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September Frugalistas

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Well we are starting out September with a bang of unfrugal living. We had arranged for the kids to have an overnight tonight so dh and I could go to an all night movie marathon at a drive-in. That would have cost $24 for tickets and maybe another $20 for food. But it is supposed to rain so we cancelled that. Instead I decided that dh and I would spend the night in a hotel with a pool, hot tub, free sit down breakfast, evening hors d'oeuvres. So are inexpensive night away turned into $200+. Oh well, I did a damn good job saving last month so I'm gonna be spontaneous with dh.

September goals:

-$1526 into savings

- stick to our grocery budget of $500

- no eating out

-make $300 pet sitting 

 

 

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Well, your date night isn't frugal but it sounds fun! ?

Our goals this month are going to be to keep unnecessary spending down as much as possible.  I mentioned dh's change in pay in the last thread.  We've prepared for at least one month's expenses to be delayed, even though it won't be, but after all said and done we want to pay off his vehicle.  It's down to the wire on it, and we can do it next month if we are really, really tight with funds this month.  It would be paid off 16 months ahead of time, if we manage it. 

A small win: I discovered the grocery store oldest ds works at does double coupons on Saturdays.  We never shop on Saturday because that's the busiest, but I may have to for special coupon/loss leader items.  Today, between ds's discount and my coupon + the store sale, I saved 25% off the normal price of dishwasher tablets.

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We are taking advantage of all of the Labor Day grocery sales. Once we tacked on a $10 off $50 or more, we saved 50% on what we bought (spent $53, saved the same amount). 

Our garage freezer is full as is the freezer in the garage fridge. We have enough meat stashed away that we can eat meat at least twice a week this winter!! 

 

 

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Ok so September is a make up month! Which is pathetic after an extra paycheck month but there you have it. We did have to work on the house and car but I won't call them unexpected expenses but we hadn't saved up for them like we should have (though we tried).  My family has to tighten things up dramatically. I will attempt to shave another $200 off the grocery bill which will mean buying almost no meat. I do need a bag of flour for bread but I think if I focus on veggies and milk and eggs it's doable and some grains and beans. I do have some meat in the freezer that I can ration over the month. It is just one month and then I should be able to go back to my regular budget. 

Frugal win- Last night I went out with friends. We went bowling and though I like bowling and probably looked like a lame fuddy duddy, I didn't bowl. Probably saved $20 bucks or more, a lot more if I started buying drinks! I didn't feel bad because the lane was full of friends anyway so I wasn't costing anyone anything, like sitting in a coffee shop taking up space when you don't purchase something, so I felt comfortable laughing and talking with friends on the cheap. 

Today I am determined to keep that grocery budget down but have plenty to get through the week so I'm off to check coupons and look for loss leaders. 

Edited by frogger
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We're joining frugalista ranks for the next several months at least due to a few unexpected financial glitches. I'm re-visiting all the old budget threads as I can find them. I'm trying to keep grocery costs down, though my spouse did the grocery shopping today and wasn't quite as frugal as I would have been despite my creation of a list.

Thinking ahead to Christmas: We moved soon after Christmas last year and neither my spouse nor I remember what we got for Christmas. Plans are to re-gift last year's presents to each other again and maybe supplement with a couple of thrift store surprises. We'll shop for DS as we usually do, though it won't be as big a Christmas as other years. If we can find something he'd like in a thrift store, we'll pick that up.

I'm hoping to bake my own bread and hope I can turn over a new leaf and not kill the yeast like I usually do.

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Last month was so-so. We were able to save a fair amount, even with unexpected expenses, due to a bonus, some OT and an extra check. This month is looking to be a plain jane month unless dh can finagle some OT. We've not finished the budget this month but I'm not liking the looks of it so far. Dh needs new work boots, his are to the point of coming apart, and he needs nice ones working on concrete in wet conditions. They usually last a few years but it is still a lot of money at once, we're going to try and shop around and see if we can find any better deals.  My upright freezer and pantries are pretty darn full, so I hope to have a good month for groceries. We've got some medical expenses, not horrible but $100 here and there add up quickly. I'm really, really hoping our gas budget goes down we had these out of town trips this summer that killed us! I'm staying home more too, surely it has to go down. 

