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Walgreens Coupon

January 30th, 2008 at 05:21 pm

I just got a $5 off a $20 purchase coupon in my inbox for Walgreens good only on Jan. 31. Sounds like a good time to get free after rebate items! YEAH! I LOVE saving money!

Still no decision on the rolex. I can't even begin to describe how embarrassed I am that I'm writing that someone in my family is even considering purchasing this. We are not rolex people! Our combined income is slightly less than $100,00 a year...we have debt...and virtually no EF. Don't even ask about retirement!

Romance in the air...midmonth financial chat approaching

January 14th, 2008 at 07:45 pm

I've been working on reducing the mountain of toys that surrounds me everyday be selling on Craigslist. I've considered using ebay for some of the stuff, but I can't see a point in paying those fees and all the hassle of shipping when you can list for free and the buyer comes to you!

I've sold a few things already. The kids were so upset to see these things go...they never cared about these things until they saw someone else taking it away.

I'll be using the proceeds to finish framing the art I bought to decorate this house. We've been here about 6 months and have not done much to it at all.

In other news, DH and I will be having our first financial midmonth chat tomorrow evening. Don't you just love romance after 7 years of marriage? I'm excited, but worried that the things I have to suggest won't be well received. Among the bad news, we're not saving as much at the end of each month as we used to and I'm proposing we cut our monthly personal budgets in half (cut $100 to $50 each). In addition, we should disconnect the extra phone we have. I'm always proposing he get a new job with more a more predictable schedule so that we can reduce or even eliminate the amount we spend on our nanny ($1,180/ month), but I can't push too much. Changing jobs is easier said than done.

There are a few other categories we could cut also.

Wish us luck!...and good fortune!

A Frugal Sight

January 10th, 2008 at 07:46 pm

I was doing dishes this evening when I looked over and saw my cookbooks. This reflects pretty well how frugal I am. The black binder is my compilation of recipes, the Betty Crocker cookbook along with Jessica Seinfeld's and my favorite Tighwad Gazette were all gifts. MIL gave me her old Better Homes and Garden (I love it's age!). I bought Make-a-Mix...I love them all!

Ironically, you'll notice in the picture my paper towel holder with the towels cut in half and the storage bags that I'll be washing and reusing.

Two years ago, I would have fell out of my chair laughing at someone who took the time to make a post like this. I couldn't be more proud today.

Goal #3...Check!

November 27th, 2007 at 08:16 pm

Wow! We just paid off CC2..three months early. We are so determined to get rid of these debts that we've cut back on spending so much. We're able to dedicate so much more money to it. Boy it feels good!

We're thinking that CC3 could be paid off by at least June of '08 so I'll add that to our goals. Then we have to look at the big student loan. I don't even want to think about it.

Thanksgiving went pretty well. We had family in town but managed not to spend too much on eating. I got my 21 lb turkey for 29 cents a pound! Too bad we don't care too much for turkey, but I'm trying to force it down for lunch.

I'm rereading The Tightwad Gazette to hopefully inspire me to take the saving up a notch. I'm glad I did, because there's so many articles that I don't remember reading and I'm looking at them with a new eye.

So far we've spent about $250 on Christmas and we're nearing the end. I wound up buying a few items online, just for convenience. I figure it saves gas and time.

I am forgoing the additional sewing classes to save money and will just look for a used book. I can't be the first female to ever teach herself to sew. I am also receiving a used sewing machine for free from a fellow co-worker. It's broken, but I can look into getting it fixed, depending on the cost of course.

My Price Book

November 13th, 2007 at 03:42 pm

I decided that I should work on my price book. Last time I updated it was over 6 months ago. Since then, it feels like the price of groceries has increased and I've been spending more money at the checkout.

I love the price book because it makes me much more aware of the actual cost of things. I have been surprised many times to find that what I thought was a decent deal was really no deal at all.

The only problem with grocery pricing (beside the actual high price of groceries!) is that Wal-mart changes their sticker price often. It won't even be advertised as a "Rollback" but the price on the shelf varies. For example, great value all purpose flour is sometimes $1.06 for 5 lbs and sometimes it's $1.12. Granted a price book would help nonetheless, but one of the ideas behind it is that you become aware of pricing cycles. I don't think there is a cycle at Wal-mart.

I'd also like to join Sam's or Costco, but I just can't figure out whether I'd really save money there. I perused the shelves and took notes a few months ago and there is a savings for some of the items I buy, but can I justify the membership fee?

Any suggestions?

Coupon Discovery

November 7th, 2007 at 07:58 pm

I'm sure others already know this, but I discovered at Walgreens that I can use a coupons for an item that is free.

For example,

Walgreens is running a BOGO on St. Ives lotion and body wash. Buy the lotion get the body wash for free. I had a $1 coupon for each so I received $2 off my bill. I've done this before on shampoo and conditioner.

YEAH! I love saving money!

Our 1 year budget anniversary

October 24th, 2007 at 03:23 pm

Well, a new fiscal month is beginning here. Time to assess our spending for the previous and set goals for the upcoming.

We were over in the following categories:
DH personal budget = $100 but spent 132.04
Household = $175 but spent 299.18
Medical = $50 but spent 56.07
Grocery = $300 but spent 407.10

I am usually under in the grocery budget, but I bought a lot on sale this month.

I did meet many of my goals this month, like creating separate savings accounts for Christmas, my son's prepaid college tuition (due yearly), and life insurance (also due yearly). I got curtains hung up in one room (hopefully to save money on energy), and have saved over $80 by using coupons.

