A couple of fun frugal projects.

I am in love with the white milk glass. Don’t worry I won’t start hoarding, but they really blend in well and are easy on the eyes.

So I bought this one for $1.19 on sale at Goodwill.

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Then I planted some succulents( actually my daughter did) ūüôā but it was my idea. I think it looks great.

Then I can’t remember where I saw this project but it was to use a small crate as a filing cabinet. So I ordered the one suggested from Home Depot.

IMG_1276.jpg¬†I think it’s 12.5 by 13.5 but it fits hanging files perfectly. I got a set of black for a more uniform look. So I like it a lot and it’s easy to get to the files I use the most. Home insurance, Allstate, LLS, Labs, SS etc.

The file cabinet was 15.99 and the files $10? so not bad as a way to corral everything neatly. Knowing where stuff is 95% of the battle of clutter. I do have another metal file cabinet which houses all our old tax forms, mortgage stuff and some other things that I don’t need o a monthly basis.

Unfortunately, today is our last day of sunshine till¬†Sunday. I’m hoping the weather guys got it wrong and the rain will go away. But so far it doesn’t look like it.

I’m staying home today, but tomorrow¬†I’m going to Costco with B. I’ll skip the gym. We need quite a bit of non-food items, so it’s always helpful to have B with me to do the lifting and sorting. ¬†I’ve budgeted $200 for this trip.

Monday night is pasta night, so I’ll make something. Maybe pasta with a butter sauce. Always my comfort food. Growing up as poor as we did, my mother would make bowtie noodles with brown butter. I guess that’s why it’s comfort food. Of course, when she made liver and onions, I only gagged and tried not to throw up. ¬†Good grief who eats liver and onions, it is so disgusting,. It’s a wonder I’m not a vegan. ¬†Well, for the record I was a vegetarian upon leaving home at 18, and then for 22 more years.

 

 

 

Midweek

It’s Wednesday and B and my daughter are flying to Southern Ca for work(co-ops, and a library workshop). I’ll be taking care of the dogs and chickens and cats. It’s not so bad if I keep to a routine and schedule.

These dogs, rescued border collies, love routine so it makes it fairly easy. Breakfast 2 7:30 and the one dog gets an anti-seizure¬†pill. Then they’re outside for a while. They come in till @ 11:30 am or so and then I feed them one cup of crunchies. After that, it’s either out if nice or they go in they’re crates. They are great dogs. ¬†Then they do get a few evening walks.

The chickens are pretty easy. Just out for the day and then close them in, front and back around 5 pm since it’s getting darker later. ¬†We’re also starting to get more eggs again, so that’s nice.

I’m reapplying to the Leukemia and Lymphoma co-pay assistance program as they shut it down in October due to lack of funds. ¬†They really do great work and when they offer financial assistance for certain things it does help. Since I’m not in treatment right now, the only thing I can get assistance for my share of insurance costs. It’s not a lot¬†but every little bit¬†helps. So I was going to do it online but it’s actually not a very user-friendly website and I’ve been locked out a few times. So I’m just going to mail the forms in.

Then we had a check get lost in the mail somewhere, so I had to call the mortgage company and do an e-check. I had mailed the checked the beginning of the month and it still hadn’t cleared as of yesterday, which was really weird. Then I had to put a stop payment on the check so it didn’t go thru twice. ¬†Anyway, a PITA>

The Frugalwoods frugal January is going sorta okay. We’re doing good on grocery shopping and I won’t probably shop till near the end of the month. We did need coffee and milk and avocados,¬†so we got those. ¬†There will be a few more things ,I’m sure , but for now, I’m holding off.

Dinner will be something easy, grilled tofu and mac and cheese and a salad.

Friday things

I went and helped set up books for the bake and book sale tomorrow.  Then I left to take my son to pick up his Subaru that had some sort of oil leak but it was covered by the warranty we got when we paid for the engine to be rebuilt.

Then I went to the store and picked up cream, cat food, wine and a few other essentials for the weekend.

Tomorrow I am going over to the book sale early to help out and then leaving around 10 or so since we’re driving up to Chico so B can pick up his motorcycle. It’ll be a long day but I’ll get thru it. He’s been set on a Triumph which is what he had in college. Then reconsidered and found a brand new Honda Rebel. It’s a smaller motorcycle and that may be a good thing. ¬†It won’t hold resale the same as a Triumph, but that’s not why he’s buying it. ¬†This money comes from the many bonuses he has had over the years that usually has gone to bills. So it’s his turn.

 

Speaking of budgets, things are okay. The bills are getting paid but we’re still not putting away money above and beyond the 401 k that is taken out automatically. ¬†In the next 2 months we have property tax and house insurance so 2 really big annual bills. Sigh… I really hope we get a handle on this as retirement looms out there. ¬†But I am optimistic we will have it sorted as we go into those years. ¬†We have to get rid of the car payment and that will free up some money. ¬†But he gets a reimbursement for the car so it’s a double edge sword. ¬†Still, I hope by mid-year next year the Santa Fe is paid and then we can look at the last car loan for him in these last 3 years.

I am trying very hard to be as frugal as I can and only buying essentials.  Even so, things do come up.

Dinner is Friday night pizza.

 

Five Frugal Things Friday

This week was sorta frugal.

