he is so creative and talented!
his table is filled with magazines as well.
he is the keeper of the alarm clock and flashlight.
currently, jed does most of our grocery shopping. he says i always come back with some expensive fancy cheese or an unnecessary baked good. so not true, but who am i to get upset when the man wants to go to the grocery store? he’s on summer vacation, right? might as well make himself useful. we make a list, look through the grocery ads, collect the coupons, and then hit the stores.
i was in no way compensated or coerced to write this post. it was written purely out of love for aldi, and gratitude for the amazing 99 cent organic strawberries.
what is your grocery shopping strategy? do you visit a bunch of stores, or stick to one? clip coupons or search the ads? share your wisdom.
i am blessed with creative friends who like to cook, and really like to cook together. we recently had our second sunday girls’ cooking night, and i think it is an awesome solution to the dilemma that is dinner. this particular evening we were helping betsy get some food ready to freeze in preparation for the birth of her child. here’s what happens…
it is way more fun to cook with friends.
*i originally posted this as a guest post on tatertots and jello.
hi, my name is becca, and i’m a shopaholic. seriously, i have a problem. i love to partake in a little retail therapy when i’ve had a bad day, or really any day. we’ve been credit card free for a long time now, so that limits my spending. because of the strict budgeting, my new favorite places to shop are marshall’s, ross, and tj maxx. i have to tell you that i found the cutest mexican style dress at marshall’s for only $15.99! it has pockets and is perfection. i haven’t taken a picture yet, but i’m sure i will soon. the only difficulty i have at those stores is the search. i think you have to go in with a few items in mind, otherwise the madness and disorganization will drive you up the wall.
the dress is great, but my favorite thing to search for at those stores is… bras! i fell in love with calvin klein perfect fit bras several years ago, but they are pricy. they run $38-45 retail, and that is just too much. i have found many at marshall’s in the $6.99-$12.99 range. holy monkeys, that is a big discount!
yesterday we took another HUGE step towards financial freedom. we finished dave ramsey‘s baby step 3!!! this means that not only are we debt free, but we also have 3 months of expenses saved in an emergency fund. i cannot express to you how free this makes me feel. it took ten months for us to get through the first three baby steps, but it has been an awesome journey. we have taken control of our finances and are able to give more than ever before.
here’s the thing – i am TERRIBLE with money. when i left home for college, i made one bad financial decision after another. i maxed out 8 credit cards, bought a brand new car i couldn’t afford, and spent whatever i wanted. i consolidated all of my debts into a big loan and paid on it for several years. while i was paying it off i opened up new credit cards at gap, banana republic, old navy, and victoria’s secret, then got a new visa and discover card for good measure. i was basically a disaster. i was always later with my rent, trying to explain myself to roommates, and completely unable to get it together.
in early 2006, i felt really convicted and overwhelmed by the way i was dealing with money. i again consolidated my debt and cut up all of my credit cards. by the time i married jed in 2008, i was completely debt free. jed was a different story. he still had a few credit cards, a major loan from his parents, and the dreaded student loans. still, i thought we were doing ok. we were very frugal throughout the first year of our marriage, and never used credit cards. but, we still had all of that debt hanging over our heads.
last year we were introduced to dave ramsey’s ideas by jed’s brother, sam. he and his wife michelle had taken control of their finances using dave’s plans, and were eager to share the program with us. i fought it. big time. i did not want a budget. i did not want to sacrifice to pay off “his” debt, when i had already worked so hard to pay off mine. one fateful weekend we were driving to houston and happened to listen to dave’s radio show. it was a “debt free friday” with people calling in to scream, “we’re debt free!!!”. i was hooked. we started the program the next week, and the rest is history. we have found such freedom.
if you are drowning financially, or even just struggling a little, go check out dave. his ideas are not rocket science, just the common sense that we try to hide from as we run up our credit card bills. i am not receiving any kind of compensation for this post, just trying to share the wealth.
i’m linking to:
we love estate sales, and have had a lot of luck with great finds lately. here’s the big one…
isn’t she lovely?! we had an ikea ektorp couch that was great, but we needed more seating. jed loved the back support of the ektorp, and wasn’t liking anything else. please excuse the ugly rug. it belongs to our landlord and she makes us keep it to “protect the floors”. u.g.l.y. you ain’t got no alibi…
at an estate sale in a ritzy neighborhood, we found this bigger 2×2 ikea ektorp sleeper & storage couch. it is $1200 new, and the people bought it one year ago. they had an extra brand new cover for it worth $200. they wanted $800. we bought it for $600. cash works. we loaded that sucker in the back of the truck, stuck the wicker set up front, and rolled through the ritzy part of town like the beverly hillbillies. it’s ok, i’m from arkansas.
we called a friend to help us move the couches, and he bought our old one on the spot for $300. so, we basically got my dream couch for $300. amazing!
what is your favorite estate sale/thrift store/flea market find? what would you love to find? now i just need some new throw pillows…
last august we made our very first budget as a family. to figure out how much to budget we had to look at what we actually spent in a month. whoa. it was disturbing. the biggest shocker was how much we spent dining out. oh. my. goodness.
we are both work full time, and often when we come home we are too tired to cook, and dallas has so many great restaurants. the combination was proving to be destructive to our finances. we decided to set a relatively low dining out budget at $150 per month. you can spend that much on one good meal in dallas pretty easily. when the money is gone, we are done dining out. we have stuck to it since then, and it has been good for us. it is very difficult, as i’m sure you know, but we are trying to cook at home as much as possible. here is a meal we had this week:
we had a big batch of fresh strawberries that we sliced up, for 99 cents a lb at aldi. i looked at bagged lettuce and it cost $6.99 for red lettuce and spinach. i bought a head of each for $2.69 total, and they made double the salad. i added some low fat feta and black pepper. we used balsamic vinaigrette one night and raspberry vinaigrette another night.
we also tried the barilla plus pasta this week, and it was actually good. i’ve had bad experiences with whole wheat pasta in the past, but i’m loving this kind. it has to cook a little longer, but that’s ok. we browned some lean ground turkey and added it into the mix. we tossed it together with organic vodka sauce and fresh parmesan. the whole shebang took way less than 30 minutes, and unlike rachel ray my lettuce does not show up shredded during commercials. i love dinner @ home.