Friday, January 23, 2009

Learning to Live Frugally

As of right now it looks as if I more than likely have lost my fairly new job. The one I have worked at since July and was so damn happy to find. I hate this more than anyone can imagine as I love the job itself. However they have many rules and regulations which I have had a difficult time with. Oh not your usual gripes about jobs, but the attendance policy is my problem. You see their policy is that you can only accumulate 12 points in one year and then termination takes place. As of last week I had 11 1/4 points in total.

My health has been so bad for the last few years that my immune system is very low. I catch every freaking thing that comes along and then some. Not to mention my allergies to dust, mold, mildew, pets and everything under the sun is another reason I miss a lot of work. So if I'm not sick from a bacterial or viral infection, then I'm sick with allergies. The doctor and I have been working together to try our best to get me cured or somewhat well enough to work. It's gotten to the point that antibiotics aren't even doing me any good. Also for the last year I have had a staph infection. They have found out now that I am a carrier and will not ever be cured of this.

Long story short on this termination thing is that I had to have my doctor fill out paperwork today for a Medical Leave of Absence from work. I faxed it in to work and am waiting to hear if I have a job or not. Since my points are so high chances are they are going to terminate me. Or I get to return to work with a written warning that if I miss one more day, or am tardy one more time, then I'm history. Well with the way I stay so sick this could be anytime.

I have even discussed with my doctor about applying for disability as much as I hate to do this. I am limited on the types of work I can perform due to the allergies, having had both shoulders operated on (with pins in them) I can't lift anything heavy or over my head, high blood pressure and the list could go on.

Which leads me to the actual post title. We have to start living more frugally around here. If I lose my job this means that our money will cut down considerably. Not to mention losing my health care for myself and the family.

I have been searching for ways to cut costs everywhere I can think of. We have already done a lot around the house by changing the way we heat, where we actually heat and cool, and things of this nature.

Now I am cutting down on the types of food we eat. No more eating out unless it's a treat or some special occasion. I ran across a website I thought I should share with others who may like to cut some corners as well. It's all about healthy cooking and extras on a tight budget. The website is called "Hillbilly Housewife" and is filled with recipes, tips, budgets, frugal shopping ideas and things of this nature.

After reading the Hillbilly Housewife website and writing things down for food and recipe ideas, I am proud to say I went grocery shopping today for a family of 5 and only spent $85.00 for everything for a week. I have always shopped at Save-A-Lot for my groceries and only go to Wal-mart if I have too. Now mind you I purchased very very little pre-made type foods. No Little Debbie's, no pre-made rolls, no ice-cream, no cookies, and things such as this. I am going to be home now and have more than enough time to cook everything from scratch. I mean everything.

This weeks menu will include: homemade pizza's (tonight), lasagna, country style steak and gravy, meatloaf and hamburgers. Desserts included will be: homemade peach cobbler (Trucker's favorite), blueberry muffins (fresh blueberries as well in them) banana nut bread, oatmeal cookies.

I don't think I done half bad. If anyone would like to share some frugality tips in cooking or anything else please by all means let me know some. We might all start a post once a week or something related to saving money in various ways. If anyone's interested do please let me know. I know it would help me as well as others. Or if you know more websites for savings let me know those as well. Thanks everyone.


Asphalt Widow said...

Treasia, I am so sorry to hear about the possible job loss. It's too bad that they can't look at the whole picture, and what a hard worker you are who has a strong work ethic. But you know, maybe it's not a bad idea to look into disability. And if you do apply and get turned down, don't hesitate to re-apply. I don't know about your state, but I do know that Kentucky always turns people down the first time they apply.

Thank you for sharing that website! I like looking for more ways to live frugally. One thing we've started doing is making our own laundry detergent. There seems to be the same recipe circulating online.. we call it the slime because it's pretty slimy! But so far it's working, and other than being put out to make it, we've saved quite a bit of money.

Treasia said...

