Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. We didn’t eat out once.
  2. We anticipate so many Thanksgiving leftovers that we have eaten our fridge bare the past week.
  3. I picked up several work shifts and worked on Sunday for a full day.
  4. I transferred an extra $250 to my Roth fund.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. We had two pies leftover from the preschool Thanksgiving but no one likes the pumpkin one enough to finish it off, so it’s getting dumped.

Feeding 5 for $150 per Week: 3rd Week of November 2017

Kroger: $95.84

I got some freebies for using Clicklist, including soy ice cream, cheese, yogurt, and Eggos. I promised 4 pies for the preschool Thanksgiving, so I picked up frozen ones. I’m trying to get work hours in, so too busy to hours of baking!

Green Bean Delivery: $66.80

Monthly Goal: $600.00

Weekly Total: $162.64

Running Total: $500.80

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through my affiliate link, I receive a small percentage as compensation, that we then use to help reach our financial goals. Please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting our family!

Frugal Steps:

    1. I got my quarterly Ebates rebate check- $8.
    2. I traded some of my Swagbucks for a $25 Hulu gift card to pay for our next 3 months of Hulu.

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3. I watched Poldark using the PBS Roku app.

4. I taught a class to a local Mother of Twins club and earned $50.

5. My mother watched my kids while I went to the art museum. Admission was free and I                only paid $10 for a special exhibition. She sent us home with bread, ham, chocolate                        milk, cupcakes, and fruit.

6. I bought two coats for kids in a local foster program, getting 50% off from Old Navy.

7. I got free cheese, Eggos, and yogurt from Kroger.

8. I got a free pizza from Domino’s using points.

9. The PTO was asking for food donations for a Veteran’s Day event, and I used some of                     my frozen store of butter to whip up 6 dozen homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. My husband was out of town and I had a sitter here while I worked several long shifts. I didn’t plan ahead well and ordered out dinner twice.
  2. I went to dinner with friends and got a pricey steak dish.
  3. I sacrificed several fruits and veggies to the Great Compost God.

Feeding 5 for $150 Per Week: 2nd Week of November 2017

Kroger: $126.93

I restocked soup and canned tomatoes in my stockpile with this week’s sale. I got a free box of Eggo’s, 8 cans of Progresso for $6, tomatoes for $0.49 each, and 3 boxes of Creamette for $0.49 total.

Dorothy Lane: $50.39

I forgot to snap a pic, but it’s mostly apple cider and healthier turkey, pork tenderloin, and beef.

Monthly Goal: $600.00

Weekly Total: $177.32

Running Total: $338.16

Frugal Step: Make A Menu

Monday: Vegan Veggie Burgers, Corn, Fruit

Tuesday: Hunt and Peck

Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin, Asparagus

Thursday: Roast Turkey, Stuffing, Mixed Veggies

Friday: Planned eating out

Saturday: Hamburgers and Brussels Sprouts

Sunday: Hunt and Peck

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. Now that we have three kids in school, it means four parent-teacher conferences. My mother came and babysat while I attended them.
  2. My friend’s grandfather passed away and I sent flowers. I went through Ebates to get 12% cash back and bought a bouquet on sale to save money. (If you wanted to try Ebates, signup through my referral link and you will get a bonus $10 cash back when you get your first rebate. I do get cash back when you sign up through my referral as well.)
  3. I worked several days this week, including evening and weekend time to save money.
  4. I had a coupon for free Eggo waffles in my Kroger digital coupons.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Dumped out several veggies that had gone bad in the drawer.
  2. Decided to impulsively rent a movie last weekend.

40 Goals for 2017: Week 43

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week.  Wow, it’s been a month since last time! 

This post contains affiliate links. When you purchase an item through my affiliate link, I receive a small percentage as compensation, that we then use to help reach our financial goals. Please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting our family!

Week Forty-Three

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. The Mister has all he needs for this year’s Roth savings and I have $2750. More than half done!
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. Each child went up one level in their skills, so it was a success. We cash-flowed this one. Boom!
  3. Save $3000 for HVAC replacement. This will be sitting in savings until next year, but we are also at 100% for this as well. Done!
  4. Save $4000 towards the mister’s car replacement fund. Done!
  5. Save $1050 650 for Christmas. Thanks to the $300 in Amazon Trade-in Credits from selling my grad school textbooks, I have completed Christmas shopping for my kids with the exception of a book or two for each child. We decided we would stick to 4-5 gifts per child, with one “bigger” gift each, and that has reduced our budget.  Goal met!

