Friday’s Frugal Five

Gosh, it’s really been a minute since I’ve done a Friday Frugal Five post.

And again, I am not ashamed to admit that I completely stole the Frugal Five from Katy Wolk-Stanley of the amazing website The Non-Consumer Advocate.  If you haven’t stopped by her website or facebook group, you really should.  Very inspiring, and a group of great people there.

Ok, here it is.

  1. We (for the most part) stuck to our meal plan this week and stayed out of the grocery store, restaurants and drive thru.  As a matter of fact I made a return netting me $7 and change.  The change went into my change jug.
  2. I increased my 401 contributions and my contingency fund deposits to absorb the raise I got 😉
  3. My bank has a change counter machine that is free to their customers so I cashed out my change jug and deposited that money into the freedom account category that is closest due (taxes!)
  4. I set up my freedom account categories for 2017 and adjusted those deposits accordingly.
  5. I bought nothing this week.  I put gas in the car and paid my insurance deductible for my physical therapy appointment, that’s it.  (Yes, I’m still in PT for cutting my finger – NOT frugal at all!)

Contingency Fund:  A contingency fund is a fund for emergencies or unexpected outflows, mainly economic crises such as a loss of a job or long-term illness or disability.  A three to six month fund to cover the cost of living expenses.

Freedom Account:  Think of the Freedom Account as a sort of holding bin. You deposit small sums into it each month because you are thinking ahead: You’re anticipating bigger, specific expenses down the road like annual insurance premiums, home repairs, personal property taxes…
(for example if you want to save $1,000 for personal property tax due on January 1st of next year and you get paid twice a month you would make 24 deposits of $41.67 into the contingency fund account to accrue the $1,000 you will need by then)

If you are familiar with Mary Hunt and Debt Proof Living, then you are more than likely familiar with the contingency fund and freedom account terms.

What frugal fun did you have this week?

Till next time,

Lori

 

Friday’s Frugal Five

I just love fall.  It is my favorite time of year when the weather cools down and it’s time to pull the crock pot out and make warm you all over stews and soups.

It’s also the time to pull out my big tea mugs for my hot teas.  The Z Man is a coffee drinker, but I am a tea girl.

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  1. I’ve slowed my roll this week and got back on track with meal planning and prepping.  What a huge difference that makes in the budget.  Listen, we have food and I mean we have plenty of food in our house, so there is no reason I should be at the grocery store.  I do not need to be at the grocery store more than once a week (if even that).  But if you don’t plan then you might as well plan to fail.
  2. Saturday is the beginning of hunting season and I am ready.  While the Z Man does all the hard work of harvesting the deer, I do all the processing.  Knives are sharp and freezer bags are stocked.  Stocking our freezer with venison saves us a ton of money every year in beef purchases.  The thing is that we really like venison.  We actually prefer venison in place of beef in most all recipes except a burger, because Double M Dairy ground beef is awesome and makes the best hamburgers!
  3. I’m disgusted to admit this, but in full disclosure I have to come clean and admit that I have become somewhat obsessed with frozen yogurt over the past month and was indulging myself way too often.  Not good for me and certainly not good for my budget! That stuff is expensive, especially when you put all the yummy (unhealthy) toppings on it.  I am proud to report that I did not get one frozen yogurt this week, saving about $6
  4. The importance of taking care of yourself for good health is obvious, but it’s also an important part of frugality as well.  I got back into my exercise program this week, cut out the junk and got back to whole food, clean eating.  Missing work, paying insurance deductibles and prescription cost… that’s NOT frugal.
  5. Our usual frugal routines of drying clothes on the clothes line, having our meals at home, paying our bills on time avoiding late fees, returning library rentals to avoid late fees, reducing waste, planning, budgeting and still breathing fresh air and adding to the pickle jar.  Whew, that’s a mouth full!

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

I hope you have a lovely weekend!

Till next time,

Lori

 

Friday’s Frugal Five & What’s Cooking 4/8/16?

