Monday, March 30, 2009

A Week Offline

I decided a week ago to go offline, except for twitter and email. I thought it might be beneficial to myself and my house to spend some time away from the Internet. Here are my daily "adventures"

Day 1: Tuesday went ok. I had a busy, full day. I actually didn't miss the net at all! My middle daughter had a Dr's appointment which took up most of our afternoon. Do you know how hard it is to get a stubborn, very disagreeable, 6.5 year old child to pee in a cup? It took an hour!!! Argghhh! I also caught up a bit on my TV watching, as I've been a bit behind. Tuesday morning caught me dusting, tidying, doing laundry

Day 2:

Wednesday I went to the gym in the morning, and then to the pharmacy to pick up a couple prescriptions from Tuesday. I got home and had lunch with with the baby. Shortly after the older kids came home (half days this week), and we went to a nearby park to have a "nature walk". It was a family homework assignment for my son's 2nd grade class, and we also had to log our discoveries along the way. We also went to the park, and I let the kids play before the torrential downpour started. It was very very cold and extremely windy, so we didn't get to play for that long. At least i got some cool pictures! Nothing else really happened on Wednesday. Oh, let's not forget my 3 year old daughter dancing to The Proclaimers in her Cinderella dress, Cinderella shoes and Cinderella tiara. Haha. I have also gotten into a new-to-me show from BBC, but that's another post :)

Day 3:

Thursday was a day at home, as I didn't want to go anywhere. We had gone somewhere pretty much every day for the past week, so I just wanted to stay home. I caught up on laundry, read my youngest daughter a story and made a craft with her, washed dishes, figured out what I wanted to bring to Goodwill. My hubby and I have planned a major purge and we're going to clear this place out. The weather was nice, so I banished the kids outside so they could ride their bikes. My youngest daughter was quite cranky, so I put her down for a nap and she slept for a few hours. It was nice to have a peaceful afternoon while I folded laundry. By Thursday I still hadn't completely caught up with the housework, but I was slowly chipping away at it. I don't think it helped being gone/busy so many days last week. I really need to work on a schedule, otherwise my day is ruined and completely chaotic.

Day 4: Friday I had a few errands to run, but then my oldest daughter woke up with a really bad crik in her neck. I still went out and did them, but with two kids rather than one. I decided not to send her to school because they would have called me to pick her up anyway if she had complained of any pain. One of the errands I had planned was to visit the Tea Lady, which is a shop downtown that I frequent. I bought some chocolate mint Wu-Yi tea, and some white peach Wu-Yi as well. Then we headed to Target for shoelaces, and then on to Safeway for some milk. I treated us to a DiGiorno Garlic Bread Supreme pizza for lunch, and it was divine! It's my favorite frozen pizza. Friday I actually cheated a bit and went online to Google "container" gardening. I was a bit inspired and thought that it might be something I can do once it warms up a bit.

Day 5:

We had snow on Saturday! Can you believe it? Thankfully it didn't stick! The kids did their Saturday chores in the morning, and then after lunch we took the boy to get his hair cut. Right before we were to leave though, I got a call from the mom of one of his good friends (they've been friends for three years) inviting him to come spend the night. So the boy was gone overnight, and the girls and I finally watched the new Futurama movie I had bought a few weeks before. We also took a short trip to Pet Smart, and walked out $64 poorer, yet one pooper scooper, one 20lb bag of cat food, one cat brush and one doggy tube of toothpaste richer. I think I lost out on that one! I cheated a bit and went online on Saturday, oops! Well, an acquaintance of mine was due any day and I wanted to see if she had her baby, so I checked on facebook, and on a gymboree message board we're both on. Any way, she did on Saturday night actually! A little girl. As I sat there looking for the info I needed, I realize just how boring the net is! I had nothing to do but read a message board! Well I did google some stuff, but that was all. We're going to the Zoo in a month, and I wanted to figure out how much it would cost.

Day 6:

Sunday afternoon I had the girls outside, as it was a nice balmy 50•F. You can go outside here without a coat in that weather! The older two got to test out the new pooper scooper too! The boy came home around 5, we had dinner and then the kids went to bed. It was a quiet day. I was treated to my first dandelion bouquet by my 3 year old, who wanted to pick me some flowers. Aww! When the boy was dropped off I wasn't wearing any makeup, and my face has been breaking out like crazy. It's bad! I wish I had at least put some on because his friend's mom saw me bare-faced with zits. I wasn't even thinking! Ugh! I actually started using a new face product by Avon last week. It's a glycolic peel, and my face looked terrible, but apparently that can happen because it "peels" the skin. Reviews say give it two weeks, so I've got a week to go. I have been feeling very self conscious though. Hopefully it will get better, I've had a red, broken-out face for a week, and I hate it.

