I just got a $5 off a $20 purchase coupon in my inbox for Walgreens good only on Jan. 31. Sounds like a good time to get free after rebate items! YEAH! I LOVE saving money!
Still no decision on the rolex. I can't even begin to describe how embarrassed I am that I'm writing that someone in my family is even considering purchasing this. We are not rolex people! Our combined income is slightly less than $100,00 a year...we have debt...and virtually no EF. Don't even ask about retirement!
I just got a $5 off a $20 purchase coupon in my inbox for Walgreens good only on Jan. 31. Sounds like a good time to get free after rebate items! YEAH! I LOVE saving money!
DH received an insurance check in the mail for a significant amount of money. About a year ago he was injured at work and spent months in pain. We tried physical therapy to no avail...it acutally made the pain consistently worse.
We're a little worried that this money might be the company's attempt to buy us off and wash their hands of the injury. We're in the process of finding out more information, but at the same time planning what we might do with the money.
DH, the big spender, has always wanted a rolex. I would like to pay off the debt. I feel a tightening in my chest when I think about him getting a rolex...I can't think of anything more ridiculous. To me it is frivolous and ostentatious, but for some reason it has always been a goal of his to get one. Some times it is all I can do be supportive (I don't want anyone shooting down my dream!). At the same time, I thought we were on the same page for our financial goals. Kinda frustrating.
I've been working on reducing the mountain of toys that surrounds me everyday be selling on Craigslist. I've considered using ebay for some of the stuff, but I can't see a point in paying those fees and all the hassle of shipping when you can list for free and the buyer comes to you!
I've sold a few things already. The kids were so upset to see these things go...they never cared about these things until they saw someone else taking it away.
I'll be using the proceeds to finish framing the art I bought to decorate this house. We've been here about 6 months and have not done much to it at all.
In other news, DH and I will be having our first financial midmonth chat tomorrow evening. Don't you just love romance after 7 years of marriage? I'm excited, but worried that the things I have to suggest won't be well received. Among the bad news, we're not saving as much at the end of each month as we used to and I'm proposing we cut our monthly personal budgets in half (cut $100 to $50 each). In addition, we should disconnect the extra phone we have. I'm always proposing he get a new job with more a more predictable schedule so that we can reduce or even eliminate the amount we spend on our nanny ($1,180/ month), but I can't push too much. Changing jobs is easier said than done.
There are a few other categories we could cut also.
Wish us luck!...and good fortune!
Does anyone subscribe to Cheapskate Monthly or The Home Economizer? What do you think?
gain weight just might be to bulk cook.
With all that access to ready-to-cook cookie dough...well, who could resist?
I was doing dishes this evening when I looked over and saw my cookbooks. This reflects pretty well how frugal I am. The black binder is my compilation of recipes, the Betty Crocker cookbook along with Jessica Seinfeld's and my favorite Tighwad Gazette were all gifts. MIL gave me her old Better Homes and Garden (I love it's age!). I bought Make-a-Mix...I love them all!
Ironically, you'll notice in the picture my paper towel holder with the towels cut in half and the storage bags that I'll be washing and reusing.
Two years ago, I would have fell out of my chair laughing at someone who took the time to make a post like this. I couldn't be more proud today.
2007 Year End Summary: (Doesn't include July data since I was off that month and didn't feel like keeping track of a darn thing)
Car Gas: 1925.99
DH Personal Budget: 1236.68
My Personal Budget: 1110.33
Mortgage/Rent (bought house in July): 14329.40
Gas: 157.74 (old house didn't have gas)
Student Loan: 3629.16
Auto Insurance: 1031.22
Do these totals strike anyone as odd? I'm concerned most about the household budget, phone, and gasoline.
Well, with a new year comes new goals. We decided to add savings accounts for certain areas that aren't budgeted for and have automatic deductions monthly. (life insurance, vacation, clothing, home improvement, and a new car)
I'm determined to take a real vacation this year. I've got a place picked out in Oklahoma, but DH thinks it's too far of a drive. We'll see.
After CC3 is paid by June, we'll begin looking at more goals. How to pay off those monstrous student loans, how much to allocate to our severly underfunded retirement, saving more vigorously for a new car?
