Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Where have I been and it's my birthday and Election Day!!

so where have I been? Here just not blogging. I don't think anyone reads me so I figured why bother but................I am going to TRY to be better and write better so more people will read. It's my birthday-yep 51 years young and it is Election Day!! So go vote!! I took today off. I have to go to Target to pick up a few items and think I will make the drive to Aldi to see what's happening.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

No Spend Challenge

Stop Spending for a Year?` - YouTube

No Spend Challenge

today I found an article and youtube video of a lady and her family who went on a No Spend Year. Can you do that? And if so..........what falls in the categories on what's okay to buy? I think theirs was if it was consumable or depletable. New undies was okay. After my doctor appointment today, I've decided I really do NEED to start some kind of exercise program. I have to undergo an epidural steroid injection for a bulging disk. I'd like this to only happen once. He mentioned exercise but I have to be very careful of what I do. Nothing too taxing. So.............this expense will go on top of the hospital bill from July. I really need to go on a spending fast and NOW!! How long? A week, month, year? Can I really do this? I love love love magazines, books. Now I do have enough books to last a very long time. I use name brand skin care, Mary Kay. Would that be allowed? I guess so since I'd be making the rules. The family I mentioned stopped using cotton balls and started using the cotton that is in medicine bottles. Would I go THAT far? I don't know but I don't see the harm in cotton balls. What do you think? Oh goodness! I know I need to do this but I also know my dh will NOT be on board. He doesn't really spend that much so I'm sure he won't see the need for him to do it. Anyone out there have this kind of situation at home?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Saving vs paying off debt

The old wisdom was to pay off debt as quickly as possible. In fact, Dave Ramsey says to quickly save $1000.00 then hit the debt and don't look back. Trouble is $1000.00 really isn't that much money when you think about it. Now I read where some financial gurus suggest paying the minimum on debts and putting as much in savings as possible. Our credit scores won't help if we are losing our homes or the folks call your phone hounding you to pay your bills. Where do you stand on this topic? Right now, we only have a car and house payment, no consumer debt. I'd like to keep it that way. My dh is great with money, me not so much. I am a work in progress. I see where some of the bloggers I read go to cool conferences like Fincon etc..........I would love to do that one day.

Frugal Beauty

So here is my basic beauty plan. I usually use Mary Kay for skin care. I alternate foundations as I have a gazillion to choose from. Right now I am using a Maybelline minerls foundation but still use the Maybelline mascara and if I wear blush I will use either this Lancome rose powder or Clinique rose cream blush. I have issues with makeup as in I buy way too much for the little I actually wear. I would use the really cheap stuff if I could find some that didn't bother my skin. I have allergies and asthma. I have to be very careful what I use because I also have very red splotches on my face. Maybe it is Rosacea but I'm not sure. Anyhoo..........like I said I have to be careful what I use. I think being frugal is not just using the cheapest items you can find but using the best quality you can afford and I can afford what I am using right now. Now.........if one of us lost our job that would be a different story but for now I will continue with these. Now on to confession time. My frugality has been HORRIBLE, can I say HORRIBLE. I've got to get on the gravy train to saving and spending wisely.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Tasty and frugal lasagna

DH made some delicious lasagna today. We will get 12 servings out of it so that means multiple meals, which means it is frugal because it keeps us out of restaurants.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

One of my fave bloggers out there out of Monroe Michigan

Family birthday dinner on a budget

The Path to Frugality: Drought 2012 - The News Isn't Good

The Path to Frugality: Drought 2012 - The News Isn't Good: In 2007 to 2008 we experienced our first “Rainy Day” in a long time in this country.   It came in the form of a profoundly severe ec...

