Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tuesday's Food 3/30

Breakfast: eggs, toast, juice

Lunch: matzo ball soup we were sent home with from last night

Dinner: french toast with blueberries, sausage

Snacks: carrot sticks and broccoli, raisins, almonds, graham took animal crackers and raisins to school

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Monday's Food 3/29

Breakfast: Oatmeal, juice

Lunch: vegetable soup and canned peaches, husband took soup and sandwich to work

Dinner: Passover Seder at a friend's house

Snacks: bananas, carrot sticks, took animal crackers to school

Monday, March 29, 2010

Meal Plan 3/29 - 4/04

Monday: Passover Seder at a friend's house!

Tuesday: Roast chicken, roasted potatoes and carrots, green beans

Wednesday: Breakfast! French toast, sausage, fresh fruit

Thursday: BBQ chicken sandwiches, oven fries, corn

Friday: Quesadillas

Saturday: Spaghetti

Sunday: We'll be at the inlaws!

Get more inspiration and menu plans at!

Sunday's Food 3/28

Breakfast: Pancakes, bacon, blueberries (I still have a ton of blueberries frozen from last summer!)

Lunch: Leftovers

Dinner: Ended up at the in-laws, so free dinner! Birthday cake at home!

Snacks: Bananas, animal crackers, popcorn

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Saturday's Food 3/27

Breakfast: Eggs, bacon, toast, orange juice

Lunch: Cream of broccoli soup, tuna sandwiches

Dinner: Pork chops, glazed carrots, steamed broccoli, mashed potatoes

Snacks: Popcorn, graham crackers, applesauce, animal crackers

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Friday's Food 3/26

Breakfast: Eggs, toast, bananas

Lunch: Macaroni and cheese and applesauce for Abby, I had a frozen Healthy Choice meal, husband took sandwiches

Dinner: Chicken stirfry w/broccoli, carrots, snow peas, and onion

Snacks: Bananas, cinnamon toast, canned took animal crackers to school

Friday, March 26, 2010

Trying something new...Friday's Blog Hop!

I saw this on a few blogs I follow, and have discovered some great new blogs!

MckLinky Blog Hop

Grocery Shopping Week 4

I have nothing spectacular this week...there were no fabulous sales, so we ate a lot of frozen veggies this week. I also have no pictures because my husband took my battery charger to work to replace it and has not brought it back!! (He works in a electronics store) I'm feeling pretty good about my $20 weekly grocery budget experiment! I have one official week left to go, and I still have a pretty full freezer and pantry! I also have not touched all my bottle returns (Michigan .10 cent deposit) and there's probably another $17-18 sitting in my garage. I pretty much suck at remembering to take them back to the store. Ok, on to my totals:

Orchard Market:

2 gallons milk $2.50 each
- (2) $1.00 off store coupons
- (2) $.55 off Country Fresh milk manufacturer coupons from last Sunday's Smartsource

Coffee $3.15

2.47 lbs bananas $1.46

3 lbs carrots $2.79

Total spent $9.30


2 Oscar Mayer bacon $1.97 each
- (2) $1.50 off manufacturer coupon

Broccoli $1.32 (was .99 cents a lb)

Lumberjack bread $ .87

Total spent: $3.13

Dollar General:

2 bags animal crackers $1.25 each

1 box graham crackers $1.35

Total Spent: $3.85

Total Spent for Week 4: $16.28

Grocery budget left: $18.08
Total spent for the month: $89.91

Check out more great shopping trips at Money Saving Mom, I Heart Publix, The Frugal Freeloader, Southern Savers, Saving A Bundle, the Coupon Saving Game, and The Thrifty Mama!

Don't forget that today is mega Swagbucks day!

I've already won 60 Swagbucks this morning, just for searching for Facebook and my bank! If you don't know what Swagbucks is, you can read about it here!

