Monday, May 30, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Clearing out and Reorganizing the house/my life" Edition......

We are still in full on cleaning/clearing Mode here.  I am into my second Salvation Army donation gathering and most of the furniture has been moved and/or repurposed and/or gotten rid of.  There is still a large amount of moving to do of things like clothing and a few tubs of toiletries.  I think another giveaway will help clear up space in that regard. lolz
I've started tackling the garage as well.  Not so much clearing it out and throwing things away but just organizing it better.

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Mixed Veg.
2. Monday--Fish, Garlic Mashed Taters, Cauliflower
3. Tuesday--Pecan Chicken, Corn Casserole, Collards
4. Wednesday--Shrimp Alfredo, Salad
5. Thursday--Tacos, Corn on cob
6. Friday--Salmon, Leftover Veg Dishes
7. Saturday--Leftovers

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Spaghetti and Meatballs, Mixed Veg.
2. Monday--Fish, Cole Slaw, Brussels Sprouts
3. Tuesday--Pecan Chicken, Corn Casserole, Carrots
4. Wednesday--Leftovers(I had Meatloaf slice and Veggies, Hubs had ?)
5. Thursday--Leftovers(Hubs had Spaghetti I had a Hamburger)
6. Friday--Stuffed Shells
7. Saturday--Tacos

7 meals cooked at home(really, we are so over eating out right now after this trip), 5 new dishes cooked and 2 nights of leftovers.  Most of what I planned got made but sometimes on different nights.
A ground beef purchase meant more beef meals and the seafood/fish will happen next week.

As for my grocery spending..... I spent a total of $93.84 on two trips to the store last week.  This put me a bit over for May with my food spending.  I am happy to be close if I can't be under.  ;-)

I have spent $304.32 for May as I noted to my end of month food spending post yesterday.  Onward to June I say!

Leftovers going into this week......

Here is this week's "food plan"--

1. Sunday--Beef Pie(using up leftover ground beef)
2. Monday--Hot dogs, Burgers, Corn, Beans
3. Tuesday--Tempura Zuchinni and Shrimp
4. Wednesday--Beef Stroganoff, Rice, Veg
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--Salmon, Squash Casserole
7. Saturday--Leftovers

This week will see 5 new meals cooked and 2 meal of leftovers or "Whatever You Can Find" and 0 meals of Eating Out.
I am sure I'll burn out of cooking so much soon and will succumb to Eating Out again.  Maybe next week when Daughter is slated to arrive.

What I need to buy for this menu.....mushrooms, zuchinni, burger rolls, squash and maybe hamburger(I've used up what I bought last week, but I may have some in the freezer.).
And we are in need of more milk and bread.  Shouldn't be too much food spending this week unless I hit on a special or two.  ;-)

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Sunday, May 29, 2016

2016 Food & Toiletries Spending......May Update

* I've closed out the May books a couple of days early as I am done shopping.  Anything bought in the next 3 days will come out of June's funds. *

Onward to May's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for MAY 2016.

I have posted May's totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2016 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in May.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 3(3 at home this month). No kids under 20.


OOP  $7.00
Value  $24.94
Savings 71.93%

OOP  $0.00
Qs/Ads/gift card  $27.97
Value  $27.97
Savings 100%

OOP  $42.78
Qs/Ads $24.22
Value  $67.00
Savings  36.15%

VACATION BUYS-Multiple stores but I am grouping all these purchases together.
OOP  $93.29
Value  $127.68
Savings  27%

OOP  $161.25
Qs/Ads  $149.89
Value  $311.14
Savings  48.17%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Rite-Aid at 100%, the Bakery Outlet at 71.93% and Weis at 48.17%.  My WORST savings rate was what I bought on our trip at 27%.  While I didn't use coupons or get deals necessarily on items bought on the trip I did buy things that were a good deal and/or I can't get here in PA.  Although the savings rate wasn't very high for these items I am ok with that.

I shopped at 8 different stores this past month(counting my trip buys at Target, HEB, Walmart and World Market).

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$304.32
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$254.41
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$558.73
TOTAL Savings of...................................45.53%
TOTAL Savings without Rite-Aid...........42.66%

Value of items excluding Rite-Aid bought ones was $530.76
Rite-Aid goods brought home totaled $27.97.

