Saturday, January 31, 2015

January Grocery Shopping Spending Report

I started using You Need A Budget last month in concurrence with the Excel spreadsheet that I use to track my spending and budget ahead.  In that sense, YNAB is useless to me because it is NOT a tool to budget ahead. In fact, its founders do not believe in budgeting ahead because "things can change". Well, yes, but that's why emergency funds exist.  YNAB is really a tool primarily for people in debt who are looking to dig themselves out. That's not us. We have no debt aside from our mortgage and we don't live paycheck to paycheck.

That is not to say that I don't want to keep a tight reign on our spending!  For this, YNAB is a tool for me to remind myself how much we are spending in different categories. My Excel spreadsheet reflects the spending as it occurs or is planned but my YNAB database makes me identify specific categories and subcategories for each expense. Hence, it provides a much more accurate picture of how we have spent our money.  And I like the reporting tool, for the most part.

Here is a screenshot of how where I spent our grocery budget this month. This is only money I spent on food, it doesn't include any cleaning supplies, personal care, or pet supply items even though I might have purchased those items at the same stores.

My grocery budget was $400.  According to the YNAB snapshot, I spent $438.47.  However, I also got $20.84 in various rebates, so my final total for January 2015 was $417.63, which was $17.63 over budget. However, I did stock up on a lot of meat so my February total should not exceed the $400 February budget.


I'm surprised that I spent almost as much at Save A Lot as I did at Aldi since I buy so many more things at Aldi. But I stocked up on meat at Save A Lot for the most part. My Publix shopping is wayyy down and it is not due to the coupons that I'm still using. I've just found that I can save more money by shopping somewhere else and I've stopped buying items like pre-packaged snacks, for the most part.

Here are the details of how much I spent by sub-category:


I can definitely see a shift on where I spend my money now that I'm trying to eat healthier: less baking supplies, lots of produce!

It will be interesting to compare the January and February results!

Friday, January 30, 2015

My Daily Freebies: Friday 1/30/15


Here is what I got/found for free today!


  • SavingStar's weekend freebie is a roll of Rolos.  I'll get it if we end up near a Walgreens this weekend.


  • I filled out a Zevia soda survey (targeted email) and earned a free 6-pack of Zevia soda! My favorite is the Lemon Lime Twist.


    Food Waste Friday: January 30, 2015

    Inspired by The Frugal Girl blog who started it all...

    Here is what I had to throw away I threw away this week...
    Why the struck through text? Because the devil is in the planning... 99% if the time,  if I had planned better, I wouldn't have had to throw away food. 

    • I found about 1/2 a cup of Winn Dixie organic unsweetened applesauce in my fridge and I was going to use it to make chocolate chip pumpkin muffins but when I opened the jar, it looked more like tomato sauce because somehow it had taken a deep orange hue... so I washed it down the sink. I suppose I could have composted it but it was too much work getting it out of the jar. I washed the jar in order to reuse it later.


    • I had to compost about 1/4 cup of shredded carrots that had gotten slimy.



    On the bright side this week, I was able to avoid wasting the following:


    • This wedge of provolone dolce had started developing some mold. I cut those parts off, shredded the cheese, and used it up in several recipes this week.


    • We ate leftovers every day :)

    Thursday, January 29, 2015

    My Daily Freebies: Thursday 1/29/15


    Here is what I got/found for free today!



      • Redbox texted me a code for a free 1-day DVD Rental that expires tonight. Since we can't use it, I gave it away on Slickdeals.

      Wednesday, January 28, 2015

      My Daily Freebies: Wednesday 1/28/15


      Here is what I got/found for free today!

      • A jumbo Chocolate Chip Muffin from Racetrac after reward code from Racetrac survey.


      •  A medium coffee from Dunkin' Donuts (bought with part of the $5 credit I got when I first downloaded the app).


      •  (2) DVDs from my library system (free entertainment for the week)



      • A magazine from the library's donation pile.


