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$400, Ocuh!

June 2nd, 2005 at 10:28 am

It's been cloudy/rainy for a few days, so I had to start a fire. I suppose a few pieces of wood is cheaper than a furnace.

I made arrangements to have 2 hazardous trees removed this weekend. It's going to cost $400! Ouch! Last winter, we had a lot of wind. I promised God that if her would prevent the trees from falling during the winter, I would have them removed this summer. Well he kept his end of the bargain, so I must keep mine. When you bargain with God, you better keep your end. Besides, the cost to remove them is cheaper than my deductible should they fall onto the house. I have a few more trees that need to come down; one is leaning towards my daughter's bedroom. But I can get these removed by my worker as there is a place to drop them. I haven't decided if I should also pay him to chop them for fire wood. The wood is just cheap wood, & I'm not sure if the cost is worth it. He does have to chop it small enough to transfer it to a burn pile, so maybe the additional cost of chopping it small enough for the stove is worth it. Maybe I could rent a log spliter to help?

In addition, I will be spending $400 or $500 for wood this week & next week. Two cords are suppose to be delivered this weekend. Boy am I going to be poor this month!

My diet is going good. I started lifting weights & treadmill. The treadmill is easy because I can do it at 5 min intervals. But boy is it hard to keep up with the weights. I absolutely hate the way I feel while I'm working out, but I sure would love the way I'll look if I keep it up.

Yahoo, found cheaper wood

May 31st, 2005 at 02:43 pm

I was paying $135 per cord of wood from my regular wood guy. I needed to buy 3 cords of wood for this winter. I go our free paper, The Nickles Worth, & checked for fire wood. I found a guy selling it for $95 per cord--that's a $40 per cord savings. I told him I would take 4 or 5 cords. Might as well buy a little extra for the following winter! At 5 cords, I will save $200! Boy am I jazzed.

I ordered my meds off the internet. The cost is about the same, but I save on going to dr. every month to get a refill. When my insurance kicks in, I'll go to the dr. & see if he will give me a 3 month perscription. If he will, I found an even cheaper internet site to get my meds from. In the mean time, I'm waiting for the rx to come in that I ordered. Should be here any day.

I blew it

May 30th, 2005 at 10:37 am

Boy I blew it big time. I spent $400 on a clothes rack, I mean treadmill! If I had any delayed gratification, I would have purchased it at a garage sale. But it is, at least temporarily, giving me delight. It's so neat. I can get on it any time I have 5 min. to spare. Last night I watched a movie, so I used the treadmill for 15 min. while watching. I would have never watched an exercise video for so short a time, or even have gone out for a walk. Besides, I hate exercising in public.

I am going to be saving a gazillion dollars on the walk way I am putting in. Originally I was going to have concrete pored. Instead, I bought 12" brick-weave blocks to lay. Now all I have to pay is for a friend to dig out the dirt & lay them down. I want them flush with the ground. Also have to take out rocks to the bricks don't crack when it's walked on. THe walk way will look prettier at a fraction of the cost.

I'm going to do the same thing with the dog yard. I was originally going to have concrete poured, now I'm just going to lay 12" concrete blocks. I don't have to have them flush with the ground & I don't have to worry about the rocks as the dogs are not heavy enough to crack them. I have to do this as the dogs get too dirty when we have to put them outside. And since they're our sleeping buddies, it's worth the expense to keep the dirt out of our beds. The blocks for the dog yards are cheaper because they don't have to be fancy & the girls can lay them.

My husband has decided to sell one house in CA to pay off his debt & the other house to pay off the mortgages for our home & rental property here. Can't wait til were debt free. Sad that he has to use the house to pay off the debt. If he had just not got the debt in the first place, we would have been in a better place for his retirement that is coming in a few years. But right now, he is a slave to the debt.

Diet Plans

May 27th, 2005 at 03:57 pm

Yippyyyyyyy. The house is now 72 degrees. It was only 67 when I woke up this am.

Didn't have to pick up the girls from school today as they went home with a friend, who will bring them back tonight. Saved me 24 miles in my 16 miles/gallon truck.

This week I decided to start a diet. It seems that the best way to motivate me is to seek revenge. I know, I know, "vengence is mine sayeth the Lord". My goal is to make my husband lust after what he can't have. Maybe tomorrow I will post the "why". I should also mention that my weight has never been a problem for my husband. He says he me just they way I am.

Here is a copy of a post I made today:

I just started a diet, and it seems I can live with it, at least for awhile.

Mostly I have a problem with portion control. So I went to the frozen dinners. I can buy them for $1.00 each. I only eat it for dinner, so thats $7.00 per week.

Soups are generally low cal/fat. The problem is that they are mostly water, so I am hungry soon after. I just bought a lg can of generic vegetable soup. I also bought a head of cabbage. So when I cook it, I going to add some cabbage. The cabbage will stay in my stomach a whole lot longer. You can add any veggies you like.

My second biggest problem is an addition to carbs. To help combat this, I switched to whole grain, which will also stay in my stomach longer. Since it doesn't taste as good as the processed junk, I am less likely to pig out on it.

