Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Save Your Christmas Ham-bone to Make Bean Soup!

Many of you will be having ham for Christmas. There will no doubt be leftover ham for sandwiches and the like but a very easy and inexpensive bean soup meal can be made using the ham-bone. 

 This is a photo of 16 bean soup mix. There are different bean soups that can be made with a ham-bone like split-pea soup or lentil soup or just plain old Boston Baked Beans. Beans are very inexpensive and go a long way for a good hearty meal. First, I soaked the above beans in water for an hour or so before adding them to the pot with the ham-bone to cook down for a few hours. (This can also be made in a crock pot if you have to work and/or are out of the house.)
 Here is a recipe for 16 bean soup: http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/sixteen-bean-soup After cooking down and adding a few other ingredients like onion, celery and garlic, voila! Lovely 16 bean soup. It tastes even better the next day.
This tastes great with some homemade bread or corn muffins on the side and should last for a couple  meals for a family of four. Happy Savings! 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving Dinner for 8 for Under $20.00 including Turkey and Duck!


I had Thanksgiving at my house this year and spent under $20.00. We had turkey, duck, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, two kinds of cranberries, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. My guests brought a couple of things and this added key lime pie, lemon meringue pie, a salad and some rolls. You may remember when I blogged about finding some great deals on turkey and duck a few months back. I put them in the deep freeze and they were perfect for this meal! 

The turkey was on sale for $6.33! This was marked down from $25.77 (13 lbs.). The only thing wrong with it was a broken handle on the package. If you are having Christmas at your house, keep your eyes out for deals like this right after Thanksgiving this year and, if you have a deep freeze, all year long for deals like this. You can save a bundle when you have guests over.
 I was able to have both turkey and duck for this Thanksgiving meal as a special treat. The duck was only $2.88, marked down from $16.36. It came with a special orange sauce which tasted fantastic!
I knew my guests were bringing pie and I didn't need to have any but I saw this pie on the mark down table. It was marked down from $5.98 to $2.99. The only reason for this is you can see on the right side, it got slightly overcooked. Other than that, it was perfect! 
 I made a dish called Green Bean Casserole. It has only green beans, mixed with Cream of Mushroom soup, topped with French's Crispy Fried Onions and baked. The green beans were bought on sale for .49 each and so was the Cream of Mushroom soup. The French's I bought on clearance a while back and saved for a special occasion such as this. It had a coupon with it, making this box only $1.00.
 Every year, we go out to some local potato fields and get tubs of free potatoes left over after the farmers get what they are going to get. So, these were free and made into mashed potatoes.
 The cranberry sauce was .49 on sale and the fresh cranberries were bought with ad match at Wal-Mart for .99. I added some water and sugar and boiled them.
 This gluten free stuffing was on sale and had a coupon so I ended up spending .50 on them plus .49 for the chicken broth on sale.
 My mother-in-law gave us some elderberry wine last year for Christmas so I served that with the meal.
 Last but not least, I never pay full price for decorations! The best time to buy is a week or so after the holiday when prices are not 50% off, but 90% off! The centerpiece in the first photo was bought at Goodwill for $1.99 and I bought some gourds on clearance for .20 a bag to fill it with. The tags you see below are tags from other Thanksgiving decorations.

 The only things I needed to buy specially for this meal was the pie and the cranberries. Everything else I already had in my pantry and bought when it was on sale. If I had purchased everything for this meal at regular price (food only), it would have cost me $68.35 to serve this meal. It cost me less than $20.00 (about $18.00). This is a difference of $50.35!! And I didn't even need to buy the pumpkin pie or serve the duck and this still would have been a nicely rounded meal, so, if I were really wanting to skip those two items, I could have served the meal for about $12.00!!

The key to saving money is to buy when things are on clearance. Doing this regularly saves a lot of money and you don't have to skimp on quality.

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Savings!



