Clothing Confessions

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So, I mentioned that I may have spent quite a bit of money on clothes in the past week or so.  I wasn’t kidding.  I think for the number of items I got, I didn’t actually spend that much.  I will see what you think.

The first place I went was a resale store called Ditto.  I had a full stamp card, which entitled me to $20 off. And I sold back two tops for $6.00.  They were also having a sale where you buy one tank top, get one 50% off.  (I think it went for all tops, because 2 of my non-tank top shirts ended up being 50% off as well). I ended up spending $10.31 at this store, and this is what I got:

1 tank top ($4)
1 tank top (Originally $2, but 50% off, so $1)
1 sweater ($12)
3/4 sleeve shirt ($10)
3/4 sleeve shirt (Originally $8, but 50% off, so $4)
1 long-sleeved shirt (Originally $8, but 50% off, so $4)

The total before my $20 for my stamp card and $6 for selling back clothes came to $35.00.  After tax I paid just a little over $10!  Not too bad!

The next store I went to was Plato’s Closet.  This is also a resale store, so prices are pretty low.  My stamp card wasn’t completely full, and there weren’t any really great sales, so I paid “full price” for their items, which ends up being much lower than if I would have bought them new at the mall.  I ended up paying $60.87.  Here is what I got:

1 short dress ($5.00)
1 belt ($6.00)
1 pair of black leggings ($4.00)
1 pair of charcoal grey leggings ($5.00)
1 short dress ($7.00)
1 black maxi skirt ($9.00)
1 striped tank top ($4.00)
1 striped cardigan ($8.00)
1 long sleeved top ($8.00)

Now, if you notice, I have not bought any new pants, which is really what I needed at this point.  The two stores I went into just didn’t have any selection of work trousers.  Because of that I ended up going to a 3rd store: Ross.  This store isn’t a resale store, but they have newer fashions that are marked down from department store prices.  I ended up spending quite a bit of money here, but a chunk of it went to a new pair of tennis shoes for Hubs.  If I take that out of the equation, I ended up spending $67.86 on clothing for myself.  Here is what I got there:

1 top/sweater set ($13.99)
1 dressy sleeveless shirt (Originally $14.99, on sale for $9.99)
1 black and white striped top ($7.99)
1 pair of black trousers (Originally $12.99, on sale for $8.99)
1 pair of black trousers ($12.99)
1 long sleeved blue and grey striped top (Originally $6.99, on sale for $4.99)
1 long sleeved pink top (Originally $4.99, on sale for $3.39)

One thing to note is that almost all of the tops that I bought during my trips can be paired with a number of different pants: trousers, skirts, jeans, etc.  This makes them much more versatile.  I am able to create more than just 1 look from each top.

For a grand total of $139.04 I bought 22 items!  That comes to an average of $6.32 an item.  I think I am ready for fall!  I am already well stocked for winter, so I don’t foresee me buying any new clothes for about a year.  I am hoping to add a line item in our budget for clothing.  I know Hubs is in need of some new items, and come next fall, I would rather have a large sum saved up instead of having to dip into savings.

I do feel guilty about buying myself clothes, but in all honesty most of my fall clothes are ones that I got when I first started teaching (I am starting my 8th year this year).  I have a stack of clothes that I will be donating to Goodwill in order to clean out my closet and really get rid of those items I just don’t wear.  (This is one good thing about Hubs wearing a uniform to work.  We don’t have to worry about buying him new work clothes, too.)

The next big shopping trip I have planned is in September.  I will be going to the consignment sale to get winter items for Miss C.  I don’t think I will spend as much as I have in the past, as I have quite a few 2T items already stocked up in the basement.  I have a lovely friend who has handed down many clothes to us, which makes life much easier (and less expensive).

When was the last time you bought yourself some new clothes?  Do you have to buy clothes for work or do you have a uniform that you wear?

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Monday Money and Menu Plan

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I will start with our menu plan for the upcoming week.

Sunday, March 30: Philly Cheesesteaks
Monday, March 31: Spaghetti
Tuesday, April 1: Ground beef macaroni casserole
Wednesday, April 2: Skillet sausage and potatoes
Thursday, April 3: Pasta toss
Friday, April 4: Roast
Saturday, April 5: Homemade pizza.

There are a few new recipes in there, so hopefully they turn out well.