Thursday's food 3/25

Breakfast: Oatmeal, bananas

Lunch: Frozen pizza, carrot sticks and broccoli w/ranch for dipping (the husband also was home for lunch)

Dinner: Tacos

Snacks: goldfish crackers, bananas, chips and salsa

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Wednesday's food 3/24

Breakfast: cereal, oranges

Lunch: Leftover pot roast and veggies

Dinner: McDonald's *hangs head in shame* Due to a little black squirrel committing squirrelicide on a power company's substation, we lost power at 5:15. We could have had sandwiches, but we didn't.

Snacks: Cheese, toast, carrot sticks, oranges

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tuesday's Food 3/23

Breakfast: eggs, toast, blueberries

Lunch: spaghetti-o's and canned peaches for abby, tuna melt for me, the husband took leftovers to work

Dinner: crockpot pot roast with carrots, potatoes, and onions, broccoli

Snacks: applesauce, crackers, raisins, took wheat thins to school

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday's Food 3/22

Breakfast: Oatmeal, blueberries

Lunch: Tuna sandwiches, mandarin oranges

Dinner: spinach/garlic/cream cheese stuffed chicken breast, wild rice, steamed broccoli

Snacks: peanut butter crackers, applesauce, took goldfish crackers to school

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meal Plan 3/22 - 3/28

So I've found that I don't really like planning for specifics days. I do like to know what I'll make for the week, but I've found more than a few times that when the day rolls around, I don't want to eat/make what I've planned. This week I have a few days where it has to be specific because of time constraints, but the other days, I'll have some options. I also don't plan lunches, because a lot of the time it's leftovers, but four kids in the house, I never know how much I'll have. Some nights they all eat like linebackers, and I have nothing left! I'm still working with my $20 weekly budget and am amazed by how much food is still left in the house!

Monday: Spinach/garlic/cream cheese stuffed chicken breast, wild rice, broccoli

Tuesday: Crockpot pot roast with potatoes, carrots, onions

Thursday: Hamburgers, oven fries, broccoli

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday:

Pork chops, mashed potatoes, peas
Chicken stirfry

Sunday is up in the air, because it's my husband's birthday. The only thing I can count on right now is birthday cake.

For more menu plans and inspiration, check out!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday's Food 3/21

Brunch: Pancakes, eggs, sausage, juice

Dinner: Greek salads

Snacks: Popcorn, bananas, apple slices with cinnamon, goldfish crackers, cheese

Saturday's Food 3/20

My plans changed for husband surprised me with a date night! AND he still had a gift card his boss gave him for Christmas, so we had a nice dinner out and only spent like $10!

Breakfast: Crepes with sweetened cream cheese and blueberries

Lunch: Leftover buffet

Dinner: OUT! The kids had chicken nuggets, tater tots, and applesauce

Snacks: Goldfish crackers, bananas, carrot sticks, plus I heard that they got into the chocolate chips while we were out and made an entire buffet of chocolate dipped stuff (pretzels, graham crackers, etc)

Wow. What a horribly unhealthy day for the kids, lol. I guess one day won't kill them.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Grocery Shopping Week 3

So again, I was over my $20 weekly budget this week. I'm not going to beat myself up over it though, because I had a couple pretty rare coupons for meat and produce that were going to expire. I had a $4 off a $15 meat purchase coupon and a $1 off a $4 produce coupon that my husband found at Meijers. Bless his little heart, he's GREAT at finding coupons that people drop or leave at the register. I've trained him well. (Just don't tell him I used the word "trained"!) I also got back my Rite Aid February rebate check, so I'm adding another $7.99 into my grocery wallet. Here's my recap of this week's shopping:

Orchard Market:

Eggs $1.89
- $ .75 off store coupon

2 gallons milk $2.50 each
- (2) $1.00 off store coupon

4 1/2 lbs bananas $1.77

Total spent: $5.91
(I can't find my receipt since I wrote this down, so no picture of this one)


