Home > Archive: January, 2008

Archive for January, 2008

NS day

January 31st, 2008 at 11:58 pm

I was supposed to go back to the city today, but didn't. Since we have to go to coop tomorrow, and that is almost halfway there, I decided not to, and we can combine trips tomorrow instead.

It has been cold and snowy today. Burr.

I got some more things listed on ebay. I have several items on there now, and 1 watcher, no bidders. It really seems ebay has slowed down a lot.

I went 2 days ago (DH doesn't know) & filled out applications for just about everything close to us (which means about 6 places). They just are not hiring, a couple that were hiring before are now cutting back . Plus, I can only work PT with the homeschooling, and not at all on Fridays, Saturdays or Sundays, so that kind of zilches (is that a real word?) things also. I still wish I could find something to do from home, but when you are 8 miles from an itsy town, and 17 from a little town, and 22 from a town with any real size to it, work at home is very limited. Its too far for people to want to drive for childcare or tutoring, and the county zoning & health dept rule out anything involving cooking, baking or food....

Amost a no spend day

January 31st, 2008 at 04:27 am

I filled up with gas, after my appt at the hospital. That visit should cost me nothing, as our insurance pays 100% for mammograms.

One of the ink cartridges I had refilled at walgreens already quit, so I took it back in. They are going to refill it at no charge. I think I printed 5 pages before it quit.

Tomorrow I will have to go back (22 miles one way) pick up the ink cartridge and get the zipper that I was supposed to get today and forgot.... Also plan to go to the thrift store and see if they have any jeans to fit dd3, as she is in another growing spirt. So, yet tonight I will go thru the coupons and see what I can do at walgreens with them tomorrow.

I did just discover, that in some states, you can now do your walgreens rebates on line. But, my state is not one of them.

No spend day

January 30th, 2008 at 03:19 am

Did get some books in the mail today for schooling. Some were free ones, and one I bought on ebay for 99 cents. Some days I think the mail lady must hate would have been one of those days. Normally she brings packages to the door, but today she just stuffed them all in the mailbox. Good thing we have a large box.

Snowed all day today, did get out to take the kids to 4H, but spent no money--straight there and straight back. Tomorrow will be a spend day, but not too much and it is money I will get back. DH got me some mending jobs replacing zippers on coats for a buddy, so when I go to town for a dr appt I will get some new zippers, but I will be getting paid back for that.

auctions & freecycle

January 29th, 2008 at 12:47 am

I listed several items for free on freecycle today. So far no interest. They are larger items that would probably sell at a garage sale, but are too big to sell or ship thru ebay. Mainly an older working console TV and some furniture. We are just wanting to get it out of the house.

I have 3 autions I just started on ebay. Hopefully they will go. Lately my ebay auctions haven't moved at all. I listed some school uniforms and an ADSL modem, which I had no idea how to price.

Part of my new year res. was to do some decluttering, so thats what I'm trying to do. Wish me luck.

Check from sears

January 25th, 2008 at 11:30 pm

Well, sears was supposed to issue me a CREDIT on my CREDIT CARD for when they overcharged me on a repair visit. They even went as far as to tell me to subtract the amount off my next payment, (which I did not do).

I never got the credit.

But, in todays mail I got a check for $26.06. They actually owed me $29.60.

But, at least I got something (5 phone calls and 3 letters and an email later).

I will put it in my challange money, so $245.15 + 26.06. Also saved 6.25 in coupons (which I am counting, because I used part of the $20 to start with to buy the paper to get the coupons...) I gave them the coupons last, after I paid, so I got the cash back. I will deposit it with my check from Sears.

$277.46 new challange total.

NS Day

January 25th, 2008 at 07:53 pm

Today is a ns day.
Wasn't going to spend anyway, but now I can't leave because I have the propane man coming to check a possible here one day, gone the next leak. While he is here, he will top off the tank. (They bill us for it at the end of the month).

I also have someone coming later to look at my vehicle for sale.

I called the pharmacy for DD4 prescription. First they didn't want to refill it, because it is now OTC. I had to point out to them the insurance still pays for it due to the volume of it that she has to take daily and the fact it is a life long problem. The tech argued with me about it till I asked to speak to the owner. She had me on hold for about 5 minutes then came back and said they were out, it was just ordered and will be ready for pickup on Monday. She also verified that Yes, the insurance would cover it. $280 a bottle for the generic at 1 bottle a week. We get 5 bottles at a time. But, it all comes down to one $15 copay.

