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Bargain Hunting

March 9th, 2019 at 01:04 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.

Bags

February 24th, 2019 at 12:29 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!

Another Snowy Sunday

February 10th, 2019 at 12:53 pm

It snowed this morning. Again. OK, I know it is winter, but I'm tired of it. We had been told by the weather forecasters rain with a chance of dusting snow. Well an inch later of snow, and it was slick because the city crews have not been out.

Oh, well. We came out of church and our vehicles were covered. I brushed snow off of our car and then did a couple others for some of the older members. Two ushers said they would get the cars for anyone who didn't want to walk across the parking lot. I think when these things happen, the goodness of people shine through.

Seems like on the money front a lot is going out. We have decided to invest in flood insurance. We don't live in a high flood risk, but with the chance of a possible flood (experts call it a 500 year flood) and homeowners not paying for flood damage, we feel it is better to save the money. We also have a couple other things coming up such as DH's long term care insurance.

I did decide to spend some money on household stuff. I wanted a new cutting board and some new towels and rugs for the bedroom. Kohls had a coupon for so much off, then $10 off if you spent over $50, and everything was on sale. I had a $20 Ibotta refund, and then I also had some money on a gift card from a return I made after Christmas. I looked at the bill...before sale prices and coupons, the total would have been $165.93. After coupons, sale prices, Ibotta credit, and gift card, we paid $31.01 for one cutting board, 2 rugs, and 2 bath towels, one hand towel, and one wash cloth. I know I spent money, but I sure liked saving some as I did it. Hopefully that will be it for spending for awhile.

I pulled some chili out of the freezer for supper. Cold, snowy days make me appreciate chili so much more!

New Coffee Maker

January 18th, 2019 at 07:44 pm

Yesterday I blogged that I hoped to go shopping and get a new coffee maker. I had chased in $20 from Ibotta for a Kohls' gift card. I had looked up on line and the one I wanted was on sale for $34.99, originally, $44.99. We get there and cannot find the box with the coffee maker. We finally ask someone and he uses his computer and says they don't have any except the one that was on display. He said I could buy it, but there would be no directions and no box. I asked if it didn't work, could I return it and he said yes. I also asked if they would mark some off since the decorative plate had a little bend in it. He said yes and walked it up to the cashier, explained I was to get 15% off, DH had a 15% off coupon, we used the $20 Ibotta gift card and my new coffee maker cost me a little over $7 cash. I had just returned a blouse and had a gift card so it basically cost me nothing out of pocket.

I brought it home, washed everything, and ran some water and it worked great! Just hope it continues!

I'm Going Shopping

January 17th, 2019 at 07:23 am

If you know me, that is a rarity. Other than nosing around thrift stores and the weekly grocery store run, I don't usually go shopping very much.

But today is the day!

My coffee maker died before Christmas. I'm using an old one my mom had and gave me because she didn't like it. And believe me, I know why she didn't like it. It makes decent coffee and works, but my mom has been gone over 12 years and she gave it to me a few years before she died, so I figure it won't last that long. It's a good one to have in reserve though.

I've had my eye on one at Kohls for the past few weeks. Well, the new ad came out so I checked online and it is marked down $10. I had one like this and used it frequently so I think it is pretty dependable. I just want a simple coffee maker that shuts itself off because sometimes I forget.

I have been doing the Ibotta app and can get $20 credit. Then there is 15% off. Plus, someone gave me $20 for my birthday so I'm going to use that to pay the difference. It's not like I'm going to spend a ton of money. The coffee maker was originally $44.99. It has been marked down $10.

I could just buy the darn thing outright, but it has become a game with me. How can I save money without spending a lot and still get what I want?

A friend also gave me a tablecloth from Kohls. She must think I have a huge table because it is 60 x 120. Even if we had the leaves in, I don't think it would fit. So, I hope to exchange it for one that fits. So, that's another Kohls stop.

I'm sure I may need a nap after all this shopping. Smile

Snowy Sunday

January 13th, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yesterday we received over 9 inches of snow. A neighbor graciously used his new snow blower to clear our driveway. I'm so glad because I was really wondering how that was going to play out. We did get some snow last night and DH and I did manage to clean it off today. I don't want him shoveling much and I am asthmatic so it becomes a worry, but I think we did OK.

Many of the churches cancelled services, but ours didn't. We could get out and go and it was nice after being home yesterday. Not that we had any place to go, but I think sometimes when you can't go somewhere, you just want to go somewhere.

I pulled chili from the freezer for yesterday's lunch and made Italian wedding soup and homemade bread for last night's supper. I will be freezing the rest of the soup for another meal.

Alliecat79 blogged about trying to realize how much stuff was bought. I really understand that because I struggle with this issue, especially when it comes to Mason Jars. I guess I'm an addict. I really like them and in all sizes. I can so I use a lot of them. But I also use them for storage for other things. Friday we went to the thrift stores and there was a brand new case of them, unopened and I am ashamed to admit that temptation was strong. Brand new. Still in the plastic. Jelly Jars with lids and rings. It was only $4.50 which is cheaper than new. But, I'm proud to report other than picking them up to look at them (they were amber and I wasn't sure what color they were), I left them on the shelf. I don't need any more jars and it was silly to even consider buying them.

Besides cooking yesterday, I worked on looming and crocheting. I have bits and pieces of yarn here and there so I made some baby hats to donate to a local agency for preemies, crocheted some dish cloths, and then crocheted a Barbie dress. I also made a regular size hat for my group for church. We have made 252 hats so far for 2019. I have also been making scarves to go along with some of the hats. I won't ever have as many scarves as hats, but it also gives me a break from making hats. I have plenty of yarn, I just hate to waste any of it. So, I don't need to buy any, that's for sure.