Monday, November 21, 2016

Pennies Pennies Everywhere: Reuse Freezer and Storage Bags


A good way to save some money is to re-use your plastic freezer and storage baggies. I usually manage to re-use mine a few times before throwing them away. I suds them up well using some dish soap and hot water and wash them out well. I then turn them upside down to dry on whatever I have available. Usually that is on top of cups or a faucet handle or a bottle of some kind. There is often a little moisture left in them so I dry them out before putting them away. Depending on how many baggies you use per year, you can save a fair amount of money. If you normally use 100 bags per year, for example, and you buy 20 and re-use them over and over, and you normally pay 99 cents per 20 (which is what I get them for on sale), you can save about $4.00. That might not seem like a lot of money but remember when you save pennies on a little of everything all year long, and do it year after year, it can amount to a lot.













If saving a few dollars isn't a good enough incentive for you, you may want to consider washing baggies out for environmental reasons. According to Ecowatch, "Enough plastic is thrown away each year to circle the earth four times. We currently recover only five percent of the plastics we produce. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year.Apr 7, 2014"  There is so much plastic thrown away, it really is quite tragic. A great thing about frugality is that is usually has further reaching effects than just your personal purse-strings. This is one reason why frugality is such a great concept.

Here is an article from Mother Jones on washing out sandwich baggies: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2010/06/washing-out-sandwich-baggies-waste-time

I re-use plastic baggies over and over and have not had a problem. I just make sure they are clean. However, there comes a point when I do throw them away. It is not recommended to re-use discolored baggies or baggies that had meat or oil in them for food use. Use common sense when re-using baggies.

Here is an article about re-using plastic baggies in ways other than putting food into them: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/06/reusing-plastic-bags-tips_n_1859303.html?slideshow=true#gallery/248738/0

Happy Savings!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Change your Think into a Thunk: The Big Middle Class Squeeze


I recently found out that our health insurance premiums are going up by $400.00 per month this year to keep the same coverage. Many people I have talked to are having their coverage go up by $200.00, $300.00, $400.00....even $1000.00 a month! 

I thought it might be helpful to talk a little bit about the economic state of the middle class today BEFORE this huge rate hike in insurance premiums for middle class Americans. A lot of people don't know much about economics. (I developed a personal interest about 10 years ago and have read a lot on the economy plus taken a class for good measure). The middle class has been slowly gutted. Liberals like to blame this on corporations and Conservatives like to blame it on big government. It's my personal opinion they are in bed with each other. Many people move from Wall Street positions into government positions and vice versa. It's my opinion that the government and corporations use the idea of community and compassion to continue to gut us out. Americans saw their wealth plummet by **40%** from 2007 to 2010. 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/fed-americans-wealth-dropped-40-percent/2012/06/11/gJQAlIsCVV_story.html 

Much of this was in housing equity so it didn't all affect the monthly bottom line. These losses had to get mopped up somewhere. Companies scrambled to make up losses by putting more and more work on less and less people. There is a consistent squeeze on the middle class like frogs in a pot. 50% of Americans don't have $500 to cover a car repair. 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-americans-with-no-emergency-savings-0108-biz-20160107-story.html

 Americans who save have a median retirement savings of less than $60,000. 

http://www.fool.com/retirement/general/2015/01/10/the-typical-american-has-this-much-in-retirement-s.aspx 

The average student loan debt for 2016 is $37,172. 

https://studentloanhero.com/student-loan-debt-statistics/ 

So, you take the fact that people have lost equity in their homes, many don't have $500 at their disposal, the median retirement savings is $60,000 and the average student loan debt for 2016 is $37,172, jacking up health care costs for all those middle class people on top of everything else is disastrous. The picture is not rosy. We need to stop relying on the government to save us and start getting smart with our own money. We need to change our think into a thunk. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Free Book: The Millionaire Next Door

There is an interesting book called The Millionaire Next Door all about the behavior of millionaires AND you can read it for free!!