I'm *hoping* to start making some money for VIPKID but we'll see, I'm currently certified for levels 3-5 and the majority of the students are levels 1-2. In 30 days I can put in to get certified at another level so perhaps if things don't pick up before then that will help. I've submitted my video for the new Trial classes but they say that takes up to 2 weeks to be approved (I submitted mine on Tuesday). I've done all the trainings that are currently available, including the new TESOL to boost my profile and am doing workshops in the meantime. I made $30 this month with the class I taught and training I did but put in to just have it added to my next check. I'm doing a little dog sitting this weekend, probably won't pay much of anything but it is something. I still think I should make up a little flyer and perhaps visit the neighbors but have been overwhelmed with everything else, considering I live rurally I don't think it could amount to much but extra money is extra money. 

I need to sell some stuff- I've been saying that but it's been busy. My soft goal is $300. I also think we're going to go ahead and cash out some CC rewards, I was saving them for travel but considering the uncertainty of everything that doesn't seem wise ? 

This week on top of everything else I painted dd2's bedroom, so glad I got that done. I spent $0 on her room makeover. I used paint and supplies already on hand, although she would have preferred picking out a new color we made do. The walls are different complementary colors because I didn't have enough of one color- it suits her and the room though.

We do have all the funds for our taxes and insurance set aside so now all our saving is towards the e/SHTF fund. 

We have so much we'd like to save every month in August we hit 3x our goal with everything extra, in Sep. we won't hit it unless dh has some OT or I can sell stuff/make some money. So, that is the goal- sell enough/ make enough to hit it. And perhaps if I can get things going with VIPKID we can surpass it, that would sure help meet our goals faster and provide more of a cushion if things did go south, that's why I'm trying to hustle it. Theoretically I'd like to just work 10-15 hrs a week, but actually I'm going to take what I can get

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Soror I really really hope that all your prep and planning will simply turn into being well on top of things with some to spare because you were preparing for the worst and it didn't come. 

 

Frugal fail for me: Accidently buying an ecopy of a book I was getting a hard copy of. Sigh. I want the hard copy and shipping it back would be silly as it's a used book. The ebook on the other hand was $22.  I tried calling as usually companies can tell if you've accessed it and I have not done so. Many even have a certain number of times you can download something but nope, the 3rd party company doesn't return digital stuff. 

Edited by frogger
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7 hours ago, frogger said:

Soror I really really hope that all your prep and planning will simply turn into being well on top of things with some to spare because you were preparing for the worst and it didn't come. 

 

Frugal fail for me: Accidently buying an ecopy of a book I was getting a hard copy of. Sigh. I want the hard copy and shipping it back would be silly as it's a used book. The ebook on the other hand was $22.  I tried calling as usually companies can tell if you've accessed it and I have not done so. Many even have a certain number of times you can download something but nope, the 3rd party company doesn't return digital stuff. 

Thank you, I hope so too!

That stinks about the book, I'd be very annoyed!

Btw I got another class to teach this morning, that's $9 (for 30 min), no that is $11 b/c it was short notice, double woot!

Edited by soror
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Basement renovation is about 90% done.  I still owe our contractor one more payment after the last few bits are done, and I need to run to IKEA for more shelving, but we have the other half of our house (and garage, and driveway, and yard) back!  It's awesome, but it was not a frugal project, as we had neither the time nor the health to do much of the work ourselves, and we had to replace pretty much everything from doors to flooring to furniture.  Some of these projects we've been putting off since we bought the house ten years ago.  I'm currently sitting on one of the new couches.  They are lined up like theater seating (very narrow room), and DH is finishing up a riser for the back couch we built using the extra-sturdy pallets the flooring was shipped on.  We only had to buy wood stain and new brushes.  Much cheaper than buying or building an actual riser, or having to order custom-sized sofas to fit the space.

I do need to go around the house and gather up all the materials we bought but didn't need and return them to the store before I lose receipts.

We did okay on food last month, especially given how many abnormal food purchases I had to make.  This month there are no birthdays, DH will be out of town for a week, and I'm having surgery, so we should be able to get under budget.  I did splurge on a couple things at Target this morning - clearance plus Cartwheel coupon for Larabar bites (I was getting shaky at the store), and a Cartwheel coupon for Annie's cereal.  I also found ten boxes of gluten-free pasta marked down to less than $1.00.  Pasta with veggies and sausage is something that everyone will eat, and it's easy for DH to make when I'm not feeling well.

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This month begins school year expenses, which are higher than summer expenses since we don’t do vacations/camps/extracurricular to speak of. We have to pay $150 for ds’ youth group retreat, about $100 for September co-op tuition, $150 for regional children’s choir September tuition, and $150 for the annual working lake trip for choir. Also, they had no used concert dresses available in dds size, I find out how much the new one is on Saturday. I’m assuming around $70 since they were selling the used ones for $35. 

