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Archive for February, 2013

A savings rant and a savings list

February 18th, 2013 at 04:41 pm

First of all, I'm starting with a rant...I am so tired of hearing people around me griping they don't have enough money. I know so many sites suggest you find friends who share your views, it is extremely difficult to find folks who share the same views on money...I think I have two friends who are as frugal as we are. The rest...well, they say they are saving money, but rely on credit to pay for things and then whine when things get tight. I hate to lose friends, but it would be more fun if we shared the same money views. It is refreshing to communicate with the SA "friends" because we all have the same goal: use what we have to best benefit for us.

One couple in particular gripes about being short on cash, yet they eat out at least once a day. We sometimes get together to eat and I suggested we trade off and fix something at our homes and have the guests bring something to save money. After all, the real reason we get together is to socialize. We even tried it with our having the main dish and asking them to bring something, but that's as far as it got. I'm not saying one shouldn't ever eat out, but usually the stuff made at home is as good or better than what you can get in a restaurant.

I hear people I work with complain about not having enough money and feeling the squeeze, yet they go out and get something for lunch and stop and get drinks on the way to work or send someone out to get pop or tea. This happens almost every day. I'm sure they haven't added up how much they spend and although a dollar here and a couple dollars there doesn't seem like much, it all adds up.

I have been trying to think of some of the ways we save money and compiled a list of 25. There are probably more, but I can't think of them. Do you have any to add?

Ways we have been saving money:
1. Using the library for books, magazines, and DVD’s
2. Eating at home and using leftovers Cooking from scratch whenever possible (I have a Crockpot and know how to use it! Wink
3. Mending
4. Brew my own coffee and take in a Thermos
5. Brew our iced tea
6. Take a container of water for lunch instead of buying a bottle each day
7. Buying pre-owned things (not only good for the pocketbook, but good for the planet)
8. In the summer, DH grows herbs and tomatoes, bell peppers, lettuce, and green onions
9. Pay our credit cards off each month – and do not charge anything we cannot pay off
10. Save money in accounts for things like Christmas, vacation, and mad money which is whatever big project we are saving up for
11. Take care of the items we already own
12. Buy Christmas cards after Christmas for next year
13. Only run the dishwasher and washer with full loads
14. Try to fix things instead of replacing them
15. I shut off lights when I’m not in the room
16. We weather-stripped doors.
17. Grocery shop with a list
18. We do not hit the mall for entertainment. We go to the store for the things we need and leave and we try to hit sales.
19. I made a lot of our Christmas gifts…I like to cook and bake and bought cute baskets and napkins and gave these as gifts.
20. Buy staples on sale whenever possible and put in pantry…then use them!
21. We used to exchange gifts with another couple and it was getting pricey…we bit the bullet and asked if we could either set or limit or discontinue…the couple agreed to just exchange cards.
22. Reuse things like plastic bags and foil whenever possible. I try to use glass lidded dishes whenever possible so I don’t need to use as much foil.
23. I try to make some of my cleaning supplies…I have been making our own window cleaner and a friend gave me the recipe for laundry detergent. It is scary how much we pay for products that contain so much water!
24. Reuse things like the backs of envelopes we received for lists and a great way to store coupons for the grocery. This also allows us to shop more than one place and make a list for each place to find the best bargains.
25. We use the freezer…I try to keep homemade chicken broth on hand and we buy meats on sale, then “shop” the freezer.

DH is no longer giving lip service!

February 18th, 2013 at 01:22 am

Yesterday we spent big money. We wanted a new mattress. We read Consumer Reports and went out to comparison shop, we decided to bite the bullet and buy a very expensive, but well rated mattress that appears to help DH's arthritis.

We discussed it beforehand, but there was still a bit of sticker shock. It is one thing to read up and think about it, and it is another to see that price. We decided it is worth it to buy quality.

We go to pay and we write the check. DH asks if we have that much in checking, and I show him the register. He was pleased and afterwards said forgot we had extra money.

As we drove away, DH said he realizes why we have been eating at home, eating leftovers, buying used or doing without. I said exactly...we can buy nice things when we save up by cutting costs other places.

Today in the way home from church DH said he bet we saved over $15 by eating at home for brunch instead of going out.