1.40 lb onion $2.19
3.69 lb pork roast $5.87
3.72 lb beef chuck roast $9.26
1 bag fresh spinach $1.00
4 Valley Fresh Steamers broccoli $1.00 each
- (4) $ .50 off one manufacturer coupon
2 boxes Brown N Serve sausage $1.00 each
- (2) free item (Meijer was having their 10 for $10 get the 11th free sale, these ended up being my 2 free items)
2 boxes Bagel Bites $1.00 each
- (2) $1.00 off manufacturer coupon
2 bags Dole salad mix $1.00 each
- $1.00 off two manufacturer coupon
3 Kellogg fruit snacks $1.89 each
- $1.50 off manufacturer coupon from Vocalpoint
- (2) $1.00 off manufacturer coupon
4 boxes Honey Nut Cheerios $1.99 each
- (2) $1.00 off two manufacturer coupons
1 Lay's potato chips $1.99
- $1.00 manufacturer coupon
14 Yoplait Yogurts $ .50 each
- $1.00 off 8 manufacturer coupon
- $ .50 off 6 manufacturer coupon
- $1.00 automatic off for buying 10
3 Goldfish crackers $1.00 each
- (3) $ .75 off manufacturer coupon
4 Chex Mix $1.00 each
- (4) $ .50 off manufacturer coupon
4 Betty Crocker potatoes
- $1.00 off two manufacturer coupon
- (2) $ .40 off one manufacturer coupon

- $2.00 off your next order coupon from a previous purchase
- $3.50 off a $45.00 order coupon
- $5.00 off a frozen food purchase coupon
- $1.00 off $3.00 cereal purchase
- $1.00 off $4.00 produce purchase
- $4.00 off $15.00 meat purchase

Total spent: $24.04

Total spent for Week 3: $29.95

Grocery budget left: $34.36
Total spent for the month: $73.63

For more great shopping trips, check out The Grocery Cart Challenge, Money Saving Mom, and Frugal Follies!

Friday's Food 3/19

Breakfast: Cereal, bananas

Lunch: Peanut butter & Jelly sandwiches, apples

Dinner: BBQ Ribs, potato salad, green salad, steamed broccoli

Snacks: Chex Mix, bananas, oatmeal/choc chip took chex mix to school

Friday, March 19, 2010

Thursday's food 3/18

Breakfast: yogurt, bananas

Lunch: tuna sandwiches and apples, husband took leftover chili (I made a LOT!)

Dinner: chicken potpie, peas

Snacks: Chex mix, carrots and broccoli dipped in ranch, applesauce, took chex mix to school

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wednesday's food 3/17

Breakfast: Yogurt and toast

Lunch: Cheese quesadillas, carrot sticks, applesauce...husband took leftovers to work

Dinner: Coney dogs, oven fries, salad

Snacks: Cereal, yogurt, took cheese and crackers to school

Tuesday's food 3/16

Breakfast: Eggs, toast, juice

Lunch: Leftover chili

Dinner: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, sauteed spinach, green beans, homemade rolls

Snacks: Apples, cheese and crackers, peanut butter took fruit roll ups and pretzels to school

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

How my no-spend month is shaping up...

It's been hard, I have to admit. It's really been hard to not take advantage of all the deals I've come across. I've had to stop looking at all the sale flyers, because they're just too tempting. There have been two things that have helped me though. The first is that going into the month, we had some planned, deliberate spending. We knew we had the kid's school carnival, and we knew that we were going to take them to the roller rink. Having those things to look forward to made it easier to not spend before then. The other is swagbucks! If you aren't familiar with swagbucks, you can read about it here! Thanks to that, I've had $50 sitting at Amazon, waiting for me to use. I went to use my steamer basket the other day and found it missing. I really don't know how a steamer basket up and walks away, but I'm pretty sure one of the children in this house does. Thanks to swagbucks I was able to get a new one, along with a can organizer for my pantry, plus curb my shopping itch, for FREE! Can't beat that!

