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Saving Thursday

January 20th, 2005 at 12:40 pm

Today I had to get my hair cut. She went up on her prices- so $16.00! I will make up the difference by not going as often.

I just got back from running all my errands. I had a deposit to make at the bank of survey checks that had been piling up here.

Then I went to Home Depot to get muriatic acid for the pool and Weed B Gon concentrate. I used a GC that we were given for Christmas so no money out of pocket.

My last stop was to Blockbuster where I rented 4 recent movies and picked up a Popcorn Tub for the microwave and a 2ltr. Diet Coke. I never get popcorn and soda there but I had a coupon to get both for $2.49 so I treated us. I also had a FREE RENTAL card from the A&H Deal so 1 movie was Free. The whole thing came to $14.+, but I used a GC that DH was given for his birthday so no money out of our pocket. We have a lot of Blockbuster GC's to use up that we got for gifts and a couple that we got for doing My Points!

So except for my haircut, no money out of our pocket today and I even managed to deposit some money. I consider that a Great Day!

Firepit and my Baileys

January 19th, 2005 at 06:43 pm

DH and I just came in from outside. Once the sun goes down, it cools off fast here in the desert.

We just enjoyed a fire in our firepit along with a Baileys Irish Cream. I have quite a stash of firelogs purchased over the past year or so with firelog winetags. I would wait for the store brand to go on sale and then pick them up for free. Termites are prevalent here in the SW so you don't want to keep a stockpile of firewood. If and when I run out of firelogs, I think I will make logs from newspaper.

The Baileys was left over from Christmas and we certainly don't want to waste it. :-) Which reminds me of the great deal DH got just before Christmas on our appertif glasses. I only had 3 good crystal ones and I was needing 8 for company for a week. DH and DS went out looking for them. They came home with beautiful sets of 6 from Big Lots that were really cheap- about .94 cents a glass. Everytime I use them, I think of their frugal prowess that day!

Did some outside work

January 19th, 2005 at 03:12 pm

Since it is so beautiful out today, I decided to catch up on some of the outside work that DH normally does. I sprayed all of the weeds in the front and back of the house.

I also washed our van trying to conserve on water. I filled a bucket with soapy water and washed the car with it. Then I turned on the hose and rinsed it all at once. The car was so dirty that I actually had to do this twice. We get a lot of dust out here so the car will be dusty again in a few days but at least I know it has been washed. I figure I saved twice. Once on what it would cost to have the carwash do it and I also saved on water which is important with the drought conditions we have had the past few years.

Then I took the John McCain book out to the patio, sat in my lounge chair and did some very enjoyable relaxing.

Heat Wave Wednesday

January 19th, 2005 at 09:26 am

It is an other gorgeous sunny day today. It is supposed to be 82!

Today will be a paperwork day since the arthritis is not co-operating! I have taxes I can work on, research on mutual funds to do or books to read. So basically a quiet day.

I am going to do a load of wash or two. I have already put a roast beef in the crockpot and will have that along with garlic roasted mashed potatoes and broccoli.

Hope everyone had a great day!

You Learn Something New Everyday-CVS

January 18th, 2005 at 04:07 pm

I did not know until today that CVS took competitors coupons for Free GC's when you fill a new prescription. I have 15 scripts that I have to fill for DH and I and I certainly can't afford to fill them all at once at $60. a clip. So I am gonna start looking for these coupons at Fry's, Osco, Albertsons, Safeway and Target and hope I can find enough to do our new scripts.

But I wanted to let you all know it in case you didn't!

Great Shopping Day

January 18th, 2005 at 04:03 pm

Well, I got everything done that I wanted to get done plus some.

I went to Bashas and picked up 4.35lbs. of bananas and 2 Hood Carb Countdown Yogurts for a grand total of $ .09 after coupons. I also went to Walgreens and got 8 ActII Popcorn, 6 spices and 1 Bushs Homestyle Chili. I only had 1 coupon for the chili so paid $ 5.12. The chili is the perfect size for DH and I for dinner served on rice. I will save it for a day that I don't feel like cooking. It will be easy and save me from going out to dinner.
It also was a good mail day. I got a $ 5.00 prepaid phone card for doing a survey online and my Refund Cents magazine.

