I can’t wait to hear what Brandy thinks of Universal! My kids are so excited to show them around. If you aren’t shopping your pantry and freezer first you are missing out on some serious grocery budget savings!
You can read Brandy’s previous posts by clicking here!
Thanks to the $0.99 cent store my pantry, fridge, and freezer (including an extra chest freezer) are stocked to the brim! This week I only spent $25.00 on groceries. Like I talked about last week. I have been just buying whatever looks good to me from the $0.99 Cent Store. Then I make a meal plan based off what I have on hand. What that means is we eat whatever we can find cheap, with a few exceptions. I don’t buy a lot of processed foods. I enjoy cooking. Plus whole foods are way better for you and tastes better! Even if you don’t have a discount grocery store you can still do this method. Shop the sales ad, clearance racks, and most importantly your pantry and freezer. Most people have a ton of thing already on hand they just forgot they had.
The $0.99 Cent Store doesn’t have fresh meat, and the milk there is a little off to me. Sometimes I luck out and find organic milk at the $0.99 Cent Store. I do buy that and its fine. Its mainly an off brand they carry that is odd to me. Besides that the $0.99 Cent Store has everything I need and want plus tons of extras. I find a ton of organic food there. Like most people, I would love to eat exclusively organic, but its just not an option due to the price. Normally, I don’t buy anything organic from my local grocery store. At the $0.99 Cent Store I usually buy about 50% of my items organic.
Really this week all I had to buy was milk and a few packs of meat to get us thru. That is why my grocery bill was so low. I buy almost all our produce from the $0.99 cent store. This week they had organic strawberries and blackberries for $0.99 each container. We also got a pineapple, carrots, radishes, and some bananas. Our garden has lettuce, tomatoes, and kale! I did have to get cucumbers at my local grocery store. I also bought a pack of chicken thighs, and ground beef. I had a pack a pork chops and boneless skinless chicken breasts from last week leftover.
The one thing I really have to be careful with is to not buy to much. There are so many deals to be had at the $0.99 Cent Store. Its easy for me to go buck-wild and buy more then we can eat. Most things at the $0.99 Cent Store are close to their expiration dates. For that reason I try and just buy what we will eat before it goes bad. Which is so hard! I want to buy it all. The best way I have found to combat this is do a monthly pantry/freezer clean out. What that means is we eat what we have on hand and buy as little as possible. That really helps!
Tomorrow, Chloe and myself are leaving for Kristin’s we are so excited! Kristin is also a Lularoe consultant, I also help her with that. She has cruise qualified. What that means is she has consistently sold a certain amount monthly. Lularoe pays for everything all she has to do is show up! Jason (her husband) and Kristin leave early Saturday morning for the week long cruise. She is flying me to her house to watch the kids and help with Lularoe while she is away.
We have never been to Universal. I decided what better time to go then now! This trip we are going to go to Universal not once but 5 times with my own personal tour guides AKA Jacob and Emily. I am going to buy a yearly pass for myself. They have this awesome deal going on that you get 3 months free. That way in the summer when I go back with Valentin my 11 year old I can take him as well. Then next March it will give me another opportunity to go. For Chloe, I was going to get the buy 2 days get 2 days free promotion. A few weeks ago they increased the free days to 3 days! We are so excited to go see what Universal is all about.
When I was thinking about how I was going to pay for this. It just seemed right to use some of my Disney funds from the Oct. trip. The whole point of us couponing to Disney is to enjoy things we normally couldn’t afford. That is exactly where Universal falls. We do purposely pay our children really well for chores and allowances. It’s the way we teach them about money. We pay for their needs, wants are up to them. If its something big like Universal we do pay for half of whatever it is. Besides that they are on their own. If this was a whole family trip we would be paying for the tickets. Since its a special thing, my husband and I decided Chloe had to pay for half her ticket. Including tax that came out to just under $152.00. That left me with a balance of $152.00 for her tickets. Then for the annual pass I have to pay a down payment of $189.00. I am only taking out the pass and ticket costs from the Disney fund. The food and souvenirs I will just pay out of my regular budget.
This past week I have only earned from surveys, Soylent for 700 SB, and with the member recognition program I earned $100.00! It was a good week with SB to say the least. Then I got a surprise check in the mail from K12 (the school we use for my daughters home school curriculum) it was $48.00.
Gift cards, and cash balances:
Southwest Gift Card – $177.12 for a $200.00 balance
Universal annual pass and 5 day ticket – $341.00
Cash Remaining in my Disney fund – $464.88
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