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Archive for January, 2018

Grocery budget & meal planning

January 19th, 2018 at 11:05 am

It’s insane how much we have been spending for a family of 2 adults & 1 child for household, diapers and groceries. So far this month, we have spent $432.18. We have roughly $70 left in the budget for January. This spending doesn’t include pet supplies.
Yesterday, I did a LOT of stocking up – we had eaten down our freezer stash in December. So we needed to stock up on meats, fruits & veggies, diapers and basics.
I am meal planning my booty off. With a 2 year old who demands dinner the second we walk into the door on a work night, I use meals I made & froze or easy meals during the week. So that is what I am concentrating on. These meals will take us well into February.
This weekend, I am making lots of meals for the freezer. We will also grill some chicken for snacks/lunches for the week (we are doing Weight Watchers & trying to eat healthier).
I plan on making Korean Spicy Pork Loin Saturday night. Leftovers will also be frozen and I am going to try to make a healthy 2 ingredient bread recipe – I am going to make garlic sticks and pizza crust. Wish me luck!
Once all of this is cooked – we will have a freezer full of:

3 Family meal servings of meatloaf muffins
2 Family meal servings of Taco Meat
2 Family meal servings of Sloppy Joe
2 Family meal servings of honey sesame chicken
2 Family meal servings of barbecue chicken
1 Family meal serving of Korean Spicy Pork
4 Family meal servings of Potstickers (premade frozen)
1 Family meal serving of fajita chicken
2 Family meal servings of Turkey meatballs

On days I work remote, I cook a hot meal – so that will be when I do a balsamic honey pork chop and some pretzel crusted Dijon chicken. We also have turkey meatballs in the freezer (precooked) and will use that with pasta one night.

Each week, I will meal plan out of what we have to work with, and there will always be room to switch things around.

This week:
Sat 1/20: Korean Spicy Pork Loin (leftovers will go in the freezer), brown rice & veggies
Sun 1/21: Beef taco salad
Mon 1/22: Fajita Chicken & peppers
Tues 1/23: (husband’s late night): Fend for yourself – (ends up being potstickers a lot of the time)
Wed 1/24: Turkey Meatballs & pasta
Thurs 1/25: Balsamic Pork Chops
Fri 1/26: Sloppy Joe & pasta

Meal Plan

January 16th, 2018 at 07:56 am

Monday: Sesame Chicken & Brown Rice
Tuesday: Dinner for Breakfast (egg muffins & potatoes)
Wednesday: Turkey Meatballs
Thursday: Barbecue Shredded Chicken
Friday: barbecue pork chops
*can be switched around as needed


Breakfasts: Egg Muffins & potatoes obrien, fruit
Lunches: Chicken Breast sandwiches and small salad (all pre-packed)

2017 Retirement Numbers

January 16th, 2018 at 07:46 am

2017 401k Personal Contribution: $16,802.21
2017 401k Company Match: $6300.80
TOTAL 401k Contribution $23,103.01

*this does not include the #s for my husband

Meal Planning

January 9th, 2018 at 10:08 am

Sunday, I took Fridge and Pantry inventory, did some grocery shopping & did a meal plan. My husband & I are both doing Weight Watchers – which I don’t find to be any more expensive really – BUT I do have more convenience foods – like natural apple sauce cups & no sugar added peach and pear cups for grab & go fruits. And of course, we have the 2 year old to feed. She’s going through a picky stage.

I use Aldi as much as possible for meats, staples & fruits/veggies. Then Walmart for the most part. Sometimes based on ads, I hit up other places.
This weekend, I spent $54.56 at Walmart & $55.62 at Aldi. We did a lot of stocking up too.

The Meal Plan for Dinners:

Sunday: Turkey Meatballs and pasta
Monday: Buffalo Shake N Bake chicken. My husband had jalapeno potatoes as a side and I put mine on a salad. The little one was hungry early, so I fed her a meatloaf muffin from the freezer.
Tuesday: (Husband’s late night at work) So we usually fend for ourselves. I am thinking leftovers from the freezer
Wednesday: Apple & onion pork chops & brown rice
Thursday: Shredded Barbecue Chicken from the freezer
Friday: Sloppy Joes
Saturday: Hubby has plans to watch football, so I am making a Chipotle Salmon Burger and the little one will have a chicken patty and pasta.
Sunday: chicken tacos

In addition, I worked remote today, so didn’t prep any meals for breakfasts or lunches yesterday like normal. This is really important since after almost a year since the announcement that our work is closing later in 2018, the cafeteria on site closed as of 1/1. So I already packed lunches most of the time, but now I have even bigger reason to J

So tonight, after making dinner, I prepped a few salads – some regular veggie only and a few with baked chicken, salad, celery, hot sauce & light blue cheese dressing. These will be my lunches.

