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Father's Day Cards

June 7th, 2009 at 04:44 pm

It's amazing how much greeting cards cost these days. I am hoping to save money by making my own cards this year.

I just completed two cards for Father's Day - one for my dad and one for my dad-in-law.
I was able to use supplies in my scraproom and some drill bits from hubby's workshop.

I actually got this idea from a Home Depot gift card I recently saw. I am so excited to create something for these two wonderful men in my life - and save money too, of course! The cards have the same sentiment - "Go a little BIT crazy Dad" with small drill bit attached.


Cleaning House and Garden

June 3rd, 2009 at 06:31 pm

Today is the second day in a row that I didn't spend a penny! That's not easy for a shopaholic like me.

I started decluttering and made a pile of books and hockey paraphernalia to sell on eBay and Craig's List. Actually listing them to sell will be tomorrow's project.

I did a lot of work in the garden today - trying to tame some overgrown forsythias in the back yard. I have a few dozen forsythia cuttings in water right now. I'm hoping they'll take root and I can plant them along the driveway and make a nice hedge.

I've also spent a lot of time today gathering statements from our 401(k) and IRA accounts. We have a meeting with a financial advisor on Friday and I want to have everything ready. I'm very nervous about this meeting. I just don't know what to expect; but I really do want to now our future financial outlook. It could be interesting.

Monday's Frugal Happenings

June 1st, 2009 at 05:56 pm

Monday's frugal triumphs

I hung clothes outside on the line. Who would have thought I would be excited about laundry? But every time I hang a load of clothes outside I get so excited about saving that electricity on the dryer.

I rented a movie from Redbox today using the code that was sent to my phone this morning. Free entertainment tonight! (I rented "Bride Wars"; not much of a selection when I went this afternoon.)

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Monday's frugal oops

I really need to plan menus to make fewer trips to the grocery store. Even though I only picked up what was on my list (to make dinner tonight), I still used gas to get there - not to mention all that time I spent shopping that I could have been spent gardening.

So here's my menu for the week. Since I'm going to do my "big" grocery shopping on Friday, I have to work around what I already have in the house to get through the week

Mon - elbow casserole
Tue - sweet & sour chicken in the crockpot
Wed - hotdogs (cookout!) & pasta salad
Thu - sloppy joes
Fri - baked chicken salsa

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Monday's spending

$3.48 Groceries - again


Sunday's Frugal Triumphs & Ooops

May 31st, 2009 at 05:26 pm

Sunday's spending

$xx.xx Weekly tithe to the church
$28.48 Groceries (and I still cash left in the envelope for the week!)


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Sunday's frugal triumphs

I picked up an exercise ball from Freecycle today. It didn't look like much, but hubby inflated it and now it's perfect. I'll probably use it a few months and then Freecycle it back into the world. I don't stick to exercise routines for long.

I also picked up some garden pots from another freecycler.

Oh - I found a dime in the parking lot of the grocery store! I'm going to have to start of jar for "FOUND MONEY" so it doesn't get mixed with my other change. (I'm just curious to see how much money I do find.)

I was able to hang another load of laundry on the line before the rain came.

I drank two bottles of water which meant two less cans of soda today. (I keep water bottles in the fridge, but I hardly ever grab water when I want a drink.)

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Sunday's frugal oops

I am addicted to Diet Coke/Pepsi. I drink it non-stop from the time I wake up until the time I go to sleep. (It's the reason I have such bad teeth now.) I have a habit of reaching for a soda whenever I'm at the checkout. The soda coolers are there. The sodas are icy cold. And even if I'm not thirsty, I grab one. Grocery shopping, Home Depot, Wal-Mart. It doesn't matter where. I always grab a soda as I leave.

So today, I paid $1.39 for a 20-oz bottle of diet coke. And I didn't even drink half of it by the time I got home. Why do I do that? Surely I can go without a soda for the 15 minute drive home!

Saturday's Frugal Triumphs

May 30th, 2009 at 05:54 pm

Saturday's Spendings

$19.95 Oil change for hubby's van
$30.00 Replenish EZ-Pass
$4.35 Potting soil

(1) Hubby can easily change the oil in my Jeep, but when it comes to his van, it's better to pay someone else to change the oil. (He's not as limber as he was 30 years ago! Smile )

(2) We depleted our balance in the EZ-Pass account when we drove to Philadelphia last weekend to visit our son. I had completely forgotten to budget this expense, but luckily there's enough money in the gas/repair account to draw from. EZ-Pass has now been added to the budget (quarterly expense).

(3) We needed more potting soil to transplant the rest of the pepper plants into the raised beds. Hubby was able to return some plumbing fixtures to Home Depot, so we used some of that refund to pay for the dirt. (And we still have $10 on a Home Depot card)

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Saturday's Frugal Triumphs

Avoided using the dryer today, and hung a load of laundry outside on the clothesline

Recycled more mini-blind slats into plant markers for the rest of the vegetable garden

Recycled 2-liter soda bottles into upside down pepper plant containers

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Ramblings

I'm excited that this is the first year I had my garden planted before June 1st! I have string beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, carrots, red potatoes, russet potatoes, habanero peppers, red bell peppers, leeks, chives, garlic, strawberries, and iceberg lettuce. I think I might splurge and get some squash and leaf lettuce with the rest of the money on the Home Depot card.

I'm also excited that I found SavingAdvice. The blogs and forums are so motivating! I may not post much, but I do read a lot.

YouData, Loose Change,

May 29th, 2009 at 03:55 pm

Friday's spending:

$40.99 dog food
$130.00 plumber

The dog food should last about 3 weeks - we have two Chows.

The plumber was a budgeted expense and not an emergency. We needed to get hot water plumbed to the laundry room. A one time expense - thankfully!

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I signed up for YouData last month. Basically, they pay people to view ads. YouData deposits money into your Paypal account every Friday, paying you for the ads you viewed during the week. (I spend less than 5 minutes a day clicking on the ads.)

Being the last "payday" of the month, I just transferred my "earnings" of $2.33 from Paypal to my Bank account. That's a whole month of viewing ads at YouData. It's definitely nothing to brag about, but I do it anyways. Guess I could click on more ads in June! Smile

Total Added to Savings: $2.33

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Like just about everyone else, I toss my change into a jar at the end of the day. Usually, I bring my change to the local CoinStar machine and dump the change in and listen to that wonderful sound of money sorting. It's like being in Las Vegas and winning at the slot machines.

But the CoinStar machines in my area charge a coin counting fee of 8.9 cents per dollar. In the past, I avoid the fee by opting for an e-certificate to Amazon.com which waives the fee. But this isn't really saving me any money. I'm forever shopping on Amazon to find out what I can spend my e-certificates on. (I still have a balance of $9.04 at Amazon just waiting to be spent.)

Today, I stopped into my bank and asked their policy on depositing coins into my savings account. I discovered they only take rolled coins and I can bring them in whenever I want. And she even gave me some coin rollers.

Even though my change jar has a lot of coins, I was only able to roll $11 worth of coins. And that $11 is in my savings account as I type.... Smile

Total added to savings: $11.00

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I also listed a bunch of books on Craigs List. Hopefully they will sell and I can add to my savings.

Electric Bill

May 29th, 2009 at 04:34 am

Don't you just love it when you open your electric bill and discover it's less than you budgeted for?

I'm very excited right now. I just opened my electric bill and it's only $116. I had budgeted $164 this month; so that means I'm adding $48 to my savings! It's like extra cash.

Now I'm trying to figure out what I did different this month to bring the cost down so much. It's got me thinking of all sorts of things I can do reduce this bill even more.