Thursday, April 30, 2009

Our Vacation Plans/Budget

My husband and I are in the mist of planning our vacation this August 2009. Every year, our entire family goes away down south and spends a week together. We created an ING account a few months ago to start saving each month for our trip. We wanted to do it this way to avoid having to come up with a ton of money all at once; we also pay our car insurance policy in full every six months (August/February)…and we have an ING account for that as well.

Since we have a little over 3 months left until the trip…I wanted to create and put together a budget and check our Vacation account to see what the balance was. Once I did that, I looked over the budget below to see what was already paid/saved for and what we still need to save for.

Note: The Car rental price is based on the reservation I made with the car company. We put the rental on our credit card but pay it in full with the money we saved when we return from our trip.

Here is the breakdown of our Vacation Budget:

Vacation Budget 6 Days/5 Nights
3 People North Carolina

Expenses Amount

Rental Car $300.00
Housing $100.00
Gas $100.00
Misc. Items (bathing suit for issy, swim shoes, etc.) $100.00
Tolls (both ways) $20.00
Food (for car) $20.00
Snacks (for cabin) $25.00
Spending Money ($50 for dad/mom & $25 for issy) $125.00

Total Vacation Expenses = $790.00

Expenses Already Paid/Saved:

-Housing- $100.00-Paid
-Rental Car-$300.00-Saved

Expenses Left To Pay/Save:

-Spending Money

Total = $390.00 still to save…Still have 3 months, 2 weeks, 3 days remaining…..

Monday, April 27, 2009

No More In May

Due to the fantastic double coupon sales at KMART; my family has more toliet paper, sandwich bags, paper towels, cereal, sandwich bags, wipes, pull-ups, lotion, I WILL NOT buy any of these items in May....UNLESS I get them for FREE or for $.25 cents...yep $.25 cents!

Shopping Sales are a GREAT thing...but too much of a great thing can become a bad thing. Wise words to live by.

Taking It All In

I live in the northeastern part of the USA; and our weather has been very nice these past couple days. Actually, it really started to get HOT Saturday. I'm talkin upper 80s, yesterday and 91, and it's not even 12noon and when I checked, it was already 82 degrees.

If this is a preview of the summer, then boy we better get ourselves ready for air conditioning, visits to the beach, etc.

I'm going food shopping Thursday and will start planning for it this week, hopefully tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

My 2nd Trip To Kmart & Pre-Spring Cleaning!!

I went to Kmart again last night.

I was able to go once my hubby came home; mainly due to my daughter falling asleep (she burned herself & cried..poor baby, so we couldn't go to bible study)and my hubby laying down after dinner.

I scored many more GREAT deals and wish I would've done this sooner when they had this sale in the past.

I got $81.98 of items and paid $32.45 (not including tax..i never include tax). I saved $49.53!!! Boy, did that feel great.

Here's what I purchased:

Caress Body Wash
Johnson & Johnson Lotion
3 Mother's Day cards
1 bottle of 64 oz Snuggle Fabric Softener
Arm & Hammer Essential Cleaner
Huggies Diapers
Huggies Wipes
3 bottles of 64oz Gain Fabric Softener
2 Glade Warmers
2 Glade Air Fresheners
Glade Freshener
2 Post Trail Mix Cereals
2 canister of Sim Jims; 16ct.

I Love Coupons.

Moving On`````````````````````````````````````````````

Also, I have been cleaning up a storm today & washing clothes...............
Let's see, I did my daughter room, our office, bathroom, kitchen, living & dining rooms. I also baked some milk chocolate & white chocolate with walnut cookies today.

Tomorrow, I'm planning on cleaning our bedroom and our basement/laundry room. Since our basement/laundry room is's like having another room in the house... I have to keep that tidy as well.

I am a little tired now, but pleased that I have a clean home. Enjoy your evening.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Went to Kmart Again & Scored Suberb Deals

I will post what I got and how much I paid tomorrow, Lord's will. My hubby needs me right now.

Enjoy the rest of your evening.

