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September Expenses

August 7th, 2006 at 06:59 am

My upcoming expenses for September ...

Tithe 65.00
Rent 196.50
Tobacco & filters 20.00
Jason - 20.00
Etc. 25.00
Cable 10.00
Phone 65.00
Compassion Int. 32.00
Debt Reduction 25.00
Blogathon 20.00
Laundry 10.00


Cat food [dry]
toilet paper
Art print

Million Minutes Tracker

August 2nd, 2006 at 09:32 pm

Yesterday I started to track my volunteer minutes and am gonna try to get up to one million of them. Smile

I'll keep track of them on this post 'cuz that way it'll be easier for me to track them.

I consider volunteer time as any time spent in doing something for others.

This includes working on crafts to give others [which I do alot of] and also visiting others [older people, etc.]

8/1 - 200 minutes
8/2 - 130 minutes
8/3 - 194 minutes

Debt reduction, uhmm, well ...

August 2nd, 2006 at 09:16 pm

I had taken $25.00 out of my check this month to go towards debt reduction.

I'm still waiting to hear from Blair so I can start paying on that bill.

Money was still in my checking account and today I couldn't take seeing all of those hurting people in Lebanon anymore who've had to flee there homes, etc.,

so I donated the $25.00 to Samaritan's Purse in order to help those people who, especially right now - have far less than I do.

That is not to say that I don't believe that Israel has a right to defend herself, because I believe that they do [this is my own opinion here],

but that really is neither here nor there,

those people who've been driven from their homes and cities need help now and if I could even help a little with the 25 dollars, then I am glad that I did.

For anyone else, if you'd like to donate to this cause,

you can go to http://www.samaritanspurse.org

Maybe by next month, Blair will have contacted me and I can get on track with paying my debts down some. Smile

August no-spend days

August 1st, 2006 at 05:51 pm

I hope I remember to keep this up and edit this entry on a daily basis.

I want to keep track of my no-spend days for the month of August.

8/1 - No spend day! Smile
8/2 - No spend day
8/3 - No spend day
8/4 - No spend day
8/5 - No spend day
8/6 - Spend day Frown
8/7 - Spend day

Coupons Needed

August 1st, 2006 at 05:48 pm

Coupons Needed

$1.00 Morningstar [any product]

Borden cheese [must be good on fat free cheese]

$1.00 Dawn Direct Foam [need longer dated ones than 8/31]

$2.00 Nice & Easy Hair Color [need longer dated than 8/31]

Will add to my list as I think of more. Smile

A few hints & tips

July 31st, 2006 at 10:52 pm

I'm sure that you all probably already know [and do] this but a few of the things I learned over the past week or so are:

Dilute your liquid laundry soap [it works just as well if you do especially if your clothes aren't really dirty such as mine.]

What I mean by really dirty is that I don't have grease stains and no kids so don't have all the dirt and things on my clothes that young children do when they go out 'n play.

Another thing I found is that when I diluted my Dawn Direct Foam dishwashing liquid - it worked just as well and had just as much suds as before.

Also, instead of paying for the Fabreeze type of fabric freshner, I now will just use fabric softner and save $.

I thought I'd write these out in case someone can use the tips and also, so I can put them in my "Articles, Hints & Tips" category and go back 'n read them again later.

There are times I get lazy or forget and to go back and re-read could be valueable sometime down the road. Smile

$190.30 to savings accounts!

July 31st, 2006 at 09:43 pm

Wow - what an incredible rush!

I paid my bills or atleast the ones I could so far and have saved the money out for those I still have to pay yet.

And - when all was said and done, I was able to deposit a total of $190.30 in my savings accounts tonight for August. Smile

Since I only get money once a month, I put all my savings in the 1st day of the month instead of weekly like many do.

I have 2 accounts for savings - one is a checking with no debit card and no checks to it.

In that account I deposited $30.28 tonight.

In my other account, I was able to deposit $160.02.

Drum roll please .....

Combining the two accounts, in savings I now have $475.39!!

I am absolutely amazed that I was able to do this and I attribute this success to savingadvice.

It is so motivational that it really helped me to get a good start and also, to stay on track.

Thank you ... thank you ... thank you!! Smile

A big savings for me over time

July 31st, 2006 at 06:12 pm

I have major sinus problems and each month for I don't know how long, have had to buy a box of sinus pills to last me the month.

