Well this month I kept all my receipts from all my Kroger, CVS, and Walgreens. I also threw a Kmart stop in when they had their super doubles deal going last week....no Meijer stops this whole month!!!
This is where I ended up, keep in mind I budget $200 a month for groceries, cleaning stuff, toiletries, ect.....So just for the fun of it here is how I came out for April!
HERE ARE MY TOTALS #of items
Kroger: $138.41 144
Walgreens $ 27.83 24
CVS $ 32.15 28
Kmart $ 6.34 20
GRAND TOTAL $ 204.73 216
I know I was a little over...I can deal with that...also I kept my receipt because Unilever (seller of Skippy, Smucker jelly, Dove products, ect.) is having a deal that if you buy $40 worth of their products from April 1 to April 30th 2009 and you then go buy a Ham or Turkey of your choice......you send them your receipts from buying their products and the ham/turkey, they will give you $20 back. I knew I was going to be doing some Unilever deals at Walgreens this month, so I am going tonight to buy a $20 Ham so I can get is free after they mail me my $20 Rebate........It worked out that I am only $2.41 away from my $40 (this was without even trying...just buying things I needed to get anyway). I am pretty excited about this deal and glad that I should be able to go to Walgreens and easily find one product costing at least $2.41 and then use a coupon and possibly a Register Reward and score it free or almost free to reach my $40!!!!!!!! I will take FREE HAM whenever anyone wants to dish it out!!!!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Well this month I kept all my receipts from all my Kroger, CVS, and Walgreens. I also threw a Kmart stop in when they had their super doubles deal going last week....no Meijer stops this whole month!!!
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
If this is your first time checking in on Wednesdays, WELCOME! Each week we are talking about MONEY and how to handle it using the Bible as our blueprint. You will hear me discuss the book YOUR MONEY COUNTS by Howard Dayton. When I read this book it changed my whole mindset on how I viewed finances and really gave "us" a boost on our journey to DEBT FREE living! If you would like to check out this series from the beginning scroll down and on the left hand side of your screen you will see a Label titled "Seeking Financial Freedom" click on that and you can start with Part ONE and work your way through......Also feel free to let other people you know about this series and encourage them to join us each week as we talk more in depth about our journey!
The Bible teaches us two very distinct parts of handling money: 1. God's part 2. Our part.
(Here are a few thoughts from the book: taken from pg. 16-18.)
God's part is the foundation of contentment. In scripture God calls Himself by more than 250 names. The name that best describes God's part in the area of money is Master. How we view God determines how we live.
The Bible clearly states that God is the sole owner of everything. "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains." (Psalm 24:1) Recognizing God's ownership is critical in allowing Jesus Christ to become the Lord of our money and possessions.
OWNERSHIP OR LORDSHIP?: If we are going to be genuine followers of Christ, we must transfer the ownership of our possessions to the Lord. "No one....can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possession" (Luke 14:33)
Okay, so God may not be calling you to sell all your worldly things and give everything to the poor and needy. What He is asking you to do is be willing to give all them up.
Author Larry Burkett said, "When we acknowledge God's ownership, every spending decision becomes a spiritual decision. No longer do we ask, 'Lord, what do You want me to do with my money?' The question is restated, 'Lord, what do you want me to do with Your money?' When we have this perspective, spending and saving decisions are equally as spiritual as giving decisions.
Think abut that for a minute.....Wouldn't you be more careful on how you spent money if the money you were spending was someone else's??? When you think about it this way it makes so much sense....The First Step Towards Contentment: (pgs.17-18) This is not easy to maintain this perspective consistently. It is far to easy to think that the possessions we have and the money we earn are entirely the result of our skills and achievements. We find it difficult not to believe we have earned the right to ownership. I am the master of my fate, people say. I alone own my possessions, is another one you hear. Obviously this view dominates our culture today. Point being, giving up ownership is not easy, nor is it a once-and-for-all thing. We constantly need to be reminded that God owns everything!
