Saturday, April 5, 2014

March Goals Update

Another good month with lots of progress made.  Some of my goals won't get crossed off until December, but that's okay, I really want to work on perfecting those.  Here's how March went down...

  1. Prepare a Nursery! - Almost done.  With only 5 days left until Baby Rogers is due, this is at the top on my to-do list daily.  I'm hoping to be done by the end of the week, so I can finally post some pictures!  We were able to clean out a LOT of junk, purchase a dresser, and get it completely organized.  We also have all the clothes and cloth diapers washed and folded.  It feels so good to have this almost finished!  :-)
  2. Do a Deep-Spring, and Deep-Fall Clean in March and November.  As well as keep up with my weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly cleaning chores. - Joe and I altered the way we normally do our Spring cleaning.  I followed the 4 Weeks to a More Organized Home Challenge on Money Saving Mom, and the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge at White House Black Shutters.  I feel good about all that got cleaned, and all the junk that got removed.  I'm continuing the 40 Bags challenge into April, so the result post will be coming next month. 
  1. Give birth to baby Rogers, and be the best mom I can be! - Not there yet.
  2. Try every day to be a loving wife.  Some days this is harder than others. :-) - I continued to try and do something to make Joe happy every day.  Some days were easy, others were hard.  Overall, I'm making progress, and it is getting easier. 
  3. Take a trip to Maine in June with the hubby, and the baby. - Not there yet.
  4. Get together with family at least once a month.  (probably for dinner) - We got together with our families on the 8th for my baby shower.  It was lovely!  My sister and niece also came over for dinner one night to visit, and brought me a wonderful used glider another night from my niece's boyfriend's grandmother, and stayed to visit then too.  It will be so nice for when the baby arrives!
  1. Have 2 Freezer/Pantry Challenges (January and July), post updates on the blog, and defrost the chest freezer - One down, one to go!
  2. Post my Menu Plan, Aldi Deals, and Weekly Spending Report every week, along with at least 1 other post per week.  This may be an update, a reveal, a recipe, a shopping trip, or a frugal find. - I did really good with this one.  I did my regular posts every week, plus I posted a Tempt Your Tummy Tuesday recipe post every week, and posted several shopping trips throughout the month.  I joined Crystal's 4 Weeks to a more Organized Home challenge, and posted the monthly update here.  I also joined in the 40 bags in 40 days challenge, and blogged about it, the results post will be done in April since the challenge doesn't end until then.
  3. Plan and execute a 31 days post for October. - Not there yet.
  1. Lose at least 20 lbs (I did accomplish losing 20 lbs in 2013 as well, so it seems doable) - Not even starting this until after the baby is born in April
  2. Drink plenty of water, eat healthy, and do exercise of some kind everyday. - I drank plenty of water, ate a LOT of veggies, and fruit, and did my hip physical therapy exercises everyday.
  1. Do at least 6 Flea Markets throughout the year, and list at least monthly on Amazon. - Joe set up at a tool show with some other guys, and without me on the 15th.  He was able to move some inventory and made enough to cover my contacts for the year.  I did another large listing of books on Amazon. 
  2. Earn Swagbucks everyday by completing the daily poll, toolbar log-in, and NOSO offers daily. - did this every day, plus I used the SBTV feature and the offers on the homepage to earn additional Swagbucks.  I earned 4 - $5 Amazon Gift Cards.
  3. Set a monthly budget, and coupon and deal shop as needed to stay within our budget. - It was nice to start the month out $49 ahead.  I still ended up going over by $1.23, but that might have been in coins, since I don't keep them separated between the different budgets.  I'm still pleased with all that I was able to purchase, and I feel stocked-up and prepared for the baby's arrival.  I posted the totals for the month here.
  4. Pay off my credit card by June, and start putting extra onto Joe's credit card every month.  We won't have his paid off this year, but we'll be on the right track to have it paid off within the next year or two.  :) - Still working on this.
  1. Catch up my scrapbook.  I'm only about 8 years behind, but I think once I get rolling on it, I should be able to push through and get it done by the end of the year. ;) I also want to start one for the baby, and work on it monthly. - Haven't started this one yet, and probably won't until we get the nursery finished, first thing's first.
  2. Try something new at least twice a month and blog about it.  I have a LOT of new recipes and crafts I want to try, and this is the year! - I tried several new recipes this month, and blogged about them here, here, here, and here.
 Linked to Money Saving Mom!

