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SamanthaCarter

July frugalistas

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So, my fil passed away in April and my MIL has been on me about coming down to take some food out of her freezer since it is just her. Really, this was an issue before he passed away she always buys more than she ever cooks and now she doesn't really cook at all. I finally went down there last night and she gave me a bunch of stuff- several packs of pork steaks, 1 pack of TBones, pack of smoked pulled pork (from a good local place), a big ham, 3 gallons bags of GF pre-cooked taco seasoned hamburger meat, a cooked chicken, beef roast, and a half a dozen reg. corndogs (that dh will eat). That will be a huge help to my grocery budget! I'll be working my way through the stuff from her b/c it's older than what I've got in my freezer. I usually make some sort of chicken on Sunday night, looks like now it will be pork chops  ? And that's 3 wks worth of meat for taco Tuesdays. Between what she gave me and what I already had in my freezer I don't need to buy meat for a month plus! I'll just be on the look-out for good sales (although my freezer is getting pretty full I can't get much). I did see that Krogers has leg quarters on sale for 49 cents a lb so I'm def. getting some of those, I'm out of thighs in my freezer and just have a couple of packs of drumsticks. I'll cut some in half and package them out into packs of drumsticks and thighs as I like to use thighs for certain meals. 

I'm getting a few things from Azure for August delivery so that will be in the August grocery budget ?. I got 50# of Gf Rolled Oats, it works out to $1.36 a pound (after taxes). I'd tried to get some ages ago but they kept going out of stock, they have supposedly fixed supply issues so I'm hoping this order goes through. I've been out of rolled oats a couple of weeks and the kids have been harassing me about it. I also got a couple of bulk spices b/c it is so much cheaper than buying at the store- I had some extra in the freezer but have run out of the spices I use the most. 

Also, check your sales bills ladies I see strawberries are back down to $1 a pound which is the cheapest they get here and cherries at $1.29 at Aldi's, which is unheard of. I'm going to pick up extra strawberries and make some jam, the kids LOVE it and I don't like to buy the cheap stuff w/ HFCS. 

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2 hours ago, soror said:


?

?

Also, check your sales bills ladies I see strawberries are back down to $1 a pound which is the cheapest they get here and cherries at $1.29 at Aldi's, which is unheard of. I'm going to pick up extra strawberries and make some jam, the kids LOVE it and I don't like to buy the cheap stuff w/ HFCS. 

All of that is fantastic!  I definitely agree with this last part.  Dh wanted to get cherries about a month back and I refused to pay their asking price of $7.99/lb.  Last week they were on sale for $1.89/lb.  Sooooo much better!  I indulged in two pounds, ate half immediately and pitted/froze the other half for winter.
I love this time of year when all the summer fruits go on sale.  Last night dh made grilled pork chops with a nectarine chutney on top and peach milkshakes for after dinner.  We grabbed the bruised fruit for a song from the 'dented and damaged' section of the produce department and $1's worth fed all of us with a ton left over.

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21 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

All of that is fantastic!  I definitely agree with this last part.  Dh wanted to get cherries about a month back and I refused to pay their asking price of $7.99/lb.  Last week they were on sale for $1.89/lb.  Sooooo much better!  I indulged in two pounds, ate half immediately and pitted/froze the other half for winter.
I love this time of year when all the summer fruits go on sale.  Last night dh made grilled pork chops with a nectarine chutney on top and peach milkshakes for after dinner.  We grabbed the bruised fruit for a song from the 'dented and damaged' section of the produce department and $1's worth fed all of us with a ton left over.

Oh, that sounds delicious I might have to do that Sunday. Nectarines and Peaches are at $1 a pound here too. Cherries get up ridiculously expensive, don't they!!! I was stoked when I found them $2.5 a few weeks back, I've not seen them this cheap. Do you have a cherry pitter? I thought about freezing some but thought they would be too big of a PITA.

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10 minutes ago, soror said:

Oh, that sounds delicious I might have to do that Sunday. Nectarines and Peaches are at $1 a pound here too. Cherries get up ridiculously expensive, don't they!!! I was stoked when I found them $2.5 a few weeks back, I've not seen them this cheap. Do you have a cherry pitter? I thought about freezing some but thought they would be too big of a PITA.

I don't, but because I bake I have metal piping tips.  They work marvelously for removing pits quickly.  A friend of mine had a cherry tree in her yard and turned me on to that little idea.  I never would have thought to use them otherwise.
I love cherry pie, but more than that I love a good chocolate cake or cheesecake with cherry pie filling.  It's not something I really want to eat in the summer, though, and canned cherries just aren't the same, are they?

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19 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

I don't, but because I bake I have metal piping tips.  They work marvelously for removing pits quickly.  A friend of mine had a cherry tree in her yard and turned me on to that little idea.  I never would have thought to use them otherwise.
I love cherry pie, but more than that I love a good chocolate cake or cheesecake with cherry pie filling.  It's not something I really want to eat in the summer, though, and canned cherries just aren't the same, are they?

Hmmm, I have some of those, dd loves baking, I'll have to try that out, thanks!

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6 hours ago, soror said:

So, my fil passed away in April and my MIL has been on me about coming down to take some food out of her freezer since it is just her. Really, this was an issue before he passed away she always buys more than she ever cooks and now she doesn't really cook at all. I finally went down there last night and she gave me a bunch of stuff- several packs of pork steaks, 1 pack of TBones, pack of smoked pulled pork (from a good local place), a big ham, 3 gallons bags of GF pre-cooked taco seasoned hamburger meat, a cooked chicken, beef roast, and a half a dozen reg. corndogs (that dh will eat). That will be a huge help to my grocery budget! I'll be working my way through the stuff from her b/c it's older than what I've got in my freezer. I usually make some sort of chicken on Sunday night, looks like now it will be pork chops  ? And that's 3 wks worth of meat for taco Tuesdays. Between what she gave me and what I already had in my freezer I don't need to buy meat for a month plus! I'll just be on the look-out for good sales (although my freezer is getting pretty full I can't get much). I did see that Krogers has leg quarters on sale for 49 cents a lb so I'm def. getting some of those, I'm out of thighs in my freezer and just have a couple of packs of drumsticks. I'll cut some in half and package them out into packs of drumsticks and thighs as I like to use thighs for certain meals. 