Sunny Tuesday

January 18th, 2005 at 07:30 am

It is supposed to be another 79-80 degree day. I certainly am enjoying this heat wave especially since the heat of OFF! :-)

I am just planning my day now. I think it is time to tidy up my gift wrap bin so that I can see what I have. It got a little messy over Christmas. I have some gift occasions coming up, so have to check the paper and bows.

I am also going to do some major research on our drugs and make a chart for mail order or picking up at CVS to see what it is the most economical way to go. It sure would be nice if through proper nutrition, we could get off of some of these drugs- so that is what I will be striving for.

Dinner will be stuffed peppers using the nice peppers I got at the produce market yesterday, the cheap ground turkey that I have been getting for a couple of weeks, some rice, sauce and seasonings.

I will check in with you all later after my day gets going. It is only 8:30am here.

Cost of Prescription was Unbelievable

January 17th, 2005 at 02:29 pm

I went ot CVS to pick up my prescription that I am almost out of. It was $ 60.00. The druggist said the drug plan would not pay but a few dollars for this drug. It is one that I have to have for my asthma. I looked up in our plan and even if I mail order it, the price is the same. But I have to have it, so I guess I will have to cut back in other areas to pay for it.

While I was at CVS, I did the Pepsi/Lays Rebate Deal. I purchased 3- 12pks of Diet Pepsi and 3 Doritos for a total of $15.00 minus a $3.00 off 12.00 purchase CVS coupon= $12.00 minus $10.00 Rebate I am mailing in for minus $5.00 in CVS Extra care bucks that will show up on my card in 2 days so I make $3.00 on this deal. I would not buy this junk otherwise. It will be nice to have for snacks and drinks over the next month.

I also purchased 2 pair of Magnavision Reading Glasses for $22.00 each on sale for B1G1F and used a 4.00 off 12.00 CVS coupon and got 2 pairs for $18.00. I have no eye plan and have almost perfect vision so this works for me.

Then I went to Safeway and did their $10.00 Instant Rebate Deal:
I got 6 Ragu Spaghetti Sauce for 1.50 each = $9.00 minus .50/2 coupon doubled= 8.00 and then they give you 10.00 off instantly at the register so I made $2.00 on this deal and applied it to a package of meat. I also picked up a pkg. of ground turkey and used my last $2.00 off turkey winetag. I needed the sauce really badly for those days when I don't feel like making my own.

Last stop was the Produce Market where I got 2 lbs. of carrots, 4 lbs of broccoli, 2 orange peppers and 2 yellow peppers for a total of $3.54! I am planning on making stuffed peppers tomorrow with the ground turkey and rice.

Dinner tonight will be my homemade pizza. My pizza tastes so much better and is so much healthier than Pizza Huts. I make my own dough in my breadmaker which costs pennies to make. Then I use a couple of 8oz. tomato sauce that I bought 8 for $1., lots of Italian spices, mozzarella cheese that I buy in 5lb. bags at Costco and pepperoni that I bought with a $1.00 off coupon. I can make 2 pizzas for about $4.00 total. Two same size pizzas would cost be about $16.00 at Pizza Hut. So for a little bit of work, I save $12.00! And they only take me about 10 minutes to make and then put in the oven. That works out to a wage of $72.00 an hour.

Well, it is almost 80 out and I am off to enjoy a glass of 3. Buck Chuck wine on the patio!

Sunny Monday

January 17th, 2005 at 08:05 am

The sun is shining and it is gonna be another 75 day. I turned our heat off yesterday since we are gonna be mid 70's all week. This ought to make up for the high heat bill I just got. It was $20. more than last year due to the fact that it was so cold compared to last year and the fact that I had 8 guests for a week over Christmas.

Just having finished my oatmeal for breakfast, I am planning my day.

I have laundry to do which I will wash in cold water and then hang to dry. I have a small grocery list to make and some coupons to pull.

Errands will be to pick up a prescription at CVS, stop at the grocery store and pick up my produce for the week at the produce store. I will buy whatever is in season and cheap.

Off to take my navy shower.

Sunday January 16th

January 16th, 2005 at 08:25 am

DH's spirits are so good this morning. He actually was able and wanted to make breakfast. He made us an omelet with ham, onion and cheese. He also toasted some of the wheat bread that I made the other day. The ham had been in the freezer left over from Christmas- a Honey Baked Ham. We added some oj and Amaretto coffee and everything was delicious.