Asphalt Widow-I have been thinking about making the clothes detergent myself. In fact even looked up some recipes for it online. If you don't mind email the one you have to me since I know it works well. email me at:

Do you by chance no a website about making your own bar soaps and lotions, shampoos and things.

Mental P Mama said...

I am so sorry to hear about the job. So sorry. I started taking allergy shots last year, and it has made a world of difference. I also agree that you have to look into the disability, and can you get your insurance under the COBRA law? Thinking of you. And that cobbler;)

Living on the Spit said...

Telecommuting is the latest rage and maybe there is some way you can do that for them...also go check out can get job assignments where you can telecommute...they have both long term and short term job assignments. is worthy of a look. Also get the book, The Tightwad Gazette, by Amy is a frugality BIBLE. There are three volumes and I know you can find copies online.

We are here to help you through this and there is always an answer to a problem...when God closes a door, he always leaves a window open.

Keep smiling and always look will be okay. Home cooked food is so much better for you anyway. There is no shame in disability either.

If you need anything, let me know.


Sondre Lyn said...

That is really too bad about the job! You must be sick! I am really impressed with your shopping skills, though. Very nicely done!

Grandma J said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your job situation. Another source for saving is coupons on-line. I make my grocery list, then get coupons on-line for the products I'm buying. I do this for everything, even car rentals.

I'll keep you in my prayers.

littletoesandcheerios said...

So sorry to hear about all this. Keep your head up. Thanks for the website info! Here's a cheap recipe that's a good side dish.

Cornbread mix, 2 eggs, 1 stick butter, can of crm corn, can of reg corn and 8 oz sour cream.
Melt the butter in pan @ 400 degrees. Mix all the other ingredients and bake for 35-45 minutes.

Sandy said...

Have you tried FoodSupport? They partner with local grocery chains and offer $250 cards for groceries. You can find them at

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

T~My CdubbleU is on disability after loosing his arm in a farming accident 7 years ago~I am an expert on the rules~ Also a job steward for 23 years with CWA and I am keen on the FMLA laws~Let me know if I can help. Thanks for the website~gonna check it out. God loves you T~and so do I.


Gail said...

There is a reason...we just don't always see it.

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

Starting a POST on Money Saving Tips etc a FANTASTIC IDEA!
COunt me IN!

My Metabolic Rate is Stuck said...

Apparently my first comment did not make it through...
I am IMPRESSED with the $85. Grocery bill for 5 people!
We just learned that ROck (hubby) hours are getting cut back...everyone where he works!
That's alot to us!

Snooty Primadona said...

Oh Treasia, I'm really sorry about the job thing. We live very frugally these days so that we can spend like morons on vacations.

I cut my own hair, do my own nails, seldom go out to dinner, etc. I usually cook 6 or 7 nights per week & sometimes hubby cooks one night. I have some great, cheap recipes I'll send you...

Julie said...

I'm sorry to hear about your job, etc. But thanks for the link to that website! I think we all can benefit from that!!!!

Country Girl said...

Oh, my gosh, Treasia. So so sorry to hear about this. Damnit!
As you may know, I am in a similar situation. Mine is the only income at present but I do have health insurance so that's good. I applied for disability for my husband back in October. It takes 6 months and you get no back pay so I can totally understand why so many people go bankrupt. It's because of medical situations. It shouldn't be this way in our country, one of the most powerful countries in the world. However, it is.
Thanks for the link to the frugal website. We've been cutting back too, a lot. We rarely get takeout, spend very little on entertainment.

It's difficult to do the disability, but it may be worth it. Good luck to you on that front.

Country Girl said...

Oh, and PS about the COBRA. I'm not sure if people know this, but I found out the hard way that not everyone can COBRA their insurance. My husband worked for a company that had under 30 employees. Because they had under 30 employees, the company could choose whether or not to pay the extra per month that would allow their employees to COBRA. And my husband's company did not.
I had no idea of this and was shocked to find out that we would not be covered medically. And here was my husband having to go through another brain surgery and could possibly have no medical insurance!