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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Liz is Back!

Christmas is over and I finally have some time to start blogging again! It has definitely been a busy three weeks, but they were also frugal and fun. I had saved up $200 this year for Christmas, which was great! I had originally saved $100, but then I sold back my textbooks to the college and got $100 extra! That money went straight into my Christmas envelope. That extra $100 allowed my kids and I to really go all out this holiday. Here are some of the things we did!

My ex-husband would never let us decorate for Christmas, so we had a lot of catching up to do. The kids and I went to Michaels art store and bought SO MANY decorations! I think we might have gone a little overboard, but it was so much fun, I don't even care! We bought a 6 foot Christmas tree on sale for: $29.99, 3 wreaths to decorate, one Christmas wreath ball, several Christmas baskets at 50% off, and about 20 Christmas cookie tins that were 70% off! Then we bought a bunch of plain ornaments to paint, and a TON of sparkly odds and ends to decorate the tree and wreaths with. Last of all, we got several different kinds of Christmas lights and put them all over inside and outside. My house looks like a Christmas store, or something!:P I admit that I did sort of cringe when I realised I had spent $80 of my budget, just on decorations. I have a lot to make up for where my kids are concerned, so I tried to put my frugal worries aside! I let their dad dictate to me for 9 years and ruin almost every holiday...I want every holiday now and in the future to be twice as wonderful, so my kids can remember that instead of what their dad used to say and do.

I made about 150 sugar cookies and the kids and I decorated all of them with icing, sprinkles, m&m's, gum drops and raisins! We had a lot of fun. My 3 year old especially made some interesting designs!

The feast really got crazy, since it was just for the 4 of us. I made: Turkey, mashed rutabagas, wild rice stuffing, sweet potato casserole, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, buttered peas, pumpkin pie, and lemon blueberry bars. For the last two days, the kids and I have eaten SO MANY leftovers! I admit, it was a lot of fun, though! I've been bringing my neighbors extra cookies and bars in some of my many cookie tins as gifts, which has also been fun.

After Christmas, my kids and I went to Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Michaels to look for discounted holiday merchandise. I still had $27 in my Christmas envelope to burn! At Target we bought: A beautiful christmas table cloth for $7, a Santa Claus mug for $1, and some Lindor truffles that were 50% off! At Michaels we bought a candy pretzel making kit for 80% off. At Bed Bath and Beyond I bought a homemade root beer brewing kit for 50% off! We mixed up the root beer yesterday and it should be done in about 3-7 days!

What did all of you guys do for the holidays?

Monday, December 21, 2009


Sorry my blogging has been so...Absent these past couple of weeks! First I had exams and final projects due for school, and then I had to start getting ready for my parents to visit! Unfortunately, I kind of let the house go when I stopped blogging.:P Anyway, I promise to start blogging regularly again after X-Mas. In the meantime, I hope all of my readers have a great, frugal holiday!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

...And now my belated menu plan!

I've been behind on my blog, because It's the end of the quarter at school and I've had a lot of assignments due! Now I just have a research paper due Thursday (almost done) and two more tests in Algebra before I'm through. I'm excited about the algebra, because I know I'm getting an "A." My other class is English Composition...And I'm not sure what I'll get in there! I'm hoping for an "A," but it depends on how the exam went (crosses fingers!). Next quarter I'm taking THREE classes, so hopefully they won't be too hard. Anyway, on to my menu plan!

Turkey noodle soup
corn chips

Turkey stroganoff

Turkey salad (seeing a theme?:P)
Whole grain beer bread rolls
Oven fries

(My kids are going out with their dad. I'll just have leftovers)


Turkey shepherds pie


Friday, December 4, 2009

Weekly Grocery and Menu Plan

I went to the store on Friday instead of Sunday this week, so I'm posting my menu plan early! I did something a little different this week. Instead of taking out $40 to shop for one week, I took out $80 and I shopped for two weeks! I was very pleased with the results. I spent just $50.16 total for two weeks! That's $29.84 under budget! Here's what I bought:

Two 16oz boxes 7 grain spaghetti: $2.60 ($1 off coupon, so only $1.60!)
Kashi heart to heart cereal: $3.03 ($1 off coupon, so only 2.03!)
Two boxes corn flakes: $5.36 ($2.50 in coupons, so only $2.86!)
Sun maid raisins, two large containers: $4.30 ($1 off coupon, so only $3.30!)
Hungry Jack pancake mix: $1.19 ($.50 off coupon, so only $.69!)
Fiber One pancake mix: $2.65 ($.60 off coupon, so only $2.05!)
Uncle Ben's wild rice mix: $1.52 ($.75 off coupon, so only $.77!)
2 cans pumpkin: $2.18
5 pounds all purpose flour: $1.50 ($.50 off coupon, so only $1!)
Tomato paste: $.49
Sweetened condensed milk: $1.69 ($.55 off coupon, so only $1.14!)
2 cans Goya black beans: $1.70
2 cans pineapple in syrup: $1.58
2 29oz cans crushed tomatoes: $2.00
Tabasco sauce: $1.14
Two boxes tissues: $1.98 (FREE after coupon!)
Twelve 6 oz containers Yoplait yogurt: $6 ($1 off coupon, so only $5!)
Sour cream: $1.39 ($50 off coupon, so only .89!)
2 packages refrigerated organic cookie dough: $3.98 ($1.50 in coupons, so only $2.48!)
Plain yogurt 32 oz: $2.08 ($1 in coupons, so only $1.08!)
One pound butter: $2.19
Frozen soybeans: $1.23
Two 16 oz packages frozen broccoli: $1.60 ($.70 in coupons, so only $.90!)
One 16 oz package frozen shrimp: $4.99 ($1 off coupon, so only $3.99!)
1 can frozen orange juice: $.99
Zucchini: $1.85
2 acorn squash: $2.13
Ginger root: $.18
Turnips: $1.09
1 pound mushrooms: $89
Green onions: $.50

I saved $16.03 in coupons and I had a $2.99 rebate! I'll do my menu plan in another post, because this one is getting pretty long!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Frugal Christmas Decorations!

I just got back from my Williamsburg vacation on Sunday! It was a lot of fun...I really needed a vacation. The only downside is, I think I gained about 5 pounds, but the food in Williamsburg is just great!
Anyway, after I returned, I realised that it was time to start decorating for Christmas. My husband NEVER let the kids and I decorate, so I didn't actually have any decorations to put up. I decided it would be fun to make my own decorations and ornaments, so I headed to Michael's arts and crafts store! Luckily, Michael's was having a sale.:P I bought 3 plain wreaths for $3 each and one ball shaped wreath thing for $3. Then I bought a TON of sparkly flowers, holly berries, tiny pine cones and other sparkly shapes for 50% off! I also bought some Christmas ribbon for 30% off. All of these things were for decorating the plain wreaths and the ball shaped thing. I spent $42.65 total!
Yesterday, the kids and I sat in front of the fire(it was really cold) and made 2 beautiful wreaths and one beautiful ball thing. We're making the third wreath today! Next week we're looking for a christmas tree and some ornaments to paint. What do you guys do for Christmas decorations?