Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goals for 2015


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Tonight marks the beginning of a brand new year, and is often the time when people reflect back on the previous year and make a list of goals they would like to work on in the new year. As 2014 rolls over into 2015 I find it is time to decide what my goals are for this coming year. 


Goals for 2015

Continue to Live within my Means
Avoid Consumerism
Utilize the Tools I've been given 
Increase Savings 
Increase my Income
Increase Ebay sales
Continue to Declutter
Acquire No New Debt
Weight Loss

That is what I will be working on this year. 

What are your goals for the new year?

I hope you and your family are healthy and happy in the new year, and I wish all of God's blessings on you.  :)



Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 through 2015 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day


Merry Christmas everyone!

After unwrapping our presents today, I folded up the gift boxes we used and saved the bows to use again next year, which will save us money next year. We are always on the lookout for ways to save money.  



My Christmas presents this year included a new stainless steel tea kettle, a Veggetti, a lighthouse clock, a blue furry steering wheel cover for cold winter mornings, antenna topper, and season two of the Bates Motel. 



I also received a basket from school this year with some bath & Body Works lotion, room spray, homemade bread, candles, candle centerpiece, and a monetary gift. It was so thoughtful and sweet of them to remember me. They wanted to thank me for being a dependable sub for them. 





I've been feeling under the weather with a cold for at least two weeks now, so I'm enjoying some hot tea made with boiling water in my new tea kettle, which boiled the water in less than a minute. Sure is making my throat and sinuses feel better. 

We love the new tea kettle and have drank more hot tea today than we have all month. We are definitely going to enjoy this present. 

My daughter & I have been playing games all day today and it's been a nice and pleasant day here. 

I hope you've had an enjoyable celebration with your loved ones today.  :)

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas in Dixie


Christmas in Dixie is one of my favorite Christmas songs and I have fond memories associated with it.  :)

We did Christmas very frugally this year. 



Christmas Tree & Decorations

First on the list was a Christmas tree, which we have, but it is a small one at only three feet high. While we were out and about one day we found one someone was throwing out. The only reason we could figure that someone was throwing it away was because the bottom branches hung down low, but we fixed that with some string. The tree was one of those pre-lit trees with lights already on it. 



My daughter also made a candy cane wreath using last year's candy canes, so no cost there either. 



Total Cost: $0

Stocking Stuffers & Presents

I used a variety of sources to come up with stocking stuffers and presents this year. I used Swagbucks, Listia, Ebay earnings, and Mechanical Turk. 

Listia is an online auction site sort of like Ebay, but you sell items for points and can also earn points through surveys. I have gotten several stocking stuffers there at no cost to me. 

My Ebay earnings also allowed me to purchase several Christmas presents at no cost to me. All I did was sell things we no longer used and then bought items my family wanted for Christmas with the money I received. 

Mechanical Turk is Amazon's online work center. I earned a little bit of money from there and was able to buy one present using those funds. 

My daughter's big gift this year will come from McKay Used Books and I will be trading for it, so no cost to me there either. I finished up the last of my Christmas shopping today and figured I ended up spending right at $75 cash for gifts this year in addition to those things already mentioned. 


In years past I usually spent more than $75, so this year was much better because I was able to use all those resources to spend less money this year. The best part of all is that I will have NO DEBT from Christmas this year. Everything was bartered, traded or paid for with cash, so I am very happy about that this year. 

Total Cost $75

Wrapping Paper

This year I continued to use the wrapping paper I bought in January of 2012 in an after Christmas clearance sale. I blogged about it here. I paid 86¢ per roll for the paper and this is the third (2012, 2013, 2014) Christmas I've used this paper. I store the paper under my bed after I am done wrapping for the year. It stays out of the way, but saves me money each year I am able to use it. 

Total Cost 86¢

Food

We have been fortunate this month to be gifted quite a bit of food items. This week we received apples & oranges, bread, milk, and several frozen dinners (and more than enough, so we shared with others). We've been invited to my (former) brother-in-law's home for Christmas dinner this year. I'm bringing a dessert and side dish using items I already have on hand here, so no money spent for food for Christmas dinner this year either. 

Total Cost $0

There were a lot of changes in store for us this past year, and in spite of all that happened, we have decorated the house, sent some Christmas cards, and are making our best effort to remember who this season is actually for and remember Him every day as we celebrate the season of His birth. From our home to yours, we hope that you have a blessed Christmas.

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Weekend Report

I worked two days last week and now we are off for Christmas break for eighteen (18) days. I've already gotten several things done from my to do list and also have several more things I want to accomplish on this break. One of those being a pile of clothing that my daughter has requested I repair. 

Today I finished my Christmas shopping. I have another blog post detailing our Christmas this year, which I will be posting later this week. 

I started the week thinking that we needed bread. By the end of the week we were gifted with multiple bread items and had this to be thankful for...several loaves of bread, hamburger and hotdog buns. 


Since we had hotdog buns, dinner tonight was a recipe for Butter Dogs from The Kneady Homesteader. They were fantastic too! Not the healthiest of dinners, so we won't be having them very often, but everyone really liked them. 