My hours at work changed this week, which means I go in earlier and get out later.  It also means I work six days a week from now until the end of September.  It doesn’t leave me a lot of time to get all the things done that I “want” to do, but I do look forward to the over time income.  However, I’ve learned that if I don’t plan well and stay organized it’s easy for the extra income to get sucked up into little emergencies like what’s for dinner and such.  Gotta have a plan!

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  1. I purchased a new router for our internet service so the provider we use would stop charging me $10 a month to rent theirs.  Got my first invoice after installing the router, and the $10 charge was still on the bill.  So annoying!  But, I called and had the charge removed.  I swear I think they do this on purpose in hopes that we wont notice it or they know some people wont take the time to call and have it removed.  Either way it’s frustrating….  I’m guilty of getting so annoyed with all the questions when I’m just trying to speak to a customer service person that I hit the “0” button on my phone like 1,000,000,000 times.  It seems to work after about the first 5 questions and you’ve reached a moderate level of frustration.
  2. I’ve set up my direct deposit savings for my overtime income to be automatically deposited.  If I don’t see it I wont miss it and won’t be tempted to spend it.
  3. Checked out 2 books of interest from the library prior to purchasing them to make sure they are what I wanted.  I did buy the books as they are cook books geared toward the direction we want to go in changing our diet.  Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Nourishing Broth by Sally Fallon.  Both very good books that I’ll use for years.  Yes, I could’ve continued to check them out of the library, but I’m sure over time these books will show much use with many food spots and dog eared pages, not something I would want to do to a library book.
  4. I’ve been saving my used deodorant containers waiting to make my own deodorant.  I’ll be making it this weekend, so I’ll let you know how it turns out.  The true test of how  well it works will be when I’m lifting 50lb bags and buckets at work this spring.   I’m going to use a recipe of coconut oil and baking soda. I’ll keep an open mind because the goal is to get away from all the chemicals I’ve been putting in and on my body as much as possible.  The recipe looks easy to just mix coconut oil and baking soda together well and put it in a used deodorant container.  I may need to put it in the fridge to get it to set up quicker, and then of course store it in a cool spot.
  5. Eat Dirt by Dr Josh Axe is another book I checked out from the library.  It is a good book with a lot of valuable information in it about gut health.  It is his opinion that we have become a germaphobe clean freak  anti bacterial nation which has done us no favors for our overall health.  And like the title says, he mildly suggest that we should “Eat Dirt” meaning for example don’t be afraid of the vegetables at the farm stand that still have dirt on them, because those are the ones that will provide us much more nutrition than those that have traveled thousands of miles.  It’s a good read, and I suggest it to anyone interested in getting (back) to real food and good health.  It also gave me fond memories of working in the garden with my Dad and remembering how he sometimes would pick a vegetable and take a bite out of it right there on the spot, then convince me to do it too.  Dirt don’t’ hurt 🙂

As always, meals came from the freezer and pantry, except for those hamburger buns on Wednesday night.  There were no meals eaten out or taken out this week, lunches were from leftovers, bills are paid, money is in the pickle jar and still breathing fresh air and loving it.

What’s Cooking 4/8/16?

  • Breakfast: overnight oats with dried cranberries, walnuts, sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup
  • Lunch: the last of the stir fry veggies with jasmine rice
  • Dinner: homemade pizza night

Here is a picture of yesterday’s (and today’s) lunch.

IMG_20160407_105923020

How about you, what frugal fun things did you do this week.

Till Next Time,

Lori

 

 

Friday’s Frugal Five

If you haven’t visited the Non-Consumer Advocate site, you should.  Katy is the creator of Five Frugal Things and is my inspiration for Friday’s Frugal Five.

