Saturday, April 30, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 04/24-30/2016


This week marks the end of April, and the end of this month's budget.  Since I had a good bit in the grocery envelope, I took the opportunity to stock up.  I was able to get some AMAZING deals, especially at Giant!  Even better, I have money leftover to add to May's grocery money -- yay!  So, without further ado, here's what I picked up this week...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $4.12 oop, Earned $6 ECB's ($3 Gillette, and $3 Eye drops), $0.50 Saving Star Rebates ($0.25 Reese's, and $0.25 York), and $0.25 Ibotta Rebate (Dish Soap - any)
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $21.30 oop
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $53.26 oop, Earned $1.25 Ibotta Rebates ($1 Seventh Generation Dish Soap, and $0.25 any Shredded Cheese)

Total OOP: $78.68
Total Earned: $8
Total Remaining from April: $62.77!!!

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

Friday, April 29, 2016

Goals Update: April 2016

 

April has been a wild month -- school tours are in full swing, the museum's open season has begun, plus there is something happening on the grounds every weekend, and that's only the work related items.  We also now have a 2-year-old running around the house, Joe's grandfather has been diagnosed with dementia and has to have round-the-clock supervision, and Joe has dental appointments almost every week (note to self - make sure to take better care of your teeth).  So, needless to say, we have been busy as the bumbles swarming on our porch.  May is going to be just as bad, but that's okay, such is life as a caretaker's wife!  With all that being said, I didn't get a whole slew of things accomplished in April.  I have a plan in place so that I can be more productive in May, so I am hoping that I can make that happen.  But, for now, here's how things progressed in April...

Personal:
  • Lose 20 lbs (about 1.5 lbs a month) I have lost 10 pounds!  Half-way!!!  The results from the blood work indicated that my triglycerides are high, and I should eat less carbs and sugar, um, yeah, shouldn't we all?  Anyway, that is going okay.  But I'm still feeling crappy.  I go back in a couple of months to see if the diet changes have helped.   I am really wishing that I would have taken measurements before I started losing weight.  Even though I'm only down 10 pounds, I can really tell a difference in how my clothes are fitting - yay!
  • Exercise 292 days - In April I exercised 24 out of 30 days.  For a total of 97 for the year.  I'm right on track with this goal!  I feel great for the most part, a little sore, but great!  I am really starting to notice how much more limber I am, and that my back and hip pain have decreased.  These are definitely added benefits that I wasn't expecting!
  • Drink at least 70 oz of water everyday - I did better with this in April, especially towards the end of the month. I can do 3-4 bottles pretty steady, it's the 5th one that's hard. 
 Financial:
  • Coupon and deal shop to stick to my $350/month budget - I shared my budget update for April 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!  This included shampoos, Benefiber, frozen diet meals, and a variety of other items.
  •  Earn at least 6 - $25 Amazon gift card through Swagbucks - No gift card this month, but I am on track to get another one in May.  2 Down, and 4 to go.
  • List at least 10 things per month online or 120 for the year - I sold a desk this month, but that's really it.  I am hoping to sell a few sewing patterns this month on Ebay.  January - Check (23), February - no check (0), March - Check (43), April - no check (1)
  • Set up at 6 Flea Markets/Shows to sell our wares - No shows this month, but we have one coming up in May.  Total for the year = 2
Household:
  • Completely declutter the entire house - I still have 2 areas left.  I was waiting on these until I finished some other projects, but things aren't going as I had planned, so I started chipping away at one of them this month (bookcase).  I am hoping to finish the bookcase in May and move onto the cedar chest next, then I'm done!
  • Finish my 2016 project list - I have my project list update posted separately.  However, I will share that I was able to sell a desk, purchase some new lamp shades, as well as accomplish a few other things.  I shared some pictures of my progress here

Blogging:
  • Post at least 3 times a week - I posted at least 3 times per week again in April.  All totaled I shared 14 posts in April, which averages to over 3 a week!  I enjoyed being able to share my Spring decor with you all!
  • 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 blog - Still not done.  I looked into the process one night, and it was too much to do that close to bedtime.  I plan to get this done one day in May during Howard's nap time.  
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...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Household Project List 2016 - April Update

