We ran in to a snafu where our finances are concerned and things will be extremely tight for the next week yet this has only seemed to enflame my enthusiasm for my financial endeavors.
The updates for the week are as follows:
*52 Week Savings Plan: There is still only $10 in this account as I had paid in advance for the remainder of the month of January.
*Christmas Jar of Change: As I am cleaning, purging, organizing every nook and cranny of my home I am finding change - a little change here, a little change there, a little change everywhere. We are a family that values a penny and yet we have managed to lose track of so many. Albeit a little surprising it does allow me to toss another $2.93 in to the Christmas Jar of Change and when added to the previous balance of $39.47 that makes for a grand total of 42.40.
*Favorite Frugal Accomplishments:
- I bought 54 forever stamps before the rate of postage increases this month.
-I cleaned and inventoried the pantry, fridge, and freezer and am planning all menus around what I already have on hand. This has already helped me reduce the number of times that I go through the drive thru. Well, if I am being perfectly honest, the financial snafu had something to do with that as well. But it is nice to know that beyond a very small amount of essentials I could feed my family complete breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks for easily three weeks without going to the grocery store.
- I had some delightful entertainment for FREE. Maceo was required to perform in a promotional performance of Music Man Jr. at a community event and I, of course, opted to stay and watch the performance. What I found was that our actors were one in a lineup of numerous performances and I was treated to Irish dancing, Korean music and a really beautiful Korean fan dance. Apparently this is an annual Martin Luther King Jr. day event and I will write it on the calendar for next year.
- Bishop got invited to a birthday party. There really wasn't any money to go shopping for a gift so we figured out something we could do using only what we had in the house. The truly frugal gift would have been the lego tank that I have stashed somewhere in this house. Alas, I could not find it (illustrating the need for me to clean, purge and organize every nook and cranny of my property) so we came up with a less frugal but a truly satisfying gift. We took some cash out of our entertainment budget envelope, folded it in to a shuriken, attached it to a piece of paper, drew a ninja and called it good. It was fun and entertaining to create and was well received by the birthday boy.
- I then felt compelled to come up with a birthday gift for my grand-niece using only what was available in the house. She is having a Willy Wonka themed birthday and I wanted to do something candy related without it actually involving candy (she will surely have plenty of that at her party) so I made her two pretty-cute-if-I-do-say-so-myself perler bead candies. I attached christmas ornament hooks on them so that she can hang them in her room or on her tree next year and wrapped them candy fashion with things that I had on hand.
-While sorting through my card stash to find my niece a birthday card I also found numerous get well cards that I had forgotten about. I am needing get well cards for the several family members that have been struggling with pneumonia and now I have them (for FREE!). So next week I will mail my free get well cards with my lower priced forever stamps and consider that another frugal accomplishment.
- There were also some victories in the kitchen beyond cleaning and inventorying. I made three loaves of banana bread, have done well using leftovers, and have used powdered milk for all cooking endeavors that required milk. I then snuck the remaining powdered milk in to the jug of regular milk. (Shhhh.....the kids don't know, tee hee hee).
- My niece popped in for a little visit and I was able to extend some hospitality by making cookies from the frozen cookie dough that I had stashed in the freezer and I sent her home with a hot chocolate goodie bag that included the peppermint marshmallows that she really loved whenever she came for the hot chocolate bar.
- Although every accomplishment listed above makes me giggle just a little bit my favorite frugal accomplishment would be scoring FREE drawing lessons. Bishop has been wanting to take drawing lessons with one caveat, that I attend them with him. Prior to Christmas we took a class for a test drive. That class was going to cost us $10 an hour per person for a total of $40 each week. After completing our first class we were relating our experience to a friend (an artist friend who is in school to become an art teacher) and she made an offer we couldn't refuse. She offered to come to our house one time per week and give us drawing lessons at no charge. She considers the opportunity to practice teaching her payment. We bought our supplies for less then $40, didn't have to drive to a lesson, learned things we didn't know and had fun visiting with our friend.
What a great week!