Jim Rogers: Its Going To Get Really Bad After The Next Election

Jim Rogers: Its Going To Get Really Bad After The Next Election

Upcoming medical expenses

well.............I am going to have some upcoming medical expenses that I did not expect. This will be on top of the bills from July that had me in the hospital overnight for chest pains. I am on a payment plan for the hospital bill. Now I have to endure a lower lumbar MRI for excruciating lower back pain that goes down my left leg in burning searing pain and numbness in my upper right leg. After all these years I really should have enough money to pay for these expenses but alas, not being responsible has a bigger impact than you'd think. I read an article yesterday, if I can find it I will share here. Anyhoo it states that after the upcoming election the economy is going to tank in a major way and that people have to get their head out of the sand and start getting prepared now. What do ya'll think?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Saunders: Y'all politicians be careful tryin' to talk like us - Saunders - NewsObserver.com

Saunders: Y'all politicians be careful tryin' to talk like us - Saunders - NewsObserver.com

Pray for my mother in law

She is very sick in the hospital. We've been told it can go either way. So we are packing up to leave. It is sad when you have to pack funeral clothes just in case. I have faith in God that HIS will will be done. I just don't know what that is right now.

Keurig Vue Partay!!

So I've applied to have a Keurig Vue party. As you can tell we have a regular Keurig and really love it. I like how it brews one cup at a time and each person gets their own fave flavor. When I saw the commercials for the Vue I wanted one but couldn't justify the cost since our regular one works just fine. I hope I get picked to host a pary. I will keep you updated.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Social Security not deal it once was for workers - Wire - NewsObserver.com

Social Security not deal it once was for workers - Wire - NewsObserver.com I am 50 years old. Something tells me that Social Security really won't be helping me either. So what is someone in my stage of life supposed to do? Well one thing for sure is to be careful with our money. Plus also realize that I am in God's hand. Now saying that does not mean that I am to do nothing. I think that would be unwise because there are tons of scriptures that tell of how we are to be wise stewards. But I also realize that according to the so called experts, there really is never enough money to be comfortable in retirement. For me, I do not enjoy working fulltime. However, we couln't make it if I didn't. Well..........maybe we could but I just don't see it. Every pay day I say to myself that I am going to do this or that, save this amount of $$. I don't know what is going to have to happen to open my eyes. I hope nothing like a disaster has to happen.

Supporting my local State Farmer's Market

So after church we stopped by the NC State Farmer's Market where I bought 2 red bell peppers and the BEST salsa in the world. By far, not the cheapes but I am supporting NC farmers and the taste!!!!! Well that just can't be beat.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

gone awall for awhile

whew!!!!! I've been gone for a few days, haven't I? I've had an issue with bad back pain but mostly just plain lazy. My frugal simple living plan has not gone the way I'd like it to. Oh well.........got to get back in the saddle, so to speak. I did go to Food Lion and bought a few items that were on sale, not rock bottom prices but they were on sale. My husband is diabetic so he really enjoys those sugar free pudding packs, you know the ones @ 4 for $1. Well I had a $2 coupon to buy 10. So i got 10 packs for $8. Also cleaned out a cabinet and pantry and took extra similar items to a very small "pantry" space in our 3rd bedroom. I'm trying to keep the kitchen cabinets/pantry more organized while building a small stockpile. Say anyone seen peanut butter at a good price? Best I've seen without coupons for an 18 oz jar is $2.50.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

sad but true

we don't have a clothesline. I have bad pollen allergies and here in NC that is a bad thing. Some days everything is yellow yellow yellow. I do hang a lot of my clothes on a rack but they don't have that feeling, ya know what I mean?

Urban farm engages children in Garner - Wake County - NewsObserver.com

http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/travel/video/11329878 We currently do not have a garden. I have planted a few items in years past mostly to no good. Reading so many articles about the upcoming economic problems has me reconsidering this. Some of my favorite bloggers like thyhandhathprovided and simplyliving have really great gardens and they freeze/can the produce, make all kinds of jellies/jams, butter etc............. I have none of these skills though.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I love hockey

Just trying to see if I can do this. This is my hobby!! This is my other sports hobby!! Appalachian State Mountaineer Football

Yes I use paper towels and I love it!!

