It is a gorgeous day today; warm and sunny although you can start to feel the humidity coming in. We are supposed to be humid the next three days. I am hoping that the ceiling fans will suffice and I that I won't have to turn the A/C on so early this year. We'll see.
We had a wonderful morning with my son and West visiting. My son brought donuts and muffins from Tim Horton's. After breakfast, we played cards with West. He loves matching games. Then he played Dr. and put bandaids on our boo boos. Grandpa and I just love walking around with Cars bandaids on us. Then we decided to go for a short walk while West rode his balance bike. You can't keep up with him he goes so fast. But he does listen when you tell him to stop at the corner and wait for us. He told me that his cousin, Alexa is coming to visit for Memorial Day weekend. He is right. Alexa and my son and DIL are coming out to stay. We are so excited. We plan on taking her to the
National Museum of Play
in Rochester one of the days. I think she will have so much fun. Does anyone who is in the Rochester area know of any discount coupons for this place? Didi was nice enough to tell me that if we are AAA members we can get $ 1.00 off our admissions. We are. But if anyone else knows of any other coupons, please let me know with a comment. Thanks.
Before they came over this morning, I did my grocery shopping for the week. Here are the two deals I got:
This afternoon I did some vacuuming and made my menu for the week which is:
Monday: Shrimp Fra Diavolo on angel hair pasta
Tuesday: Tilapia, broccoli, tomatoes
Wednesday: Chicken Fajitas, Tossed Salad
Friday: Grilled Boneless Chicken Breasts basted with My MIL's Homemade BBQ Sauce , potato salad, corn on the cob
Saturday: Either Take Out or Dinner Out
Sunday: Grilled Strip Steaks, Baked Potatoes with sour cream and chives, broccoli
I will marinate the chicken in the BBQ sauce overnight on Thursday night and then DH just keeps turning it and basting it when he grills it. I have never had BBQ sauce as good as this recipe that has been in our family for over 80 years.
I am off to just relax now. I hope you are all having as wonderful a day as I am. Please feel free as usual to share anything that you have saved on today.
Friday, May 17, 2013
So many of us save when we spend! But is it really important how much we save when we spend? For example, when you save $ 10. on a $ 50. purchase, does that $ 10. actually get saved? Do you take that $ 10. and put it into your savings account or your investment account. Some of us probably do but most of us don't.
I post about my savings on different products but that is not how I really save money. If I use a coupon for $ 10.00 on a $ 50.00 purchase, I haven't really saved $10. but spent $ 40. Sure some could say I really did save $10. But I have only saved that amount if I was going to make that purchase anyhow and if that store actually has the best price on those purchases.
I think we get so caught up ( guilty here too) in how much we save that we forget that we are spending $ XX.XX. I have to keep my mind set on tracking how much I actually spend rather than what I saved. If I actually take that amount of money and save it, then it is savings. When we were working, I actually did that. But that is impossible for us now on a fixed income. I know how many dollars I have to spend each month. For example, if I have $ 2500. a month to spend and I can keep my spending down to $1200. a month then I can actually save that $1300. because I can put it back into my savings account for the future. If you get a paycheck and you earn $ 2500. net after taxes and you can keep your expenses down to $ 1200., then you can save that same $1300. and put it in your savings account or invest it.
So many people get caught up with the savings on particular purchases and don't pay attention to what they are actually spending. If they have a written budget for the month, they spend every dime of that written budget. Paying attention to how much you don't spend out of that budget creates savings. Savings and investments create more income. It takes time to build wealth but anyone can do it by just paying attention to what you are actually spending.
I think the other mistake that is made is that people pay too much attention to how much their income or salary is rather than what their net worth is. You can have a $200,000. income or salary a year and have very little net worth. All you have to do is read the newspapers or watch the news and you will see or hear that the average American net worth in 2010 which is the last time figures came out is $ 77,300. Of course that figure takes into account all of the people at the high end, like the billionaires. I would be willing to bet that the majority of people's entire net worth is tied up in their homes and it is not liquid. Unless you are willing to sell your home, you really can't count that money as savings. With the crash in housing prices in 2007-2008, people have learned that they really can't count on their homes being their savings account or investment account. Besides, you always need a place to live, so if you sell your home you are still going to have to pay rent to someone. So when I calculate my net worth, I don't even include my home( even though I have no mortgage) because I expect to live here until I die.