It's Hip to Save!: Kmart Double Coupon Deals 4/19-4/25

It's Hip to Save!: Kmart Double Coupon Deals 4/19-4/25

Check out the site above. She and her readers gives GREAT info on how to save a ton at Kmart and score a bunch of free or low cost items.

My Superb Kmart Deals

I really have to find the charger to my camera, so I can take a picture and show you all what I got. I'll type it out though, so at least you can read what wonderful savings I had at Kmart.

I usually do not shop there because they are expensive, not organized, and out of the way; however since they were running their double coupons deals, I decided to brave it and pay them a visit.

Let say, I'm glad I did. I got $113.32 worth of items for $41.32 (before tax)! I got numerous items for free or for a little change. Tons of paper towels, toliet tissue, cereal, etc.

My Out of pocket cost would've been lower but I found FABULOUS wall painting on clearence for $7.50 when the regular price was $30 and I picked up an Easter basket for my daughter...since she was being good....for $2.50...all the baskets were 75% off.

I had tons of coupons and I had more but could'nt use all of them since Kmart will only let shoppers use 25 in each transaction per day. I even had a $5 off Kmart coupon which I used with my other coupons as well. I managed to save $72 this trip and Kmart is even giving me a gift card, through the mail, as well!

It took a while to scan all the coupons as the cashier was going very slow but the people in line behind me, the cashier, and manager all complimented me on being a "smart shopper", in their words. The lady behind me, even asked if I taught a I think some people were surprised to see a young person shopping that way...since I'm just 24. She asked me how I learned do shop that way and I told her I learned via the internet....reading & research; but before that, the Lord is who gets credit because if he didn't open my eyes and shown me how to shop this way, it would've not happened.

Here's what I purchased:

Huggies Pull-ups
Huggies wipes
Huge Easter Basket
Giant wall art picture'
Johnson & Johnson Lotion
2 Johnson & Johnson travel packs (includes lotion, body wash, powder, diaper cream, & shampoo)
Ziploc Freezer Bags
7 rolls of paper towels
12 rolls of toliet tissue
2 Glade carpet cleaners
Pledge muilt-surface cleaners
2 Glade refills
2 Glade Warmers
Box of Wet Ones-24 ct.
Electrsol Tablets
Airwick Air freshner
4 boxes of Kelloggs cereal
6 pack of orange soda
2 Hershey Bliss bags of candy

I plan to go back, once I gather my coupons. This is too much of a good deal to pass up.

Btw: the wipes, tissue, cereal, glade warmer, glade carpet cleaner, and some other items were FREE, after coupons!

Did you find any good deals at your Kmart?

Hope To Score Some GREAT Deals Today!!

I plan to go to Kmart & BJ's this morning to take advantage of some great sales. Kmart has the double coupon deal going on and I spent a lot of time last night, almost until 11:30pm, gathering and sorting my coupons. Since I am taking my 2 year old daughter, I must have a plan as I go into the stores. I'm so hoping that everything isn't sold out, but having worked in retail before, I know that they re-stock the shelves overnight for the following day; and because of tht, I'm going to leave out in a couple minutes.

I'll let you know what I find and what deals I was able to find.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Weekend

We had some beautiful weather this past Friday and Saturday. Highs in the mid to the upper 70s. It felt just right; not too hot & not too cold. I wanted to take advantage of this nice weather by completing some work out the outside of our new home and spend some time as a family out doors.

I took our daughter to the playground both days so she can run, ply, yell, and get some exercise. She played her little heart out. I swung on the swing, and boy, did it bring back some good memories. In fact, that was the very reason I went to the playground as a kid; the swing! Even my hubby got on!

We also went out Friday evening to Home Depot to pick up a lawn mower. Our grass was growing like no body's business, and needed to be cut badly. Our budget was $200, including tax. I was hoping we could get what we need in that price range, and we did! The total came to $140 and change including tax (I had a coupon, of coarse!). It was easy to put together as well.

