Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tax Deductions for Classical Conversations Tutor Job

We joined a Classical Conversations community this school year and I agreed to be a tutor.  This is a contract position and because it paid over $600 in the calendar year I got a 1099-MISC form.  The IRS also gets this form so it's definitely reportable income.

I am not a CPA, but in my former non-mommy life I did prepare taxes.  So I'm not a professional anymore - this is my disclaimer.  =)

The easiest way to report the income is on Line 21 of Form 1040 "Other income."  Just write in 'tutoring' and the amount.  This method means you pay tax on the full earned amount.

Less easy, but better IMHO, is to fill out a Schedule C that attaches to Form 1040.  If you use a Schedule C you'll be able to take deductions related to your earnings.  For example, materials you purchase specifically to tutor, mileage to tutor meetings, tutor training expenses etc.

Here is a list of what I was able to deduct:
  • Books required for tutoring, but that I would not have purchased as a parent
    • Classical Music for Dummies
    • Van Cleave's 201 Awesome Experiments
    • Drawing with Children
    • Discovering Great Artists
    • My Body (anatomy book)
  • Tin whistle for myself
  • Office supplies
    • Tri-fold board
    • laminating sheets
    • dry erase markers & eraser
    • ream of paper & an ink cartridge (I did most of my printing at the library, but this is a reasonable deduction for people printing at home)
    • hand sanitizer to keep in my bin
    • hanging files
  • Review game supplies
    • Timeline cards
    • Review cards for Cycle 3
    • Cardstock to make jeopardy board
    • Bean Bags
    • Floor puzzle of United States
  • Mileage - 56.5 cents per mile in 2014
    • 3 days to/from Practicum
    • Initial tutor meeting at local church
    • Tutor meeting for weeks 1-6 at our CC church
    • Tutor meeting for weeks 7-12 at our CC church
    • Costco to buy laminating sheets
    • Staples to buy tri-fold board & dry erase markers
    • Many weekly trips to library to print materials 
  • Practicum Fees 
  • CC Connected Fees
When all of these deductions are figured in, I actually pay taxes on a very small amount instead of the whole amount that was over $600.

It's important to note that you should NOT deduct expenses that you would have incurred as a parent anyway.  For example, I would have purchased the CC Foundations book and the CDs as a parent so I didn't deduct those.  I also drove to CC each week, but I would have driven my kids anyway so I didn't deduct mileage for those trips.  You only want to deduct things that were exclusive to tutoring.

Hopefully this is helpful to my fellow tutors or your husbands if they do the taxes.  

If you think of anything I missed, please comment!  

Love, Katie

Monday, February 23, 2015

Gluten-Free Menu Plan

I'm still working on using up those 'expired' items from my pantry.  I'll have to post a photo this week of the organized pantry - It's crazy how much less I have on hand than previous years.  I think it's cool to see the evidence of our shift toward more and more whole foods in our diet.

OK menu plan - really just using what we have on hand since I overspent on groceries last week!  I'll be buying almond milk, cow milk, eggs, and maybe some yogurt. Oh, and I'll have to get munching veggies.  Hopefully not much else.

Monday - Baked Potato Casserole (uses old evaporated milk)
Tuesday - Sour cream chicken with rice (used old rice pilaf - didn't make this last week)
Wednesday - Sausages (packed dinner)
Thursday - Breakfast casserole (eggs, sausage, potatoes, cheese)
Friday - Bible Study potluck - Green Salad
Saturday - Pizza (in freezer and a GF crust, too)
Sunday - smoothies & popcorn

Monday - Pulled Chicken sandwiches (uses old bbq sauce)
Tuesday - Pancakes (uses old pancake mix)
Wednesday - Taco Salad
Thursday - Macaroni & Cheese Pie (GF noodles)
Friday - Finger food lunch
Saturday - French Toast (try new GF bread recipe)
Sunday - Dollar burgers


Sunday, February 22, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 8 - $72.65

I had several small shopping trips this week and my mom was here, too.  She made a few additions to the groceries that aren't included here because she wouldn't let me pay her back.  Those items included some apples, bananas, green onion, bell pepper, and a 3# roll of 85/15 ground beef she found on clearance (I learned from the best!).

I spent about twice as much this week as I'm supposed to on the Pantry Challenge.  We had a big group over for dinner tonight (17 extra people) and I bought what I needed.  Next week I'll attempt to shop very little to make up for the overspending this week.

I stopped at Fred Meyer early in the week.  I spent $8.01 on cream, half & half, cucumbers, cottage cheese, & hot dog buns.

 I also stopped at Albertsons and found a 1.76 pound package of pork chops for just $2.25!  I also bought some lunchmeat and tomatoes for the big taco bar dinner we had tonight.  I spent $7.72

I was at QFC Friday night and found hummus on clearance, guacamole on clearance, and almond butter on clearance.  Together I spent $13.35.

