Wednesday, March 16, 2011

epic shopping trip #2+eat from home challenge

I mentioned on facebook about 6 weeks ago that I was going shopping for a months worth of groceries because I hate making the menu and list, gathering the coupons, loading the cart, checking out, unloading the cart,  unloading the truck, and unloading the bags. That's right, I hate all of it. Those groceries have finally run out. Well not run out. We still have steaks, chicken cutlets and pork chops, but it is still time to shop again. I spent $360 that day and have gone to the bread store once, pick up milk once and veggies once for a grand total of $400.  It has been great not having to mess with shopping! 

This month I am upping the ante. My goal is not to eat out or pick up take out AT ALL. This goal is super ambitious. I LOVE to eat out. I will get a hankering for something like Skillet's pancakes or a burger from Studebaker's and cannot rest until that need is met. It will be super challenging but I am committed to seeing how this little experiment effects our life and how much money we save.
A lot of people have asked me how I planned for a month and it honestly wasn't that difficult. We always make our grocery list based on meals. Then  we just make sure we have all the ingredients on the list. Now I print a calender for the month and on weekdays put whats for supper that night. Weekends are harder because we are all home for 3 meals. We usually eat a late breakfast, then snack around and have supper.

Here's a helpful tip: Assign each day a theme.
For Example
  • Monday-Italian
  • Tuesday-cold food
  • Wednesday-leftovers
  • Thursday-Mexican
  • Friday-American
Then I just quickly list meals in that category on the calendar.
Example:There are 4 Tuesdays in April
  1. tuna wraps
  2. sandwiches
  3. grilled chicken salad
  4. tuna sandwiches
I am putting this on the web to help me be accountable.I haven't told my husband yet but he prefers to eat at home so I am sure he will be supportive. I am estimating that I eat out about 5 times a week including weekends and that we spend about $400 a month eating out. How often do you/your family eat out?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

wet paint

This post has been a long time coming and promises to be a long read. Bare with me, as I want to share ALL of this experience with you. If you can't handle all the text, just enjoy the photos and lie to me when I ask if you enjoyed my blog.I decided to redo my cabints after a visit to my cousin Les' house. He is always in the midst of some sort of home improvement. I asked a few questions about his cabinet painting experience and decided mine need an update in a bad way! So two days later I hit up the home depot in search of the perfect color. I knew I wanted a brown hue. I was going for the feel of wood but had no intention of staining these old cabinets. They just are not worth the time sanding and refinishing would have required. While on my 30 minute lunch break,I chose a color called leather from their behr premium collection. Chosing a color proved to be very difficult. I ultimately held my top 3 choices next to a true red and chose the one that looked best. MISTAKE. I got out of my truck at work and had the worst case of buyers remorse ever. I knew I had chosen the wrong color. Too much of an orange undertone to be used in such a large area. PANIC. I really didn't wanna pay $33 again for the another color. Was $33 enough  money to make me live in a hideous kitchen? Thankfully we will never know. My sweet new friend, Marilyn, told me they would gladly exchange for the correct color even though it was my mistake. I even called back to make sure she knew my paint lid clearly read "not returnable". Plug-I love Home Depot. They are so helpfuil and welcoming to this new home improver.I chose chocolate swirl for the cabinets.

I took all the doors off  and got started by cleaning, sanding and painting the actual cabinets. This was only my second time to paint. ever. We painted Cameron's room "tink pink" shortly after buying our house 4 years ago.  That took about 3 evenings just working on it when I got home from work and wasn't running the kids around. Throughout the process personal hygiene has been at an all time low. I bathed and washed my hair and thats about it for the last 2 weeks. I thought the kids could parttake by painting the insides of the cabinets, turns out I'm a little too anal and controlling for that sort of family fun. Devin was knee deep in Les Mills Body Pump training so his only contribution was pulling the fridge out from the wall.  Next I painted the doors. Then I chose edgy red,also a behr paint with primer built in. My friend Christy had an awful experience with this paint but I didn't have any issues. I love red and have wanted to paint over the gosh awful off red streaking paint job that was in our dining room when we bought the house. Painting the door and those 2 walls was pretty uneventful. The area above my cabinets was a challenge. I wanted to paint over the wall paper in case we didn't like the red. I figured it would be easier to pull the wall paper down than to try to cover such a vibrant hue. Straight out of the box I had problems with the Frogtape brand paint tape. It would not stick and was very difficult to apply.  Then the wallpaper bubbled. I have left it up there for now. We plan on taking the panels out completely and making shelves above the cabinet.I had to use primer to cover the awful wallpaper. I chose a pint size can of basketry colored paint for the least prominent wall of the kitchen and did all the trim in chocolate swirl. Trim was a little tricky as we have popcorn ceilings. I know everyone hates popcorn ceilings but I don't really mind ours. But the painters tape would not stick so I made another trip to the store for a handy edging tool. It was well worth every cent of the $3 I paid. I ran out of the terrible frogtape at about 11pm one night so I pilaged our shed and found the scotch painters tape from left over from Cameron's room. It had been sitting in a locker under our carport for 3 years and worked perfectly. High five Scotch. Two thumbs down Frogtape! The only good that came out of the frogtape was that the hubs really like the way it looked with the colorscheme so I ended up buying lime colored accents for the kitchen and dining area.  Knobs were another difficult decision. I wanted the $4 glass ones and still think they would have looked great but I just couldn't pay $100 for knobs for a $50 paint job. I regressed to my trademark gold, but remember this is my family's kitchen and ended up getting a great deal on a brushed silver bucket of knobs for $34.I had a really hard time finding a curtain or valance to cover my kitchen's eyesore:the window that is too high to see out of and looking into our beautiful.....carport. I settled on a $9 panel curtain from wal-mart and my darling friends Charlotte helped me hem it to the correct size. Next I wanted to paint the zen tree design I envisioned but could find nowhere.The final image is not exactly what I would have chosen:the dark and twisty girl inside me wanted leafless winter branches but I am happy with the design we made. It's not too sunshiny I hope.My pal Jamie suggested making a freezer paper stencil. Cameron helped me draw the image and my friends Shelly and Bubba let me use their lighted drawing table(used for drawing tattoo images) to exacto cut my stencil. Devin helped me paint the curtain and it was a great final touch to our fab new kitchen.

Total spent:$236.16
This successful project brought to you by:Les,Tiffany,Charlotte,Shelly, Bubba, Marilynn, Jamie, Scotch paint tape, and the Home Depot.