Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Something to Think About

"Some people think they have bad luck when the real problem is that they took bad chances."

Friday, June 22, 2007

Where have I gone?

The girls got here safe and sound on Sunday. It has been a very chaotic week trying to allow them to get acclimated to our house and our rules. Nothing bad, it is just that our rules differ from the ones that they follow at their bio-mom's house.

Earlier in the week, we took a walk to the park. Well, it really is the playground for a now closed elementary school, but it has monkey bars and swings so that makes the kids happy.

I took Rhiannon to Aldi's with me on Monday night. We got two weeks or more worth of groceries for $109. She was shocked by this as her mom spends more than that on dinner food only for one week. Of course, I need to run out and get bread and milk this week but that is about it.

Yesterday I took a neighbor to the doctor. This was a major act of kindness since I do not know her at all. We had to wait 4 hours in the office. It was a long morning. We were able to get into the pool yesterday afternoon. It was the first time we've been in during the day. Of course, being the kind of person that I am, I took a few pictures!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

3 Days & Counting

I have been so busy this week. In order to make more room in the house, I had to sell my desk. While I liked the desk, it was not the end of the world. Especially since we had been given the desk, a nice Thomasville piece, over 7 years ago for free. It was a piece leftover after they remodeled the local Ronald McDonald House. The desk traveled from TN to FL and back again with us and has served us well. We made $55 off of the sale so I am happy.

Our new glasses came in the same evening so after finalizing the sale, Hubby & I had to jump in the car and drive into the city. It was late before we got finished and we ended up grabbing dinner out. This was NOT the plan, however, it was justified by Hubby since the money was actually from the desk.

Because we sold the desk, I had tons of rearranging to do. I went through and re-organized my crafting items and was able to get rid of two boxes full of stuff. I freecycled these boxes to a homeschooling mom of 6 who I know can and will use them.

Today I have to finish rearranging the stuff in the girls' room. This should not be too difficult but tedious as I'm going to have to get rid of some of their older items.

My neighbor is having a yard sale next weekend so I may put a few things in there - such as the VHS Disney movies - we have all of them on DVD now so the tapes are just taking up space.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Countdown to Kids

The girls will be here in 6 days. I'm running around trying to get everything done around here. The above photo was taken of the youngest in 2003. She was searching for fae folk.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Doing the Math - Meals on Sunday June 10, 2007

Breakfast - Nothing for either of us
Lunch - The last of the sloppy joe mix for me with a dollop of sour cream - $0.10. Hubby has not eaten as he was at work and too hot to eat. He did have a bottle of gatorade $0.50
Snacks - 2 ice cream sandwiches - $0.17 each
- Salad made with iceberg, romaine, and spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, chickpeas, & cheese. Topped with chicken tenders and salad dressing. - $6.50

Total - $7.44 This still leaves leftover salad for tomorrow. We like having leftovers.

LOL Challenge - Spending

Friday - $0
Saturday - $12 at yard sales where I got 2 gift items, a sheet set & duvet cover for the girls room, 2 outfits for the girls, 4 pairs of sandals, a keyboard for hubby, a curtain for our bathroom (block the sun & save on a/c cost)
Sunday - Bills only (electric/gas bill, water bill & phone bill due today) - $270

Doing the Math - Meals on Saturday June 9, 2007

Breakfast on Saturday was a English muffin for me - $0.25, Jack had a chicken sausage on bun - $1.00

Lunch was leftover sloppy joes for both of us - free

Dinner was $0.88 pizzas for both of us with added cheese and oregano - $2.26

The total for our Saturday meals was $3.26!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Doing the Math - Meals on Friday, June 8th

Breakfast today was 2 bananas ($0.25) & a glass of milk ($0.50) for me. Hubby does not like breakfast, however, he does drink soda each morning ($0.25). Total = $1.00

Lunch for both of us was a microwave burrito ($0.25), some cucumber slices (0.50), and some ranch dip (0.25) Total = $1.00

Hubby drinks a lot of tea and water during the day. We figure that it costs us roughly $0.25 for two quarts of tea. He drinks about $0.75 worth of tea each day Total = $0.75

I am going to start "doing the math" on our meals. Tonight I fed Hubby & myself, KK had half of a potato, and we have enough sloppy joes for lunch tomorrow AND about 18 half potatoes left for later meals.