 

6. Save ? for outdoor play set.   My husband has me looking for end of season sales. I haven’t seen any at all. $50 says this gets booted to 2018.

7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). I have squirreled away $293 in savings, but our medical/educational expenses have been high and I haven’t been able to do more. We did put down $500 towards our 2018 Disney trip and have booked our family suite and tickets. Total: $293 + $500 deposit and $707 left to save

8. Spend $600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.  We went slightly over in October for groceries. So far in November I have spent $20 on entertainment, once I go out with friends tonight . I have three more social events planned this month.

9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. I completed this last week. Done!

10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo.  October was an insanely busy month for volunteering. I am the Fall Sale manager for our Girl Scout Troop and that meant I spent about 4 hours on our normal meetings,  90 minutes at our service unit meeting, 90 minutes at an extra scout field trip, and 5 hours setting up the website, chasing down orders, verifying orders were correct, and possibly tearing my hair out. I also had a 2 hour twice exceptional parent support group meeting, which I planned and lead, and joined the school district’s gifted steering committee, which meant another 2 hours. October total: 16 hours. No wonder I was busy! November will probably have similar hours.

Personal: 

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I graduated! Done!
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  October was a fail and November will likely also be a fail. We are too overscheduled and have no time off.
  3. Read 1 book per month  I started reading Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Book 2: The Hammer of Thor in September and am still not done.  I started reading A Parent’s Guide to High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder and am 75% done. If you are wondering why I haven’t read, crocheted, checked my blog email (sorry!), or done much for my sites, infer all you want from that. I have about 9 or 10 more books to read in that particular pile. This makes 18 going on 19 going on 20 read out of 12Goal met! 
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I had no formal plans in October but my friend Diane came over and helped me paint while the kids were in school. Does that count? As far as November, I am going out with the girls from work tonight, meeting friends for a movie next Friday (pending sitter), doing lunch and the art museum with another friend next week, and another girls night out with high school friends. My poor husband has to wait until December.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this month.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. When will I have a spare minute? Who knows.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. One of these days….
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. Check out these Halloween cupcakes I made for scouts. 
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.   I hit this about 70% of the time.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. We visited my in-laws in July and were thoroughly spoiled as usual. Done!
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The youngest usually gets a lot of 1:1 time, but the older ones are tougher.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. I have coats and boy clothes that need to be posted online- still.
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done! 
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. I hit this hard and totally redid my office using the organization suggested in Organizing Solutions For People with ADHD. The corner is cleared out and the bookshelf is more usable, especially since I sold most of my nursing texts to Amazon. I went through and tossed, shredded, or filed most papers, used colored files for easy visual recognition, pared those files down to only about 10, and cleared out my desk. Done!
  6. Get the toddler potty trained!  Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. We remodeled our half bath and that has taken all of our time.
  8. Plant front yard tree. We learned that if we let the old roots decompose for another year, it will be easier to plant the new tree in the same spot next year and require a smaller hole. Bonus: it will save us money this year. We filled in the area and planted a little grass instead. Deferred! New goal: weeding and mulching flower bedsimproving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken)and fixing and replacing the mailbox. New mailbox is probably not happening until spring.
  9. Paint half bath.  My friend Diane donated extra paint and helped paint. The mister replaced the pedestal sink with a roomy vanity, faucet, light, and will soon replace the mirror. It looks bigger and brighter and I now have storage!
    Before
  10. Visit 6 different parks.   Goal met: Six of six completed. 

    After

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Nope
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Procrastinating! I have been working almost 30 hours a week on top of volunteering, remodeling the bathroom, and managing our many doctor/therapy appointments.
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. I hit a 25% off sale this summer. Done!
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. This month? Good news- I decided on a name and it’s available.
  5. Explore affiliates for my sites. I signed up for Share a Sale but need to look at which ones to work with.
  6. Double my daily traffic for Frugal Stepping Stones. I have actually been hitting this regularly.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Coming soon?
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year.  I did brainstorm part of my next post .
  9. Do one guest post. Probably unrealistic for this to happen before the end of the year and still maintain my sanity.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year, which for some strange reason appears to be as soon as next month.

How are your goals going?

Feeding 5 for $150 Per Week: 1st Week of November 2017

Kroger: $ 113.53

We spent a little extra this month because I bought some food for the PTO’s staff appreciation meal at our 1st grader’s school. No big deal, we’ll make next week a little smaller.

Green Bean Delivery: $47.31

We’ve figured out that we like using Green Bean for more “special” local foods or things we forgot to get on the weekend Kroger trip.

Monthly Goal: $600.00

Weekly Total: $160.84

Running Total: $160.84