October 27, 2011

Z-man's artwork from school

Everyday we pick up the boys from preschool, they always have a stack of artwork to hand to us. I have a growing pile of papers on our office desk. I'm not sure what to do with all of them, so yesterday I figured that I could take digital photos of them. It's not a new idea, but I finally got around to taking a few that their teacher sent home with them.

Here are some sneak peeks into Z-man's Preschool:

September 23, 2011

Weekly Grocery Shopping Trip = $53.32

So, after a co-worker of mine joined a challenge this past week called SNAP hunger challenge, I was challenged to look at our grocery budget even more. The challenge was to live off of $30/week per adult in the household. This is the average amount given to individuals on the SNAP program.

That is $10 more than what we spend on groceries a week! So I've come to realization that it was not realistic to be living off of $50/week on groceries. I've talked it over with my husband, and I think that we are going to increase our grocery budget to $60/week. And planning meals is a must!

My husband and I also recently have started buying all our meat from a local farm called Triple S Farms.

Last week we spend $33 on ground beef, chicken, and bacon.

Here's what Z-man and I got this week for groceries:

Aldi's = $33.60

Big Lots = $9.60
Lots of snacks! Z-man picked out the Oreo's and the other cookies are for snack that Pudge is going to bring to preschool.

County Market = $10.12
They had some awesome deals that made items $0.88! So we got some more pasta and red sauce. The Fisher's almonds were in the clearance cart for $1.50. The soda pop is for a party that we're going to this weekend.

Total spent on groceries this week was $53.32.

Crockpot: Pumpkin Spice Latte

This recipe was too good NOT to share with you all, especially since the weather is just right for a cup. I found this recipe through A Year Of Slow Cooking's blog.

You combine these ingredients in a slow cooker:

-2 c. milk
-2 Tbsp. canned pumpkin
-2 Tbsp. white sugar
-2 Tbsp. vanilla
-1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
(or 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/8 tsp. cloves, 1/8 tsp. nutmeg and a pinch of ground ginger)
-3/4 c. strong brewed coffee

This just would be a great recipe if you're having friends over!

September 10, 2011

Briella's Boutique - Savoy, IL

If any of you local readers are looking for a great resale shop, this is it! Briella's Boutique is a fairly new cosignment shop, with some great deals. They have a variety of items, from kids clothing to dog clothing! :)

We happened to stop in this morning (my two boys and I), and low and behold, it was storytime! They have a story hour the 2nd Saturday of each month at 10:30, so we came at just the right time! They read a story to the kids, then have a craft, and then get to take home a snack. Wait, there's more! If you bring your kids in, then you get 10% off your purchase! (I'm not sure if that's everyday, or if it was just today). I was blown away by their attitude towards kids, it was a great feeling knowing that my kids were not a nuisance in their store.

So, if you're in the area, by the Walmart in Savoy, stop by to see their shop. I highly recommend it! I got a new pair of shoes for $24, and a new top for $5. And I love the fact that it's a form of recycling. I'm going to have to start co-signing my boys clothes there, because for us, All Things Kids, is further away from us than Briella's.

503 S Dunlap Ave.
Savoy, IL 61874
M-F 10-6
Sat. 10-4

So, if you get a chance and are in the area...check it out!

August 28, 2011

Groceries this week = $60.74

Big Lots = $4.14

Tried out a new Farmers Market this week. It is located by the Police Station in Champaign, and is open from 3-7pm. It's a rather small market, with only a few tents, and one huge pork roast! It smelled awesome! There was even a small sprinkler set out for the kids on behalf of American Water. My boys loved it!

We stopped by towards the end of the evening, around 6:30pm, so I think the lady selling the onions was wanting to get rid of them, because she gave me 8 for $6!

We used out WIC Farmers Market Coupons, so total these all cost about $12.

Aldi's is becoming one of my favorite stops for grocery shopping, because our printer is not printing out any coupons for me...no matter what I do. So Aldi's it is. We're going to try their frozen salmon this week. I hope it's tasty! Total = $46.88.

We also stopped at County Market, because we had a couple of store coupons, and had to pick up some items that Aldi's didn't have. Total = $9.72.

So, that's our weekly grocery shopping. We try to spend under $50/week. This week's total was $60.74. Last week we were under budget, so we used that leftover money towards this week.

August 21, 2011

Grocery Shopping This Past Week = $23.21

I made lots of random quick trip to County Market this week, so nothing big to be pictured here this week.

County market trip #1: 12.48
I was excited to see yogurt marked down to $0.25/container! We had lots of tomatoes from grandma's garden, so I picked up some bacon for some BLT sandwiches.

County Market Trip #2: $7.73
"Millions of peaches, peaches for me..." - We are slowly teaching our boys that song, because they are eating peaches like they're going out of style!

And then not pictured:
Walgreens: $3.00 spent on Twizzlers Pull-n-Peels!

Total spent on groceries this week: $23.21. This is out of $50/week budgeted for groceries in our household. Last week I over spent, so week we were making up for it.

August 14, 2011

Grocery Shopping this week: $68.79

This week we did pretty good with lots and lot of cereal! The price I will pay for cereal is $1.25 or less, and this week, we found lots for only $0.99/box!

Below is Schnucks (in Savoy) = $15.17
We hit up the clearance isle and always seem to come away with cereal. Broccoli was on sale for $1/lb, and the cilantro was for some homemade salsa.

We forgot to take a photo of this prized snack for only $1!

