Friday, August 29, 2008

My menu plan

Hmmm... I suppose I can name all the restaurants I have eaten in this week. Lots of salads!

Adoption stuff has taken over my life right now, and I have to just let the other areas step aside...

Big news is that we have been referred two little boys! We are busily getting ready to travel in a few weeks! Plus we have so much to get ready here at home! I have a feeling life is about to get a whole lot busier!

Monday, August 25, 2008

New week

Well, I'm getting ready to start a new week and have high hopes for a menu plan and a good grocery run. I sometimes feel like I am starting over, and just trying to get back into the swing of things. I hope to post my menu plan on Wednesday when the all the new grocery flyers come out in our area. :-)

In other news: My other blog is still not working. If it were frozen, I'd start a campaign to free my blog. As it is, I noticed one very polite comment from someone also recently dealing with the same technical issue that I have. they asked blogger to put all their energies into fixing this problem, or something like that. I don't know how they stated it...but it WAS polite, and I appreciated it!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Ugh... My blog is not feeling well

Not this blog, my other one about our adoption. Apparently it has caught a blogger bug. It has to do with the new dashboard and gadgets that they recently installed. I have been reverted back to the old template and have no way to install layouts and gadgets on my blog.

I was trying to revamp that blog a little bit, like I did this one. I figured the weekend would be a perfect time.... more time, less to do in a busy week. Hmmmm.... I should have just gone to bed instead.

So, if you can't link to my other blog.... that could be why. I'm hoping blogger gets it straightened out soon.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Video: Cheap and Proud of It

Here is an interesting video about a family who spends only $350 a month on groceries to feed their family of six. I actually was reminded to utilize price matching. It is one of the things that I forget about all the time. I need to bring flyers into the store with me! I also liked the point about buying groceries at the store one time per week, and no matter what don't go back! WOW! What a challenge that would be for me! But I like a makes saving money fun!

Video: Cheap and Proud of It

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Blog Makeover

Yep, I revamped the ol' blog. I wanted to add this little gadget that my friend Kris added on her other blog. But when I added the new Blogs I read, it just sank into the background. The bright orange background!

So, it was time to finally add a little dimension with columns and colors so that the "blogs i read section", would stand out. I don't love the new's okay for a do-it-yourselfer. (Especially when this do-it-yourselfer has no idea about html!)

I'll have to wait to get my blog the way I want it, designed all nice and snazzy. But I can't afford that yet, even at a frugal price. We just forked out $800 bucks to fix dh's car, remember? Dh did report that the car is running much better than it has ever run since we bought it 2 and 1/2 years ago. Hmmm..... I guess that's what maintenance does...... $800 worth.

Night all, I've worked on this makeover way past my bedtime!

Car Trouble

Once again we find ourselves in car trouble. For my previous post about Dh's car which was in January click HERE.

We did not get the work done in January because we did not want to invest $2000 in the car. However, we could not really afford to pay for a used vehicle either, and chose to wait until we could afford it. Unfortunately, this car did not pass emissions inspection, and it needed a major tune-up to do so. It is costing us $800 this time around. He expected it to cost about $300. I had no such misplaced hopes.... I have seen that car, and it has never had a tune up since we owned it. This I knew had the potential to be costly.

I'm sick about it... because each time we try to get ahead, we get a set back. Yes, we have the funds in our emergency fund, but that wipes that out. Not only that, but we have to look at our budget again and spending habits to see where we can cut things... even temporarily. It's gonna hurt, but it's necessary. Bleck. I'll tell you why in a later post.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Hate to Shop...

The title of my post today says it all.... I really do hate to shop. It's just not my thing at all! I had a good friend in college, I'll call her "D". "D" I swear was a professional shopper. Especially for clothing. She learned from the best, her mother. Her mom would go browsing often, and look for beautiful, well made, unique, quality items. Then she would continue her browsing each week, until the item she was interested in went on sale. I don't know whether it was good genes or the training under her mother's tuteledge....but "D" knew how to shop!

On the other hand, I can not stand to do that. I buy stuff like clothing when the need arises. (So, does dh by the way). Since we both detest clothes shopping, my boys love it because they only have to visit that task a few times a year. Trust me it's a chore for all of us when that happens! lol!

