Feeding Five For $150 Per Week: Last Week of May 2017

Kroger: $74.80

Aldi: $46.66

Monthly goal: $600

Weekly total: $121.46

End of Month total: $593.10

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. My mother watched our girls last Saturday while my husband, son,and I attended my cousin’s wedding. Our son was a groomsman and it was an adult’s only wedding. She sent us home with ham, milk, chocolate almond milk, grapes, cherries, watermelon, and cantaloupe. Our fridge was so packed I canceled our Green Bean delivery for this week.
  2. Our youngest caught a pukey virus. On the good side, we paid less money in babysitting and couldn’t spend money since I was a prisoner in the house with her.
  3. We had to buy a pink dress shirt for our son for the wedding, and I have already listed it for sale on Ebay.
  4. I also listed a few nursing textbooks for sale on Amazon.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. That pukey toddler, remember? I had to cancel all three work shifts, so my next paycheck is going to suck.
  2. I also had to cancel the free nursing continuing education class I was going to do at work.Ohio nurses have to do one credit every licensure period about changes to nursing laws. I can’t get in to another seminar before renewal, so I will have to pay for it online.

40 Goals for 2017: Week 21

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week. 

This post may contain referral/affiliate links.

 

Week Twenty- One

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I am thrilled to say the Mister is already nearing 100% with his 2017 Roth and is at $4500. I have $1000.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. Classes start next week. The cost was $643 to do summer fast-track lessons and was half the amount we originally expected to spend. 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. Not yet. We tend to build up and then dump every few months, so we’ll see how this looks at the end of summer.
  5. Save $1050 for Christmas. $264 in my Christmas savings so far. I haven’t been able to take many shifts because of medical appointments, so I have saved nothing this month.
  6. Save $1800 $3000? for outdoor play set.   This is on the Mister’s proscrastination pile. Summer break starts in about 4 days. Still waiting!
  7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). We have $113 from last year’s garage sale earnings that I put towards our vacation fund. We’ll probably do a dump into this fund in the fall.
  8. Spend $500600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.  I signed up with Platejoy.com to help me plan low-carb healthy meals within the macros I am striving to meet. I have spent $471.64 so far in May.
  9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Not this week, but I have a two week break from class and I have added it to my to-do list.
  10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, we had our last two Girl Scout meetings of the school year. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s . I donated an additional $20 to a funeral fund for someone in my hometown.

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I have a two week break from homework, though next week I may work on one piece to try and get ahead. The last day of my program is July 3rd. Graduation is mid-August. This month, I completed my graduation application, ordered my MSN nursing pin, ordered my cap, hood, and gown, and booked our one-night hotel stay. I went through Expedia and Ebates to book our suite for $90, and expect $4 cash back.
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We are planning to try a new local pub started by a Scottish family Saturday night.
  3. Read 1 book per month I am working on Hedda Hopper’s The Whole Truth and Nothing But and am about 60% done. I set it aside this week because my digital library copy of

    Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike was about to expire, so I zipped through it in a day. I am a biking newbie, so I wanted to read up on safety, basic bike fixes, and whatnot. As soon as that was done, I started on another digital library book that finally was available to me, Kathy Griffin’s  Celebrity Run-Ins: My A-Z Index. I’m already about 40% of the way through that.

    I’ve been on hold for Carrie Fisher’s Shockaholic since December and it is now available too, so yes, as soon as I am done it will be another celebrity memoir. I swear I usually don’t read so many celebrity memoirs, but I can usually get one done in a day or two, so it’s been working while I am in school and have only a day or two every couple weeks to read. It’s also nice to read something funny and fluffy when the news this year has been so heavy and depressing.

    This makes 9-going-on 10 books read out of 12.