I'm getting a few things from Azure for August delivery so that will be in the August grocery budget ?. I got 50# of Gf Rolled Oats, it works out to $1.36 a pound (after taxes). I'd tried to get some ages ago but they kept going out of stock, they have supposedly fixed supply issues so I'm hoping this order goes through. I've been out of rolled oats a couple of weeks and the kids have been harassing me about it. I also got a couple of bulk spices b/c it is so much cheaper than buying at the store- I had some extra in the freezer but have run out of the spices I use the most. 

Also, check your sales bills ladies I see strawberries are back down to $1 a pound which is the cheapest they get here and cherries at $1.29 at Aldi's, which is unheard of. I'm going to pick up extra strawberries and make some jam, the kids LOVE it and I don't like to buy the cheap stuff w/ HFCS. 

 

Sorry to hear about your FIL but I was liking the other parts of your post. ?

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I had a fail yesterday big time. We went out to eat unplanned. It was a long rough day getting my oldest packed (he lost important papers)and I never do that. Sigh We usually eat out only for really special occasions a few times a year but when you skip breakfast and lunch in a panic bad things happen. ?

My DH and I had a fruitful and relaxed (that's something new) conversation about finances. We made, I believe, some good decisions that will keep us out of debt. One is to vastly shrink our planned fence for our dog. We have a huge yard. To me it is sad the dog and kids can't play in the whole yard but fencing it is just cost prohibitive so we are fencing a much smaller area between our home and the neighbors and with cheapest material possible so no pretty wood. We will only need fencing for the north and south sides and will use our home for one side of the fence and the neighbors fence for the opposite side. Maybe if they do well with training we can let her into the big yard unfenced for supervised play sessions . She is very trainable.

 

We also decided on the order of work and what work can be done on the 17 and 18 year old vehicles ourselves versus taking to a shop. We really could use a 3rd car with 4 drivers but if we managed with 1 car between the two of us we can manage with 2 cars between 4 of us, right? The city has also decreased the number of buses to our little offshoot of town making trips to my husband's work and my oldest son's college almost impossible. My husband bikes to work through the winter but sometimes road conditions just doesn't allow for it as it's 15 miles away and we can't afford  a fat tire bike. It is especially bad when they plow the road onto the bike path. Snow is one thing big hard lumpy drifts are impossible. 

 

Also, instead of purchasing his own car it will be cheaper if oldest just pays the maintenance since he is it's main driver so that takes care of brakes and rotars. We would rediscuss if something big happens. He would be better off buying when he moves south for school as vehicles are cheaper in the states so it's a win-win for everyone. I think.  

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The loan company is ready to go to settlement so our new date is this Friday!!! *hj doing her happy dance*

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1 minute ago, hjffkj said:

The loan company is ready to go to settlement so our new date is this Friday!!! *hj doing her happy dance*

 

yay

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19 hours ago, frogger said:

I had a fail yesterday big time. We went out to eat unplanned. It was a long rough day getting my oldest packed (he lost important papers)and I never do that. Sigh We usually eat out only for really special occasions a few times a year but when you skip breakfast and lunch in a panic bad things happen. ?

My DH and I had a fruitful and relaxed (that's something new) conversation about finances. We made, I believe, some good decisions that will keep us out of debt. One is to vastly shrink our planned fence for our dog. We have a huge yard. To me it is sad the dog and kids can't play in the whole yard but fencing it is just cost prohibitive so we are fencing a much smaller area between our home and the neighbors and with cheapest material possible so no pretty wood. We will only need fencing for the north and south sides and will use our home for one side of the fence and the neighbors fence for the opposite side. Maybe if they do well with training we can let her into the big yard unfenced for supervised play sessions . She is very trainable.

 

We also decided on the order of work and what work can be done on the 17 and 18 year old vehicles ourselves versus taking to a shop. We really could use a 3rd car with 4 drivers but if we managed with 1 car between the two of us we can manage with 2 cars between 4 of us, right? The city has also decreased the number of buses to our little offshoot of town making trips to my husband's work and my oldest son's college almost impossible. My husband bikes to work through the winter but sometimes road conditions just doesn't allow for it as it's 15 miles away and we can't afford  a fat tire bike. It is especially bad when they plow the road onto the bike path. Snow is one thing big hard lumpy drifts are impossible. 

 

Also, instead of purchasing his own car it will be cheaper if oldest just pays the maintenance since he is it's main driver so that takes care of brakes and rotars. We would rediscuss if something big happens. He would be better off buying when he moves south for school as vehicles are cheaper in the states so it's a win-win for everyone. I think.  

11

Dinner out is just a blip, sounds like you guys made great progress with your plans.

20 hours ago, frogger said:

 

Sorry to hear about your FIL but I was liking the other parts of your post. ?

 

No worries, thank you!

19 hours ago, hjffkj said:

The loan company is ready to go to settlement so our new date is this Friday!!! *hj doing her happy dance*

Happy dance, ya for you!

_______________________

I forgot I had a teeth cleaning yesterday so I went ahead and went to Wal-Mart b/c I had priced out a few things cheaper there. I found an old $10 gift card so my $30 bill ended up at $20. I bought 25# sugar (for making jam and b/c it was cheapest that way), frozen corn and green beans, a few different types of GF noodles (they had GF lasagna- the kids usually get lasagna made into pasta bake so they are going to flip!- and gf spaghetti noodles for cheaper than I usually get so we're going to try them), dried chickpeas & red beans, marked down ground chicken- $2, gallon choc milk (I usually get almond milk but ds requested "real" milk- it's cheaper anyway- we'll see if the girls like it). I stopped by Krogers again and spent $10- 2 packs of the leg quarts and a 80c pack of ground turkey.

 I'm at $50 left for the month for grocery shopping and I've got my menu planned out. Right now my list for Aldi's is at $48 including $10 for extra strawberries for jam and $2.60 for cherries to freeze. It looks like we are going to squeeze it out at $600 month. I'd thought about cutting it down next month but with usually shopping on Wed. July will already have 5 trips instead of 4 so I'll keep it at $600 but the avg trip will be at $125 (minus $20 a month for bulk oats and spices from Azure)=$105.

I am ending the month with more meat in my freezer- not even counting the large amount I just got from MIL and I stocked up on a few different dry goods as well (and hopefully several jars of jam by the end of the week). 

Next weeks meal plan is going to be more indulgent than we have been. No meatless meals this week ? Dh is going to get beef 2 nights, courtesy of MIL's freezer donations- he'll be over the moon about that! I got a potluck Sat. night so I'm doing redbeans and rice (inspired by you guys)- fingers crossed it turns out. 

