My Publix Trip - In Pajamas

I don't actually have a shop to share yet, since I'm waiting for Sat & Sun for the Kelloggs 50% cereal sale. But I thought I'd share this picture I snapped last time I was at Publix. The lady is wearing her pajamas! It was after work so a busy time, and she looked like she just rolled out of bed. I almost forgot where I was, Walmart?

Elton John Concert Live Streaming Friday 1/25/2013

Thanks to Yamaha's groundbreaking DisklavierTV™, powered by RemoteLive™ technology, Elton's performance on the Yamaha Disklavier reproducing piano onstage with a 60-piece orchestra will be streamed live over the Internet and simultaneously to remote Disklaviers in many countries around the world, such as United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Australia and Singapore.
His actual piano keystrokes are then faithfully recreated, note for note, in real time on each of the remote instruments, while the entire orchestra is seen and heard on adjacent monitors, in perfect sync with the remote piano performances.
Yamaha will be broadcasting the whole concert Friday, January 25, 2013 from 8:00 PM (PST), featuring a blockbuster line-up of music industry stars!
Joining the "Rocket Man" onstage will be Amy Grant, Chaka Khan, Dave Grusin, Earth, Wind & Fire,
David Foster, Dave Koz, James Newton Howard, LEOGUN, Landon Pigg, Lucy Schwartz, Michael McDonald,
Sarah McLachlan, Sinbad and Toto. Legendary bass player Nathan East will serve as music director.

Elton will take the stage approximately 10:25 PM (PST).
Link will be provided later HERE.

