Friday, November 3, 2017

It's Fabulous Frugal Friday!!!

I am so excited because I am off today.  A day with no doctor appointments.  I can do whatever I want whenever I want.  And today I want to share just some very basic fabulous frugalness.   Why you may ask?  Well I will tell you.  Perhaps someone is new to this lifestyle and happens upon my very humble, basic blog. So here goes.  I will share some pics of very basic frugalness.

Firstly-don't spend more than you make.  Sounds easy but for many this is very hard.  If you have to, put that debit card away and live on cash.  Yes I said cash.  It hurts when you see those twenty dollar bills flying out of the ol wallet, doesn't it?   Then go through your bills-is there anything you can eliminate?  Do you need that monthly food subscription or makeup subscription or oh well you know what I mean.  Can you cut back on your cable package or perhaps cut it out entirely?  Now to be honest we have cable but we aren't living above our means, we can afford it.  I daresay that your food bill will be the one line item that you can really attack.  Stop going out to eat, start bringing your lunch to work.  Become that closet FoodNetwork chef you've always aspired to be.  Compare  prices at your local grocery stores.  You may be surprised to see that your favorite grocery store is not the cheapest.  If you have an Aldi or Lidl try them, you may like them.  They do not take coupons and they are totally different from your usual grocery stores but we've grown to love Aldi.  When you do shop, try purchasing the bulk of your items along the perimeter.  That's where you find the produce and meats and dairy and less of the prepackaged foods.  This is not only cheaper but also much healthier.  Don't always assume that bulk is cheaper than smaller sizes.  Compare prices and ounces or pounds.  Buy basics when on sale.  This time of year is great for baking products.  If you have the space and money and time stock up to last you at least a few months.  Make a list of what you need.  Don't wing it.  Trust me, I wing it alot and it is so not worth it.  I, myself, am slowing learning this trick.  If you can stock up, keep up with what you have so it doesn't go to waste.  It's not a good deal if it spoils and you to throw it away.  Am I right about this?  And mostly have fun to see what you can do with a smaller food budget while eating tasty foods.  There are so many websites out there that you can put in what you have and it pops up all kinds of recipes. 

Try cheaper cleaning and personal care products.  Vinegar can be your best friend.  And no your home won't smell like a salad bar when you are finished.  If you are an essential oil lover just put a few drops in your vinegar and water.  Voila!  Some bloggers out there like Rhonda Hetzel, an amazing blogger from either Australia or New Zealand (I can never remember) makes alot of her own products.  Her blog is called down to earth.  For me, I find products that don't make my allergies act up and stick with them.  Witch hazel can replace a more expensive facial toner.  If you are a true devotee of Bath and Body Works shower gels then please stay with them when they have their semi annual sales and simply stock up.  It may seem ridiculous to have a closet full of body wash but it will pay off in the end.  Why pay $10 or more for a bottle when you can get them for $3?  Just budget for it and have the cash ready to go when the sale hits.

Speaking of budgeting, here are some ideas that may be helpful.  If you have a car you know you will have to pay the taxes for it once a year.  Divide that amount by 12 and save it.  You can do this with all kinds of categories.  Christmas?  Hmm it's always in December, it should never come as a surprise and for sure it's not an emergency so put away that credit card,  Save some money each month and you will have the money you need when it rolls around.  Do the same for vacation, birthdays etc.   You get the idea.  Really there are few true emergencies.  Medical yes by all means!  Your kid's birthdays?  Nope!  Your car blows up?  Yes and no.  At the time it happens yep it is an emergency because you didn't think it was going to happen but no because you've been putting a designated amount aside each month for emergency.  This is called an emergency fund.  Murphy happens folks.  Always be aware of this.  Every little bit you can shave off of your regular monthly expenses can be put into this emergency fund.  $25.00 doesn't sound like much, but if you start small, this will eventually get easier and your budget will develop more wiggle room and then you can increase your saving. 

If you have benefits with your job like insurance, take advantage of them.  We have dental insurance so we go twice a year for cleanings.  If you don't have insurance ask your dentist if they will accept a smaller payment if made in cash.  Maintaining tooth health now will pay off down the road.

These are just a few suggestions to help you  on your way in this thing called life.  There is no perfect frugal way.  We all have to mold our frugalness around our lives and needs. 

The soap is on a soap catcher.  This keeps your soap out of water so it won't disentegrate and get mushy.  Notice the smaller pieces on top.  Mashed an old bar on top.  Easy peasy.  Suave and Herbal Essences are really affordable products.

This is my hair on Suave.  I think it looks pretty good.  Tell me truthfully.  Can you tell I don't us a $30 bottle of shampoo?
Cut open those tubes!  Look at how much toothpaste is left even when you think you've used it all!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Woe is Me I Caved

I turned on the heat for about 1 1/2 hours.  It was so cold in the house when I got home from work.  I just turned it on to take the chill out of the air.  It's bad enough that it's like a freezer in the morning but I can jump in the shower and get the bathroom nice and warm while I get dressed.  Last night the sheets on our bed were stone cold when I got in it.  BRRR.