We've got to go to the city this weekend and I'm hoping to stop by some Ethnic stores to price out rice, rice noodles, and beans. 

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Yesterday was almost a no-spend day.

Dh uses water bottles he can squeeze when riding his bike.  He also uses them to take his water to work (they don't set off the metal detectors like our stainless steel ones).  Well, yesterday he went to take a drink and noticed mold spores in the caps of both of them.  ? Yuck!  And they're designed so that it's impossible to clean them out.  New caps cost $6 (can't buy just the small piece, has to be a new lid), new bottles of the same design are $10. Neither seems to be a good option.  So now he's on the hunt for new, clean-able, bottles.  Any recs?

On the upside, neither of us wanted to cook dinner last night and nearly ate out..........except all of those options sounded terrible, too. ?  I ended up making a nice light dinner.  DS came home from work and realized he's starting to be mineral deficient when he sat there eating green onions by the handful.  I'm taking him to the grocery store today for fruits and veggies that require little to no prep so he can feel more stable when he gets off work at 10pm.  He's asked for salad greens, melon, and peppers, along with what I grow in the garden.

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6 hours ago, HomeAgain said:

Yesterday was almost a no-spend day.

Dh uses water bottles he can squeeze when riding his bike.  He also uses them to take his water to work (they don't set off the metal detectors like our stainless steel ones).  Well, yesterday he went to take a drink and noticed mold spores in the caps of both of them.  ? Yuck!  And they're designed so that it's impossible to clean them out.  New caps cost $6 (can't buy just the small piece, has to be a new lid), new bottles of the same design are $10. Neither seems to be a good option.  So now he's on the hunt for new, clean-able, bottles.  Any recs?

On the upside, neither of us wanted to cook dinner last night and nearly ate out..........except all of those options sounded terrible, too. ?  I ended up making a nice light dinner.  DS came home from work and realized he's starting to be mineral deficient when he sat there eating green onions by the handful.  I'm taking him to the grocery store today for fruits and veggies that require little to no prep so he can feel more stable when he gets off work at 10pm.  He's asked for salad greens, melon, and peppers, along with what I grow in the garden.

How often does he ride? Would it make more sense to use generic bottled water for bike rides? Then for work find something else that may be a compromise... doesn't set off alarm, but can be easily cleaned? For work could he use one of those plastic cups with the lids that slide open/closed? They look like they might not be so hard to clean. I do sometimes get splashed by those if I'm closing them and liquid gathers on top, though. You might have to look around for something. There might even be a variety with a built-in straw that would work. With back to school shopping going on, you might find a sale on some type of drink container. I got ds a new thermos and it was on sale, but it is stainless steel.

-------------------------

Dh is trying not to eat out more than once a week if he can avoid it (this week he has a lunch meeting or two so it's not very avoidable). He's asked me to start packing him lunches. We have gone through this before where he says he wants that, but then he doesn't always really want that so I feel like I'm wasting my time (ie. lunch sits in fridge at his work or gets left here). Well, we are trying again. I am more hopeful this time. Sent lunch to work today and he ate it. He needs his own bag, though. I used ds'. I'll see if I can find an age appropriate one for dh (larger than the one I use for ds). I guess I could start packing their lunches together nightly soon. Or have ds do his own while I do dh's. I explained to Target (corporate) that I had issues with some of my coupons at the store and they are going to send me a few bucks via e gift card this week for my inconvenience. I might get dh a lunch bag from there to use the GC, but I haven't made a decision on style yet.

There was a recall on goldfish, but luckily the case I got at Sam's does not appear to be affected. Phew.

My parents gave me a huge stash of fast food utensils one time because I said I could use them for a party. The party got canceled, but I can still use them. I have a ton and I can use them to throw in the lunches. They are individually wrapped. Several are sporks.

Since the inlaws paid for several things this month (some of our groceries, ds' school supplies) dh thinks we'll be okay on paying my traffic ticket (I already looked into getting out of it and you can only remove from your record, not eliminate it in my case). I earned money from my ebay sale of my baby carrier, but not nearly enough to cover my ticket. My guitar hasn't sold yet. I may be able to sell some other things, but only for small amounts of money.

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Today was a deep cleaning day so I wasn't out of the house to spend anything. I have black bean soup on the stove and corn bread in the oven. 

 

 I don't have any recommendations to for a water bottle but would love to find an easy to clean one.  So I'll be watching the thread for one.

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17 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

Dh is trying not to eat out more than once a week if he can avoid it (this week he has a lunch meeting or two so it's not very avoidable). He's asked me to start packing him lunches. We have gone through this before where he says he wants that, but then he doesn't always really want that so I feel like I'm wasting my time (ie. lunch sits in fridge at his work or gets left here). Well, we are trying again. I am more hopeful this time. Sent lunch to work today and he ate it. He needs his own bag, though. I used ds'. I'll see if I can find an age appropriate one for dh (larger than the one I use for ds). I guess I could start packing their lunches together nightly soon. Or have ds do his own while I do dh's. I explained to Target (corporate) that I had issues with some of my coupons at the store and they are going to send me a few bucks via e gift card this week for my inconvenience. I might get dh a lunch bag from there to use the GC, but I haven't made a decision on style yet.

If your DH is a bike rider, mine has a really great structured bag for his  bike that has a shoulder strap for carrying. It works great as a lunch box and my dh loves it. He carries it regardless of whether he’s biking or not. Best gift I’ve gotten him in quite a while. 

https://www.trekbicyclesuperstore.com/product/bontrager-rear-trunk-bag-154555-1.htm?variations=1277307&gclid=Cj0KCQjwv-DaBRCcARIsAI9sba9Rm2ghEkVNuGImA088BTjgsu1uBhDJCrQuNyl_SGBuK-KtpP9ZCakaArOiEALw_wcB

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@HomeAgain I don't have a rec. for a water bottle, we could actually use some like that for mt. biking. I bet he was retching seeing the mold spores, ick! 

@heartlikealion I hope the lunch works out. Dh just takes leftovers 99% of the time. I pack it up when we finish cooking supper before we dish out food so I make sure it doesn't all get gobbled up. So, it takes me less than a minute.  Ya for having the money to take care of the traffic ticket!

_______________

Took the kids to TKD yesterday and went by the library to pick up Ant Man? While I was there I scanned the shelves for this book they said I had overdue, lo and behold it was on their shelf!!! I'm so excited, we looked everywhere here so I thought that is what happened. We returned them in the big slot and they missed it (it's happened before). I was really dreading having to pay for the stupid thing.

