Saturday, February 28, 2009

Baskets Of Love

During this lent season many bloggers have discussed what they will be or have given up for lent. Things are ranging from TV's to Food. Then there are those bloggers in blog land that have decided to GIVE for Lent instead of Giving Up. I love this idea so very much. When you think about it wouldn't it be wonderful to not only give up but to GIVE as the Lord asks of us every day? There are many passages in the Bible which tells us to give, or asks us to give. Here are but a few of my favorites:

Jesus said, "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38

"He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receive many curses."
Proverbs 28:28

One of these such dear friends of mine as decided that this is what she wants to do. GIVE!! What a strong word and how it brings joy to your heart when said. This generous Giver has a heart full of love to give. Please take a moment and read about how she is giving this Lent season and how you can also Give. I know right now in our economic times that it may be very hard to give anything. I know this well. However, even the smallest amount or gift would mean so much to someone and would bring each of us such joy.

Read all about how you can Give during lent here. Everyone loves a cheerful Giver.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Frugal Friday and Giveaway

First off I would like to say Happy Frugal Friday everyone. Let me also apologize to everyone for not having this out any sooner. The electric people have been in my house this morning with my power turned off working on things. I hope you saved some pennies this last week. How is the coupon shopping going? How about your budgets? Are you sticking to them? It's OK to slip every now and then. I'll be the first to admit I slipped yesterday myself. I purchased several new bird feeders as well as 6 new rose bushes for our yard. I just couldn't pass them up and the price was actually very good on them. This week we are going to talk more about electricity and ways to save in that area. As you can probably tell I'm doing nothing in any particular order here. And it's my blog and you can't make me.

I have talked about using a clothesline especially during the spring and summer to save and cut back on your electric bill. Now I started this about one month ago and love it. Just to prove it does work and you can save we just received our new electric bill yesterday. I checked it out a
nd found that it only covered about 2 weeks of not using the dryer. But in that two weeks time we saved $20.00 on our bill. That's a significant savings. If this means we will save on average of $40.00 per month x 12 = $480.00 a year in savings.

Other ways to save in this area would be to turn off all appliances when not in use. Not just to turn them off but actually unplug them from your power source. You may not think it will save much but you will notice a difference on the electric bill as well. Your TV, computer, coffee maker, alone will be pulling and using 75% even when not in use. Think about that. The easiest way in which to take advantage of this and do it, is to plug several things that are in the outlets into a power strip. Like for instance, your TV, DVD player, VCR,Dvr all into one power strip. When not in use simply unplug your power strip. Watch your electric bill lower next month.

As much as we all miss the sunshine right now another way to save is simply to conserve your heat. Place heavy duty type curtains on your windows. Leave them closed at all times keeping your heat inside your home. Unless you have double paned windows and very good insulation this will also save you money on your bill. Those of us in older homes should always do this. Also use weather stripping around your windows. On those days that it's sunny and the sun will provide heat for you then by all means open those curtains and take advantage. Even sheer curtains alone will be an extra savings to you. Another idea for both winter and summer is to purchase window shrink. This can be purchased from any hardware and home improvement store. All you have to have for this do it yourself home project is a blow dryer and a pair of scissors. It's really quite simple.

Also it is a good idea to purchase one of those blanket insulator wraps for your hot water heater. This will save you lots of money and your heater won't run near as often. Better yet, purchase one of those hot water heater timers. Especially if there are not many people in your house during the day. You can set the timer to come one in the mornings for a couple of hours while everyone is getting ready for work and school. Have it then to turn off or way down and to come back on late in the evening when baths are being taken, laundry being done and dish washing. This will save you $100 in the long run.

Invest in caulk and weather stripping. Weather stripping is a cheap way to save yourself money. Place around all doors and windows to keep in the cold during the summer and save in the winter by keeping in your heat. You'll be amazed at your savings by doing this.