      •  A heart-shaped donut from Dunkin' Donut - I redeemed a code earned for taking a Dunkin' Donut survey on a previous purchase.

      The icing got messed up in the bag!)

      •  A chocolate chip cookie from Subway after redemption of a code earned for taking a Subway survey on a previous purchase.


      •  A corn dog from Racetrac, after redemption of a reward code earned for taking a Racetrac survey.

      • A coupon for a free any size beverage from Dunkin' Donut, earned for buying an item this week during their "Help us Celebrate our Birthday" promotion.



      • "Fury" on DVD from Redbox, free after redemption of account credit given to me by Customer Service when I contacted them about a text they had sent without a coupon code.


      • 4 boxes of Special K cereal at CVS, after sale, coupons and redemption of Extracare Bucks earned last week.



      FREEBIES EARNED TODAY, TO BE REDEEMED AT A LATER TIME:
      • A code for a free bakery item from Racetrac, obtained after taking a Racetrac survey about my gas purchase today.


      •  A code for a free donut from Dunkin' Donut, earned for taking a survey about my visit at Dunkin' Donut today.



        My Other Great Buys This Week


        Here are some other (as in non-food) great deals that I made this week:


        • Greg asked me to buy him some shaving cream... I had a store coupon for $3.00 off $10.00 of CVS shaving items. These were $1.67 each so I paid $10.02 minus the $3.00 coupon = $7.02 and I earned $4.00 in ExtraCare Bucks (buy $10 of CVS shaving items, get $4.00 in ECBs), Technically this makes each can $0.50, but I will actually probably be using the $4.00 in ECBs to reduce my grocery budget next week.



        • Publix had those Glade Decor Scents Clean Linen 2-ct refills on clearance for $2.00 each.  I used a $1.00 off any 1 Glade item manufacturer printable coupon and a $2.00/2 any Glade Items manufacturer insert coupon to get all 3 packs for $3.00.  Then I submitted by receipt to Checkout 51 and got $1.00 back. So I paid $2.00 for all 3 packs ($0.67 each).  I plan on using those in my car to replace the Febreeze Car Clip that is almost empty. I will use either a binder clip or adhesive velcro to attach it to my car vent.


        Grocery Shopping This Week


        Wednesday is my main shopping day. My 2015 weekly grocery budget is $100/wk for 3 to 4 people (2 adults, 1 of 2 teens depending on the weeks). Let's see how I did!

        Budget for the week: $85.32 (I had gone over budget last week so I reduced this week's budget accordingly)
        Total OOP: $70.14
        Rebates expected: $0.50
        Earned rebates to be applied to subsequent weeks' purchases: $3.00
        Total spent after this week's rebates: $69.64
        Money left in budget: $15.68

        Baking Supplies: $2.72 OOP
        1. I didn't plan on buying those but at $0.68 a bag, I couldn't resist... I had to limit myself to 4 bags though. I'll be making minty cookies for the kids' snacks for a while :)
        • 4 bags Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chip (Target) on 50% off clearance @ $0.68 each = $2.72

        Beverages: $0.00 OOP
        • None

        Breads/Baked Goods: $3.07 OOP
        • 1 load butterbread (Save A Lot) @ $1.29
        • 1 package hamburger buns (Aldi) @ $0.89
        • 1 package hot dog buns (Aldi) @ $0.89
         Cereals: $2.94 OOP
        1. This definitely was a stock-up price for the Special K, which is what my daughter eats for breakfast.  I got the last 4 boxes from my CVS store and 2 of them have codes to try to win some pretty nifty gadgets instantly from Kellogg's Family Rewards. Plus, I will earn more KFR points.
        2. I should have ordered more $1.00/1 coupons from KFR for the Froot Loops but I used $0.50/1 printable coupons instead. My son will enjoy those for breakfast when he's done with the Krave boxes from last week. I will also earn KFR points from those boxes, which I will turn into more coupons for Kellogg's cereals!
        • 4 boxes Special K (CVS) on sale @ $1.99 each, minus (4) $1.00/1 manufacturer printable coupons from Kelloggs Family Rewards = $3.96, minus $4.00 in ECBs from last week = -$0.04
        • 2 boxes Froot Loops (Walgreens) on sale @ $1.99 each, minus (2) $0.50/1 manufacturer printable coupons = $2.98