Yes! There I said it and I'm not ashamed of it. LOL. I know I am breaking all of the frugal/simple living rules but I can't help it. I use them. My husband does not like cloth napkins and I just find them so darn easy and helpful. So just shoot me or report to the frugal police.
I guess if push came to shove and I had to really really watch every single penny that I spent then I would use cloth napkins and cloths for everything, but until that time comes, if it does, then I will continue to use my paper towels. I've been on a stockpiling kick this week. I know I have not gotten the best of best in terms of prices but.................I keep reading where some experts are saying that the US is going to have another recession. One gentleman said he felt that this one will make 2008 look good. He says it is going to be really bad. That means prices will go up up up and most likely more job losses. No one is guaranteed a job in those circumstances. So I am stocking up while I do have the $$ even if they aren't rock bottom prices. I read a blog called simply living, Kris rocks when it comes to simple living. I doubt if there is anyone out there who can do what she does. And......right now, she is unemployed as she lost her job within the last few days. A few years back she felt a calling from the Lord to stock up food and necessary supplies in her time of plenty to be able to use and share in a time of want. Read her blog, her time of "plenty" would be a time of want for most of us yet it is amazing at what she has accumulated in her pantries. She is one canning machine. She is, I guess what you'd call a prepper. Anyhoo, I don't know if I will ever can but I can stock pile items from the grocery store. So to the one person who reads my blog, what are your "paper towels'? those items that the frugalites out there would gnash their teeth when they found out?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Out and about on Saturday

went to Highland United Methodist Church to look at their garden. It is so very pretty, I really love.
I don't know where the produce goes. Maybe to fellow parishoners or to food banks but it is a great garden. I have not been frugal at all the last few days. Do any of you ever have those times when you may not be spending a lot but you are not keeping up with your spending either. I need to get on the wagon. I need to be more like Kris on one of my fave blogs. She rocks/

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Ho Hum

not much going on here in G'town. Been hot as blazes but thank you Lord, it has started to cool off. Getting thunder storms with the cold fronts but that beats 106 degrees. I hate to see our electric bill. I refuse to burn up in the summer or freeze in the winter. Having a/c is a must here in the south. Don't remember if I mentioned it but a couple of weeks ago I spent less than 24 hours in the hospital with chest pains. I got an EOB in the mail the other day and so far it looks like I will owe around 1500.00 for the hospital not counting the labs, xray etc..................I am so very thankful for health insurance. I still will need to have a payment plan because I am just now starting this frugal journey and I don't have enough to cover it.................the hits just keep on coming.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Today's Gospel lesson

from Mark 6:1-13 starting @ verse 7-Calling the twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: take nothing for the journey except a staff, no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them. They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. What does it mean to take nothing for the journey? Maybe nothing extra but to depend on the goodness of God through his children? If that is indeed the meaning then how often have we extended hospitality to others at our homes? Or how many people had the shake the dust off their feet because we did not welcome them or listen to them? Really gives me something to think about.