It is cold and snowing out. Hard to believe it is supposed to be in the 50's early next week. I am ready!!

I ran out of foil today

January 25th, 2008 at 04:53 am

and saran wrap.

Whats that got to do with anything you ask?

I last bought it in 1997 when the Price Chopper near me closed. It was on their last day they were open that I bought all they had. For a nickle each.

Took me 10 years to use it all up, but, hey, how often can you buy Reynolds Foil or saran wrap for a nickel?

I bought a case and a half of each.

I'm not so mean after all...

January 24th, 2008 at 11:27 pm

That is what I was just told.

3 years ago, I went thru bills and finances with a spendaholic co-worker of mine. She had gotten herself into about $60,000 debt. We stayed up many a night reviewing her receipts, learning how to shop and cook, and going over ways to save money. She thought the terms I set up for her were too hard core, and I was being mean. (I cut up over 40 credit cards and "made" her call and cancel them all)

At the time, she was loosing her home. Her loan was at the local bank so we went in. They reworked (basically a refi) the terms of her loan back to 30 years so she could get a lower payment. We had the payment come directly out of her paycheck (saving $89 late fee each month) and put her house for sale by owner. Her house sold and she rented a $300 a month cheap cheap apartment. She was allowed $50 a pay period for fuel, and $50 a week for food. Her electric & water came autoatically out of her bank, as did all her credit cards. Anything above what she would need went into her 401K or credit union savings. I had her use cash only, and for awhile I had her checkbook, then when I moved I gave it to her mom.

She agreed to it, basically because she was desperate, and her family had all turned her away, as they had been burned by her many times.

Well, today she called and told me she had been laid off. She also told me, all her credit cards & debt have been paid off. She sold her car for what she owed on it, and bought a $3000 car intead and has already made the last payment on it.

She is still in the $300 a month apartment. She has no cable or dish, only a cell phone, no internet..... Only her rent, electric, water and food & fuel. Her auto insurance comes out of her bank account also.

Her 1 and only credit card is paid in full and at her moms house hidden where only her mom can get to it.

She walks to work (and has lost a lot of weight as a result).

She now has a college girl living with her who pays $300 a month rent!! (so she covers all the rent!!).

She paid off all that debt and has her 401K built back up, and around $20,000 in savings.

She had been earning $62,000 a year and had not been able to pay her bills with it, until she took the plunge.

Said she is looking for another good job, but meanwhile can live off her EF for over a year if need be. She did take a job this morning at McDonalds, and that will cover her basic monthly bills till she gets a "real" job again.

She takes a night class at the university, so that will allow her to get a basic medical insurance package for the semester. She is thinking of applying at the college for a job to get 50% off tution and better insurance that has vision and dental also.

She just made my day. She was one of the ones I was worrying about with the layoff. But she turned it around.

Been getting news all day long

January 24th, 2008 at 08:02 pm

Parents really need to teach their children about finances. I knew a 19 year old boy in town and passed away. I assumed it was from an illness as I had not heard anything about an accident. It seems though, that he committed suicide. Why?? Because he lost his job and had $5000 yet to pay on his truck. Now $5000 is nothing compared to a life, but to him that amount was more than he could face. Evidently he didn't think of giving the truck back to the bank or really look at the situation the way most adults were. He had only lost his job a few hours before, so really had not had time to even look for another. But, in his note he said he could not face the debt of the truck.......So young, such a waste.

On another point, I knew that people at my old job were offered a "buy out" last fall to leave their job. The "buy out" amounted to a formula based on their years of service and age. (For me, it would have been $120,000) Several took it. (Had I been there another year this would have been me). Those who didn't were told yesterday that it was their final day. And, they get nothing. Basically they cut the office size down to about 1/2 of what it had been, so they will now be doing double the work they had bee.

Then I also found out that our neighbors have sold their home and are moving to the city. They are having an auction on Sunday. They were nice people, I will miss them. He was retired, and she sold real estate. I know she had been having trouble lately because the market here is DEAD. So, she has decided to retire also. They are moving to be closer to the grandkids.