We also heard some strange sounds with our car, especially when the gear is in reverse and we back up. I was hoping that it wouldn't be expensive, since we had an older car, but it wasn't. My husband took it to the machine first thing Saturday morning and they drove the car. Once they got back to the shop, they lifted the car up and the mechanic saw the the front bumper had been hanging off..underneath..where you can't see. And every time we backed up, it hit against the tire causing the noise we heard. He took 4 screws, tightened it back on and solved our problem. A $22.00 job! Praise GOD! We all know how much cars can eat into any body's budget and can have some VERY, VERY costly repairs. But, I thank GOD that he made a big situation into something small and inexpensive!

Saturday, we also went to the playground, out to lunch at Chick Fil-A (Great Food, Very Pricey), visited the mall, got some ice cream, and came home to play the Wii. It was a nice ending to a wonderful day!

Well, I'm gonna get ready to get off of here....I'm hungry and ready to eat dinner. We are having Long Grain rice, string beans, chicken, and Sweet Potato Pie for dessert! Yum!

Enjoy your day!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Saved $92.10 During Supermakert Outing!!!

Did pretty good on this shopping trip. As always I take no credit, but give all glory and thanks to GOD for makign this possible.

My family budgets $200 a month for grocery shopping, which equals $100 each shopping trip. I had 5 $20 bills in a envolope in my purse (to aviod over spending)and 3 places to tackle.

I went to Acme, Shoprite, & Produce Junction-Budget $100 cash

Grocery Shopping (Apr. 17th-Apr. 30th)


 2lbs of Broccoli Crowns
 Bundle of Asparagus
 Bag of Baby carrots
 1 cartoon of Strawberries
 4lbs (8) Plums
 3lbs (5) Apples

Total at Supermarket = $25.00
Total at Produce Junction (Farmer’s Market) = $9.50


 Tropicana orange juice
 White vinegar
 Box of Ice pops
 3 boxes of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran
 Grapes
 Popsicle maker
 3 bags of stemmers green beans
 Turkey Hill Ice Cream
 Baking Ingredients
 Shredded Cheese
 Corn on cob
 Dole salad
 Yellow onion
 1 tomato
 Munster cheese
 Turkey Breast (deli)
 6 pk of Kaiser rolls

Total BEFORE savings = $ 39.43
Total AFTER savings = $31.17


 2 boxes of Suddenly salad
 2 bags of Kettle potato chips
 Bottle of cooking white wine
 2 4/pk of bath tissue
 Mustard
 2 bags of croutons
 Paper towels
 4 packs of box juices
 Case -24pk of water
 2 V8 veggie/fruit juices
 6 2/liter sodas
 Box of dark brown sugar
 Milk
 Storage bags
 Air freshener
 Orange juice
 Sour cream
 2 boxes of broccoli
 Huggies baby lotion
 Huggies body wash
 Kotex pads
 Pork chops
 Ground turkey
 Chicken breast
 Italian Sausage
 Bananas
 Sloppy Joe mix

Total BEFORE savings = $121.62
Total AFTER savings = $53.34

Total Budgeted for 2 weeks ($100), for family of three. Total amount of food bought was $186.05. Paid $93.95 cash out of pocket. Saved $92.10!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Update on Shopping Outing Yesterday & Today's to-do list

Yesterday, I ventured out to Marshalls, Target, and the Post Office. I wanted to go to Bed, Bath, & Beyond..but didn't since I left my coupon home by accident.

I came out with some really good deals. I'll post a more detailed version later.

Today, I need to wash some clothes, work on our budget/savings accounts, plan a menu and my grocery store list/match coupons, pay bills, take hubby's suit to dry cleaners, go to bank, and some other things.

Also, mess around with some make-up..experimenting with different shades of colors and the like. Also conditioning my hair. It's VERY important to me to look good for for myself, but more importantly for my husband. Besides, I love when he can't stop looking/touching me...and not wishing his wife kept up herself.

The weather cold, rainy, grey, and wet and it's a Wednesday. The day is moving very slowly.

But........can't complain..the LORD is is good anyway! I'm Thankful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Headed Out Early Today....

Going to Target, Bed Bath, and Beyond, and finally to Marshalls. I have to get some toiletries, paper products, baby items, and other things. I am taking $40 cash with me, a gift card, and a ton of coupons. I'll let you know, if I come across any good deals.