This week I did some searching to see if I could find a home remedy of sorts that would do as good so I wouldn't have to buy the pills any longer.

What I come up with is that peppermint tea is supposed to work for this.

Today while at Walmart, I bought a box of peppermint tea [just to see if it woud work or not] and had to try it tonight and yes - it did seem to work!!

So, the next time instead of buying the expensive tea bags, what I may do is to buy some generic tea bags and a bag of sugar-free peppermint hard candies [which would dissolve in hot water] and voila! I should have peppermint tea for cheaper. Smile

According to my figuring - at $3.24 a box per month for 12 months, it comes to $38.88 [plus tax, or at least I think they charge tax on that here in PA.]

And, over a 5 year period of time - I'd be saving $194.40. Close to $200.00!!

I really hope this will work [I'm going to try it till this box of tea is gone to make sure that it'll consistently work before I spend money for tea and peppermint candy that I wouldn't otherwise use for anything.]

Wish me luck! Smile

A few cents here, a few cents there

July 31st, 2006 at 06:04 pm

Okay now, first of all - I'm a smoker and I know that I should quit and ... how much money it would save [so please, no lectures about my quitting please. *Smile*]

Having said that - I've come up with something that I'm gonna try and see how much I can save.

Since I roll my own cigarettes, I figured the cost out to be 4 cents each.

This is much cheaper than buying them by the pack; however still - I know it adds up.

What I am going to do is to keep a chart on how many I don't smoke and then add them up at 4 cents each.

That money will go strictly towards furniture for my balcony [for when I get my balcony apartment.]

I figured it out and if I were to not smoke 10 cigarettes a day - that would really add up over time.

That'd be 40 cents a day and would come out to $12.00 a month or $144.00 a year.

And since it'll be probably 4-5 years before I get my balcony apartment, not smoking 10 cigarettes a day would add up to $576.00 in 4 years time!

Yes, I know if I were to quit altogether it would save more and maybe I'll try working on that another time.

Still - for now, each time I want a cigarette and put off smoking it for 1/2 hour, I'm giving myself 4 cents to go into my savings for my balcony furniture. Smile

And again - it goes to show that over time, little things do add up!

I'm so weak :-(

July 31st, 2006 at 05:34 pm

I went to Walmart today because I "had" to pick up a few things.

My Morningstar coupons were to expire today and I had 10 of them - didn't want to lose those savings for sure.

I made a list ... one that I had "every" intention of sticking to.

But - did I? Uhmmm, well ... I'm embarrased to say, no I didn't. :-(

I did get my veggie hot dogs and also was able to use 2 more $1.00 coupons on things, plus saved $2.00 with a coupon on hair dye [needed to wash that grey right outta my hair. *Giggle*]

Other than that though, I bought a lamp for my livingroom [I "think" it was $14.99 but not exactly sure till I look at the receipt.]

I had planned on getting one because I - well, I was going to say needed it but guess it really was more of a want than a need.

There was an empty space on the end table by my couch and I really wanted something to fill that space in.

My original intentions were to go to the local charities place where you can get stuff for free [things people donate, etc.]

I have given them much over the years so at times I get stuff there too.

Well - no need to go there for a lamp now 'cuz I am weak.

Also I bought a new journal for almost $6.00.

Did I "really" need it? Again, no I didn't 'cuz I had 2 here already that I could have used. *Sigh*

I decided to save those for later for regular journaling [the one today was for my weight loss journal I'm starting tomorrow.]

Other than those slips I didn't do too bad, pretty much everything else I can think of now were things that I needed to get.

When will I ever learn to go into that store and buy just what is on my list?

I know that it can be done!

Every little bit

July 28th, 2006 at 07:14 pm

Just cashed out at Quickrewards for $1.57.

I know it may not seem like much but as we all know ...

every little bit adds up! Smile

Money spent to save $

July 26th, 2006 at 07:16 pm

I like the frozen citrus bars they have in the stores but they're usually over $3.00 a box and I hate paying that much.

The other night I got to thinking - why couldn't I buy those popsicle mold things they have and put some of my Crystal Light in them 'n freeze them.

I'd have basically the same thing for a fraction of the cost [plus the added bonus of very few calories!]