$54 spent due to more snow

January 24th, 2008 at 01:14 am

Today and tomorrow were supposed to be NS days. But, they are calling for more snow, and then it started snowing 4 hours before they said it would. So, the feed I was going to get on Friday or Saturday, I went and got today, just incase we were to get snowed in. So, I guess Thurs and Fri will be my no spend days instead of Wed and Thurs.

I normally would spend around $40 to $50 this time of year to put flowers on my twin babies grave back in Indiana. They had been cremated, and when my Grandma died shortly after, I put their container in with her. I figured their great grandma could help look after them. However, I decided this year I was going to take that money and do something special with my living daughters instead. So, we will probably do something on Saturday. We will have an all girls day. There is a $2 movie theatre about 35 minutes from here, so maybe we will go there and then eat out. That will be a treat for them as we rarely eat out.

The best way to avoid the flu and common cold

January 23rd, 2008 at 09:26 pm

Thus, saving money on medications, Dr visits and not missing work.

We have all heard the basic common sense ways to avoid a cold, "wash your hands", "cover your mouth when you sneeze", and if your mom was like my mom, "don't go outside with wet hair" (although some medical experts argue against that one).

However, there are steps we can take to avoid getting the common cold and flu.

1. Wash your hands. (Mom was right). Wash before you eat, after the restroom, after you enter "hot spots" such as hospitals, daycare centers, doctor offices, pharmacies, using a public phone, public bathroom, touching money, using a grocery cart...I am sure you can think of several more that you come into contact with.

If you can't wash your hands, carry a small bottle of sanitizer with you to rub on your hands.

2. Wipe down common use contact areas such as door knobs, telephone receivers, faucets, shared keyboards, remote controls, steering wheels (if you have a co-driver), mailbox handle.... You don't need to carry around a bucket of bleach water, you can simply use a sanitizing wipe.

3. Get plenty of sleep. Your body requires proper rest for all your systems to operate at their best,

4. Eat well. What you eat is fuel for your body. Failure to eat properly will cause your immune system to suffer, You need a balanced diet including fruits and vegetables, protein (meats), grains... Notice this diet does not include chips, soda, or other junk foods. Feed your body junk food, and it will start to act like junk. Some studies indicate vitament C supplements may also help,

5. Avoid stress when you can. Stress can upset the balance of ones body. This in turn can cause foods to not digest properly and for the sleep cycle to be interupted.

6. Get exercise. I am not talking about the total body makeover. I am talking about walking to the mailbox or around the block. If you are new to exercise, see your physician before starting if it is going to consist of much more than walking.

7. Get plenty of fresh air. Go outside several times a day. Walk on your breaks from work, go out to get the mail or to just stand on the porch for a few minutes several times a day. During the winter if you can not get out, open a window for a few minutes and let the air circulate.

8. Change and clean areas where germs collect.

One of the dirtiest places for germs to collect and breed is in your kitchen (you thought I was going to say bathroom didnt you?). Wash your dishrags and sponges daily. Regular laundry detergent does not kill cold germs. The best way to clean your kitchen sponges is to zap them in the microwave for a minute after laundering. The heat will kill the germs.

Change your toothbrush often, and after using pour a small amount of mouthwash or vinegar over it to kill germs.

Baby toys may need be be wiped down, as well as the teething bar on their crib.

While washing your dishes, add a small amount of bleach or vinegar to the water to disinfect.

Change your furnace filters. Germs like to collect in them also.

Many sources and TV ads tell you to use antibacterial soaps. However, I have heard several studies on TV and radio that are now saying some germs are becoming resistant to such soaps.

9. Avoid your exposure to others when you are sick. Not only for the sake of others, but for yourself. Your immune system is already weak, so you are at an increase to pick up something else.

10. Avoid being around those persons you know are sick if at all possible. If you must be around them, use good handwashing and keep your contact to the bare minimum that you can.

$25 more to challange from writing contest win

January 23rd, 2008 at 08:30 pm

I won $25 in a writing contest and that gives me $25 more to put into the $20 challange. Thus my total to date for the new year is $245.15. I have this money actually sitting in a savings account. It is not earning much interest, but once it gets up there a little more, I will transfer all but $200 of it to my money market that is earning 5.7%.

