Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November Update

I used to publish a monthly update in the first few days of the month.  The exceeding tardiness of this post is perhaps evidence of how busy I am at home lately, but I didn't want to skip it.  We had a little emergency fund progress that I wanted to report.

At the end of September we had 51% of our emergency fund saved and we had a slight increase in October to 53%. 

During November we had to dip a little into the emergency fund, but more on that in next month's update.

Love, Katie

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 47 - $283.84!

Wowee Groceries!  I felt like I shopped constantly this week as I tried to score lots of sale deals.

I went to Albertsons on Tuesday between therapy and well-child appointments for 2 kids.  I found Twinings Tea on clearance for $1.00/box, as well as microwave popcorn for $1.00/box.  Creamer was on sale for $0.99 and microwave dinners were $0.69 each.  DH asked me to buy a few to have on hand when there aren't dinner leftovers.  I also picked up bananas, pears, and  carrots.  I spent $31.89.

I went to QFC with DD#1 on Wednesday.  I wanted to pick up the 2# cheese for $5.99 and I found lots of other great stuff on clearance.  Large organic yogurt was on clearance for $0.99, small cups were $0.29, $0.49, & $0.49.  Neufchatel was only $0.49 each!  12 oz sausage patties were $1.99 each and hummus was $0.99.  The broth was $0.50 each.  I am using so much broth these days with the GF cooking that I decided I should be stocking up at the holiday prices.  I spent $42.13. 

Next I headed to Safeway for the Rice Krispies on sale 3/$5.  We were getting an oil change for the car on Friday so I took all 4 kids shopping at the Safeway next to the Jiffy Lube.  I had lots of coupons to combine with the sale items and decided to spend the $35 to buy the turkey for $0.69/lb.  I bought 6 boxes of cereal in total for an average price of $1.25 each.  4# C& H sugar averaged $1.61, Chex Mixes were $0.75 each, Chicken broth were $0.46 each, evaporated milk was $0.73/each, 3# grapes were $5.00, and Pam were $2.49 each, Ritz crackers (for party trays) were $1.62/each, and I paid regular price for a cucumber and sour cream.  Altogether I spent $55.24 including the turkey.

On Saturday I visited Fred Meyer as I didn't want to miss out on $2 Martinelli's and the International Delight creamer for $2.00 after MC.  I also bought 3/$5 Nabisco crackers and $2.00 ice cream.  I spent $24.50 after coupons. 

I almost never go to Haggen, but I'm sure glad I went this week!  I noticed, hidden on the back page of their ad, that Chex were on sale 4/$6!  Of course I had to go get that deal as GF cereals are so limited.  I scored some amazing clearance deals, too!  Lunchmeat was on sale for $3.00 each (with purchase of 4) so I was delighted to find 4 packages with $2.00 off coupons.  That made each 8 oz. package only $1.00 each!  Next I found lots of dented cans in the markdown bins.  $0.22 for white kidney beans, $0.30 for 5 cans of green beans (hello Thanksgiving casserole!), $0.28 black black beans, and $0.57 each for organic refried beans.  I also got applesauce cups for $0.15 each.  And I didn't get them into the picture, but I bought a dozen cans of olives for $1.00 each.  The cereal was an average of $1.25 after sale & MC.  Altogether I spent $29.89. 

I also went to Albertsons because they had butter on sale for $2.49.  Finally, some butter on sale!  They also had sales of $0.99 for 10# potatoes and $0.99 for 2# brown sugar.  I also got 3/$5 crackers again and clearance donuts & cinnamon rolls (see photo below).  I spent $18.69 at Albertsons.  I also put $6.00 veggies in this photo that I got a Target. 

Here is a photo of the olives, donuts, and cinnamon rolls that didn't make it into earlier photos.
The sales were so good at Albertsons I played hooky from church on Sunday morning to go to the Albertsons next door.  I have only found the GF corndogs at this particular Albertsons so I bought two boxes, along with the $0.99 brown sugar, 3/$5 crackers, and $2.49 butter.  I also got Coffeemate for $2.00 each after MC.  I spent $34.95.
 Finally, I made one more trip to QFC.  I was looking for a certain type of Pull-Up I'd seen on clearance earlier in the weekend and I found a package!  Foodwise I bought a pomegranate, some more cheese, ground beef on clearance, and some lollipops for $0.49.  Lollipops are such a good car snack because it keeps the kids occupied for a few glorious minutes.  =)  I spent $22.68 on food.
Milk was $12.87
Eggs were $5.00
Total Week 47 Groceries: $283.84!!!
Total Year to date 2014: $4,513.41
Weekly Average: $96.03 - a big leap from $91.95 last week!
I hope I spend far less this coming week.  I think the sales were just so spectacular approaching Thanksgiving I wanted to stock up.  In particular, we use so much brown sugar, butter, and coffee creamer that I felt it would be prudent to stock up. 
So expect a much smaller week next week! 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Neat Home Improvement Ideas

I  am not much of a Pinterest girl, but I sure like home improvement ideas.  I clicked through something on Facebook last week and found a cool page with lots of neat ideas, some of which I'd never seen before.