I have a confession to make.  While the MMGC is going well and I’m staying within my budget, albeit by the skin of my teeth,  I have to tell you that I have been spending in others areas as if I had won the lottery or something.  In the past few weeks I have carried new item after new item into the house.  To the point where I have a guilty feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Let me explain… for a while now I’ve been trying to switch out my (old) teflon cookware for stainless steel and cast iron, so about a week ago I purchased a new set of stainless steel cookware.  But, I did get it at 60% off, so that’s good.  Also, I have limited cabinet space in my kitchen and had been wanting to get a hanging pot rack to help with storage.  I found one that was 40% off, so I bought that.  Last fall when we processed our hog, I cured and smoked about 60lbs of pork belly into bacon, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not slice the meat thin enough to get a bacon texture.  So, I bought a meat slicer and I also got 25% off of that.  Hoping for a solution to my cabinet storage situation I purchased 8 large jars with $1 off of each to store things like grains and beans instead of just having bags laying in the cabinets.  I bought some half gallon mason jars and large mouth plastic lids for better storage also.  I bought seeds for our garden starters, instead of waiting and starting the gardens with established plants from the nursery.  Admittedly in the past we have not done well starting our own seedlings, and also admittedly these seeds were not cheap as I chose organic heirloom seeds.  I could go on I’m sure, but you get the idea.  The point I suppose is that I have been talking out of both sides of my mouth about being frugal.  Being frugal includes more than just what you spend on groceries.  Well, it absolutely should anyway, and in that regard I have failed.

I could give a suitable explanation for all of my purchases about having the right tools for the jobs (the slicer) or about trying to get away from toxic teflon (the cookware) or perhaps because I spend 75% of my home life in the kitchen and would like it to be better organized (the hanging pot rack and storage jars) and even the seeds in hopes that they will be successful (meaning not die) this year and will provide us with seeds for several years and in turn save money.

So, no more!  No more of the spending with out at least trying to find a suitable solution first.  Make do or do without.  Luckily I have not gone into debt for these purchases (thanks to the pickle jar).  I believe to some degree perhaps I’ve been treating myself with these purchases for quitting smoking.  Anyway…. full disclosure, clearly I’ve still got a long way to go in the frugal department.  Thanks for letting me share.  Now on to Friday’s Frugal Five…

  1.  With my new eating plan to kick the omeprazole (generic for prilosec) that I posted about earlier this week. I can’t have caffeine.  This doesn’t really rattle me too much because I’m not one of those die hard coffee drinkers some people are (not judging at all, the Z Man loves his coffee too) I do enjoy 1 or 2 cups of hot tea in the morning and some iced tea from time to time.  Why is this frugal?  I returned an unopened huge box of tea bags to the grocery store.  I also returned a bag of organic onions that were half rotten, limes that were hard as rocks and a couple other things which netted me $23 in returns.
  2. I returned an unopened bottle of agave sweetener because a friend told me that it could flare up my indigestion and heartburn more than just a small amount of unpasteurized honey, which I already have.  I’m not counting this in the MMGC because it was purchased for medicinal purposes along with the supplements.
  3. Bartered again this week with my friend which will get me some lovely dairy and grass fed beef.
  4. Made some yogurt this past weekend which not only is quite cheaper than buying yogurt, it taste so much better.  I also cooked and canned 15 quarts of homemade chicken stock.  Returned my book on cd to the library and picked up a couple more.  Checked out several books on kicking the omeprazole and healing the gut.  Interesting but not shocking how it basically boils down to no one diet fits all and so far, being early on in my research, I am finding a strong consensus of managing portion control, which makes perfect sense when trying to prevent GERD.  (more on all this later)
  5. The Z Man stopped and asked about a few trees that he has seen down in someone’s yard for quite a while.  He offered to clear it away for them, they are happy to have it gone and we are happy to have the wood.  He also used a $20 coupon at Advance Auto to get the break parts to make repairs to our truck.  Yea, he’s handy like that.  I’m such a lucky girl 🙂

We’ve been eating leftovers for lunches, making meals from freezer and pantry items, hanging clothes on the clothes line to dry, driving the speed limit to save on gas, combining errands with work schedule to avoid unnecessary driving.

As for the MMGC I bought some fresh veggies this week spending $28, but I did get the grocery store to price match the Aldi price for avocados for 59¢ instead of 98¢ each.  So, with my returns and the $10.50 I had left over from last week that leaves me with $5.50 left for the month.

Most frugal of all, we are still breathing fresh air from quitting smoking, and adding that money to my pickle jar each week.

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

I hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter.  Thank you GOD for loving us!

Till Next Time,

Lori