I want to leave a $200 balance in this savings so that the account will have no fees (saving $1 a month if under $200). I could put it all into my money market, but this little savings account does 2 things for me.

#1, it acts as an overdraft for my checking account. I have it set up so that if it is used for overdraft, the money is put back into the savings at the next deposit. This is free my my type of account, and I would rather have this set up than bounced check fees. Last I remember reading the bank was charging $30 per bounce check, in addition to a $27 fee for each day your checking account is in the negative. I don't write big checks (those come from DH account) so $200 if more than enough.

#2. This account I can access by my ATM card, or at the bank which is just down the road 8 miles. It is easy access should we have an emerg or need to leave town when the banks are closed. My money market account is more complicated to get money from. I can write a check from it, but checks can only be drawn on that account if they are written over $250.

So, bottom line, I have easy access to a small amount of money, but have to think twice before getting to the larger amount that earns more interest. DH uses his credit union which is actually located at his worksite, and only open 9-4 M-F. So, this system works well for us.

I do wish I could find more places online to submit writing for pay to. Any good ones that you all want to share??

2008 Challange money total 245.15

NS day

January 22nd, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Today is my first NS day this week. Actually the rest of the week probably will be, unless I get gas one day. I know I have to go out later this evening for 4H, but I can't remember how my gas tank is looking on my car....

I did win a book yesterday on ebay. 99 cents and free shipping. It is an American History book. I couldn't pass that one up.

We had company last night, and everyone made their own pizza for supper. I think the company was amazed that we made our own pizza crust. She was also amazed that we used the cheaper speg. sauce instead of pizza sauce on it (it is basically the same thing for less than half the price), and even more amazed that we saved the juice from a fruit salad I made and added it in with the koolaid mix I made for the children, and that we used cloth napkins when it wasn't a holiday. She called me the thrifty little Martha Stewart woman. She normally eats all her meals at bars or fast food, so she got a little eye opener on how the other half lives.

Flood cleanup continues

January 21st, 2008 at 01:04 am

The floor is now dry, however, I still have boxes to finish going thru. I have pulled out the washer and confirmed (yes Dad, I did as you told me to) that the water did not come from any hoses, and that the drain hose is not clogged, nor was the drain in the wall clogged. However, the drain may be clogged inside the washer or one of the hoses may be broken inside the washer. Tomorrow DH and I will move it out to the garage and look under it and see whats going on.

I finally got the wet clothes rung out and dried. What a mess.

Meanwhile, I have posted a want for another washer on freecycle. I will even take a nonelectric wringer. I just want something to get me through for the time being till next month when I get a new one. Then I can free cycle one I may get free in the meantime. I checked into renting one--HA HA HA. $125. But, by Feb 15 I should have enough in my washer fund to get a front loading one. I loved the one I had before, I wish now it had made the move with me. Not sure yet if I will get the same or a different one.

So, I guess later this week I will make a trip to the laundrymat and wash. I'm too cheap to dry them there, will probably bring them all home to dry. Now I need back some of those quarters I took to the bank last week!

Spent around $50 at the grocery store and none of it was for me. Got a couple things that the food pantry is low on, and the rest was for the church youth group. (25 kids). It was our turn for snacks, but we won't have to do it again for about 3 months. I was going to get fruit, but grapes were 5.99 a lb, apples were $7 a bag. Forget that. So, I got pizza rolls that were on sale, soda that was on sale, koolaid mix, chips and dip. I made sure all I got could go back into the freezer at church or refrig if they don't eat it all tonight-but 25 kids, I am sure they will. I love feeding them during the summer--I just take in a watermelon and some cantelopes. They love that.

Flood in the basement

January 20th, 2008 at 02:52 am

What a mess. Don't know, when we get it done it may be enough to turn into the insurance.

The washer had been acting up and not wanting to drain. Then it started working again so I did several loads of laundry. Evidently they all drained into the basement. All over boxes of stuff I had not unpacked from the move yet. I know several boxes of books were ruined, an antique table of mine got it pretty bad and other boxes as well. 2 weeks ago water came down on my computer downstairs.

