Weekly Totals 1/26

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I am working on my Eat Down the Pantry Challenge so I am skipping even the best deals this week and just buying a few things.  I planned to run this through 2/1 but with Harris Teeter Super Doubles expected 1/31 I think I may have to stop early!

I write this post every week to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  I had -$5.17 over budget from last weeks’ budget, but I cashed out $100 Ibotta  bringing my total budget to $169.83.   You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Value: $32.18
OOP $15.17
Savings; 53%
Left Over: $154.66

 

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1/26
Harris Teeter
Banans $1.49
Oranges $1.99
2 pk Green Peppers $2.54
2 bgs Potatoes eVIC Special $2.94
Black berries $1.99
 
Value: $14.28
OOP: $11.23
Savings: 27%
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1/20 Harris Teeter
Bananas : $1.59
4 Bags Simply Chips (clearance $1 used $1/2 peelies)
Value: $17.90
OOP: $3.94
Get back $.25 Ibotta, .30 Mobisave

14 Day Eat Down the Pantry Challenge 2016

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Eat Down the Pantry Challenge

It started when the can on beans whizzed past my head and landed less than an inch from my foot.  Then I ran out of room in my overflow cabinets and we had to start storing canned goods in the bonus room cabinet.  And trying to close the freezer reminds me of a fitness challenge- me pushing as hard as I can and praying that the seal takes.

My pantry and freezers have become overfull and unorganized.  The shelves just don’t have enough space for all the deals.

It’s not just food either.  I have enough laundry detergent to wash every piece of clothing in my house at least fifty times.

It’s time for an Eat Down the Pantry Challenge- and I challenge you to join me. I will be challenging myself to Eat Down the Pantry 1/18/16 – 2/1/6.

It’s 14 days of using only what is in my pantry and what is in my freezer.  I stop stocking up on any deals that come around and only pic up perishable items (milk, sandwich bread, fruit, veggies).

Join our Challenge newsletters here- we’ll send out an encouraging email every night with a recipe idea using common stockpile items.

There are so many benefits to a Eat Down the Pantry Challenge.

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Weekly Totals (1/6 – 1/12)

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It was a great Super Doubles and I *may* go one more time but these are my trips so far!

I write this post every week to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  I had $102 from roll over from last weeks’ budgets  bringing my total budget to $177.00.   You can find the grocery deals this week here.

I barely shopped over the holidays because of just being busy!

Value: $610.89
OOP: $107.48
Savings: 82%

My hauls included 10 6 pks of Coke, 12 cartons of chicken broth, 6 pk of Huggies, 15 Crystal Light, 12 bags of cheese, 9 boxes of Finish Detergent and more!

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How I Taught My Kids How to Love to Save

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How I Taught My Kids How to Love to Save

My son showing off his savings.

 

My son, at age 8, has more cash than my husband and I have had during hard times in our marriage! My eight year old daughter has several hundred dollars in her savings account.  I’m so excited that my children have learned to love to save because I remember getting a few dollars for an extra chore well done and being so impatient to get to the store to spend it.  Spend it on anything just because I had it.

Instead, my children rush to put it in their money banks.  They celebrate each time they hit that next milestone.  $50!  $100!  $200!  They keep changing what they are saving for but my son’s answer has been my favorite so far, “Something big, that I just have to have.”  He says by saving his money when it comes along he’ll have the money to get it.

We don’t require our children to give money to charity.  (Don’t get me wrong- we believe that charitable giving is very important but believe that it can be in the form of time, items, service, etc. and we raise our children with that belief).    We don’t pay them for daily or weekly chores but they get their own money in a few ways.

  • Each birthday they are given the option of having a class birthday party or getting $100 in cash to spend as they wish.  Since my oldest (now 12) was 7, she has chosen the cash and her siblings have followed suit.  From what they’ve told me is that they not everyone in their class is their friend, or even nice to them, so they’d rather not have to invite them all to a party.  We do cake and ice cream celebration with family and a close friend or two.
  • My son collates my coupon inserts every week.  I generally pay him $0.50- $1 per insert depending on how many pages are in each insert.  With the 4 big inserts the first Sunday of January and having picked up extras, he earned $10!
  • They have the option to do extra, non-regular, chores to earn a few extra dollars.  This isn’t regular but when there is something I need done that I don’t have the time (or energy) to do – I offer it up for whichever child wants it.

There are a few things we’ve done to help foster this tendency to save rather than splurge in our children and I hope it sticks!

Teach them the cost of a purchase.

