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Retirement Update

July 17th, 2019 at 05:24 pm

$10,275.59 401K
+_9,047.67 IRA
-------------
$19,323.26 New Balance

$19,323.26 New Balance
-18,045.73 Old Balance
-------------
$_1,277.53 Amount of Increase

The 401K is up $1,099.70 and the IRA is up $177.78. This is since June 26th. I hope in two paydays' time the total is over $20K. That will feel like a big milestone to us.

Meal Planning for the Week

July 15th, 2019 at 11:10 am

We had a pleasant evening last night. I cooked on the grill. We made corn on the cob, onions, bell peppers, zucchini from the garden, hamburgers and hot dogs. We have given up on finding soy free hot dog and hamburger buns. The ones we had been using suddenly started adding soy. Now we just use the Naked potato bread for our buns. It tastes better anyway. I managed the hamburgers a little better this time, moving them around when the flames flared too much. Everything tasted delicious. This is quickly becoming my favorite way to cook.

Here's my new meal plan for the week with grill days scheduled for the non-rainy days of this week:

Monday--pork roast, baked potatoes, leftover peppers, onions, and zucchini

Tuesday--Grilled chicken, baked potatoes, green beans

Wednesday--Creamy sausage, bell peppers, and onions, green beans

Thursday--Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, Normandy vegetables

Friday--Grilled pizza, salad

Saturday--Grilled steak, grilled corn on the cob, grilled zucchini

Sunday--Grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, grilled onions, grilled zucchini

Grocery Spending Tracking

July 14th, 2019 at 05:53 pm

There were not really any good sales again this week, so I stocked up on some things that I've let run low and got some things we have been wanting to try (namely Larabars) and bought some items that are never on sale.

I also bought the ingredients to make homemade strawberry ice cream and homemade chocolate ice cream. Both came out well, though the chocolate almost is more of a frozen mousse/pudding consistency, but it is so good. The strawberry has a little more ice crystals in it than when I made the vanilla, but that's from the strawberries, it does that.

I really love these no machine ice cream recipes. If anyone wants them I can give you the links to the lady's youtube videos on it in the comments. The chocolate and strawberry take more time than the vanilla because there are more ingredients and you have to do a little bit more with them, but still, it took me about 15 minutes to do them one after the other. The longest parts were pureeing the strawberries and sifting the cocoa powder. Vanilla takes five minutes.

My first stop was at Winco where I spent $97.13 and bought:

2 loaves of Naked bread
4 Larabars (banana nut, peanut butter chocolate chip, cashew cookie, and cookie dough)
1 head lettuce
2 red bell peppers
2 orange bell peppers
1 bag of spinach
1 bag Mexican blend cheese
1 bag cheddar cheese
2 Walla Walla sweet onions
2 limes
2 ground chicken (never on sale)
1 turkey chub (for salads)
2 20 count bags hamburger patties
4 strawberry lemonade
1 lemonade
1 gallon distilled water (for C-pap machines)
24 cans of green beans

Then we went to Safeway and spent $188.52 and picked up:

1 box of ice cream cones (no soy, ya'all!)
2 bags of potato chips
1 jar Cheez Whiz (for my daughter, comfort food)
1 1/2 gallon milk
2 pork shoulder roasts
3 pounds of breakfast sausage (for breakfast burritos)
6 packages uncured soppresata
6 packages uncured pepperoni
1 package Canadian bacon
1 package turkey sticks (no soy)
1 package beef sticks (no soy)
3 pounds of grass feed beef
4 ears of corn
1 bag garlic croutons
2.35 pounds of red cherries
1 pound sliced cheddar (deli)
1 pound turkey (deli)
2 pound roast beef (deli)
1 pound honey ham (deli)

At Haggen I spent $41.41 and bought:

1 package soy free mini chocolate chips
2 pounds of strawberries
2 organic sweetened condensed milk
2 pints of real cream (bottle deposit of $4.00 that I'll get back when I return them)
7 bottles of organic ketchup (stock up)

Total spending was $327.06 out out of a $400 two week budget.

Payday Report for 7/12/19

July 14th, 2019 at 05:21 pm

$327.46 Tithe
_400.00 Utilities
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_400.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_280.00 Chiropractor Monthly Family Plan
_111.08 Internet
__36.00 Garbage
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
__50.00 Car Maintenance Envelope
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Blow Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_600.00 Citi
_100.00 Clothing Fund
------------
3199.54 Total Money Out

Meal Planning for the Week

July 2nd, 2019 at 04:46 pm

I forgot to post my meal plan for the week. Meal planning is an essential tool for me to stay on track with the grocery budget and to keep away from the take out trap.

