Sunday, July 12, 2015

Frugal Happenings 7/12

I am sorry I have been MIA this week.  We are fine and dandy, but boy what a week.  I thought it would be a quiet week - but not!

We have had rain 6 out of 7 days.  Today is pretty (storms early this morning), but more storms moving in tonight and going through Tuesday they say.
My weekly frugals;
  • Needless to say I haven't had to water anything this week.
  • Picking lots of fresh veggies - broccoli, zukes, cukes, peppers, and 4 tomatoes  WooHoo!!
  • Eating garden veggies every day.
  • Changed out our cable/home phone/internet to one company.  That is a savings of $60 per month.  With last weeks change out of cell plan, we will be saving $100 per month.  Not too snaggy!  They will also be sending us a $150 Visa gift card.
  • Meals from home
  • Canned 12 quarts of zesty Kosher zucchini pickle spears.  We love zucchini pickles - they stay crispy longer than cucumbers.
  • Kept leftover brine from pickles to use in the next batch.
  • When I stopped to get milk this week, I found 2 - 10 lb. bags of rice on clearance for 2.29/bag.  Bought both.  I filled a gallon glass jar with rice for the pantry.  The rest is in the freezer.

What did you do this week?  Let us know.
Have a wonderful week!!


  1. Overnight we finally got some rain! Yea! Hopefully it will help with the high pollen content we are having here. Shouldn't have to water the garden till tomorrow. It looks like a jungle out there.

    1. This is very good news LaurieS! I hope some of it drips south into California too.

      My daughter is now doing some field collection in Hawaii! It is lush and tropical, and humid. She loves it but it is very different from PA or CA. The pictures she sends remind me of your description of your backyard garden, "It looks like a jungle out there."

      I haven't canned anything yet Cheryl. I think I can get a trade in cucumbers from somebody, I hope, soon! We have been drying celery leaves, oregano, basil, lemon thyme, lemon balm, summer savory, and rosemary so winter chicken dishes and red pastas will be nice a flavorful.

      We finally got some sunshine so the pepper plants are perking up a bit. I also did get some fungicides and will try to spray tonight and for flea beetles too.

      DH and I mulched the blueberry bushes so they should survive and I will be moving two more bushes from one garden over to the patch as soon as the berries are done on it. Finally, a blueberry patch that is producing, now to net it over before the birds get them all. They are also working the red raspberries but there is enough for all of us over there.

    2. Oh Imeant to say the price on Milky Spore at Lowe's was in the $25 dollar range, I considered it but will see first how the chickens do with them. We let them grub in the vegetable beds in the early spring before we rototill them over, so we might not get hit too badly. Will know in a couple weeks as japanese beetles are just starting to be seen here.

    3. That's a good price on Milky Spore. I have only seen a couple Japanese beetles and squished them!!! Good idea for the chickens to roam the area and eat the grubs.

    4. YAY Laurie!!!!! Glad you got some rain. We had a fierce storm go thru around noon today. More flooding, 80 mph winds, awful. Sun is shining now, but another coming in a couple hours. I sure wish we could send you some rain! I'd be more than happy to share!

    5. Cheryl, you asked about my red light yellow light green light system.
      I keep an Excel file of our income and expenses. It is a crude file with just payments and comments on them if needed. But it is handy for planning ahead because of two columns I added. A monthly average spent and a monthly average planned. I also have some summary rows at the bottom: Total Expenses, Total Income, Monthly Bottom Line = the difference between income and expenses; and Daily Health Status (my report card on how well I am doing through the year in terms of average daily balances).

      I figured it would take a year to recover 2014 the first third of the year were Red Months which in effect were NSM, NO SPENDING MONTHS. We didn't grocery shop, and only paid the utilities and repairs to cars as needed. I went from a Daily Bottom Line in January of negative $6 a day to a positive $33 a day by April.

      The next third of the year is the Yellow Months of May June July August. These months have been a bit of a roller coaster but have stayed in the positive. I have allowed myself one splurge (the snow cone) and made two buying rationalizations that I now see were not good of which was the wedding gift of the cutting boards...while my dh and I earlier agreed to $100 for wedding gifts, I ended up spending closer to $160 each,and even though we verbally agreed to do this, I DID NOT account for it in the budget! So I am not as far ahead in these yellow months as I had planned.

      September October November and December I should be free of any credit card payments. I have been preparing for next year by being strict this year and evaluating my spending though processes and trying to turn them into saving thought processes.

      By being completely open and honest with my husband I have been able to do better than ever before. But I hope, really and truly, to stay the path and by this time next year have a savings of at least 25% of my annual salary. It is advised to have 50% savings in liquid cash flow and while I get paid just above poverty level for our household size, I think I can do this, others can, so I can too!

      Sometimes I feel like the Little Engine That Could (the first book I was able to read all by myself). What scares me is that I don't have half the Christmas gifts done that I had planned by now. And I don't have a Christmas savings plan in place either for this year. That is a big bunch of mountains to overcome in the next five months, so I need to really pack on the steam and get going again.

      No more television or streaming tv watching for me from now on.

      Something that has helped me a bunch (besides this blog and others) is that I have been reading financial books by reputable authors. the hints and situations have helped me to analyze my behavior, and also shown me ways to handle our finances that are healthy.

    6. oops this blog post was supposed to go in the 3R's post, can you move it over there Cheryl? sorry about that!

  2. Ha Ellen, I haven't figured out all the things I can do yet.
    Your plan is very ambitious. Good for you. Sounds like you are doing well on your plan.
    We do basically the same thing. Have a chart that all receipts are added to by category, then totaled by month. We know what comes in and what and where the money goes out. Does help you get a grip on unnecessary spending.

    Our biggest expenditures of the year aren't what one would think. The highest total comes from ALL the types of insurance we have to pay! I do believe we are insurance poor!

    Keep up the good work. Don't beat yourself up when you stop to enjoy life a little.

  3. Tthanks Cheryl!
    Our four biggest expenses are the communications bills (cell phone is $140/month and triple play cable internet landline is $150). We just reduced our televison by $144 a year by getting rid of HBO and Starz. I will use the library. Home upkeep is high this year as dh and I are trying to maintain the yard and garden a bit more, and do small household repairs. And like you said, co-pays are huge. We don't even include the payroll deductions right now, we are just working with net income. I did however increase my withholding allowances by one more so we'll see that difference it makes in this next paycheck.

  4. I really want to get rid of the television but dh is addicted to the news shows, It is awful! to me that is, to him it is normal. I'll be bringing home some info today on streaming from our computer to see if we can make a difference there and use one of the HD antennas and amazon prime and stuff. We'll see, might take a while to figure it out.

  5. You gave me a good idea, to do subcategories on the expenses. Like put all the insurances together, utilities, etc. I can use the categories from one of the books, like Dave Ramsey or Rich Halverson.

    I am not a fan of putting anything up online, even with the secure sites like

    1. Ellen - yes we do list things by category. Utilities, food, cats, ALL insurances, misc. medical, household, prep, etc.
      We hardly use insurance, so everything is mostly payments - medical, car, house, life, AFLAC, etc. It's crazy how many $ the payments ad up to a year.
      We made our own chart in Word. It's not on-line.
      It's amazing what you can watch on the computer now. I keep cable and internet as that is basically G's life. Since he can't get out much, that is what keeps him occupied.
      Good luck!