That said, I use net worth because that gives me a better picture of what we really have saved during any particular year. If my net worth when we were working went up by $ 30,000. in one year then I know what we actually saved. Now that we are retired, if my net worth goes up every year and we are living on less than 3- 4% of it, I know that we are doing a really good job and that the money will last for our lifetime.
So in my humble opinion, the first thing that you need to do to become wealthy sooner rather than
later, is pay attention to what you actually spend not what you save with deals or coupons unless you are actually banking that money. Secondly, track your net worth each year or even monthly if you want to get a handle on things. If your net worth is going up year over year you are on your way to that wealth. We use Quicken to track but I am sure there are other programs out there that are not paid programs. Also, here is a net worth calculator that does take into account all of your assets even your home( even though we don't include our home, you may want to) if you want to get an idea of where you stand today: Net Worth Calculator
As usual feel free to leave a comment and share with us how you feel about saving and spending.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Steaks are NY strips that will get grilled outside one night for an easy dinner. Carrots were absolutely a necessity since I used my last one the other day. I peeled about 1/2 of them and cut them up for snacks and meals. I was out of broccoli( which I love) and the yogurt is handy for company.
This was all of the shopping that I am doing this week. I saw nothing at Top's. I did see $ 1.69 a lb. chicken at Aldi's but when I cleaned my freezers I realized that I have about 30 lbs. of boneless chicken plus a roasting chicken. So I am not buying anymore for a while. I do have a $10/50. Aldi's coupon from Sunday's paper but it doesn't expire until June 16, 2013. It will eventually get used on a good deal there.
I will be staying home the rest of the week and puttering around the house and the yards. The weather has finally turned warm again so we are going to enjoy it. I turned the heat off again yesterday and hopefully it will be off until the fall. DH has a few windows open and I am enjoying the fresh air. Dinner will be a small homemade pizza grilled outside and tossed salad....a very easy cooking day. I already have the salad put together in a container all except for the dressing. I like to get all dinner prep out of the way in the morning.
I will be back tomorrow with a post on what I think about saving and spending. Until then please feel free to leave a comment and share with us what you are doing to save a little money today.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Tuesday: Haddock, Tossed Salad
Wednesday: Turkey Burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, Sweet Potato Fries
Thursday: Homemade Pizza, Tossed Salad
Friday: Chicken in Wine Sauce , Broccoli
Saturday: Leftover Night
Sunday: Grilled Kielbasa on Hot Dog Rolls, Green Beans, Grilled Pineapple
Please feel free to comment on your menu this week.
Monday, May 13, 2013
I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. I certainly did. Besides flowers from both my sons and DIL's and grandchildren, I was lucky to enjoy Paula's Donuts with my one son and grandson yesterday. Thanks to my DIL for going down to Clarence to get them. I am sure everyone in the Buffalo area knows what I am talking about. You really can't eat more than one of these; they are HUGE! My other son( Albany area) called and we had a very nice chat. And I received the above pictured gift from my granddaughter, son and DIL. It is a picture that my granddaughter drew in art class and her mom had it made into coasters. She did such a beautiful drawing for a 5 year old. Her mom said it was so we would think of Alexa when we used them. We will but we are always thinking of Alexa and missing her. I love both of my grandchildren with all of my heart. My children know how much my immediate family means to me.
It was so cold here and we had a little snow and you should have seen the hail. We actually had to turn the heat back on. I told DH not to bother cooking outside. It was freezing, windy, pouring rain, and thundering and lightning at dinner time. So I had him make me a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. I don't like steak unless it is grilled outdoors. He cooked our planned Mother's Day grilled steak dinner tonight instead. It was delicious and worth the wait.