In November, I'm going to temporarily lay off using the coupons to get deals as I've got a huge stockpile of stuff and it's contributing to me overspending in the household budget category. I'm still saving for our energy efficient freezer and plan to hang up curtains in my other son's room. I've also signed up for my first sewing class so hopefully I'll eventually be able to make my own curtains, pillows, and Halloween costumes. We will also begin tackling a new project: a compost bin. I've recently begun keeping track of how many loads of laundry I dry outside; I know it's significant b/c our electric bill is down $30.

November also marks an important occasion in our family. It was one year ago this month, that my husband and I decided to put ourselves on a real budget. We started by using Mvelopes, but progressed to our much more primitive way of doing things...handrecording. It works so much better! I'm looking at last January's budget right now, when we first began handrecording, and we spent $600.48 on groceries, $303.04 on eating out, $394.20 on household items! We have come such a long way! Yes, there are times when we overspend, but the important part is now we are aware of what we are doing and see how it truly affects our money. Nothing is random any longer! We don't have much of a savings anymore since we bought our house in July, but our overall debt is down thousands!

Santas coming to town...

October 1st, 2007 at 02:01 pm

Christmas is coming and I'm already being asked from various family members what they should get for our kids (DS1 is 4 and DS2 will be 3 soon). This normally wouldn't be that big a deal, but just this past weekend DH and I spent a lot of time culling the mountains of toys and attempting a reorganization. I'm convinced these things multiply secretly at night. Fortunately, most to all these toys were free.

I'm also worried about finding that line between allowing my kids to have toys and spoiling them. What I would really like is for relatives to buy savings bonds, but I'm not sure that will happen. I've suggested books, but other than that I can't think of much.

DH and I don't buy much for Christmas or birthdays because we know they get so much from relatives.

Any ideas for indoor clothes drying? I've read about indoor retractable clothelines, but how could that possibly accomodate an entire load of laundry??

Freezer vs. Fur Coat

September 18th, 2007 at 09:56 am

I started a 403b today. I'm only contributing a small amount each month until the debt is paid.

DH surprised me last night with news of a possible bonus. We might be able to reach our goal of paying off CC2 much sooner than February.

We're still disagreeing about a new freezer (mine is about 20 years old). I'd like to get a smaller chest freezer. I know it would save money in energy costs, but I'm not sure how to calculate how much time it would take to break even. I even volunteered to forgo my monthly personal budget and use money that I earn from Craigslist or other sources. Using personal budget money goes against what we originally intended it for though. The $100 each month is meant to help us control outside spending while major purchases (such as a freezer) are something that we need to agree on. I think he's most concerned about why I want a new freezer so bad while we have so many other needs (like new furniture, etc). I totally get that...I'd much rather have a new living room furniture set. But a new freezer will save us money whereas furniture won't.

This saving money business...frugality, thriftiness, whatever you call it, has become quite a hobby for me. I enjoy reading about it, putting it in action, and seeing a difference. I guess as far as hobbies go, a husband couldn't ask for anything better from a wife. It doesn't cost anything to be thrifty. At least I'm not out shopping every week and overspending like many women...I want a freezer, not a fur coat!!

Tracking my spending

September 17th, 2007 at 02:11 pm

As I'm looking at our spending so far this month, I'm starting to realize that there is spending going on that is unaccounted for. Meaning, it is subtracted from the checkbook, but not recorded in the budget book. According to my calculations, I should have more at the end of the month than I realistically have so to find what's missing, next month I'll begin writing down everything I (and we) purchase. Then I'll highlight those expenditures that are not recorded in the budget book.

Out of curiousity, I'll also be writing down everytime I use a coupon. I'd really like to see how much money I save in one month from coupons.

Am I wasting money?

September 17th, 2007 at 09:50 am

So I was perusing Craigslist out of curiousity to see how much babysitters are charging per week. I happen to see one quote for $125 per child. This got me thinking about how much I am spending. Of all the budget analyzing I do, I have never broken down our babsitting bill. So here goes...

Total monthly bill for 2 children = $1180
Per Week = $295
Per Day $59 (5 days a week, 8-5)

EPIPHANY!!! I really don't mind the fact that I'm paying about $25 more per week than that one babysitter's quote on Craigslist because my kids really like our babysitter. Since they are the only two at her house, they get lots of attention, NEVER get sick, and they get along much better than ever. BUT, when I think about $59 per day, I want to throw up. What would I do if I had $59 in my hand right now??

I do remember that I have to work to pay debt and bills, so my children have to be cared for during the day. But here's the kicker...DH only works 3 days a week! The problem is that those three days fluctuate, meaning it's not the same 3 days from week to week. It's up to him to talk to his employer or to get a new job.

We could save so much money if we only had to pay for 2 or 3 days a week. I feel like this problem is out of my control and that I should just chalk it up to money wasted. Excuse me while I go cry...

Spending on a No Spend Day

August 29th, 2007 at 11:37 am

So DH and I decided just last week that we would establish a no spend day on Tuesdays. I already forgot about it and unfortunately didn't remember until I was in the checkout line at Randalls buying chicken breasts and Cheerios on sale. Then I remembered at work that I wasted $1.25 in the coke machine (that never gave me a coke). I ran out of drinks in my private stash.

Guess I'll try better next week.

Pay it off!!

August 21st, 2007 at 02:37 pm

So I've been working on redoing the budget to accomodate some changes...like a mortgage payment. I've figured that we have enough money to pay off CC1 with a small cushion leftover. I told DH about this and he said he'd like to wait to pay it. I think he's afraid to let go of the money in fear that something will come up. I'm going to continue working on convincing him to pay it!! Every card we have is at 0% interest except this one at 1.5%.

I haven't been to the grocery store for almost 2 weeks. This was not planned (I usually go each week)but I've not run out of anything and I've been getting creative in the meal planning! This got me thinking about planning two weeks at a time rather than one. This might save even more.