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Now for the money part of this past weekend.  I went grocery shopping yesterday and managed to stay under budget!  I got some extra money out of the ATM because I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to stay under budget, but I did it!  I shopped sales and had my stack of coupons with me!  Here is the breakdown:

Clipped and Catalina coupons saved me: $11.90
E-coupons saved me: $4.00
Regular sales saved me: $7.61
“Mega” sale* saved me: $5.00

Total savings: $28.51

*The mega sale going on is a mix and match sale.  If you mix and match any 5 specified items you get an additional $5.00 off.  I honestly didn’t think I was going to have 5 items, but in the end I actually had picked up more than 5 (and they were all things on my list).

Here are some of my best deals:

Digiorno pizza: Regularly $5.99
On sale: $4.88
eCoupon: -$2.00
Total spent on pizza: $2.88

Kraft shredded cheese: Regularly $3.19
On sale: $2.99
Mega savings: -$1.00
Total spent: $1.99

3 Gerber yogurts: Regularly $8.97 (total)
On sale: $8.37
Mega savings: -$1.00
Coupon: -$1.25
Total spent: $6.12

Men’s Dove face lotion: Regularly: $6.49
On sale: $5.99
Mega savings: -$1.00
Coupon: -$1.00
Total spent: $3.99

Secret Clinical Deodorant: Regularly $9.99
Coupon: -$3.00
Total spent: $6.99

Tresemme Heat Protectant Spray: Regularly: $4.97
E-coupon: -$2.00
Mega savings: -$1.00
Total: $1.97

I also got two pounds of 96/4 lean ground beef for $4.39 each.  They were marked down since it was their sell by date.  They did not have the original price on them, but it is usually around $5.99 for beef that lean.  I only needed 1 pound for this upcoming week, but since there were two packages, I went ahead and got them both.

So, there ya have it!  A little bit of my finances and the recipes that they will go into!

Did you find any great deals this past weekend?

Spendy Saturday

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Today was definitely not a no-spend day, but I expected it.  Saturday is typically my errand day.  I like to get up early and head out before all the weekend crowds.  I highly dislike shopping on the weekends if I can’t get out early.  I also highly dislike shopping after work, as I am usually tired and hungry which does not make for a good combination for shopping.

Here is a break down of all the moolah that was spent today:

$114.05 for groceries.  I was over by $14.05, but had the cash available to cover for it.  I had to buy a few items which are not weekly expenses: vitamins, deodorant, salad dressing, mayonnaise, etc.  Those types of purchases seem to all happen at once and drive up the total quickly.

$27.54 to fill up my car.  I budget $35 for my fill ups, so I was under budget!

$51.33 for dog food and supplements.  Both of our dogs have skin issues, so we buy an Omega 3 supplement to sprinkle on their food.  This is about $20 a bag, but will last over a month or so.  Used cash out of the dogs’ envelope.

An undisclosed amount at Target for a surprise goody box for someone special (someone who reads this blog occasionally, so I don’t want to say how much I spent).  I have had this money held to the side, so I used cash, and it did not affect our budget at all.  I did buy 1 thing for our daughter while we were at Target.  I found a package of 3 baby forks that we use, so I went ahead and got those since we only have 1 fork for her.

So that is all the spending I did today!  I do want to say that I managed to say no to quite a few temptations throughout the day.  I honestly didn’t have any real temptations at the grocery store, so that wasn’t bad.  I did *almost* buy a dog toy for Rose at Petco.  All of their Christmas toys were 75% off, and I found one that I thought she would really like (it had about 9 squeakers in it).  I held it for a little while, but ended up putting it back.

At Target there were so many temptations! They had so much on clearance!  I saw a couple sweaters that were 30% off that I really liked.  I picked one up and almost put it in the cart, but I knew we didn’t have any money for clothing at this point.  There was also a crib sheet that was adorable and on clearance for 30% off.  I decided that little missy already has 3 crib sheets, and she doesn’t need anymore.  Those are the two main ones that I remember, but I know I browsed the shoes, toddler clothes, and some house decor items.  It was so hard, but I stuck to what I needed there!  Yay for me!

I really feel like I am doing well with my resolutions and sticking to the budget.  Besides not cleaning up last night, I think I have been kicking butt!  We still have not eaten out at all (for dinner) since the beginning of the year.  (Hubs had a breakfast out with friends, but that was a social, special occasion.)  The fact that we have not eaten out for dinner for this long is a miracle.  I am not kidding you.  I think the longest we had ever gone before was about 4 days.  We are expanding our food repertoire, and I am learning that I don’t completely loathe cooking as much as I thought.  Tomorrow I am even going to try a homemade pizza dough!  It involves using yeast, which I am scared of, so hopefully it will turn out ok!  If not, we may be having mac and cheese for dinner. 🙂  Wish me luck!

