Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cutting the Grocery Budget

I would like to learn more ways to save on our food budget while maximizing each dollar. I do not want to sacrifice the quality of the food either. I would like to coupon with each grocery store visit. I would love to learn how to successfully coupon.

Not to long ago, I read about an interesting way to save on the grocery bill. Many people believe that shopping at ethnic stores may save money. I took a look in a local store to compare prices will my normal grocery store. I was visiting the store to purchase a small bag of pinto beans. I did find a one pound bag of dry beans for roughly 30 cents cheaper than the regular grocery store.

This evening, I decided to make chicken soup for dinner tomorrow. Half of our family has been sick. I thought between the illness and the first day back to regular work schedules and school, a pot of soup would be a perfect dinner idea. While running errands, we made a stop at a Dollar Tree. I stumbled upon egg noodles and frozen corn. A family favorite is a Pennsylvania Dutch Chicken, corn and noodle soup. My parents have made the soup since I was a child. It is literally the mentioned ingredients. We add onion, garlic, parsley and so forth. It is a hearty chicken based soup. We normally boil a whole chicken, cool and debone. I decided tonight,  based upon feeling really sick and my work schedule,  I will make the soup in the crock pot and with a chicken breast.

I planned to head over to Walmart with my grocery store flyer to pick up several buy one get one free sales at a lower price. However, on the way, I remembered the ethnic store. I made a stop hoping to find a reasonably priced chicken breast.

To my surprise, I found that chicken breast. I managed to pick up the breast for just over $3.00. I also found a large package of the boneless skinless chicken breast and hamburger. All for $13.00 and change. I found a five pound bag of rice for under  $4.00. I ended up getting all of my shopping trip for $30.71. I was truly surprised and shocked. The grocery store would have charged over $15.00 for the larger package of chicken itself.

I would definitely agree that shopping at an ethnic grocery store can save money. We will get at least four meals out of the meat alone. In all, I purchased:

2 packages boneless skinless chicken breast
1 package of hamburger
5 ibs. Rice
1 package yellow rice
1 ib. Dry pinto beans
2 small packages of noodles
3 packages of spices
Fresh Garlic
1 package of cookies for snack
Dried Herbal tea

This was an excellent shopping trip!

We are a 2015 College Family

We are about to become a College family!  I am the only member of my family to have ever attended college. My Mr. is an educated gentleman. This year we become a family of college students. I am a returning student,  Yay me! I just love school! I am proud to announce that Miss.Z, will begin her college career next week!  Yay Miss.Z! In the fall Miss.J. will become the first of our family to go away to college. She is exploring the possibilities of dorm life. We are proud and excited for our young ladies to start the journey of their college careers!

This spring,  I hope to travel to a college of interest with Miss.J. and Miss.S, our 2016 graduate. I would be ecstatic for the girls to attend the same college. It would be incredible for all three of our older girls to go to college together! 

Today, we received the news of Julia's Third college acceptance! We are three and three!  Oh yeah!

I am so happy that Miss.Z, will be starting school next week. She will have the privilege of attending her first semester classes with her mom. I think it will be an interesting experience for the mother and daughter team! Yay ladies!

I hope that our ladies will be influence and encourage our younger girls to work hard in their new and upcoming high school years. Not to mention our little man! I hope that when he reaches the same time in his life that he five college graduates to be role models for him. For now, let's get through the first grade!

Let's do this ladies!

Congratulations to all of the college families out there!

2015 Physical Challenge

I have decided to challenge myself with a physical challenge. I would really like to improve my health from the inside out. I need to get healthier and lose weight. I am overweight and I am not talking about a few pounds. I am at a very unhealthy weight. I desperately need to strengthen my body. I have planned to purchase myself a FitBit at tax time.

A few days ago,  I stumbled upon a QVC show featuring a FitBit. I learned a lot more about it. The next morning, I was telling my Mr. about the show, the app and all about the FitBit. Little did I know,  that he had ordered one for me for a Christmas gift. Later the same day, my FitBit arrived!  Boy was a surprised!  Talk about great timing. I am really fired up about getting started.

We charged my FitBit and I wore it for a short time before bed. I spent the next day really focused on watching those numbers rise. Unfortunately,  I also have the flu. I really do not feel up to par.

I found that the goal that automatically comes with the FitBit device is that of 10,000 steps per day. I was surprised because I thought the number of steps that should be taken was 2,000 steps. Wow was I wrong.

So, according to my daughter, about 2,000 steps equal a mile. Dependent upon a variety of factors, a mile may be up to 2,500 I think but may be wrong. So, if 2,000 steps is a mile per say, then the goal is 5 miles per day to walk. Approximately 35 miles a week, 140 miles a month for a total of 1,680 miles for a year of reaching the daily goal. That is a lot of miles. That is a lot of miles for being out of shape and overweight.

To be honest the number of miles for a year based upon the daily goal is a lot of miles. I definitely believe that this is a big challenge for me. Although I feel that this in itself is a challenge perhaps I should make a higher goal. I really want this to be a year of better health and weight loss for me. I need for it to be a better year for me.

So this being said, if I were to reach the goal of 1,680 miles, I would be really proud and excited. I know I will have to push myself to reach this goal. So, to push the limit, my goal is going to be to walk 3,000 miles between the night of January 2, 2015 to exactly one year later January 2, 2016.

I will keep you up-to-date with my progress including my weight loss. I am going to add a goal tracker on the blog.


Our Financial Housing Issue

With the start of the New Year, I would like to work on our budget, financial situation and debt. Since we have moved across the country, financial challenges have defeated us. I found myself in the worst financial health of my adulthood.

I want to explore ways to assist my family with improving our finances. I have been reading about ways to cut corners and save when and where possible. Our finances have improved but our bills have soared. Similar to many Americans, we are living week to week. Unfortunately, we cannot control many issues that affect our flow of income. We are down to the bare necessities. We live in an area where rent is extremely high. This is a huge issue in our lives. We can afford a mortgage but are challenged with having the ability to qualify to buy a home. This is one major issue that we struggle with daily. I am thinking out of the box and searching for a solution. We do not have anyone that could cosign or assist with the housing issue. We moved into our current home early 2014. Between first and last months rent and deposits, it was nearly $4,000 just to get moved in. We definitely need to decrease our monthly rent.

Would anyone like to Donate a monetary gift, a home or solution?

Where do we go from here?

I am reading about great ideas from financial magazines, blogs and similar.

I  hope to spend the new year working on credit scores, debt and a solution to the housing problem.

Happy New Year 2015

Wishing everyone a wonderfully Happy New Year!