Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cost of Food eating at home What Plan Are You On?

I am for ever complaining about the cost of food... how can it cost $60.00 to feed to adults for a week. Problem is the cost food keeps creeping up on me. I remember back to buying Campbells Tomato soup in 1966 10 for $1.00 and now I see it many times at $1.00 for one can and when I can find it on sale for 50cents I am thrilled.

Last night as I was doing my usual grumbling I wondered " How much does the normal family spend for food in a week or a month?

Does not take long to do some searching at to find a lotof nothing posts and then this\

Here we can see what the normal family sends on the cost of Food at four levels.. and it can vary from family size and child's age.
Thrifty plan
Low Cost plan
Moderate Cost plan
Liberal plan

This can give us an idea but more than any thing is what can your family's budget allow you to spend on food. Our budget is $60.00 a week for the two of us in our senior years.

By looking across I can see that the average family of (2) 51 to 70 years old spends on the thrifty plan $331.10 a month.
We are at $258.00 a month we are below thrifty or maybe that is all there is in the budget.

How does your family compare to the US adverage? I have used the June 2010 as an comparison.

Well as the year draws away from us, I want to wish you all a happy New Year and wish that next year is better for all of us in finances, health and peace through out the world.
See you next year...

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together and please remember Never Under Estimate The Value Of A Small Amount Of Money... Grace

Grocery Shopping Round Up 12/30/11

Last round up for 2010. I plan to attempt to keep a better running total of how much I spent and saved on grocery/personal items next year.

This week was done in three shopping trips
Cub Foods

Delmont vegtables 79 cents each
Lays Chips $1.99
Reese peanut butter ( treat for me) 78 cents each
4 Diet cokes $1.25 each
Campbells soup 59 cents each
Swanson chicken broth 59 cents each
milk $3.19
sour cream $2.99
coffee mate creamer 2/ $5.00
$29.76 no coupons used sadly

Super 1
off brand diced tomatoes 44 cents ( delmonte and hunts wanted $1.00 for same size can)
orange juice for hubby ( sick) $2.29
total spent $3.61 no coupons cash register slip has a savings of 32 percent

Super 1
had some great 11 cent coupons and I wanted to take advantage so since we were passing by anyway made another trip. They had limits of course and I bought what I could except for soda they had no more diet left.

Hungry Jack potatoes $1.00
4 cans of soda 11 cents each
3 taco seasonings 11 cents each
1 tuna 11 cents
1hunts tomato sauce 11 cents
bread 11 cents
2 bags malt o meal cereal one bag at 11 cents and the other 88 cents

Total spent $3.12 no coupons sales slip says savings of 73 percent

Total spent for the week $36.49
Total for the month $183.82
Balance remaining $16.18 ( this was spent on Christmas gift)
I will be sharing this at
Thanks for stopping by...Lets keep saving together... and please remember Never Under Estimate The Value Of A Small Amount Of Money... Grace

Extreme Couponing What's On TV Last Night

Hubby and I watched this last night.
A couple of these people can give couponer's a bad name. Total hoarding greed is what I saw. When couponing comes before family happenings that is to much in my opinion.

I enjoyed the woman from Philadephia who bought what she needed with her coupons and no more. She also shared with others in the store. She was an inspiration.

The gentleman who shared the cereal with his church was great but I bet the rest went into the house to pile up.

Interesting show... did you watch it and what did you think about the show?

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together.. and remember please remember Never Under Estimate The Value Of A Small Amount Of Money... Grace

20 Frugal Tips from Someone Who Lived Through the Great Depression

I found this great posting this morning and wanted to share with you..
20 Frugal Tips from Someone Who Lived Through the Great Depression.
This was written by a 75 year old grandmother but full of wisdom that we should all take to heart.

Thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together.. grace

Goal : I Want To Read More Books in 2011

One of my goals is to read more books in 2011. I hardly read last year which is sad for a ex bookstore owner and some one who sells books on the Internet.

Excuses are ....

working to much,

moved from Texas to Minnesota


New goal is to take at least 1 hour and read every day. Turn off TV and read.
Yesterday I actually turned off the TV and read for an hour. Reading Vince Flynn " Protect and Defend " enjoyable thriller. 9th book and the 8th in his Mitch Rapp series.