CONTROL: The Lord is in control of even difficult circumstances. "I am the Lord, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity: I am the Lord who does all these" (Isaiah 45: 6-7) The book states that it is important for a child of God to realize that his heavenly Father orchestrates even the seemingly devastating circumstances for the ultimate good in the lives of the godly. "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28) So God is in charge of Control to accomplish His intentions, develop our character, and to teach us. ( pgs. 18-20)
I totally agree with this, I can testify that in my own life that the Lord has taught me the most during "devastating times". I think because of the hard-headed society we are that the Lord knows the best way to grab a hold of us and get our attention is by bringing us to our knees. It is when we are in pain and troubles that our hearts seem to cry out to Him. Through my personal experience the Lord has taught me to solely delight in Him...nothing else...solely trust in Him...nothing else...To be at His feet daily in fellowship so that I can seek His will in my life, not my own. It is never an easy process, but defiantely a needed one. I do thank God for the hard times I have went through in my life (though I am not always throwing a party to thank Him while I am going through situation). The Lord has taught me and continues to teach me to praise Him even "In the mist of the storm." Looking back on anything that has happened in my life I thank God that He is in control and not me...I just seem to mess things us when I do them my way!
PROVISION: He has promised to provide for our needs. "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (food and clothing) shall be added unto ou"
(Matthew 6:33) The book (pg 20 &21) says God is both predictable and unpredictable. He is absolutely predictable in His faithfulness to provide for our needs. What we can not predict is how the Lord will provide. He uses all sorts of different way to meet our needs. (Income increase, provide gifts, stretches our limited resources through money-saving purchases) Regardless of how He chooses to provide for our needs, He is always reliable! It is important to remember that God's part in helping us reach contentment is that He has obligated Himself to provide our needs......However he does not promise to provide for our wants. He promises to provide us our needs, and He tells us to be content when these needs are met. (1 Timothy 6:8)
I wanted to share this last thought with you that the book write on pg.22. I know I am sometimes guilty of doing this, but when I am faithful to stay in God's word daily it help keep me in check......
The basic reason we fail to recognize God's part is that we do not understand who God is. We often have no genuine awe for the Lord "who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth" (Isaiah 51:13). We tend to shrink God down and fit Him into a mold with human abilities and limitations. However, we can expand our vision to capture the true perspective of God by studying what the Bible tells us about Him.
Well, are you ready to make a commitment to turn over everything you have to God??? I would love to hear from any of you who want to chime in!!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
OHHH MY! Megan is having yet another giveaway!! This time it's for some yummy sounding BBQ sauce from a company called "Country Bob's"......it sounds like this is a Christian company we should get behind...I am hoping to win some and and make their Country Bob Meatloaf recipe!! Head over here to check out all the details of how you can enter to win as well!!!
So this is what happened at our house this morning....It has been a bit of a stressful time around here this am...it started with the missing kitty drama..(no worries they have now been found..and are now in a safer place!) Then onto some bad attitudes and poor work ethic when it came to chore time...Then the kiddos were given permission for a little break time to play in the boys room (upstairs) while I finished folding some laundry (downstairs). Julia went along to get in on some of the fun too..which is fine usually....I hollered upstairs to remind Lance to shut the door to My and Hubby's bedroom to make sure Julia didn't go in (which is a normal thing they do as soon as they go upstairs.) Then after just a few minutes...couldn't have been more than 5 minutes I walked part way up the stairs to check in and make sure everyone was doing okay..no Julia to be found...After questioning the boys on her whereabouts I went first thing to my room.....the door was locked???? HMMMM...I said "Julia are in you in mommy's room and she promptly said "Yes mommy!" with excitement in her voice.....Grrrrr...After a big sign and probably a dirty look to the boys....I tried to explain to Julia (remember she will 2yr in June) how to unlock mommy's door....so after what seemed like endless explaining I came to the conclusion that she didn't have a clue what I was saying....I was wondering what to do....Naturally I called Hubby!.... Okay so that didn't help me out much because he was an hour away.....So I took the door knob off the side facing me and tried to figure out how to unlock from my side...NO luck...So again I am wondering what to do...by now Julia realizes she can't get out and she keeps saying "Mommy out!!" "Open door!" In the middle of all this the boys are trying to tell me they know what to do so they are trying to "help mommy" which is making mommy quite crazy to say the least! So now I am thinking to myself if I have to call the fire department or something like that to get my daughter out of this room I am going to just DIE!!!! Okay so I call Hubby again and he says call someone close and see if they can help or just knowck down the door (I thought "Well I have always hated those hollow doors anyway and I seriously thought about taking him up on that offer so I could score a new one, but then I thought better of it!" I didn't want to tramatize Julia)...So a call to Uncle Jim was in order...He was home on lunch break, and he agreed to come over and SAVE US!!...While I am waiting on him to arrive of course I keep fiddling with the door thinking to myself what an idiot I must be because I can't for the life of me figure out what I need to do in order to flip the lock.....In all my frustration I did something right or wrong maybe and the lock clicked!!! WHEW!!! I rescued my Julia and probably gave the boys the "Your lucky I got that open and did have to call the fire department look......" In the mean time I called Hubby once again to tell him I now have the situation under control and to call uncle Jim and tell him his assistance is no longer needed...I heard uncle Jim pull in the driveway..then stop..then heard him pull out again.