Day One:
Fried chicken, roasted potatoes with peppers and onions, broccoli, watermelon

Day Two:
Beef pot roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, blueberries

Day Three:
Chicken Shawarma, naan bread, tzatziki, kohlrabi, blackberries

Day Four:
Ribeyes, potatoes, onions, and bell peppers, watermelon

Day Five:
Pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, watermelon

Day Six:
Homemade pizza, salad, pineapple

Day Seven:
Cheeseburgers, fried potatoes, cole slaw, pickles, blueberries

Working on the July Budget

July 2nd, 2019 at 04:42 pm

Do you ever have one of those days when you know you need to get stuff done, but you're just...eh, later? And then later comes and you've done virtually nothing for the day? Yeah, that's today. Mostly.

I did the preliminary budget for July last night. I had to add a line for the clothing envelope because apparently DH needs shorts he can go out in public in. The ones he runs around the house in he isn't comfortable wearing to a store and he's ripped out all his denim shorts. He is so tough on jeans and the like.

I wasn't expecting to have to buy any more clothes until fall besides one pair of shoes. I also need to start contributing to the gift budget again. DD's and DH's birthdays are in August and then I need to start saving up for Christmas. So it looks like I will only be able to pay $1600 on the mom loan instead of the $1800 I'd been hoping for, and probably only that much going forward as well. It will move the payoff date to April, I think, unless DH gets a substantial Christmas bonus. Or we get a good tax refund. We won't be able to claim medical expenses this year, though, so it might be pretty low and not something I am counting on towards pay off.

I should have zucchini ready in the garden in two days. I am looking forward to it. There is nothing like fresh picked zucchini in flavor. Store zucchini can be pretty good this time of year, but it pales very much in comparison.

The grocery ads came early yesterday. I did a quick look through and they were pretty cruddy. Which is good because I don't need any groceries, except watermelon, which they did have a sale on, so I will get some tomorrow when the sale starts. Maybe some corn on the cob, too.

I want to buy a barbecue. I have $200 in my allowance folder. I just want to get a kettle-style inexpensive one. We haven't had one in years and I do like to cook on one sometimes. That should be enough money for an inexpensive one and a set of BBQ tools and some quick light charcoal. DH and I will go to Lowe's tonight and see what they have. I'd like to be able to cook out on Independence Day. Ribeyes and foil packets of bell peppers, onions, and potatoes. Should be delicious.

Grocery Spending Tracking

June 29th, 2019 at 05:52 pm

Yesterday was my two week grocery shopping trip. We hit 4 stores, Trader Joe's, Costco, Fred Meyer, and Haggen. I did not buy a lot of meat, some sausages at Costco and some ribeyes for Independence Day at FM. We have a lot of chicken and beef in the freezer from the big sales at the end of May and beginning of June so are good on that for a long while yet.

All totaled I spent $391.08 out of a $400 two week grocery budget. I do have money left from the last pay period, which is good, because I still have to buy milk and lemonade. I did not go to the store that has the milk we like because they were replacing the sidewalks yesterday and traffic is bad enough on that road when nothing is going on. We will run up there this evening and pick up milk, which will be an additional $4.99, but then I will still have about $50 left for bread and milk if we run out before next payday.

We have enough potatoes for the month so I won't need to buy any more of those next pay period.

In addition to grocery I spent $63.87 out of the $75 household budget, to get 1 container of dish washing soap, 1 mega container of dishwasher soap, 1 bottle of body wash, and 2 mega packs of Charmin toilet paper. A spendy day, but everything planned for and within budget.

At Trader Joe's I spent $88.32 and I bought:

1 pack string cheese
3 packages of frozen roasted potatoes with peppers
5 boxes of maple pecan granola cereal
2 boxes frozen mac and cheese
1 box frozen fish nuggets
2 packages pecan bits and pieces (extra for the cereal)
5 lbs of russet potatoes
12 lbs of Yukon gold potatoes
2 packages hot dog buns
1 package hamburger buns
4 dozen tortillas
2 English cucumbers
1 iceberg lettuce

My leaf lettuce in the garden has started to turn bitter and the head lettuce has another week before I can harvest one. Otherwise I wouldn't buy lettuce.

At Costco I spent $196.63 on groceries and bought:

1 box organic blackberries
1 box organic blueberries
1 2-pack sharp white cheddar shreds
2 2-packs avocado spray oil
1 container of pure maple syrup
3 packages of Kerrygold butter
1 10 pound bag organic sugar
1 container cashews
1 wedge Parmesan cheese
1 wedge Romano cheese
3 12 piece sausage packs
2 24 count organic eggs

At Fred Meyers I didn't get much but spent $54.36 and purchased:

20 pounds of ice
2 family packs of crackers (forgot them at Costco)
6 big ribeye steaks ($5.99/lb)

At Haggen I just got a few things and paid $51.77.

1 loaf Naked potato bread
2 packages Fearless Franks (uncured)
3 pounds red cherries
1 flat local organic strawberries
3.5 lbs of organic sweet yellow onions

It was a good shopping trip and I was happy on the price of most items.