Sunday, October 4, 2015

Challenge Update--The Shopping

I knew I needed to pick up a few items.  I stopped Friday after work and this is what I bought.

Sour cream 1.68
2 avocados .70
5 pounds of green grapes 5.03
Lays potato chips 2.50
Honeydew 1.50
Bananas 1.28
2 liter of generic soda .84
Cheddar cheese 2.47

Total of 16.06 for a remaining balance of 4.94

I needed the chips and sour cream for the dip and chips to bring to my friend's party.  The soda is a weakness of mine.  I lucked out on getting the grapes for $1 a pound.  I need to buy milk tomorrow as we will only have enough for breakfast.

Friday evening we had the crock pot chili I had made the day before.  I made pancakes from scratch on Saturday morning.  For lunch, the kids had tomato soup and fruit.  I had a salad.  I made vegetable beef soup from scratch on Saturday before we went to the party.  I knew there would be food but I also knew it would be a long time.  Thank goodness as we didn't eat until around 7:30 so we just had a snack at that point.  We had a light breakfast of fruit this morning and an early lunch of boiled eggs and pasta salad with peas and tomatoes.  We had nachos during the game and I made a pizza roll from scratch for dinner.

The one constant is that most meals are made from scratch.  I usually cook that way but I also plan for hectic nights with easier meals.

I will go over tomorrow with buying the fruit for my work breakfast but I'm okay with that.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Challenge Update

So far, we've spent nothing for groceries this week (my weeks run from when we get paid so it started yesterday).  Yesterday, we had leftovers and canned peaches for dinner.  Tonight we had a hodge podge for dinner, Mac n cheese and rice with veggies.  I made chili tonight that will go in the crock pot for tomorrow's dinner.  I don't think I've ever blogged about this but my secret to making crock pot meals during the week is a plugin timer.  If I start the crock pot right away in the morning, it is too long for most meals.  I plug it into the timer and set the timer to start around noon or whatever time I like.  This has greatly increased my use of the crock pot during the week.

For my neighbor and friend who just had the twins, I'm going to make a cheesy hamburger potato casserole. I have everything for it already and I think it will be easy for them to reheat at their convenience.  For my friend's birthday, I'm going to make bacon Bacon dip which I will need sour cream for and maybe chocolate chip bars which I think I have everything for.  I've made the dip before and she raved about it so it's fitting that I would bring it to her party.

I will need to buy fruit and milk this weekend.  That will pretty much exhaust the $21.

I did decide that its highly unlikely that I will be able to succeed at this challenge and include the money for the fruit for my work event.  I'm okay with that.  I'm obligated to participate in that because of my role at work and I do make a good income that comes with certain obligations.

I also talked to my very good friend in real life and she said she is going to do the same thing.  Like us, they do well but she is always looking for ways to save money.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

$21 Grocery Challenge

I read about a $21 Grocery Challenge for a week at Finally Acting Our Wage.  I am usually up for a challenge so I'm starting today.  I just read about this yesterday I haven't been to the store since then so I have not stocked up in any way.  I am doing it today through next Tuesday.

I do have a few events this coming week that will make this interesting.  My neighbor just had twins so I'm going to bring them over a homecooked meal.  It's my other neighbor's 50th birthday on Saturday so I'm going to bring over an appetizer or two.  To top it off, I'm supposed to bring a fruit dish to work next Tuesday for a breakfast appreciation.

This will certainly be a challenge.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Living Off the Land

This coming weekend we are going to visit my best friend and her family to make salsa and hang out.  I so look forward to it as she is just an awesome person and so much nicer than me.  She is an addiction counselor and believes in the best in everybody.  I will also see her parents, her two sisters and their families.

They all are the most self-sufficient people I've ever met.  They raise pigs for pork.  They have cattle for beef and a milk cow for fresh milk.  With the fresh milk, her mom makes her own cheese, yogurt and butter   They have sheep for mutton.  They have chickens for butcher and for fresh eggs.  They hunt deer for venison.  They have a large garden and can everything in it.  They also have apple trees, raspberry bushes and a strawberry patch.  They pick wild blueberries and chokecherries.

They have a separate cabin with a well pump and wood stove that they could use at any time in an emergency.

I seriously want to be like this.  Unfortunately for me, I don't think I could do all this and have a full time job or little kids.  I love the idea but I couldn't prioritize the time and energy to do this.  Maybe when I retire....  Lol!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Relaxing Sunday

I made wild plum jelly today for the first time.  We've had wild plums for a long time in our yard but I've never done anything with them before.  Lil G has taken to eating them whenever he can so it motivated me to try something with them.  I boiled and strained them last weekend.  I made the jelly today and canned it this evening.  The jelly tasted really good but I'm hoping it gets thicker as it cools.  I followed the recipe precisely so I'm hoping.  I made 5 pints so we should have enough to give away a couple as Christmas gifts.

Next weekend, we're travelling the 2 1/2 hours to my best friend's house for our salsa weekend.  I have the tomatoes peeled and frozen.  I also have plenty of hot peppers.  It will be a fun and busy weekend.  We are also going to her neighbor's wedding when we're there whom we've never met.  It's a little random but it is so like my best friend to accept a wedding invitation with the premise that her out of town guests would attend also.  She makes friends with everybody.

Both Y and I were paid this past week.  I was contributing 16% of my income to my 401k but after this last check, I dropped it to 5%.  That will allow me to still get the company match and I will still max it out this year.  I have about $1600 left to contribute to my 401k to max it out.  I also maxed out my Social Security match so that will be a 6.2% increase for the rest of the year.

I took another look at our goals for the year and I need to stay focused.  I will do another post about where we're at and what we need to work on.  I will say that if we did not have financial goals every year, we would be further behind financially from where we are.

Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Menu Plan

I have felt lately that we've been so busy that I haven't been cooking full meals for the most part.  I guess we're still getting back into the rhythm of school and kids' activities.

Monday--BLT's with cabbage salad
Tuesday--pork roast with potatoes in the crock pot and corn on the side.  Lil Punk has gymnastics so we're always scrambling on Tuesdays.
Wednesday--shrimp and veggie stir fry with rice
Thursday--taco salads
Friday--chicken and veggie quesadillas

I do need to pick up milk, fresh fruit and cat food.  I've noticed that we've been going to the store more often which always costs us way more money.  We need to get back to going weekly at the most.

I'm feeling tired and lethargic today because we went to a wedding yesterday.  We were there with our good friends that we don't see that often anymore.  We've moved away and we all have kids so we are definitely not partying anymore like we used to.  It was super fun to party like a rockstar but I'm feeling it today.

I wrapped up some huge things professionally last week so it feels like a load has been lifted from my shoulders.  I love the challenge of my work but I will take easier weeks when they come my way.

Have a good week, Y'all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Goal Completed

I completed a goal today.  I ran a 5k.  I wanted to stop and walk but I kept on jogging till the end.  I had about half a mile left and it was very hilly.  I was passed by a senior citizen, he must have been at least 70.  I figured if he was still running then I could push myself.  My goal was to run an entire 5k and I'm happy to be done.  I finished in 31.4 minutes.

In other not so good news, Lil G put my phone in the sink and turned the water on.  He was quite thrilled with himself and I'm just happy that my phone still works.  It now has water spots on the screen that I'm hoping go away with time.