Sunday, April 4, 2010

"we just wanted a yard"

When I unexpectedly found myself pregnant in 2007 I remember being horribly depressed that I was going to have a child who had to live in an apartment and not have a yard.

I did not even want to set up his bedroom because I felt like it was inferior.

July 2008 when the kid was 3 months old we moved into a very nice house....3 bedrooms, 2 baths over 1700 square feet, fenced back yard... we moved to a new town with the idea that I would go back to work in August and we would have lots of money to pay the $900 a month rent. We chose this house for the "idea"- a happy family with a garden and fenced back yard for the kids to play... room for family to spend the night...a kitchen to cook in.

Then I went back to work...it sucked...I quit and stayed home for a year. Life was better. I began my frugal adventures...and slowly I learned.

to do coupons, make meals ahead of time, eat out less, buy used, sell things we no longer needed.

We made it, well sort of we racked up debt over that year.

Now I am working again. Full time. and for some reason we seem more poor than when i was not working at all.

So we are working on some big changes based on what we have learned in the last 2 years.

we are moving into an apartment complex with a park. This will save us approximately $400 a month. We considered buying but decided we are not ready for the commitment.

I am consolidating my school loans.

and selling more stuff and making a plan to stay on a food budget again.

because now I realize that time is what I would like to give my children, not stuff.

and you know that fancy backyard we rented this house for...it floods constantly and stays wet for months at a time so we hardly ever play in it.

Monday, July 27, 2009

so u might have noticed I havent been posting as much here.

I have been posting a lot some where else....on my weightloss blog.

Check it out here.

love ya.
now i have to go chomp a carrot and take a walk :)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yardsale finds

Fisher Price Little people, a ball, and Singer electric scissors still in package.

Total Spent = $2.35 + the cost of 2 tb of beach!
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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our Little Garden

First fruits of our labor!

We have squash, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, and 4 tomato plants!

This has been a super easy project! Get some containers, make holes in said containers and add potting mix, organic growth feed stuff and plants. Then we watered, and watered and waited and waited. LOL then we got some neat stuff!

Total investment has been around $50 for plants, stakes, food and potting mix. But next year I can reuse the potting mix and I will start early enough to grow my plants from seed. So next years investment will only be a couple of dollars!
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PS. this week I spent $61.19 on groceries and got 14 lbs of meat. I blogged about it about my weightloss blog.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Groceries this week

I had lots of stuff other than groceries to get so I did not think I would make my $70 goal, but i did just barely; my total was $69 and change.

I got:
2 bags of whole wheat flour (clearance 1/2 off)
1 box of oat bran (clearance)
1 box of provia- stevia- a natural calorie free sweetener to try (clearance)
bag of apples
4 garlicky grill mates
2 bags of croutons
3 cans of fruit
3 roma tomatoes
loaf of french bread
frozen edame
frozen broccoli florets
2 sweet onions
large container of organic vanilla yogurt
1/2 gallon of organic milk
store brand miracle whip
2 soft packs of wipes
freezer paper
ziplock bags
2 electric toothbrushes
hubs deodorant

Chicken breasts are on sale for $1.77lb this week. I did not feel like messing with the whole dividing packages thing this weekend but I probably will go back on Tuesday before the sale ends and get some and deduct that from next weeks grocery budget.
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Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to make a RUBBER chicken!

Well not a rubber chicken but how to stretch a chicken regardless!
Yestraday I stumbled on a great deal- Whole Organic chickens marked down for quick sale from $12 a piece to $1.50 each. I bought 2.
Before I went to bed I put the chickens in my crock pot with some random seasonings, salt and pepper and let them cook on low all night.
In the morning I removed the chickens to a large 9X13 pan to cool.

This is the part I hate about rubber chicken...I had to put my hands in to strip the skin off, remove and shred the meat. But from those 2 chickens I got between 2-4 meals worth of cooked chicken to put in my freezer!

