staying extremely busy it seems. We did not receive our new stove in June so that has added a little bit of  expense and stress. Braxton is staying with us lots which is always fun. We have enjoyed a family shopping day and several days in the pool. I am hoping for a less expensive and less stressful  July.

Groceries– budget amount is $650.   We spent a total of $1346.80 this month which included $800 for 1/4 of a cow. I am happy to say that our pantry and freezers are stocked up. The focus of July will be making some easy to prepare either just cook or throw in the crock pot.  The budget should also be alot less so it will help even out our spending.

Auto/ Gas / Insurance: . My goal is  $400 a month. $428.50. Gas prices are rising and we have made several trips to Durham to visit with Haley.   I may need to increase this due to cost but will wait and see,

Cash Envelope system-  I am going to say No to this.  We ended up shopping at the outlets.  I am happy to say that I was able to cover all expenses without incurring interest!

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month.  Post 15!   Success at last!

Goal # 5- Fitness– Goal is to exercise of some type at least 10 days a month.  At least there is improvement this month. I managed 5 days of 30 minutes of exercise this month!

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal-  Read or Listen to the entire Bible in a year. I have finished the bible podcast. Need to get back on track with this

Earnings– $45 in gift cards. I had my oldest spam email account hacked this month so I doubt that I will be able to continue this but it has been an awesome source of extra income.  Matt and I have discussed that my job in Guam is alot more profitable and I will continue to work this second job but at a much more limited amount!

No Spend Days- One is an improvement but I don’t count that as successful.  I will likely not stress over these until school starts in August. Summer is fun and spending~

July our full month of summer and fun- Here we come!

Monday Menu Post

Summer vacation is speeding right along!   And I do mean speeding.  We are now entering week 5 of no oven with still no firm delivery date. I did end up caving last week and had several meal out just because I was tired and did not feel like dealing with stuff. I also blew the grocery budget but I am actually proud of it. We purchased 1/4 of a cow or approximately 150 lbs of meat.  After our purchase we discovered that the wait for processing meat is currently at January 2022.   I feel like we got a great deal and the meat quality is absolutely some of the best we have ever had. This week we are going to focus on not eating out, and Kendall’s birthday!

Breakfast– Saturday-Cinnamon Roll waffles   Sunday- BLTs Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets. Pretty much you find it and make it!  I have a goal of making a batch of breakfast burritos this week but time will tell.

Lunch-  Saturday–Party! Sunday- Red Robbins  We have lots of garden produce from the Farmer’s market along with left-overs for lunch!

Dinner-  Saturday-  small pizza restaurant in Thomasville. It was ok nothing to repeat. .   Sunday-left-overs     Monday-Beef and Broccoli    Tuesday- Pasta salad at swim meet.   Wednesday- Grilled Chicken and salad or grilled veggies.   Thursday- Golden Corral for Kendall’s birthday   Friday-Pizza for Kendall’s birthday.

Monday Menu Planning

We are now entering week 4 of no oven. We did talk with Costco on Wednesday, who shared that our delivery date was scheduled for this week. On Thursday, we received an email with a delivery  date of next week. I am hopeful we have a oven prior to vacation at this point.    Better news is that I did not grocery shop last week. Matt picked up buns and Hawaiian rolls yesterday for a grand total of $1.92. The easy snack foods are gone but II am hopeful that we can at least make it this full week without a trip to the grocery store. My goal for the month is to keep grocery spending down to $550 which leaves $25 for a farmer’s market trip this coming weekend. So far none of our produce has been thrown out!!!

Breakfast– Saturday-bacon,  eggs, hashbrowns and toast.   Sunday-Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets. Pretty much you find it and make it!

Lunch-  Saturday–Left-overs   Sunday- Don Juans (Mexican) This week I am encouraging the kids to use up left-overs and eat sandwiches. We will plan to go out to eat lunch on Friday after swim team practice.

Dinner-  Saturday-  Domino’s pizza at the pool.   Sunday-Dteak um sandwiches on hot dog buns (huge win for not wasting)    Monday-Steaks and fried green beans   Tuesday- Chicken salad, pimento cheese or Egg salad   Wednesday- Hamburger and FF  Thursday- New recipe to try  Friday-Mexican rice and quesidilla


5 Things Friday- Spending

This will be a little different from my random post of 5 things. This time I am going to tell you 5 things that we have been spending money on this month.

  1. Mattress and box springs for Kendall- Kendall’s antique bed is technically a three quarters bed. It was given to me when I was single and needed a bed. Matt and i have been married 16 years so likely 20 years ago. The same mattress and box springs have been used the entire time.  Definitely time for an upgrade. Total spend $500.
  2. Shoes- We spent most of Sunday shopping. Even needed new shoes. We ended up with the following Matt a pair of dress shoes, Kendall a pair of sneakers and slides, Lily a pair of sneakers and Zach two pair of sneakers. Kendall and Lily both bought themselves a pair of Van shoes as well.
  3. Clothes- Lily will be going to school in January for the first time in 6 years. Kendall is actually taller than me and Zach wanted.
  4. Hair and nails- I ended up with a cut and color this week. In addition I am getting my nails done every 2 weeks over the summer.
  5. Swim stuff- All three kids are swimming this summer. New suits and googles were needed.

Thrifty Thursday

I have plans for tomorrow to share some things that we are spending money on this week but first I wanted to share some ways that we are saving money this week.

