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Archive for January, 2005

Still waiting on a W2 UGH!!

January 31st, 2005 at 02:50 pm

Still waiting on a W2 ----UGH!! I really wished we would hurry up and get it - I know it will probably be here by the end of the week but we have never waited this long to file our taxes. We normally have our refund back by the first friday in Feb. I probably won't even get it submitted until then. Frown

Started using quicken

January 31st, 2005 at 02:48 pm

I started using quicken just a few days ago and it's great. It helps with tracking the $$ so much easier and I am such a visual person. Seeing is believing. LOL I have all the info in a notebook also - but the charts in quicken are great - so I can actually see % of where my $$ are going without doing the math. LOL

February Frugal Goals

January 31st, 2005 at 12:38 pm

February I want to
~continue to track all expenses
~continue to keep the grocery bill down
~18 no spend days
~hang laundry out
~reduce kwh as much as possible
~learn to cook a few new recipes

Have a great February!!

NO spend days in Jan :)

January 31st, 2005 at 12:35 pm

WOOHOO!! Today is the last day of January so it's the last day to count my no spend days for this month *****~24~*****
I exceeded my goal of 20! I am excited. My goal for next month will be 18 no spend days. Hoping to do more, but will be happy with 18 since it's a shorter month.

January Goals Update!

January 30th, 2005 at 02:13 pm

Here were my January goals:

Three goals for January:
1. continue working on electric bill
**Need to continue to work on this one - so I will put this in my February goals also. It went up, but I called and found out that rates also increased - so I don't feel too bad.

2. work on getting the food budget down!!
**Goal was $500 this month - came in at $445.xx No more shopping here for January. So I made this goal. I would love to average out at 450 per month for the year. Let's see how I do.

3. declutter marathon with flylady Smile
**Our home is decluttered, I don't like knick knacks and have decluttered clothes and books, tupperware and misc this month. I am very happy with the progress I made in this area.

14 day menus

January 30th, 2005 at 02:06 pm

1-roasted lemon pepper chicken, baked potatoes, mixed veggies
2-grilled hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans
3-Baked Ziti, salad, corn
4-homemade ham and bean soup, homemade bread sticks
5-chicken pot pie (homemade), salad
6- Crockpot soy roast, mash potatoes/gravy, green beans
7-homemade pizza italian sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, onions, mushrooms
8-creamed chicken over rice, asaragus
9-chili, cornbread
10-beef tips over rice, peas
11-chicken cordon bleu (homemade), hm mac and cheese,broccoli
12-soft shell tacos, refried beans, mexican rice
13-Lasagna, corn
14-beef stew, homemade bread sticks


All dinners can have homemade bread with them as I always have it made up. I always have salad fixins in the fridge. I don't do these meals in a particular order or anything like that - just whatever I feel like cooking for the day. Some of the meats/meals go in the crockpot (6,9,10,14)
I assemble some things before freezing - like I make the hamburger patties up flash freeze them and then package up. I cook the chicken for the pot pie and creamed chix then assembled them and freeze. I make the pizza crusts up in batches and just have the stuff we put on them in baggies and we pull out what we need. I boil the pasta while I am putting groceries away and then assemble the pasta dishes - and freeze. The day I grocery shop and the morning after are spent working on putting stuff away and getting things ready for the freezer. But it saves me alot of time during the week when life gets hectic.

I can't remember exact prices I pay per lb. But I normally look at the package of meat and see how many meals that will make for our family and then divide it by 9 - which will give me a cost per serving. Around here, the grocery stores are high for their meats, except Save alot and occasionally I will buy their chicken breasts, but the rest of their meat (in my area) is not that good. We were going to a meat market for freezer packs but have been able to beat the price at Sams.

Grocery hints

January 30th, 2005 at 02:05 pm

I shop at Walmart (for hba, and pet supplies)
Save a lot for canned goods and snack type foods (just a few of those for school lunches) some baking needs
Sams - I buy all my meat, laundry soap, pastas, flour, yeast stuff like that......

I make almost everything from scratch - with the exception of Prego. I just can't make a spaghetti sauce I like and we love prego sooooo we still buy that. I make all of our bread.

If I could give up pepsi and chocolate - we would probably save another $40 to $50 but I love both!! LOL

I always make a menu out for 14 days at a time - I don't dictate what we have daily as I may not feel like making it that particular day. KWIM?
Dinners are normally 14 different dinners, Lunches are leftovers, sandwiches, fruit, salads
Breakfasts - eggs, cereal, oatmeal, homemade breads, cinnamon rolls, etc

Shop only with a list and give yourself $10 to stock up with - like if peanut butter is on sale for 99 cents I may buy 10 of them for the pantry. If I don't find a good sale on anything I set the stock up money aside- until a good deal is found.