Next I took all of the juice and some of the bones, skin ect and put them in a large pot and added water til there was double the amount of liquid in the pot. I added some whole garlic cloves, assorted spices, and half an onion and boiled for an hour. Then I poured the liquid through a mesh strainer. The chicken stock is now cooling on the counter but will go into small zipper freezer bags, a cup each and be frozen.

So for $3 I got 2-4 meals of organic chicken and about 10 cups of chicken stock/broth!

Friday, June 5, 2009

The process of living frugal

When I first started my own adventures in frugal world it was simply a means to an end. I had a 3 month old and was in my last year of grad school and I did not want to work and put the kid in daycare for 40 hours a week.
So I started super couponing, selling things on ebay, half.com and craigslist, eating out less,buying mostly used...

I read lots of websites and blogs.... sometimes for hours to figure all the steals and deals! I shopped managers specials and clearance racks and stocked up on stuff when it was a good deal.

Slowly though I started to develop a different attitude towards frugalness. By not buying at all I can be frugal and by choosing high quality goods when I do need something I am being more frugal than by choosing cheapies that break in a month. By making do with what I have or finding a good quality used piece I can be frugal and better to the environment.

I then began to read about people who lived "simply", Followed the Compact, or who practised conscious frugality. These ideas make sense to me. Less stuff = more time and more money. Why do I need 25 shirts when 5-10 will do or why does my one year old need 30 different toys??

I started to think about Quality over Quantity.

Slowly I am removing the excess from our life. I still do stock up on some of the best deals (like free shampoo and free toilet paper) but only because we use those things every day. I also still do cut coupons but now I have a list of specific things we use and I watch for just those coupons.

I make meal plans and grocery lists according to the sale ads. We eat meatless 1-3 nights a week and we try to only eat out 1 night a week. I try to feed my family more whole foods and not as much processed foods. I started a garden with squash, basil, cucumbers and tomatoes. I gave up paper towels for the most part and use very basic cleaning supplies like vinegar and baking soda and bleach (one of my guilty pleasures). I try to not purchase plastic because it stays around for a million years and some studies have shown a link between several health issues and plastic. I hang most of our clothes up to dry. I replaced many of the regular bulbs in our house with CFLS. Hubs installed an aerator in the kitchen sink. We own an electric mower and weed eater and we have made a consious effort to reduce our food waste. I try not to go to the dollar store and I strive to buy things made in countries other than China.

Am I perfect?? No and I don't ever plan to be.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Begging or fundraising?

So when did it become socially acceptable to let children beg for money on street corners in America??
I went to old navy this morning and was accosted by not 1 but 3 different groups of children asking for money. Sure 2 of them offered something in return... raffle tickets or chocolate but a chocolate bar or meager chance to win some dumb prize does not sooth my annoyance at being asked for money by children. Of course it was for a "good" cause. Cheer leading camp, dance team, baseball! Since when did it become my responsibility to help your child monetarily to do something you chose??? I am all about helping worthy causes...starving kids, cancer battlers, Jerry's kids....you know VICTIMS, the less fortunate. I don't even mind paying to get my car washed by a group trying to raise some money to go on some big trip or something. But that is where I draw the line. I am so sick of seeing all of these kids made to go up to strangers and beg for money while mommy and daddy sit by and watch. ITS RUDE AND ITS WRONG!

PS I did get some great deals at Old Navy- all of their clearance is an additional 50% off! I got 10 items for hubs and the kid (shirts, hat, pj, jackets, sweaters) for around $12... TOTAL!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Food waste Friday

The tubs contained leftovers from the Kids birthday party and since they sat out a little longer than normal when served I got nervous about eating them closer to the end of the week. Better to waste some food then end up SICK!
On top is an enchilada, not a huge fan :(
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I skipped going to the store last week, because we had lots of party leftovers. I was out of fresh fruit and we have a busy weekend planned so I went ahead and went to the store at 10:30 pm!! It was awesome! I score lots of great deals and there was no lines.

I got all this for under $50! Gotta love coupons and manager specials!
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