Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Household Project List 2016 -- January Update

 

It doesn't look like I crossed much off for January, but everyday I worked on something that's on this list, whether it got crossed off or not.  I feel like January has set a determined and consistant tone for the rest of the year, which I am very pleased about!  I also feel like all I did was go through paper - last year's files, mementos, misc keepsakes I thought I needed to keep and I don't, receipts, cards, and the list goes on from there.  I filled 4 boxes of paper for recycling and 1 box to be burnt/shredded.  It's funny, but I just feel so much lighter knowing that it's all gone!  I also found some great baskets at the Dollar Tree to use in my organizing, and I LOVE them.  They are the perfect sizes and cheerfully colored, plus they only cost $1 each!  So, below is my progress report for January.  I am hoping that I can keep trucking for at least another 2 months...
  • Bedroom: 
    • Declutter 2 Dressers, 1 Chest of Drawers, 2 Nightstands, 1 Closet, and Under the Bed
    • Steam off the crappy boarder
    • Re-glue the wallpaper seams
    • Change the wall art
  • Hall: 
    • Declutter Hall Closet, Desk, and Coat Closet
    • Sell desk, and move in a bench
    • Build another shelf in the hall closet
  • Bathroom:
    • Declutter the Bathroom Cabinets and Drawers
    • Touch up the paint (Joe and I might actually repaint the entire bathroom, as the color scheme is not great, so this will happen last, if at all - we might just wait and repaint in 2017)
  • Living Room:
    • Declutter 8 Cube Baskets, 1 End Table, and 3 Dresser Drawers
    • Finish adding pictures to our 'mural' wall
    • Paint the letter 'R' on our 'mural' wall
    • Find new art for behind the futon
  • Kitchen:
    • Declutter 35 Cabinets, 1 Pantry, 1 China Cabinet, and 11 Drawers
    • Get a new trashcan
    • Steam the wallpaper off our microwave table, and repaint it
    • Paint the windows/sills/trim
    • Clean out the chest freezer and defrost it
  • Nursery/Office:
    • Declutter the Closet, Dresser, Desk, Chest of Drawers, Bookcase, Sewing Table, and Cedar Chest
    • Go through the CD 3-drawer organizer and combine into a large CD case 
    • Install new curtain rods and tie backs; Hang new curtains
    • Make a new curtain for the closet; Hang
    • Buy new Lamp/Shade for the Dresser
    • Re-glue wallpaper
    • Bring in new chest of drawers (#2)
    • Build new shelf (or two) above the desk; Add books to shelves
    • Paint the windows/sills and the closet door frame 
  • Laundry Room:
    •  Declutter Desk, 3 Drawer Stand, Bookcase, and Closet (including stored Christmas decorations)
    • Touch up paint from renovation
    • Hang art -- still deciding on if this is necessary
    • Wash box of new-to-us toys 

Household Project List for 2016


I have decided to make 2016 the year I get my household is order, finally.  After a crazy work schedule in 2015, and just general neglect over the years, the house needs some major work.  Every winter I do some serious decluttering through the entire house - I really don't know where it all comes from.  I feel like I get rid of boxes and bags full of stuff every year, and yet there is just as much to get rid of the next time.  So, decluttering is definitely on the docket, but so are some fun projects, and some general home maintenance, like painting.  I decided to make a list of the household projects I want to complete this year, and keep it separate from my goals list.  I will still keep you all updated monthly, and will share pictures when I can, but I feel like adding all these things to my goals for the year would have really bogged me down.  Because this list is seriously long, as you can see.  I basically just broke my list down by room; I felt like that was the most straightforward way to organize my thoughts.  Please keep in mind that our home is a 'rental' of sorts, so there is only so much I can do to make it look pretty.  So, without further ado, everything I want to accomplish in the house in 2016...
  • Bedroom: 
    • Declutter 2 Dressers, 1 Chest of Drawers, 2 Nightstands, 1 Closet, and Under the Bed
    • Steam off the crappy boarder
    • Re-glue the wallpaper seams
    • Change the wall art
  • Hall: 
    • Declutter Hall Closet, Desk, and Coat Closet
    • Sell desk, and move in a bench
    • Build another shelf in the hall closet

