SAL-Project Joyce’s Rose #2

Wow, 3 weeks have flown by! Here is where I left off last time I posted:

And here I am now:

I got the rest of the stem done and now working on one if the largest leaves. The stem colors were so fiddley that it has been refreshing to work on a leaf!

Here is the link to my original post about Project Joyce’s Rose. https://marymargaretripley.com/2022/04/28/project-joyces-rose/

I have linked the other members of the Stitch-A-Long below. Please pop on over to see what all of the other stitchers are working on. Next Update is October 9th. -MM

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretHeidiJackieSunnyMeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindy

Week 32-36 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

Happy September 1st! Time for the August grocery shopping update. I budgeted $400 for groceries this month because there were five weeks in August.

Total spent on groceries for August $438.39 that’s $38.39 over budget. I’ll have to do better in September for sure but considering I was $60 under budget last month I still think we aren’t doing horrible.

We did go out 4 times last month for dinner and did enjoy the food at the farmers market a few times. All considered I think we did great!

Here are a few of the meals and goodies we made at home last month:

There are some weeks I just don’t feel like cooking much. There was a point in August where I just couldn’t motivate myself. This summer has been a summer of hot and no rain for most of the country and NY was no exception although our temperatures were a lot more mild compared to out west. Still the lack of any rain really has been a bummer this season. We finally have gotten rain this past week and temps are cooler. I feel a change in the air and that makes me excited for fall cooking.

September I am going to budget $400 again for the month because I want to get some extra produce to put up for the winter.

How are you doing with your food budget? Until next update….. -MM

SAL-Project Joyce’s Rose #1

Thank you for welcoming me back Avis! I am excited to be stitching along with the group again. I really have missed it.

I won’t go into too many details about the project with this post but it holds a special place in my heart. I’ll link my introduction post about it at the end so if you would like to read more about it you can click on that link.

I created my own pattern for this project and I am using 32 ct beige linen to stitch on.

It’s definitely one of the most difficult projects I have taken on and I think that’s why I have been procrastinating. I really have to pay attention when I stitch, no relaxing and watching TV while I do it.

Here is where I left off last time I posted:

And here I am now:

My goal at the start was to stitch one section a month but I am sorely behind. Hopefully being back in the SAL will help give me the motivation that I need to finish this project!

Here is the link to my original post about Project Joyce’s Rose. https://marymargaretripley.com/2022/04/28/project-joyces-rose/

I have linked the other members of the Stitch-A-Long below. Please pop on over to see what all of the other stitchers are working on. It has been a while since I have visited all of them so I can’t wait to see what everyone is up to. Next Update is Sept 18th. -MM

AvisClaireGunConstanzeChristinaKathyMargaretHeidiJackieSunny

MeganDeborahSharonDaisyAJCathieLindaHelenConnieCindy

Not Impressed with our Debt – August Update

Paying off debt is stressful. Why can’t we talk about that stress more? Why is talking about our finances still taboo? Something to be hidden? Is it a shame thing? Are we are afraid we won’t measure up? Lots of questions to answer there.

Again for the month of August I did not think any farther ahead than the week I was in. I made two more $900 payments to the credit card this month for a total of $1800. I did break down and we bought take out last Friday from a local restaurant. My resolve took a bit of a hit this month too. I really want (actually need) a new pair of shoes but I can keep putting that off for another couple of months. I really want to buy some other ingredients for new recipes but again I don’t want to spend the money. It can wait.

Beginning balance at the start of July was $7979. 82. Current balance is $4500. That’s a total of $3479.82 of debt gone in two months.

Here’s some good news! I make our last payment on an 11 year loan next week. Time for a happy dance after that one!

September will bring us some relief with that large loan payment being done. I also get three paychecks in September so the plan is to pay off $2700 worth of debt on that credit card but the school taxes are due in September. I really have no issue with not paying them in September and letting them re-levy onto the Town and County taxes in January but I have a plan. If successful I will pay off the $2700 and the school taxes all in September. Stay tuned. September is going to be a wild ride!