Excerpts from the book The Millionaire Next Door (free PDF book below)
Who is the prototypical American millionaire? What would he tell you
about himself?)l-
• I am a fifty-seven-year-old male, married with three children. About
70 percent of us earn 80 percent or more of our household's income.
(* Our profile of the typical millionaire is based on studies of millionaire households, not individuals. It is, therefore, impossible in most cases to
say with certainty whether our typical millionaire is ahe or ashe. Nevertheless, because 95 percent of millionaire households are composed of
married couples, and because in 70 percent of these cases the male head of the household contributes at least 80 percent of the income, we
will usually refer to the typical American millionaire as "he" in this book.)
- About one in five of us is retired. About two-thirds of us who are
working are self-employed.
• Many of the types of businesses we are in could be classified as dull-normal.
We are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners
of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and
paving contractors.
• About half of our wives do not work outside the home.
• Our household's total annual realized (taxable) income is $131,000
(median, or 50th percentile).
• The typical (median, or 50th percentile) millionaire
household has a net worth of $1.6 million.
• On average, our total annual realized income is less than 7 percent
of our wealth. In other words, we live on less than 7 percent of our
wealth.
• Most of us (97 percent) are homeowners. We live in homes currently
valued at an average of $320,000.
• Most of us have never felt at a disadvantage because we did not
receive any inheritance. About 80 percent of us are first-generation
affluent.
• We live well below our means. We wear inexpensive suits and drive
American-made cars.
• Most of our wives are planners and meticulous budgeters.
• We have a "go-to- fund." In other words, we have accumulated
enough wealth to live without working for ten or more years.
• We have more than six and one-half times the level of wealth of
our nonmillionaire neighbors, but, in our neighborhood, these nonmillionaires
outnumber us better than three to one. Could it be that
they have chosen to trade wealth for acquiring high-status material
possessions?
• As a group, we are fairly well educated.
• Only 17 percent of us or our spouses ever attended a private elementary
or private high school.
• As a group, we believe that education is extremely important for ourselves,
our children, and our grandchildren.
• About two-thirds of us work between forty-five and fifty-five hours
per week.
• We are fastidious investors. On average, we invest nearly 20 percent
of our household realized income each year.
• We hold nearly 20 percent of our household's wealth in transaction
securities such as publicly traded stocks and mutual funds. But we
rarely sell our equity investments. We hold even more in our pension
plans. On average, 21 percent of our household's wealth is in our private
businesses.
• As a group, we feel that our daughters are financially handicapped
in comparison to our sons.
• I am a tightwad.
Free PDF Book
http://davidbeitler.com/temp/The%20Millionaire%20Next%20Door%20%5BBook%5D-MANTESH.PDF.pdf

Must-gos: Using up Leftovers So Your Family Will Eat Them




I figured I'd better put the completed leftover meal at the top of this blog or no one would finish reading it! Because you look in the refrigerator and see.......



Some yucky looking old spaghetti sauce and some yucky looking old leftover soup and you think your family would never touch it!  So, how can you use this up?


First, a fresh bowl does wonders for old food. I decided after I put this soup in this bowl to dump it into a pot first and add water and boil. I always boil leftover food pretty hard for a little while. This soup is a couple days old. For a chart of recommendations from the FDA for food safety, please see and follow this link:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/UCM109315.pdf




After boiling and putting the soup back into the bowl, I added some cheese garnish. Voila! Lovely again!



Next, I added water to the spaghetti sauce. I made this spaghetti sauce from my garden tomatoes. If you've ever produced your own food, you have so much respect for it that you do not like to waste ANY of it! Next, I boiled it for a while and boiled some fresh noodles to go with it.


 After boiling and adding the fresh noodles, I sprinkled the top with parsley to give it a nice fresh look!


I served it with some asparagus I bought on sale (and froze) and some rolls I got for half price. 



Last but not least! Creme Cake for half price for dessert! 


Using leftovers makes this meal very low cost and although it began looking like something everyone would reject, it was turned into a very palatable and good meal. There is an old song that goes "Making love out of nothing at all". As I fix leftovers, I often sing to myself "Making lunch, out of nothing at all!"