Needless to say, that washer has washed its last. DH is on nights, so it may be a week before I can get a new one.

We still have not pulled out the washer to see what happened. The hoses are all still intact, so the trouble is somewhere inside the washer. But, its at least 12 years old, so time for a new one.

I guess I should have kept my washer. It was a front loading big one. But, at the time we thought it was too heavy to move. Oh well.

I applied for a job online. My mother in law used to do it. Its for a company that does the store demo's. I had started the app. process a year ago and never finished it because no stores around me were listed. Now, I see where some of our local stores are using the company to do demos, so I finished the process. It is one of those deals where you check the webpage and sign yourself up if you see any in your area. Promo's are 5 hours, and they pay $85. If there is any leftover product, you get to keep it. And, if you use your own crockpot and table they pay you more.

The best way to get your taxes organized

January 19th, 2008 at 08:21 pm

is to be organized from the beginning.

This is a new year, so start off your 2008 taxes now. Here is a very simple, very cheap way. I will take you through it step by step.

You will need the following:

One large 3 ring binder
25 or more plastic page protector sheets

Put the page protector sheets in the binder, with the opening on the top. (so you don't use items).

Label the spine of your book 2008 taxes.

Label your page protector sheets. You can use magic marker, masking tape or type and tape it on. Label your sheets according to your particular tax needs. To give you an example, here are a few of my pages:

Medical visit receipts
RX receipts
Vision/Hearing/Dental receipts
Interest earned statements
Rental expenses
Rental income
auto sale taxes
personal prop taxes
real estate taxes
educational & training expenses & milage
interest paid
health insurance and union dues paid
farm expenses
receipts for home improvements re: energy
sales of stocks and bonds

If in doubt-put in a misc page also for receipts you may question.

When you get your 2007 taxes finished, put a copy of them in this book also, for next year. You can put them in the pockets on the cover, or use a hole puncher. You will need them for ref for 2008 taxes.

Now the most important thing, is to actually put your receipts in the book as the year progresses. I had been doing this in the file cabinet in files and envelopes, and it was sometimes "out of site, out of mind". Then I would file a months worth at once.. Now, this book sits in the office on the bookshelf. I see it daily as I am in the office.

At the end of 2008, add up your receipts in each pocket and put your total in that pocket.

When you are ready to get your taxes done, simply take the entire book to the tax preparer. You will be all organized. If the tax person has any questions, you have it right there.

Spent $37 today

January 19th, 2008 at 01:39 am

Actually, I also owe two more payments of $37 as well. Today was signup day for this semester of homeschool coop. You pay it over three installments. This covers each girls classes (we meet every Friday) and a yearbook for each. This also covers all their class supplies as well. Classes we are taking this semester include band, a sewing class-how to make new clothes out of old ripped up jeans (rather frugal I thought), earth science, scrapbooking, baton, gymnastics, watercolors, painting, PE, ballroom dancing, and a science lab. One of the girls wanted to take cake decorating as well but the class enrollment for it was already full.

I was pleased to see that they are offering a JR version of Dave Ramseys class for those students 12 and over. Last semester they offered a class in the workings of banking and stocks and bonds. I heard several parents say their kids had to explain it to them. As part of that class, the kids picked stocks and had to follow them to see the ups and downs. Some made money and some lost money.

Our coop has over 300 kids in it, pre K through 12th grade. Frugality is a strong theme there. We even have a free swap and shop where people can bring clothes, shoes, books, toys for someone else and take what they need instead. You see a lot of creative ideas used by the teachers in their lesson plans and crafts and experiments.

I also like the fact they teach a lot of "survival skills" classes, such as sewing, cooking, money management, powderpuff mechanics-common sense classes. One of the public districts near here has dropped their band, choir and home-ec classes in an effort to conserve funding. Yet they still have their sports teams!! I think that is sad.

Snowing again!

January 18th, 2008 at 07:22 pm

and I have to get out in it later. I have to take the girls to get registered for this semester of homeschool coop.

DH and I have been discussing the fact we are always broke, even though he makes a very good income and we are very frugal.

