A Year of Savings: 2013

Mar 22:  My kids are coming in for the weekend.  I made a few things ahead for meals so that I could spend more time with them and less time cooking.  I could have bought take out or even frozen entrees but homemade is just so much better.  Two meals prepared ahead of time netted me a savings of at least $20.

Mar 23:  The little wagon full of alphabet blocks wasn't expensive at Ross for Less.  I paid just $10 for it, compared to the $21 we spent for a similar item at Toys R Us a few years ago for another grandchild.  The kids loved it just as I thought they would.  Savings $11.  What they also enjoyed: empty plastic buckets (which became hats, were filled with toys), canning jar rings (bracelets), an empty oatmeal box (used as a drum and as a container to drop things into).  Toys are fun, but honestly, no money is required when you have children.  Imagination is a great thing.

Mar 24: No expenses associated with this day.  We didn't buy the Sunday paper, didn't go into town, didn't use a lot of energy cooking (used microwave to reheat leftovers).  I'm sure there were savings but I'll limit it to the cost of the paper and the gasoline saved.  Saved: $2.25.

Mar 25:  I felt a little unwell today with an earache and sore throat.  I opted for the prayer,  mega dose of Vitamin C and gargle method.  That and plenty of water seemed to do the trick.

It was time to wash bath towels.  I had enough clothes for a small load but I scrounged about and came up with enough items to make up a medium load.  This means we won't be doing another load for a couple of more days this week and I barely raised the water level.

I noticed the markings on my detergent lid had begun to wear off, making it impossible to tell which level was required for small and medium loads.  I got out the red nail polish and used that to mark the lines on the lid.  That won't wear off and it will allow us to continue to use only as much detergent as is needed.  I've noticed the bottle of detergent has last us about a month longer this time around, though it was a smaller bottle than our last. Savings $2.49.

Dear DIL prepared dinner for us Saturday evening.  We had leftovers and she left them with us.  Those leftovers were our main dish today.  I just added a salad.

Mar 26: I sure didn't feel well today.  Allergy/cold, call it what you'd like I knew just what I needed: Chicken Noodle Soup.  Mine didn't come from a can, it was good homemade soup, enough for a couple of meals and cost me less than one can of ready to heat and eat soup.  My big pot of soup saved me $5, the cost of the 'extra' cans needed to make up the same amount of soup.

Mar 27:  Mama and I skipped the shopping today and simply had dinner out and a nice ride.  I've said it before and it continues to be true: if I don't go into a store, I save.  I decided to go into the local store to pick up the one grocery item needed for John's work meals this week.  I'm not even tempted to pick up extras in there on a good day and today was a good day.  Overall I'd put my savings at $30 for the day.

Mar 28:  Pantry freezer challenge ongoing, I am now able to dig deep into the baskets to pull out those items that really needed to be used up or would be a total loss.  I was amused by the cost comparison of today's meal and one we had a few weeks ago.  I had chicken wings (sauced with a homemade sauce), French Fries (the remaining portions of two different bags), and Celery sticks with blue cheese dressing (home prepared celery and homemade dressing).  We paid $25 for a similar meal out (and  today got a FULL cup of coffee afterwards instead of the half cup poor John received when he ordered coffee!).  My costs today, just using what I had on hand netted us a difference of $20.  Using what we had and not letting it be lost in the freezer until it was no longer edible saved us $5.

 Mar 29:    I gave myself a full pedicure today.  Compare my FREE pedicure to the cost of a salon pedicure.  I saved $25.

We washed a full load of clothes and a full load of dishes today.  

Mar 30:  I made muffins for breakfast the other morning.  Not unusual, I do that sort of thing often.  What was unusual was that I only made a half dozen and I put the rest of the batter in the fridge right away.  This meant it didn't 'rise' and it also meant that we had only enough muffins for one day, key for us because we don't seem to like muffins that aren't made fresh that day.  Otherwise they just end up in the dogs' pans.

So this morning, I added to my half batch of batter: 1 cup grated carrot, 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and made a small batch of Carrot Cake muffins.  Frosted them with leftover cream cheese frosting from that pitiful bunny cake.  John told me they were super good.  Score for me!  My leftover batter makeover saved us tossing a half batch of muffins.  Savings is too small to calculate but it's still savings.

Mar 31:  John brought home a treat for me, the cutest cupcake, straight off the pages of Pinterest.  He also brought home two hardboiled, dyed eggs.  "Egg salad would be great from those," he told me as he handed them over.  Good idea.  Two eggs made enough egg salad for three sandwiches.

Weather warmed up nicely for the day.  So warm that the house got a bit stuffy.  The AC came on but so did the oscillating fans.  That kept the air stirring even with the AC set to summer settings, which kept us cool while we grow accustomed to the warmer temperatures.

I clipped coupons this morning and sorted them, then went online to look at sales sheets and make out my list.  Preparation ahead always helps me to save money.

Savings this week: $100.74

Savings for March $736.44 

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