1/27 Sunday Coupon Inserts - RP1 RP2 SS TQ P&G

Wow! This weekend there will be up to five (5) inserts in your Sunday paper. Get some extra!
Proctor & Gamble 1/27
Bounty $.25/1 towels or napkins
Cascade $1/1 ActionPacs
Charmin $.25/1 product
Clairol $2/1 color product or herbal color
Clairol $5/2 Natural Instincts hair color
Covergirl $1/1 Lip Perfection Jumbo Gloss Balm
Covergirl $1/1 product excludes accessories
Covergirl $3/2 products excludes accessories
Crest $.75/1 458ml+ Rinse
Crest $.75/1 4oz+ toothpaste or liquid gel excludes Cavity, Baking Soda and Tartar
Dawn $.50/1 Hand Renewal, Power Clean, Bleach Alternative or Oxi
Downy $3/both 1 liquid AND 1 Unstopables
Duracell $.50/1 CopperTop, Ultra Power, Ultra Photo Lithium or Specialty batteries excludes 1ct
Duracell $1/1 rechargeable batteries, charger or 6pk+ hearing aid batteries excludes 1ct
Febreze $.50/1 3,5oz or 5.5oz candle
Febreze $.50/1 Air Effects
Febreze $.50/1 Set & Refresh or Stick & Refresh
Febreze Buy Fabric Refresher, get car vent clip free up to $3.49
Febreze Buy NOTICEables refill, get NOTICEables warmer free up to $3.50
Gillette $1/1 Fusion ProGlide shave prep or Fusion ProSeries skin care
Gillette $1/2 deodorants or body washes
Gillette $10 off Fusion razor wyb 4ct+ cartridge
Gillette $10 off Mach3 razor wyb 4ct+ cartridge excludes disposables
Head & Shoulders $1/1 shampoo or conditioner excludes 1.7oz
Ivory/Safeguard $.30/1 personal cleansing product excludes Ivory 1 bar and Ivory Dish & Laundry
Luvs $1/2 bags or 1 box diapers
Mr. Clean $.50/1 product
Olay $1/1 bath bar, body wash or in shower body lotion
Olay $3/1 hair removal product
Olay $3/1 ProX advanced cleansing system
Olay $3/1 ProX, Regenerist or Total Effects facial moisturizer
Old Spice $1/2 products
Oral-B $.75/1 Glide floss 35m+ or floss picks 30ct+
Oral-B $1/1 Pulsar, 3D White, Pro-Health, Complete or 2 Indicator or Cavity Defense toothbrushes
Pampers $1/2 bags or 1 box diapers or pants
Pantene $3/2 products
Pepto $.50/1 product
Prilosec OTC $1/1 product
Puffs $.25/3 singles or 1 3pk+
Secret $1/1 Outlast, Scent Expressions or body spray excludes .5oz
Secret $2/1 Clinical excludes .5oz
Swiffer $1/1 Dusters 6ct, Dry Cloths 32ct, Wet Cloths 24ct or WetJet Pads 17ct+
Swiffer $1/1 starter kit or pad refill
Swiffer $1/1 Sweeper starter kit or Dusters Extender starter kit
Tide $3/1 15-37ct boost duo pac
Tide/Downy $.40/1 Tide detergents, Tide boost or Downy excludes PODS
Tide/Downy $1.50/2 Tide detergents, Tide boost or Downy excludes PODS
Tide/Downy $3/3 Tide detergents, Tide boost or Downy excludes PODS
Venus $2/1 Venus family system razor
Vicks $1.50/1 Nature Fusion product excludes VapoDrops and ZzzQuil
Vicks $1/1 products excludes VapoDrops and ZzzQuil
Vidal Sassoon $1/1 styling aid
Vidal Sassoon $1/2 shampoos or conditioners
Vidal Sassoon $2/1 hair color
ZzzQuil $1/1 product
Red Plum #1
Advil/ThermaCare $1/1 20ct+ Advil, 16ct+ Advil PM, 4oz+ Children's Advil, 1/2oz+ Infant' Advil or 2ct+ ThermaCare ets (3/9/13)
Axe $1/1 anti-perspirant, deodorant or bodyspray ets (2/24/13)
Axe B2G1 free 16floz shower gels or detailer, excludes 16oz twin packs and trial up to $5.99 (2/10/13)
Best Foods $.40/1 22oz+ product (2/24/13)
Caress $.75/1 12oz+ body wash or 6-bar+ pack ets (2/24/13)
Centrum $1/1 100ct+ bottle or pack of regular, FlavorBurst, Specialist, Silver or Caltrate ets (3/9/13)
ChapStick $1/2 packs (3/9/13)
Clear Buy 1 shampoo, get 1 conditioner or mask free up to $5.99 ets (2/10/13)
Clear Buy 7-day intensive treatment, get shampoo free up to $5.99 ets (2/10/13)
Degree $.75/1 for Men Adrenaline Series product ets (2/24/13)
Degree $.75/1 Women Expert Protection product ets (2/24/13)
Dimetapp/Robitussin/Advil $1/1 bottle or package of Dimetapp, Robitussin or Advil Congestion Relief or Allergy & Congestion Relief ets (3/9/13)
DOve $.75/1 go sleeveless, clear tone, go fresh or Clinical Protection excludes trial, multi-packs and Men+Care (2/24/13)
Dove $1/1 16oz+ body wash excludes trial and M+C (2/24/13)
Dove $1/1 6bar+ pack beauty bar excludes trial and Men+Care (2/24/13)