        Dairy: $11.36 OOP
        1. I had earned a $4.00 off milk catalina from Walgreens last week for buying Grape Nuts
        2. The butter was marked at $2.99 on the shelf @ Aldi but rang for $2.69. Sweet!
        3. I got more plain yogurt for myself and I really want to try to make crockpot yogurt this week.
        4. I was planning on buying only 5 cups of fruit-flavored yogurt but Greg and my daughter both eat those so they won't go bad.
        • 1 gallon T.G. Lee whole milk (Walgreens), FREE 
        • 16-oz container light sour cream (Aldi) @ $1.29
        • 1 lb unsalted butter (Aldi) @ $2.69
        • 8-oz block mild cheddar (Aldi) @ $1.79
        • 32-oz container of Fit & Active plain yogurt (Aldi) @ $1.69
        • 10 cups Fit & Active yogurt (Aldi) @ $0.39 each = $3.90
        Dry/Pantry/Freezer Goods: $21.40 OOP and got $0.25 back from Snap, plus 1,000 Balance Reward Points (= $1.00 credit on future purchase) and $2.00 in Register Rewards
        1. I totally went off my list for this category because I hit great clearances @ Target!
        2. Always err on the side of "what if..."!  The only Cartwheel offer I found for Market Pantry soup was for canned soups ONLY but I added it just in case and the register actually took it off the Market Pantry "brick" soup that I got!  This was a welcome surprise.
        3. I didn't really need the ground chipotle but I'm sure I'll use it and at $0.56, I just couldn't pass it up.
        4. The soup base was a product that I had never seen but I had beef bouillon on my list and when I saw this at $0.56, I decided that this would be an acceptable alternative. The container states it makes 91 servings!
        5. I wanted to make my own Montreal Steak Seasoning and it calls for "coarse" salt. I found a small box of it at Target (they had large ones too).
        6. I was hoping to get the (2) jars of Prego for $3.00 at Walgreens and get the 1,000 Balance Rewards points, as I had a $0.75/2 coupon.  However, they only had 1 jar available. I asked one of the attendants to check if they had more in the back but they didn't.  However, the same Balance Reward point offer also applied to Campbell's Chunky Soup, which my husband really likes and I found a $0.50/2 printable coupon in my organizer.
        7. I was hoping that Publix had gotten more of the 40-ct PureVia boxes because the store coupon that makes them free expires in 2 days, but they didn't. I suspect that they're not restocking on purpose, to tell you the truth.  However, I had a $2.00 digital coupon for the 80-ct box which I could stack with the store coupon and I figured that $0.49 for 80 packets was better than nothing for NO packets!
        8. Buying the Spectrum organic coconut oil @ Target is not only a great deal but also allowed me to skip a trip to Trader Joe's which is wayyyyy out of my way and would have led to more purchases.  So this is definitely a frugal victory. I use the oil when making our air-popped kettle corn for Family Movie Night and family outings.
        9. I already had salsa in stock but Snap had a $0.25 rebate on it today and that coupled with the price of the large jar at Aldi made it a great deal.
        • 2 jars Spectrum organic refined coconut oil (Target) @ $6.29, minus 15% Cartwheel, minus (2) $2.00/1 manufacturer printable coupon = $6.68
        • 5.5 oz container of Badia minced onion (Save A Lot) @ $2.19
