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Monday Frugal Update

Well...I think we are back to our normal routines and schedules. Whatever that is! We are discovering a new normal with Shali at college, Jordan being very busy at school, and Paige and Dane at a new school. Paige will be starting cross country tomorrow and she is very excited! Since my older two girls were not runners, this is something new for this family, but I think she will be great at it!

Shali is moved in her non air-conditioned dorm room at UNI. It took us two trips - one on Friday and one on Saturday - to get her moved in and everything done, but it was worth it. Getting a kid moved in is not cheap or easy, but we did pretty well. I will blog about that soon!

The downside to the last few weeks was that Jordan's car and my van both broke down. Not easy on the pocketbook even with help. Jordan's car needed new injectors and my van needed a new crankshaft sensor. Unfortunately, my van broke down right after we left to move Shali to college. Fortunately, it broke down right outside of town instead of Cedar Falls or in between!

So what have we done to be frugal...hmmm...

I have gone on a spending fast for the most part. Nothing unless I can completely justify it. I did need a few items of clothing and a new pair of sandals, but I picked up two shirts for work and a pair of sandals on clearance at Kohls with a 15% off discount spending only $20.00. Not too shabby.

I also had to eat out for lunch a few times due to poor pre-planning on my part. I survive on leftovers for my work lunch. I need to find some quick options to get out the door with since I am not much of a cold sandwich type of girl. I think I will be looking into canning some soups this weekend to have on hand.

I got a double batch of granola made for snacking and breakfast. I also made a double batch of yogurt - regular and lactose-free - for breakfast and use in recipes. Shali made two loaves of banana bread using up some bananas that were going bad.

I also got a bucket of laundry detergent made. Smells really good in my kitchen and laundry room right now!

Grandma Anne took the kids school shopping this year for everything they needed for school. This has become a yearly tradition for her and the kids. I love it because the kids have a wonderful day with her, she teaches them to look for the deals, and it takes a huge stress off of my budget. Very much needed this year due to a decrease in child support.

I started to use coupons again. Not extreme couponing or even buying a newspaper though. I usually print them from the internet or find coupon inserts in the recycling bins. We have our pantry to the point that I just replenish it or keep adding to it. My grocery shopping consist of a lot of finding what is on the loss leaders and perishables (milk, produce). So the coupons are helping towards that saving money. I am trying to knock down our grocery budget to $150-$175 a month. Lord willing, it might happen.

I have made the difficult decision to also have the girls pay for their own gas for their car. I don't mind buying the occasional tank full, but what they were using was getting ridiculous. Not sure how this will go, but time for their reality check!

I downloaded a bunch of free books on my Kindle, got a bunch of freebies and coupons in the mail, and signed up for a bunch more!

Like I said, we just have trying not to spend money so frugality has been just using what we have at home and buying only what we need. Not a bad strategy!

Thanks for reading!
Erica

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