Sunday, July 31, 2016

You Win Some and You LOSE Some

First off with the loss............for some idiotic reason I totally forgot to pay our utilities last month.  Don't ask me how that happened as I have no clue other than not paying attention.  First time in 32 years and I sure hope it is the last.

The win...............we are shopping more at Aldi.  My husband is liking that place more each day.  When they first opened he was not impressed at all but.......he is slowing seeing they do have better prices.  My wish is I would love to have more variety but hey!

I made a chicken pot pie today for lunch.  It is not like the usual pot pie as I don't have a top crust.  My top crust is made of cheese.   Shredded parmesan and Asiago.  I think the cheese gives it a great taste!

We're getting closer to paying off a couple of debts.  Hopefully one will be paid by the end of this year.  The other one a few months later.

I bought a box of dishwasher detergent from the Dollar Tree after reading about it on  I hope I like it because it is so much cheaper than what I usually use!
I also bought some items to put in a box for my car to have on hand in case of emergency.  I bought some items in case I need some kind of bandages or medication. I also bought a couple of back pain patches.  Hey!  You never know when that nasty back pain will start up again.   I then bought a clear box about the size of a shoe box to put all of these items.

My plans are to expand my pantry, have some emergency items in multiple places while doing my best to get good deals!

I saw some clear film to put on windows at Home Depot on Saturday.  I want to buy some to put on the windows when it gets cold, if that ever happens in this hot as you know what area.  I doing some price comparisons on the Heater Buddy.  One of them is safe for indoor use and it uses propane gas tanks.  I'd like to get it before I actually need it.

What frugal or preparing things have you been doing?

Run don't walk to Penzeys to get this spice.  It smells divine and adds good flavo

My chicken pot pie-kind of looks like a quiche doesn't it?

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cleaning the Shower

I don't know about you but I can't stand cleaning the tub and shower.  It just gets on my last nerve but it can get pretty gross if I don't clean it.  So I am always looking for ways to make it easier.  I've started cleaning the grout between the tiles while I take a shower with an old toothbrush.   I've found this helps a lot with the overall cleanliness plus I can do this and not worry about getting cleaning junk on my clothes.  It just rinses right off of me!

Do you have any cleaning tricks?  One that save time and money and perhaps sanity?

Frugal Ethics

Is there a line you won't cross?  Is there something you read about in other frugal blogs that makes you wonder what is going on? everything fair in love and war?

Would you load up on ketchup or other condiment packets when going to a fast food place for lunch to use at home?  Would you go to a salvage grocery store that is specifically for the poor to do your grocery shopping even if you can totally afford full price at the main stores?

I honestly don't know what made me think of these situations today but they pop up in my mind.  So I thought I'd throw them out for discussion.

I would not load up on condiment packets for the sole purpose to take home.  Now if I had something like 5 packets and only used 3 then sure I would take the other 2 home or perhaps to my work desk and use at another time.

I read one time of a frugal blogger who used ketchup packets to fill up their empty ketchup bottle.  Hopefully this was possible because they collected packets over time and didn't go hog wild and grab a ton on them.  I read where this one person reuses dental floss.  Nope not going to go there.  Unroll the 2 ply bathroom tissue to make it 1 ply?  Nope.

The salvage grocery store is really up for discussion I think.  If it is indeed a "food pantry" then obviously we don't qualify and I pray we never do.  There are salvage stores out there though that simply sell items that the name stores can't.  Maybe the items are out of date or perhaps the can was dented.  I don't have a problem shopping there in the least.  Amanda from got some amazing deals from her local salvage place this week.  I mean a spread on her table for less than $32.00.

So...........tell me.  Do you have an ick factor?  Have you drawn a line in the sand?

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Free Penzeys

Scored a couple of freebies today!   The barbeque and pico bottles were free. I have to stop because my spice cabinet is getting quite full. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Can You Have a Frugal Yet Homey Home?

So I read all kinds of frugal blogs.   They range from being minimalists to having quite the decor.  I am somewhere in the middle.  I don't like clutter but I find minimalism a bit "cold" if that makes sense.

I love to read Brenda's and Deanna's blogs.  They have a love of beauty on a budget.  I've been reading Cait Flander's blog for a couple of years now.  She turned her financial world around by going on a 2 year buying fast and embracing minimalism.  She left her "corporate job" and now free lances.  I commented on one of her recent posts about what she bought the last 2 years.  I explained how some frugal bloggers create pantries on a budget to help them in times of sickness or job loss.  If your only goal is to be a minimalist then would you have a pantry to fall back on? do you make your home warm without breaking the bank?  I am not all that creative but I do love candles.  Yankee Candles to be exact.  Yes they can be quite expensive however I buy them when they are on special.  Plus Yankee Candles last me a very long time.  I find that candles give a warmth to any room and I also love the scents.   Home Sweet Home and Apple Spice are my two favorite scents.

We are looking to replace curtains in our den and kitchen but do not want to spend much money.  I will look at places like Walmart and Home Depot first.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Friday Night at The Ranch

Well it's not exactly a ranch but I thought that sounded cool!  LOL

Watching the ladies gymnastics Olympic trials.  It's amazing to see the human body flying around, flipping and turning.  I sit in awe of these young ladies.  Just think of how much time and practice this takes.  Reminds me that being frugal and paying off debt needs that Olympic training state of mind.  I want to win the race against debt.  I'd rather it be sooner than later.  To do that I have to be determined.  Practice every day ways to be smarter with our money.  Ways to make the money stretch.

