Monday, December 28, 2009

Eat From The Pantry Challenge

Yesterday I posted my goals this next year regarding our grocery budget plus some personal goals. Today I read the post at Money Saving Mom . She and FishMama are putting out a challenge to eat out of the pantry, freezer and refrigerator from Jan 1 to Jan 31. Cutting spending on groceries and put the difference to charity, debt or savings.

Those who are joining in are linking their posts and setting up their own challenges and plans.
Hubby and I talked about it tonight and think we can cut our costs and put the extra into our savings plan for $1000 emergency fund. So instead of $62.50 I will cut this down as close to 50 percent as possible or 31.25 a week.

1. we will be buying dairy and produce as needed each week

2 we do not have a big freezer so will buy some meat. We buy a rotisserie chicken every week and will continue to do this plus what is else is needed for my menu plans.

3 plan menus around what I do have in the pantry and in refrigerator

4. I will allow myself to buy items that are free or close to free.

5. We do go out to eat on Sunday's with family plus again during the week for lunch. This comes from another envelope. I would like to see how I can cut this back during January adding that to our emergency fund.

If you are interested in joining us post your challenge on your blog and just comment here and at Money Saving Mom . Please go to Money Saving Mom and read the other posts. Everyone is coming up with their own plan and will be sharing recipes and ideas. Should be fun to see how we all do during January.
So between now and January 1st I will take stock of my pantry and plan some menu ideas around what I have. Anyone have any ideas for corn flakes and tomato soup. I am really stocked up on these thanks to good deals and coupons.
Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together ... Grace

Sunday, December 27, 2009

2010 Budget Plans

Dear hubby and I have been working on our 2010 budget. Our biggest problem is we are in our 60's and semi retired. There is not enough income to cover all the out go. Our biggest challenge is to pay our own health insurance mainly mine.
I am pleased to see so many young people working on budgets, paying off debt and building up savings. I heard all this 40 years ago but never did any of it. I just built up debt and put off saving for retirement. We lived in the moment. Now our retirement is not what someone would want.
So here we are 61 and 66 years old and working part time jobs. We have a some debt mainly a car loan of under $10,800. But each month we are struggling to keep that part time money coming in and trying to sell on eBay for extra cash. We have sold on eBay since 1998 but with economy we are making less than in the past.
We will as in the past do taxes at H R Block for the season and this will give us income, but could interfer with the other part time income and not put us ahead. Time will tell.

So for 2010 our goals are to
Make enough money every month to cover the shortage of $1200 or cut back where necessary to balance the month.
Build up a $1000 emergency fund . We will be putting $150 a month into savings to do this. Savings is very little since my life insurance bill is due end of year and we did not have all money needed.
Give at least $300 a month to the church ear marking it to the needy or Salvation Army to feed the hungry.
Put money into a traveling budget so we can go home to Minnesota to see our children in 2010. and have an end of the year trip. We were not able to travel home this year.
Budget $250 a month for groceries and personal items . Should there be any money left over it will roll to next month grocery fund so if there is a refund I want to do I can have a build up of cash.
Budget $250 a month for eating out. Should not all this money be spent it will go into savings for our emergency fund.
Once emergency fund is at $1,000 then extra money will be put on car loan to pay if off sooner.
End of season at H R Block if there is a bonus this will be put either on emergency fund or car loan.
Any extra rewards at CVS, Walgreens etc will be used for groceries or personal items.
Refund / Rebates will go into emergency fund. I am waiting $58.00 in rebates to still come.

On a personal note
I want to excercise at least 3 times a week
Lose a total of 40 pounds over the year
Declutter my home, selling excess on ebay.

Are you preparing for next years budget and goals. I would love to hear your plans.

Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together ... Grace

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Eating Out On Less Dollars .. Using a Coupon at One of Our Favorite Pizza Joint

Today before grocery shopping we stopped at one of our favorite pizza places. Pepperonis Pizza Joint in Richmond Texas. We love the Peperoni special with pepperoni, green peppers, black olives, and tomato slices. Crust is thin and sauce is spicy just right.
My coupon savings book had a coupon for 50 percent off a medium pizza. We added to soda's and our total bill with a tip was $12.44.
This is our third eating out with a coupon from the entertainment book.
Cost of Entertainment Book was $30.00, so far we have saved $17.00 eating out. You can now find this same book at half off on the internet. Next year I probably will wait to get it half off.

Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together ... Grace

End of the Week Grocery Challenge Round up

Time to add up my grocery receipts and see how for the week ending the 18th. I had gone to Walgreen's twice , Kroger's once and Randall's once for a total of $31.63.

First trip was to Walgreens.I love FREE . Walgreens was offering 3 small cans of Tomato Sauce with in ad coupon. for $1.00. There was an internet coupon available to print. $1/3 printable coupon

Second trip was also to Walgreens Quick to Walgreen's today for some of their deals. Picked up 4 cans of Campbell's Cream of Chicken soup 69 cents each with in ad sale, 2 Coffee mates 2 for $3.00 , 3 cans of Progresso Soup for 99 cents each and 3 cans of hunts tomato sauce 3 for $1.00 with in ad coupon. Also picked up 6 bottles of coke 3 for $4.00. In additional all bottles had coupons on them offering $1.00 off 4 bottles Had coupons for everything and oop cost was $16.38.

