A Year of Savings: 2013




June 22:  I noted that CVS had sodas on sale this past week.  Today was the last day to take advantage of what was a very good sale.  3 12-packs for $11 with a $3 ECB rewards.  I had $4 in ECBs, and a FREE 12-pack coupon from MyCokeRewards.  My final total was $3.34, I received my ECB rewards of $3.  That made the soda $.34.  I'm waiting on a sale on hair color to use the ECB I received. Immediate savings: $8 with $3ECB for future savings.(used the ECB so am counting that in as savings as well)



I went to three thrift stores after I stopped at CVS.  I saw a lot of pretty things, some of which I'd have loved to bring home, but truly, I couldn't.  I was short of funds and frankly, I had a list of things I want to purchase and not one of those 'pretty' things was on my list.  I enjoyed the looking all the same.  It was nice to have the time to myself. Now usually allot myself a $20 limit and since I didn't spend it I'm counting it as savings of $20.

I wanted something different to eat...that usually means I'm tired of clearing up or bored with my own cooking.  I prepped food ahead on Friday for today, so I just made myself come on home and get it warmed up.  It wasn't a fancy meal or hard to fix, but it tasted well enough and there was not a lot of clearing up behind the meal either.  I made Turkey divan, earlier in the week.  It was Ok, nothing to rave over.  I had some leftover Alfredo pasta in the freezer.  I mixed the leftover Turkey Divan and Alfredo pasta, served with a big salad and Challah bread.  It served it's purpose and fed us well enough that we didn't go about digging for food all afternoon.  Savings in not stopping for take out on the way home: $10.

I set the rest of that casserole aside for dog food.  It just wasn't something I thought we'd want to eat again and both ingredients that composed the dish were already leftovers.  I will give the foods 1 cup less food each and substitute the casserole for their usual second cup.

Supper rolled around...doesn't it always.  I still wanted something.  I remembered I had a Cheese Pizza in the freezer.  I baked that and was satisfied.  That pizza cost all of $5 and will serve us two meals.

June 23:  I put a roast in the oven.  While it was cooking I made up a potato casserole using up some potatoes that were getting a bit old.  I put the casserole in the oven with the roast.  I put the rest of the potatoes on to boil for salad and hash browns later in the week.  Using up those potatoes saved $1.

The roast was allowed to rest, then I sliced it across the grain.  We had two or three slices for our dinner and the rest went into the fridge.  It will become sandwich meat or another entree before the week is out.

I boiled a half dozen eggs. I planned two for my supper and four for egg salad for sandwiches for suppers.  John really likes egg salad.  Rather than buy a packet of luncheon meat, my egg salad cost just about $.50 with condiments added in. Savings $3.29  for the cost of one packet of luncheon meat.   Not to mention it cost me only $.20 for my supper that evening!

John looked hopefully at the boiled eggs and asked if I was planning to make deviled eggs.  Well I hadn't but I thought it a good idea.  I put another half dozen on to boil while he napped and deviled them that evening when I made up the egg salad.

I meant to have cereal and bananas for breakfast yesterday and discovered the bananas were very ripe.  I decided I'd make Banana Pound cake from three of them and I put two in the freezer to use for banana nut muffins or pancakes in the near future.  Savings $1.

I waited until late in the evening to start the pound cake, when the house was a good deal cooler and the AC working less hard.

My recipe is meant for a 10inch tube pan but I haven't had one in years.  Instead I figured out the time for baking two loaves and measure the batter into the pans.  I wrapped them after they cooled and put into the freezer. 

June 24:  Today's dinner: A big salad with deviled eggs as the protein component.  I meant to make popovers but missed the time frame (had no idea they baked so long!).  Instead I flipped back through the cookbook and made corn fritters.  It's just 1 cup of flour, 1 egg, 1 cup liquid and 1 cup corn.  What could be easier?  I had enough fritters to put up for a second meal.  I think they'd be good for breakfast with sausage and maple syrup.

Last night's baking was such a success after hours, I decided I'd go ahead and make Challah for our next two Shabats.  The recipe makes enough for one large loaf.  I divide in half and make two smaller loaves.  Savings: $2.59.  Again, I found baking much more pleasant once the house was cool.

Sorted through coupons and matched to best sales, tossed expired coupons and clipped new ones.

With this month marking the half way point of the year I thought it a good time to go over our budget and make any necessary changes.  It was an eye opener, but in a good way.  I think we'll see different results for the second half of the year.

I readied the bill box for paying bills tomorrow and balanced the checkbook.

I made sloppy joes late last week.  I had about 1 cup of the sloppy joe mixture leftover.  I made Bbq cups using homemade biscuits.  The recipe calls for canned ones.  I think the cost of my homemade biscuits is less than half what a sale priced can of biscuits runs.  Savings: $.75.  I had enough biscuits left to make breakfast one morning this week.

June 25:  Harvest Morning for us.  I planned errands: bank, post office, peach shed, CVS, Hobby Lobby and Kroger.

While sorting coupons the day before I'd come across two from Kroger that looked promising.  One was for a free dozen eggs with purchase of $10.  I knew I'd be spending about $25, so I made sure to put that coupon in my envelope for the day.  Savings $1.49.