Ramblings

What do you do on Sundays? We USUALLY go to church, although sometimes I have to admit we don't make it. Right now we are going to a class on Tuesday nights that go over what our denomination believes/teaches and practices. Why, you may ask? Well................although Christian denoms boil down to the same thing that Jesus Chris is the Son of God, he was crucified on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead................there are some differences in the doctrine. I've always felt we should know these things. It would not be good to realize that you totally disagree with a denom on certain subjects. In my opinion and it is just MY OPINION, so please no flaming arrows.........too many people join organizations and churches and don't really know much about them. Just like they support politicians without researching them. Just because someone is in your preferred party does not automatically make them a good and worthwhile choice. Having said all of this, I will be upfront. I am conservative in my faith and politics. I can't nor want to separate the two. Although I respect the office of the president, I am not happy at all with President Obama. I tried to hold on to some glimmer of hope after the 2008 election that he'd be a wise and prudent man but alas that has not happened. I could go on and on but I won't, at least not for now. I will say a couple of things regarding the healthcare bill. I am FOR affordable heathcare for everyone no matter where you work. I don't think ALL companies should be made to offer healthcare because that could really close down some small companies that have just a few employees. I would like to see premiums based on sliding scales compared with salaries. This type of insurance would be your basic plan.. 80 20 plan with a deductible. I would like it to offer yearly physicals at no cost to the consumer and some type of prescription coverage. In the world of healtcare RX pricess are sky high here in the states....how can we send HIV drugs to third world countries for pennies on the dollar yet charge hundreds perhaps thousands here? I am NOT saying to not help the other countries I am simply asking why the increase here. And..........I do not want the government in charge of my/our healthcare. They can't run the agencies they have now what makes us think they can do this? I mean really think of the IRS. Do you want the same people running your heathcare? Do you want someone in Washington to tell you when you are 75 that you are too old to receive the treatment your doctor prescribes? I worked in the industry for about 14 years in various positions. I can tell you that consumers will take advantage of "cheap" anything. At one time, the copays to see the doc was only $5. I can't tell you how many people came to see the doc for really stupid things because it was so cheap. You don't believe me? How about a broken fingernail? Or perhaps the glare from a windsield giving one a headache? These are just 2 examples of reasons why people demanded to see a doc when their copay was only $5. If they had to pay more, I think they would reconsider. And what makes it worse it these appt times should have gone to patients who really needed them. Plus I don't think the healtcare will be "cheap". We all will pay for it in higher taxes etc..........so although your premium and/or copay may be affordable, you will still be paying for it in other ways. The one thing I agree with is coverage of pre existing conditions. Well I've got to go get ready for church. What do ya'll think? Remember, if you respond be nice, don't flame. This isn't Face the Nation.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Frugal Beauty, is there such a thing?

ok................I have to confess I love make up but really don't wear much. Some days I wear none at all but other days my "full" face includes foundation and blush. Sometimes I have on eye shadow and mascara but a lot of days I don't. I don't have a complicated beauty routine. I use Mary Kay cleanser and moisturizer. Sometimes I use an apricot scrub to get my skin smooth as a baby's.............well you know. My shampoo/conditioner routine varies greatly from Pantene to Suave to salon brand. I've read where some ladies have gone to the "no poo" method, meaning no shampoo at all but rather use a mixture of baking soda and water. I have not tried that and to be honest I have no idea if I ever will. I use either Dove bars or body wash to clean my very large bodacious body. LOL. Now I really don't have a large stockpile of any of these items. I have to work on that. I use Curel body moisturizer. I've found it is the best for me. I've tried various brands from cheap to expensive(Suave to Kiehl's) but Curel is overall the best for me. I was glad to see that the dermatologist I visited a fews months back has it on his list of good moisturizers to try. I know that many ladies use all natural green products but I can't afford to go that method. So..........what do ya'll do? What products do you use? Anything you'd have to have if you standed on an island? Oh I forgot to mention I have very sensitive skin and asthma. I can't use alot of Bath and Body Works shower gels because they make me itch and wheeze. So ladies where do fall on the frugal beauty spectrum?

This is not a frugal meal

After two annoying days at work, we went to On The Border last night. OTB is one of my fave restaurants. I love their chips. I know I probably broke all the frugal rules but the last two days were very stressful and I just had to do something that required no thinking at all. Hey the good part is after we went to Barnes and Noble and I bought NOTHING!! That is a major miracle for me!!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Does Being Unorganized Cost Money?