In my opinion, the key is to not wait until you are in financial trouble to live this way but the key is to live this way to keep yourself out of financial trouble. Some people just will not eat leftovers. I see that as wasteful. There are so many people that are hungry in this world and it costs so much to produce food, not just in money but in irreplaceable energies and fossil fuels. It makes so much sense to me in so many ways to use up leftovers. We call them Must-gos at our house. My family is so used to it that no one ever thinks twice about it!

Happy Savings!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Saving on Your Gas Budget




There are ways to get better gas mileage from your car. Here are a few of them:

1. Change the air filter. This could save up to 10% on gas.
2. Having your tires aligned properly could save up to 10%.
3. Getting a regular tune-up could save as much as 4%.
4. Make sure your tires are inflated properly. We over inflate ours a bit for best gas mileage.
5. Make sure your gas cap is in good working order.
6. Driving 5 miles an hour more slowly can save 7%.
7. Drive more smoothly without stopping and starting quickly.
8. Don't ride the brakes.
9. Don't sit with the car idling.
10. Reduce the weight in your vehicle.

With winter coming upon us, here are a few tip for saving on gas in the winter months:

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/coldweather.shtml

Getting these things done now, while the weather is warm, will save you money and keep you from having to do it when it's cold!

Happy Savings!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Guest Blogger: Living Simply.... and Working to be Debt Free

I have a friend who also loves frugality. She recently wrote about simple living and working to be debt free on her own blog and gave me permission to share her blog here. You can also go out to her blog at this address: http://mountaintopspice.blogspot.com/ 

Here is her recent blog. Enjoy!

This post is going to take a little bit different direction from my usual focus when posting, but I hope it will bless and encourage someone in their life journey.

As many of you know who have been faithful readers here, last year we moved onto our property, and in the process downsized from living in a 2000+ sq. ft home to  780 sq. ft. home.  It was quite an undertaking for us, yet it has really been the best thing we've ever done.  Our cozy little home has everything we need, and it has allowed us to let go of many possessions that we don't need, and our lifestyle has been greatly simplified.

Part of our desire to downsize and live simply comes from a desire to be debt free.  At one point in our life about 8 years ago we became completely debt free after the sale of our home, but when we purchased another home, of course, we were again no longer debt free.  Our desire this time around is to own our home AND be debt free. 

My husband and I recently sat down and looked at our finances and realized that unless we had a specific plan of HOW to get debt free, it was going to take us a long time to get there... because life always seems to get in the way. 

When we had become debt free 8 years ago, it was because we had put a plan into action then, and made it happen.  We knew it was time for us to get another plan in place and to focus our efforts specifically. 

We had used the "Rapid Debt Payment" concept 8 years before and were familiar with it.  It made sense to implement the RDP plan again, this time with our goal looking towards being completely debt free, including our home.

Thankfully, the home we live in now is ours free and clear (you may remember we purchased it at a very low price, paid cash for it, and had it moved to our land).  So technically, we do not have a mortgage payment, however we still need to complete payment of our land. 

With the Rapid Debt Payment plan (RDP), this can be planned and budgeted for quite easily, and I think you will be amazed, as we have been, at how easily debt can be paid off with this plan.  I want to share this plan with you, not for any benefit for me... but because I just want to share what has worked for us in the past, and is working for us now again, hoping that it will help someone else as it has helped us.

With the current level of debt that we have right now, when we added it all up, it seemed like a number that would take us many, many years to pay off.  However, when I plugged the numbers into the Rapid Debt Payment calculator, it was clear that with some tweaking and adjusting of "where" our money was going, that we could in actuality pay off our debt far quicker. 

It just takes a plan! 

I went online and was not able to find the "free" rapid debt payment calculator any longer.  Years ago it was free, but now, I guess it has become so popular that you either have to have a membership to specific websites, or pay for it.  I don't like having our personal information stored out on a website somewhere, and decided I would rather buy and download the calculator into my own computer and access it that way.  The nice thing about having the calculator on your computer is that you can go in and update it at any time, and make any changes as necessary.