We might be in the store and my daughter asks for a candy.  It might be less than a dollar and something we can afford, but I want my children to learn that things they want need to be earned.  So I remind her that if she wants that candy that she could use her money.  I might say “What chores do you do that earn you $1?”  She’ll reply with a chore like organizing the cabinets or scrubbing the trash cans.  “Is that candy bar worth having to do that?”  The answer varies, but often the reply is, “There is a different kind of candy at home.”  and the candy bar gets put back.

They are learning to equate what they want with what it really costs them- their time & energy.

Teach them to anticipate it.

We are so used to instant gratification.  We want something, we get it now.  The anticipation of a reward is often what makes it the best.  Working hard and earning something is what makes a reward a reward.  For my pre-teen, she is saving for a car.  She has several years to go – but the anticipation of what car she will get (Mom approved of course) has kept her on track.  What about having them make a dream board for the things they want to save for.  Plus that might help you around birthday or Christmas time!

 Set an Example.

Talk about what you are saving for.  When we were saving for our trip to Disney World – we told them and kept them updated.  “We’re half way there!” or “We’re going in February!”.  Now we’re working on saving for a kitchen remodel (this one is just not laied out in a way for a family of 8!) While my children don’t know the specifics of our finances- we do keep them in the general loop of our financial goals.

Keep it Tangible (for a while).

My twelve year old understands the concepts of banks and interest.  My seven year olds just know that if they put it in the bank- they don’t have it anymore.  I think the idea of a bank account holding their money is just a little beyond them right now- so until it really clicks- we let them keep their money in actual bills and coins.  Counting his money re-motivates my son to earn more.  He’s really gotten the idea of work hard, earn money, use money to get the items you want (or do the things you want to do).  So for a while- we’re keeping the money tangible for my younger kids.

Let them make mistakes.

It was painful- for me as much as my son.  He saw this practical joke kit he really wanted.  It was about $15.  I knew it was a bad idea.  I told him it was a bad idea.  I told him again it was a bad idea.  “It’s junk, honey.  It won’t last.”  “Please Mom.  I really want it.”  “It’s your money, but I don’t think it’s a good idea.”  $15 and 15 minutes later- the piece of junk was in the trash.  Thankfully it only took this one bad choice to teach my son that junk is junk and not worth the money.  He also learned that Mom is a lot smarter than she looks.  I wouldn’t let him blow all his savings- but this was a $15 lesson that I don’t think he will forget- that was a LOT of inserts he collated for those $15.

Learning how to save money and really think about what we spend is an important lesson I want my children to learn early.  I’d love to hear your tips for teaching kids how to save & love it!

How to Collate Inserts in Minutes

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Staying Organized is the KEY to successful couponing!  Personally, I prefer the whole insert method where I keep my inserts un-cut until I need them.

I get 10 newspapers a week and found that this is the absolute best way to keep the time it takes to coupon to the bare minimum while keeping my pantry overflowing!

Here is how I collate my coupons every week.  It usually takes less than 10 minutes a week and then another 15-20 a week to make my detailed list and clip all my coupons.

 

Weekly Totals 12/1/2015

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I write this post every week to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die! I had $0.00 from roll over from last week  but got a $25 rebate check in the mail, bringing my total budget to $100.00.   You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Last week I went over budget and had to dip into my emergency budget fund so this week I took it light and barely shopped!

Value: $98.93
OOP: $20.03
Savings: 80%
Got back $2 Register Reward, $25 Target Gift Cards, $15 Mail in Rebate
Left in budget: $54.97

Walgreens
11/29
Gallon of milk $2.79
OOP $2.85

Walgreens
12/1
Scunchi Hair Accessoires $2
used $2 in points
OOP $0.14 (tax)
Got back $2 Register Reward

Target
12/1

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Value: $93.94
25% Q took $21.95
Used $33 in coupons
5% Target Card
Due:$37.04
Used $20 in Target GC from previous deals
Cash OOP $17.04
Got back $25 in Target GC
Submitting for $15 MIR

savings before rebates: 82%

 

Makeover Give Thanks Blocks

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Give Thanks Block Makeover

I LOVE shopping after Holiday sales.  I found these lettered blocks at Harris Teeter for $1 and $2 per set.  Super cute for Halloween except Halloween is over!

Thankfully the traditional color themes of Halloween and Thanksgiving are so similar we can repurpose the blocks quickly and cheaply and make them last twice as long on the mantle!

Need:
10 + Blocks
Vinyl Letters (I grabbed mine at the Dollar Tree but if you want a fancier font check these out)

Directions:
Be sure to use the directly opposite the Halloween lettering.
Place the letters on the block and adhere completely.

You don’t have to use “Give Thanks” other options that would work depending on the number of blocks would be “Be Thankful” or even just Thankful.

I love how it works on top of our mantle- surrounded by inexpensive Halloween jackolanterns I turned around to be simple pumpkins!

