Wednesday, March 13, 2013

::Frugal Fodder ~17~ After the NO Spend Month is Over--

If February was a No Spend month...then March must be All or Nothing! Month. 
I feel like we've gone back to our spending ways. 

So I sat down and began looking at our spending-- We've done the necessary spending and are continuing with most of what we learned in February. 

Our biggest set back...eating out!  Old habits die hard. 

  • Gas and Groceries. 
    • Gas this month so far about  $95. That is UP^ from last month about $35. We've had two long trips to the V.A.Hosp. so, that was $50 in gas alone. Like I said necessary.
    • Groceries (and household) about $90- and most of that was stocking up; toilet paper and sale items. (I found Johnsonville Brats marked $1.59 ea. pack; due to 'sell by date') They had 8 packs lying there with my name on them. They're in the freezer! :)  
  • Continuing to make a conscious effort to save at home. 
    • I didn't post this in my last post but---by switching the bathroom heater off during the day when the Littles are here and at night while we are sleep (we had been just turning it to a lower setting) Our electric bill dropped about $ it is under $100! We don't get many of those!
    • Unplugging--  Continue Taking the extra step to unplug appliances that are not in use. Including electronics; picture frames (used for transferring photos from my camera),printers, heaters, lamps and outdoor lights, and small appliances.  
  • Savings and Cash System- I included this in the spend catagory because it is money that comes out of our monthly income. 
    • Saving $$$ for propane and ALL $5 bills. We save $10 /wk back for propane. I've NEVER SAVED for this expense and it has Always been a last minute scramble to get the money or just plain hard to come up with it. THIS HAS BEEN AN EASY THING FOR US. I'm looking forward to having the money when the time comes. 
    •  The $5 bills are something we started doing in 2012 and did pretty well into the mid part of the year and quit. We spent it and never went back to doing it. This year, it seems harder to make it home with FIVES for some reason. But the ones, that make it back here-- go into the jug. 
    • Cash- I STILL NEED TO MAKE THE SWITCH TO CASH SYSTEM. I find using cash makes it harder to let go of the money. I did not pay with cash for groceries this month-- Here's why:   Because I would have had to go to the ATM first!  I went to the grocery store without a plan. Bad move! 
    • DON'T GO TO THE ATM!  You will always draw out more than you need. There are hidden fees...and it becomes a bad habit. When  you use a cash system and have your pay direct deposited;  I think it is best to figure out your expense categories for the duration of time you need the cash, come up with a total and then go to the bank get the cash and divide it up into separate envelopes. (and you can even have the teller divide it up for you, but you need to get into the habit of doing this!) 

I saved money shopping this month by using gift cards. NO O.O.P.(out of pocket)

At Tractor Supply we bought: 

  • baby chicks to increase the egg supply
  • seed for more veggies
  • 2 Apple trees 
  • 2 Concord Grape vines
  • 20# chick starter and drink mix 
  • heat lamp bulb
  • a rain gauge and 
  • 2 metal wheels for the smoker. (had to spend some money on the wheels and rain gauge- they exceeded the card amount, forgot about that) $29. Everything else there was free! 
At Amazon:
I used a gift card to purchase a card reader for the camera to PC transfer; it does not need it's own power supply! 

At Ace Hardware:  
I used a coupon and got a free qt. of Clark and Kensington  paint called Honey Pot (yellow). I was totally excited about getting to choose my own color. You can't do that with Ooops! Paint. You can ask my took me a LONG TIME TO CHOOSE! 

So after sitting down and calculating and looking at all we've spent. Over all... we haven't done too badly. I think eating out is our worst offense. We had a lunch on the road coming back home from Central Texas on Monday and on Friday night we went out to eat at a near by diner. The Honey likes Liver and Onions... NOT ME! They serve it with your choice of veggies and roll for $5... I thought that was a bargain since I didn't have to touch the stuff! 
I had the chicken fried was a sacrifice I was willing to make. :) 

Long post-- I should have warned you at the beginning...but if your eyes haven't glazed over... why don't share with us what you're doing to save money these days?! 
I'd love to read all about it! 

Thanks for hanging in there. ;)

Therefore be careful how you walk not as unwise men, but as wise, making the most of your time because the days are evil. ~Ephesians 5:15-16~



Echoes From the Hill said...

Like you, I had a frugal February, but am not doing well in March. Maybe we subconsciously think we deserve to splurge a little after a month of being super frugal!

I shop for Christmas presents (for the 22 family members I buy for) all year long, and in the past two days, both "Money Saving Mom" and "Common Sense With Money" blogs have had links showing great buys at Cabela's and L.L. Bean. I succumbed! At least I have a couple more gifts to put in the gift cabinet, but it didn't help the budget.

Rhonda said...

Some months are just like that. Are you the veteran or your husband or both?
My husband is a veteran and we have been making weekly trips to a va hospital. Thankfully he qualifies for travel. Hope you do too.

My Repurposed Life said...

looks to me like you know what is and isn't working. :)

I've been bad. Times are better than they've been in a long, long time. I ate lunch out today, then got a call from the "cousins" ... they were going to dinner. know ... I did split a dinner with one of them. said...

This gal's really hoping you'll post pix of your baby chicks soon:)

Kristina said...

After watching our news last night, I am more eager to stop using my debit card. There are masses of fraud going on, and most involve debit cards hooked to checking accounts. I just ordered more checks too.

Liz @ Quirky Vistas said...

So many great ideas, Pat! My son is back home for the time being while he gets his new job in place and finds a place of his own so we have spent more in some ways but we've been making the kinds of dinners that last. Luckily my daughter works at an Italian restaurant because she can bring Pizza home for free if she makes it, so we have that to keep my hungry son going on top of the dinners. I had a $54 electric bill for the month past which is good. i would have liked it to have been $50, but it was close enough. When my dryer broke down I didn't get a new one. Maybe that's helping to save a bit, but the electric bill doesn't always seem to align with what we did or didn't do. We've found that the water company estimates so maybe the electric co does too. It seems a fickle system. Good luck with the month to come!

Theresa said...

Totally with you on the liver things....yuck!!