It is such a beautiful day! The sun is shining, the sky is blue and it is gonna be about 74 today. Yeah- warm weather!

I am going to make some turkey soup for dinner using leftover turkey broth I made, celery that I have chopped up in the freezer, a can of corn and a container of already made rice from the freezer. I will add lots of seasoning and we will have it with homemade bread for dinner.

My bagels turned out well yesterday. I froze them for future breakfasts.

I have coupons to cut and file, a bathroom to clean, and some research to do today. So I will be back later.

Saturday, January 15

January 15th, 2005 at 08:37 am

I am having a good morning so far. I have cleaned the Master Bedroom and stripped the bed. The sheets are washing right now. I already did one load of jeans and they are hung to dry.

Soon, I will take DH to the drugstore for something he wants.
Then when I return, I want to make a loaf of wheat bread for turkey sandwiches tonight and while that is baking I want to try my hand at making bagels. I will let you know how they turn out.

I also need to clean out some files in the office, so will be working on that. Things got kind of backed up with health problems this week. I have to get things done or I will be stressed. I like things decluttered.

Look for Cheap Replacement Parts

January 14th, 2005 at 11:43 am

My DH dropped his electric beard trimmer a little while ago. It was an expensive one that we had paid almost $60. for. The comb type attachment on it broke. We contacted the company and found out that the part was only $5.00; however they wanted $15. shpg and handlg for it! So DH and I went to BBB and looked at a trimmer by the same manufacturer. It had the attachment and some others that were exactly the same as ours. It was $19.95 and I had a 20% off coupon! So we got our part plus some spares for less than the manufacturer wanted!

So it isn't always cheaper to buy the part. You have to look at the alternatives all around you!

The reason I am Frugal Today: A Little Background

January 14th, 2005 at 11:41 am

I was raised by my grandparents and mother in what was considered an untraditional home in the 50's and early 60's. My father was not in the picture from the time I was 3. My mother moved in with my grandparents so that she could work and my grandmother could take care of me and my baby sister. My grandfather and mom both worked Mon-Fri. My mom also worked at the local movie theater on Friday night, Saturday and Sunday to make ends meet. Most of what my Mom made was paid to my grandmother for room,board and child care.

I never felt poor or deprived but I always knew there was not much money. We lived frugally on one floor of a two story home that my grandfather owned. He rented the other floor to relatives. We were fed well but there was never more than a weeks worth of food in the house. One portion of food was put on your plate and there were rarely seconds. A treat each week was 1 qt. of soda that we shared and once in a while we had chips. My mom and grandfather took the city bus to work. Neither owned a car until I was 14 and they purchased used cars for cash. We heated with the old coal stove. They washed clothing by hand and hung it outside all year round and this was in NY. I was raised wearing hand me down clothes. My first bicycle was given to me by a neighbor when I was 15 after her daughter had gotten a new one. We had few toys. Christmas gifts were usually 2 pieces of clothing that we needed and one toy. We always had stockings full of oranges and nuts!

On the other hand, my sister and I saw every movie imaginable 3-6 times a weekend because Mom had to take us to work with her on the weekends to give grandma a break! Mom and grandma saw that we went to a private Catholic High School because it was family tradition. They rented a camp on a beautiful Saratoga Lake every summer for about two months.


Yes they were frugal so that they could save for the things that they felt were important! Their luxuries for my sister and I were private High school and getting us out of the city for summers.

If either of them had lost their jobs, we would have been poor. I don't think they had much saved for a rainy day! I think that is why I have been such a saver all my life. I have always wanted to live frugally because of the way they raised me; however I wanted to always have plenty in the bank to fall back on so that my family would never live on the edge!

Not Totally Frugal But Not too Bad!

January 14th, 2005 at 11:32 am

I got back from CVS a while ago. DH's scripts were only $60.00 but it is still double what we were paying on 12/31/04. But when you need them in a hurry, you have to pay the price. I am just hoping this helps DH. The Dr. only gave him a 40% chance of recovering his hearing.

After the drugstore, I came directly home to check on DH. Since he was doing ok, I snuck over to the grocery store. Fortunately it is only 1 block away.