Day 7:

Today I went to the gym in the morning and worked my ass off! I'm down 1.5 lbs so far. Not a lot, but it's a start! I did the elliptical, outer abductor leg machine, lots of stretching, squats and leg raises. I felt good. While I was on the leg machine, this creepy old lady was hovering behind me, waiting till I was done. Ugh, it was driving me crazy! Every time I turned around, she was there!

This afternoon, I called up a friend and she invited us to come over during spring break (next week ), so we have something to look forward to. What's nice is that we're neighbours, and our sons are in the same class! The last day of being offline wasn't too exciting at all. My youngest and I stayed home this afternoon, and I tidied while she played with puzzles.
After school my son came home worse than he went to school...Yet again, he got sick from his friend (that he stayed over night with on Saturday). Last time was the flu, this time it's a bad cold. WTH! I'm wondering if he should even bother going there anymore. Can't parents keep their sick kids away from mine? Ugh I an so ticked!!!! And then I heard that my middle daughter was invited to a party on Thursday after school. That's not so bad, but they're going to two different places and the party isn't over till 8PM!!!! On a school night? WTH! What about bed time and my other 3 kids? I'm supposed to pick her up 15 min away and then come home after bed time? I hate inconsiderate parents, I really do. Yet how do I tell my daughter no, when this is only the 2nd party she has been invited to all year?
My day was slightly redeemed though as I made a delicious dinner, and cooked something new and yummy that the three older kids inhaled. It was asparagus! I also made my bisquik chicken fingers, which were a big hit.

*******

I think I could have done a lot better and not gone online over the weekend. I am a bit disappointed in myself for doing that, but c'est la vie! I definitely learned that the internet is a very boring place unless you have some specific purpose for being online. I never knew how much time I wasted on here. I'm going to try spend less time online now and more time doing what I need to do.

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm Taking A Little Break

I've been contemplating a break from the Internet. I think it pulls me in too much sometimes, and I neglect other things around the house that need to be done.

Our last computer broke down in October 2006, and we did not purchase another till March 2008! I was so much more efficient during that time, I really was! I think I was happier too because I wasn't sitting around so much.

Now I realized I can't give it up entirely, I still need to check my email and do my Avon orders. I will also have my iPod touch available to use when need be, but I won't be using my PC really. And I need to have the computer on anyway because I have to be able to charge my iPod for when I work out. We have a busy week this week anyway, because the kids have half days all week, and tomorrow we have to head out of town for a Dr's appointment anyway.

Maybe by not using the Internet, I will be able to focus on my house more, I really feel my attention to the house is lacking. And badly at that! Kind of embarrassing to admit, but its true. I just don't get enough stuff done around here and that needs to change. Maybe if I improved my surroundings, I wouldn't feel so down in the dumps.

I will still update my Twitter feed (see the sidebar), so you can all keep tabs on me! Feel free to follow me if you want to get updates without having to check on here ;o)

Come visit me in a week! If you need to get a hold of me, feel free to comment on the blog; I always get those as emails.

Goodbye for now!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Where Is That Grocery Money Going?

I was thinking about this while I talked to MamaBear, who says that for their family of 3, she spends over $400 a month on groceries.

That led me to ponder where exactly my grocery money is going. What do we spend it on?

A couple days ago I wrote about the last month's grocery purchases. We spent a total of $758.51 for a whole month, including replenishing all the cleaning supplies, all our toiletries, all our pet care needs (that runs close to $100 a month alone sometimes), and groceries. That was an exception though, because we had two birthdays to buy for, my husband was home for a week, and my mom came to visit for a few days as well, so that obviously added money onto my bill.

The other day I spent $229 at Wal Mart for two weeks worth of meals for me and the kids, including some pet supplies, toilet paper, toothpaste, shampoo/cond. for everyone, and jet dry. I then went to Safeway to purchase a few more items that were on sale for super cheap. I got 5 two liters of various Pepsi products for only $.75 each, 5 bags of mixed salad for $.75 each, a box of Popsicles (24count) for desert for only $3, two gallons of milk for $3.98 total (I don't buy milk at Wal Mart), and 10 boxes of cereal for $1.50 each. I spent about $30. Granted, I don't normally buy 10 boxes of cereal, but these were cheap and they were small boxes too, so I have some room to store them. I did buy some candy for the kids' Easter baskets, and had to replenish my reusable bags, because I forgot them at home.

