Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday Frugal Update

This week has been a snowy, warm, rainy, windy, blizzarding, snowy two weeks. I was home for almost two days the first week because of the snow and wind so I saved some money on gas and, since I have vacation, I will still get paid for those days. We lost power for about nine hours on that Thursday night in addition to the flickering on power for four hours before that. I would like to think I saved money on electricity since I shut everything down when the power started flickering.

The second week was very slow here on the blog and at home. I fell on the ice, flat on my back, before playing volleyball. I went ahead and played volleyball anyway because I didn't really hurt that bad. I got home that night and by the time I went to bed, I was in a lot of pain. I have used the heating pad and sat in the recliner most nights since then and went to the chiropractor Saturday morning. I felt pretty good after that, but I starting having some pain again Monday night and a bit this morning. It is manageable though so that is good.

The other excitement at our house is this:

Paige trying to hold Holly for a picture!

Her name is Holly and she is a 6 month old black lab. She is adorable, very wiggly, likes to cuddle, and very hard to get a picture of! We are already in love with her! I can't wait to start making treats for her!

I am still in sticker shock from the electrical bill two weeks ago! I have been very diligent in shutting down the computers at night and not turning them back on until we are home from work and school again. I have been using my slow cooker more since it takes less electricity than the oven. We have also been using lamps instead of overhead lights for reading and playing. I have also been the light dictator and making sure lights get shut off when people leave the room. My kids are awful about that! We are still drying clothes using the clothing rack and keeping the thermostat at 66 degrees. Microwave is unplugged when not in use.

Dane's school backpack broke again and rendered itself impossible to fix. I keep the kids' old backpacks in a suitcase in the closet just for this purpose! Shali had an old black unisex backpack that she wasn't using anymore. Dane liked it and is now using it! Keep your old, but serviceable things! You never know when you or your kids might need them.

We ate at home this week and last week. Yeah! I started using a loose version of a menu plan again which is helping a lot. I write down 6-7 meals for the week and pick from one depending on the time we have to make the meal. This has been a sanity saver. I also made two loaves of bread this week.

One thing I am trying is to get dinner prep done for the week on Sunday or Monday nights. Last night before my back flared up, I made pizza crusts for tonight's supper. Tonight I want to get pie crust made for chicken pot pie as well  as getting carrots and potatoes chopped up for Thursday's supper. I also want to brown a pound of ground beef and ground pork for chili for Wednesday's supper. Friday's supper will be bone-in chicken breasts (on sale for 99 cents a pound) that I will slow cook all day and serve with roasted vegetables. Friday night I will make two pans of lasagna to take to my mom's for Shali's birthday Saturday at noon. A lot of cooking this week!

Since I have my tax refund, I have been taking advantage of some sales and restocking the house again. I did this last year and it was a huge help over the year! Since we tend towards natural, traditional (from-scratch) cooking and natural cleaners, it is nice to have the essentials on hand to be able to do that. I have picked up four pounds of cranberries for $17.99, six containers of laundry detergent for $27.44 total, and some other things from Vitacost.

I also picked some things to help with the electrical usage in the house. I got this solar battery charger for AA and AAA batteries. I love how this works, but I want to try it on Wii batteries to see if it does those too. I also got some mini USB car chargers to charge things in the vehicles while traveling instead of charging them in the house. I was a little hesitate because the description made them sound like they were for only Apple products, but they work for anything that has an USB cord. I know these are just a few small things, but the small things make a big difference over time.

I am also vehicle shopping right now. Let me say this straight: I do not like to shop for a vehicle. I know what I want in a vehicle, just not what kind of vehicle I want. I will be flexible on that and let the deals speak to me. I will be trading my mini van in since it is starting to have small little issues almost monthly. I do not want a vehicle with a mileage over 100,000, but I have to be careful on the age of the vehicle. Since the road departments use salt on the roads, the salt really does a number underneath the vehicles. Think a lot of rust and metal corrosion. That makes for more repairs which is what has happened to my van and continues to happen to my van.

Other than that, not a lot of money being spent and just trying to save what I can. I need to do my budget for the month and I want to start tracking my purchases a bit better including what is spent for groceries, pet food, and household goods.

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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