Thursday, December 30, 2010

End of Year Challenge Review

We decided to end our challenge two days early so that we could splurge a little for the New Year. We have already proven to ourselves that we could succeed and wanted some down time not thinking about bargains.

What we learned...we enjoy eating out and it is hard to not do that as often. Dining out is really our only vice, we don't drink alcohol, smoke anything, or party; we just like to eat at restaurants. I think reigning in the restaurant use was the hardest part about this year.

We did actually spend more thatn $1200, but that was because I added in $58.76 worth of rebates I received from different bargains. Here are our totals for the 2010 Challenge:

Total amount of money actually spent: $1219.55

Total rebates added in: $58.76

Amount left: $9.79

Amount saved: $891.27!!!!

Total value of purchases: $2110.82

I can't believe how much can be saved. We used coupons, gift cards, and sometimes people gave us items. Amazing.

It was a good challenge for the year. We are proud of ourselves for trying the challenge and it has definitely taught us some budgeting skills.

Stay tuned for a post on next year's challenge!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

One more gift card

We went to Chili's tonight, thanks to a gift card from my parents. Saved $25!

Monday, December 27, 2010

New challenge for 2011

We have picked our new challenge for 2011. Info coming soon, as well as a 2010 challenge review!

CVS trip of the week

Quick stop in today. My CVS didn't have the $15/$5 ECB CoverGirl deal because they don't carry the right types of products. I was bummed because that was what I was aiming for, oh well, I did need detergent! Plus I was able to use up some ECBs.

Total OOP = ZERO
Total saved using MQ, ECB, and GC = $22.41 (food savings = $6.36), plus I earned $5 in ECB

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Today's outing

We went into town today to look for some after Christmas sales and some other things.

4 - Holiday brownie mixes on sale for $0.79 each = $3.16

Total OOP = Zero ( saved $6.36 from sales and using a gift card)

3 bags of Pretzel M&Ms at 50% off = $3.75

We took advantage of the Meal Deal of the week. Purchase one package of pre-seasoned fajita meat (beef, chicken thigh, or pork) and get several items free.

Total OOP = zero ($7.15 on giftcard, savings of $13.64 with all the free items.)

We also ate at Olive Garden for lunch using a giftcard from my parents. That was a savings of $25. Then we had ice cream using the money my parents gave us for our wedding anniversary which was a savings of $7.56.

It was a really good day for us as far as savings goes!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We hit the sweet spot when visiting my parents today. We received oranges, a double pack of Cinnabon muffin mix, candies, hot chocolate, and real Maine whoopie pies. The whoopie pies alone are $26.95 for the dozen! I am going to take a conservative estimate and guess the total value of these goodies at about $40...that is $40 saved for us!!!

No picture, but we also picked up some milk and tortillas at Super Target yesterday. Used a gift card so we saved $4.08.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Another candy trip at CVS

Decided on one more candy run. Cost me $0.05 after sales, MQ, CVS Q and ECB.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Today's CVS trip

I'm still trying to use up ECBs that expire Thursday. I will have to make one more trip, but that is alright.

I used a B2G1 free Q on the Hershey's/Reese's candy, and when scanned it took off the original price of $3.49 instead of the sale price of $2.50. Sweet deal. I actually went negative with this deal and thus ended up having to purchase the M&Ms.

Total before sales, Q and ECB = $14.15
Total sales, Q and ECB = $ $13.85
Total OOP w/ tax = $0.76

CVS Excedrin deal

I have been really disappointed in CVS deals lately. Well, for about a month and a half now. I had a ton of ECBs to use up so I went looking for something I could use and still earn some ECB on.

Total cost before Q and ECB = $21.07
Total MQ and ECB = $20.47
Total OOP = $0.60
Earned $10 ECB and I still have about $8 in ECB to use by Thursday. I don't really like the deals this week either, but I did find one or two things I can get...if they are in stock.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


A friend of mine got a few people together to purchase a half a cow that was grass-fed and hormone free. We ended up with one huge roast (about 4 pounds), two round steaks, two T-bones, 4 pounds of hamburger, and 1 side of fajita meat for $34.78. I forgot to take a picture of it because it was so cold and I was in a hurry to get inside. We are pretty happy with the deal especially since all of the cuts of meat were the same price ($2.70/pound).

Monday, December 6, 2010

A few items and a meal

I don't know why we did it, but on Saturday we ate lunch from Jack in the Box. Total OOP = $11.33

We made a quick trip to the store last night for some non-food items and picked up these two things. James saw the cakes and said, "Oh, and they are my favorite kind." Who can resist a 40 year old man saying that about Little Debbie Holiday Cakes. Total OOP = #3.76

Thursday, December 2, 2010


The good thing about working at a restaurant is that sometimes there are extra groceries. My boss accidently received a large crate of eggs and was told he could keep them. We don't use a lot of eggs at the restaurant so he was giving them away. I walked away with two and half dozen eggs!

Saved = $3.23 (based on the local price of $1.29 per dozen)

2011 Challenge = Support Local Eateries

Read about our 2011 Challenge here.