Below is a demo picture from the website where I purchased the calculator, which shows just how your debt can be calculated and a plan formulated:

Source: http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/products/debt-snowball/ 

We felt the slight cost for the purchase of this calculator to be worthwhile, and so we paid for and downloaded this calculator program. We have found it to be invaluable, and well worth the $$ to buy it. The program is very simple and easy to use, and the instructions are very helpful. 

Once you download and install the program (you need to have Excel installed on your computer to run this little program), you just plug in the numbers as requested, and soon you get this graph telling you each month exactly what to pay on each debt, and then the exciting part is you get to see the date when, if all goes as scheduled, that you will be debt free.  There are several different adjustments that you can play with to see what works best with you and your budget, which is really nice because you can tailor the plan to fit your needs and goals.

Once you enter all your debt, interest rates, and payments, the calculator will produce a graph where you can see your debt repayment schedule. 

Below is the sample picture provided of a rapid payoff schedule:

Source: http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/products/debt-snowball/ 


Of course, the most important thing here to remember is that the program is assuming that you will be making no more debt.  And that is the hardest part of becoming debt free ....  staying debt free.  It has to be a focus that you really desire and want to do for it to be successful. 

So for any of you who may be interested, here is the link to ExcelGeek Rapid Debt Payment Calculator. http://www.mdmproofing.com/iym/products/debt-snowball/   Do check it out if you desire to even knock a few debts out of the way that seem like mountains to you right now.  I can promise you this little calculator will encourage you and simplify the process to get you where you want to be.

Each month, we now have a plan on where to squirrel away any extra $$ we may have to put towards the debt that we are working on paying off first.  It feels good to have a plan!

Our way of thinking is that living a simple life is just about the best there is... and having less debt means less stress, and more simplicity in our lives. 

I hope this has been helpful to you.  If you are struggling with even just a few debts, I believe this little calculator could help focus on which ones need to be paid first, and how to go about doing it.  Let me know what you think, or feel free to share in the comments what methods you have used to pay off or pay down debt, I would love to hear about it. 

Have a blessed day :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Making Your Own Products

One way to save money, especially when you are staying home with young children, is to learn to make your own products. Anyone can do this, but it does take time. The best thing is, once you have learned what you like to make yourself, you can save a lot of money over the course of years of making things. 

At a garage sale this summer, I found this neat book. It's an older book, but sometimes I actually prefer older ones. Sometimes they contain hard to find recipes and usually cost next to nothing. I found this one for .25!

This book has recipes for a lot of different types of products you can make yourself at home. Here are a couple of examples:


I like that it gives the cost of ingredients and how much you can save. These dollar figures are from 1987 so they are outdated. However, the savings amounts can give you a good idea of how much you can save per product. Some have a much larger margin than others in savings. This can help you decide what to choose to make. 

This book, since it is so old, can be bought for .01 on Amazon plus postage and handling. So, you could purchase this book for a total of $4.00! You can probably save much more than that using some of the recipes. Here is a link to the book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0060960574/ref=tmm_pap_used_olp_sr?ie=UTF8&condition=used&qid=1474993513&sr=8-1

Happy Savings!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Need Extra Money and Want to Work from Home? Amazon is Hiring!




Amazon is hiring! You can work as a Seasonal Work From Home Customer Service Associate! Pay is $10.00/hour. 



You have to live in one of these 20 states to apply:
  1. Arizona
  2. Colorado
  3. Delaware
  4. Florida
  5. Georgia
  6. Kansas
  7. Kentucky
  8. Michigan
  9. Minnesota
  10. North Carolina
  11. North Dakota
  12. Ohio
  13. Oregon
  14. Pennsylvania
  15. South Carolina
  16. Tennessee
  17. Washington
  18. West Virginia
  19. Wisconsin
  20. Virginia
Here is what you need to qualify: 
  • High School Diploma or equivalent
  • Basic typing, phone, and computer skills
  • Internet ability, multiple browsers, email, and Instant Messenger tools
  • 1+ years in a service environment dealing with the public
  • Ability to participate and complete mandatory training (this schedule may be different from your production schedule upon hiring)
  • Ability to complete I-9 work authorization paperwork in person
  • Ability to take any shift Sunday through Saturday from 3:00am to Midnight Pacific Time zone

Friday, August 26, 2016

Making Spaghetti Sauce

I have a fairly large garden and I grew quite a few tomatoes. I started these from seed inside my house in a little greenhouse I have. (It is about 3x4 feet and tall with a number of shelves.) I usually buy seeds on clearance for .10 a packet and freeze them until the next year, so my starts cost me next to nothing. I did buy some special greenhouse starter soil this year for starting some other vegetables with no luck. Putting seeds right in the ground, except for tomatoes I have found usually works best.