Compulsively tracking our electricity I can see that other than central heat/air we hardly use any electricity(if I don't use the dryer). That makes me feel like we are doing what we can, yes I'm sure there are places we are wasting some electricity but it is just peanuts, the big use is heating and cooling and considering that we have an all-electric house that's pretty decent. I keep adjusting the thermostat up but I live where it gets up to 100%+ w/ 100% humidity and down to -0 windchill in the winter. I can only cut it so much. We got a reasonably efficient unit but when it goes out there will be better newer ones even more efficient.

Today we've got fillings for 2 kids, 3 sets of appts over 2 weeks to get everyone. 2 sets of appointments for cleanings and then fillings for 2 kids found at the cleanings ? I'm going grocery shopping too and getting my jam supplies. The list is down to the penny ? I'm also getting some cake supplies to for ds' upcoming bday. I'm making him ribs for his bday dinner (already in the freezer). I think he's just going to have a friend or two over next Friday. He don't really care about parties, just wants to hang out with friends and get gifts/money!

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17 hours ago, heartlikealion said:

How often does he ride? Would it make more sense to use generic bottled water for bike rides? Then for work find something else that may be a compromise... doesn't set off alarm, but can be easily cleaned? For work could he use one of those plastic cups with the lids that slide open/closed? They look like they might not be so hard to clean. I do sometimes get splashed by those if I'm closing them and liquid gathers on top, though. You might have to look around for something. There might even be a variety with a built-in straw that would work. With back to school shopping going on, you might find a sale on some type of drink container. I got ds a new thermos and it was on sale, but it is stainless steel.

-------------------------


He rides pretty often.  Usually it's 20-30 miles/3-4x a week.  And his work has him climbing things, so the water bottle could be slung on his belt, which was a bonus.  We had some plastic insulated cups like what you describe and they worked okay, but they weren't as portable as his water bottles. Those were a well thought out purchase: squeezable, with a bite valve and single finger twist lock. All things that made it just that much easier for a rider. I've sent out an email to the company asking if they could sell us just the valves, but ugh.

We definitely will check the back to school sales!  That's a good suggestion!  I'm going to head out to the shop where dh gets maintenance done on his bike, too, and see what they carry.  Probably won't get them there, but they may have other options that work well that we haven't considered.

 

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And the rollecoaster starts again....

They are laying off 100+ at dh's work, that won't affect him at all. They are laying off all temp workers and anybody on advisement + some more. This was expected. 

The troublesome thing is that they say there will be some changes to pay scales and it will affect 90% of employees!!! Dh has been there a very long time and is an exemplary employee. He always goes above and beyond and is known throughout the plant as a very skilled and hardworker. Over the years he's always said if things ever go bad I want to be the one known for being the best he could be, we'll see if it is enough. 10% is a pretty darn small percentage, although we don't know the details. Dh was actually just given a new position, which was approved by the plant manager. Supposedly they are going to find out the details next week, we'll be holding our breath until then and we'll proceed accordingly and do what we got to do. 

I'm a little down b/c although we expected layoffs we didn't expect the other and I was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. But we are very resilent and have options, going through the mental exercises of thinking about putting the kids in school and going back to work has me feeling more prepared to handle whatever and we know how to live frugally.

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Soror, hug. I’ve been through that roller coaster, including austerity pay. It’s what got us to move away.   It think manufacturing will always be a roller coaster and I will steer my children away from mechanical engineering or other manufacturing fields of study. I don’t wish that on them. ?

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Almost had a massive fail.  I have to get some blood work done, and the doctor's office asked if I wanted it done at the hospital, Quest, or Labcorp.  I thought Quest was in-network and Labcorp wasn't, so I got the paper to take to Quest.  I decided to double check this morning before getting the blood draw done - I had it backwards!  Quest is out of network, Labcorp isn't!   DH swears last time he had blood work done, he did it at Quest and it was in-network, so that must have changed this year.  I'm going to call the office back this morning and have that switched.  Lesson learned, double check labs with the insurance.

I don't think I'm going to hit my grocery budget target after all.  A couple unplanned food expenses popped up, like buying dinner for my mom and brother Monday night.  DS9 is going to work with DH tomorrow, and they'll go out to lunch.  I completely forgot about that until last night.  It's "take your kids to work day", but they also have an educational component and projects, so I can count it as a field trip.  One that I don't have to go on or organize, lol.

@soror, that's so nerve-wrecking.  My dad was often in a similar position, being the one they could rely on even through plant layoffs and shift shutdowns, but it took a toll over time.  Hoping everything works out.

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Soror, I will keep my fingers crossed for being in the 10% - how scary!

 

I feel like my frugalista bone is broken this month. It's been an expensive month; unfortunately, I don't see that August is any better. 

Wins:

I have purchased "enough" for school uniforms, and my mom is buying her a school specific skirt so that is at least covered. If I find any deals from now to school start, I'll get another piece, but she can start. She ended with 5 short sleeve shirts, 3 long sleeves, 1 sweater, 2 shorts and 2 pants. With a skirt thrown in there, I think it's complete. I ended up at an average of $8.83 per piece, so I thought that was pretty good especially for an 8th grader and all new.

I've squirreled away some food to start making school lunches. Less of a shock to the budget if I pick up one item per week, also gives some variety instead of "Mom bought X, so I have to eat it every day this week."

Vegetable garden is just starting to produce - we didn't plant much, but DH can make salsa with all of the peppers soon. 

Kind of Wins:

University books (for oldest and DH) have all been purchased along with a graphing calculator. I got all as cheaply as I found them (only one came full price because it's a kind of workbook), but wowza, I don't want to think about the total outlay there.

Today is a DD's birthday, and she has chosen Red Robin. To save $, we're going on a day where youngest's meal is $1.99, I have a card that currently has b1g1 burgers. We'll let birthday girl get the free sundae and then we'll stop at Culver's for custard on the way home using the Kids' Meals tickets. Birthday girl can have a sundae tomorrow then as well.

Losses:

Lawn mower is in the shop; it's blowing white smoke when you turn it on. Have not heard how much to fix it.

I used up the last of the medical FSA yesterday at orthodontist. So, that payment will be coming out of my pocket until January. 

I still haven't purchased math or writing for youngest's homeschool. I can find no sales on them at all.

