Sunday, February 26, 2017

Last Weeks Frugal Accomplishments - Preparing for Survival Mode

The time has finally arrived and I am not certain that I am prepared for it.  Herb is finally retired and we only have one more full paycheck.  Crunch time is upon us.  So, to help me get focused I am resuming my posts on my frugal accomplishments while striving for financial fitness.
So, where did I find success recently?

-In some ways having Herb home is great for our budget.  I definitely eat out less when he is around.  He is a homebody and a great cook which makes it easier to dine in.  In other ways it has not been great for our budget.  Herb has a tendency to decide on a meal in the morning and go shopping for all of the ingredients before I have awakened.  This means that he is not using what we have in the house.  We have probably spent twice as much on groceries over the last month than we typically would but I am certain that we will work it out soon.  Of course, as the financial situation changes we will HAVE to make it change.  We have developed a plan that involves a calendar with our schedules, possible menu ideas using what we have on hand then deciding which meals will go work best on each day.  Having a plan will encourage frugality!

-We had a leftover smorgasbord on Sunday.  I think that this will become a routine part of our schedule.

-I paid the bills online and aggressively.  I am trying to make sure that some things are paid in advance knowing that our income will be significantly reduced beginning next month.  I have also been thinking about upcoming events (birthday's and such) and have spent time brainstorming what I will need or what I would like to have on hand for those events.  Again, having a plan will encourage frugality!

-I have been trying to avoid buying anything unnecessary; however, I did find a couple of items that I couldn't resist.  I found Valentine's pencils on clearance  - twenty-four cents for a package of 12.  I bought eight packages.  I bought them for our Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes but I am not opposed to using them for something else if needed.  I also bought a bag of candy bracelets for eighty cents on a Valentine's clearance for the OCC shoeboxes.

-Also, on Valentines clearance were pencils with the Disney princess Belle on top.  I bought two of them for fifty cents each.  These were a really fortuitous find as Maceo's production of Beauty and the Beast is opening this weekend and next month Keegan will be coming home and having a Beauty and the Beast themed birthday party.  So I got one for the girl that is playing Belle in Maceo's production and one to tie onto Keegan's birthday package.

-I had forty dollars in Kohl's cash to use.  I used it along with other coupons to get some really great deals.  I got a new white blouse that I need for ushering at the theatre, a package of underwear (desperately needed), and four baby items as I have three friends who are expecting this year.  The baby items were on deep clearance so by the time I used the coupons I paid pennies for the items.  In all I paid eight dollars for those items.

-Upon returning home from Kohl's I looked at the receipt and saw that the blouse had not been discounted as much as I had anticipated.  I returned to Kohl's to rectify the situation only to find that this particular blouse was not part of the collection that was fifty percent off; however, the manager gave me that discount for my inconvenience.  I used the credit to buy more of the deeply discounted baby clothes.  Two of my three babies have gifts now and I have only paid a couple of bucks for it all!

-I have a goal of creating at least one new thing (art or craft) each month.  I have managed to do that for both January and February and have only spent three dollars in their creation.  That three dollars was for adhesive, otherwise, I had all that was needed for the items.  And the bonus is that I can use any of these items for gifts if I choose to.

-We cancelled our Direct TV subscription.

-We managed to get our internet bill reduced.

-We also made some adjustments on our cell phone plan to get it reduced just a bit.

-I got LOTS of free entertainment this week, the best sort of entertainment.  I watched our community theatre's production of Beauty and the Beast Jr which stars Maceo as Gaston four times this week and every time for FREE.  I volunteered three times as an usher and once with the boutique which allows me to view it without purchasing a ticket.

It is a good start but we still have a lot of work to do!!!

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