Saturday, October 17, 2009
In the month of August my credit card company got in touch with me and we negotiated a much smaller amount of pay off since the account was so large (given the circumstances I jumped at the opportunity). So, I have been focusing on paying near $1k a month on that debt for the past 2 1/2 months and I am pleased to say I will be debt free on this account November 6th! That was my HUGE headache of a credit card so I am very pleased to be near done with it.
For another credit card I have been throwing every additional penny I have at it and am pleased to say that I will be making the final payment on it October 23rd! That's 2 debts down JUST LIKE THAT!!!
My other huge accomplishment was a credit card that I made a phone call to and discussed with them the situation and my ability to focus on debt and through that phone call we were able to lower my monthly payment as well as lower my APR by nearly 1/5 of what it previously was. Yes, it had gotten this bad but I am okay admitting it because I am doing what I can to CORRECT the situation. So, I am able to cut my payment to this card in half and use that money to focus on a credit card with a much higher interest rate (I am skipping Dave Ramsey's theory on paying off the smaller balance first because of the interest rate issue).
So, with these above situations where will that put me? Well, I will have 4 of 7 personal debts that I will have completely paid off as of 11/06/09. I will post the amounts off all of this debt after I am paid off but I will say that so far I have nearly paid off over half of my debts. This will help me stay focused. I should be able to have one more paid off by the end of the year which will be WONDERFUL. I will keep this posted as I update my amounts. It's okay to admit you have lots of debt...most all do.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
So, on to more important things. I haven't even been shopping that much lately. I haven't gotten a Sunday paper in months and I have donated my "stockpile" to the parents while I am living here. So, since they haven't had much storage on their shelves I have been paying out of pocket for meals more than I like but NO MORE! I have refigured my budget to be back on track. Look for more posts as I work my way back into "normalcy."
Sunday, March 1, 2009
This was mostly my pre-planning I listed in an earlier blog plus a couple of extra items.
Items not noted anywhere else in this blog are:
Formula 409 2.50SP - 1.00 MQ (todays paper) = 0.50 ea
Amount remaining for March $80.93 (I will have to deduct about $12 once I repay a friend for some chicken she bought me at Sam's this weekend. I would have needed it this month anyway). It was $1.97/lb.
I still need to buy some trash can liners, light bulbs, and some dog food so we are going to be using most of our budget VERY early this month!!! Good thing I have another $5/25 purchase coupon that is good on 03/11/09. I checked Homeland's circular (came in the mail yesterday) and it is slim pickings on coupon savings for my family next week so that will help since I don't need to be spending anyway...~~WHEW~~
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Baskin Robins - free ice cream cone Click Here to sign up for their birthday club
Lonestar Steakhouse - free $15 coupon on your birthday. Just sign up for their e-club.
Red Robin - free burger on your birthday
Marble Slab Creamery - free birthday surprise (ice cream of sorts)
Joe's Crab Shack - free appetizer w/purchase
Macaroni Grill - join the mac pack (possibly free dessert w/purchase)
On the Border - free food?
Red Lobster - $5 food coupon
Quiznos - free cookie
Orange Julius - free food (their nachos looked good on the site)
Buffalo Wild Wings - free dessert
Fuddruckers - free shake w/purchase
Schlotsky's - free sandwich
Sephora - 2 wks before/after your birthday stop in with this printout and pick up your gift
That's a good start. If you know of any more please add them as a comment (thanks) and I will add them to the listing I have... :)
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
2 Hellmann's Light Mayo 2.99 SP - $1/1 IP = 0.99 ea
1 Dole Romaine Salad Mix 3.19 Reg P - 2.19 (reduced) = 1.00
1 Fritos 2.00 SP (needed for dinner)
1 Roma Tomato for salad 0.24 Reg Price
3 Del Monte 50% Less Salt Veggies 1.35 Reg P - 0.75/1 IP = FREE
3 Kotex Liners 1.29 Reg P - 0.75/1 MQ = FREE
6 Campbell's Cream Soups 1.00 SP - $1/2 IP = FREE
Add in the $1.00 off your next shopping order catalina that was on one of the closed self checkouts on my way out the door after one of my transactions (my 2 year old stumbled across it) and you have a pretty great deal!
