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Frugal Cooking

April 29th, 2007 at 04:10 pm

I've spent the last couple weeks with my head buried in books looking for ideas on stretching the dollars, and cooking mass quantities of foods on my good days so that on days that I don't feel well, I have dinner already stashed in the freezer. I know about Once a Month Cooking, but physically not up to it, so I am trying to make larger batches of things when I do cook. What I need are ideas so we aren't eating the same things over and over. I'm looking for ideas on books that use this idea I can request through my library and when I find one I really like, purchase it with a bookstore gift card I have.

All help appreciated! I do cruise the internet, but I spend so much time on line for the business we run, I'd much rather have books that I can feel and flip the pages myself from the comfort of my couch.

I did find a slow-cooker recipe book at the library with 1 recipe I could use. They weren't geared for frugal cooking in the least, but I've just about worn out my crockpot.

Investment Dressing

April 29th, 2007 at 04:01 pm

This afternoon I took a few minutes to sew a patch and a button on my $4 denim jumper. Now that I have had it for a few years, I have popped that bottom button off multiple times. This time I knew I needed a bit more fabric to reinforce the old fabric so the button would stay secure. My MIL gave me a small piece of denim from her mending stash, I pulled out my thread and the button and within a few minutes it was fixed and as good as ever.

I have heard of 'investment' dressing which usually involves $250 jackets, $1300 dresses, etc. depending on the articles that you read. But really what is investment dressing? For me it is something I look good in, fits me, will last just about forever (with a few mendings), and didn't cost an arm and leg. I'm not sure how long the person had the jumper before me (I bought it at Goodwill), but they never got their whole investment back! By the time I'm done with it, it will be salvaged to mend hubby's jeans, maybe make a denim purse for myself, or many of my other ideas for smaller bits of denim.

Prescription Prices! YOW!

April 16th, 2007 at 05:17 am

Saw my arthritis doctor on Friday and was prescribed a new medication as I just haven't had any pain relief or symptom control lately which means I've been barely functioning. Barely functioning also means you don't care about sticking to a budget, you don't care about budgets or anything else.

Anyhow, we got home and started checking on the cost of this medication. The formulary cost for a 3 month supply was $1400! The generic was $146! Thank God for Medicare D, I think my cost will be $18! Hopefully it will work the way it is supposed to and I can rejoin the world of the living. It is hard to comprehend friends my age doing fun things like scuba diving while for me taking a shower wears me out so much I have to rest for an hour afterwards before I can go on to the next 'activity'.

Over the last 5 years as I have tried to cope with this, I am so glad for the internet and the chance to 'meet' other people interested in the same thing I am since to actually get out and meet people is so difficult.

Frugal Clothes

April 16th, 2007 at 05:09 am

Last night hubby and I went out on a rare date night. In the course of helping with our on-line sewing pattern store,

Text is www.MoonwishesStore.com and Link is
www.MoonwishesStore.com, he has gotten very familiar with clothing, style and fit. So while we were people watching at the restaurant, we got especially interested in the clothing worn by the larger ladies such as myself. He surprised me when he said I was one of the better dressed there, simply because my clothes fit me. When I got home and changed clothes it hit me, I was wearing a $4 denim jumper from Goodwill bought several years ago and a knit top bought at a thrift store bag day for about 8 cents several years ago. I wear this outfit frequently and so have had a well fitting decent outfit for 2-3 cents a wearing. Compared to a NEW sweater we bought a couple years ago that literally fell apart within three wearings, what a bargain. It just goes to show that quality garments picked up used that fit well will probably serve you better then spending money for new clothes without a 'wearing' track record!

2007 challenge

April 11th, 2007 at 04:05 pm

Well I got lazy/busy and stopped blogging and stopped really thinking about the $5000 challenge that I had going. I ended 2005 with about $700 from the intitial challenge and now want to continue on. I need to think more frugally and figure out some new ways to save money and get money into the savings account.

I did lose one way of making money this year though. After years of doing Pinecone surveys, when they expected us to download flash softwear (or something like that) I had to quit. Hubby really doesn't like downloading softwear via the net--computers that get sick with viruses are worth the $5 checks from Pinecone.

Any how I'm going to start using my ING account to save the yearly tax money and monthly mortgage money, to increase my interest rate on that money about 3%. I just really hate opening the property and school tax bills every year and decided about a month ago to start doing the save 1/52 of the tax bill every week if I could. Granted it may be tight some weeks, but not nearly as tight as coming up with several thousand dollars all in one swoop.

