Friday, September 30, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1.  My hubby took in our aluminum cans and we made $51 in extra cash

2. Made a list before going to Walmart and stuck to my list when there :)  Sometimes that is hard

3. Came up with a menu for the next two weeks and made a grocery shopping list from that.

4.  Went to lunch with a friend which is cheaper then going to dinner :)  Plus it was fun too!

5. Bought a few more supplies for some Christmas gifts I am making and used a coupon to get them :)  Saving 40%!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pizza Soup

On Thursday we will be having Pizza Soup for dinner.  This is one of my favorite soups and we have it often in the winter.  I orginally got the recipe here.  I no longer follow this recipe exactly since my husband makes our pizza sauce himself and we no longer buy jar sauce.  So here is my recipe in case I am not the only one who makes their own pizza sauce :)

6 cups pizza sauce
5 cups water
1 - chopped up green pepper
1- can chopped up mushrooms or fresh mushrooms if I have them
1 package browned and drained sausage or sometimes I leave this out if we don't have any
1 cup chopped up pepperoni slices ( we usually always have these since we make alot of homemade pizza)
1/3 to 1/2 cup Orzo pasta

Add all of the chopped up veggies and meat to the crock pot.  Then add the sauce and water.  Cook on low 7-9 hours.  Top with mozzarella cheese before serving.

I basically add anything that you would eat on a pizza.  I have made this on the stove top before also. This is a really good soup that even my kids enjoy! 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Menu 9/26 - 10/2

Monday - Leftover Pizza Pasta Bake.  We need to eat this before it goes bad!

Tuesday - Foil Packets on the grill with potatoes, green pepper, onion, mushrooms and polish sausage

Wednesday -Moroccan Chicken Skillet

Thursday - Pizza Soup

Friday - don't know yet

Saturday- Leftovers

Sunday- Omelette's for Sunday Family Brunch and Sandwiches later on

Friday, September 23, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. I made my daughter corsage for Homecoming next week.

2. Made all our snacks utilizing things we had in our pantry

3. Cleaned out my sons closet which is very big and we also use it for storage.  Listed some items for sale that we no longer use.

4. Called about getting our cable bill reduced.  It didn't work but at least I tried :)

5. Found Kid # 2 a dress and necklace to use for her senior pictures and a shirt to wear for a wedding at a few yard sales I went to on Saturday. Spent $2.25

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Grocery Shopping

This two week pay period the grocery budget is pretty tight.  I over spent the last pay period and did alot of stocking up on sale items.  In order to make up for my over spending I gave myself a $100 grocery budget for this two week pay period, Sept 15-28.  So far I have spent $86.73.  I have everything I will need for all of our dinners from now thru Sept 28.  So we will see if I make it on $100.  Please keep in mind I do have a small stockpile of items in my pantry and a freezer full of meat.  Here is what I have purchased so far:


2- Banana - $ 2.38
Granny Smith Apples - $ 3.99
3 - Baby Carrots -$ 1.47
2- Sugar Snap Peas - $ 2.98
Gala Apples - $ 3.99
2- Avocados - $1.98
2- Gallons Skim Milk - $ 5.56
2- Tomato Juice - $ 2.58
Vanilla Yogurt 32 oz - $ 1.99
2- Spaghetti O's - $1.38
Sour Cream - $ 1.29
2- Chili Beans - $1.10
Quick Cooking Oats - $1.99
2- Diced Tomatoes - $1.10
Butter Quarters - $ 2.79
Cream Cheese - $1.29
Flour Tortillas - $ 0.99
Wide Egg Noodles - $ 0.99
2- Fiber Bars - $ 3.78
2 - Cereal Bars - $ 3.78
2 - Graham Crackers - $ 2.58
Snack Crackers - $ 1.69
Sliced Pepperoni - $1.99
Cheetos ( aldi brand) - $ 0.99
2 - Eggs - $ 2.74
3- Bread - $ 2.97
Hot Dog Buns - $ 0.79
Total w/ tax = $61.76


Honey - $ 4.99
Total w/ tax = $ 5.04


Potatoes - $2.99
Lettuce - $0.99
Zucchini - $ 1.19
3-Green Pepper - $1.69
Mushrooms - $1.69
Mexican Shredded Cheese - $2.99
3lb Polish Sausage - $ 4.29
5 - Hamburger Buns - $1.95
4 - Hot Dog Buns - $ 1.56
Total w/ tax = $19.93

While I was at Aldi today they Hamburger and Hot Dog buns marked down to $0.39.  So I stocked up on them for my freezer.

