Monday, July 25, 2016

Menu Plan Monday

We are great at menu planning.  It's sticking to the menu plan that is our issue.  It's hot, we're tired, it's late, we happy, we're stressed, there is always a reason for not following the menu plan and eating out.  We are really going to buckle down and start sticking to the PLAN!  That being said, here is what is on our dinner menu this week!

Monday-Veggie stir fry, rice, peaches.
Tuesday-Tacos, chips and salsa, pineapple.
Wednesday-Pizza boats, sweet corn, pears.
Thursday-Bacon and cheese omlettes, peaches.
Friday-Spaghetti, garlic toast.

To see what others are having head over to I'm an Organizing Junkie

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Tracking Your Spending

Image result for receipts

We've gone through phases of tracking our spending.  Usually when we are at the end of the week or the month and we have no idea where all our money went.  We went a long stretch without paying attention to our spending.  That got us a bit in trouble.  When we picked it back up and started paying attention I was shocked to see how much money was being spent on our variable expenses.  You can plan for your fixed expenses each month, mortgage, energy, phone, water bills.  However, when it comes to things like entertainment, eating out, groceries, etc it can add up quickly without even realizing it.

For the last few months we have been serious about tracking every dollar we spend.  I keep a notebook attached to the refrigerator where I write down what we spend each day.  I also have a clip on the fridge so that my husband and I can attach receipts.  I go through every couple days and write out all the receipts by date onto the notebook.  The key is to make sure you get a receipt for everything you purchase or at least write it down as soon as you can so that you don't forget what you spent.

The fist month (March) we started tracking I wrote everything down by date and then every week I would add up that weeks expenses.  At the end of the month I could compare what went out vs what came in.  At this point I really wasn't paying attention to what we were spending our money on just how much we were spending.

The second month I continued to write down everything but this time at the end of the month I tallied up what we spent on our variable expenses.  My main focus was gas, entertainment, dining out, and groceries.  I was stunned to see at the end of the month what we spent on some of these things.

By May I started something new.  I would post on the fridge what my budgeted amount for the month was for each of these variable expenses.   For example we budget $500 a month for groceries.  Each time we spent money on groceries I would subtract it from the monthly total.  This way I always knew exactly what we had left to spend for that month.

This worked a lot better and I have continued to follow our expenses each month.  It keeps me on track with how much and what we are spending our money on.  Do you track your expenses?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How about an update?

Wow, 15 months has gone by since I last blogged.  I feel like I blinked a few times and the months just flew by!  I am hoping to get back into the groove of things and start learning and sharing some fugal ideas!  First off, here's a little update on our life.

I'm still a SAHM for the time being.  That may change in the next couple months but we can talk about that later.  My husband is still working full time and providing financially for our family.  My oldest boy is married now and has spent the last year in South Korea, he is a Specialist in the United States Army.  My second oldest son graduated from high school this year.  I now have 2 adult children!  Wait, does that make sense?  He is still living at home and is currently working full time.  Our 2 younger boys are very active, between sports and spending as much time as possible with friends we are constantly on the go.  They are 9 and 10 years old and will be entering 4th and 5th grade this year.  Our youngest Emily, is 5 and will be attending Kindergarten this year.  Anyone remember when she was born?  This will be the fist time in 11 years that I don't have a child at home with me!  Eeek!

Learning the frugal life.  I definitely feel like I need to re-learn how to be more frugal.  We have straight up gotten lazy this last year.  Not blogging, and keeping myself accountable has really been harmful to our budget.  We stopped paying attention to our spending.  Before we knew it more money was going out then coming in.  Thankfully we caught on before we got too out of control.

I am still gardening and we are still backyard chicken owners.

I'm excited to get blogging again and hopefully get back on track with our frugal living!

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Start of Gardening Season 2015

April 4th I got my first seeds planted.  Peas, lettuce, spinach, kale and swiss chard.

Thanks to my son Tony for snapping some pictures for me!

I am so excited for the nicer weather and getting out and digging in the dirt.  My wonderful husband got my garden all tilled up a couple weeks ago.  I have added a new area along the edge of my original garden.  I'm hoping to transplant some raspberry canes.

If you are curious if you can start planting you can check out this site to see what zone you are in. It is important to know what zone you live in so you can determine the last frost dates. is also a great site.  You can enter your zip code and it will tell you what zone you are in.  Local folks, Iowa is Zone 5 and this site will give you a calendar of when you can start planting your vegetables.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Slowing Down

I've been struggling with wanting to slow down, simplify and organize my life.  I certainly will be slowing down a little bit!

Yesterday I had surgery.  They corrected my bunions on both sides of my left foot.  A few years ago I had my right foot worked on.  The first doctor who did it wrecked my foot requiring me to have a second surgery from a different doctor 6 months later.  I swore I would never do it again.  However the last year I have been having increasing pain in my left foot.  It really got bad when I started working out again.  

So, I gave in and had the surgery, hoping that this will be an easier, quicker recovery.  They shaved the bones and placed 2 screws on each side.  Today has been rough to say the least.  Thankfully my husband is taking great care of me.  He has kept the kids busy, house picked up, and has done all the duties that I usually do throughout the day.  Plus he has gotten me ice packs, drinks, meds, and anything I ask of him he graciously does it.  I'm so lucky to have him!

So in my down time I rented some books from the library about finding balance, organizing and simplifying.  If anyone has any books they would recommend I would love to hear it!  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Deal on Strawberries

My local Fareway had strawberries for $.99 lb.  We use strawberries every day in our breakfast smoothies.  I usually spend anywhere from $2-$2.50 per pound for frozen berries.

Yesterday I bought 12 lbs of strawberries. If I had more freezer space I would have probably gotten more.  I cleaned them, flash froze them, and placed them in a ziplock in the freezer.  Now we have frozen strawberries for the next few weeks for half the price I normally spend!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Menu Plan Monday

 I feel like I have spent a lot of money lately on groceries.  It's time to start using up what we have.  Here is what is on the dinner menu for us this week.

Monday-Japanese chicken salad, pineapple.
Tuesday-Roast, potatoes, carrots, pears.
Wednesday-Beef fajitas with colored bell peppers, green beans, peaches.
Thursday-Turkey tacos with all the fixin's, peaches.