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Lots of spending

April 30th, 2019 at 11:45 am

Every month when we get our pension checks, I put money into different accounts. We have a Christmas Club, a vacation, a savings account, and a Money Market. We have to have the regular savings since it is at a credit union in order to have the other accounts. We use this one for home improvement.

Well, that account just took a hit. But, it was planned and we are pleased we had the money. We purchased a new storm door for our front door. It was a special order and we are more then delighted with it. It was installed last week.

We have a sunroom and we wanted to have vinyl flooring. It had carpeting and it was impossible to keep clean. We had issues finding someone to even come out and measure and consider it. It all happened so fast when we found someone. We went a week ago yesterday and picked out some and the owner of the business came out and measured and called to give us an estimate. We agreed and he said maybe this week or next and we said let us know. Then he called Tuesday night and said they could some Wednesday so we hustled to get everything packed and moved.

Murphy of course had to intervene and when they unrolled the vinyl, it was torn in the middle of the roll. We took a flying trip back to the business and picked out something else and within an hour the installer came and he had it done. I spent the afternoon cleaning windows and dusting things before putting it back. I am more then dpleased and have enjoyed using the room a lot since then.

We will be having some painting done when the weather gets better, but the nice thing is we had the money put back for these expenditures. We have a friend who is constantly running to the bank whenever he wants something because he has no savings. I'd rather save and then go shopping, than have to wait for the bank to tell me if I can afford home improvements.

We've had quite a bit of rain so DH wasn't sure if what he's planted in the garden would come up. So far he has onions and radishes popping up. He's hoping for the lettuce. He is going to wait before planting herbs, tomatoes, and bell peppers. But, I'm already anticipating fresh stuff. It is amazing how a packet of seeds can bring such good stuff like radishes and lettuce. I think it is money well spent.

Happy Easter!

April 21st, 2019 at 12:33 pm

It seems like spring has finally arrived and here it is sunny and beautiful on a Sunday. That hasn't happened in months. It seems like every Sunday lately has been horrid as far as weather.

We had Easter services today. Our Pastor always has a children's sermon and today the kids were so excited he had a hard time keeping them on topic. But he has a good sense of humor and I do think the congregation enjoys the kids and their enthusiasm.

Normally on Sunday when we get home I fix brunch which is usually scrambled eggs with chopped vegetables, cheesy grits, toast, and fruit salad. Today we had ham, scalloped potatoes, creamed corn, peas, cornbread, deviled eggs, and a cheesecake like dessert. Some of the items I prepared yesterday to make it go faster. My husband must have been hungry because he was ready to eat 30 minutes before our meal was ready.

Yesterday I made chicken stir fry for supper and since there is usually more chicken than what we can eat, I make chicken broth with the leftovers. Why buy it when I can make it at home and I know what goes into it?

DH worked on planting onion sets, radish and lettuce seeds yesterday. We've had so much rain that he worries the soil was too wet, but he hopes that yesterday and day helped dry it out a bit before our next set of rain storms this week.

I've been reading the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton. I get them at the library. We did go to a bookstore yesterday that handles used books and just for grins I looked to see if they had any. They did, but they were the ones I have already read and the price was way more than I would have spent on a book I only plan to read once. I am so glad we have a great library.

Hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

This and that

April 19th, 2019 at 12:10 pm

After posting on Sunday complaining about the snow flurries, I felt a little guilty when I saw Peoria a couple of hours northwest of us had 5 inches of snow. And I know areas north and north east of us got quite a bit too.

We did some thrift shopping today. I found a blouse and DH found a shirt. Last week I found two nice pairs of jeans. One I didn't even have to shorten. I have a friend who thinks buying clothes at thrift stores is just awful. I disagree. I can wash the clothes and I save a bunch on them.

I buy many of my greeting cards at thrift stores. I like saving money. I would rather give a dime or a quarter for a nice card than $4 or $5. Most people don't keep cards so why spend so much?

Every week I buy fresh fruit to make a fruit salad. There is always way too much fruit, so I freeze the extra. This week I cooked it and made mixed berry jam and canned it. One of the grocery stores had lovely fresh green beans on sale so I bought some and canned them in chicken broth I had made. I still have some green beans from last year, but we will be eating those so I'm preparing for next winter.

I had some mandarin oranges that were getting overripe so I decided to try and make orange loaf. I found a recipe and it turned out pretty well. DH liked it a lot and I baked 4 mini loaves and gave two away.

As we progress into Easter weekend. hope you all have a wonderful Easter.

Snow? Really?

April 14th, 2019 at 02:26 pm

Sitting here looking out the window and seeing snowflakes.

It seems like every Sunday we have bad weather. Last Sunday was dreary rain. Today it was a potpourri -- rain and now some snow. It doesn't look like it will stick and I'm glad.

Not a whole lot going on otherwise. Today is Palm Sunday and we have Holy Week Services throughout the week and then next Sunday is Easter. I already bought a small ham because for just the two of us, we do not need a huge ham. I know you can freeze it, but even then, that's a lot of ham to deal with.

I went grocery shopping on my own this week. Normally DH goes with, but we had a schedule change and he was volunteering. It was an easy and cheap week -- didn't spend a whole lot. I did not buy any meat. I'm trying to use up what we have in the freezer.

Last fall when I was at Walgreens, they had on the clearance rack those things you boil eggs in instead of making boiled eggs the old fashioned way. I figured for $5 I would try them, but never got around to using them. I thought of them yesterday and so I decided to try two of them. I read the directions and it cautioned to make sure you grease the inside so I did. Well, I'm happy to report they work. The only thing is the end is flat at the top, but they were a breeze to use. I get so frustrated when I boil eggs and have a hard time peeling them and I will even keep eggs to get older ones having read that helps. It didn't. I think I will be using these more often. Wish I had tried them before.

I had some overripe bananas so I made banana bread yesterday -- 4 small loaves. I gave two away and DH had part of one. I will save the other one for him as well. He likes a snack so I figure as far as sweets go, it isn't laden with preservatives and such.

Paid the water bill today. That should be it for awhile for this month as far as bills go. That's good because it seemed like last month was laden with insurance and extra bills. Property taxes will come up in June. I always like it when we end the month with extra in the checking. I try to move some of it into saving over and above what we normally save.

Saving to Spend (Darn HGTV!)

March 31st, 2019 at 01:17 pm

Each month, when we get our pension checks, I write a check to one our financial institutions and put money away for different things. One is Christmas Club, another is vacation. And another is just a regular savings account and we use it for home improvement.

Well, that account is going to be going down because as I tease DH, we've watched way too much HGTV this winter!

We ordered a new storm door for our front door. Ours is old, doesn't latch, and we wanted to update the look. It has a better window in it so it should provide a little more protection from the outside temperature.

Our front door is also older and had been stained to look like wood. It has faded and become blotchy so we are having it primed and painted to freshen it up.

We have decorative bricks on the lower half of the front of our house. We are getting them painted. When we bought the house, the siding wasn't very old, but we couldn't figure out why they chose gray siding with bricks that are more reddish. So, we are getting the bricks painted and will continue to save for siding down the road. Fortunately our siding looks OK right now and isn't chipped or broken.

Finally, we are getting an area in our bedroom patched. We have a crack in the drywall. It is on both sides and I think it is from the house settling. So the painter is going to patch and repaint the wall.

DH keeps going around saying the new paint is going to make the front of our house "pop" and be whimsical and playful...and oh yeah, "spark joy."

I better get that remote away from him before he OD's on HGTV!

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!