Which brings me to my next more important point. I don't want to work anymore. More specifically, I don't want to work outside my home anymore. I want to be home with my sons and possibly try to have another. DH thinks it's a pipe dream as we can't live off his income. Even if we could cut our expenses so severely that we could manage on his income, we'd have to sell our house that we just bought in July '06, and we wouldn't be able to adequately fund our retirement, save up for a new car, pay off $49,000 in student loans, etc...The only way I got to stay home when the kiddos were babies was because I was in graduate school living off of student loans...hence the current massive student loan debt.
I've racked my brain for ideas. What I would really like to do is live on a remote piece of land and stay home with my kids. I could see myself running a resale shop part time.
Ah, dreams...will I be making this same complaint next January?
I'm working on an end of the year summary sheet so that at the end of December, I'll be able to get a big picture of what we spent during the year.
I'll be adding up all the monthly expenses for each category and getting a total, but where should I go from there?
I would like to be able to figure what percentage of my income went to each category...but unfortunately, math is not my forte. Any suggestions?
I really don't want to fool with Microsoft Money or Excel as I've tried those before and they just don't work for me.
Wow! We just paid off CC2..three months early. We are so determined to get rid of these debts that we've cut back on spending so much. We're able to dedicate so much more money to it. Boy it feels good!
We're thinking that CC3 could be paid off by at least June of '08 so I'll add that to our goals. Then we have to look at the big student loan. I don't even want to think about it.
Thanksgiving went pretty well. We had family in town but managed not to spend too much on eating. I got my 21 lb turkey for 29 cents a pound! Too bad we don't care too much for turkey, but I'm trying to force it down for lunch.
I'm rereading The Tightwad Gazette to hopefully inspire me to take the saving up a notch. I'm glad I did, because there's so many articles that I don't remember reading and I'm looking at them with a new eye.
So far we've spent about $250 on Christmas and we're nearing the end. I wound up buying a few items online, just for convenience. I figure it saves gas and time.
I am forgoing the additional sewing classes to save money and will just look for a used book. I can't be the first female to ever teach herself to sew. I am also receiving a used sewing machine for free from a fellow co-worker. It's broken, but I can look into getting it fixed, depending on the cost of course.
I decided that I should work on my price book. Last time I updated it was over 6 months ago. Since then, it feels like the price of groceries has increased and I've been spending more money at the checkout.
I love the price book because it makes me much more aware of the actual cost of things. I have been surprised many times to find that what I thought was a decent deal was really no deal at all.
The only problem with grocery pricing (beside the actual high price of groceries!) is that Wal-mart changes their sticker price often. It won't even be advertised as a "Rollback" but the price on the shelf varies. For example, great value all purpose flour is sometimes $1.06 for 5 lbs and sometimes it's $1.12. Granted a price book would help nonetheless, but one of the ideas behind it is that you become aware of pricing cycles. I don't think there is a cycle at Wal-mart.
I'd also like to join Sam's or Costco, but I just can't figure out whether I'd really save money there. I perused the shelves and took notes a few months ago and there is a savings for some of the items I buy, but can I justify the membership fee?
I'm sure others already know this, but I discovered at Walgreens that I can use a coupons for an item that is free.
Walgreens is running a BOGO on St. Ives lotion and body wash. Buy the lotion get the body wash for free. I had a $1 coupon for each so I received $2 off my bill. I've done this before on shampoo and conditioner.
YEAH! I love saving money!
learning to keep an open mind.
As DH and I took a walk while MIL watched the kids, I pondered out loud how much I had changed in the last year and even in the last 5 to 10 years.
When we were first married, I never cooked. I didn't really know how and I didn't know what to cook. Nothing seemed to turn out well. I believe this is the second biggest cause of our current debt.
The first cause is poor financial planning while attending graduate school.
Since the inception of our budget last November, we've changed drastically. I got tired of DH complaining about us not being on a budget, his implications that I was the cause of our money problems, and tired of the same old..."well, we'll just spend less money this month!" So I took a day off work, and put all our financial info. into Mvelopes. We stopped using Mvelopes after about 2 months because I still didn't feel in control of the money. Then I started handrecording our expenses.
Then I happened upon a book called "The Tightwad Gazette." Although this book could be thought of as radical in some ways, it opened my mind to possibilities. I began to wonder why I was using baggies for everything, why I never turned off lights when I left the room, and why I never learned to cook. I spent a lot of time researching and reading.