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Dh insists that going to the dr won't do any good in my case, but I feel like I should be wearing a boot/brace for my injured foot. There's a boot on loan in the house from when dh broke his toe several weeks ago but it's his size, not mine. Men's size 13. I don't know what I should do. I hate to spend the money on one but I don't want to make my injury worse. I try not to be a lot of weight on it, but it's inevitable that I end up getting up and doing things. I just can't stay on the couch. I'm a little upset I couldn't count on anyone in my household to get the trash to the curb for me (after several reminders) and now we've missed trash pick up. Seriously. 

That is a nice bag, but it's out of my budget. I'm looking closer to the $10-15 range. I might even find something at Sam's Club now that I think about it. The cheaper ones at Target didn't have the layout I was looking for. I wanted something that could easily fit my pyrex bowls in case I sent him something to heat up in the microwave. I will make more effort to plan leftovers for lunches where possible.

I'm still working on earning my swagbucks gift cards. They are taking forever this time. I'm trying to hit the $25 threshold (those are the best bang for your buck because they are 12% off. Don't require the full swagbucks point value to purchase). 

I found an unopened box of book rings in the house. That was an item out of stock that was on ds' school supply list. 

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This had not been a particularly frugal month but July never is.  Both dh and I have birthdays this month so we generally plan for splurges but with the craziness of the sale of the ouse I've been in La La land as far has spending goes.  The house settles in 2 days and then I can get back to paying attention to normal things in life

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More search results popped up this time. I asked dh if he liked either of these. I really like the suggestion of having the long shoulder strap! I took an online survey from my recent walmart pickup experience. Would be nice to win a gift card lol. 

https://www.target.com/p/igloo-9-can-balance-mini-city-cooler-bag-gray-black/-/A-51420188

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Premium-Insulated-Lunch-Bag-Shoulder-Strap-OPUX-Perfect-Kids-Men-Women-Work-School-Office-Soft-Leak-Proof-Liner-Medium-Capacity-Lunch-Box-Easily-Fits/132443982

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On 7/24/2018 at 7:10 AM, HomeAgain said:

Yesterday was almost a no-spend day.

Dh uses water bottles he can squeeze when riding his bike.  He also uses them to take his water to work (they don't set off the metal detectors like our stainless steel ones).  Well, yesterday he went to take a drink and noticed mold spores in the caps of both of them.  ? Yuck!  And they're designed so that it's impossible to clean them out.  New caps cost $6 (can't buy just the small piece, has to be a new lid), new bottles of the same design are $10. Neither seems to be a good option.  So now he's on the hunt for new, clean-able, bottles.  Any recs?

On the upside, neither of us wanted to cook dinner last night and nearly ate out..........except all of those options sounded terrible, too. ?  I ended up making a nice light dinner.  DS came home from work and realized he's starting to be mineral deficient when he sat there eating green onions by the handful.  I'm taking him to the grocery store today for fruits and veggies that require little to no prep so he can feel more stable when he gets off work at 10pm.  He's asked for salad greens, melon, and peppers, along with what I grow in the garden.

Do you have an Aldi nearby?  They'll have these water bottles for $3.99 starting next Wednesday, August 1.  Will those work?  They kind of look like the Gatorade ones a lot of the kids on DS's baseball team have.

I hear you about the metal detectors.  DH just gets coffee at work now (it's 99 cents for any size refillable cup, from a coffee cart with his favorite local brand) because it was too much of a hassle to get through security.  A dollar a day still adds up to over $20/month, but better than replacing the gross cups he'd leave in his car all day and forget about.  He also can't take a steak knife in his leftovers, apparently.  Oops.

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I figured out one of our sources of food waste.  I usually try to keep a pack of salami and sliced cheese on hand for sandwiches when DH has nothing else to take to work (we have PB&J but they are gluten contaminated, only the kids use them).  But it seems we are never able to get them eaten before they start growing mold.  I saw a tip on the MMM forums about making sandwiches and freezing them.  I'm not too picky on taste, the GF bread does hold up well in the freezer, and I prefer to nuke my sandwiches rather than eat them cold.  I bought some salami and turkey and cheese today, and once I open them, I'll make up a bunch of sandwiches and throw them in the freezer.  They'll be easy to grab and take to park day, too, although I'm not going to bring the microwave with me to the park.  ?

The "cell phone bill" creeping up thread prompted me to check our bill... yep.  It's gone up, a lot.  I'm going to talk with DH tonight about switching some things up.  Once we finish getting the decluttering done, I'd like to switch our trash service too.  Currently we have a company that is known for being too expensive, but they are so easy to work with when you're trying to clear out debris and bulk items.  Once I get the rest of the old paint cans and the half of a demolished shed picked up, it might be time to switch.

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1 hour ago, BarbecueMom said:

Do you have an Aldi nearby?  They'll have these water bottles for $3.99 starting next Wednesday, August 1.  Will those work?  They kind of look like the Gatorade ones a lot of the kids on DS's baseball team have.

I hear you about the metal detectors.  DH just gets coffee at work now (it's 99 cents for any size refillable cup, from a coffee cart with his favorite local brand) because it was too much of a hassle to get through security.  A dollar a day still adds up to over $20/month, but better than replacing the gross cups he'd leave in his car all day and forget about.  He also can't take a steak knife in his leftovers, apparently.  Oops.

Bless you!
Dh and I just looked and they're very similar to what he had, but without the fancy top!  I don't have an Aldi near, exactly, but I can kill two birds with one stone if I run errands near the one an hour away. ? They're cheap enough that they're worth giving a go!

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

Bless you!
Dh and I just looked and they're very similar to what he had, but without the fancy top!  I don't have an Aldi near, exactly, but I can kill two birds with one stone if I run errands near the one an hour away. ? They're cheap enough that they're worth giving a go!

If you can’t find it, the green Gatorade ones that are similar are only $1 more at Target, in the sporting goods section.

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19 minutes ago, BarbecueMom said:

If you can’t find it, the green Gatorade ones that are similar are only $1 more at Target, in the sporting goods section.

Those didn't work here.  The plastic was thicker and they were harder to use on the go.

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A bit of shopping at Aldi's, I've got a smidge of a budget left and a few more things to buy.

I took ds to Goodwill spent - $8.75- got him a lunch bag for school (new w/ tags), jeans (he has none that fit), 3 t-shirts; 

I'm thrilled I found him some jeans and they were $1.75! Children's Place like new; I don't know how long they'll last with him growing but at least they were cheap. He prefers shorts and athletic pants but I felt uneasy that he didn't have a single pair that fit.

All but one shirt was half-off.

