Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Flyer Shopping Success

In my last post I talked about going grocery shopping with a list that was based on flyers. My plan was to save money. Overall it is kind of tricky to gauge how much I saved because that shopping trip included a several things other than just food. And where food was concerned I also had to “stock up” on a few items. 

Overall though I think we did quite well. When I subtract all the extras we had a grocery bill of about $150. That included fruits, veggies, frozen goods, meats, dairy, and other grocery aisle items. Not too bad considering that will feed our family of five for the whole week. 

Sadly though we still had to spend quite a bit in addition to the grocery bill. But where I could I still looked for the on sale items. 

Miscellaneous items included:
coffee maker (only $15!) 
hair elastics

I also squeezed in a trip to the bulk food store. I heart the bulk food store. The one I go to is local and has a great selection plus all sorts of wonderful kitchen gadgets and such. For the most part nothing I picked up there was “necessary” but it is part of what I consider stocking up. I spent just over $50 there BUT that included a jar of coconut oil. I heart coconut oil as much as the bulk food store even though it cost $20!! 

I also splurged there and picked up the ingredients to make some copy cat Holy Crap cereal (I’ll post on that later).

While I wish we hadn’t had to spend quite so much I know that if I use the same plan of attack next week that our bill will be a lot lower. No need for many of the miscellaneous items, no need for a trip to the bulk store and a lot of what I picked up this week will last over the next few weeks (and some up to a month at least)

To sum up...A) we saved money (or so I think) and B) I can have nice warm meals ready for when Daddy gets home instead of him popping out to the store C) No more store trips during the week will greatly alleviate the extras we don’t need. 

I am giving myself a pat on the back. 

PS: Bonus Item...I had a Joe gift card so before hitting the grocery areas I took a quick spin through the clothing. I knew I wanted a new workout top so I went straight to the clearance rack and found a cute top. Regular price $20, on sale for $10 and with my $10 gift card the top was FREE! Can’t beat free. 

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Flyer Shopping

So confession, I've never been a very good meal planner and grocery shopper. Yes I meal plan from time to time and yes I make a pretty good list to keep me on track at the store but I have shall we say, expensive food taste. I know what I like and I make what I like. However that doesn't mean it has to cost an arm and a leg. We also don't get flyers so I don't usually have my finger on the pulse of what is on sale so when I make a list I just go with what I feel like. Normally that leads to a large grocery bill.

In our neck of the woods too coupons really don't do much for us. Canada does not have the same coupon extremes that the United States has. It has always been that way. An additional beef I have with coupons is that the majority of coupons are for processed and packaged goods. Things with lots of food additives and dyes and artificial flavours. Things we do not buy much of. You usually don't get coupons for apples and bananas and ground turkey.

Anyways, moving on. I've also sort of been doing the flyer thing somewhat wrong. I make my list and then look at the flyers to see where things are cheapest, but 90% of the time what is on my list isn't on sale. Today though I had a personal epiphany. What if I look at the flyers online to see what is on sale, make a list of what I like that is on sale and then base my meal plan off that. Like a light bulb. Who knew flyer shopping was like rocket science??

Ergo, I have my meal plan, my strategic list and a plan to hit four different stores. Will this help? Not sure. Will it be cheaper? Should be but again I am not sure. I'll be popping out shortly for this epic grocery run. I will check back in later to report on my success.

Friday, 4 January 2013

The New Kind of Fluff


I was so excited to look out my window yesterday and see a brown box sitting at the front door. I KNEW it was my box of new fluff. And no I am not talking about the cloth diaper kind.

Before Christmas a very dear friend gave me a most generous gift certificate to Knit Picks which is an  online knitting store that we have been coveting the goods of. I very carefully planned out what I needed for yarn and needles for my next few projects and then clicked submit order.

I received the shipping email on the 27th and followed the tracking religiously (I'm a bit obsessive that way). I jumped for joy (almost quite literally) when I saw that it was in my city and then I did a happy dance (very literally) when I saw it was out for delivery.

When I saw the box out front I quickly threw on my coat and boots and went out to get it. I then ripped into it as carefully as I could.

Here are a few peaks at what I ordered...

All packaged up

A box fulla fun!

The whole shebang laid out

 The needles sets (Try IT setHarmony Wood CircularZephyr Acrylic Tips, and View Sizer which I like to call a sizermathingy but it's correct name is a needle gauge).

I can't wait to dig into all these things but all in due time. I still have one project on the go and I won't start the new ones until I am ready to roll on them. Each project that I chose to order for will help me develop certain skills. For example the wooden circulars are for making Evelyn's leg warmers with the Brava Rouge and my first time knitting in the round. The Dishie yarns are for making both bath (Orbit) and dish (Cottage) cloths. The cartoons yarns is for making cute little ankle jingles for the kids and will be my practice at knitting and purling. The dark green Moss is for making Max some "Hulk" fingerless gloves. 