Ive been averaging $700/mo in the grocery/paper-products/cleaning-supplies category, so that’s good. I’m trying a low-histamine diet for my allergies, but I don’t think it will have much effect on the budget except maybe higher food waste since I won’t be eating leftovers. I like to think of my cost on a per meal basis, so assuming two meals purchased during the month, $700/88=$7.96 per meal for five. Compare that to a minimum of $30 to eat a crappy meal out and I feel pretty good about where we are. 

No known ways for me to bring in any income this month, but barring disaster, we should break even. 

Edited by SamanthaCarter
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I finally listed a bunch of curriculum for sale, gah I hate doing that. While I was at it I listed them on some online groups and the adverts here. I listed a couple hundred dollars worth, we'll see if anything sells. 

Someone is supposed to come to get our old entertainment center tomorrow, that's $30.

I finished my little dog sitting job.

I taught another short notice VIPKID class this am, that's $11 (for 25 min woot). I've got another class scheduled for the am- $9 (not short notice). Hopefully, I have some more classes trickle in throughout the week. I like it well so far and it is nice to just work at home, so I don't have any expenses for gas or wardrobe.

Dh and I rented a Redbox movie last night since the girls were gone, that was$1.75, we're supposed to have enough points for a free rental but we cannot get it to work, I guess I've got to message them. 

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August I definitely wasn't on my game.  Got to get back at it. 

This morning I had a good thing happen.  Stopped in a store looking for something. They didn't have it so I started to leave. Ds2 pointed out the 2019 farmers almanac was on sale.  I always get one for my stepdad for Christmas.  I grab one thinking I'd save $1.  When I checked out the girl asked if I was a member of their reward program.  I said no.  She said, it's just your name & email and if you sign up you get $5 off your purchase.  Yeah I signed up and got the book FREE!!   Yeah it made me happy.

 

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Transferred money to savings yesterday.

No money spent. I think we are going to sign dd3 up for the exercise class, the kid's TKD teacher is starting one for little kids and she has been begging to do something since the kids signed up last December, begging. I think I want to try just once a week to start. That is $40 a month for 8 classes a month, so $20 month for 4.

Another 2 classes booked for VIPKID, I'm on track to well surpass my goal for the month (they say it takes a good while to get bookings established so I set my sights low).

Last night was beans and rice so uber-frugal, tonight will be pantry and freezer meal and I'll work on next weeks menu. I've been more flying by the seat of my pants lately but things are settling down I have a few moments to think. I'm hoping to really keep the grocery spending down this month.

Dh is going to try and get some OT but they are cracking down, he has been lucky to get as much as he has. His check this week will have some on it from last week, so that gives us a bit extra for the month.

 

Edited by soror
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I nearly had a heart attack yesterday.  I went to vote first thing in the morning and stopped to get gas on the way to the polls.  Grabbed my receipt, tucked it in the center console, and finished my morning errands.  That afternoon, I took a few minutes to enter the debit into Everydollar while ds was in music lessons.  And the receipt showed almost exactly twice what I had put in my car!  24 gallons instead of 12, and double the cost! ? I checked my account. It had the right amount debited. I nearly went back to the station before I looked closer at the receipt itself.  It showed a time nearly an hour before I got there, and card number last 4 were different.  And I remembered that this was the one gas station that had a weird receipt dispenser.  It only pushes them out a fraction of an inch.  So when I pushed "yes" to get my receipt, it pushed out the previous person's all the way and left mine barely hanging out of the machine.  DH thinks I'm crazy for always getting a receipt and I think I made myself crazy this time. ?  I'll still get them, though - I like proof that I paid what I paid.

Next week I get to take ds to his hockey fitting.  Most of the NHL teams have a program where for $100, your kid gets a full kit (pads, stick, skates, jersey....) and 4 weeks of instruction on the ice.  It's a pretty sweet deal.  I bookmarked the site last year and jumped on it this summer when registration opened.  DS is growing again and the skates will come in handy this winter.

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HomeAgain, glad it all turned out well, I know the panic and then stress of thinking you are going to have to sort it out. That is an awesome deal for the hockey program.

I ended up having another class booked last minute, so that was $11, my other class scheduled for today ended up being a no show but I still got $6, $6 for doing nothing, I'll take it!

