Monday, August 25, 2008

First Trip to Walgreens

In some ways I think I did a good job and in others I didn't. I don't have a large supply of coupons yet, I am still working on ways to get multiples of inserts. Eventually I would like only buy most things when they are on sale with a coupon and create a stock pile in my house.
What I got...
3 pks of Brillo Kitchen Wipes on clearance for .37 each- $1.11
cottonelle fresh wipes -$1.99 WAG coupon
Packaging tape BOGO $2.99
Neutrogena Foamy Cream Cleanser- clearance $1.99
Bioinfusion hair spray- Free after rebate
Bioinfusion wrap and set foam- Free after rebate
Reynolds aluminum foil- $.89 WAG coupon
Pert Plus- Free after rebate
total after rebates but before tax = $8.97

*** Note- I have already sent in my rebates, I did this very quickly online at www.walgreens.com, just click on easy saver, then you set up an account, click the deals you have and enter a receipt number. You can enter as many receipts as you want.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Mrs. Fields Files for Bankrupcy!!

You know the economy is going to shit when Mrs. Fields cookie company is filing for bankruptcy. It didn't say so in the linked story but our local news reported that the reason for Mrs. Fields money issues is the rising prices of the ingredients in the cookies. Whats next the Build a Bear Workshops?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yard Sale

I made $181.50 for doing around 10 hours of work today!!! $18 an hour isnt a bad paycheck and I got a lot of stuff cleaned out of the house. There is still alot left. The baby stuff is going to be consigned at the Duck Duck Goose Sale (http://www.duckduckgoosesale.com/), some of the books are being donated to the library because they are having a book sale fundraiser and some are going to be traded in at the used book store for some new books, some of the other stuff and all of the leftover clothes are being donated and then a couple of medium sized boxes are going to be stored in the garage because my friend Breanna is having her yard sale in a couple of weeks and invited her friends to join! Originally I was just going to do a yard sale with her but I had way to much crap since we just moved into the new house and had the baby, plus that sale will be more about socializing since some of her friends from work that I dont know will be there.... YA potential new friend people!

Running total for savings
$100 that my parents paid us to watch their cat for 2 weeks while they were on vacation +$5 in coupons + $181.50 from the yardsale = $286.50

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Recent headlines on the state of the economy

Higher inflation brings lower standard of living
With prices up and wages flat, consumers have to make do with less

"After adjusting for inflation, the average weekly paycheck dropped by 0.8 percent in July from June, extending an ongoing slide in real income. That left real earnings 3.1 percent lower in July than they were a year ago"

"Faced with higher shipping costs and pricier plastic, consumer products companies like soft drink maker Dr. Pepper Snapple Group have raised prices — even as sales have fallen."

"Some companies that haven't yet passed along higher costs are having trouble holding the line. Some 38 percent of small businesses surveyed by the National Federation of Independent Business said they plan to raise their prices in the coming months..."

"With the economy shedding jobs and unemployment rising, it’s a tough time to ask for a raise. That means that – unless your paycheck is growing by 5 percent a year – you’re actually taking a pay cut. "

"During the prolonged inflation of the 1970s, house prices also rose rapidly. But today, consumers’ budgets are also being squeezed by falling equity in their home which, until recently, was a critical source of spending power"

Consumer Prices Shot Up in July

"Consumer prices shot up in July at twice the expected rate, pushed higher by surging energy and food costs. The latest surge left inflation running at the fastest pace in 17 years."

"...labor market remains under severe stress from the weak economy"

"Energy prices jumped by 4 percent last month, driven upward by a 4.1 percent rise in gasoline prices. In July prices at the pump were 37.9 percent above where they were a year ago"

The moral of these headlines to me is that this mess is not going to clear up any time soon and each person/family has to make the consious decision to change their behaviors that have to do with spending. Each family is different in how much or what they need to change. For my family I am currently focusing on our food budget- both eating out and groceries and electricity which you can see what we are doing in my previous post. My adventures with my food budget are chronicled at my other blog http://cheaphealthygoodlife.blogspot.com/ . We also just moved closer to my husbands job to decrease his commute from 70 miles each way to 20 miles each way and he also carpools 3 of the 4 days a week that he works.

Ways I save on electricity

1. energy efficient appliances
2. shut the air vents and the doors in the rooms we dont use - guest room and guest bath
3run our ceiling fans constantly bc I read somewhere that helps your air conditioning be more efficient by around 30%
4. turned up the thermostat to 75 during the day and then to 70 at night- when I go back to work I will turn it up to 80 when we are not here during the day- for Christmas I want a digital thermostat that we can set
5. we are slowly changing over to the super bulbs that last for 7 years and use less energy and put out less heat- every time a regular bulb dies we replace it with an energy efficient.
6. almost completely quit using the clothes dryer- I hang everything outside on our clothesline or on a rack inside
7. put the dishwasher on air dry
8. only run full loads in the dishwasher/washer and run them on the light or regular cycles

This has kept our electricity bill in the summer in southern Arkansas in a 1700 square foot home to $200 a month - some of the changes we have just started and we should see the results next month including- the not using the clothes dryer and installing the new light bulbs.

Some of the more extreme things I have been thinking of trying include: unplugging the tvs and other appliances when not in use and turning off the computer everyday.