I got 3 pkgs. of Honeysuckle White Ground Turkey for $ .07-.14 a pkg. after using a 2.00 any turkey winetag on each. I also picked up some Braeburn apples using a $ .50 store coupon. I have been so happy to be able to pick up so many turkey products with those winetags. We always use ground turkey in place of ground beef because it is so much healthier. When I use it in a casserole especially something like taco rice, I can hardly tell the difference.

We have always been a fan of Delicious apples, but after tasting these Braeburn apples, we switched. They are so good and stay so crisp in the fridge.

DH says he does not want turkey for dinner so it will just be me eating it. Over Christmas, I had a honey baked ham and froze the leftovers in portion sized freezer bags. So I took one out to thaw because DH is really craving ham salad. He has been through so much this week, that I don't mind catering to him.

I"ll be back later.

Hard to Save with Sickness in the house.

January 14th, 2005 at 07:53 am

Good morning everyone! It is a gloomy day here. I am hoping the sun will eventually show it's face so my mood gets better. I feel like I haven't really woke up.

I have had my breakfast of homemade blueberry muffins and coffee. And I have taken my navy shower.

I am waiting for my hair to dry(saving on using the blow-dryer) so that I can make a trip to the drugstore for DH. I hadn't planned on buying any drugs at the drugstore this year since it is more expensive than doing mail order. However you know what they say about the best laid plans. DH being sick requires that we do not have time for the drug order to mailed in cross country and then wait for the drugs to come back. So I am just sucking it up and going to CVS. I have had to get 2 scripts so far this week and it has not been expensive. However the drugs I have to pick up today are Brand Name and very expensive. So we will see what the total comes to.

I cooked the turkey for DH and DS yesterday. We have lots of everything leftover. So tonight will be a repeat of last nights dinner.

Since DH and I were in the ER Monday into Tuesday, DH missed his favorite program "24". He had watched Sunday night but not Monday. DS surprised him with a tape of Mondays episodes. DH is thrilled. He needs to watch it before Sunday night.

Well, my hair is almost dry, so I am off to CVS.

Sun Tea

January 13th, 2005 at 09:47 am

Finally the sun is back here! So I just made a large jug of tea to put outside. I use a sun tea jug that I bought at the dollar store, fill it with water and add 7 teabags. The sun is so strong here that it will be done in a few hours. DH and I have gotten used to drinking it with just lemon and no sugar. It is so much healthier than drinking soda that has so many ingredients that are artificial.

Candy Canes

January 13th, 2005 at 09:42 am

I was wondering this morning what to do with the candy canes that decorated our tree. I can use them as a stirrer in tea or break them into little pieces for cupcakes or cookies. Anyone else have any other ideas?

Frugal Thursday

January 13th, 2005 at 08:47 am

DH is on high doses of meds to see if his hearing will return; if not it is gonna be a long road of surgery. We are hoping for the best. We could use your prayers.

Today, my DS is coming for dinner and to spend the evening with us to make DH feel better. So I am going to cook the 14 lb. turkey that I thawed in the fridge. This will give us dinner tonight and a few other meals:

Hot Turkey sandwiches
Cold Sandwiches
Turkey and Rice Casserole
Turkey and stuffing casserole
Stir Fry
Soup

I got this turkey free at Thanksgiving so it will give us lots of cheap dinners! WooHoo!

I just washed a load of clothes in cold water with 1/2 the recommended detergent and hung them to dry. I use drying racks in the bathtubs. It is too dusty here to hang clothes outside.

Hope everyone is having a frugal, happy day!

Tuesday-We are exhausted

January 11th, 2005 at 08:19 pm

DH was taken by ambulance to ER last night at 6pm. It was 9:30am this morning before he saw a Dr. He has bad vertigo. We are exhausted and are headed for bed. I will make appts. for DH with two specialists tomorrow.

Hope everyone else had a frugal day!

This Afternoon-Monday

January 10th, 2005 at 03:24 pm

I have been working on a cross stitch present for Christmas of 2005 while DH and I watched a DVD. I bought a # of cross stitch items on sale for a $1.00 each after Christmas of 2003 fully intending to do them last yr. I never did. So I have vowed to start them early for this year.

In the last few minutes I:

-Did a quick survey for Levi's for a FREE Movie Cash Certificate for one free admission.

- Requested a check from Greenfield Online for $5.00 survey I did.

