Today I had to bring cupcakes and juice boxes to my kids class. Plus, I had to get ones that were allergen free in addition to the regular ones. I had to bring items for over 20 kids. So...I went to the grocery store and bought 24 cupcakes for $15.99! That is half of what I pay to fill the car. I also got the Capri-sun "100% juice" boxes/pouches, not so organic, but really how much do I have to pay in addition to tuition? The kids go to a pre-school where most of the parents are very "We shop at Wholefoods for everything" type. The cupcakes were neon in color, not so Wholefoods...so all the kids will probably be pooping neon green and orange.lol. Wow, I could have made 24 cupcakes for $1.75. That's why I love them so much, but I didn't want to look too cheap or deal with the mom looks either. I am having a hard time figuring out how to balance the classroom/kids items and dealing with our cash flow without looking like an uncaring mom. I think some of the class and school activities are ridiculous and wonder if I am the only one?
Viewing the 'Food / Groceries' Category
For the first time in a very very long time, my groceries were under $100. The total came to $85.86
So, I made a list and a menu, but I think the real secret was taking two toddlers and a hubby to the grocery store. There is nothing like a screaming kid and crowded store that makes you just want to finish the items on the list and get out as fast as possible. I was actually pretty stressed during the shopping experience (for some reason, I thought taking the hubby and kiddos would be a fun experience, then reality set in when one of the kids started nibbling the corner of the pasta box like a mouse and the other one kept running off to get things to put in the cart). However, after the stress of dealing with the kids and checking out, I realized that my family actually being there prevented me from doddling and buying things/new products I didn't need. I also came home and washed the fruits/vegies. However, I am not sure if I will take them next week? My hubby also got a credit card minimum payment and interest lowered. Overall, a pretty good weekend.
I went grocery shopping at the cheapest grocery store today and used $16 in coupons. However, my grocery bill was still (around the usual $100)... today $115. I realized today that I have a fear of not seeing food or having the feeling of being low on food. So, I seem to always be around $100, buying the two for ones etc. I am not sure if it is my habit of spending the $100 (ish) per week or if that is really what a normal family of 4 spends per week? So, what are you grocery totals per week? What are the usual/regular cost saving meals? By the way, I tried Hamburger helper tonight for the first time, but used ground turkey since it was on sale. It was pretty good and my husband said that he'd like it again. We also had fruit salad and biscuits. I think the total meal was less that $2 per person.
Today was a wonderful day. I spent time with my family and a good family friend who loves my children as if they were her own since she doesn't have any. We went to the museum, which I had two free passes for, then used library passes for the other 2, which made the would be $18- tickets to $5 each. So, we spent $10 on admission and $10.25 on parking. The parking cost .25 more than admission! Our friend also happens to be an amazing chef with Asian foods, which I only wish I knew how to cook! (Um, can we say pasta at least once a week?lol) she gave us dumpling soup (homemade broth and dumplings), fresh spring rolls, and Valentines gifts for the kiddos. So I ended up spending $56.70 at the grocery store due to left over food we have and the large amount of food our friend cooked. A good chunk of it went toward my kiddo's Valentine's Day party that will happen tomorrow. I also ended up spending $10.41 on food/milk at the grocery store before going to the museum for our lunch at the museum. They have an eating area that's not part of the cafeteria/over priced food. I also made cupcakes with my kiddo #1 when we came home. I couldn't believe that the mix was only $1 and the frosting $1.50. She loved it! My hubby also apoxied the side mirror back on to the car. No more duct tape! All in all it was a really enjoyable day and I felt lucky and happy to be able to experience it with my family and good friend.
Yesterday I bought hearts candy for my kiddos Valentines day/Cards etc. However, I noticed I had a huge bag of lolipops in the pantry (those little ones that are like the dum dums, but a different brand). I used those and taped a couple to the Valentines day cards. So, I returned the hearts candy and got +$3 back, but went in the red by -$.50 by buying a bagel/cream cheese, and coffee at my kiddos pre-school's cafe area. I'm pretty tired from being sick and ran a few minutes late already getting the kiddo to school (I know a lazy excuse, but I'm gonna use it Anyway, on the good news, I will be going to Hay market tomorrow with my hubby and 2 kids. It's Boston's super cheapo farmers market, but Boston style... you get bitched at if you bag the fruits/vegies yourself at the stand... they pick them for you, so you gotta watch out which vendors you go to so you don't get almost expired food. My husband and I want to find different fruits for the kiddos to try out and make it an adventure! I also got museum passes for Sunday from the library
I went grocery shopping with my list in hand and menu. My total came to, drum roll please... $98. O.K, um, waaaaaaaaaaa.lol. The original total: $107, but I used $10 in coupons, which has never happened before (thanks to the suggestion for the coupon mom website).The bad news was that my target goal of $80 was over by $18. Although I normally spend between $100-150 the good news is that I've never had so much savings using coupons or been as aware as to what was on sale. Plus, to offset this experience there was man wearing a skirt and brown ralph lauren(ish) type boots in the baking isle. It was not a kilt either as I did a double take to figure out what was going on. So imagine buying flour and seeing a fully bearded man wearing a green, mid-length skirt, boots, and a jacket. He bought a cake mix. Also, I have never tried the crescent croisants before...on sale,they were more like round biscuits tonight because by the time I got home the tube was literally just a tube of dough. Those special lines that are supposed to be there were not. So...if anyone knows what shape these are supposed to be in off the tube, please let me know. We had round not so pretty biscuity things instead. I am not sure how people are buying groceries for $60-70 a week for a family of 4? Anyway, I also decided to buy flour and baking ingredients, which is also a new one. I found a play dough recipe, muffin, and biscuit recipe that I am going to try. TRY is the key word here...I am not known for my cooking skills.We also got our taxes done today. Our refund will go toward making up our mortgage and hopefully plane tickets for a family wedding.
I purchased items today, but for the first time it was more "Conscious" buying. I was actually fully aware of why I was purchasing the following items:
* 40lbs of Snow Meltaka overpriced salt for porch and steps) -$16.99
* Snow Shovel (replacing 2 year shovel that just broke) -$11.99
* Dry Erase board (to write down the debts and to see it everyday in the office) -$10.63
* Hanging folders (to file the past due items) -$6.99
* Water Colors (for kiddo/been stuck inside due to snow and need to find things to do...) -$1.99
* Printing at staples (turning in copies of prior tax returns to show a deduction in salary for bank/reason for past due mortgage amounts, plus our printer would jam and the cost to replace it is more than copying) -$7.89
* 2 gallons of milk -$5 (for kiddos, cereal, coffee)
* under eye concealor (for puffy dark circles from crying due to debts, o.k just kidding...kinda, was running low and it was time to refill. Lack of sleep from kiddos, but still trying to look decent.) $4.49
* 2 pints of ice cream (sigggggggh. well...it did make me feel a little better for -$4)
* theraflu (getting a cold)-$4.99
* Hershey Bar (my husband got this while buying me theraflu) -$.89
Tomorrow, I am going grocery shopping with coupons, a bulk/menu plan for the week, which includes family meals, hubby lunches, kiddo school lunch, the youngest doesn't take a huge chunk with food, but sure seems to poop like it, the diapers make up for the lack of food (which I now have coupons for). My husband will also give me time to cook the bulk meals. I'm also taking a calculator this time and only paying with cash. I'm a little scared,but will try and make it fun too. My goal is to make the trip $80 instead of $100-150.