Monday Frugal Update

Wow, again, time flies. I should just make this a monthly update, but that is asking a lot of my memory. I had to write down what I have done this last month and I know I am forgetting things we have done!

This has been a pretty good month all in all. We have been trying really hard to keep the budget on track and expenses way down. I also have been trying to be much more creative with what I have and making more from scratch. We had some miracles occur in the way of extra money for Christmas shopping along with the Christmas bonus I received from work. I am thrilled with the fact that we did not go into any debt for Christmas shopping this year!

So without any further ado, let's get onto the list of things we did...

I made two Christmas presents/stocking stuffers. I will post more about them this week.

I made homemade shampoo. I am still getting used to it and may have to make an adjustment or two.

I picked up some post-Christmas items at Kmart. I spent $6, saved $18 with a combination of store points and markdowns. 

We did no grocery shopping for almost two weeks. That has to be a record at this house! However, I did get groceries last Monday and spent $29. I was able to get 2-8# bags of apples on clearance for 99 cents each and two packages of smoked sausage for $1.50 each on clearance. Yeah! I also stopped at the store for 99 cent eggs and some personal items on Thursday. 

I have been doing a lot of projects and purging of items that I had sitting in my room and the basement. So nice to have those things done! We replaced 5 out of 8 lights in Dane's room. I also hung up a sign I got a few months ago. I filled a multiple picture frame that my mom got me last Christmas and hung that up in the front entryway. I sorted through and now have a huge pile of stuff that needs to go to the thrift store this week!

I have decided to quit selling books on Ebay or anywhere else for that matter. I will get rid of what I have, but the income it was providing was not covering the work I was putting into it. Plus I have had some really bad experiences with buyers that I am just not in a mood to deal with that anymore.

I gave three bags of Dane's old clothes and shoes to a friend for her boys. I also went through our pet supplies and gave them some of our dog things. 

I decided not to renew my local newspaper subscription, thus saving me $54 a year. I will miss it because I do read it every time it comes. However, I can buy a copy or read it at a friend's house I want to. 

I also decided not to renew my subscription to a food magazine I receive. That would cost $21 a year and I just can't justify that when I can get so many magazines for free. 

I made an Orange Clove Honey Syrup for sore throats that have been occuring around here as well as an immunity booster. I have been adding it to my tea in the mornings and it is quite delicious!

I bought a Christmas tree bag that will be big enough to hold a big one and small one. Our old ripped and the zipper gave out after having six years. I got a new one from Amazon for $9 after using a $5 gift card I earned from Swagbucks and free shipping for using Amazon Prime. 

I cleaned out the dryer using a dryer kit similar to this one. I really think they help a dryer last longer and prevent dryer fires!

We did eat out twice. Both times were a conscious decision and were made better by eating with family and friends! Otherwise, we cooked at home. I have been going through our food storage and trying to use up what is about to expire so meals have been planned around that. We have also been eating more meat from the freezer in anticipation of getting a half of a beef this spring. 

That is about it for the month. Quite a list!

Last time this is what I wanted to get done:
1. Get Paige's birthday present finished.
2. Figure out what I bought for stockings, fill them, and get the bought presents this week wrapped.
3. Finish shopping on Saturday. Actually it was the following Monday night, but it got done!
4. Make bread and some Christmas goodies.
5. Finish Shali's one closet and Jordan's closet to get to the Christmas stuff.
6. Write two blog posts.
7. Get Shali's bed vacuumed and bedding washed before she gets home. Now that she is gone, maybe...
8. Find my camcorder.
9. Scrub kitchen floor. And it needs to be done again!
10. Clean up laundry room. Almost done!

This week I would like to get done:
1. Drop off a load at the thrift store (hopefully, two loads!)
2. Recycling to the recycling bins
3. Scrub kitchen and dining room floors
4. Scrub both showers and bathtub
5. Write 2-3 blog posts
6. Put away Christmas stuff
7. Clean and declutter Paige's room
8. Find my camcorder
9. Finish cleaning laundry room
10. Clean and declutter Dane's room
11. Get rid of old sewing machine and table. 

Rather ambitious list, but I am in the mood to get it done. I may lift my caffeine ban to do it, but it needs to be done!

Thanks for reading!
Erica

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