Dove $1/1 Men+Care 2.7oz antiperspirant or 3oz deodorant ets (2/24/13)
Dove $1/1 Men+Care hair product ets (2/24/13)
Dove $2/1 Men+Care 13.5oz+ body and face wash or active clean tool ets (2/24/13)
Dove $4/1 Men+Care body and face bar 6pk+ ets (2/24/13)
Dove Buy shampoo, get $1.50 off conditioner excludes Men+Care and trial (2/24/13)
Greenies $1/1 5.5oz feline dental treats (3/17/13)
Greenies $3/1 12oz+ canine dental chews (3/17/13)
Hefty $.75/2 cups (4/30/13)
Hefty $1/2 foam plates or bowls (4/30/13)
I Can't Believe It's Not Butter $.50/1 product (2/24/13)
Knorr $.50/2 Recipe/Sauce/Gravy mix products (2/24/13)
Knorr $.50/2 Rice and Pasta sides (2/24/13)
Knorr $1/1 homestyle stock (2/24/13)
Lipton $.40/1 tea bags, Tea & Honey To-Go or pitcher size or any iced tea mix (2/24/13)
Lipton $.50/1 tea bags (2/24/13)
M&M's $1.50/2 9.9oz+ bags dnd (3/10/13)
Newman's Own $1/1 thin & crispy pizza (3/9/13)
Perparation H $1/1 product excludes Totables Wipes 10ct (3/9/13)
Q-Tips $.30/1 170ct+ product ets (2/24/13)
Ragu $.20/1 pasta sauce jar (2/24/13)
Slim Fast $1/1 bar or snack bites (2/24/13)
Slim Fast $1/1 shake multi-pack or shake mix (2/24/13)
Suave $.75/1 2.6oz deodorant ets (2/24/13)
Suave Kids $.50/2 hair products ets (2/24/13)
Suave Naturals $.50/1 body wash product ets (2/24/13)
Suave Professionals $.50/2 products ets (2/24/13)
Suave Professionals $1/1 Moroccan Infusion Styling Oil ets (2/24/13)
TRESemme B1G1 free shampoo or conditioner excludes trial and styling products up to $6 (2/20/13)
Vaseline $1/1 20.3floz+ lotion ets (2/24/13)
White Castle $.50/1 6ct microwaveable hamburgers or cheeseburgers (4/27/13)
White Castle $1/1 16ct microwaveable hamburgers or cheeseburgers (4/27/13)
Wish-Bone/Western $.50/1 dressing (2/24/13)
Red Plum #2
Abreva $3/1 tube or pump product (4/14/13)
Breathe Right $1/1 10ct+ nasal strips product (3/31/13)
Carnation $.55/2 12oz evaporated milk cans (4/30/13)
Citrucel $1/1 fiber product (3/27/13)
Coffee-Mate $1.10/2 liquid creamers excludes Natural Bliss (3/31/13)
Coffee-Mate $1.10/2 powder creamers excludes Natural Bliss (3/31/13)
DiGiorno B2G1 free 26-33oz pizzas up to $6.01 (2/9/13)
Fancy Feast $1/ 2oz appetizers trays (4/27/13)
Fancy Feast $1/1 3lb+ dry cat food (4/27/13)
Fancy Feast $1/18 Elegant Medleys or Mornings cans (4/27/13)
Fancy Feast $1/24 cans (4/27/13)
Gaviscon $1/1 product (3/27/13)
Keebler/Sunshine $1/2 8-16oz Keebler crackers or Sunshine Cheez-It (3/24/13)
Land O'Frost $.55/1 Premium, Bistro Favorites, Canadian Bacon or Delishaved (2/26/13)
Land O'Frost $1/1 Wrap Kit or Sub Sandwich Kit (2/26/13)
Libby's $.35/1 15oz+ pumpkin can (4/30/13)
L'Oreal $1/1 Colour Riche nail product (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $1/1 Paris eye product (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $1/1 Paris eyeliner or eye shadow (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $1/1 Paris lip product (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $1/1 Paris skincare item ets (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $1/1 True Match Crayon concealer (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $2/1 Advanced Haircare shampoo or conditioner (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $2/1 Advanced Haircare treatment (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $2/1 Excellence shade (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $2/1 Paris cosmetic face product excludes Magic Perfecting Base .17floz size (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $3/1 11oz standard size Elnett hairspray excludes 2.2oz trial size (3/23/13)
L'Oreal $3/1 Paris Youth Code moisturizer or treatment ets (3/23/13)
Mahatma $.75/2 rice mixes (4/30/13)
Mahatma/Water Maid $.50/1 rice up to 10lb (4/30/13)
McCormick $.50/2 taco or Mexican season mixes (2/24/13)
Newman's Own $.50/1 pasta sauce (3/9/13)
Newman's Own $.50/1 salad dressing (3/9/13)
Newman's Own $.50/1 salsa (3/9/13)
Os-Cal $2/1 calcium supplement product (3/27/13)
Purina $.75/2 Whisker Lickin's (4/27/13)
Purina $1.50/12 Alpo cans (3/11/13)
Purina $1/1 10oz+ T Bonz or Tiny T Bonz (4/27/13)
Purina $1/1 3.15lb+ Cat Chow (4/15/13)