- Ordered my DIL's Birthday Gift( something she has been wanting) at 20% of the price I would have had to pay for it. WooHoo! I love clearance sales!

Busy Monday Morning

January 10th, 2005 at 12:50 pm

After having a nice breakfast of oatmeal, oj and coffee, I went out and ran all of my errands for the day. I have never seen the grocery store so crowded.

I picked up 6 packages of Lean Ground Turkey and Turkey Breast cutlets for our freezer. After getting them B1G1F and using turkey winetags, I paid $1.50 total for all 6. This will give us 11 meals of poultry. I also purchased 2 qts. of beer to have on hand when company comes to dinner. I used 2 of the $1.00 beer tags so got the beer relatively cheap.

Then I headed to my local CVS to pick up regular enteric coated aspririn and a box of the low dose(81 mg.) and a refill for my Scotch Packaging Tape dispenser. I used a $3.00 off 10.00 CVS coupon wyb CVS products and then paid for my purchases with a $25.00 GC that I got free a few weeks ago with a prescription purchase. I love not spending any money out of pocket.

I have a few hours to get some things done around here before I make baked Parmesian chicken for dinner. Chicken was bought at $1.49 a lb. a couple of months ago. The other ingredients are:
Parmesian cheese which I buy at Costco in the really large container, white wine(purchased in a jug(cheap wine) which I use for cooking)
and chicken broth that I made and froze from the last time we had a whole roaster. I will throw a dish of au gratin potatoes in the oven to bake at the same time as the chicken.

I am off to do some things. Be back later.

More Sunday Savings

January 9th, 2005 at 06:24 pm

- Had to fill one of my liquid soap dispensers. I am out of liquid hand soap refill, so I used Suave Shampoo. I used 3/4 of the Suave and 1/4 water. I have tons of Suave Shampoo that I got free after doubled coupon, so I am not gonna spend money to buy liquid soap refills for a long, long time.

-Wearing my free pedometer trying to get my 10,000 steps in a day for exercise.

-I am saving the back sides of computer print outs that I no longer need to print coupons onto. No need to print them on new paper.

- Breakfast was homemade raspberry coffee(I use the raspberry syrup that I got at the .99 store), cheap oj and blueberry muffins that I made last week.

Savings Today-Sunday

January 9th, 2005 at 11:56 am

It is a bright beautiful sunny day today. It is still cool
enough that we need the heat. Dh is happily watching football on the TV. I have:

-Made OJ for the week from the .25 Langers
-Cut up my Christmas Cards and made gift tags for 2005 from the good parts. No more buying these for me.
-Turned the heat down to 68
-Wrapped and made cards for all the gifts I bought yesterday. So I have started a box with 2005 gifts. I am keeping track of what I have bought and for whom on a spreadsheet on the computer.
-Fresh onions and celery were starting to get old, so I peeled and chopped them and froze them. These will be good to use in casseroles or stir frys. No waste for me this year.
- Used junk mail envelopes to write my grocery list and put my coupons in for the store. Why waste a new envelope?

I am off to cut and file coupons and scan the ads for cheaps and frees. Dinner tonight will be leftover spaghetti.

My Soup Tonight

January 8th, 2005 at 07:04 pm

I am so proud of myself. I made soup tonight from all the little bits and pieces of food that I normally would have thrown out.

I have been saving bits of meat, vegetables, gravy, rice, spaghetti etc. for the past couple of weeks in a freezer container. I thawed it tonight and added beef broth and it made a delicious soup for lunches the next few days.

And Even More Things I Do To Save Money

January 8th, 2005 at 12:02 pm

51. When my free soda stash runs out, I will be making sun tea every couple of days. It is cheap and good for you.

52. I shop $ stores for a lot of food, paper and cleaning items. They also have cheap giftbags and paper and freezer products.

53. I color my own hair with free haircolor(after coupon and rebate). I used to go get my haircut every 4 weeks but decided to do every 6 because Patty, my hairdresser kept remarking that it only needed a little trim at 4 weeks. This schedule saves me about $75. a year.

54. I wash clothing in cold water except for whites which I wash in warm. But DH and I don't get very dirty. We also try to wear our jeans and shorts at least twice before putting them in the laundry basket.

55. We keep all lights off except at night when you need them. And then we only turn them on in the rooms we are in.

56. I keep a pricebook so that I always know who has the cheapest price on most staple products. Just doing this saves a ton of money.