I have $13.27 left in my $100 budget.  Hopefully this will be enough to get milk or bread if we need it before the end of the pay period.  I'll let you know how I do!

Monday, September 19, 2011

After School Snack Today

I am trying to be more mindful of planning the kids after school snack each day.  This is really helping me to stay within my grocery budget and not over buy snack items.  The grocery budget is very tight for this two week pay period so I am especially making sure to plan things.  For today's snack I made a dip to go with the Granny Smith Apples my kids like to eat.  It is super easy to make and should last us for at least a few snacks.  Here is the recipe and it was given to me by my Mom :)

Fruit Dip

1 - 8 oz package cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate.

                                                           Linking up to:


Menu Plan 9/19 - 9/25

Monday- Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup ( a request by my kids)

Tuesday - Tacos

Wednesday - Balsamic Chicken - Crock pot ( I got this off this great Facebook page Crock Pot Girls have you seen it?)  Rice and Corn

Thursday - Chili and Corn Bread

Friday - Chili Dogs, French Fries and Cut Up Veggies

Saturday- Leftovers

Sunday - Sub Sandwiches with Cut Up Veggies

Here is my plan for snacks this week, Sliced Apples & Dip, Popcorn, Cookie Bars, and Graham Crackers with Milk

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Made a boutonniere for Kid # 3's date for Homecoming. 

2. Bought a Christmas gift for Kid # 5 and saved a bundle by buying used

3. Found some wrought iron patio furniture on craigslist - 9 pieces for $70. Again saving money by buying used :)

4. Made chicken broth from Tuesday nights whole chicken and used it for soup for Thursday nights dinner

5.  Cleaned out Kid # 5's closet and went through all of the boxes of her outgrown clothes.  I have someone interested in buying some of them in the next week or two

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Good and The Bad!

I set down today and did our banking.  Today is pay day and since I have put together my bill binder it has made my life so much easier.  So while doing the banking I really took a look at our numbers and where we stand as far as debt repayment.  As I posted here we owe on our credit card again.  I just paid a big ole chunk on it this month.  My husband has been working alot of overtime so that has really helped but we still owe around $1000 on it.  I hope to have this paid off by the end of Oct if not before.  I plan to make a much better effort at planning our purchases and keeping an eye on what is being spent.  My husband uses this credit card for some business purposes too.  But he does not always tell me when he makes purchases on it and then I do not have a plan for it.  Alot of times he uses the card to purchase things and then is reimbursed the expenses at a later date.  I need to keep better track of these things.  I also need to make sure when he is reimbursed the money goes where it is suppose too. I plan to try and check the credit card statement once a week to make sure there are no purchases on it that are not accounted for.  Hopefully this well help.

I have to admit I am discouraged by our progress.  I now realize we are not going to meet my goal of being debt free, except our house, by June 2012.  I do however think we could be by December 2012. I am not giving up on my goal of doing it by June though and I am rededicating myself to meeting my goal.  But I am also not gonna be terrible upset if I don't meet it as I now realize that is a possibility.  We will see how it goes.....

On another note, I have an opportunity when I go home in a few weeks,  to visit my Mom, to sell some of Kid# 5s outgrown clothes.  If all goes as planned I should make about $50 on this deal.  I also had an opportunity to buy a used Christmas gift for Kid #5 and spent $60.  This is an electronic item for her and it was a really great deal and she will love it!  So the $50 I will make on her outgrown clothes will be added back into my Christmas fund.  It looks like I will be meeting my goal of having each one of the kids at least one gift bought by the end of September!  Do any of you buy used items and give them as gifts?  I have several times and not one of my kids has ever noticed or if they did they didn't care!  I am trying to keep a tally of how much I have spent so far on Christmas gift.  When I do an update of my Christmas plan I will try to add the tally to it.  I am thinking this will better help me stay on budget.

Anyway hope everyone has a nice day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Menu Plan 9/12 - 9/18

Monday - Corn dogs ( a request from kid # 5 )

Tuesday - Whole chicken, Rice, Green beans

Wednesday - Pizza Pasta Bake, Salad

Thursday - Chicken Noodle Soup ( made with leftover chicken carcass from Tuesday)

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - going to a friends wedding

Sunday - Eggs, Bacon and Biscuits

I am also trying to plan out my after school snacks.  This is what I have for this week:  graham crackers and homemade icing, popcorn, bar cookies, grapes and popcicles.

