Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Why I Want Out of the Rat Race

My husband just called me at work.  The wife of one of his good friends is in the hospital needing a liver transplant and it does not look good.  They've been told nothing else can be done.  The family has petitioned the transplant team to reconsider their decision.  From what my husband told me, she's only been retired about 5 years.  Wow!!  You work so hard to be able to enjoy your later years and this happens.  Now I know it happens to many people.  Some people don't even have the 5 years she has enjoyed but it has me really thinking.

This is why I want out.  I want to be able to enjoy my life.  I am not expecting to be able to travel all around the world or spend extravagantly on jewels and cars and houses.  I really want a simple life and being able to do what I want when I want and not have to plan everything around my employer's schedule.  I want to be able to get in the car and drive to the mountains or beach.  Yep we are lucky like that.  North Carolina has both and we are centrally located so it isn't a bad drive either way.  I want to be able to help others out without feeling like I am putting my department in a bind.  I want to wake up when I want to and not to the sound of the alarm clock.  I want to be able to run errands during the day, not when I am dog tired from work and in crowds of other folks who just got off as well.  I want to be more involved with my church and other ministries.  Especially those who help the working poor or pregnancy life homes 

Five years really isn't enough to be able to enjoy all of that.  What she and her family are going through right now is so sad.

Please pray for Helen and for her family.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

I Don't Know How Much Longer I Can Take IT

I looked at my retirement calculator at work and according to it I still have to work 7 years, 11 months and 3 days for me to be eligible for insurance at retirement.  Honest to goodness I don't really know if I can last that long.  Everything and I do mean everything gets on my last nerve.  We have only 1 debt and that is my car payment.  It is just over $14000.00.  There is a part of me that wants to throw every red cent to it to get rid of it but............there is this other part of me that also wants to save as much as possible since we've we so bad about that for so many years.

We could make it on the hubster's salary.  It would be a real stretch but we could do it.  He is not so fond of that idea if you can relate. 

I'm just so ready to throw in the towel. 

What would you do?

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Being Organized Can Be Your Best Frugal Strategy

What the what? Better than coupons?  Better than turning off the lights when not using them?  Better than not going out to eat?  Well a resounding YES and here's why.  This past weekend I finally got so tired of opening our cabinet/pantry doors and not knowing what is in there or have it falling out.  So I went to the Dollar Tree and bought some lovely lime green boxes( yep I spent some money to do this!) and started to clean them up.   The finished product is much better looking and organized.  I tried my best to have like products together so I won't have to spend a ton of time looking for things.  This is a major plus.  The downside you ask?  Well let me tell ya'll I threw away a lot of things like canned goods and such that were so far out of date that they could possibly kill us if we ate them.  I was really disappointed in myself for letting it get to this point.  Money literally being thrown away.  Bye bye! Hasta lavista baby.

Had I been organized these items would have been used or at least donated to a food pantry if we couldn't use them.  Even if used coupons and got great deals, I still ultimately lost because they were thrown away.  So that was my light bulb moment.

Below are pics of what the cabinets look like now.

This cabinet holds the many bottles of Penzeys spices  

This cabinet holds some canned goods plus a few odds and ends

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Fun Frugal Day (Well MostlyFrugal)

So tomorrow I go back to work.  I would really like to stay home a few more days but alas I must go back and face the music!  LOL.  Hope no banjos are playing if you know what I mean.

Today we did a couple of things that were totally free.   Well if you count the gas it took to drive there it wasn't totally free but we didn't have to pay anything else.  The RDU International Airport and Umstead Park are pretty much on the other side of the county from where we live but we ventured out today and went to the Observation Deck at RDU, then we went to Umstead Park.  Umstead is part of the state parks system in North Carolina and right here in Raleigh.  It's beautiful and great to go especially during the week when it's not so busy.

The cake.........well that wasn't free but it is delicious.  We also visited the Hayes Barton Pharmacy Cafe for dessert afterwards.

If you are ever in the 5 Points area of Raleigh, be sure to visit the Hayes Barton Pharmacy Cafe.  It's old school and plays old time music.  It's really neat.  Plus it isn't a chain, it's a local business so it is always good to support the local peeps.