Some good financial news!  I was able to send $300 to our savings account today!  Between the raise from Hubs’ paycheck earlier this month and staying on budget, we now have put a total of $342 this month into savings!  I did not think this was going to be possible at all!  On Wednesday of this week is my payday and on Friday is Hubs’ payday!  I actually make our budget based on less than we typically bring home.  That way I know our paychecks will always be more than we need, and we can always put the extra into savings.  Since we both got raises, we should be able to put another chunk into savings.  Just a little over $100 to go to reach our January goal of $450 into savings!  I think we may actually be able to pull it off!

How are your financial resolutions going?

Friday Financials

Before I get started rehashing my finances for the past week, including a full check-in of my no/low spending challenge, I would like to get something off my mind.  Something I don’t fully understand.

I was talking with someone at school today, and she was showing me an ad for some tablets and other electronic devices.  The prices were in the $200-$300 range.  She commented how “cheap” they were.  I am just wondering when $200-$300 became “cheap”.  Maybe in some people’s world, it is cheap.  I am sure that the elite of Hollywood would truly believe that statement.  But in small town, public school, midwest, I just can’t see that amount of money as “cheap.”

I realize that she may have meant that the prices were cheaper than normal, but she was just said “cheap,” not “cheaper.” I guess that in our little world, in our little home, $200-$300 is not something to scoff at.  That is two to three weeks worth of groceries.  That is 10 boxes of diapers.  That is 4-6 extra payments on our lowest student loan.  That is one full payment on our largest student loan.  That is one step closer to being out from under the chains of debt.

. . . . . . . . . . .

Ok, enough of my little rant.  Now it’s time to take a look back at this week’s finances.

Saturday, January 4: $18.40 stamps, $128.97 groceries ($11 over budget)
Sunday, January 5: No spend #3!
Monday, January 6: No spend #4!
Tuesday, January 7: No spend #5!
Wednesday, January 8: $34.79 gas ($10 under budget/sent to savings), $388.40- surgery for Bandit
Thursday, January 9: ~$15.00 Hubs and little missy breakfast with friends
Friday, January 10: $15.22 groceries (Spent Christmas money since I didn’t have any grocery cash)

We were planning on going to a basketball game this evening, but it’s been rainy all day.  And little missy has had quite a rough day.  We think she is either teething or is possibly (hopefully not) catching something.  That saved us some money, although the money we would have spent ended up being spent at the grocery store.

I didn’t want to stop at the store, but I don’t think Hubs (or really myself) would have been happy with our chili tonight without sour cream or shredded cheese.  We had used the last little bit of both items earlier in the week.  (I also just have to brag that we have not eaten out for dinner since the new year! If you know me and my displeasure hatred for cooking, then you would be quite impressed.)  While I was at the store, I did give in to an impulse buy.  After Christmas I had bought a bag of caramel Ghirardelli chocolates for half price.  We had recently ran out of them, so when I walked by the Valentine’s candy selection and saw and even bigger bag of the same chocolates, I couldn’t help myself.  They are the perfect size and sweetness for a little dessert before bed.

Tomorrow will not be a no spend day, as it is grocery day.  I think Sunday we should be able to make it without spending any money, which will put us at 6 out of 10 no spend days!  Next week is also pay day for both Hubs and me, so I should be able to put some more money into our savings account.  I will keep you updated!

. . . . .  

Now for some exciting news!

20140110_184902This guy is cancer-free!  His tumor came back from pathology as benign!  We are so excited!  He is going to have one heck of a scar, but we still think he is a cute pup.  Apparently the tumor was a relatively normal one, but it is usually found in young dogs which makes it a bit abnormal.  We are so relieved!

TGIF!  How was your spending this past week?

What a Wednesday

Well, you know it’s going to be a rough Wednesday when you think it is Thursday all day.  I have thought this, and it has not helped my mental state when I suddenly realize that it is only Wednesday.  Wednesdays are not bad days at all.  In fact, they are days that I quite enjoy.  I have duty free days on Wednesday: which means no recess duty, no after school duty, and I get extra time at the end of the day because my amazing colleague takes my car riders for me.  But today, it has been a long day.