I stopped in at CVS one day this week because I had a coupon for a free full size CVS brand body wash for liking their Minute Clinic on Facebook.  Turns out they were having a sale on the bodywash. If you spent $10 on body wash you earned a $3 extra care bucks. I already had a $10 extra care bucks from CVS, so we didn't have to pay anything out of pocket for these...


I also stopped in at Publix this week to buy a gift card and some Scrubbing Bubbles cleaning spray and Truvia. Both of these were money makers for me at Publix this week, so no cash out of pocket for these items either.  


Gas is down to $1.89 a gallon here, so I was able to fill my car up for only $21, which I am loving! We ran our usual errands yesterday including taking the garbage and recycling off and are planning on spending as much time at home as possible these next two weeks. 

How is your weekend shaping up?

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Weekend Report


Image Credit
A clever 14-year-old teenager from the UK has figured out that people can save money on printer ink by changing their font. He says that switching to the Garamond font will save 25% on ink, which is something I am definitely interested in doing. Here is a link to the article: Saving Money on Ink

Had a movie night Friday night at home and made popcorn on the stovetop, which is cheaper and healthier than microwave popcorn. On Saturday night we attended the local high school Christmas play. Attendance was free and it was so much fun to see so many of the students doing something they love and having fun. 


During the week I usually make a list, sort of like a shopping list, of errands I need to run the next time I am in town. This helps me save money on gas by only having to make one trip to town and helps me save time also. I combined all my errands into one trip to town today. I don't plan on going back until next weekend. On a good note, It was great to see gas priced at $2.07 per gallon on my way home. 

This week I earned and received another coupon from My Coke Rewards for a free 12 pack this week. I picked up a 12 pack of Sprite while I was in town today. That way I will have it on hand for sick tummies when needed. 



We did some grocery shopping while we were in town today. At Publix, I picked up some I Can't Believe it's Not Butter (b1g1f sale), Ham for sandwiches, Kleenex (b1g1f sale + coupons), sugar - white and brown, Crisco, ginger ale from the Crash & burn section, and free mayonnaise. 

We were also gifted several items this week. Twenty pounds of carrots, eight pounds of grapes, 5 quarts of eggnog, 8 Greek yogurts, 6 containers of olive oil/butter blend, 5 half gallon containers of lemonade, 6 containers of Grape Sunny D. I've already washed the grapes and put them into individual baggies for the week for lunches this week. 

Now, I am cooking five pounds of carrots. I'll cook five pounds every night for the next four nights and freeze them as I go along. That way we will have them ready to warm up for weeknight dinners throughout the next few months. My refrigerator is filled this evening and I have to say that all this food was truly a blessing. 

I worked everyday last week and have three days scheduled for this coming week. Thursday is officially the last day of school for Christmas break until next year. My daughter needs me to keep that day free for her, so that is what I'm going to do Thursday. 

I've been getting ready for Christmas slowly, and frugally, but I'm saving that for another blog post.   

Finally, let's end this blog post with a discussion. What is your best money saving tip from 2014 that you will carry with you into 2015? 

I'm looking forward to reading your answers. 

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"

Monday, December 8, 2014

Last Week

Last week was a busy week here. I worked everyday and had sick family members. I took my daughter and Mom to the doctor one day and took Mom for a CT Scan as well. Twice last week we did not get home until after dark. 

One day we took our recycling to the Recycling Center. We've been saving the cans from canned food and any aluminum cans we come across. We pass the recycling center on our way home from school, so no extra gas involved. They wrote me a check for $2.06 for what we recycled today. I was happy with that as these are things we could easily throw in the garbage, but instead we are keeping them out of the landfill and getting money in the process. 


Dinners last week included Grilled Chicken Salads, Pasta Salad, 
Smoke Sausage & Macaroni & Cheese, Hamburgers, and Mexican Pizzas, Tacos and Salisbury Steak with sides, one of them being mashed potatoes. 

One of the frugal things we have always done is to use the water we boil potatoes in to make mashed potatoes. This saves us money over using milk to make mashed potatoes. There is starch in the water you use to boil your potatoes and is a very good substitute for milk in not only mashed potatoes, but also your bread recipes. You can also keep the potato water for a day or so in your refrigerator. 

I've gotten some of my Christmas shopping done. I've ordered a few things online from Listia using Listia points. This is an online auction site where you can earn points for selling things and then use the points to pick out items you want. The things I've sold have been on a small scale basis and things I've picked out have been on a small scale also. I've gotten several stocking stuffers for my daughter. And I picked out a book for my Mom from her favorite author. It's nice because no money changes hands. I'm exchanging things I no longer use and gets points to purchase things we can use. 

I've also used my Ebay earnings to buy a few things she wanted. Again using the money from selling things we no longer use here at home. So Christmas this year will be done on a small scale basis with hardly any money being spent. The upcoming winter months will be expensive with us having to heat our house and every little bit we can save towards that goal will be set aside for that purpose. 

Belinda
CFO ~ Chief Frugal Officer
Professor Penny Pincher 
© Belinda & Frugal Workshop, 2011 and beyond.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do, do without”
"Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle ~ It will help you save money"
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