Monday, February 20, 2017

What I've Done the Last Couple of Days

I took last Thursday, Friday, today and tomorrow off.  I needed some time away from work in a major way.  I mean I was going coo coo for cocoa puffs.  The last few days have been wonderful, with the exception of getting sick.  It really makes me yearn for that time when I can say good bye to fulltime employment.  It's nothing against my employer.  Like I've said before.  I want FREEDOM!

Anyhoo. I really have not done much except lay on the couch feeling yucky but I did manage to do a couple of things.

The pictures were taken from the NC Farmer's Market.  This is a slice of heaven ya'll.  And it will only get better as spring and summer arrive.  Juicy strawberries, peppers, homemade salsa are just a few of the items that I buy.  Most all of the farmers there will give free samples too so that makes it a double win for everyone.  You got to get there early though or you will have a devil of a time trying to find a parking spot.  It is incredibly busy.

The video is of my Aldi run today.  Lord knows, I did not realize that Aldi was so busy on a Monday morning.  Good grief!

Enjoy ya'll!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Have You Noticed Any Food Shortages

I belong to a British frugal food group on Facebook.  Why you ask?  Well I love all things British.  Anyhoo..............some of the folks there have mentioned some shortages on certain veggies such as broccoli.  The example they've given is they could only buy 3 heads of broccoli at a time etc.........Then the hubster said he heard there was a bacon shortage here in the States and I'm like NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Bacon should be its own food group.  I love that wonderful part of a hog.  The crispier that better.  And Hormel Black Label is my favorite although it is way too expensive for me!
Have you heard of any food shortages?  Have you seen empty shelves at times other than snow storm warnings?

I know that some of the blogs and facebook posts I follow speak of possible food shortages during times of civil unrest.  I know the country is going through some trying times right now but do you think it will come to that?  Food for thought!

Can You do All of Your Grocery Shopping at Aldi

Before I get into the question I want to share something funny.  A year or so ago you could not get my husband to step foot in Aldi.  He says he had a bad experience with bananas once.   They went bad very quickly.  Well................that can happen at any store, can't it?

Anyhoo...............................now he LOVES Aldi because of their prices.  So my question to you is are you able to do your entire grocery run at Aldi?  There are still a few items that I buy at "regular' grocery stores.  I am very picky about my salad dressing.  I only like certain kinds although I am considering trying to make my own.  Thrifymominboise.blogspot.com has shared posts with her homemade dressings and they look really tasty.

Are there certain items that you will buy AT Aldi?  I really love the baby bell peppers in a bag that they sell.  It's cheaper than Kroger in our area.

I'm also hearing some complaints about the prices at Aldi going up.  Have you noticed that in your area?

Right now, we shop at Aldi and Kroger primarily and from time to time will venture to Walmart.  What about ya'll?

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Found a Good Deal at Aldi

So today ya'll we went to Aldi to pick up just a few basic items.  Imagine my surprise when I found 5 pound chubs of ground beef for $5.95.  The sign indicated $8.95 but each chub had a $1 and $2 off sticker.  I asked an employee about the price and she said to take $3 off the listed price AND that the chubs out were the only ones they had left.  So.......................I got 2 of them.  Not bad....10 pounds of ground beef for $11.90.  We don't have good deals like that around my neck of the woods.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

The Fee Fiasco Update

As the sands of time goes, so are the days of our lives.........................Well the husband, God bless him, went to the bank yesterday and sure enough the fee was because we don't owe the bank a cent nor do we have a large sum in savings.  He spoke to someone and they suggested that we change to a different type of banking package.   As long as we have an ACH deposit of at least $500.00 once a month, the fee will be waived.  This will be no problem whatsoever due to his ACH is larger than that.

You know this is really sad because there are some folks out there who won't meet these guidelines and will be eaten alive with fees.  

I can only imagine how paying off our mortgage will effect my credit score.  As I read about it, our credit score is actually a debt score.  It shows we have debt and how we pay it back.  I once heard DAve Ramsey say that he doesn't have a credit score because he doesn't have debt.

For you guys out there who are debt free-how has your credit score or FICO been affected?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I am a Bit Ticked

So you remember how I said we paid off our mortgage at the very end of December?  Why yes we did!  Now we are incurring a $14.95 maintenance fee on our checking account because we do not owe this bank ONE.RED.CENT.  I looked at our account today and saw this fee so I called.  I suspected us being debt free, at least with them, was at the root of this fee and sure enough it is.

If we  have a ginormous balance in a savings account we can avoid the fee.

