Bits O’ This and That

So I had a bunch of fun plans lined up for this month that would have made for really fun blogs.  But sadly, I’ve had to cancel every single one of those plans for one reason or another!  I know, I know, cancelling fun plans should be illegal!  🙂  Anyway, here are just a few things that have been going on as of late, and I’ll have a ‘real’ blog post up shortly!  🙂

Oh, speaking of fun plans… I have made some really fun plans for this upcoming summer! A couple of hotels have been booked, an awesome 5k has been paid for, AND my sister and I might also be going on a mini-getaway.  I sooooo can’t wait to share these plans with all of you as they get closer!!

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  1.  I want to do an even better job at making my hubby feel special and loved, so I left a little message for him on our bathroom mirror the other day.  Let’s just say that poetry isn’t my thing…  But still, he loved it!  🙂

 

2.  My mom surprised me with a special treat the other day:  a bath fizz-bomb for a luxurious spa-like bath at home.  I’ve never used one before, but I can honestly say I’m hooked.  It turned the bath water a beautiful blue color, and – as it melted away – pieces of dried, flower petals appeared.  It left my skin silky soft and smelling of lavender.

I think a trip to Lush is in my future!  (Have you ever gone to that store before?  I haven’t, but there is a Lush store within driving distance from me.  I really, really want to try their fizz bombs now)!

3.  Nate and I are music nerds, and we’re always singing around the house like we’re living in a musical.  Ha!  I used to sing actual show-tunes or pop hits; but now I sing “I have two feet, one’s green, one’s blue…”  😉  The silly songs of Brady’s toys are constantly stuck in my head, and I sing or hum them ALL day long.

4.  It has been SUCH a mild winter here in New England!  There’s barely any snow, and the weather has – for the most part – hovered around 32 degrees.  The temps did plummet to negative 12 degrees last week, and our house could hardly keep up with the heat.  Brrrrr, it was WAY too cold for my liking.

But this weekend?  We were in the 50’s!!  It was so wonderful to play outside without bulky winter coats.  🙂

5.  Last but not least, I have a challenge for YOU!  I’m usually really good at budgeting, but I’m struggling with staying in my grocery budget.  It’s SO hard!!  If you have any tips on how to keep the grocery budget down, please let them in the comment or email me at:  nicole_leb@hotmail.com.  I plan to blog about my adventures in lowering the grocery budget; and if I use your tip, I’ll give you credit in the post!!

Last  but not least, what have you been up to lately??  🙂

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10 thoughts on “Bits O’ This and That

  1. Hey Nicole! It’s hard when we have to cancel fun plans!! That is no fun at all. I think you and I are a lot alike, we like to have adventures and enjoy getting them on the calendar. I find that I am planning my next trip while on one!!
    Here are some tips for cutting down on the grocery budget, which I am sure you are already doing…
    1. Buy store brand verses name brand…most things are comparable. Not oreos though, you must still get those.
    2. Find an Aldi…this is key. There is one in Keene, which would be about 45 minutes from you. It is so worth the trip, even if you go once a month. You can buy most things there much cheaper. I stock up things when I take a trip. I can usually fill a grocery cart for $140. They have so many staple items at lower prices. They only sell their brand, but you can not tell the difference. Their dairy products are so much cheaper, as well as their other grocery items…their produce is hit or miss…but every time I have gone, I find great selections of veggie’s at such great prices. Their fruit is really hit or miss…but still worth the trip. You should look into Aldi for sure. You bring your own grocery bags, bag your own groceries as well as put your cart away in order to get your quarter back! Yes, it cost a quarter to use a grocery cart (a buggy as they say in the south). Anyway, this has been a life saver for me.
    3. If you have time…find BOGO products and use coupons. I personally hate coupons because I always forget to use them, they only have coupons for stuff I never buy…but you can occasionally find savings and especially with baby products (diapers, wipes, food, etc..).
    4. Have money saving meals…we do Sandwich Night…this saves money!! Get creative. I also do Mexican Monday or you can do Meatless Monday…find ways to serve healthy meals that do not break the bank to buy. I love to cook, so I like making new things for my family…this can get expensive. Especially when you are buying a product you may never use again (aka, fish sauce?). : ) been there, done that! : )
    5. If you can buy in bulk, this does save….maybe go in on big purchases with a friend…my neighbor and I bought 40 pounds of boneless chicken breast..it worked out to be $1.67 a pound that way. Just something to think about….