I'm supposed to volunteer first thing in the morning at a school, so I'm going to get a pork roast with potatoes and carrots and put it in the Crockpot to put on before I leave. I have an afternoon appointment too so that will make supper easier when I get home. I know many of you are singing the praises of Instant Pots, but I think I'll stick with my Crockpots since I'm retired and really don't have to rush to get supper done.

Potpourri

January 8th, 2019 at 01:26 pm

Tonight another couple is joining us for a casual dinner. I'm making goulash which is basically ground beef, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomato sauce mixed with elbow macaroni. We have garlic bread sticks and a vegetable and they are bringing dessert. It is far cheaper than going out and we enjoy being with each other so it should be a pleasure. She is already planning on what she is going to fix when we go over their house. I like this because we can have a nice time visiting and not spend a lot of money.

Speaking of spending, this weekend was sort of spendy one. It was my birthday. For Christmas we had received a gift certificate for a restaurant so we used that for my birthday dinner. DH gave me some money to buy some clothes so I did do that. I have lost a little weight and have gone down a size or two and some of my clothes are really looking big. I'm still wearing some, but I did buy a couple of things in my new size for when we go to church or I volunteer at school. I was fortunate that we had nice weather -- it was nearly 60 degrees and sunny. In past years we have had cold, cold weather and even a blizzard on my birthday so the weather was certainly a much appreciated gift.

Some of the larger items we donated to a thrift shop. Hopefully I will continue to lose weight and can declutter my closet more.

A couple we know has a trailer in a warm climate and they go there for 3 months. I'm glad for them if that is what they want to do, but his messages are what I call a brag fest -- "it was 77 today and sunny and I wore shorts and a t shirt and this is why we do this." I'm not jealous. I have no desire to have another residence nor do I want to spend extended times away from our home. Financially, they really can't afford it -- they live on loans and credit cards and his favorite hobby is shopping. In the past he has tried to make things a competition and I guess he feels this is also a competition, look what I've got and you don't. At this point, we could probably buy a small trailer outright and go there too, but I don't want to. I like my home, my friends, my church, and my community. I like going to the library and checking out books and visiting with some of the people who work there and catching up. And I most certainly would not do this to brag about what I have.

We are dreading getting our statement on our investments this month. The stock market rock and roll ride last month was crazy. Just hope we didn't lose too much.

I went and bought extra stamps since they are raising the price at the end of January to 55 cents a stamp. I know I'll eventually pay that, but I'm putting it off as long as I can. I did score some greeting cards at thrift stores last week. One place had a package of ten for a dollar. I bought 3 packages. A couple I couldn't use -- you couldn't mix or match. One is a birthday card for a son and I don't have a son. We have a box at church where we can put unused cards and they go to the women's prison here in town for the ladies so I bet someone can use that card and a couple others. I think we spent around $6 on cards, but I have birthday, anniversary, get well, sympathy, and a couple of anniversary cards for the year.

A couple other things I did to keep busy was to cut all the coupons out of the coupon flyers in Sunday's paper. I could use a couple, but most I could not. We collect the coupons and a couple sends them to some place for the military to use, even if they are expired. DH bought a Chicago Tribune last Sunday and they had lots too so I spent quite a bit of time cutting out coupons. Hopefully it can help some military families save some money.

I also cut out used postage stamps. Our ladies group collects them for some mission. I dropped the stamps, cards, and coupons off at church today when we went to fill the oil in the altar candles.

DH wasn't happy yesterday when he picked up some prescriptions. The news had been saying some prescriptions were going to go up and unfortunately some of his did. Not a huge amount for his copay, but it all adds up.

So there it is. A mish mash of activities so far in 2019.

A little this, a little of that

October 4th, 2018 at 08:22 am

It certainly hasn't been a thrifty week.

However, the spending was planned. Tuesday was Senior's Day at Walgreens. I was waiting to buy different things that we use like allergy medicine to get the 20% off. I also used coupons. So between the regular priced stuff that was 20% off, and the stuff on sale that I don't get 20% off, and the digital and paper coupons, I saved over $80 and spent over $200. I hate to see that big number, but the stuff is what we use each month so I would have bought it anyway.

DH's car insurance was due and once he turned 70, the premiums really went up. But, at least we had the money to pay for it.

A couple of months back I bought some material at an estate sale. The downsizing sale was at the home of a quilter and she bought premium material. I pulled some of it out yesterday and made some napkins and two potholders. I can't even describe the beauty of working with good material. I also cannot understand why people don't hit up thrift stores and estate sales for material...far cheaper than buying retail. I've found so many craft items that way. Granted, I could afford to buy them retail, but DH says I like the thrill of the hunt, and I think he's right.

For Christmas last year I asked him to get me the cheapie Singer that was on sale for $69. I'm not an excellent seamstress, but I can sew a little. I have used it so much and have enjoyed using it. My friend is an excellent seamstress and her machine cost way more than $1000. She can afford it and I'm sure it gives her great pleasure.

Today is Thursday and is grocery shopping day. Last night was clean out the fridge supper. Last week I think I spent less than $30 on groceries total. We didn't need much and I was just buying stuff we use each week like bread, milk, fruit, and chicken. I made a couple of meals from the chicken and lots of broth besides. I used up stuff we had in the freezer and we had a couple of meatless meals too. Today's shopping isn't going to be horrible, except we are buying some extra stuff for the church's food pantry.

It has been pretty warm and humid here in Central Illinois. Yesterday it was around 90. Today it is supposed to be in the 70s before it goes back up. It should give the a/c a break for a day, anyway.