  • We didn’t¬†eat out even though I wanted to get Tacos. I made chicken soft tacos with brown rice.
  • I picked up my order of Zaycon whole natural chickens. They’re not organic but are natural, free range, no antibiotics crap. So I have a freezer full. Also,Zaycon is great if you don’t mind having to repack it all when you get home. These whole chickens were pretty easy but when I had got the chicken breasts it took forever and was quite the production. Still, the price is great.
  • ¬†I went to Grocery Outlet yesterday and spent $86.00 on lots of things. Bagels, Bread( cause I’m lazy and didn’t make my own right now), pork shoulder for pulled pork, and other things too. I went in to get dishwasher soap in hopes that the powder would release into the dishwasher properly. It didn’t. So I guess our 20-year dishwasher¬†is on the way out. ¬†So that is not going to be frugal since we will need to buy one next week.
  • Let’s see. Did my gym workouts so it made each workout about .62 cents. If I add one more a week it’ll go down even more. But I’m pretty comfortable with 3-4 x a week.
  • Dropped 2 loads at Goodwill and the humane Society bookstore. I got receipts¬†because we had a lot last year to add as deductions. It’s kinda a pain to have to write each receipt in, but worth if you do as much as we do. We didn’t include the huge van of samples (food) that my husband gives to the food bank every month. WE don’t even add that in.

Well, I’ still anxiously waiting for my labs to show up. My CBC and CMP looked great. But it’s the light chains and SPEP that are the markers. I e-messaged my doctor to check if they’re in. They should be so, I’m thinking he’s out of the office.

Tonight I’m making a veggie pizza with ranch garlic dressing. I saw it on another bloggers post ,¬†pizza.

 

‘Frugalwoods’ uber frugal challenge

So if you like reading frugal living blogs,go to¬†Frugalwoods¬†and read about the challenge. I’m signed up and am ready to go. Except for a couple of GC for our UPS guy and our garbage guy, we’re done with christmas stuff. ¬†The Frugal woods are quite an amazing couple who live extremely frugally and have reached financial freedom at a young age.

It’s never too late to do new things and I do love a challenge.

In decluttering, I’m starting another round for December. ¬†I did a half a bin Life magazines, approximately ¬†30. I did really good just saying it has to go. My plan is to end up with 2 bins of the most notable Life magazines, Kennedy assination, MLK, pearl harbor, . ¬†There are some notables that sold for a lot of money, marilyn Monroe, Woodstock, etc. So eventually these are for my kids to look at and see history as it was.

I’m also going to pull out the Brio bin and put it on Craigs list. I’m going to start at $400. It’s probably over a $1000 worth of Brio. I’m going to do that today or when ever I can get someone to bring it in from the barn.

It’s too cold out there to do anything right now.

Updates:

  • the gym is going well. i’m still going very slowly but I like it and i think it will be a big plus when I get thru another month or so.
  • got rid of a few more cookbooks i dont really use.
  • did the kitchen zone yesterday
  • B put up clear insulating plastic on the window and it has made a big difference.

getting budget stuff ready for January.

  • Just keep walking project is almost at the 6month mark at the end of December
  • That’s walking everyday for 3 1/2 years.

Dinner is Taco Tuesday , I’m doing bowls with rice, beans, avacado, salsa etc.

The haves and the have nots!

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/05/my-secret-shame/476415/

This is an article on the sad state of financial affairs of many people. The author is quite honest in his evaluation of his own current financial affairs and how he got there. He has a loan modification and is paying off credit cards.

Honestly, I totally agree with him. I wish we had been more financially smart. We never made any smart decisions¬†financially till really about the time I was diagnosed with cancer. But even in those first difficult years with treatment and A Stem Cell Transplant, we made¬†plenty of mistakes. The biggest was refinancing when the market was at its height. We were foolish to believe the loan officer that this was a good deal to maximize money in equity. What a mistake. When the market crashed and we’ve been under water in this house, we are now on the other side that the market is coming back up. WE too had a loan modification and it saved us. This actually is just ending and then the interest rate is going up.

I think when I started to embrace being minimalist, budgeting, not spending money for things clicked for me. We’ve mad a lot of progress and are quite frugal in all expenditures. Yet, there are still expenditures that are outpacing income. We’re helping our son with money at junior college. We pay for his car insurance and food. It is not giving us much to put away but we want to help him right now. Smart move? I don’t¬†know but we are making the decision to the best of our ability now. We also put our Federal taxes on a credit card and we’re having to pay that down.

All in all, everyone, I’m sure does what they can but sometimes keeping up with expenses versus money coming in is a struggle.

I also think that people who have received inheritances or who are wealthy, or have no mortgages , or maybe they’ve just done everything right and made enough money in their careers and have money to put toward savings etc,. Some of these people just don’t get it. Yes, we have family members who really don’t get it and of course live their happy go lucky lives with inheritances they received.

Yes, you can be frugal, budget, sing till your blue in the face, but sometimes there just isn’t enough money and how many of us are one pay check away from disaster. I’ve learned a lot¬†in these last 5 years about being frugal and stockpiling pantry items, having a small emergency fund but there’s still a long way to go.

I don’t think it’s for us to judge others, though, maybe just some compassion and understanding.

Sunday night chit chat

halfdozendaily.typepad.com

  • Reading? The new Jack Reacher”A Wanted Man” , very good.
  • Listening to? We were listening to the wind.
  • Watching?later, Castle.
  • Cooking/Baking? Made the stuffed shells ,from the freezer cookbook, a big salad with blue cheese dressing.
  • Happy you accomplished this week?alot with my new freezer cookbook.
  • Looking forward to next week? I have next Saturday off, so I’ll go to the farmers market!
  • Thankful for today? My 2 great kids, my cancer is stable, and my husband.
  • *Bonus Question* Do you like your name? Would you change it if you could?
  • I’ve always liked Anne or Annie.