Friday, October 26, 2012

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1.  Caught a charge that didn't belong to us in our checking account. Went right to the bank and had it fixed.  Turns out my hubby's debit card info was some how stolen.  I was the 3rd person who had been in that day whom had false charges appear in their accounts from the same stores in the same area.  BTW: my false charge was to the tune of $221.55.

2. Found Kid #5 a pair of black and brown dress shoes for $6 total!

3. Took pictures of several items to list on the facebook garage sale sites in my area.

4.  Ate leftovers and made lunches with alot of them

5.  Re purposed a shirt of my husbands into a skirt for Kid #5

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fabric Bin Project

I have slowing been trying to implement more organization into our house.  One of the area's that was in a drastic need of an overhaul was Kid # 5's toys.  Her room is small so we only keep a few things in it and the rest are down in our family room.  A few months ago I bought two of these cubbies from Walmart.   They had them on sale at Target so I used the ad to price match.  Walmart is closer to me then Target is                  

                                                  Cubeicals 9 Cube Organizere

The next step in this organization project was to find some inexpensive boxes to fit the cubbies so that Kid #5 would have to some place to store her smaller toys.  After scouring Pinterest, I decided to make her some fabric covered boxes myself.  I first started this project when I was still working as a Nanny.  So over a few months I bought home all the empty diaper boxes and baby wipes boxes.  I also used a few printer paper boxes I had on hand.  Here is the tutorial I used to make my boxes which I originally found on Pinterest.  I used a painters drop cloth to cover my boxes.  I made a total of 9 boxes.   This is what they looked like when I was done.

I thought they were kinda plain looking but they did work and fit well into the cubbies.  Then I happen to stubble on this tutorial for making fabric bins on Pinterest and fell in love with the handles.  So I decided to add handles to my boxes.  This is what they looked like next


Next I decide they needed some numbers on them.  So I  stenciled some numbers on them.

And here they are with Kid #5s toys all organized in them.  I love how they look and to make all 9 boxes cost less then $25.  They are also sturdier then the fabric bins you buy from the store and I would have spent at least $45 buying them.


I really do heart Pinterest!


Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

1 lb.- Ground Beef
1 cup- diced Onion -fresh or frozen
1/2 - teaspoon Basil
1/2 - teaspoon Oregano
1- ( 14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 cups- chopped Green Pepper
1 - ( 15 oz) can Tomato Sauce
3 cups- Water
1 Tablespoon - Beef Bouillon
1 cup - cooked Brown Rice

Brown beef and onion. Place in crock pot with the remaining ingredients on low 6-8 hours.  Or place in a large stockpot and simmer 1 hour.

*I usually cook mine on the stove.   I also do not cook the rice ahead of time if I am cooking on the stove.  If I do not have brown rice on hand I have use white rice also and it works fine.  We love this soup and I frequently make a double batch and freeze it for lunches.

Friday, October 19, 2012

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1.  Used up and apple in some muffins that was getting kinda mushy, instead of throwing it in the compost bucket.

2. Sold an items making $5 to add to my ER fund.  I also have $22 pending in sales right now.  I am suppose to meet the people later this evening.

3. Made a big pot of Stuffed Green Pepper soup for dinner and used up some green pepper that were starting to go bad.

4. Made a batch of laundry soap

5. Grocery shopped with a list :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mid-Month Check In

I tallied the numbers for our grocery expenses so far this month and they totaled $257.55.  Not to bad but I was really hoping we could just spend that amount for the whole month, not gonna happen.  I have a small grocery list that I need to go purchase.  I think that will be it for the month though.

One thing I have learned in all of this is we are snackers.  We go though alot of snack foods and I doubt that will change.  So I really really need to plan for these also.  I will be starting that with my small grocery list for the rest of the month.  I also need to be more proactive about making some snacks for us from scratch.  I think that would really help with keeping our grocery budget low.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1.  I sold a few items and earned $32.50 to snowflake to my ER fund :)

2. Cooked at home and stayed out of the grocery store

3. Cleaned out the refrigerator, made up several lunches for my husband to take to work, froze the rest of the leftovers

4. I have wood floors.  I really thought I wanted a dust mop, my floors not only get dirty but sometimes just dusty.  Instead I took a scrap piece of fleece out of my fabric stash and used it on my swiffer ( which I hardly ever use anymore).  I love it!  This is what I will be using from now on.

5. I am working on a command center in my kitchen.  Instead of buying the items I think I need I am coming up with creative ways of making them myself.  Post to come on this soon :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Doing A Little Kitchen Work

After my husband left for work this afternoon I decided to busy myself getting some kitchen work done. 

Today I made hot chocolate mix and 2 different Lipton rice mixes to use for side dishes.  One of the mixes I found here.  I made the Creamy Herb Rice.  The only thing I did differently is I added dried green peppers that I had picked up in Iowa at the Amish store, instead of the minced celery.

I grilled two chicken breast on my George Foreman grill and then added them to this Ramen noodle salad.  I did not buy the broccoli slaw.  Instead I made my own with my food processor.  Next time I think I will make my own Cole slaw mix also but otherwise I followed the rest of the recipe.  I am having this for dinner and then there will also be enough for several lunches.  By the way I am a follower of One Creative Housewife. It is a really good blog, you should check it out!

I am also getting the prep work done for homemade pizza for dinner tomorrow night.  I have grated a 2lb block of cheese.  I still need to dice some onion, green pepper and black olives.  But those really should not take long.