I guess I am wondering how I can do it for relatively cheap (seriously, I am not counting last month, it was really odd) for a family of 5-6 (depending on when my husband is home), but others can't. I don't even use coupons!! Couponing here is not really an option because the coupons are all for products I don't use, considering I buy mostly store brands. And Wal Mart is pretty cheap already for groceries. Is it because you don't want to? Can you not find good deals? How big are your families? Do you cook gourmet and fancy foods? Do you not use left overs? Please don't take offense, I am just really curious as to how other families do this. Enlighten me! I bet that there are families that can do it for even cheaper, I'd love to learn how!

I like to cook hearty food, yet simple. I really think that helps keep our grocery costs down, as does using left overs. A family favorite of ours is Roast beef. Roast in itself is expensive, but if you can find a large roast on sale, you can make it last for 3 meals if you try hard enough. I bought a 5lb roast a few weeks back, and the kids and I had roast beef one night, stew the next, and then I froze the last hunk of beef and made stew last week. 3 meals for $11, divided by 5 people..basically 11 divided by 15 = $.73 per person per meal. Plus I had enough left over for me to have stew one day for lunch.

If anyone wants to comment, I'd love to hear what you have to say. How do you make your grocery money stretch, and what do you spend it on?


**** Just wanted to add, while I was at Target this afternoon (we had two birthday parties to shop for), I found a GREAT deal on cereal. I know I just bought a bunch for the kids, but this is for me. Selected Quaker products were on sale for $2.50 each, and if you bought 5 products, you got a $5 gift card. So I bought $12.50 worth of cereal (Quaker Oatmeal Squares Cinnamon flavor), and then was able to use my $5 gift card as well. I got the cereal for only $1.50 a box!!!! ****

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Month Is Up...The Grocery Budget Summary

A couple weeks ago, I talked about my February Shopping Summary, and mentioned that I was keeping track of all my grocery purchases from February 17th to March 17th.

It was painfully eye opening, to be completely honest. We had no idea we spent that much on food. We had an idea for sure, but to see it all spread out in front of us was shocking. But we have to eat right?

A couple things I noticed were that I buy too much junk food for myself (I'm in the process of remedying that now though), I buy too many extras that I don't plan for (things I need, but forgot to put on my list, but I am also working on fixing that too), and we need to cut back on our meat consumption. I need some good vegetarian meals, and also need to give the kids smaller portions of meat.

The grand total for the whole month was:

$758.51


Now keep in mind, that that does include all household products like pet food, cat litter, cleaning supplies, toiletries et cetera. We spend an average of $45/month on our dog (he goes through a 50lb bag once a month, plus a big box of biscuits, which he gets 1-2 of a day), and the cats we probably spend about $50. They need cat litter, which is about $15-20 month, dry cat food about $10-15 (we buy a $22 20lb bag and it lasts about 1.5-2 months), and wet cat food about $10.

I go through a lot of cleaning supplies and general household items like trash bags, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent etc. And with 5 people, sometimes 6, living here full time, we go through a ton of soap, shampoo, toilet paper, toothpaste etc.

I always make sure the kids have plenty of fruit, and we always have staples in like Goldfish crackers, graham crackers, string cheese, and oatmeal. I don't buy off brands of certain products like peanut butter, toilet paper, ketchup and mustard, and toothpaste, and I use all dove products like body wash/soap/deodorant (the kids get cheaper stuff because they go through it faster and are wasteful).

Honestly though, I wish I could cut down the household/food bill. But I don't see how unless I just cut out my junk food consumption. I make food last by using left overs, and I buy a lot of off brands (except where I mentioned above). If I didn't count the pet supplies and the cleaning products/toiletries, our total would be about $550-600, and even less if I didn't eat so much junk food, so I really think that is ok. I really don't feed the kids unhealthy food though, it's just me. I have a problem of snacking too much at night after they go to bed. Food has become my best friend and I'm going to break up with him.

We spent a lot extra this past month though because my husband was home for a week, we had a birthday party to buy for, and my mom came to visit. I didn't include the two times we ate out as a family, plus the burger king trip we made the day my husband came home. eek. lol. Normally we don't eat out for dinner unless it is a special occasion, and I think my husband's last birthday ever (29! LOL) is a special occasion.

