Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Frugal Date

Even though we're fortunate to have my Mom living with us, Dave and I very rarely go out on dates. But tonight, we're going to paint the town...GREEN! Our local Whole Foods is holding a free workshop tonight called, "Healthy Shopping on a Budget at Whole Foods Market". The description says they will teach you how to find coupons and bargains for your favorite healthy products, and learn "insider tips" on how to stretch your dollar. Should be fun! Maybe we'll even treat ourselves to something delicious from the bakery!

Change of plans - Oh well, just got a call from Whole Foods. The instructor is sick, so no class tonight :( Maybe, we'll go out anyway. We were planning on doing the grocery shopping after the class. Shopping sans kids will be a nice change as I'm normally left to speed shop while Dave wrangles the babies.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Ash Wednesday

Remember, O man, that you are dust, and unto dust you shall return.
~ Genesis 3:19

Repent, and hear the good news.
~ Mark 1:15

Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - February 23rd

Our dinner menu for the week...

Saturday - Stew Beef & Onions with Gravy over organic brown rice & steamed green beans

Sunday - Turkeyburger Soup (using ground chicken)

Monday - Spinach Rice Casserole

Tuesday - Breakfast for Dinner - Caramel Apple Baked Pancake, Bacon & Scrambled Eggs

Ash Wednesday - Veggie Tacos & Spanish Rice

Thursday - Cheesy Tortilla Casserole (using ground chicken)

Friday - Cheese Quesadillas & Spanish Quinoa

Menu Plan Monday is hosted by Laura at I'm An Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Season of Discontent

Maybe it's the weather; winter seems to be dragging on. Maybe it's the broken dishwasher. Maybe it's the rain shortened Daytona 500 that Kyle Busch should have won had it not been for Junior! Or maybe none of the above. But for whatever reason, I've been in sort of a funk lately. And I'm not sure why. I just suddenly find myself with this restless feeling in my soul. As if something is slightly amiss. But I can't put my finger on exactly what is wrong???

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - February 16th

What's for dinner this week?

Saturday - Taco Style Lentils & Rice with organic Spring Mix salad

Sunday - Dinner out for my Mom's Birthday!

Monday - Lentil Chili with homemade Cornbread (subbing milled flax seed for wheat germ)

Tuesday - Cheesy Tortilla Casserole (Dave found a great markdown on ground chicken last week at Kroger, so I'm subbing that for ground turkey in the recipe)

Wednesday - Cheese Quesadillas with Black Beans, Brown Rice & Corn

Thursday - Turkeybuger Soup (subbing ground chicken again!)

Friday - Homemade Cheese Pizza using Anne Jisca's Easy Pizza Dough recipe

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Where there is great love, there is always miracles.

~ Willa Cather


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Be My Frugal Valentine!

Since Ashleigh and her classmates are sweet enough, we decided to go the no candy route for Valentine's Day treats! We made batches of homemade play dough, colored pink using a strawberry gelatin packet. Rolled into individual size portions, we placed them in heart-themed treat bags and tied the gift tags on with glittery, curly ribbon left over from Christmas. I also added a section of red, transparent cellophane gift wrap to the tops of the treat bags for added volume and flare. We'll place the finished packets in the cute, little Valentine's cups I found on sale at Walgreens.

I love getting crafty and creative with my best-est little girl :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Livin on love, buyin on time

Without somebody nothing aint worth a dime

Just like an old fashioned story book rhyme

Livin on love

It sounds simple thats what you're thinkin'

But love can walk through fire without blinkin'

It doesnt take much when you get enough

Livin' on love

~ Alan Jackson - Livin On Love

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Harris Teeter Triples!

First Day Scores!

Another 4 day triple coupon event at Harris Teeter! My total oop was a little higher than what I normally spend during triples. But being able to get such a good price on laundry detergent was worth it. Keeps us from having to go to Costco and spend really big bucks!