Enjoy your day!

Monday, April 13, 2009

So Much Was Going On & Random Thoughts............

Things are a little slower now.

Now that Easter is over, I can slow down a bit with entertaining, getting unpacked, etc. I know Mother's Day is approaching, but I hope to do something low-key this year. My hubby usually want to know what I would like for Mother's day....this time I'll just tell him, flowers (I LOVE FLOWERS!), Dinner (don't wanna go out on mother's many people, plus I would rather order I don't have to cook), and a label maker. We'll probably do the same with Father's day as well. Plus, by the time we get home from church...we are tired.

Still planning our Anniversary Outing in June; as well as our family vacation in August. In addition, I'm hoping we can make it to the beach, go to an amusement park, and at least 2 picnics in the park this summer; of coarse I will be using as many coupons as I can for these trips...already have some.

I saw a Papa John's special...lg pizza, 3 topping for $10.40 (supposed to be a tax special..good until This Wednesday) that I would like to have. I have been wanting pizza since last week...not homemade or frozen...but papa johns or pizza hut pizza. I'll combine this with a free move rental and we'll have dinner and a movie Wednesday evening.

We are still putting money away in our ING accounts....I believe we have 4 now....I most certainly recommend ING as a method of saving. Although we had to take out a large sum to pay a bill, we know and believe GOD is in control of ALL and he'll see us through.

One of our cars in making some kind of noise...although i don't really hear it, but my hubby does. Side note: both of our cars are older...94 Honda civic 2 door & 98 Honda Accord...4 door... We realize our cars will have more problems than any newer car..but we oh so love have no car payments and a low insurance policy...around $580 for BOTH cars, which we can pay in no monthly insurance payments either.

We finally received the deed to our home and boy does it feel great!

My garden is coming along great. I planting some flowers and cutting some weeds..but we need to get a lawn mover. We have a nice size side and front yard but it isn't big though. Another expense, but it is OUR lawn, so it makes it a little better..LOL

5 Trivia Facts:

In our church my husband has many jobs. He is a Deacon, Sunday School teacher, plays key board, sings, a usher, and the Lord has ordained him to be a minister and he'll have his own church in the future.

When I was younger, I used to eat the white tips of

My husband choose our daughter's first and middle name.

Daughter is being potty trained. She knows how to wipe herself, wash and dry her hands..but pees on the carpet in front of the toilet..instead of in it..LOL

I love the show Family Guy

Enjoy your day...I gotta tidy up and head out to Marshall's....Got a $25 gift card and I have to return something.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Saved $80.51-Re-stocking Pantry!!

Went to Acme to stock up on some items for our pantry. Since we needed chicken, milk, etc…I matched coupons with the current sales and saved a ton of money.

Note: We are a family of 3 who budgets $200.00 a month for food. This trip, however, came from our savings fund, since stocking the pantry usually occurs every couple (3 or 4) months.

Budget $50.00

Betty Crocker Brownie Bowl = $2.19
Marcal Paper Towel = $1.99
Herr’s Potato Chips = $1.59
2 liter Ginger Ale = $1.89
2 Bounty Towels = $2.50
Snuggle Fabric Softener = $4.99
2 Pringles chips = $ 4.00
2 Ziploc Storage Bags = $5.58
4 Boxes of Uncle Bens Rice Mix = $9.56
3 Tubs of Betty Crocker Frosting = $ 7.17
2 Boxes of Ronzoni Pasta = $3.78
2 Betty Crocker Warm Delights = $5.58
Kellogg’s Mini Wheats = $5.29
Kellogg’s Special K –Blueberry = $4.79
Kellogg’s Raisin Bran = $5.29
Box of Potatoes = $1.99
Baking Supplies = $2.39
Vanilla Extract = $5.29
Nestle White Chocolate Morsels = $3.49
Nestle Milk Chocolate Morals = $3.49
Dozen of Eggs = $2.39
Cool Whip = $2.99
Totino Pizza Rolls = $2.69
Johnson & Johnson Children’s Detangler Conditioner = $3.99
3 Dial Liquid Soap = $6.00
Bulk Chicken Breast = $4.56
Bag of fish fillet = $4.99
1lbs of Extra Large Shrimp = $8.99
Bananas = $1.06
Pineapple = $3.99
Gallon of 1% Milk =-$3.39