 
In April progress was very slow.  I managed to get a few things crossed off the list, and I am tortoise-ing my way through others.  Slow and steady wins the race, right?  I am planning to start either wall paper or paint in May.  I haven't decided yet.  I have all the supplies for both, so I guess I just decide the day I start and that's what I'll work on for awhile.  I am hoping that with yard sale season underway I can purchase a couple of shelves on the cheap, and maybe find some nice wall art.  So, here's how things went in April...
  • Bedroom: 
    • Declutter 2 Dressers, 1 Chest of Drawers, 2 Nightstands, 1 Closet, and Under the Bed -- Finished in February
    • Steam off the crappy boarder
    • Re-glue the wallpaper seams
    • Change the wall art - In March I purchased the frames from the thrift store for just a couple of dollars, and then this month I decided to go in a different direction for the bedroom wall art.  I am going to use the frames in Howard's room eventually, so they won't go to waste.  Now I am on the hunt for a shelf at the yard sales and flea markets this Spring.  I am hoping to find one on the cheap so I don't have to buy one new from the craft store. 
  • Hall: 
    • Declutter Hall Closet, Desk, and Coat Closet -- Finished in February
    • Sell desk, and move in a bench -- The desk is sold, and we are $40 richer!  I haven't moved the bench out yet, and I'm not sure I'm going to, but I am considering this project done!
    • Build another shelf in the hall closet -- Unneeded, crossed off in February
  • Bathroom:
    • Declutter the Bathroom Cabinets and Drawers  -- Finished in February
    • 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 -- Finished in March
    • Finish adding pictures to our 'mural' wall
    • Paint the letter 'R' on our 'mural' wall -- Finished in January
    • Find new art for behind the futon
  • Kitchen:
    • Declutter 35 Cabinets, 1 Pantry, 1 China Cabinet, and 11 Drawers -- Finished in March   
    • Get a new trashcan -- Finished in February
    • Steam the wallpaper off our microwave table, and repaint it
    • Paint the windows/sills/trim
    • Clean out the chest freezer and defrost it -- Finished in March
  • Nursery/Office:
    • Declutter the Closet, Dresser, Desk, Chest of Drawers, Bookcase, Sewing Table, and Cedar Chest -- I've been chipping away at the bookcase, I am hoping to have it finished in May.  After that I'll move onto the cedar chest.  Slow and steady, right?
    • 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 -- Done!  I also bought a new shade for Joe's lamp in our bedroom since the old one literally fell apart.
    • Re-glue wallpaper
    • Bring in new chest of drawers (#2)
    • Build new shelf (or two) above the desk; Add books to shelves -- We won't be able to build shelves above the desk the way I wanted to, so I am on the lookout for a small, mostly decorative, shelf at the thrift stores and yard sales.
    • Paint the windows/sills and the closet door frame 
  • Laundry Room:
    •  Declutter Desk, 3 Drawer Stand, Bookcase, and Closet (including stored Christmas decorations) -- Finished in March
    • Touch up paint from renovation
    • Hang art -- still deciding on if this is necessary
    • Wash box of new-to-us toys  
    • Newly added: We have decided that to make the best use of space, we are going to invest in another cube organizer from Ikea.  We need more storage, and this is the only way I can figure to get it.  We still have some measuring to do, but it will either be another 8 cube or hopefully a 16 cube if we can swing it.  We'll have to see.  
 Are any of you working on some household projects this year?
What are you getting accomplished? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Spring Decor for our Home

Hi everyone!  I just wanted to quickly share some of the decor I'm using in the house this year for Spring.  Of course, with a 2-year-old running around I keep things super simple.  But there are some new things I made this year - it's nice to be able to craft again!  Without further ado, my Spring house decor...
This is beside our front door.  I made the wreath many moons ago with clearance flowers from AC Moore's.  I kept seeing these wreaths every where for $15 and up, I wanted one badly, but thought the price was ridiculous.  Well, I decided that it couldn't be that hard and I could probably make one - so I did, for around 6-ish dollars, and have had it for y-e-a-r-s.  The bucket was my Mom's, and the flowers in it are from the Dollar Tree - I love that place!
 This is one of my new additions this year.  I had some leftover flowers tucked away in my Spring decor bin, and thought that it would be nice to make something out of them.  So, I stopped at the Dollar Tree for a small grapevine wreath form and started hot gluing.  This is what I ended up with, and I LOVE it!  It turned out super cute!  This wreath hangs on the inside of our front door. 
This china flower vase decoration came from my Grandma's house.  I look forward to putting it out each year; it's so cheery, and makes me think of her.  The owls and floral tea/chocolate tins are out year round.  I love their bright colors, and enjoy searching for differently designed tins at yard sales and flea markets.  P.S. I made that shelf in the 7th grade.  I know, I was a mad carpenter, just sayin'...
The green boxwood balls are another new addition this year.  I purchased 3 for $1 each at the Dollar Tree this Spring.  I love how high-quality they are.  They are plastic-y, but that means for easy cleaning when they get dusty - just rinse with warm soapy water and let air dry.  I have a mistletoe ball that was my Grandma's, and it's very similar in material, and this cleaning method worked perfectly on it, so it should work for these balls as well.  The ceramic bowl I picked up at a flea market; it's handmade and I've had it for years -- I enjoy changing the fillings for each season or holiday.  You can also see my extensive stereoscope card collection in the picture below.
I found a use for the tin bowl I picked up at the Thrift store for just a buck!  It holds my candle/candle plate/candle ring perfectly on the kitchen table, almost like it was made for that job.  I plan to keep this out for the rest of Spring a well as thru the Summer. 
The china cabinet got a little Spring love as well.  I just placed a couple bunches of Spring flowers inside to add some color and sunshine to the dishes.
My Mom bought me this pitcher at a yard sale a LONG time ago.  Even though it broke in a couple of spots and has been glued back together, I still love it.  I change the flowers in it for each season or holiday.  I love the purple combination for Spring this year.  Please ignore the chippy window sills - I'm slowing painting my way through the house.

