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)
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Are there new and improved ways to save money?

January 19th, 2020 at 08:34 pm

Every so often, I try to find different ways to save money. Not that I'm an expert, but after awhile, so many articles seem to say the same thing over and over. I do many of them. There are a couple I won't. One is we don't plan to give up cable. My husband doesn't drink, smoke, golf, gamble, or do any of these things that cost lots of money. He enjoys television and the shows that are on cable. I figure that is is entertainment and we can afford it. We rarely if ever go to a movie or sports event. So, we aren't spending money on those things.

But getting back to my original thought, every so often I type into Pinterest and Google and read the articles. I do a lot of the things.

So, is saving money just doing the same things? Yeah, I know, it is a rhetorical question. For everyone it is a different thing on how they save. I'm certainly not going to do some of the extreme things that were on shows a couple of years back.

So, what do you think? Is there really nothing new about finding ways to save money?

$7.16

January 16th, 2020 at 09:57 pm

Drum roll please... that's the big total of the pennies I just counted. We will be taking them to the credit union at some point and stashing them in the vacation fund.

On its own, it wouldn't take us very far, but little drips and drabs all add up. I did find three wheat pennies in the total and I looked them up. They might be worth a little more than face value and you can bet I'll be walking over to the pawn shop when we go someplace near it for something else and see what they give me. I won't be making a separate trip, but hey, even if they give us 15 cents for each one, that's a pretty decent return. I looked them up on line and they said 15 cents to $4. I figure the $4 is for mint condition. Believe me, they are not mint condition. This is not included in the total.

I remember reading stories where people would save their change for years and then make a big purchase. I remember locally one guy bought his new pick up truck with quarters...he had them saved in buckets at home. Now days, I'd be afraid to keep that kind of money at home sitting out. People tend to think it is OK to break in and steal stuff, although lugging around buckets of quarters wouldn't be easy. Perhaps that's a deterrent.

I realize most of society prefers using credit cards and their phones for purchasing stuff. I bought a prescription today and my copay was $6.01. I paid cash simply because I didn't want to put that on my credit card. Guess I'm old fashioned.

As I was sitting there putting the pennies in stacks of ten, I thought most kids won't have the pleasure of counting out pennies, estimating how much they have before, and realizing what they counted. This amount isn't going to make or break us, but it is just a simple way to save a few bucks here and there and then put it in a designated account.

We are fortunate to have a credit union that accepts coins. We don't have to roll them, just bring them in. I guess I'm weird because I want an idea of how much we have.

After all, Ben Franklin would be proud of us.

Birthday Musings and Benefits

January 5th, 2020 at 07:58 pm

Today is my birthday. I"m 59. I'm sitting here thinking I had no idea what my life would turn out to be and how incredibly blessed I am.

DH is going to treat me to a supper tonight at a restaurant we rarely frequent. I'm looking forward to it. Yesterday we went shopping. Clothes shopping is not something I enjoy, but did find a few things that fit that I liked. That was my birthday.

I don't go into detail about our investments and such, but growing up, we didn't have much. My folks worked hard, but most of the jobs didn't pay squat. When I started out, I worked two or three jobs to make ends meet until I could resort to one. My dad constantly drilled into me, get an education and if someone offers to teach you something, learn it gladly. All these things paid off for me. I look at some of the people I went to high school with and they had better opportunities and many didn't take advantage of them. I don't want that to sound like a snob, because I don't mean for it to be that way. Just that some had parents who would have paid for them to go to college and they didn't, and now complain they don't make enough money or that life is unfair. Anyway, we are comfortable. I can basically buy whatever I want and as I grow older, there isn't really a whole lot I honestly want because I have so much now.

One of my friends gave me water color pencils and a book to journal and color in as I read the Psalms daily. Neither of these things I would have purchased for myself, but I'm sitting here thinking, what a thoughtful gift and I'm going to enjoy using these items.

Amber was talking about her credit cash back and I recently had $150 credit cash back on my credit card. I was waiting to get it up to a decent amount and then applied it to the bill. I'm getting ready to use some Ibotta credit at Kohls to buy some new sheets to replace some that have worn out. I was thinking about how old these sheets were and I know one set has to be at least 10 years old. I think we got our money's worth out of them. The other set I'm not sure and I've mended them a couple of times, but the stuff keeps ripping out. I'm using one of the sheets as a cover for DH's chair when he comes in all dirty and sweaty from working in the yard so he can sit and rest before going back out. There' something exciting about cashing in these items that are found money. Like CB I pay off our credit cards each month so we don't owe any interest. I prefer making money instead of giving it to credit card companies.

Having read LivingAlmostLarge's entry about Saving Advice folks being friends as we share our ups and downs, how exactly correct that is. I feel like I have shared many things with so many of you. What a blessing.

Well, I've probably written more than I should, so I think you'll find me coloring!

It's been awhile

December 15th, 2019 at 09:54 pm

I haven't blogged too much lately. I guess I haven't had much to share. I've tried to keep up with reading the blogs.