Friday, September 9, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Bought some cheap, 50 cent,  mums at Lowes on Labor Day to help spruce up my yard . Spent $3 total :)

2. Made waffles from scratch for the freezer.  These make for an easy breakfast on school mornings.

3. Used some coupons combined with a good sale at Kroger and stocked up on some cheap hygiene products

4. Had several stay home days

5. Had a girls nite at a friends house instead of going out some where which was much cheaper and only cost me the price of gas to drive there

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Update of Yearly Goals

I thought it might be time to update this again!  I am pretty sure there will be no more major remodeling projects done this year.  So anything that is not marked off the list by now it probably not going to get done.  I am getting ready to work  on the kitchen floor and that will be the last remodel project of the year!

Personal/Family1. Visit more with my girlfriends. Shoot for once a month. I have been keeping up with this one pretty well over all I think.
2. Invite friends over for dinner or out to dinner. Shoot for every other month. We were doing good on this for a while but then we got busy over the summer and have not kept up with it :(
3. Be more mindful of the amount of time kids are using the computer. I am seriously failing at this one I have to admit!
4. Be more mindful of my own computer time. Probably failing at this one also :(
5. Read with Lilly more I think we are doing well with this!
6. Ask for help from everyone in my family more when I am feeling overwhelmed this one is a learning process :)
7. Teach the kids to cook a few basic meals Kid # 3 does pretty well with is but I am failing at teaching the others
8. Family movie night once a month We have went to a friends house several times over the summer for an outdoor movie in their back yard.  This is a family event!
9. Go to the library more We have done this alot over the summer and I plan to continue it through the winter!
10. Read more books I have been doing this
11. Wiener Roast 2x not yet but I am hoping to get to do this soon
12. Camping at least once this year DONE!!
13. Be more mindful of scheduling my time work in progress
14. Make more gifts this year for bday's and Christmas I/we have done this alot!
15. Exercise more big fat fail!


1. Sewing desk for office
2. Shelves for office
3. Closet shelves for office
4. Peg board for office Just bought the materials to get this one done!
5. Organize office
6. Downstairs bathroom floor
7. Kitchen Floor
8. make better use of chore notebook
9. organize coupon binder
10. Make a price book
11. Make a household notebook


1. Pay off the balance on windows
2. Save for South Carolina trip
3. Pay extra towards car I have been doing this and I am tracking it with the ticker at the top of the blog!
4. Sell on eBay
5. Pay cash for downstairs bathroom floor
6. Try to shave $50 a month off grocery budget Some months I have done well with this and some not so much.
7. Save for Christmas I have been keeping up with this every month!
8. Track clothing/shoes purchases for family for the year I just went threw all my receipts and updated my tracking on this!
9. Pay bills on time lol I wrote a post about this :P
10. Possible bathroom remodel

Searl House Happenings..........

There is really not much happening around here lately.  The kids are all back in school  and so is my husband.  We are not yet into the full swing of activities but it will be starting soon. 

Kid # 2 has recently got an after school job. We got pretty lucky since it is for the before and after school daycare program and only during the week. This will not affect our visits with her at all,  except maybe for school holidays. 

Dance classes for Kid # 3 and # 5 will be starting tomorrow. Kid # 3 will get to help at the dance studio this year on Saturdays and because of that her lessons will be FREE!! Woohoo!   Kid # 5 is involved in Brownies, also, which has not yet started for the school year. 

Kid # 3 is having a very difficult time finding a job that will work around her school dance squad schedule.  I just tell her to keep trying and eventually something will come along.  If she does happen to get a job this could possible effect her ability to help out with dance classes and then we would have to go back to paying for her lessons.  We will cross that bridge though when and if it happens.

Kid # 4 seems to be enjoying high school so far.  I really hope this continues for the rest of the year.

It has been an adjustment not having the kids home all day.  I think I am finally getting use to it.

We have started several projects recently but none of them are completed as of yet.  I am hoping by the end of this month I will be able to blog about them.

One project I did put together in the last couple of days is a "bill binder".  I will be posting about this in the next day or two.  I also plan to discuss where we are at as far as paying off the credit card we used over the summer and my car.

Hope everyone enjoyed there Labor Day Weekend :)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Menu Plan 9/5 - 9/11

Monday - Waffles and Turkey bacon

Tuesday - Pork Spare Ribs, Baked Potato, Salad

Wednesday - Sloppy Joe's, Pork N Beans, Green Beans

Thursday - Crock pot Chicken Spaghetti

Friday - Leftovers

Saturday - Party at a friends

Sunday - Breakfast Burritos

Saturday, September 3, 2011

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. I menu planned and made a shopping list

2. I stayed home :)

3. I used my clothes line and hung my laundry outside

4. We shopped around for some materials we need for a yard project to make sure we are getting the best price.

5. We had a leftover night and ate our leftovers for dinner