Saturday, February 28, 2009

Goals for March

Ok,  as I said in my last post Feb. has been a hard month for us.  I have decided that I need to set goals for March so I can get the bills paid. ~smile~

1.  Groceries and eating out - we eat out way too much.  We need to limit eating out to pay days only. We look at this as our date night but truthfully we eat a lot of our meals with just the two of us now.  Ian is working nights and Rachel is still away at school.  Maybe we need to eliminate this until Rachel gets home at least.  Groceries is another issue.  I have a lot of food in the house and if I would take the time I could make it work.  I only have $146 budget for food for March.  That is for both categories.  I have to work hard to make it work better.

2.  Utilities - these were double what I was expecting except for water.  We need to do better with  wasteful use of our electric and gas.  Water stays about the same when Rachel is not home.  When she is home it increases about $10 a month.  I need to go around shutting off lights and regulating our heat.  Dh already says that the house is cold but my bill is still way to high. 

3.  Cell phones and home phones - I need to start writing letters or send messages on email.  Our cell phone bill is slowly creeping up due to my use.  We only have local on the home phone and I need to start using it for local not my cell phone.

4.  Discretionary Spending - I need to not buy anything for a needlepoint class I am taking.  I need to make use of what I have already.  This can really add up fast.  Dh buys for his class room animals from our money so I need to figure out how much he uses each month to budget for it.

5.  Household Budget - this is for things for the house.  Weather stripping, drywall mud, etc....  Our backdoor in the laundry room needs weather stripping and new trim.  I will try to find the money to start this.

6.  Spring Break - Dh will be home the entire third week of the month and will be wanting money to do things around the house.  We will have to sit down and determine what we are willing to pull out of the savings for this.  Also we will be driving to pick up Rachel and then taking her back.  This will take money for gas, food and lodging.  Dh is going to get her and will stay in her dorm room to save money but going back we will both be going (as of right now) so a hotel room will need to be reserved.

7.  Taxes - I still need to file these.  I will work on Ian and Rachel"s first as theirs are a lot easier then ours.  I will most likely need to take ours to someone this year.  Ian owes us $60 and has said that we can take it from his return.  We will most likely owe money this year because of my disability.  They did not take taxes out last year.  I have corrected that so that next year we don't have the same issue.  

8.  Crafting - okay this is the area that I enjoy the most.  I need to get some sewing done but first I need to work in that room.  I need to continue working on my class project and my other needlepoint piece.  I also need to start working on the six wedding gifts that I will need starting in April.  One in April, three in June, one in July and one in October.  Busy busy wedding year.

I think this will give me more than enough to concentrate on for March.
Wish me luck.

End of the Month

ok,  I can't believe that it is Feb. 28th already.  Where is the year going already.  I can't wait for the weather to make up its mind.  We have freezing ice on day and then by the weekend it is almost 70.  My trees are starting to bud and tonight we have a winter weather advisory.  See what I mean.  This month has been stressful financially.  We purchased a new car as ours was about to start costing us alot for a used car that was never right very soon after we bought it.  So we purchased a 2008 Kia Rondo.  I like it and it sits higher so it is easier for me to get in and out of.  Between that and our parent loan starting its payments this month it has been a juggling act.  Hopefully March will be better.

Monday, February 16, 2009

GiveAway at $5 dinners

I was just reading on one of my favorite sites:  $5 dinners and she is having a fantastic giveaway right now.  She has been blessed with Wal-Mart gift cards that she won in a contest.  Wal-Mart has blessed her with a year's free groceries.  She has decided to share her wealth.  Go to $5 dinners and enter telling her tips for shopping at Wal-Mart (if you do shop there) and how you would use $25 dollars there.  Giveaway ends on February 22.  Go Luck.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wonderful day !!!!!

Today my bff and I drove into Nashville and took a needlepoint class.  We also joined ANG, American Needlepoint Guild.  Needlepoint is a dying art and I love working on it.  It is my release, what I do to unwind.  Some people veg in front of the television -- I stitch.  My bff, Susan and I can stitch with each other for hours and stitch without saying much at all.  Just a "look at this color" or "what do you think of this stitch".  Drives my daughter nuts.  LOL  The design being offered is one that uses up little bits and this fiber and that fiber.  I love stuff like that.  I hate little bits that you can't do much with most of the time.

So now I have three projects going on.  ~smile~  I don't get bored this way.  Two of them are for me finally.  My dh complains that everything I stitch is for others.  Now I can say "no this is for us".  I have one at the framers also.  I will try to post a pic when it gets back.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Groceries for February

Well here it is Feb 11 and this is my first post of the month.  Shame on me !!  I have been busy stitching.  Also I had a couple of days with the crud going around.  Dh is a middle school teacher so he brings home every germ.  That's for sharing honey !! LOL

Well last Friday I had seventy dollars for two weeks and it is gone.  I wont have any money for groceries until Feb. 20.  So, I am challenging myself to see how long I can go without going to the store for food.  I just picked up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.  I am going to start baking my bakery goods again.  I just got lazy  LOL.  A gallon of milk will last us until it expires which is the 22nd of Feb since I only use it on my cereal.  The soda is gone so I will be making ice tea and lemonade that I picked up for 28 cents a container for Country Time powdered mix. I have a lot of meat and frozen veggies.  I will use leftovers for dh's lunch.  I am down to one can of tuna.  Not good.  I am long in pasta and homemade sauce, home canned pears and tomato products.  I have over 30 lbs of flour in the freezer,  about ten lbs of sugar in the pantry and about 7 lbs of oatmeal in the pantry.  I have home canned pinto and white beans and pickles (both dill and sweet).  In the freezer I have pork, chicken and a little beef.  No hot dogs or items like that that dh likes but I'm sorry.  Money is tight right now.  I will be eating out tomorrow as I will be out of town for a needlepoint class.  My bff is taking a day off of work to go with me.  For snacks I have three bags of tortilla chips and home canned salsa.  Or I have the makings for a cheese dip.  

I think it is doable.  Here is my tentative menu:

2/10  ham, sweet potatoes and green beans
2/11  stir fry using leftover chicken
2/12 chicken, mashed potatoes and veggie
2/13  bean burritos, spanish rice and chips and salsa (we usually go out to eat Mexican so I am making it at home)
2/14 steaks, mashed potatoes and asparagus
2/15  baked pasta
2/16 pork chops, corn and carrots
2/17 chicken, stuffing and veggie
2/18 chili or taco soup
2/19 ham, sweet potatoes and veggie
2/20 chicken, peas and carrots
2/21 lasagna rolls
2/22 fish, peas and veggie

that will get me to next payday.  All these are subject to change.  Dh sometimes comes home wanting something different then what I have planned.  For lunches I have tuna, leftovers, mac and cheese, homemade soup and peanut butter and jelly.  I don't know yet ds schedule as he starts management training on the 22nd.  He works mainly nights right now.  I have $100 budgeted for next payday for food but I am going to see if I can come in much lower.  If I go by myself I can do it.  If I have know how it goes.  Wish me luck.