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Being Thrifty

March 16th, 2008 at 09:43 pm

I suppose it would be a good idea to back up my frugal housewife name. When I say frugal/thrify, most people seem to think "cheap". Those are two totally different things. I do several things that might not save much and others that save more.

A few of the minimal savings things are sending dh's lunch in reusable containers and not ziploc bags. We also use cloth napkins instead of paper. I have started making many of my cleaning supplies. Vinegar and baking soda do a better job that more expensive cleaners, and there are no unpleasant fumes to deal with.

I think some of the bigger money savers are serious meal planning and eating at home. I also hang out the laundry. Our used dryer is rarely used. I plan my washing schedule around the rainy days. I also use coupons as much as possible.

Other thrifty doings I will save for future posts. I suppose many of the things that I do to save a bit of money would be unthinkable to some people. That is fine since I am sure I would feel the same about things they do.

Each of these things allow me to add the housewife part to my title. I know I am blessed to be able to do this. I enjoy it and do not want to trade my current lifestyle for debt and a bunch of stuff.

See A Penny...

March 3rd, 2008 at 10:59 pm

Does anyone remember the following childhood poem?

"See a penny, pick it up,
All the day you'll have good luck"

At what point did it become "see a penny heads up and only then should you pick it up; otherwise you will be cursed from henceforth and forever"? I have found three pennies in the past few days that were in the wide open of parking lots. All of them were tails up. I saw several people pass right by them, look, and keep walking. Obviously I do not fall into the superstitious category. I also realize that it is only three cents. Over time I might only find 100 pennies, but that is a dollar. I wonder if those same people would pass by a dollar bill if George's face was kissing the asphalt. After all it is tails up. Hmmm....I might start spreading that bad luck rumor around to increase my chances of finding more paper money.

New $20 Challenge Total (pennies & paycheck): $1281.56

Reward from My Points

January 13th, 2008 at 08:28 pm

Dh and I have wanted season one of USA network's show Psych. I cashed in part of the MyPoints I had earned and got an Amazon gift certificate. I paid 1.99 oop which comes from our entertainment budget. I also opted to wait until now to purchase it since the price jumped up after Thanksgiving. I know they offer price adjustment, but I was afraid it would not drop within the time period. Patience save us about $7.

Quiet on the Home Front

December 16th, 2007 at 02:58 pm

I have not posted much this month mainly due to a lack of anything to post about finance-wise. My only spending this week was at the grocery store for perishable items - milk, vegetables, etc. I am sticking with my plan of eating out of the freezer/pantry. I even managed to do that with the food for our church's Christmas party tonight. I had a large bag of chips leftover from another party. I made dip using spices I already have and a purchased carton of sour cream. I am also putting together a big tray of cookies since I overbaked this holiday season.

Tomorrow I will be making payments on the loans. We should be able to get those well under $5K. I need to start thinking seriously about goals for 2008. I did finally get Quicken loaded and am looking forward to using it to track spending in the coming months.

Christmas Shopping 2008

November 2nd, 2007 at 08:04 pm

I like to shop ahead, but I admit this is pushing it even for me. Coldwater Creek put some sashes (chic belts) on sale for $1.99 from $45. I have a dozen pen friends I buy for each year. Every year I struggle to find something nice, affordable, and easy to ship. I also need something cheap to ship since about half are going overseas. These are a neutral color and will be a lovely gift for everyone. I was also able to get free shiping which made it even better.

On a relevant note I am almost done with shopping for this year. I have charged several things this week and will be paying off the credit cards on Monday. Hopefully I will come in underbudget. I need to total things up tomorrow and see where I stand.

Back to Being a Housewife

October 18th, 2007 at 03:09 pm

I substituted for two days this week and am happy to be a housewife again. The "work" was very boring, but I guess few people work for the fun of it. I did end up spending a bit as I ate out both days. The money came out of my spending money so the budget was not ruined. I will be happy when the paycheck arrives and a bit more can be knocked off the debt total.

I am off to start working on the grocery list. I am trying to get back to one big shop every four weeks with stops at a smaller grocery store for sale items only. This is always the easiest place for me to cut the budget so hopefully I can keep the spending under control with this shopping trip.

Similar Vacations - Very Different Prices

September 25th, 2007 at 05:23 pm

Yesterday I spoke with a person who took a similar vacation last month to mine. She and her partner stayed at the same resort for the same amount of time that dh and I did. They went on the weekend, and we went during the following week. They spent $1,000, and we spent $250. I do think they had a bigger room than we did, but our room was spacious and larger than a regular hotel room. We took food and snacks with us and fixed meals in the room. They ate at the hotel's restaurant and had room service.

I see no problem with splurging on a nice vacation if you have the money. Every time I see her she talks about how I need to teach her to save money. I figure other than the food and maybe the view of the pool we had the same vacation. I am not sure I would find the food and looking at a pool worth $750. I did not tell her how much I spent so I do not have her opinion. I know that I thoroughly enjoyed our trip and it was within our budget.

Skipping the Salon to Save

August 11th, 2007 at 05:02 pm

I have only had my hair professionally colored once and that was because I changing the color completely. Normally I just do minor color changes so I do it myself at home. The total color change cost $70 so I am going to estimate that the minor coloring I am doing would be about $50. I pay about $5 for a box of hair color and do it myself. I have a savings of about $350 a year doing that. I guess I do a decent job as I recently had someone stop me to ask who does my hair color.

I tried doing the acrylic nails for a time, but it ruined my real nails. I do have strong nails normally and most people think they are fake. I do my own manicures and pedicures at home too. I have no idea what it would cost at a salon.

I never looked at either of these things as ways to save money. I think of them instead as things I am able to have only because I am doing them myself. There is nothing wrong with going to the salon. It is just that on my budget it would mean cutting something else. I am content to be my own colorist and manicurist.

Coupons

August 9th, 2007 at 01:04 am

I did some shopping today with coupons. I picked up kitty treats for my oldest cat. Next up dh and I stopped for ice cream using a birthday coupon I received. We got two Blizzards for the price of one, which was a nice treat for us. It was an unnecessary expense, but too much deprivation leads to excessive spending. I also had a coupon for $5 off my prescription at CVS. Last stop was the grocery store. The cashier seemed a bit miffed at the total after the coupons. I do not know why some people act as if the money is coming right out of their paychecks. I was thrilled with the price though. Part of our ability for me to stay home and still pay off our debts while saving money for house renovations is careful spending.

Can You Have Too Much Cereal?

August 5th, 2007 at 06:58 pm

Not if it is free! I did spend a little today but really ended up making money. I got up early for the sale at CVS. DH loves Honey Bunches of Oats, which was on sale 2/$4. The real sale part was that when you spend $20 you get $20 in extra bucks.

The look on the cashier's face when I wheeled up my cart filled with 10 boxes of cereal was priceless. I also bought toothpaste, which was free as well. I had $16 in extra bucks and only ended up paying $4.09 out of pocket after coupons. Dh has a two or three months worth of cereal and a tube of toothpaste, and I have $22.99 to spend at CVS. I try to keep the extra buck chain going so I always have some to spend.