Pictured below is from County Market = $40.26
We had several trips to C.M. this week to hook up lots of cereal for only $0.99/box! Yum! I think we'll be stocked up for quite awhile!

Target = $9.36
I got a chance to go shopping by myself for a couple of hours, so naturally, I went to Target. I was mostly looking for snacks at work, and here's what I came away with:

Dollar Tree = $4
I also stopped at Dollar Tree for some staple pretzels, which are also a great snack at work!

So, total, we did go over our budgeted $50/week on groceries, with a total of $68.79. I will have to take that into consideration for next week's groceries, and I will only be able to spend $31.21.

Thanks for reading, it keeps me accountable to my shopping habits!

August 9, 2011

From Trash to Treasure!

So, this find wasn't exactly out of a dumpster, but it was for free next to someone's trash bins! Isn't it so cute! I'm not really sure how long the boys will want to play with it, since they've got their bigger bikes. But I thought they might have some fun out of it for awhile. Later on I might sell it.

It just needs one more screw to make it stay together, and it's as good as new!

August 7, 2011

Grocery Shopping for this past week = $49.47

Aldi's = $39.25

Schnucks = $10.22

Total spent in one week = $49.47. We have budgeted for $50/week on groceries, so we did good this week!

August 1, 2011

Last Week Re-Cap

Summer is just flying by! I can't believe that it's August 1st already!

I just wanted to re-cap last week, since I never got around to posting anything.

We seriously did something every HOT day of the week, because my husband decided to take a week off to spend some time at home after a week at Leadership Lab.

Here we are with family watching a softball game at Dodds Park in Champaign. My sister-in-laws fiance was playing a game and it was fun to see him play and cheer him on.

Last week my husband desperately needed a haircut, and with this hot and humid weather, I don't blame him for wanting it chopped!

We are in need of a good pair of hair clippers. The last one I purchased off of Amazon was a waste of money! Anyone recommend a good hair cutting kit?

On Saturday we took our boys to go fishing for the very first time in their lives! It was a very exciting moment because I guess I always figured that little boys need to learn how to fish.

There was a free program with the local Forest Preserve, where they had older gentlemen showing kids how to fish. It was fun, because they had prizes for the most fish caught, the biggest fish, and the best sport. Z-man caught 2 bluegill that were about 4 inches long, and Pudge caught one.

It really was a nice summer day, but the boys didn't have a long attention span, so we packed a picnic and brought that along with.

And yesterday, we had the pleasure of going to a pool party with the youth from church. This is always a blast, because our boys are able to bring their floaties and really get some exercise. These floaties aren't allowed at the public pool, so they were very excited to bring them to the party.

And the water was so warm, it was like a relaxing bath before bedtime!

Here's Z-man showing the rest of the youth how to play a zombie game he had made up. It was really cute seeing him want to lead the game even when all the other kids are in Jr. High and High School aged.

Overall we had a pretty fun week, and ended up saying good-bye to my sister who has been living with us since Easter. WOW, that went fast!

Hope you all had a great weekend!

July 30, 2011

Grocery Shopping for this past week = $49.01

This week was pretty good! I was very excited about County Market's Penny Pincher coupons! There were so many in that booklet that we could use! If you have any extras, please send them my way. Here's what we came home with...

Schnucks = $6.67

County Market: $26.85
I used lots of Penny Pincher coupons!

Our Garden and Grandma's Garden: Free!!

Big Lots = $15.49

Total spent on groceries this week was $49.01, out of a $50/week budget. Did you score any good deals this week?

July 23, 2011

Grocery Shopping for the week = $48.32

I wanted to explain that I haven't been using coupons on grocery shopping lately, because our computer that I had been using to print coupons has since died. So therefore, I have not been hitting up the stores for great deals anymore. I've mostly stuck to Aldi's and the sale items.

If you are from the Champaign area, I highly recommend checking out The Frugal Family's Blog. She has a wealth of information on her blog and she's local!

This week wasn't too exciting. Here's what I bought at County Market for $15.56. The M&Ms were a splurge. I had been craving chocolate!

I also stopped at Aldi's because we needed a few staple items in our home. Total spent for below items: $32.66.

Total spent this week on groceries was: $48.32. This is according to our $50/week grocery budget.

July 11, 2011

Garden Update & Surprise Squash Plant

Our garden is taking off at full speed! Here are our raised beds:

Our tomatoes are doing well. They need better staking, but here's one of our Big Tom's!

And here are a couple of our surprise squash that we have no idea what it's going to be. It's exciting to find out!

We think it might be watermelon. Possible a seed that was thrown into the compost has now taken over most of the garden walk-ways.

And I'm so proud of our broccoli for forming this past week! I had my doubts as to whether or not it would produce anything.

And our beans are also taking off and climbing over everything around it:

Now all we need is some good rain to fill up our rain barrel!

July 10, 2011

Grocery shopping for 2 weeks = $62.66

Okay, folks, I know I haven't posted a photo of our groceries in awhile, so here's one of our latest. I couldn't (for the life of me) find out how to rotate this photo, so I'm posting it sideways. Sorry about that.

This photo is from Aldi's and we spent $58.03:

Then we stopped at Schnucks to get some items they didn't have at Aldi's. We also stopped by their clearance isle to find a box of cereal for $1.56. Our boys love that cereal, so I picked that one up as well. Total spent here - $4.63.

Total spent: $62.66. Not too bad for 2 weeks of groceries. How did you do this week?