  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I had to cancel my plans with my work buddies last week thanks to crazy volume at work. This month will probably be a bust, but between Mother’s Day, our anniversary, our son’s birthday, and end of school year, May is our busiest month. Fail.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. I will schedule it in for July.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I have not touched this since my last break, but this week is another school break, so I hope to do a few more rows.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I picked up 3 shifts this week and then had to cancel them when our youngest caught a pukey virus. I will try this weekend.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No cakes planned until the summer.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.   I probably hit it 6 days this week again.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. Sometime this summer. Maybe July? The kids are begging to go to Lake Erie again.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. I have started our summer schedule, which includes a little relaxation time with PBS Kids in the morning (aka my time to exercise and write a blog post or do homework), chores, dyslexia friendly phonics, reading, and spelling work for the older two via Reading Horizons, early reading fun via ABC Mouse and using Montessori-based sandpaper letters for the 3 year old, math via Khan Academy, book reading time,  and computer coding programs for our 9 year old. We play games or do art 1:1 as a reward for finishing their daily tasks, and this is our morning schedule 3-4 days per week unless we have planned a day-long adventure. The boy and I are reading together at night before bed.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I am putting this off this until the summer
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done!
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. Sunday I am planning another big organization day.
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler, or should I say the soon-to-be-Preschooler, has officially crossed over and is completely in underwear during the day. Even her night-time diapers have been dry 90% of the time. I have put off our monthly Subscribe and Save order of Huggies Pull-ups. This will save us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. I hope to have this done by end of summer.
  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 beds, improving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken), and fixing and painting the mailbox. I have ordered some bulbs to be shipped in the fall to replace the irises and lilies that died when our tree fell on them last year. We still need to paint the mailbox, but it’s way too rainy this week. 
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. Next on agenda is fixing a leak in the master bath so we are safe to finally drywall the ceiling. Once that is done we paint.
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  Spring is here! We tried three new parks so far, the last one being the state park where we hiked for Girl Scouts.  We have plans to visit Winton Woods and Highfield Discovery Garden in July when some friends are camped there. My sister and I plan to take the kids to Shawnee Lookout and Smale Park this summer too. Three of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. I scheduled myself to work through Brilliant Pins on Monday.
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Let’s be real, until my degree is done, this is on the backburner. I have posted on the Facebook page a few times though.
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. Not yet. Waiting for a sale.
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. I am putting this off until after my master’s is complete.
  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  hit it twice this week.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet. Also on the agenda for the next two weeks.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year.  I did brainstorm part of my next post this week when I was stuck under a sick 3 year old.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my master’sis complete.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year.

How are your goals going?

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Frugal Steps and Stumbles

This post contains referral links that help support our family.

Frugal Steps:

  1. My graduation cap, gown, and hood were free of charge.
  2. I used an Amazon gift card from Swagbucks to buy my mother a Mother’s Day gift.
  3. My son had a class field trip to the zoo, and went as chaperone. I used our zoo membership to get in.
  4. We get our milk in glass bottles from the Hartzler Dairy. They are not homogenized (the cream mixed in with the milk), so there is a large plug of cream that has to be removed whenever you open a new bottle. I pull the cream plus out and save it in the fridge to use it for other recipes. One of my favorite Platejoy snacks is nonfat plain Greek yogurt mixed with a small amount of cream, fresh strawberries, vanilla, and a tiny amount of sugar.
  5. I went through Ebates to get 4% cash back when I booked our 1-night hotel stay on Expedia. We are driving up the night before my graduation ceremony. We got a suite that will fit the five of us for $90.
  6. One of our kids has 4 OT and PT appointments every month. Thus far, our new insurance seems to be covering those without any copays required! This is fantastic, since the PT may last all summer and the OT could be 9-12 months.
  7. I bought Reading Horizons, a dyslexia home study software based upon Orton-Gillingham methods (read a review here). It is 35% off, so I paid $129 instead of $199. Thankfully we get two student profiles with it, so both of our children with dyslexia issues will be able to use it and work at their own pace without paying extra.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. Dyslexia tutoring: very pricey :(. We will hopefully be starting that soon.
  2. April and May were spendy months, especially taking care of our neglected landscaping, replacing the outdoor lights, and picking up organizational containers for the office. I’m only able to work 2 days a week in May and June and probably July, so my income is reduced as well. I put only $250 in my savings in May and nothing in the Christmas or travel funds.

How was your week?

 

40 Goals For 2017: Week 20

 

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week. 

This post may contain referral/affiliate links.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything at all, I know. When I took two weeks off from grad school, I decided to take two weeks off everything else I could, and it was wonderful.

Week Twenty

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I am thrilled to say the Mister is already nearing 100% with his 2017 Roth and is at $4500. I have $1000.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. The classes won’t start until the last week of May, but we have opted to do four weeks of their summer fast track lessons.  The cost was $643 and half the amount we originally expected to spend. 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. Not yet. We tend to build up and then dump every few months, so we’ll see how this looks at the end of summer.
  5. Save $1050 for Christmas. $264 in my Christmas savings so far.
  6. Save $1800 $3000? for outdoor play set.   This is on the Mister’s proscrastination pile. Summer break starts in about 4 days. Still waiting!
  7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). We have $113 from last year’s garage sale earnings that I put towards our vacation fund. We’ll probably do a dump into this fund in the fall.
  8. Spend $500600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.  I signed up with Platejoy.com to help me plan low-carb healthy meals within the macros I am striving to meet. I have spent $337 so far in May.
  9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Not this week!
  10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, we will have our last two Girl Scout meetings of the school year and I am trying to set a date for my next twice-exceptional parents meeting for early June. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s . I donated an additional $20 to a funeral fund for someone in my hometown.