First up shopping at Dollar Tree.  I have discovered that for the boys and Lily, I can purchase body wash for $1 a bottle. This bottle last around 2 weeks so $2 for a month is much cheaper than $4 a bottle at most other places. I also buy conditioner just to change things up.  This trip I was able to grab sandwich bags and snack bags for $1. I am not anti-plastic but it does bother me to spend 5 or more cent on a bag that ends up in the trash after one use. I found fold top sandwich bags as less than a penny each so I am good with tossing each day. I did also purchase sandwich bags with a zip top to use for other things.   Snack bags will be used for freezing small serving such as 1/2 cups.

Ordering vitamins and supplements via Amazon. Both Lily and Kendall are on a daily iron supplement. I ended up saving 50% simply by ordering it on scribe and save on Amazon plus this allows me to order and forget about it!

I purchased a good bit of extra fruits and vegetables last week. Things have been slightly more hectic than I anticipated so we have not used up as much. Today, I made a new crockpot meal with sweet peppers. I also cut up and froze two bags of peppers and onions to be used in spaghetti sauce when our tomatoes start to come in.  3 cups of chopped celery was frozen. I discovered that I have purchased 3 bags of onions recently. So Kendall and I chopped up two bags to freeze. We ended up freezing 7 cups of diced onions. This way it will not go bad and they will be super convenient to use as well.

I was also able to use 5 small containers of vegetables that were sent to us from the school lunch program.  This cleared up space in our freezer and also made an awesome pork fried rice meal.

Sheets were washed and hung on the line to dry in order to save electricity.

We have eaten all dinners at home this week which is a huge savings.  I have eaten a couple of lunches out and one breakfast but these are much less expensive than even one dinner meal.

What have you been doing to save money?

Monday Menu Post and Summer Cooking

My first full week of summer vacation and week #3 of no oven. We have not received any confirmation of when our new stove will arrive but it was scheduled for this Wednesday. I honestly have not hope of this happening but….   I am definitely a cook for the weather, in the winter and fall I like “soup Sunday” and lots of warm comfort food. However in the summer, sandwich and salads please. This summer as with most summers we have a swim meet on 4-5 Tuesday evenings. I like to take lots of food with us because the kids swim hard and get hungry. The only down side is the prep time. This  morning (Monday) Lily, Kendall and I spent about an hour cutting up watermelon, cantaloupe, peppers and tomatoes.  We made a pasta salad for lunches and for dinner tomorrow which will also help make things easier in the morning. Things to remember as you look at the menu- NO oven, fully stocked freezers and pantry( I am refusing to go to a store this week). Zach is at baseball camp and we have a swim meet!

Breakfast– Saturday-breakfast croissants  Sunday-Cracker Barrel  – Breakfast bowls minus the gravy. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday-choice of breakfast muffins, eggs, pop-tarts, sausage, oatmeal, cereal or grits, breakfast burritos, or omelets. Pretty much you find it and make it! Lily is making shakes for breakfast.

Lunch-  Saturday–Left-overs   Sunday- Way Back Jacks  I assembled a pasta salad. We have lots of salad and sandwich stuff, I made Matt several burgers while I was grilling hot dogs. We have several items left from school lunches and you always have left-overs.

Dinner-  Saturday-  Girls Chinese, Boy-hot dogs at the ball game.  Sunday-Left-overs   Monday-Hot Dogs and fried green beans   Tuesday-Pasta salad or sandwiches  Wednesday- Pork fried rice(from freezer combined with school frozen veggies)  Thursday- left-overs unless I get motivated Friday-Soft tacos.

Grocery Shopping

As you are all probably aware our single biggest expense beside our mortgage has always been our grocery budget.  I think this is one of the reason that I am fascinated by grocery shopping especially reading about other people’s trips.  I have been keeping up with a grocery budget for 10 years now. When the kids were smaller our budget included diapers and 7 people which was around $850 a month. We have been able to significantly reduce our budget to $550. Last year during the pandemic, we spent an average of $631 a month for groceries. This included restocking most of our pantry and freezers in addition to everyone eating at home for 2-3 months solid. We did receive school lunches but by September even the kids were tired of the food.  This year with some focused effort we have spent an average of $383 a month for the first six months of the year. I decided to do some research and a “thrifty” budget for 5 people (kids over 10) is $822!  This makes me feel so much better! In addition, I can say that we are full our pantry and freezers both. This year I have been using Alexa to keep a running list of items we are out of. I have focused on purchasing these items and then sales.  IT WORKS!

I do want to share what my stock up trip to Costco looked like this week.  I spent $298.70 on Thursday at Costco.   This did include a 6 month supply of Tide Pods. They were on sale for 18 cent a load so instead of grabbing a single box I grabbed 2.  This was $40.  I also purchased AAA batteries which should last the reminder of the year but added $16 to my total. I grabbed 2 additional bottles of Pantene Shampoo that were not on my list which was another $15. Other sale items included 4 bags of chips/popcorn, and 2 boxes of chips for our beach trip.  I also grabbed a Rotisserie Chicken for dinner and croissants to use for sandwich for another $10.   The rest was spent on items I had on my list such as dish washer tabs and butter.

My goal for the rest of the summer is to keep spending to a minimum so that we can use any additional grocery budget to cover the purchase of our new stove!