So, I just did a "buy it now" on Ebay and total with shipping it come to $10.00 and I know that in the end, I'll save many times over the $10.00 that I spent on them. Smile

I used $10.00 of my Paypal money to buy this.

No more canned cat food!

July 26th, 2006 at 02:36 pm

I love my cats, they're my babies but they are far too finicky for their own good [and mine either!]

They always get their dry cat food every day and it's always available to them;

and then usually twice a day, I give them some canned food too.

However, for as long as I can remember - especially Lexi [my 4 1/2 year old manx] will go out in the kitchen and will give me "that look",

I know what she wants ... some canned food.

So, being unable to resist her darling little self, I give in and give it to her;

most of that a good part of the time, I end up throwing half if not all of it away.

A few weeks ago, I got fed up because both Lexi and Athena were doing this on a regular basis.

I didn't give them any canned food for over a week and ... they survived and after a short while, didn't even bug me for it.

To make a long story a little shorter, I went back to giving it to them and ...

the same thing happened again.

Today I've decided that they are not getting any more canned food ... I'm not even going to buy it anymore.

They are very healthy and don't need the stuff they waste anyways and it'll save me approximately $7.20 a month [which is $86.40 a year!]

I would cut down on what I'm giving them but I know me and I always go back to giving them more so it's best just to stop altogether.

They get more than enough to eat with their dry food and it's nutritous, etc. for them - probably far more than the canned stuff is anyways. Smile

MyPoints - $10.00 Walmart card!

July 25th, 2006 at 08:52 pm

Whew - finally!

It took quite awhile for me to earn enough points through MyPoints for my $10.00 Walmart card, but I did it! Smile

I just now got to 1,500 points and was able to order my $10.00 Walmart gift card. Yippeeeee!!

I also have a $10.00 one on the way from Freeride as well so that's $20.00 worth.

Not sure how I'm going to spend them but you can be sure that I am definitely going to spend them carefully this time.

Before I started saving or being careful, I would have taken those out to Walmart and probably would have blown them on just "stuff."

But - I'm in a total different frame of mind anymore and it's one that says "Save, save ... save!" Smile

Note to myself: It said that the gift card will take between 2 and 6 weeks to get to me.

Frugal Food Tip

July 25th, 2006 at 07:15 pm

I found the following tip on about.com

Any time you peel vegetables like carrots or potatoes, or trim vegetables like celery or onions, scrub them first, then freeze the peelings and trimmings until you have a gallon or so.

Put it in a pot of water and cook until everything is done, then strain the solids and use the remaining broth for a soup base.

Pic of my someday apartment!

July 25th, 2006 at 04:27 pm

Today my sister and I had to go to a town about 25 miles or so from here.

It just happens to be the town where they have a building I want to live in [with a balcony apartment!]

I had my camera with me and was able to take a few pictures [good motivation for saving $ to move there. Smile]

Anyways, this is a picture of it!

Franklin Towers

Steger Apts. in Dunkirk

July 23rd, 2006 at 08:12 pm

This is the apartment building that is a stone's throw away from the Lake and some apartments face the lake.

Have been looking for this address & number so will keep here for future reference.

Steger Apts.

(716) 366-8740
15 N Main St Ofc, Dunkirk, NY 14048

Those little things do add up!

July 23rd, 2006 at 06:49 pm

This is a little tidbit that I found at The Dollar Stretcher.


We all know that little things can add up in a hurry. But, often we fail to realize just how much the small stuff is costing us.

As a junior high math teacher, it's always fun to shock my students by having them work up a few calculations like the ones below.

I can always hope they'll become frugal adults someday!