Before I ramble on too much, I'll end this for now. I *think* the next month should be a lot better. I don't have any birthday parties and no company coming. Plus I am eating healthier now.

Check back on April 19th for an update!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Destination Wedding?

*this is not a sponsored post*

Has anyone had a destination wedding? I've been thinking about having one.

Now before you get all in a tizzy, the man and I eloped and didn't have a "traditional" wedding, and we'd like to renew our vows. I want to do the whole traditional white wedding, but he has refused. Flat out refused. We actually fought about it the other night, and it was awful.

We have been married almost 10 years, and together for almost 11, and I just want to do something special for us. So this morning we were talking, and I asked him what he would like to do when we renew our vows. He said he would like to do a destination wedding, and mentioned Florida. Only immediate family, and anyone else who feels like flying out there and can afford it (a lot of my family actually).

I have to admit, I am intrigued. Though I am struggling with giving up the whole fancy princess dress, reception thing. At the time we got married, I didn't really care about giving that up, because we had already said we would do a "real" wedding one day. Now he is balking at that idea and wants to do something more creative. I don't regret eloping, but still wish we had done things a little differently, or been able to do a vow renewal sooner or something.

I googled "Florida Destination Weddings" and came up with a few neat sites. FloridaWeddings charges only $2300 for "The Ultimate Dream". Not too bad at all! They provide all the photos, an officiant, flowers, video, music, a consultant and a marriage certificate if you need one. We wouldn't as this would be a vow renewal. And if you wanted additional decor items, they provide them too for an extra cost. I actually really like this package!

But we won't be able to do this for awhile, and my hubby wants to do it for our 15th anniversary. I don't want to wait that long, but I suppose it would be best and we could do it for a milestone anniversary. It really isn't that far away anyway, I mean we've already been married almost 10 years and that has flown by. And we'd do it the summer before our 15th, so really, only 4.5 years away! He thought that we could go on a cruise after wards for our honeymoon. Doesn't that sound like fun?

But what do you wear to a Beach wedding? I still want the traditional type gown, but need something more suitable for the beach. I know its very early to plan, but it is fun to dream about it, right?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Financial Update

On Monday my husband and I went to the bank to *finally* open a savings account. We didn't put as much into it initially as we had wanted to, but still set up a monthly draft from our checking account to our savings account. It has been a goal of ours to finally have a savings account, so we are happy we were finally able to accomplish that goal.

With the new account we're also able to do 6 transfers online and unlimited in the branch. Our idea was to take the money that we saved from paying off our credit cards and our daughter's bedroom set, and put that into the account each month when the original bill was due. That helps keep me accountable at least, and it's like I am just paying another bill.

Today we came upon a bit of extra cash, unexpectedly. My husband is a truck driver and saves up all his change. He HATES to pay with change, so he just tosses it into a drawer he has in his truck. So before he came home, he transferred it all into a half gallon jug and filled it up 1/4 of the way. And at Wal Mart today, while buying groceries, we used Coin Star and cashed it in. We were able to get $150!!! There were over 1000 pennies in there alone! And best of all, the money went straight into our savings account, on top of what we had put in there today when we opened it.

Hooray!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Make It From Scratch Carnival

A big thank you to MamaBear over at GottaLittleSpaceToFill for including my post, Skillet For Breakfast, in this weeks edition of the Make It From Scratch Carnival

I really enjoy making, and eating, lol, Skillet. We've had it a couple times since I originally posted the recipe. I even made it for my husband's 29th birthday last Friday.

My New Obsession Saves The Earth

I just recently got into reusable shopping bags, and I have now amassed quite a selection.

I love that I don't have to carry bags upon bags of groceries into the house, and I can now use my reusable bags and have to carry in less than half of what I previously did.

I have about 8 blue Wal Mart bags, 3 Safeway bags, 1 large Target bag and 1 smaller target bag, and one large Gymboree bag as shown below



When I was at Ikea with my husband on Friday, I was also able to pick up 4 other bags that I love. I actually took home all our stuff in the bags. Two are navy blue and red with floral prints, one was black with bright circles and lines all over it, and the last was green with the same print. Now I can just take them with me when I go shopping and don't have to worry about plastic bags anymore. Though I still do need plastic bags for some things (like cleaning out the litter box), so I guess we'll have to use some plastic once in awhile.

I was able to get all of these bags for less than $2 each (I think I spent less than $10-12 total to get them all, if that), and the Wal Mart ones were only .50 cents. I want to get some more "stylish" bags, but unfortunately all the nice ones are so expensive. I really like my Target, Ikea and Gymboree bags, but the Wal Mart and Safeway bags are just bare bones.