        • 24-oz jar of mild salsa (Aldi) @ $1.49 and got $0.25 back from Snap = $1.24
        • 2 cans Campbell's Chunky soup (Walgreens) on sale @ 2 for $3.00, minus $0.50/2 manufacturer printable coupon = $2.50 and got 1,000 Balance Reward Points (= $1.00 credit)
        • (4) boxes of Market Pantry Clam Chowder (Target) on 50% clearance @ $0.63 each, minus 5% Cartwheel = $2.36
        • 24-oz can crushed tomatoes (Aldi) @$0.95
        • (2) 8-oz cans of no salt added tomato sauce (Save A Lot) @ $0.25 each = $0.50
        • 80-ct box of PureVia sweetener (Publix) @ $3.99, minus $1.50/1 store coupon and $2.00/1 digital manufacturer coupon = $0.49
        • 1 package Kraft Homestyle Mac'n Cheese dinner (Walgreens) @ $2.00 and got $2.00 Register Reward
        • 1 box Morton's coarse kosher salt (Target) @ $1.37
        • 1 small container Badia ground chipotle (Target) on clearance @ $0.56
        • 16-oz container L.B. Jameson chicken-flavored soup base (Target) on clearance @ $0.56
        Produce/Juice: $18.64 and got $0.25 back from Checkout 51
        • 1.97 lb Dole red grapes (Save A Lot) @ $1.69/lb = $3.33
        • 10 lbs russet potatoes (Save A Lot) @ $3.49
        • 1 bag mini peppers (Aldi) @ $1.79
        • 2 pints grape tomatoes (Aldi) @ $0.89 each = $1.78
        • 8-oz package of white mushrooms (Aldi) @ $0.89
        • 3-lb bag Gala apples (Save A Lot) @ $2.99
        • 2.28 lbs of bananas (Aldi) @ $0.44/lb = $1.00 and got $0.25 back from Checkout 51
        • 2 Haas avocadoes (Aldi) @ $0.69 each = $1.38
        • 1 package brussel sprouts (Aldi) @ $1.99
        Proteins: $6.76 OOP
        1. Last week the eggs were $1.99 at Aldi but only $1.15 at Save A Lot. This week the price had gone up at Save A Lot so I decided to get them at CVS since they were $1.29 and to buy 2 to stock up. Then I went to Aldi and they were on sale for $1.05 each. Arrgh. I wish they would publish ALL their advertised sales!
        2. I wasn't planning on buying the Butterball sausage but I had a $0.75 coupon that expired soon and the price was good and I can always squeeze 1 package of sausage in my freezer.
        3. The Save A Lot manager told me that if I waited a few minutes, he was about to come out with some meat marked down by 50% but I knew I had no room in my freezer so I resisted and checked out right away!  LOL.
        • 2 dozen eggs (CVS) @ $1.29 = $2.58 minus $0.04 balance from ECBs applied to bill = $2.54
        • 1 Butterbull Smoked Turkey Sausage links (Save A Lot) @ $1.99 minus $0.75/1 manufacturer coupon from an insert = $1.24
        • (2) Buddig Premium lunchmeats (oven roasted turkey and Black Forest ham) (Save A Lot) @ $2.49 minus (2) $1.00/1 manufacturer printable coupons = $2.98
        Snacks: $3.25 OOP
        1. I bought 2 bags of tortilla since Sunday is the Superbowl and that is what Greg snacks on during the game (he's easy!).
        2. The price of the Ice Breakers was very good so I got them for Greg as an alternative to his Altoid mints when he's done with his current stock.
        3. I was hoping to get a $0.25 rebate from Snap for the tortilla chips but the rebates were all gone by the time I was able to scan my receipt. Poop.
        • (2) bags restaurant-style tortilla chips (Aldi) @ $1.19 = $2.38
        • 1 container Ice Breaker mints (CVS) on sale @ $1.87, minus $1.00/1 store coupon from kiosk = $0.87