This closes out the May food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into May wanting to do a $300 food budget for the month.  I ended up going over by $4.32.
That's not bad.

I gave College Boy grocery money for while we were away but he ended up spending it on gas for his car to get to work and take-out food so I will tuck that spending under the trip expenses rather than the food budget.

The monthly food spending savings percentage went down by 14.97% in May to 45.53% compared to April's 60.50% savings average.   Still an acceptable savings rate to me as we still over 40%.

We did end the month by emptying out more freezer space and a few pantry goods as well even though we were gone for half of May.

With 5 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $1494.54 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $298.91 per month spent.  The average in April stood at $297.56 per month spent to that point in 2016 so we are up $1.35 spent per month from last month's year-to-date tally. Compared to this point in the year to 2015's totals we have spent $255.09 less on food and toiletries in 2016.

It would be so nice to continue this less spending trend back down below $4K for the year.  Now that my daughter is moving back home for a couple of years I know this low amount of spending on food will not continue and we most probably won't get under $4K spent on it all for 2016.
And I am ok with that.

LOOKING AHEAD To June 2016.........
College Boy s home and eating and drinking up what I bring home faster than I can buy it.

I will continue with my usual shopping ways in loss leaders or great deals which we can use.  I will try to empty some more freezer space and eat down from the pantry as well this month.
As Daughter and BF arrive in early June, I can't even hazard a guess on what I'll end up spending on food this month.  I'll just stick a number here of $400 in food spending for June and see where we end up.  It will probably be North of that amount but I haven't a clue at this point just how far off the mark this number will be.
So be sure to come back at the end of June and see just how much of a disaster my Food Budget turns out to be.

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in May?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Saturday, May 28, 2016

May's Eating Out Total

I have posted out Eating Out/Take-Out Totals for May HERE.

Most of our spending on Eating Out was while we were on our 2 week trip to Louisiana, obviously.
I bought 2 Subway subs while Hubs was on a work conference at the beginning of May so I didn't have to cook while he was gone.
Go me.
That $12.72 for the subs was all the non-trip eating out or take-out we bought in May.

Of the 12 nights spend at hotels/motels we only paid for 1 breakfast(Waffle House).  All other hotels supplied Breakfast with the cost of the room.
We only ate Lunch 7 of the 12 days(plus I had a chicken biscuit on a day we didn't have Lunch to tied me over until Dinner that night).
12 Dinners were eaten, 3 of which were treated for us. 8-)  There was also a turkey sandwich consumed one evening when Hubs and shared a pizza and didn't realize until it was too late that the pizza was a single serve type. Oops! lol
We also treated the Daughter to 5 Dinners/Lunches so that boosted the out of pocket paying for an extra person.
There was also 2 trips to breweries where drinks were consumed which gets added to this budget.
And add in the cost of about 40 cups of coffee for Hubs(from various places)while on the road.
40 cups.

Now this doesn't begin to count all the liquid refreshment that was brought home to be consumed later.

All in all we did pretty well keeping this expense down.
Yes, we did splurge and have a few $50+ dinners but most meals came in at around $24.
And compared to our trip in 2015, we spent $168.52 less in 2016 on eating on vacation.


Friday, May 27, 2016

Still in the Weeds in PA

Tonight will mark a full week that we've been home.
And I am still "in the weeds" as they say in the restaurant biz.

While I was gone PA went from late Winter temps to Summer temps.
What the heck happened to Spring temps?!?!  I done missed Spring here.
It's hot and muggy here already.  It just makes me want to leave and head North or hide in my bedroom in the a/c. ugh.

The yard is sad and neglected.  The gardens are overgrown with actual weeds and the beds have not been worked nor anything planted.  Bags of mulch still sit on the side of the house waiting to be used in the flower bed out front......the flower bed without flowers to this point.

I have so much to contend with inside the house that I can't even THINK about the yard.  As long as the lawn gets mowed we are all good out there as far as I am concerned.
So much for having to decide whether to have a garden this season.......

Add in that the deck needs de-molding, cleaning and sealing again this season and it's all too much to think about.

I have finally caught up on the laundry.
Go me.

I came home to a stack of this.......

Bills and more bills!
Another 4 bills arrived and were paid this week in addition to these seven bills.

I've also been tallying up the expenses for May and I can tell it won't be pretty. 8-(  Our c/c bill will be very high for June(but I'll still pay it off in full).

