Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Oh Heck! I'm Going Back to Bed

Between my computer acting up and feeling like I am coming down with something I am calling off Tuesday and going back to bed.

Enjoy playing in the snow if you got any.
Don't wake me until tomorrow.


Monday, January 26, 2015

This Week on the Dining Table

The "Lots of Snow Here & More Coming" Edition........


Here's what we got overnight.....about 1 inch.  That's on top of the 5 inches we got overnight Friday/Saturday.
These Nor' Easters are tricky where we live.  They can track more west and we get dumped on too like the coast.  This one is suppose to stay east so we won't be looking at a potential of 3 feet here.  Maybe another 6 inches.
Another storm is due in Thursday from the North but shouldn't give us but a few more inches.
Ah, the joys of January in NEPA! lolz

Here's what was planned last week.....................

1.  Leftover Lasagna
2.  Garlic Ginger Shrimp Stir-fry
3.  Bean and Ham Soup(If too salty for me I'll eat Broc/Caul. Soup.)
4.  Chicken Parmesan, Salad
5.  Broiled Salmon, Coleslaw, Veggie
6.  Leftovers
7. Birthday Meal out(probably steak)
And this is what actually happened--

1.  Leftover Lasagna, Steamed Broccoli
2.  Chicken Parmesan, Salad
3.  Birthday Meal out-Steak, Salad, Green Beans
4.  Leftover Broccoli-Cauliflower Soup
5.  Breaded Fish, Coleslaw, Steamed Sugar Snap Peas
6.  Brisket on Rolls, Coleslaw
7.  Leftover Lasagna, Salad

Substituted Breaded Fillets for Salmon and didn't make the Shrimp or Bean Soup yet.  Still eating on that Lasagna too. burp 

Last week I made 3 trips(Hubs made another one too)to 2 different grocery stores here and spent $92.79 on $197.12 reg. retail worth of food.

My spending so far for January on food is $258.08 for $545.00 worth of food.(Not counting Rite-Aid.)
I went $7+ over on my self-imposed $250 budget for January and there are 5 days left in the month.

Let's see if I can keep from setting foot into a grocery store until Feb. 1st(Sunday) and dig through the pantry/freezer to come up with meals for this week.  I might break down and go Saturday as there are about $10 worth of deals I want.

Leftovers going into this week are barbecue, coleslaw and breaded fish.

Here is the plan for this week.........

1.  Leftovers(I had soup, hubs had hot dogs)
2.  Risotto with Chicken & Mushrooms  
3.  Leftover BBQ, Coleslaw
4.  Chicken & Dumplings, Carrots
5.  Bean and Ham Soup, Brussells Sprouts
6.  Tuna Noodle Casserole, Veggie
7.  Leftovers

I bought a cheap small whole chicken last week(instant discount sticker)so I've got it in the crockpot today cooking away.  Will use half for Risotto tonight and the other half of the meat and stock from simmering the bones in Chicken 'n Dumplings later this week.  Tomorrow I'll make the Ham & Bean soup.
We still have 2 helpings of Lasagna leftover even after having it for dinner and lunch last week.  That will probably go into the freezer this week.
I can do this plan without buying anything this week.

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?    

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten that week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Blogger Update

If anyone is missing Cindi over at "Thrifty at Sixty" she moved her blog to Word Press.
I have updated the link to her new digs on the Side Bar Blogger Roll as well as on the Blog Roll Page.

That is all.
Carry on.


Rite-Aid Oops!

Well I showed you what I bought at the end of the week at Rite-Aid but I forgot to show you what I bought at the beginning of the week.

It's just a little bit bought on Tuesday.....

2 x Quattro razor refills $13.99(20% Wellness disc. $11.19)=$22.38

I used these coupons--
2 x $5/1 Quattro refills IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$10.00
2 x $3/1 Quattro refill VideoValuesQ=$6.00
Coupon total....$16

$22.38-$16.00=$6.38 + .63¢tax=$7.01

I used $6 in +Up Rewards and paid $1.01 OOP.
I earned $6 in new +Up Rewards(2 x $3 Quattro).

$27.98 in merchandise for $1.01.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Last of the Shopping This Week

With snow due in on Saturday *Update--we got 5 inches so far* I finished my shopping for the week on Friday.

First I took some Qs and my $10 off your next order catalina I earned earlier this week and bought all this at Weis.........

4 x Barilla pasta on sale .88¢=$3.52
3 x Spaghetti-o's on sale .88¢=$2.64
1 x Weis sour cream=.88¢
4 x Musselman's apple sauce cups on sale=$5.48
3 x Oreo cookies on sale=$5.91
1 x Pretzel rolls 50% off=$1.49

Coupons Used
2 x .75¢/2 Barilla pasta IPQ(coupons dotcom, doubled to $1)=$2.00
2 x .75¢/2 Musselman's ManuQ(doubled to $1)=$2.00
2 x .50/1 Oreo's IPQ(coupons dotcom but I think they are NLA, doubled to $1)=$3.00
Coupon Total......$7.00

I used the $10 Catalina and paid $2.92 OOP.
The Spaghetti-o's purchase will earn me .40¢ back in my Saving Star account. ;-)

Savings rate of 92%.
$36.85 reg. retail worth of items.

The Spaghetti-o's and the cookies are for College Boy(except the pumpkin spice ones are for me ), the applesauce is for Hubs' lunches, the pasta & sour cream are for the stockpile and the rolls were for dinner last night.

Then I had $4 in +Ups to spend/roll at Rite-Aid before Saturday night so I got this stuff.....

