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remodeling

February 17th, 2010 at 06:55 am

What started out as a repair has grown into a full remodel. The shower floor in our master bathroom was cracked and we were just going to replace it but...then we discovered there was enough room for a tub if we knock a wall out. From there it snowballed. We decided to get a jacuzzi tub...more $. Hired a couple of guys whose work was sub-par. Had to hire someone else who actually cared about their quality of work and knew what they were doing to fix it. Happy with them so far. The tub wasn't as wide as the old shower floot and the tile floor couldn't be matched (circa 1980) so we decided to retile the whole floor. That then led to tiling the tub surround area. It is very nice so far. I think we will be very happy with it. What started as a small project costing maybe $1000.00 is going to cost about 4 or five time that. Oh well...

This and that

November 18th, 2009 at 07:32 am

Made $300.00 last night selling the rest of our firewood. We priced it low as we really just wanted to get rid of it. The total made from firewood is $450.00. Not bad, not bad at all. Ironic that is the exact amout for the guitar that my son wants for Christmas...

Speaking of Christmas, I did some online shopping today. Found some video games on sale and bought six for around $100.00. All had great reviews. I love to shop online in the comfort of my own home. Coffee in one hand and credit card (pd. off monthly) in another.

Rented Last Chance Harvey from Redbox yesterday. It was pretty good. Little bit of a tear jerker tho...

Adding $43.06 to the grocer tally. Total now is $69.30. Shouldn't have to grocery shop til next Tues. except to get milk.

My 5 for today are:
1. seperate hamburger into smaller packages
2. reverse ceiling fans
3. make cookies for church function
4. clean hall bathroom
5. make hair appt. for son and myself

Chase points and grocery points

November 17th, 2009 at 06:19 am

I said in my last post I was going to start to keep track of my grocery spending on SA. I spent $26.30 buying hambuger and a few loss leaders. I saved $3.00 with coupons. I am going to wm today and price matching Kroger as we don't have one near us.

Redeemed a few of our Chase points yesterday for Christmas gifts. Starbucks for two nieces. Hope they enjoy them.

Friday my little dog is getting her teeth and ears cleaned. Should cost around $100.00. Not bad I think because she is funky! Hopefully the teeth cleaning should help as her breath is unbearable.

I have a lot to do today, but will only post the top five.
1. Errands (gas and wm)
2. Clean out fridge
3. Put away camping gear
4. Clean master bathroom
5. Reconcile the checkbook

Everyone have a great Tuesday...

bummed...

November 16th, 2009 at 06:48 am

I learned today that Taste of Home had some cookbooks on sale on their website. I found several I wanted and several for inexpensive Christmas gifts. When I went to check out over half were already sold out. Oh well...

I really need to start posting more to keep myself accountable, and it's neat to look back and see my past in writing.

I also hope to keep better track of my grocery spending. I don"t really know how much I spend on food tho I am a frugal shopper. I shop sales and combine coupons with those sales. Maybe I'll post here of my grocery spending and coupon savings...

Facebook and other odds and ends.

September 9th, 2009 at 11:41 am

Because of a friends urging I created a Facebook acct. Long story short, I'm addicted. I've connected with a lot of old friends. Ones that I have lost touch with many moons ago. It's exciting to catch up with these people. Hopefully I can get *something* productive done today.

Adding $8.00 to the challenge bringing the total to $180.00.

Just updating the challenge

September 2nd, 2009 at 06:13 am

I'm adding $17.00 to the challenge for coupons bringing the total to $38.00.

I have to run a few errands today in town. Money is tight for us right now so have to be careful. I will stick to my list, and use my coupons.

ETA: Also adding $115.00 for change rolled, $5.00 for a rebate, and $14.00 for coupon savings. Total now is $172.00.

Repurposing

August 28th, 2009 at 07:36 am

Yesterday I was looking on several frugal websites and came across repurposing ideas. The ideas were pretty neat. For example someone had an old chest of drawers, took the drawers out, put casters on them and used them as under bed storage. They then cut down the dresser, trimmed it out and is using it as a childs desk. Someone else made a lampshade out of water bottle caps. The ideas were endless.