Thanks uncle Jim for coming all the way over here and then leaving...we probably owe you some cookies or something :)
Thanks Hubby for you unending patience that was needed when mommy was in here "What in the world am I gonna do panic mode!"
I am not ready to laugh about all this yet but maybe it's all funny to someone....I am telling you this story in the hopes that I will soon be able to look back and think "Oh ya, I remember when......" But I am definitely not there today!!
Monday, April 27, 2009
Well it's Tuesday again, so here is my little tidbit for the day....Around here the Gaertegang has been very busy with "Spring Projects". Here are a few things we are up: Changing oil in the van, truck, and lawn mower, mowing for the first time, hanging out at soccor games, remodeling the bathroom, tilling up our new spot for our garden (!), taking care of our two new kittens (more on that in another post), weeding the flower beds, transplanting perennials, planting annuals, and planting my potted flowers for the season, fixing edging in my flower beds....okay you get the point we've been busy!!!!!
So my tip today is "STOP TO SMELL THE FLOWERS....AND HAVE SOME FUN!!!!!"
I signed up for a FREE subscription of Family Fun Magazine and I received my first one this last week. Last Friday I got a chance to look through it, and let me tell you I was so impressed!!! I couldn't believe how many things I really liked about the magazine..lots kid friendly ideas! The one thing that really impressed me was that these ideas were actually doable for my family. I sometimes struggle with finding things that all of us can do together and enjoy...Lance my oldest is almost 8yrs. old and Julia my youngest is almost 2yrs old. As you can imagine finding things we could all do together is so exciting for me. I am looking forward to trying out several of the little craft ideas...which let me tell you in something in and of itself because "crafting" is not really my thing when I have to do it and manage all the kids at the same time...it gets a bit crazy sometimes...but these ideas seem doable....WHew Hoo!
Another fun thing I came across as I was checking out my new magazine is that they are running a Mother's Day special. LISTEN UP this is good!!
Buy a (10 issue) subscription for 4 special women and it cost you only $5 per gift ($20 total)!! If interested in this deal you could bless 4 women with a gift....I think that is really cool and really reasonable..you could easily spend $20 on one magazine for 1 person.....Good Deal I think!
I am considering surprising a few women with this gift...HMMMM I might just smell a giveaway in the air????? Stay tuned just in case.......
Do any of you already get this magazine??? How do you like it?? Do you get any magazines in the mail that you just LOVE??? Please leave a comment and let us all know what you get and what you like about the magazine!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Shannon has been doing this Friday feature for several weeks and I think I got in on the first one then fell off the wagon....so I am back on again...go here to check out more of women sharing.
I appreciate the fact that I have such an incredible husband...really I truly feel honored to be his wife. I love when he is so willing to help me on a project that is totally something I would like to do, but not something he really has interest in.....Example: Bathroom remodeling!! With the garage sale money I earned last week I decided to give our bathroom a MUCH NEEDED update!!! I have been wanting to do it for a long time but just hadn't made it that far yet. The other night he joyfully put up my new light fixture and installed the new faucet. Thanks honey for being such a blessing to my heart in so many ways!
Here are some pics to show you a before look at the bathroom....it's our ONLY bathroom in the house.....it's small.....but hey at least we aren't in the days of using an outhouse.....