I asked our AHG Coordinator for a scholarship, that was hard. I've served in leadership for 6 yrs and have put a lot of my own money in, I just can't do it this year.

Dh finds out his fate Aug. 10. Evidently, the 90% affected is not just pay cuts but also position changes, while dh doesn't want to change jobs that is FAR preferable to a pay cut.

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Pretty unfrugal week this week. My ds is in an Science day camp at the nearby state U and even though he can ride the shuttle for the 50 min drive, I decided to take him and pick him up the first day. Big school, little 12 year old. The girls and I spent the day in university town, picked berries at the berry farm ($13), bought lunch ($24), went to a small water park/pool ($15), met my local sister at a bakery ($6), bought gas and drinks ($35). It was a fantastic day worth every penny. I dropped the kids off at home that evening and drove 45 min the other way to attend a school board meeting one county over. (They are not playing by the state homeschool rules.)

Ds has ridden the shuttle since yesterday morning. The girls and I will go back to University on Friday and I will not spend money! 

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Very tight month here.  Dd's gone to camp as a counselor most of the month, so it's just dh and I.  We spend long hours at the office, so eat out a lot.  We've just gone a few times this month, and switched to eating only once a day for the most part.  Last two meals cost us about $10 each for the both of us.  I have also fixed some meals from things I found in the freezer.  Dh being willing to not eat big meals this month-- without my saying anything--has been great. 

Had a wedding shower, and used cash I had put away.  Ordered the wedding gift, too, while I had options.  No lattes this last week and a half, at least.  Pulled out the ss bottle and I've been drinking lots of water!   The boys are going to switch to personal phone bills, too.

 

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Aaaaasaand my laptop died.  Hard drive’s shot.  I’ve only had it for eight months.  I thought to myself earlier, “I’m so proud of myself for getting the first quarter of school work all planned out before the last minute.”  Of course that’s the magic phrase to cause catastrophic hardware failure.

It’s under warranty, but DH paid for expedited shipping.

And I lost my budget, which was just an OpenOffice document. Poof.

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Lots of food clearance items at Target today, especially gluten free items - GF flour (Cup 4 Cup, $2.15/lb, about what I pay for KAF with subscribe and save), GF pancake mixes with Funfetti (birthday breakfast!), little Reese’s pieces and M&M’s to mix into granola or cookies.  GF pasta was marked down but still over $1/package.  Lots of McCormick spices.

I’m sure each Target is different but it might be worth checking out.

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3 hours ago, BarbecueMom said:

Lots of food clearance items at Target today, especially gluten free items - GF flour (Cup 4 Cup, $2.15/lb, about what I pay for KAF with subscribe and save), GF pancake mixes with Funfetti (birthday breakfast!), little Reese’s pieces and M&M’s to mix into granola or cookies.  GF pasta was marked down but still over $1/package.  Lots of McCormick spices.

I’m sure each Target is different but it might be worth checking out.

1

Sweet finds! I'm jelly, no Target here! Hope you stocked up! Thanks for mentioning the price of the KAF on Subscribe and Save, I'll have to hit that if I can't get BRM on sale, with coupons at Big Lots it's $1.81 pound. I bought the rest of the supplies to make my own mix for some things too, I'm going to try that again, I'm not very optimistic I'm done a ton of different recipes w/ various homemade mixes which were only so-so and now we have recipes that we love and are simple but we'll try some new ones and see if we can find some cheaper ones that work for us.

18 hours ago, BarbecueMom said:

Aaaaasaand my laptop died.  Hard drive’s shot.  I’ve only had it for eight months.  I thought to myself earlier, “I’m so proud of myself for getting the first quarter of school work all planned out before the last minute.”  Of course that’s the magic phrase to cause catastrophic hardware failure.

It’s under warranty, but DH paid for expedited shipping.

And I lost my budget, which was just an OpenOffice document. Poof.

1
1

Bummer ? So glad it is under warranty!

20 hours ago, SamanthaCarter said:

Pretty unfrugal week this week. My ds is in an Science day camp at the nearby state U and even though he can ride the shuttle for the 50 min drive, I decided to take him and pick him up the first day. Big school, little 12 year old. The girls and I spent the day in university town, picked berries at the berry farm ($13), bought lunch ($24), went to a small water park/pool ($15), met my local sister at a bakery ($6), bought gas and drinks ($35). It was a fantastic day worth every penny. I dropped the kids off at home that evening and drove 45 min the other way to attend a school board meeting one county over. (They are not playing by the state homeschool rules.)

Ds has ridden the shuttle since yesterday morning. The girls and I will go back to University on Friday and I will not spend money! 

3
3

When ds started summer school I drove him and picked him up the first few days too to get him used to it, it was worth it. Doesn't sound to me you were going spending crazy, your expenses were very reasonable for what you did and sounds like a good day, it is worth it to save so you can have the money at other times.

19 hours ago, Tina said:

Very tight month here.  Dd's gone to camp as a counselor most of the month, so it's just dh and I.  We spend long hours at the office, so eat out a lot.  We've just gone a few times this month, and switched to eating only once a day for the most part.  Last two meals cost us about $10 each for the both of us.  I have also fixed some meals from things I found in the freezer.  Dh being willing to not eat big meals this month-- without my saying anything--has been great. 

Had a wedding shower, and used cash I had put away.  Ordered the wedding gift, too, while I had options.  No lattes this last week and a half, at least.  Pulled out the ss bottle and I've been drinking lots of water!   The boys are going to switch to personal phone bills, too.

 

5
5

Woot for reducing eating out and lattes, good job!

_______________________________________________

Dh gets to work this Saturday, all day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Word from his dept. manager is that he is on the bubble, he is trying to keep him on days might he might have to go to nights. But it doesn't look like he will have a reduction in pay, that is very good news. We still won't know for 2 wks but that is hopeful news.

I'm thinking I should sign ds up for free lunch, I think we qualify. I don't know how much they will have GF but I believe they do have a salad bar and choco milk at least, that would at least partially fill him up so I don't have to send so much. I don't want him to be that poor kid but teenage boys ate a MASSIVE amount of food.

I thought I was about out of money for groceries and might go over but it looks like I have a bit more than I thought- so perhaps I still will squeak by. Kroger has a sale on butter and sour cream this week so I want to pick some up, even though I don't technically need it. I'll have to reign in my stocking up a bit next month, it is so hard when you find good deals. I'm popping into Kroger's tonight and should be finishing my shopping for the month. 