57. If I can't get cleaning products for Free or pennies, I make my own. It is so easy and so cheap.

58. Using cloth napkins is so much cheaper than buying paper ones. When my stash of free is gone, I am going to Goodwill to pick up some cloth ones. It is easy to throw them in the washign machine with= the regular laundry.

59. I read my library of frugal books alot. It keeps me focused and I get lots of ideas from them.

60. If you are quitting work, make sure you let your insurance company know that your car will only be used for pleasure. It is a lot cheaper than a car that drives to work.

61.Decide what is a priority and what is not. When my kids were at home, private schools were a priority. But other things weren't. A monitored security system is a must for me. For other people, it may not be.

62. I pay my monitoring on my security system one year in advance thereby saving me one months service($40.) I do the same with the bug service. I save about $30.(one months service) by paying a year in advance.

63. I have learned how to make all kinds of things by using the internet for recipes: baking powder, cleaners, laundry detergent, salad dressings, mayo, spice mixes, marinades,Boboli type pizza crusts ,hotdog and hamburg buns etc. Making these things saves a lot of money-escpecially making your own pizza.

64. I use this site all the time for lots of ideas. It has saved me so much money.
http://www.budget101.com/

65. And now I have found this wonderful site for lots of money saving ideas.

More Things I Do To Save Money

January 8th, 2005 at 11:59 am

21. I do all of my own investing online. It is so much cheaper than a brokerage firm and I have all the control.

22. I use a credit union and 4 banks for checking, savings accounts and CD's. None charge any kind of fee and if I use their ATM machines, I pay no fees for that either. I think once over the years I have used an ATM other than my banks. The fees were atrocius!

23. I wash my own car with the bucket method. I soap it up and then rinse off with the hose. I dry it with an old towel. I wax it myself twice a year. It is so much more inexpensive than the car wash and it gives me some cheap exercise.

24. I never pay for movie rentals or for us to go to the movies. I get these free through rebates.

25. I never buy junk food at the theater. I bring water for us and a snack in my purse.

26. We do eat out once a month but I use coupons and GC's won on Reward TV most of the time. When we do splurge, we spend $100.'s but we enjoy it and don't worry about it.

27. I never waste food. I plan meals around leftovers. I am not going to spend all the time and effort to get a deal and then throw it in the garbage. So I do a lot of meal planning.
28. I put all refund and survey checks along with a large savings deposit in the bank every month. I put it in the account that pays us 3% interest. When I get over a certain amount, I invest it. I like to keep at least 30% of our net worth in cash. Especially in this economy and at our age.

29. I do all TMF rebates especially the Walgreens ones that end up being free and paying me 10% more. I turn this money into other GC's for gift giving. I also do the reward programs for the same purpose and for everyday expenses such as eating out or gasoline or clothing purchases.

30. I NEVER pay full price for anything. I like to save at least 65-75% on groceries if not more. And clothing and other items I try to find at 50% off. I check the Goodwill once a month for any kind of bargain. Especially books that I can read and then resell on E-bay. It is amzing how much money a month you can clear doing this.

31. I don't keep clutter. I either get rid of it at a garage sale or sell it on E-bay.
This way I don't have to buy seconds of things because I can't find the first.

32. I make the majority of my greeting cards on the computer. I get card paper thru rebates for the printer ribbons. Any store bought cards are free! I turn my empty printer ribbons in at Office Max for free printer paper. I use both sides of the sheet when I can whether it be for grocery or other lists. I reuse envelopes(for coupons etc) that come in junk mail.

33. I use free after rebate or cheap wrapping paper or I have been even known tro make my own with white paper and stamps. I buy Christmas paper for pennies after Christmas.

34. I now make sure that I always have $ .23 stamps on hand for the extra ounces on mail.

35. I use my charge accounts but always pay them in full when the bill comes in.

36. I will buy coupons or bargain packages online but only if I will save 60-70% more than they cost.

37. I keep my pantry going with doubled coupons so that I am never paying full price for anything. Even when I am stocked for about 6 months like I am now, I will get the Freebies.

38. I track every penny we spend with computer software. I put all receipts in a basket till I enter them.

39. We pay all bills electronically that give us a discount for doing so. This also saves us stamps and envelopes every month.

