Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Blog You Need to Visit-Frugalwoods

Recently I found a blog  It's pretty amazing.  A very young couple's desire is to retire in their thirties and to live on a homestead.  Now how about that?  Retire in their thirties.  Now before you go koo koo for coco puffs I know this is not for everyone but it is what they want.

I may not want to be as "extreme' as them but then again what is the definition of extreme?  I mean I know the meaning but the frugal life means different things to different people.  My frugality may not be yours and vice versa.  I think they are pretty awesome and have given me much to think about.

If you have a free moment cruise over to their blog and check them out.  You may be inspired as well.

Kroger and Aldi Rock!

Why? You may ask...........well we went to a different store today and it was a BIG MISTAKE.  We received a $10 off $50 purchase from a rival store in the mail.  It is a beautiful clean well lit store but the prices do NOT compare at all.  I found a few good deals:  my husband uses VO5 in the tube.  Normally it's around $3.59 per tube.  This store had it on close out for $1.99 a tube so I purchased 3 tubes.  DH was like you bought enough didn't you and when I told him the price he was going oh I see.  There really wasn't another good deal that I can think of.

Now I remember why I don't go there that much.  They may offer double coupons but their regular prices more than make up for that.

Unless I find major deals somewhere else I will be a Kroger and Aldi shopper plus throw in a bit of Trader Joe's every once in awhile.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Do You Have a Frugal Luxury?

Is there something you simply won't give up? Something so delicious or comforting that you'll keep in the budget?  One of life's little pleasures?  

I really love Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese. Now I know to some cheese is cheese but I say Whoa Nellie!!  There is a huge difference imho. I will purchase generic Kroger cheese and it's good but it's not the same  

Is your little pleasure a food item?  Or could it be a delightfully scented body lotion or body wash?  Do you only partake in special circumstances or is it a regular part of your life?    

Do tell!!!

Free Penzeys!!

Look what I got for free today from Penzeys-not the golden syrup but the Mural of Flavor spice from Penzeys!  I got an email today with the free offer so I was in the area and proceeded to get this.  Can't wait to try it!

Friday, August 28, 2015

What Are Your Favorite Fall Recipes?

I don't know about you but I'm so looking forward to fall this year. Fall in North Carolina is beautiful. I love cool air, wearing sweat shirts and tasty soups!!  I'm a big fan of Mexican chicken soup. And chili!!  Let me tell you I love chili. 

Going to football games on Saturdays and tailgating. Mmm mmm good !!  

Do you have favorite recipes?  Are they frugal?  Share!!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

I Shot a Gun Last Night

I took a firearms class last night. I never held a gun. I didn't grow up around guns. No one in my immediate family hunted so it was a complete surprise when I realized I had an interest in guns. 

It really is hard to put into words but I will try. First of all I am on information overload. It's a lot to take in. After donning ear plugs, ear muffs and eyewear we all witnessed the instructor shoot. Truth be told I wanted to cry and walk out the door. It was so LOUD. You can't imagine how loud it was. When I saw the "fire" or sparks or whatever it terrified me. 

Then it was time for us to shoot. I was shaking literally. I have no hand strength so I had difficulty releasing the safety.  Taking aim and pulling the trigger is something I will never forget. 

When I got home last night I was still shaking. I couldn't eat dinner because I was so keyed up.  My stomach was semi upset. I knew if I ate a meal I would soon see it again. The last time I felt this way was when out home was broken into. I was asleep on the couch when the criminal was in our kitchen. Once I realized what had happened I ran upstairs to get my husband and called the police. Luckily for us he left several hand and fingerprints. The kid spent 4 years in prison for his crime. It is a higher felony to break into an occupied home. 

I will never forget that night nor last night. Will I purchase a gun?  I don't know. I do know I want the right to do so. 

TV makes it looks so easy. Maybe I'm a whimp or perhaps my reaction was normal. Either way I'm glad I did it and I am considering going back. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Here's a photo of my receipt from Kroger today.   Almost all of this will last until next pay day but will need to go back for produce and maybe eggs and sandwich meat. 

An Emergency Stash of Cash

Not to be confused with an emergency fund........Do you have one?  I am starting one.  A Christian financial planner that I listen to regularly suggests having some cash on hand in case of a disaster happens in your area and the area loses power.  We here in North Carolina are no strangers to tornadoes and/or hurricanes.  Throw in some ice storms and we can and usually lose power.  In 1996 we lost power for 8 days when Hurricane Fran came through.  Most folks didn't think it would still be hurricane strength 2 hours inland but it was.  None of the businesses had power, no banks or grocery stores.  Cash was king.

