Sunday, February 28, 2010
Vendor Coupons $20.29
Store Coupons $6.35
Special Price Savings $35.65
Your Savings at Publix $62.27
I had a good savings at Publix, but I had one of the worse cashiers. I will call her Coupon Questioner Carol. Every coupon I had she questioned and numerous times she made me pull items out of my bag and show her before she would scan my coupon. This was a total pain. I mean didn't she just scan the item. But she really got me when I gave her a free item coupon for some Oreo Cakesters. It had a value of $3.29 and Publix was selling them for $3.39. She said to me "The coupon is only for $3.29 and we charge $3.39" I said, "Okay, just give me the $3.29" She said, "But they won't be free" After I was totally frustrated, "I said I'll just pay the 10 cents." She shrugged and finally a gave me the coupon.
After the dealing with all of this I handed her $29.00 in cash and told her I would pay the rest with my debt. After I handed it to her she just stood there looking at it. Finally, She said "this is only $29.00" I said, "I know I want to pay for the rest with my debt." It took her a moments to figure out how two do a transaction with two types of payment.
Needless to say I was so ready to leave Publix. I usually love my trips to Publix, but tonight I felt like I was being questioned as a cheat and not respected as a customer. This was some of the worst customer service I have every had a Publix. My husband and I figure we spend about $4,000 a year there, and we would like to be treated as if we are good regular customers. I know that if this was my first trip to Publix it would definitely be my last.
2 chicken breast
4 cans of white beans
2 cups shredded cheese
1 large jar of salsa
Put in the crockpot and cook all day.
This is excellent and I will definately have it again.
Friday, February 26, 2010
Note - I was in no way compensated for this post.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
We plan our Christmas in such a way that credit card companies do not leave something extra special under the tree for us in January. First we list all of the people we buy gifts for and using past experience we estimate the amount we expect to spend on them for Christmas. We also try to estimate purchases of Christmas Cards, decorations, wrapping paper, lights and miscellaneous items we expect to buy for the coming Christmas Season. We add all of these items together and divide by 11. Do not try to set money aside in December, if you are like us it just does not work. This is the monthly amount we save for Christmas expenditures. Make sure this monthly set aside works within your monthly budget.
Realize most banks have done away with Christmas Club Accounts; however, our recent recession has caused a few of them to revisit this policy. If your bank has a Christmas Club account utilize it, if they do not simply open a new savings account (one with no fees) and use it for all of your Christmas transactions. If the bank limits the transactions in this account simply move the money from savings to checking once every two weeks during the Christmas Season. Or you could open a separate checking account and only use that debt card for Christmas purchases. The trick is you have to keep it out of sight and out of mind so as not to be tempted to use it during the year. In other words REMOVE it from your wallet except for November and December.
We have found that planning for Christmas purchases makes it a much less stressful time of the year. It allows us to enjoy making purchases for those we love without worrying about how to pay for them. Our Christmas financial plan also allows us to give money during the Holidays to those who are in need and to perform random acts of kindness. Next year during November and December have a merry and frugal Christmas.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
There was a man walking in the parking lot going from car to car asking for money to buy food. I felt lucky because he didn’t ask me on our way in the restaurant, but he was right there when we came out. At first I just kept on walking, but his repeating how hungry he was over and over again got to me. No, I didn’t give him money, I offered to by him food.
Our conversation went something like this…
Begging Man – Can I please have some money I’m Hungry (grabbed his stomach for affect)?
Frugal Chick – No, I won’t give you money, but I will buy you a meal.
Begging Man – But I’m hungry. I need money.
Frugal Chick – I am more than willing to buy you anything on the menu. We will go inside and I will buy you whatever you want, but I won’t give you money.
Begging Man- (thinks about it, even walks towards Arby’s.) then says to me that’s okay thanks.
Frugal Chick – That’s okay, but I’m willing to buy you food.
