Monday, October 5, 2015

Some Small Frugal Successes to Lead to Financial Fitness

September 27 - October 5
I had some successes.

-Even with the reduced paycheck I was able to continue to pay extra on the mortgage and two student loans.

-I found green bell peppers on sale at Aldi.  They were .79 for a package of three.  I will dice these and place them in the freezer.

-I purchased two hams at .89 per pound.  I will likely save one for the holidays.  The other ham will be used for ham and cheese omelettes, ham sandwiches, ham and scalloped potatoes and will use the ham bone to make beans.

-I took two Pizza Hut surveys that enabled me to receive two $10 off coupons.  These were used for meals for the boys; once upon Maceo's request after the closing of his production.

-Bishop and I attended a potluck.  We enjoyed great food and even better company and when it was all over we left with more drinks then we arrived with.  There was leftover root beer.  It was offered to me and I accepted.  Maceo and Bishop will enjoy this little treat; maybe I will even get them some ice cream to make floats with.

-My dad treated us to Crackerbarrel while he was in town for a visit.  We brought home all the leftover biscuits; if the kids don't eat them the chickens sure will.  We also brought home the little syrup bottles.  I intend on washing these and using them as vases for nosegays that I can gift others.

-Bishop and I attended an event at our botanical garden.  We got to tag monarch butterflies.  It was really cool and a nice free way to enjoy an afternoon.

-I was able to watch Grease for free a couple more times by volunteering to usher and to sell flowers.  

The last two frugal successes mentioned above have me thinking of ways to keep our entertainment budget to a minimum so here is a quickly brainstormed list of possibilities:

-Volunteering at our community theatre is a great way to enjoy amazing entertainment at no cost.  I saw Grease eight times (and enjoyed it every single time) and paid only once to see it.  I used a comp ticket once, ushered three times, worked boutique once and flower sales twice all allowing me to watch the show for free.  I am already scheduled to usher the next show of the season and will attempt to usher each one of them.  Also, we have other theatres in town maybe I can volunteer at those theatres as well.

-The theatre also provides a great deal of entertainment for Maceo.  He has a great time performing in shows and it doesn't cost him a thing.  Bishop is now considering learning to do tech for shows.  (We also consider this free education; you will probably see a lot of overlap between entertainment and education).

-The library has to be routinely checked for programs.  They have some great stuff going on.  They also have a 3D printer that we can use for minimal cost.

-The park board also has great offerings that are free to cheap.  The aforementioned butterfly tagging was through the park board (educational, entertaining and free), 

-Our conservation department also offers up a lot of cool free classes and activities as well, such as the warbler walk that Bishop and I took in the spring.

-Last month Bishop and I enjoyed three free events with the Audubon Society.  If we continue doing things with them we should join but even then the membership is only about $25 per year.  We could also join the Mycological Society or the American Culinary Federation or the Blacksmithing Association or all of the above and then some.

-We have a family fantasy football league which is very entertaining and keeps us all connected regardless of geographic separation.  We do pay for a satellite television subscription which allows  us to watch all those football games, as well as other great shows, but maybe we do need to find a less expensive way to get screen time.

-Not too long ago we used to have a lot of little celebrations.  We would celebrate just about anything.  I think we need to go back to that.  We create interesting menus that fit into our grocery budget and use the abundance of items that we have around the house for decorations.

-We could also institute a game night.  For some game nights we could even invite friends over...make it a potluck.

-There are books to read, recipes to make, genealogical and photographic materials to organize, scrapbook pages to make, blank canvases to use, science kits to explore, instruments to learn to play, sketchbooks that need drawings, and so on and so forth.
This is a list worth taking the time to expand in the future!

Christmas Jar O' Change:  I added $3.77 to the previous balance of $156.39 for a new balance of $160. 16.  I think it is time to start focusing on Christmas gifts!

Home Emergency Fund:  $0

52-Week Savings Plan:  I am going to have to wait just a bit more before I make a deposit into this account so the balance remains at $984.

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