A $1 soda every day for a year = $365

If you must have that $3 latte instead, your annual cost = $1095

Paying just one bill with a $3 late fee every month for a year = $36

Over the course of a 50-year adulthood, that late fee = $1800

One fast food meal ($16 for a family of 4) per week for a year instead of quick hotdogs at home (about $4) = $624

If your family usually prefers the local buffet for $28, those annual hotdog savings would = $1248

If you buy a bag of ice for $1 every two days instead of making your own, your annual ice cost = $182.50

Keep buying that ice for 50 years of your adult life, and its cost = $9125

If you discard half a gallon of spoiled milk per week at $2.30 per gallon, in a year your waste will = $59.80

Keep wasting that milk for 50 years of your adult life, and your loss will = $2990

If your family buys half a pound per week of $5/lb. deli cheddar cheese instead of $3/lb. American slices, your annual cost = $52

If you keep buying the cheddar for 50 years of your adulthood, its extra cost = $2600

If you mail five bills per month at a cost of about 40 cents each instead of using free online banking, your annual cost = $24

If you continue to mail your bills for 50 years, your cost = $5200

If you buy four new books per year at an average cost of $15 each instead of buying used at around $4 each, your annual added cost = $44

Keep buying those new books for 50 years, and your cost = $2200

If you rent one new release video per week at $3.50 for a year, your cost over borrowing from the library = $182

Keep renting those videos for 50 years, and your cost = $9100

If you buy the premium cable package at an additional $35 per month, your annual cost over basic cable = $420

Keep buying that premium package for 50 years, and your cost over basic cable = $21,000

If you carry a credit card balance of just $1000 for a year at 18% annual rate, your annual interest = $180

If you keep the $1000 balance for 50 years without ever paying it off, your interest = $9000

So yep, those "little things" do add up! Big Grin

My "Balcony Dreams"

July 22nd, 2006 at 10:10 pm

Someday I am going to have an apartment with a balcony.

I want one so bad that I can't stand it but for now, I'll just have to keep dreaming ... saving and planning for a move to one.

There are none that I can think of in our town so I'd have to relocate about 25-30 miles from where I'm at now.

Can't do that for awhile because I know it'd really upset my granddaughter [she's 11 now];

however - in a few years [maybe 5 or so?], she's going to be 16 and I'm sure I won't be as important then.

Or atleast where I live won't be 'cuz when she's that age, 25-30 miles won't seem like such a long ways to her.

The one is in Franklin and I love the apartments down there 'cuz I got to see one about 4 years ago.

One problem there though is that I would have to pay utilities 'cuz they're not included in the rent.

Well - maybe not all the utilities 'cuz I think all I'd have to pay is rent, cable and electric,

because if I remember right, it's an all electric apartment.

Still, it was soooo nice with a beautiful balcony!! Smile

The other balcony apartment is in a hi-rise in Meadville and the utilities there are all included,

but - the apartments I don't think are quite as nice plus the balconies are smaller if I remember right.

Will blog later about the disadvantages and advantages of each one and other things I think of as well.

Money in savings - what a rush!

July 22nd, 2006 at 09:56 pm

I have never had this much money in savings before ...

Needless to say - I am excited!! Smile

I have $33.16 in my primary savings account.

Then tonight I was able to transfer $226.92 from my regular checking acct. into my secondary checking [which is used exclusively for a savings account as well.]

I think I mentioned before that I want 2 separate accounts for savings ['cuz I'm saving for different specific things.]

Anyways, what a major rush to have nearly $300.00 in savings now.

$25.00 [amount needed to start account]
$33.16 [savings account]
$226.92 [into account from regular checking]

Total saved as of now: $285.08 Smile

Re-thinking Christmas Gifts

July 22nd, 2006 at 08:01 pm

Well, I "thought" I had figured out what I was going to do for gifts for this Christmas,

but now I'm rethinking those ideas and am going to search online for other ideas instead.

A few of the ideas I was thinking of were:

Keesha - Buy mixes [or make them, not sure yet] for things like cookies, cakes and quick breads.

Then buy a big bowl and a few utensils for her to use for making them.

That can be a gift for the whole family because they'll get to enjoy the baked goods.

As for Jason, I may bake cookies and quick breads 'n such things for him to give him.

Not sure how good of an idea this is though because I never know when I'll get to see him and would hate to have baked goods for 3+ months before he got them. *lol*

Pat & Kathy and their family?

Well, they're just too hard to buy for.

Baked goods wouldn't work for them 'cuz Kathy thinks she's the "ultimate" cook and has convinced the family of that.

I've baked cookies for them before and they barely acknowledged it

[in fact, we were out back by the garden when I gave them to them 'cuz we went to their house 'n they were out back ...]

Well, when we were all ready to go up to the house - what'd they do but walk off and leave the cookies there.