Don't know if anyone noticed this or not but I have a TON of Kotex Pantiliner coupons that I need to use by 03/07/09 (somewhere around 30). One problem with buying coupons on Ebay is that you have to be committed to actually go to the store that many times within the expiration period. It is harder than you think. I have made several trips to buy pantiliners and I am almost half way done with my stack. I figured I would buy them and then donate some to the W.I.S.H. (Women in Safe Homes) in my town but oh my gosh is this more work than I realized! I am still dedicated though...
Money left for February $3.36
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I did have to stop in for a few things this afternoon and one of them was (dun dun dun) pull-ups. I was just going to buy one package but then decided that I needed two of them to get the "good deal" (save $2 when you buy two before my $2/1 coupons) so I bought two and split the amount between February and March (since I didn't really need them anyway but couldn't justify paying a higher price of $1 per pkg just to keep under budget). This was a judgement call on my part and only now after adding up the month did I decide that my decision (with myself) was a good one. So, I am actually under for February by 7.83 and have used 9.40 of March money. My rules were $125 a month but this was only a guideline so I am still within reason even if I count this in my total. I might still have a receipt somewhere that hasn't been counted in but I am crossing my fingers that I don't.
1- 14.5 oz can Petite Diced Tomatoes (0.25/can)
1- 40z can sliced mushrooms (1.29/can) Not purchased on sale
1/2- can black olives, sliced (1.49/can so 0.75) Not purchased on sale
1- medium zucchini, sliced and quartered (0.84)
1/2 onion, diced (maybe .10- purchased 6 per bag for 1.25 not too long ago)
1 large chicken breast (got this free from a neighbor- farm raised...yum)
1 box Ronzoni Smart Taste Pasta- Rotini Shape (FREE)
1/2 cup mayo (after this next purchase this would be about 0.15)
1/2 cup Italian Dressing (1.00 for bottle so maybe 0.25)
1/2 cup shredded cheese (0.63? 2 cups per bag)
1. Cook pasta and drain pasta. Set aside.
2. Saute together zucchini and diced onion in pan with maybe 1 Tbsp butter. Set aside.
3. Grill chicken and let rest before dicing.
4. Mix separately with a whisk the mayo and Italian Dressing (you may only need 1/3 cup of each--to taste)
5. Place all ingredients together and combine until well mixed.
6. Top with shredded cheese and then let cool.
This pasta is great served right then after cooling in the fridge with a slight chill. It is even better the next day for lunch. This makes quite a bit and is filling so it may be something you want to take to a family gathering this summer. The thing I love best about this pasta is that it is versatile. Add what you want and delete out what you don't like of my ingredients. Enjoy!
Cascade Action Packs 3.99 SP - $1/1 P&G Mailer or $1/1 Feb P&G MQ = 1.99 ea
Keebler Sandies Cookies 3.00 SP - $1/1 IP= 1.00 ea *
Frito Chips/Bean Dips 2.00 SP - $1/2 (not dbld) store catalina = 3.00 (1 chip and 1 dip)
Ronzoni Bistro 2.45 SP - $1/1 IP = 0.45 *
Ronzoni Bistro 2.45 SP - B1G1 Free (comb w/above) = FREE
Egglands Cage Free Eggs Doz 1.99 SP - .50/1 MQ = 1.00
Hellman's Light Mayo 2.99 - $1/1 IP = 0.99 (GREAT Deal) **
Kotex Lightdays Liners 1.29 Reg P - .75/1 MQ = FREE
Post Cereal 1.67 ea - $1/2 MQ = .67 ea
Chex Mix 1.69 SP - $1/1 IP = FREE *
Hiland Butter Sticks 1.69 SP (just a good deal)
Era Laundry Detergent 3.99 SP (just a good deal)
Borden Cheese Slices 1.59 (just a good deal)
Campbell's Cream Soups 1.00 SP - $1/2 IP = FREE ***
Del Monte 50% Less Salt Veggies 1.35 RP - 0.75/1 IP = FREE ***
Rubbermaid Containers 2.31 Clearanced - $1/1 IP = 0.31 ****
*I looked but these coupons are not availabe for Internet Printing anymore...
