I haven't post on here in a long time. I have been real busy this year with my new craft website.
I also this month submitted a craft to SC Johnson in their Clean Home Journal and I need votes for it. My craft is currently in third place, competing against approximately 30 different crafts.
Here is the link:
Here is the description:
I took game pieces from the classic American game Tiddledy Winks and made patriotic earrings with them.
I drilled holes in the top of the "wink" and attached them together with jump rings. I attached additional jump rings on the front of each "wink" an adorned them with small red glass beads.
The earrings are simplistic and classic in design which is a reflection of the game itself.
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I haven't post on here in a long time. I have been real busy this year with my new craft website.
I am working at on getting my Christmas shopping done for next year.
I found some great little gift items at Bath and Body Works my best find was the Holiday Survial Kit normally $25 I got it for $6.25
I also bought a coffee maker online at JcPenney's orginally $22.49, on sale for 12.49, and then a $10 mail-in-rebate is offered through the manufacture. They also had a blender, chopper, toaster, and indoor grill all on sale for $12.49 with a $10 mail-in-rebate. Almost sounds to good to be true.
Now is the time to buy for next year. Anyone else shopping for the new year?
I try very hard during the holiday season to spend a limited amount of money. I usually only spend about $50 during the holiday season because most of all my holiday shopping is done at the after Christmas sales from the previous year.
I have a present closet that I just stock-up on bargains through-out the year and then I am ready to take them out for the holidays.
Usually after Christmas sales are as much as 90% off. With a little planning and saving the "present closet" makes my holidays so much easier. I have to shop for my 2 children, husband, 3 sets of grandparents, 8 aunts & uncles, 4 siblings (mine & husbands), and 7 nieces and nephews. I could never afford to do it if I didn't shop a year in advance.
Then I usually add some homemade crafts/decorations.
Here are my own craft ideas complete with instructions.
How to Make a Microwaveable Heating Pad
How to Make Your Own Gift Bags
How to Make Ornaments from Christmas Cards
I have not written in a while because I have been so completely overwhelmed? Do you ever get that way when you have your hands in so many projects and are stretched so thin your head spins???
I have my in-laws at my home right now so I am taking extra care to keep it really clean. My son had his 5th birthday party at Chuck E Cheese on Tuesday I split the cost of the party with my friend. Her son also has a birthday in Oct. so we did a two kid party. It cost me $70(half of the total) for 11 kids to have 2 slices of pizza, cake, party favors, and tokens.
At the paryt my father in-law came up behind me and handed me the $70 I almost cried. The party cost me nothing.
I also write for clubmom and they pay me a salary but also they pay me in gift certificates. I have been collecting Toys R Us gift certificates and I had a $100.00 worth of gift certificates for presents for my son. The total out-of-pocket cost for my son turning 5 years-old $9.18!
I had a good morning, found lots of things for making Christmas presents at yard sales.
Time to get those Christmas presents started. Ahhhh, my to-do-list is so long.
Pictures & cost break down of my yard sale finds.
I started a thread on the discussion forum yesterday because I have been very curious:
"Does the state you live in directly affect your spending/savings habits?" & "Is your debt to savings ratio directly affected by where you live?"
I have always assumed frugal is frugal no matter where you live you just make your situation work to your advantage, adapt to your environment, and make the most of the resources around you. All of that may be true but some are definitely at a disadvantage because of where they are located in the US.
I found this great site where you can get cost of living by zip code and also compare one zip code to another. I found it to be an eye opener. Here is the link to the site http://www.bestplaces.net/col/
I have also placed some cost comparisons up on my blog site. I used a few of the zip codes from my coupon exchange members to get a variety of cost of livings data up. Obviously there are a few more steps to this data, employment and job growth. But those can also be compared through the cost comparison site.
To check out other's cost of living: http://toysonsale.clubmom.com
Love to know your thoughts......
Last year we got our old wood siding replaced with vinyl siding. In our attic we have ridge vents, gable vents, and soffit vents. The people putting in the siding recommended we cover up the gable vents saying that the siding would go on better and we had plenty of ventilation in our attic anyways.