I went back to Fred Meyer Saturday to pick up popcorn.  We were hosting date night with 8 extra kiddos and we typically make popcorn and watch a movie.  I picked up some clearance salsa while there, some cucumbers, and some sour cream for the taco bar.  I spent $7.61.

Finally I went to QFC and spent a whopping $35.96.  I found some clearance sausage, but otherwise bought things I needed for the taco bar/dessert tonight.  Onions, cheese, guacamole, brownies, ice cream, milk (since we didn't have delivery this week), spaghetti sauce, and some bananas.

Total groceries for Week 8: $72,65
Total Year-to-Date Groceries: $534.52
Weekly Average: $66.82

Monday, February 16, 2015

Gluten Free Menu Plan

I am still focusing on using old & expired food from the pantry and while my mom has been in town I haven't been great at sticking to my plan.  I'll try more this week as I Really need to use some of this junk up!

Monday - Chicken Sausage Gumbo (I didn't make last week)
Tuesday - Pizza Pasta (using old pasta), DD#2 will have personal GF mac & cheese pie
Wednesday - Chicken Fingers with Sesame Tamari, rice (I didn't make last week using old Tamari)
Thursday - Sour Cream Chicken over rice pilaf (using old Rice-a-Roni), DD#2 will have a potato
Friday - Easy chicken pot pie (use old stuffing), DD#2 will have leftover mac & cheese pie
Saturday - Meatballs & GF pasta (uses old evaporated milk), will need to make a sauce from scratch
Sunday - Friends over for dinner - Mexican

Monday - hot dogs
Tuesday - Pulled Chicken sandwiches (using old bbq sauce)
Wednesday - Nachos
Thursday - Mac'n'Cheese pie, DD#2 - GF version (need to use old elbow macaroni & mustard)
Friday - Cheesy Eggs & Fruit
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - Soup

I know it sounds like a lot of mac'n'cheese pie, but seriously my kids LOVE it and DD#2 will be happy to eat it as an alternative while I try to use up all this old stuff with gluten in it.

Love, Katie

Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 7 - $36.84

This week was just a run to Costco on Monday.  My parents were in town and I picked up 2 packages of romaine, some asparagus, and bananas.  I only spent $13.36 on food and forgot to take a photo.

I bought 4 dozen eggs from my friend for $10 and our milk delivery was $13.47.

Grand total groceries for the week: $36.84
Year-to-date 2015 Groceries: $461.87
Weekly Average 2015: $65.98


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Finger Food Lunch

Sometimes I get asked what "Finger Food Lunch" is all about.  Basically, I just take little things from the pantry and/or things we need to use up and present it as lunch.

These were the kids' plates last week:
nitrate-free hot dog
crackers (GF for DD#2)
pepperoni slices

So balanced-ish and I got to use up the end of a pepperoni package and some old pepper jack cheese.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Gluten Free Menu Plan

Last week I shared I need to clean out my pantry.  While I haven't gotten it ALL organized yet, I did get the food part sorted out.  I had a huge amount of food past it's 'best by' date so those items are a big priority.  A lot of this is NOT GF which is why it hasn't been used.  So DD#2 will be having some alternate meals this week.

(Forgot to post yesterday, even though I wrote it all out!)

Monday - Pork Chops & couscous (using old couscous) - will make DD#2 some potatoes
Tuesday - Rainbow Rotini Casserole (using old rainbow rotini) - will make DD#2 a pizza
Wednesday - Sesame Chicken Fingers (using old GF Tamari Sesame dressing)
Thursday - Taco Salad
Friday - Potluck at a friend's house, taking side dish
Saturday - GF chicken & sausage gumbo
Sunday - Pulled Pork or Chicken (using old bbq sauce)

Monday - Costco hot dogs (no bun for DD#2)
Tuesday - GF corndogs & fries
Wednesday - Pizza (DD#2 can have her leftovers from night before)
Thursday - Mexican
Friday - Pancakes (uses mix from pantry) - will make DD#2 some scrambled eggs
Saturday - Finger Food lunch
Sunday - Leftovers


Sunday, February 8, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 6 - $39.40

This was the first week of the Pantry Challenge - 2015 Edition.  I really tried to stay under the $35, but I didn't quite make it.

I went to Fred Meyer on Monday to pick up the eggs for $1.25/dozen and a little produce.  I ran across this cereal in the markdown bin and technically, shouldn't have purchased it because it's the pantry challenge.  However, I could not ignore organic, gluten-free cereal for just $1.19/box.  I went ahead and bought all 8 boxes that were in the bin, vowing to forgo other shopping trips so I could stick to the $35 by the end of the week.  I spent $20.74.