        Tuesday, January 27, 2015

        My Daily Freebies: Tuesday 1/27/15


        Here is what I got/found for free today!



          • I found a free pack of 5 x 7 photo paper sheets in the pack of HP Ink cartridges that I had to open today.

          In My Fridge... (Dinner Plan)


          Each week I peek in my fridge to see what needs to be used up and I take a couple of minutes to think of ways to use up those ingredients in the next few days...

          Dinner Plan designed with what I currently have on hand

          MONDAY: Chicken Enchilada Pasta Skillet
          • We had it last night. I used 2 cups of shredded chicken that I had cooked last week, some provolone that I had shredded from a wedge that was starting to mold, a box of penne pasta from my pantry, a can of salt added tomato sauce from my pantry, some spices that I had on hand and some yellow pepper that I had bought on sale, diced and frozen last year.

          TUESDAY: Hearty Lasagna Soup, served with Buttermilk Corn Bread (recipe cut from an old magazine)
          • Red pepper from my freezer
          • Minced garlic from my fridge
          • Italian seasoning that I mixed myself; oregano and crushed red pepper from my pantry
          • Ground beef from my freezer. I don't have lean so I will cook it and rinse it to get rid of as much fat as possible.
          • Crushed tomato can from my pantry
          • Can of beef broth from my pantry
          • Lasagna noodles from my pantry
          • Grated parmesan from my fridge
          • Rest of the shredded provolone from my fridge.
          • I will defrost some corn bread squares that I made last week and froze.

          WEDNESDAY: Marie's Easy Slow Cooker Pot Roast served with Couscous
          • Beef Bottom Round Roast from the freezer (bought on 50% off clearance last week at Save A Lot). My roast is only 1.72 lbs so I will cook it probably for only 6 hrs.
          • Dry onion soup mix from the pantry
          • Carrots from the fridge
          • Potatoes from the pantry
          • Celery bought on sale at Aldi last year, chopped and frozen.
          • Plain couscous from my pantry.
          • 1 cup homemade chicken stock from my fridge

          THURSDAY: Zucchini and Mint Frittata (Woman's World Magazine, June 2014) and Salad
          • 8 eggs from my fridge
          • Red pepper from my freezer
          • Zucchini from my fridge
          • Grated parmesan cheese and 1 cup shredded swiss cheese from my fridge
          • Fresh mint and scallions from my garden
          • Kosher salt and pepper from my pantry
          • Salad made with Romaine lettuce heart, Roma tomatoes, cucumber and avocado from my fridge. Use the rest of the Et Tu Southwest Caesar salad kit that's been in the fridge.

          FRIDAY: Chinese Roasted Pork (recipe cut from an old magazine), served with white rice and Steamed Green Beans
          • Pork loin roast from my freezer
          • Minced garlic from my fridge
          • Bag of green beans from my fridge (bought at Publix last week)
          • Fresh ginger from my garden
          • White rice, low-sodium soy sauce, brown sugar and Chinese 5-spice powder from my pantry

          SATURDAY: Cottage Pie (Woman's World magazine recipe, unknown issue)
          • Celery from my freezer (bought on sale at Aldi last year, then chopped and frozen)
          • Carrots from my fridge (bought last week at Aldi)
          • Fresh mushrooms bought from either Aldi or Save A Lot this week. If not, I will use a can of mushrooms that I have in my pantry.
          • Ground beef from my freezer
          • Crushed tomatoes from my pantry (if none, crush 2 cans of diced tomatoes from the pantry in food processor)
          • Frozen peas from my freezer (if none, use a can of peas from the pantry)
          • Worcestershire sauce from my pantry (bought at Dollar Tree last year)
          • Make mashed potatoes with Idaho Russet potatoes from my pantry
          • Horseradish from my fridge. 
          • Add 1/8 cup of sour cream that's in my fridge.
          • 2 scallions from my garden