Buy yourself some electric blankets for use during the winter m
onths. Turn back your thermostat at night to around 60 degrees and use that electric blanket. Remember to turn it off when you wake. Otherwise your using electric you do not need. I always have to go by the kids beds and check those. For that matter leave your thermostat turned down during the day, most especially when you're not at home. No matter what the electric company might tell you it does not take that much usage to heat the house to a comfortable temp again. Though this idea might cost you some to begin with another excellent way if you have central heating to save money is to invest in a thermostat timer. When we used this with our central heat which we found to work, but switched over to vent less heaters we set it for lower temps during the day and programmed it to come back on around 5 pm in the evening. It worked wonderfully that way. By turning your thermostat at a lower setting both in the winter and summer you might have to dress a little differently but it's well worth it for the savings.

I just also recently found out that most electrical companies will come out free of charge and do a check for you. This will show you what appliances and what items are costing you the most money to run. Ask your company about this.

Since this came out so late today this is all I have time for. I'll make up for it next week, I promise.

Before I close I do want to show you something and tell you about it. Last week when I purchased groceries I saved the receipts and used my coupons. Now while I know I could have done much better I was still happy with what I had saved. Remember I am still learning as well. For a family of five Rug Rat 1 & 2 are here weekends and sometimes during the week, for almost two weeks worth of groceries I saved a total of $10.65 I know as I said not to much, but the good news is my shopping trip only cost a total of $143.94. As said this is two weeks worth. I also planned my meals for these two weeks according to what the grocers had on sale. This is another great way to save. It doesn't mean I'm not going shopping again this week, as I like to stock up on items that are on sale and continue to use my coupons. The first picture is of the items I purchased using coupons. The second is my entire amount of groceries purchased. No kitty was not purchased at the store that day. He insists each time I go grocery shopping to have a treat! I swear that cat can smell them through the bags when I carry them in.

I also have another giveaway for everyone as well. The first one was such a success that I wanted to do another one. Well actually two in one again. Random Integers will be doing the picking however this time. This week the prizes are: 2 coupon holders, 2 magnetic shopping lists attaches to your refrigerator, and 2 finch feeder socks full of seed. I know the feeders don't have anything to do with shopping but hey, I'm saving you some money on this gift. Besides I bought one for myself and I have already got little finches feeding this morning. After only one day.

Same rules as apply before. One comment = 1 ticket. One follow = 1 ticket Post my Frugal Friday button on your blog = 1 ticket and if you pimp my blog for Frugal Friday you get = 2 tickets. Just let me know if you do the pimping so I can make sure to add that one in the drawing. Oh yeah, please link back to my blog please.

Till next week frugal friends, Happy Savings.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I Just Wanted To Say

Hello to all my dear bloggy friends. I am very busy around here and didn't want anything to think I had forgotten you. I will be back tomorrow for Frugal Friday and hope to see you then.

Friends and Best Friends MySpace Comments and Graphics

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pimping If Done Right Can Be Fun

Well I never thought those words would be coming out of my mouth in this lifetime! Kate over at Chronicles of a Country Girl is having a drawing. She is giving away (your choice) of a beautiful print photo that she has taken. All you have to do is go over there, leave a comment and choose your favorite. That's it, oh unless you wanna pimp too. Come on, you know you wanna, Pimp!

These are my two favorites but I did narrow it down to the first one shown here. I jus
t love her work with textures.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mr. Fixer Upper

At the risk of showing you pictures of my home and at the risk of making Trucker out to be a goof up, I just want to share the laughs. Not mind you Trucker has never said he is a Mr. Fix Upper but God Bless Him he tries. This weekends particular fixer has got him baffled however. To the point he has lost sleep. Now before I begin with the latest challenge let me tell you about some of his previous challenges. Prepare to laugh. See warning you about spitting your coffee on the monitor.