Add a stop at Kroger's for Blue Bell Ice Cream on sale for $2.99 each, buying 2 for $5.98. A savings of 53 percent.

Last a stop for dairy products and bread at Randalls for a total of $9.27 at a savings of 25 percent.

So groceries for the week cost me $31.63 with 3 trips out to eat costing us 56.26 for a total of 87.89 less than our $125.00 budget. Total so far for the month is $179.51 for total food at home and eating out which is $70.49 under budget.
So how is your food budget doing so far this month. My goal is to eat out less and stay under budget. So far we are doing okay.
Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together ... Grace

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Whats For dinner How About Some Meat Loaf

What's For Dinner tonight is Meat Loaf with lipton onion soup mix. We really love the taste. Will eat half tonight with baked potatoes and spinach. Tomorrow night will have home made hash with left over baked potatoes and meat loaf. Recipe is at this earlier post if you are interested in trying it

This is one of our favorite dinners. I only use 1 pound of hamburger. You could easily double the recipe for larger family or freeze one meat loaf for future dinner.

Thanks For Stopping By... Lets Keep Saving Together ... Grace

Monday, December 14, 2009

Menu Planning Monday

Time to get out my plan this week for dinners. A little late but better to plan it out late than not at all.
Monday Tonight we ate left overs of our Rotasserie Chicken, made Yukon Gold Instant potatoes that had been on sale, Chicken gravy bought on sale and peas.
Tuesday We will have home made Meat Loaf and Baked Potatoes. We bought 10 pounds a while back and need to use some of them. My meat loaf has onion soup mix mixed in and is fantastic.
Wednesday we will have the left over meat loaf and baked potatoes and make a fantastic hash out of it. Cook up some Over Medium eggs to go with it. Breakfast for dinner yummy
Thursday Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup with Chips ( have to work till 8 pm easy fast dinner)
Friday Home made Spagetti Sauce over Pasta and hot bread
Saturday Burritos and Refried Beans
Sunday Leftovers

Thanks For Stopping By ... Lets Keep Saving... Grace

Friday, December 11, 2009

Grocery Cart Challange Balancing the Food Budget 12/11

Time to balance out my food budget for the week of 12/6 to 12/11.
First trip to Randalls was just for salt hate running out of salt. Needed to get water so easy to run in for one item and walk the aisle to see if anything good happening. oop 62 cents
Next time was also Randalls to shop with my e coupons was a good shopping trip. Total oop $23.15 with savings of $34.12 or 60 percent.
Last trip was also to Randalls for my Nabisco Crackers for my $10.00 rebate and for the Viva Paper Towels much needed. Total oop was $18.40 with savings of $21.78 or 55 percent.

Total spent on groceries was $45.55 and we will get back $10.00 for the rebate.
Went out to eat a total of 3 times for lunch with a total cost of $46.07.
Total spent this week on food was $91.62 which is less than our allotted $125.00 a week

Friday, December 4, 2009

Whats For Dinner Pea Soup Tonight for under $5.00

Made pea soup last week with the ham bone left over from Thanksgiving dinner, yes some at the dinner did not like Turkey. Glad my sister made a Turkey for hubby and me and a couple of the others.
Pea soup was so good thought we would do another batch. Snowing and cold in Houston. Yes Snowing. I left Minnesota because of snow and here it is snowing. Will melt fast I hope.
Decided to try add a few more items for
Tonight's Thrifty Pea Soup

1 cup of chopped onion cost me .... 25 cents

1/2 Tablespoon of garlic 10cents
oil for sauteing

1/2 tsp of oregano 10 cents
1/2 tbl of salt
1 tsp of pepper
1 cup of diced potatoes ... 40 cents
2 small carrots diced ..30 cents

1 celery stalk diced ..30 cents

1 pound of dried split peas ... 99 cents
8 cups of water or chicken stock ( free I used water )

and diced ham ... $1.62

In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, we sauteed onion in oil until transparent.
Added some garlic, tablespoon of salt, teaspoon of pepper to the onion.
To this added 8 cups of water, small carrots, celery and potatoes peeled and diced and dried split peas. And finally cut up the other half of the ham piece we bought yesterday for scalloped potatoes with ham.
Bring to a boil then simmer for about 40 minutes or until peas are soft. Serves 5 to 6

Turned out great, was so tasty and so frugal. Cost us $4.00 for this pot of soup and we will get 2 meals out of it. We added the left over Pillsbury Grand Biscuits from last night and had dinner for under $5.00

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thrifty Shopping and Several Dinner Ideas

Pantry is full but still needed a couple of items to make it through the week. Went to Randall's to buy a Rotisserie Chicken and since I had 12 boxes of Betty Crocker Au Gratin Potatoes ( have coupons for Cola bottles) figured it was a good idea to buy a ham slice.

Picked up a bag of peas to make pea soup with part of the ham slice.

So for a few items in the pantry and $ 10.56 spent at Randall's I have at least 5 + dinners

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes with Pillsbury Grands ( have a few in the refrid)

Pea Soup with left over Grands

Chicken with potatoes, I bought 10 pounds earlier this week.
Pea Soup later in the week

and with left over chicken we can a have home made Chicken soup. Our recipe is fantastic and that will give us more than 1 meal.

Good tasting and frugal eating. Plus I added a bag of Tidy Cat Litter that I had a coupon for and had added to my Randall's card from one of the Internet sites. Tidy cat ended up costing us 79 cents.