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! I finished this week’s homework already so I can enjoy my cousin’s wedding tomorrow, and I now have 3 weeks of homework to go! The last day of my program is July 3rd. Graduation is mid-August. I just bought my pin for my master’s pinning ceremony (pinning is a nursing thing), and it was $37. I sent in my graduation application and ordered my master’s gown, hood, and cap. Those pieces cost me nothing, not even shipping! I will probably be booking a hotel room to stay overnight, because it is several hours away and my pinning ceremony is early in the morning. Our kids are less likely to be disruptive if they haven’t spent hours in the car before a long and boring ceremony.
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  We are planning to try a new local pub starting by a Scottish family, that is supposed to have great authentic cuisine.
  3. Read 1 book per month I am working on Hedda Hopper’s The Whole Truth and Nothing But and am about 60% done. It’s only OK, and I am glad I did not buy it. This makes 8-going-on 9 books read out of 12.
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  I had to cancel my plans with my work buddies this week thanks to crazy volume at work. This month will probably be a bust, but between Mother’s Day, our anniversary, our son’s birthday, and end of school year, May is our busiest month.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. I will schedule it in for July.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I have not touched this since my last break, but this week is another school break, so I hope to do a few more rows.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I picked up 3 shifts this week and am off Wednesday, so I might tackle this that day.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No cakes planned until the summer.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  Much better this past week, and I probably hit it 6 days.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. Sometime this summer. Maybe July? The kids are begging to go to Lake Erie again.
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I always have lots of quality time when the bigs are in school. My girls each spent time helping me garden this week. The boy and I have started reading together at night before bed.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I am putting this off this until the summer
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done!
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. Sunday I am planning another big organization day.
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler, or should I say the soon-to-be-Preschooler, has officially crossed over and is completely in underwear during the day. Even her night-time diapers have been dry 90% of the time. I have put off our monthly Subscribe and Save order of Huggies Pull-ups. This will save us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. I hope to have this done by end of summer.
  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 beds, improving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken), and fixing and painting the mailbox. Weeding and mulching has been done, and a few flowers bought. The mister replaced all outdoor lights and scrubbed off the algae growing on the mailbox and the north-facing side of our house. I spent hours on Mother’s Day planting an herb pot and planting in the front of our house. I love it!
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. Next on agenda is fixing a leak in the master bath so we are safe to finally drywall the ceiling. Once that is done we paint!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  Spring is here! We tried three new parks so far, the last one being the state park where we hiked for Girl Scouts. Three of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. Maybe next Monday?
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Let’s be real, until my degree is done, this is on the backburner. I have posted on the Facebook page a few times though.
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. Not yet. Waiting for a sale.
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. I am putting this off until after my master’s is complete.
  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 haven’t hit it once this week, but I also haven’t been very active on other blogs that bring traffic. I gave myself permission to relax during my break.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet. Also on the agenda for the next two weeks.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year. Yikes! I am still procrastinating on this.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my master’sis complete.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year.

How are your goals going?

Shop Related Products

Feeding 5 For $150 Per Week: 2nd Week of May 2017

Green Bean: $60.63

(no picture)

mushrooms, onions,  mandarins, zucchini, blueberries, asparagus, tomatoes,pineapple, kiwi,strawberries,  Smoking Goose bacon, 3 half-gallons Hartzler Dairy milk

Kroger: $132.18

We had a small cookout for family only for our son’s birthday this weekend, and my in-laws were in town with us for 4 days. We bought extra regular food, beer, and party food.

Monthly goal: $600

Weekly total: $192.81

Running total: $337.73

 

40 Goals for 2017: Week 19

I’m keeping myself accountable this year by tracking my progress on my 40 Goals for 2017 every week. 

This post may contain referral/affiliate links.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything at all, I know. When I took two weeks off from grad school, I decided to take two weeks off everything else I could, and it was wonderful.

