Saturday, August 31, 2013

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Found a good sale on hamburger and chicken. Bought several pounds which should last us awhile.

2. Made a menu plan for the entire month of September :)

3. Had a leftover night so no food went to waste 

4. Made use of the clothesline and my 3 drying racks so the dryer was not used at all

5. Combined a lot of driving to save on gas and to keep us out of the hot car in this crazy heat

Friday, August 23, 2013

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. I was out of dishwasher soap but had all ingredients to try making my own. I made a small test batch. Recipe and my thoughts on it to come soon :)

2. Started to organize all our paper work. This will save me time and money when a bill comes due 

3. Packed Kid # 5 a lunch 2x this week. This saves us $1.90 every time.

4. Ad matched a few items at Walmart. 

5. Cooked dinner each night even though I was tired

Thursday, August 22, 2013

What a week....

This is the first week of school here for everyone.

I started back to work also.  You would know that it has also been quite hot here this week too.  It is nice to be back but it also is taking some adjustment for all.

It seems that the financial hits just keep coming and coming.........

Our homeowners insurance sent us a letter telling us we have until November 11 to do some major repairs to our "large shed" on our property or we will  be cancelled.  The other option is tearing it down.  We use this "large shed" for storage so tearing it down is not an option and would not be a cheaper option really either.  I have never heard of insurance doing this.  We got no warning just a letter in the mail.  We are shopping around for new insurance.  Some of the repairs are not all that expensive and we plan to do but some of them are very expensive and just not in our budget right now. The funny thing is this building is old and really does not look that bad.  It needs a few repairs but the demands the insurance is making are ridiculous for an outbuilding on someones property.

Kid # 3 had a dentist appointment this week.  She needs to have her wisdom teeth pulled :(  This is not covered 100% by our dental insurance.  But is something that will need to be done since she had braces.  We are gonna have to figure out how to work that into the budget.

Thankfully I am back to work now!  My paycheck is going to come in handy!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Searl House Happenings August 11-17

What a busy week we have had. 

Kid # 5 started physical therapy for her knee this week.  She is going twice a week now.  The Dr says this should last about 12 weeks.  She has a knee brace instead of a cast and no longer has to walk with her crutches which is nice.

On Monday I had a Dr appointment to get a physical and TB test for work.  I went back on Wednesday to have the TB test read and get blood work done since I am now 40 :)

Wednesday I also drop off my paper work for my "new" job since I am officially hired as a cook in the school district this year.

Thursday I had 4 hours worth of meetings for work.  All the cooks in the district have a new boss this year.  It is a big deal to alot of the cooks who have been here along time.  Not so much to me.  She seems nice and I love the lady I will be working with.

Friday I met with the other lady I will be working with and we cleaned up our kitchen to get it ready for the first day of school on Monday.  That was an all day job!  Lots of cleaning and putting stuff away and computer work.  I really think I will like my job though and I look forward to the extra money.

Today I am taking my dog to a new groomer.  The one we have used the last few years closed up shop.  Hopefully I like this one as well and her prices are comparable :)

I am also trying to get some last minute cleaning and organizing done before school starts.  Hopefully I will get alot accomplished.  This summer went by much to quickly!

Have a great Saturday everyone!

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Enjoyed the nice weather we are having and did not turn on the air conditioning

2. Ate at home even though going out to dinner sounded nice

3. Went to a free concert in the park.

4. Combined driving to save on gas

5. Came in under budget for the two weeks of groceries :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Murphy Comes To Visit When You Least Expect It

Which is why an emergency fund is so important. 

Today it was our washer.  The pump on it went bad. 

We know a repairman.  Even still it cost $180 to have it fixed.  Parts can be expensive, but it was still cheaper then buying a new washer.

Thankfully we have an ER fund so we could pay cash for having it fixed.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Food Waste

I realized when I was looking through my pictures that I didn't post my food waste from last week.  So I am just going to combine it with this weeks.

So keep in mind when you are looking this is two weeks worth.  I really wish I had no pictures to post but that is not the case :(

1/4 of a very large container of sour cream

A few strawberries

Half of a loaf of bread 

Hopefully next week will be better :(

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Made Kid # 4 a chocolate cake with chocolate frosting completely from scratch for his birthday.

2. I made an apple crisp from free apples we picked at my sisters.

3. Only had the air on one day this week

4. We had pizza pasta bake of dinner one night this week. Used up all the little veggie scraps in the frig. Froze the rest of the pizza sauce to use in pizza soup.