Purina $1/1 7lb+ Tidy Cats (4/27/13)
Purina $2/1 4lb+ Dog Chow or Puppy Chow (4/27/13)
Purina $2/1 4lb+ Fit & Trim, Active Senior 7+, Little Bites, Healthy Morsels or Active Life (4/27/13)
Purina $2/1 8ct+ Alpo variety pack (3/11/13)
Sarna $2/1 anti-itch product (3/31/13)
Stouffer's $1.50/1 57-96oz party size entree (4/30/13)
Stouffer's $1.50/2 french bread pizza (4/30/13)
Tums $1/1 50ct+ freshers (3/27/13)
Tums $1/2 24ct+ (3/27/13)
Wonderful Pistachios $.50/1 5oz+ (3/27/13)
Smart Source
Alka-Seltzer $2/1 regular or Plus product (3/31/13)
Arm & Hammer $1/1 Spinbrush Kids or Tooth Tunes product (3/31/13)
Arm & Hammer $1/1 Spinbrush product (3/31/13)
Armour $.55/1 meatballs (3/31/13)
Bayer $1/1 20ct+ aspirin product (3/17/13)
Bayer $3/2 120ct+ aspirin products (3/17/13)
Blue Diamond $1/2 4oz+ almonds (3/31/13)
Campho-Phenique $2/1 cold sore product (3/31/13)
Cheerios $.50/1 box (3/9/13)
Chex Mix $.50/2 4.5oz+ Mix or 100 Calorie Snack (3/23/13)
Chock full o'Nuts $1/1 package (2/28/13)
Curel $1/1 3.5oz+ product (2/24/13)
Dannon $.50/3 Oikos 5.3oz cups or 1 multipack (3/17/13)
Eggland's Best $.50/1 eggs (4/27/13)
Eggland's Best $.75/1 cage free or organic dozen eggs (4/27/13)
El Monterey $1/1 product (5/28/13)
Foster Farms $1/1 frozen cooked chicken (excluding breast nuggets) or turkey meatballs (4/30/13)
Frontera $1/1 1.5L bottle or 2 750ML bottles dnd (2/28/13)
General Mills $1/2 Chex, Fiber One, Total, Wheaties, Oatmeal Crisp, Honey Nut Clusters, Raisin Nut Bran or Basic 4 cereals (3/9/13)
Hasbro $4/1 Jenga game excludes USAopoly, Winning Moves, travel, card and Electronic Arts game versions (3/3/13)
Hasbro $4/1 Scrabble game excludes USAopoly, Winning Moves, travel, card and Electronic Arts game versions (3/3/13)
Hasbro $5/1 Taboo game SKU# 30658 or Pictionary game SKU# 05713 excludes USAopoly, Winning Moves, travel, card and Electronic Arts game versions (3/3/13)
House Foods $1.50/2 Organic Tofu (4/30/13)
House Foods $1.50/2 Traditional Shirataki or Tofu Shirataki (4/30/13)
House Foods $1/2 Premium Tofu (4/30/13)
ICaps $3/1 eye vitamin formula (3/1/13)
Jolly Rancher $1/2 6.5oz+ bags (3/31/13)
Juanita's Mexican Gourmet $1/2 soup cans (3/10/13)
Kauai Coffee $1/1 10oz bag (2/28/13)
Lemi Shine $.50/1 machine cleaner box (3/10/13)
Lemi Shine $.60/1 rinse (3/10/13)
LypSyl $.50/1 Intense Protection LipMoisturizer (3/10/13)
MiO $1/1 regular, Energy or Fit (2/28/13)
MJB $.75/1 coffee (3/31/13)
Mountain High $.50/1 32oz yoghurt (3/23/13)
Nabisco $.75/2 6.5oz+ cookie/cracker products dnd (3/10/13)
Nature Valley/Fiber One $.50/2 5ct+ Nature Valley Granola Bars, Nature Valley Granola Thins, Fiber One Chewy Bars, Fiber One 90 Calorie Chewy Bars or Fiber One 90 Calorie Brownies (3/23/13)
New York $.50/1 frozen product (3/31/13)
New York $.50/1 garlic knots (3/31/13)
Old El Paso $.60/3 products excludes salsa, refrigerated, frozen or soup (3/23/13)
Opti-Free $1.50/1 10oz+ formula (3/1/13)
Pace $.60/2 products (2/24/13)
Philadelphia $.55/1 Indulgence cream cheese spread (3/2/13)
Pillsbury $.40/2 crescent dinner rolls c twin pack (4/20/13)
Planters $1/1 6-16oz jar, canister, bag or multipack except almonds dnd (4/30/13)
Progresso $.50/1 Recipe Starters cooking sauce (3/23/13)
Purely Inspired $3/1 product (4/27/13)
Revlon $1/1 hair color product (3/3/13)
Revlon $2/1 bb cream, foundation, powder, concealer, primer or brush (3/3/13)
Schick $1/1 Xtreme3, ST2 or ST3, SlimTwin or Quattro disposable razor pack excludes 2ct and 10+2ct (2/24/13)
Schick $3/2 Xtreme3, ST2 or ST3, SlimTwin or Quattro disposable razor packs excludes 2ct and 10+2ct (2/24/13)
Scotch-Brite $1/2 botanical disinfecting wipes (3/15/13)
Sesame Street $3/1 Lullaby & Good Night Elmo toy SKU# 36661 (3/3/13)
Sesame Street $5/1 LOL Elmo toy SKU# AI500 (3/3/13)
Sun-Bird $.80/2 seasoning or soup mixes dnd (3/30/13)
Systane $1.50/1 lubricant eye drop or gel formula (3/1/13)
Totino's $.35/1 rolls snacks (4/20/13)
Vlasic $1/1 Farmers Garden hand-crafted pickle variety (3/31/13)
Yardley $1/4 single bar soaps or 2 double packs or 1 16oz shower gel (3/10/13)
Zarbee's $1/1 product (4/30/13)