          SUNDAY: Chicken Burgers and Zucchini Cakes
          • Ground chicken from my freezer
          • Hamburger buns (bought tomorrow at Aldi)
          • Slices of cheese from my fridge
          • Zucchini from my fridge (bought last week at Aldi)
          • Grated parmesan cheese from my fridge
          • Bread crumbs from my pantry (homemade)
          • Nutmeg and paprika from my pantry
          • 1 egg from my fridge


          Still in my fridge/freezer/pantry/garden
          • 4 Roma tomatoes from Aldi and 1 from my garden: will make Creamy Cucumber Tomato Salad for my lunch tomorrow and I will use some of the evaporated milk that is in my fridge in lieu of sour cream.
          • Dried pineapple, cranberries and strawberries: using them in my morning oatmeal.
          • Sauerkraut: will use on brats next week
          • 1 tbsp guacamole: will use on a sandwich for my lunch later on this week
          • 1 serving turkey bacon bits: will use on a salad for my lunch later on this week
          • 1 serving black beans and corn: will use as filling for a quesadilla for my lunch later on this week
          • 1 cup shredded chicken breast: will use in salads for my lunch later on this week
          • hard boiled eggs: will use in salads for my lunch later on this week
          • Open pack of pepperoni: might make pizza donuts as a treat during the Superbowl (homemade biscuit dough, small slices of Weight Watchers Mozzarella string cheese)
          • 1 smoked gouda: keep for later use
          • 1 wedge of aged Asiago: keep for later use
          • 1 tbsp of herbed goat cheese: will have for snack this afternoon, on a slice of Wasa crisp bread
          • Neufchatel cheese: keep for later use
          • 1 acorn squash: keep for later use
          • 1 avocado: keep for salads next week
          • Oranges: still need to make marmalade with them!
          • 1 can Pillsbury crescent rolls: will use next week
          • In my garden: cabbages, collard greens, Bibb lettuce, spinach - will try to incorporate in next week's recipes
          • In my freezer: lots of pork chops, pork loin roasts, ground beef, chicken drumsticks, chicken breasts, chicken leg quarters, gnocchi, pie crust patties, sausages, guacamole... and more that I need to inventory!
          • In my pantry: lots of pasta, Chicken and Hamburger Helper, dried beans and lentils, stuffing, rice, couscous, pouches of tuna and salmon (for sandwiches).

          How much is your printer really costing you?!



          I have this love/hate relationship with my HP wireless inkjet printer.

          I love that I can print from any computer in the house without having to first hardwire them to a printer.

          I hate that if my internet or router misbehave, I can't print unless I use my laser printer (wired), which, admittedly, is my default printer anyway. Still.

          I love that I can select to print in color or in black and white and that I can select the draft mode so I use less ink.

          I absolutely hate that it uses color ink even when printing only in black and white and in draft mode.

          I also hate that HP has installed software on their printers allowing them to deny the use of cartridges that they deem unworthy, which means any cartridges that aren't sold by HP.  Their cartridges aren't refillable either.

          I also hate that it won't let you skip a color if you decide to keep printing IN BLACK AND WHITE.  WTF?!

          Inkjet ink is pretty damn expensive.  I have started tracking how long each cartridge lasts me... and it should be a darn long time since 1) I rarely use that printer and 2) I even more rarely print in color from it.

          This Magenta cartridge that I had to replace today (the printer takes 3 color cartridges and 1 black and white cartridge) had been replaced on 10/19/14.  It's 3 months ago.  Well, yes, but in those 3 months, I have printed about less than 10 (TEN!)  5 x 7 color photos and 3 (THREE) 10 x 11 black and white photos. I have printed a few sheets of coupons, all in black and white and maybe 2 gardening charts in color. But the Magenta cartridge is already depleted.  This is highway robbery.



          When buying a printer, don't just rejoice at the great deal that you got at the register.  Investigate the cost of the ink, whether you'll be able to use recycled or refillable cartridges, whether the printer uses color ink when you print in black and white... because trust me, you'll be paying for that printer over and over and over again.  In my case, replacing all the cartridges every 3 months is equivalent to buying 2 new printers every year!