5. Made these meatballs with ground beef I got for $1.77 a pound. There are 28 of them. I flash froze them and then placed them in a ziplock to use as needed for future dinners.

Ugh! Not Where I Was Hoping To Be!

This summer has not been easy on the budget.  We have spent way to much money with no plan on how to pay for anything!

Here is where we stand now....with approximate numbers.

The bad.....

American Express- $1250.00 - before summer we had no credit card debt.  I would love to say this is due to some big emergency but it is not.  It has been alot of eating out and buying things we don't need.

ER Fund - $1100 - I really like to have $2000 in this fund.  Again at the beginning of summer we did.  More mindless spending.  My hubby bought me an ipad for my 40th birthday with no real plan or savings on how to pay for it.  So it came out of the ER fund :(

Car repayment started at 16,000- we have paid $1650 towards the car since May.  Which leaves us at a balance of alittle less then 14,500.  We are $1350 short of what I was hoping to have been able to pay by now.

The Good....

We have paid Kid # 3's community college tuition in cash.  So that is a plus in our favor.

I have also made over $600 since April decluttering my house and selling our unwanted items.  That is also a plus!

I have paid cash to sign Kid # 5 up for school and only need to buy 2 boxes of Kleenex and some disinfecting wipes for her supplies. 

I also will not owe anything to sign Kid # 4 up for school.  His Dad and I split that cost and his Dad owes me money for some other expenses so we will just call it even.

How are we gonna get out of this mess.....

I finally bit the bullet and called and had our land line and cable disconnected.  This will save us $95 a month.

Next up we will be getting rid of one of our cars.  We own 4, two we both drive, 1 is a van used for my hubby's side business.  The other is old and we don't need it.  I will be putting a for sale sign in it this week.  I don't expect to get alot from it but mainly it just needs to go.  That will also lower our car insurance.

We will be reevaluating out car insurance to make sure we are getting the best bang for our buck.  I think we might be over paying.  We will see....

I will also be going back to work and getting a pay check again at the end of this month.   That will be nice!

August is an extra pay check month so I plan to pay at least half of the amount owed on the American Express card with the extra money from the extra pay check.  The rest of the money from the extra pay check will have to go towards some back to school expenses for Kid # 5.

I am going to cut our grocery budget to $300 a month.  There is only 3 of us eating here for the most part now.  I think with careful planning this is doable.  In order to do this I will need to go back to planning menus, which I should have been doing all along anyway! I also need to make a better effort to get back to using coupons.  I use to have a nice stockpile but have gotten away from couponing when my stockpile grew large.  We have now used that up.  I don't plan to have a large stockpile again necessarily but some extra bottles of shampoo, deodorant, tampons etc would be nice.

The biggest thing we are going to do is sit down together and work out a budget.  Paying our bills is not really the problem, it is how we spend the money that is left.  We never have a plan and we never work together on this.  We need to do better or we will never accomplish any of the goals we have.

Something I know that will be coming up....

My hubby is going back to school for his Masters, we have 2 books left to purchase for that.

Kid # 5's piano lessons will be starting again in September.  We will need to work those back in the budget.

I will need to finish our Christmas shopping and pay cash for that.  I would say we are about half done.

My car is going to need some routine work done on it since it has rolled over 100,000.  That is gonna be pricey.  We will need to save cash for that.

In January Kid # 3's tuition for the spring semester will be due again.  We will need to plan for that also.

Good list of things to talk about and plan for I think.  So lets see if we can get all this under control and make some head way.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Fiesta Lime Chicken

I am way behind in posting about my Pinterest recipes we have been eating.  Tonight I made this chicken.  It was awesome!  The recipe can be found here

I used cilantro that I grew myself in a pot off my deck. 

I also had a tomato, cucumber, mozzarella salad with balsamic vinegar as the dressing. The cucumber and tomatoes I got free from my Mom and sisters gardens :) 

Great summer meal!

Friday, August 2, 2013

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. I walked to several places this week instead of driving. Saved some gas and got some exercise in the process.

2. I made some buns, banana bread and bbq sauce.  All things we needed for dinners and I had all the ingredients to make instead of buying at the store.

3.  I was offered some free food my Kid # 1's sister in law.  I never turn down free food unless it is something we really won't eat.

4.  I went through my "school box".  I will only need to purchase, tissues, and disinfected wipes to start the kids in school!

5. I took this dress that was Kid # 3's and stained and turned it into this skirt for Kid # 5 :)