Monday's Food 3/15

Breakfast: Oatmeal, orange juice

Lunch: Frozen pizza, husband took soup and sandwich

Dinner: Chili, cornbread, green salad

Snacks: carrot sticks, apple slices, cereal

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meal Plan for the week 3/15-3/21

I'm still working on my $20 a week budget, so I'm working a lot out of my pantry and freezers. Two weeks in, and I've barely touched the freezer in the garage! I'm going to pull some stuff out of there this week...

Monday: Chili, cornbread, salad

Tuesday: Roast chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, sauteed spinach, rolls

Wednesday: Coney dogs, oven fries, salad

Thursday: Chicken pot pie, peas

Friday: BBQ ribs, cole slaw, potato salad

Saturday: Leftover buffet

Sunday: Greek salads

For more menu ideas, visit!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sunday's Food 3/14

Breakfast: Oatmeal pancakes, sausage, blueberries

Lunch: Leftover pot roast and veggies

Dinner: Hotdogs, chips, carrot sticks, apple slices

Snacks: Bananas, goldfish crackers, raisins and nuts, big pretzels at the roller rink!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday's Food 3/13

Breakfast: stuffed french toast (blueberries and cream cheese)

Lunch: tuna sandwiches, fritos, carrot sticks, applesauce

Dinner: BBQ chicken drumsticks, chicken noodles, peas

Snacks: peanut butter crackers, cereal, bananas, apples

Grocery shopping Week 2

I went over my $20 budget this week. I'm not too worried about it though, because I was way under last week. There were a couple of things I had to get...toilet paper (for the first time since a fabulous sale in January!) and my husband needed deoderant, which he told me about at the last minute. My husband also went shopping with me, hence the fritos. I was happy to get out of there with just the fritos, I think he's worse than the kids! I have no pictures of the actual shopping, life was too hectic when I got home and stuff had to be put away!


2 boxes bandaids $3.64 + .10 tax
- (2) $1.00 off Target coupons
- (2) $1.00 off manufacturer coupons

Total: -.26 (yep! they paid ME .26 cents!)

Orchard Market:

2 gallons milk $2.50 each
- (2) $1.00 off store coupon

1 gallon chocolate milk $1.99
- $1.00 off store coupon

1 dozen eggs $1.69
- .75 off store coupon

Charmin Basic 12 big roll pack $4.99
ketchup $1.29
3 lbs apples $1.99
10 lbs russett potatoes $1.99
1 bag salad mix $.88
broccoli $2.21
2.58 lbs bananas $1.52

Total paid: $20.10


Excedrin $4.99
- free coupon!
3 bottles Frank's Redhot $.99 each
- (3) free manufacturer coupons from last week's paper
2 jars Taco Bell salsa $1.85 each
- $1.00 off 2 Meijer mealbox coupon
- $1.00 off manufacturer coupon from All You magazine
1 bottle Kikkoman soy sauce $1.56
- $1.00 manufacturer coupon from Kikkoman game
3 loaves Aunt Millie's bread $9.57
- $6.38 (buy one, get two free sale!)
3 Aunt Millie's hotdog buns $9.57
- $6.38 (buy one, get two free sale)
4 boxes Barilla whole wheat pasta $.89 each
-(2) $1.00 off two manufacturer coupons
2 bags Fritos $1.49 each
1 jar applesauce $1.79
2 sticks Right Guard deoderant $2.29 each
- $.50 off one Meijer coupon
- $2.00 off two manufacturer coupon
1 bag Dino bites frozen chicken nuggets $2.99
2 bottles Dial hand soap $1.00 each
- (2) $1.00 manufacturer coupons
2 packages Oscar Mayer hotdogs $3.00
2 bags Ore Ida tater tots $5.00
- $2.00 instant savings
- $1.00 off two manufacturer coupon

I also used:
$3.00 off a $30 purchase coupon
$1.00 off your next order coupon from a previous purchase
$2.00 off your next order coupon from a previous purchase
$5.00 off a frozen food purchase from a previous purchase

Total spent: $13.52

Total for the week: $33.36

Grocery budget left: $56.32
Total spent for the month: $43.68

You can find more great shopping trips over at The Grocery Cart Challenge, Frugal Follies, and $5 Dollar Dinners!