Like many of you have posted, my Christmas shopping is finished. In fact, I have purchased some craft kits to start on things for next Christmas. I gave a lot of canned items away as well. My Christmas cards have been sent. I do have a little more baking to do, but not a great amount. I always give some sweet breads to some of DH's former coworkers and I'd like to do that this week. For my birthday last January, a friend gave me some holiday ceramic loaf pans because she knows I like to do that.

We had our Christmas bazaar at my church last weekend. I baked lots of cookies and some sweet breads for it as well as made a few things to donate to sell. This one of two fundraisers for our ladies' guild and after expenses, profits are used for missions both locally and worldwide. I do the publicity and I think I have figured out the best ways to get free PR.

On the financial front, we seem to be doing OK. We have a Christmas Club account that we put money in each month and then in November, draw it out and use it for Christmas. So, Christmas is paid for and we won't owe. I was glad to see our investments showed an improvement for the month of November. Like Disney Steve wrote when he said theirs reached over a million, it doesn't change anything. Same with us. We continue our frugal ways. We had a CD come due and our financial guy called us and wanted to know if we wanted some of the money to spend and I said that I knew he had to ask us, but no, what did we need? He laughed and said he wished more of his clients were like us. He doesn't get rich off of us, but I'm sure every little bit helps. He finds better interest rates than what we can get around here and at this point, we aren't ready to do online investing. We prefer brick and mortar banks.

Just about every Friday we hit the thrift stores. We don't usually buy a lot. I have a couple of people who have given me wish lists of things to look for and that's something we do. Well, just want to report I was the big spender last Friday. My total was $1.62 and tax beating DH's total of 40 cents.

It has started snowing and the weather forecast is calling for 4-7 inches. I'm not thrilled. I hate shoveling snow and in a subdivision full of kids, apparently none of them want to make any extra money. We keep some cash on hand just in case we would find someone to shovel when it gets deep.

Hope you all have a wonderful full week before Christmas.

111 Books and counting

October 4th, 2019 at 07:59 pm

I just finished John Grisham's "The Reckoning" and it is the 111th book I've read so far this year. I enjoy Grisham's court novels and this one did not disappoint. I am not going to spoil the story, but it showed how some people's decisions can effect others even when they don't think it will.

I think that is true in real life as well. How many of us had been involved in an auto accident through no fault of our own?

I joined Goodreads awhile ago and it suggests you set a goal for the year. I have to chuckle about it. My goal was 100 and I met it. They sent me an email last week and said I should check some of my friends' posts for encouragement. Really?!? I surpassed my goal.

Not a whole lot to report money wise. We did hit the thrift stores and I found 4 blouses that were like new and a new kitchen towel. The blouses were marked $4, $5, $5, and $6 and they were name brand, and when I took it to the cashier, she recognized us since we come in about every week, and said, I'm marking them all $4. That was a nice surprise. The kitchen towel has a goofy looking turkey on it and although I didn't need it, I wanted it to hang on my stove's handle. It amused me and cost a buck and tax. This thrift store is kind of high end so I imagine the towel was probably more expensive than what I paid for it.

I will be happy when the city finishes the parking lot at the library. Right now it is a pain to get in because there is little to no parking. I will be happy to get more books and not struggle to find a parking place. I see where John Grisham has a new one coming out. I liked his page on Facebook and I see where he left one of his books in one of those "free little libraries" in one of the cities he was traveling to. I bet someone got a nice surprise. Do you have a favorite author? He is one of mine, but I also like some of the cozy mystery authors like Laura Childs, Amanda Fluke, and Diana Mott Davidson.

Potpourri

March 18th, 2019 at 02:58 pm

First, I want to thank everyone who responded about my last entry. I appreciate the support. I guess I'm sensitive, but it really bothers me when someone posts hurtful comments. One thing I wonder is, does this person or persons realize that those of us who wrote the blog can see their email? And if so, do they know you can research who they are by the email? Anyway, I appreciate the support of those of you who kindly responded.

It was an expensive week last week. My headlight went out and knowing how car places work, we made an appointment to get it replaced. I guess with modern cars, you almost have to take the darn thing apart to get to the headlight. It was high density and the cost was $455 for the very expensive bulb and the hour and a half it took to replace it. Yikes! We had the money in savings so that wasn't the case, but it sure is hard to part with it. A friend teased me I could have just opened the car window and used a flashlight. Now, that would have been a sight, and I'm sure the police would not have found that a bit amusing.

Also in the expenses was the home care insurance policy for DH. Fortunately we have not had to use it, but It seems the spring is fraught with lots of insurance since we have homeowner's, home care, flood, and then both car insurances coming due. Again, we have the money, but it is tough seeing it go out at such a fast pace.

We did get our taxes done. We didn't have to pay either the feds or the state, but not sure about next year. I say this every year, but I honestly feel like if you live below your means and you save and are honest, the tax laws really zing you.

