Saturday, August 27, 2011

Grocery Budgeting 101-The Begining

I have made attempts at the extreme couponing I really have....but I just haven't been able to stay dedicated to it quite enough for it to fully help out our family budget. I am committing as of now to get my family fed on a budget of $40 a week by time I am 35 years old. This gives me 2 years to get us living off $40 a week for our food needs. This is not going to include our take out which we do on Saturday nights. As of lately all we do on Saturdays is one magical $5.55 pizza from Little Casears and then Gabby usually gets Wendys or McDonalds nugget meal since she doesn't do pizza.

What this could mean though is opportunity for nicer take out meals for our family on Saturday nights. What I don't want to do though is fill our cupboards with junk. Although I find there is a time and place for junk (cause admit it some of it is DANG tasty!) I want our family to eat healthier and not pump it up with too much junk.

Now I shared about a month ago my 4 week menu plan and although I still plan on using that as a rough template I also am going to need to learn to shop the sales and then create meals from those items more often.
I will be doing my first shopping trip tomorrow based on this new mission and I will include my Aldis shop from last night too since that counts as part of this new budget experiment.

I shop bi-weekly for the most part for two reasons, 1)I do not enjoy shopping and 2)I get paid bi-weekly so it just works. I will plan on watching ads and grabbing up stuff though that I really want if it is on sale on a non-shopping week.

I will post our total spent out in August as a starting off point so that way we can compare how I do in upcoming months. I am excited for this challenge and for any extra money it may provide my family to spend on more fun things ;)

If anyone wants to join in I would love to see you post about this and share with me hints and tips!

I also want to share a couple links with you all on who inspired me to try this out...first off is Sarah from Sarah's Deals, she is also from West Michigan like me :) YAY! I am also inspired by bulk freezer cooking that is featured on many sites and I particularly like the posts about it on Money Saving Mom. Again if you have any favorite bulk meals you like to pop into the freezer for later please share!

Ok so yesterday at Aldis I purchased the following

1pkg turkey bacon
1 hummus
2 large cans baked beans
bag of onions
orange ice cream bars
lime sherbet
tub of margarine
1 box husbands fave cookies
1 gallon milk
1 pkg gum

TOTAL $21.19

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Return of Scrappy Sunday!

I have decided to go back to Scrappy Sunday posts, with me taking some digi scrapping classes and trying some things on my own as well I have no excuse to not create at least ONE layout a week! Of course I hope to achieve more than one a week but we will start with small goals shall we? hehehe....

Anyway some of you have seen these on facebook already but for those who haven't here is what I have made so far!

 So there ya have it my return to scrapbooking YAYYYY! I cannot rave enough how much I am loving digital scrapbooking and each time I learn something new makes me love it that much more! I will say it is not as easy and quick as I thought it would be that is for sure! There is a definite learning curve especially if you are new to your design program of choice! I cannot recommend the classes on Jessica Sprague's site enough! They are life savers!

I am learning photoshop elements 6 currently and took her free class and the ACDSee class to learn how to create an organized database of my digi supplies (believe me when I say they can accumulate much faster than "real" supplies since so many great free ones are available!). I am also working on Up and Running at the moment.These are such great classes and well worth the price!!!!

I plan to get my layouts printed onto 8x8 pages through persnickety prints that I have read loads of rave reviews about and also there is the option of just getting printed bound books made. Most likely I will have layouts printed to slip into various 8x8 albums unless it is for a particular project, reason being I am NOT a chronological scrapper I just scrap what I feel like at that particular moment!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

17 Months

Oh Lainey Bug aka Buggles aka Buggy aka bring so much stinking joy to all of us! I continue to be amazed at how wonderful Gabby does with you and that she never seems to hold any animosity towards you at all! It is wonderful!

Right now you:

  • have 4 bottom teeth, 4 top teeth, 4 molars and seem to be getting more!
  • Run, jump, dance ALL the time! You are sooo active! You have not mastered climbing onto the couch yet though and I am in no hurry for you to learn that!
  •  can go all the way up the stairs to Gabby's room but have no concept that you could actually fall backwards so you stand and dance on almost each step with mommy nervously right smack behind you!
  • terrorize Bruno daily! Pulling his ears until he squeals at times and constantly play "doggy drum" on him
  • Babbling loads but still no clear words that we have picked up on yet....
  • can repeat some things like "shhhh" and it did sound like you said "chickie" at dinner
  • are getting more and more curls and I just LOVE them, so cute!
  •  freaking love baked beans! You also love yogurts and the Plum baby organic fruit/veg pouches! 
  •  love stealing whatever we are having for breakfast in the mornings
  • Although you seem to love books your fave thing to do is stand on them
  • love balls and balloons and drums
  • continue to be obsessed with Yo Gabba Gabba
  • are also enjoying Thomas the Tank Engine and other shows with voices "like Daddy" haha
  •  take a 2 hour nap each afternoon and go to bed usually no later than 8:30 at night and we wake you around 7 each morning
  •  love the beach so we are trying to get in a trip each week before fall hits!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

4 Week Menu Plan

Yup I finally did it! I came up with a 4 week menu plan and put in some of the common ingredients needed and any prep I may want to do night before for certain recipes as well! I figure we can rotate this and add new recipes to it as I am in the mood to try new stuff but these are some of our faves with a few newer ones tossed in!
This is my first time sharing a google document so I will try my best here.....
Stephanie's 4 week Menu Plan

Do you have regular recipes you rotate? What are your faves?