Today was busy. I made my errand and grocery lists so that I can do all of that on Wednesday. Aldi's is looking very good to me this week with boneless chicken breasts on sale for $ 1.69 a lb. Especially since we had a $ 10./50. coupon in our newspaper yesterday. Aldi's coupons are rare! I also plan on a trip to BJ's to check on some prices for my price book.
Then I decided to defrost my freezer in the basement. It had some ice build up. Some coolers and a hairdryer and towels made quick work of that. The only thing that I had to throw out were some ice pops that my son wouldn't let my grandson eat because they had high fructose corn syrup in them. I should have read the label. I threw them in the freezer figuring I would eat them but didn't. So out they went. Oh well!
Next I cleaned the guest bathroom. Then it was time to exercise which I did on the recumbent bike.
Have you noticed my energy level lately? I have so much of it after being so fatigued for so long. I am finally on the right dose of vitamin B12 and it has made a remarkable difference in the way I feel. I almost feel 40 again. :-)
I also did two loads of laundry today; one load was microfiber towels that I used to sop up the water and then dry the inside of the freezer. I hung both loads to dry in the basement.
DH went to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and then to Ace Hardware to fill up the propane tank for the gas grill and get some wire. The wire was so that he could stake the new tree that he planted until it gets sturdier. We get some pretty strong winds here because of the lakes. Ace gave him a key chain which shows his 6th fill up of the tank will be free. That will probably take years.
The mail brought a $ 15.62 Ebates check. That and two other checks that I have here will be deposited when I get to the bank this week.
Tonight, I will be doing some reading and then watching the Season Finale of Castle. I sure hope that Beckett doesn't take that job in Washington.
Did you do something to save money today? Leave a comment and share it with us.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
These are the things we have done to save money this week:
* Planted a large tree ourselves which saved us $ 200. in installation costs. DH also moved a sprinkler pipe that was in his way saving us the cost of the sprinkler company doing it.
* Did not go into any grocery store this week since nothing interested me. Hence no money spent. We ate completely from the stockpile for our homemade meals.
* DH bought some needed garden soil. So he did his research on prices. Home Depot wanted $7.47 a bag. The same bag was $ 6.00 at Lowe's. Lowe's is 24 miles round trip. Home Depot is 12 miles round trip. He went to Home Depot and purchased two bags price matching Lowe's price and getting an additional 10% off since that is Home Depot's price match guarantee. He paid using store credit. I was very proud of him doing this without any input from me.
* DH wanted a special jack that helps him lift the riding lawn mower so that he can clean the blades. Sears Hardware had the best price on it plus he saw that they were giving 10% off. He got to the store and found out that the 10% was good for only one day and had expired. He asked for the 10% off anyhow. They wouldn't do that but they did give him 5% off. He also used his Rewards Card to earn points.
* I washed two loads of laundry in the HE washer using minimal detergent and cold water. They were summer clothes. We have two sets of clothes in this climate: summer and winter. So it was time to pack away winter and wash up the summer. Since they are washed before they go in storage and are more wrinkled than dirty, they could be washed on a timed express cycle. I dried them in the HE dryer since I was working in the basement and couldn't hang them. But I made sure to use an automatic setting and take them out and hang them as soon as each load dried. The second load was put in right away to take advantage of an already hot dryer.
* Reorganized the storage pantry in the basement and took a quick inventory. Made sure that nothing was expired. Nothing was which means that I am doing a great job rotating food.
* Cleaned and organized the rest of the basement. I know where everything is and can put my finger on it if I need it. This saves time, money, and energy in the long run. Money because I won't have to buy a second when I can't find the first. It really does pay to be organized.
* Planned my own Mother's Day dinner. We never go out to dinner on holidays because I don't like how crowded it is and the food is usually not up to par. DH said I could have anything I wanted. So since I have two porterhouse steaks in the freezer, I chose those. DH will grill them outside along with some roasted potatoes and vegetables. Dessert will be strawberry cheesecake. Add a glass of wine and I will be a happy Mom.
