Weekly Shopping List 7/21/11

I'll be headed to both Publix and Winn Dixie over the next couple days. I'm a Publix Girl and I try my best not to get caught up in finding every deal every time, but I do make sure to check the circulars for my other local stores in case there's a great deal I can't pass up. This week, there is!


Weekly Shopping : A Better Way

Until I figure out a better way than my list-form for posting about my weekly shopping trips, I won't be posting details. It's just too time consuming to re-write my list with coupons and then go change the colors and all that mess. I really would like there to be some way to import parts of my Google document where I really keep track of it all.
I'll figure it out, but until then how about I update you on how we're doing so far with some totals.

Last year, 2010, was my first year using coupons. I didn't start until the Spring, so I am hoping to keep my 2011 totals below these by quite a lot!

I spent $2575 on groceries and household products in 2010.
I saved $2900 on those products by using coupons and shopping sale prices.
This gives me 53% savings for the year.
More than half off and I am a happy lady!

So far this year (since I haven't posted any weekly totals since, oh, October) we have spent $698.
On that we have saved $1485. This year's savings breakdown comes to an awesome 69% savings!
 If I compare that to the savings for 2010 as an average, we're about $160 below what we would have spent on groceries so far. We've saved $500 more than last year though which is a huge number!

I hope I can keep that up and bump my overall totals up by the 10% I'm seeing now. With the year starting out so well, I think we can do it. At the end of the year I hope to see our total spending under $2100 (our budget) and our savings skyrocketing to about $4500 or so.

This week at the store will close out April and I will start again posting my weekly hauls with list breakdowns. Maybe I might even post the shopping list before I go so that it can be helpful to others before they do their shopping too? We'll see. First, the spreadsheet has to start working for me. Then, we'll untangle the rest.

You can do this too, you really can. All you need is a little patience, a printer, and some commitment to make it all work. Thanks as always to Michelle (and all) over at I Heart Publix for all their hard work. I always say it, but it is always true that I would not be where I am with my savings if it weren't for her amazing and helpful blog.


Seeds of Love 2011 : Planning

Every Spring since we've been married Collin and I have taken on a gardening project of some kind. This year is no exception.
One of the things we looked for in a new house last year during our search was a large yard. Mostly for Early Girl to have space to run, but also so that we could have a garden again. Watching plants grow is satisfying for us beyond the eventual harvest. We fully enjoy the dirt in our hands, the sun on our shoulders. Taking time each evening after work to say hello, tidy up, and give the earth a drink while we wind-down from our day. This time of year is sweet and always gets me looking forward to the summer days of grilling on the patio with friends, sharing the beautiful space we've grown to enjoy.

Good thing we both have green thumbs!

On the list for this year's garden are:

Sungold cherry tomatoes
'4th of July' early tomatoes
'Brandywine Pink' heirloom tomatoes
salsa hot peppers
Poblano peppers
'Chinese Giant' bell peppers
snow peas
lima beans
white cucumber

We're not sure what will do well in our yard but we're happy to find out and give these a shot. We've grown tomatoes and peppers before but most of the stuff on the list is new to us. Our yard has bright shade throughout the day and direct sunlight in the earlier morning hours when it's still cool. In hot, swampy Florida I think this is a good thing. Soon enough, we'll find out if the plants agree.
This year, we're constructing two raised bed frames and using square-foot-gardening techniques. All new to us! I checked out Mel Bartholomew's book, (All New) Square Foot Gardening at the library a few weeks ago and have been absorbing the information and making a list of supplies. I'm off to purchase them this afternoon so that first thing tomorrow morning, we can get started.

We ordered our live plants and seeds from Burpee.com this year for the first time. The seeds have already arrived, and the live plants will ship at the end of March for the perfect planting time according to our zone (which is 8b). Goals for the weekend include building the boxes, mixing the soil components, constructing the trellises, planting the seeds we have, and spiffing up the patio some. Since moving in we've concentrated mostly on the interior and now that Spring has sprung, we're so ready to get outside!