Feb shopping;Organizing; training plans

For the month of February, I worked hard at keeping the food budget down (and all around budget). I went to coupon sites, subscribed to new blogs for savings and tried to use what we had before going food shopping. Also, I cut out small trips and made one big shopping trip each week. In January, somehow I spent around $700 on food shopping. For February, I kept it under $400 at $389. However, this month  included a $200 trip to Costco which is not a part of the $389.  I guess I'll divide it evenly over a few months since we only go to Costco about every 3 months.  Yesterday I listed sites that I have been checking out but I'll relist them. I'm obsessed right now with coupon match ups and trying to find coupons for everything I'm buying.  Seeing the total savings makes me super excited!  It's kind of addictive.

Here are the sites that have been really helpful:
Money Saving Mom
Organic Deals
Saving Naturally
Health E Savers
For the Mommas

Coupon Mom
Organic Coupons
Whole Foods 

Other things to keep in mind - many grocery stores double coupons. Our Giant doubles them up to $1 (55cent coupon would add an extra 45 cent discount) and Wegmans doubles coupons less than $1 (55 cent coupon x 2 = $1.10 savings).   Right now I just have all of my coupons thrown into a pouch that came with the diaper bag. I need a better system - anyone have a good system that they want to share?

Sunday night was not a good night of sleep. Kara was coughing most of the night and my neck was bothering me. I got up to go swimming only promising myself I'd nap in the afternoon but then Kara wasn't feeling well and I spent most of the afternoon holding her and trying to get her to nap - walking, rocking, etc. This morning
I woke up naturally around 4:45 but I had zero interest in getting up to do the hill workout. I slept in until 5:30 and got up and banged out 9 miles with speed work on the treadmill. At first I was thinking, oh man. I definitely should have just got up and gone to run outside with other people, but speed training on the treadmill goes so quickly.  How often do you do intervals? Tempo runs? Every week or every other? Right now I'm only running 3 days, but will probably add a 4th day in a couple weeks. Is doing a tempo run and speed training in the same week + long run too much or just right? How do you make up your training plan? I have a half marathon in 4 weeks. I've been doing the hill, a speed workout or tempo run and long run. Sickness cut back my mileage but my goal mileage is 30 miles a week. In the next 4 weeks, any suggestions? I want to have a really good race at the end of the month!

Thank you Miranda and Bill for these training calculators which help to determine your pace for each type of run:
Jack Daniel's training calculator
McMillian training calculator


  1. Wow, you did great on the grocery budget challenge! Hubs and I recent switched to a cash-only grocery "allowance" to keep costs down and we still spend $300 every 2 weeks. :S

    I do find that one big shop is more cost-effective than several trips for little things here and there. Those things add up!

  2. LOL, does get addictive. Almost as good as a runner's high isn't it? Even my hubby is saving coupons for me when he stumbles across them now.

    I wish I could do speedwork on the treadmill. 9 miles of it?! You're hard core.

    I think part of the problem is I'm anal about not letting the speed on the treadmill drop below a certain number. I'm probably short-changing myself on the rest part between intervals. My max tolerance for the TM is about 7 miles even for an easy run though.

  3. Coupons always seem smart to me, but being conscious of them just feels so time consuming. Guess I'm lazy :)

  4. I agree with Jess above. I too would love to save money by using coupons but I never feel like cutting them out, finding them online, or finding them in my apt. when I need them! It's definitely something I would like to start doing though. Eating healthy is SO expensive!

    I usually run 4x a week. An easy run, a tempo run, rest, another easy run, rest, and then my long run with one more rest day. Not always in that order because my work schedule can be crazy, but that's how I TRY to do it. I try to find hills to work into my easy or long runs, but I've never done hill repeats before. Maybe you can send me some advice? :)

  5. Speed work outs on treadmills are just so much easier than outside I think.

    We only have 1 grocery store that doubles and it's a good 25 minute drive so I have never been there :-/

  6. I use a lot of those same sites that you listed, but didn't know about the Organic Deals, thanks for sharing that one. You did great on your food budget for Feb!