 

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3 hours ago, Ethel Mertz said:

Ugh. Spouse bounced a check to the water company.

boo spouse, hugs

 

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My youngest woke up in the middle of the night and threw up on me, so sickness has forced us inside for the next few days. He's been fine since so I'm thinking it was either something he ate, my mom was sick too and they both had the same thing to eat yesterday that no one else had.  But I'm not risking it because my stomach feels a little off. I'm praying hard that no one else gets sick, especially since all the kids just  went through a short fever causing virus last week.  At least being forced to stay home means we won't spend money.

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We were able to get another $10 off of $50+ purchase and use that at the grocery store.  I picked up some more beef for the freezer at about half off normal prices. I'm trying to use up all of the tidbits in our fridge right now and put off going to the grocery store again until this weekend.  

We did our quarterly maintenance on our hot tub this past weekend.  We discovered that if we hired that out it would be $250.  Instead, we use about $30 in chemicals and do it ourselves. We inherited the hot tub when we bought the house, so we're still figuring all of this out this year.   I need to figure out how to order replacement filters online instead of buying them from the pricey shop down the street. We have to replace the filters yearly (we clean them monthly) and we haven't done that yet.

I ordered the last of our school stuff for this year (I hope).

I'm contemplating how to arrange Christmas with a super limited budget.  I probably need to start crafting soon.  I have some leftover leather scraps from the bench project---I'm contemplating making earrings and a few other things...

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28 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

We were able to get another $10 off of $50+ purchase and use that at the grocery store.  I picked up some more beef for the freezer at about half off normal prices. I'm trying to use up all of the tidbits in our fridge right now and put off going to the grocery store again until this weekend.  

We did our quarterly maintenance on our hot tub this past weekend.  We discovered that if we hired that out it would be $250.  Instead, we use about $30 in chemicals and do it ourselves. We inherited the hot tub when we bought the house, so we're still figuring all of this out this year.   I need to figure out how to order replacement filters online instead of buying them from the pricey shop down the street. We have to replace the filters yearly (we clean them monthly) and we haven't done that yet.

I ordered the last of our school stuff for this year (I hope).

I'm contemplating how to arrange Christmas with a super limited budget.  I probably need to start crafting soon.  I have some leftover leather scraps from the bench project---I'm contemplating making earrings and a few other things...

 

I know it's coming but I can't seem to get starting school and trying to save and come up with money for that much less think ahead to Christmas. 

 

Just buying a few basics at Costco today. Hopefully I will be home until Saturday after that and won't spend a dime. 

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1 hour ago, frogger said:

 

I know it's coming but I can't seem to get starting school and trying to save and come up with money for that much less think ahead to Christmas. 

 

Just buying a few basics at Costco today. Hopefully I will be home until Saturday after that and won't spend a dime. 

I understand.  I'm also staring at birthday season so gifts are on the mind.

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Home Again - awesome deal on hockey 

I was thinking about Christmas yesterday and felt sick, in a panic sort of way.  Of course I was also thinking of all the things we need to get done/repaired/replaced too.  

We were given some cooked food (leftovers from a cookout).  Ate that for several meals.   Stayed home today (that saved money).

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I've only vaguely thought about Christmas. Unless things change it will be a modest one as any extra money we get really needs to go to savings. We'll see how things go and how much we feel comfortable pulling out for gifts. Their main gifts will likely be from grandparents this year. 

I got my pay yesterday for the little dog job, $20.

I woke up today and had several new slots filled for VIPKID, as of now I've got 15 classes/7.5 hrs for the week. 4 I've already finished. At around 9-$11 a class I'm now blowing my $100 for the month goal out of the water. If I get 30 classes for the month I then get 50c more per class (halfway there), if I get 45+ it is a $1 more. I've got several of the new trials too, if any sign up that is $10! I've got no idea if I will continue to be so busy but I'll take what I can get while I can get it!

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I'm not ashamed to say most of Christmas this year is coming from clearances and thrift stores. ? I keep a box in my closet that I throw things in all year round.  This year ds8 is getting a 3DS from his brother (he found one at a garage sale for $2 in great condition), and I found a brand new case for it at our library's free box.  So between the two of us ds will be getting something he really, really wants.  Oldest is a bit harder to find stuff for, but I have managed a few small things for him, too.

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CChristmas: As I wrote in another thread (I think), we packed up to move right after Christmas last year. The grownups in this house have no memory of what the Christmas gifts were, so we've agreed to re-gift them to each other. Anything else will be coming from a thrift shop. The exception will be a couple of new things for DS. I'm also knitting for the few friend gifts we exchange. Thankfully, I have a good yarn stash to use.

