Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Frugal and Simple Meal!

I got this idea from Kristen @  French bread pizza!!  Simply slice some French bread, put some sauce on it along with whatever toppings you prefer and cheese.  Put that bad boy in a preheated oven @400 degrees.  Cook about 10-15 minutes and VOILA!!!! Some good tasting pizza. 

I don't know why I've not done this before.  Smack me upside the head!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hard Core Simple Living

I am reading this book again...I also bought the 30 year anniversary version.  It has some excerpts for I guess you'd call more up to date times.

I am finding it refreshing and challenging.  I am not Mennonite and I don't think I know anyone that is.  I'm sure there are folks who will find fault with the writings but I like it and look forward to reading it, highlighting it and incorporating it into MY life.

Today at the Gtown homestead

well for some reason I had a burst of energy when we got home from church!!  So I started to rearrange the pantry and cabinets in the kitchen.  I threw away a ton of stuff that had expired or we simply didn't need it.  After seeing the cabinets and closets of a singlemom it gave me that extra push I need to get rid of extra stuff and junk.

Simplifying can be quite trying and well.........not so simple.  Items I thought I just had to buy are kind of hard to part with but it is such a nice feeling to open a cabinet and not have a gazillion gladware items fall out. 

I've got so much more to do..................I've got to go through clothes that I've outgrown or have not worn in a long time. 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Cold vs Hot Water

Do ya'll do all of the wash in cold water?  I use hot water for underwear, towels and sheets.  For the rest I use cold.  For those who use cold only have you been able to tell a difference?  What about killing germs? 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Would You Do With Raise?

Put all towards debt or save part and the rest to debt?

The only debt we have is 6300 credit line --new air conditioner
And furnace and our mortgage which is a tad over 27000.00

Our savings is woefully short but much better since I've put the
Pedal to the metal.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Frugal Meal

I don't have a picture but tonight we ate great!!  Italian sausages with peppers and onions and get this...........a Monterey jack cheese sauce.  Oh yes I did!!!!!!!! and it was delish and we have enough for a meal tomorrow night.  Probably pasta with sausages, onions, peppers and of course the cheese sauce.  The cheese sauce made it rock!!!

Frugal too because I had a block of Monterey jack pepper cheese along with butter and sour cream plus I had chopped green chiles in the pantry so we did not have to buy anything special.  I'm actually a bit proud, but not too proud being a Lutheran and all, of using what we had on hand to make a tasty delish dish.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My decluttering begins today

I took 2 trash bags full of nice purses:  Vera Bradley, Fossil, Sak and some wallets to a consignment store today.  I should get some good cash for these items.  The biggest plus is they are out of my home.  Now I have some more purses to take to either Goodwill or Salvation Army.  And then I have so much stuff to go through and sort and either throw away or give away.  It's daunting to think about it.  This morning it kind of hit me that all of this just sitting and NOT being used by us is sinful.  I didn't mean to be but it is.  Someone else could use these items and they were just collecting dust and taking up precious room in my home which btw is less than 1500 square feet so we don't have a lot of storage space.   While I am quite pleased with this beginning I am also quite apprehensive about the rest of the stuff.  It is going to take some work and I will have to make some hard decisions on some of them but I want no I need simplicity and the freedom to not be tied down to THINGS or debt.

How about you?  Do you have too much?  Can you have a yard sale, give to charity shops/consignment shops or just plain throw away?  This is just a tee tiny step for me but one that needed to be done.

Hip Hip Hooray!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wednesday Wanderings

Walked 1.07 miles in rather high humidity and I am really tired.  I missed the last 2 days so there goes walking every day for a year but I got back in the saddle today.

Total of 3.52 miles

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Cuts to the Budget if the A/C Can Holdout

Tonight someone comes over to discuss our a/c situation.  Price etc......................I've figured that IF we can holdoff on a new unit until next year we will need to cut $375 from our budget to have the funds saved up.  Is this possible?  Yes.  Will it be easy?  Probably not.  Will we still have some fun kick around money?  I don't know.  If we do it will be very little.  Maybe this is what I need to kickstart me to really save.

Will give update when we know more.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A/C Update

drumroll please!!!!!!!!!!!  They put in Freon (spelled correctly?) because we have a leak.  hmmm.........we already knew that part.  Tomorrow someone will come out to give us estimates on the cost of replacing the A/C versus furnace and A/C.  The repair guy said the furnace looks good so most likely it will be just the A/C.

Total cost today was only $297.  The cost of the A/C will most likely be around 4000-4500.

