Friday, September 4, 2015

Steps Toward Financial Fitness Volume Fourteen including Last Weeks Frugal Accomplishments

This week I was reminded that many choices, both large and small, contribute to a frugal lifestyle.  There are the daily choices such as choosing to eat a meal at home rather than going out, remembering to get the meat out to thaw for dinner so that you aren't enticed to eat out for dinner, or just staying home and getting household chores done rather than facing the temptation of spending.  Then there are the larger choices such as where we live.  Years ago we lived in one of the smaller communities just outside of our city; however, we found that we were driving into town every day.  We decided to move into town and, furthermore, we chose to live in the center of town near the theatre that is such a part of our family life.  This week I ran out to one of these neighboring communities to pick up one of Maceo's fellow cast members just to get him to a location a mere minutes from our home.  This drive was an hour roundtrip and was quite frustrating.  It not only ate up time but it sure did eat up money.  My gas and vehicle maintenance budget would have to increase significantly if we lived in one of these communities.  Presently we are six blocks from the community theatre that Maceo spends time at on an almost daily basis, six blocks from Maceo's vocal instructor, seven blocks from Bishop's boy scouts and four blocks from his pottery.  It saves us an enormous amount of time and money.  Choosing our housing based on how we live our lives and where we spend our time was one of the most frugal choices I have ever made!

Now it's all those little daily choices that will move me forward, closer to my financial goals.

-Bishop and I went to the Maker's Fair in our community this last weekend.  While there I scored a pair of sunglasses from the Air Force EOD and while I must admit that I do look smashingly tactical in them I will probably put them in one of our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

-Also, while at the Maker's Fair I learned that our library has 3D printers.  They will provide free tutorials then charge .10/minute for the actual printing.  This has been duly noted, logged away for future reference.  I love the library.

-Also over the weekend I utilized a coupon for free admission to go to the zoo.  Maceo's youth performance troupe was performing.  It was a blast watching him perform and hanging out with the other parents.

-I made a run to Kohl's this week to get some black converse for Maceo as he needs them for the upcoming production of Grease.  While there I scoped out the clearance items which were marked down an additional 20%.  I found some items that will be wonderful as gifts for Christmas (1 bow tie, 1 pair of suspenders, 15 pairs of really cool socks).

-It is definitely time for me to get back into the couponing game.  We no longer have Dillon's, which is really the best place to coupon, so I will have to work Walgreen's and CVS.  I haven't done couponing with Walgreen's since they changed their system (two years ago or so?) and I have never done CVS but now that there is one a block from my house it is time to figure it out.  I tried my hand at CVS this week and was able to score a case of 24 water bottles, 1 tube of toothpaste (I selected  a specialty type of paste that I normally wouldn't buy but I will save this for one of the kiddos Christmas stocking), and 2 bottles of Gatorade for $2.56.  Not a bad start.

-CVS was still offering a few grand opening freebies so I got another first aid kit and pill dispenser.  The last first aid kit was put in the Jeep.  This one I plan on carrying with us in our nature study packs.  The pill dispenser will also go in our nature study pack.  I will put allergy medicine and Ibuprofen in it.

-I am trying to get back in the swing of things in the kitchen and I made some progress in that area this week.  I am really sort of proud of myself.  I made a pot roast and added all sorts of odds and ends to the pot.  I had some red potatoes that needed to be used so in they went.  I threw in a can of drained green beans then remembered the wilty fresh turnip greens that I had in the fridge, in they went.  Then I added some lentils.  I ate the lentils for my protein and let the boys have the roast it was yummy.  I then took the leftover roast and made beef sandwiches with horseradish the next day.

-Much to the boys delight I made muffins.  I made a double batch of bran muffins and added blueberries to half of the batter.  I tried some with cinnamon sugar on top, others with brown sugar and cinnamon, and others just plain on top.  All were wonderfully yummy.

-I also cooked up a large pot of pinto beans.  With this we will make bean burritos and chili.  We also had a meal of beans, fried potatoes and cornbread.  I fried up the rest of my potatoes, with the exception of a couple of larger potatoes for baking and stuffing, using bacon fat that I had saved.  This meal reminds me of my childhood.

-Bishop and I went to a free program provided by the conservation department.  With no cost to us we were able to learn more about mushrooms from an expert.

-I received a Shutterfly coupon for 40% off of anything and 101 free prints.  I am presently working on another photo book in my series on my trip to South Korea and if I have time I will print year books for the boys.

Christmas Jar O' Change:  The previous balance was 126.02.  I will add $8.81 to the jar for a new total of $134.83.

Home Emergency Fund:  I had $9 in my wallet that I decided should be put in this account.  It's a start... a re-start actually.

52-Week Savings Plan:  The previous balance was $930.  For the first two weeks of September I made two deposits in the amounts of $39 and $15 for a total of $54.  The new balance is $984.

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