I earned $40 babysitting last night.
Old Total: $1153.69
+ $40.00 babysitting
New Total: $1193.69
I just checked back in the archives and saw that my goal for the Challenge is $1500 by June 30th. I knew my goal total for June was was $1500, but I couldn't remember if it was June 1 or June 30. I'm glad I made it June 30th- I think I can do it!
Archive for April, 2007
I earned $40 babysitting last night.
I decided to try again at "selling" coupons ons eBay. I had three coupons for free bags of pet food (13 lbs in total). The coupons sold at auction for $6.00 + $0.39 shippping, but after all was said and done, my profit was $5.18 which I will add to the Challenge.
Old Total: $1148.51
+ $5.18 coupons on eBay
New Total: $1153.69
I bought this celery from Aldi exactly one week ago:
Note to self: Aldi's great produce prices probably mean a shorter life once purchased. We were able to eat about half of the $0.99 purchase before it headed south for retirement.
I diced the remaining limp celery to freeze. I can through it in a soup or something.
Old Total: $1084.51
+ $64.00 babysitting
New Total: $1148.51
Last night was a late night babysitting- the parents didn't get home until 1:30am so it was after 2am by the time I was home and in bed.
Luckily I was able to sleep in this morning. The good news is that the later they stay out, the more I earn!
Old Total: $1057.51
+ $27.00 babysitting
New Total: $1084.51
I made $27 babysitting Thursday night. I'm supposed to babysit again tonight, so (hopefully) I'll have more to add by the end of the weekend.
A few weeks ago I posted my planned Aldi shopping list
along with the prices according to a price list compiled by Amy
price list compiled by Amy at MomAdvice. Amyís prices were based off the August 2006 prices at her Indiana Aldi.
Below is a list of what I actually bought (minus the chocolate bars!) and the price I paid. Youíll notice some prices are the same as Amyís, but many are higher:
Whipped Topping: $0.75 each
Ground Turkey (85% lean): $0.79 / lb
Frozen Broccoli Cuts: $0.89 / 16 oz
Frozen Peas / Frozen Corn: $0.79 / 16 oz
Hummus: $1.69 / 8 oz
Low Fat Cottage Cheese: $1.79 / 24 oz
Non-Fat Vanilla Yogurt: $1.39 / 32 oz
Not from Concentrate Orange Juice: $2.49 / 64 oz
Sliced Turkey Breast Meat: $2.99 / lb
Bananas: $0.39 / lb
Plums: $0.39 / each (I thought it was 0.39 / lbóso either me or the cashier made a mistake!)
Fresh Flat Leaf Spinach: $1.39 / 9 oz
Celery: $0.99 / bunch
Onions: $1.49 / 3 lb
Baby Carrots: $0.99 / lb
Multi- Color Pepper: $2.99 / 3 pack
Canola Oil: $1.79 / 48 oz
Canola Cooking Spray: $1.29 / can
Diced Tomatoes: $0.45 / 14.5 oz
Tomato Paste: $0.33 / 6 oz
Hazelnut Spread: $1.69/ 14.1 oz
Golden Raisins:$1.99 / 15 oz
Coffee: $4.49 / 39 oz
Things I didnít buy that I had planned to:
Pure Maple Syrup: In addition to the flavored syrup, they did have 100% Pure Maple Syrup for $3.79 / 8.5 oz. I bought some at a better price earlier in the week at the grocery store.
Eggs: I donít remember the price, but I know they were over $0.99, which was the going price at my typical supermarket that week
100% Whole Wheat Bread: There was hardly any bread when I visited the store and ZERO whole grain bread!
All in all, Iím very happy with the quality of the Aldi products. Itís fun to check out the bargains at a new store, but given that my local supermarket chain doubles coupons up to $1, I donít feel that making a special trip to Aldi is worth it aside from when my travels tae me in that direction.
Old Total: $1014.51
+ $43 babysitting
New Total: $1057.51
It's been a while since I've babysat or been able to add to the challenge.
I met a new family earlier this week who needs an occasional babysitter, so hopefully that will develop into a new job. Let's hope thing will start looking up again!
If your grocery store doubles coupons up to a $1.00 (like mine), then using coupons saves moneyóhands down!. The trick is to hold your coupons and wait until the grocery store has the item on sale. Typically this is 2 -4 weeks after the coupon was issued in the Sunday paper. Yes, there are a lot of coupons for processed foods. I donít even bother clipping those. But, there are definitely healthy foods that can be purchased with coupons. Below is a list of what I purchased this week:
Natureís Valley Granola Cereal (14 oz): $0.50
Caprelli Extra Virgin Olive Oil (25.5 oz): $3.99
2 x Newmanís Own Spaghetti Sauce (28 oz): $1.00
4 x Kraft Cheddar Cheese ( 8 oz) $1.00
4 x Juicy Juice (64 oz): $1.00
2 x Bumble Bee Pouch Tuna (3 oz): free
Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Bars: free
Fruity Cheerios: free
Dreamfieldís High Fiber Pasta: free
Fantastik Spray Cleaner: free
Scott Toilet Tissue 4-Pack: free
Kleenex Anti Viral Tissue: free
The Quaker Breakfast Bars are an item I wouldnít typically pay for, but for free Iím sure theyíll get happily consumed on some hike or as a snack during a car trip. The Fruity Cheerios also arenít something Iíd typically pay for, but also wonít pass up for free! The coupons for both of these items were $1 off / 1 item. Knowing that itís possible these items could go on sale for $2, I clipped the coupons understanding that I would only use it if the item was at this price ($2) since it would be free after doubling. I held on for them for about 1 month, and then, viola! They were offered at the right price!