I shop only with cash and a calculator.

I shop in my pantry/freezer first - seeing what I have that can be used with the dinner I have choosen to make.

There are a few things I don't make that would probably make my bill go down further - I don't make tortillas, homemade laundry soap (I just don't like - I buy l.s. at sams and I only use 1/8 of a cup in my front loader so a huge container lasts a long time), yogurt (but will be trying to in the next few weeks. )

Sunday No spend day # 23

January 30th, 2005 at 01:59 pm

No spending day here. Day 23 of the no spend challenge!! WOOHOO!!

Got the water pipe fixed today. Got all the laundry done - of course I used the dryer to get it all finished. So that wasn't a frugal choice - but the laundry is all done.

Making homemade cinnamon bread for breakfast tomorrow morning.

No water tonight

January 29th, 2005 at 04:07 pm

We have a pipe on the side of the house that was leaking - dh is fixing it, but didn't get it finished. But that's ok!! I got our 5 gallon container out of the attic and filled it with water. Also had gallons and gallons of water in the garage from the last hurricane. I boiled water and did the dishes by hand, then I boiled some for the little one baths. It's soooooooo nice to be prepared with little things. This was not stressful at all. The rest of us with wash up tonight, not full baths but that's ok.

I just want to encourage anyone reading this - be prepared with food that can be cooked on a grill if necessary or eaten from the can, water, batteries. You just never know when such preparedness will come in handy and make your situation less stressful. Smile

Saturday Spending

January 29th, 2005 at 08:29 am

Went to walmart - had to buy cleats for dd who is in softball at school. Her old ones don't fit her and we don't have any that would. Spent 15.23 total today.

Dh is going to home depot and will spend some $$ to get parts to replace a faucet on the side of the house that is leaking.

Oh also got some apple wallpaper border for 50 cents at a thrift store.

That's all the spending I have done and will do today.

MS Money or Quicken

January 28th, 2005 at 05:02 pm

We have Microsoft money on the computer and I think I will finally start to use it. I know - it's terrible it's been on here and I don't use it. Frown But I really want an accurate picture of what we every penny on.
Also have quicken on here. Wonder which will work best for us? I know that MS money has charts and such, wonder if quicken does too? Will play around with both of them tonight and try to figure out which one I like best.

couponing and refunding

January 28th, 2005 at 02:42 pm

Now to take the next main step on saving $$ on our grocery bill. Start a coupon file ( I have a *tiny* one now) and start refunding. I got a subscription to Refund Cents and got my first issue today. It is amazing how much people save!!! I can't wait to read through the magazine this weekend.

Hoping I can learn some new tips to keep my grocery bill low!!

Dishwasher - no no

January 28th, 2005 at 02:39 pm

A while back I check the kwh with the dishwasher and they were high. So we stopped using it for awhile. BUT then got lazy, started using it again. I just can't stand dishes in the sink, so putting them in the dish washer was much easier so I wouldn't have to see them.
But this last electric bill to actually see it so high - the dw *MUST* stay off for now. At least until some of our other goals are met. Smile

mortgage

January 28th, 2005 at 02:32 pm

Next month we will have been at this house for 6 years. In those 6 years we haven't been able to pay any extra. Frown I figured out today we have *only* paid off 4065.16 off the principal of the mortgage. Frown The mortgage went up this year, because of escrow - but I am determined to send them something extra each month. It won't be much at first, but it will be something!!

Grocery Total for January

January 28th, 2005 at 04:59 am

Ok my goal for January was 500.00 - actually I really want to work on getting it to 450.00 averaged out this year. This is for 2 adults, 7 children and a HUGE lab! My budget also includes laundry, hba, paper products and pet food/shampoo.
My total for January is:




444.67 I am soooooo excited!!! Now to keep it this low the rest of the year. I got a huge container of laundry soap that will probably last us 2 months, also got a huge box (66) of pull ups for dd at night. This is also enough for 2 months. She only uses one a night. So won't have that expense next month.
Now I cut out the soda that I did buy and the chocolate. WOW!! We could really lower it. Working on those!!

Day 22

January 28th, 2005 at 03:28 am

This is Day 22 that is a no spend day!! Smile WOOHOO!!! I was only aiming for 20 - and exceeded that.

1/28 general thoughts

January 28th, 2005 at 03:27 am

No money being spent here today. Spent enough yesterday!! This is our first month with the mortgage being higher. (escrow was short alot - thanks hurricanes!)