40. I repair clothing when it needs it so as not to lose the whole item.

41. I spend the time to take good care of everything we own so as not to replace it as often-whether it be an appliance, shoes, or a piece of clothing.

42. I am always figuring out in my head whether something is a good deal or not. When I write a grocery item on a list, I first think about whether I can make it cheaper. I like doing the math!
43. A biggie for me: Stay out of the stores! If you don't see it, you don't need it!
And to go along with that, throw out most catalogs when they come in. I only keep the JC Penney catalog to use as a comparison for prices.

44. I track what our meals actually cost us each day and I spend no more than $150.-200. a month on food. And a lot of months it is evene cheaper than this. I am always trying to lower the figure.

45. I try to only shop in the markets and stores in my County because there is no tax on food. If I go 2 blocks up the street to the next County I pay tax on food.

46. We do our own yardwork- weeding, trimming etc. I also try to only plant perrenials so as to not waste money on annuals. I am in the process of planning a graden in the side yard in the afll for a lot of our vegetables and herbs. I am going to grow then in pots. I have found that Big Lots sells the huge pots for 1/3 of the price that I have paid at Home Depot. So I am stocking up on those. Big Lots has a huge garden dept. with lots of goodies.

47. DH is going to make Precious(our cat) a cat house out of old sonatube and old carpet. They sell for $350. at Petsmart.

48. DH is volunteering at the Heart Institute. We had to pay for the clothing he needed for his uniform which for most people would be tax deductible. Also he would get .36 a mile for all his volunteer works. However we always take standard deduction, but we will track it this year just to see if it makes a difference. Every day that DH volunteers there which will be 4 hours once a week, they give him a $3.00 voucher. He can use it in the cafeteria for a meal or drink or in the gift shop. Since he will only be there 4 hours, he will probably not eat. He will use them for paperback books. He is a voracious reader.

49. We spend about $3000. a year on trips back East between airfare, hotel rooms, and rental cars. Some years it is more, some years less. We enjoy seeing family so consider it a necessity. We do look for the cheapest fares and then upgrade with miles to First Class. I always try to get airmiles on our favorite airline for the rentals and hotel rooms also.

50. Right now I buy my produce at the produce market. I only buy what is cheap and in season.

Things I Do To Save Money

January 8th, 2005 at 11:56 am

1. Make my own bread in breadmaker. You can buy flour for pennies around Thanksgiving and Christmas. With the everlasting yeast recipe, I can make bread really cheaply. If you don't want to make your own bread, buy at the Thrift store where it is 1/3 the price.

2. Make my own yogurt. You just need to buy a 1lb. container for a starter. You only need a couple of tablespoons per batch. And then just keep saving a little to start the next batch.

3. Cook from scratch. It is much cheaper than convenience foods unless the packaged food is cheaper with a coupon.

4. Buy the majority of my meats at reduced price. I use less meat dishes alot also.
For ex: I only use 1/2 lb. of ground meat in helper and skiller dishes instead of the called for one lb.

5. We try to have at least 2-3 meatless meals a week. For Ex: Meatless spaghetti,
bean burritos, Chicken Caesar salad, mac and cheese, etc.

5. I use dry milk for all cooking and baking.

6. I use small appliances to cook. It saves a lot of money on the electric bills when you don't use the large oven and the stovetop. It is much cheaper to use crockpot, toaster oven, microwave, electric frypan, Geo. Foreman grill, electric steamer, Nesco oven etc. I use these appliances outdoors on the patio table when the a/c is on so as to not heat up the house. We also grill outdoors alot. Propane is cheap.

7. I always make sure the dishwasher is full before I run it. The same with the washing machine. I air dry the dishes and I try to hang as many loads of wash as possible instead of putting them in the dryer. If I do use the dryer, I dry on air only.
I use 1/3 the amount of called for detergent in the washing machine and 1/3 of a dryer sheet. I have made my own laundry detergent but right now I have so much free that I probably won't run out for another year. I also have about 3 years worth fo free dishwasher detergent.

8. I have cut my paper towel use down to about one roll every 6-8 weeks. We use a towel to dry hands. And I use rags to clean up messes. I drain bacon on paper bags. I use newspaper to clean windows.

9. We have switched as many table lamps as possible over to flourescent light bulbs. This is so less costly and they last for a few years.