Daily Menus Tuesday through Friday 3/09-3/12

It's been a crazy week here in our house. The kids all had no school on Tuesday, there were more dentist appointments, we're still down to one car, we finished up wrestling for the boys, we had a school carnival...that's just part of it. I think I need a nap!

Tuesday's Food:

breakfast: bagels/cream cheese, orange juice

lunch: cheese quesadillas and mandarin oranges, husband took leftover stirfry

dinner: salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans

snacks: granola bars, carrot sticks, raisins

Wednesday's Food:

breakfast: bagels/cream cheese, bananas

lunch: leftovers from last night's dinner, husband took this as well

dinner: spaghetti with italian sausage, garlic bread, green salad

snacks: kids took pretzels and fruit roll ups for school, apple slices, cheese and crackers

Thursday's Food:

breakfast: cereal, bananas, orange juice

lunch: leftover spaghetti, husband also took to work

dinner: pulled pork sandwiches, oven fries, broccoli

snacks: carrot sticks, mandarin oranges, cinnamon toast, kids took granola bars to school

Friday's Food:

breakfast: eggs and toast

lunch: hash made with leftover pork, potatoes, and carrots, husband took sandwiches

dinner: pot roast with carrots, potatoes, onions, and a salad

snacks: apple slices, bananas, granola bars

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday's Food 3/08

The kids had another half day today, so they were home for lunch and dinner. Except Girl One, who is 12, and would rather spend all day and night with her friends. They have no school tomorrow, so bonus weekday sleepover! Annnnyways, here's what we ate:

Breakfast: bagels with cream cheese, orange juice

Lunch: Chicken nuggets, oven fries, carrot sticks, apple slices (the last of the apples!) Husband took sandwiches to work.

Dinner: Garlic chicken/asparagus stirfry (I threw in a can of water chestnuts and some carrots, too)

Snacks: peanut butter crackers, raisins, Chex Mix...the boys also each took a fruit rollup to school this morning

This week's menu...3/8-3/14

I'm going into week 2 of my $20 weekly grocery budget experiment. My menu this week will be a little different...I know what we're having tonight through Wednesday. The rest of the week will depend some on what produce deals I can score tomorrow when I go shopping, and what will need to be used up first, so I'm not sure of the order we'll be eating the rest of the meals.

Monday: chicken/asparagus stir fry

Tuesday: Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, green beans (cooked with bacon in the bacon grease I saved from this weekend) Save your bacon grease! I keep a jar of it in the fridge, and use to cook green beans, fry eggs in, etc.

Wednesday: Spaghetti with Italian sausage, garlic bread

Rest of the week:

Pot Roast with potatoes, onions, carrots
BBQ chicken drumsticks
Pulled pork sandwiches
Mexican night...either tacos or enchiladas

For more menu plans and inspiration, check out Menu Plan Monday at!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday's Food 3/07

Breakfast: Oatmeal (we usually add a little butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, almonds, and raisins...yum!)

Lunch: Leftover pork and mashed potatoes from Friday plus steamed carrots. My husband also took this for lunch at work.

Dinner: Baked chicken breast with bacon, cheddar cheese, and ranch dressing, cauliflower/broccoli/carrot blend (frozen), stuffing

Snacks: popcorn, chocolate covered pretzels that Girl One made, apple slices

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday's Food 3/06

My husband was off again today, so this fed all six of us today.