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Christmas -  I am thinking maybe fix MIL and my parents some homemade frozen dinners.  MIL could be in the single serve size containers and my parents a little bigger container.   Dollar tree has various size and shape aluminum containers.  And I could get some of the glad type bowls for soups & chili.

Also thought about making cookie dough and freezing it in cookie portion size.  Then putting in freezer bag and giving as part of their gift.  That way if they wanted a cookie or 2 one night they didn't have to make a whole batch.

Both sets are very capable of cooking, and do it nightly, but I was thinking that way if they wanted a night off.  

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1 hour ago, HomeAgain said:

I'm not ashamed to say most of Christmas this year is coming from clearances and thrift stores. ? I keep a box in my closet that I throw things in all year round.  This year ds8 is getting a 3DS from his brother (he found one at a garage sale for $2 in great condition), and I found a brand new case for it at our library's free box.  So between the two of us ds will be getting something he really, really wants.  Oldest is a bit harder to find stuff for, but I have managed a few small things for him, too.

We will be watching thrift stores too, I'm considering looking for a trampoline as a family gift, thought I might find one in good shape for sale used. We'll see, I need to brainstorm ideas.

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Okay, dh is looking askance at my frugality. ?  So you guys get to tell me if this is too weird/unheard of/gross.

DS and I made cake this morning for our afternoon tea.  It's a double layer 8in round, or it will be when I put it together.  Right now it's sitting out on the counter cooling.  DH walked by and asked why they look like they've been branded by our supermarket. ?  I was always taught to use the inside of a clean brown paper bag to make liners for the cake pan, that way you only have to flour and grease the sides and the cake slides right out.  It works well, too.  When they cool I'll peel off the paper and frost them.

So.....brown paper bags: weird or you totally do this too?  Or just gross and I should stop it?

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22 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Okay, dh is looking askance at my frugality. ?  So you guys get to tell me if this is too weird/unheard of/gross.

DS and I made cake this morning for our afternoon tea.  It's a double layer 8in round, or it will be when I put it together.  Right now it's sitting out on the counter cooling.  DH walked by and asked why they look like they've been branded by our supermarket. ?  I was always taught to use the inside of a clean brown paper bag to make liners for the cake pan, that way you only have to flour and grease the sides and the cake slides right out.  It works well, too.  When they cool I'll peel off the paper and frost them.

So.....brown paper bags: weird or you totally do this too?  Or just gross and I should stop it?

I've never used paper bags for cakes but I always open them up and set cooling cookies on them.  I just make sure have the food touching the inside of the bags and not use paper bags that had raw meat in them.  So not weird to me but I learned this practice from my mom who grew up super poor so frugal shortcuts were the normal for her too.

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32 minutes ago, HomeAgain said:

Okay, dh is looking askance at my frugality. ?  So you guys get to tell me if this is too weird/unheard of/gross.

DS and I made cake this morning for our afternoon tea.  It's a double layer 8in round, or it will be when I put it together.  Right now it's sitting out on the counter cooling.  DH walked by and asked why they look like they've been branded by our supermarket. ?  I was always taught to use the inside of a clean brown paper bag to make liners for the cake pan, that way you only have to flour and grease the sides and the cake slides right out.  It works well, too.  When they cool I'll peel off the paper and frost them.

So.....brown paper bags: weird or you totally do this too?  Or just gross and I should stop it?

LOL

I've never heard of that but I don't see any issue with using a clean bag.

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1 hour ago, soror said:

We will be watching thrift stores too, I'm considering looking for a trampoline as a family gift, thought I might find one in good shape for sale used. We'll see, I need to brainstorm ideas.

 

A trampoline was what my kids got from fill last Christmas. It was such a great purchase. They use it daily and it meant a million smaller things weren't entering our house because he usually gets them each at least 5 items each.

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This is the first Christmas I don't have to be incredibly frugal to actually pull it off. I do have to be frugal leading up to it and in planning our trip in order to not allow this splurge trip to derail our saving goals. Figuring out doing Orlando as inexpensively as possible is a tall order.

On top of that, we have gifts for 4 kids, mil, fil, and dh's grandmother. Those will all be found on clearance. Handmade gifts aren't really dh's family's thing, and I'm ok with that.

