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Archive for June, 2007

Anyone up for a No Spend Month?

June 29th, 2007 at 05:12 pm

I have had a bad handle on the money management/spending log the month of June (having to do with a string of relatives visiting and other activities, etc.) Awhile ago I was pointed in the directtion of a Simple Living blog/website where the creator proposed a no spending month. While I like NSDs, I think I need to go cold turkey at random and implusive spending.

I just stocked up on things at Sam's and will need milk/fresh produce in about two weeks. I also have things that I need to get done: (1) oil change, (2) dog grooming. Other than these things I'm seriously cnsidering banishing myself from the mall/Target/etc. I have a coupon for free digital prints at CVS (60) so my recreation for the month may be scrapbooking pictures using the supplies on hand. I also am going to make the children finish up using their coloring books/fun foam, stash.

Recreation? Use the gym at the Y, library for books and movies, I invetoried gift card and coupons for weekly "fun" and dining out. I have already purchased gifts for the two b-days in the month and DDs will have to make cards.

At least by posting my plans I am feeling more accountable and able to tackle this. So please feel free to comment and encourage -

PS My reason for this: my DH's paycheck is now going to reflect insurance premiums (we were previously on old-employed paid COBRA) and now 401(k) contributions (6% of salary) plus our rental property is going to be vacant and we will have the expense of painting/advertising.

I don't want to have to touch our savings account. I think I should be disciplined to manage what is coming in.

Grocery Shopping Advice

June 27th, 2007 at 09:27 pm

I was just wondering what method of grocery shopping you all use -- is it weekly from sale ads with coupons? is it always Aldi's? is it once a month at a warehouse club?

I was down to almost nothing in all categories (dairy/fresh produce/staples/paper products/etc) and stocked up today with a trip to Sam's. After $340 on all grocery and household items (no books/clothes/office supplies, etc) I feel I am adequate now in the dinner dept. and snacks etc (also have diapers and dog food to last 24 days, etc). while I am certainly tired after my 1 hour of shopping and 1 hour of putting all things away (I stash my surplus all over the house) I am relieved I don't have to do it again for awhile. Does anyone else feel this way? I have eight gallons of milk which should get us to the expiration date of 7/16. We're not extravagent eaters and usually follow the same menu weekly (chicken one day, meat loaf another, soup and salad and sandwiches another, grilling another) I like to bake the kids snacks twice a week (a batch of brownies or cookies and Jell-O) I'm thinking that while I like to save money like anyone and have been known as the Coupon Queen for quite some time, I simply might manage my time, budget and kitchen better with a trip to Sams twice a month. (I am a Secondary Member on my parents' card and don't pay for the membership).

What works for you?

Been away for awhile, but I've returned ...

June 16th, 2007 at 05:47 pm

My grandparents are here on an extended visit(arrived at the end of April and returning to CA at the end of August). I love having them here, they are "renting" our rental property six blocks from here. My waist line is expanding because of the lunches out but my wallet is remaining fat because my grandma insists on "helping" with everything from groceries, to new clthes for the kids (summer clothes were needed) and gas for the car. I am able to sneak in only a few "reimbursements" like a Rx copay here or there, stamps, etc. I did buy a round of bagels from Panera's for lunch yesterday - a whopping $11.67 to feed three adults and four kids. I'm reworking our budget for the fall when DS5 is off to K with DD9 and DD8. I put through paperwork for a tuition discount and will find out about that by the end of the month, we already received a $500 grant for DD9. Well, it is good to be back ...