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.
Archive for July, 2006
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:
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.
And again - it goes to show that over time, little things do add up!
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!
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!
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.
I used $10.00 of my Paypal money to buy this.
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.
Whew - finally!
It took quite awhile for me to earn enough points through MyPoints for my $10.00 Walmart card, but I did it!
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!"
Note to myself: It said that the gift card will take between 2 and 6 weeks to get to me.
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.
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. ]
Anyways, this is a picture of it!
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.
15 N Main St Ofc, Dunkirk, NY 14048
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!
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!!
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.
I have never had this much money in savings before ...
Needless to say - I am excited!!
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
-- 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*
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.
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.
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?!
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?
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?
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.
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!"
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? ]
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.
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.
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.
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.
Putting this is my "Articles, Hints & Tips" category for things I want to look at later [or to remember!]
This link is for how to save $ on cat litter.
One good tip I found on there was:
Mix the scoopable brand of kitty litter with a plain generic brand of kitty litter.
Do this at a 50/50 mix. This still allows the litter to clump up from the moisture, but will stretch the litter further.
You might want to try to mix it with more of the generic litter, until you see that the litter doesn't clump anymore.
My mother has done this for years, and it really works well!
Okay, I'm putting this in the category of "Oh, those freebies!";
however when I named that category, this isn't the type of freebies I had in mind. *lol*
Today my sister-in-law called me and said that they had a ton of yellow squash and zuccini's and asked if I wanted any.
Of course, I said yes [this will be lunch and/or supper for a couple of days! ]
I know that there'll be plenty more where that come from,
and also, tomatoes and cucumbers 'n things as well.
Aaaah, life is good!
Wow - tonight I decided to balance my checkbook and after I was done, I had found $182.00 and some cents! Woo hoo!
Okay, I knew the money was in there [but didn't have a clue as to how much ...]
What I'd been doing for a few months is, when I'd use my MAC card or even when writing checks;
If my total was like $11.19, I'd write that in the 1st column in my check register but would subtract either up to the next dollar [$12.00],
or if I had a pretty good balance, I'd then subtract maybe $15.00 or $20.00 instead of the $11.19.
Well, I went back today and went over everything 'cuz I'm ready for a new check register thingie and wanted it balanced before I did.
Was I ever surprised that it come out to "that" much 'cuz to be honest,
I thought maybe there'd be like $100.00 or so there [if that] but had NO idea there'd be close to $200.00!
Now I'm going to take and transfer some of that into my other checking account [which I got specifically with no MAC card or checks], so I can more easily save it!
What a rush to find that much extra.
Since GPU is now paid in full [due to the account being too old for them to collect on] ...
I then contacted the next, what I think is smallest debt.
It is for Blair Corporation and I have no idea how much the balance is on that account but do know that the lady said the account is from 1996.
I tried to make payment arrangements on it but the lady said that she has to contact the main billing office and they will get in touch with me.
She [the lady I talked to] did not know how much the bill is for so said I'll have to wait to get a letter in the mail about it.
For now, my debt reduction plan is put on hold until I hear from them.
I will then, as soon as I get the information - start making payments on this bill and then when that's paid,
I'll go from there to the next smallest debt owed.
Today I finally made a phone call to GPU [Penelec] for an outstanding bill of $240.70.
I wanted to start making payments on this to get it paid [because it's the right thing to do.]
GPU said that they no longer own the account and that they can't collect on accounts over 4 years old.
I asked the guy why and he said something or other about because of legal reason.
Then he gave me the phone number for the collection company that they had sold the account to.
I called them and they said that they don't have the account anymore and for me to call GPU about it.
That wouldn't do any good because the guy I talked to there was insistent that they aren't allowed to collect on the account any longer [since it is over 4 years old.]
Hmmm ... well, Praise the Lord, that is one debt that has been taken care of and I would guess that it is now considered paid in full.
I made an attempt to pay it and since no one seems to own the account anymore and the electric company can't accept money on it
[which is way weird, don't you think?!!] ...
Anyways, I guess this debt would be now considered paid in full!
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