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Date Night

February 20th, 2014 at 06:06 pm

We were married on the 20th of May, almost 25 years ago. On the 20th of each month we try and do something together...without the kids. Dinner, lunch, coffee and dessert, walk in the park and neck etc...

Tonight we went to Outback Steakhouse. Had a gift card we got for Christmas. Including tip, we spent $10 more than the gift card amount. $10 for dinner out and no kids for a few hours = Priceless.

One of the college kids stayed home tonight to watch the younger ones. Fed them and then watched a movie with them while we were out.

I'm a Beef guy, But...

February 17th, 2014 at 09:49 am

Ground turkey is $1.69lb at Aldi today. Got 30 pounds cause my bride and kids like it. Give me ground beef any old day but at that price I'll eat turkey.

Boneless chicken thighs are $1.49lb this Wednesday. Will have to stock-up. Love marinated chicken thighs on the grill. Just need to dig some of this snow away from the grill.

VD Spending

February 15th, 2014 at 08:42 am

Valentine's Day, not the other kind of VD.

We've been married almost 25 years so we don't do a lot money/gift/dinner wise on V-Day.

This year we went to a potluck dinner at church with about 50 other couples. We brought 2 large salad's and a dessert. $10 or so I'd guesstimate.

Gifts-we bought an old movie on DVD for ourselves, $5. And wrote each other a letter, free.

Went to the dinner from 6-9pm. Some of our older kids watched the younger kids, no babysitting fee. Watched a movie from 9:30-11:30. Then "lights-out", no details to share on the light-out part Wink

So we had a blast and spent around $15. All in all a great night.

A Short Post About 2013

February 9th, 2014 at 09:33 am

Here are a few stats from our 2013 budget/expenditures. The good and the not so good.


This is for a family of 14. At any given time 1 or 2 kids could be out of the house but we also have friends, acquaintances and those we can hardly tolerate over for meals a lot.

Food and Drink Expenditures for 2013 (includes eating out).

Year - $15,120 ($1,080 per person per year)

Monthly - $1,260 ($90 per person per month)

Daily - $41.54

Average cost per meal per person = $1.15. I used 12 family members since sometimes kids are out of the house. But really it's more like 99 cents per person per meal.

We used to spend $1,600 per month a few years ago. But when Aldis opened our monthly bill dropped dramatically.

Granted some of the kids are young. But 7 of them are age 12 and older. Plus my wife eats like she is going to the chair.

And no we aren't eating junk all day long. Plenty of fruits, veggies and meats. Everyone is fairly healthy...well Sam is coughing like she's gonna hack up a spleen, but she'll live.

I could save even more if I could break the gallon-a-day milk habit my kids have.

The Feds need to take cost efficiency advice from us.


Average Monthly Expenditures

Electric - $250

Natural Gas - $115

Water - $100

Average per month for all 3: $465

Before 2013 we were spending well over $500 per month. So it's improved but is still too high. This older rambling house that has been added on to many a time is very inefficient to heat and cool. And 5 loads of laundry and 2 loads in the dishwasher daily adds up. Plus thankfully the kids bathe/shower daily...for the most part.

Retirement Savings:

Without going into specific dollar amounts. I was able to funnel 30% of my salary into retirement investments. A major improvement over years past when it was usually in the 10-15% range. The main reason for this was the paying off of our mortgage in the fall of 2012.

Medical Expenses:

$225 per month. I could reimburse myself for these costs from my Health Savings Account (HSA) but choose to pay for them out of pocket and let the HSA buildup tax-free.


$150 per month (no work commute and no excessive hauling the kids around)

Kids Activities/Sports/Piano/Trips/Fun etc:

$200 per month

Homeschool Expenses:

K-8th grade (5 kids) -$1,000 for the year. That is mostly for an at-home tutor/teacher helper. Less than $100 was for books and supplies.

Tutor Fees for 2 high-schoolers - $5,050. Plus a few hundred dollars for books.