Friday, February 17, 2012


Hi everyone, 

Well, I don't think I did as bad this week with spending, in terms of the dollar amount. However, as I tally up the receipts we'll find out. Oh, I totally FORGOT to get photos of my purchases, so I'll entertain you with other photos, totally unrelated to saving money, but still very cute :) :)

February 12th, 2012 - Sunday: Purchase $49.54 at Petco:
- One 30 lb. bag of natural dog food for my dog
- $3.55 for California state tax
- The original retail price for this dog food was $48.99.  I could have purchased it for $5 cheaper at another store, but it would have been a much longer drive.  So  I printed out my $3 coupon on-line and went to Petco. It is a reasonable driving distance.  The tax is based on the original cost of the item.  The coupon was applied after taxes.

TIP: Homemade cleaning products can often times save you money. If you are living on an "in between" job budget like me, then something like homemade laundry powder just might do the trick. Click here to visit Maryjane of The Beehive Cottage blog. I used her recipe. It's a winner, for sure.  I just found my laundry powder in the garage. It got packed away in the move.  It's in an air-tight container and is still perfect. So when my current liquid laundry soap runs out, I'll be going back to my homemade laundry powder:

February 12th, 2012 - Sunday: $31.12 at Whole Foods:
- 20 oz drip coffee with cream/sugar "a want, not a need"
- 32 fl.oz. bottle of Bragg's organic, raw-unfiltered apple cider vinegar As I recall, it was the exact same price as the Whole Foods brand.  Plus, the Bragg's bottle has more of a vintage look to it.
- Dark chocolate bar with orange peel This is for my sweet friend who gave me the ride to Whole Foods. She still won't take cash for gas money. However, I can pay her in chocolate. That's a sweet deal.
- Tillamook sharp cheddar cheese It's made in Oregon and it's G.O.O.D.
-Whole Foods brand cheddar cheeseI bought this one, too. Both of the cheddar cheeses are for my father. He likes cheese. I like cheese, too, but my body can't handle this form of dairy, yet.
- ca. 1 pound of lean ground beef
- 0.97 pounds of trail mix from Whole Food's trail mix bar
California likes to add a sales tax to the trail mix. Sales tax for this item was $0.07 cents.
- local Sunday newspaper $1.50 I purchased this because I'm interested in using coupons again. It's more of a trial run to see exactly how much money I spend on the Sunday papers, versus money saved on items that I actually use on a daily basis.
- total tax on this trip was $0.11 cents.

This next photo is the famous Lone Cypress tree in Pebble Beach, California. This is actually what's known as a Monterey Cypress tree, and this one is special because it's growing all by it's lonesome out on this little rocky outcropping. If you ever visit here, it's worth it to take the 17 Mile Drive to see this and other beautiful spots along the drive:

February 14th, 2012 - Tuesday: $25.62 at Whole Foods:
- Croisssants "a want, and not a need"
- 20 oz. drip coffee with cream/sugar "a want, and not a need"
- Dry rub applewood smoked bacon
- 2 Dagoba organic, dark chocolate bars "a want, and not a need" One chocolate bar was for the friend who gave me the ride to the store. The other one was for my dad and myself to share.

This next photo is some of the beautiful coastline in my hometown:

February 15th, 2012 - Wednesday: $35.64 at Trader Joe's:
- mini-pearl tomatoes
- canned salmon
- canned albacore tuna
- 1 dozen organic, jumbo eggs
- Trader Joe's premium sharp cheddar Dad snuck this into the cart. He really likes cheese.
- Cashew, almond and cranberry trail mix "a want, not a need"...but wow, this stuff tasted great. it had a natural sweet/tart flavor from the cranberries.
- 2 pounds of organic, ground beef
- applewood bacon, uncured

This photo is some of the beautiful flora that can be found along the coast.  I really like the stark contrast between the orange and purple:

February 16th, 2012 - Thursday: $45.31 at Whole Foods
- one bottle of ultra purified drinking water This comes with a $0.10 cent bottle deposit. Oh, interesting,that in the state of California, you don't get the full 10 cents back on your return. Recycling companies pay by the pound. So I'll maybe see about six or seven cents back on this bottle. Unfair,but that's how it works right now.
- local daily newspaper
- sandwiches from the breakfast bar " a total want, and not a need"
- 0.85 pounds of organic, cara cara oranges I've never had these before. The price was outstandingly good. My dad LOVES oranges.
- One Dagoba organic, dark chocolate bar "a want, and not a need" My father and I shared this, too, along with those sandwiches from the breakfast bar.
- 2 small squares of dark chocolate For my friend who gave me a ride to the store this day.
- $20 dollars cash back I gave this to the same friend who I gave those squares of chocolate, too. She has driven me around so MUCH. It's been a real ministry, blessing and relief. So it was only fair to help for the gas.  I'm still studying the driver handbook, and working out who will give me the actual driving lessons. Dad will be okay to drive again in a few months.
- $1.02 was for taxes