Several months ago our shower in the bath downstairs developed an awful leak. I mean terrible. Our water bill doubled in one month the leak was so bad. It had to be fixed or go into the poor house. Now one would think that would be an easy challenge. A simple switch of taking out the tub surround, replacing the faucets and putting the bathroom back in order. NOT for Mr. Fixer Upper. See since our house was built in the 1930's nothing is made easy. In fact our bathroom had a small addition built at some point later. This new little small addition was built around the shower surround. Yup, you read it right! They placed the shower surround and the toilet into this tiny add on and built the walls around them afterwards. There was absolutely no way we could take the shower surround out and fix the faucet. Unless of course we wanted to knock a wall out first. Naturally this was not what we did, nor could afford it. Still thinking well, how hard could this be? Trucker explained it to me quite simply. Just cut a small hole around the faucets, replace the faucet and then use a matching caulk or putty substance and place the hole cut out back. OK, not going to be the prettiest thing but then again, no one comes to visit often or uses are shower. I could live with it. I actually had no choice. Challenge started with great intentions.

As you can now see Trucker did not have a matching caulk or putty and this is what I ended up with. Isn't it beautiful? That beige caulk just blends right in and no one would even know we had repaired a leaky faucet. Trucker does amazing work. He is available for hire you know? Just let me know and I'll happily lend him out. Are you wondering why the extra hole with that gorgeous black caulk around it at the bottom? Well I did as well and asked why the electrical outlet looking hole honey? Quite simply explained once more. "I dropped the water line and it fell to the bottom, I had to cut that to get the water line". Oh darn it, it would have been too much trouble to have asked me to help? I didn't' fuss to much nor complain to terribly much. After all he didn't say he was Mr. Fixer Upper.

Now moving on. You remember me telling you are dryer bit the dust a couple of weeks ago. Well this is the results of that challenge. Our washer dryer is one of those Gawd Awful stackable kinds. I hate those things! so in order for Trucker aka Mr. Fixer Upper to be able to work on this
dryer he had to take the controls out. I mean it was the motor after all. After blowing several fuses in the house that weekend and hearing several cuss words coming from the laundry room this is what my washer dryer combo now looks like.

Who says duct tape doesn't cure all? I mean just look at it. Doesn't it make you want to do laundry? Mr. Fixer Upper at least left the washer in working order. Although now you have to work around all that duct tape to find the controls for it. Hey, it could be worse? I could have to pick the controls up off the top of the washer and attempt to turn them on that way. Redneck design at it's finest people.

Now the latest and greatest challenge of them all. Our bathroom once again. We
have two light switches and one electrical outlet in there. Lucky in that day and age of building to have the one damn electrical switch. Well not anymore I'm not! Our one outlet that controls the lighting over the sink and the one electrical switch quit working. One day I turned the bathroom light on and when I turned it off the flipper wouldn't come back on. It was frozen. Probably frozen in the year 1940, but who knows. So Mr. Fixer, not being one to leave things well enough alone, decided he could tackle this new challenge. Oh Gawd help us all. Another weekend of cursing, screaming and foul mood abounds. The family that fixes together, and curses together, stays together!!

Now how hard could this be I wondered? All the while praying Trucker turned off the power and lived to tell about it. So off goes the power, to which Rug Rats 1 & 2 thought they would die. I mean what children can live without cartoons and computers? Not ours that's for sure. Mr. Fixer Upper has already been to Lowe's which is a hop skip and a jump away. you know the hop and skip of a drive for 30 miles, one way? He grabs his tools, heads to the power box and thus begins the journey of repair. He looked so adorable in his tool belt I happily watched for a whole.............................minute. He removed the bad switch and replaced with the new and improved version. It only took him 3 hours and 500 curse words later. Wit
h at least 8 moments of having to stop to explain to the Rug Rats how much longer the power would be off. What is it with kids? You tell them daddy is in a bad mood and to stay away from him, but it's like moths drawn to a flame. Do not under any circumstances ask a man under pressure, who by the way is holding a large screwdriver, how much longer it's gonna be. They just keep going back for more punishment. Challenge finally finished. Mr. Fixer Upper is all proud of himself and I must say it doesn't look bad. The light is now working along with the outlet. About 30 minutes later I enter the kitchen to prepare supper. Rug Rat 1 comes in to have a snack of her usual Ramen noodles. She places her bowl into the microwave and presses the power button. We both then stand back and laugh like a couple of hyenas at what happens next. Each time she presses the button the microwave comes on for two seconds but the bathroom lights come on!! and then go off!! She tried about 5 attempts while her and I are laughing our asses off. Yell to Mr. Fixer Upper now that something has gone terribly wrong. Mr. Fixer is not a happy camper at this point. Especially when he cannot control our laughter. He doesn't believe us. We show him! and burst out again. He works on this challenge a little longer before calling it quits. Does it work now? Oh hell no was his reply. Now my light works in there, my electrical outlet does not and neither does the microwave outlet. Can't wait for next weekend to come.