So, today I tweeked his paycheck. Seems he has been having more go to his 401K than he is bringing home. I am not sure how that happened, unless it got upped for one of those checks where nothing comes out but taxes and was never lowered back. Anyway, it will take 2 weeks (2 pay periods, gets paid weekly) to take effect. So, that will free up about $300 more a week. Then, I realized he had a 401K loan that will be paid off in 4 checks, freeing up another $100 a week. Then in 4 months his car will be paid off, freeing up another $400 a month.

Anyway, he paycheck is automatically deposited and many of the bills are automatically paid. So, we never really handle "real" money. If we had, we would have noticed it sooner. He double checks his paycheck stubs, but only looks at the pay part--he has not been looking at the actual deductions to see what goes to checking, savings and 401k. So, a lesson was learned by both of us.

In about 4 months then, his check will be double what it is right now, and we can then probably increase the 401K up some more.

Meanwhile, I am getting a bike off of freecycle (I posted the need, and low and behold the person who replied was a friend of mine!). I have posted several things to offer but no takers yet--probably due to the weather.

Last night I finally got a set of bookshelves put up and loaded. My dad bought them at a library sale for around a dollar. They are heavy duty metal--the kind that hold books on both sides. That enabled me to get several more boxes unpacked.

The Best Ways to Save on your Grocery Bill

January 18th, 2008 at 02:51 am

The best ways to save on your grocery bill

These are all ideas that my family has put into use. I feed our family (5 people full time, 7 people during holidays and school breaks) for $250 or less a month. Usually it is less, and some months it is even below $200. Yet, we eat well.

1. Garden & preserve your foodóFor our family, this is one of the biggest savers on our grocery bill. If you have never had a garden before, I would recommend you start small. Even those of you who have no yard can still have a window box garden or container garden. Herbs grow very well in containers inside year around. Tomatoes grow well in containers outside, as do strawberries. Some communities offer community gardens. In a community garden, you pay $25 to rent a space for the summer. You grow your own produce. Most have water on site and you have free access to it. Some will even plow and disc it for you at the beginning of the season. If you donít know how to can foods, remember a large majority of foods that you grow can be frozen. Many foods such as beans can be dried. Drying takes no special equipment-Iíve dried foods before using a clean window screen and the sunshine, or you can use your oven (no heat required other than your oven light). If you do garden, save your compostable kitchen materials and dryer lint to add to a compost pile. It will be a savings you will see next year in your garden.
2. Buy meat in the bulk ľ or Ĺ to a who beef or hog at a time Often all you need to do is ask around to find someone to split a cow or hog with you. Generally, the more meat you buy, the cheaper it is per pound. This does require a freezer, but many butcher shops and even some farmers will rent freezer space. Often you will see farmers selling meat in the paper. Even if you donít want a whole, call him anyway. If he has 2 people who want a half, he will deal with you.
3. Hunt You can hunt anything!! Deer, berries, nuts, mushrooms, fish, rabbitÖ. Just make sure you have permission from landowners and any necessary permits or tags. Also, make sure you are really picking what you think you are picking (esp. mushrooms or berries-donít pick a poisonous look alike.)
4. Coupon and bulk shop at stores such as Aldi or farmer markets. Only use coupons on items that it will really save you money on. Donít buy brand X just because you have a coupon for it, even if brand A is still cheaper. Take advantage of double coupon days if your store offers them. Also, remember places such as Walgreenís have some food items on their shelves and will let you use a manufacturers coupon along with their store coupon. This sometimes will enable the smart shopper to get items for FREE.

Buy produce while in season (if you are not growing your own). If possible buy it in bulk for further savings and can or freeze for future use. I have bought apples and green beans by the bushel to can and freeze.