Stay tuned to The Hot and the Stupid!!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Feel Like a Failure

Our a/c stopped working today.  It is the high 80's and will only get higher as the week progresses.  It is simply too hot here in North Carolina to not have a/c.  We do have 2 box fans in the den right now along with the ceiling fan.  Going. full. blast.  It's actually not too bad but this is not what I want do for days on end. 

Here is why I feel like a failure:  we don't have enough in the emergency fund to cover the replacement of the a/c.  Why don't we get it just repaired?  Because 2 years ago the same thing happened.  We were told it would happen again but they weren't sure when.............Fast forward 2 years and we are at square one and that is I feel like a failure.  It is our fault that we don't have the funds set aside.  I can not blame it on expenses, however we did have quite an expensive year in 2013 with my back surgery.  I can not blame it on the economy.  I can only blame us. No matter how hard I try or how many blogs I read on frugality the plain truth is I spend $$ on things I don't NEED and that HAS to STOP!  Right now! This very minute.  I imagine that a new one will cost at least 6000.00.  And I think that is most likely on the low side. 

I'm not asking anyone to feel sorry for me and I'm also not asking someone to get holier than thou with me on how they would never be in this spot.  I know there are some hard core frugalistas out there who can and do run circles around me.  I'm asking for kindness when responding.   And maybe some prayers for some nice cold Canadian air to come our way for a couple of weeks until this all blows over.  LOL

Sunday Before Church

Went walking before church today.  I walked 1.10 miles.  That makes a total of 2.4 miles for the last 2 days AND I actually walked 2 days in a row!!           The crowd goes wild!!!!!!!!!!!!

I found this bolt in the middle of the street so I picked it up in hopes that it would save a tire for a driver

this empty nest was at the end of my neighbor's driveway

Saturday, July 5, 2014

I need some help with my blog

I'm trying to find out how to put one of those things that shows progress.  It looks like a progress bar.  I don't know what they are called or how to put in on my blog.

Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Are Frugal and Cheap the Same Thing?

Has being cheap actually cost you more in the end?  The answer to that would be yes for me on certain purchases.  Now dh he will buy ANYTHING with the Kroger label.  I'm game for it at least once.  If I don't like it we can always go back to the name brand if we don't like it.  I will admit there are certain items that I am particular about.  Take cheddar cheese.  I grew up eating Cracker Barrel Sharp Cheddar Cheese and really nothing compares to it.  I will buy generic sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese but my cheese of choice is Cracker Barrel. 

Shampoo and/or various hair products.  I'm a fan of the Clear brand.  It's more expensive than Suave but way cheaper than those in salons.  Hairspray.............I like Pantene or Vidal Sassoon  (the type you buy in the stores) .  I've tried the cheaper ones and they don't hold my hair nearly as well.  I find I have to use more to accomplish the same hold in the more expensive products.  So in this case buying the more expensive brand is more FRUGAL in the long run but not CHEAPER.

Are there some products that you won't buy in generic?  Are the some generics that you SWEAR by?  Please share!!

Happy 4th of July Ya'll

Thursday, July 3, 2014

It's Hurricane Season in North Carolina

yet again.  Hurricane Arthur is heading our way.  We live about 2 hours inland but we can still have some major problems.    In 1996 Hurricane Fran hit NC.  When it hit here in Wake County it was still a category 1 hurricane and did MAJOR damage.  In fact Wake County was one of the worst hit areas during that storm.  Our home was damaged pretty bad but still not as bad as some folks.  We had tarps on our roof for about 6 months waiting for it to be repaired.  We needed repairs to the dining room, 2nd bedroom, the entire roof needed replaced and the overhang on our wrap around porch needed repair. 

So are we prepared for this storm?  Not really.................but we will be.  Maybe not for this one but I am getting supplies together to help us in time of need during any type of natural disaster.  You know the usual suspects..........batteries, candles plus a lot of the things I read about in the Survival Mom book.

Are you prepared for a storm and possible damage and/or power outages?

I'm sure I'm speaking to the choir but when storm talk is all you hear on the tv and radio it pays to have your cell phone charged up at all times.  You never know when the power will go out.  Where I work and live we lose power at the drop of a hat.  Does you flashlight have fresh batteries?  Do you have candles available?  What about water?  I know some people are totally against bottled water but trust me that bottled water can come in very handy during bad times. 

A battery operated radio is good to have.  I know you can listen to the radio via smartphones but I prefer to save that battery as much as possible. 
this is NOT my emergency stash but examples of what I do have on hand right now