This summer for the first time we had mildew and the start of mold spores in our attic. I called the vinyl siding contractors that we used last year and left a couple of messages with no return calls. I finally go a return call at the being of this week explaining that they had been up north working on a home and they forgot their cell phone so they were unable to get their messages. I told them that I wanted gable vents because even though they recommended that we did not need them in reality we must because we now have mildew problems. They said they would come out last night and then never showed.
My husband and I last night were contemplating getting in touch with a lawyer. Then surprise, surprise this morning the owner showed up at my home apologized for not coming out last night, had the louvers in his hand for the gable vents and said that he would put them up right now at no cost to me.
We will still have to pay out of pocket someone to treat our attic but at least the gable vents are settled.
I wonder if I should contact my home insurance company about the mold?
As summer draws to a close the yard sales get fewer and farther between. I spent all day going to the same number of yard sales I could have hit in a couple of hours at the beginning of the summer. I know as I get closer to winter all the yard sales will start to dwindle down until there are no more.
I depend on yard sales quite a bit for my children's clothes, my clothes, household accessories and items to sell on ebay (for extra income).
I am like a chipmunk preparing my home for the winter. I need to build-up as much stock (nuts) as I can before it gets cold and they are not more.
Sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don't.....great now I want an Almond Joy!
Yard sale picture:
I have always liked to take advantage of sales but this last month especially when I have seen items on sale I have been trying to stock-up on them.
I would like to have by Christmas time a three month stockpile that I just continue to rotate food from. When I first started this challenge I thought a three month stockpile would be impossible but I have made huge strides and think by December I should be set. I am now only grocery shopping every two weeks and only spending around a $150 dollars because I am able to take advantage of store sales.
If you want to see my stockpile pictures I posted them on my other blog.
If wonder why I never post the pictures here it is because I am a freelance writer for Clubmom and once I post the pictures on their site they own them. I can't then go and post them on other sites but rather have to link to them. I appreciate your understanding, no one has complained about it but I am sure some of you have wondered why I just don't post the pictures here.
Again, thank you all for your understanding.
I also want to thank Flash for all her stockpiling advice I posted a link to her site on my other blog because she is hands down my official stockpiling superhero!
We have a new (mentally stable) mailbox up and ready to receive mail for Monday...if you have no idea what the hell I am talking about check my previous post. Don't miss out on the mailbox saga, you'll be sorry.
My husband went to Lowe's and bought a new post, mailbox, and numbers. As we were getting ready to put it in the ground this morning the father of the girl who hit our mailbox pulled into our driveway. I felt really bad for him you could tell he was beside himself with embarrassment at the pure carelessness of his daughter. My husband showed him the receipt from Lowe's and he was more than happy to reimburse us for everything. He even asked if he could put the mailbox in for us. I was so proud of my husband he shook the guy's hand told him all he wanted was the money and as far as he was concerned the matter was closed; end of story.
We put up the mailbox, fixed the stonewall, and I replanted some of my flowers that were uprooted. End of Story -- I hope!
In other exciting news I went out yard saling this morning and got tons of great deals:
5-6 sz boys clothes 95 pieces for $10.00 all in excellent condition
0-9 month clothes 65 pieces for $5.00 some even have the tags on them
9-18 month clothes 50 pieces plus snowsuit, 6 hats & Mittens sets for $7.00
3 Knit women's sweaters for $3.00
Little People Barn, Garage, Farm, Zoo, Bus, Plane and over 15 people for $10.00
10 Hard Cover Disney Books for $1.00
Leap Frog Preschool Case, Pad, 5 games for $10.00
2 Decorative Metal Trucks for 1.00 (they are really neat and vintage looking I am going to have to do a little research on those)
I am so happy about the clothes it works out to a little over 0.10 a piece!
My mailbox was destroyed but the car that hit it looks worse.
I have pictures of my mailbox but unfortunately none of the car that hit it because she didn't stop until half a mile up the road from my house when it died also. One dead mailbox, one dead car my mailbox is American made obviously her car wasn't because my mailbox kicked her car's ass!
Not sure what she was doing I am guessing talking on the phone because she ran over my lawn, stone wall, and hit my mailbox. Her fender was smashed, her passenger back tire flat, her passenger side mirror bent in and smashed her passenger window!