If I'm not here on Monday, house burned down. Or Mr. Fixer Upper went up in smoke and fire, or he killed me with the screwdriver. LOL.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Simple Woman Daybook

FOR TODAY, Monday, February 23, 2009

Outside my window...I see squirrels playing, hear the birds chirping and the cats playing. It is cold this morning and temps only around the mid 30's.

I am thinking...about how truly blessed I am in all the wonderful things I have going in my life now.

I am thankful for...the fact that I can now work from home and fill fulfilled to be doing so.

From the kitchen...I smell fresh brewed coffee.

I am wearing...My usual stay at home clothes. Comfy pants (with elastic) and still in my pj shirt. Of course I also have on my fluffy socks and fuzzy houseshoes.

I am creating...another pair of ribboned flip flops today if I have time.

I am going...out just long enough to pay a couple of bills today and that's it.

I am reading...Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bon's.

I am hoping...and praying the sun comes out and spring finally arrives soon

I am hearing...absolutely nothing but silence today.

Around the house...I have a gazillion things to do. So much housework. Plus loads of laundry to hang out. It finally stopped raining here.

One of my favorite simply enjoying and spending time with my family on the weekends.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Starting a new assignment today on writing recruitment articles for medical work. So researching and writing today. Taking time to plant my little seeds into the trays I purchased. Cleaning house. Cooking and just enjoying life one day at a time here.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...I opened two cans of tuna last night to prepare Truckers lunch and this is what I got!!! I was attacked. I had to leave the kitchen and prepare it in another room.

To view or take part in The Simple Womans Daybook take a minute and go over and read others entries. You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Friend of Mine

Happy Birthday MySpace Comments and Graphics

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Today is the birthday of one of my new blog friends who has also became a very very good friend. Who am I talking about? Well of course it's Marlene of Country Girl on the Chesapeake Bay. Everyone stop in over at her blog and wish her a very Happy Birthday. Be sure and tell her what virtual gift for her you left in the gift bag too.

Marlene I hope this birthday is a wonderful day for you and all your birthday dreams come true. What did I get you, you're wondering. Well just look into your gift bag. It's filled with fabrics of all kinds, colors, materials and patterns. Everything a quilter needs for more making more beautiful quilts of course. And if that is not enough, dig closer to the bottom please. There you'll find a virtual $100.00 gift card to your favorite quilting store.

Thanks for all you do Birthday Girl.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Frugal Friday

Last week we talked a lot about budgets. How to start a journal of your items purchased with two column headings of Wanted and Needed. I hope everyone decided to do this and I would love to hear what you all thought about it. Did you find yourself looking at your budget in a new light? Did you notice a pattern anywhere and ways of saving yourself more money? If you did, then good for you and give yourself a pat on the back. You've just started in the steps to frugality and pinching more of those ever loved pennies.

Other ways in which we can save money and be more frugal are using and cutting coupons. Until recently I'll be honest. I'd never done it at all. I figured I didn't' have time, it wouldn't save me much of anything at all. Well if done correctly it will save you lots of money on your purchases. Not only grocery store coupons but pharmacies as well.

To get the most out of using coupons you will need to do ho
mework on this. Just using the ones out of one Sunday paper is not going to save you much. Granted you will save a dollar here and there, but to see a really big difference you need to take other steps. I actually purchase one Sunday paper, then go back to my car, look to see how many coupons I would be using and then go back and purchase another couple of papers. You may have spent about $6 on the paper but in total you have several $'s in savings coupons. Once you do your homework at the stores this could lead to even more $ savings by going and using on double coupon days.