  • Bathroom:
    • Declutter the Bathroom Cabinets and Drawers
    • Touch up the paint (Joe and I might actually repaint the entire bathroom, as the color scheme is not great, so this will happen last, if at all - we might just wait and repaint in 2017)
  • Living Room:
    • Declutter 8 Cube Baskets, 1 End Table, and 3 Dresser Drawers
    • Finish adding pictures to our 'mural' wall
    • Paint the letter 'R' on our 'mural' wall
    • Find new art for behind the futon
  • Kitchen:
    • Declutter 35 Cabinets, 1 Pantry, 1 China Cabinet, and 11 Drawers
    • Get a new trashcan
    • Steam the wallpaper off our microwave table, and repaint it
    •  Paint the windows/sills/trim
    • Clean out the chest freezer and defrost it
  • Nursery/Office:
    • Declutter the Closet, Dresser, Desk, Chest of Drawers, Bookcase, Sewing Table, and Cedar Chest
    • Go through the CD 3-drawer organizer and combine into a large CD case 
    • Install new curtain rods and tie backs; Hang new curtains
    • Make a new curtain for the closet; Hang
    • Buy new Lamp/Shade for the Dresser
    • Re-glue wallpaper
    • Bring in new chest of drawers (#2)
    • Build new shelf (or two) above the desk; Add books to shelves
    • Paint the windows/sills and the closet door frame 
  • Laundry Room:
    •  Declutter Desk, 3 Drawer Stand, Bookcase, and Closet (including stored Christmas decorations)
    • Touch up paint from renovation
    • Hang art -- still deciding on if this is necessary
    • Wash box of new-to-us toys 

Does anyone else have some goals planned for their house this year?
Decorating?  Declutering?
Share what you are planning in the comments below...

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 01/31-02/06/2016

I LOVE the first week in the month -- a fresh start with a full grocery envelope!  There were lots of great deals this week, plus we are still clearing out the freezers, so there wasn't much that I had to buy.  This meant that I could stock-up on cheap soup, and frozen vegetables as well we money-making cards, and dry shampoos.  However, I really NEED a meat deal soon.  I hate to pay full price, but our beef and chicken freezer stash is getting a little low.  We have plenty of pork, but I do like a little variety in our meats each day.  Hopefully something will pop up next week, even if it is just a marked-down package or two.  Any way, here's how the shopping went the first week of February...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $1.68 oop, Earned $9.75 ECB's ($5 Dove, $2 Cards, $2 Venus, and $0.75 M and M's), $3 Saving Star Rebate (Dove), and $1.50 Checkout 51 Rebate (Venus)
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $30.50 oop (included, but not pictured are 8 gallons of H2O)
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $32.26 oop, Earned $0.25 Ibotta Rebate (Red Pasta Sauce)

Total OOP: $64.44
Total Earned: $14.50
Total Remaining for February: $321.20

Linked to Couponaholic, I heart Publix, and many more! 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: 02/01/2016


