Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Saving money

Its so nice when you go shopping and save money. Went to the store today and had to do one of my expensive shopping trips. The kind that you have to buy household or personal items that are always expensive. With coupons and sales I was able to get what I needed for me, my house, my kids and my husband. It was $200 worth of items for $107 which is nice since it will last me for months and all I will have to worry about is food. It's so exciting to save money and this year I am going to work hard to keep track of my spending and savings so I can save as much money as possible.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Updated 2012 Goals

So I decided to breakdown my goals to make them easier to accomplish. I found this great goal planning sheet on the money saving mom website. The sheet let me write down priorities and then break those priorities down into little focus areas. So I classified my old goals into 4 different priorities and then added some other goals.

Personal
-Wake up at 7am to workout at least 5 days a week
-Lose at least 30lbs this year
-Read 200 new books

Children
-Take the kids to one educational place a month
-Start potty training Caleb
-Read to the boys at least 3 times a week
-Spend no more than 5 hours with the TV on a day

Household
-Try 12 new recipes divided into one a month
-Try 12 new DIY projects divided into on a month
-Clean and set up garage to be used for more than storage
-Try making an indoor herb garden

Finance
-Keep a save/spend grocery spreadsheet
-Eat out no more than 3 times a month
-Save up for a down payment on a new-to-us van
-Pay off two credit card

Now some of these goals I am hoping to do more/less than I set, but I would rather do more than my goal then do less. I am really determined this year to not give up on my goals


Internet Troubles

So after 3 days I was able to talk to my husband again. It is one of the very big downsides to him being overseas. Their unit uses Kuwait internet service so its hit or miss sometimes. I feel that when I talk to him I try so hard to try and fit everything in a short amount of time. I usually forget things or spend most of my time taking care of the kids. Its hard to keep all your feelings inside sometime to. I love my husband and I know he wishes he was home but there is sometimes that I am jealous. I know its hard to believe but being alone with 3 boys and not having any free time makes you wish that you could sometime.
Thankfully this time my husband and I have learned more about each other and we know how to talk to each other. If anything I would tell other wives to be honest how you feel when you husband is gone. For husbands make sure you listen and understand that they just miss you and are stressed. Also its nice to hear from our husbands how they feel so we know we aren't alone. I am so glad that I have a husband that I can be honest with and talk to and loves me enough to know that sometimes I just need to vent. I am so blessed and thankful to have a husband that sacrifices to serve his country.
God Bless Our Troops!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Meatball Quesadillas

I decided to use my leftover meatballs from last nights spaghetti to make sandwichs tonight. But since I have kids and the sauce soaks through the bread I decided to use tortilla's instead and see how they turned out. They were actually really good and not that messy.

So i got together the meatballs, sauce, tortillas, mozzarella cheese and canola oil. You could always add more onto yours but I like mine pretty simple.


First you put the sauce on the bottom. Then you put on the meatballs (sliced lengthwise) and the cheese. You dip your finger into some warm water to wet the edges of the tortilla and then press the top tortilla to the bottom one.


Then you use a brush and put a very light coating of canola oil on the tortilla and put it in the frying pan on medium heat. It usually only takes a few minutes per side before it is light brown.

I cut my kids up in quarters because it cools off faster and is easier to pick up. I also put some extra sauce on the plate to dip them in because my family likes a lot of sauce.

They were a really good dinner that was quick and easy. If you don't like to use the frying pan I bet that you could wrap the quesadillas in foil and bake them in the oven. I haven't tried that before so I am not sure how they would be.

Grocery Spreadsheet

So last year I decided to start trying to save money. I started researching about coupons and how to get the best deals. It is something that has helped us save money, but there is always room for improvement. While I was looking for coupons last week I found a grocery spreadsheet. 

Basically you put in the date you went shopping, how much you spent and how much you saved. I also put in the stores i went to so I would know. If you do it in excel then it will tally up how much you spend and save throughout the year.

I found this spreadsheet at Couponing 101 

2012 New Recipe Challenge

So I love to try new things in the kitchen. This year I am challenging myself to learn 12 new recipes spread out to one every month. Here is my list:

Jan: Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites

Feb: Homemade English Muffins

Mar: Homemade Granola Bars


Apr: Homemade Cake Pops


May: Strawberry Freezer Jam


Jun: Homemade Wheat Thins


Jul: Homemade Graham Crackers


Aug: Homemade Poptarts


Sept: Homemade Croutons


Oct: Caramel Apple Spiced Cider


Nov: Homemade Marshmellow


Dec: Oreo Truffles

I am excited to try each of these and post how I did!


2012 DIY Projects

This year I am going to try 12 new projects by doing one a month

Jan: ABC Mat http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/07/do-it-yourself-alphabet-mat.html

Feb: Valentines day love bundles http://kojodesigns.blogspot.com/2010/01/fun-and-simple-valentines-tradition-and.html

Mar: Homemade paint with water pages http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2011/06/diy-paint-with-water-pages/

Apr: Homemade Oxiclean Recipe  http://moneysavingmom.com/2011/09/homemade-oxiclean-recipe.html

May: Fathers day Shadow Box http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2011/06/fathers-day-gift-tie-that-binds/

Jun: Homemade Natural Bug Spray http://www.icanteachmychild.com/2011/06/make-it-natural-mosquito-spray/

Jul: Homemade Moisturizing Kitchen Hand Scrub http://www.goodlifeeats.com/2009/03/all-natural-moisturizing-kitchen-hand-scrub.html

Aug: DIY Homemade Febreze http://fakeitfrugal.blogspot.com/2011/07/fake-febreeze.html

Sept: DIY Homemade Cleaning Wipes http://www.homemadeginger.com/2011/08/homemade-natural-series-homemade.html

Oct: DIY Fruit and Vegetable Wash http://www.gograhamgo.com/2010/06/diy-vegetable-and-fruit-wash.html

Nov: DIY Homemade Face Wash http://www.simpleorganizedliving.com/2011/02/23/homemade-facewash/

Dec: Homemade Play-dough http://www.piebirds.org/2011/04/homemade-playdough.html

New Year Resolutions

Here are my new year resolutions:

1. Lose 30 pounds
2. Start waking up at 7:30
3. Start working out in the morning
4. Read 200 new books
5. Try 1 new recipe a month
6. Try 1 DIY project a month
7. Keep a save/spend grocery spread sheet
8. Eat out no more than 3 times a month
9. Set aside 20 minutes for myself everyday

2012

So happy to start 2012. Last year was hard and enjoyable for me. I had a new baby and my husband deployed. My emotions have been all over the place this year and I can't wait for life to take back some sort of normal routine. I am starting off this year with a goal to be more productive and to enjoy my kids and family. I decided to write new year resolutions and a couple of DIY list to learn new things this year. Really looking forward to all the new things this year holds. Happy New Year!