Kroger was my next to  last stop of the day.  I knew John would want something for dinner as soon as I walked in the door.  I walked by the deli refrigerator case and noted the manager's special stickers on several items.  One was a big take out box of chicken tenders.  Regular price was $14.96.  I got the tenders for $8.89...Might not sound like savings but it was a very full box.  I put two bags of chicken tenders in the freezer for two future meals for us and we had dinner and enough left to have a snack!  Savings $6.07.

At CVS I meant to pick up hair color ($5.99 with $2 ECB) with a $2 manufacturer's coupon, and a Razor ($10 CVS coupon and a $2 manufacturer's coupon).  I went by the Kiosk and printed out new coupons and was surprised to have one for 3 12 packs of Coke for $10 (Savings of $5.79).  I checked and they had the Coke Splenda that John likes.  My out of pocket at CVS was $13 with a $2 ECB.  My hair color final price was $1.99, the razor final cost was $.79.  Savings: $14 for those two items and future savings of $2 on a purchase using the ECB.

June 26:  Watching TV yesterday afternoon a commercial came on for a terrific looking hamburger and shake.  I guess Dee  really started the seed growing.  I told John that we'd have Burgers, Fries and Milk Shakes today even though it wasn't on our menu.  I meant to make it all at home, too. None of the fancy malt shops for us, just plain good home cooking.  Savings $18 making it at home.

I continue to work on my end of June project: Freezer and pantry inventory.  I've found only one or two items that we must use soon.  I was pleased to note that I'm saving 'less' in some areas: those things we seldom eat or didn't care for, so the food in the freezer is real food, things we will eat and enjoy.  That's GOOD use of the freezers.

June 27:  Shopping day.  John said it was time for the meat market and while I wasn't exactly planning it for this week, I knew he was quite right.  I was down to about enough meat to feed us one more week!  We opted for the more lean/less fat ground beef, sirloin roasts and sirloin steaks.  I'll be cutting my own stew meat from one of the roasts (which we had halved).  I figure we'll get two pounds of stew beef and will save $2.00 over the cost of the same cut at meat market.

Lunch for the day was bought from my allowance, so no expense to the household.  Savings $11.

I priced chicken wings at the meat market but opted to buy the frozen wings at Aldi, saving $2.

June 28:  I bought blueberries and strawberries at Aldi this week.  We had peaches, grapes and watermelon as well in the fridge.  I decided that was too much fruit, more than we could eat, so I flash froze the berries, and pared and bagged the peaches for the freezer.  I made a peach cobbler at John's request but put half the Danish he wanted for weekend breakfast into the freezer as well (too many sweets on hand).  None of the food will go to waste or spoil.  Savings in using what I had on hand to stock the freezer: $5.50.

Decided to rearrange the craft area in my guest room.  The plans were to buy a new light fixture to go in that room but it's out of budget at the moment.  So I turned my work table to face the window where plenty of natural light offsets the lack of lighting in the room.


Put the wire cube shelving Samuel gave me to work.  I set up a tower of cubes to store my fabric and work in progress.  This allowed me to move more of the quilts into the armoire for storage.

Shopped at home this week for sugar ($2.56), canned chili ($.59),2 loaves bread ($2.58), mustard ($.66), shampoo ($3 for two bottles), laundry detergent ($1.49), paper towel ($.69), peanut butter ($2.89), minced garlic ($1.69).  These were all pantry items (with more of each on the shelf), bought at lowest sales price.  I'd have paid a good bit more if I'd run to the store to pick up that lot, especially if none of it were on sale!

It was very humid outdoors and the AC was working especially hard to keep up. I set the temperature a bit higher which gave it a rest break now and then.  Typically we keep it set at around 77F but I found 79F meant it ran a bit less and it stayed bearable with the oscillating fans blowing over us.

My husband is a smart man.  He bought a small air compressor a few years ago and recently the hose split.  He bought a similar size hose, refit the nozzles and fittings to the new hose, hooked it up to the compressor and it ran just perfect!  I asked him before he set to work if he could do that (out or curiosity).  His reply was "I don't know but I'm going to try.  What have I got to lose anyway?"  Well he had a point.  The hose he bought cost about $2.  I looked online after the fact and noted that the same length hose he bought with new couplings on the ends ran about $20.  Savings $18.

June 29:  Off to synagogue today.  That's an hour's drive from home, which is about average for most of the congregation.  We're very blessed to have a car that does very well on gas mileage.  I was sharing with friends earlier today that our budget for gasoline has not increased in 17 years since we first moved here.  What has changed is how many miles we go for the same amount of money, lol.  However, I think it's remarkable that at least in one area we spend about the same thing.

Normally, due to the hour we get out of synagogue, John and I are very hungry, although we eat a good breakfast before we leave home.  We generally stop and eat off the budget menu at one of the fast food places but today we headed right home and didn't even buy so much as a soda to see us over that hour drive home.  I had easy food, ready to heat when we walked in, my own version of 'fast food'.  Savings $10. 

June 30:  Housework was light and easy today and I wanted to spend my time in study and writing.  I was happy to pull a casserole from the freezer to cook for our main dish. I made a salad and there was our meal.  Easy as could be.

We stayed home all day.  No expenses for us, not even the Sunday paper.  I used online sales sheets to determine if there were any purchases that were free or nearly so.  I'll plan to pick these up when I'm out Wednesday.

And another month ends.

Total for week:  $137.51

Total for month: $338.60

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