Saturday, March 1, 2014

The day has been very productive and fun.

Nolen really wanted to go do something today, but I felt uncomfortable going out and spending one cent, without going over the budget. So that is what I did while he took a shower. I am using a new template and it worked out great. So much easier to use than the old one. (I am using one of the templates on windows 8 in excel.)

I then had a quick financial meeting with hubby to make some tweaks to it. You cannot be successful without being on the same page. We reviewed the amount we have in our baby step one emergency fund and it is so exciting to be 40% there. Once we knew for sure we could afford to go out, we were off.

We decided to go to Steak n' Shake, as we had coupons and it was a sit down place that is still child friendly. I was dying for a shake so we used the coupon to buy one and we got the other one free. What is better than a shake? A free shake. We walked out the door tax and tip for under $23. Not bad for a family of four. We did tip high as our server was very nice and attentive.

Off to the mall we went. Sarah had her allowance and she wanted to get a toy. I also wanted to see what prices were on crock pots. Nolen wanted to look in Sears to price out freezers.

Crock Pots / Slow Cookers

My goal was to get a programmable crock pot/slow cooker. The one I priced on Amazon was $49.99. It had a lid closure, was able to be set for how long to cook, then it went to warm. Basic, yet a lot better than my 20 year old, high/low/off one.

We started our hunt in Sears, they didn't carry any. But I did get some speakers for my iPod as my car radio doesn't work. I have been using a transistor radio that uses batteries. This way I can recharge the speakers while at work or home. No batteries.

After Sears, we went to JC Penny's. They did not have the crock pot I wanted in stock, so off to Dillard's we went. They had the exact one I "thought" I wanted. After looking at the one a step up ($129.99) I realized that that it was really the one I wanted. It had the locking lid feature, the warming feature, but it also had a specific temperature feature. You could also steam, brown and do the normal cook thing.

Nolen and I hemmed and hawed. Since this was a birthday gift for me, Nolen had a budget of $70 that he was willing to spend. This was way over that budget. He mentioned how the higher priced one, was really the one we needed to help us make sure we got good meals on the table with our busy schedules. So we compromised. I used my "allowance", he used his budgeted birthday amount as well as another $10 of his allowance. I walked out with the crock pot of my dreams.

Lesson to be had: Do your research, but be flexible to get what you really NEED. Getting something cheaper isn't always the best thing when you are trying to save money. I will be able to do more things with the Crock Pot I got, therefor we will eat home more and save us more money in the long run.

Freezers

Nolen and I want to get a freezer. There is a compact freezer for $189.99 at Sears that we want. It will go a long way for me to be able to buy meat and veggies on sale for future use. I will also be able to do freezer crock pot cooking too. We know the size we want and in fact my parents got the same one for their house. We both have very small freezers and wanted one you could plug into a regular outlet.

We of course did not buy the freezer, but we do have an estimated amount now, that we can start putting money away for. So we have now added that as a savings line on our budget. In a few months, we should be able to have enough to pay cash for it. When it comes time to buy it, we will check out the scratch and dent portion of sears and see if we can get it for even cheaper. I will also be on the lookout for coupons too. You never know what you will find.

Now we are all home. Its nap time. It is Pork night, so I will be making Greek Pork Loin for dinner. Yum.