** Got this off of http://www.afullcup.com/ under the Homeland Forum for this weeks timeframe
*** Got this off of http://www.moneysavingmom.com in one of her blog notations this week
****I think this is at www.rubbermaid.com (I will ty to post the exact location later)
This is what I have found so far. I may be doing multiples of the cookies and cascade since I have the extra coupons. I try to send the cookies overseas to my brother and the dish soap is always a necessity. I also have a $5/$25 transaction so I will get as much as I can for this amount. I have another one that is good starting 3/11 so I am excited about this. I seem to get these coupons 1-2 times per year and its always like Christmas when I do. I think I do enough business at Homeland using my One Card so they mail them to me. I also love when I get coupons in the mail from Braums. I still have hamburger meat leftover as well as a bit of chicken so we should be good to go. Always could use more so I hope to find some marked down... :)
I went to the store in 4 transactions to get the above. Here is the breakdown of the prices I paid:
Sara Lee Bread 1.79 SP (bought for trxn below)
Hiland Half Gallon Chocolate Milk 1.69 SP -1.00 Tearpad Q (comb w/bread) = 0.69
Chex Mix 1.69 SP - $1/1 IP = FREE
Country Bob's 1.99 SP - Free Coupon in Mail = FREE
Aquafresh Toothpaste 1.00 SP - .75/1 IP = FREE
Campbells Cream of Chicken Soup 1.00 SP - $1/2 = FREE
Ronzoni Bistro Pasta 2.45 SP - $1/1 IP = FREE
Ronzoni Bistro Pasta 2.45 SP - B1G1 FREE (comb w/above)= FREE
Lightdays Pantiliners 1.29 Reg P - .75/1 MQ = FREE
Dawn Soap 1.99 Reg P - $1/1 P&G Mailer = FREE
Cascade Rinse Aid 3.69 Reg P - FREE P&G Mailer = FREE
Keebler Cookies 2.50 SP - $1/1 IP = 0.50
Olives 1.49 Reg P (needed them for dinner- new recipe)
Sliced Mushrooms (canned) 1.29 Reg P (recipe)
Borden Shredded Cheese 2.49 SP (recipe)
Daisy Sour Cream 1.00 SP (just needed)
Nabisco 100 Cal Oreo Cakesters 2.50 SP - $2/2 = 1.50 ea
Hormel Pepperoni 1.00 SP - .35/1 MQ = 0.30
Crescent Rolls 2.47 SP (reduced down for dating) = 0.99
Earthgrains Wheatberry Bread 2.59 SP - .55/1 MQ = 1.49
Fresh Zucchini 0.84 (recipe)
Williams Chili Seasoning 1.00 SP - .25/1 MQ = 0.50
Pepsi 1.25 SP (hubby wanted)
2 pkgs Huggies Diapers 11.49 ea or 2/20.98 - $2/1 for each pkg = 8.49 ea
(I will be so happy when we are finally potty trained)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
So, the great thing about this is that I paid for my first transaction of almost $7.00 (I went over just a hair but under $1.00)--will fill in the exact amount as soon as I remember where I put that silly receipt. :) The second transaction I had all ready to go (complete with Pull-ups and Goldfish crackers...that mysteriously ALWAYS go missing from my pictures...) and then my dad proceeded to tell me that groceries were free for daughters today...isn't that soooo sweet!!! The total of the items he bought me ended up being $22.20 ($11.00 of which was the stinkin' Pull-ups). The breakdown of the receipt is that I/he saved $30.35 (60% off). I am not including this in my monthly total as it was a gift even with my coupons.