I hope that you all enjoyed this little sneak-peek into my Spring decor.  
Does anyone else decorate for the seasons?
Have you made anything new for your decor lately?
 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: 04/25/2016


This week I only work a few days, but the days that I am off are rittled with errands and appointments.  Howard has his 2 year check-up, Joe goes to the dentist, and I have a doctor appointment as well - Yay!  I am experiementing with more crock-pot meals - last week I did taco meat, and this week is BBQ - I am hoping that this will give me more options on the days that I work.  Like usual, I kept our meals very simplistic.  I am more likely to cook something that doesn't require a lot of ingredients or time, and Howard likes more 'basic' food.  It's a win-win in my book.  So, without further ado, this week's menu plan...
  • Breakfasts: Bagels/Cream Cheese, Yogurt, and Fruit for Me, Mini Muffins/Fruit and Grain Bars/Yogurt for Howard, and Pop-Tarts for Joe
  • Lunches: Leftovers, Canned Soup, Misc. Frozen TV Meals, Salads, PB and J/Tuna Salad/Chicken Salad Sandwiches
  • Dinners
    • Sunday - Leftovers (Cleaned out the fridge)
    • Monday - Crock-pot Chicken Breasts, 4 Cheese Pasta, Broccoli
    • Tuesday - Chicken Filet Sandwiches, Baked Onion Rings, Salad
    • Wednesday - Crock-pot Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy, Jasmine Rice, Steamed Broccoli or Green Beans
    • Thursday - Crock-pot BBQ Sandwiches, Baked French Fries, Salad
    • Friday - Take-out
    • Saturday - Homemade Pizza
For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 04/17-23/2016


This week I didn't need to pick up much produce, as we still had a good bit left from last week, plus plenty in the freezer.  I was able to score some AWESOME deals on Benefiber, dry shampoo, and various boxed items for the pantry!  The best purchase of all was the apple puffs from the Dollar Tree -- they are Howard's favorite!  I was so happy to see them back in stock!
Here's how the spending went this week...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: Zero oop (used gift card to pay), Earned $20 ECB's ($10 Benefiber + $4 Rain Check for Benefiber, $4 Dove, and $2 Tom's), $1.50 Ibotta Rebate (Tom's Sensitive Toothpaste), and $3 Saving Star Rebate (Dove)
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $24.66 oop (Included, but not pictured are 8 gallons of H2O)
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $33.48 oop, Earned $1 Saving Star Rebate ($0.50/3 Knorr Rice Sides, and $0.50 Suddenly Salad), $0.50 Find and Save Rebate ($25 purchase with bread), and $1 Ibotta Rebate ($0.25 Chips, $0.25 Bread, and $0.50/2 Hamburger Helpers)
  • Saturday's Dollar Tree Trip: $10.42 oop
Total OOP: $68.56
Total Earned: $27
Total Remaining for April: $141.45

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

Monday, April 18, 2016

Menu Plan Monday: 04/18/2016


This week is fairly easy work-wise, only 1 large tour.  I do have a bunch of paperwork to do, as well as some floral things to make for the next tea.  Home-wise we are gearing up for Howard's 2nd birthday this coming weekend!  It's Curious George incase anyone is interested; he loves that monkey!  I have one day that is jam-packed with appointments, but other than that, I am hoping for a fairly laid-back week!  Here's how the menu's looking for this week... 
  • Breakfasts: Yogurt, Fruit, and Mini Bagels for me, Pop-Tarts for Joe, and Mini Muffins, Fruit, Yogurt, Sausages, and/or Fruit and Grain Bars for Howard
  • Lunches: Salads, Canned Soup, Misc. Frozen TV Meals, Chicken Salad/Tuna Salad/PB and J Sandwiches, Leftovers
  • Dinners:
    • Sunday - Cheeseburgers and French Fries
    • Monday - Take-out
    • Tuesday - Crock-pot Chicken, 3 Cheese Pasta, Vegetable (TBA)
    • Wednesday - Tacos, Mexican Rice, Salad
    • Thursday - Leftovers/Clean out the fridge
    • Friday - Howard's Birthday - Sonic!
    • Saturday - Frozen Pizza (Cake and Ice cream party afterwards)
For more AWESOME Menu Plans, visit Org Junkie!