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Isn't it funny how the frugal thread inspires us to think about big spending, like the bodies thread makes us think about eating and being sedentary (or, that's what happens to me).

I have not posted much lately because I had a bunch of big expenditures and am likely to have more.  School tuition, annual and one-time donations for sponsored families, large gifts toward college funds.  School clothes and supplies - especially the shirts that I bought (and removed from packaging) before learning my kid does not like that style any more.  Horse gear because my kid keeps growing.  Oh, and tickets for our winter vacation.

The worst is that my kid is wearing me down on the horse she wants to buy.  I don't even mind buying the horse ($5,000), it's the cost to board it that feels extravagant.  But the owner is advertising it for sale and might sell it out from under us.  (We are currently doing a half-lease month to month.)  And this is where I'm a wuss.  This would break my kid's heart - she is mad about this horse.  I told my kid that if she saves up and buys the horse, I will pay for the board (I said that before calculating the cost, thinking how much could it be ...).  She is 11 and doesn't have a job, so that would take a long time.  But at least she could stop spending the little bits of money she does get on toys.  (And I told her I'd pay her for a 4.0 GPA toward the horse - maybe she'll work harder?)  The horse teacher / owner suggested I buy the horse and just not tell the kid it's mine, then "sell" it to her when she's saved up.  The owner says she has too many horses and really can't afford to ... a bit of emotional blackmail there I sense ... but according to my kids, she buys new horses from time to time.  In any case, it isn't my responsibility that she has too many horses, is it?  My friend suggests I just ask for right of first refusal, but I don't know of the owner would go for that.  Either way, it looks like horse board is in my future at some point.

I did have a few minor successes I guess.  I decided I'm not buying the kids dresses any more - they can wear school clothes just about anywhere dressy.  The exception being if they have a dance and have nothing to wear, but I would definitely go frugal for that sort of thing.  Or better yet, they could spend their own money on it.

I managed to save a lot of last year's school supplies and they are being put back to good use.  I also saved a bit of tuition money by participating in a school fundraiser - buying gift cards which kick back some of the value into my "account."  The gift cards are still worth the full amount.  I am using some of them myself and giving others as gifts.

And speaking of fundraisers, hurray, the scout troop is not doing a selling fundraiser (I don't think).  They are instead doing a car wash.  (Or maybe they are doing both?)  Either way, I will not be buying a kajillion items I don't need in the hope of giving them as Christmas gifts or eating them myself.  The patch on the uniform isn't worth it.  I will pay the buy-out - it's cheaper.

The kids are doing fewer / cheaper extracurricular activities this year.  I also dropped paid tutoring.  Though they then called me and said I had 9 make-up hours, so we will use those up into November.

I assume there have been other minor things like these, but nothing to compare to the big expenditures.  ?

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How old is the horse, SKL? It seems rather odd that she is selling a horse that is actively being used for lessons. Is she giving up owning all of her horses and making everyone who is taking lessons there board?  The prices that you have mentioned around the boards---both for the horse and for the boarding are on the high end.  If you aren't in a HCOL area, or working with high end trainers.... Horses are expensive---feed, vet bills, farrier, tack, etc.---but I don't understand this lady's barn business plan, iykwim.

I'd reconsider using paper bags in baking.  Most disposable paper products (grocery bags, paper towels, kleenex) use additional chemicals as wet strength additives and I don't want that anywhere near or transferring into my food. I've greased and floured, or I've used parchment paper. If you want to know more about wet strength resins, look up the patents on some of those items.)

 

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I do have some Christmas gifts purchased and packed away already.  I won a $100 gift card to the MLB online store in a raffle this summer and used that to buy several gifts.  The "markdown shelves" at the grocery store often have little knick-knack items or seasonal candy that I put back for stocking stuffers.

I signed the kids up for a homeschool activity next week, and I had a large enough credit to my account there to cover this month's fees.  We might have a schedule conflict next month, but I should still have enough to cover November's fees as well.

I've spent just under $200 this month for food, but that includes a few once-a-month purchases and protein powder for smoothies (in case I don't make any yogurt after surgery).  I'm trying to use up everything I have on hand to prevent food waste, and so far so good. Unfortunately for my budget, DS10 is back into full-blown "I want to compete on Masterchef Junior" mode.  First thing he asked me this morning was if lobster tails were on sale anywhere this week.  Um, can't say that I was looking for that in the ads this week.  At least he's budget-conscious.