Total BEFORE savings/coupons = $129.37
Total AFTER savings/coupons = $48.86

I saved $80.51!!!!!!!! Even the cashier told me “coupons are the way to go”. I said “yep, when you put in the time, they are worth it”. No wonder I can NEVER get the FREE Hams/Turkeys during the Holidays...I never spend enough...which is a good thing...LOL

I came $1.14 UNDER my “Pantry Re-Stocking” Budget!!

Some GREAT deals I came across were:

1. I received 4 $5 off a purchase of $50 or more from ACME in the mail-so I used one of them.

2. Acme had a sale on cereal/milk-buy 3 boxes of cereal for $7 and get a gallon of milk free. I had 3 $1.00 off coupons on each box of cereal, which brought the price to 3 boxes for $4.00 and I got a FREE gallon of milk! (We now have 12 boxes of un-opened cereal.)

3. I bought 2 Betty Crocker brownie bowls which was 2 for $5.00. I had 2 $1.00 off coupons which came to $3.00 and I got a free dozen of eggs as part of the deal.

4. Bought 3 Betty Crocker Frosting on sale for $1.99 each. Used 3 coupons which took $1.00 off plus an Acme store coupon for $1.00 off.

5. Had a Free Marcal Paper Towels Coupon.

6. Had a $2.00off coupon of any size Snuggle Crème Fabric Softener. Acme had it on sale for $3.99, used coupon for this.

Coupon Tip: I buy a Sunday paper on Saturdays and look through the coupons; if they are really good, I will buy more newspapers; at least 2. That way during the good sales, I can buy the same item multiple times and use coupons on them as well.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Update on Easter Budget: Progression so far.......

In my previous post, I mentioned how I was trying to do everything I needed to purchase for Easter within a set budget.

Daughter's Items (Dress, stockings, shoes, socks, hair bows), :$50.00
-Update: The Lord has blessed me very well in this area. I was able to find GREAT bargains. Here what I found thus far:

Dress (one she'll wear at least 4 times over)- $24.99
Shoes (got them on sale and had a coupon)- $7.99
Stockings- $1.99
Pocketbook (no hat or glove since she wont wear them)-$6.35

Amount remaining for dress socks & hair bows: $50.00 - $41.32 (total spent above)= $8.68. I'm hoping to get her dress socks and hair bows with that. Lord willing, it can be done.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Planning for Easter with a BUDGET....

Just like with all the other wonderful Christian holidays, it's ever so important to have a plan, list, and budget in place; especially if we are known to over spend. I try as much as I can (through God's guidance) to give my family a great holiday without going into debt.

With Easter fast approaching, I am starting my planning today. This Friday, we are going to see a Easter play (we have seen it before and it was fantastic). I have to get my materials and such to make some Easter baskets, write a list of decorations/items that need purchasing for Easter Dinner...we are hosting this year. I also have to buy the food that I have to fix as well. I'm going to tidy up our home the Saturday before Easter, so I wont to do any cleaning when I get home from church on Easter. I just want to decorate and get the food warmed up when we get home as we will have guests arrive at 5pm.

Here's my Budget so far:

Item/s Budgeted

(5) Easter Basket supplies/goodies $20.00

3 Bags of Candy $3.00

Food I have to cook (rice, broccoli, brownies) $10.00

Decorations/balloons/table cloths, etc $10.00

Easter dress for Issy (something she can
wear more than once, shoes (will spend extra for good shoes so she can wear them on multiple occasions), stocking, socks,
hair bows) I have a coupon for the dress & shoes.... $50.00

Misc $7.00

Total tentative Easter Budget = $100.00

The above number may sound like a lot but compared to most people, if they kept track of how much they spend on Easter for clothes/shoes/accessories for the kids, food, and entertainment...they'll find that what they spent is well over $100.

This will be funded from our savings and is not included in our monthly budget.

Enjoy your day!