Something I had not paid attention to till recently when doin
g my homework is that I failed to notice many of my receipts had coupons attached to them. This meant even more savings to me. Pay attention to your receipts ladies. Another often overlooked place is on the store shelves. Many grocery store shelves have them displaying and hanging in front of particular products. So pay attention when going up and down the aisles.

There are many available websites for free coupons as well. These sites offer loads of printable coupons. Now you might have to download a coupon printer off there site but it is well worth it for you. You do need to check with your stores to see which do take these printed coupons. Not all stores take them any longer since there were a few bad apples among us who reproduced them. My area Wal-Mart still takes them as does some other stores. So check and see before printing from these sites to save yourself the cost of copy paper and time.

Check out manufacturer websites as well. Proctor and Gamble always has coupons available to the consumer. You may have to sign up for their newsletters but in addition to the coupons you can also sign up for various free (not even having to pay S&H) samples. My advice to anyone here if doing this is to open another email for yourself and use it strictly for your coupons, free samples and websites that are for this type of thing. So as not to have your regular email bombarded with freebies and
coupons sites.

Check with your grocery store to see if they offer a frequent shopper card. Or if they send out direct mailings to their customers if they have some serious specials going on and then you are the first to know. Kroger has their shopping card and I have to say it's worth the time to get it. Plus you can check Kroger out online and make your grocery list right there. Become a member of the site, you can see the paper even if you don't get a mailing (which I do not), mark the items you want to purchase and print it out. This saves you time in advance and you can compare your coupons to the stores weekly sale items. It's always best if possible to use your coupons on sale items. This provides you more savings.

Did you also know you can stack coupons? This means taking a manufacturer coupon and a store coupon and using those together for even more savings on that item. To get even larger savings try using your manufacturer coupon, your store coupon, your rebate and the sale and often you get the item for free. Wow what a huge savings. We all love free things. What's better than that?

The rebates is another thing I had been overlooking myself. Months ago I purchased Trucker a bluetooth for his use on the truck. Saving him from trying to hold the phone and talk. When I purchased the bluetooth I had a coupon, also used my discount for working at ATT at the time, an
d a refund from something I had to return to the store. I also received a rebate form for mailing in the receipt which would have given me an additional $30 back. I just found that $30 rebate form on my desk under pounds of clutter. I lost $30 on that deal. My own fault. No one else's. Basically I threw that money to the winds. The bluetooth ended up costing me only $5.00 when all said and done that day upon leaving the store, but had I used that rebate I would have gotten money back. $25.00 to be exact. So what I am saying is take the time to fill out those rebates and get them in the mail. Don't put them off but do them on the day you receive them. You're saving money that way and not losing it.

Another good way to find coupons is when your traveling. Pick up the papers where you travel. Did you know that different regions in the country have different coupons in their areas? I didn't either till researching and discovering this. So I started having Trucker pick them up for me while he is delivering around the local states.

Combine BOGO sales with BOGO coupons. C
ombine a buy one get one free coupon with a buy one get one free sale, and you'll get both items free. Pretty slick, eh?

Use your coupons in the trial section of the stores. Most coupons specify the size of the product that must be purchased, but when they don't it's an invitation to get creative. Take your "any size" coupons to the trial size section of the store, and match them up to those pint-sized goodies. Then, load your cart with lots of free loot.

I touched upon Pharmacies earlier at the beginning. Now I have never been one to purchase anything at a pharmacy excepts meds. Well I am learning now that some of your grocery shopping can be done at pharmacies. Take Wal-Greens for instance. They offer many grocery items on sale each week with wonderful savings. They also have coupons in their weekly mailers. Match those with whats on sale for bigger savings. The coupons don't have to be used that week necessarily so you might wait till a specific item does go on sale. Get creative in your use of them.

