Monday, August 29, 2016

This Week on the Dining Table

It's the "Back To School" Edition......

We sent College Boy packing back to school on Sunday.
Well, after an hour delay in the morning as he tried to track down his wallet.

Moving on......

Onward to the meal planning!

Here's what was planned last week--

1. Sunday--Eggplant Parmesan, Ceasar Salad
2. Monday--Chicken Marsala, Noodles, CA medley Veggies
3. Tuesday--Leftovers(Ribs, Ranch Chicken Bake and a Veggie side)
4. Wednesday--Meatloaf, Zucchini Casserole
5. Thursday--Kielbasa on Rolls
6. Friday--Pork BBQ sandwiches, Cole Slaw
7. Saturday--Whatever College Boy wants for dinner-probably Crab Cakes and Mac & Cheese(it's his last night home)

And this is what actually happened--

1. Sunday--Eggplant Parmesan, Ceasar Salad
2. Monday--Chicken Marsala, Noodles, CA medley Veggies
3. Tuesday--Tacos and/or Taco Salads
4. Wednesday--Tacos and/or Taco Salads
5. Thursday--Pork BBQ sandwishes, Cole Slaw
6. Friday--Homemade Mac & Cheese(CB's request)and whatever else was here that they wanted to fix
7. Saturday--Leftovers

7 meals cooked at home, 1-2 of them nights of leftovers and 0 nights of Take-Out.

As for the grocery spending.....1 trip to the Shursave Market for $30.88 which brought my weekly spending to $132.21 and my August food spending total to $457.27, well under my $500 goal.

Leftovers going into this week........chicken marsala, pork bbq, eggplant parm, ranch chicken bake, mac and cheese, and cauliflower cheese soup(also a College Boy request).

Here is this week's "food plan".

1. Sunday--Leftovers for kids, Anniversary Dinner out for Hubs and I
2. Monday--Meatloaf, Zucchini Casserole
3. Tuesday--Leftovers
4. Wednesday--Kielbasa on Rolls, Sauted Cabbage
5. Thursday--Leftovers
6. Friday--maybe Leftovers again?
7. Saturday--not sure yet, maybe Take-Out

This week might see 2 new meals cooked and 1 nights of Take-Out and 4 night of Leftovers and 1 meal out.
The meal out happened but not sure if the take-out will happen, or I might make a pizza instead.

What we need to buy for this menu......not a thing.  I have every thing needed to make those 2(or 3 if I do pizza)new meals.  We have so many leftovers so in order to eat it all it's a light cooking week for me.
Go me. lolz

What is getting fixed and served at your house this week?

Was last week's plan successful, did you go off plan or did you not even plan what was going to be eaten last week?

Any great deals on food at your stores this week?


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Something Added to the Giveaway Box

I found another pair of white No Nonsense Socks in my goody bags so I have added them to the current Giveaway Box up for grabs.

Now two pairs of these socks are in the box of goodies you can win!

I have also been persuaded to add some chocolate too as there was an outcry for Chocolate and there was teeny bit more room in the mailing box.

Yay for chocolate!

So don't forget to enter daily and also get your bonus entries by going HERE and entering before Sunday, September 4th at 11:59pm.


Friday, August 26, 2016

2016 Food & Toiletries Spending......August Update

* I've closed out the August books a couple of days early as I am done shopping.  Anything bought in the next 5 days will come out of September's funds. *

Onward to August's food spending report.......

Here are my FOOD BUDGET spending totals for AUGUST 2016.

I have posted August,s totals on the Total Grocery Savings for 2016 Page located HERE and have updated the Yearly Totals there.  I am listing subtotals for each store I purchased from in August.  If you aren't interested in that much detail, just skip to the bottom for the Totals Sum.  My spending includes Food, Toiletries/HBA, Cleaning Products, Paper Goods & tax where applicable. We are a family of 5(5 at home this month). No kids under 20.