I was able to resist more shopping until Saturday when I was completely out of hummus. The detox is nearly over, but I want to keep up with some new, healthy habits and hummus has been essential.  I had photos to pick up at Costco so I picked up hummus while I was there for $4.99.

Our milk was delivered and the price has gone up a bit.  It was $13.47.

Total Spending Week 6 - $39.20
Year-to-date 2015 Spending - $425.04
2015 Weekly average - $70.84

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Using Celery Ends

I made a big vegetable tray this weekend for a Superbowl party we went to.  As i cut up celery I realized I could use most of what I was trimming off the stalks as I made celery sticks.

Here are the stalks with the top & bottom ends cut off.

I chopped up the tops and nearly all of the bottoms.  They filled this little Ziploc.  I tossed them in the freezer and I can use them next time I make Italian Sausage Soup or mix them into spaghetti sauce.

You can also freeze diced onion and diced bell pepper.  If they're getting old just chop & freeze so you can use them at a later date.

Love, Katie

Monday, February 2, 2015

Gluten Free Menu Plan

First week of the pantry challenge!  These meal plans are always fun for me.  =)

Monday - birthday party
Tuesday - sausage & scrambled eggs
Wednesday - pizza (GF crust)
Thursday - turkey sausage (pack lunch)
Friday - finger food lunch
Saturday - quesadilla (corn tortilla)
Sunday - tortellini (GF leftovers for DD#2)

Monday - Taco Salad
Tuesday - Chicken Curry/Rice
Wednesday - Chicken Patties (pack dinner)
Thursday - Waffles (GF flour blend)
Friday - Taco Soup
Saturday - birthday party
Sunday - Chef Salad

This is also my last week of the detox.  I'm looking forward to adding a few ingredients back into my eating choices next week!


Sunday, February 1, 2015

2015 Groceries Week 5 - $112.91

This week's groceries were much larger than I expected.  There were some amazing deals to be had.

Tuesday I was at Albertsons since its so near my kiddos' therapy office.  I found some chicken/tofu patties for $1.00 per box of 4.   I bought 10 boxes since I'm looking for an alternative to the sausages in our packed lunches.  There were also some Krave cereal snack packs on sale for $1.00 per box of 8.  I went ahead and bought all 3 boxes that were on the clearance shelf.  While I normally don't give my kids junky snacks like this, once in a while I have to grab something fast and I don't mind giving it to them very occasionally.  I bought 2 packs of pudding for $1.00 each, a GF snack all the kids can have.  Butter was $2.50/pound, limit 2.  I bought rice cakes since they're detox friendly, some celery and bell pepper for the veggie tray I made for the Super Bowl party we are attending today.  I spent $30.79.

I went to QFC with 3 kids another night.  I found big bags of chips for $0.89 each since they were labeled Fred Meyer instead of QFC.  I also found some white corn/bean chips for $1.49 each.  I thought I'd give them a try after the detox.  I picked up a spiral-sliced ham for $1.49/lb, a bag of organic apples for $1.33/lb, a cold deli chicken on clearance for $3.99, some dented cans of soup for $0.59 each, and clearance fresh cheese tortellini for $1.99 each,  Cucumbers and bell peppers were $0.59 each and one kiddo begged for vanilla yogurt so we got this big container of Tillamook.  I spent $40.67.

I went to two Albertsons to find these blue/green chips for the Super Bowl party and I'm so glad I went to the second one because I got a pile of meat for a steal.  There are 5 packages of boneless pork and one package of bone-in pork, and one package of thin sliced beef.  I paid just $12.92 for all that meat!  I also got clearance yogurts for between $0.35 and $0.50/cup.  The chips were B1G1 free at $2.99.  I spent $24.75 at the 2 Albertsons.

I dropped into Haggen when I was in the area and picked up avocados for $0.77 each, and tomatoes for $0.89/lb.  I also loooooove asparagus and got a bunch for $2.98/lb.  I found spaghetti sauce on clearance for $0.50 and a box of fruit squeezies for $0.97.  I also stocked up on candy for DH, for gifts, for party contributions, whatever.  They were a $1.50/bag.  I spent $16.70.

No eggs this week and our milk delivery guy gave us milk free of charge!  Yay!

Total for Week 5: $112.91
Total YTD 2015: $385.84
Weekly Average: $77.17


Messy Pantry!

Oh my pantry!

I start the pantry challenge tomorrow.  My goal is to spend under $35/week on groceries through February and use lots of what's in my pantry & freezer.

But I don't even know what I have because my pantry is such a mess!  Here's a shot of the whole thing:

Here are the bottom three shelves:

Here are the top three shelves:

I'm going to try and get it organized this coming week.  Hopefully there will be some photos of nice, tidy rows to post soon!