Here is the pictures: Pics
scroll down they are there for your viewing amazement
I am excited I spent yesterday getting my coupons all listed into a database on my site. You don't realize how many coupons you have until you put them in a spread sheet form. I have hundreds if not close to a thousand coupons.
I am doing a coupon exchange (free...benefits both of us) you send me unexpired coupons in a SASE and I send you back the coupons you were looking for.
I have people sending coupons from all over the US so it gives a wide variety of coupons available.
The only thing I am really lacking in is diaper, wipes, and formula coupons. If you have some and would like to trade let me know.
Or if you just want to check out my list of coupons up for trade here is the link:
coupons to trade
We are still a one car family. It has made things a little difficult yesterday I went grocery shopping at 6:30am so that I could use the car before my husband needed it to go to work. It was a marathon shopping lots to get in a very little amount of time.
Who needs a gym membership when you have marathon shopping!
We are saving gas money with only having one car and before I went food shopping I was also having to get creative with meals.
The other night we didn't have much food and I had no car to go buy some, hence, a new receipe was born...my own creation....
One Car Chicken Dinner:
5-6 Chicken Thighs - skinned
Rice a Roni Herb and Butter
10.5 oz Condensed Mushroom Soup
1 1/4 Boiling Water
Goya Adobe All Purpose Seasoning
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a casserole dish mix Mushroom Soup, boiling water, and Rice (including the rice seasoning packet).
Place thighs on top of rice mixture brush with olive oil, All Purpose Seasoning, and Garlic Salt.
Cover and cook for 90 minutes.
Everyone loved it...good thing...it was all I had.
Thankfully after my Wal-mart shopping I am stocked up at least for the next two weeks!
Right now we are a one car family. Yep, my husband's truck is still not fixed.
I have gone through a range of emotions with only have one car. In a way I am happy because at least we still have a car to fall back on, it would be really awful if my husband's truck was our only vehicle. Also, we are spending less because we do not need to pay for gas for the truck. I need to go grocery shopping and just haven't had the time with only one car so I have been getting creative with some of the left overfood and can goods I have on hand.
I guess in reality there are many things we can do without we are just no always happy about it.
The list of other things I would miss if I could no longer afford to buy them:
Green Mountain Coffee
Cascade Complete Gel
Charmin Toilet Paper
I could do without all of those things but they would be missed.
I haven't quite got up the nerve to dumpster dive though I have heard some great stories from many of you that really make me consider it. I am still on the edge not quite ready to make the big plunge into the dumpster.
We still have only one vehicle so on one of my marathon errands this morning before my husband had to go to work I went by a house that had stuff on the curb with a free sign next to it. I pulled up and took the whole box I figured anything I didn't want I could either donate or throw away. It had some great things in it all my size!
I got on sweatshirt, two long sleeve shirts, 3 short sleeve shirts, 3 long skirts, and 1 bathrobe. It also had dinosaur sheets there were a few holes in them but I think I will just make some pillow cases out of the sheets for my son. There was also a latch hook kit complete with instructions, and a chute and ladders game in perfect condition.
The kids and I played Chutes and Ladders after dinner, I forgot how frustrating that game is! It might end up on my curb with a free sign on it!
I went yard saling on Saturday with my two kids (3 & 4) I didn't think it would be fun but we turned out to have a great time. They didn't even look for toys for themselves but rather searched for things they knew I could sell on Ebay.
They always surprise me!
Linkto pictures of my yard sale finds.
Scroll down to the bottom.
I was so optimistic this morning, no worries I didn't need a car.
Then today I needed a car to do some errands and my husband had to go to the dentist so I dropped him off and did my errands and then came back and picked him up.
Not a big deal except my errands took too long the kids were cranky my husband was cranky and well you guessed it I was cranky, too!
What a spoiled brat I feel like. Never did I think having one car would be a big deal. I guess you don't know how fortunate you are until you are with out!
My husband's truck is broken (I know nothing about cars so that is the best explantion I can give) so we are a one car family.
It is not to bad because I work from home so I have just been planning all my errands at night when he comes home.
One car has been an inconvenience but it has made me realize if we needed extra money cutting down to one car would be a great savings and could be done.