Was it intentional? Well, with most people I'd say no but I know them and am sure that it was [maybe they hoped dogs would come eat them or something? *Giggle*]

And NO, I am not a bad cook [or baker] but they are just way weird is all. *lol*

So, for them - maybe some mixes and a bowl and so forth like I am thinking of getting together for Keesha.

We'll see ...

I think I'll do a search for homemade gifts before I make a final decision and see what I come up with. Smile

I just said "no!' & saved $25.94!

July 22nd, 2006 at 01:32 pm

I was planning on buying myself a new blanket because mine is kind of getting worn.

But, after looking at it today I realized that I do not need a new one right now after all.

So - with the cost [$19.99] plus shipping of $5.95, I'm saving a total of $25.94 with not buying it. Smile

Later on sometime if I really feel I need it [or decide to buy it as a special gift for myself], that's fine and good;

but for now - I have my other blanket that is still plenty useable and probably will be for a few more years.

No cents [pun intended! *lol*] of buying a new one just for the sake of wanting a new one, right? Smile

C-box cancelled to save $24.00 a year

July 22nd, 2006 at 01:09 pm

I had a subscription to C-box which is a comment system thingie that I had on my blog.

Granted, it only was $2.00 a month but when added up - that's $24.00 a year so today, I decided to cancel it.

No money spent today as it's rainy and icky out and I'm not planning on going out anywhere.

So - all in all, it's been a pretty frugal day. Smile

-- Oops, I had to come back and edit this when I claimed it as a no-spend day and I just spent $$ online to buy my grandson's birthday gift. *lol*

Don't wanna part with my $ *lol*

July 21st, 2006 at 06:44 pm

Okay, so I know that I have some things that I need to buy;

and yet, I keep procrastinating about doing it.

Hmmm ... what's come over me? *lol*

I think it's because of finding this site,

and also that I like having a balance bigger than $10.00 in my checking account. Smile

However, I need to get busy and order at least one thing this week 'cuz my grandson's birthday is the 26th.

I need to have time to have it delivered, etc.

Then too, I want to buy a new blanket [mine is about 4-5 years old and is the only one I use],

it's velour and is so soft and I want to replace it [I'm starting to see where holes are ready to wear through. *lol*]

And ... I need to get busy and order the puzzles so I can get them and start getting them put together and done for Christmas.

Isn't that funny, I've never had a problem with spending money before now.

Yes, this site is definitely a good thing. Smile

Christmas Savings

July 20th, 2006 at 10:01 pm

Well, earlier today I had it all figured out about who was getting what for Christmas.

However, tonight I got to thinking [after reading an e-mail from Upromise], that I should see if the puzzle site was a participant in Upromise.

My daughter is paying off debts for going to school to be a nurse;

and the Upromise site helps with that if you shop through their site with any of their partners.

I didn't find the site that I was looking for; however I did find another puzzle site.

I went and checked it out and found 3 puzzles on it that would be just as meaningful [if not more so.]

AND, not only that but 5% of the purchase will be credited to my daughters paying off her education.

Plus, for each 3 puzzles I buy [which 3 is all I need], I will get $3.00 off each puzzle.

Good deal, huh?! Smile

I haven't done the total figuring [if there is tax or not, etc.] but from what I can see, I'll be saving $ from their earlier site.

The earlier total for the other site was $53.42 and with this new site, my total will be roughly around $40.95 [plus or minus a few cents.]

I guess it does pay to check around a bit before making a final decision, huh? Smile


$10.00 Walmart - Freeride

July 20th, 2006 at 09:23 pm

Woo hoo ... I finally got my 12,000 points needed to redeem for a $10.00 Walmart gift certificate!

It's so slow earning points anymore that sometimes I wonder if it's worth it or not.

But, it does only take a few minutes of time each day and eventually it does pay so yeah, I guess it's worth it.

I mean, after all ... 10 bucks is 10 bucks, right? Smile

When I redeemed for it, it said that I'll receive it within 6 weeks.

Usually they don't take that long but am blogging about it here so I remember [in case I don't receive it.]

That way I'll be able to check back and see what the entry date was for when I did redeem for it. Smile

De-stressing & Simplifying

July 20th, 2006 at 11:08 am

Not long ago I joined a wonderful yahoo group for decorating puzzle pieces [puzzleart].