Got the electric bill and it's about $20 higher than last month and about $70 higher than last year! Some of it's from the rate increase, but the rest is just being lazy. (like using my dishwasher, dryer - stuff like that. My goal this month is to get it back down!

We have a leaky faucet on the side of the house, dh will be fixing this weekend. But I wonder how long it's been leaking......... It's on the side we never go on, Neighbors noticed it not us. So wonder what the water bill will be like........

Today I will working on cutting down the kwh, baking some bread, hanging laundry out, washing only in cold (dson helped with laundry yesterday and washed everything in warm. ) Will be unplugging ghost appliances. Trying to cook more in the crockpot versus the stove/oven.

I am still amazed, even though we are extremely frugal there are still a few little money leaks......... We need to get those plugged immediately. Just little things add up to big dollars over time.

Mega Money spent today :(

January 27th, 2005 at 10:25 am


Well today Mega money has gone out of this house. All planned but still!!
Goodwill 24.50 - got a breadmaker that I have been wanting still in the box!! Also got a pair of Nike shoes for dson - still with tags on them - retail value 59.99 - my cost 3.00!!! WOOHOO!! He doesn't need them right at the moment - but they are the next size up for him. Also got a couple pair of uniform pants for dsons.

Publix - 5.00 for minicupcakes that I should of made but was just toooooo lazy!! These are for a kindegarten party.

Walmart - 94.44 UGH!! I got a couple more uniform shirts, a pair of uniform pants for dson. I got a new drying rack, ink for the printer and HBA's

Sams- 102.52 I get all my meat from Sams and pasta. Also got some milk and cottage cheese

Save A lot 107.31 My stock up store canned goods, and some snack type foods.

Gas for suburban - only needed $20 to fill it, of course it was half full.

Total for the day:353.47

I had budgeted 400.00 for today and came in under that amount. So I am happy but gosh that is still alot of money for one day.

Electric bill -UGH!!

January 26th, 2005 at 05:41 pm

Ugh! The electric bill went up this month. Frown Actually a lot from last year - well alot for me 70.00!! Now off to find ways to lower it again. Frown

Haircuts Galore!!!!!

January 26th, 2005 at 03:06 pm

I just finished cutting 4 of my sons hair and my dd's bangs. I am getting ready to do dh's hair in a few minutes. It is very easy to learn to cut hair. I have been cutting my son's hair since he was 1 - he is 17 1/2 now! I can't imagine what we would of spent on haircuts all these years at 10 to 12 a haircut.

Look at all the $$$ saved just doing that one activity. Smile

Patching holes in pants & other great things

January 26th, 2005 at 03:49 am

My dson came home yesterday from school with a pair of uniform pants with both knees ripped open. Frown I was a little upset as the pants were fine and hole- free LOL before school. I had some errands to run last night. I had a gift card from Joannes and stopped in there and got some patches. I came home and ironed them on - I saved that pair of pants for another month or so. Then I will cut them off and sew them up for uniform shorts. Smile I decided those are the pants he can wear for p.e. from now on, since that is wear he ripped them.

I also got some candles from Joannes (from giftcard) for 1.29 each they were 90% off. They are cute little candles - 3 to a pack On the glass votive they say peace, hope and joy. Smile So cute!

1/26 no spending day

January 26th, 2005 at 03:42 am

Day 21 of no spending! Smile
Today I am going to an awards ceremony for my dd. Other than that, I will be reading my TWG. Smile

Dinner will be in the crockpot.
Laundry is being done.
Linen closet will be cleaned, so I can make my list of Walmat hba's for tomorrow.
Also will work on menu for the next 2 weeks
work on budget for the next 2 weeks also

Tightwad Gazette

January 25th, 2005 at 11:33 am

WOOHOO!!! My book came today. I even got it at a huge discount. Ordered it through barnes and noble - 5.95 for the complete tightwad gazette hardcover! What a bargain. I am *sure* I can recoop that. Smile

Looking forward to curling on the couch with my book and homemade hot cocoa tonight.

Sewing Christmas Ornaments

January 25th, 2005 at 11:31 am

I know - I am either late or *very* early. LOL Well I sell christmas ornaments that I sew in a little craft store locally and ebay from sept to Nov. Well last year, I ran out of the ones that I had made. Good thing but really could of used the extra $$ to pay off a medical bill or something. So this year, I have decided to go ahead and start making a few sets every month. Normally I start working on them late August. This way I shouldn't run out and mean more $$ for us. BUT the good news, I already have supplies, so it won't cost anything right now to start this up. Smile

Tightwad tuesday

January 25th, 2005 at 09:35 am

Well dson didn't get in to the dr yesterday but this morning instead. I spent $10 for some meds for him. No other $$ being spent today.
No $$ spent yesterday so - I made it to *******20******** NO SPEND days!!!!!! WOOHOO!!!