          If you don't absolutely need to print in color, investigate buying an older laser printer. You might lose a little in terms of convenience (i.e. no wireless connection) but a toner cartridge (while still expensive) will last you wayyyy longer than an ink cartridge and you can also mask the eye of it so you truly use up all the ink in the cartridge instead of trusting the people who force you to buy THEIR ink when they tell you that your cartridge is empty!

          So buyer, beware!

          /rant off

          Monday, January 26, 2015

          My Daily Freebies: Monday 1/26/15


          Here is what I got/found for free today!
          • A 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup from Gold'n Plump chicken (I had sent in a rebate form to get it with the purchase of 3 packs of ground chicken). I'm so psyched because I have a smaller one and I wanted a larger one that I could microwave since my current one is made of plastic that shouldn't really be microwaved!  Retail value is about $15, apparently! Oh and they sent me a coupon for $1/1 JustBARE chicken item too.  Woohoo!


          • Cuz guess what?  The current free item promo for JustBARE chicken is the item that I was looking for at the thrift store last week: one of those hot food thermos bottles.  They're calling their the BARE GO! Lunchtime and I want it.  Only problem is their skinless, boneless chicken thighs (you need to buy 3 packs to qualify) are a little pricey but the coupon should help. If I'm lucky I'll find some discounted packs at Target too, but lately I haven't seen any discounted meat at Target...


          • Several coupon inserts from the library's donation pile.


          •  Several past issues of magazines from the library's donation pile.


          •  3 DVDs from the library: free entertainment for the week!



          My Goals For the Week: January 26 - February 1, 2015



          I have got to keep myself more accountable around here, it's way too easy to waste time online when I should be finishing up a lot of the projects that I have started.

          Here is what I would like to accomplish this week (among other things!):

          Household Chores:

          Fold laundry. 

          Iron.

          Vacuum living room.

          Clean bathroom ceiling.

          Replace light bulb in kitchen.

          Clean both bathrooms.

          Mend socks on drying rack.

          Mend undies on drying rack.

          Prep wall calendar for February.


          Cooking/Baking/Preserving

          Inventory the fridge, freezer, and pantry and make a dinner plan for the week.

          Try to stick to a $75 grocery budget this week.

          Make Fast Marmalade. 

          Make crockpot yogurt.

          Cut up and freeze 2 jalapeños from fridge and the 2 I harvested this week.

          Make air-popped kettle corn to bring to our family outing this weekend.


          Budget/Finances:

          Make sure 401(k) funds designation was changed for current funds, not just future contributions.

          Continue double transaction entries in Excel spreadsheet and YNAB.

          NO eating out or ordering in.

          Make checklist of tax documents we have received so far.

          Remind my sons to file their taxes so I can fill out their FAFSA once I'm done with mine.

          Figure out how to designate a beneficiary for each of our Roth IRA accounts.


          Archiving:

          Download all new photos from my phone and camera to external drive and back them up to new external drive as well (see note for extra photos that also need to be backed up).

          Caption photos taken in July 2014.

          Try to take pictures of family members every day (find best setting on my digital camera).


          Family & Friends: 

          Hold Family Movie Night (Independence Day).

          Check in on my best friend.

          Attend my oldest son's jazz concert.

          Attend Civil War battle reenactment with family.

          Check my middle son's website to see if he posted new photographs.


          Gardening:

          Research whether/when to prune rose bushes.

          Check remaining cowpea plant to see if any beanpods are ready for harvest.

          Harvest Bibb lettuce.

          Harvest some cabbage leaves for recipes (cabbage soup?).

          Harvest green collards for stir-fried green collards.

          Research making supports for the raspberry canes.

          Check the thrift store for bins.


          Health:

          Drink 8 cups a day.

          Track calorie intake in MyFitnessPal. 

          Exercise every day.

          Continue alternating coffee and tea in the mornings.

          Print new insurance cards from my ex and laminate them.