Oh, and a neighbor asked me to water her dog for a week, so I think I'll get a bit for that. No, I've still not done my VIP interview video and people keep telling me about friends they have doing it and loving it. I'm trying to kick my own butt in gear. I have to get a space ready to take the video, that is my major hold up, it's stressing me out. I need someplace quiet and that looks nice'ish'. I've got no space in my bedroom, my closet is only 5x5 (for both of us which doesn't leave much space with clothes racks). I have no extra rooms. The basement is preferable for sound. The best place down there would be the bathroom, there is a corner in there (b/c we really need a longer vanity, I'd have to have a table, maybe for supplies, not sure what I'd use for that. Idk how I would set that up exactly. Our house is decent size (2400ish sq ft but we have 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms-+ 600 ft great room upstairs and 400 ft den- that are both open and not really lending themselves to quiet w/ a house of kids).

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Just got word from our car insurance agent that our auto insurance is going down $20/month because we moved to a different zip code!!  

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1 hour ago, soror said:

Sweet finds! I'm jelly, no Target here! Hope you stocked up! Thanks for mentioning the price of the KAF on Subscribe and Save, I'll have to hit that if I can't get BRM on sale, with coupons at Big Lots it's $1.81 pound. I bought the rest of the supplies to make my own mix for some things too, I'm going to try that again, I'm not very optimistic I'm done a ton of different recipes w/ various homemade mixes which were only so-so and now we have recipes that we love and are simple but we'll try some new ones and see if we can find some cheaper ones that work for us.

Bummer ? So glad it is under warranty!

When ds started summer school I drove him and picked him up the first few days too to get him used to it, it was worth it. Doesn't sound to me you were going spending crazy, your expenses were very reasonable for what you did and sounds like a good day, it is worth it to save so you can have the money at other times.

Woot for reducing eating out and lattes, good job!

_______________________________________________

Dh gets to work this Saturday, all day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Word from his dept. manager is that he is on the bubble, he is trying to keep him on days might he might have to go to nights. But it doesn't look like he will have a reduction in pay, that is very good news. We still won't know for 2 wks but that is hopeful news.

I'm thinking I should sign ds up for free lunch, I think we qualify. I don't know how much they will have GF but I believe they do have a salad bar and choco milk at least, that would at least partially fill him up so I don't have to send so much. I don't want him to be that poor kid but teenage boys ate a MASSIVE amount of food.

I thought I was about out of money for groceries and might go over but it looks like I have a bit more than I thought- so perhaps I still will squeak by. Kroger has a sale on butter and sour cream this week so I want to pick some up, even though I don't technically need it. I'll have to reign in my stocking up a bit next month, it is so hard when you find good deals. I'm popping into Kroger's tonight and should be finishing my shopping for the month. 

Oh, and a neighbor asked me to water her dog for a week, so I think I'll get a bit for that. No, I've still not done my VIP interview video and people keep telling me about friends they have doing it and loving it. I'm trying to kick my own butt in gear. I have to get a space ready to take the video, that is my major hold up, it's stressing me out. I need someplace quiet and that looks nice'ish'. I've got no space in my bedroom, my closet is only 5x5 (for both of us which doesn't leave much space with clothes racks). I have no extra rooms. The basement is preferable for sound. The best place down there would be the bathroom, there is a corner in there (b/c we really need a longer vanity, I'd have to have a table, maybe for supplies, not sure what I'd use for that. Idk how I would set that up exactly. Our house is decent size (2400ish sq ft but we have 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms-+ 600 ft great room upstairs and 400 ft den- that are both open and not really lending themselves to quiet w/ a house of kids).

 

It sounds like you have a really big house, but maybe no great place to work.  I remember seeing this on Moneysavingmom.com about how one person worked in their bathroom and how they set it up. 

 

https://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/unexpected-income-source-thanks-money-saving-mom-post.html

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2 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

 

It sounds like you have a really big house, but maybe no great place to work.  I remember seeing this on Moneysavingmom.com about how one person worked in their bathroom and how they set it up. 

 

https://moneysavingmom.com/2018/01/unexpected-income-source-thanks-money-saving-mom-post.html

Thanks, I'll check it out! I live in a LCOL area so our house isn't huge for our family size here, you know that's all relative!

---------------------------

Made it to Kroger's and they had bacon on sale, swoon, everyone is stoked about that! Apples from the discount bin- $1- haven't had them in bit, breakfast tomorrow. A container of plain yogurt for starter for yogurt b/c I got some milk yesterday. I got 6lbs of butter on sale, so now I've got 8# in the freezer, we usually use 1lb or so a week so maybe I can ride it out until the next sale. I think I now have a $1 or so left in my budget that I'm probably going to use on some peaches from 10Box ? I could save it but fresh cheap fruit in season is good for us.

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Mom's birthday was this month. I planned on giving her a bag of snacks as her gift.  Went to dollar tree and found a bunch of name brand snacks, really nice cards and a cute reusable bag (used as the gift bag) for very little money.

Dh got a bonus check last week.  Cashed it and went to grocery before ever coming home.  Grocery was having a meat sale and he bought all he could with the check.  I had mentioned being low on meat.  He bought ground beef, chicken & pork steaks.  Nice to have meat in freezer & I didn't have to try to figure out how to stretch the grocery budget for meat.  Not to mention I didn't have to go to the store.

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Today I'm making strawberry jam and yogurt, I can't remember if I've made jam before, if I have it's been awhile. Oh, and Wednesday night I made a big batch of broth (from the bones I cut off the thighs), I've got to put some in the freezer. I got in my new phone yesterday, it is sooo much nicer than my old one. I'm very pleased that I got a new phone and service for a year for what it would have cost to just buy service. So, I have service for a whole year and dh is currently good through March so we won't have any expense there for a good long time. Ds now has an emergency phone that technically has service through 2020 but is very low on minutes (oodles of text though), I'm hoping to squeeze that out to the new year.  

________________________________

eta: first batch of jam is done- I've got 9 jars and enough to do another batch, trying to decide if I should go ahead and make another batch or just freeze them. Of course, we can use it to flavor homemade yogurt too, not just for toast.

So, my cost per jar is around 62c, which is about $2 cheaper than the good jam(just sugar no HFCS or other stuff) at Aldi's. Probably not as much of a bargain if I find good jam on sale somewhere but I still can't come close to that cost.

I've started on the yogurt but that process takes awhile.