5 x Palmolive dish liquid on sale $1=$5.00
2 x Nature Made Vitamin C BOGO=$7.69

Coupons Used
4 x .25¢/1 Palmolive dish liquid IPQ(coupons dotcom)=$1.00
1 x $7/1 Nature Made item ManuQ(mailed to me)=$7.00
Coupon Total.....$8.00

$12.69-$8.00=$4.69 + .20¢ tax=$4.89
I used $4 in +Up Rewards and paid .89¢ OOP.

I earned $1 in new +Up Rewards($1 wyb 5 Palmolive).

After Qs and +Ups earned the dish liquid comes out to .60¢ a bottle(if you don't pay with +Ups)and the vitamin C bottles were .69¢ for 2.....that's all before sales tax of .20¢ here.

My next batch of +Ups expire 1/29 so I'll be going back to Rite-Aid early next week.  I've got about $30 in +Ups to spend/roll then.

After looking at next week's ad online I am figuring my trip will include facial cleaners and shampoo and maybe some snacks(it's Super Bowl deals time)like frozen pizzas and chips(for Hubs).  We'll see once the new Video Values come out after midnight and we see how they will pair with the available Qs and sales ad.

Did you get any great deals at the stores this week?


Friday, January 23, 2015

$24K Savings Challenge Updates & 2015's Savings Challenge Goal

So this Savings Challenge I do every year, well, since 2009 at least........I use the previous year's SC $ saved as an emergency fund for the following year.

IE-the money saved in 2012 was used to fund emergencies & irregular expenses in 2013 when regular income didn't cover everything.
Then at the end of following year, when all the emergencies that were going to take place had, I took whatever was left in that SC and put it into an interest bearing non-retirement account of some sort and it became "permanent". And hopefully when we retire it will be added to our sack o' money/retirement funds.

I started my personal Savings Challenge in 2009 when I was on a Yahoo group called "The Compact".  I was younger and pretty na├»ve about how much I could save from our income then and challenged myself to put away 60 THOUSAND DOLLARS!  Yes, 6 with 4 Zeroes after it. lolz
I didn't even get halfway there.
But you know what?
It didn't matter that I failed at my goal.
What mattered is that I saved something, right?!?

In 2009 I saved $23,865.36
We used $13,460.81 of that money in 2010 for unexpected expenses, sending the remaining $10,404.55 to permanent savings.

In 2010 I saved $34,019.88
We used $427.81 of that money in 2011, sending the remaining $33,592.07 to permanent savings.

In 2011 I saved $34,461.31
We used $2,627.16 of that money in 2012, sending the remaining $31,834.15 to permanent savings.

In 2012 I saved $28,907.08
We used $23,611.66 of that money in 2013, sending the remaining $5,295.42 to permanent savings.

In 2013 I saved $24,033.60
We used $0.00 of that money in 2014, sending the remaining $24,033.60 to permanent savings.

In 2014 I saved $27,427.06 and this will be the pot of money we draw from for any emergencies/irregular expenses in 2015, before sending whatever remains to permanent savings.

You can see from above that some years we had many unexpected expenses and most years we had few.....what we spent from the previous year's savings varied from $23,611.66 in 2012 to using $0 in 2014.
I am just thankful I DID save money because if there hadn't been that pot of money sitting in the bank in 2012, we would have had to delay or worse, put some of those expenses on a credit card!

So with 5 full years of my Savings Challenges(2009-2013) tucked away for our retirement years my total is sitting at $105,159.79.

But..........you knew there had to be a but somewhere, right?........Hubs got a generous Bonus in 2014 as well.
He gets a bonus most year's but last year's was waaaay awesomer.

We had 3 large irregular expenses last year--having our driveway re-asphalted, my road trip to the Midwest and oh yeah, we bought a new car in May.
Instead of funding these purchases with our 2013 Savings Challenge monies we used part of the bonus. 
This means we didn't spend down any of the money saved in 2013's savings Challenge.
Go us!

And after paying for these expenses with the bonus we still have $18+K leftover from that hunk of bonus money.
So I am adding it to what I saved in the 2014 Savings Challenge, which boosts our 2014 total saved to $46,193.93. 8-)))))))

Again when 2015 is over and everything is paid for, whatever is left from that $46+K will go into permanent savings for our retirement years.

Now I need to settle on a savings goal amount for 2015.
Since we actually saved $27+K in 2014(without the bonus $), I think I'll inch the bar up a bit to $28K for 2015.

$28K is very doable, given our income level.   If I keep my frugal nose to the grindstone and no big expenses wallop us this year we should make that number.

We will have some extra expenses in 2015 with home repairs(getting things ready to sell in a couple of years) and the ever present car issues....plus 1 child still in college and dependent on us(IE $$$) and another child still on our medical insurance.

I plan to keep our living expenses as low as possible without having to go into "financial desperation mode".  We won't be turning off the lights or heat or eating just rice and beans but we won't be splurging on lobster and filet mignon out at restaurants every night, lighting up the neighborhood like the Vegas strip or spending on extravagances like luxury goods and world cruises either.

So who wants to play along and save some of their income in 2015?
Figure out what you can reasonably live on and put the rest away for your retirement....or if you still have debt(and why do you still have debt at this point in your life?!?)put something extra this year toward that goal and get yourself DEBT-FREE and/or MORTGAGE-FREE.

Set whatever goal feels right for your life.  Experts have said that people who set goals do better with their money overall.  Set a goal to keep yourself accountable.  Better yet, post a goal on your blog or in a community forum online and let other people's eyes help keep you more accountable.  8-)

Yah, it might not be fun to track your expenses but if you don't know where your money is going(and with most folks the money DOES GO!)how can you know if you keep any?

Tell us your savings goal for this year and how you plan to go about achieving that number.