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Archive for May, 2006

Weekly update

May 25th, 2006 at 07:59 pm

Well it's been a little over a week (I think) since I posted. Things have been going good - just real busy!

Last weekend I broke down and bought a dryer - I paid cash though! Smile I made it a little over a month without one. Our other one was quite old and not energy efficient. This one is drying clothes in less than 25 minutes! The other one took 1 to 2 hours! Frown It's been hard and challenging without one with a large family. It's been a good learning experience for us all though. We have cut the laundry down some - so that's good.

I can read my new meter (electric now that it's digital). I have been checking it every few days and we are using less kwh than we were last month. AND the a/c is on all the time now. Not sure HOW we are doing that yet?!?! When I figure it out I'll let you know.

I know our new pool filter while it cost us $$ is well worth it as it circulates the pool water in about an hour - all of it! Instead of 6 to 8 hours! So that's taking less power.

Need to work on a grocery list and menu. Hopefully I will get to the store in the next couple of days. I am only buying for one week though - so I can see what I spent in May. Smile We were spending 1000 to 1200 and we are only around 400 right now! WOOHOO! Of course I am not sure where that extra money is right now. Frown

Need to start saving for homeowners insurance - needs to be paid by dec. It will be 4 times the amount it was last year. That stinks! It's in our mortgage in escrow - but we will be short about $2700 - so we can send that in OR they can add it to next years mortgage. We don't want that because with the ins. going up anyways it's going to be more for the mortgage than it is this year. We don't want to add even more monthly expenses. So my goal is to start sitting $$ aside for this now.

It's always something isn't it?

I get paid tomorrow so I'll decide how we need to divide that up. Making savings a top priority right now!

Have a happy day!

thursday evening

May 18th, 2006 at 05:20 pm

Well I have washed 6 loads of clothes today - 4 were hung out and 2 were on the racks.

Had to turn the a/c on today - gosh it got so hot!! Frown It's supposed to be about 95 for this weekend. UGH!

Had dh put another phone jack in today - saved me at least $60. WOOHOO!! Of course if dh didn't do it, I wouldn't of had it done at this time.

We have fire ants - my neighbor told me to pour boiling water down the hole and that should kill them - will be trying that tomorrow. I sure hope so - I hate putting chemicals out there with the kids and dog.

Was able to depoit $15 more into our EF today. Not much - but every little bit helps.

Called to find out what the electric bill was going to be - it was 176.00 Frown Let's see if I can keep it at that or lower this month:
~no dryer
~put the water heater timer on
~not using the dishwasher
~using the crockpot more
~got a new filter - so it's only running 1 hour daily - versus 8 hours and not even getting cleaned all the way.
~turning things off when not in use
~a/c set at 80 or off

Those are a few of the things I am doing right now. Not sure what else I can do to cut the electric bill. Normally in the summer our bill goes to 225. Frown I really don't want that to happen this year. So I'll be looking for lots of little savings to turn into big savings.

Let's see in May - I have concentrated on groceries and the electricity. I think in June I will continue to monitor those 2. With summer coming in florida - it's going to be too hot to go with no a/c - we tried it a couple years ago. It's just not worth it.
Also with summer - the kids are out of school and will eat, eat, and eat some more.

Menus, grocery list and using things in the pantry/freezer. I really don't think I will be baking to much anymore - as it really starts to heat the house up to quickly. I made cinnamon rolls a couple days ago, never made the pumpkin bread - but it will have to wait until fall now. LOL

Got a book fix it and forget it at a thrift store with sink reflections a few weeks ago. Time to open those up. Smile I love flylady and my crockpot so these are great.

Decluttering the house alot today. I made this cool collage of pictures and got rid of a ton of picture frames. It looks really good too. Smile It took me about an hour but so worth it. I washed the walls in the dining room and started decluttering in there first. Not alot in there - so I figured it's best to start there. We have a plant shelf aroud the dining room - we had those ceramic houses up there. (the christmas type - not all christmas-y though) Well I took them all down yesterday to wash them - hasn't been done in awhile. Then I put them up there, but while they were drying it looked so good up there with just 2 angels on the plant shelf and nothing else. So I talked to dh and he wouldn't let me get rid of them - but did agree for me to box them up and put them out in our shed. (our shed is wood and very leakproof) It looks great and now I don't have to feel guilty that they are always dusty. Smile

Will be finishing the decluttering of the dining room tomorrow and possibly the entry way closet. I would love to get that done - but we'll see. I want to take some stuff to the thrift store this weekend.

Will have to spend a little money tomorrow as we need milk and toliet paper. Two main things in this house. Smile

Well have a great friday!

Mid week update

May 18th, 2006 at 05:16 am

Good Morning!
Yesterday I wrote down what the kwh were and did it again this morning! We were down about 24! There was no a/c going yesterday. I had the whole house opened up and it was great! Normally I can't do this as I work from home and need it quiet but I am working at night now - so this is great. Opened up the house this morning too.

Will hang laundry on the line in a few minutes.

Pool filter is only needing to be run for an hour a day! Yeah!