Begging Man turns around and starts asking the people in the drive thru for money. I am sure the guy was hungry. I’m also sure whatever he wanted the money for he wanted more than food.
After we got in the car Accounting Dude said that I had a good answer for him. I didn’t think of it as just a good answer I really did want to buy him food. I was willing to go into Arby’s and buy him whatever he wanted on the menu, but he didn’t take me up on my offer.
So that leads me back to my question – What do you do?
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
These were a few of the ones we took. Next time you see your friend or neighbor digging up there plants ask if you can have a few. You may want to offer to help them dig up the plants in exchange.
Dinner - Leftovers
Monday - Pigs in a Blankets with Mac & Cheese
Tuesday - Breakfast - Eggs, Toast, Bacon, & Hash browns
Wednesday - Tuna Helper
Thursday - Left Overs
Friday - Eat Out
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
This is what they look like.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
1. Plan your trip in advance there are substantial discounts for airlines, hotels and cruise lines for booking well in advance. Part of planning in advance includes looking online for deals to your favorite destinations, sign up for newsletters etc… to reputable sites. Disney, SmartVegas, and Carnival send us updates on deals all the time.
2. When time and distance permit travel by car, the cost is substantially less than flying. When traveling by car you do not have to deal with the TSA, baggage cost are not an issue, limits on toiletries are not an issue and your luggage does not go missing or get destroyed.
3. Save money for your trip, set aside a few dollars every month until you have enough to take your trip. All the change we collect during the year goes into our travel fund. This is not enough to pay for a major trip, but it certainly helps with gas and food. Also, as we stated in a previous post if a second job can be used to fund a trip that always helps.
4. Always assume that there will be hidden cost when traveling. A vacation is much like tile or hardwood flooring if your house needs 400 square feet of tile you would probably buy 450 square feet of tile. We have been to Disney World, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Maui, Hilton Head, New Orleans and on a Caribbean Cruise. The only time our budget was even close was on the Cruise. When traveling you will eat more extravagantly than you expect to, you will buy more trinkets than you intend to, you will go to shows and events not on your schedule and you will upgrade despite knowing better. I feel that adding twenty percent to your expected budget is not at all over doing it for a big trip. Travel should only be done after you have established an emergency fund and paid of all major debt excluding your home. Travel with the confidence that when the trip is over the fun memories and enjoyment will come home with you instead of the bill.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Well, in my town we have a decorator fabric store and they have a bargain basement. Not a store you would expect to have a bargain basement. It has a bind of $1.00 sample squares. So for $8.00 in fabric I made 4 pillows.
Do they match? No, but sometimes I get lucky and they have two matching squares.
Is the material way more expense than I could have bought at full price? Yes Some of the fabric I used was a round $20.00 a yard.
Do I worry about them getting ruined? Not really because as my taste changes I can go back and get something else or if they get stained I don't have that much in the material.
Actually, one of the ladies at the store questioned me about what I was going to do with all of my squares. When I told her I was going to make pillows, she replied with that is a good idea.
So my tip is - Even if the store looks to expensive to go into. Go any way because you don't know if they have a bargain basement filled with wonderful gems.
Tuesday - Jambalaya
Wednesday- Steaks, baked potato and salad (this was on the menu last week, but we didn't get to make them)
Thursday - Leftovers
Friday- Eat Out
Saturday - Lunch - Chicken Nuggets
Dinner - BBQ Pork Sandwiches & Fries
Sunday - Lunch - Out
Dinner - Soup and Sandwich
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Accounting Dude and I had a nice Valentine's Day today. We even went "Cheap" this year. I had a coupon and gift cards for Red Lobster. So we went there for lunch. All we had to pay for there was our tip. Then we went and saw Valentine's Day which was an okay movie. We only had to pay for one ticket because I had a coupon for one free ticket. Then we saved even more by going to the Matinee and we didn't purchase any popcorn or drinks. I know it didn't cost that much, but I really enjoyed my Valentine's Day with my Valentine.