It started off fine, although Hubs had to take Bandit to the vet this morning for his surgery.  He is not a spring chicken by any means, so it was hard to say good-bye this morning not knowing how he would do.  He did great, though!  He came out of surgery, and I got a call from the vet at about 10:15 to let me know he was waking up and seemed to be doing fine.  I picked the little guy up from the vet this afternoon, and he seemed almost like himself.  He seemed a little out of it.  I could tell, because he allowed the vet staff to pick him up and carry him to me.  I carried him out to my car, and he didn’t struggle at all.

Where they removed the tumor, he has 5 sutures.  He will have to go back to the vet in two weeks to have them removed.  They also removed a small skin tag that was next to his eye.  It had been there a while, and we really didn’t care that they removed it, but since he was already under, they just clipped it off.  No sutures or stitches for that, but it is a little swollen looking.

He has to wear his Elizabethan collar (the vet’s term, not mine) a.k.a. cone, until the sutures come out.  He is used to being in a cone when we are gone, so it’s not that much of a change for him.  He was pretty pathetic early on, but here he is now.

20140108_191133He is doing fine.  I just don’t think he is impressed by his Elizabethan collar.  The fancy term doesn’t make him feel any better about it.

Because of his surgery, today was definitely not a no-spend day.  It ended up being $388.40 for his surgery.  That brings our total amount put into savings this month to $32.  I think it will be a stretch to get to $450, but we will try.  I made that goal before I knew the little guy was going to need surgery.

Another expense today was Hubs filling up his car.  I knew he would need to do it, so it wasn’t a surprise.  He was $10 under what I budgeted, so that will go into savings, bringing it back up to a whopping $42.  (Every little bit helps, though.)  I wanted tomorrow or Friday to be a no spend day, but I don’t think either one will happen.  Tomorrow Hubs is having breakfast with some former co-workers.  I didn’t have this budgeted, so I cleared out a lot of envelopes to get him some cash to take with him.  No biggie, as we had the cash, and we won’t have to swipe the card.  I think I may take about half of our coin jar in this weekend and cash it in to help refill what was taken out.  It will easily cover it, and honestly the coin jar is almost completely full.  I can barely lift it, and we are running out of space.

Friday won’t be a no-spend day, as I am hoping to run to Target after work.  I have had some cash set aside, away from our normal budget for what I need at Target, so it won’t even be noticed.  We are also planning on going to a high school basketball game on Friday, so that will take up some money.  I will probably just use some of my Christmas money to pay for it.  It will be fun to get out with the family and just spend some time together (assuming the weather will be fine).

Today was productive in terms of resolutions.  I got a date set up to take little missy to see her cousins, and I found an evening that my mom will watch little missy so Hubs and I can go get dinner and possibly see a movie.  Those are two resolutions I have for January, so they should be taken care of!

I think that is all I have for now.  It has been a long day!  I am already in bed at 7:30 and will probably turn off the lights around 8:00.

Happy Hump Day!  Woot Woot!

Challenge Updates

Hello readers!  I am back to get caught up with our September challenges!

First challenge: Savings Challenge

I am doing ok with this challenge.  Unfortunately I did spend some money today that was not in the budget.  We took the dogs to get some vaccinations and it was $15 more than I had saved up.  I covered the overage by using some of my MAD money that I had in my wallet instead of using our debit card.  I will get it sorted out and the dogs just won’t get all their money next month.

I also went to Old Navy today to see if they had any baby sweat pants.  We are putting together the coming home outfit for our little one.  My sister-in-law sent us the onesie and all that goes with it, but she didn’t find any pants to go with it.  I found a little pair for about $8.  I didn’t have any baby money from the envelope, so I used some other cash I had and will have to do some trading around with that.

Those aren’t too bad.  Here is where I strayed: I went to Target today to get a curtain.  We have a large window in the entry of our apartment.  It is very high over our front door.  Unfortunately it faces southwest, so all the afternoon/evening sun comes in and warms the place up.  We can turn down the thermostat, but the heat is too much and the place never cools down.  I found a curtain for $9.99 which was great!  The bad part was I did pick up a few clearance items from the maternity clothing section.  A lot of my shirts that I bought at the beginning of summer are starting to get too small.  I got 2 plain tops (a blue one and a white one), a tank top (white one), and I also found a fabulous pair of black dress pants for $25.  They are a touch long, but considering I don’t really have any dress pants for the winter it was worth it (and my mom will hem them for me).  All in all I spent about $55 at Target for everything and ended up using my debit card.  I am going to have to figure out where I want the money to come from since I don’t have that much money in the clothing envelope.