          Try out The GymBox channel at home for strength training.


          Miscellaneous:

          Take Driscoll surveys.

          Replace windshield wipers on my car.

          Ask kids to give me their clothing that doesn't fit so I can donate to Schoola once I get the bags.

          Try to stop by Trader Joe's before the concert to pick up coconut oil and Stilton cheese.



          Goals That I Accomplished (And Those That I Missed!) January 19 - 25



          This is the run-down of how I did on the goals I had set for myself this week:

          Household Chores:

          Fold laundry. 

          Iron. Need to finish.

          Clear out some bookshelves in entry room and take up to daughter's room.

          Sweep front porch.

          Wash cats' litterbox.


          Cooking/Baking/Preserving

          Inventory the fridge, freezer, and pantry and make a dinner plan for the week.

          Try to stick to a $75 grocery budget this week. Didn't make it.

          Make Fast Marmalade. 

          Make crockpot yogurt.

          Dehydrate some apples.

          Cut up and freeze 2 jalapeños from fridge and the 2 I harvested this week.

          Dehydrate pineapple.

          Dehydrate strawberries.


          Budget/Finances:

          Make sure 401(k) funds designation was changed for current funds, not just future contributions.

          Continue double transaction entries in Excel spreadsheet and YNAB. Ongoing.

          Assign funds in the Roth IRA accounts.

          NO eating out or ordering in. So far, so good!

          Investigate H&R Block software v.s. TurboTax. I have been clipping articles about the whole TurboTax debacle. Waiting for our tax documents to come in to figure out which one to use.

          Figure out how to designate a beneficiary for each of our Roth IRA accounts.


          Archiving:

          Download all new photos from my phone and camera to external drive and back them up to new external drive as well (see note for extra photos that also need to be backed up).

          Caption photos taken in July 2014.

          Try to take pictures of family members every day (find best setting on my digital camera).


          Family & Friends: 

          Hold Family Movie Night (Live Free or Die Hard).

          Email my dad.


          Gardening:

          Research whether/when to prune rose bushes.

          Need to figure out what to plant near cabbages and collard greens. Planted zucchini.

          Start spearmint seeds indoors.

          Transplant cucumbers outdoors (Saturday). It was very windy this weekend and cold at night so I decided to wait a few more days.

          Harvested 2 jalapeños.

          Harvested some spinach.

          Harvested some collard greens.

          Dig up sweet potato plant and see if any sweet potatoes actually grew!  Need to stay in bin longer.

          Cowpeas (will check remaining plant to see if any beanpods are ready for harvest). Checked on Saturday. Not ready yet.

          Bought 26 packages of seeds at Dollar Tree.

          Started seeds indoors: sage, oregano, parsley, cilantro, basil, jalapeños, serrano chilis, zinnia, sweet peas, sweet williams, petunias, cosmos.

          Transplanted roselle into a pot.

          Planted spinach in former roselle bin.

          Harvested 1 Roma tomato.


          Health:

          Drink 8 cups a day. Trying but not making it every day. Need to try harder!

          Track calorie intake in MyFitnessPal. Ongoing.

          Exercise every day. Ongoing.

          Continue alternating coffee and tea in the mornings. Ongoing.

          Print new insurance cards from my ex and laminate them.

          Try out The GymBox channel at home for strength training.


          Miscellaneous:

          Post Dec 2014 Groceries and Eating Out Analysis as well as 2014 recap. I decided not to post it since I'm changing my accounting in 2015 anyway.  

          Figure out what to do with book donations.  I think I'm just going to keep them until the library has their fundraiser in July :(

          Get flea control and pet food from vet.

          Mend 2 socks.

          Fix underwire on my bra.

          Finish reading "Cold Cold Heart" by Tami Hoag.

          Start Reading latest Stewart O'Nan book. I didn't read the book. I'll be returning it to the library today so someone else can read it.

          Finish reading ebook on my Kindle.