This week we start a new month and a fresh grocery budget.  After a month of eating down the pantry and freezers, the cupboards are not bare, but there isn't a whole lot left either.  I am hoping for some meat deals soon.  We will be able to defrost and reorganize our chest freezer this coming weekend though, which I am super excited about!  I am planning to sort everything into reusable bags, and redo my inventory sheet while I'm at it.  That will give me a better idea of what I have to work with; this week I'm flying by the seat of my pants a little, as I didn't keep very good track of what was used during January - whoops!  Any way, we have a lot of running around to do this week -- a day spent at Pap's, a morning thrifting, and two days of work, one with a super bowl party!  Which means I kept things simple and planned my meals based on what was on top in the chest freezer.  Here's what's cookin' this week...
  • Breakfasts: Pop-Tarts, Aldi's 'Nutrigrain' Granola Bars, Mini Muffins, Bagels, Eggs, Toast
  • Lunches: Leftovers, Grilled cheese/PB and J/Tuna Sandwiches, Frozen TV Meals, Canned Soups
  • Dinners:
    • Sunday - Soup and Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
    • Monday - Crock-pot Meatballs, Sauce, Noodles, Garlic Bread, and Green Beans
    • Tuesday - Leftovers
    • Wednesday - Crock-pot Pork Loin and Baked Potatoes, Broccoli and Cheese Sauce
    • Thursday -  Take-out (I'm thinking Friendly's with Sundaes!)
    • Friday - Pizza
    • Saturday - Crock-pot BBQ Chicken Legs, Misc. Roasted Potatoes and Veg from the Freezer
For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Goals Update: January 2016


January was a very productive month in the decluttering and organizing area.  I am so happy that I have been able to cross some things off my household project list  -- it means that I am that many steps closer to crossing that goal off this list!  Overall I'm very pleased with my progress for only one month in.  Here's how things went goal-wise this month...

Personal:
  • Lose 20 lbs (about 1.5 lbs a month) - I have lost zero pounds so far.  I'm okay with this since I am only 1 month in.
  • Exercise 292 days - In January I exercised 20 out of 31 days.  I'd say that I am off to an amazing start for not exercising very much in the past.  I also did not start working on this goal until the 5th, so that was 4 days right there that I didn't exercise.  I usually ride my exercise bike and do some stretches while Howard is napping, and then I can also grab a quick shower before he wakes up.  There are days when I am very sore, but there are also days when I feel amazing.  The amazing days are what keep me going and make this en-devour feel worthwhile!
  • Drink at least 70 oz of water everyday - I do great with this the days that I work.  The days when I am at home all day find me drinking more hot tea than usual.  I am hoping that I can do better with this goal in February. 
 Financial:
  • Coupon and deal shop to stick to my $350/month budget - I shared my budget update for January here.  If you click over, you can see all of the great things I was able to stock-up on while still staying under budget!  We did a freezer/pantry challenge in January, so the only purchases I had to make were things to round out our meals, or make something into a meal.  This left me with a LOT of leeway to stock-up on things at rock-bottom prices!  Like diapers.  And lotion.  And vitamins.  And, you get the picture. 
  •  Earn at least 6 - $25 Amazon gift card through Swagbucks - I earned my first $25 Amazon gift card for 2016 this month.  I really didn't think I be able to get another one so quickly; however, I have Joe on board now.  He will ask if I've reached enough for my daily bonus when we go to bed at night, and if I haven't, he'll let the app run while we get ready for bed, and chat, and read.  Little things like that really add up apparently. 
  • List at least 10 things per month online - In January I tested the waters of the Facebook selling groups.  I listed bras, swim trunks, purses, chair cushions, and a few other things.  All totaled I listed 31 items in January and sold 9 of them.  Pretty good for a first go-round.  In February I plan to list some sewing patterns on Ebay as well as some books on Amazon.
  • Set up at 6 Flea Markets/Shows to sell our wares - We were suppose to set up at a Flea Market on the 30th, however, with all the snow the show has been postponed until February 20th.  So, we will set up next month and get this goal started!
Household:
  • Completely declutter the entire house - I made a LOT of progress on this goal in January.  I usually start with the bedroom, move into the hall, then do the living room, bathroom, and kitchen, ending in the nursery/office.  I do that room last because I know the other 5 won't be as involved, and I can get them done quickly.  But then, by the time I get to the nursery/office, I have usually run out steam, or time.  This year I decided to go backwards, kind of.  I am putting my primary focus on the nursery/office, and working on the other areas as time allows.  I can only work in the nursery/office in the mornings, because of Howard's daily afternoon nap (which I am ever so grateful for).  This leaves nap-time for couponing, blogging, OR quiet decluttering.  While I can't declutter my squeaky kitchen cabinets while he is sleeping, I can go through a basket or two in the living room or some dresser drawers in the bedroom.  I think that this tactic is going to work well for me over the next couple months, and allow me to get this goal crossed off sooner.  As for my progress, I have finished the nursery/office closet, desk area, and chest of drawers.  I am also halfway through our bedroom, and the living room.  
  • Finish my 2016 project list - I have my project list update posted separately.  However, I will share that I was able to cross off quite a few items, mostly decluttering, but I think it's best to get that out of the way before I start some of the larger projects.  I also managed to do some painting during the blizzard!
Blogging:
  • Post at least 3 times a week - I did amazingly well with this goal during January.  I posted at least 3 times per week.  All totaled I shared 17 posts in January, which averages to 4.25 a week!
  • Do a 31 day series in October - Not there yet.  I have been working on some ideas in my blogging journal though. 
  • Set up a Facebook page for my blogDidn't happen in January, but I have this at the top of my list for February.  It seems so simple, so I want it crossed off quick.
How is everyone else doing with their goals?
Anything new or different you are trying this year?
Share some of your goals in the comments...

