Reduce your cost of living….

Reduce your cost of living…..Sounds great doesn’t it? Where or how to begin. I often think back when My husband Randy was out of work and I was the only income which wasn’t enough to support our family, my job was just extra. The feelings of what to do. I was overwhelmed, upset my husband wasn’t providing. I would look around our home like an addict may thinking what can I sell not for drugs , but to pay my bills. Everyday reducing our cost of living here are a few tips and if you have any to share with us I would love to hear!

Water

  • Showers take less water then a bath. Take shorter showers and shut the water off while shampooing your hair.
  • Wash full loads of laundry. Washing one item still takes the same amount as a full load.
  • Run the dishwasher when it is full just like the washer.
  • My dad made me a rain barrel. This is wonderful for topping off my pond and watering my plants and garden in my back yard.
  • We use a window air conditioner and it drips condensation and I keep a bucket under it and when the bucket fills I water my plants in the front yard.
  • This tip may not be for all so I’ll say it and move on. When I was a kid we had a saying about flushing the toilet  “If it is brown flush it down, if it is yellow let it mellow” This is something Randy wasn’t so hip about, but it is a way to rude water expenses.
  • Don’t leave the water running while brushing teeth or washing your face.
  • Fix those dripping faucets and running toilet!
  • Reduce you water heater temperature, we keep ours at 120°
  • Wrapping your water heater..This is one I thought was for water heaters in the garage but it is for when they are in your home and will keep the water hotter and reduce energy cost.

Energy

  • Hang those clothes to dry. There is nothing better the smell of air fresh clothes! I hang all our t-shirts to dry even in the winter I have a handy rack my honey installed above my washer.
  • Only dry full loads of laundry
  • thermostat- In the winter try 65°- 68° and wear you socks and a sweater. In the summer- we keep it at 72° – 74° and run the ceiling fans.
  • Open those curtains when the sun is out in the winter and close them in the summer when the sun is out.
  • Dishwasher-  The drying cycle prop the door open before bed and unload in the morning. Ours also has an energy saver.

Tomorrow we will continue! Have a blessed day,

Panning for Red Gold

I checked out the Red Gold site this morning.  There are coupons, recipes and meal planning help. I signed up for the newsletter and receive special offers. Check out their site!

Thanks to Real life living check out her site! I have added her to my blog roll because she has some great frugal ideas  and tips to help us on our journey!  Annie is having a give away and it is running until 10 pm  March 21, 2010

Tide with Febreze Sample

Get your Tide with febreze Sample along with a coupon.

Thanks,  Money Saving Mom Check out her site!

Beginning Genealogy

I have always been interested in my family genealogy. My mom and sister have been really finding the information lately and they are  finding treasures. There is a new show called “Who do you think you are” on NBC Friday nights by: Ancestry.com. I am amazed the information they uncover for each of the celebrities.

Have you always wanted to research your Family Tree, but weren’t sure where to begin?

If you are interested and you  live in my area the Rossford Library is hosting a Beginning Genealogy Session on Saturday, March 27, 2010.

Beginning Genealogy

Saturday, March 27th

10:00-11:30 a.m.

Presented by Becky Hill

from the Rutherford B. Hayes Obituary Index

In the library’s community room

Have a blessed day,


Financial Peace University: Free Lesson April 5 – April 12, 2010

I received an email this week. Dave Ramsey and Financial Peace University are offering a free lesson the week of April 5 – April 12, 2010:

This lesson is totally free—no strings attached! It’s our gift to your community during this tough economy. The lesson will consist of Dave teaching his steps to get out of debt, build wealth, and save for the future. These principles apply to everyone—whether wealthy or struggling in debt.”

Randy and I have been through the FPU and I would recommend this for everyone. The classes helped bring us together about our finances. If you would like to register for a class in your area here is the link: FPU Free Lesson.

Have a Blessed Day,

75 frugal blogs at Accounting Degree.com

Looking for more ways to be frugal check out Accounting Degree.com They have compiled a list of 75 frugal blogs.  My dear friend Paula at Monroe on Budget made the cut.  Congratulations!

Boot strap pulling….and Organizing

Paper work all the piles of paperwork. It can get a little overwhelming…ok very overwhelming. add 4 kids, your own business and life in general and you are in paperwork hell! Lately, I feel I am always looking for something and wasting what precious time I have at home with my family. I am a pile maker and am tired of paperwork!