The only thing I really do enjoy browsing for are home items. All home items, from accesories, to furniture, to major building materials at Lowes. Even then I typically don't buy those things unless we really need them. (See once again it's an as needed type of shopping).

So, I've really been pondering my Coins blog here. If you are looking for deals on just about anything.... you probably won't find it here. There are plenty of sites listed on my side bar that you can click on to find the latest Walgreens/CVS and grocery deals. Plus I am sure there are many places to find clothing sales or other types of shopping sales, either online or in a store. I'm not a shopper... so I'm not the one to go to for breaking news in any of those areas!

As I have been thinking, I really had to ask myself..."What am I passionate about? What really drives me toward leading a frugal lifestyle?" It isn't the awesome deals, though they certainly help me in certain areas like my budget. What I am passionate about it the steps that our family is taking to not only be debt free, but to live life like never before. It's not necessarily about wealth, but to me it's a journey of breaking the cycle of living paycheck to paycheck. It's beginning to understand what saving means, and buying only when you have the money saved. It's learning how to be good stewards of our finances, and taking the steps necessary to be financially free.

It isn't easy. I will be the first to admit this is a really hard thing to learn. I struggle often with a desire to just forget about the budget and "just buy it". I was never taught how to really manage my finances as a youth or young adult, and the habits I have are hard to break. But I'm learning.... and I guess that is what I am passionate about. I want others to learn from our successes and failures. I especially want couples younger than us to learn of the pitfalls and to see that they can start early to really get ahead on the road to financial freedom. Whenever I hear a young couple in their late 20's say to Dave Ramsey on a Friday that they just paid off their house and they are debt-free... I get goose bumps. Seriously. I marvel at how amazing that is, and what a gift they have truly given themselves! And I wish I had know at their age, what I am struggling to learn now. I'm passionate about that process, because I truly believe it is valuable for everyone.

I'm really not sure what that will translate on this blog. I do know that I won't be posting a whole lot of deals! But, I will however be sharing my heart.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Publix Penny Item

My dh ran down to Publix this evening to grab some stir fry vegetables. While he was there he asked about the Publix penny item. For our area the item is a box of Publix Facial Tissues. So, if you need tissues for something, head down and grab your box for 1 penny. Oh and make sure you have your coupon! Our store has a new manager now and they are requiring that you have a coupon to get the 1 cent item. (I miss our old manager.....). :-(

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Football and Frugality

What does football season have to do with a blog about being frugal? Well in my life, everything. My boys started football about two weeks ago, and the practice times have really thrown off my menu planning. And, as I have learned menu planning is one of the keys for me to being prepared. Being prepared limits the number of times I go out to dinner, because I "don't know what to cook". And that helps me stick to my budget.

Here's the dilema: Football practice is typically from 6:00-8:00pm. Dh doesn't get home until 5:30-5:45 most nights, and then we rush to the football field. I don't want to feed the boys a big meal before they practice as it's hot out and football is a tough contact sport. It's not like baseball where I can pack sandwiches and bring them to the field, they need to digest. Practice usually ends around 8-8:15pm and we get home around 8:30pm. See my dilema? We could sit down as a family and eat at that time, but it's really late!

I wanted to utilize my crockpot more for football season, but even that seems difficult because when would we eat? I also thought about making the mid-day meal our big meal and having sandwiches an hour or so before practice. But dh isn't home with us during the day. So, what would he do for dinner... I know he wouldn't be thrilled with sandwiches 4 days a week. Oh yes, did I forget toi mention the kids have practice 4 days a week. That's a lot of practice and it really hampers our famlily time around the dinner table! If I am not careful to carve out some family time..... we end up having too much running and not enough connecting.

So, anyone have any advise for how to work around football season? Maybe I could do a couple days of eating late, and a couple days of big meals at mid-day? I DO know whatever I decide I will be menu planning. That is for sure! Two weeks without a menu have pretty much killed me.

So please post a comment and tell me how you might handle dinner time if you were in our situation. I welcome any suggestions.... :-)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Publix Penny Item....

For our area the Publix Penny item was a green canvas Publix bag that you can re-use to pack up your groceries. They actually made sure I had the mystery coupon this time which was surprising. I really like that bag, so I think I may have to actually go back and get another. Who knows I might just start doing my part to contribute to the environment by limiting my plastic bag use!

Anyway, that's what the penny item is for our area. Now go get yours so you too can contribute to a better environment!