Here are some pics one is my freezer and one is my pantry. Look at how unorganized I am. So yes it has cost me money. I bought things before only to find I already had the product or how about this one--I've had to throw away items because they were way out of date. And by way out of date I mean WAY out of date!! I wish I could take a few days off of work to take everything out and document what we have but alas that can't happen right now. So I will have to do the best I can with the hours I have available to me right now.
Some of the blogs I follow have detailed pantry/freezer lists and loads of space to stockpile. One in particular, has about as much space as I do which isn't much at all. I really don't have an extra closet to use either. Since my space is so limited I have to do a better job of keeping it organized and up to date. We do not have an extra freezer. What you see is what you get. This can make it really hard to take advantage of good sales because I have no room to put it. I don't have family in the area either so I can't ask someone else if I can use some of their space. Oh well......I have a lot to start to work on and it is going to take a long time. Let's see........I need to get coupons and pantry/freezer organized. Need to get rid of clutter all over the house. Now here is one thing I have done that I hope will curb our grocery spending. I went to Kroger and bought a Kroger gift card for $100.00. If that runs out before next pay day oh well......I used to use the envelope method, you know put $$ in an envelope but I found I was robbing that envelope for other reasons. If I use my debit card I will spend more than what I want and we all know that if we use credit cards we will buy way way too much. Hopefully this method will work.

Could you live on a food stamp budget?

Have any of you ever heard of the food stamp challenge? If not, basically you live on the amount of money your states allows for families of your size who participate in the food stamp program. Some just pick a random number....say $25 a person per week. All food you eat that week has to come out of this money. ALL meals, snacks, drinks etc.........Some people are quite good at it while others bomb after 2 days. Some frugal bloggers laugh at such and say they've been eating on less for longer and they feel no pain AND they have wonderful meals. What about you? Have you done this? Do you currently eat on this type of budget anyways? I think a big problem for many is the food that provides the least nutrition also costs the least. I know, I know that we should be shopping the perimeter anyways but bear with me. Many, not all, buy the most food they can get for the money. Nutrition doesn't always a player in the game. And...I don't know about your area but we rarely have coupons for fresh produce. We do a lot of shopping at Kroger and periodically we do get Kroger coupons for fresh produce but then it is only a 50 cent one. I have issues with being creative and that is a crucial part of the equation when you have limited funds but still want to have tasty frugal meals. I am not that girl who can throw something together and voila! it is great. In fact, I think I may qualify the show, The Worst Cooks. And did I mention that according to many who participate in these challenges, you can't eat out OR accept food from family and friends? I've never tried this but have given it alot of thought.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

what constitutes enough?

I don't know about you, but I struggle with the question what is enough? When have I reached the point that I don't need anymore purses, clothes, shoes, cars, makeup etc...........? And how do I decide this? How does frugality play into this? Some would say that simple living is more in line with "enoughness" because even frugalites can have tons of stuff they just didn't pay much for it!!! LOL Retirement money? Some say we need millions while my dh knows a couple that live really simply-same house, reliable small cars-so that they don't need as much as the so called experts say. Stockpiling food and sundry items............I certainly can't tell someone they have enough because I think that is for them to decide but............I do think our attempts to reach enough can also be selfish if we don't share out of our abundance with those who lack. If I have 4 month stockpile of food and I know my next door neighbor is really going through a hard time, I'd like to think I would extend hospitality to them. I can't right now because I don't have a stockpile of any kind but would like to at some point. I guess this is a topic that can discussed until the cows come home. Just thought I'd throw it out there. Any thoughts?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dry food storage

I need to find some really good plactic buckets to store items such as flour.........I think that mason jars can hold small amounts of things such as rice, beans. You get the idea. A blog I follow deals with stocking up of food on a majorly tiny budget. This woman can sqeeze a quarter from a penny!! You should see the photos of her stockpiling efforts. She rocks. Her blog is krissimplyliving.blogspot.com Check her out!! What are your frugal plans for the 4th?

What a day!!

This is my computer. It died today. Today was not a good day for it die. May we all bow our heads and have a moment of silence.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How do I begin this frugal journey?