Last week I also got approved for a 0% APR for one year reward credit card from Sharebuilders that earns you dollars into your Sharebuilder account towards buying stocks. That account was started with nothing and has been funded by rebates, credit card rewards, etc. and is at around $1000 now. Not a huge lot, but moeny that we wouldn't have had otherwise.

New Month

December 1st, 2005 at 01:41 pm

I like the first day of the month when I can do all the end of the last month's figures. Hurt too much to keep sleeping this morning and so was up early totalling up our online book business total (and PROFIT!!!) calculated my $5000 challenge. Before hubby was even done with his morning coffee, I had him grinning. We had had some potentially bad news about one of his customers in his other business earlier this week, but things seemed to have calmed down and we sat and figured that even if we have to return a very large downpayment, we will survive and there will be more work. And this mornings financial update pleased him no end!

My marriage is a dream come true for me. Hubby trusts me with his/our money and to pay the bills, etc. Neither one of us go crazy shopping (a splurge is 2 bags of chips or the occasional new DVD). My first husband who had significant problems didn't even trust me to take his paycheck to the bank for him to cash and return the money to him--for 13 years of marriage he had his mom come pick up his check and cash it for him. It is wonderful to get to work with someone who is working with you towards financial goals, than someone who won't even let you into his life.

Gail

Hubbies present

November 29th, 2005 at 08:07 pm

Got sent an LL Bean catalog in the mail today. (actually it was sent to my ex who has never lived here). While looking through it I saw a great pair of slippers that I know my hubby would like. I've heard such great things about LL Bean and the quality of their products and their return policy, that I went on line and ordered a pair for my hubby. Being as he has size 13 feet it is hard to find cheap slippers that he likes and that lasts. He likes the kind that covers up his ankles. The last pair of slippers I got him started falling apart on Christmas Day. I certainly hope that not only will these ones fit him okay, but that they will last at least 20 years. I think that is only fair when you spend $50 for a pair of slippers! He works on cold concrete in his workshop and so always has cold feet when he gets home.

Other than that just a lazy day resisting the urge to eat chocolate.

Gail

Monday

November 28th, 2005 at 09:32 am

Before hubby left for work, I grabbed the truck and dropped a bunch of packages off at the post office then went to the grocery store for mil and some fresh fruit and popcorn. I had been using generic popcorn in my microwave popcorn maker, but lately got addicted to Orville Redebacher Kettle corn. The slightly sweet taste handles my cravings for sweets/chocolate so health wise I ahead and money wise I'm probably ahead also as candy, etc. isn't cheap. Very proud of myself for keeping the Christmas candy tucked away and haven't touched it since I bought awhile ago. I'm trying to be much more conscious of what I eat and how much I spend at the grocery store.

We've been eating leftover turkey meals for days now, and I'm thinking it might be time for something else for supper.

Time for me to go work on laundry and sewing.

Gail

Getting better

November 27th, 2005 at 08:16 pm

After another miserable day, it feels like the pain and miseries are lifting. The weather seems to be changing so that might have been part of it. Hoping to get up feeling good tomorrow so I can get back to my sewing projects, etc.

With barely being able to move today, I definitely didn't spend anything today although I sold several things online, so made some money.

Gail

BLEAH!

November 26th, 2005 at 11:00 am

Well after feeling really well for the last two weeks, I got up today feeling miserable. I'm tahnkful to have had such a long stretch of feeling good up to and including a holiday. Usually 1-2 decent days a week are the best I can usually hope for.

I've managed to make 2 Christmas presensts so far. Not going to even try sewing today unless I start feeling a whole lot better as I'm too fuzzy headed to truly focus in on what I'm doing. But with close to a month to make what is on my list, I feel like I'll be able to accomplish a lot of it.

Our on line sales, especially on eBay, have been doing really well, with record sales this month. Wish we could make this much every month! Smile I enjoy having something profitable to do with my time when I'm feeling up to it. I think that working with our stuff that we sell on line has actually helped me feel better and keeps depression about my illness away.

Very cold and snowy in this neck of the woods. Spent some money yesterday on line ordering 3 items off my sons wish list at Amazon for his birthday. I sure hope some of it gets here in time. Both my boys are at that awkward age (20's) living away from home, so it's really hard to know what they want or need without them just making a list.