Till next month! -MM

Week 29-31 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

I feel so much better about how much money we spent on food this month. I really tried not to buy any more than what I bought in my regular grocery shopping trips on Sundays.

We did go out a couple of times this month which I am fine with. Twice in one month is better than twice in one week, right?

Below is my monthly breakdown of food costs:

  • Week 28 I spent $52.64
  • Week 29 I spent $84.98
  • Week 30 I spent $44.45
  • Week 31 I spent $54.35

Total spent on groceries for July $236.42 that’s $63.58 under budget!

Here are some of the meals we made this month:

The split chicken breast I bought for $15 gave us just about 4 meals! I made the baked chicken breasts with Moz, Basil and Tomato, a chicken stir fry, a pot of soup and the quick alfredo.

The majority of the stir-fry was either free from my garden or free from friends with the zucchini and yellow squash I got.

How have you been doing with your food budget? The garden has been a significant help to our budget. I hope to work on ways to extend the garden through a longer growing season!

My goal again is to not spend more than $300 on groceries for the month of August. – MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – July Update

Going into this new plan for paying off one of our credit cards I knew July and August would be the toughest months. For the month of July I did not think any farther ahead than the week I was in. Putting all of my paycheck into the credit card debt and living off the Hubs paycheck actually worked! I made two $900 payments to the credit card this month for a total of $1800! And guess what? All of our monthly bills for July are paid and we still have money left over! Not a lot of money left over mind you, but still…

Beginning balance at the start of July was $7979. 82. Current balance is $6314.50. That’s a total of $1665.32 of debt gone in one month. The interest I paid on my June bill was $161.84. The interest I paid on my July bill was $127.12. It will be interesting to see what the total for interest charges will be in August after paying more of the balance off.

Here’s a recap:

  • Beginning Balance July $7979.82
  • Payments Made July $1800
  • Interest Charges $127.12
  • Current Balance end of July $6314.50

Total Debt Paid for month of July $1665.32!

I mentioned above that I knew July and August would be the toughest months but didn’t explain why. I have been paying on a large loan since 2012 and our last payment comes out in August. We will be free of that debt in September. It will be such a great feeling!

How did I get that much paid off in one month and still have enough money for bills, food and gas? Each week the Hubs and I talked about how much money I thought we would have at the end of the week so we were on the same page. I also luckily have my baking and a side gig that carried us through each week. Without them I would have not been as successful. If you would like to check out my side gig which is my Etsy Shop please view my shop here https://www.etsy.com/shop/RedMillVintageandNew

The results from putting all our energy into paying off this credit card by October have been pretty impressive. Hopefully August will be just as fruitful.

I’ll update you on how much money we spent on groceries and what we ate in the next post.

Till next month! -MM

Not Impressed with our Debt – Ok I have Had Enough

Marriages and relationships are funny aren’t they? One wants one thing and the other wants something else. When you can’t agree on how to spend your money and what your goals are then that’s when debt creeps in and then of course debt causes stress, blah, blah, blah.

Since January we have barely been able to pay off any debt. Why? No one reason really. Some of our problem is lack of time because we are always somewhere doing something for someone, or other times it might be pure laziness. Little things we spend our money on add up. Car repairs, medical bills, eating out too much, buying things we really don’t need. You know what I mean.

Well after bringing home close to $7000 in salary last month and we still struggled to pay the bills?? Well I have had enough of this nonsense. I got hubs to agree with me (although I can still see and feel his skepticism) that for the next 4 months we are putting my entire paycheck into paying off one of our credit cards. For the next 4 months we will live off of his paycheck.

I don’t care if the entire house falls down around us WE WILL BE PAYING OFF THIS CREDIT CARD BY THE END OF OCTOBER. That card has $8000 on it and I get paid bi-weekly. In the month of September I get three paychecks. Also we have just 2 payments left on a loan we took out 11 years ago. Let me say that again. Eleven years we have been paying this loan. That $408 will be back in our pockets in September as well.