I know this is off the subject of grocery coupons but I thought you all might get a kick out of it. It's another way I am saving the family some money. I think I may have told you about a recent family appliance breaking down. Specifically our dryer. So I am not whining or fussing about it but had Trucker make me a clothesline. Now I have my bloomers you know the grannie panties stretched out in the backyard for the world to see. But I am saving here. Not to mention clothes smell much better after getting off a clothesline. The only bad part about hanging your clothes on the line to dry is that on rainy weeks like this one has been, no one has clean clothes. LOL. Trucker may have to start reversing his underwear. Just kidding, just kidding.

I almost forgot about the lucky two recepients of the giveaway. So let me announce the winners right now. Drum roll please..................................................

Gail of At The Farm was lucky winner number 1.

Reggie Girl of Midlife, Menopause, Mistakes..........lucky winner number 2.

Congratulations to the both of you. Ladies contact me with your mailing addresses for the shipping of your gifts.

I had so many entries I really was surprised by it. Thanks to all who entered. I hope to be having more giveaways in the future as well.

Happy Savings Everyone. Till next week on Frugal Friday......................

I'm So Excited That I Just Can't Hide It

Yes, I am terribly excited today. I just can't hide it. Name that song title? Extra ticket in the giveaway for the first person who gets it right. I thought I would maybe pass some of this excitement on to you, my friends. Just look what I bought yesterday evening. WooHoo it's time to go a planting. A planting we will go, hi ho, hi ho, a planting we will go!! See I said excited, lol. It's amazing to me just how much getting back to mother earth makes me a happy camper.

Plus I just landed a job assignment for writing 10 articles on product review. WooHoo again here everyone. Busy busy day ahead for me. If anyone has any ideas for product review please pass them on to me. It can be any product of my choosing. Good or bad review. Help a fellow blogger out.

Still working on the Southern Thongs flip flops and will happily post those pictures when done. They are turning out really cute if I do say so myself.

Oh yeah, don't forget today is the last day for taking part in the giveaway. So comment if you've not done so, follow me if not on there yet, and I'll add your name to the growing list. Princess has already said she would do the actual drawing today so that it's all fair. Like I would be anything else. LOL. Pass the giveaway on to friends if you haven't done so already. Remember, extra tickets to those who post the Frugal Friday button on their sidebars or in their blogs and speak of it.

We are going to have a great summer together.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Love On Wednesdays

At the risk of sounding quite conceited today's post is about me! Gee it already sounds conceited doesn't it? What I mean to say, oh hell it just sounds worse the more I open my mouth, is that I love myself just as much as the younger days because I like how I have turned out thus far. Sure I miss the hell out of the younger days, but these new and yes improved, older days are not so damn bad either.

Yes, I had a fit, tight body many moons ago which has turned into a gravity ridden saggy baggy body. But my mind and maturity level is so much better. I have learned over time how to speak my mind and not give a hoot what others think, how to make decisions all by my little self, and how to learn from the vast mistakes I've made in this life.

I also think as ladies we all have a tendency to not appreciate ourselves as much as we should. We seem to spend the majority of our time taking care of everyone but ourselves.
Learn to appreciate all you are and all you do. We, as women, need to pat ourselves on the back daily. Remind ourselves that we are strong, smart, successful, lively, entertaining, nurturing, and beautiful. All in our own unique ways. So now I say "Let's all run and have a spa day". We deserve it!


Monday, February 16, 2009

Southern Belles Are The Best!

I was surfing around the Internet last evening and just piddling around as Trucker likes to lovingly refer to it, and ran across a site I fell in love with. Actually I guess it's more of a store. It's called quite simply The Southern Belle Store. It has some of the cutest designs in T-Shirts I have seen in a long, long time. As well as Southern Belle Thongs. Now Southern Belle Thongs are not the anal floss you are probably thinking but actual thongs, flip flops. Now even though I am trying to be frugal and all I have to buy me some new t-shirts. After all a true southern belle can't have enough of those. They go with everything. smiling here. At least that is my excuse for the splurge.

