Finances: Weeks in Review from 1/6 – 1/26/13

Sometimes, life throws you a curveball. And you can either adapt and knock it out of the park or you can stand there and get hit by it. I had several plans for writing this month but someone needed me and I’m juggling things a little more these days, limiting my time I have to post. I’ve been helping out as a teacher’s aide at my kids’ school as the regular one is out taking care of her son who was in a car accident. I’m not sure how long I’ll be doing it but until she comes back, writing will be very sporadic.

Anyway, moving on….

I wanted to try to keep up on a few ways that I’ve been able to watch my money over the last few weeks:

~We had a few bananas that had seen better days. Rather than tossing them, I turned them into this:

It was one delicious banana bread that the kids had for snacks for a few days. Next time, I may whip up some banana pancakes.

~We also had part of a loaf of bread that didn’t get eaten for whatever reason. It was a little too stale for sandwiches so I used a Flower Cookie Cutter to make some
croutons. These were a fun addition to some of our salads.

~There was a night when I was so tired that I was tempted to order carryout. Instead, I opted for making some “cheesy eggs” (scrambled) with a side of fruits and some sausages. You can make up sausage patties ahead of time and freeze them to just be thawed and heated up when you need them. Always have a back-up plan for those nights when cooking a time-consuming meal just won’t work. It will save you $ in the long-run.

~I can’t get over the price of lunchmeat these days. So when I cooked up a whole chicken, I saved larger pieces to be used for sandwiches for lunch. I also used coupons matched with sales to get a decent deal on some meat from the deli. I kept lunchmeat containers from the past and used them to store those with notes of which to use first.

~I have a “Cut n Seal” that I picked up from Pampered Chef. It makes sandwiches similar to the Uncrustables. I used healthier bread, peanut butter and homemade jelly I had bought from a farmer’s market earlier in the year to make my own. The kids loved eating these for lunch, paired with fruit and their choice of extra side. (salad, cottage cheese, string cheese, veggies, etc.)

~I had bought a box of oranges and grapefruits for myself over Christmas. It’s nice that they keep so long. We had a lot of peelings so I looked online for ways to use them. I found an Orange Cleaning Vinegar Recipe and one for a Grapefruit Scouring Scrub. I haven’t tried them yet but I have the dried peelings now and am anxious to see how they turn out!

~Instead of ordering a cake for my son’s birthday, I opted to make my own cupcake cake. It’s shaped to look like a baseball mitt. I found the idea on Pinterest. It only took one cake mix box and a tub of frosting. (Plan Ahead and get a deal on them using coupons paired with sales!) Not only did it save me the cost of a bakery cake but the kids had fun helping to make (and eat!) it!

~I continued to use coupons paired with sales to make the most of my grocery and drugstore trips. You can see a few of them at this link. I also stuck within our budget for groceries for these weeks.

These are just a few of the ways I’ve saved money over the last few weeks. I’ll share more soon!

How are you working at stretching your money further?

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