Chicagolandia
It’s been a bit tough to stick to this past weekend, but we’ve managed to stick to our budget. We allotted $75 for Mothers Day spending for DaMama & DMIL, and here’s how the pennies fell:

1. Saturday dinner for 5 at Rosati’s - $44.27 (that does include tip, dinner buffet, and drinks).

2. Gifts were necklaces I had created for them. Cost $5 for both. I also made cakes – 1 for each mother. Cost $2.41.

3. We attended Sunday Mass with DMIL – cost $2 donation to the church.

4. Dinner for DaMama on Sunday, cost $2.69 – I made Cheesy Chicken Alfredo over small shells topped with sautéed garlic mushrooms, stuffed mushrooms, and garlic cheese bread. Most of the items were in my Market, so very low OOP.

5. Bought some cute gag gifts (like a giant fly swatter) for DaMama – cost $4.22.

For the weekend, we spent $60.59.


For saving money this week, here’s what I’ve done:

1. Lights off until after 8 p.m. – New household rule.

2. Turned off outside lights once everyone is home. Not expecting anyone, no need for them to be on, wasting money and electricity. Besides, there’s a streetlight right on the corner.

3. Charge cellphones in car only and unplugged all household chargers.

4. Use computer at work, less computer time at home.

5. Bundle all errands, personal and work – every other week, bring DaMama along for the ride.

6. Made breakfast for the week of scrambled eggs, 2 sausage links, and 1 English muffin – curbing the temptation to grab fast-food breakfast (my biggest weakness).

7. Eating generously out of the freezer. My goal is to use 1 freezer item a day, until the freezer is half empty, or we get tired of eating chicken – whichever comes first. (I grabbed tons of chicken last year for free at Meijers and vacuum-sealed it.)

8. Run dishwasher after 11 p.m. only – capitalize on off-peak hours.

9. Noted all people who have the same cellphone provider in my contact list on my cell – will call family/friends in network earlier, and will call others on weekends or in the evenings.

10. Peeled, cored, and thin sliced some free apples (from Target) for apple pie filling. Used up the generic cinnamon, tossed in some of the Saigon & Makara cinnamon with nutmeg and a pinch of ginger and flour. This will give the apples flavor and the flour will help create all that wonder syrup-y goodness that makes the pies great. I’ve never bought canned apple pie filling – I just wait for the apples to go soft and make my own.

11. Borrowed the idea from Precious to chop those Hersheys Bliss bars for chocolate chunks. Will come in handy when cookie baking season comes back around. I like to have everything pre-prepped because I never know how much time I will have for any given project.

12. Took some old bread and ran it through the food processor. Instant bread crumbs. Popped those in the freezer, too!

13. Took leftover strawberries, finely chopped them, tossed in a few tablespoons of sugar, and popped them in the freezer. This will make a nice glaze for a Strawberry Vanilla Cream Cake. This is DFIL's favorite, so will make this for his birthday in July.

Have you done anything interesting to save lately? I’d love some fresh ideas!
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7 Responses
  1. Amanda Says:

    #7 is brilliant. I need to start doing that. I've already started my "pasta once a week" program to use all the pasta/sauce I have. You're doing great, Annie! Keep up the good work!


  2. SonyaAnn Says:

    I'm with Amanda #7 is really a good tip.


  3. Carrie Says:

    you're trying to save money and you're buying gag gifts? i think gag gifts are one of the biggest wastes of money ever


  4. Carrie - While I tihnk your opinion is a valid one, seeing my mother have a good laugh over that giant fly swatter was priceless! And you can't put a pricetag on laughter.


  5. Precious Says:

    Lately, I could use a giant fly swatter. Every time we open a door, it seems a fly comes in! My cat seems to make easy work of them though.


    I like #7 also.

    I freeze all kinds of checolate bars, M and M's.
    Hershey kisses, etc. for cookies; mainly anything I get for pennies. They makes great add ins to cookies and it saves me from buying expensive chocolate chips.


  6. Thanks, Precious. I have frozen some chocolates in the past, but I love the velvety-richness of the Bliss candies -they seldom make it to the freezer! I'm making a point of freezing the bars as soon as I bring them home - and chopping them whenever I'm doing kitchen prep work.
    I hate buying chocolate chips - the store brand ones taste cheap and the good ones cost a fortune! Thanks for pointing me in the right direction and saving me a bundle!!


  7. Amiyrah Says:

    I love chopping up chocolate too! that's one of my favorite "Precious tips" that she's shared with us. Those lindt ones I got for free during triple coupons are oddly flavored, so I chopped them up and will use them to make different flavored brownies(orange, dark chocolate brownies sound pretty good!).

    I love to turn bread into bread crumbs, but I also turn some into just big cubes of bread. This is going to be a great start to a flavored bread pudding once fall comes back around. Plus, if I do need more bread crumbs, I can just take out a few cubes and process them as needed.


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