He's got it!

Hum along with me...Rainy Days and Sundays...

February 10th, 2013 at 08:36 pm

It's rainy and windy and just a great day to stay inside. I, of course, took liberties with the Carpenters' song and changed it to Sunday because that is what today is...Sunday. A few folks have complained about the rain, but not me. We need that precious precipitation. After being in a drought last summer and fall, rain is glorious and wonderful and if I have a choice, far better than snow and ice.

After church we came home to fix brunch and then I did some cleaning. I paid a couple of bills and I'm getting ready to finish up the straightening and organizing in the kitchen.

Before church I put a small chicken in the Crockpot to cook with some vegetables and herbs. When it finished, I used the meat to make a large casserole of chicken and dressing (at least two meals there this week) and froze the remaining broth. Last night's meal of pot roast will make up quite a few meals this week for lunches and then beef and noodles for a supper.

DH is hoping the rain replenishes the ground so when he plants his vegetables and herbs, they will take off and look great and also the moist soil will help the farmers.

I mopped the floors and put some rugs in the washer. Anyone know if there is anyway to repair or replace the rubber backing on rugs? The rugs still look great, but the backing is starting to wear away.

So, I'll be humming along and changing the song!

Fun Friday Frolics

February 9th, 2013 at 03:53 am

Fun Friday Frolics you query? OK, I made it up.

Today was super busy at work and then after supper we hit the grocery store. We did not need much because we hit Aldi last night and bought most of our fruits, vegetables and some meat. Tonight was cottage cheese, bread, and raspberries since Aldi didn't have them.

DH went to the local meat market and bought a chuck roast which I am putting in the oven overnight on low heat. Makes a fabulous pot roast. We got over three meals over the last one. So much of the stuff we are buying makes more than one meal for us.

Yesterday I had a meeting and only two of us stayed in and consumed the lunches we brought from home. Mine was pretty decent considering it was leftover bits and was different as well as cheap and I had a chance to get a lot of work done on top of it.

Another coworker was talking about weekend plans. She was amazed that we have a large breakfast after church. She seemed shocked that someone would make scrambled eggs. How difficult are scrambled eggs? Sheesh.

Menu is made up for the week and food is bought. Now if only a chef would come in and fix it so I could relax!

Sunday, Are we ready for Monday?

February 4th, 2013 at 12:01 am

Last week sort of got away from me. Saturday night we received a phone call that my husband's aunt had died in the morning and the funeral was the next day at 3 with visitation at 2. What made us uneasy was the weather forecast ... freezing rain and ice in our neck of the woods.

DH wavered back and forth. He wanted to go, but the weather was frightening. We decided to wait and see and make the decision at noon since it was a two hour trip. At noon it was cloudy, precipitation had almost halted. We made the trip.

DH was glad we had the chance to go. His aunt has been a fighter the past few years, but he wanted to have the closure as well as support his uncle.

The pastor did a wonderful service. This couple had been married 67 years. And to say they were the perfect example of how to love would be an understatement. At 91, DH's uncle was always loving and kind and watched out for her. She, in turn, did many things to help him. What a love affair, even to the end.

Anyway, I'm glad we had the opportunity to go. It just made the week a blur as I caught up on other things and fought a bug. Another weekend has come and almost passed and I'm asking myself, am I ready for Monday? I certainly hope so!

I was reading the Saturday Evening Post and they had a recipe that I think I may be using this week. I have two after school meetings and one evening meeting at school, so it looks quick and easy as well as a way to use the eggs I caught on sale this week:

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 cup of fresh vegetables, chopped
4 slices of bacon, chopped
4 eggs
1/2 milk
Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Preheat broiler.
In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Set aside. In an oven proof skillet (I'm using cast iron) heat the olive oil and saute' the vegetables. Remove the vegetables when they are cooked through. Cook the bacon until crisp and then add the vegetables and make a flat layer. Pour over the egg/milk mixture. Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes until almost cooked through. Put under broiler for a minute or two until browned,and the remove, add the cheese, and put under the broiler for a minute or until cheese melts. Either cut into wedges or scoop out and serve.

Cheap and easy, don't you think?