Here's some pictures of only a small amount of their shirts. Yes, I said small amount. They have so many to choose from I didn't even look at them all.

Now just to let you know, I haven't been paid for this at all. I actually did just find this store while surfing. But just wanted to tell you they offer free shipping on everything. With eac
h order placed you get a free Southern Belle sticker. But the best part is that if you befriend them on MySpace you get $3.00 of your order. Now what am I still jabbering for go on over and check them out at the Southern Belle Store.

Queenie, I have dedicated this one to you. Check it out.

Meg the second one is dedicated to you as well. I thought of both you wonderful ladies when I read these.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

To view others Daybooks click here.

FOR TODAY February 16, 2009....

Outside my window...It is overcast looking and cold. around 45 degrees

I am thinking...What a long day it's going to be since I didn't sleep well

I am thankful for...many things in my life. My family most of all.

From the kitchen...Not much is happening today. Not sure what I will be doing in there, except for dishes

I am wearing...My 2 piece pj set Princess got me for Valentine's day. It is long sleeved solid baby blue top with embroidered flowers in the upper left corner, and pj bottoms are covered in tiny navy blue polka dots and flowers.

I am summer flip flops for my Princess. I am tying multi colored ribbons around the top of each and placing one rhinestone in the center.

I am going...To early enroll Princess in college tomorrow night, grocery shopping this week and the library

I am reading...Nothing, that's why I am going to the library

I am hoping...I get the VA job online when I interview on Wed.

I am hearing...Princess clicking away at the keyboard in the other room.

Around the house...It's a disaster area since all 5 of us were here this weekend.

One of my favorite things...Is watching candlelight flicker in the dark.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Enroll Princess in college, do our taxes, buy my first plants for the garden, get my potting soil, plant my first few things. I am excited about this week.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...

Photos courtesy of Spring Hill Nursery.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Gentleman Start Your Engines



NEED I SAY MORE.......................................

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

Frugal Friday & 1st Giveaway

Welcome to the 1st installment of FRUGAL FRIDAY everyone. I think I've found my little niche in this blogging world and am going to be thoroughly enjoying it. I hope you do as well.

I found myself a few weeks ago in need of trying to make the almighty dollar stretch even that much further. With the economy like it is and looking like it's not going to be changing for anyone anytime soon, let's be honest, everyone could do with a little penny pinching and dollar scrimping. It's not going to be the easiest thing you ever done, nor is it going to be the hardest, but after you get in the swing of things you'll find yourself wondering why you didn't do some of these things before. And if like me, you will find yourself making this your job. A competition if you will, with yourself. How much more can I save this week?

There are many many ways in which you can stretch your dollar further. Today though since this is the first installment, I'm going to focus more on actually how to get started doing this.

Your Budget

I hear the groans from everyone now. Everyone uses a budget, whether it's a down on paper and stick to it kind, or the fly by the seat of your pants it's all in my head type. You do BUDGET. But what I want you to do is simple. It is somewhat a little time consuming, but in
the end it's totally worth. Haven't you ever wondered at the end of the week (month) where all of your money went? I know I have, more than once. By doing the method I am about to explain to you, you will see where the money is going. You'll see how to cut back almost immediately. You'll find out where all that little extra money is being spent instead of saved for a not so sun shiny day.

This also leads me to my first ever GIVEAWAY here on Mid Life Truckers Wife. I am about as excited about this as when.............well, I'm just excited about it! To take part in the giveaway the rules are simple, simple, simple. All you have to do is comment on today's post or any of them between now and next Thursday night, and you get one ticket in the drawing. If you follow become a stalker to my blog you get another ticket in the drawing. If you post the Frugal Friday button at the top of this post onto your blog and link back to me, you get two tickets in the drawing. ( Just be sure and let me know you have blogged about it and posted the button. With my brain I'll forget or not have time to look. ) If you post my Frugal Friday button on your sidebar of your blog with a link to lil ole me you get another two tickets in the drawing. Whew.................I think that's about it. The drawing will take place on Thursday, Jan. 22nd, at around 7:00 pm or so. So nothing counts after that. Winner will be announced the following day on the next installment.