Chinet Plates SP 2.50 - $1/1 IP= 0.50
Pillsbury Savorings SP 2.99 - $1/1 IP= .99
Farm Rich Battered Mushrooms SP 5.99 - $1/1 MC= 3.99 (I LOVE these but they are usually 8.19!!!)
Pepperidge Farm Bread SP 2.50 - $1/1 IP= 0.50
OR Popcorn SP 1.66 - $1/1 IP= FREE
Olay Ribbons Body Wash SP 2.99 - $1/1 MC= .99
Kotex Lightdays RP 1.29- $.75/1= FREE
Ocean Spray Light SP 2.50 - $1/1 IP= 0.50
Puffs SP 1.00- $0.25/1= 0.50
There were a couple of other things that he paid for but I sent home with him even though I used the coupon. Its about helping everyone out so I am so thankful that he did unexpectedly. I am now only a few cents over my budget although I was already planning to dip into February Money!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Item Missing: 12pk Dr. Pepper (this always happens when I do pics)
Breakdown OOP 12.84; Savings 23.82
3lbs Hamburger Meat @ 1.69lb
Colgate Toothpaste SP 1.50 -.75 MC (x2)= FREE!
LD Crispy Treats SP 1.45-.55 IP (x2)= .35
Suave Shamp/Cond SP 1.00ea- 1.00/2 MC (x2)= FREE!
Raisins 14 mini pkgs SP 1.00ea- 1.00/2 MC (x2)= FREE!
Fiber Plus Bars SP 2.00-.75 IP (x2)= .50
BC Scalloped Potatoes SP 1.00- .40 IP (x2)= .20
TGIF Spinach Dip SP 3.95-1.50 Catalina Coupon= 2.45
12pk Dr. Pepper SP 2.96
I always feel like I have to justify each purchase so I bought the pop for storage at my desk at work (canned pop is .65 ea) and lately I have been having crazy Dr. Pepper cravings (NOT pregnant) but this will still save me money vs. "the machine." The TGIF was a complete impulse buy but at least I had a coupon. I am a sucker for Alfredo based Spinach Dip and with our budget there is not much eating out so I am satisfying a craving without experiencing 2 year old at a restaurant issues (you all know what I mean- I used to wait tables and OH the stories). I think the raisins would be a good Valentines Day Party treat for my lil' mans 2 year old daycare class and at FREE, why not? The crispy treats at 0.35 will get shipped overseas in my brothers Valentines Day Care Package. Part of having is giving, right?
Money Spent for January: 118.97
Money left in Budget for January: 6.03 (only 4 days to go!!)
Here are most of the items before packing:
My two year old (almost three) wanted to help with the packing. It is so important he is a part of this. He actually asked if he could send Bubba (his uncle) some of his snack he got at the store (the oatmeal creme pies)...
Here we are packed to go, with shipping at $11.95 for the box I try to stuff it as best I can. We are going to do another box this weekend for Valentines Day. Shipping time is approximately 7-10 days so if I ship on Monday the 2nd it should arrive in plenty of time :)
1 80z pkg Cream Cheese (softened)
1 can Hormel Chili (preferred brand but up to your preference)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or blend)
In a shallow dish (I usually use an 8 inch clear pie plate) spread the cream cheese along the bottom, follow with the chili, and then top with shredded cheese. Place this in the microwave until the shredded cheese on top is melted (or do so in the oven) and then serve with tortilla chips.
*Note: this can be made ahead (cover with saran wrap and place in fridge) and then just wait to heat until you are ready to enjoy!
No more shopping for me unless it is light bulbs but I think they can wait until Sunday when I get my next months budget started (I borrowed bulbs from the bedroom light fixture which was a bit bright anyway). I have some Hellman's Mayo Coupons that expire on the 31st so I will be debating this purchase (better to stay under budget or to stock up when a coupon expires?). I will wait to debate this one amongst myself.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I also got some coupons in the mail today for Kotex Lightdays Pantiliners (I bought them on Ebay) but this is because I can now figure my OOP (out of pocket) expense will only be the tax for each pkg so its a good deal even for the $3.00 I spent for the coupons on Ebay. I will have enough pantiliners when this is all over said and done to last me over a year (maybe 2) and I will be able to donate some at the end of the year as well...GOOD deal.
