Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Would I Continue If I Didn't Have To?

With the combination of frugality on my part and my husband's successes at work, I feel like we are finally getting a bit of breathing room. Just a bit. This makes it sooooo tempting to let loose a little. The situation has made me wonder, "Will I continue in my frugality - even if I don't HAVE to?"

After much thought and temptation on this question my answer has once again come to YES - at least until my kids are grown. I realized that our kids (all girls for now) may not marry men with the same earning potential as my husband. If we give them a lavish lifestyle, then that is what the "norm" will be for them. That is what they will expect and anything less will not be acceptable.

If their husbands can't provide the same "lavish" lifestyle then there are three potential problems that I see.

1. They will go into debt trying to fund what they think their "normal" lifestyle should be. Debt is crushing, life ruining, and a potential marriage breaker.

2. They will not be able to fund what they want and so will turn to good 'ol dad and mom to still fund the "lavish" lifestyle we taught them. Not happening.

3. I will become the full time babysitter while my daughters work. I started having babies at 23. Even though I know I will love our grand kids and will enjoy babysitting every so often, I am looking forward to some freedom and travel.

So to avoid these potentially HUGE problems we will continue to live frugally. We will go camping for vacations and stay in hotels as occasional "treats". We will find joy in picking a fresh raspberry from our garden. We will thrill at a good yard sale find and congratulate each other on negotiating skills. We will continue to talk about life as we clip coupons together.

When they leave the house they will each have their own Coupon Binder for groceries, a Palm for their budgets, and a Speed Cleaning Apron. They will have the tools and skills to take care of themselves and we will be cheering them along the way.

Then when the last one finally leaves, maybe, just maybe, I will go to the mall.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Very Versatile Sheet

Here are a few $ saving ideas and great uses for dryer sheets.

1. When using them for laundry, only use a half sheet. It will save you money and extend the life of your dryer. (When they are heated they release gases that coat your clothing. If you use a full sheet, too much gas is released and will actually coat the back inside of your dryer. When too much coating is there, it makes your dryer smell like it is burning up, then you will replace it, when all you need to do is clean it off.)

2. If the outfit you are wearing is clinging to you, rub it down with an new dryer sheet.

3. Hide one in your car as an air freshener. You can put them in your clothes drawers too.

4. Used ones will actually remove soap scum. No Kidding. I saw this in Simple magazine. I tried it on the bottom part of my glass shower door. Get a used dryer sheet a little wet then rub the soap scum area. It takes a bit of rubbing and a few sheets, but it works like a charm.

Do you have any other nifty uses for dryer sheets?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Beware of the Helping Husband

My DH did something really awful this weekend in his pursuit to help me. It was an honest mistake, so I am still talking to him. (Our girls were a little disappointed they didn't get to see him get in trouble. Our five year old was really trying hard to persuade me into disciplining him :) However, I am asking for your help so that we can avoid the same mistake twice.

The mistake was this: He tried to use oven cleaner to clean off the Pam residue from my cookie sheets. It was not efficient enough to try the famous "inconspicuous spot". So he did all four at the same time. (He is an engineer.) However it ruined my pans completely.

Do any of you know how to clean off the Pam residue off of cookie sheets SAFELY? The person that gives me the winning answer will win Category Tabs and Sorting mats from http://www.thecouponbinder.com/.

Can't wait to hear from you!

Save 50% on Dining Out

My DH asked me out on a date this last weekend. Sweet huh? In my pursuit to save $$ I went to a website called Restaurant.com. Restaurants that are trying to get people in their doors offer discounts through this website. A common one is a $25 discount certificate for $10.

Now, you can get an even bigger discount by entering a promo code. (When buying something online ALWAYS check for a discount code.) Until July 13, there is a 70% discount on Restaurant.com. The code is SEVENTY. So you can get the same $25 certificate for $3!

The particular coupon we got required us to buy $35 worth of food to qualify for the $25 savings. To get the full benefit from this we stayed really close to the $35; $38 to be exact. So this is how it all worked out.

$38 food bill
+$3.75 cost for Restaurant.com certificate
+ $7 tip
$48.75 What we would have payed total
-$25 discount
$23.75 What we payed

You can get the most current coupon code for Restaurant.com from the website www.CouponMom.com

Monday, July 6, 2009

Confessions of a Bottom-Feeder

Hi, my name is Jennie and I have a confession to make - I am a bottom-feeder. I LOVE getting other people's cast-offs and looking at their garbage by the side of the road for potential goodies. (Notice how I said look AT not THROUGH the garbage. A girl has to have her dignity.) I love thrift stores and garage sales. I love getting stuff for basically free.

I have not always been a bottom-feeder. Until two years ago I had never shopped at a thrift store, had rarely used a coupon, and thought living with other people's cast offs was a sign of poverty.

Now, I am a changed woman. The change didn't come all at once nor was it completely easy. However, when I saw all the great stuff people throw away, I knew it was worth it. In the two years I have been bottom-feeding, I have saved thousands of dollars.

It is no longer a sign of poverty to me, but a sign of money saviness. The old addage of "A penny saved is a penny earned" is very true. Then when you take that money and invest it, it becomes worth even more.

Bottom-feeding tastes so good ! :)