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Monthly Recap

Over the course of March I participated in Money Saving Mom's 4 Weeks to a more Organized Home Challenge.  Each day there was one or two cleaning tasks, as well as the goal of removing at least 7 items of clutter per day.  Being 8 months pregnant I decided to forgo my heavy Spring deep clean in favor of this challenge's simplicity.  I am pleased with the cleaning I was able to accomplish as well as all of the items that got decluttered, and are now out of my life forever - so freeing!  Here's a summary and links to how the month went...
  • Day #1: Quick House Pick-up and Purse Clean-out - 7
  • Day #2: Quick Kitchen Pick-up and Refrigerator Clean-out - 7
  • Day #3: Quick Bedroom Pick-up and Freezer Clean-out - 7
  • Day #4: Quick Bathroom Pick-up and Cleaning under the Bed - 7
  • Day #5: Cleaning the Couch - 7+
  • Day #6: Quick House Pick-up and Car Clean-out - 14
  • Day #7: Baseboards and a Dresser Drawer - 8
  • Day #8: Door Handles and Dresser Drawer #2 - 22
  • Day #9: Quick Bathroom Pick-up and Light Switch Plates - 7
  • Day #10: Ceiling Fans, Light Fixtures and Burnt-out Bulbs - 7
  • Day #11: Quick House Pick-up and the Silverware Drawer - 7+
  • Day #12: Microwave and Stove Top - 10
  • Day #13: Quick Bedroom Pick-up and the top of the fridge - 23
  • Day #14: Mirrors and Utensil Drawers - 7
  • Day #15: Computer Screens - 100+
  • Day #16: Quick House Pick-up and Vacuuming the Air Vents - 50
  • Day #17: Quick Bathroom Pick-up and Cleaning the Kitchen Cupboards - 9
  • Day #18: Vacuuming and Cleaning the Closets - 7
  • Day #19: Cleaning the Windows, curtains, and Sills -50+
  • Day #20: Cleaning out the Medicine and First Aid Drawers - 38
Total Items Decluttered: Over 394 items -- Wow!

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 20

Today's challenge included cleaning out the medicine and first aid cabinets/drawers.  That was easy enough, but definitely needed to be done.  I found a bunch of expired stuff, and now have a list of things that needed to be replaced.  Here's the after of the medicine drawer,
 and the first aide drawer.
I also managed to purge 38 items.

4 Weeks to a More Organized Home: Day 19

Today's challenge involved cleaning the windows, blinds, and curtains as well as the window sills and trim.  
I also worked in the nursery again, removing 50+ items for the garbage!

Linked to Money Saving Mom!

Weekly Spending Report: 03/30-04/05/2014

This week was pay week, so a brand new month, and a nice full grocery envelope!  My favorite week of the month :)  We also decided to up our budget to $300 for the month.  With the baby coming, and the fact that I want to breast feed, so I need to eat healthier, I decided that we need more fruits and veggies, which means we need more money to buy them.  I also started back to work this week, so we have some extra income coming in to cover the added budget amount.  I also figured I'd probably need to buy some more diapers until the little one grows into the cloth diapers we have.  So, with all that being said, here's how the spending went this week...
  • Tuesday's CVS Trip: $3.60 oop, Earned $29.95 ECB's
  • Tuesday's ALDI Trip: $8.05 oop
  • Wednesday's Target Trip: $9.23 oop, Earned $10 Target Gift Card
  • Wednesday's BJ's Trip (meat for the freezer stock up trip, used $4 in MC's): $30.46 oop
  • Wednesday's Giant Trip: $49.24 oop
  • Saturday's ALDI Trip (just milk, sour cream, and chips): $7.36 oop
  • Saturday's JoAnn's Trip (just snaps, used a 40% off coupon): $2.22 oop
  • Saturday's CVS Trip (just 2 newspapers, 4 boxes CVS Antacids, used a $3/1 CVS coupon and an ECB to pay): $2.30 oop, Earned $5.96 ECB's
  • Earned $5 Amazon Gift Card from Swag Bucks
Total OOP: $112.46
Total Earned: $50.91
Total Remaining for April: $187.54

Linked to Couponaholic! 