Just sitting here trying to find the silver lining.....are you convinced??
I have been pondering this one for awhile.
Dumpster diving is frowned upon in looked at negatively in the eyes of many but I think that there are many positives:
Good for the enviroment - reuse & recycle
One man's trash is another man's treasure
Sometimes mass-merchants throw away things that are perfectly good as part of their returns process. Instead of it going into a landfill you could actually make a profit on it.
I might be looking at dumpsters in a new way? Keep you posted.
Additional Post on Dumpster Diving
Until recently I wasn't a poster on this site. I have been a member for almost a year but I only looked I never contributed.
Almost a year to the day I registered I have started posting and started my Finance Blog. I was a little scared at first but all of you have show me such warmth and compassion.
I think it is about time I send some of that love back. On my other blog I have posted SavingAdvice.com as one of my favorite places to visit! I am also offering if you have an online website and would like to offer my readers a discount I will post the name and link to your site.
I know many of you have your own online stores and some free advertising and extra traffic thrown your way I think is another great way to show the love!
Spending because you want something not because you need it where do you draw the line?
Is it okay to buy something just on "want" alone if it is a really good deal?
I try never to pay full price and only buy things when they are on sale no matter whether I "need" it or "want" it. But if something is just on clearance, prices slashed, marked unbelievably low whether I truly need it I end up buying it. The same goes for yard sales I don't always need everything I buy I just want it.
Am I really spending responsibily or am I just filling my urge to spend?
I am starting to question my motives.
My neighbor came over yesterday and asked to borrow my wooden "free" sign. We live on a very busy road and whenever we want to get rid of something we just stick it on the curb with my homemade "free" sign.
Before I went to bed last night I noticed that she laid the sign against my shed. I didn't give it much thought but my sub-conscious must have been going crazy because I dreamed all night that people kept coming and trying haul away my shed.
Beware of those free signs!!!!
I, of course, went yard saling this weekend if you want to see the pics:
Well if you read my last post I was pondering an e-mail I received that the first step to being financially responsible is to get up and start your day right and take a shower and get dressed. I am usually up every morning around 5:30am but I never get a shower in until well after noon time. So this morning (even though it was dark and rainy) I decided to take a shower and get dressed. I have already seen evidence that I am probably more productive. I have made my grocery list, eaten breakfast, gotten some computer work in, and will be ready to leave the house soon for grocery shopping. I guess in that sense I am way ahead of the game because if I had not showered I would not be able to leave early to go grocery shopping. And I learned from the Saving Advice Grocery Shopping Quiz the best time to grocery shop is first thing in the morning. *LOL*
I will continue to give this a try and let you know how it is going for me.
I have been thinking about this one for a long time and I need opinions. I received an email about frugal living and the main premise of it was to get up every morning (even if you have no where to go) and take a shower and get dressed right away. Doing that one thing will make you a more productive and organized person therefore helping you to save money.
Shower = More Productive = Debt Free
I am not sure what I think about this. It takes me forever to get myself showered and dressed in the morning. I have a 3 & 4 year old and I work at home and frankly a shower and getting dressed is usually last on my list. I make an effort to get a shower in and look half way decent before my husband comes home but that is usually the best I can do.
Would I be more productive? I was going to give it a try this morning but I have been at my computer all morning and it is 11am eastern time and I am no where near showering.
What are you thoughts?
Also, any yard saler's out there? Want to let me know if I forgot anything?
I have been able to save quite a bit of money this year from my garden. Instead, of buying the plants I started all my plants from seed in mid-February I am guessing that none of my vegetable plants have cost me than .15 cents each. That includes plant food, soil, and cow manure. It makes everything from my garden taste that much better knowing that it is basically a free food!
I equate my vegetable garden to my feelings about life, it is not how much money you spend but rather your time and effort that gets results.
I might not take the road most traveled but it is the only road I know.
Back from the Vets, Bailey has lipoma (small cyst full of fat) on his belly. I guess it is fairly common, they don't hurt, they can get larger, and he can develop more than one.
Sounds pretty simple right? This information was not explained to me so simply I had to pry for it.
