Category Archives: Budgetting


Simplifying laundry

When I was growing up, our formal living room couch was overrun by laundry – for company to come over, we had to find another place (usually a bed) to stash the clean clothes.
As I started managing my own house, I encountered the same situation – laundry overrunning some area of our apartment or house.

By the time I was managing the laundry of 5 people, I had to come up with a solution.

Here’s my laundry system:
Laundry system

The system works to organize space and time.

  • Space: The baskets above the washer/dryer provide a location to store laundry that does not need to be used for anything else – unlike the couch or the bed.
  • Time: This is the KEY! If laundry wasn’t such a time-commitment, then it wouldn’t pile up anyway. Here’s how my system manages itself:
    1. Each morning, I put on a load of laundry in the washer, and unload a load from dryer…
      • Unloading dryer involves sorting clothes into the baskets – a shirt & pants basket for each of the boys, a hangup & fold basket for myself & Arabella, Joel’s all thrown up in top 2 baskets, socks in a crate, towels in a basket on floor… probably takes 1 min total.
      • Loading washer takes less than 1 min.
    2. Each afternoon, I put away 1 category of clothing (towels, Arabella, Holden, Darin, Joel or Heather)… 5-10 min. (or this is the part I did before I had help at home from Jessica

*The BEST PART is that if you never make time to do the afternoon stuff, everyone’s clothes are “put away” in their pre-sorted baskets… easy to find, easy to wear.*

Note: The detergent in this picture is the best price/load around – it from Sears, comes in different “flavors” and is only $13 for 125 loads!


Meal planning, shopping, coupons,etc

Over the past 2 years, as I have desired to feed my family healthy meals, to NOT dread the coming of dinner once again each day, and to live on a reasonable food budget, I have developed some tools I thought others may find helpful, or have recommendations on supplementing.

These are:

  • A price-comparison grocery shopping list – this grocery shopping list is organized my area (based on my local Kroger’s) in the order I shop. It is color-coded by store (Wal-mart, HEB, Kroger’s)… so if I am at Wal-mart, and I check the prices and find something to be cheaper there, I turn it RED… so if it’s worth the savings to make a separate trip, I will.
  • Meal choices list – this is a spreadsheet where I list all the things my family eats and the recipes for each one… no more digging around in a box!
  • Menu template – this is where the magic happens! If you want to try this, you need to download the Meal choices list first. Then, when this document opens, it will ask to be directed to read Meal choices list on your computer. Then within WORD Tools menu, you can Mail Merge you menu by category (ie. dinners, lunches, snacks)

This is my process each week:

  1. I mail merge all my “Dinners”… then I just start deleting… anything we ate this week is deleted, anything that doesn’t sound good right now, then I try to choose just 1 thing from each category (Italian, Mexican, egg, soups, etc). [could do same for breakfast and lunch… we eat the same stuff for those meals each week.]
  2. I go through the Menu (created in #1) and circle any ingredients I need on the shopping list.
  3. I can then add up the price of the items and see how I am doing with my Grocery budget – if we will have enough for eating out on date night (usually Spaghetti Night for kids on my Menu) and for our weekly Tropical Chill Snowcone runs!

If you have a process, please share… I always want NEW RECIPES and to simplify my process.
If this helps you, YAY!

CVS & prescriptions

When Joel had his heart attack (12/30/08), he got put on 5
prescriptions immediately – $90 in copays.
Thankfully, I has spent my Christmas vacation learning about The
Grocery Game & reading

By finding 'Transfer your Rx' coupons, I have spent only $10/month out
of pocket…

Here's how it worked yesterday:

Joel had 3 prescriptions Auto-refill @ CVS.
I prefer to keep my Rx's @ CVS, and so do they… So I don't transfer
them! I just use the coupon I would if I had transferred to Walgreens
without the hassle!

1st Rx$10 copay – $10 cash… Get $25 Giftcard with coupon from
Walgreens ad
2nd Rx$10 copay – $10 off GC… Get $25 GC= Balance $40
3rd Rx$30 copay – $30 off GC… Get $25 = Balance $35

If I was smart, I would save this GC for next Rx refills… Then I
wouldn't have the $10 out-of-pocket.

CVS Deal of the Day

Starting CVS Balance: $1.99 ECBs

Sincor $30
Paid $30 cash
Rec’d $15 GC
Net: -$15

(8) HoneyNut Cheerios $2.50 – coupon $1/3 = $19
Nature’s Valley $3 – coupon $0.50 = $2.50
(2) Gummi Lifesavers – coupon $1.50 = $1.50
Milk $2.79 = $2.79 + $2 ECBs
(4) CVS Sinus meds (2)$5.29 + (2)$5.49 – (2)$2.50 off 12 = $16.56
CVS $10 off $50
Paid: $1.99 ECB + $15 GC + $14.36 cash
Rec’d: $2 ECB

Started with $1.99 ECB = $1.99
Ended with $2 ECB = $2.00
Product value: $84.64… For $44.36 cash – not bad considering I needed the prescription & sinus meds either way!

CVS Deal of the Day

Starting CVS Balance: $8 GC + $5 ECBs = $13

Lovaza $30 – Coupon $20 = $10
Lisinopril $10
Paid $8 GC + $12 cash
Rec'd $50 GC
Net: $43

(4) Campbell's soup B1G1 $1.69 & $1.49 -coupon (2)$1/2 = $1.18
(3) Pepsi 12-packs $3.67 – $2 ECB = $9
Schick Intuition $8.99 – coupon $4 – $3 ECB = $1.99
(2) Bayer Aspirin $2.79 – coupon (2) $1 = $3.58
Non-deal items $11.48
CVS $2.50 off $12
Paid: $5 ECB + $26.18 GC
Rec'd: $5 ECB

Started with $12 cash + $8 GC + $5 ECB = $25
Ended with $23.82 GC + $5 ECB = $28.82
Product value: $84.86… For $3.82 profit!