Thursday, April 23, 2009
It's Thursday already...Whew I can harldy believe it!!! I love sharing with you things I love each week, I hope you enjoy it and feel like you get to know me a little more each week as I share!
This week the thing I chose to share might come as a little shock to you all...it did me at first. Well first you should know that when I was newly married (age 20) I thought I would never be once of those mom who drove a mini van...I was way to cool for that. I would always have some great looking SUV of some sort to haul around my crew...Well after our first son was born, maybe even before that I can't remember exactly, I got my SUV a pretty blue Expedition!!!! LOVED IT...loved everything about it..so did hubby for that matter. So a few years passed and then kid son number two came and when he was about 6 months old we started to think maybe a different vehicle would work better for us. Also we knew we wanted more kids and a third car seat in the back seat wouldn't work..plus we liked the idea of being able to haul more people along with us. So we bought a MINI VAN much to my demise....but I ended up loving it much to my surprise :) So we drove that van until it had nothing left in it....so two weeks ago yesterday we found our new vehicle. We had been looking for this certain vehicle for 6 months because we knew time was running out for the poor mini van. Sooooo here it is the feature thing I LOVE this week.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I have a question for you....How do you view your money? What do you spend your money on each month?? Did you know that your checkbook tells more about you and what your priorities are more than any other thing we have???
Before we start talking about the fine details of Seeking Financial Freedom we need to have the proper perspective of who's money we are actually talking about. As Christians we know that everything we have is a gift from God, the same is true of our money...which really is not our money at all! Everything we have is God's not ours down to the very last penny.
In the book Your Money Counts they make a few points about handling "our" money.
1. How we handle our money affects our fellowship with the Lord.
Luke 16:11 "If therefore you have not been faithful int he use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the riches to you?" The book makes the point that when we handle our money properly according to the principles of Scripture, our fellowship with Christ will grow stronger.
2. Possession compete with the Lord.
Mathew 6:24 "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both money and God." The book explains we can't say "God, You can be the Lord of my entire life except for my money."
3. Much of life revolves around the use of money.
On page 11 &12 the book explains during the normal week, how much time do you spend earning money in your job, making decisions on how to spend money, thinking about where to save and invest money or praying about your giving? Fortunately, God prepared us adequately for those tasks by giving us the Bible as His blueprint for handling money.
I just love these verses that talk about contentment... Philippians 4:11-13
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whatever well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
A fantastic point the book made was that we are not born with the instinct for contentment; it is learned. I also think I will leave you with this thought that is on page 13 of the book.
SOCIETY SAYS: God plays no role in handling money, and my happiness is based on being able to afford my desired standard of living.
SCRIPTURE SAYS: As you learn and follow the scriptural principles of how to handle money, you will draw close to Christ and learn to be content in every circumstance.
So what do you say?? Society or Scripture? Feel free to leave me comment or question!
If you missed Part One go here.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Okay so this is what I found at Kmart during their fun DOUBLE dollar days....first here are a few rules to follow: you can use 4 like coupons per transaction, and you are limited to 25 coupons per transaction, they are doubling up to and including $2.00 coupons.
I got two Beggin' strips dog treats for our puppies for .79 each, Flawless Secret deodorant for .49 each (I got 4 of them), on clearance I found two St. Ives elements scrubs..(I made money on those: because they each cost $3.49 and my coupon was a $2.00 coupon which doubled to $4.00....so free plus overage!) Then I got threesALL detergents free plus some overage as well. They were $4.79 each and I had two $2 coupons which doubled for $4 making two detergents .79 each but then I had a $6.50 coupon in the mail from All so then my 3rd one was totally free and the overage paid for my other two as well!!! What a beautiful thing I know!!! My gum was free ( I got two Tridents, and 6 Stride)..plus I had some overage on the Stride gum. I also got some Nivea hand cream I found on clearance as well and paid .49 for that. Lastly I scored a Glade carpet freshener for free as well.
So when all was said my total before coupons was $60.00 and then after all my coupons and I paid $6.34!!!!! That was for 20 items...three of those being detergent, and $2.44 of that total was tax!!!!!!! I just love a good BARGAIN run don't you???? So check out your local Kmart and see what deals you can find... Happy Tuesday!!!
