Saturday, September 24, 2011

Welcome Fall!

The only corn we got from the garden!  There's always next year!

And welcome back to those sweet people who have asked where I've been!  I took most of summer off to spend with my family and during that time I evaluated our debt pay down, which has continued to go well. 

We are continuing on our path and throwing $742 a month at our only credit card.  It's really getting closer to zero!  Next is the student loan.....had that since 1997.

The one thing that changed over the summer was my couponing.  I took a break and enjoyed the time it freed up to spend with family.  I didn't miss some of the food I purchased, but it did cause our grocery budget to go up (how could it not!).

As of now, I'm focusing more on what nutrition my family is getting rather than getting the greatest deal.  It's become more important for me to provide healthy meals that don't have an ingredient list 100 items long of things I don't recognize.  Part of the change has been my willingness to make and grow more of our own foods.  I also read Food Rules by Michael Pollan, which is a great read and guide.  One of my favorite rules: If your grandmother wouldn't recognize it, don't eat it.  So my beloved Twinkie Pancakes don't count?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Debt Paydown Update

Here's where we are in our debt paydown:

Starting amount: $65,798.23

Amount paid off: $18,568.71 (since November, 2009)

Amount left: $47,139.52

Still a long ways to go, and I think we would be further along, but we are setting some money aside in case the state budget cuts keep coming closer to my husband's job.  Also, we are paying cash to connect to the sewer (I've never been happy about this one, but it's mandatory).  We are still plugging away with a payment of $740. 02 towards our current debt, and it feels so good!

May Grocery Totals

Well, I have nothing to report for this month since my receipts got thrown out right in the middle of the month!  But, I do know that I came in under budget, since I had some money left over (yay!). 

It's the middle of June and I'm trying something different this month.  I'm taking out my $400 for groceries and household in $100 increments.  I'm not sure if I like it yet.  I will give it another month to see how it works out.  I will say this: I have to think through my purchases even more before I buy.

image credit: Bram Meijer/photoxpress

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

April Grocery Totals

I'm sure I put this post off because I was way over budget and laying it out for everyone to see isn't too fun!  Anyway, here it is:
Total Spent on Food: $503.49
Manufacture's Coupons Used: $30.24 
Two things-my coupon use has been down, and we were out of almost all staples.  I headed to Costco with my mother in law (we let our membership go in July) and I seriously stocked up to the tune of $130.  Oh, and as I'm sure you all have noticed, the cost of most foods has gone up. Yet, I'm still trying to keep my grocery budget the same.  I'm optimistic that I won't need to raise it, at least that's the plan.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Target Clearance

I stopped by Target today and found a lot of their summer clothes on clearance for toddler girls.  So here's what I got:
Shorts were $2.25-$3.15 and dresses/sets were $5.60.  Tops were $3.15.  Not bad for new.  I can't find these at the consignment store for much less.  Since I can't hand down most of the clothes from our 14 year old daughter to our two year old, it helps to hit the clearance at the right time!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Tipping Point Payments

We knew when we paid off our van last month that it would be the tipping point for us in our debt pay off.  How about a $741 payment on our current debt, the one and only credit card?!  That's a lot of money each month, and it starts going down fast.  I looks like we'll be able to pay the $741 amount every month (when looking at the tightened budget) to knock out the current $8426 balance on the card.  Slated to take a little less than a year, we'll pay it off sooner by throwing any extra income at it as it comes along.  It feels so good to see it going down by so much each month!

Monday, April 4, 2011

March Grocery Totals

Total Spent On Food: $398.20
Manufacturer's Coupons  Used: $38.75
Store Savings: $69.59

A high month for me, but I knew it was coming!  Last month was $202!  So to recap, we have seven people in our family, and even on a high month, we came in under budget ($400).  I'm happy for that, but know that if I'd used coupons a bit more, it would have been lower.  This is where real life comes in!  I haven't had quite as much time lately to devote to coupons between watching children in our home to training for a half marathon and all the things that come with having five children.  I don't feel bad for this, but I do hope for a lower month in April.