Has anyone done anythiing like this?

saving for a road trip

August 26th, 2009 at 11:43 am

I am oficially starting my $20.00 challenge. My family and I want to visit my dad for the Christmas holidays, so all monies saved will go to that trip. I saved $1.00 today by having Wal-Mart price match Kroger on milk.

bal 20.00
add 1.00
now 21.00 every little bit helps. Smile

I have some homemade jalaneno poppers in the oven right now. I've made them several times before and they are awesome. I got the recipe from Taste of Home. Most of their recipes are really good. But stupid me didn't wear gloves and am now paying the price.

I plan to make mocha chocolate chip banana muffins tomorrow. The bananas are at the right stage of ripening. Did you know bananas are considered ripe when they are brown??? That's what I read anyway.

We had to get a new battery for DH's truck today. It' really a relief because I was thinking it was the alternator.

I cashed in some of my Chase points yesterday (pay cc bill in full every mo.) to get 2 AE gift cards. I will wait to spend them til there is a good sale.

Updated my sidebar

August 11th, 2009 at 08:51 am

We added money to our emergency fund and I updated my sidebar. We are near 20,000.00 but have many home repairs that still need to be done. These are not repairs that I can do myself and DH is out of town working indefinately. I plan to get quotes for the work that needs to be done next week.

We just got back from vacation and spent a couple hundred more than I had budgeted. We had a great time but all are very tired.

School starts in a couple of weks and we still need to get a few things. I have been shopping sales, but it sure does get expensive when shopping for more than one child.

Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

June 12th, 2009 at 07:40 am

There are several books I read over and over. My favorites are Total Money Makeover and the Tightwad Gazette. They keep me motivated on my financial path.

What are some of your favorites?

Updated my sidebar

May 12th, 2009 at 03:16 pm

I deposited $1250.00 to the emergency fund and $525.00 to the escrow acct. today. Also made the mortgage payment for June today with two extra principal payments. I feel great!

Mystery gardener

April 28th, 2009 at 06:15 am

A few days ago I pulled into my driveway and noticed something was different. Someone had cut down my Impatiens. They had been cut to ground level! I asked my oldest if he had done it because he had commented that they were looking bad. He said he hadn't. (I agree they weren't looking their best, and I was going to transplant them in the back yard.) So I then asked the rest of the family and they said they didn't do it either.

Actually, it's kind of funny that these plants bothered someone so much that they had the balls to trespass and cut them down. Evidently it was someone that knows my schedule. They also cleaned up very nicely. Not a leaf left behind.

Other things I have done to lower the electric bill

April 21st, 2009 at 06:46 am

Anything that generates heat uses alot of energy. Oven, microwave, coffee pot, hair dryer, clothes dryer, etc. How do I know this? After Ike, we were running on a generator for 4 wks. (hard wired into the house) and when we used any of these things the generator would "bog down." This had me watching things very closely as gas was extremely expensive and in short supply.

I air dried our clothes, put coffee in an insulatd thermos, cooked on the grill or with a crock pot, and so on.

I am still implimenting these thing in an effort to go green and save a little money and I have reaped the rewards. (Though I still can't remember to turn off the computer at night) LOL!

Electric bill reduced further!

April 20th, 2009 at 04:31 am

Due to unplugging some items when not in use we have reduced our bill I am in total awe of the difference it has made.

We are all electric and our bill this time of year usually runs abound $200.00. This last bill is $117.00!!!! If I figured it corectly, thats a 41% difference. WOW!

Extra principal payment

April 16th, 2009 at 06:04 am

For the past year we have been making an extra principal payment on our mortgage monthly. It has already knocked quite a bit off our balance. I am really gung - ho about paying this thing off, but life keeps throwing obstacles in our way.

Just recently we had to take my SUV in for repairs (that cost over $500.00), We still need a new mattress etc, etc, etc.

Updated my sidebar to show escrow and emergency fund deposits. Slowly but surely we'll get there.

How much for a yearbook???

April 15th, 2009 at 05:50 am

DD brought home a yearbook order form yesterday. The cost is $60.00! That's a little steep IMO. Evidently the school is justifying the cost by saying it is now in full color and the class with the most sales gets rootbeer floats. Well, I thought of not purchasing one, but can't do it. So bye-bye $60.00.