The heater is off and the rest of the week it's warming up again - so hopefully I won't be turning it back on this year. Smile Ok - sometimes we have had the a/c turned on as early as feb. Frown We are NOT doing that this year!!

Will be eating all meals at home today. Going to the PTA meeting tonight as they are having a uniform exchange - so that will save some more $$.

We crunched some #'s yesterday - I would love to go to work part time - but for what they pay for our area - I would be making $35 a week - before taxes after expenses. Frown So I am looking at ways to save $$. We don't think it would be worth it for our family for $140 a month. SOOOO now I am on a mission to see if I can save us $140 a month with our expenses right now.......... I will get back with some of my ideas. Smile

Manic Monday

January 24th, 2005 at 03:26 am

Today will be spending day, I think. Frown I need to take dson to the dr today (if he needs meds - that's where the spending will take place).

Continuting to declutter the house today. I have a couple things posted on ebay.

Will work on budget today for this coming payday. Will also start my grocery list and menus.

Being frugal today:
~wash laundry in cold water
~use 1/8 cup of laundry soap (I have a front loader so that's plenty!)
~combine errands, take kids to school, other to dr
~keep heat set at 65 during the day, 69 at night and 71 for an hour in the morning
~clip coupons and file
~start making out a menu that uses things I already have in the pantry/freezer
~using 1/4 of a dryer sheet, normally I would hang laundry but it's sooooo cold Frown
~keep all lights turned off during the day
~when cooking dinner (baked ziti from freezer) also make a pan of cookie bars - saves on electric use as I can cook them together

Have a great week! Smile

getting cold

January 23rd, 2005 at 04:14 pm

It's dropping fast down here tonight. It's at 36 now. Frown It's supposed to be in the 20s tonight.

I am making homemade cookies and hot cocoa for a bedtime snack. :-) Cookies are warming up the house too. Smile

Need to finish getting everything set for the kiddos to go back to school tomorrow. Smile

Update on Guerilla Frugality

January 23rd, 2005 at 12:03 pm

So far 19 no spend days this month. WOOHOO!!!
I was aiming for 20 and I will definitely make it. Smile
Still tracking the kwh. Will be buying a drying rack this next week sometime, actually probably 2 of them. That way I can stop using the dryer so much.

Still washing dishes by hand. Using very little heat, but it will be on tonight. LOL

Continuing to track all of our spending (which hasn't been much right now) -
I have shopped with a list and actually spent $175 less this month with my menus and list. I didn't even use coupons. I am setting up a coupon file and will see if I can bring it lower...........

Snacks are being made, instead of being bought premade.

There is a uniform exchange this week at school, so I will be sure to go to it. Kids grow so quickly don't they?

I added 1/2 water to all the shampoo bottles in the house and no one has noticed a difference.

I changed laundry soap to a bulk soap instead of Tide and am only using 1/8 of a cup. So that's a savings there. Smile

UGH! What's next?!?!

January 3rd, 2005 at 03:11 pm

UGH!! Well it's gonna be alot more guerilla mode - I just found out the mortgage's escrow is short. We knew it was gonna be, but didn't know it would make the payment go up 114.37 a month!! We were told back in Sept it would go up about $40 but with all the hurricanes, homeowners insurance has went up. Frown
I am already cutting pennies now, I know we will do this....... But it's alway seems like it's one step forward two back. Frown

1/3 Manic Monday

January 3rd, 2005 at 07:37 am

Today I have reset the water heater timer. It has been on all the time lately. So now I have reset it for the times when we really need hot water and will see if that can add any more saved KWH.

I discovered the last week that my main energy hogs were the dishwasher and dryer - so I am trying really hard not to use either. So far so good!!

I have a freezer that has been unplugged for awhile, decided to plug it in today to check how my kwh will do. I am hoping it's not to much higher than what it's been, as I really want to start stocking the freezer again.

By stocking the freezer, I think it will lower our grocery bill. When I can buy things on sale, especially meat. Also can make breads and snacks.

We have 2 loaves of bread left. I have decided I will make some up today instead of going to the store. I have everything to do it, and we prefer homemade bread anyways. This will keep me out of the stores again today. Smile


No spend day today. Total of 2 for 2005!!


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