Well, beyond that I am going to have to get some dish soap for the dishwasher and I also might need to pick up some more Huggies Pull ups as well as milk. I am going to try and strech this last bit of money to make it. It is only FREE items for me until next month unless it is a necessity.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
What does our $125/month budget call for??? It calls for groceries, necessities, toiletries, hygiene, our sons pull-ups, dog food, and mostly anything that we would normally have to get at Wal-mart. This does not count underwear, my regular make-up (I will include special buys but I use a particular make-up and will not change this so it is in a separate budget line), clothing, etc.
Will I go over some months? I will try my ABSOLUTE BEST to not go over this budget while trying to stockpile for certain things. If there is a great deal I may but it will be minimal and I am sure some months will be a bit under so it is not exact but pretty darn close.
Where will I get my coupons? Well, most of them are from the internet because stores I shop at allow them. I do buy (not religiously but I am doing better) a Sunday Paper each week (this does NOT come out of my budget). Also, if it is an everyday item that I can get for free or near free I have felt it okay to purchase coupons on Ebay, etc. I know some people are against this but I also know that those people MAY purchase more than one Sunday paper. Since I don't want to spend $1.50 per copy to get the paper and only use 2-3 coupons out of each I would rather spend the $3-4 on the internet and get 1-2 sets of coupons for the things that we use most often.
ex: I (like most other women) use pantiliners. Now, most of us know that these things for a fairly decent box at Wal-mart are like $7.00 (guesstimate here). I would rather spend $3.00 on the internet purchasing 30 or more coupons to get 0.75/1 any size box coupon. This coupon will allow me to get the 22ct box at my Homeland (which doubles coupons up to $1.00) for free. So, now I can get 660 or more pantliners for $3.00 or so. This works for me but ONLY on free products that are shelf stable and we use in our home regularly...not just because I saw it. It is easy to get crazy with the Ebay thing...trust me.
I am hoping to put posts in here for Monthly updates on what we got as a sum so I hope I stay consistent!
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
1 can Whole Kernel Corn (drain off water and refill can...reduces sodium)
1 can diced tomatoes w/green chilis
1 can chopped green chilis
1 lb. Hamburger Meat, cooked and crumbled (from the freezer)
1/2 onion diced and sauteed, optional
1 can Petite or Regular Diced Tomatoes
1/2 can black olives, sliced
1/2 pkt. Taco Seasoning
1/2 pkt. Dry Ranch Dressing Mix
2 cans (30 oz) water or broth (I usually do a combo)
Toppings (our preferences):
Tortilla Chips of any kind (crushed)
Shredded Cheese (cheddar blend)
Remaining Sliced Black Olives
Tomatoes if we have them
Combine all ingredients (except Hamburger Meat) into pot on stove. Let cook to a slow boil and reduce to simmering for 15-20 minutes. Add in Hamburger Meat and let simmer another 10 minutes. Let rest a couple of minutes then serve with the above toppings or see below.
Common Substitutions we do:
2 cans tomates w/green chilies instead of additonal can of green chilis and tomatoes
Some people like diced avocado on top of their taco soup
If you like it hot I suppose you could add Jalapeno or Chipotle Chili but with this one we don't so its kid friendly.
Add/Substitute all you like...we just do what we feel like each time!
2 boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix (around $0.45 a box)
1/2 cup Milk
1 Tbsp Vinegar (sometimes I omit this)
1 can Cream Corn
1 can Whole Kernel Corn (drained)
Mix all ingredients above and place into oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour 10 minutes.
I usually make this once a month since it is so cheap and easy! More if it is a tight budget month.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
1. Make time for myself at least once a month. I need a break and have overlooked treating myself in the last 3 1/2 years (pregnancy, motherhood). I need this for my sanity.