Sloppy Joes -
  • 1 pound of ground meat - $1.50
  • 1 packet of seasoning - Free (from the free grocery thing) but if I had bought it, we would have spent $0.50
  • hamburger buns - $0.50
Total for Sloppy Joes - $2.50 or $0.42 per sandwich (with the full cost of the freebies)

Twice Baked Potatoes -
  • 5 pounds of potatoes - $2.00 (26 halves)
  • Container of sour cream - $1.50
  • Cheese - $0.50
  • Real bacon bits - Free (from the free grocery thing) but if I had bought it, we would have spent $0.50 for 1/3 of the bottle
Total for Potatoes - $4.50 or $0.18 for each half (with the full price of the freebies)

This means that dinner cost $7.00

Our totals for today's meals/beverages is $9.75. I guess that is a pretty good number considering all of the leftovers. I really would like for our total to be $5.00 or less.

The Congressional Food Stamp Challenge

I found out about this via a link today on the Hillbilly Housewife website. I must say that I am quite amused by the whole thing. Who would have thought that the amount of money I spend on groceries each week would be considered a hardship? We routinely spend around $85 per month at Aldi and $50 on Angel Food each month. I do have a few local runs to Save-a-lot for milk but we still keep our budget under $150 for the month. $3 per person per day would average out to $91.25 per person, per month or $182.50 for a family of 2. We don't even spend that much when we have the children here for the summers and they eat quite a bit!

I guess that just goes to show you that perspective is everything. I don't see myself as "poor" or as being "below the poverty level". I suppose one might say that we are since our typical take home right now per month is $2,300 per month (after child support and with my unemployment calculated in). We are not rich people but we have nice things, a nice house, and are happy. What more could a person want?

I think we may add the "Food Stamp Challenge" to our LOL in that we will try to keep our food budget to $182.50 or less per month for a family of 4.

Living on Less

From June 8th until August 3rd, my family will be facing "A Living on Less" challenge. We will be evaluating each purchase to determine if it is, in fact, necessary. We will not allow outside factors to determine how we spend our money.

Our biggest factor will be eating out. The Hubbyman & I will grab fast food rather than fixing something at home. We MUST stop this. If any of you have any ideas as to how to reach this goal, please share them here!

We're eliminating retail stores except for groceries from Aldi. Toilet Paper, generic soda, and trash bags are from the evil empire. But that is it. We do not NEED clothing or toys or games. We don't NEED anything right now except for food.

Needs Versus Wants ... Must evaluate that on every purchase. We will be keeping a track of our spending too so that we can see where the money goes. If anyone wants to join this challenge, please let me know.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Financially Speaking

One would think that by having your oldest daughter turn 18, your child support would go DOWN, however, we are faced instead with an increase of $33 per week. That may not seem like much you but to us that is a large bit of our budget. $33 is more than our weekly grocery budget.

This is not a complaint about child support or anything like that. Please don't think I'm wanting to start a flame war or anything. I'm just being forced yet again to re-evaluate our budget. I'm praying that we can financially afford for me to stay home. My health really depends upon it.

And so, once again, we're going to be tightening our proverbial "thrift belt". It seems impossible for us to tighten it anymore. I'm simply going to be selling more stuff online and promoting myself as a professional organizer. Where there is a will, there is a way. I'm going to find the way!

Friday, June 01, 2007

They're Coming!

Hubby's youngest two girls are coming to spend the summer with us. They haven't been here in two years so we are both very excited.

The girls are 15 and almost 13. They will be here on June 17th. Rhiannon is the middle child and is Daddy's little girl. Jada is 13 and so independent. I am very happy that I'm going to be able to be home with them this summer.

I went shopping in the attic tonight for clothing for them. I found enough jeans & teeshirts for them both but they need shorts and bathing suits. I'm going to scour the yard sales this weekend just for their stuff. It makes me happy to know that the things I've been saving for the past two years will finally be used.