Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 8-13 of Low/No Spend Challenege

have not been keeping up with posting my updates as well as I would like.  But here is a recap of the last several days :)

Day 8 : I went to work and I drove my daughter to piano lessons.  All planned.  I even wondered around in Goodwill while my daughter was in piano lessons and did not buy a thing!  - No spend day #3 :)

For dinner we had pizza soup and used up leftover pizza sauce and the rest of the pizza toppings from our family Christmas celebration last Saturday.

Day 9: I went to work then later in the evening I took Kid # 5 to a meeting about the school play.  Other then that I didn't spend any money anywhere - No spend day # 4

I can't remember what we had for dinner :(  I will update this when I remember lol!

Day 10:  Was another day I just went to work and then came home.  No spend day # 5 :)

For dinner we usually have snacks on Friday's.  I made a pizza dip using up the last of the pizza sauce!  Woohoo for no waste.  We had other random snack items, cheese and crackers etc.

Day 11: My husband's band played out this night so money was spent.  I have to admit I was not good at keeping track and estimate I spent about $30.  I also seem to be missing what is left of the money I had recieved for Christmas....ugh ugh ugh! I know better then to take a lot of cash with me when I go out like that. Lesson learned there.  I am not counting the missing money as part of my spending since it was "free" money and not out of our budget but still it sucks!

We did eat dinner before we left the house.  We ate leftovers.

Day 12: Hubby ran to the store for some items we were out of.  He spent $32.56.  He made some pancakes for breakfast on Sunday and we had leftovers to add to the freezer so that Kid # 5 can eat them during the school week.

For dinner we ate Super Gyros. $25.56.  We had went to a visitation for a friend whose 4 year old son died of cancer this last week.  We stood in the recieving line for over 2 hours.  It was heart breaking!  So getting take out seemed like a good idea!

Day 13:  I did a lot of running Kid # 5 around.  I also bought Kid # 3 a book for school off facebook but she paid me back so no money really is out of pocket for me.  No spend day # 6.

For dinner we had the last of the baked ravioli, salad, bread and I ate my leftover gyro.

Total spent on groceries so far : $ 104.11
Total spent on random stuff and eating out: 71.56  ( I am not going to count Christmas money spent or gift cards those are things not taken from our budget. Nor would we have bought anything if we didn't have the gift cards or Christmas funds to spend)

Our next pay day is Thursday.  I budget my groceries every two weeks.  Right now I have $95.89 left from the first two weeks of the month.  My goal was to save $100!  I think I am on target :)

Saturday, January 11, 2014

More Cheap Curtains!

Kid # 5 has been asking for a while to update her room.  She will be 11 this year and feels that her princess'y room is to "babyish" for her.  She is all about the zebra print at the moment.  I ruled out any painting as we did that a few years ago and the treatment to her walls is something she can grow with.  I did however agree to update her curtains and bedding, possibly some accessories too, we will see.

Anyway, I mentioned in an earlier post this week that I had found some zebra print curtains/sheers someone was selling on one of my local facebook sites.  I spent $16 for them.  Here they are off the Walmart site.

As you can see they are floor length and I only got two panels.  But Kid #5 has two windows and she didn't really need floor length ones either.  They would have just gotten in the way.  

So I cut each panel in half.  Took out the seams for the hem and the curtain rod pockets.  Sewed new hems on the sides and bottoms.  Sewed a new curtain rod pockets and I now have 4 panels instead of  just two.

Here is how they turned out.

I think they turned out wonderful.  To buy 4 panels I would have had to pay $7.95 a panel.  So I saved myself some money and just used a little of my time instead.  

Best of all Kid # 5 loves them and that is what matters the most :) 

PS: she to that lamp in the last picture as a Christmas gift from my Mom.  She was thrilled with it too :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Had 5 no spend days. That is now 5/10! Woohoo!

2. Reworked some curtians and made them into 4 shorter panels instead of 2 floor length ones.

3. Helped Kid # 3 find her school books cheaper then the book store.  Saving about $250

4. Started using my dish pan again.  See previous post on this.

5. Finished my inventory of our food.  This should save me a lot of money this month.  We have a lot of meals and hopefully I will not need to do much shopping!

Saving Water/ Lowering The Bill

For a while I had been using a dish pan filled with water to soak my dirty dishes before they went into the dishwasher.  My dishwasher is 10 yrs old and I do have to rince some of my really dirty dishes so they come out clean.

  Anyway, I have got away from the dish pan habit and have also noticed that our water bill has been higher lately too.  Whether this is from using a lot of water in the kitchen or not...who knows but I figure it doesn't hurt to be more aware of what we are doing :)  

This is my dish pan in use :)

I fill it with hot soapy water in the morning when I get up.  Put dirty dishes in it as needed through out the day.  When I start to prepare dinner in the evening I put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, empty the water and add new.  

Our dinner dishes then go in and any other dishes we use until bedtime.  Before bed I again add the dishes to the dishwasher and empty and clean out the pan and let it dry over night.  So far it is working well.  