One of my preferred brands of spaghetti sauce is Francesco Rinaldi. The store often runs 10/ $10 sales on Francesco Rinaldi, so the Newmanís Own at $1 / jar isnít a great find. Still, itís nice to mix up the brands, especially for other high quality brands like Newmanís Own. Newmanís Own also has a Vodka sauce which Francesco Rinaldi doesnít (at least in the 10 / $10 deals).
I had planned to buy the Aldi version of Juicy Juice and cheese since Iíll be near the Aldi again this week, but with a coupon, the grocery store is still cheaper (Aldi Juicy Juice is $1.89 and 8 oz of cheddar is $1.39).
Mr. Bean is out of town again. While he's away, I try to cook foods that I enjoy but he doesn't (or as I like to think-- foods for which he lacks the culinary sophistication to enjoy ;-)
Tonight I made Vegetarian Borscht.
I decided to make borscht when I spotted fresh beets at the grocery store earlier today (something the store doesn't always carry). There was also a huge display of canned beets. Does anyone know if beets part of the Passover tradition- or was the onslaught of beets just a coincidence? I am from a Ukrainian heritage, so I grew up eating a lot of beets, but as far as I know beets aren't part of a traditional American Easter.
Despite the tower of canned beets, I went with the fresh. I've never tried canned beets, but I was tempted this afternoon since peeling and cutting fresh beets is such a messy task. I'll use the beet greens for another recipe (maybe a lasagna?) I also found a use for those pesky pink skins:
While my soup was cooking, I boiled the skins a mixture of water and vinegar and then tossed in a few eggs. Viola! Natural pink dye for Easter eggs!
One of my goals for 2007 is to live off my monthly graduate student stipend while paying $150 / month into an IRA. All other money I receive (odds jobs and gifts) is funneled into my high yield savings account.
My March expenses looked like this:
Gifts Given $42.97
Joint Expenses $1000.00 (includes rent, utilities, food, gas, etc)
Personal Care $66.00
IRA Contribution $150
TOTAL EXPENSES: $1447.52
Total March Stipend $1377.50
Uh oh! I overspent my stipend by $70.02.
Luckily, Iím not worried. I underspent the stipend by $90.14 in January and $139.31 in February to leave myself a $229.45 surplus. In addition, I made $290 this month in odd jobs.
So, while Iím not worried, Iím not ecstatic, either.
There are a few reasons why this month was unusual. First, Mr. Bean and I took a weekend trip and incurred extra expenses in gas and hotel. For this reason, we each contributed $1000 to our joint account rather than the typical $800. I also got my haircut this month and bought a new jar of my preferred (but pricey) moisturizer. Both of these expenses are what drove my ďPersonal CareĒ category up to $66.
I also spent ~$70 on a new paid of running shoes (I place this in entertainment category). I am an avid runner, but can typically get my shoes to last ~4 months since I have custom made orthodics which help preserve the life of the shoe. However, when my knees start to ache, I know itís time for new shoes. My knees started hurting around March 28. The thought crossed my mind to wait a few days so I could stay place the expense in April, but then I realized how silly that was. My Challenge to live off my stipend while contributing $150 / month to an IRA is just that Ė a Challenge- and the months that I stay under my limit provides a cushion for monthís like the previous.
Regardless, this month proves the point of why itís important for those of us on a relatively lower end of the income spectrum to watch how we spend our money. A few extra indulgences and youíll find yourself in the red!
Iím taking Mr. Bean to the train station tomorrow and will be passing Aldi on the way back (both are ~ 30 miles from our house).
Iíve used Amyís wonderful Aldi price list
to construct a list of items that we need /(or can store for use in the near future) and are cheaper than what I can purchase locally with a coupon.
I recently started keeping an Excel price book- so although itís still in infancy, it helped me pinpoint which items are significantly less at Aldi.
I should note that Amyís list was compiled in August 2006. I donít know if Aldiís prices vary regional, but these prices may not reflect what Iíll actually find at the store. For example, I already know the last time I bought cottage cheese there it was $2.28 for 24 oz, but Amy has it listed for $1.69 / 24 oz.
Hereís my list:
Pure Maple Syrup (this isnít on Amyís list, but I saw it there during my last trip. I donít remember the exact price, but I remember it was cheaper than the grocery store).
Eggs ($0.69 / dozen)
OJ ($1.69 / 64 oz., Iíll only buy this if itís not from concentrate)
Shredded Cheese (($1.69 / 12 oz)
Fresh Spinach ([if available] $1.29 / 9 oz)
Onions ($0.69 / 3#)
Multicolor Bell Peppers ($2.29 / 20 oz)
Canola Oil ($1.79 / 48 oz)
Dry Milk ($6.99 / 64 oz)
Hazel Nut Spread (1.69 / for a little piece of heaven)
Frozen Veggies ($0.69 / 16 oz)
Whipped Topping ($0.69 / 8 oz)
Ground Turkey ($0.79 / 16 ozóIíll only buy this if itís at least 85% lean)
Coffee *$3.29 / 39 oz)
100% Whole Wheat Bread ($1.29 / 1 loaf)
Lots and lots of tasty German Chocolate! (~ $0.99 / pound)
There are certainly other items that are a great deal at Aldi (ie. the flour is 40.89 / 5#! But I don't need any right now!)
Anything else you love to buy at Aldi? I enjoy poking around a new store and comparing prices. That will be half the fun for me!