1. Groceries: we spent $77.03 at Kroger, and $90.00 (to the penny!) at Walmart. In total, we spent $167.03 on much-needed groceries, plus a few extras. My monthly budget is $130.00, so I'll only spend $93.00 in March. That's fine by me, as I'd rather spend spring months working in the garden than making a weekly shopping trip.
I spent about an hour sifting through digital and non-digital Kroger coupons. I was going in the store for pork loins ($1.50/lb.) and 80/20 ground beef ($2.00/lb.), so I decided to go "all in" and see what coupon deals I could find. I still can't decide whether the few dollars saved with coupons is worth the time. When all is said and done, was the $16.00 spent on produce (to use my "$4.00 off $20.00 spent in the produce department") a better deal than what I could have gotten at Walmart for $16.00, without all of the time spent couponing? None of the deals were extraordinary, but I was able to get some things for at or below Walmart prices. I think I will always use coupons to some extent, it's just a matter of deciding how far down the rabbit hole I want to go at any given time.
When we were at the checkout counter, I got a kids' fruit card for our toddler. Kroger has a "free fruit of the month" deal where kids can get one piece of free fruit every month.
2. Cooking: I canned six pints of ground beef and two pints of pork loin. We were completely out of canned meat, and it is so convenient to have when you need a quick meal (not to mention that it frees up freezer space!). I also made three batches of meatloaf and three pounds of cooked ground beef for the freezer, cut the discount pork loins into steaks and roasts for the freezer.
3. Thrifting: When we were in Florida, I went to a little thrift store with my mom and sister. I got a dress that was essentially free (it was one of those fill-a-bag deals), some pretty cloth napkins, a book for me and two board books for Princess. The books were $0.50 each, but they literally provided hours of entertainment for her on our 16 hour ride home (split between two days).
4. Amazon Prime: I started using Amazon "slow shipping" promotions to buy kids songs for Princess. Those of us who have Amazon Prime can opt to get a small purchase credit (usually $0.99) by forgoing 2-day shipping. The credits last for a long time, so next I'm going to save up and hopefully buy a whole music album for her. In the past I collected credits but didn't need anything, and thus they went to waste.
5. Valentine's Day: In the past, we've always gone out for dinner on Valentine's Day. This year we had a nice dinner at home, and we ate brunch out the day after Valentine's Day. That way I could pick out chocolates at half price! For dinner at home, I made something outside of our usual menu (pork) and used nice tableware candles and a centerpiece to make it more romantic. Then we put on some Nat King Cole and dressed up, just for fun! Neither of us realized how much we'd enjoy "eating out" at home. We didn't have to drive to a restaurant and slush around in melting snow with dress shoes on. I didn't worry about our toddler throwing a fit, or have to yell over other peoples' conversations. Dressing up was a lot more fun for me, because I didn't have to fuss over what shoes matched my dress (I spent the night barefoot) or worry that someone might notice my greasy hair. Our whole dinner, wine and appetizers and dessert included, cost less than $5.00. I really enjoyed the evening. In the future I'm going to make more of an effort to do "at home" dates.
7. Books: I ordered a book from the library about the Great Depression. It's called We Had Everything But Money, and was recommended by a fellow author and homemaker who I follow on Youtube. The book is a compilation of short personal stories and photos from readers of Reminisce magazine. I also finished reading a biography of Bethan Lloyd-Jones.
I think that's about it! I hope you all had a wonderful week!