Friday, February 12, 2010
I did want to share with you a new product I just tried this week. Sunday we went to a SuperBowl part and we were asked to bring something. Well, Heluva Good dip was on sale at Publix and I had a two coupons making them free. I got two tubs of French Onion dip and we ate a lot of it at the party and what we didn't eat that night Accounting Dude and I ate the rest until we ran out of chips. I loved how creamy it was. The flavoring was just right, and it has a cool name. I will definately get this again.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
The housing market had 300,000 foreclosures in January and more keep coming every month. Some foreclosures are due to unforeseen problems, but many are due to irresponsible and immature people.
On our street there are three houses that have been or are in the process of being foreclosed. I keep hearing about people being under water and simply quit paying of their mortgage. This is so short sighted; people give up their homes and relocate their children simply because they owe more on their homes than they are worth. Think about a new car, it is under water as soon as it rolls of the lot. The value of real estate will eventually come back unless of course the property has been defaulted in that case everything that was put into it would be lost.
This problem is threefold:
1.Individuals sought loans with such high monthly mortgage payments that they simply could not sustain paying the rate over a long period of time.
2.Banks issued loans to individuals they certainly should have known could not ever repay the mortgages. The banks then sliced up the bad mortgages and packaged them with good mortgages, insurance instruments, and other assets and poisoned the entire financial market.
3.The government encouraged issuing mortgages to low income individuals, many of whom were not capable of paying off the mortgages.
I feel like if you sign a contract you should do your level best to honor it. One of our neighbors simply quit paying their mortgage and left town, they even left the leased vehicle in the yard. I think one of the biggest problems in our society today is everyone is looking to blame someone for their problems and are also looking for someone to bail them out. Personal responsibility and self reliance are both lost on entirely too many people. Stay responsible, stay honest and stay frugal.
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
The My Little Pony's were $3.00 each with a BOGO coupon. This was a great deal and they fit in a shoebox.
The floss was $0.12 after coupon.
The Renue was $0.65 after coupon
The Tuna was free with coupon.
The Olay Lotion was $2.24 each after coupon.
The games were all a $1.50 or less. I know that they Scrabble game came from Target because Walmart wouldn't let me use the coupon on a Scrabble card game.
I know these two trips were something like $13.00 at Walmart and around $3.00 at Target.
Second Trip to Wal-mart and First Trip to Walgreen's
Rite Aid- 90% off Christmas - Got about 3 weeks ago, but just now taking a picture.
This is how my transaction went:
2/$7.00 Pantine Ice Shampoo used 2 $1.00 off coupons
2 x $4.00 Gillette Body wash used 2 $2.00 off coupons
3M Masking Tape $6.49
Total after coupons - $15.49
Then I had a $10.98 and $2.00 ECB
Total Out of Pocket $2.51
I got back $5.00 in ECB and $1.00 for my fourth use of my green bag.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
I know it sound simple and easy, but you would be surprised how many people don’t do it – CARPOOL. I know what you are thinking why would that be a money saving tip. We all know about carpooling. Well, I love to carpool. Actually, I don’t like to drive and if I can find someone else to drive me I will be more than willing to chip in a few dollars for a ride. Where Accounting Dude and I save the most money carpooling is that we ride together to work. We actually work only four or five blocks away from each other and my building is on the way to his. You would be surprised by how many people look at us like we are crazy. Not only do I carpool with Accounting Dude, but when I go out with friends I try to find someone to ride with. If Accounting Dude and I are going to a football game we are more than willing to take others with us. They usually chip in for the parking.
1. Saves Money on Gas
2. Wear and Tear on only one vehicle, which is good since both our vehicles have over 100,000 miles on them
3. Could have one car if we had to – not that I want to test this.
4. Spend time together – making trips go faster.
1. Can’t be flexible – my dentist office can not get that I can’t take cancellation appointments.
2. Accounting Dude had to change his time at work
3. May have to find a ride if one of us gets sick or if the car we rode into town had problems during the day. Both of these situations have happened to us.