I forced myself to keep an open mind. Since then, I've learned a lot about cooking and we eat things that I NEVER would have considered even a year ago. My sister thinks I'm absolutely insane for eating beans! Once I read that some people hang out their laundry, I was dumbfounded. It never occurred to me to do this. Now I've used the dryer twice since August. I cook in bulk and really enjoy it! I love providing homemade items like waffles, breakfast burritos, and other dishes for my family and doing this provides a real sense of accomplishment. I stopped buying all the convenience foods and saved a ton of money. I'm taking sewing classes. Once I opened my mind, I found liking things wasn't as hard as I imagined. It's really just a mindset that I developed growing up.
I look back a year and say WOW..I've really changed. I look back 5 years ago and say "What in the &*^$ was I thinking?"
A powerful lesson is learned. Be willing to try things you never imagined.
Well, a new fiscal month is beginning here. Time to assess our spending for the previous and set goals for the upcoming.
We were over in the following categories:
DH personal budget = $100 but spent 132.04
Household = $175 but spent 299.18
Medical = $50 but spent 56.07
Grocery = $300 but spent 407.10
I am usually under in the grocery budget, but I bought a lot on sale this month.
I did meet many of my goals this month, like creating separate savings accounts for Christmas, my son's prepaid college tuition (due yearly), and life insurance (also due yearly). I got curtains hung up in one room (hopefully to save money on energy), and have saved over $80 by using coupons.
In November, I'm going to temporarily lay off using the coupons to get deals as I've got a huge stockpile of stuff and it's contributing to me overspending in the household budget category. I'm still saving for our energy efficient freezer and plan to hang up curtains in my other son's room. I've also signed up for my first sewing class so hopefully I'll eventually be able to make my own curtains, pillows, and Halloween costumes. We will also begin tackling a new project: a compost bin. I've recently begun keeping track of how many loads of laundry I dry outside; I know it's significant b/c our electric bill is down $30.
November also marks an important occasion in our family. It was one year ago this month, that my husband and I decided to put ourselves on a real budget. We started by using Mvelopes, but progressed to our much more primitive way of doing things...handrecording. It works so much better! I'm looking at last January's budget right now, when we first began handrecording, and we spent $600.48 on groceries, $303.04 on eating out, $394.20 on household items! We have come such a long way! Yes, there are times when we overspend, but the important part is now we are aware of what we are doing and see how it truly affects our money. Nothing is random any longer! We don't have much of a savings anymore since we bought our house in July, but our overall debt is down thousands!
1. I hung out 4 loads of laundry this weekend.
2. I am taking my first sewing class this week.
3. DH and I are considering tackling a new project...a compost bin. I'm going to the library tomorrow for more research. Can I even start that in October?
4. I updated our debt and noticed it's gone down about $4,000 from sometime (I didn't write the date) I think it might have been August, but that seems like an awful lot of money for just a few months.
5. Got a free single jogger stroller from Freecycle.
1. Ate at McD's Sat night
2. We've gone over budget in many areas this month. Those categories include: DH personal budget, groceries, and household. The household budget is always the first thing to go; I should reconsider that amount.
1. Medical technicians are coming to take blood and urine samples tomorrow because we bought a life insurance policy.
2. We have to pay our annual premimum for life insurance probably this week. I'll know to set aside money for this in the future.
You know, I feel pretty bad considering I have a lot more good stuff then bad stuff to report. I'm not sure what's wrong with me.
Before I get to our goals...I've tallied up this month's coupons savings. So far (drum roll please) we've saved $78.17! I had no idea I was doing this well!
In other good news, the electric bill was down $30 as a result, I believe, of me using the clothesline instead of the dryer.
Here are some new/revised goals for our family to consider...
1 - Begin the $20 challenge. Use money saved from coupons, $2 per load of laundry air dried, and $2 per lunch eaten at home. Use $20 challenge money for ???.
2- Create a designated Christmas account. We have 2 places in which we save for this expensive holiday and I'd like to see it more efficiently done.
3 - Use Wal-mart giftcards to purchse gasoline for the month rather than use cash. Saves 3 cents per gallon.
4 - Finally put up the curtains, check the water heater temperature, and BUY A NEW FREEZER!
5 - Consider a family vacation to New York in a few years and the best way to save for that.