Oh, I also spent $5 to purchase  year-long membership to Sheri Graham's "Intentional Planner" site. It's got everything you need to put together your own home management binder. You can pick and choose what you want, download it, print it out for personal use only. It's fabulous. It's the BEST $5 I've spent in a LONG, LONG time.  There's a lifetime membership package which you can check out on her site. I'm saving for that, because that will get me access to the videos and eBooks. Click here to visit.

I spent a total of $187.23 this week.  The dog needs to eat, and her food was $49.54. However, that will last a L.O.N.G. time. So I'm not counting that in my figures.

That brings my total down to $137.69 spent on us humans (my father and myself).  Of that, I would say that $66.67 was spent on food that we needed. So that works out to about $33.34 per person. That's not too bad...Now the "wants" are still a struggle in terms of not buying them so often..but for what it's worth, they're quickly losing the appeal.

Now I should let you know that I follow a gluten-free diet for health reasons.  So last Tuesday, I completely fell OFF the gluten-free bandwagon. I ate croissants, coffee, chocolate AND trail mix.  The croissants and the trail mix were not gluten free. In any case, I ate them and it was fine. However, the next day I was really, really sick, especially in the morning. Later on the day it dissipated to nausea/slight dizziness. This told me a couple of things that were both negative and positive. The negative is that no matter how good those croissants and other stuff look, it will make me sick. Which is did. The POSITIVE in this situation is that the toxicity level in my body is going DOWN and that's why my body had such a strong reaction to those foods.

What about the breakfast sandwiches on Thursday? I know, I know...but I'm telling you, it's HARD to break the gluten habit sometimes.  Well, I am paying for it today (Friday)..although this time it's just a lot of shoulder pain/inflammation.  So there you go. I think this is my  "lowest" week in terms of eating good.  So I really am seeing where the changes need to be made.

I'm also going to be looking at various coupon sites, to see where I can save money on the basics that my family uses every day.  That's why I have started buying the Sunday paper again. 

Oh, I did find a FANTASTIC deal on a home management binder/planner over at Sheri Graham ministries site. Click here to visit.  I can't wait to talk about that some more in a future post. Oh, and I'll be working on those socks that I pictured in my previous post. It'll be sock knitting and watching episodes of the fabulous, Canadian tv show "Road to Avonlea".

That's the news from the ocean shores of California today. Love and hugs, Heather :)


Becky said...

As you know I'm taking the bull by the horns and trying to conquer 1. Saving money and 2. make grocery shopping more interesting and "fun". I normally HATE grocery shopping but when I'm using coupons and shopping sales it's more like a game with the prize being SAVINGS! Good luck with your Budget!

Beth said...

Hi Heather, Hope you are doing well. I know you are working very hard on your budget. It's kind of a constant thing. I struggle with it at times too. Groceries can get very expensive! ood luck to you, Heather. I know you can meet your goals. All things work together for good to those that love God.

Kristina said...

I'm so glad I started making my own detergents, deodorant and soon toothpaste. It's not only cheaper, but eliminates dangerous chemicals.

Camille said...

Yippee for *Road to Avonlea*!! We truly are kindred spirits my friend. :)

As for the budgeting...keep it up are doing great!

Your photos are beautiful! How pretty it is where you live Heather...what a blessing from the LORD.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Lil'Suburban Homestead said...

Heather I love that you are sharing how intentional you are being with your spending. I use a very similar recipe to the one you are using I blend Fels Naptha and Zote together I really like the clean smell of the Zote but I love the cleaning degreasing power of the Fels Naptha! Thanks again for linking up to "The Ole' Saturday Homesteading Trading Post" at Lil' Suburban Homestead!

Allison of A Farmgirl's View said...

Looks like a great blog. I am following, thanks for stopping by and commenting :)
Have a blessed day!

Beth said...

wow, i always need new tips for keep a budget. will try any thing once. i've always wanted try making my own laundry detergrant ... but never have. thanks. (:

Heather's Blog-o-rama said...

I removed word verification from my blog. However, I'm still moderating/approving all comments. Let me know how it works for you all. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

witha said...

Hi there, thanks for sharing. I'm your new follower on Linky. I'd love if you follow me back :D

Witha @

Jane@Cottage at the Crossroads said...