So now I am starting an emergency cash stash in addition to my emergency fund.  Some suggest 1 month of expenses.  I personally think that is a bit much but hey if it makes you feel better, go for it!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I'm Learning Some Hard Lessons

I'm very late in the game-the game of being financially responsible.  For the last 3 years I've tried to improve our finances.  I've had some successes and some failures but it's really hard when I was so irresponsible for so long.  I'm never going to be able to "catch up" to where we could've or better yet should've been.  But that is water under the bridge and no amount of guilt is going to replace those funds.  So I need to continue putting on my big girl pants and do I mean BIG GIRL pants.

As far as I know no friends or family members know I have a blog so I will vent here a bit.  I've heard a few times within the last few days of "I can't afford" or "that is too expensive".  This is from a family member that we assumed had loads of money because we were told they had been making six figures for years.  You could knock me over with a feather.

Well today at work I had a mini meltdown.  Everything just hit me all at once about the death of my sister in law.  I had to leave work early.  I was so upset and crying.  I went to see my husband at his work.  He met me in the parking lot and we drove to a nearby park to just sit and talk.  I told him straight up that we have to be even better with our money because I never want him to say that he can't afford to do something important (funeral related)  in the event that I died first.    Yes we have insurance but that can take a long time to get.

I want to say thank you to CTMOM, Sluggy and Brenda from coffeeteabooksandme.blogspot.  Your blogs are very informative and give someone like me the inspiration to do better.

Please if you feel so -pray for my brother and his sons and our family at this really difficult time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Who Handles the Bills in Your Home?

The reason I ask is I was talking to my brother last night and he was trying to pay their bills online.  He's never done it before.  His wife took care of all of it.  She was very organized, wrote stuff down of the calendar to make sure they got done etc....................He told me he was having to learn how to do this and hoping that he did it correctly.  He is a very smart person but since his wife took care of those bills he never felt the need to get involved.  Now to be fair, he travels alot, especially of the country so it was probably easier for her to take care of it.  My point is both spouses need to be able to pay the bills in times like this.  I know that when my mother died my father forgot to pay the phone bill and the phone got disconnected.  He never paid the bills either and just never thought about it.  I've been after my husband for months to sit with me and learn how to pay online bills but he seems hesitant.  For some reason it seems to intimidate him.  I am hoping that this event will make him realize that he needs to learn how to pay the bills too. 

If you are married do both of you know how to pay the bills?  Seems pretty easy but boy if you've never done it it can seem very hard!

How Not to Respond to a Friend in Need

As you all know my sister in law died very suddenly this past weekend. It was a total and complete shock.  So I did what I think most people would do-I called my friends to let them know and to ask for prayer for my brother and his sons.   I left a voicemail for one of my friends to please call me.  I did not say what it was about.  I don't like to leave those kind of messages.  Well I never got a response.

Today when I got back to work here is the message I got from her:  I got your message yesterday.  Sorry I did not return your call.  At our house, Sunday is a day of rest and for spending time with family.  As you know, my husband is only off on the weekends so that is the only time we have together.  So what's up?

Wow.  To say I'm hurt by the response it putting it mildly.  The one person I thought that would not be so understanding has been wonderful and one of the people I consider a good friend just blew my off or at least that is how I took it. 

I am posting this to be an example of how NOT to act.  Each day I am learning more and more and  sometimes that learning curve hurts.  You learn who your friends are, who you can count on during times like this. 

I'm taking this to heart and making sure I don't do this.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

When Life Throws a Major Curveball

I got a phone call early this morning.  You know one of the calls that you know is bad news before you pick up the phone.  It was my brother.  His wife died suddenly last night of an apparent heart attack.  Just 61 years old.  That's not how I envisioned our day to start to say the least.

It's given me much to think about.  They live out of country so right now there isn't much I can do until I know what the plans are.  This was so out of left field, no one saw this coming.  What would I do if this happened to me?  How would I be financially speaking after the dust settles.  After insurance claims are paid?  How would I survive?

I read a lot of survival blogs but those don't really deal with death?

Do you have a will?  Who are the beneficiaries on your life insurance plans?  If you a person of faith do you know what kind of service you want?  I know none of us enjoy thinking about this but it really needs to be done.  Being PREPARED will save everyone time and worry.  My brother is so turned upside down right now.  Nothing makes sense to him.  Plans are not final yet.

I've got so much junk just lying around.  I've got to purge.  I would not want anyone to have to clean it up.

Do any of you have experience with this?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Penzeys Spices

So CTMOM turned me onto the wonderful spices. Sure they are more expensive than McCormick or generic but you can as little or as much as you want from the store and Raleigh has a wonderful store at Cameron Village. Just walking in is an experience in delectable spicy ness. It smells wonderful especially around the garlic!  You can buy different sizes of jars or they also offer small baggies if you only need a wee bit of an unusual spice. 

So since I got paid yesterday and have a little bit of wiggle room I went to Penzeys and bought 3 items. Driving the way home was wonderfully aromatic. 

I also signed up for their catalog and emails so I can hopefully score one of those coupons that CTMOM gets. 

Have a great Saturday!!