2. A lunch date at least a month with my girlfriends whom all work different schedules.
1. Potty train my 2 1/2 year old before his 3rd birthday in mid April.
2. Play outside more in the warmer days. I kept my little one in quite a bit for his immune system before now and I think it is time to evolve a bit more. Make a park play date at least twice a month.
3. Read more to my little one. We started Charlotte's Web on New Year's Day. I would like to read him at least 10 books this year similar to this.
4. To go with #3, my son loves the library. I would like to make a commitment to take him there at least twice a month (once a week if we can fit it in).
5. I make dinner most of the time because I like to cook so I am going to set my goals to cook once a day 5 days a week.
6. Send my brother a package to his station in Afghanistan (he just left Jan. 8, 2009) once every payday (biweekly). I already have the boxes and custom forms ready. I will try to get my parents to do my off week so he is receiving items regularly plus he will hopefully have enough to share the wealth. One man with Toilet Paper could very well be the best friend of another man...or so my theory believes. :) Good thing I am doing couponing to be able to afford all these packages (26 of them)!!!
7. Write down one thing my son does each day that amazes me, funny things, not so funny things (messes mommy gets to clean up) and share a few of these with my brother so he can not feel left out when he gets back home. My son is 2 1/2 now so by the time my brother gets home he will be 4. They grow up so much in that timeframe.
1. Work out my annual cashflow budget (just my finances) down to the penny of what my salaried check will be. I have this done two ways. One for my monthly spend for each of my bills. Then I broke this down by paycheck so I know exactly what I am paying and when. (I finished this on the first and got paid on the second...it was SOO nice to have this laid out because my brain is usually fried at the first of the month. Because of the above I will now be able to do the following in 2009 (pending no major changes):
--Pay off my car in May 2009 (this is when it was set to finish anyway)
--live on our budget of $125.00 a month on average of food/toiletries expenses for 2009.
--Pay off one credit card, most of another, and 1/2 of a third in 2009. (see a few lines down..may be able to finish off all three)
--Save and actually keep my savings this year rather than spend on other things.
--Because of above I have actually set up two additional savings items this year: Emergency Fund and Car Maintenance/Repair Fund.
--I have a flex spending account for health care as well as dependent care (day care) so I do not have to factor health care amounts into my spending. Doctor visits and medicine are not included in my budget because of my plan. I have factored in regular payments to my sons daycare as if I were not being reimbursed for half of it. I will try to use the reimbursements ($2,500 or so for the year) from dependent care to cover more credit card bills or place into savings. Either would be nice.
--I would like to save some of the above money to fly to meet my brother when he returns home to his base in NY in 2010 but that is only if I can afford it. Hoping I can!!!
My Brother joined the Military (did this once already but had to discharge due to injury at Basic)
---He will leave for Afghanistan on January 9, 2009, please pray he will have a safe and life fulfilling time learning and being more wordly overseas.
My sister moved home with my parents. She has two beautiful daughters and this move caused them to go to our Alma Mater High School...good thing. :) Our dryer died just before she moved out so rather than buy one we "borrowed" hers until she gets a place of her own again.
Our son started potty training (officially) on December 31, 2008...
My husbands sister had an eventful year (leaving it at that) but it appears she has found happiness through the storm by the end of 2008.
We used up our savings throughout the year on the small things that kept hitting us. We did fix the dryer before it died again, got a pen out of the toilet (early potting training lesson for our 2 year old), recharged the Air Conditioner, fixed the hot tub partially (needs a bit more work and TLC but it is a start), repainted/remodeled (wallpaper removal and mudding) the first bathroom as well as the kitchen, started our son in daycare 14 weeks earlier than our budget planned for ($$$$), and I am sure a few other things that I either forgot about or blocked from my memory.
My work building was damaged in the storm on July 3rd so we relocated to our warehouse until remodeling was complete the week before Christmas. Total remodel and it looks GREAT!
This just about sums up the year for us. My 2009 goals will be posted just after this one. :)