I've heard of the paper bag thing before, but I use parchment.  It's rare we end up with paper bags large enough for anything but liquor and crafting puppets (not at the same time, you know what I mean). Growing up my mom used wax paper (and Crisco... and flour... a bit overkill), which was apparently pretty common, even though they aren't technically for oven use.  Granted, that darn cake my mom makes tastes about as good as wax paper.  She's not a *bad* cook, but I think she likes the taste of the memory of that cake, because in the absence of that it's completely awful.

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11 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

 

I'd reconsider using paper bags in baking.  Most disposable paper products (grocery bags, paper towels, kleenex) use additional chemicals as wet strength additives and I don't want that anywhere near or transferring into my food. I've greased and floured, or I've used parchment paper. If you want to know more about wet strength resins, look up the patents on some of those items.)

 


 I think I'm okay with it, given the alternative.  Parchment paper isn't recyclable/compostable unless you buy the really good stuff that is unbleached as well.  And we make cake about once every 3-4 months, don't use paper towels (one roll sits here 6 months), and my kid still uses a handkerchief. 

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10 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

How old is the horse, SKL? It seems rather odd that she is selling a horse that is actively being used for lessons. Is she giving up owning all of her horses and making everyone who is taking lessons there board?  The prices that you have mentioned around the boards---both for the horse and for the boarding are on the high end.  If you aren't in a HCOL area, or working with high end trainers.... Horses are expensive---feed, vet bills, farrier, tack, etc.---but I don't understand this lady's barn business plan, iykwim.

Yeah, I can't say I understand it either.  She is getting older and I think part of it is that she just can't do as much any more.  Her daughter works with her, but she travels a lot for shows etc.  I'm not sure how good business is with the lessons either.  She can rub people the wrong way.  One of my kids quit because she doesn't enjoy her teaching style.

I have no idea what her overall operational cost / property taxes / cost of living are.  She is in a county with a big metro center, and her farm is the last operating farm in the county, so I am guessing taxes are high.

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About the brown paper in cake pans, I’d be concerned it wasn’t food-safe. You can reuse parchment paper for baking though. So you could make a purchased roll last quite a long time. 

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Good Morning ladies! 

I am late getting to the thread, it's already the 7th!

I have read everyone's posts, but there are already too much to comment on!

As for us....Not frugal...

We haven't even done the budget yet!  Which means we have been spending out of the checking account, which we never do, which makes the problem worse because then I have to account for every single expense for DH to put it in the spreadsheet, and gathering all that is a pain in the butt.  Now, to be clear, we haven't been completely crazy spending or anything,  Just like $X for gas, $Y for a car part, etc.   I have already paid all the bills for September-utilities, rent, etc.  

Anyway-Frugal wins...

Tuesday and Yesterday, I went no where and spent nothing.  Wooo Whoo!

Wednesday, I took the kids skating and that was free.  We did get some soft pretzals, which none of them ate and honestly weren't very good anyway, but they weren't expensive and I used my personal cash for them.

 

Yesterday, I did ALMOST spend money.  I was rather frazzled by the end of the night and almost ordered pizza.  Instead, I pulled out a package of english muffins and made english muffin pizzas.  Even DS5 ate them.  Unfortunately it meant there weren't any leftovers for DH to take to work today and since it's Friday, we really didn't have much else either.  He took a frozen blueberry muffing, the last pear, the last plum, some cucumbers and some crackers.  If he doesn't get anything out of the vending machine, I will call it a complete frugal win.

Also, I made some homemade beef stock yesterday.  I had 2 packages of soup bones left from our freezer beef last year, so I roasted those then tossed them in the crockpot with the celery tops (which I know I can eat, but never do) and of course carrots and onions and some seasonings.  Left it overnight and it's now cooling before I put it away.  I have made chicken stock and turkey stock from those leftover carcasses, but never made beef stock before so I went looking up info about skimming off the fat before putting it away, looks like some folks do and some don't.  But that's when I came across a site that said beef bones usually can make two batches of stock?  Well I had already thrown the bones away, but I will look this up some more because we should have this year's beef in a few weeks.

 

Frugal goals this month-Um, I dunno.  I am hoping that by the end of the day I have enough SBs to pick up $25 in paypal.  That will then be used to buy a netflix gift card, which when combined with remains of the last GC, should ALMOST cover Netflix for this month, October and November.  

 

 

 

I should turn the air off.  It's only supposed to get up to like 71 today.  