OOP  $18.00
Value  $79.22
Savings   77.28%

OOP  $6.00
Value  $20.44
Savings  70.65%

OOP  $151.90
Qs/Ads  $113.27
Value  $265.17
Savings  42.71%

OOP  $28.50
Qs/Ads  $15.06
Value  $43.56
Savings  34.57%

OOP  $75.83
Qs/Ads $37.65
Value  $113.48
Savings  33.18%

OOP  $177.04
Qs/Ads  $141.29
Value  $358.43
Savings  44.38%

My best 3 Store Savings Totals were Bakery Outlet at 77.28%, the Farm Stand at 70.65% and Weis Markets at 44.38%.  My WORST savings rate was the Shursave Market at 33.18%
I shopped at 6 different stores this past month.
I did NO Rite-Aid shopping in August!  Don't faint.... ;-)

TOTAL Out of Pocket..........$457.27
TOTAL Coupons & Store Sales Savings...$423.03
TOTAL Value of Items Purchased............$880.30
TOTAL Savings of...................................48.05%

This closes out the August food/toiletries spending.

THOUGHTS & COMMENTS for this month.....
I went into August wanting to do a $500 food budget for the month.  I ended up spending $42.73 less than that so stayed under budget, finally!

Again I am still trying to find the spending sweet spot.  I thought I was there but now CB is leaving so there is one less adult and I am back to struggling to find that balance.

At least my savings rate is up to 48.05% which is better than July's rate.
The monthly food spending savings percentage went up by 1.11% in August to 48.05% compared to July's 46.94% savings average.
I'll take that savings rate all day long!

With 8 months accounted for, I have spent a total of $2836.49 on food/toiletries so far in 2016 which averages out to $354.56 per month spent.  This is $14.67 higher per month than the average in July was.
But then again, I am feeding 2 extra people this year so that increase is not so bad.

LOOKING AHEAD To September 2016.........

I will continue with my usual shopping ways in loss leaders or great deals which we can use, use a few coupons, cash in points for gift cards or buy discounted gift cards to food stores when possible.
I am going to give myself $400 for September.  College Boy is back at school so we are down to feeding 4 adults so $100 per person should be a good amount.

If you have other ideas or guidelines you follow please leave a comment and share yours with us all.

*  How much did you spend on food/toiletries in August?
*  Do you track your yearly food spending?
*  What was your savings percentage buying on sale and/or with coupons vs. buying at regular retail price last month, if you track that sort of thing?
*  What are your methods for keeping your food spending in check?

Is anyone out there up for tracking expenditures and trying to spend less but still eat well?


Thursday, August 25, 2016

Here's the Master Packing List

Since it's that Back to College time too, here is a reprint of my Packing Master List.

It's pretty basic and you can add or delete from this for your teens needs.
We've done this packing for college thing 7 times so far(4 x #1Son, 1 x Daughter and 2 x #2Son)and just grabbing this list and checking things off works for us.

Buddy Sonya Ann also has a list but I don't know if she'll repost it again this year.

College Back-To-School List

Pens and Pencils
Black Marker
Paper Clips
Stationary Paper or Note Paper
Pencil Sharpener  
Backpack/Computer Bag
Sheet Sets
Alarm Clock
French Press
Water Kettle
Trash Can
Hand Soap
Toilet Brush
Toilet Paper
Cleaning Supplies
Dishes and Utensils
Assorted Toiletries
Assorted OTC Meds
Desk Lamp
Trash Can
Ethernet Cable
Cell Phone
Cell Phone charger
Light bulbs 
Flash Drive
TV Cable Trunk
Shoes and Boots
Facial Tissue
Laundry Soap
Laundry Basket
Stain Remover
Hair Brush/Comb
Hair Dryer
Sewing Kit
Tool Kit
Lanyard(for room key, student ID)
Medical Card
Driver's License
Debit Card

Have fun sending your college student off!