Saturday, January 30, 2016

January 2016 Budget Update

January was the first month on our new increased grocery budget, and it went AMAZINGLY well!  In fact, I was under budget, something that wasn't happening in 2015.  I also got a BJ's membership for half-price in December, and used it to pick up a few things this month.  This helped to save some dough, but the key is to only buy things you regularly use, and that beat the grocery store price.  We also did a freezer/pantry challenge this month to help clean out the odds and ends that had been accumulating over the holidays.  We have almost eaten enough to defrost the chest freezer, and the food has been pretty good as well.  Overall, January was a snowy busy month, but we ate and shopped well, as you can see below...
  • Week #1: $70.64 oop, Earned $5 ECB's, $9 Saving Star Rebate, and $1 Find and Save Rebate
  • Week #2: $98.52 oop, Earned $14 ECB's, $0.50 Saving Star Rebate, $0.25 Ibotta Rebate, and $6.66 Find and Save Rebate
  • Week #3: $59.71 oop, Earned $10 ECB's, and $0.50 Ibotta Rebate
  • Week #4: $85.49 oop, Earned $14 ECB's, $1.50 Checkout 51 Rebate, $0.50 Ibotta Rebates, $25 Amazon Gift Card from Swagbucks, and $0.71 Find and Save Rebates
Total OOP: $314.36
Total Earned: $88.62
Total Remaining from January: $35.64

Weekly Spending Report: 01/24-30/2016

Because of the massive blizzard, I missed my usually shopping on Sunday, and didn't get to the stores until Tuesday.  But because the roads were still not in great shape, I needed to take the suburban, and because I won't drive that boat-of-a-car, I also needed to take my husband, and son.  So needless to say, my shopping this week was anything but normal, but that happens sometimes.  We made it through the snow warm and with full bellies, and then restocked afterwards.  There were some great deals on things I needed at CVS, and I picked up the usual needed items at ALDI, but Giant was seriously lacking in the deal department.  I wasn't even going to go, but I thought that with the crazy snow storm we had, there might be meat markdowns, and I can always use marked-down meat!  Unfortunately there were no meat deals to be had.  I did however score some $0.29 diaper cream, and got a good price on some wipes using electronic coupons on my card along with paper coupons.  I also wrangled my husband into stopping at the Dollar Tree since I couldn't go Saturday and I needed some more of the AWESOME baskets below for my organizing projects.  All in all it was a good trip, even if it was a little crazy.  Here's how my spending went down this LAST week of January...
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip: $11.44 oop, Earned $14 ECB's ($2 Venus Razor, $2 Rain Check, $10 Benefiber), $1.50 Checkout 51 Rebate (Venus Razor), and $0.22 Find and Save Rebate
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $13.07 oop, Earned $0.13 Find and Save Rebate
  • Tuesday's Giant Trip: $25.33 oop, Earned $0.25 Ibotta Rebate (Bacon)
  • Tuesday's Dollar Tree Trip: $13.66 oop, Earned $0.36 Find and Save Rebate
  • Tuesday's BJ's Trip: $18.81 oop, Earned $0.25 Ibotta Rebate (Hot Dogs) 
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip: $3.18 oop (2 newspapers, and 1 package of Tic Tacs)
  • Earned $25 Amazon Gift card from Swagbucks!
Total OOP: $85.49
Total Earned: $41.71
Total Remaining from January: $35.64 (added to February's money)

