Sunday, April 28, 2013

Grocery Budget.

Hey guys, 

I hope your weekend was great! Just got done doing some yard work with the hubs. Raked up all the leftover leaves from the fall, pine cones and sticks. Of course all the sticks are tiny now.. due to our wood chipper of a dog ;)  She loves her sticks. It has been really nice outside the past few days that the seeds that I planted have been sun bathing outside.  And I bring them inside at night, or when it is cold.  No changes in them just yet.. But I hope see Forget me not to start showing appearances. :)  

One of my biggest job in our marriage is I am the financial person. I handle all the bills, budgeting and the money :)   (which at time I worry,  if anything would have happens to me... ) Once we moved to West Point, due to us living on post; we lost our BAH (which is our housing money, we don't see it, if we are living on post, it gets pulled our soldiers checks before we even get a chance to see it. It covers rent, water, trash, sewer, gas and electricity)  So basically we only have to pay our internet and our cable bills.  Which is nice, but we were so used to not using all of our BAH that we were pocketing the money.  Due to that we had to make some financial changes.  For us, that was a huge change. It takes a couple months to get it perfect. Not everyone's budget is gonna be the same. While making the budget changes, I noticed that we were losing a lot of money with our grocery bills. Back in Colorado (last duty station)  we were going to the grocery store 1-2x a week. One would be BIG trip and spend average 110-130 dollars a week for two. And the other trip would be a "I forgot something trip" but totally end up buying more then needed. I know looking back now that is nuts.  I go about 1-2x in a little over two week period. How about that for a change? Now I just went to the store yesterday, bought enough food for two weeks with the cost of 155 dollars.  I do take advantage of coupons, but not to the extreme.  My favorite is, quick and easy.  If you go shopping at Target, do you know Target has there own coupons online. Can't use it else where, but still helps save. Just go into the search box and type in coupons and the coupon page should just pop up. :)  If you buy a lot of P & G projects go to and see if you can find coupons for your products. Yesterday's shopping trip I had more coupons then normal but I saved a total of $9.95, using only 13 coupons. YAY!!!   I only buy what we eat or use. If you are affiliated with the military and can use the commissary..   (if you have not gotten the Commissary card, ask for it next time you go, they are starting their own coupon program, where you load up the card) USE IT.. it may not seem like much you are saving after a month, it all adds up. Even if you are not able to use the commissary you can use my tips to save you lots of money. BEFORE YOU DO ANYTHING AT THE STORE... put together a 16 day meal plan.  I know it seems like a lot, but two extra meals really helps out. (Once you get really good at this you may be able to even make 18 meals, like I do now)  After making 16 meals I check my cupboards, fridge and see what I need.  The biggest thing really helped me is having a stash..  Like we use a lot of tomato soup and diced up tomatoes and kidney beans in our recipes, so I make sure I have plenty of that. Who knows later down the week you might want to switch a meal up.  If you do.. resist the temptations to go to the grocery store... you will  buy more then what you really need. (I wish I could go in for that one stinking thing.. and of course you end up with 20 plus items)  While at the store, use your list, this will help you keep you on track. Please keep trying this for a month or two before giving up on it. It may seem like a lot of work planning out your meals, but at the end of the day.. seeing your bank account with more money then you used you, will put a smile on your face. :D  Once you get that down, start paying for it in cash. This will allow your brain to realize how much money you are spending, just swiping that card doesn't do anything for most people.  After doing this step, I practically pay cash for everything I can. From haircuts, gas, little gas station trips, It really adds up. But you will be able to see where the money is going. Another day I'll talk about my financial household budget. 

Tips to saving money on grocery trips
  • Make a 16-18 meal plan
  • Check the stash and see what you are getting low on and what you need
  • Use coupons 
  • Take the list with you.. (if you forget it.. GOOOO BACK.. it will help you keep the cost down)
  • Resist the temptations to go back to the grocery store. even if you forget something. Switch your meals around until you can no longer avoid going to the grocery store
  • Pay in Cash 

Please try this for a month or two. I would love to see responses of my followers if they have noticed a difference or not. You are more than welcome to tell me what you do when it comes to your grocery trips. Please email me if you have any questions. :) 

Have a great evening!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring is in the air!

What a wonderful day today here in New York. Not too hot and not too cold.

Making me itching to some planting done. :( Sadly still a little too early for that. This year instead of spending lots of money on pre grown plants/flowers; I am attemping to grow my own this year. Lets see if this works out. After my babysitting job yesterday, I quickly drove home and planted my seeds. The seeds, I started need to start before planting outdoors. :S  Lets pray to the mother nature that it works out.  The seeds I planted yesterday are Impatiens and Forget me not.  I love impatiens they are so easy to care for. Lets see if they are easy to grow.   This will be the first year I have ever used Forget me not. I wanted to explore outside of my flower shell and use something that not everyone will have in their flower beds. These flowers are blue/purplish blooms. They can grow up to 12 inches tall.  I have several flower beds and pots they need to be filled so I planted a bunch. Other than I have a lot of places to put them, just in case some seeds  don't open. I also bought California poppy seeds, they are beautiful! They are gonna be put in my wine barrel.  I am really looking forward to my plants hopefully blooming.  I don't have a greatest green thumb, but I am certainly gonna try my best.  The biggest reason for me not grabbing plants at the store is, why spend soo much money on a house that isn't ours.  I learned my lesson from last year. I was soo excited to have green space (we came from a 2nd story apartment), that I went crazy. This year I realized, the next renters may very well pull all the flowers out of the ground.   Being an army wife, I really realized very thing you have, is short lived. Right now we have a three bedroom 2.5 bath house. Next place we might have a one bedroom apartment.  You may go from one extreme to the other. You need to enjoy it when you are spoiled rotten by the military but need to understand this isn't forever.  But you dont want to  get out of control with the enjoyment either.. Like buying bushes for your flower garden (yup.. that was me last year).  The Forget me nots will take at least seven days to start sprouting and the impatiens may take up to two weeks. Through out the time, I will keep you updated with pictures :)

Also due to the weather. I finally order two amazing wreaths of etsy. I have been debating for months, if I should order them or wait a little longer. I was planning on one wreath but oh I saw another in the same shop... I had to give it a home. :)  I don't want to spoil the suprise. Hopefully in less than two weeks I can plaster pictures of it all of this blog. I am sure you guys won't be able to resist either ;)    Of course you guys will be one of the first ones to see it!!!

*** Note:  I used 9 oz paper cups for the dirt and seeds and used shoe boxes to hold all the cups together :)

Purpose to the blog

Hey everyone,

Please bear with me when I am going though the early stages of my blog.  The reason that I am starting this blog is to help give escape from the busy daily lives we have.  Espically with the military.  There is some goals that I have in mind, I would love this blog to be a place where I can express the ins and outs of the miltary life. Not that I am an expert by any means. Just to help out other wives, I wished I had that before entering in the miltary world. But I handled it just fine.  But it wasn't easy..  I would love this to
also be a place where I can show new recipes and maybe even a DIY projects. Most of these projects or recipes will fit in the busy life of everyone, not just the military.  I would love this blog to be a place to connect military wives around the country maybe even the world. Please comment or email me if you have any feedback on making this a blog that you will love.