Friday, May 3, 2013
A Year of Savings: 2013
April 22: We were up very early. Incentive to work was sadly lacking but needs demanded we do just that. Laundry was top order with guest bedding making up the bulk of loads. We didn't do much of anything beyond the housework. Even our dinner was more or less scraped together. No money spent...There's a bonus.
April 23: John repaired the frames of two more of our windows. Only 9 more to go...He's done a very nice job on the windows he's worked on thus far. AND he is saving us the cost of having someone come in and reframe them. Our expenses have been the cost of a gallon of Kilz and the cost of a quart of spackle, about $30 I think which is nothing compared to having them reframed!
I worked on my new sewing machine until I was cross-eyed, then John took over. We've narrowed it down to the area where the problem is, but don't know how to repair it. I've got one more solution to try and if that doesn't work it goes off to the repair shop. In the meantime, I used online guides to trouble shoot the problem and followed every single step the pros recommended. Just FYI one gal stated that she charged $65 to do just the trouble shooting part. At least when I walk in I can tell the repairman where the trouble is and what I've done. I don't know if it will generate a $65 savings or not, lol.
Off to pick up our glasses which came in today. The new glasses took a bit of adjustment for us both, as the lenses were shaped differently and the point of change in the line free bi-focal different from out old glasses. We each opted to keep our old pair as a back up pair. We were given hardcases and microfiber cloths as a courtesy. That's a savings of $15 for the two of us.
April 24: My day out with Mama. She wanted to go by a grocery store. I needed a couple of items I simply cannot buy at Aldi, so I picked them up. The money will came from my grocery budget so no added expenses there.
We visited a favorite clothing store where, when I am lucky, I can buy pants in my size off the rack. I scored big time with two pairs of blue jeans (my only need) from the clearance rack. I saved $20.
Bought lunch for Mama. I used my allowance to pay for our meal.
Mama shared grapes with me and I shared strawberries with her. We can neither of us finish a full bag/container of either one on our own. John likes grapes but isn't so keen on strawberries, unless in jam or cobbler.
Mama also passed along a couple weeks worth of Sunday coupon supplements and a stack of magazines she'd recently read. She subscribes to many magazines and divides them between me, my niece and a friend of hers. The 8 that she gives me each month saves $80 at the very best rates. I'm pretty sure she pays more than that for them.
April 25: It was time for my haircut. I save $4 by washing it myself before I leave home.
I changed the frequency of cuts to 5 weeks...This proved to be a bit too long this past time, but I got a shorter cut this go round. We'll see how that works out. If I'm not happy with the results in five weeks (and it is very short this time), I may adjust to 4 1/2 weeks. My stylist is very good at working with me and understands the need to work with a budgeted amount for haircuts.
I needed a pick-me-up after a rough morning and so I took a leisurely drive down country roads within a couple miles of my home. It cost far less than 1 gallon of gasoline and is far less expensive than, say a new lipstick or a new outfit. I won't count my ride as a savings per se, but of the options available I must say that sitting beside a beaver dam, watching turtles sunning themselves and the water ripple in the Spring breeze, it's not a bad option.
Came home and put together a quick lunch. I bought a deli-roasted chicken ($4 is too good to pass up for ready cooked food), cooked squash and beans before I left home earlier in the morning. This was a savings over the temptation to get take-out due to lack of planning. Savings $8.
April 26: Necessity demanded I work out a new budget. It's tight. It involves trimming in several areas. Hoo boy. We'll make it work, but we'll work doing it.
Opened windows this morning and let the cool air in. The house stayed quite cool and comfortable until about 3pm.
Inspiration struck me twice: I have recently had two fitted sheets tear and tear badly, as in no repair would help. I decided I'd make a bottom sheet from one of the two top sheets from the sets. This will save me the cost of another set of sheets right away (I like to have at least two sets for our bed, would rather have three).
There's nothing like a budget cut to make you look around at all that you'd meant to do before you realized you couldn't afford it, lol. I had hoped to buy new end tables for the living room but no such luck this year. I was trolling on my Pinterest boards. I have an inexpensive map that I'll use to decoupage on top of one table. I'll paint the other. I think I can make 'new' tables for about $10 which will come from my allowance.
Grilled steak. I used the egg carton method for starting my coals. It worked very well indeed. Used leftover steamed corn on cob to make Oaxacan corn. We finished off two bottles of the homemade dressing on our salad today. I'll make fresh next week.
April 27: Opened windows again today. No AC until just after 3pm. I enjoy hearing the birds call and letting the quiet creep into the house. When John napped, I turned off tv and simply enjoyed the day.
We had an easy dinner right from the freezer: Chicken Fried Rice, Egg rolls and a freshly made Strawberry Cobbler. It was just the sort of meal I wanted, as I wasn't feeling well.
Ordered a new gift card from Swagbucks earned over the past month. Earned $5.
April 28: Still not feeling well. I opted to have a fruit and yogurt smoothie for my breakfast.
John asked me to make cheeseburgers. Easy enough. I added a can of three bean salad and he had chips to go with his burger. I made extra for his work lunch. It occurred to me as I packed up the work lunch that had I added bread crumbs to the meat I'd have extended it by 1/2 again. I'll do that in the future.
John brought home a paper this morning. I noted a couple of sales at CVS that I'd like to take advantage of: a free candy bar and a bottle of nail polish. The candy bar is FREE with a coupon from the kiosk...the nailpolish is still a 'maybe' purchase.
Windows opened another morning.
April 29: Routine housekeeping was a real necessity today. John did laundry and hung a load to dry.
I washed a full load of dishes.
Watered plants with water saved from glasses/water bottles.
John thought there was nothing to go in his lunch...I just went through cupboards and fridge and found plenty of edible things he'd overlooked. It was only a matter of knowing how to make a meal of it all. Savings:$5
He'd offered to 'pick up something' after he got to work, but it wasn't at all necessary.
April 30: Just about an hour before John let for work, I discovered a small leak under the kitchen sink. I wrapped a towel around the pipe and skipped mentioning it. No need to cause an upset just before a hard night's work. When John came in this morning he repaired it right away. I could easily have called my brother the night before but I guessed correctly that it would make it through the night okay. Yes, the towel was pretty well soaked but no flooding. Savings $50 for an 'after hours' call to my brother.
Harvest morning. We sat down and worked out a new budget for the coming quarter. There will be changes...We're trying hard to keep it 'frugal' and not 'austere' but it's proving challenging.
Out to run errands. I brought my list and coupons, banking, mail to drop off, etc. There's a new store in Ft. Valley, a Dollar General Mart and they carry a full line of groceries. I was curious and decided to stop by just to see what they offered. I didn't buy grocery items. I'll stick to Aldi for the majority of that, but the prices were not very much higher than Aldi. I did pick up some non -grocery items that we needed. I knew these items were not available at Aldi or were priced the same as: tissues, hair color, a couple of travel sized toiletries I like to keep on hand for trips, etc. I compared prices to CVS on several items and determined that I didn't have to go into CVS after all, unless John went in later in the week.
Takeout Tuesday for us. I used a b1g1Free coupon for KFC's new boneless original chicken combo: 2 pieces chicken (1 white/1 dark), 1 side, 1 biscuit and 1 medium drink. I got 2 of these combos for $4.99. It was just the right amount of food for a meal for us. Savings $4.99. I might add that typically a 2 pc dinner costs us about $14 for the two of us. So I really generated even more savings using that coupon!
Total Week: $193.99
April Total: $1,045.23