Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I really do not like to run. So, why not train for a 1/2 marathon?

Makes sense to me.

My sister is a goal person.  She sets goals, and she accomplishes them.  Now, she would probably shake her head and say that I am being too kind about her.  But this is my blog, so I can say anything I want. :) And I admire her for it!  I really do!  She is a "don't tell me I can't" sort of gal, and I think that is awesome!  So, she decided that she wants to run a 1/2 marathon this year before her 40th birthday, and she asked if anyone wanted to join her in training for it.  Stupidly, I said "Sure!"

So, after much deliberation on which race to run, we've decided to run in the Ruben Studdard Celebration Weekend half marathon on November 18 in Birmingham.  We were originally going to run in Savannah, GA on November 3, but we are both trying to plan for family vacations a month or so after.  So, we thought a local race would be the most economical.  I mean, who wants to travel to an awesome city like Savannah just to be too tired to enjoy it after running 13.1 miles?  Not me.  I can be sore in boring old Birmingham!  AND save money in the process.  (Oh my's like the two worlds of my silly little blog have merged into this one giant super goal.)  And there you have it.  My next fitness goal.

I'm starting my couch to 5K training beginning this Saturday.  I want to complete that and then move on to our 15-week training program for the 1/2.  This is going to be comical.  Truly.  Comical.  But as my friend, Allison, pointed least I get a new pair of shoes out of the deal.  :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Starting a stockpile

Have you ever wondered what you can buy at the grocery store for $10? Maybe you'd choose to buy one big thing like a great steak or a bottle of wine. Or maybe you'd grab some milk, a frozen pizza and a pack of gum. Whatever the case may be, $10 doesn't seem to get you much at the grocery store. Jeremy and I have been complaining to each other for a few months about how the price of groceries seems to have gone up and up and up to the point that our grocery bill is out of control. We try to budget for $100/week at the store (not counting diapers and all that stuff). And for the most part, we do a good job of spending at or a little under that when we make our Saturday morning trip for the week's groceries. And then the little trips start. You know what little trips I'm talking about. It's the "Oh, crap...I forgot to get laundry detergent" trip. And the "we are almost out of milk" on Thursday trip. Well, after a while, those little trips add up. ALOT. And we are planners. We menu plan for the week and try to only buy what we need for the week, but we were always forgetting little things. So, we got a magnetic note pad to put on the side of the fridge that we write things down on throughout the week. If one of us grabs the last roll of toilet paper or notices that the toothpaste is getting low, then we add that to the list for the next Saturday. We've found that when we sit down on Saturday morning to make our grocery list, that we just somehow forget those types of things, so the notepad comes in handy.

Three weeks ago we decided to take back control of our grocery bill and only shop one time for the week. We would NOT make little trips to the store. AND we would start a stockpile. Yes, I said it...a stockpile. (Call TLC. I'm the next extreme couponer.) I've been a casual couponer before. I'd take a $.35 off a can of Grands biscuits coupon to the store, flash that puppy at the cashier when the time came and walk out feeling like I'd really done something. But I never REALLY understood the concept behind couponing. So, I started talking to some of my girlfriends who use coupons, and they referred me to a great site called On that site, the lady matches weekly sales papers for various stores (we are Publix customers) along with coupons to get you the absolute best deal on groceries. It's like she does the research work for me, so I appreciate her. Yes, I appreciate her so much. But it wasn't enough to me to only make the one-trip-a-week pledge. No, I wanted to also start a stockpile of groceries so that maybe a few months down the road we would REALLY start to feel some relief from our grocery bill. My friend Molly said that starting a stockpile is hard to do but is a must if you want to really save at the store. So, in doing some research, I found that the best way to start a stockpile is to devote 10% of your weekly grocery bill to the stockpile. So, for us...that is $10. I thought...well, this is going to be tough. Not only am I going to have so little to use for the stockpile, but I also have to be committed to feeding my family on only $90/week. But I knew I could do it. We would just have to be creative. And I knew that there would be weeks that we just wouldn't be able to add to the stockpile because maybe the weekly deals didn't work in our favor or maybe we didn't have a coupon to use, but as much as I could...I would try to add to it. And that mindset has really worked! So far, so good!

This was my first week's stockpile:
Isn't it pretty? :) But seriously...That's what I got for $10! Between coupons and B1G1 deals at the store that week, that's what I was able to put aside for a rainy day. The second week wasn't as impressive looking, but still decent nonetheless:
So, I'm off to a good start! And I'm hoping that by starting a stockpile, maybe I won't need to make anymore "little trips" to the store. Maybe it will already be on my to my 77 bottles of mustard, no doubt.