My Weekly Totals 11/17

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I write this post every week to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die! I had $0.00 from roll over from last week  but got a $25 rebate check in the mail, bringing my total budget to $100.00.   You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Running Total:
Value: $340.15
OOP: $96.81
Savings: 72%
Rebates Back: $1
Catalinas Back: $0.00
Left in weekly budget: -$21.81
Left in Budget: -$3.19

11/11

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Harris Teeter
1 Tetley Tea Bags- free
3 BC Cake mix .25 each
10 Pop Secret B2G3
10 Delmonte Canned Corn
3 Dole Mandrain
4 Domino Sugar Box
6 Carnation Evap Milk
2 Ht Flour
2 HT eggs 18 ct
2 HT Sugar
3 Old Orchard
3 Mazola Cooking Spray
Marie Calender Pie
Sister Schubert Rols

Value: $120.06
OOP: $29.50
Savings: 75% (used $5 FL Q and $2 catalina)

Food Lion:
Oreos- FREE digital Q
Potatoes 1.49
4 FL Water $1.99
4 bags shrimo $12.99 BOGO
2 20 lb turkeys (this doesn’t come out of my weekly grocery budget because it’s holiday budget)

Value $138.44
OOP $46.83(used $5 FL Q)
Savings: 66%

Trip Totals:
Value: $258.50
OOP: $76.33
Savings: 71%
Got bak $0.70 Ibotta

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Harris Teeter 11/13
3 Reynolds Foils – $1.90 each
5 Pop Secret-B2G3 – .85 each (used $1/2 in Q stash)
10 Delmonte Canned Veggies.36 each
1 Old Orchard – .49
2 Thomas Bagels (foud .75/1in my stash) .74 each
3 Sister Schubert BOGO clearance – .74 each
3 Simply Hashbrowns -.22 each
2 Challenge Butter – .49 each
1 Challenge cream cheese – .50

Value: $81.65
OOP: $20.48
savings 75%

DIY Frozen Burgers: A Few Tips

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How to Get the Perfect Frozen Burger

 

As a freezer fanatic – I freeze everything.  I stock up on meat and put it in the freezer.  However, I can’t stand making burger patties out of thawed ground beef.  Maybe I’m weird but it never seems to make good patties- they seem chunky.

We love our burgers but I don’t want to be stuck paying full price for ground beef when the craving hits.  So I premake the patties and freeze them. Here are my tips from trial and error!

Form the patties and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
Freeze until solid I left mine in overnight.
Place in the Food Saver bags and vaccum seal.
Use a patty maker to make uniform patties (mine has gone MIA so I had to freehand these)

If you try to vaccum seal the fresh burger patties, the pressure will turn them into big lumps of meat instead of patties (trust me!).

Freezing them before vaccum sealing keeps the patties in shape.  To cook- just thaw out overnight and cook as usual.

If you don’t have a Food Saver -  as a stockpiler I highly recommend having one of some sort!  I use mine regularly for freezing meats, produce and even rice!  It’s great for even freezing leftovers.

 

Weekly Totals 11/3

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I write this post every week to keep myself accountable to my $75 a week budget.  However I’ve stumbled and slacked off on writing it so instead I will update a single post all week- so you can see the deals before they die! I had $0.00 from roll over from last week , bringing my total budget to $75.00.   You can find the grocery deals this week here.

Running Total:
Value: $487.74
OOP: $169.54
Savings:65%
Rebates Back: $0.00
Catalinas Back: $0.00
Left in weekly budget: -$94.54
Left in Budget: -$7.88

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10/28

Harris Teeter:
:6 Nivea Lip

5 Sea Pak
10 Yoplait
2 Frosted Flakes
2 Apple Jacks
1 Gal Milk (reg price)
6 pOptarts
5 Sargento Sliced
4 Progresso Broth
4 Crisco Oil
Pillsbury Flour

Value: $149.47
OOP: $52.73
Savings: 64%

Food Lion
Ground Beef $1.99/lb REGIONAL Sale
8 pks
2 garlic head
Value $34.65
OOP 17.99
Saved: 48%

10/29 and 10/30
Food Lion (4 stores)
(no picture)
32 lbs Ground Beef
Used (4) $5 off $20 in sep trans
Value: $163+
OOP: $63+

10/30
Harris Teeter

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3 Frosted Flakes
14 Quaker Rice Cakes
6 Kellogg Pop Tarts
Propel Water (free item Catalina Q)
4 Progresso Broth
6 McCormick Gravy
Boston Butt
5 Sargento
8 Nivea Lip
used $5 off $20 FL Q

Value: $$140.62
OOP $35.82
Savings: 75%