Here are some of my tomatoes from the garden. I don't peel my tomatoes before cooking them down. That's too much like work! I wash them and cut them into chunks and put them into a large pot. I have a metal processor that is hand worked to squeeze out the pulp.


Here is my makeshift summer kitchen. I can cook the tomatoes or whatever else I have down without heating up the kitchen. This small cooker cost about $40.00 and my husband bought the propane tank on Craigslist used but I am not sure what he paid for it. It cost me $17.00 to fill it up with propane.

 Here is a good shot of the tomatoes. I added olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, dried celery and Parmesan. I added what looked like the right amounts. Sorry, no recipe! My daughter asked me to also add some store bought sauce to stretch this since homegrown tomatoes taste SO much better than store bought. I bought this lovely pot at a garage sale for .50. It radiates heat evenly so no burning!
Out of this pot, I got these four packages. These are about equivalent to a little more than a jar of store bought sauce each. It takes a LOT of tomatoes to make a little sauce.

Growing your own doesn't always save much money, but the quality and taste is very good and it is a very satisfying process if you like this as a hobby.

Happy Savings!

Friday, August 19, 2016

$10.00 Eye Exams! Expires 9/17/16

Visionworks is having a special on eye exams for only $10.00 per exam!! That is an amazing price! Here is a link to a coupon. Only valid in certain areas and it expires on 9/17/16.

https://www.visionworks.com/couponDetail?storePromotionId=1400011&gclid=CjwKEAjw3Nq9BRCw8OD6s4eI5HASJABsfCIaPhml9Rn1bmdi87gtq2upOBXPTNFRsjgG4NWYWUeSmhoCU5bw_wcB

Happy Savings!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Save on School Supplies!

Now is the time of the year to stock up on school supplies for the whole year! Many stores have great deals on school supplies right now, just to get you through the door. If you take advantage of these deals now, later on in the year when you need something, you will have it already in stock. You won't have to make a special trip to the store or pay a higher price not to mention you will get good deals on what you need right now for school.

It can be hard when you have back to school clothing and everything else to buy to stock up. However, once you get the ball rolling, after the first year of this, you will rarely need to pay full price for any school supplies! Take advantage of different store deals (keeping in mind the gas you will spend. of course), rebates and whatever else you can find and then keep a special drawer full of supplies. When your son or daughter says they need some colored pencils, for class, you will have them handy and will save both time and money, as they will already be there! No special trips to the store and no full price for the items!

Happy Savings!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Dehydrating Foods


When we were camping, I found these amazing Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms! (Take care if you don't know anything about mushrooms! Some are poisonous!) Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are very good so I put these into a few baggies and took them home. A few years ago, I bought this dehydrator at a garage sale and just now got around to trying it out. So, after eating fresh mushrooms to our hearts content, I dehydrated the rest. 






It took a lot of mushrooms to make this pint jar! However, now, all winter when I want some mushrooms to put in soups or casseroles, I can grab this jar!


Since the mushroom project was so successful, I decided to dehydrate some raspberries this year. I usually freeze all the raspberries and make jam or juice them. My husband loves raspberries so he is using these on cereal and ice cream. 

