Goals

Weekly Goal Update for Week 21

1. Walk at least 500 miles this year (187 miles down and 313 to go)

I managed to get 10 miles in this week despite rain and poor scheduling on my part.  I sometimes will count other activities as “walking” if I cannot fit in a daily walk. This week, I counted 2 hours of sweaty yardwork as two miles walked (even though I do not really do that much sweating while walking…)

2. Eat less than 40 net carbs each day

I did this 6 out of 7 days

3. Read two non-fiction books each month

This month my book of choice is The Americans. I have to make out a study guide and tests for Emma this fall, so I decided that I will just count this huge history textbook as my non-fiction selection for the month of May. **It is amazing what I do not know about American History…but after this book, I should be an expert:)

4. Have two date nights each month

We are going out tomorrow apparently, so this one might get crossed off this month:)

5. Have two family game nights Accomplished

We played Mad Gab, Apples to Apples, and Hi-Ho Cherry-o this week.

6. Add twelve new products to my Teachers pay Teachers store (3 down and 9 to go)

No, nope, nada….This is surprisingly the hardest goal for me each month.  In order to shame myself into being productive, I am adding my total number of completed items vs. how many I still need to finish. Hopefully this will work as inspiration!

7. Have a no spend week each month Accomplished

I am currently finishing up my no spend week today, so that feels nice to get out of the way.

8. Buy nothing new this year

Nothing new was bought this week

9. $5 Monthly Challenge

I went with beans and rice to add to my food bank stash this week. It may not be exactly exciting, but it is definitely filling.

 

 

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Recipes

Low carb Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

lowcarbpancake
I was so hungry, that I totally forgot to take a picture while it was whole and beautiful:)

 

One of the nice things about raising my daily net carbs to 40, is that I can occasionally have oatmeal again.  (I also happen to have an enormous bag of frozen blueberries that desperately need to be used up soon, so I went searching for a low carb pancake recipe to try out.)  Surprisingly, there were many recipes that popped up, but some of them seemed really strange, like one used yogurt and another used cottage cheese???  But luckily, I came across a great recipe that uses just oatmeal and almond flour as its base, to create a really moist and (more importantly) delicious pancake.

Ingredients

1/2 cup of old fashioned oats

1/2 cup of almond flour (Another variation I tried was 1/4 cup of almond flour and 2 Tablespoons of flax seed meal. It turned out just fine, but was prone to fall apart when I flipped the pancakes over. So if you do not mind a messy pancake this variation worked just as well)

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

1/4 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon (I have also used 1/2 teaspoon, which is great if you like a little more spice)

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of milk or almond milk (I used almond milk because it was lower in carbs)

2 Tablespoons of melted butter

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Optional:  1/2 cup of frozen blueberries (I thaw mine in the microwave first)

Directions

1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender (except the blueberries) and blend for about 1 minute.

2. Heat a skillet or a griddle on medium-high.

3. Spray the skillet/griddle with a cooking spray and pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto the griddle. Then add the blueberries.

4. After about 2-3 minutes, check to see if the bottom is golden brown, if it is, then flip it over and cook the other side for 2-3 minutes or until it is done.

5. Top with butter and sugar-free syrup, and enjoy!

**This recipe makes two large pancakes or 4 small pancakes.

Yummmmmmy!

 

Frugal Accomplishments

Five Frugal Things

1. Free items

This week, our freebies included: a candy bar from Kroger, a package of baby carrots, and seven containers of Cesar dog food treats (courtesy of a random coupon that came in the mail to my mom…who does not even have a dog…so weird!)

2. Thrift store finds

My son loves to wear Crocs in the summer, but his old pair were falling apart, so we were happy to find a brand new pair for just $2.99 at the thrift store **If he finds anything he loves, he says that he hit the jackpot:) We also found a new box of Uno cards for just $.99, a Mad Gab game for $1.99, a couple of tank tops for $2, and two packages of Duplo blocks for $1.99 each (which is a steal).

3. Used fuel points

Since it was getting close to the end of the month, I made sure to check and see if I had any fuel points to use. So I ended up saving 20 cents a gallon and my husband will save 30 cents per gallon when he fills up tomorrow (He has a bigger tank so it makes better sense for him to get the bigger discount)

4. Avoided installment payments

Since we paid our mortgage off almost 4 years ago (Thank you, Dave Ramsey) we have been responsible for paying our home insurance premiums each year.  While it was tempting to just pay the insurance premium off in small monthly payments, they come with a $4 monthly charge, which I just cannot stomach paying.  Instead, I paid the lump sum off all at once, which will save us $48 this upcoming year.  **We also choose to pay our auto insurance the same way, so collectively we save almost $100 each year by simply paying our bill all at once.

