Saturday, January 23, 2010

Grocery Shopping, etc.

I did something a little different this week when I was shopping. I used Shortcuts electronic coupons to linked directly to my Kroger card. Actually I have linked them before and then forgot so I am not sure if I saved anything or not. This week as I registered them I added them to my grocery list, including the quantity that I would need to purchase to get the discount. That helped and I was able to use them. You are able to added the products you use and I think new ones come out on a  weekly basis. After I used them I received an email telling me my total savings amounts. There were several products that I added to my card that I ended up not using though because they were not on sale. 

I am becoming more efficient at making my meal plans and using what we have on hand. It takes a little time to sit down and get it all in writing but it does make the rest of the week less stressful. I try and prep the next days lunches and snacks while I am making dinner. Having that written meal plan really helps then too. Preparing dinner and getting ready for the next day at the same time is a time save too, I am only in the kitchen once and I only have to clean up once too.

So we have been using the homemade detergent for almost a month now. Our clothes are clean and they smell fresh (but without the perfumy smell of commercial detergent). After I see how many batches I can make out of the boxes of washing soda and borax, I will do a post about the cost per batch/load.

Monday, January 18, 2010


When I weighed this morning I had lost 2.0 pounds. Not bad at all and better than I thought it would be. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Truth Learned

I am watching the Biggest Loser right now. They had Jillian try and eat a typical meal that one of the teams would have eaten before coming to the ranch. Everything was very processed, fried and no fresh ingredients. Of course in typical Jillian style she said all that much more colorfully than I did, but she kept saying that wasn't food, basically it was junk. Over the past couple of months that is one thing that Kip and I have learned as we have changed our eating habits. I know that they better choices I made with the foods that we eat and prepare, the better I felt.  It isn't an amazing, after one day transformation, but after a couple of weeks we both noticed more energy and being more alert. Add that in with losing weight and feeling better from that and it is easier to make better choices. 

Speaking o making better choices: I had a friend that I haven't seen in a while get in touch and we agreed to meet at Starbucks this afternoon. I chose to pass up the sweets and left that lemon pound cake alone!! 

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Goal

I think my first goal that I want to achieve by losing weight is to be able to wear my engagement ring again. It has been too tight to wear for quite some time. I want to be able to get it back on as soon as possible. I miss it.

Breakfast: WHole grain Bagel with Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon spread.
Snack: Apple with peanut butter
Lunch: BBQ Lentils, rice, small salad
Dinner: Hamburger, baked potato (our meal out this week)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Grocery Shopping

Getting back on track with the eating after the holidays was easier than I thought it would be. I know I actually felt better when we were eating healthier so I think that made it easier to do. Now that I am only working one job, prepping and preparing healthier food is much easier. My goal is to get into a routine so that while I am preparing dinner I am also working on the next day's food. This morning was nice, lunch was ready so all I/we had to do was put everything into our lunch into our lunch boxes. Here's a quick rundown on our menu:
Monday: (before going to the grocery store)
Breakfast--Toast with cheese, pineapple
Snack-Laughing Cow Cheese, Wasa multigrain crackers
Lunch: Ham Sandwich, carrot sticks
Snack: Steamed Edamame
Dinner: baked Salmon, Rice, corn

Breakfast: Special K cereal, boiled egg
Snack: lowfat vanilla yogurt, mixed berries, almonds
Lunch: Tuna wrap, small garden salad, vinaigrette dressing
Snack: carrots, hummus
Dinner: Bean Soup, slice cornbread
We are watching portion sizes and have found that by eating those snack it keeps us from being starving and over eating at meal times. If you are interested in recipes or portion sizes let me know.

We went to the grocery store last night. I have approached my meal planning several different ways in the past, but I think I have found one that is going to work for us health wise and for our budget too. We have tried to limit shopping to a certain dollar amount, but then I miss out on some of the sales and things that I can get with coupons that eventually lower our bills. I have also followed a specific eating plan, which while effective for our health and weight loss, totally blew our food budget. I have decided for now that I will "shop" our pantry first, plan as much as I can using ingredients on hand and then making a list for the remainder. Then when we are shopping, I can take advantage of all the sales and stock up on things we use often without worrying about unused food piling up or blowing the budget. I am sure others have thought of this but I just thought of this after trying many recommend, and not quite for us, shopping plans. Another thing I have done to eliminate wasted left over food was to plan Fridays as left over day. 

Included in our grocery budget are all breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks (with the exception of one dinner a week), paper goods, household cleaning items, and toiletries. We spent: $83.20 for the week. I had $8.80 in coupons and saved $25.25 with my store loyalty card, for a total savings of 30%. I hope to get this down lower, but I had slacked off on the coupons so I didn't have as many and we hadn't been to the store in a couple of weeks so the pantry was pretty bare.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Not as bad as I thought

After weighing this morning, I realized that I didn't do as much damage to my weight loss as I thought I had. Since the week of Thanksgiving until now, I only gained 4 pounds back. That still puts my total weight loss at 10.2 pounds. We are getting back on track though. I sat down yesterday and made our meal plan for the week and then got up early enough to eat breakfast and pack both of our lunches. I know that eating breakfast is important and have found that by eating breakfast, even if I am not "hungry" really does put me on track for the rest of the day. Once again, I have learned that planning is key to making it all work. 

One a frugal living note: I have gotten out of the habit of being diligent with my coupons lately. While I was making the meal plan yesterday I also took the time to cut out coupons and sort through my coupon organizer. I think I want to switch the way I organize them into something a little easier. I have seen people use binders and plastic sleeves and I am thinking that is what I would like to do. I would love hints if you have any!

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Kip took this picture of me today. I hate it. Even my nose looks fat. I think I will keep it close by though and look at it when I am wanting to eat something that is not healthy. We did get off track during the holidays, we have a hard time sticking to a healthy eating plan when we are traveling. I think we did better than in previous years though, I didn't bake as much and we didn't attend as many parties. I cleaned out the refrigerator yesterday and will go the the store tomorrow. Tomorrow is weigh in day too so we can see how much damage we really did. 

Saturday, January 2, 2010

A New Year

I have decided to change the focus of this blog a little bit. It's okay, it's my blog! In addition to trying to live healthier lives, we are attempting to live a little more frugally. We learned very quickly that following a specific meal plan led to much higher costs at the grocery store. Another thing that we really learned was that when we take the time to plan for meals by making a meal plan and going to the grocery store that it was much easier to eat healthy and that if there were healthy choices available that we made healthy choices. This year we are going to try and take that way of thinking and apply it to our finances. We are going to be paying off some credit cards in the near future and will set a new budget. One thing I have found while looking for Frugal living tips, was that many people following a frugal lifestyle make their own laundry detergent. That is my project for today. This is the picture of the grated bar of soap!

After that I will be sitting down to make our meal plan for the week. I would love any healthy eating tips or frugal living tips that you might want to share.