One thing that wasn't as expensive was groceries. We bought some fresh fruit and vegetables and some milk, but we ate from the freezer and pantry which helped a lot. We tend to have a couple of weeks of large grocery bills and then a couple of weeks of cheaper ones. I like it when Kroger has a buy one get one free when it comes to meat because I take advantage of it and then freeze one for later consumption. Guess it evens out. Tonight I'm going to use some chicken and I'm going to trim it and use it and some chicken I have in the freezer that I did the same with and make some chicken broth. I like keeping it on hand to make chicken and noodles as well as soups.

DH and I continue to make good use of the library. I have read 24 books so far in 2019. According to the library receipt, I have "saved" $855.27 by using the library. It looks good at least. I know we get our tax money's worth out of the library anyway.

It looks like spring is finally coming here in Central Illinois. It has been a harsh winter. DH spent part of the weekend working in the yard cutting back stuff that he didn't get to in the fall. He said all the garlic he planted is starting to come up and some of the herbs that come back each year are showing they want to come back. Yay! I'm ready for homegrown stuff. I know we have enjoyed using the stuff I canned this winter.

Hope you have a delightful week and can find some economical ways in your days!


Bargain Hunting

March 9th, 2019 at 09:04 pm

Usually on Fridays we hit the thrift stores. We found some great finds yesterday. One had everything 75% off. I found 3 craft things I wanted. I had seen them a couple of weeks before, but refused to pay the price on them. One is an apron that you embroider. I thought that would be a nice gift for a friend. It was still in the package and had the embroidery floss. We paid 63 cents and tax for it. I started it last night. This year I started something and that was to give a friend a gift for each day December 1-25. Most are just simple things that I either picked up very cheaply or made. I look for things all year. She enjoyed opening something up every day. On Christmas the gift was a little more substantial, but I don't think I spent any more than I normally would have. I've already made a couple of things so far and I think this apron will be appreciated.

DH found a like new polo and then he found me a new pair of Keds for the summer. I'm glad because the shoes I wear during the summer have started looking pretty ratty.

I'm trying to get used to taking my own bags with me. Glad I made a few. I was telling the lady who was checking us out at the thrift store that we would soon be paying for bags and she hadn't heard that the governor is hoping to pass that tax on plastic bags.

We went to a home show in a small town near us. We like it better than the one we have in our city because of two reasons. One is there is no admission. Second is they have Amish made stuff and we like looking at it. Other than getting a couple of free pens, we didn't purchase anything and had a delightful time looking. We had some other errands to run in the small town -- funny how they have things we don't have where we live -- and then came on home. We hit a thrift store and I found a package of Easter sticks unopened. I am making an Easter basket for a friend's granddaughter and she likes stickers. S I was happy to get out of the wind and rain and brew some tea.

My folks were great bargain hunters and could often find things used at a very reasonable price. Hopefully I've picked up some of their talent. DH has no qualms about buying secondhand -- he says he likes the thrill of the hunt.

Senior Discounts

March 5th, 2019 at 04:33 pm

Today is senior day at our Walgreens. If we need stuff, this is the day I try to go and get it. Ours is 20% off stuff not on sale. Too bad it doesn't cover prescriptions. It is a good time to buy those necessary items like deodorant and stuff like that.

We try to utilize any senior discounts we can. The last time we stayed at a hotel, we asked for the discount.

I do with our grocery stores would offer senior discounts, but they don't.

We don't do a lot of fast food, so we don't get the senior discounts for any of them.

We have an AARP card and we use it whenever we can. It saves us money on our cell phone bill with Consumer Cellular.

DH often times his Kohls shopping to Wednesdays when there is a senior discount. He found a great buy last week.

So, do you take advantage of discounts, senior or otherwise?

Bags

February 24th, 2019 at 08:29 pm

For some who live in towns and even states that already do this, it won't be a shock, but I guess Illinois is going to have a new tax of 5 cents for plastic shopping bags.

I get why. As a state we need money. And hopefully it will help with the fact there are all these stupid plastic bags littering so many places. Although I imagine people will still litter.

I already have a stash of cloths bags we use when we grocery shop in my car. DH said he needed some for his car so we can get in the habit of using for more than groceries. I looked at the stash of material I have and decided to make some bags.

People who sew often buy material and I hate to admit, I've done this, but mine is basically from thrift stores and estate sales. I bought some to make curtains for our bathroom and kitchen windows and I have some left. I bought some to recover some hot pads. Plus I bought some to recover some seat cushions. I'm not a great seamstress, but then again, I'm not selling my stuff nor am I putting in for a home decorating show, so I'm just using things and reusing things. So, it only makes sense to use the material I have. I had to get creative on a couple of bags, but they are for use, not show.

Anyway, I was busy for a couple of days making bags and I decided to give one to a friend since she has been collecting bags for her grocery shopping. It was kind of nifty material and she put it on her arm and said, "Thanks. They will see me coming at Aldi with this bag!"

That really tickled me!