Things seem to be so overwhelming right now. Where do I begin? Coupons, cook from scratch,stockpiling, grow a garden are just a few options. I really need to clean out the clutter to see exactly what we have and what we need from there. How much should we allocate for groceries and entertainment? Naturally if we cook more from scratch we need to set aside more money for that. In my dream of dreams, I'd be able to come home..........at least part time. I really have no desire to work fulltime. I don't thrive on stress or workplace politics or having to deal with different personalities. I don't know about you but sometimes you feel like you have to walk on eggshells because just one remark can start a major problem. Sometimes I feel like I should've been born in another era, one many years ago when so much was NOT expected of women. Their main responsibilty was to their family and home. I've had a strong interest in frugality for many many years but really never put it into practice and now I not only do I want to but I feel I need to. People are still losing their jobs. There is talk of the country going into another recession. We meaning my little family, we need to be ready for this. I need to be ready for this as I am the spender. Every month I have all these great ideas on how I am going to do better and BAM!!! I spend. The bad part is I don't really buy big stuff, it is just small stuff. I've tried various things in the past like using cloth napkins but my dh looks at me like I have horns coming out of my head. I've thought about making homemade laundry detergent but that is as far as it has gotten so far. I am going to have a complete makeover, just like on tv except this one isn't just on the surface, it goes much much deeper. To a level that will cause pain but bring blessings as well. Oh.........btw I need to say I am a Christian. I am looking for ways to have a personal ministry of hospitality for starters AND to not have this break the bank. Stay with me as I start a new road, a new path and extreme makeover.

Non frugal grocery purchase

Here is what I bought at Trader Joes today after church. I know I can probably find these items at Kroger or Harris Teeter but we really like the way they taste, so no coupon savings on these items. Do you guys have items that you will buy even if not on sale or you don't have a coupon or they aren't available at a "regular" grocery store?

testing

trying to learn how to upload a pic
Please be patient as I am learning this whole new world of blogging and uploading etc................
There is a blog I want to tell ya'll about. It is thepathtofrugality.blogspot.com It is a wonderful blog written by Martha. Martha found out she was going to lose her job and had about a 9 month notice. She had wanted to be a stay at home mom and wife and felt that this could be her chance to take the leap. She and her husband scrunched the numbers and decided it would be tough BUT doable. They decided to go for it. Her blog is full of wonderful tips, pictures, snippets of life in Iowa. Please go there, it is awesome.

Coupons or no to Coupons-that is the question

Are you an extreme couponer or no couponer? Or perhaps somewhere in the middle? I suspect that most of us are somewhere in the middle. I know I cut my coupons but leave them at home when I need them. So did me a lot of good. We have some coupon friendly stores here such as Kroger and Harris Teeter and Lowes, although I personally am not a big fan of Lowes. Dont' know why, that is just the way it is. I know I get mad when I go to the store and the extremers have cleared the shelves of the items I need. I guess I have to get up at the crack of dawn to beat these people!! If you are couponer, how much on average do you think you save? Do you cook from scratch? If so, does couponing really help? Obviously you don't use a lot of processed goods. I know there are coupons for staples like flour, sugar etc but I can always find those in generic form cheaper. Also........do you coupon on other items as well? Do you buy those Entertainment books that are popular? Have you been able to attend sporting events with the help of coupons? Tell me what you think.

Brand new blog

Okay, so this is my attempt to start a frugal living blog. First, a bit about myself.........neither one of us has been laid off, we don't have a ton of debt (just a car loan and our mortgage). We will have some medical debt here shortly because I was in the hospital overnight last week with chest pain. Thank God, nothing was wrong but I think I just may have angina when the bill arrives. LOL.
Having said all of this...............we are not in good financial shape because the money runs through us just like a colander, just leaving a little bit behind.
We both have steady (at least as far as I know) jobs that offer pretty good benefits but.............if truth be told, I'd rather be a stay at home wife. It is hard for me to handle the day to day pressures at work.
So please bear with me as I start this new adventure because I am NOT tech savvy, have no idea what I am doing or why someone would even care to read what I have to say.