* Self-cleaned the oven to keep it perfectly maintained. Now it will not be used until the fall. It's the outdoor grill and small appliances which will save us on utility bills and not heat our home up when the A/C goes on.
* Received an Amazon gift card earned from Swagbucks.
* Received a coupon from Burger King for a free Whopper.
* Entered my monopoly codes every day for Top's to get click to card coupons.
* With the exception of the one night that we picked up a pizza for dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, we cooked and ate at home every meal. The meals were each cooked as cheaply as possible keeping in mind the cost of natural gas or electricity. I doubled up recipes for future meals and froze them.
* I took navy showers all week using shampoo and body wash samples.
* I used my Top's gasoline points and saved $ 46.83 on a tank of gasoline. I paid $ 5.84 for 14.633 gallons.
* Some of DH's shirts are wearing out. So I am keeping an eye out for sales to replace them. I ordered one from LL Bean this week that was on sale $ 10.00 off and I used a $ 10.00 gift card to purchase it.
* DH planted 6 ice plants in one of our front gardens. They are small but hopefully will grow like weeds. That front garden now has a tree, bushes and many bulb flowers and perennials so we shouldn't have to spend any more money planting that one. We will just have to maintain it and split the bulb plants when necessary.
* All of my printed coupon filing was kept up to date this week. I also caught up two weeks worth of prices in my price book. Prices are changing so rapidly that it is necessary to regularly update it.
* It is cold in the house today because the outside temperature has dropped and we have had a few days of rain and thunderstorms. It is raining today and will be tomorrow. Rather than turn on the heat, we are dressing for the temps. DH got out his sweatshirt to put on, threw it on his hassock and then went to do something quickly. Well, guess what he found when he came back to put it on. You guessed it, the cat has decided it was hers.
Please feel free to leave a comment and share with all of us what you did to save money this week.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
There is always something going on in my home lately. The beautiful Red Bud tree arrived yesterday. When DH was done planting it, I snapped a picture for you. Where all the flowers are is where all the leaves will be. This is a patio shade tree so DH planted it right in front of the patio. It is high enough not to interfere with our use of the patio and it will have a huge wide top which will shade it.
Since I have been cleaning the basement, we had tons of garbage to go out to be picked up today. I decided that if something that was in storage down there, hadn't gotten used in 3 years, it wasn't going to be. So out it went. I do have a few things that I feel someone else can use so they will go out in front with a free sign soon.
I am still working in the basement. But came up to get the load of wash out of the HE washer into the dryer. I can't hang wash in the basement while I am cleaning it. While I am up here, I cleaned the entire outside of the stove and all of the stovetop area. Now the oven is self cleaning. That takes 4 hours so I have a few windows open just to ventilate the house. The oven won't get used again until the Fall.
Remember how DH ordered the glass for the outside table. It had to be special ordered and has come in. So while I write this DH is out picking it up.
Back to the basement. Remember how last year I was complaining of big black spiders. I hate them. Well over the winter most of them died. But what a mess it left all over the basement floor. So I have been cleaning them all up by vacuum. But it is a dirty job so I have been in old clothes for two days. Our basement floor is 2112 sq. ft., the same as the house. So it is a big job. Basically DH has 4 areas down there. My pantry, an area that houses the furnace, dehumidifier, humidifier and the water softener along with our sump and both pumps. We also have a large area with gorilla shelves for storage. And then DH's workbench area. In the middle is a huge open area where my grandchildren could ride their bikes or skate when they get a little older. Once I have all of the floor cleaned which should be today, I don't expect we will get any more spiders or very few. We have plug in devices that work very well at that. I haven't found one live spider the entire few days that I have been working down there so they seem to be working.
Dinner tonight will either be grilled ham and cheese sandwiches or DH and I might go out to dinner depending on when I finish the basement and if I am not too tired.
So you see I just live a boring frugal life. I don't think it is boring because I am never bored. But you guys might. I hope you are all having a very productive few days too.