I was concerned about any moisture left in the berries and mushrooms and so I dug some moisture "soakers" out of some supplements I had and put them into the jars. I'm sure a few grains of rice would work just as well but you would want to be careful not to get them into your cereal and break a tooth! THAT wouldn't be frugal. ;)

A dehydrator is not needed for dehydrating. Some people dehydrate in the sun or in their ovens. Here is an article on dehydrating: http://food-hacks.wonderhowto.com/how-to/dehydrate-food-without-dehydrator-0161531/

 Happy Savings! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Free Slurpee at 7 Eleven Stores Today Only



On Monday, 7/11/16, enjoy a free small Slurpee between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. But that's just the beginning.
Slurpee Week kicks off Tuesday, and that means when you buy seven of the cool drinks with the 7-Eleven app, you'll get 11 Slurpees free.
The offer is available 7/12/16 through 7/18/16 to members of the 7Rewards Program and only at participating 7-Eleven stores. Check out the app for more details.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Change Your Think into a Thunk: Frugality is a Mindset



Frugality is a mindset and something that should be practiced everyday in order to live a truly frugal lifestyle. Sometimes people practice frugality like they practice dieting. A crash diet is when you eat what you want and then suddenly realize you weigh too much and then you starve yourself in order to fit into that size 10 dress for so and so's wedding. This is not a good way to diet and it isn't a good way to practice frugality.

If you were to eat right every day and not overindulge, there would be no need for a crash diet because eating right would just be your lifestyle. So too with frugality.

I write a lot about "changing your think into a thunk" because in my thinking, the goal is to change to where frugality is part of who you are. Frugality isn't just something to do as a hobby or to save a few dollars after a big splurge at the mall. It is a lifestyle to be lived. 

Just as there are many benefits to eating right every day (and we all fall off the wagon once in a while....and must forgive ourselves). there are benefits to being frugal every single day. I don't think berating yourself is a good approach if you overindulge. The key to my way of thinking is to remind yourself of what you are gaining and not what you are losing.

What are you gaining? Less stress. More peace. Freedom from worry. Learning a new skill. More fun in the long run. A better savings account. Retirement! There are so many things you can gain. Every day small sacrifices can cause big gains in the future. So....change your think into a thunk and.....

Happy Savings! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Finding Deals Everyday: Today I Made at Least $29/hr Tax Free!


Once a week, I go into town to do some shopping. This time of year I go on a day that there are garage sales. I stop at a number of garage sales, making sure I have cash in my pocket to spend in case I see something that I could use. 

Today I hit a number of garage sales. I got a number of items we can use. In addition, I stopped and got a haircut. I used a pre-paid card that I got last winter. Every winter, our area Great Clips has a deal that you can buy as many pre-paid haircuts as you want for $9.99 each so I buy enough for the year.

Aside from the garage sale deals and a hair cut deal, I also looked for deals at Wal-Mart when I went. No matter what store I shop at, I scan the clearance and mark down areas to see what I might find. Today I hit the jack pot on meat!! I have never seen prices this low, so I assessed how much space I had in my freezer (in my head) and bought everything I thought would fit in there. 


I bought two turkeys that were $25.77 each for $6.33 each. .48 cents a pound! These are ready to cook turkeys. They were marked down because the handles on the bags were broken. Use by or freeze date on these was all the way out to 1/18/18! 


Duck was marked down from $2.84 a pound to .50 a pound!! I bought four ducks. Use by date on these is more recent, but I am not worried as it is only a use or freeze by date. 9/24/16. 

  
Boneless Turkey Roast was $12.23 and was on sale for $2.98! I bought three of these. I knew I had to quit as space was limited.  The use by date on these was all the way out to 06/14/17. 

So all this meat would have cost me $157.87 and only cost $33.88!! 

Add to that, I checked the clearance aisle. I am not listing everything but I got 2 of these bottles of  25.4 fluid ounce shampoo for $2.00 each plus they have coupons for free styling products that I will get next time I am at the store. 

If I count only the meat I got today and nothing else....no garage sale savings or clearance savings, that is a savings of $123.99. Let's just guesstimate and say I saved $50.00 more on other items (a low estimate). That is $173.99 in one day and I spent about 6 hours out. That's $29.00 an hour tax free! I save like this on a regular basis by simply keeping my eyes out for deals.

Happy Savings!