A Year of Savings: 2013

Mar 15:  Received in today's mail: 1 Worship Cd.  It was an unexpected courtesy gift for a gift we made.  We never expected that!  The Cd is top rate and we enjoyed it greatly.  Savings $15, the retail value of the item.

Clipped coupons from the ALL YOU magazine issue I'd finished reading.  I clipped enough usable coupons today to pay for the subscription...if I'd paid for it myself!  As it is, I got my subscription using Coke Reward points.  Savings $22.

I love to do Sudoku puzzles.  I have several books on hand here at home.  Lately I've been systematically working the puzzles. I began at the beginning and worked them in order of difficulty.  I confess that the HARD puzzles are still a bit beyond my thinking skills at this point but using the whole book instead of just those puzzles I think might be my skill level or a challenge means I'm getting full enjoyment from the books.  I have about six books on hand averaging $5 each.  Fully enjoying them nets me a savings of $30, because it's not savings if you're not taking advantage of what you have, is it?

Mar 16:  Lovely easy day at home.  I was so totally relaxed all day long.  Dinner was pizza: HOMEMADE.  And we had enough leftovers that I put some in the freezer for a future meal and some in the fridge for a grab and go supper meal.  Savings $10 over the cost of takeout.

Mar 17:  No big corned beef dinner today but we had a lovely meal all the same.  I made my own Thousand Island dressing for Reuben sandwiches.  Savings $2.49 for a bottle of dressing.

I didn't need all of the corned beef I had, even though I thought I had only enough for sandwiches.  Hash for breakfast tomorrow will be a nice bonus meal.  Savings $2, a bonus breakfast entree.

Potato soup...It's easy to make, delicious and so inexpensive to make.  Homemade broth brought the cost down and the flavor up.  savings for homemade broth: $1.

Sunday paper netted me more than enough coupons to offset the cost today. Savings:$2.

Mar 18:  Not feeling well today.  I have a problematic tooth and today it was making itself felt in a big way.  No dentist open either so it was make do the best you can.  When Katie had a problem following her wisdom tooth surgery the orthodontist had her swish her mouth with peroxide.  I didn't have the higher strength solution on hand that he prescribed but I did have peroxide.  And I had over the counter pain relievers.  That and a moist heat pack helped get me through the day.  Here's to home remedies!  True the tooth will eventually need to be seen but to manage reasonably well at home on my own made life bearable.

Mar 19:  What's the best way to SAVE money overall?  Don't spend it!  I thought long and hard to day about my plans to spend, picking up a few items at several different stores.  They were good buys and with coupons they would have been even better buys.  But honestly?  I'm in a pantry/freezer challenge.  I have plenty of stuff in the house and these were all just extras, not filling in holes in the stock.  I cut out one store and then two and then three...My savings was $35.

When I got home today the first things I did was put my change into the savings jar.  I added $6 towards that vacation shortage fund today.  So far I've saved $38.

I made a second meal from my dinner.  We had chicken breasts today.  I set a portion of mine aside, along with a roll.  This evening, I made  sandwich from my dinner leftovers.  It was a perfect supper portion for me and so good that I think I might have to have a chicken sandwich dinner one day soon.  Two meals from one isn't news in this house, lol, but I'm always amazed that my foodstuffs continually 'expand'.

Mar 20:  Grocery day.  Not my usual day nor store.  Necessity this week demanded that we change our day and place.  And I discovered something.  I'm very spoiled by Aldi prices.  I had to buy what I had to buy today, mostly dairy and produce and we didn't walk down too many aisles besides those.  Our sole splurge was a dozen donuts.  I spent every single penny I had in my budget.  NO savings there.  I'm more determined than ever to attempt an ALL ALDI month in April.  Officially I have a pittance set aside for the beef purchase I meant to make.  Good thing I decided to wait on that meat purchase.

Okay it might sound like a splurge but it wasn't really.  It was a little spot of joy in the midst of my frustration: I had a Starbucks coffee.  I indulge only once a month.  It's my treat to myself and lately I've discovered that I can buy a gift card with my Swagbucks.  Now I usually use my Swagbuck dollars to purchase Amazon gift cards which we use towards household and personal care purchases but every fourth or fifth time I earn points enough I'm purchasing a $5 giftcard to Starbucks instead. Today I treated John and I to coffee and we didn't pay one penny of cash for it.  Savings: $5.46

John needed a desk to work at and we've looked for one at thrift and yardsale over the last few months.  We had an idea of about what we'd pay if we found one we liked.  He cleared out his music room today and moved a lot of equipment and stuff and low and behold...A table that had been laden with other things suddenly presented itself as a desk.  Savings: $40.

Mar 21:   We didn't spend any money today...Always a good thing.  I spent the morning preparing foods for the weekend, getting the guest room prepared, etc.  We went out that evening to the Region 7 EMS dinner.  It's a wonderful dinner hosted by two hospitals honoring the EMS.  Awards, door prizes, dinner, gathering with friends and acquaintances; it's a lovely evening out.  Very nice evening out with people we like.  You can't beat that!

Savings: $180.95

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