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My mom and dad are on the Ketogenic diet, so when I was visiting on Wednesday, she gave me all of her grains and beans in the pantry. I have bunches of lasagna noodles, orzo, couscous, cracked bulgur wheat, farrow, steel cut oats, quinoa, barley, tapioca, chickpeas, black and pinto beans and lentils. Not super expensive stuff, but it helps with meals! 

Also a giant bag of mini marshmallow bits for hot chocolate. ?

Edited by SamanthaCarter
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Soror

Congrats on getting the VIPKID job. I missed that news while I was gone. 

 

We just got back from Europe and Africa.  We didn't always try and save money on the trip but sometimes we did.  Anyway it was great even if we all got sick in Africa even though we didn't drink the water.   Africa was on my bucket list for 20 some years.  I am so thankful I got to go.  I love traveling even with all the hiccups. We came home with a lot of our cash so that was really great. 

Came back and got right into dance.  So expensive at our ballet school.  I think they are going to do the other place too even though the instruction is so low there.  The show is awesome.  The director is going to be leaving maybe after this year so might as well do it one more year.  Plus the ballet school is at least a 2 hour round trip away so going everyday is a lot of $. 

I did sell some things on cl.  

I should list some more now that we are back. 

I am starting to get everything in order to use all the charter school money for classes.  UGH Charter school and all the deadlines and things to do.  

We might have some really big medical bills this month. 

Got a few hundred dollars of surprise money. 

I decided we are not doing fall co-op.  Eases my schedule and the classes were pretty much the same as what the kids did at summer school.  Saves me money. 

Edited by mommyoffive
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Welcome back mommyoffive! Sounds like you are jumping right into things. Sounds like a wonderful time.

I had 5 classes this am, so that's about $50 by 9 am. 

I've got someone interested in some of my hs books, I should clear about $50 on those. 

Groceries- about 130- Not bad for 6- gluten free- and I had to buy some snacks for the boys camping trip this weekend. Camping trip is $30

Ds had pictures this week, we just got a basic package $16

Edited by soror
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Well dh got the official word that he has the week before Christmas off so now I can start booking stuff.  So far, our gas money to get too and from Florida will be coming from a sign up bonus from a credit card.  I'm still trying to figure out lodging.  A coworker of Scott's offered their timeshare to us and is looking into the details this weekend.  Since we can stay on site at Universal for about $818 then I'm aiming for accepting their timeshare if the price is under $500.  That would make up for the added cost to park, the hassle of coming and going, and the 1 hour early access to the park.  We'll see.

My plan for paying for the trip is to do so through pet sitting, selling things on cl, and through credit card reward bonuses.  So far it is funded$500.

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Ordered flowers for a celebration of life.  Should probably buy a card also.  No negotiating on that kind of purchase.

Need to figure out what went wrong on a donation that got returned - minus fees.  Hopefully I can get them to reverse the fees when I re-send it.

Confirmed that my kids' existing shorts are long enough to play volleyball in (though one kid wants longer ones).  Saved a trip to the expensive sports store.

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Ah, well, not frugal day.

DH bought me my birthday present.  It was down to a third the price when he got through stacking the 50% off, a $20 coupon, a 15% discount, and free shipping.  And I stopped to pick up a racket dh had restrung and stopped by the craft store next door.  Michaels had shoved all their clearance into $4 bags and I saw a fidgit spinner in one, something ds8 really wanted.  So I bought the bag, sold him the spinner for $1, and am now the proud owner of two storage tins and a new liter water bottle. ?
I meant this to be a $0 day, but it wasn't.

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Well, I'm going to call this a frugal win....

We bought a flood stop for our washing machine when we bought this house several months ago.

We came home to our flood stop alarming this afternoon.  It had indeed stopped a flood in our laundry room.  

The repair guy is coming by in a few hours. We'll know if the washing machine is fixable or not.  In any event, I'm really relieved we're not dealing with a huge expensive home repair problem. (My friend had a major washing machine leak last fall---$20K claim and weeks of disruption during repairs.)

 

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3 hours ago, prairiewindmomma said:

Well, I'm going to call this a frugal win....

We bought a flood stop for our washing machine when we bought this house several months ago.

We came home to our flood stop alarming this afternoon.  It had indeed stopped a flood in our laundry room.  

The repair guy is coming by in a few hours. We'll know if the washing machine is fixable or not.  In any event, I'm really relieved we're not dealing with a huge expensive home repair problem. (My friend had a major washing machine leak last fall---$20K claim and weeks of disruption during repairs.)

 

 

Hoping for good news. 

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