5. Forgotten eBooks

We had bought a new Kindle e-reader over Christmas last year and I totally forgot that I had bought eBooks over the past few years that have been just sitting in my Amazon bookshelf waiting to be reread again. So this past week, I downloaded 10 books to my new kindle and have been enjoying them all week.  **It almost feels like I am reading them for free….

Goals

Weekly Goal Update for Week 20

1. Walk at least 500 miles this year (177 down and 323 to go)

I walked almost all of my 10 miles outdoors this week and even managed to squeeze in 3 miles while we were traveling to visit family, so this goal is right on track to finish for the year now….thank goodness!

2. Eat less than 40 net carbs each day

I did this for 6 out of 7 days.

3. Read two non-fiction books each month

This month I am working my way through an American History textbook for Emma’s upcoming school year, so I am up to my ears in non-fiction this month.  **One of the perks of homeschooling is getting to learn new things each year alongside my children.  After writing study guides for science and history, I feel like I am a walking encyclopedia:)

4. Have at least two date nights each month

One down and one to go

5. Have at least two family game nights each month

One down and one to go

6. Have one no spend week each month

I started my no spend week this week, so I will only be buying a small amount of groceries and nothing more.

7. Add 12 products to my Teachers pay Teachers store

I still need to add two items this month to stay on track for the year.

8. Buy nothing new this year

Nothing new was bought this week

9. $5 weekly challenge

This week, I bought pasta, spaghetti sauce, and alfredo sauce to add to my food bank donation stash.

Frugal Accomplishments

Five Frugal Things

1. Homemade Mother’s Day cards

I always tell my kids to make me a card each year, because it is basically free and way more personal than store bought cards. **I also get a kick out of whatever picture they make for me each year:)

2. No food waste this week!

I always feel so happy when I can say that I did not throw away any food during the week.  **I do admit that I give our guinea pig any veggies that are slightly old, but it still saves us money on guinea pig food costs this way

3. State tax return

We got our tax return from State this week, so I am including that in my Five Frugal Things because it is going directly into savings:)

4. Air conditioner

Now usually air conditioners are not considered to be frugal, but I am currently using one that I found on clearance for half price last fall, so that is frugal!

5. Free chicken and eggs

My dad raises chickens for meat and eggs, so this week he gave me two that he butchered last weekend to put into my freezer. On top of that, I also picked up 3 dozen eggs because his chickens are in their prime laying time of the year and they are being flooded with them each day. Thanks, Daddy!

 

Goals

Weekly Goal Update for Week 19

1. Walk at least 500 miles this year (167 down and 333 to go)

We had beautiful weather this week, so I walked all 10 miles outdoors. **On a sad note, while all of this walking is great for my back and health, it is terrible on my pocketbook! I noticed that my tennis shoes are starting to fall apart on the edges and I think I have only had them for a year:(

2. Eat less than 40 net carbs each day

I did this for all 7 days. I also am experimenting with omitting dairy from my diet, so that has been fun….sarcasm intended….

3. Read two non-fiction books each month

Not yet. **I have been reading way too much fiction this month!!

4. Have two date nights each month

One down and one to go. We went out for Italian food last week, but sadly did not get to see our movie because it was only showing in limited theaters around here.

5. Have two family game nights each month

One down and one to go

6. Have one no spend week each month

Not yet

7. Add twelve new products to my Teachers pay Teachers store this year

I finally added a new product this weekend (that took me entirely too long due to laziness), so now I am going to start working on a study guide for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. To keep on pace for this goal, I need to add two more products this month…but we will see:)

8. Try to buy nothing “new” this year

I did pretty well this week. I opted to give gift cards as Mother’s Day presents and encouraged my children to make handmade cards for me instead of store bought ones (handmade cards mean so much more to me than store bought cards!)

The only thing I bought, that was considered “new”, would be two new watches for my husband and myself. **My watch band was on its last leg and the time adjuster only worked half of the time, so it desperately needed to be replaced and my husband just wanted a cheap sports watch to time his workouts at the gym better.

9. $5 weekly challenge

This week family sized canned ravioli was on sale at Kroger so I picked up three to add to my food bank stash.