Not bad for a slow Sunday!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Taking Care Of Me

This week,  my blogger friend Judy fromWhen I get where I'm going, wrote a post about taking her of herself.  I could totally relate to her post.  I am guilty of putting myself last often. 

So today I  colored my hair.  Kid #3 didn't have school today so I had her help me with the back.  I have vowed to keep up better with my color and to do it every 4 weeks like I need to so that the gray doesn't start peeking through.  I feel better when my hair is done, which in turn also makes me in a better mood.

I also spent sometime in the shower shaving :)  Ya ya I know I should prolly do that more often but honestly I am just lazy.  But yet again,  I feel much better about myself when I keep up with this sort of thing :)  I am sure my husband probably appreciates it also ;)

One other thing I did this week, I called an got myself an appointment at the OB/GYNs office.  I am not even gonna tell you how long it has been since I have been there.  But I realize that going and having my yearly done is equally important as any other thing I could do for myself.  So I called and made the appointment.

Thank you Judy for inspiring me to take a look at my own habits.  I am so glad you are back to blogging!

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Sold a few items and made $25 to add to my ER fund

2. Stuck to the menu plan

3. Did not go shopping

4.  Worked on a few projects using items I already had.  I am really trying to DO the projects I had previously bought the items for and then not completed.

5.  Worked on our budget and made a plan for where our money will now be going :)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Another Cheap Light

I love the tripod lights I see on Pinterest and around the blogs.  There is no way I am gonna spend the money to buy a real tripod floor lamp from Pottery Barn though no matter how much I love it.  I couldn't seem to come across any cheap or inexpensive wooden tripods either so I decide to make do with what I had.

 I spray painted an old camera tripod that we had laying around with oil rubbed bronze spray paint.

 My wonderful hubby then wired it up with a light kit we already had.  I bought a lamp shade which cost was the most expensive part of the whole project.  Here is what we have now.......

I love it and we get several comments about it when people are over.

October Dinner Menu

The once a month planning of the dinner menu has been going so well that I did it again for October.  One of the main things I have figured out for this month is that I am planning to many dinners and we are not getting to them all in a month.  So for this month I decided to plan only 20 meals instead of 24.  I will keep adjusting as need be until I find the right number for us each month.  I also found that it is helpful to try  and plan snacks and side dishes too.  I created my own printable to put in my home management binder under the planner section.  This really made the planning much easier.  Every Friday I now have decided will be leftover nights.  We are usually busy on Friday's so this will help alot.

Anyway, here are our dinners for October

1. Leftover chili, sandwiches and salad
2. Lasagna and salad
3. Crock pot Cheesy Rice Chicken and Salad - this is a new crock pot recipe I am trying
4. Mexican Pasta Skillet and corn
5. Leftover Sloppy Joe's from the freezer and seasoned fries
6. Homemade Pizza
7. Pork Loin, baked potatoes and green beans
8. Tomato Soup and grilled cheese sandwiches
9. Goulash and green beans
10. Tacos
11. Perogies with peppers and onions, salad
12. Stir Fry with rice
13. Leftover meatball subs from the freezer, chips
14. Pizza soup, bread and salad
15. Fajitas from a leftover roast in freezer, peppers and onions
16. Fish, rice and green beans
17. Lasagna skillet and corn
18. Stuffed green pepper soup and bread
19 Taco Ring
20 Sub sandwiches, chips and salsa

So far I have done a majority of the grocery shopping for this month.  My total so far is $211.15.  Not to shabby I don't think.  I do have a few items to get at Walmart still which I have not done yet.  I'll update on how this is going again later in the month.

Monday, October 1, 2012

So now what??

When I started this blog "the plan" was to pay off my car and become consumer debt free by the time I turned 39.  Well I am now 39 plus a few months and we accomplished my/our plan.  I can't imagine that I will suddenly become some spendy person.  That is just not in my nature.  I don't plan to change any of my habits as of now.  I like my frugal lifestyle and the way we live.

So now what will we do???  

I will continue with $200 per month we already put into savings and throw any extra money at it until our emergency fund hits $2,000 right now it sits at about $1200.  That is where I feel comfortable with it sitting for a while.  We have started a home improvement project on our kitchen floor.  We are still in the demo stage of it ( post on that to come). When we reach the point of needing to purchase new flooring I plan to be able to pay cash for it.  Once that is done I will go back to building up our emergency fund.  I would like to have at minimum of 3 months bare bones living expenses saved.

Tomorrow I will be setting up an automatic transfer so that the money that was allotted for our car payment will automatically be transferred to our saving account.  My husband drives a very old car ( not by my choice, he loves his old car) and the reality is he is going to need to replace it very soon.  We are hoping to make it until the end of tax season in April/ May next year.  We plan to use the money we are saving now from our old car payment plus whatever he would or could make doing taxes to purchase him a new to us car with cash.

I also need to start saving for new heating and air conditioning.  Our units are almost 20 years old.  It is time to get those replaced hopefully by the end of next year.  If my husband should make enough doing taxes next season to purchase a car and the new furnace/central air that would be great but I am not going to count on that solely happening.  I have not really allotted a set amount to this fund yet.  I need to sit down and run some numbers again to see what I think would work.  I hope to finish the kitchen remodel first before I start this savings.

On top of all of this I need to finish up my shopping for Christmas.  Yes I have already started!  Have you??