A happy me

A happy me
family - is everything

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our Frugal List

Honestly I find it a bit hard to think of being frugal w/o taking into consideration how much high fructose corn syrup, or sugar, or GMO's are in the food being purchased weekly w/ all those coupons.  I did the coupon thing for a year, and honestly, there wasn't much in those flyers I'd clip for my family.  I've read so many blogs on how people survive on $1300 a month etc...well I'm here to tell you that This family of 4 survives on $24k a year and eats ORGANIC.  It can be done.

Things we do to be frugal:

1.  Going to farmers markets where you can meet and get to know your local farmers is the best thing for our family.

2.  We have our own chickens

3.  Grow our own heirloom garden

4.  Thrift whenever we can...meaning, if I need clothes for the kids, I shop at a resale store. and Goodwill for myself and hubby.  Rarely do we buy something new.

5.  Our vehicles are old and paid for.

6.  I try to only make one trip into town each week for the grocery store, library, and errands so I am saving on gas which at this point in time is at $3.59 in our town.

7.  I start shopping for Christmas in the summertime.  I buy a few things at a time on sale...if it's not 50% off, I won't buy it.  I've often bought used toys on ebay.

8.  I learned how to cook.  This saves us so much money!  We rarely eat out!  When we do it's a real treat.  Mr. Eye Candy tells me he doesn't ever need to eat out when he has such good food at home. :)

9.  I learned how to can our food.  My neighbor gave me (yes GAVE ME) an All American Pressure canner this summer, and I can't wait to try it!  I did order a new gauge for it though...it's an oldie!  They never die though.  By canning our own garden goods I save our family a lot of money at the grocery store AND I'm prepared for an emergency at the same time by storing food! (another thought on this is...get to know your neighbors!  we're very fortunate to have a great neighbor on one side of us.)

10.  We try to re-purpose as much as we can.  Example:  we used an old metal futon frame as doors for our chicken coop! The bed was free!  The hardware to hang them $8.  Mr. Eye Candy also made a pot hanger in my kitchen from an old window!  Hardware was under $10. Window was free.  We're also building a second coop for the chickens out of FREE pallets and hardware we already had in the garage.  We may wind up spending about $20 to create the rest of the coop.  Not bad.

11.  We live in a 1300 sq. ft house and we're always on the lookout to find new ideas to utilize our space better!  USE WHAT YOU HAVE.  Living in a smaller house keeps the clutter down...sort of. ha

12.  I purchased a clothes line so I can hang out my laundry this summer!  Which will save on electric!

13.  Date night is basically a good cooked meal at home...and movie night for myself and Mr. Eye Candy.  This is fun for us!   We usually budget in a few movies each year for purchase (mostly birthdays and Christmas).  We also have a gas station about 10 miles away that rents movies for about $2.

14.  I make my own bread.  This can be done for about $1 a loaf!  Compared to the good breads at the store that are $3 on sale!

15.  My husband hunts during deer season each year and we pray he gets one this year!!!  We have a freezer and will be buying another used one today for meat storage.  With the $ we've saved from our road side stand sales.

What do you do that is frugal?  I love new ideas!  We have decided that at this point we will keep the TV on...in the future this may be something we give up as a family.  We also have cell phones and our Wireless for the internet.  These are 3 things that we enjoy and see as "extra's" in our lives.  However, we own a business (lawn care) and the internet is almost a must have for billing and communication..as well as our phones.  So really the one big luxury item is the TV.

Have a great frugal weekend everyone!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Stress is running full tilt my way

I don't know how much more stress I can take.

First we got a cancellation letter from our NEW homeowners insurance. Stating they are cancelling us on Aug. 14th at Noon.  We need to replace the roof over the garage (and I think another section of roof as well).   This job - even if we do it ourselves - will run at LEAST $2000.

Then, the old old grandma van I drive (212k miles) decides to start leaking coolant.  We managed to limp it to the shop and leave it there today.  Gotta call them in the morning and explain...and HOPE they can look at it in the next few days.

Which adds the OTHER stress on my plate.  I have committed to cleaning some cottages on Tuesday...only to have the van break down...and THEN Mr. Eye Candy JUST CALLED ME a few minutes ago to tell me that they moved his schedule on Tuesday to 10am...instead of his usual 1pm.  THIS means...I have no one to watch the kids and NO time to clean the cottages for this client!  I've got a message in to my babysitter...but she has another job.  The odds that she can work are slim to none.

I'm sick.  The $$ that has to go for the roof (and this is even if the ins. co. will give us 90 days! I still have not heard back)...was supposed to be our Winter Money.  We set aside about $5k to get through the winter.  Now if I have to put that $ into the roof...and fixing the Van that is on its last legs anyway...I will never recoop it for the Winter months.

I am at a loss.  I've felt like giving up before...but at this point I just don't know why I bother with the road side stand (as nothing sells now that cherries are over).   I'm seriously at an all time low.

I just need a break.  I want so desperately to get ahead enough to not fear the winter! 

We live pretty frugal.  I mean...you're looking at a family of 4 that lives on about $24k a year.  We live well...no car payments...just insurance on them and the business.  I buy consignment clothing, and we have chickens and our own garden which I can a LOT of for the winter months.  We pay our bills and don't use a credit card. EVER. 

We do have cell phones and internet and TV.  These are the last 'things' that we could give up to save us money.  Only problem there is, you have to pay a penalty to get out of their contracts.  Heaven help me. Please.