Realize that my life is already pretty awesome.  We have a nice home, nothing fancy.  You won't see it in Southern Living but it's very nice.  It keeps us cool in summer and warm in winter.  We have food in the pantry.  Need to improve in that area.  I have a washing machine and dryer and dishwasher.  So many people in the world don't have these.  Heck I didn't have a dryer growing up and my mother never used the dishwasher.  I was like a kid in a candy store when we moved into our home and got my first dryer.  I turned it on just to hear it hum.  LOL

I like to daydream about what our lives will be like when the debt is gone.  Truth be told, that daydream includes not working full time but shhh.............that's just between us frugalistas!  But while I daydream I need to stop and smell those roses!  My life is a pretty good garden.

How about you?

It's Friday! Can I Hear an Amen?

So glad it's Friday.  Short weeks are usually the worst.  Why is that?  I hope ya'll have had a good week.  Mine had its moments but overall pretty good.  I do have something good to report---duh duh duh.................I am $1018.00 closer to freedom!

Yep made another payment today.  It's so exciting to know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Tomorrow I will meet a friend for lunch, mexican.  Yummy!  She and her husband are making a trip to the Midwest due to her husband needing surgery.  Please pray for them.  It's hard to go through major surgery, much less when you have to travel half way across the country to have it.

What are your plans for this weekend?

Tonight I plan on watching the women's gymnastics trials on NBC!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Taco Thursday

Talk about a cheap dinner. I think everything was generic. From the cheese to the taco seasoning. However I did use a tad of Penzeys spice as well. 

I made up a spicy sour cream. Mix about 1/2 can of adobo peppers with about 3/4 cup sour cream. Quite the bite of heat. 

There's enough left over for me to take to work tomorrow. 

I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday. Holidays are nice but when you go back you have to go 2 days of work in 1 day. Ugh. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

30 Days Sea 1 : Ep 1 Minimum Wage

I watched this show when it first aired.  I forgot about it but found it today.  I think it is a very interesting experiment.  What do you think?

$59 Aldi Run

So the hubster is beginning to like Aldi more. We went today and spent $59. Got a pack of pork chops and ground beef. I've never tried these so will see if we like it. 

I will need to make a trip to Kroger. I like their generic peanut butter and granola bars. 

When is Enough Enough

As furgalites most of us "pride ourselves" of getting the best bang out of our bucks.  We look for good deals and develop stock piles of items that our families will use.  This comes in so handy when there is a hiccup in our lives.  A job loss, a sickness etc...........those stockpiles can literally be the difference of eating vs not eating....hmm or at least freeing up the funds from those stockpiles to use on mandatory expenses.

This leads to: when is enough enough?  Can we have enough bathroom tissue?  What about other things?

For example:  Lebron James.  He just helped his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers win the NBA championship.  He did not resign with Cleveland making him a free agent thus freeing him up to make more.  Millions. More.  Don't get me wrong, I am all for capitalism. many millions does one need to make in order to feel justified?

Or for us closer to home.  There is this wonderful store in Chapel Hill, NC called A Southern Season. It was/is a specialty food and coffee store.  It grew to become a $30 million operation.  There was the store in Chapel Hill and they did great online business.  But the 2008 economic downturn hit it hard.  The owner sold it and the new owners began big expansions.  They had locations in  Mount Pleasant, SC and Richmond, VA.  Now.................there is only the flagship store left and they have filed bankruptcy.    I wonder, did the new owners never consider enough?  What is so bad, not only for Southern Season but how this bankruptcy impacts all of the small businesses that did sold their local goods to them.  One of the biggest perks of shopping at SS was the local gourmet food items.  Local cheese from Chapel Hill Creamery, Videri Chocolate, Slingshot coffee, Butterfields Candy, Boulted Bread, Big Spoon Roasters, NumNum Sauce, The Blakemere Company.  This list goes on and on.  Many small companies are owed money now from Southern Season and most likely, they won't see that money.  One man who manages Bear Branch Milling Co said that this bankruptcy will most likely  put them out of business.  Once again I ask when is it enough?

The desire for more and more and better and newer and fancier and bigger can be so fun but it can also cause many problems.  I wonder if the owners of Southern Season wish they had never expanded to other cities but focused on their one store and how to improve it?  I wonder if these small business owners will ride out this turn of events or will they simply stop doing business with them?  We were in the store this past Saturday and it really is a shell of itself.  You used to be able to go through aisles of gourmet gift baskets and find just the right one for whatever occasion you had.  Now there are no gift baskets.  It seems to have become even more "gourmet", expensive.  Is that part of the problem?  Who knows.  But it has really given me something to think about.

I can only wear one pair of shoes at a time.  One outfit at a time.  Drive one car at a time.  Do I need 20 pairs of shoes?  Do I need enough clothes so I never have to repeat an outfit in say 3 weeks?

What do you think?
gift baskets galore

Yummy cheese-maybe you can never have too much cheese?

My Fave Pair of Shoes

This is my favorite pair of shoes.  I so love them.  They are the most comfortable shoes ever!  I had a pretty major foot surgery back in 2009.  Ever sent that surgery I started wearing Clarks Shoes.  They are quite expensive even on sale.  I've paid anywhere from $59-$105 a pair and every cent was well worth it.

Notice the holes in this pair?  Well.......there is a shoe store in Raleigh that also does repairs.  I plan on going there to see if they can repair them.  The covering on the footbed is the only thing that needs to be repaired so surely it should not be that expensive.

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes that you so love that you won't get rid of them no matter how ugly they are?

I dread the day when I have to give up on this pair.  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning
How do you shop for groceries?  Now before you say, duh Lee Ann, what a dumb question...........think about it.

Do you meal plan first then make the list of items needed or do you meal plan according to the food that are in your pantry and cabinets?

I think both methods are valid.  I imagine that planning meals according to the foods on hand would be cheaper, but maybe not?

Now we all have those staple items that we want on hand at all times, if possible.  Those will differ according to our personal tastes.  I love Rotel or store brand versions.  You may not.

So how do you shop?