Linked to I heart Publix, and many more!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: 01/25/2016


Because we are doing a freezer/pantry challenge this month, I made a month-long menu plan on the 1st.  I haven't had to do much editing to it with the exception of leftovers, until this week.  Since we now have almost 3 feet of snow outside our door, my regularly scheduled shopping has been put on hold.  Normally that wouldn't matter, but since we've been eating things down in the house, and it's the last week of the month, most meals I planned this week needed at least one thing from the store to make them happen.  We also need to spend some time at Joe's Grandfather's house this week, and set up for, and sell at a flea market this weekend.  So, we don't have a lot of variety in the menu this week, but until I can get to the store for some fill-ins, we will at least be fed.  Here's what cooking in the Rogers' household this week...
  • Breakfasts: Bagels, Granola Bars, Pop-Tarts, Eggs and Toast
  • Lunches: Leftovers, Tuna or PB and J Sandwiches, Canned Soups
  • Dinners:
    • Sunday - Frozen Pizza
    • Monday - Homemade Orange Chicken, Jasmine Rice
    • Tuesday - Crock-pot Pork Tips in Mushroom Gravy, Jasmine Rice
    • Wednesday - Take-out (we will be gone all day at Joe's Grandfathers house)
    • Thursday - Mac and Cheese, Hot dogs
    • Friday - Frozen Pizza (setting up for a flea market all day)
    • Saturday - Take-out (selling at a flea market all day)
 For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie and Little Bits of Granola!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Pantry Challenge Week #3 Update

Pantry Challenge 2016 | Good Cheap Eats

Week #3 of the freezer/pantry challenge went well.  We ate well, and I created a little more empty space in the freezers!  I think that by the beginning of February we'll be able to defrost the chest freezer!!!
  • Breakfasts: Granola Bars, Muffins, Bagels, Pop-Tarts, Eggs, and Toast
  • Lunches: Leftovers, Sandwiches (PB and J, and Tuna), Pizza, Misc. Frozen TV Dinners
  • Dinners: 
    • Sunday - Leftovers (clean out the fridge)
    • Monday - Crock-pot BBQ Chicken, Rice Pilaf, Broccoli
    • Tuesday - Leftovers
    • Wednesday - Chinese Take-out
    • Thursday - Leftover Chinese Food
    • Friday - Beefy Mac and Cheese (homemade Hamburger Helper)
    • Saturday - Pizza
 How is everyone else doing in their pantry challenge efforts?  
Create any new family favorites?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 01/17-23/2015

This week I got the treat to go shopping BY MYSELF!  As in alone, solo, singularly!  It was amazing to be able to concentrate on the deals, and spend some time browsing the clearance without hearing whining from my son, or husband.  I also spent less, which usually happens when I am alone.  I should really shop solo more often.  Any way, we needed diapers, again - someone is in the process of outgrowing size 4s.  I also stocked up on lotion, toilet paper, and first aid supplies (which are hard to get great deals on).  Overall I am pleased with what I was able to purchase, and got some great deals in the process.  Here's how the week went spending-wise...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $14.66 oop, Earned $10 ECB's
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $16.09 oop
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $28.96 oop, Earned $0.50 Ibotta Rebate for Zone Perfect Bar

Total OOP: $59.71
Total Earned: $10.50
Total Remaining for January: $121.13