Target/Purina Single Sheet (exp 3/31/12)
B2G1 free 6oz Beggin' Strips or 4-7oz Busy Bone up to $3.94
$2/1 24ct+ Friskies wet cat food variety pack
$2/1 14oz+ Waggin' Train or 25oz Beggin' Strips
B3G1 free 2.1oz Natural Sensations, 2.1-6oz Party Mix or 2.1oz Crispies up to $4.39
B3G1 free Beneful Prepared Meals wet dog food up to $2.29
$3/1 ONE SmartBlend 7lb+ cat or 8lb+ dog food
Thanks to for all the early insert listings.

2013 No Spend Challenge - Clothing

Now that I've laid out what we spent last year, you can see that there are a few areas we can really cut back. Some of you might think our allowance of $6000 is excessive (which I think too - but DH won't cut back), but at least any of it that is not spent is sitting in a savings account. I usually only get $100/month in cash from my allowance and put the rest in my savings. DH does the same. So really we have a good chunk in extra savings accounts if the "household" ever needs it for an emergency.
But the one category I really want to cut back on is spending, specifically online shopping, and specifically clothing. We have a lot of clothes. Just this morning as I was getting dressed for work, I needed to select a pair of shoes to go with my khaki pants. And of course, there are several pairs of tan/khaki shoes in my closet to choose from, in addition to a few brown pairs too that I could wear. I really only need one pair of light colored shoes to wear with my light colored pants. I'm probably not going to throw out perfectly good shoes, but I can put my foot down and quit buying any more shoes. Or any more pants. Or any more shirts. And I certainly don't need another Tshirt in my entire life, with hundreds on hand already.
So our challenge this year is to not purchase any clothing. I'm debating whether that should include free clothing. I'm thinking it should include any clothing whether it was paid for, or free. I can just pass on those $10 GC for free clothes at Victoria's Secret, and not reach out my hand to get that free Tshirt at events.
In addition to stopping any more clothing from coming into our home, we need to continue to purge excess items we have but no longer wear. Part of our challenge is to empty every single closet in our home this year and only put back the stuff we use. We already did that to our front hall closet and now the floor is actually empty! Prior to the cleanout, we had a large bucket of stuff that took up four square feet of space. The stupid thing is, we didn't touch that bucket for over ten years. We didn't miss anything in it.
So this year, even though I know there will be items I'll want to get, I won't.