Take advantage of stores such as ALDI for items. Currently a dozen eggs at Aldi is 75 cents cheaper than at the grocery store. Aldi does carry some name brands, but most is generic. However, they do not take coupons or checks, and you sack your own groceries, so take sacks (or a laundry basket) to take your groceries home in. (You will also need to take a quarter to rent your cart, but you get your quarter back when you return your cart.) Donít grocery shop when you are hungry, and eliminate junk foods such as sodas, chips, candyÖ
5. Donít lump non grocery/kitchen items fall into your grocery/kitchen budget You donít eat cleaning supplies, diapers, laundry soap, or pet food, so donít include them in your grocery budget. Make a separate category for these items. This will also help you see where you may be able to cut back in your budget.
6. Donít waste food. If you cook it, eat it. Leftovers are great for lunches for work or school lunches. If you havenít eaten it after a couple days, move it to the freezer. If you donít eat leftovers, then start cutting your recipes in half.
7. Donít shy away from cheaper foods such as rice, beans, and potatoes. Aim to serve at least 4 times a week or more.
8. Get a couple of hens. This may not be for everyone, but with the price of eggs lately, it has saved our family a bundle to have our own eggs. If you live in the country, you can have a set up as simple as a fenced in area with a doghouse for the hens to use. Ours were in such a set up for a year before I got an actual chicken coup for them.
9. Check out places for free food such as and craigslist. I have gotten free watermelon and pumpkins from farmers posting excess produce. I also got a case off free Campbellís soup from a woman who didnít like it after she bought it. As long as the food looks clean or is still sealed and in date, it should be fine.

Spent $4.49 on ebay today

January 18th, 2008 at 12:14 am

buying a book for homeschooling. I don't feel bad about it at all because I looked at it at the teacher supply store where it was priced $19. And this one is brand new. Its a history book, with a timeline of American History in it as well as all of Americans great event, inventions and speeches in it.

We ended up with over 6 inches of snow. In some places it has drifted a couple feet deep.

I got my W2 statement in the mail today from one school district, (where I did the aftercare program) but not from the one I subbed at. DH has not gotten his yet either.

Good news from DH

January 17th, 2008 at 03:28 am

DH spent most of the day with a tractor mechanic. We thought we had an $800 part go out. Turns out it was that part, but not the entire part--just a $9 relay switch inside it. Still had to pay the labor to the mechanic, but we got off with a $159 bill instead of more as we thought.

We also lowered the bill by splitting the visit fee with some other farmers. We all scheduled the mechanic the same day, so he split up the visit and milage fee between us all. (living where we do, milage kills you as most deisel tractor mechanics are in KC)

New challange total $220.15

January 16th, 2008 at 10:05 pm

Instead of rolling my change, I called the bank. They run it through their change counter for free. So, I did that. (My old bank charged 3% to do this, which is odd, because it is the SAME bank, just different branch i this town), and I have the same accounts I always have, I just added DH to them....

Anyway, I have that to add to my $20 challange. My change is from several sources--mainly from cleaning out the cars, the pop machine we own proceeds, found on the ground money, and to break the girls of talking sassy, they now pay me a quarter when they talk back (broke that habbit real quick!) or if they get caught leaving lights on when we aren't home. I also got some money from the consignment store earlier this week.

I am also counting my money saved from using coupons. So far this year, I have invested $5 in newspapers to get the coupons, and have saved $30.

I took all my money to the bank awhile ago and it is now in a savings account. (I already had the savings account, but moved what was in it back to my checking so I could keep this money seperate). So, I now have $220.15 total, sitting in the bank.

I don't plan on spending this money on anything, unless I see something I can buy to turn into even more money. Although, I may change it into our money market account later on to get more interest.

Another snow storm heading my way....

January 16th, 2008 at 05:47 pm

So, I guess I need to go out and get a few stock up items. Which seems silly, when we have plenty of food, but I need to get items that are fireplace/grill friendly should the electric go out again.

Right now it is raining. The temp is to drop and then around 4 snow is to start. If it is just snow, we are ok, but it is the rain that concerns me. This is how the last "big one" in December started. The rain took down a large number of power lines.

I have everything on chargers now, cell phones, lanterns, weather radio, and the tractors and bobcat are plugged in. Before, we had to use one to dig our way out with, and of course we will have to feed hay. If we get them all plugged and well charged, hopefully one will start!

Will need to get milk, small packages of ground beef (easy to do chili, shephards pie..over the fire or in the cast iron), potatoes, buns, bread, and probably a few cans of soup. Probably won't hurt to get a little more lamp oil also.