10. When I do wash dishes in the sink, I draw the rinse water first and then fill up the other sink with wash water. That way I don't waste water while the water is warming up. I use the rinse water to water plants in my pots outdoors.

11. I take Navy showers when I can. It saves a lot of water.

12. I only buy snacks and soda with a coupon. I refuse to spend a lot of money on junk food that really has no nutritional value.

13. I keep the a/c on 78. That is cool enough and makes it bearable. It saves a lot more money than keeping it on 72. In the winter, we keep the heat on 72. I can't go any lower because DH is always cold.

14. I only run the pool when we are in it and then on a timer for 6 hours a day. We use no chlorine for the pool. We have a salt system. It was expensive but will eventually pay for itself. We have to add 2-40 lb. bags of salt a year(about $6, worth). The salt is so much better for your skin and hair.

15. The drip systems are on a timer to water the plants and trees every other day.

16. I try to run my errands in a circle thereby saving on gasoline. I fill up when it get down to 1/2 because the price seems to rise daily and this helps. I also make sure that our tires are properly inflated and that I don't carry around junk in the car that just adds weight to the car.

17. I did cost comparisons when I moved here and got the cheapest homeowners and car insurance policies for the coverage I wanted. I review these every year and look for cheaper rates just before renewals. I upped the deductibles to a $1000. which saves oodles of money. Insurance companies are cancelling people who put in small claims. So $1000. is a figure that I don't mind paying out of pocket if necessary.

18. I have basic telephone service with no extras like call waiting. I don't need all the extra costly services. I use my cell phone for long distance and always stay within the minutes of my plan.

19. We have cable plus and the movie tier for cable service. We had HBO for 3 weeks but the Cable Co. misquoted us the rates so we made them put us back. We only watched The Sopranos on HBO and I can buy it at the end of the season for $64. It would have cost us almost 3 times that for the year of HBO. I am also looking into DirectTV costs remembering that my Internet service will go up $15. a month if I cancel the Cable Co. I am considering getting rid of AOL. I liked it for the boards but very rarely use them anymore.

20. I never pay for magazines. I get them all free.

How I Save on Meat

January 8th, 2005 at 11:54 am

I want to keep all the ways I save im my journal so that I can peer back at them when I am having a memory lapse. So here is my How I save on Meat:

- Buy meat at reduced price the day before it expires.
- Buy meat in bulk at Costco or Sam's Club.
- Use less meat in recipes- We really only need about 4 oz. servings to meet nutrition standards. 8-12 oz. of ground meat for 2-3 people in a homemade hamburger helper or other casserole is plenty and no one will know there is not a lb. in there!
- Eat meatless every other meal. Vegetarian meals are so yummy and so much healthier.
- Track meat prices and buy in quantity when meat prices are rock bottom. For example: I bought 10 lbs. of chicken breasts this week when it was $ 1.49lb. Or buy as much turkey as possible before Thanksgiving when price is rock bottom! Cutting the meat off a large turkey and repackaging it and then cooking up the carcass for soup will let me fit a lot more turkey in my freezer! Buy the loss leaders.
- Canned tuna or packaged tuna is cheap when on sale and substitutes for a meat meal just as nutritiously!
- Use Bashas Planner coupons economically when they come out. They usually have 2.00 off Angus Steak coupons, 2.00 off salmon coupons and 1.00 off boneless chicken coupons. Use them with a sale at either Bashas or Albertsons, whoever has the best price.
- Have one breakfast for dinner meal a week- French Toast, pancakes or omelets with a couple of pieces of bacon or sausage is much more economical.
- Have one soup meal a week- soup uses little bits of meat.
- Take advantage of the few meat coupons that come out each year. Hormel for the porkloins, Foster Farms or Tyson chicken coupons, bacon coupons, etc. There are usually Butterball coupons that come out just before Thanksgiving sales.

Today-January 8th-My savings

January 8th, 2005 at 11:28 am

I decided today to use my crockpot to make spaghetti sauce with Italian sausage. This will save me electricity over using the stovetop. It also makes my day easier.

It is definitely looking like rain here today, so I am leaving the shades down to keep the heat in. On the sunny days, I open them and it helps to heat the house.

I did a quick pickup of the house today and it is looking really good. So now I have some time to research some money saving ideas.

I am not leaving the house so no money will be spent.


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