Does anyone know where I can find some cute, affordable, reusable bags? Even if you have a shop on Etsy, I might be interested in buying some!!

Did you know that each reusable bag used can potentially eliminate an average of 1,000 plastic bags over its lifetime? I found that out at Reusablebags.com When I go grocery shopping, I use tons and tons of plastic bags. So by using my 16 reusable bags, I have now elminiated 16,000 plastic bags!!!

Another interesting fact that I found was how plastic bags are created:

"These days, most plastic bags are made from a type of plastic called polyethylene. 80% of polyethylene is produced from natural gas - an abundant, yet non-renewable resource. Polyethylene, as a raw material, can be manipulated into any shape, size, form or color. It’s watertight and can made UV resistant. It can be printed on and reused many, many times. In many cases, it can be recycled but is not considered “cradle to cradle” meaning it cannot be recycled over and over nor returned to an organic state."
GreenFeet.com

I'd love to quote more from the above mentioned blog, but there is just a plethora of information, so I highly suggest you go and read it yourself. I found it a very very interesting article to read.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Trip To Ikea

Yesterday I promised you all a synopsis of my trip to Ikea. It's not very exciting, but I was very happy with what we were able to buy.

The man and I had plans to leave home at 8AM. We didn't get out of the house till 9AM, and then to Ikea about 10:30 or so. I had so much fun shopping. We don't get to Ikea very often, so I always find some sort of treasure there.

After we were done shopping, we headed over to The Cheesecake Factory for lunch, as it was my husband's birthday. After that we headed home, only to go out again that night for dinner with the family and shopping at the mall for his birthday present. My mom was here and also wanted to buy the twins' their birthday gifts. While we were there, I landed up getting our youngest daughter's ears pierced (she turned 3 yesterday!!). We had a busy day, and an even busier weekend.

We got two floor lamps, for only 7.99 each!


I also got a lazy susan, a glass canister for spaghetti noodles, new glasses for the kitchen, 2 storage jars/candy jars, bread knife and another knife set (we haven't bought new knives in years), a new whisk that I needed, some spatulas, cutlery/bowls and cups for our youngest daughter. We also bought a few other things like some napkins, power strips that we needed for behind the TV, and a few packs of swedish cookies for the kids that we also tried, lol.


These are my "candy" jars


This is for my pasta/spaghetti noodles.

My Lazy Susan, which sits atop my new table.

And the stuff for our daughter:






The man and I got a little lost in Ikea. That place is HUGE!!! He said he wanted to look at the dining sets, so I took that to mean he wanted to look in the warehouse. Nope. He wanted to look at everything put together, so we had to back track through the store and find the table and chairs we wanted. We found it and then we paid. I LOVE the new table and chairs. I would take a picture of it now, but it is covered in craft supplies due to a "Robot" homework assignment, and an "About Me Poster" both due tomorrow.

It was well past the time we purchased a new table and chairs. We've had the same one for 9 years! It was the set we bought when we were first married, and we outgrew it ages ago. It is solid, very solid, and very heavy. We could fit 10 people around it if we wanted to, but we only bought 6 chairs. 8 would fit comfortably.

Here it is:





I'm already counting down to my next trip! We're going to Canada this summer, so maybe we'll stop in there. There is one about ten minutes from my mom's house. Yaay!


.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

My Day

Brand new table and chairs from Ikea- $600
Cheescake Factory for lunch- $72
Budget rental van- $130
Putting out your back because of said van and no good shocks: Owww.

Yep, I put out my back today. After a wonderful day with my husband at Ikea, his birthday lunch at The Cheesecake Factory (oh my the food was delish!!!), and driving home on King Country roads in a cargo van that has shocks not made for the weight of just two people and a table and chairs, I put my back out.

Nope, I didn't do any heavy lifting. I only helped my husband carry the box with the table into the house, and that was really only about 65lbs of weight for me. It was the bumpy roads of King County, combined with the shocks of a big ass cargo van.

I'm in agony. But at least I have a nice new kitchen table and chairs that my husband so lovingly put together for us tonight, on his 29th Birthday! Oh yeah, Happy Birthday Sexy Man, I love you more than anything!!!

Look for a post soon containing the other details about my weekend, and the goodies I bought at Ikea!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Ok, So Today Was Supposed To Start Well

So yesterday I spent the whole day running errands, doing laundry, mopping, dusting and general cleaning up to make the house perfect for my hubby. The kids went to bed, and I folded some more laundry, took a shower and shaved. Then I did my nails. I got to bed about 12:45...much too late, but that always happens when I do all this stuff.