If you are looking to read more pop over to Life at Mom's she has put together a reading club.

She has put together two options
1. structured list
2. make your own list of books

Every one will check in on the 10th of January and share what they plan to read and then the due date book should of been read is the next month on the 10th

My plan is to read at least one book a month and more if possible. With one hour a day I should be able to do that. I will have a combination of non fiction and fiction ( mystery/thrillers)

I have started my pile of book will decide the rest over the next days.
My plan is to read books I already have bought and not read rather than look for more.
Except for a couple of selections. I am still looking for a used copy of Mary Higgins Clark's newest title.

Another goal I have is to read through the bible in one year. Every year I plan to do this but have never accomplished it.
I found an old book mark from 1992 that had a list of what to read every day.
I will be using this list starting the first of January.
If you are a fan of Dave Ramsey here is his suggestion of reading. I have a couple of these titles that I have not read and may add to my pile.
Hope that you will join in with reading more. I would love to hear what you are planning to read this next year.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wallet Friendly Wednesday .... Do You Save All Your Christmas Cards?

Do you save all your Christmas cards? I love receiving Christmas cards ... pretty Christmas cards.

What should we do after the holidays have past.

I just hate throwing them away that is for sure, but there comes a time when the piles of paper gets over whelming.

So what can I do with them.

1. How about cutting off the front and using all or part of for Christmas tags next year. So much nicer than those hundreds of cheap looking ones I have in my drawer.

2. How about cutting off the front again and using in scrap books I plan / want to make this year. Sounds pretty good to me. For the mean time I will just stick with the pile of photos waiting to be put in an album. ( Reminder to me .... make it a goal to sort those photos and do some albums)

Just what I need as another goal for 2011.

1. stay on budget save $1,000 emergency fund pay off debt

2 work harder selling on eBay so I can leave cold Minnesota next winter part of above goal really
3 . making scrapbooks with all my photos

4. Gotta lose 35 pounds so I can get into those clothes I bagged for

5. minimalist clothing and other belongings

6. Read at least 1 book a month

Lots of goals set for this year .. but if you don't aim you will never hit a target..

okay back to Christmas cards

3. If you do not decide to make scrapbooks and use cards, they could be donated to a senior center for their craft projects.

4. Could always recycle them if nothing else

Do you have any ideas for your cards .. Christmas or any others. I have saved my cards from parents and grandparents and have put in a three ring family binder. That way they will be saved hopefully for generations.

Would love to hear any of your ideas for used Christmas cards ...
I am sharing this with Bargain shopping Wallet Friendly Wednesday
Thanks for stopping by ... lets keep saving together .. Grace

Extreme Couponing What's On TV Tonight

I have seen on a couple sites that Good Morning America had done a segment on Extreme Couponers.

Over at Kingdom First Mom she shares the clip in case you want to see it.

It will be on TV tonight channel 280 7pm central in my area.
This will either encourage couponing or have a back lash on the hobby.
I do not consider myself as an extreme couponer.
I do use coupons and have at times have gone over board with buying but have then shared with others my excess.
I do know that having extra products in my home bought at a good price has saved us money, and does give me some comfort and security.

Do you plan on watching this TV show tonight?

Thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together.. Grace

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Monthly Budget Wrap Up December PLUS 2011 Financial Goals

December is just about gone and we made it. Was not easy or fun but we made it.
Christmas comes in December every year and we had not saved any money to buy gifts for the grandchildren (13 ) of them.
They all get something at our limit price and with some coupons at Hallmark I saved some money on one of the gifts. Thank you Hallmark.
With some juggling of money, pulling a little from our grocery fund and selling some junk silver we pulled it off.
Grandchildren all enjoyed their gifts from grandpa and grandma.

I sold some books on eBay and took some of that money and bought hubby new winter parka, gloves and knitted hat ( all half price at JC Penny's)
We have sold on eBay since 1998 and business is getting slower and slower or I am finding less every month worth while selling. I hoping things get better this coming year.

Mr. Murphy hit us hard in September when I ended up in surgery and the hospital for 10 nights with a horrible infection. Thank goodness we had insurance but we are still left with almost $1000 to pay off.
The smallest bill my wound vac will be paid off end of December and then we will work down the Clinic doctor and finally will work at the hospital.