Breakfast: Oatmeal pancakes, orange juice

Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup

Dinner: Bacon and asparagus omelets for most of us, scrambled eggs and bacon for the picky one, toast

Snacks: almonds, frozen blueberries, carrot sticks, pretzels

Betterthanchocolate Roasted Broccoli

Yum, yum, yum. That's all I can say about this. And it's soooo easy to make! If given the choice between this broccoli and cake, I would choose this. Ok, maybe it depends on exactly what kind of cake you're giving me, but seriously. This is good. All you need is:

Olive Oil
Lemon juice
Parmesan cheese

That's it! Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil (makes clean up EASY!).

Cut up broccoli into florets and put in a bowl. (I also cut up some of the stems)

Pour some olive oil over the top, throw in some salt and pepper, and toss to coat. I don't measure anything. You want enough olive oil to coat all the broccoli, but you don't want it drowning. I go fairly light on the salt because the parmesan you add later is also pretty salty, and I also go fairly light on the pepper just because I'm not a huge fan of it. But this is your broccoli, so you can use as much or as little as you want.

Spread the broccoli out on the foil lined pan. You want as much broccoli as possible touching the pan.

Put in oven and roast until the broccoli is browned and fork tender. You want the brown parts, trust me. That's the part that has carmelized and is a little crunchy, and oh so good.

After you've taken it out, sprinkle with lemon juice and parmesan cheese, and toss. Again, to taste. You of course can be all fancy and use fresh lemon and freshly grated parmesan, but all I had on hand was one of those squeezy plastic lemons and canned parmesan. It's all good.

That's it! This broccoli is so good that even my two broccoli hating children will eat it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Shopping 3/05

I ended up needing milk today, and had to have my husband stop for it since we're down to one vehicle. I normally don't spend more than $1.50 a gallon, thanks to my very local grocery store. They have printable coupons all the time for $1.00 off milk, and they always have milk on sale for $2.50. B didn't have a coupon with him though, so we had to pay the full $2.50. I have no picture today, but I'm pretty sure you all know what a gallon of milk looks like.

Grocery budget left: $89.68
Total spent for the month: $10.32

Friday food 3/05

I finally got my better-than-chocolate roasted broccoli!! I honestly could eat this every day, all day. I took some pictures tonight, and will post my recipe tomorrow. Soooo easy and sooooo good! The kids had a half day again today, and my husband had the day off, so all the meals cover all of us today.

Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, bagels with cream cheese, orange juice

Lunch: Bean burritos (which I made earlier and had frozen), chips and salsa, apple slices

Dinner: Pork roast with a maple/soy glaze, mashed potatoes, betterthanchocolate roasted broccoli, corn

Snacks: celery with peanut butter, cinnamon toast

I was so excited from my broccoli, I forgot I also made brownies today, so we had those for dessert!

I've also been asked what we drink, and unless I specify, the kids usually drink milk with meals. During the day the kids drink either milk or water. I make a big pitcher of iced tea every few days, so after my morning coffee, I drink that and water. I used to have a HUGE diet coke/pepsi (I wasn't picky!) addiction, but I gave that up a couple of months ago and now only drink it occasionally.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I won! I won!

I won a silicon basting brush a few weeks ago from Kikkoman and it came today. It's so much nicer than I thought it would be! And I played again today and won the spoon rest! I've also gotten buy one get one free soy sauce coupons a couple of times. All you have to do is click on the "I don't have a code" button and they'll email you one immediately. So I know it's kind of lame to be so excited about this, but I NEVER win anything! The game goes through April 30 and you can play every day!

Whoo hoo!! I just played again and won the stainless steel kitchen tongs! They seem to be pretty generous with their prizes! I'm going to end up with a whole Kikkoman kitchen!

Thursday food 3/04

So I really, really wanted the broccoli I bought yesterday...I have a way of making it that I swear I could eat every day. But I had some tomato and lettuce that I had to use up today, so I had to make the tacos tonight. *sigh* Can't waste food, right? The older kids had a half day today, so lunch was for them, too.