4 Huggies Wipes 72ct --- 3.85 - .50/1Q = 2.35 ea

4 Cottonelle Ultra 4pk double rolls --- sale 3.00 - .50/1Q = 1.50 ea

9 Gain detergent --- sale 3.77 - .50/1Q = 2.27 ea

10 cans Dole pineapple in juice --- .99 ea - .55/2 = .17 ea

2 cans Ortega diced chiles --- sale 1.50 ea - .75/2Q = .38 ea

4 Muellers whole grain pasta --- 1.69 - .55/1Q = .04 ea

1 Synder's Multi-Grain sunflower chips --- 3.69 - .75/1Q = 1.44

1 Kotex pantiliners --- 1.29 - .75/1Q = FREE!

8 Hillshire Farms Deli Selects --- sale 3.50 ea - .55/1Q = 1.85 ea

4 Halls sugar free cough drops --- 2.06 - .50/1Q = .56 ea

4 French's Horseradish mustard --- 2.99 - .50/1Q = 1.49 ea

1 French's Honey Dijon mustard --- 2.99 - .50/1Q = 1.49 ea

3 Smithfield bacon --- sale 2.49 ea - .55/1Q = .84 ea

2 Newman's Own organic salsa --- 2.99 - .50/1Q = 1.49 ea

1 Vanity Fair paper plates --- sale 2.50 - .50/1Q = 1.00

1 Vanity Fair paper bowls --- sale 2.50 - .50/1Q = 1.00

1 Colgate toothpaste --- sale 1.34 - .75/1Q = FREE!


2lb bag organic apples --- reduced 1.23

8 Mott's apple juice --- sale 1.88 ea

1 can HT organic tomato sauce --- sale 1.29

4 lb bag sugar

5lb bag all purpose flour

1 Pantene Relaxed & Natural sheen spray --- markdown 1.53

Total oop: $98.39


After cold, rain, wind and little of this

It's so nice to finally be able to enjoy some of this!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Now That Football Is Over...

Only 10 days, 19 hours and 23 minutes until the Daytona 500!
I'm getting excited!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009


Praise be to God!

I am so happy to be able to finally write that after 11 months and a little over $16k in debt paid, we are DEBT FREE! From where we were financially to where we are now, so many things have changed. When we started our Total Money Makeover at the beginning of last year, we were just barely making it each month. Our income had decreased but our credit card bill was growing at what seemed to be an uncontrollable rate. There were some months, we had less than $20 in our checking account after the bills had been paid. Then in December 2007, this princess finally awoke from her fantasy world. I had long held onto the belief that we were doing fine because unlike most we knew, we had no student loans hanging over our heads, no outstanding credit card debt, we paid our credit card bill off in full each month and had phenomenal credit scores. But my castle built on plastic came crumbling down when December's credit card bill came in at over $1000. And there was no money to pay it off in full. About that time, I started watching Dave Ramsey on Fox Business Network and liked what I heard - FREEDOM. Not get rich quick, but peace built on a solid foundation. I used a gift card I received as a secret Santa gift at work and bought a copy of Total Money Makeover. And as the saying goes, the rest is history!

Many years before we had even heard of Dave Ramsey, my husband tried to implement many of the things the Total Money Makeover teaches - living on a budget, cash envelopes, paying extra on debt and NO credit cards. I told him it was absolutely not feasible to live without a credit card in this world. How would we buy gas for our cars? How would we book a hotel room or rent a car (which we did very little of at the time)? What if there was an emergency? And I told him I was absolutely not giving up my Old Navy card! After that discussion (read argument), I heard this small voice speak to my heart. And it said clearly, "You place more faith in this card than you do Me". I knew the voice. And it's conviction cut deep. And sadly at that time, I chose to ignore it.

But in January 2008, I began working with my husband to finally implement those things we should have done before. And even though our income had decreased, miraculously our money seemed to multiple. It went further than it had before. And there was extra at the end of the month to do something we hadn't done in awhile, pay off debt! I firmly believe that once we started handling our finances in accordance to God's will for us, He touched it, blessed it and multiplied it much like He did with the fish and the loaves!

Thank you God for your provisions! And thank you for a loving and patient husband!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Weekly Grocery Totals

Our new emphasis on organics is stretching our $100 weekly budget just a bit. But I'm not quite ready yet to agree to a budget increase. First, I want to make more of an effort to fund a weekly grocery cash envelope. Right now with my current bank and shopping schedule, I actually start shopping for the week a few days before I go to the bank. So a trip to the bank at the beginning of the week seems to be in order. Raising the grocery budget is not completely out of the question. However, I want to utilize other strategies first before automatically increasing what we spend each week. But $112 a week for a family of 6 is not too bad!

Total Spent: $112.03
Total Savings: $37.89

Whole Foods:
2 Whole chickens (sale .99/lb)
1-365 brand Organic, Unrefined, Expeller pressed virgin coconut oil 14 oz.
2 loaves organic, whole wheat bread
1lb organic green lentils
5lb bag 365 brand whole wheat flour
1-365 brand organic vegetable broth
1lb organic black beans
2lb organic, NC sweet potatoes
4 limes (sale 4/$1)
3lb organic russet potatoes

Total oop: $45.12

Kroger (combined trips):
14 Juicy Juice -- sale 2.49 - .50/2Q doubled
2 gallons Horizon Reduced Fat Organic milk -- markdown 3.29 ea
2 Kraft Mozzarella shredded cheese -- sale 1.99
3 Kraft 2% Hormone Free shredded cheddar cheese -- sale 1.99 - .75/1Q
1 Kraft 2% Hormone Free singles -- sale 1.99 - .75/1Q
1 King Arthur unbleached white, whole wheat flourLess
1 Private Selection organic salad mix with herbs -- sale 3.34
3 dozen Naturally Preferred organic eggs -- markdown 2.99 ea

$10 Mega Event promotion

Total oop: $56.76
Total savings: $31.29 (does not include savings from markdowns)

Harris Teeter:
2 Hefty kitchen trash bags -- sale 4.99 - 1/1Q
3lb bag yellow onions

Total oop: $10.15
Total savings: $6.60

Rumor has it, Harris Teeter will be having a triple coupon promotion starting Thursday! I can't wait!