Thursday, March 27, 2008

7 facts about me

I was tagged about a week ago by Candi and I just realized how and what she wanted me to do! Sorry candi! I am a dork and still figuring out the whole meme thing!

Rules are:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So here are 7 things about me that you may or may not know:

1. I am the middle child of three kids. I have an older sister and younger brother. And contrary to popular belief, no I did not grow up wanting for attention! I demanded it - I am such a drama magnet.

2. Jeff and I moved our three kids cross country without a job and a house in escrow. One of the scariest and most fun times in our marriage. It has been so worth it!

3. I am a Disney freak! And it just keeps getting worse.

4. As a kid, I wanted to be a writer or an archeologist. I am fascinated by history and maybe someday I will write somethign worth publishing!

5. I want to be June Cleaver when I grow up. Did I just set the feminist movement back 50 years???

6. I am a Republican and would probably lean more toward the libertarian side in politics. I think our government is too large and our founding fathers would be spinning in their graves if they saw how monstrous it has become.

7. I loved the Gilmore girls and still watch the reruns on TV.

Now that you know what a complete weirdo I am, I am tagging:
Have fun!

My List

I am in the middle of reviewing the grocery ads and making a list of what I need. My list this week is a little different. We are going out of town for a few days, so I am not buying for a week's worth of menus, but a week's worth of snack and car friendly foods!
In the past year, we have slowly been cutting out alot of the typical snack items and processed food due to budget and health concerns. Well, that will partially be going out the window as we prepare for our Spring Break trip to Macon, GA!
And of course, I found some great stuff on sale this week at Winn-Dixie! They are having a 10 for $10 sale on so many items that I usually have stockpiled, that I am going to buy a few things to put in my pantry!
My list so far:
10 for $10
Coke products (I know these aren't good for me, but it is my last vice) - 2 liters I will buy 10 to have on hand = $10
Winn Dixie Pasta Sauce (I usually make my own, but its good to have in a pinch)I will buy 5 for quick weeknight meals = $5
Nesquick flavored milk (for the road trip) Qty 10 = $10
Pringles (DH's favorite for road trips!)I will get one can per person for the week 5 = $5
Rayovac Batteries - AA and AAA 4 packs (we always need these)Qty 10 = $10
Hormel Little Sizzlers (great for breakfasts - 12 in a box) Qty 10 = $10
Dole Salads I am cooking dinners while we are gone Qty 3 = $3
Gala, Red Delicious or Granny Smith apples ($1 per pound) Qty 3 lbs = $3
Some other good prices:
3 lb bag of honey tangerines - 2 for $4
Cantaloupes - 2 for $3 ( I will buy 1)
So if I get the quantities I want, my total should be $61.50.
I will still need to pack other snacks from my pantry and do some baking, but this will pretty much cover the gaps in our road trip needs!

Grocery Shopping Part 2

I am trying to share some of the things I do to save money at the grocery store.
I've already talked about how I inventory my pantry, refrigerators and freezers. I talked a little about how I plan my menus and make my list. I want to revisit that whole list thing!
I have found that most people fall into one of three categories when it comes to their shopping:
1. They make a list of loss leaders and plan their menus around what is on sale that week.
2. They create a pantry stockpile and plan their menus on what they have on hand and just pick up the items they need to fill in the blanks.
3. They don't do any of the above and just go to the store and throw random stuff in the cart and hope they can do something with it!

I shop with a combination of all of these!!! Well maybe not #3!

The first thing I do is review my stockpile. Thanks to my MIL and my ability to squirrel away food, our pantry stays pretty stocked. If I am low on anything or out of something, I start my list. This also works for toiletry items and cleaning products!
Then I make my menus based on what we have and what sounds good! I also take into consideration what is happening during the week. On Girl Scout nights, for instance, I try to do a crock pot meal or casserole I can make ahead so that dinner is the last thing I need to worry about as I am running out the door! Anything that I need to complete a meal on the menu gets added to the list.
Then I review the ads. I do the bulk of my shopping at Wal-mart. Since they do not publish an ad, I have to keep an idea of what the prices are. I had a price book started, but my computer ate it, so I am re-creating it. I know a lot of people have bad feeling about Wal-mart, so if you don't shop there, find a store in your area that offers the lowest prices on the items you buy most often.
I go through the other stores ads online. Most large grocery chains have their ads available online and you can even sign up to receive them before anyone else! Some also have a handy feature where you can create your list as you are going through the ad. I do this for all the stores in my area and print out the lists I create.
Since Wal-mart is the cheapest place I shop (and the furthest away from my house, I start there. I take all my lists with me. When I come across an item I know is on sale elsewhere, I compare the sale price to the Wal-mart price. If it is lower at Wal-mart, I buy it there and cross it off my list. Most of the time, I can get 95% of my list at Wal-mart cheaper than by going to three different stores and buying all the loss leaders.
When I am done at Wal-mart, if there are still a # of items on my list at another store, I head over there and pick them up. Since the other stores are on my way home from Wal-mart, I am not using any additional gas!
The most important thing to remember is to stick to your list! Yes, there are times when you come across a great deal and you will need to deviate, but more on that later!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Eve

Easter is tomorrow and we have been acting like hermits for about a month now. I haven't attended church in that time, barely left the house unless I had to, you get the picture.
I have been overwhelmed and stressed to the max for over a month. Nothing huge, just all of the everyday little things have gotten to me and I have reached a breaking point. I was in denial until I was ambushed by my Girl Scout co-leaders a few weeks ago. Later that same week, at a MOPs meeting, we had a family counselor give us all a "depression test". We had to answer 15 questions and rate them. We added up the points for each question and answer. Everyone had different scores, but the breakdown was: (I am paraphrasing, but you'll get the idea)
1-5 - you are doing well and have few problems
6-11 - you might want to find someone to talk to (pastor or friend)
12-18 - you need to see a professional
19+ - you need HELP!!

My score was .......22!!!!!!!!!!!

The good news is, I am starting to turn a corner. I am working really hard on sharing my burdens with my DH and journaling and I may vent more here. So, starting this week (tomorrow), my hermiting needs to change. I am the kind of person that thrives on being around others and when I get overwhelmed and depressed, I hide. That is exactly what I shouldn't do, but I do.

So if you know me IRL, and have been wondering where I have been, I'll be back!

Monday, March 3, 2008


I am always looking at new ways I can cut our grocery budget. My goal is to spend $75 to $100 per week feeding my family of five, plus our dog. With the prices going up daily (it seems), it is getting harder and harder to do!

This is where I need to get creative and really watch where my pennies go!

Some tips I share here may seem like common sense to you, but they may be new ideas to someone else!

*Inventory your cupboards and refrigerator - I set aside about 15 minutes a week (usually Wednesday) where I go through my pantry, fridges and freezers to take stock of what I have, and I make a list of what is low and what I am out of.

*Plan a menu - nothing can eat up your food budget more than waiting until 5:00 to decide what you are having! Make a plan for a week to 10 days at a time. Just do dinners to start with. Be sure to try and use items that you already have in your "food inventory".

*Make a grocery list - your list should include all of the items you need to make the dinners on your list plus the essentials for breakfast and lunch. Stick to this list as closely as possible!

*Stick to your menu plan! Your meals can be flexible, but try to stick to what you had planned. This will keep you from running to the store to get "just one more thing".

More in another post! There are so many dimensions to this subject! I am still learning and will try to share as much as possible!