Weekly Spending Report: 04/10-16/2016


This week I stocked up on cheap Pop-tarts for Joe's breakfasts (which earned me $14 in FREE gas), money-maker shampoos, new puzzles for Howard, and some fresh produce!  I also spent very little - under $60 for the week - which is AWESOME!  I am hoping that I can keep that up for the rest of the month! 
Here's how the spending broke-down this week...
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $0.93 oop, Earned $4 ECB's ($2 Garnier Fructis, and $2 Garnier Whole Blends), $2 Saving Star Rebate (Garnier Whole Blends), and $5.29 Gift Card (I was accidentally charged for an extra shampoo)
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $21.08 oop (included, but not pictured are 4 gallons of H2O)
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $37.29 oop (For buying 6 boxes of Pop-Tarts, I earned $0.40 off each gallon of gas up to 35 gallons, or $14 in gas savings!)

Total OOP: $59.30
Total Earned: $11.29
Total Remaining for April: $210.01

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

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Weekly Spending Report: 04/03-09/2016


This week I got some great deals on diapers, produce, and proteins! 
  • Sunday's CVS Trip: $23.89 oop, Earned $8.75 ECB's ($5 Pampers/Always, $3 CVS Diapers, and $0.75 M and M's), and $1.50 Ibotta Rebate* (Pamper's Cruisers)
  • Sunday's ALDI Trip: $47.02 oop (included, but not pictured are 4 gallons of H2O), Earned $0.55 Mobisave Rebate ($0.25 Bread, and $0.30 Lettuce), and $1 Find and Save Rebate
  • Sunday's Giant Trip: $32.47 oop, Earned $0.25 Mobisave Rebate (Eggs), $0.25 Ibotta Rebate* (Eggs)

Total OOP: $103.38
Total Earned: $12.30
Total Remaining for April: $269.31
*Use this link to sign up for Ibotta and get a $10 bonus!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Frugal Finds: April 2016 Edition

I was able to make it into the thrift store this month, twice!  I found some great deals -- not as many as I was hoping for, but that's the way it goes sometimes.  I really could use some fresh short-sleeve tee shirts, I found 2, but I need about 3 more.  I also found the most adorable little cup!  In the store I was hemming and hauling about whether to buy it or not, but then I decided that for a buck I really couldn't go wrong.  If I couldn't find a use for it, I knew I could sell it and get my dollar back.  Well, it is the PERFECT size to hold small post-it notes on my desk!!!!  I was excited to find some clothes for Howard in larger sizes as well.  I LOVE the pull on jeans for him, but they are so hard to find used above 2T.  So, when I saw some today is amazing condition and half-price, I snatched them up super quick!  #ifyousnoozeyoulose  Here's the price run down of my thrift scores this month...
First Trip:
3T Pull-on Jeans for Howard (in mint condition) $3.99 - 50% off Sale = $1.99
4T Pull-on Jeans for Howard (in mint condition) $2.99 - 50% off Sale = $1.49
4T Pull-on Jeans for Howard $2.99 - 50% off Sale = $1.49
5T Fleece PJ Pants for Howard $2.99 - 50% off Sale = $1.49
Youth size 4/5 Heavy Fleece Zip Hooded Coat for Howard $5.99
Short Sleeve Navy V-neck Tee for Me $3.99
Tiny Gilded Peacock Cup for my desk $1.99 - 50% off Sale = $0.99
+$0.06 Tax (for cup)
Grand Total OOP: $14.49
(would have been $24.99 before sales, saved $10.50 or 42%!!)


Second Trip:
5T Fleece PJ Pant for Howard $2.99 - 50% off Sale = $1.49
Short Sleeve Teal V-neck Tee for Me $3.99 - 50% off Sale = $1.99
Hanging Basket for Howard's Magnet Collection $0.99 - 50% off Sale = $0.49
Potty with Elmo Sound Book for Howard $0.99
 Matching Game for Howard $0.99
+$0.12 Tax (for game and book)
Grand Total OOP: $6.07
(would have been $10.07, saved $4 or 40%!!)

Have you been thrifting lately?  
Any amazing finds to share?  
Let me know in the comments!