What do you do to save on heat?  I've got to be honest-we use the air conditioner ALOT in spring and summer.  Frugality goes out the door when it is about 100 degrees with almost 100 percent humidity.  Nope, not gonna sit in my house and burn up.  To me it seems easier to warm up rather than cooling off?  What say you?

Image result for turning on the heat

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Not a Frugal Weekend

I got a haircut on Saturday.  It's been close to 2 years since I had a haircut.  I had my bangs trimmed back some months ago but an honest to goodness haircut was a long time ago.  I decided that I wanted to let my hair grow long again.  It takes a very long time to do this and there were so many times I wanted to say heck with this let's cut it.  I persevered and it got pretty long.  I liked putting it up in a pony tail but that pretty much was the only thing I liked.  My hair gets curly the longer it gets.  Pretty much the opposite of normal people.  These curls would get frizzy and required too much time to dry.  Being that I am really trying to simplify-shorter hair makes more sense to me.  It's very easy to dry.  Takes no time at all.  But saying that now I have the monthly expense of a haircut.  I've decided it is worth it to me because I look better and younger and I feel better.  So this will go back into the ole budget.  I know some folks may say to go a salon school but I've done that in the past and I wasn't exactly pleased with it.

Today has been an odd weather day.  It started off quite humid as we went to the 8:00 service this morning.  Then it got really warm, then rain, then sunny, then rain again.  Crazy I tell ya, crazy.

We had a really good lunch-london broil in the crock pot with green bean casserole.  It was pretty good.  The london broil was very easy to cut with our forks but it tasted a bit bland.  We need to beef it up next time with some kind of spices.

I'm so glad that Hallmark has started their Christmas movies this weekend.  I am a sucker for those sappy things.  They just make me feel good and make me wish I lived in one of their small cozy little towns.

Monday, October 16, 2017

An Easy Way to Save Money

Do you perform the repairs and/or maintenance on your home or do you hire someone else to do them?  For us it really depends on the repair/maintenance.  My husband is no Bob Vila but he can do many things around the house that saves us big bucks.  Take today for instance.  He cleaned out our gutters.  We have a two story home so this activity can be a bit on the dangerous side but he always does a great job!' I figure that this bit of self maintenance easily saved us $50.00 or more dollars. 

What do you do around the home instead of hiring a professional?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Where Have I Been and Debt Update

Well mostly I've been here in Central NC working for a living and looking forward to the day that we are debt free.  Being debt free will bring that freedom that I've spoken of in the past.  My ultimate freedom would be done with full time work.  I so look forward to that day and maybe just maybe it is closer to coming to fruition. 

Since early September, we've attended football games in Boone, NC to watch our alma mater.  This is not exactly a frugal hobby but one we do save for.  Last weekend we traveled to Chapel Hill to watch our beloved Notre Dame play against Carolina.  Now my brother graduated from Carolina so it could be a bit dicey but I pulled for the Irish and they won!!  Yay!!

We also went to the International Bluegrass Festival in Raleigh a couple of weekends ago.  I'm not exactly a bluegrass aficianado but it was fun and it could be as frugal or as expensive as you wanted it to be. 

Our church, along with other Missouri Synod congregations, will be having a huge 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in early November so that will be really cool to be a part of.  Both the hubster and I have signed up to help.

now for the drumroll...............................Our car loan is at $4917 and some change.  This is a huge difference from the last time I posted.  Our savings are growing as well.  Nowhere near the point they need to be but getting there.

I'm getting a lot of encouragement from Frugalwoods, Frugalqueen and Cait Flanders as well as several vloggers in the Youtube world. 

So what have ya'll been doing?  Any fun things?  Trying out new stuff?

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Prepping and the Solar Eclipse

Imagine my surprise when I saw an article online where local officials in Idaho were advising residents to prep.  Be prepared.  Be prepared for shortages.  What you talking about Willis?  Well so many out of towners are flocking to these states that officials are expecting shortages of food, water, gas and even the possibility of grids going down due to huge demands.  I was shocked to see a line of traffic on the interstate.  Completely stopped bumper to bumper.  All I can say is wow.  I have to be at my desk in the cubefarm so I won't be able to "see" it.  But all of this talk makes me wonder-will our computers work?  I think so and I sure hope so.  But mostly this makes me think that being prepared is a good thing and not just for some cataclysmic event that will bring down nations.  I mean, emergency funds are being prepared.  Full tanks of gas are being prepared.  Having enough bathroom tissue is being prepared.  It doesn't have to mean having enough food to feed your family plus your neighborhood for months on end but if that is where you feel comfortable go for it.  Just don't go into debt doing it.

What will you be doing during the eclipse and where will you be?

Image result for solar eclipse

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Cleaning Supplies

Okay master frugalistas out there.  What are your tried and true really good cleaning products?  I'm on the fence with vinegar and water.  I don't know, something about it just doesn't do it for me.  It's not the scent because I do add essential oils.  It just doesn't seem clean.  I know I know I'm coo coo for cocoa puffs but we all have our little ways now don't we?

Do you buy or make your cleaning products?  If you buy them do you use name brand or generic?  I know that CTMom buys some from the Dollar Tree.  I did buy some of the automatic dish washer detergent from the Dollar Tree and I have to say it did a good job.

Image result for cleaning products