Wednesday's Giant Trip

Wednesday we also stopped into Giant to do a HUGE stock-up trip, figuring it might be the last time I get to shop before the baby comes.  I also went ahead and used my Purex rain check before my coupons expire at the end of this month in case I don't get out again.  Here's what we ended up with...

2 Freschetta Pizzas $6.49 ea - $1.49 ea Sale - $1.50/2 MC = $2/$8.50
1 tub Lovin' Ice Cream $4.69 - $1.19 Sale - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 = $2.50
2 bags Cascadian Farms Frozen Organic Blueberries $3.59 ea - $0.85/1 MC doubled to $1.70 x 2 = 2/$3.78 ($1.89 ea)
2 bags Cascadian Farms Frozen Organic Raspberries $3.59 ea - $0.75/1 MC doubled to $1.50 x 2 = 2/$4.18 ($2.09 ea)
2 tubs Smart Balance Oil Olive Spread $2.69 ea - $0.69 ea Sale - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1x 2 = 2/$2
3 boxes Green Giant Broccoli and Cheese $2 ea - $1 ea Sale - $1/3 load to card coupon = 3/$2
4 pkgs Oscar Mayer Weiners $3.99 ea - BOGO Free Sale x 2 - $1/2 MC x 2 = 4/$5.98 ($1.49 ea)
1 bag Kraft Shredded Cheddar Cheese $3.39 - $1.40 Sale - $0.75/1 MC doubled to $1.50 = $0.49
3 Honey Crisp Apples @ $3.99/lb = $5.03 (ouch, but so yummy!)
2 cans Muir Glen Organic Whole Tomatoes $2.59 ea - $0.59 ea Sale - $0.50/1 MC doubled to $1 x 2 = 2/$2
2 canisters Lysol Wipes $2.79 ea - $0.79 ea Sale - $0.50/2 MC doubled to $1 - $2 MIR = 2/$1
2 Lysol Toilet Cleaners $2.49 ea - $0.50/2 MC doubled to $1 = 2/$3
6 bottles Purex Free and Clear Detergent $4.55 ea - $2.56 ea Raincheck - $1/1 MC x 6 = 6/$5.89 ($0.99 ea!!!)
+ $1.14 Tax
- $0.30 Reusable Bag Credit
Total OOP: $111.97 - $62.73 Savings/Coupons = $49.24 oop, Savings of 56%!!!!

Wednesday's Target Trip

Wednesday Joe and I stopped into Target to grab some freebies, as well as use a couple coupons that were set to expire soon, and that I wanted to use before the baby got here.  We also did the money-maker deal on the Mucinex.  Here's what we ended up with...

2 Up & Up Baby Powders $2.69 ea - $2/2 Target coupon = $1.69 ea or 2/$3.38
2-24 ct boxes Up & Up Ibuprofen $1.22 ea - $1/2 Target coupon = 2/$1.44
2 Dry Idea Deodorants $2.75 ea on Sale - $2/2 Target coupon - $2/1 x 2 MC = 2 FREE + $0.50 Money-maker!
2-10 ct boxes Mucinex Allergy Relief $10.99 ea - $2/1 Target coupon x 2 - $5/1 MC x 2 - $10 Target Gift Card Promo wyb 2 = 2 FREE + $2.02 Money-maker!
+ $0.42 Tax
- $3.49 Gift Card used to Pay
Total OOP: $9.23, Earned $10 Target Gift Card