Adding $7.00 to the challenge for coupons bringing the total to $56.00.

Starting the $20 challenge *Better late than never*

April 14th, 2009 at 06:00 am

Rolled my change a few days ago and am depositing $47.00 into the challenge. started out with more but had to fill some plastic eggs for the hunt with some change. Also adding $2 for no heat or air cond.

On a different note, we will be adding more than usual to the escrow acct this month due to not adding any these past few months. I've been very leary of letting the checking acct. get too low. I always like to have a buffer should anything come up. I actually have panic attacks if it gets too low. Sad, but true. (Does anyone else expierece this kind of thing?)

Instead of contributing to the Roth, my DH and I decided we will just keep adding to the emergency fund. I will update my sidebar accordingly.

Life is good

March 26th, 2009 at 07:22 am

DH got transferred with his job for an indefinate amount of time. It's a bummer, but he still has a job, and for that I am thankful.

On a different not, I got a $20.00 rebate in the mail yesterday and two free item coupons. I decided to donate this money to my favorite charity, as I am sure donations are down.

My daughter grasiously provided dinner for the family last night. She had saved her Book-it coupons (and found one) and we enjoyed five personal size pizzas coutesy of Pizza Hut. Free is GOOD!

Phantom energy usage

March 23rd, 2009 at 07:49 am

Several wks ago I unplugged several things around our house that were not used on a daily basis. I just recieved my electric bill and it has been reduced by over 25%! Wow, that is a considerable difference.(Though I live in Texas and have'nt run the heat or air in almost a month.)

My youngest has developed a rash on his face and arms. I called the school nurse and she said it looked like Poison Ivy. Did some research and think I will try natural meds. as opposed to corticosteroids. Hope it works.

Starting over

February 9th, 2009 at 06:18 am

I have not posted since the beginning of January. Since my step fathers death, everything seems to be in a whirlwind (including our finances.) So I am starting over.

We are still doing renovations from hurricane Ike. Finally found someone who isn't out to gouge people. He does good quality work for a fair price.

Two nights ago, someone dropped a puppy at my house. She's a sweety, but I don't want another dog. Already have four. I will try to find her a good home. Wish me luck! Smile

Paid my annual house insurance several weeks ago but the check hasn't posted to my acct. yet. Need to call today and make sure there is no lapse in coverage.

Due to several posts about Half.com, I will be checking them out when I have some time. I need to declutter, and could put the money toward the $20.00 challenge.

I don't know what to do

January 9th, 2009 at 06:23 am

My stepfather recently passed away . My mother was married to him for nine years. When she called last Friday to tell me I rushed out the door to be by her side. The three hour drive seemed to take an eternity. We stayed the week and my kids missed four days of school.

I feel helpless. I want to help her, but feel I'm doing nothing. I wan't to make it all better, but cant.

We just got back yesterday, and are going back today to help out with paperwork (and emotional support).

Does Santa wrap your gifts?

December 23rd, 2008 at 09:36 am

I was talking with a friend this morning and I mentioned that Santa wrapped our presents. She said she has never had Santa's gifts wrapped.

I was thinking of asking Santa not to wrap this year to save money and resourses, and time.

I really don't know though, because of tradition.

baking up a storm

December 17th, 2008 at 06:51 am

This morning will be spent baking. I am making gift baskets for the kids to take to church for the leaders. I did this last year and they all seemed to enjoy them.

This year I will be making
Mocha Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins,
Blueberry muffins,
Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies, and
Spiced Pecans

I will also be making these for the kids teachers as well. About 20 baskets in all.

This afternoon I have several errands I need to run. I have been putting these off as I always fing something betterr to do. Smile

Pertaing to my last entry, my DH sheetrocked the dining room wall and it looks pretty good. Money saved doing it ourself - about $700.00. WOW!

That wouldn't be smart!

December 5th, 2008 at 08:18 am

I went to a few garage sales this morning with a friend and didn't buy a thing. BUT...there was a beautiful Honda Shadow at one that I was eyeing. It was a 2007 model and the gentleman said he had bought it for his wife who ended up not liking it. Only 157 miles on it. Boy, my DH would love that thing! Then I had a fleeting thought of buying it to resale...No Littlemama - walk away!