Turning everything off and unplugging everything when not in use!

Dinner is from the pantry/freezer.

Will be reorganizing the freezer/pantry and making my menu out of what we have in there. Wanting to stretch as close to the end of the month as possible.

I have been decluttering like crazy here. I will be packing up a few boxes and taking to the thrift store some time this weekend.

That's my update so far. Smile

Thrifty tuesday

May 16th, 2006 at 06:23 am

Good Morning!

Still working on the next 2 weeks budget.

Opened the house up this morning as it's so nice and cool out. Temp in the house has dropped 4 degrees in 1/2 hour. Smile As soon as it starts raining I may have to close the house up - we'll see how hard and windy it is. We really need the rain though - so not complaining.

Doing good on the EF and the grocery shopping. We were spending $1000 - $1200 a month and I have only spent $310 so far! Smile But we've cut alot of convenience foods out, baking a little more to have snacks. I know we will spend some more - but to get through the first 15 days and only spend 1/4 of what we normally do is amazing to me.

I don't use coupons very often - I do have some clipped - but they are normally for things that we don't buy. So I just don't use them.

Dinner will be going in the crockpot in just a few minutes.

Kids have 6 days left of school! I will be changing my work hours some over the summer to mostly working nights. This way I work when they are sleeping. Smile I am up late anyways - might as well make some $$. Then we have time to go to the beach, amusement parks (don't worry already have paid passes, and we pack our own lunch! Smile)library - things are frugal and fun!

Have a great day!

Monday's update

May 15th, 2006 at 07:34 pm

We now have our EF at 50.23 - not bad for starting it with a $1 on May 10! SmileThe extra has come from ebay and survey checks so far. Whatever the electric bill comes in under budget will also go in there. We are on our way now!

All laundry hung on the racks today as it was supposed to rain - never saw any though. Frown

Well - we bumped the a/c up to 82 degrees today and it was ok in here. Smile WOOHOO! I probably won't be able to go much higher but this is great.

Working on the budget tonight and tomorrow. Dh get's paid this week.

I was offered to work on a new special line for the company that I work for. I am so excited. That line is busy, so that's more $$ towards our goals. I am so excited!!!

Deep cleaned the bathroom today - I didn't have any cleaner so I used shampoo and you know what? It did a great job on the tub! I have a ton of loss leaders/free with coupons shampoo in the closet - so I will be using that from now on to clean the bathroom. I even washed the walls down with a little.

I got the idea from a message board to put up a little white board to keep track of our progress. This helps keep dh involved. He loves seeing the savings going up and the other numbers going down!

I am gonna make up some pumpkin bread, cinnamon rolls and bread tomorrow morning. Gonna do it early, so I don't heat the house up alot. Also decided to make all at one time so I use the energy the wisest way. Smile



Sunday Update! :)

May 14th, 2006 at 05:31 pm

Good evening! Smile
Hope everyone had a great mother's day!

Today was the disney on ice - We had a great time. The girls and I went to lunch - guys ordered pizza. Not a frugal day but we all had fun. Came home to an ice cream cake the kids bought for me.

Dh and the boys washed the laundry and hung it on the line! I really didn't expect them to do it - but it was a great help. I try to do a couple loads daily, just in case it rains. We are doing great with no dryer. Honestly I don't miss it at all and am really enjoying the savings we will see soon.

Back to the grind of being frugal tomorrow. Smile

Sat. Update

May 13th, 2006 at 05:28 pm

Today's spending was 43.00 Frown $22 was for 2 mother day bouquets and cards. I got one for dh's step mom and my best friend. Then I got a few groceries that we have ran out of. But I still think we are saving alot more - with shopping for most things at the beginning of the month.

Read my kwh today and I have used almost double what my best friend has. Frown Now it's just her and her dh. We have 9 plus a dog. So maybe the body heat is heating up the house more........ hmmm not sure. We have the same house. I will be looking for ways to cut this way down!!

~wondering if I can bump the a/c up to 81 if anyone will notice.
~no dryer going - gosh I wonder what it would be if I had a dryer going?
~is it cheaper to wash dishes by hand or the dishwasher - we don't do the drying cycle. Gosh I am thinking of using a grill out back and paper plates - of course there is another expense but would it be worth it by saving more $ on electric?
~I leave the computer on alot as I do alot of work from home - wondering if I can condense this and shut the puter off more.
~lightbulbs have been changed to the energy saver ones
~pool pump is only running an hour a day.
~bought a water heater timer a week or so ago - dh installed it - I *finally* set it today. It was that hard just finding the time to do it. Hopefully that will save some $

dinner tonight was pasta and meatballs - all from the pantry/freezer.

I have 4 homeschooling books listed on ebay and 2 have a bid! WOOHOO!!!

one of the older dsons and I tinted our windows this past week. We already had the stuff - bought last year and never got around to doing it.It makes it look cloudy outside but does seem to keep things cooler in here.

I haven't had any valances or curtains in my great room. I really wanted some and priced some several places - jcpenny, walmart, bath/bed and beyond and just couldn't spend the money for 2 valances and rods! Well I was in a thrift store this past week and found *gold* valances that will fit my windows perfectly! I paid $5 for 3 valances! They match the pillows I had picked up at dollar general months ago. Dh hung the rods late last night - they look so good.