Hopefully I can save a $1 or 2 on my water bill. Every little bit adds up!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Few Projects I Have Done Recently

When I did the craft show about a month ago I had a large chalk board I had made out of an old cabinet door which I ended up selling. A friend of Kid # 3 saw it and commissioned one from me for her to give as a Christmas gift. The one I made for her is a smaller then the one I sold at the craft store but still made from an old cabinet door.

Here it is:

I think it turned out pretty cute :)

The hubby and I made these versions of ruler grow charts for Christmas gift for our nephew and grandson. Hubby sanded and measured te lines for me. I stained and painted the numbers and lines in. We are a good team :)

I love how they turned out! 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Day 3-7 & Weekly Update


Sorry about the lack of updating.  Seems the days got away from me.  Here is how the later part of my week has went as far as spending goes.

Day 3 - I made a run to Aldi and got the groceries we needed.  I spent $54.58.  For dinner we had snacks leftover from New Years Eve.

Day 4- I bought a pair of curtains for Kid #5's room from a facebook group.  I spent $16 on them.  I am as the moment doing a make over on them which I will post about later this week.  We are slowly making some changes in her room.  I hope to sell her current curtains on facebook and make my money back.  I will let you know if that happens.

I also bought some soda and spent $5 for that.  Normally we do not buy soda but Saturday was our last family Christmas celebration and we had homemade pizza.  They seem to go together :)

Day 5 - I did not leave the house and it was a no spend day! Woohoo! 
For dinner we had fried potatoes with leftover green pepper & onion from the pizza and the last of the ham.

Day 6- I did not leave the house but hubby did so while he was out I asked him to get me some Woodchuck to enjoy on my snow day :)  He also grabbed some navy beans so he can make ham n beans from our hambone. -$11.97. For dinner we had chicken stir fry from the freezer

Day 7- I have not left the house and I had no spending! Woohoo! 
For dinner tonight we had baked ravioli with homemade spaghetti sauce leftover from another meal we had not long ago and a salad.

So total grocery spending for the week is $71.55
Personal spending for myself $16 + $7.95 out of my Christmas money from Day 2
2/10 - No Spend days so far!

Not to bad for my first week.  Tomorrow it is back to work and school for me and the kids after 18 days off.  I am not really looking forward to it!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

5 Things I Did That Were Frugal This Week

1. Started to inventory our food.  I have the deep freezer done.

2. Made a list for Aldi and stuck to the list.  I'll post more about my grocery shopping later.

3.  Took Kid # 3,4, and 5 to the mall and only spent $7.95 out of pocket using money I had received for Christmas.  Not to shabby if you ask me :)

4. Cooked dinner all this week using food we already had.

5. Used our Netflix to watch movies instead of renting some.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Day 1 & 2

I have decided to try and track all my spending for the month here on the blog.  That way hopefully it will help to hold me accountable.

Yesterday I spent $40 to put gas in my car.  That was my only spending and it was budgeted for.  
For dinner we had this chicken spaghetti and green beans.  I didn't have the pimentos so I used shredded carrots instead.  Otherwise I had all of the ingredients.

Today I took Kid # 3,4 and 5 to the mall to spend gift cards and Christmas money they had recieved.  I bought a purse at JCPenny using a gift card and $7.95 of my own Christmas money that I had also recieved.  So no money out of my household budget.  Also we were good and ate before we went and did not get any treats there.  I then came home and made grilled ham and cheese sandwiches using leftover ham and buns that we had.  We had some other leftovers out of the frig too.  It was a good dinner.

I had hoped to participate in Sharon's fiscal fast for this week.  However since we are still on break from school/work and I am hosting the last family Christmas celebration here on Saturday, I just can't swing it this week.  I do plan to start mine on Monday, January 6 when we are all back to a normal schedule.

We worked on cleaning Kid # 5's room and getting it organized today also.  I got all the bedding changed and washed, now I just need to clean out the closet :(

Tomorrow I plan to work on the budget and finish our food inventory.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January No/Low Spend Challenge - Goals

Carla is once again hosting a January Low/No Spend Challenge I knew right away I wanted to participate.  So here are my goals for this Challenge.

1.  Low grocery spending.  Right now I budget $400 for groceries and household items.  I hope to cut this by $100.  I just spent the morning inventorying my deep freeze.  I even made a list of what is in there :)  Next up is my kitchen refrigerator freezer.  Things seem to get lost in both of those places.  Right now I figure I have the main dish for 21 meals from just the deep freeze.  

2. Menu plan to help with #1 goal.  I have gotten away from this with the holidays.  I need to have a plan for our food so it is not wasted and I don't spend more then needed.

3. I am going to shoot for 10 no spend days.  Ideally I would like to really do 15 but I don't know if that is realistic.  I can't think of anything I need to buy other then food but you never know.

4. I would like to try to sell a few unwanted items this month too.  I have a pile of things that just need to go.  I am gonna try to sell them first and if they don't sell then off to Goodwill they go :)

My plan is pretty basic.  Don't spend on anything that we don't need.  With anything we manage to save it will go to beefing up our ER Fund.  

We also could use a new antenna for our tv's.  We have been cable-less for a while now and our old antenna is not doing the job.  So I plan to work it into the budget to get new ones by the end of January.