I told the lady on the phone that I felt we were being punished for actually paying off our debt.  She really didn't have a response to that. So..................I am hoping that the hubster will go to a branch and speak to someone who can rectify this for us or perhaps we will need to change financial institutions.

What say you?

source;  cafepress

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Snowstorm That Wasn't

Does this look like 10 inches to you?  Nope, me neither.  Oh lawd have mercy, the weather folks had this area all kinds of worked up for this huge storm that was going to arrive late last Friday night and into Saturday.  Grocery stores were at full capacity and then some.  Local governments along with schools were getting off early to avoid the impending doom that was about to arrive.  My workplace was even considering having some of us stay in hotel rooms starting on Friday night to make sure we would be here on Monday.  And no, I don't work in a hospital.  They just go coo coo for cocoa puffs around here any time the S word is mentioned.

I was a bit excited because we would have 2 days to enjoy before going back to work.  Nope.  It has been cold as blazes but that is about it.

We had a bit of cabin fever so we drove to get my husband's diabetes prescriptions.  Speaking of medications..................my prescription prices will be going up while his are going down, way down.  It was a surprise to see his diabetes RX was less than $2.00.  You could have knocked me over with a feather with that one.

So how has your last few days gone?

And...............here is something from last night!  So happy to see Clemson win it this year!

Go Tigers

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Am I Prepared?

I've briefly touched on this subject before but thought since my part of NC is under a possible snow event in a few days, it would be great to revisit.

So..........am I a prepper?  No, not really.  At least in the doomsday prepper sense-no I am not.  I do prepare a little bit though.  I don't like to have less than half a tank of gas.  In fact I will be going to the gas station some time tomorrow to get this taken care of.  I like to keep my cell phone charge up at all times just in case.

We used to withdraw $100 in cash every pay period to keep on hand, again, just in case.  You never know when the power will go out and CASH will be KING.  We stopped this but today since I got off early for an appointment I went to the atm and withdrew $100.00.  I plan on continuing this practice.  Again, just in case.  I watched a youtube video just the other day.  It is a new to me youtuber and she was discussing scenerios about why her family preps.  One scene was getting a call in the middle of then night and being able to jump up and leave and not have to worry about gas or money.  This is what triggered the cash response in me again.

So............the s word causes problems here in the South.  Grocery stores will be crazy busy and usually we don't get anything near what is predicted.  In 2000 we got 2 feet of snow and that was wild and crazy and amazing.  I will admit to going to Kroger to get 1/2 gallon of milk today but hey, I didn't have any milk at all.  I picked up a few other items to stock my pantry.

So what do you do to prep?  Do you like the show Doomsday Preppers?

image:  freedompreppers.com

Monday, January 2, 2017

My First Empty Container of 2017

Ta da!!!!!!!  My first empty bottle of the year.  There are very facial cleansers that I can use.  Cetaphil is the one that I use the most.  It is very gentle.  It can be a tad bit heavy on my skin, especially in the hot southern summers we have here in North Carolina.  My dermatologist physical assistant recommended it to me.

There will be many more empty containers this year!

I've Had It With Clutter

Oh my goodness, I have had it.  I am so tired of opening a cabinet and something falls out or realizing you have multiples of the same thing because you didn't realize you had one to begin with.  THIS.IS.THE.YEAR.  I mean it.  I will have a busy year ya'll.  Going to build up the savings while paying down the car plus getting this home simplified and decluttered.

First off, I will getting many many books out of the house.  My husband takes a week off each January to do various things and this year, we will be cleaning out our 3rd bedroom.  This room could be classified as a national disaster area or perhaps Area 51.  You may enter but you might not ever be seen again.  So this room will be the first job and it will be a biggie.  It is full of junk. Well not exactly full but you know what I mean.  It's the room that you don't want anyone to see.

Another area I need to get under control is paper.  I love to print stuff off of the internet.  Old clothes will be another project.  My husband has a ton of clothes that for some reason he holds onto.  I, on the other hand, have a ton of purses that need to go to Goodwill or Salvation Army.

I'm not going to make any resolutions because I am bad at keeping them but this mess has to go, therefore this lifestyle change will happen.  Even if I don't want it to.

Lord knows, I may even turn into a minimalist.

Stranger things have happened ya'll.

Remember that saying, just say no to drugs.  Well this year my mojo will be just say no to clutter!