Christmas is coming and I'm already being asked from various family members what they should get for our kids (DS1 is 4 and DS2 will be 3 soon). This normally wouldn't be that big a deal, but just this past weekend DH and I spent a lot of time culling the mountains of toys and attempting a reorganization. I'm convinced these things multiply secretly at night. Fortunately, most to all these toys were free.
I'm also worried about finding that line between allowing my kids to have toys and spoiling them. What I would really like is for relatives to buy savings bonds, but I'm not sure that will happen. I've suggested books, but other than that I can't think of much.
DH and I don't buy much for Christmas or birthdays because we know they get so much from relatives.
Any ideas for indoor clothes drying? I've read about indoor retractable clothelines, but how could that possibly accomodate an entire load of laundry??
1. Paid $1000 toward CC2. I'm not really sure where the money came from, but it could be a "third" paycheck (DH gets paid 2ce each month), saved money, and/or leftover money from closing costs.
2. Got a pay raise of almost $600 per month. Woo-Hoo!!
3. Since keeping track of my coupon use this month (my month starts with my paycheck on the 23rd), I've managed to save $15.04.
Here's my favorite vegetarian recipe. Although we're not vegetarians, we try to be reasonable about our meat intake, especially red meat. This freezes well. We call it "skillet".
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups TVP
1 1/2 cups water
2 14.5 oz cans petite diced tomatoes
1 cup mild salsa
1 1/2 cups chopped zucchini
1 1/2 cups frozen corn niblets (I leave this out)
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
Put it all in a large skillet. Cover and simmer for about 45 mins. Serve over brown rice and top with sour cream.
I started a 403b today. I'm only contributing a small amount each month until the debt is paid.
DH surprised me last night with news of a possible bonus. We might be able to reach our goal of paying off CC2 much sooner than February.
We're still disagreeing about a new freezer (mine is about 20 years old). I'd like to get a smaller chest freezer. I know it would save money in energy costs, but I'm not sure how to calculate how much time it would take to break even. I even volunteered to forgo my monthly personal budget and use money that I earn from Craigslist or other sources. Using personal budget money goes against what we originally intended it for though. The $100 each month is meant to help us control outside spending while major purchases (such as a freezer) are something that we need to agree on. I think he's most concerned about why I want a new freezer so bad while we have so many other needs (like new furniture, etc). I totally get that...I'd much rather have a new living room furniture set. But a new freezer will save us money whereas furniture won't.
This saving money business...frugality, thriftiness, whatever you call it, has become quite a hobby for me. I enjoy reading about it, putting it in action, and seeing a difference. I guess as far as hobbies go, a husband couldn't ask for anything better from a wife. It doesn't cost anything to be thrifty. At least I'm not out shopping every week and overspending like many women...I want a freezer, not a fur coat!!
As I'm looking at our spending so far this month, I'm starting to realize that there is spending going on that is unaccounted for. Meaning, it is subtracted from the checkbook, but not recorded in the budget book. According to my calculations, I should have more at the end of the month than I realistically have so to find what's missing, next month I'll begin writing down everything I (and we) purchase. Then I'll highlight those expenditures that are not recorded in the budget book.
Out of curiousity, I'll also be writing down everytime I use a coupon. I'd really like to see how much money I save in one month from coupons.
So I was perusing Craigslist out of curiousity to see how much babysitters are charging per week. I happen to see one quote for $125 per child. This got me thinking about how much I am spending. Of all the budget analyzing I do, I have never broken down our babsitting bill. So here goes...
Total monthly bill for 2 children = $1180
Per Week = $295
Per Day $59 (5 days a week, 8-5)
EPIPHANY!!! I really don't mind the fact that I'm paying about $25 more per week than that one babysitter's quote on Craigslist because my kids really like our babysitter. Since they are the only two at her house, they get lots of attention, NEVER get sick, and they get along much better than ever. BUT, when I think about $59 per day, I want to throw up. What would I do if I had $59 in my hand right now??
I do remember that I have to work to pay debt and bills, so my children have to be cared for during the day. But here's the kicker...DH only works 3 days a week! The problem is that those three days fluctuate, meaning it's not the same 3 days from week to week. It's up to him to talk to his employer or to get a new job.
We could save so much money if we only had to pay for 2 or 3 days a week. I feel like this problem is out of my control and that I should just chalk it up to money wasted. Excuse me while I go cry...
