Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kroger 2/22/09

Just a quick trip today after work to use up my Cottonelle coupons before they expired. I am in the middle of my 6-week Pantry Challenge, so I will only spend a maximum of $15 at the grocery store this week.

My total for the items in the picture (including 9 FREE Cottonelle packages!) was $6.84. I was able to get a couple of manager's specials, and my daughter was craving Velveeta Shells and Cheese (yuck!).

Not to bad. I still have $8.16 left that I could spend this week, but I am not sure I will even go to the grocery store again. I haven't had time to study the deals or even think of trying to shop for deals because of being busy with work, home projects, our Orlando trip, and preparing to be a facilitator at Financial Peace University at my church.

To see how other folks are doing on their grocery shopping be sure to check out the following blogs:

Money Saving Mom

Southern Savers

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2/23/09

Here's our menu plan for the week of February 23rd.

Chicken Pot Pie

Dinner out with friends from church
Kids - grilled cheese & tomato soup


Pork Fried Rice

Crock-Pot Beef Roast
w/ mushroom soup gravy
Rice dish
Steamed veggie

Pork Chops
Rice Dish
Steamed Veggie

Rice & Beans
Homemade Mac & Cheese

To get more menu ideas, be sure to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie and see Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Master Bedroom Painting Project

We have lived in our home for 12 years, and in that time every room in the house has been repainted except the master bedroom. We finally got around to clearing, cleaning and painting our Master Suite. We chose a Laura Ashley color from Lowe's (Gold 3). It matches our bedding perfectly, and I think it is a soothing, neutral warm color.

Check out our tray ceiling--it is one of the most beautiful I have seen in any house.

I have seen many accessories and lots of wall art in stores that will match this decor very well. So now all I have to do is shop for those and our room will be a sanctuary.

Be sure to watch the slide show a couple of times. The way it works doesn't show the whole picture, but the second time around you see a little bit different view.

master bedroom

Victoria Fires

I know most of have heard of the recent deadly fires in Victoria, Australia. I came across this photo on one of the quilting blogs I read. So sad for the people and animals....

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Disney World!

Highlights from my trip to Disney World with my daughter, Rebecca, and the orchestra/band group from school.

Disney Trip

Lowe's Coupon

We are in the middle of some home improvement projects and need to get another gallon of paint from Lowe's. I was happy to see that right now you can go here and get a $10 off any $50 purchase. The paint will cost about $30, and we have lots of other projects that we need things for to make up the extra $20.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Aldis 2/16/09

I just got back in town after a four day trip with my daughter's school orchestra and band. Hubby and I ran out this morning to get a few items from the home improvement store, and since we were out of milk, I stopped at the nearby Aldi's store.

Here is what I got:

2 gallons milk $2.29 ea
1 bunch bananas $0.90
Tangarines $1.99
Navel Oranges $1.99
Pineapple $1.99
Sweet onions $0.99
Lemons $1.69
1 can milk $0.69
Wheat bread $1.19
5 lb. flour $1.69

Total OOP $18.05

This trip will be all I make this week. I am still trying to stay around $10-$15/week for the next several weeks as I am in the middle of my 6-week Pantry Challenge. Overall, we have done well. It may have not been the best month to try this challenge since I was out-of-town for several days--the guys just felt they needed some junk food over the weekend and spend about $15.

Here are the totals for the last few weeks:

Week 1 $6.73
Week 2 $15.xx and then the guy's $15.xx so $30 total
Week 3 $18.05

Not bad, but we still have lots of food in pantry, so I may actually extend this challenge for another 6 weeks. We sill see how it goes....

Be sure to visit a couple of my favorite blogs and compare notes with other savvy shoppers:

Money Saving Mom--Super Savings Saturday

Southern Savers--Friday Finals

Have a great week!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2/9/09

My daughter and I will be out-of-town on a trip with her school for part of the week. So, the menu plan needs to be quick for the early part of the week because we will be getting ready for the trip. The menu needs to be simple for the guys while we are away. Here goes:

Hot dogs
tater tots
baked beans

Turkey noodle soup


spaghetti sauce from freezer
salad fixins available (I doubt the guys will bother!)

Dirty rice

boxed potatoes or rice mix

Dinner at church

To get more menu ideas, be sure to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie and see Menu Plan Monday.

Publix Penny Item 2/8-2/9

The Penny item for Publix for 2/8-2/9 is Publix 5 lb. bags of sugar.

This item may vary with location--check with your local store.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Interesting Link

I recently received a comment on my 6-week pantry Challenge post. It was from THIS site. It was interesting to read how this family grows their own food and keeps a pantry capable of sustaining them for 2 years!