Have You Started Your Taxes Yet?

Have you started looking at your taxes yet? I have and it looks like I'll get a refund. I did my taxes using Taxact which is free for the basic forms.

TaxACT - Free Tax Preparation

Publix Weekly Ad Sneak Peek 1/24 - 1/30/13

California Pizza Kitchen Pizza, 11.9 to 26.5 oz box, save up to 6.49

Potato Inspirations, 28 oz bag or Fingerling Potato Blend, 1.5 lb bag, save up to 3.99

McCormick Slow Cookers Seasoning, 1.25 to 1.5 oz envelope, save up to 2.09

Buitoni Pasta, Fettuccine or Linguine, 9 oz pkg, save up to 2.29

Kanimi Crab Smart Surimi, 8 oz pkg, save up to 3.69

Banquet Brown'N Serve Sausage, 6.4 oz pkg, frozen, save up to 1.99

Mama Lucia Italian Style Meatballs, 25.6 oz pkg, frozen, save up to 5.99

Kraft Fresh Take Cheese and Breadcrumb Mix, 6 oz pkg, save up to 2.99

Curly's Pulled Pork, Chicken or Beef, with BBQ Sauce or Sauceless: Pork, Chicken or Turkey, or Sliced Beef Steak, 10 to 16 oz tub, save up to 5.99

Totino's Pizzeria Rolls or Pizza Rolls, 19.8 oz bag, save up to 2.89

Concord Strawberry Smoothie, 2 oz pkg, no price given

New York Style Bagel Crisps, 6 or 7.2 oz pkg, located in deli, save up to 2.99

Danish Coffee Cakes, 14 or 15 oz, bakery, save up to 4.99

Eight O'Clock Coffee, 11 to 12 oz bag, save up to 5.87

Taco Bell Home Originals Dinner, 10.75 to 16.35 oz box, save up to 3.09

Kraft Barbecue Sauce, 16.25 to 18 oz bottle, save up to 1.35

A.1. Steak Sauce, 10 oz bottle, save up to 3.41

French's Classic Yellow Mustard, 14 oz bottle, save up to 1.85

Kraft Salad Dressing 16 oz bottle, or Kraft Sizzling Salads Dressing & Cooking Sauce Dinner Kit, 12 oz pkg, save up to 2.83

Welch's Essentials Juice Cocktail Blend, Light Concord Grape or White Grape Juice Beverage, 64 oz bottle, save up to 3.19