I have a habit of getting excited about something and going gung ho on it,

yet seldom do I follow through and actually do the things.

Just thinking about having deadlines and also having to buy things to do the puzzles, etc.,

I decided that it wasn't worth the stress and that my time [and money] could be better used elsewhere right now.

This same time can be used for working on Christmas gifts ...

Plus, I feel such a sense of relief that I won't have to worry about participating in the group right now.

Maybe I don't feel I have talent for such things like the other ladies on the group do?

I don't know but did just e-mail and tell the moderator I wanted to unsub from the list which I'll do later today.

Yes, I prefer a simple life, "Sweet Simplicity!" Smile

Christmas Ideas

July 20th, 2006 at 10:50 am

I have been thinking that this year, I might buy one gift per family and wanted something that would last.

One thing I have been thinking about and have in past years but never have done,

is to buy [and put together], jigsaw puzzles to give as gifts.

For Keesha [my daughter] and her family, I'd like to buy a Christmas puzzle that could be used year after year [and hopefully appreciated.]

I don't have any keepsakes from my own family Christmas's and I thought this would be really nice and they would have it for years to come.

As for Jason [my son], for the past couple of years I have written him a check;

however before that - I always made him something.

Last year I think it was, he asked me if I hadn't made something for him.

So, what I thought I would do for him this year, was to buy a puzzle in the shape of a trout [because he loves fishing.]

He is so unstable and moves so often though, I hate to make things for him that I know will eventually get left somewhere and he ends up with nothing.

He's done that with afghans that I've spent months on making. [Grrrrr!]

Still, I think it would make him feel special for Christmas [which - well, that is the reason for giving gifts - right? Smile]

And, for my brother and sister-in-law; even though I always tell them not to get me anything,

they always do and so I feel that I must get them something as well.

Not that I don't love them but with my income, it's hard to buy for everyone.

Also, they have everything they could ever want and can afford to buy whatever they want for themselves and the kids.

This year though, I'm going to buy [and put together] a puzzle for them of a Christmas scene with cardinals.

They were moms favorite bird and whenever we see a cardinal, we always think of her.

I know that they would love this and so I think that will be their gift this year.

As for framing them, I have no idea how to do that.

My son-in-law does beautiful woodwork so I might see if he will do theirs [how cheesy of me to have him work on his own gift, huh? *lol*]

I did a search and found the puzzles I want and see if I buy them all at one time, I can save about $13.00 on shipping costs.

Total for puzzles with shipping is $53.42 - I don't know if there is tax added onto that or not but will have to see.

I might go ahead and order them this week so I can get started on them.

Also, it might be best to do while I have the extra money right now to do it.

My million minute challenge

July 20th, 2006 at 09:11 am

All along, I have been giving myself so many cents per every 10 minutes of craft work I'd been doing on my daily to do's list.

Nearly all of this work is done for charity and so instead of money earned to go into my daily to do's account for this;

I've decided that starting August 1st, I'm going to start a "Million Minutes" challenge for myself to chart my progress.

Regardless the extra money that would have went into this specific account will still get saved;

just in another account for saving is all.

I feel it's very important for those who can and have the time to do so,

to volunteer and use the skills and talents that God has given them.

So, I crochet and work on other things for charity,

and as I said - starting the 1st of August, I'll start adding this time up in minutes and will keep track on here. Smile

What am I saving for?

July 19th, 2006 at 10:00 pm

Well, as of today in my savings account with just my daily to do's challenge money, I have $27.48 for the month of July.

I don't put the money into the savings though until the 1st day of the next month so I can include the whole month in there.

What am I saving this money for?

To be honest, I'm not exactly sure right now.

Possibly a vacation somewhere in a few years?

Or ... maybe for someday when my cats are no longer living, I know for a fact that I want a Maltese dog.

Those aren't cheap but it'd be well worth saving for!

As you can see, I'm not 100% sure what this account is for but I'm pretty sure it'll be for one of those two things. Smile

I guess I ought to make it clear that I "love" my cats dearly and don't want them to die;

however, I know that, that day will someday come.

Where I live at now, I am allowed to have 2 cats or 1 dog but not both ...

in other words, it's in the lease that I wouldn't be allowed to have 1 cat and 1 dog 'cuz that's against their policy.

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