I don't have the room in my tiny pantry for that kind of system, but it was really cool to see the fabulous organization of this family's pantry. I also got inspired to attempt a small kitchen garden this year...we'll see.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monthly Finacial Check-up-January Update

I have been inspired by Crystal at Money Saving Mom to publish our financial goals. As you might recall from our Financial Goals 2009 post, one of our goals was to pay off my husband's student loan incurred when he got his Master's degree. Our plan was to do that in 6-8 weeks, but we just couldn't wait. I sent the payment today!

We are now going to concentrate on building a 3-6 month emergency fund. We hope to have this in place by summer (at least a 3-month by then).

Another goal was to get our home ready to sell--just in case there is any improvement in the real estate market. We would like to sell and downsize to a home that we can afford easily on my husband's salary alone. We have purchased some supplies to start remodeling a few things in the house and we should start a project this weekend. I will follow with pictures of our master bedroom as we fix it up.

We would like to follow the Dave Ramsey rule of a house payment that is no more that 1/4 of our take home pay. Our current home fits that ratio with a dual income, but we really want it to fit the ratio for one-income. Reading Crystal's post about 100% down kind of gets me thinking that perhaps we could actually pay cash for the next house!

Other goals include increasing charitable giving and retirement contributions--both of which will be in place by the summer.

I am also planning on taking a good look at our budget to see if there are some things we could adjust to make sure we are truly living on only one income. Currently, most of my paycheck goes to savings (that we have been using to pay down chunks of debt). I still keep out enough to pay for my gasoline, a few groceries, and occasionally I have to pay a bill or two.

I have just started a 6-week Pantry Challenge where I am trying to spend only $10-$15/week on groceries for the next 6 weeks. Read more about that HERE.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Free Cottonelle at Kroger

Do you know you can get free Cottonelle toilet paper at Kroger? Just print off a coupon from my coupon sidebar. Kroger has 4-packs of Cottonelle at a regular price of $0.99. Kroger will double the $0.50 coupon and you can get FREE toilet paper. You can print two of these coupons per computer. These coupons are usually reloaded at the begining of each month, so check back to print more coupons. I have access to a few computers, so I rarely ever spend any money on toilet paper. FREE TOILET PAPER FOR LIFE.... or until Kroger raises the prices!

6-Week Pantry Challenge

Here are some pictures of my stockpile.

As you can see, my pantry is quite full....

Not to mention in need of some organization...

Do you think 35 lbs of sugar is enough...Hmmm....

I have more canned goods in an adjacent cabinet...

Oh, I also have some canned goods in a box under my bed...

And, of course, that is where I keep all my stockpiled toiletries (deodorant, shampoo, soap).
And, all my extra FREE Cottonelle toilet paper.

Another box of toiletries....

Oh! And the hall linen closet with extra shampoo, conditioner, and the lifetime supply of feminine products (well, not quite...)

Finally! The pictures of our fully stocked inside and outside chest freezer. We recently bought 1/2 a cow so NOTHING else can fit in our freezer.

It is time to clean out my pantry and freezer. I think that we could go a couple of months without a full grocery shopping week.

Instead, I am embarking on a 6-week Pantry Challenge. For the next 6 weeks, I will try to spend only $10-$15 each week to buy only milk, produce, the occasional killer deal, and free items. Check back to see how I do. I will keep a running total and post after pictures to see if I depleted my pantry and freezer a bit.

Publix Super Savers

I haven't participated in Publix Super Savers in a few months. I took a couple of months off from shopping at Publix. Really, I haven't been in the deal-shopping mode for a while. But, I got back into it last week with my Kroger Mega Event trip, and I decided to get the penny item this week at Publix.

This is my first week of my 6-week Pantry Challenge. I am committed to reducing my stockpile and keeping my weekly grocery budget at $10-$15/week for the next 6 weeks.

I only got a few items this week at Publix and spent a total of $6.86 OOP. Not bad.

To see more Publix Super Savers, be sure to visit Fiddledeedee.

Also, check out Super Savings Saturday over at Money Saving Mom for even more inspiration.

See more great shopping trips at Southern Savers.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Menu Plan Monday 2/1

Starting February with a completely stocked pantry and freezer. We are going to try a 6-week Pantry Challenge. I will be trying to use only items from my pantry and freezer for the next 6 weeks. I am limiting myself to $15/week to spend on produce and milk. Here is my plan for week one.

Homemade vegetable beef soup

BBQ pork sandwiches

Leftovers or a salad

Beef stroganoff

mashed potatoes
green beans

Roast turkey


I have a rough draft of menus for the next four weeks. I will post more about the 6-week Pantry Challenge in the next few days.

To get more menu ideas be sure to visit Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Have a great week!

Publix Penny Item

Publix penny item for 2/1-2/2 is Publix Special Roast Coffee.

This item sometimes varies depending on your location, so check with your local store.