Also, I need to start laundry. Last time we would of run out of some clothes if the laundry had not been caught up, which means several loads back to back, so I will have to use the dryer.

coupon stash

January 16th, 2008 at 05:40 am

The kids had a 4H meeting tonight for their horse project. I took all my coupons from the Sunday paper and managed to get them all cut out, plus I also educated a mom on how to use them with the Walgreen ad and Dollar General ad to get free shampoo, toothpaste and such. I think she was going to go home and dig her coupons out of the trash!! I haven't got very far, but so far it looks like I will get some free ajax and purex. We don't like ajax, so I will take it into church for the kitchen there.

I did't get my change rolled either, so that is now on tomorrows list.

I did put off going to the store. DH thought we were getting low on food (HA HA), but I came up with stuff for stirfry for supper. I also found some sausage in the freezer, so tomorrow I think we will have sausage and bisquits and gravy for either lunch or supper. I also found another small package of beef in the back of one of the refrigerator freezers, so I think I will mix that with some ground venison and make a meatloaf for Thursday.
I also found a chicken (behind some veggies on the veggie shelf) so I put it back on the poultry shelf where it belongs. We just finished off some homemade chicken and noodle soup, so it will be about a week before I do chicken again. We also have a ton of okra to eat from the garden as well. Its already breaded and frozen.

Next month we plan to butcher, so I am trying to empty out the freezers as much as possible before hand. It will make room for the new meat and will less in them I can take a more accurate inventory of what we have left.

Only money spent today was to buy a gallon of milk, and to top off my fuel tank in the car. During the winter I like to keep it full for 2 reasons: 1, it gives me extra weight in my little car should I get stuck, and 2, will keep me running longer -with the heater on-should I get stuck.

DD1 was fairly frugal. She found a website where she could rent textbooks, so she did that this term. They arrived in the mail today. Much cheaper than buying them.

$20 challange--I'm in

January 15th, 2008 at 08:13 pm

I am going to start it with $10 roll of quarters I found in my vehicle while cleaning it out to get ready to sell it. I think these are left from a 2003 vacation. I had 4 rolls for the toll road, payphones (was in an area where there was no cell coverage) and laundrymats.

Tonight if I have time, I am going to roll change. DH has a pop machine at work and brought home the change from it. For about a $25 investment in soda, he can get back $50.

Total $10

Is a sure deal

January 15th, 2008 at 01:03 am

I now have a signed lease, so I for sure have the house rented out. I have a couple weeks to get it all ready--it needs a good cleaning, and some painting. And, since it was vacant awhile, a few things need some attention--a couple ceiling tiles came down (no biggie to put back up) and a bird cracked a window pane (left his feathers behind for evidence). They will be moving in a month from now, so I have plenty of time to get my work done. That is a relief!!

Does Walgreen's do this?

January 14th, 2008 at 03:36 am

I was so proud of myself for the money I saved last week by getting my ink cartridges filled at Walgreens for $10 each.

Now, this week Walgreens has refillingon sale for $5 each.

Does anyone know if Walgreens is one of those places that will refund you the difference if something goes on sale?? And, if they do, I wonder if they would on this since it is a 'service' instead of a product...

Freecycle came thru after all

January 13th, 2008 at 12:44 am

My people did come through!! so, We got some books to use for home schooling and finally, a microwave!! I can eat some of that boyscout popcorn later tonight for a snack. I didn't realize how much we used ours till it quit.

I estimate I saved between $80 and $100 by getting the microwave from freecycle. I know they have ones cheaper at walmart, but not the size we need for a family of 7, and with the features I like. This free one had it all.

Blog question

January 12th, 2008 at 09:15 pm

Is there a way to start at the top and flip from blog to the next blog without going back to the main page each time??

I thought I did it one time on this site, but have forgotten now how. (or maybe it was on a different site)

Freecycle bombed out

January 12th, 2008 at 08:51 pm

I was supposed to meet 2 people today. Both are getting postphoned. One to get a microwave-she went out for a few hours according to her DH and forgot and left the microwave in her trunk and took it with her, and the other did a no show on me for some books. I left her a VM, she may have just forgot. Maybe I will hear back from her later.

It is raining again today, but melting the snow away. Since it is a little warmer, I have the heat down on 63 and its about 66 in the house.

The ink cartridges I had refilled at Walgreens are working well. I am glad my mom passed that tip on to me. It will save us quite a bit of money! I refilled 2 for less than I normally pay for one. I'd do it myself, but I could not figure out how to do it.

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