Oh speaking of dh- he went to a junk yard to look for a couple parts for the mustang we are restoring. Actually I am content to let it sit awhile longer, but dh enjoys working on it. He just got home and spent $20, but got all the parts he was looking for this time. Smile

Tomorrow will be a spendy day. I am taking the girls (which we have 2 girls) to Disney on Ice - the princesses. SmileI bought the tickets a month and a half ago. We are all very excited. Older dd is treating us to lunch. All the men/boys will be ordering pizza.

Have a great mother's day.

evening report :)

May 12th, 2006 at 06:13 pm

Ok - shopping I ended up spending some $$.
~Walmart $13.00 - stuff for the garden/grill scraper/toothpaste/shampoo
~big lots 3.00 - bought 3 pairs of protective glasses - dh and son's use these to work on the cars
~goodwill $2.66 dress for dd, jersey for dson, 2 books
Total 15.66

In the mail today came another survey check- I stuck it in my purse only to find the last one I forgot to deposit. So that's $10 more going into savings total now 22.65

The electric company came out today and put in digital meters - so I think I will start tracking those every few days or so and see where we are at with that. Hoping I can lower that some too. This time of year is hard, though with using the a/c. It's been so warm already!

I made cajun beans and rice with cornbread for dinner. I have never tried that before and everyone loved it! So that's a keeper dinner and pretty economical too!

Someone mentioned the once a month grocery shopping - So far so good - the freezer and pantry are still full and it's already the 12th of the month. It *was* alot of work at the beginning BUT it's been great so far! Of course I came out with 3 shopping carts full of groceries - and even harder putting it in a 2 door cavailier...........

Made some cinnamon rolls up today - the kids and dh loved them.

Worked a few hours today. It's been busy the last few days with work.

Laundry was washed and hung on the line today. DD did was a load tonight for us and hung it on a rack in the garage (hhhhmmmmmm wonder what SHE wants?!?! LOL)

Well have an awesome weekend!!

5/12 morning report :)

May 12th, 2006 at 04:43 am

Today I am going shopping with neighbor - but am not planning on spending anything. We'll see how that goes! LOL
Actually looking for decorations for her dh's surprise 50th birthday party.

I transferred 11.43 into savings - slowly but surely it will be adding up! I am up to 12.65 so far.

I have been working quite a few hours to add $$ to our various goals. The faster we pay off the debts we have, the faster our savings and house get paid! WOOHOO!!

Will check in later to let you know how I did with shopping this morning! Smile

ways to make $$

May 11th, 2006 at 06:55 pm

Ok in order to reach some of our goals (ok most of them we need some $$) -

Dh works full time and takes any overtime offered.

I work from home answering phones and taking orders. My work varies and can be part time to full time - depending on what hours are available and our children's schedules. Trying to work full time and then some right now, so that we can meet our goals.

I also just opened an ebay account, hoping to sell a few things and add it to some of the goals.

Ways I am saving $$

May 11th, 2006 at 06:49 pm

~Cut the second phone line out of the house, bringing our service down to minimum with the phone that is left on - savings $77 a month!!

~gave the dryer away! I have a HUGE clothesline and 3 drying racks I don't need a dryer and surely didn't need an electric bill that was $40 to $50 higher monthly. (I do alot of laundry!) savings $45 monthly!

~shopping once a month grocery shopping - ok first month trying that! But I think I will cut our bill in half! hopefully will save $400 to $600 a month!

~colored my hair tonight with a freebie from the closet. I got with a coupon and it didn't cost anything as it was on sale also. savings $10-40

~when we're done with dinner - I pack leftovers in reusable plastic containers for lunches and freeze. Now dh and ds take out whatever dinner they want for lunches - we don't waste anything and don't have to buy special items for their lunchboxes.

~cut all of our son's and dh's hair. I actually also got brave and cut our youngest dd's hair - it came out great.

~we bought a bigger filter for the pool, so it pumps our pool in about 2 hours instead of 8- it's cleaner, uses less electricity and less chemicals. We bought it used for 1/2 what we would of paid for it new. Smile

Some goals:

May 11th, 2006 at 06:42 pm

Some of our goals right now are:
1. Lower Grocery bill to $600/spent $310.97
2. Pay off CC's $1200/left to pay $800
3. Start saving for escrow at the end of year (will be short, have no idea how much yet)
4. Car loan $8200/left to pay $6150
5. Start an EF - so far $1.22
6. Mortgage free by 43! (this is in 5 to 6 years - depending on who turns 43 first. Smile

Our first main goal is to cut the grocery bill down. It's high I admit it - BUT it used to be double of our monthly goal now! Hard to believe huh? I have just started working on the grocery budget I made a goal of 1/2 of what we spent the last couple of months. I made a list for a month, made the menus and then shopped. I got a ton of stuff and hoping to make it stretch just as far as I can. I will need to pick up milk -but that should be about it. At least I hope so!