How We Spent Our Money in 2012

One of my favorite websites, makes evaluating your expenses much simpler at the end of the year. They actually have a pretty good app for smartphones too which I check everyday to make sure no one stole my identity, or money. One of my other favorite websites, Mr Money Mustache has posted his yearly spending so I feel compelled to also drop our drawers and lay it all out there.
I thought it would be interesting to see where all our money went last year and what opportunities there are for improvement this coming year. You might not really care what we spend, but you're probably nosy and will continue to read and see how you compare to us, a couple of cheap asses who recycle plastic baggies (not really). I think this may be a useful exercise to see where our money goes and to try to manage it so that when we retire we'll be able to fully enjoy ourselves on a limited budget. We learned a long time ago how fun it is to not have a car payment. And we learned a few years ago how fun it is to not have a house payment. And we learned last year how fun it is to not have to pay for food, gas or household products. So, just there we have three categories of expenses that have just went poooffff! up the air, gone to heaven and hopefully, never be seen again.
As you recall, we did a pretty extensive remodel of our home including all three bedrooms, dining room, living room and office. This ended up being our largest expense of the year and its worth every dime. Now our home is totally renovated and modern, and we're on our way to a clean, uncluttered existence as we sort through the outcast stuff we still have in our "green" room or the stockpile room.
Anyway, listed here are our largest expense categories of the year.
1. Home (Insurance, taxes, remodel, furnishings, appliances) $13,291
This was by far our biggest expense even though we have no mortgage or loans. The taxes $1000 and insurance $2500 are pretty much out of our control so that is a fixed expense. The remodel and new furnishings were a one time expense we  don't anticipate this again, although there are other projects on the horizon in years to come such as a new roof, fenced yard and we expect a new A/C unit will be needed someday since ours is over fifteen years old. However, we paid for everything and expect next years home expenses to be less than a third of what they were. There are opportunities to repair rather than replace, and preserve what we have so it lasts longer. My goal for 2013 is to spend less than $5000 for the year on this category.
2. Utilities (mobile phones, internet, TV, electric, water, garbage) $6,056
We are generally frugal in our use of utilities such as water, electricity and try to recycle to minimize garbage. I've unplugged one dorm size refrigerator and hope to empty our small freezer so we can unplug that as well. That leaves two full size refrigerators and a kegerator sucking down electricity at a high rate. In the warm weather, I unplug and drain the hot tub since we use the pool. Likewise in the cool weather I run the pool filter pump less hours per day since we don't swim in it for half the year (although the dog does - every day!) I was hoping to decrease our TV/Internet expense when our contract was up, but that didn't turn out and I feel fortunate to pay the same rate for another two years. Maybe by then DH can be weaned off cable and we can subsist on online streaming of sports events and TV programs. I'm looking to cutting our cell phone costs in half this year as I combine my smartphone with DH's account at only $40 a line unlimited everything. We are both eligible to upgrade our phones, but the frugal thing is to just keep them both as is. So there is definitely opportunity to cut expenses in this category, so my goal this year is to spend less than $5000 in this category as well.
3. Allowances $6000
DH and I each get an allowance monthly to pay for stuff that is not a household expense.This category would also include going out to restaurants which we only do a couple times a year - except for the Firehouse where we go regularly for wings and beer. These optional expenses like beer, cigarettes, going out to eat, massages, extravagent unnecessary expenses (Ipad, extra computers, music) are paid for with cash from our allowance. We both save a significant portion of our allowance being the frugal spenders we are. DH used to spend a good portion of his allowance on driving a race car and I purchased computers and photography equipment. If we decide to do something extravagent that the house "can't afford" we both chip in from our allowance. This category will stay the same next year.
4. Auto & Motorcycle (insurance, maintenance, gasoline) $4,126
Our two old cars and two newer motorcycles are very expensive to insure in this state of Florida where almost half the drivers do not carry insurance, and I'm sure a good portion of them are driving on suspended licenses as well. It is dangerous and therefore we have probably excessive insurance compared to most people. But after DH was struck by an uninsured driver in 2010 and we received a nice settlement from our own insurance, we feel safer on the roads having sufficient insurance. But this is one area we can still cut back on insurance with the red truck since it sits in the driveway the majority of its life, and its the biggest boxiest safest vehicle we have. Of our auto expenses, over half is insurance $2470, $1657 was maintenance on all four vehicles. I've made a note to mention $1722 for gasoline even though this was paid for with gift cards we got at Publix from overage, and yard sale proceeds. So the opportunity here is to cut insurance a little and to ride my bike more this year, so this year we can spend less than $4000 in this category.
5. Travel $3,384
This category has suffered since we have been remodeling. Now that our home is updated, we plan to resume frequent travel. We already have booked a nice seven day cruise to the Virgin Islands this spring, and plan to book another for Fall 2013, in addition to our annual trip up North to visit our families. We have let all our season tickets to NASCAR races go unrenewed and we may attend these types of events at most once a year. I actually desire to travel to places I haven't been to before, or places I traveled to as a child. I would love to visit San Francisco, Hawaii, Yellowstone National Park, Colorado and Canada. We're actually in a holding pattern for extended long trips as long as we have our old dog. When she passes in a few years, we'll be able to take longer trips overseas without having to worry about finding a caretaker for her. So this year, I would expect this category to at least double, if not approach $10,000.
6. Shopping $2,793
Amazon is the death of me. It is way to easy to shop online and it shows up here in this category. We have way to many clothes and shoes and could easily go years without purchasing anything to wear. I see this category as an opportunity to cut in half to about $1400.
7. Health (Rx, copays, insurance) $1,722
This category just increased this year because of our Governor, for the first time in ten years we were required to pay health insurance premiums. I hope to just maintain the cost of this category in the future, not much hope of decreasing it until I hit menopause or quit having sex, and can quit going to the doctor for those little pills.
8. Entertainment (Busch Gardens, Concerts) $1,656
This category is actually not very much of our budget and I hope to be able to maintain that amount this year. We do go to a lot of free festivals and inexpensive concerts to keep this cost down. Actually, since we used to work concert events we have seen almost every performer we care to see and the cost is often not worth it if we've seen it. We did splurge and buy good tickets for an upcoming Lady Gaga concert this spring.
9. Pet $695
The love, companionship and protection we receive in exchange for vet bills and medications is worth the cost for our dog. Dog food and treats are paid for with overage at Publix so this is actually less than most pay for a pet. If we keep this expense under $1000, that would be good. In the future this expense will go away when the dog dies.
10. Personal Care $249
This category is probably low since DH pays for his haircuts with cash and takes out the money when he gets his allowance. So it really should be double, closed to $500 for hair cuts and perms. It helps being low maintenance people - no manicures, hair color, no pedicures or expensive massages. All that individual stuff comes out of allowance anyway, it is not considered a household expense.
The missing category -  Food & Beer
This category is one where we have eliminated the expense by using coupons and shopping the sales. We buy stuff we don't need, to use the overage to get what we need. We actually made $803 last year, spending $2951 in cash and gift cards to purchase $32,729 worth of products (including $3755 in gift cards and gas cards). The cash used in shops was proceeds from yard sales selling our stockpile from couponing. We also use the cash to pay for our beer kegs, and extra spending money when we travel.
So, in summary our goal for the upcoming year is to cut our spending by 10% overall.
How did you do?