Our goals for this coming year are to
1. Stay on Budget
2. Work at paying off the hospital/doctor bills
3. Work at improving our internet sales to bring in more income. This income will be used to
a. put 1,000 in bank for emergency fund
b. increase debt reduction plan.
c. save money for plans to travel next winter
d. put together money for deposit to a new apartment building. This one is to small
we would move into a senior high rise that is secure and hopefully less money every month
in rent and a view of our beautiful Lake Superior.
4. Attempt to get health insurance for me at a better price. We had gone and done this first of September and I was approved with a larger deductible. Just before we could finalize this I was put in the hospital with my infection. That plan was cancelled. We will try again after the first of the year but I am sure my monthly payment will not be as good as it could of been.

So this is the update on my December budget and and plans and goals for next year.
Have you made your budget and goals for next year?

Thanks for stopping by.. Lets keep saving together.. Grace

Working To Make Do With Less Project Clothes Challenge

Working To Make Do With Less Project and I am starting on the clothes challenge.

Finding 33 items and ridding my self of the rest. Some of these shoes can only be worn in the summer but I am counting them at this time. May have to purge here.

As I go through my closet I am giving to friends and family, giving to thrift store, storing what I want to get into when I lose weight ( another challenge).

Here is what I planning to keep as of now

1 black pant suit light weight ( 2 pieces)

1 blue pant suit medium weight ( 2 pieces)

2 black knit short sleeve blouses

1 navy knit short sleeve blouse

1 peach knit short sleeve top

1 black flowered print blouse

1 black and white dotted top

1 short sleeve white knit sweater

1 short sleeve tan sweater

1 short sleeve knit black sweater

1 short sleeve burgundy sweater

1 pair of black slacks

1 pair of brown slacks ( give away when I lose weight I hate them will need to replace then )

1 pair of green slacks ( will be give to thrift store when I lose some weight hate these also will need to replace then )

1 pair of blue jeans (a little tight ... I have put the Christmas candy in the freezer. Bought these at the thrift store for $3.00 yesterday.

1 navy sweat shirt

1 gray sweat shirt

Dark navy dress ( perfect for weddings and funerals)

Winter Coat has 2 layers and can be worn year round really ( counting as one item )

1 gold and white purse

1 turquoise and white purse

1 turquoise and pink and white purse

1 brown coach purse bought some time ago at a thrift store

1 black purse

2 pair of black high heels

1 pair of black sandals

1 pair of gold sandals

1 pair of pink shoes

33 items

I need to bag up the rest of my purses and shoes to give or sell this summer and I have several summer jackets that I have to go through also.

Need to think about this list. I love my purses and shoes and have not gone in jewelry boxes as of yet. I just may not count my jewelry since so much was given to me by my children and grandchildren

I have 2 necklaces that I wear almost every day and my wedding rings that do not count on this list.

I also am not counting underware, nightgowns and 2 pairs of lounging outfits that I use to work out in also. Then of course there is my winter mittens and knit hat one of each not counted and winter boots not counted.

It is amazing how things can pile up without me even thinking about them. This week I threw out a bottle of nail polish remover that did not work good (cheap junk) ... .. why did I drag it from Texas when I knew it was garbage. Also I am throwing out a blush that is all dried out. Not that old but dry. I will throw away after emailing Cover Girl and Olay to complain about this product.

We have made one trip to the Salvation army with two bags of clothes.

Are you going through your closets and purging clothing.

Next I should go through all my VHS and DVD movies... I even hate to count them... As I see my favorite movies on DVD at a garage sale, I am buying and then will either sell the VHS at a sale this summer or give to the thrift stores.

I already took some of my junk silver pieces to sell before Christmas and got some money that was put towards gifts.

thanks for stopping by... lets keep saving together

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sunday Menu Plan For The Week

Good evening every one.. meant to post this last night but lost track of time I guess.

Time to figure out a menu using up some items in the house. We went out to dinner Christmas with one of the sons and hubby had left over prime rib and I had left over ham so these will be used up this week.

