saving

Shut the Front Door!

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There comes a time in all of our lives when we must sit and reevaluate who we are and what we stand for and come to terms with the results. I have been weighed, and measured and found wanting.

My husband had some much needed time off and had been enjoying relaxing at home. Once a year his employer allows them to purchase packs of movies passes, and during this time off, we caught up on the holiday movie season. Since Hubby had taken me to see Django Unchained and Jack Reacher, I thought I would repay the favor.

In keeping with my 90 Day Challenge to live a cash only life, I went to the bank and took out $75. I figured this was enough for a nice lunch, some office supplies, and a few other items. It didn’t work out like that. I decided to take my hunk of burning love to Bippity de Boppedy for a late lunch slash early dinner. The food is amazing and so are the prices when you are ordering a la carte.
ChoppedAntipastoSalad-L-14720_298x196We ordered the chopped antipasto salad ($12.75) and the baked rigatoni (16.75). After we order dessert, a fantastic cheesecake with raspberry coulee and drizzle with hazelnuts (12.75), alongside two coffees, and a tip, we were at $65! Shut the front door! I was once more broke.
I was headed back to the drawing boards and reviewing Commandment Number 8, developing multiple streams of income. I started calling my clients and worked most of the day of Friday. I was back to having money in hand. I went back to work with my second business and started meeting again with authors to get some books flowing in the New Year. I do have multiple streams of income, I am just spending too much. I am responsible for my financial future and I have been wasteful. I did learn some stuff though.

I did not go back to the bank for more money.

I made more money.
The one thing I love about doing this cash only challenge is that I already have good habits and with Commandment Number 9, I owe no man. I do owe a woman though, and Sallie Mae is a stalker.
I opened the door to my bad practices and it is up to me to shut it. I am adding more to my Roth IRA and adding more to my savings. I am learning to pay myself first and only buy what I need.
What I learned about money today: If I go to the grocery store with cash, I am more mindful of what I spend. I actually bought food for the week and left the store with $20.

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I’ll Buy That for a Dollar!

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Next June will mark my 22nd wedding anniversary. Hubby and I are planning a really cool vacation and I plan to fully enjoy myself without cumbersome worries of how are we going to eat when we get back from this lovely little trip. I have begun to save large chunks which mean there is little room left for play money. I thereby had to put myself on a cash diet. I can only use my credit card or debit card for emergencies. This past week I have truly learned the value of a dollar. I have also learned that there are something’s that I will not buy, not even for a dollar!

As I previously stated in one of my early post, I have begun to coupon. I am now a step below extreme couponing and hovering around extreme value shopping. I have become, what I consider, to be very clever. I am recycling everything from pieces of left over roast, which are transformed into taco night, or in this weather, a hearty stew. The stews are great to also use up the leftover peas and carrots in the fridge. I am even stocking up the pantry and deep freezer. Let me tell you how.

As I was leaving the house to start my bargain shopping, I noticed the planters on the front porch needed fall plants. Normally, by this time, I would have added some Mums, but I wanted to stretch what I have until it is time to put in the Icicle Pansies. I head over to my friendly neighborhood Lowes. Instead of shopping in the front, I head to the rear of the garden center to THAT rack. Yes, the rack of shelves with sad, lonely, and deserted plants. I have found the ones on the ends are the healthiest and easy to revive. I picked up two hanging Tahitian Bridal Veils for $1 each. They need to be repotted so next I head to Roses. Instead of purchasing the name brand bags of potting soil for five bucks, I opt for the local no name bags for $1. Hey, it’s dirt. I am going to add some plant food when I repot them anyway. Now it’s time to get really busy.

I am headed to the buy one get one sale at Food Lion. I have already added the sale coupons to my MVP card buy downloading the digital coupons to my frequent shopper cards. The hard copy of manufacturer coupons in hand, I have a $1 off of two boxes of Cheerios, which just happen to be on sale for buy one get one. Armed with my sale ad in hand, I pick up bags of chicken breast, shrimp, Doritos, and a large 39 oz container of coffee. I save $1 on the coffee, which I purchased for $7.99. I am on a roll. I purchased high end ice cream at buy one get one along with high end butter crackers. Zesta Whole Wheat Crackers at buy one get one box is great deal; grabbed two of those.

I load up the mama mobile and make my way to Kroger. They are having a ten for $10 sale. Here, you have to be very careful. Last week, the same store brand vegetables I got for $.88 per bag are now in the 10 for ten sale; this is not good friends. I did pick and choose which items were a good deal for a buck, but Lipton Rice mixes are a dollar anyway, so this is not really a good buy. Staples purchased, I now have my local independent grocer’s ad, or the local IGA. These stores are great for pantry items. There is a five for $5 sale going on so I stock up on two pounds bags of rice, hot sauce, ketchup can goods and dry beans. I also grab a ten pound bag of chicken leg quarters for $6. I do have a freezer safe bags in the trunk for my cold items. These wonderful bags keep food cold for 3 hours.

My last stop is to the local Bakery outlet. Tuesday and Friday’s at the John Derst bakery outlet has bread on sale for $.79. Wheat bread, cinnamon raisin bread, Kaiser Hamburger buns and hot dog rolls are all for $.79; with no buying limits. I have found that you can freeze bread for up to 3 months and when you defrost, it is good as new.

    My pantry is stocked. My fridge and freezer is full and my bank account is not empty. I have a full tank of gas, my hair is done, and I have a few bucks left in my working account for just in cases. I did all of this today, including my hair, for a mere $160.00. It’s okay, you can say, “ooohhhh!” I know I did.

    I must close out now because my new issue of All You arrived in the mail. The cover says there are $94.55 worth of coupons inside. I have work to do.



Quilting and Tough Economic Times

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In tough ecomomic times, butter and eggs were a source of income for many families. Butter and egg money, made from the excess milk from the family’s cows and eggs that could not be consumed, were sold to buy fabric to make children clothes. The scrap pieces of material were sewn together to make extra bedding and balnkets for the cold winter months, pinics, and extra pallets for guests.

This ecomony has impacted us all and I fear the worst is still yet to come, and although we are seeing Americans tighten their belts, and cutback on wasteful spending, women are going back to traditional homemaking. Besides, who wants to pay $4 for a cup of coffee when you can brew your own pot, and have friends over to catch up while creating something beautiful?

The time I used to spend at the spa (deep sigh, tear slowly trickles down the corner of my eye) and weekend getaways with the girls are now spent sitting in my home, and creating hand made items to beautify it.

Although, times have not gotten so tough that I need to buy a cow and purchase some egg laying hens, I do have to tighten my belt and spend wisely on the items that I need. I am starting at t-shirt quilt for my son when he goes off to college, taking his old t-shirts to make it into a quilt of all his past activities, so that he will have a daily remainder of a well spent child hood. This saves me money on fabric , new bedding for his college dorm room, as well as recycling the old t-shirts. I will be sure to share a final picture of the project once it is finished.

Now, tell me what are you doing in these tough times to make a difference in your family’s income?