When the doctor came in the examing room she touched the cyst on his belly said that she should aspirate it and check the fluid under the microscope but most likely it is lipoma. Then she said, "Let me check Bailey's teeth while we have him under to remove the cyst we can clean his teeth also."
My response: "Hold on, one I have already had a quote to clean his teeth and it is $300, he will never be getting his teeth cleaned. Two we don't even know what the cyst is I am not about to discuss removing it until you are able to identify what it is."
Vet: "Okay, let's aspirate it, if it is just clear, oily fluid, I don't even need to put it under the microscope it is most certainly lipoma."
-Vet took a sample and put it on the slide it was clear, oily liquid.
Vet: Definitely, lipoma you may want to get it removed.
My Response: "Why does it need to come out is it hurting him? If I have it taken out could he still get more?"
Vet: It is not hurting him and I have seen dogs with ten to twenty of these things, in fact my dog has one about the size of a baseball.
My Response: "Okay, it is not hurting him and your own dog has one yet you want me to pay to get it taken out."
Vet: "Well it is something to think about. If it is because you are worried about paying for it we could set up a finance plan for you."
My Response: "It is not that I can't pay for it, but it sounds very impractical to even consider taking it out at this point. The six years that I have owned this dog things have seemed to get progressively worse in the "Vet World" seems like you guys prey on people's love for their pets and encourage things that are just plain not necessary.
Vet: "I can understand why you would feel that way but if you decide you want it out here is a quote for the surgery."
Cost of surgery: $618.36
Is that not insane!
It is early and I already know it is going to be a hard day. One of my dogs has a cyst on the bottom of his stomach. It has already doubled in size in a weeks span so I know that it needs to be checked out. But just to bring him in and see the vet it is $52, and then they are going to take a sample of the fluid which is another $25.
I know the money has to be spent it is just a little discouraging because I did so well on my groceries and other expenses this week that I had quite a bit extra from my grocery fund. I was going to move it into my savings fund but now it looks like it will be spent at the Vet.
I guess I can be thankful that I have the money to pay the Vet bill.
I have been thinking about doing a coupon exchange for a while now. I think if I can get enough people to participate this could really work out well for everyone.
Well today I went to the post office and got a PO Box so that I wouldn't have to give my street address over the internet. (I am sure if someone wanted to find out where I lived it would be easy enough, but I still feel better having a PO Box.) Now, that I have the PO Box I am ready to get started. I already have a few people committed to sending coupons and I have a slew of coupons so it should be easy enough to start the process of doling out coupons as the envelopes come in.
Does this sound like something you might be interested in? It could be in addition to your coupon train, I would ask that you send me a max of 30 unexpired coupons and a self addressed stamped envelope. You may also include a note of coupons that you are in particular need of.
I will return 30 different coupons to you. Hopefully, most of which are of items you use. Also to help you track your coupons on my clubmom blog I will post your first name, last name initial, city, and state when I get the coupons and when I send them out.
For more information and my address:
I had a really good yard sale morning. I only had time to go out for a couple of hours but in that time I was able to get some good finds.
I always try real hard to find toys that my kids can use their imaginations and I was able to find two boxes of creative building sets. I also found two age appropriate board games.
I found the cutest....cutest....cutest doll couch you have ever seen. My little girl loves playing with her dolls and this is just perfect for her.
I found a Buzz Lightyear costume that my son has wanted for a year now. So my little super hero is on cloud nine.
And I found over 75 cross stitch pattern books, $3.00 for the lot!!!!! I am still a little in shock about that one. I know I would be able to sell them and make a pretty good profit but I haven't decided yet if I want to sell them or keep them for my own use.
If you want to see the pictures:
I have been on quite a few coupon trains and it seems like a lot of the time they never completely make it around (never been on a coupon train on this site)
Through my other blog I am thinking about offering a coupon exchange. How it works:
They send me 30 - 50 unexpired coupons and a self addressed stamped envelope and I send them back 30 - 50 coupons.
I figured if there was enough people who joined it would give everyone a wide variety of coupons.
I would also get a PO Box so my address would not be public.
What do you think of this idea? What am I missing? What are the flaws to this idea?
More info on my other post:
I would really appreciate any input you have.
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