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Well, here is big.
DS is thinking about taking a semester off of school.  He realized that he could get the same degree for a fraction of the cost, keep his job, and live at home if he did so by transferring to a university closer to us. (He was not a fan of dorm life) But it would require taking time off in order to get paperwork in line.  The school he would be transferring to would be a very good school.  He's mulling the prospect right now, but he's not in a position to go back to the dorms this month with a mountain of stress about after college finances.  How does this affect us?  We committed a certain amount for his college years, about 50%-60% of total costs at this college vs. 25% at the other.  Plus we don't have to worry about plane tickets back and forth and monthly help. 
So....wish him luck!  He's a great kid, and after our family talk last night he seemed to be very at peace with his decision.

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

Well, here is big.
DS is thinking about taking a semester off of school.  He realized that he could get the same degree for a fraction of the cost, keep his job, and live at home if he did so by transferring to a university closer to us. (He was not a fan of dorm life) But it would require taking time off in order to get paperwork in line.  The school he would be transferring to would be a very good school.  He's mulling the prospect right now, but he's not in a position to go back to the dorms this month with a mountain of stress about after college finances.  How does this affect us?  We committed a certain amount for his college years, about 50%-60% of total costs at this college vs. 25% at the other.  Plus we don't have to worry about plane tickets back and forth and monthly help. 
So....wish him luck!  He's a great kid, and after our family talk last night he seemed to be very at peace with his decision.

OH, that is awesome, I hope it all works out for you guys, sounds like a great move.

 

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I hope it's OK to post this here because it seems relevant. Audible's Deal of the Day for Friday July 27 is The Year of Less for $1.95 (regular price is $24.49). I don't know if it's available outside the US, but I would hope so!

Just FYI. I'm getting this. (Not an affiliate link)

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

Well, here is big.
DS is thinking about taking a semester off of school.  He realized that he could get the same degree for a fraction of the cost, keep his job, and live at home if he did so by transferring to a university closer to us. (He was not a fan of dorm life) But it would require taking time off in order to get paperwork in line.  The school he would be transferring to would be a very good school.  He's mulling the prospect right now, but he's not in a position to go back to the dorms this month with a mountain of stress about after college finances.  How does this affect us?  We committed a certain amount for his college years, about 50%-60% of total costs at this college vs. 25% at the other.  Plus we don't have to worry about plane tickets back and forth and monthly help. 
So....wish him luck!  He's a great kid, and after our family talk last night he seemed to be very at peace with his decision.

 

This is brilliant! And he's lived in the dorms so he knows what he's NOT missing. Think of the money he'll make while working and getting that paperwork done. He's one smart guy! 

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Dh has been told that the plant manager (aka the big boss) has approved for him to stay days as a floating set-up. That means he'd help out when needed- bigger jobs or someone has a day off and then do his current job when not. This is the best case scenario! It still won't be 100% confirmed for 2 wks but this is a very good sign!

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1 hour ago, Angie in VA said:

 

This is brilliant! And he's lived in the dorms so he knows what he's NOT missing. Think of the money he'll make while working and getting that paperwork done. He's one smart guy! 

He really is.  ?  He has grown up well, which is all I can ask for.  He is definitely respected at his work by the manager and customers, so I think they'll be glad to have him around longer, too.  All in all, I can't fault his plan, though I did almost kick him when he seemed apologetic about living at home longer. He felt like he was an adult out on his own last year.  ?  We told him there's time enough for that later....and that we STILL will expect him to feel like this is his home even after he's off and running.

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We settled on the house! We got a bit over $22,000 from the sale.  $3000 will pay off the card I put the reno material on. another $500 is going toward a beach trip dh and I are going on next week without the kids, not frugal because we are paying a bit more at our regular place because it is peak time but my dad is insisting we get away just us before he has his knee surgery so it is what it is.  Another $2500 will go straight into dh's RothIRA account so we can max it out for the year.   And the rest goes into savings.

Now dh and I need to sit down with my parents and figure out what they want us to pay for living here.  The last time we talked my dad said he'd probably just charge the added utility expenses so we can sock away everything else we were spending on housing to go toward the next house we purchase together.  If that is the case then we'll be saving at least $1300/month for the next place, which is awesome. Time to crunch numbers.

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2 hours ago, hjffkj said:

We settled on the house! We got a bit over $22,000 from the sale.  $3000 will pay off the card I put the reno material on. another $500 is going toward a beach trip dh and I are going on next week without the kids, not frugal because we are paying a bit more at our regular place because it is peak time but my dad is insisting we get away just us before he has his knee surgery so it is what it is.  Another $2500 will go straight into dh's RothIRA account so we can max it out for the year.   And the rest goes into savings.

Now dh and I need to sit down with my parents and figure out what they want us to pay for living here.  The last time we talked my dad said he'd probably just charge the added utility expenses so we can sock away everything else we were spending on housing to go toward the next house we purchase together.  If that is the case then we'll be saving at least $1300/month for the next place, which is awesome. Time to crunch numbers.

 

Congrats!!

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8 hours ago, soror said:

Dh has been told that the plant manager (aka the big boss) has approved for him to stay days as a floating set-up. That means he'd help out when needed- bigger jobs or someone has a day off and then do his current job when not. This is the best case scenario! It still won't be 100% confirmed for 2 wks but this is a very good sign!

 

Sounds like great news. 

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Frugal wins for the week:

- I had some medical tests done this morning that required fasting. It would have been so easy to swing by Starbucks after it was over, but I brought coffee and a Larabar (which had been purchased on markdown at Target a couple months ago!) from home.

- Went back to Target to get the rest of the GF flour (2 bags) and pancake mixes (2 boxes), and realize I’d missed a section of marked down items!  They also had dry milk powder packets for $0.75, which I can use for making cocoa this winter or in GF cinnamon roll dough.

- I pitted and froze three bags of cherries from Aldi’s sale this week.  We use frozen cherries year round in yogurt and smoothies, and these were 1/2 the cost of Costco’s.  It looks like I committed an ax murder and tried to clean it up in my kitchen, but they’re all in the freezer now!

 

I think I have more meat and pantry goods to end the month than I had at the beginning, and there is no room for stocking up on anything else right now.  I may do a “pantry challenge” next month to start working through these things.  Anyone else interested?  Might be fun to see what random dishes come out of it.

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Just did my last grocery trip of the month and squeezed in just under our $500/month budget.  It would have been about $20 less but I bought some beef in bulk that was really marked down, so that will actually be used in August. Plus, I'm making a meal this week for a homeschool group mom who just had a baby

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