Accounting Dude and I have carpooled with each other for the last four years and I can’t tell you how much money we have saved on gas. The past summer when everyone was complaining about the price of gas it didn’t seem to affect us as much. I figure one day we will have to start taking two cars, but until this time comes we will enjoy carpooling.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
One night I made Cajun catfish nuggets. This rub may have worked out better if we would have used fillets instead of nuggets. I took from several recipes off the Internet to come up with my rub. There parts of the rub that were better than others, but overall we really liked them. Catfish is a reasonable priced fish for us since Accounting Dude's family has a stocked pond. If I had to fish for my food I would be so skinny because I don't like to fish at all. I think it has something to do with the chicken livers and maybe the live fish on a hook. Seeing it is just gross, but it sure is taste.
We also had Chicken Helper Lo Mein. We all know that some Helper meals are better than others. This one was excellent and I would definitely eat it again. Chicken Helper works for us when we are having a busy night. It is such a quick meal with some left over for lunch one day.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Luckily, Frugal Chick and I have a friend who has laid hardwoods in his own house. We asked him if he would help get us started in our home. Thankfully he was more than willing to help, and was more than generous with his time and letting us borrow his tools.
We priced around and found a very good deal for interlocking hardwood, quarter round and tile at a wholesale outlet called Surplus Warehouse. We even went a day in which it was raining so we would get more individualized service. They were having an extra sale; if memory serves me right an annual coupon day. I would recommend everyone looking for a Surplus Warehouse (http://www.surplus-warehouse.com/) a store like it in their area before purchasing from a big box hardware store. We actually got Bruce Hardwood (http://www.bruce.com/) for a very reasonable price.
So with 1,200 square feet of hardwood and 300 square feet of tile in hand we were ready to start flooring. Some of these items had to sit in the guest bedroom while we worked our way from room to room, but the savings far out weighed the inconvenience. We had a Miter Saw, a jigsaw and a circular saw and borrowed a table saw. Our friend helped us floor the first three rooms in our house, without him we would have had a real mess on our hands.
Frugal Chick refers to this kind of work on your house as sweat equity. I will not lie to you it is hard work and there is a definite learning curve. When you attack a project like this you will have to accept that while a room is being floored the house will be in disarray.
The benefits are both evident and unexpected. It is obviously cheaper (in our case 3 1/2 times cheaper) to install the wood and tile than to contract it out. There are unexpected benefits of doing it yourself. I have learned how to use tools that may assist me in many projects and that may allow me to help others in the future. I am not a handyman but have come to love doing this kind of work, not only do you save money doing it yourself there is also a sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you did it on your own.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I remember many years ago right out of college when I was dating a guy, who is not Accounting Dude. He would always talk about what a pain change was and how we should just eliminate it from our currency. Well, I didn't agree with that idea, but I did appreciate the fact that he would leave his change at my apartment because it was just to much of a pain for him. I can't tell you how many Friday lunches and dinners out I had on his change. He thought it was amusing that I would save the change he left. Looking back I think it almost be came a game to us. He would leave little piles of change on my end table or dinning room table and I would save it until I wanted use it and tell him how much I got for his change. If I had only known then that change really does add up to more than a fast food meal every now and then. I would have been better off.
Accounting Dude and I keep our change. You should see us when we sit down to count it. It is like two kids in a candy store.
Everyone has suggestions on what we should use our change for. Accounting Dude and I have decided to save it for our yearly trip to the beach. It helps with gas and eat out money for this long weekend.
Some people at our church save their change for missions.
My brother gives his change to his son to save.
One of my relatives just saves her change to just save change. Kind of odd. I would like a goal to reach.
Whatever you do with your saved change is up to you just as long as it isn't eliminated from the currency because I can't really handle another tax.
Besides that it is just plain old FUN!