Week Nineteen

Financial:

  1. Max Roth IRAs for the mister and I: $11000. I am thrilled to say the Mister is already nearing 100% with his 2017 Roth and is at $4500. I have $1000.
  2. Cash flow 4 months of swim lessons at Aquatots for our son and older daughter: $1200. The classes won’t start until the last week of May, but we have opted to do four weeks of their summer fast track lessons.  The cost was $643 and half the amount we originally expected to spend. 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. Not yet. We tend to build up and then dump every few months, so we’ll see how this looks at the end of summer.
  5. Save $1050 for Christmas. $264 in my Christmas savings so far.
  6. Save $1800 $3000? for outdoor play set.   This is on the Mister’s proscrastination pile. Summer break starts in about 10 days, so I’m a little annoyed.
  7. Save $750 towards next year’s 2018 family vacation and $ 750 towards my 2018 40th birthday trip ($125/month). We have $113 from last year’s garage sale earnings that I put towards our vacation fund. We’ll probably do a dump into this fund in the fall.
  8. Spend $500600/mo or less on groceries and $100/mo or less on my fun money.  I signed up with Platejoy.com to help me plan low-carb healthy meals within the macros I am striving to meet. I’m on my 4th week of this and we are still happy with the meal options. Our grocery budget is hovering around $150 per week, but I’m going to play with it a couple more weeks and see if it levels out.
  9. Finally roll over one of my 401Ks. Not this week!
  10. Give: 5 hours of volunteer time and $50/mo. This month, we will have our last two Girl Scout meetings of the school year and I am trying to set a date for my next twice-exceptional parents meeting for early June. I donated $27 for the child in Gambia we sponsor from Plan and $42/ to St. Jude’s  in April and May. I donated an additional $20 to a funeral fund for someone in my hometown.

Personal:

  1. Complete my master’s degree! As of this coming Monday, I will have 4 weeks of homework to go! The last day of my program is July 3rd. Graduation is mid-August.
  2. Date night with the husband once per month.  Our 11th anniversary was last week, but we won’t have our official celebration until Grandma takes the kids for an overnight at the end of the month.
  3. Read 1 book per month I just finished Organizing Solutions for People With ADHD, and have quite a list of changes I am making in this house that the book recommends . I started Hedda Hopper’s The Whole Truth and Nothing But and am about 40% done. I am finding it a bit discombobulated and all over the place, so I’m not sure if I will finish. I try to pick a fluffy book on weeks I have homework. This makes 8-going-on 9 books read out of 12.
  4. Monthly me-time with friends.  This coming week, I am going out to dinner with my two work buddies.
  5. Complete one freelance submission. Nothing this week. I will schedule it in for July.
  6. Finish the afghan languishing in the closet. I have added on about 4 more inches during my break.
  7. Learn how to set up my sewing machine and complete one simple project. OK, didn’t happen yet. I have a million Girl Scout patches to sew on. The last meeting is Tuesday and I am 100% certain they will not be on by then,since I have 3 pieces of heavy schoolwork to complete.
  8. Conquer iced cookies and icing a cake. No cakes planned until the summer.
  9. Drink 64 ounces water daily.  Maybe 2 days this week? I have been running around too much on days I don’t work. This end of school month is super busy.
  10. Survive my practicum without eating fast food. We are calling this a 50% success.

Family/Home:

  1. Visit family in Cleveland. Sometime this summer. Maybe July?
  2. Weekly 1:1 time with each child. The Little and I always have lots of quality time when the bigs are in school. I chaperoned my son’s trip to the zoo Friday and my 6 year old and I baked two batches of cookies this week.
  3. Sell my son’s old clothes. These are hiding in the closet. I am putting this off this until the summer
  4. Complete kitchen counter clear-off to prepare for a fish tank. Done!
  5. Clear out our study corner hot spot. Ack! This is piling up again!
  6. Get the toddler potty trained! The Toddler, or should I say the soon-to-be-Preschooler, has officially crossed over and is completely in underwear during the day. Even her night-time diapers have been dry 90% of the time. I have put off our monthly Subscribe and Save order of Huggies Pull-ups. This will save us $20-30/month. Success!
  7. Hang pictures in front hallway. Nope. They are now neatly stacked and ready to go though. I hope to have this done by end of summer.
  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 beds, improving the plantings in the beds, replacing all outdoor lights (several are broken), and fixing and painting the mailbox. Weeding and mulching has been done, and a few flowers bought. The mister replaced all outdoor lights and scrubbed off the algae growing on the mailbox and the north-facing side of our house. 
  9. Paint half bath. Not yet. Next on agenda is fixing a leak in the master bath so we are safe to finally drywall the ceiling. Once that is done we paint!
  10. Visit 6 different parks.  Spring is here! We tried three new parks so far, the last one being the state park where we hiked for Girl Scouts. Three of six completed. 