The day started with yardwork and cleaning out the garage...the good news is MIL surprised us with a new blower, sucker, mulcher thing that will make yardwork a lot quicker and easier.
I hung out three loads of laundry and one load of sheets this weekend to dry. I did let two of those loads "soften" in the dryer for a bit too much time which defeated the purpose.
Went Goodwill shopping and spend $5.38. I don't even remember what I bought. I also found a Goodwill Outlet, but I just don't have the patience to spend hours looking through bins in the hopes that I come across something decent. I guess I'll chalk the Goodwill outlet trip up to a waste of gas, but entertaining.
I made pancake syrup and a quadrupled recipe of chocolate chip cookies (froze most of the dough). Spent $33.15 on miscellaneous groceries (milk, couscous, instant soup, strawberries, instant breakfast powder mix).
We did change out several lightbulbs for CFLs. That might negate my accidental overusage of the dryer.
DS1 finally accumulated about $2.70 in dimes through extra work. He was so excited to pick out his own candy. He only spent $1.15 which means he got to keep the rest. He was even more excited that he got candy and had money left to keep. A chip off the old block!
We spent $9.86 at the hospital pharmacy for a prescription sleep aid, 3 bottles of generic children's benadryl, and a bottle of 150 claritin. What a deal! The benadryl was 67 cents each! DH works at this hospital so I'm sure that had something to do with us getting it for that price.
I also found the No Credit Needed website and will be using it to keep track of my debt reduction goals. I updated #3 goal to pay off CC2 by February instead of July.
Still looking for money opportunities. I've found that since I've been blogging about our finances, that I'm much more aware of our cash flow and how we're spending. In fact, sometimes I think I might be overthinking thriftiness. For example, while in the shower this evening, I used a new razor. I couldn't help think for what the old razor was destined. The dump, where it will rot or rust? What a waste. Then I wondered if there was a way to clean and resharpen it. That was when I realized I don't have time to get so obsessive about something like that. When would I find time to resharpen a 25 cent razor?
I will find time this weekend to do some major cooking. I plan to premake several dinners for the week, along with pancake syrup, cookie dough, and to use my bread machine.
Another random thought...how will I begin to tackle my student loan debt when I get all the credit cards paid off? It has such a big balance that it would be difficult to see any real progress (at least the kind that makes you mentally satisfied). Just a thought for the future...I have some really big goals to tackle first of course.
I was able to pay 1200.00 toward CC2 this past week since I got my deposit back from our rental house. So our total debt is down a little over 1600.00 since last month. We set a new goal to pay off CC2 by next July. I'm hoping to do it sooner, but I want to be realistic.
I've done several things this past week to help our money situation. I got a $25 sign on bonus at ING savings. I'll use that account to accrue money to pay my son's college tuition bill next August (he is 4 yrs old and has the prepaid college tuition). I also spent time putting some clothes on Craigslist, signed up for a focus group, at e-rewards, and American Consumer Opinion. I'm considering offering services to high school or college students who need editing work and even considering babysitting during the weeknights.
My husband seems a little more positive about paying off the debt as I think he might be starting to see that there's only one way out of this debt misery...PAY IT OFF!!
I saw a similar article on another website so I thought I'd ponder it...
1. If you feel that you HAVE to spend money, buy something that will last longer than a meal.
2. You will not make enough money in the future to pay for the things you're charging now. You forget that while your salary goes up, so does the cost of living. You will want to buy a house, have children...they cost money that you can't put toward debt.
3. Stop trying to appear that you have more than you really do. It means nothing. No one is really paying that much attention to the car you drive or the clothes you wear. No one pays attention to you at a restaurant except the waiter. You have no one to impress.
4. FIND A HOBBY that can easily translate into family life. Travel to the places you dream about instead of eating out and buying useless expensive clothes. They won't fit you much longer anyway.
5. Go to financial marital counseling before the wedding. Don't just assume all as is good.
6. Even though you don't know how to invest, invest anyway. Something is better than nothing.
I was lucky enough to stay at home with my 2 children for 2 years. I've been back in the workforce for a little over 1 year. Not a day goes by that I don't daydream about those days that I spent with my kids. My job pays pretty well, but it provides little enjoyment.