I am thinking of how to organize better then I am at this time. Here are a few of the things that have worked.

  • We have 4 children and they have school paperwork and at the beginning of the year I make a copy of their schedules and put them in a notebook. The notebook has a tab for each child and any important papers for them gets hole punched and place in the notebook. I have it named Hunertime and it sit on my “out of control center” It was great last week when Jake and Lyndsey asked me what their new trimester schedule was and I could let them know. This idea is thanks to my dear friend Sue and it has worked well for over a year so far.
  • This is from my mom. She has a box that she starts January 1st of every year and when she gets a receipt it goes in the box and then she can find the receipt she is looking for.
  • When you get mail open it right away. Junk mail throw it out right away. Bills throw away the sent envelope and place the bill and the return envelope in your bill location… mine is a pending file.

I would love to hear what organizing system works for you! Thanks and God’s Blessings,

Frugal and Busy….can they Coexist?

Have you ever felt like a hamster on a tread mill? I have been busy working long days and have kid activities in the evening, I haven’t been my frugal self. I have only made quick trips to the store and my pantry was depleted, Sunday I finally got to the store. I went to Aldi’s so I would feel bad I didn’t have coupons.  Today, I sat down to finally clip my coupon and some have already expired…Darn!  How can you find a balance between all?

Here are a few ideas I need to start:

  • Take my coupons with me and clip in the car while I am waiting for my child to get out of practice.
  • Make my menu plan so I am sure to have all the ingredients I need for our meals. Keep a pad of paper in my car or purse to start making my running list.
  • Keep my coupon binder in the car for my quick trips to the store and save! If I see a sale I can even get it cheaper.

One thing I am learning is it is harder for me to be frugal when I am busy and tired. I need to make the time to save. If you have any tips please do share  I would love to hear.

Have a blessed day!

Boot strap pulling!

I wrote a post last week about pulling up your boot straps. It is not always an easy thing to do, but when you persevere through a tough time it is wonderful! When you live frugal it is hard work I am not going to lie, but it can help you through those boot strap pulling times.

  • Learn something that you can pass on to others when times are tough for them.

I can’t say I am always frugal.The hardest time for me to be frugal is when our family schedule is packed and to coin a phase from my honey “We are frugal frauds!”  This is when I forget the a leftover roast in the bottom of the fridge or we order pizza instead of making from scratch.

  • Organize and your frugal life will run smoother. Make plans for the leftovers and plan your menu. When you make a menu plan you will have all the ingredients you need and are less likely to eat out.

When I was a kid my Dad would say “what do you think money grows on trees?” Now that I am the parent I can see what he was talking about. The kids always need something and don’t think twice about it. For example Jacob “Mom, I forgot to tell you I need $65 today for My debate team” I wonder how Dave Ramsey handles that when he said “If it’s not on the budget…you don’t do it!” Kids really change the equation.

  • Have a line and fund on the budget labeled Kids activities. What I am finding is when they are older it isn’t $10 or $15 anymore it is $50 – $100.

When Randy and I first thought about starting an emergency fund we thought “How the hack can we do that…we can’t ever save!” Well I am here to tell you can if you add a little at a time it does build and you will have your $500 – $1000.

  • When you have an emergency fund then an emergency doesn’t seem as bad. Don’t keep the money at home because you will use it. Put it in an account and watch it grow!

We are pulling up the boot straps. Comment me and let me know how you are pulling up yours. God’s Blessings on you day, Candy

Toledo Zoo Teddy Bear Care Fair March 20-21, 2010

Toledo Zoo Teddy Bear Care Fair

Get a check-up for your favorite stuffed pal!
Saturday & Sunday, March 20-21, 2010

“Does your stuffed pal need a check-up or repairs? Whether you have a teddy bear, a monkey, or an animal never before seen, we’ll fix him up until he’s fit as a fiddle! And if you’re ready to adopt a real live animal pal, the Toledo Area Humane Society will be on hand to help you find just the right cat or dog. With zoo keeper talks, puppet shows, activities and more, the Teddy Bear Care Fair is one event that’s stuffed with fun!”

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