Gail

Lovely Day

November 25th, 2005 at 05:58 am

Thanksgiving Day was so lovely for me. I paced myself. I did some baking on Wednesday, and then the turkey and other hot stuff yesterday. We didn't eat until 6PM so this gave me lots of time to get things done without getting worn out. This was the first big 'dinner' I have attempted since I got sick almost 4 years ago. It was great and my boys did the dishes. I was very thankful all day for my family and sufficient health to enjoy it yesterday.

Today I plan on spending the day being creative. I have made a red brocade purse for my son's girlfriend, now have to work on presents for my guys, a December wedding present, and I want a new top for the wedding. My sewing room is all cleaned up as I had gotten to the point there was so much clutter, that I didn't have any room to work.

No Black Friday trips to the store for me. We have plenty of leftovers, and any more presents will be handmade. I have had a very good month for sales on-line and the profits have paid for all the presents that had to be purchased. I only have to figure out a 25th birthday present for my son for next Sat.

Gail

Ready to sew

November 21st, 2005 at 06:02 am

Had a chance to go to Joann fabrics yesterday and picked up some thread on sale, and some that wasn't and several other things that I needed for the many sewing projects that I have listed in my head (way to many) but I'm really excited about having most of the next month to sew and be creative. So far all Christmas items have been purchased with my Paypal card (1.5% cash back) from my eBay earnings.

Got hubby a Christmas present-a big box of pencils. He has asked for a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils (for his workshop where he looses them continually). I will sharpen them while my machine is embroidering things.

Off to have a great day! (I hope and I hope my health holds for the next month!)

Gail

New Sheets!

November 19th, 2005 at 04:00 pm

Last night hubby stuck his had through our top sheet. The first time this happened, we tore off the whole top hem of the sheet and I resewed the hem. Well with this second time, the sheet was going to be way to short for him to be covered up and have it tucked in, so we decided we had to bite the bullet and get a new one. Considering we got these sheets a couple of years ago and they cost close to $200, we figured they would last us for a long, long time. I have never had to repair sheets and pillowcases before, but this set it has been ongoing for the past year. At $200 for a set of sheets for a king size bed with a deep mattress, we only had the one set. So today we ended up at Kohls and found Laura Ashley sheet sets marked down from $100's to the low $30's! Got two sets! The best thing was getting them home and checking to see that they fit the mattress and they did, Yippee! Now I know I have a spare pair when I get behind on the laundry. What happened to being able to buy separate top and bottom sheets and pillowcases? Everything, except for standard pillowcases all are being sold in a set whether you need the whole set or not.

I love getting deals like that. I also found a set of towels at half price that I will be able to monogram with my embroidery machine and then give as a wedding gift for a couple that is getting married next month. Incidently, the guy getting married is the guy who first brought my honey to my house the first time I met him. I literally met my husband in my living room!

Gail

Met a Goal

November 18th, 2005 at 08:29 pm

I'd been hoping and working towards a goal for what I do on ebay. I wanted at least 1000 items listed in my store before Christmas, and if I count duplicates of items I made it today. I even sold a craft pattern 12 minutes after listing it. I'm hoping for some good Christmas sales over the next couple of weeks. This also means that now I can spend some time doing other things like some Christmas sewing and maybe some baking. What I really need to do is clean my house though.

Got a $10 rebate in the mail today that will go into my $5000 challenge. Walked to the post office to mail two books I'd sold, no purchases today other than postage and ebay listing fees.

Even managed to get an hour of sewing in. I've felt pretty good for the last couple days and it is amazing what I can get done when I feel okay. Unfortunately I rarely have more than a day or two a week, if that, where I'm doing really well.

Gail

Christmas Shopping

November 17th, 2005 at 10:51 am

Yesterday, we had lovely weather so I paid the bills, took hubby to work and then ran errands and got my Christmas shopping done (such as it was). Unfortunately I went to a gorcery store to buy gift cards for my sons, who appreciate free food, and left my coupon envelope and my shopping list in the grocery cart. All my coupons are now gone and while shopping at Walmart for things I 'needed' I ended up with stuff that wasn't on the list and forgot stuff that was. I did manage to stock up on a few health things my hubby uses so they will last the winter. Got more gift cards for my sons. Got some Christmas candy and more walnuts at the drugstore and except for making some presents and buying my brother a gift card we are done with shopping. We only do presents for our two boys and my s