Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Bad Month but looking Up

This has not been a good month for me. Several things have been going on at work including not getting a promotion that I had hoped for. Life at home has been crazy and the Low spend challenge went out the window within the first week. Here were my goals I set this month.
January Goals

  1. Keep track of my weekly spending-  Fail
  2. Plan a Meal plan for every week and stick to it.- So far have done this
  3. Pack a lunch every day for work.   -So far so good

I guess keeping track on two out of three goals isn't too bad. I have planned our meals this month using what I had in the freezer.  I cooked some of the chicken I had and shredded it and put it in the freezer for meal. I then used the leftover bones to make chicken stock. I had stocked up on a lot of items during the Holiday season so we I still have plenty to go through. The only thing I am out of it ground beef.

This week's Meal plan is
Monday:  Taco Casserole
Tuesday: Biscuits and Sausage Gravy
Wednesday: Teriyaki Chicken in the Crockpot
Thursday: Goulash
Friday: Leftovers
Saturday: Boy Scout outing.
Sunday: ??

I have managed to save money by packing my lunch every day.  I put leftovers in individual containers so it is easier for me to grab and take with me for lunch.

This has been a very expensive month for us. Our son is in baseball and winter practice started at the beginning of the month. This includes buying all the necessary uniform.  We are given one uniform but we usually end up buying a second one because of tournaments and needing a clean one. There is also the extra stuff they need. A new bat , a new glove and the list goes on.  January is also the only month when parents can buy team apparel. So we can all show our team spirit at games and tournaments. :)  Usually we have a chance in November and January but this year we only got January.  This is our third year and last year we didn't buy much so it seems like this year we had more items to replace.  I need to add this to my yearly budget so I can plan for this. 

Planning for big items is definitely my weak area. I can budget the monthly expenses but I struggle on budgeting for the little items that come up.  I have an emergency fund but I don't count these as emergencies. I need to create a slush fund or extra fund for these items.

Hopefully I will be back to weekly blogs next week.

Have a good rest of the week. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Goals / Meal Plan

I don't do well with making year long goals so I am just starting out with Monthly Goals.

January Goals
  1. Keep track of my weekly spending
  2. Plan a Meal plan for every week and stick to it.
  3. Pack a lunch every day for work.   

I also need to lose weight and keep it off. I usually do pretty good at first but then fall off the wagon quickly. My goal is to make small changes so everything is not drastic.  So I will be making small weekly goals.
  1. Drink more Water - This one is easy for me at work but not at home or on the weekends.  I tend to reach for the Diet Coke at home.
  2. Eat smaller portions. 
I am not doing any special diet because I know those don't work. I am counting calories which seems to work the best for me.  I have been down this road before so I know what I need to do.  For me it is Eat healthier, smaller portions and Exercise.   The exercise is the hardest part for me especially during the Winter.  We have a big family vacation planned this Summer and I want to be in the best shape I can be to be able to enjoy it.

I didn't do a full Meal plan this week with the Holidays. Here is what we are having the remaining of the week. All of this is coming from the Pantry/Freezer and we should only have to buy Milk/Bread this week.

Wednesday - Stuffed Pork Chops  w/ Green Beans
Thursday - Breakfast for Dinner. Either Pancakes or Eggs.
Friday - Potato Soup - in the Crock Pot.  - This may change but it will be some kind of soup.
Saturday - BBQ Chicken Sandwiches- I have chicken in the freezer that I will be cooking down and shredding. Some will be used for Sandwiches and the rest will be portioned off for upcoming dinners.
Sunday - Ham and Bean Soup & Cornbread.

The only Items I have to buy for the rest of the week is the Buns for the Sandwiches and Beans for my Soup.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Christmas Recap

I have taken a few weeks off from blogging during the crazy Christmas season. I will have to say that I have missed it. I am posting a Christmas Recap and will be back later with January Goals.

Christmas Recap

On Christmas Eve we have a tradition of fixing a big Christmas Eve dinner for just the five of us. We go to my Mom's on Christmas day so this is just for us. This year I fixed Prime Rib, mashed potatoes, Green Bean Casserole, Strawberry Pretzel Salad and White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake for dessert.  We had a really nice time and we were so full we had to leave the cheesecake for the next day. :)   We then settled down and watched Polar Express as a family.

On Christmas morning we were up bright and early to open gifts. With a six year old in the house you don't get to sleep very late. :)  Everyone was very happy with their gifts even the clothes. My gifts were a Dutch Oven in the pretty blue color.  I also received a Silhouette Cameo Cutting Machine . I wanted one for a while and my husband got it for me. My daughter and I have already been playing with it. Here is a card her and I made for a birthday party she went to. She picked out the bright colors.

 We are still learning everything it can do. It can do vinyl so that is definitely on my list.

We spent part of Christmas Day at my Mom's house with my Brother and his wife. It is always hard at Christmas as I miss my Dad being there. 

Overall we had a really good Christmas Day. I took the week of Christmas off from work so I got to enjoy being home with my kiddos for a few days.

January Decluttering & No/Low Spending


Carla is having a challenge and I decided to join at the last minute. Here is the link to her Challenge

Financial Goals:
  1. Stick to weekly budget of $250.00. This will cover Food, Gas and expenses for each week. 
  2. Track all Spending. 
De-cluttering Goals:
  1. Go Through Closets of everyone and get rid of extra items.
  2. Go Through Computer Desk and Organize and file items.

I am starting pretty small and I may add as I go.