My Publix Trip 103% saved

This was a pretty small trip, I just needed to get some salad stuff and then use up some coupons I had printed for the bread and ice cream. The baby food was a moneymaker and will be donated to my neighbor. It must have been shift change when I shopped because my only choice of cashiers was three different guys that I never go to, so we had a newbie coupon cashier. He was so nervous and didn't know what to do with the Rudi's bread coupon because it wouldn't scan. I thought this would have been an easy transaction since I wouldn't need numbers - but when the Altoids rang up at $2.19 and they gave it to me for free, it put me in the negative - and then required manager approval for numbers. They paid me $1.53.
Also the Best Meals Happen at home coupon displays are up in the stores now, the same coupons are on the back page of the ad. Get some extra because they are valid through Feb 6.
Don't forget to print a $5/$25 Save A Lot coupon from facebook
22   45.69 19.41 27.81 tax -1.53 14 -103.35%
Product qty price subtl B1G1 -Q 0.00 total Q# Q details
lettuce 1 1.49 1.49       1.49    
Rudi's GF Bread BOGO 2 3.99 7.98 3.99 4.00   -0.01 2 $2/1 MQ print
haagen daz ice cream pint BOGO 4 3.91 15.64 7.82 7.82   0.00 2 BOGO MQ print (NLA)
mushrooms 1 1.50 1.50       1.50    
carrots 1 1.89 1.89       1.89    
Chili Seasoning BOGO 2 1.25 2.50 1.25     1.25    
Nabisco soup cracker BOGO 2 2.39 4.78 2.39 1.00   1.39 1 $1/2 MQ peelie
Beechnut Fruities BOGO 8 0.99 7.92 3.96 8.00   -4.04 8 $1/1 MQ print
Altoids mints 1 1.99 1.99   1.99   0.00   Rang up wrong $2.19 publix promise
Save A Lot $5 off $25   0.00 0.00   5.00   -5.00 1 $5/25 facebook print