Then I made egg muffins with a little light cheese, bacon pieces, onions, peppers, eggs + egg whites and light milk - they came out super fluffy!

I also cooked some frozen potatoes o’brien, added some extra onions and portioned them out for breakfast.

Snacks are packed – turkey pepperoni, applesauce, pears, banana.

I also have a bunch of aluminum water bottles that I reuse – I fill them in the beginning of the week for grab & go.

2018 Financial Goals and Vicarious Financial Position

January 1st, 2018 at 09:42 am

My husband’s job is very stable. However, my work announced in 2017 that our work site will be closing in 2018. 400+ people at our work site. Many have already been given their severance and left. Several groups are still in the office. My team specifically is training a group to take over our work in another site, but the training is not going quickly. Upper management has no real idea what we do, so there is a very good chance that they will end our group before the other group has the required knowledge). So that should be interesting.

Of the people on the team in our state (8 plus our manager), 2 were given 120 day notice in November. They were the low performers. We have been ‘promised’ 90 day notice plus severance of 2 weeks per year employed. Which would be 8 weeks for me.

I have been applying without any luck. Part of it may be the last quarter of the year usually has businesses in my industry in hiring freezes and partly that there are a LOT of people in my field looking for jobs at once in a small area.

My position on the team has special knowledge and I am a Senior (assistant manager), so my position will likely not be eliminated until almost the end (HOPEFULLY). I am looking and have been doing insane amounts of overtime while I can.

This crush of OT + stress of losing my job has led to health problems, stress and all kinds of not fun things. I have to limit the OT for mental and physical health reasons in 2018.

The result of my losing my job is that I was in very specific industry sweet spot where I had responsibilities of a salaried person, but because of a job classification, was deemed hourly and given unlimited overtime.

My salary was also high and overpriced for the area.
Therefore, we are expecting a significant income loss. I will lose 20-30k in OT income plus I will likely lose around 10k in salary income. This is a horrible hit for us. We will persevere though!

That being said, my goals for 2018 are very fluid, financially.

• I have a goal of an average 15-20 OT hours per 2 week pay period while at the current job
• Continue monthly networking events
• Revamp household budget
• Meal plan weekly in an attempt to lower all household expenses.
• Continue tracking all personal and household spending
• Complete cash only gifts/holiday spending in 2018
• Find a new job
• No new debt
• Payoff existing debt
• Post here weekly at least. Helps for accountability
• Continue 16% 401k contribution personally until new job/budget reset

2017 Financial Goals Final Update

January 1st, 2018 at 09:15 am

Financial:
1. Get Renter Out – COMPLETED – Had to go through full eviction process. No recouped rent obtained
2. Sell Townhouse – COMPLETED 11/29/2017
3. Cash only gifts/holidays/Christmas. I include all birthdays, holidays, cards, Christmas, Thanksgiving groceries, my daughter's birthday party in this category, so it seems big. I need to add $1249 to this fund in 2017 – COMPLETED within budget
4. Pay off small debt at 0% before it runs out in 2018 $3481.09. Part is medical expenses that I am hoping to just cashflow paying the card for instead of using funds from my HSA. But we will see. – PARTIALLY COMPLETED – moved to another 0% card some balance due to financial changes through year
5. Keep up OT to pay Rental Townhouse Mortgage so we don't have to utilize any further savings – COMPLETED until Sale process
6. Add to Emergency Fund by $5000. Stretch goal is $8000. This would be significantly dependent on goals 1 and 2. – COMPLETED AND EXCEEDED $17k saved
7. No new debt [FAIL – small amount]
8. Continue FB sales of household and baby items. - COMPLETED
9. Continue 16% of salary to 401k - COMPLETED
10. Continue contributing to Childcare FSA for $1666.67 contribution from employer (Automatically set up already). - COMPLETED