Click Here to see the page.

This was my favorite:

In particular I liked where some of the electrical outlets were tucked away and some ideas on using space between studs for storage.

Some were impractical and NOT resourceful, but for the most part were interesting.


Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 46 - $123.86

I went to Albertson's Monday when I had a half hour to kill.  I spent $12.46 on food including sprinkles for $0.25 each in black and orange, 2 bell peppers, 6 8-packs of Juicy Juice for $1.00 each, a dozen day-old donuts, and some day-old baguette rounds.

Tuesday night I ran down to QFC for lice shampoo (more on that another day) because DH was flying out early Wednesday morning.   While there I found lots of clearance Halloween candy - 5 bags for $6.45, a couple of pomegranates, and 4 packs of pepperoni.  I spent $16.45.

Friday I finally made it to Champion Foods in Issaquah.  Hooray!  I bought a 25# bag of GF Oatmeal.  It was $39.50, but I have been desperate for certified GF oatmeal so I splurged.  I also picked up 6 small bags of chips for a total of $2.00, some box mixed quinoa for $2.00 each, a new GF cracker for $1.50, and something else for $2.55 that I can't remember because I didn't take a picture.  I spent $51.55. 

And finally, I had an emergency run to the store on Sunday after church.  I had baked a pan of brownies for a potluck dinner, but found out at 10:30 the dinner was actually a lunch!  So I hauled 4 kids into the store and bought ice cream, whipped cream, and 2 toppings for our dessert contribution.  I picked up a loaf of GF bread (for DD#2 to use instead of a bun at the potluck) and I also got GF corndogs there because they're the only store I've found that carries them!  I spent $30.53. 

Milk delivery was $12.87

Total spending for week 46: $123.86
Year-to-date total: $4,229.57
Weekly Average: $91.95


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014 Week 45 Groceries - $128.49

I've been having trouble getting my camera to connect to my computer so no photos.  Rats!

And I'm behind in posting because we've been having internet trouble again, but I think it's finally fixed.  Yay! 

So weekly groceries:

I didn't shop until the weekend because I was waiting for my weekly household allowance that I usually give myself on Fridays.  So I went to QFC on Friday while I had a sitter for the younger 3 and found lots on clearance.  We got 4 packages of breakfast sausage links for $1.99 each, hummus for $1.99, a big organic greek yogurt for $3.49, an Adam's peanut butter for $2.19 and 8 bags of apples for $0.99 each.  I also got a pomegranate because my oldest daughter just loves them and a package of lunch meat for $3.49.  I spent $21.05 total.  I also noticed GF spice cake mix on clearance and it was a kind I already had at home, but hadn't tried so I didn't buy it.

Friday afternoon we made up the cake mix at home and it was delicious!  So I went back late that night and bought the remaining 4 packages for $1.99 each - really a bargain considering the cost of GF flour and how fast it is to whip up some cupcakes from a mix!  I also happened upon deli pizzas for just $2.99 each.  Whoohoo!  I bought 6 so DH would have easy dinners with the kids.  I also bought 4 containers of GF pizza dough (makes 4 servings each for DD#2) at $2.49 each, some naturally colored jelly beans for $1.99, and bananas at $0.69/lb.  I spent $39.13.

On Sunday I stopped at Fred Meyer for a couple things.  We were expecting company for dinner and I needed a couple things.  I ended up spending $51.48!  EEP!  I always find so many great things at Fred Meyer.  I bought ground sausage, brown sugar, a loaf of bread, parsley, 3 boxes of cereal, coffee, garlic, 2 creamers, a gallon of organic milk, 4 cans of olives, sour cream, clearance star pasta, and 2# shredded cheese.

I stopped at another QFC to see if there were more GF spice cake mixes on clearance.  No luck, but I did get clearance tomatoes.  4 bags at $0.99 each and about 9# total.  It was $3.96.
No eggs
Milk was $12.87
Week 45 total groceries: $128.49
Total year-to-date 2014: $4,105.71
Weekly Average: $91.24

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Resourceful Project - Washing the Lego Bin

A couple months ago one of the kids knocked my mug of coffee into our Lego bin.  After a few weeks I thought I should try to figure out how to clean up that mess, so I starting systematically cleaning the Legos in a lingerie bag in the dishwasher. 