Breakfast: cereal, apple slices, milk

Lunch: Macaroni and cheese with ham and peas, cucumber slices, carrots...husband took sandwiches

Dinner: Tacos made with ground beef, beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, and salsa

Snacks: Almonds, raisins, cereal, apples

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Wednesday's food 3/03

I had Girl One home sick from school today, which threw my dinner plans off somewhat. Maybe it was doing all the extra laundry that comes with a sick kid, or maybe it was just being surrounded by sick kid cooties all day, but I just didn't feel like cooking much tonight.

Breakfast: Bagels with cream cheese, oranges

Lunch: PB&J sandwiches, cucumber slices, carrot sticks, grapes for two of us, chicken broth and Vernor's for the sickie, husband took leftovers

Dinner: Pizza Rolls, carrot/celery sticks, apple slices (told you I didn't feel like cooking)

Snacks: raisins, pretzels, cheese

School snacks: banana muffins

The $20 a week grocery budget experiment

Out of necessity I have adopted a $20 a week grocery budget for our family of six. My budget is actually running through the first week of April, so today I withdrew $100 in cash, and put it in my grocery-only wallet.

Included in this budget is all food, plus all "household"...toiletries, paper products, cleaning supplies, etc. I am starting out with both my chest freezer and the one in the fridge FULL. I am well stocked on meat/protein, and have a fairly nice sized stockpile of canned/frozen veggies, fruit, pasta, cereal, etc. I have $16-17 worth of bottles to return (thanks to the Michigan 10 cent deposit!). I will add that to my grocery budget, since paying the deposit in the first place came out of my original grocery budget. Even though this month it's neccessary to keep our grocery spending as low as possible, I am actually oddly excited. I love me a good challenge.

I went shopping this morning for the first time this month (which is why there isn't $100 in the picture above!). I bought:

5 lbs apples $1.99
3 lbs carrots $2.79
1.04 lbs asparagus $1.55
broccoli $1.49

Total = $7.82

I *may* need another gallon of milk on Friday or Saturday, but otherwise, I'm done for the week!

Grocery budget left: $92.18

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Swagbucks...if you aren't signed up, why not?

Swagbucks. I cannot say enough good things about this program! Swagbucks is a program where you collect what are called "swagbucks", just by doing the everyday searches you normally do. You just search through their search engine, and you randomally earn swagbucks. If you get people to sign up under your name, you also earn the first 1000 swagbucks *they* earn. The points add up fast. Since I joined, I've earned enough to get $110 in Amazon gift cards and also got my son Microsoft Xbox Live points as a Christmas gift. They have all kinds of prizes you can redeem your swagbucks for...from gift cards to musical instruments to cash! I always cash my points in for the $5 Amazon gift takes 450 points for one gift card, and the gift cards can just sit in your Amazon account until you want to use them. With no one signed up under me, and only doing a few searches a day, I usually get enough swagbucks to get 1-2 Amazon gift cards a month. I'm planning on holding on to them all for bonus Christmas spending! If you'd like to sign up, please consider signing up under me!

Tuesday's food and our grocery budget

I'm going to write a daily post of what exactly we're eating, and how we're doing on the $20 a week grocery budget. The grocery budget includes all food plus any household needs...toilet paper, soap, shampoo, etc. I'm starting with $100 because I'm also including the first week of April in this month's budget. I also have about $16-17 of bottle returns that will add on to that.(I'm in Michigan, with the 10 cent deposit) This is feeding 6 of us. Me and my husband, a 12 year old girl, a 10 year old boy, a 7 year old boy, and a 4 year old girl. The oldest 3 eat lunch at school, but I *think* they all have enough $ in their accounts for the month. I really should check that. Today I'll also add in what we had yesterday, since yesterday was the first day of the month. I'm also going to keep a running total of our grocery budget.