The Feds increased the interest rates and now is the perfect time to dig into paying off your credit card.

Last week I made our first $900 payment to the credit card. Current balance is $7079. Next week another $900 will happen. I will definitely keep you updated on this. -MM

Week 28 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

Last week I spent $52.64 at the grocery store because I had so much left over from the week before.

We ate pretty well considering none of us ever have the same schedule.

The cherry cobbler I made is really easy and can be used for any summer fruit. Here’s the recipe:

Sour Cherry Cobbler

  • 4 cups sour cherries (or fruit of choice)
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • Mix all ingredients together and spread out in a baking dish. Now for the dough;
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 Tbsp butter grated
  • 1/4 cup of hot water (I used about 6 tablespoons)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Combine dry ingredients then add the shredded butter with fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Next add the water and stir just until combined.
  • Drop by spoonfuls onto the fruit and bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly and the dough is very lightly brown about a 1/2 hour. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or top with whipped cream.

There were two nights I made myself fish sticks, rice and broccoli because the boys were gone. Can’t go wrong with a good fish stick!

My goal for groceries for the month of July is $75 a week which is $300 for the month. With produce coming on in the garden this should be totally attainable. I just have to cook and bake more which has been hard because I have been baking so much for my graduation customers!

How have you done with your grocery budget lately? I had one friend tell me she stopped her meal service because she had to actually cook it! She didn’t even have time for that because of her four children’s sports schedules. Times certainly have changed haven’t they?

Money spent on groceries last week $52.64. Money left to spend on groceries this month $247.36

– MM

Getting Rid of our Junk Week 11-13 of 54

For week 11, I pulled a 6 and for week 12, I pulled an 8 and for week 13, I pulled a 2.

When I was cleaning out the basement of all the cardboard I posted about last update I saw 6 buckets I had never used from the bakery so I put a post up on Facebook offering them to my friends and they were claimed within minutes!

For the 8 card my son cleaned out his room and had a bunch of empty shoe boxes he wanted to get rid of (kid has way more shoes than I will ever think to own). There is a local church that collects shoe boxes every year for Operation Christmas Angel so I dropped all 8 boxes off to them to use for Christmas boxes for children in need.

For the 2 card it was kind of an in and out. I had a friend give me two boxes of embroidery/needlepoint supplies and after looking through it all I kept the embroidery floss and decided to donate the rest to the church sale because I wouldn’t use any of the supplies otherwise for myself.

I know I am two weeks behind in my year long purge so I will be picking 2 cards to do for next Wednesday. Oh and still working on that King card and the pallet project!

The cards I pulled to catch up for this week are a 9 and an 8. I can do that!

How is your purge going? -MM

Week 25 – 27 What We Ate and How Much We Spent on Groceries

We have had a rough few weeks with food in our house. My son has never been the type of kid to eat us out of house and home but two weeks ago after a trip to the ER we had a long discussion on the importance of food and what happens to our bodies when we don’t eat enough! Laziness was the foremost issue in this particular instance but I myself have struggled with a poor relationship with food most of my life. For over two decades I feared food, especially eating in public, because of the effect it had on my body. Turns out I am lactose intolerant. Sure wish I had known that 20 years ago!

It took about a week to get my son’s gut back into shape so meals were not very normal for that time period. We have had some good meals since, so here are a few things we have eaten since my last update.

I make my own teriyaki sauce for stir-frys and marinades. Here’s the recipe!

Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan and stir.
Once combined, continuously stir on medium heat to prevent sticking
Once up to temp the cornstarch will activate and it will start to thicken
Once it reaches temp and has thickened, turn off heat and let it continue to boil for a few more seconds
Pour the finished teriyaki sauce over your simmering stir-fry. Coat the veggies and meat with the sauce. Serve over rice

Total spent for groceries the last three weeks – $288.89 for a grand total of $504.05 for the month of June. My goal was to spend $500 for the 5 paycheck month so just $4.05 over budget. Not bad!

How did you all do with your food budget this month? – MM

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