Are you ready to see what you will win? Ready............................................... Now it's nothing to fancy because I'm Frugal and all.................

Oh my goodness how could I have forgotten it's actually two prizes in the giveaway. Told you I was forgetful. So here's what I'm doing, all the rules and tickets stay the same, if I draw your name twice, then only the first one counts. I'll draw again till I get a second winner who's a complete different name.

Now what I want you to do with your prize ain't I something giving two prizes away and then telling what to use them for is this: The basket is for you to take your receipts every single day and place them in it. Not only your receipts but everyone in the households as well. Then at the end of each day or week if you prefer you then take your journal and write them down in it. One the left page make the header: Needed, the right page make the header: Wanted. See now how simple is that? The calendar is just because I love you and it was so darn cute. It has bird houses after all. It's a photo album calendar in which you can place your own pictures to see each month. I couldn't resist it. OK, back to where I was, save your receipts, keep up with your journal and then at the end of your first month you'll easily be able to tell where your money is going. If you decide to share in a comment with us about this, by all means do so.

Chances are if your like me in the column heading WANTED you'll find lots of things there that honestly you really could have done without. After seeing my own column this way I now ask myself each time I make a purchase "Do I need this? or want this?" and it works. Most of the time I actually only want it. So when your faced with this dilemma put the object back. Wait a few weeks and see if you still want it or not. Often you'll find that by that time you will have forgotten about it and decide you really don't want it. Thus saving you money.

I also found out by doing this that I spent quite a bit of money on simple things that one wouldn't think would add up to much. Things like, each time I bought gas I went into the store to pay and bought a soda, chips or some sort of candy. You might not think it's much but most of us get gas about once a week. Add to that what else you purchased at the time and it ends up being about $5 extra dollars above the cost of your gas. That's $260 a year on needless things. So I just saved you and your family $260 a year. Now that's a little more than pennies here. Instead of going into the store, use your debit card. That way your not enticed into buying those little added extras. Plus using a debit card instead of your credit card will save you lots more money. Also by using a debit card, try to get one with reward points, your rewards will start adding up as well. Then you can cash those reward points in for things you would like. Maybe a special dinner out, some kind of new appliance, or even plane tickets for a saved up vacation. The choices are endless.

Another thing I found out by keeping a journal was the fact that we spent way to much money on movies for the family. In my opinion it was to much anyway. We have always, since getting married had a family movie night each week. We still have movie night now, but it's somewhat different. Instead of buying or renting movies (which are expensive to rent, unless you are in a club) is to go to your local library. Almost every library has movies for rent. Plus you get the advantage of having them longer than most other movie rental stores. As well as it's a nice little outing for your family, by all of you going and choosing the movies together. It's also another way to get your kids to start reading more. Plus as you all know the library would be saving you money by simply checking out books to enjoy instead of purchasing them from a bookstore or another store. I lived here for two years in this little town and never realized that our library had such an extensive amount of books to choose from. Not only what they had in stock, but most libraries will have books sent from other libraries upon request. If they don't have it readily available for you to check out ask the librarian about having it mailed from their main library. Think about this, you just saved yourself hundreds of dollars a year by doing this. I love to read, and found myself purchasing at least two books a month if not more. The average cost of a book nowadays is around $15.00 for a hardback and about $5 for a paperback. Add that up: 2 books a month (hardback) is $30 x 12 (months a year) = $360.00 in a years time. Now that's a lot of pennies you just saved. So take advantage of your town's (or neighboring towns) resources.

Whether you won the prizes or not keep yourself a journal and your receipts as well. Take stock in where your money is going. Consider this a new job for yourself. After all it is your money and your families, no one can tell you what to do with it but YOU. You and your family work to hard for it to be spent needlessly.

Pat yourself on the back everyone, you just took your first steps in being FRUGAL.

Happy Savings Everyone. Till next time on FRUGAL FRIDAY.......................................