We are still doing repairs from Ike. It is hell to get someone out here to even get a quote. They all have too much to do that they don't care. We finally got someone out here and the quote was outrageous. $800.00 for ONE wall of sheetrock. (Ima, can I borrow your DH?)
Well, my DH and I decided we can (maybe) do it ourselves. We bought the materials and tools for a little less than $100.00. we could screw the whole thing up several times and stll make out better than the quote. We'll see how it goes. Maybe I'll post pics. when it's done.





One flew over the cuckoo's nest

November 20th, 2008 at 07:27 am

and my DH thinks that's me!

Let me explain.

Yesterday I bought some ground beef that was marked down. I divided the meat in one pound bags to freeze. Then I went on to wash the trays that the meat was on. My DH asked what I was doing and I told him I was planning to cut the trays down to use as light switch and outlet insulators. He busted out laughing! What? I was totally serious!

You can buy those thing made especially for that but why, when you can get it for "free".

Hope he doesn't commit me to thr psych ward...

kids and money

November 18th, 2008 at 07:30 am

How much money do kids have these days that they can spend on anything they desire? When I was growing up I wasn't given money to spend on crap. I had to scrimp and save for things that I wanted. Maybe that's why I am like I am today (money-wise.) And that's a good thing.

I hope I'm teaching my kids good money values that they can have for the rest of their lives. Just the other day I showed my oldest son (13) how compound intrest works and he was amazed. In DR's book it shows how an eighteen y.o. can invest $2000.00/yr for five years and have over one million at retirement (at 10%). WOW!

To make extra money my son buys things and sells them for a profit at school. (and he doesn't do half bad.) When he reaches a certain dollar amt. he is going to deposit it in savings. Yea! He already has an acct for a car when he turns 16, and plans to buy it with cold hard cash! Maybe, just maybe, something is sinking in.

Sorry for the babbeling...

Finally funded and question (help please)

November 17th, 2008 at 06:57 am

My emergency fund is fully funded!!! Yea! We are only one month behind, so not so bad. Now we can move on to our Roths. Plan to open one this week. Anyone have any recomendations? Also want to do college funds. Anyone want to give advice on ESA's or 529's?

Thanks in advance.

Sold!!!

November 2nd, 2008 at 08:12 am

We sold my daughters piano a few days ago. It's funny, I advertised it locally for $100.00 (I just wanted it gone) with only a nibble and no sale. Then I decided to try Craigslist. The response was phenominal. Advertised and sold it for $200.00! YEA!

Havent been doing much home cooking so I found some quick and easy recipes online that I want to try. I found them on Allrecipes.com. I look at the reviews and make modifications accordingly. So now I need to make a list and go shopping. (I just dread grocery shopping.)

Still working on the house construction. It's going to be a long road. The roffers are coming tomorrow. They should be able to get done in one day. That's good becase rain is expected Tues. or Wed.

Getting back into the groove

October 28th, 2008 at 07:26 am

Wow, I haven't posted since Ike hit.

We are still fixing the damage. My DH is still working on the roof damage as he has time. Roofers are getting a premium around these parts right now. Supply and demand, supply and demand. Our master bedroom nedds to be completly sheetrocked, which comes after the roof! We still have so much more to do, and it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. One thing at a time I guess.

Our mortgage holder is holding our insurance money to pay out as the see as needed. BAH! They say they will send partial payment, then have an inspector out to see if repairs have been made. That really pisses me off that they feel like they need to hold my hand. I told them that it was in my best interest to fix my house, and they said they were the leinholder, and they have to make sure our house is up to fair market value. Whatever! (I will get off my soapbox now.)

Everyone have a great day. Glad to be back!

Ike is headed my way

September 12th, 2008 at 02:48 pm

We live in Ike's path just east of Houston. We have decided to stay and ride the storm out. Preparations have been happening for several days now. Ike should hit our area between 10:00pm tonight and 3:00am tomorrow morning. We are expected to be without power for awhile. With Rita three years ago we didn't have power restored for over two weeks and this storm is supposed to be much worse. Flooding is expected even where we live.

Will post when the power is back on (if my house is still livable) Frown


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