    Hope those helped

    • Yes, yes, and YES! 🙂 Many people don’t understand my love of planning, but – to me – the actual planning (and anticipation) of an adventure is half of the fun.
      These were GREAT ideas, and I will definitely be incorporating some into my grocery shopping. (I’ll make sure I give you a shout-out when I get the blog post up in a few months)! I especially am guilty of the second-to-last thing. I love to cook, and I will buy those random ingredients that cost a small fortune… but that won’t be used again for months. And I’ll have to check out Aldi, for sure!

  2. My grocery budget dropped a bit when I started being more deliberate about meal planning:) I plan out my meals for one week, make a list of the ingredients necessary for each of the meals, and then, this is really important, I stick to my list. It’s sooo easy to pick up extra items every time I go to the grocery store, but those little purchases that I don’t need really do add up in the long run.
    Also, I second the bit about Aldi. I don’t shop there every week, but when I go, I completely stock up on the staples!

    • I definitely need to check out Aldi! And I am SO guilty of picking up random, extra items at the grocery store, which – as you said – definitely add up. I’m usually good at making a list of meals I plan to make for the week, BUT I need to do a better job at planning meals that fit into my budget. Right now, I’m very random when I plan meals, as apposed to knowing roughly how much the meal will cost me.
      I’ll definitely try to stick to my list and not pick up the extra stuff that add up!! Great tip!

  3. I’m sure buying in bulk is already something you do regularly, provided you have the freezer space to store of what you buy, but that’s really my only tip for saving money on groceries. I’m also big on lists! And avoiding the junk food – that stuff gets expensive. I’m not a coupon girl – all those little pieces of paper floating around would make me crazy.

    • Buying prepackaged foods definitely hits my budget sometimes… I’m trying to do a better job at skipping the junk food or snacks and instead eating snacks such as fruit. GREAT tip!! And I honestly don’t do a good job at buying in bulk yet. Nate’s grandmother gave us a freezer for our basement, so I really need to jump on that bandwagon! 🙂

  4. We have been sick for the last month and a half! I’m getting really aggravated. Ugh. Because of that, we’ve actually had tons of extra grocery money because we’ve been eating less. So yeah, that’s my tip for cutting your grocery budget! Get sick or get the stomach flu! 😉 Just kidding.

    My grocery tips: 1) cycle through eating the same things. It’s expensive to be eating special things with different ingredients.
    2) only buy cheap cuts of meat. I buy chicken (boneless breasts or thighs) usually $2.50/lb, ground beef ($3.50/lb), or pork shoulder (usually $2.50/lb or less).
    3) I actually feel like we eat less for it’s mostly protein and veggies. The protein makes you full and you need less food than if it’s a pasta dish. At least, this is how it is for our family.
    4) Work in some cheap dinners like breakfast for dinner (we love eggs around here!) or oatmeal once in a while.

    Our budget is about $90/person/month. It’s tight, but there is still room for the occasional treat.

    • Ha, ha! That first tip! I’m SO sorry you’ve been sick so much this year. I’ve been the same way… I’m not sure what’s up with this winter, but I’ve been sick WAY more than usual. I think it’s the warmer weather, mixed with mommy exhaustion!
      Official tip # 1 is a REALLY good one for me to incorporate into my grocery budget! I do tend to buy random ingredients in my excitement to try new recipes, and that does cost me.
      Thank you sooooo much for these tips! I think you’re the grocery budget queen, and I’ll definitely be incorporating these ideas into my budget. (I’ll give you a shout-out once I’ve put the ideas into action and written my blog post). 🙂

  5. Lush is great! And I really like White Basin (which is similar)! Unfortunately there isn’t one near here. But we do have a local place that has pretty wonderful scents! If only I had a deeper bathtub… #tallgirlprobz

    I love that you wrote on the mirror! So sweet!

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