Monday, June 10, 2013

Monday Frugal Update

These last few weeks have been a wonderful experience in being frugal and creative! I have been working harder on doing things from scratch especially food. We have received some wonderful things from moving families that will help us tremendously!

I also have been working hard at my goal of not spending money at the concession stands. I know that this is a double edged sword with some people as the concession stands help the schools and sports. However, I cannot keep spending money like that. Even if I spend only $5.00 a night, we have games almost five nights a week and some weekend tournaments. I am looking at spending $25-30 every week. That does not include the $4-5 to get into the away high school games (we have activity passes for home games). So I could be spending another $10-15 a week. That comes to $35-45 a week. We do this for six weeks so that comes to $210-$270 for the season. Yikes! That is a lot of money!

If you think that is crazy to break down the numbers like that, then that is what I am. To be truly frugal, you have to figure out where your money is going, whether it is working for you, and how to make it work harder for you. Some days are easy, some days require tough decisions, and some days need planning. Always make conscience decisions about your money.

Right now, I am cursing the weather a bit. I would to get more a garden in without having to mud it in. However that is what I am doing. The rain has been just crazy! The weeds are out of control too due to the rain. I will again be employing the newspaper and mulch method to keep the weeds down.

I would also like to hang out laundry and I have not been able to do that either! I use my drying rack as much as possible, but I get more laundry done with hanging it outside. Darn rain.

The plus side is that I am not running the air conditioner nearly as much. We have had to run it on some of the really humid days due to the allergies and hay fever in our house. Still that is better than last summer!

So what have we been doing to stay frugal? Here we go...

1. Rob did some overhauling on Jordan's car. He changed out the non-working radio and back speakers for the old radio and speakers from Shali's old car. He also changed the oil, air filter, serpentine belt, wipers, and headlight on her car as well as used Rain-X on her windshield and side windows. I spent about $90 in parts and he saved me countless hours in labor costs! He also actually enjoyed working on her car! Bonus!

2. I started two bottles of vanilla extract. I am hoping that these will be part of Christmas baskets!

3. I made five loaves of bread, a batch of muffins, ten pints of rhubarb jam, a batch of homemade chocolate larabars, a batch of dried blueberries, a batch of dried apples, a couple batches of MYO oatmeal packets, and froze diced onions and peppers that were on sale for future meals.

4. We only ate dinner out once in the last week and that we were treated to. Lovely!

5. Since getting my new phone, I have been saving money even more. I am now in the smartphone world for a variety of reasons, but the one that has been paying me back is the store coupons. I can search for the store and see if they have any coupons. Most will have a coupon that lets the clerk scan from your phone. Booyah! I saved 50% yesterday at Joann's Fabrics with their online coupon!

6. We have a few things planted in the garden. I am hoping to get more done this week even if I have to mud them in! Right now we have 8 tomato plants, 4 bell pepper plants, 2 rows of potatoes, strawberries, lavender, and mint planted. I am hoping to get to another greenhouse after work today to expand on that.

7. I downloaded a bunch of books for free for my Kindle. Someday I will get to reading them all, but when they are free, I take advantage of them!

8. I also signed up for a bunch of freebies including videos, books, mousepad, temporary tattoos, and samples. I love getting fun mail! And I love FREE!!!

9. I stocked up on ground turkey this week. We could get one pound packages of frozen ground turkey for $1.25 each from Fareway. That is a great price and a great alternative to the very pricey ground beef!

10. I have selling some things, mainly books, on eBay. I had been selling books on Amazon, but I find their cut of the sales to be a little steep and unprofitable for me. eBay is a bit kinder to the sellers.

11. We have received some things from friends that are moving. We have got enough carpet to redo Shali's room, a dehydrator, some crockery, and mason jars. I love it and appreciate it more than I can ever express. Thank you!

12. I picked up some shirts from a garage sale for myself for $1.00 each that barely look worn. I also got a glass loaf pan and a glass 9x13 pan for the kitchen. I have some metal pans I need to re-purpose because their coating is wearing off. I spent $7.00 for those which is way below retail.

13. I picked up a rosemary plant for the house when garden shopping. I love rosemary for cooking with meat and this will be so much cheaper than buying it all the time. If I can keep it alive!

That is all I can think for this last few weeks! That is a lot! I hope to give you inspiration as well as motivation to keep up the frugal life.

In addition, I am going to aim for one project or new thing for the week that will contribute to our frugal life. I will share them with you all every Monday what we are hoping to do. I think this week will either be cheese making or candle making.

Thanks for reading!
Erica

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