In our family of 3 boys and 1 girly girl we have been so incredibly blessed by others who have passed on their gently used clothes to us when they are done with them!!!! I just can't tell you how that has warmed my heart as thoughtful people have just given us their things with no money exchanged or accepted, no strings attached, nothing expected in return...(Thank you God for these wonderful, selfless families!!!) Now I am having a fantastic time doing the same to others I know...passing on my little boys stuff when my Zach had out grown them, and now Julia's little girly clothes as well.. This photo was taken a few months ago when we passed on 0-3 month through 18 months clothes onto another mommy expecting to have a girl after two boys. What is crazy is that these are not even all her clothes....we still have more to pass to my sil who found out she is also having a girl (she has a boy already). I can tell you I have bought my children hardly any clothes because of the generosity of so many.....maybe you should consider doing the same for someone you know.....Maybe having a garage sale just doesn't make sense for you and your use of time...maybe you'd rather give them to someone who can use them instead of making a little money from them????? You decide what is right for you and your family.....
Monday, April 20, 2009
Easter Sunday: I took Corn Casserole to my mil's house, it was a hit and this was the first time I had the recipe to make it...I will definitely be making it again...so easy and everyone gobbled it up!
1 can of whole corn (drained)
1 can of cream corn
1 box jiffy corn bread mix
1 cup of sour cream
1 stick of butter
Mix together. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake at 350 for about one hour.
Monday : Breakfast Pizza
1lb. Sausage (browned & drained)
1 package of crescent rolls (press seams together for crust) in 9 X 13 pan
1 -2 cups of frozen hash browns (thawed)
1-2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
After you form the crust with the crescents layer sausage, hash browns, and cheese. Then just sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes.
Then only thing was I thought this recipe was a bit dry....any suggestions on what I could add?? Other than that it tasted great!!
Tuesday: Sausage & Potatoes, with dinner rolls, green beans
1 package of smoked sausage (you could also use ham)
8oz. cream cheese
1 can of celery soup
1 ranch mix pouch
Cut and thinly slice potatoes and the smoked sausage. Place in crock pot. Mix the cream cheese, celery soup, and ranch mix and put on top of the potatoes and sausage. Cook in crock pot for 6-8 hours on low.
Wednesday: Herb baked Tilapia, mash potatoes, corn
I absolutely love making this, it is sooooo yummy I could eat it several times a week!! I bought Tilapia when it was on sale for $2.99 I think at Kroger a few weeks back...you can get it anywhere from 2.99-3.99 a bag most weeks.
4-6 Tilapia fillets
1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup mayo (I use miracle whip)
1/4 cup of breadcrumbs (I use cracker crumbs)
1 tsp basil
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Spray your 9 x 13 with spray. put in fish fillets. Combine cheese & mayo spread over fish. Combine all other ingredients, sprinkle over fish. lightly coat with Pam cooking spray. Bake for about 10 minutes at 400.
Thursday: Spaghetti, and Garlic bread
Saturday: Sloppy joes, chips
Have you tried any of the recipes I have passed along to you yet??? Any look interesting and your thinking about trying??? Leave a comment and let me know...I LOVE hearing from you all!
Friday, April 17, 2009
Each Saturday for the last month and a half we have had to be at the YMCS at 8:30am...yes your right UGH!!!! The boys have chosen soccor as their sport they love to play! Here is a shot of Julia hang out ont he mats watching her big brothers kick the ball around!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Oh yes here is the dolled up Julia....I just found this pic...isn't she cute......of course she is!!!
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Over six years ago I became a full time stay at home mom (after kiddo number two was born), and during that time we had just purchased our first home. When I began to stay to at home, I was able to start listening to Christian radio and I discovered a show called "Money Matters". From the very first time I heard this program I was hooked!!! The show was hosted by Howard Dayton, and did such a fantastic job of hosting the show and answering all the questions from the listeners. I loved how they would discuss such practical issues and apply them to everyday life in small workable steps.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I still haven't been notified by my giveaway winner!!! One6ylady you have till midnight tonight Tuesday April14th to get in contact with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
If I don't hear from her I am willing to generate another winner on Random.org......I will keep the rest of you posted!!!!