Second Challenge: Eat Your Pantry Month

This is going well.  I did not do a big grocery shop this week, but instead went to the little store in our town.  I spent about $30 on refilling some items that we were out of (milk, cereal, pop, etc.).  I think I can make it until Saturday without having to do a big shopping trip to the grocery store.  We are eating what we have in the house instead of buying new things!  If I am able to make it without going to the store, I may be able to use the grocery money I saved this week to cover the clothing purchases today.

Third Challenge: September Photo-a-day

I cheated a bit on this one.  For the past three days I have composed shots in my head, but did not take them with my camera.  Today I took those mentally composed shots and actually photographed them.  Here they are:

Prompt: Bright

The window that we are planning on covering is above this door.  This is how much light comes in from just the window on our front door.  The large window above lets in a whole lot more!

Prompt: From the mailbox

This is where mail goes to die in my house.  I have a stack on my counter that I need to sort through.  I do open all my mail, but I don’t necessarily do a good job at putting it away where it belongs.

Prompt: Everyday

Today was the most un-everyday day.  I didn’t go to work like I do everyday.  I had a doctor’s appointment which I don’t have everyday.  Hubs and I took the dogs to the vet which we don’t do everyday.  We ate lunch out together which we don’t do everyday.   (We used a coupon and gift cards, so we only spent $2 on tip which came from the correct envelope.)  It was kind of hard to figure out what to do for today.  This is a photo of my planner.  I have everything nice and color coded and check it at least once everyday.  If I don’t have this with me, then there is a good chance I am forgetting about something I was supposed to do.

So there ya have it!  I need to update my September Challenges page with all of my tracking, but I think I am doing ok with all of the challenges.  How is your September going so far?

A little frugality, a little not…

I dropped a lot of money today. That’s how I roll. What do I have to show for it? Not much yet…

Here is the breakdown of my money-filled day:

McDonald’s for lunch for Hubs and me: $9.82

3 months supply of flea/tick meds for both dogs: $74.53

2 books for my Master’s courses starting next week: $58.89

Dinner at 5 Guys for Hubs and me: $15.85

Movie tickets: $15.00

Popcorn and pop at movies: $11.75

Total spent: $185.84

Doesn’t sound frugal, but here are some decisions that were made to make these purchases more frugal.

McDonald’s for lunch- Hubs and I shared a chicken nugget meal for two. We got the medium size which was $8.99. If we would have each gotten our own separate meals, it could have easily been over $10 before tax.

3 month supply of meds- I don’t know if you all heard, but Frontline’s patent ran out. This means that drug companies are now able to make an identical formula, but charge less. I bought the generic brand of the meds, and they were on sale at 1800petmeds.com.

2 Books- I rented both books for 125 days which brought down the cost immensely. For one book, it just lowered the price by a buck or two. For the other book, if I would have bought even a used copy, it would have been over $100. Since I rented it, it cost about $40. They aren’t due back until after my classes are over.

Dinner at 5 Guys- Today is Hubs’ birthday, so that is why there is so much eating out and entertainment. We each got our own burger (My first fast food burger since I was in elementary school… still not sure I really like them, but I wanted to try.), but we shared a drink and fries instead of each getting our own. This saved us a couple bucks.

Movie tickets- We used our student IDs to get the student discount. I don’t really feel comfortable doing that, as we are a few years out of school, but now that I am going back for my Masters, I am a student again 🙂

Popcorn and pop- We got a smaller sized popcorn and shared a pop. Not much frugal about eating movie food, but Hubs loves movie popcorn, so it was worth it.

Not a super frugal day, but with each item we did try to save some money. So, I am going to count today as a success!

Here is my picture from yesterday. I feel very lazy as a photographer when I take pictures of the dogs, but I have been so super busy with school stuff, that I haven’t had much time to do anything super creative. I do have some ideas in my mind, and I have a family shoot scheduled (tentatively) for the end of September, so hopefully some real pictures will show up eventually.



I think Rose is trying to tell me to find a new subject for my pictures 🙂

PS… I haven’t updated my money trackers in a while, so I am hoping to get that done this week sometime.