Brown Baggin' It

Tuesday, May 28, 2013
  One of the biggest things we've done to save money is taking our lunches to work. Wouldn't you if you had a cool lunchbox like this?

Sadly, it's not bigger on the inside. 

 Phillip takes pretty much the same thing every day. A spinach/veggie salad with a homemade vinaigrette dressing. We've never really sat down to determine how much it is but this is my estimate based on the groceries we buy for it. This is the cost/salad.

Phillip's Salad with Vinaigrette Dressing
Celery                      $.23
Spinach                    $.33
Cucumber                $.07
Onion                      $.18
Red Wine Vinegar   $.23
Lemon Juice            $.01
Total:                    $1.05

This ends up being $5.25/week. That's less than you would spend on one meal if you went out to lunch. He usually adds in a banana and apple so that adds on another $1/day. That's still REALLY cheap! It's also very healthy and since he makes it all himself he knows what's going in it and that there are no preservatives, overloads of sodium or sugars or anything else food companies try to sneak in.

On the other hand, I'm not quite as good at packing healthy salads for lunch. Because there is a restaurant right across from my building it's way too easy to run over and grab something, I've learned that if I don't bring a variety of stuff and sometimes have snacks I will run over there instead. Here's a list of common items that I'll grab to take along with me along with the cost/item. The produce varies so I did a guesstimate based on my previous shopping trips.

PB&J Sandwich: $ .40
         Peanut Butter $.15
         Jelly                $.07
         Bread(wheat)  $.09/slice

Ham & Cheese on a Hawaiian roll: $.68
         Hawaiian Rolls  $.12
         Provolone         $.19
         Ham Slice         $.37

Apple ~$.82
Banana ~$.20
Grapes ~$.15/ounce
Strawberries ~$.11/ounce
Clementine ~$.12
String Cheese $.24
Greek Yogurt $.94
100 Calorie Almond pack $.38

 Today I packed: A PB&J, grapes, string cheese, yogurt, almonds, and a clementine. That brings today's total to $2.23. This is actually the first time I've ever priced out what we buy, I'm pretty happy with the results.

 It took me awhile to get over how much we were spending on produce and things at the store but if you break it down like this it ends up being much less expensive than anything you could go out and get on your lunch break. Chances are you'll be eating more whole foods and feel better than if you were to get something that had been more processed.

 I'm always looking for new combinations to put in my lunchbox, what are some of your favorite things to take along?

Groceries week of 5/20/13

Monday, May 20, 2013
  Good morning! This is the first time I've been up before 11:00am in the past 3 days. It's also the first day I've changed out of my pajamas. Since my wisdom teeth came out on Thursday afternoon I've been completely useless. The first night and Friday morning were the worst! Phillip called my dentist and they called in a prescription for nausea medication on Friday morning. Things got easier after that, and I just slept a lot. I still have some bruising and pretty puffy cheeks but I can deal with that.

  Because of this our grocery list this week was pretty minimal. Phillip has decided he's just going to use up what's in the fridge and I'm stuck on liquids and soft foods. My work study students graduated last night so I'm making cupcakes for their party tomorrow, I'm hoping they turn out cute!

Granny Smith Apples (3lb)   $2.99
Baby Carrots                       $  .99
Ranch Dressing                    $1.39
1/2 gallon of milk                 $1.89
Blueberry Nutrigrain Bars    $1.89
Russett Potatoes (5lb)         $1.99
Total:                               $11.14

Flour Tortillas                   $1.98
Pudding                            $1.00
Pudding                            $1.00
Velvet Cake Mix              $1.28
Frosting                            $1.58
Cupcake Liners                $1.12
Soup - 4 pack                  $2.75
Creamy Peanut Butter       $2.54
Sweet Potatoes (2)           $1.28
Bananas                            $1.47
Tomatoes*                        $7.12
Mandarin Oranges             $2.98
Popscicles                         $1.36
Chocolate Milk                  $ .88
Yellow cake mix                $1.12   
Total:                              $29.46

Grand total: $40.60

*I have no idea why Phillip bought $7 worth of tomatoes. Sometimes it's easier not to ask.

I'll probably pick up a couple of boxes of the Kroger brand instant breakfast mix today. Walmart doesn't make a generic and the Carnation brand is $5/box! At Kroger it's $1.88.

Time to head to work, hoping I can stay awake today! Have a great day!

Breakdown of our Wedding Budget + Pictures!

Sunday, May 19, 2013
**I just realized I wrote this a year ago and never posted it! I've added some pictures, enjoy!**

I'm really conflicted as to whether I should share this or not, apparently people get squeamish when you talk about money, especially when it comes to your wedding. After discussing it with my hubby we decided to share it, we're really happy with how everything turned out and we wanted to share with other people that you don't have to spend a fortune to have a nice wedding. On one of the websites I used while planning tons of brides-to-be complained that their $20,000 budgets just weren't enough. One girl even complained that her parents only gave her $50,000 to spend. Really?

 Initially Phillip and I had planned to pay for everything on our own. We wanted to keep our budget under $2,000 for EVERYTHING. We wanted to do this to challenge ourselves and stick to a budget, also to keep our priorities in line. At the end of the day we would be married and that is the important part.
Not to say I didn't get a little crazy, but overall I tried to keep the bigger picture in mind.

How were we going to stick to this budget? By doing it all ourselves. No caterer or bakery, we were going to do it all. Then mom stepped in and said "Sunny Marie, you're going to drive yourself crazy if you do that." And you know what? Sometimes moms are right.

We ended up going over our initial $2000 budget which would have been really hard to stick to anyway. My parents are super wonderful and helped us out a lot, especially with the big purchases. We're really grateful for everything our families and friends did to make our wedding day so special.

Not all of these numbers are completely accurate because I didn't get around to making a spreadsheet of everything I bought/paid for, I really meant to do that but it was kind of exhausting to plan the wedding itself so I didn't have much time for organization!

The Necessities 
The Venue: Cute barn in the middle of nowhere: $175. Major score!
The Invites: I think the materials ended up being around $70, we made around 150 invitations and had extra                            supplies.
The Dress: I planned to get a $99 David's Bridal special and be done with it.
                 Ended up with one that was $450+$99 preservation kit+$60 in alterations.
Veil: $18 ($3 for the tulle, $2 for the comb, and $13 for the pearl/ribbon edging.)
Phillip's Tux: $135
The Shoes: Found some on clearance at Rack Room shoes for $15
Hair: $35
Make-Up: I think I spent around $50 at Sephora but I am still using it 12 months later :)
The Flowers: I made the 4 bridesmaid bouquets for about $30 total, my bouquet was around $25
The Cake: $80
Cupcakes: $75 - I bought the ingredients and paid a friend to make them.
Cake topper: $5 (plus black paint that we already had)
Catering: $600 (My parents covered this one, I'm not sure how much it was exactly)
Photography: $800 (this one killed me folks, but it was well worth it!)
Plates & Napkins: $45

The Decor 
Burlap Table Runners: $40
Books for Centerpieces: $15 (we frequented the Habitat ReStore)
Flowers for Centerpieces: $25
Firefly Jars: $20
Jar Hangers: $5
Mason Jars: $20 + lots of donations from family and friends.
Wall Coverings: $40
Christmas Lights: $15 + lots of borrowed ones from family and friends
Wagon Wheel Lights: $25 (hula hoops and PVC pipes)

Random Stuff:
Guest Book: $10
Pen: $10
Bubbles $12
Ribbon: $15

Tables $6.75x10
Chairs $1.15x80
Tablecloths: $7.50x10

Estimated Total:  $3395

Now...ready for some pictures?