Business:

  1. Complete Etsy Essentials and Brilliant Pins courses. Not yet. Maybe next Monday?
  2. Start posting regularly on my Best Geeky Baby Names site. Let’s be real, until my degree is done, this is on the backburner. I have posted on the Facebook page a few times though.
  3. Purchase the virtual real estate for the other four sites I want to create. Not yet. Waiting for a sale.
  4. Incorporate as an LLC. I am putting this off until after my master’s is complete.
  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 haven’t hit it once this week, but I also haven’t been very active on other blogs that bring traffic. I gave myself permission to relax during my break.
  7. Start a monthly newsletter. Not yet. Also on the agenda for the next two weeks.
  8. Expand my Emergency Menu Plans by one new plan each month this year. Yikes! I am still procrastinating on this.
  9. Do one guest post. Not yet, but I have a few ideas where to reach out. This will happen after my master’sis complete.
  10. Interview one person for the blog. I have someone who is interested in being interviewed. It will be later this year.

How are your goals going?

Shop Related Products

Feeding 5 For $150 Per Week: 1st Week of May 2017

Green Bean Delivery: $55.87

Those half-gallons of milk are pricey at over $6 each, but that includes a $2 bottle deposit for each one. Having it delivered is so helpful, because I can just chuck the empty bottles in my delivery box and the cost of the deposit is deducted from my next week’s order. When we tried buying the milk from Kroger, we always forgot to schlep the heavy bottles back to the store,and honestly were less inclined to do so because it meant an extra wait at the service desk to return them.

Kroger: $40.13

Just ignore the diapers. The $8.50 for those came out of our household budget, which has thankfully shrunk since we potty-trained the youngest. We’re still not brave enough to let her fly swim diaper free in the community pool however. Hopefully this is our last year of buying any kind of diaper?

We don’t often buy single-serve snacks and drinks,but my son has a field trip this week to the Zoo, so I let him have a special treat.

Aldi: $33.92

In playing around with our new expanded grocery budget, I have learned that I really have to go to Aldi and Kroger every week in order to stay within budget. With only about 4 weeks of grad school work to go, this will rapidly become more easy to do every week. Every time I skipped the longer drive to Aldi, my costs jacked up.

Ele Bakery: $15

This week’s extravagance was to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary. I spent all day (and was up until 1 am) doing grad school homework, so no time to play around with baking.

When I was pregnant with our 6 year old daughter, my coworkers threw me a shower and bought cupcakes from this bakery. They were some of the best I have ever had in my life, and The Mister has never lived down gobbling the three leftover cupcakes I brought home without leaving one for his pregnant wife. You know a cupcake is good when a man cupcake-blocks his own pregnant wife!

Monthly goal: $600

Weekly total: $144.92

Running total: $144.92

 

Frugal Steps and Stumbles

Frugal Steps:

  1. Our youngest passed her strawberry allergy skin test. She still has to pass an oral challenge at the allergist’ s office, but if she does it will mean one less pricey Epi-pen to buy every year (never mind the weight of fear we will drop!)
  2. I baked two dozen cookies for PTO staff appreciation using butter I had bought at my stock-up price of $2/lb.
  3. I finished using my 3-massage package I bought at a 50% discount via Groupon.
  4. I took my 3 year old to story time at the library.
  5. We bought a summer Zoo membership using a discount code. We don’t always get a membership, but we knew both kids would be doing field trips there this year and I would be chaperoning. We also have plans to visit a Zoo in another city this year and a membership would allow us in there too. The cost of a basic membership without bells and whistles was less than admission and parking for all three trips. We plan to get good use out of it this year and go two additional times during Halloween and Christmas.
  6. I bought my MIL Mother’s Day flowers from 1800Flowers by going through Ebates (referral link) to get 12% cash back, using a 30% off coupon code, and using a gift card I bought on Raise.com for 23% discount.

Frugal Stumbles:

  1. The past few weeks have been some spendy ones! I bought my first bike since I was 12, something we have talked about for over 2 years. We decided to go with a good local bike shop and I tried many, many bikes until I found one that worked with my petite height and crappy crooked back. With arthritis, my exercise options are walk, bike, or swim. I am looking for a used bike trailer, but the resale market costs almost as much as new!
  2. We bought some beach essentials at Sam’s, including a few chairs and a beach umbrella. We went to Lake Erie last summer and will go there again this summer. We also plan on going to Florida next year. Things that do not go well with arthritis: sitting on the ground for long periods. I swore I would never do that again. Now I have a low beach chair and an umbrella to shade myself. Did you know that sunlight stimulates the immune system and should be avoided if you have autoimmune disease?