I answered a local ad today. A woman is thining out her garden--she is selling strawberry plants 25 for $4. I told her I would take 50 and I pick them up tomorrow. I mentioned this to a friend, who works for a nursery, and they are getting ready to compost some things that are not selling well. As and employee perk, he can have any of those for free. He got some more plants and will get them to me tomorrow at church. He said most are plant trays that are supposed to have 6 plants in them, but some died, so instead of 6 peppers, there are 3 or 4. He said he has some peppers, tomatoes, more strawberries (about 12 plants), and some seed that the packaging got damaged on. I get it all for free, from him. So, just the $8 I will be paying for the strawberrys. That should give my garden a boost. I noticed while turning the compost pile, I have several potatoes going, so I wont turn it again till they are ready to dig. I will start dumping my clippings back in pile #2, as it is empty from being moved to the garden anyway. My onions and garlic are coming up. Actually the garlic comes up on its own every year. All that should help on the grocery bill this summer.
Archive for April, 2005
Daughter #2 has been in the childrens hospital since tues. we just got back home this evening. the dr stated i will need to be home with her at least 2 more weeks. which means, she will be able to go back to school, about 2 weeks before school is out for the summer. and, i will miss 2 more weeks of income. that will put be out of work for a little over a month. but, if it gets her healthy again, it will be all worth it.
what i have learned from this, is my emergency savings was not near enough. i always tried to have 1 month salary tucked back. but with medicines, copays, gas to and from the dr..its gone, and my month isnt. goal--once i get back on my feet, to have 3-6 months saved up.
I just joined upromise, and already have some money in my account.. I had some McDonalds gift certicate books and registered them on line and already have 45 cents. I also reg my countrymart card and debit card. A friend of mine joined upromise less than a year ago, and already has several hundred dollars in her account. But, she also uses one of their credit cards, so that helps her add it up quicker. She charges EVERYTHING. But, she also pays it off full everymonth. She charges it just to get the points, flier miles, and all-but it must be working for her, as she is not in debt.
No money out of my pocket today-just out of my flexcare medical. Had both breakfast and dinner at my parents. Breakfast was beause we had family in visiting, and supper was my annual birthday dinner. Got several gift certificates and a little cash. The girls each got me something, including a CD case-the book kind. I am thinking since it has the clear pages in it, I may use it for coupons...will try it and see how it goes. Got my paycheck today-if you can call it that. Since I have been staying home with daughter #2, it only had 4 days on it. I am used to 10 days plus overtime. But, all of this months bills were paid, so I am ok till next month. Next payday I will have to transfer money from savings to equal my paycheck. Next week is my neices birthday. She will be 9. I already have several ideas in mind for her present. Actually they are items I bought at Christmas time and have not done yet. One is a child sized cooking apron--I will dectorate it up for her, and then in a jar put the dry ingredents for a cake or cookies with the receipe. The other is a photo album that she can do herself. She also likes gardening, so I think I will get her some seeds and plants as well.--maybe some herbs that are used in pizza making. she would love that.
Another trip with the middle daughter to the dr, and then to the pharmacy. I am so glad that this year I took the flex care plan at work for pretax dollar for medical needs. I do wish I had taken more out though. I was afraid since it was a use it or loose it deal, I may loose what I did not use. But, next year I am going to take out twice as much. The company gave us a prepaid visa card to use for it. No paperwork. I just put the copays on it. I guess though next year if I am not using it, I can stock up on some over the counters, and bandaides--that will keep it from going unused. Normally no one is ever sick. But since November of last year, its been one thing after another.
I joined a couple of programs on line-with one I can earn points, which I can convert into items or cash, and the other I can earn cash and it goes to my paypal account. The first is nwe4mysurvey.com. I take surveys and get points for them. I can also get points for referring people there.
The other one, pays cash. It is netbux.org It pays cash to do internet searches from their website. My code there is 22276. If anyone else signs up and uses my number as a referal, I get credit for it. Then if they sign someone up, they in turn get credit. After I reach $50, they pay it to my paypal account.
Between the two, I think I can bring in a little extra cash each month.
Bad weather here. I am going to stay up awhile incase the tornado sirens go off. Been some on either side of us, and we are under a watch. Think I will coupon organize and reread some from my Tightwad book. Went to dinner tonight. Daughter #2 didn't eat much, due to her blocked colon. Monday we go see the specialist. I have some cousins in town for the weekend, and my parents treated us all to dinner. It was nice, I needed the break. Today was a no spend day. Did go by the eye dr and pick up a receipt so I can get my $60 rebate on my contacts. The rebate and my insurance company both needed the orginal receipt, so they just made me another. If you buy a years worth, you get back a 50% rebate,back from the manufactor which on mine came to $60. Not bad, as the insurance will pay 80%. I noticed gas is now $1.97 a gallon at Walmart, but $2.00 across the street from them at conoco.
Since I have been having to stay home from work with my middle daughter, I have managed to get a few projects done around the house. Most of them were jobs that I was going to hire someone to do. I added it up, and spent around $175 on supplies. I already had estimates at around $500. I closed in the carport on the east side-that only leaves the south side open, as the north and west sides are part of the house. I would love to make it into a garage, but I drive a large SUV that is extended, and it wouldnt fit. It would work if I drove a compact car-but I cant do that as we go camping a lot and a compact can't pull a travel trailer. The wall that we built (a friend helped me) I put up some pegboard and hooks, and the plywood part I put up lots of hooks. The tools that don't go into the shed, now all have a place to hang. I am keeping some things there that I use a lot, or items that it makes more sense to keep near the truck, such as the snow shovels, battery charger, air pump...