breakfast - cereal and orange juice, plus applesauce for my son to take his meds.
lunch - tuna sandwiches, apples, carrot sticks, milk
dinner - Italian turkey sausage with green peppers and onions over whole wheat pasta and a tossed salad (the sausage will be free after I get my Jennie O rebate back!)
snacks - cheese and crackers, grapes, and popcorn
school snacks for the oldest 3 - granola bars and fruit roll ups


breakfast - oatmeal and orange juice
lunch - leftover sausage, peppers, and onions, husband also took leftovers to work
dinner - grilled chicken breast, roasted broccoli and carrots, rice pilaf
snacks - apples, granola bars
school snacks - banana muffins I made over the weekend

Grocery budget: $100

My March Budget...putting it all out there

We have been hit with a $2500 car repair bill this month, so this will be a complete no-spend month. The car will be sitting at the shop until we have the money, which will probably still be a couple of weeks. We have expenses coming up in April that I'd still like to have the money set aside for beforehand, without having to dip into the bonus my husband will be getting on April 9. My goal is to pay all we need to pay this month, plus have the extra we'll need for the first half of April...our 10 year old son is going to Italy with my brother, and I'd like to have all his spending money set aside on top of everything else. He leaves April 13, so we'll have the bonus in time, but I'd really like to have it way before that. We also will be spending the weekend before that in Chicago, which is where he's leaving from, so I'd like to also have the money for that, too. So here is the nitty gritty:

$2800 - my husband is paid twice more this month
$1004 - state tax refund
$877 - money back from our health savings account for dental work and glasses we got last month
$343 - balance in checking
$644 - balance in savings

$5668 - total in for the month

$2500 - estimate for car repair
$155 - motorcycle payment
$35 - credit card payment
$65 - Direct TV
$25 - flute payment
$700 - April mortgage
$207 - prescriptions
$99 - trash bill (6 month payment)
$488 - car insurance (6 month payment)
$211 - car registration and license renewal
$300 - gas (the dead car left us with the gas guzzling Durango for my husband's commute)
$130 - gas (house, our heat is gas)
$85 - electric
$75 - phone/internet

$5075 - total out

That leaves us $593 for everything else. I have given myself a $20 weekly grocery/household budget. I have both freezers full and a fairly nice stockpile, so this should be do-able. I'm counting it as $100, because I'm also including the first week of April in this budget. That takes us down to $493 for 5 weeks of incidentals...on paper it looks ok, as long as we stick to our no spend vow. However, this has to include Easter baskets, a school carnival, and a promise we made to the husband is taking the boys to a movie on Friday afternoon, and I'm taking my oldest daughter to the salon for her haircut. My son will also need some new shorts and a pair of shoes before his trip. It will be tight, but I think we'll make it. I also will obviously not have all I need for Chicago/Italy, but I'm going through all the clothes and stuff in the house and doing some long overdue listing on ebay and craigslist. I'll chronicle our daily journey on our month of being broke, including our daily menus. Cross your fingers nothing else comes up!

I have NOT disappeared off the face of the earth!

February turned into one of *those* months. Boy One came down with the flu, then Girl One, then Boy Two, then Girl One again. I managed to break a molar and had to get that taken out, and while he was in there, the Dentist decided to get rid of my last two wisdom teeth. The boys also started wrestling two nights a week, my birthday and Valentine's Day were both thrown in there, and I've continued to help my mother in law out with my father in law, who is very ill. I just haven't had the time to sit down! This month is not shaping up to be much better...we just found out yesterday that it will be costing us just under $2500 to get our car repaired. My husband works half an hour away, so 5 days a week I'm without a car. It will probably be another two weeks before we can afford to get the car back. I will be writing a whole other post on that situation later today, along with our budget plan for the month. It will definately be a challenge...this will most definately be a no-spend month, and I'm only going to have a $20 a week food/hba/paper product budget for the entire month. I'll be tracking what I spend, and how we're eating daily on here, to help me stay on track!