Sunday, September 25, 2016

Update on our No Spend Month-Week 4

This week went by really fast again.  I am still trying to get used to working full time!  We did pretty good on our spending again.  Here is a break down of what we spent each day.  

Day 18- $0
Day 19- We made our second trip to the grocery store and here is what we bought for $26.50.
Day 20- This was my day off so I ran a bunch of errands that day.  I took cans back and earned $7.35.  I went to the farm store and spent $17.25 on 2 bales of straw and woodchips for the chickens.  I went to Walmart and got some household items and pop for the hubby and spent $37.80.  That one hurt a little but I got some things that we needed.  Granted I probably didn't need to buy so much deodorant but I had $1 coupons that were about ready to expire.  Now that my daughter is no longer wearing flip flops I had to get her some socks and they were on clearance for $3.

Day 21- $0
Day 22- $0

Day 23- I stopped at a garage sale during my lunch break, I know, I know.  However they were selling little girl clothes for $.25 per item. It was insane.  Needless to say I spent $5.50 but now my daughter has an entire Fall and Winter wardrobe.  My husband went to the store to buy food for tailgating at the ISU game and spent $8.92.  We now have $1.27 left for our grocery budget for the month.  Eeek!

Day 24- Gas for the hubbys car $39.94

Day 25- $26.00 for a birthday gift.

So there you have it.  We have only 5 days left of the month.  I think we have done really good.  I am not feeling any urge to go shopping or spend any money.  I told my husband we should carry this over to October but he thought we didn't need to be quite as stingy next month.   He agreed with me that he was excited about the money we have been saving.

We have almost made it!  How did your week go?  Let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

DIY Canning Lid Pumpkin

Here is another fun project I found on the web, a canning lid pumpkin!  And since I have an abundance of canning lids I thought this would be perfect.  Here is what you'll need.

16-20 canning lids-depends on how many you have and how full you want your pumpkin.
Orange spray paint (Walmart $3.98)
Yarn or string
Cinnamon sticks

First you will want to lay out your lids on a box or newspaper and spray them with the paint.  Let them dry a couple hours and flip the over and spray the other side, trying to hit all the edges.

Once dry place all the lids together making sure they all face the same way, this is key.  You can use yarn or string (I used butchers rope cause that all I could find) and tie the lids tightly together. Once tied fan out the lids to make your pumpkin shape.  Place 3-4 cinnamon sticks in the center for a stem.  If you don't have cinnamon sticks a plain ol' stick from outside will do!

I love the rustic look!  Super cute and easy to make.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Update on our No Spend Month Week 3

Wow!  This week really flew by for us.  This was my first full week of work and we are still getting used to the changes around here.  One great thing is I/we have been so busy we have stayed out of the stores!  We had a fantastic week of no spending.  Here is what we spent, or didn't spend each day.

Day 11  $0
Day 12  $0

Day 13  $19.88 at Walgreens for medications.
            $10.20 for groceries at Walmart.  My son needed snacks for school and my hubby really                     wanted some pop.  He has been doing so good with this.  We spent alot of money on pop in               the past.
            $13.50 at Walmart on cat liter.

Day 14  $5 at the store for ice that we needed to take to a party.

Day 15  $0
Day 16  $29.48 for gas in my van.
Day 17  $0

I am so proud with how my family did this week.  We still have $38.69 left in our grocery budget for the month.  I know we plan to go to the store today to get bare essentials!  We still have plenty of meat in our freezer so basically we just need some dairy and produce.

How did your week go?  Share in the comments!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Menu Plan Monday

This is our second week of  not assigning a day to our meal and simply writing our menu on the chalk board.  It worked well last week.  Once we make one of the meals we just erase it from the board.  We found some chicken and corn beef soup that we had frozen from March so that was added to our menu this week.  It's kinda fun going through our freezers.  We had a lot more food than we originally thought and we are clearing it out and making room!

What's on your menu this week?

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Update on our No Spend Month Week 2

Wow.  This was a big week for us.  I started my new job, my oldest son who is in the Army returned home from South Korea, and my next oldest son got his official driver's license so I no longer have to chaperone him around!  It's been a great week.

As far as our no spend month is concerned I am happy with how we did this week.  Here is a breakdown of what we spent this week.

Day 5- $0
Day 6- $0

Day 7- I spent $35 on gas for my van, hubby spent $38.58 on gas for his Jeep.  Hubby also spent $5 on the lottery pool at work.  He refuses to give that up!

Day 8- $0

Day 9- Hubby broke down and bought a pop at work for $1.60.  I'm impressed he went 8 whole days without buying one!  He's doing good.  We also spent $9 for admission at the high school football game.  We didn't buy any concessions!

Day 10- Our first grocery trip of the month.  We went to Aldi and spent $44.51.  Here is what we bought.
 We have done great at eating what's in our freezers.  We really haven't even made a dent so I don't think we will have a problem keeping our grocery budget under $100 for the month.  Also we have eaten dinner at home each night so I am super proud of us for that!

Today starts a new week.  Let us know how you did this last week in the comments or on our Facebook page!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Saving Money While Dining Out

There's no hiding it, our family loves to go out to dinner.  We fall into that category of every time there is something to celebrate we go out to eat or get dessert.  However, with a family of 6 that can add up pretty quickly.  Here is a few ways to cut back the costs of eating out if you have children.
If you have children, find places where kids eat free or cheap.  There is all sorts of places around that lets kids eat FREE on specific nights.  Usually you can have one free child's meal with each paying adult meal.  Here are a few if you're in the area.

Mondays-Village Inn
Tuesdays-Pizza Ranch, IHop, Perkins, HyVee Market Grill in Ankeny, Pizza Hut Buffet
Wednesday-Wig and Pen in Ankeny 
Thursday-Cozy Cafe in Clive
Saturday-Z'Mariks Noodle Cafe
Sunday-Okaboji Grill, Planet Sub

Other restaurants offer deals during certain days or during certain hours of the day.  For example on Wednesdays McDonalds offers reduced price Happy Meals all day,  Buffalo Wild Wings offers $1.99 kids meals all day and Applebee's offers 1/2 price kids meals from 4pm to close.

Another way to save some change is to skip the fancy drinks.  Sticking with just plain ol' water will save you around $2 per person!  You can always look for coupons and offers in magazines or newspapers and even on Groupon.  This isn't very fun but you can always skip dessert as well and that will cut a huge portion of your bill down.  Or maybe you can just skip the entree and just order dessert!   

Monday, September 5, 2016

Big Changes

We are making some big changes around our household.  After almost 11 years of staying home I am going back to work tomorrow!  My husband and I always agreed that once all our kids were in school I would go back to work.  This year our youngest child started Kindergarten so the time is already here for me to make this change.

It's bitter sweet for me really.  I am experiencing so many emotions.  I'm excited to start a new adventure, nervous for change, scared I'll fail, and sad to be leaving my status as a stay at home momma.  It will be an adjustment for sure.  Not just for me but for my husband and kids as well.

I'm still learning to be frugal all the time so I plan to continue blogging!  It's an exciting time for us and I'm happy to take you on this new journey with me.