Beef Stroganoff over noodles using hubby's prime rib

Home made Chicken noodle / vegetable soup ( I had plan to make this last week and changed recipes so this week it is

Spaghetti sauce from freezer over pasta

Hamburger patties with vegetables

Ham dinner using my left over ham

Left overs

out to dinner for our anniversary 22 years.. boy the time flys

whats on your plan for the week? New Years eve will be spent at home real quite night. If I was in Las Vegas it would be another story but here I will stay

thanks for stopping by.. lets keep saving together.. I hope that you visit again real soon.. Grace

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Working To Make Do With Less Project Clothes Day 1

Day one of paring down my clothes
1. throwing out the worn and disgusting
2. giving away things that are wearable but I do not like
3. boxing up clothes I love but are to small for me now. I am giving myself 6 months to work off the pounds so I can wear again or they also go to the thrift store.
4. Rest are clothes that I can wear at this time. Will be deciding what of these I will keep or re place.
I have come to the conclusion I keep clothes to have even if I do not wear them. I like the looks of a full closet just like I like a full pantry even if it is food I bought on sale but do not want to eat.
Not a very good reason is it.

Tonight I threw away 3 items worn and torn
To the thrift store items 8 items
Given away 2 items
Boxed up for 6 months 25 items ( I had lost weight on Atkins and bought these then gained back weight after I got breast cancer.. 5 years ago but some of them are so cute ... I give my self 6 months to drop 35 pounds so I can get back into these tiny items)

Total out of closet and drawers tonight 38 items

Just a start but a good start.. is decluttering on your list of projects for this next year.
Tomorrow I will pare down my purses and decide what I will keep and what will be boxed up for a sale next summer or sent to the thrift store.

Thanks for stopping by... grace

Working To Make Do With Less Project 1 Clothes

I have been feeling like it is time to start paring down much of my belongings. To much of everything. I found this blog on being a minimilist. I have taken the following from there on working on my closet. The idea is to get down to 33 items not including certain items.

Original rules are as follows

When: October 1 – December 31 (It’s never too late to start so join in anytime!) I need to get started since it is December 26th already.

What is included : 33 items including clothing, accessories, jewelry, outerwear and shoes. ( the jewelry boxes will be the hardest for me even though I rarely wear jewelry. Time to pick my favorites and wear.

What is not included : these items are not counted as part of the 33 items – wedding ring, underwear, sleep, in-home lounge wear, and workout clothing (you can only wear your workout clothing to workout)

Outline your 33 items, by the 1st of October ( too late for that for me box up the remainder of your fashion statement, seal it with tape and put it out of site.

What else: consider that you are creating a wardrobe that you can live, work and play in for three months.

If you purchase items for project 333, stick with the one in, two out approach. Consider the essentials and stick to 33.

How to Make Space .. I will start with my closet and pare down my clothing to 33 items as suggested. Hopefully I can continue to other areas of my home after that.

Here is the process that is recommend:

Start making piles of clothes and be ruthless.

Pile One: I love these items. They fit me well and I wear them frequently: Keep
Pile Two: I want to keep this but I don’t know why
Pile Three: These items don’t fit me or my style: donate.
Pile Four: These items aren’t in good condition: trash.

Take Pile Four to the trash.
Box up Pile Three and put in your car before you have time to re-think.
Put the items from Pile One back in your closet.
Box up all items from Pile Two and put the box in the back of your closet for 30 days.

If you didn’t miss the box after 30 days, DO NOT OPEN IT, donate it.

After you make some progress, if you love that feeling of empty space in your closet, join hundreds of us in minimalist fashion Project 333.

Take a peek at her site... you will find others that are involved. I am now off to start my clothing declutter project will be back to let you know what I am keeping. ... Grace

Watergate Salad Perfect Buffet Party Food

I really love Water Gate Salad ... my step son calls it the green stuff but it is Water Gate Salad and I am told they served it at the Water Gate Hotel.

My mother would make this for holidays and special occasions so when I make it I always think of her.

It is easy and so tasty... here are the ingredients

1 package of Pistachios instant pudding
8 to 9 oz cool whip
1 can of crushed pineapple juice and all
1/2 package of miniature marshmallows... white or colored..

to the cool whip add the pudding and combine good. Add pineapple with the juice and then marshmallows. Let sit in refrigerator for at least one hour before eating.

Pretty in my glass bowl and a sure winner at our Christmas Eve party..

thanks for stopping by.. I will be sharing this on these blog party sites