I'm very tired and accustomed to waking up at 7/7:15 each morning, so I knew I wasn't going to get much sleep at all, but what's done is done. Imagine my irritability going way way up when a very loud, very obnoxious, 8 year old girl decides to wake herself up, and her sisters, at 6:15 and take up residence in the living room, right beside my bedroom. Where I have very thin walls.

Then my husband called me. He is supposed to be on his way home already because he had two quick drops/deliveries this morning. Or so we thought. A certain company, which shall not be named, decided to reject 6...yes 6, pallets of salad bowls. Now my husband has to go find a soup kitchen or something and give it to them. And he also has to go to his other stop and deliver their stuff. What was supposed to be a quick stop at this 2nd drop, will now turn into an ordeal because they now have to remove 6 additional pallets to access their 2 pallets.

So much for having a full day with my husband before the kids came home. Gah!

What do I do to pass the time till I have to go pick him up now? I have several options (keep in mind I am already showered):

Load & unload the dishwasher, and put away the dishes I had to wash by hand
Get dressed
Do my hair and makeup
Go shopping for meaningless things
Sit around and blog
Make my bed
Watch TV
Go to Goodwill

I think I like the 4th and last options the best! lol

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Make It From Scratch Carnival

Here is a big thank you to Tim at Applehead, for including my post It Was TuTu Easy in this week's edition of the Make It From Scratch Carnival.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Skillet For Breakfast

Yesterday for breakfast I made a new favorite of ours: Skillet. It is such a simple name for something so delicious. My husband is a big advocate of the kids having a hot breakfast as much as possible, so I usually make this or pancakes on the weekends. I don't have time on school days, so usually we just have hot oatmeal.



Skillet:

You will need a large frying pan

2-3 small to medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 dozen eggs, whisked with a bit of milk, salt and pepper
chopped cooked ham
Cheddar cheese
Optional: diced onion and green peppers

First you're going to take your potatoes, and fry them up with a dash of salt and olive oil. Wait till they are nice and golden brown and easily pierced with a fork, and then take them out of the frying pan and place into a bowl.

In the same frying pan, now pour your eggs and let them cook for a few minutes before they start to solidify. Then start to scramble them. Once they start to solidify, add the chopped ham. I usually use 1/2 to 1 cup ham. Let that cook for awhile longer until the eggs are more cooked.

Lastly, add your already cooked potatoes and as much cheese as you want, to the frying pan, and let cook till you think your eggs are done.

Voila, you're done!


It is so easy to make, and even more delicious! It feeds about 5 people a substantial breakfast. That's me and the kids. You could also add some green pepper or onions, but I ran out of those so I didn't add them. I can imagine it would taste even better with those additions.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

February Shopping Summary

Well, my grand total for the month of February was *drum roll please* $175.97.

That total DOES include the two t-shirts I bought for the Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes, the other tights/t-neck my daughter needed for a performance, and does NOT include some returns I did from my online Old Navy order. So, if I take all those away, I am left with $138.93, which is not too bad! It is more than I like to spend, but also seeing that my husband ok'd the Old Navy order, then I say I did pretty well. If you want to take it even further than that, then my total would be just 86.99 if I took off the old navy order, and anything needed for school.

The jeans I bought for 4.99 were paid for with my pay pal money, which I had earned with blogging money. The tops I bought at the Gymboree outlet, I paid for with cash I had saved up in my wallet and that my hubby had given me.

All in all, I don't think I did too bad at all. I just realized I did forget to add a couple goodwill purchases to my tracker, namely yesterday's for the denim dress, and a value village trip for shorts for the boy. I didn't count those though in the total because they were needed items. Everything that was not necessarily needed RIGHT NOW was included in the 86.99.

Right now I am doing another one for groceries, just to see how much I am actually spending on food and toiletries/household items for ONE month. I am keeping all my receipts in an envelope and will tally on March 17th. As of today I have 17 more days to count. I am not trying to cut back on anything for the month, I just want to see where our money is going. This includes ALL grocery items, toiletries, pet food and supplies, cleaning items. I am pretty sure I am well over what I thought I was at, so if i am correct, I am going to try pare it down the following month (April 18-May 18).

I think I liked doing the spending tracker, and I'll be doing it for clothes again this month!

****

Just wanted to add that NONE of this was put on a credit card. I used my debit card or cash for each purchase!