My pet project out of it all will be using the lighter green Dragonscale. I will be making a lovely scarf for myself. One Row Lace Scarf is the name of the pattern. I think it will be perfect in the light green for spring. 

Now if you'll excuse me I have some knitting on my current project so that I can wrap it up and start on these new endeavours. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

2013: Onward and Upward

While Christmas was awesome the very end of 2012 and the very beginning of 2013 has been slightly less than stellar. A nasty cold bug has claimed all of us. We came home from the farm to find our basement sewer drain is broken. The coffee maker inexplicably doesn't work. Then yesterday morning, new years day, my plans of making waffles was thwarted by plugged up sinks. But I say whatevs. Those are all still first world problems. We can buy medicine for our colds, I can drink tea instead of coffee, and as long as I don't let out much water at a time we can temporarily see past the sewer drain problem.

Thus I say ONWARD AND UPWARD. I see a many great things coming our way. If we focus on our plans and dreams then any other road blocks just become bumps in the grand scheme of things.

Here are my predictions for 2013...

-A lot of craftiness coming down the pipe. With my new found love of knitting and rekindled relationship with my sewing machine and my addiction to Pinterest I see so many projects. Where sewing is concerned there is potential for  curtains, slipcovers for the sofa, cute outfits for Evelyn (a great use for my stash of fat clothes), and quilts for all. Then there is the knitting of scarves and leg warmers, and gloves oh my. I put love into my cooking so why not throw some love into the things we wear and also dress our house with.

-Continued progress on my health and fitness goals. I started the new year at 179. I took my measurements today as well (Bust 39.5, Waist 37.5, Hips 45.5). I kicked off 2013 yesterday by starting the 30 Day Shred over again but this time with my new 8 lb dumbbells. With my workout DVD collection and the Sworkit and C25K apps there is no excuse for getting bored. My inlaws also moved into a new condo with a pool...hello free lap swimming. Don't forget about what fuels the body too. While we don't consume a lot of processed food there is still a lot of progress to made in the clean eating department. This will be an ongoing challenge for the future.

-More consistent blogging. I have so many posts that I don't finish and don't publish. I have a lot of ideas of things I want to blog on. I am thinking a lot on how to narrow down what topics I speak on. I want to provide more information from things I have learned. The trouble is fitting in when to write. That brings me to the next point.

-More organized living. We need to purge so much from this house. We need to bring less and less into this house. I already pitched a few bags of junk yesterday. Thankfully the Ikea opened a month and a bit ago so I am making plans on how all of this will happen. I also want to have our time more organized. In general I want to organize our lives so that there is less time wasted and more time spent just being together and doing the things we enjoy (such as blogging).

-MUSIC!! The tribute act that Daddy is in has garnered a lot of interest. So far they are signed to an agency already with other agencies on the horizon. We could potentially be looking at some big life changes come March. I also would like to further my musical education, work on my technique and theory to the point where I could do RCM grade 9 practical and harmony exams. That is just something in the back of my mind.

-Potty Training for Evelyn. She is showing some definite signs of readiness. Perhaps in another few months we will order up some cloth trainers and get that ball rolling.

-Continued homeschooling. Fall somewhat came and left and seemed like it was one long big sick day. Sadly we got nowhere in terms of what I had planned. The new year though gives us an opportunity to change some ideas, scrap a few things, and focus on a few others.

-Renovations and upgrades for the home. Our house is old. Over 100 years old. It is in much need of a makeover and not just a mani pedi either. The insides needs some upgrading, specifically the furnace and the finicky hot water tank (which likes to leak pour from the pressure valve every so often). Carpets need to be ripped up and floors either refinished or painted. Walls need to be painted. The back room has been on hiatus for almost two years. The bathroom could use some renovating. Then there is the kitchen. None of this comes cheap either so we will chip away at things as best we can. I envision a much nicer and more comfortable living space near the end of 2013.

So those are all the BIG things that I see coming up. There are also some smaller things I would like. More trips to the bulk food store. More tea. A new coffee maker. A new book series to read (specifically the Lily Bard Series by Charlaine Harris). A new printer (to replace the broken one). Bunk beds for the boys and a toddler bed for baby girl. Possibly throw in a some new bedroom and school room furniture (again woot woot for the newly opened Ikea).

In the immediate future we have Max's 4th birthday coming up and on Monday we will be "back to school". Oh yeah and that pesky basement plumbing issue to take care of.

 It is going to be a big year for sure. Onward and upward I say. Wishing the best to all of you in 2013.