Hi Heather, Thanks for visiting the Cottage at the Crossroads and leaving your comment. The only critters that we've had in the garden are rabbits. We added a little chicken wire under the gates, and that took care of the problem. The reason that we fenced in our garden was to keep out deer that live in the woods behind us. The fence is 5 feet tall so that keeps them out.

It's a constant battle against the needs and wants, isn't it? We are on a very tight budget ourselves. Gardening does help with the food budget.

I'm glad you included the pic of the lone cypress at Pebble Beach. we made a trip there about 8 years ago and took the 17 mile drive. I think the California coast is gorgeous! We used to live at the beach in our state but it is very different from your coastline.

Hope you come back to visit again soon. Jane

Jessica Heights said...

I've enjoyed making my own cleaning supplies too!

momto8 said...

you have this down to a science!! I am learning just how much less expensive it is to make cleaning supplies...and the results are the same!!
i am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

I love that you're being so honest with your spending.

Changing a diet is hard. I know! We started following the Fuhrman diet last November and I'd say we're about 80% compliant. We were a Dunkin Donuts (buying coffee) yesterday and the bagels were calling my name! It's hard to resist!

aimee said...

Such beautiful, beautiful photos--just as gorgeous as I remember it:)
This week I spent just under $200 but I had to replace an air mattress and I finally found cloth napkins and a tablecloth in light blue (YIPPEE!). Oh and then there were the perfect yellow placemats.
Have a great week Heather...

Jennifer said...

I love your honesty! One thing you might want to consider is to shop less frequently. You hit the grocery store almost every day or every other day. That is a lot of shopping and I know that when I shop that frequently - impulse purchases and "wants" make it into my cart way too often.

Another thing - have you thought about making your own trail mix? My kids do it all the time. I buy cans of peanuts, almonds, pistachios, etc on sale for under $3 for 16-20 oz. I can get dried fruit in bulk from costco for cheap or I dry my own when the fruit is in season. Anyway, it would be worth pricing out making your own versus buying it premade. Plus - you could make it so that it was gluten free and then you wouldn't have to worry!

Kim @ Homesteader's Heart said...

You REALLY make me wish there was a TRader Joe's Or Whole Foods store nearby. We had a Wild Oats a few years ago but they closed down and nothing replaced it.
I just bought some stuff to make the powdered laundry detergent as well. I had made the liquid before and didn't care for it but I thought I'd give the powder a go round. We'll see. But like you I'm waiting for my other to be gone first.
Have a lovely day Heather.

Rebecca said...

Since my own shopping trips are less frequent (and for less exotic foods), I enjoy your accounts. Makes mine seem boring in comparison :)

Heidi said...

Hello Heather,
Lovely pictures. I love Carmel and that 17 mile drive. I grew up in San Jose, but I now reside in the southern Sierra-Nevada mountains.

You are doing a great job keeping yourself accountable for every dollar spent and you clearly understand what you need vs. what you want to buy. I sure feel for you with the gluten allergy Heather. I have been learning about how foods affect our bodies, and it is alarming just what is added to basic food. It's no wonder people are developing so many food allergies these days.

My baby sister was recently tested again, and she is now allergic to more than 200 food substances. Her allergist told her that it is very common today. Yikes. Take care of yourself dear. I like reading your blog and thoughtful comments.

Angie said...

Ah I feel your pain, trying to make ends meet with little to work with. I'm right now working on testing out recipes for farmer's market, seeing what turns out well and what flops with me making eventually earn some $ to supplement hubby's income. Today--homemade chocolate pudding fried pies (or baked pies). YUM!

My middle one has peanut allergies, and seems many things have peanuts in them. He knows to stay away from the nuts, peanut butter, etc, but there's so many things that have peanut oil or something with peanuts... *sigh*

Angie said...

OH...did you know you can use the homemade laundry soap on things besides clothes? I just used mine (very similar recipe, minus the baking soda but keeping the wash soda) to clean a very greasy stove, backsplash, and floor, and it's white as snow now! I've tried a dab in the dish water (hand wash) too, and works well. Hubby put some down the tub drain and I use it down the kitchen sink drain to keep it free flowing (since I hand wash on a scrub board, I run the left over water down the kitchen drain regularly, and in the near year of doing that, there hasn't been a clog).


Jenni said...

Great job on your goals! I've only been to Trader Joe's once because it's about a 20 minute drive from my house. I did start ordering from a co-op so I can get more organic items at a cheaper price. :)

Annesphamily said...

They are going to open Trader Joe's here next year! Whew! We are tickled! They have some awesome prices! It will be nice to get a store here. I am sure they will open more than one. Adding jobs to a tough economy is always a good thing!