I also did some "spot painting" The paint job on the house is ok, except for a few problem areas-so I just scraped and painted those areas. Funny why one board will always reject paint and those around it don't... I also fixed a dripping faucet (should save some water there). It just started dripping recently. I also rescreened a couple of windows. I still have 2 windows I need to reglaze. I also still need to spot paint inside the house-to cover up the work of small artist-including where one daughter was writing a for sale ad to sell off one of her sisters....
I had a wooden door that had a chunk of wood out of it. Today I mixed up some wood putty and filled it. Instead of adding all water, I added less water and some of the house paint. The putty is a perfect match to the door now. Tomorrow I will sand it down and I think I will probably have to paint over it, but hopefully it wont take several coats like wood putty normally does.
I cleaned out a cabinet and found some more seeds-from last year. I planted them-will see what happens. I also cleaned out the sunroom and bug bombed it. Why is it the bug bomb wont kill the bugs in the sun room?? Instead, they all have to crawl under the door, and come into my kitchen to die. But, that kept the cat entertained.
I also got laundry washed and hung to dry.
Tomorrow I will read the electric meater if I remember. I am trying to see if I can get a breakdown of my usage. For the last 2 weeks, I have had the heatpumps off--no heat or AC. The kids are getting better about turning lights off, and as bulbs have burned out, I have been replacing them with the energy saver ones. My electric company sells the energy saver bulbs cheaper than walmart does. I have 1 left, then need to get some more.
First I went to Walgreens. I had it in my mind I was going to spend around $30. The girl rang it up at over $60. I had to point out to her that she failed to use my coupons. She said I couldn't use coupons on sale items. So, she calls the manager, who tells her yes I can. In fact some of the coupons I was trying to use were the coupons from their newspaper sale ad...Anyway, they got it rerung. I only bought what was on sale, that I would normally use anyway and had a coupon for. We probably now have 6 month supply of shampoo. White Rain shampoo/conditioners were on sale for $1, and I had several $1 off coupons. I have some more coupons for sale items coming-got them off a coupon trade site. If they make it here by next Sunday, I will use them as they are on sale now also. If not, I will use them next sale--they are dated out several months. I spent $20 on Proctor and Gamble products, so I have a $10 rebate coming for that, and a $1 rebate for the colgate-which was only a dollar, and I had a dollar off coupon-so I will get a dollar for something I got free. Not bad.
Then I went to the grocery store. Saved $13.58 in coupons. But, I thought I was only going to spend around $40 and it was closer to $55. I went to the customer service desk and we went over the receipt. I got back $9.52 in items that were supposed to be free if I bought 4 boxes of Kelloggs cereal. Then, the juice that was supposed to be on sale for 88 cents, they rang up at full price, along with the bread that was on sale. So, they had to give me back more, bringing that trip down to under $40.
Lesson learned--always watch as they ring up the items, make sure they scan the coupons, and double check the receipt before you leave. I really didnt need anything from the grocery store, but the Kelloggs cereal was on sale, and I had $1 coupons good on any size, so I bought the smallest boxes. If you bought 4 boxes, you got free: 1 dozen eggs, 1 loaf bread, 1 carton blue bonnet, 1 32oz package of hashbrowns, 1 package of johnson breakfast sausage, and oj. S, I did ok. Again, every thing I got was on sale and had a coupon, making it cheaper than the generic or store brand. Most of it went into the deepfreezer.
I started getting the Sunday paper again, so I could get the coupons. I used to be into it big time, then kind of fizzled out of it. We now have a Walgren in our town and I noticed that this week they have several things on sale that had coupons in this weeks and last weeks paper. My one daughter uses a special shampoo-Normally around $6 a bottle. It is on sale for $4.99 a bottle, and then there are coupons for $1 off and $3 off if you get 2. So, I can stock up on it. Our one dollar store just started taking coupons. I can use my $1 crest coupons and get the toothpast for free. Tonight I will be clipping and organizing and planning my list. I also found a great website for coupons. http://www.frugalandfree.com/ I plan on hitting it for some of my stockup items as well. I only stock up on items that have a very long shelf life-that we will always use--such as soap, shampoo, toothpaste, toilet paper (finally have everyone in my house to use it--now if they would just flush!!), canned goods and such. The best shopping trip I ever had, I had $200 worth of goods for around $60.
I really really need to find something I can do from home to make some money for when I am off with the kids. do the consignment shop thing-that brings in about $20 a month, and some on ebay. Being a single parent, it hurts when I have to take off without pay. I refuse to telemarket or sell products from home.
Every one has been sick around here. Numerous trips to ER and dr. Ranging from severe ear infections to twisted intestines. As a result, I have had to take a leave from work to stay home with sick kids. Two resulted i short hospital stays, so I will be gettig bills from that, with no income. As a result, I have not been spending much at all-mainly just gas and utilities and some food. I have cabinets and a pantry full of canned goods and 2 freezers full of food, so that will carry me for several months. But, still have to buy milk and some perishables, such as fruits.