Here's the cycle I'm stuck in: bring my kids to the babysitter in the morning...watch my 4 year old wave at me through the window...get through work somehow...pick up my kids...go home and begin preparing dinner...watch my kids play together while I finish cooking/cleaning. It used to be me playing with them and teaching them how to play with one another. Now I'm so tired that I can barely get it together enough to feed them. While at work, I daydream about the good old days and what they're doing at the babysitter and when I get home I'm too worn out to make up for it.
The ironic thing is that while I was at home with them I racked up some debt. Now I have to work so that I can pay that debt and I no longer have the option of staying home. Even if the debt was paid, I would still have to work to pay bills. So now, I have even more guilt because I essentially created my own trap.
Will I ever get past this? Can I ever just accept that I have to work and that it is not possible to stay home with my kids?
My electric bill is $163. I feel like crying! I've been frantic about turning off lights and relying on my programmable thermostat to control the temperature. With a gas bill of $40, I'm spending way too much on energy. My house is about 2300 sq. feet. I believe that the 20 year old freezer in the garage is part of the culprit and the other part is DH adjusting the temp. to suit his desires. Our summer here has been quite cool. DH husband is still not convinced that the freezer is a problem.
I spent way too much money this weekend. I had relatives in town for 3 days so it's hard to get around. Eating out is part of the entertainment. It's hard to go many places because we have 5 children between us and mine are pretty young (they still require naps). I haven't tallied up the receipts, but I know it ain't gonna be pretty. Probably in the $250 range.
I need to get working on earning outside money. I have a few things to sell, but just haven't had time to post anything on Craigslist. I also signed up to do surveys on American Consumer Opinion, but I never recieved a confirmation email. I was able to pick up a few odd jobs in our school district, but that will only pay about $90 when it's all completed. I'm considering trying babysitting during the week in the evenings. My kids might enjoys that too!
So DH and I decided just last week that we would establish a no spend day on Tuesdays. I already forgot about it and unfortunately didn't remember until I was in the checkout line at Randalls buying chicken breasts and Cheerios on sale. Then I remembered at work that I wasted $1.25 in the coke machine (that never gave me a coke). I ran out of drinks in my private stash.
Guess I'll try better next week.
One of my goals is to begin teaching my little ones about money. I'd like to begin incorporating chores (that they will do simply because they belong in our family) and extra things they can do to earn money. I need a way to keep track of this each week. They are young, 2 and 4 so the method has to be simple and easy for them to understand. I'd really like feedback if anyone has suggestions.
On another note, I finally went to the grocery store. I haven't been in about 2 weeks simply because I haven't had time. Lo and behold, I didn't run out of food! This got me thinking...maybe I could shop for 2 weeks in advance...which led to further thoughts...I made a menu of 4 dishes to be served each week for 5 weeks. So each week, we'll be having 4 different dishes. Preparing only 4 allows us to eat leftovers and misc. during the other days of the week. Then I made a mock grocery list for every ingredient I would need that week. I grocery shop for 2 weeks worth of menus (8 dishes) and have a ready made list. I can easily eliminate the things I already have in my pantry. With this in mind, I went shopping.
Randalls - $30.93 for 11 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breast, and 4 boxes of Cheerios.
CVS - 2 gallons of milk @ $2.99 each = 5.98
Walmart - $126.75 this includes household items as well as grocery items. I bought 6 whole fryers that I roast, dice and freeze.
Total coupons savings = 19.00
I thought it went pretty well. I am thinking, however, about going back to Randalls and getting more chicken breasts. $1.99/lb is the best I've seen in a while.
I also bought a toaster oven, but I will return it. I want to be able to save energy while cooking, but the oven wasn't big enough to fit a 9x13 pan.
I paid off CC1! What a weight off my shoulders!
So I've been working on redoing the budget to accomodate some changes...like a mortgage payment. I've figured that we have enough money to pay off CC1 with a small cushion leftover. I told DH about this and he said he'd like to wait to pay it. I think he's afraid to let go of the money in fear that something will come up. I'm going to continue working on convincing him to pay it!! Every card we have is at 0% interest except this one at 1.5%.
I haven't been to the grocery store for almost 2 weeks. This was not planned (I usually go each week)but I've not run out of anything and I've been getting creative in the meal planning! This got me thinking about planning two weeks at a time rather than one. This might save even more.
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