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Archive for January, 2007

Walgreens and Rebates

January 19th, 2007 at 06:05 pm

I've never tried rebates before, but I couldn't pass up trying Walgreens this month.

I got two boxes of o.b. tampons for $10
Excedrin for $3
And Bought $10 (5boxes of cereal) -$3 in coupons.

For $20 total. Walgreens will give me a $18 rebate +10% =$19.80 as a gift card.

So for $.20 +.37 for the stamp.. I'm pretty happy. My plan is to use the giftcard to pay for future rebates. Since most of these are shampoo, toothbrushes and all.. anything I can't use will be donated to a local shelter that needs them desperately and I'll continue to get the 10% bonus each month. Where else can you "make" 10% a month on your money? I realize of course that I can only "spend" it at Walgreens, but they have some of the cheapest prices for things we buy regularly so I shop there anyway.

Progress on $20 Savings Challenge

January 19th, 2007 at 05:55 pm

Really struggling with the walking thing as I've had some pretty bad back pain the last two weeks. Starting to clear up so hopefully will be walking more... 10 miles added over two weeks.. Sad, but still worth $10 in the savings challenge.

Signed up for an ING account. I can't tell you what seeing that $25 did for me! So another $25

For the first time EVER, I have made it so far through the month without eating out.. no fast food.. no soda... no anything. Two more weeks is $40 towards the savings challenge. Ten more days.. then I have a special dinner out planned for DH and me.

Super wonderful big huge thanks to Flash. Reading Flash's blog has just filled me with wonderful ideas for cutting down on my grocery expenses. I am proud to say thanks to all the wonderful tips I have spent $130 this month on our grocery bill. I have one more planned trip in which I will spend about $50. This is the first month in forever my grocery bill is under $200 and that is without eating out. I've even managed to stock some extra food doing this. It looks like I will probably be adding $40 from this to my $20 challenge... as I will be under budget by that much for January (I was trying for $225)

I came out of Giant Food yesterday with:
16 boxes of whole wheat pasta
7 Betty Crocker Potatoes
10 pounds of doggie food
10 pounds of kittie food
2 deoderants
Dried Milk
Cocoa Mix
Slimfast (great for lunch to dinner holdover since it's usually 7 hours between the two.
For $20.00. The great part is I don't believe I've had a shopping trip over $40 this month.

-J (Excited, energetic and working to be debt free with lots of extra money for fun stuff).

Grocery Savings and Rebates

January 6th, 2007 at 08:20 pm

I've got to say our grocery bill has really gone down a lot, and this month it should be even lower. I'm finding decreases in regular supplies like toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo. I attribute this to actually starting to keep a price book and using coupons. So far only whole wheat grains (flour, cousous) and fresh produce have been pretty hard to save any money on. The produce should hopefully decrease in the upcoming months when I start planting seeds for some fruits and veggies.

Speaking of that -- wish I could give away some pears for free in the fall. I can never collect them all (from our one tree) -- any one have any recipies besides pear butter? I wish yearly it was an apple tree, but Smile since I didn't plant it...

We have a lot of stores around us (Rite-aid, Walgreens, Weis, CVS) that do rebates. I'm going to start taking advantage of rebates that I find this month to get items for free. If it results in any savings -- I'll have some money to add to my $20 challenge.

Small amounts to my $20 Challenge

January 5th, 2007 at 09:22 pm

So far this week I've put a little over 4 miles on the treadmill. So very little, but considering I've been having lower back pain all week, I've been proud I've walked a little bit just about every day. Getting a little better today, so I can hope I'll be better by Monday. This resulted in $4.16 for the $20 challenge this week.

I've managed to not eat out at all this week. Thanks to all the great dinner suggestions posted on the board and taking time to freeze stuff at the end of last month, I've been able to always have something available. So $10 more towards the challenge.

Adding a third strategy this week, which is to transfer all the interest I get from my checking account into savings. It's really small amounts, but hey anything helps. So add another $2.15.

Cooking for January

January 2nd, 2007 at 12:19 am


(a) I made two batches of rolls (24 total) for DH for sandwiches for lunch. Much cheaper than buying them, and able to make them with whole wheat flour and no "salt" or preservatives.
(b) Cooked 2 lbs of lean ground beef (93% fat free) we got on sale for tacos on nights things are just too crazy to cook.
(c) Made 6 pizza crusts and froze also for dinners. Just mix a homemade spice mix with no-sodium tomato sauce, add some veggies and grated cheese for a quick dinner.
(d) Made a new batch of granola for breakfast.
(e) Froze some individual servings of homemade minestrone soup for lunches.

Total time: 1 1/2 hours.

Since I really organized the kitchen in December things have really been a lot easier. Gladware containers have been great -- easy to freeze things and easy to store rice, beans, cereal, dried fruit, and other "necessities" that usually end up all over the place and are hard to find.

I've also made a "pantry" list and started a price book. Both are helping me to knock down making a "grocery list" to about 15 minutes when the circulars come out at the end of the week. DH has even been helpful for putting things we need on the list.

It hasn't even snowed yet and I can't wait until summer. I don't have much of a garden, but did plant some blueberry bushes last year. Unfortunately the blueberries never made it in the house for cooking. Smile Hopefully this coming year some will make it to the freezer or at least to the dinner table.

"Borrowing" some great ideas

January 1st, 2007 at 08:48 pm

One goal for 2007 is to try a new method to "save" every week. After reading some great ideas - I'm going to be borrowing some to implement in my $20 challenge.

One thing that's been really hard is getting the motivation to exercise consistantly with school. So starting this week, for each mile, I'll be adding $1 towards my $20 challenge.

For each week we don't eat out at all -- another $20 towards the challenge and $10 towards a special night out... The idea is to have $40 at the end of the month for a night out to a nice restuarant.