The labs came back from my dr. visit on Monday and I also have a bacterial infection so an antibiotic prescription to clear that up.....which will probably cause the other infection to return so I'll be doing more drugs for that one too.

Plus my blood work is all kinds of out of whack which has me stressing out, which in turn has my HS acting up.
Oh, the fun just never ends, does it? ha!

Have I mentioned that Daughter will be arriving in 12 days?
The house is nowhere near ready for that either.
And this makes me stress out even more and makes my body turn on me even more.

We've begun the furniture moving in the house.  College Boy's bed, a day bed affair has been moved down into the den.

That was the first item moved and it got done last weekend.
It can be used as a sofa-like item down there and probably a place for Daughter's large dog to recline.

This week we've moved the stockpile of TP out from under the bed in the Daughter's room.......

The TP along with tubs of toiletries and tubs of fabric are temporarily living in Hub's man cave room.

Saturday will see the bed in Daughter's room move to College Boy's room.  Then CB's room can be put back together.  As this bed is higher off the ground, we can store all his college supplies(things he doesn't need to use while home)neatly under that bed and out of the way.

On Tuesday as we started the "Big Reorg", I made CB take everything out of his room, since he said he was incapable of putting it all away.  It became clear as we dug the room out why he had no room to put stuff away.  Since high school this child has thrown nothing away.  As long as his room contents didn't spill out into the hall I didn't worry about it.  He was gone most of the year at college so I could just shut the door and ignore the growing menace contained without his room's walls.

The child couldn't put any of this currently wearing clothes away because his closet and dresser were crammed full of old clothes and shoes that either no longer fit him or were worn out. sigh.

So I sat there and personally supervised as he pulled everything out and decided which pile to toss it all into-the keep or the get rid of pile.

An hour later and this is what came out of his room......

There was also a garbage bag full of trash as well.

Now all his clothes/shoes fit neatly into his room.

And here is a neat-ish pile of cast-offs to take to Salvation Army.

As I went through this discard pile of clothing I put aside a few things that CB threw brand new pairs of Levis and shorts he has never taken the tags off of and that still are the correct size.  I've tucked these things away for once what he is wearing wears out.....

That bag is a brand new pair of black dress slacks he's never worn as well.  He'll need all this later and I really don't want to have to re-buy all this when he does. sigh.  It can all get stored under his bed once we move it.
The backpack was also uncovered.  It is brand new with tags.  He's also got another one identical to this one that has plenty of life left in it, as well as the backpack he is currently using that I bought last Fall.  I have told him I am done buying backpacks so he'd better make these last for the next 2 years.
If this one is still not needed before he graduates college it will head to eBay as Vans backpacks bring a pretty penny.  ;-)

And another 3 bags of stained, ripped or just worn out clothes headed for the garbage.....

I whittled down the fabric stash and am sending 2 garbage bags of fabric to charity(McVal, look away!!!).........

Now I can fit the fabric I want to use soon onto one shelving unit, which was moved into the corner of my bedroom............sort of fit it all....lolz......

The empty identical shelving unit will go into College Boy's room after we get the bed moved into there.

CB needs places to set stuff other than the floor, which has been his "go to" place for stuff the last 2 years.

I also took a bit of time out to go to Weis(PMITA)Markets on Wednesday.  I picked up 6 different Instant Discount Stickered Meats.......

After discounts I paid.....1 package of Italian Sausage patties($2.62), 1 package of Salmon($3.74), 1 packages of Chicken Thighs($1.90), 1 package of 2 small steaks($2.31), and 2 packages of Cubed Steaks($2.13 and $2.68).

Back to the house and by Wednesday I've got both dressers in Daughter's room emptied(save for the tops of both dressers which still have toiletries on them).  Still to come out of that room are a small rolltop desk, the recumbent exercise bike and a small rickety shelving unit which will be put on the trash pile when it is removed.

So this weekend while everyone else is cooking out and partying, here at Chez Sluggy, we'll be moving furniture, organizing crap and storing it away.  And making multiple trips to Salvation Army with discarded stuff.
And hauling out the 2 room window a/c units for the s bedrooms upstairs.  It's already in the 90 degree range here now and muggy as heck!

Once we get the house put back together I'll be tackling the garage to make some space in there too.
The fun just never ends here.......... 8-)