Here's my bin when it was nearly empty.  I realized as I got down to the bottom that an occasional wash might be a good idea just because of all the gunk I saw had collected.  And NOT just due to the spilled coffee.  Ewww.

I used a laundry bag for the Legos in the top rack of the dishwasher.  Initially I had the kids fill the bag every day, but after a mishap with crayons melting onto clean dishes I decided to fill the bag myself.  Incidentally, it takes way more time to clean crayon wax off dishes than to fill a bag with Legos. 
I dumped each batch of clean Legos into another bin while I slowly emptied the regular bin.

It was really satisfying to see this sparkling bin though.  And nice to finally put the Legos back in their home!
Love, Katie 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gluten Free Menu Plan

Oi - I'm a day late in my menu planning.  And wouldn't you know it we had dollar hamburgers for dinner last night (chili for my GF kiddo).  Time to get back on the horse!

Tuesday - Scrambled eggs
Wednesday - Sausages, veggies, nuts
Thursday - Roasted Beet & Potato Soup (didn't make it last week)
Friday - potluck dessert
Saturday - Macaroni & Cheese Pie
Sunday - Mexican

Tuesday - Hot Dogs
Wednesday - Macaroni & Cheese Pie (GF Noodles)
Thursday - Chicken, cucumber, walnuts/almonds (packed lunch)
Friday - Nachos/Quesadillas
Saturday - Crockpot Taco Soup
Sunday - Leftovers


Monday, November 3, 2014

2014 Groceries Week 44 - $216.69

What is it about fall and spending a ton on groceries?  My aunt and I had a conversation last week about this.  She shared that in her parents' generation it was common to have fall stock-up sales and lots of "case" prices on canned goods for people to load up in preparation for winter.  We speculated that it was a holdover from our agricultural roots when food is harvested and stored to last throughout the year.  When storms that stranded people at home were more common and we weren't so spoiled with a visit to the grocery store every couple of days.  It was fun to speculate, but of course I don't really know why I keep spending so much.  I think I just like to be prepared! 

First up Fred Meyer to pick up eggs & bread.  My mama was coming to visit and she likes her breakfast.  I found some GF crackers and cookies on clearance to try.  I spent $27.95.

Next I went to Albertsons to pick up GM cereal that was on sale and included Chex - finally!  They were out of Rice, but I was happy with Corn & Apple Cinnamon.  I found shortening and a sugar-free apple pie on clearance.  I picked up bacon and Greek yogurt on sale.  I spent $27.33 altogether.

I popped into QFC for tortilla chips one day and found some dressing and sausage links on clearance.  I spent $6.66.

A different QFC yielded more clearance apples, another bottle of clearance dressing and clearance bacon.  I also bought a bunch of pepperoni, and spent $14.93.

The cord that connects my camera to my laptop disappeared about this point.  So while I have photos on my camera, you don't get to enjoy them on the blog.

DH and I had a big discussion about bulk buying chicken that resulting in my heading to Albertson's to ask about buying a case of boneless, skinless chicken breast.  They agreed so I spent over half of my grocery money on 40# of chicken at $1.79/lb.  I also picked up creamer, yogurt, nitrate free hot dogs for $1.49 each, 3 packages of chocolate chips in preparation for holiday baking and got a sweet deal on popcorn: Buy 1 3-pack of microwave popcorn, get a second and 2 - 2 liters of 7-up for free.  I spent $96.43!

I also spent $2 at Dollar Tree on imitation vanilla (I know, I know) and green tea bags.

I was at Fred Meyer later that day because I realized I had forgotten to pick up Pull-ups and coffee filters.  Gah!  And of course, another trip to the store means another $16.35 on groceries.

Finally, one more stop at Albertsons on my way to book club because I didn't allow enough time make an hors d'oevre and I ended up spending $11.17 on more chocolate chips and several items off the clearance bakery rack.  Seriously, how could I resist 4 croissants for $0.99?  Or 4 cinnamon rolls for that matter? 

Milk delivery was $12.87 and I finally hooked up with my friend for eggs (hooray!) and spent $10.00.  I also am reducing my spending by $7.00 because I made a math error last week.

Total spending week 44: $216.69
Total year-to-date Groceries: $3,977.22
Weekly Average 2014: $90.39