 

 

Frugal Accomplishments

Five Frugal Things

towels

1. Kohl’s Cash

I received $10 in Kohl’s cash a few weeks ago for being a loyal customer for the past 10 years and thankfully I remembered to redeem the coupon before it expired next week:)  I chose to purchase three new bath towels because they were on sale for $3.50 each (and our towels are starting to get really worn)  So my out of pocket cost for 3 brand new towels was just $1.33.

2. Used book sale

I was pleased to pick up a used copy of a science book that I was missing from a series for just $10 at a used book sale recently.  A new copy of this book sells for $20, so I was pleased that I found an used one for such a great price and in such great condition.

3. Made pizza and calzones at home

At the end of a really busy day, I resisted temptation (and saved $15) by making pizza at home.

4. Standardize testing

To avoid paying a proctor to monitor my daughter while she took a standardize test this year, I found a testing service that allowed me to give the test in our own home.

5. Disappearing washcloths

Somehow we have been losing washcloths lately??  (I think we have like 6 left and I am sure I had at least twice that number just a few months ago!)  I was happy to see that Walmart sells a pack of 4 washcloths for just $1, so I made sure to pick up two packs the last time I was in the store.

 

 

 

 

Goals

Weekly Goal Update for Week 18

1. Walk at least 500 miles this year (8 miles walked this week, so 157 down and 343 to go)

Ok I just realized that we have just finished 1/3 of 2018 and I am only on pace to finish around 470 miles this year, so I have to step up my mileage!

2. Eat less than 40 net carbs each day

I did this 5 out of 7 days this week.

3. Read two non-fiction books each month

Not yet.

4. Have two date nights each month

Date night this week will be enjoying Italian food (that I do not have to cook!) and watching Super Troopers 2 at the local theatre…yes we have juvenile sense of humors:)

5. Have two family game nights each month

This week for game night, we played multiple rounds of Mario Kart and Wipeout on the Wii.  We also had a snacky dinner of apples and popcorn to round out a relaxing Saturday evening.

6. Have one no spend week each month

Not yet

7. Add twelve new products to my Teachers pay Teachers store

I just need to type up the study guide I just finished on famous women in history and then I will only need to add two more products this month to stay on pace….

8. Try to buy nothing “new” this year

This past week, I chose to buy my daughter a chef’s hat and an apron off of Amazon for a play she was in at her homeschool co-op.  While I could have probably made both items, Amazon had a set for just $12, so I decided to press the easy button and it worked out great!

I also ended up buying three new bath towels at Kohl’s this week…..BUT….I had $10 in Kohl’s cash that was sent to me for being a loyal customer for 10 years, so it was a wise way to spend free money.  **To make this deal even more sweet, the towels were on sale for just $3.50 this week, so I only had to spend $1.40 out of pocket (which is a great price for three brand new towels)

9. $5 weekly challenge

I decided to go simple and buy rice and beans again.

 

 

Frugal Accomplishments

Five Frugal Things

1. Made all of our dinners at home

Considering I had a meeting or an errand to run during or around dinner time each night, I count that as an accomplishment!

2. Thrift store finds

We found a pair of black pants and a black shirt for my daughter to use as part of her costume in a play she will be in this week for just $5 at the thrift store. (She is playing the pepper crazy Cook in Alice in Wonderland)

My son found four t-shirts to add to his dwindling collection for just $1.50 each and also a nice pair of swim trunks to use next month when the waterpark opens.  I was very pleased to find the teacher’s edition of a World Literature textbook for just $1.50, which will make planning for high school much easier:)

3. First Communion gifts

The kids that I teach at Sunday school are celebrating their First Communion this week, so I wanted to get them a little present to make them feel special.  Since all of my students are of Hispanic heritage, I decided to make each student, an Our Lady of Guadalupe medallion necklace. (14 Medals + 30 feet of thin ribbon=14 happy kids)

I also had the children color some religious bookmarks that I printed off a few weeks ago and laminated them at home to make a memorable keepsake of our time together. **Of course, I made them a little candy bag to go with the two small gifts because that is what they always look forward to!  So everyone was happy and I spent less than $2 on each student, which made my pocketbook happy:)

4.  Fuel points

I remembered to use my Kroger fuel points before they expired on the first, so I saved $0.20/gallon, yippee!

5. Kroger deals

There were so many great deals at Kroger this past week that I cannot possibly list them all, but I do remember that they had chips, cereal, cheese, low carb ice cream, and chicken tenderloins on sale for amazing prices. **We will not discuss how much money was spent, but at least my pantry and fridge are full now…..