To the soup, you can also add brown rice. I think my rice cooker is indispensable. Brown rice is very hard to cook, but not in a rice cooker. You can add seasonings to the rice as it cooks. My fav is garlic & herb. & bouilon cubes. If you add enough seasonings, you can do without the fat.

For breakfast, I went to oatmeal. I season it with a little milk & splenda. You can also add cinnamon. You say you don't like oatmeal? Not a problem. If you don't like it, you're not likely to eat more than one serving. You can also us any hot cereal.

Sometimes & eat because I only want a flavor in my mouth & not because I'm hungry. I have found that if I drink 2 c. water with 2 bouilon cubes, I get my flavor & for about 20 min, I feel full. I don't worry about salt because I don't have a blood pressure problem. It does cause you to retain water, but I'm only concerned with fat weight, not water weight. Eventually the water weight will pass. Also, it doesn't hurt me psychologically because I'm not using a scale.

For lunch, I have been eating salads. I just buy the pre-packed stuff. I can get a large bag for $4.00 I think. I only use a very little salad dressing. I just mix it well so that each bite has a little dressing. I also heard that instead of putting salad dressing on the salad, dip your fork into the salad dressing. You use a lot less dressing this way.

For snacks, use fruit or raw veggies.

If you eat something every 2 hours, you are less likely to blow it.

After I eat my greatly reduced meal, I drink 2 c. of water quickly. This gives me the over-stuffed feeling that I seem to crave.

Weekly Cost:

$7.00 for frozen dinners
$2.00 for hot cereal (or less)
$4.00 for premade salad
$4.00 for fruit & veggies.
$2.00 for the extras such as dressing, milk, splenda, etc.

$19.00 for weekly grocery budget for one person.

So in addition to journaling my frugal & budgeting stuff, I'm going to post my progress. I probably won't post my weight loss as I find getting on the scale to be a diet buster. Suffice it to say I'm probably the largest person here. Since I will probably update throughout the day, I just edit my progress.

A big diet pitfall for me is that once I start eating, I can't stop. So if I eat breakfast, it might not be eaten until 3:00pm or something like that. And I might eat dinner before I eat breakfast.

Breakfast: pending
Snack: Naval Orange
Lunch: Stir fry with brown rice & pork & veggies.
Snack: pending
Dinner: pending
Snack: pending
Exercise: 45 min. with free weights

Didn't go anywhere other than taking the girls to school.
Didn't spend any money.

A few things I did today to save money

May 26th, 2005 at 02:33 pm

I awoke this am to find my inside temp. 64 degrees--burrrrr. I didn't want to waste the wood, as today was expected to be in the 70's. So instead of lighting a fire, I opened all the windows as soon as it was warmer outside than it was inside. One of my dogs is outside where it's warm, & the other dog is in my bed under the blankets to keep warm. I have managed to heat the house to 70. I hope to get it to 74 before this evening. Our night time temps drop so low that I will probably have to start all over tomorrow.

Sunday, I bought a gallon of fresh milk. Because it's fresh, it has a shelf life of only 7 or 8 days. I recently went on a diet, so I am not drinking as much. Because the milk will be sour in a few days, I decided to freeze it in 4 oz containers for my hot cereal. I still have about a quart left unfrozen. If it sours before I can use it, I will make the girls pancakes with it. I also got 1/2 pound of butter out of it. So for $2.00, I got 3/4 gallon of milk and 1/2 pound of butter. And I really didn't pay for it. I had some extra gallon jars, so I traded 12 jars for 6 gallons of milk. A while ago, I bought 25 lbs of oatmeal. Not a wise thing if your girls are tired of oatmeal cookies & cereal. I'm going to see if I can trade 5 gallons of oatmeal for 2 gallons of milk.

I am tired of feeding stray cats, so I'm going to start feeding my cats on the porch. Maybe they will be afraid to come on the porch because I have a big dog living on it. And maybe, these stray cats will go free loaf off someone else.

Let the dishes in the dishwasher air dry.

Bought gas at a discount shop that is normally out of my way. But since I had to drive the girls to school, I got gas there instead of my usual place. It was $0.06 per gallon cheaper.

$75,000 credit card debt

May 26th, 2005 at 02:17 pm

The thing I hate most in the world is debt. I have always (almost) paid my credit card balance in full each month.
One time, when I sold real estate, I need a new (used) car. When I sold a house, I used the money as a down payment. When I sold another house, applied the commission to the loan balance & refinanced the car so that I would have a lower car payment--one that I was confortable with. I have never wanted my living situation to be so high that I ran the risk of losing it. I'd rather live below my means than at or above my means. I guess it came from being evicted annually while I was a kid.

I recently found out that my husband put us into considerable debt--$75,000 in credit card debt! I found this out accidentally. I had a little extra money, and I couldn't see leaving it in my checking account at an interest rate of .03% I knew he had credit card debit, so I began making calls. One of his credit cards is maxed out a $7,500. When I called to see the interest, I found out it was 29%. When I talked to customer service to see about reducing the interest rate, she wanted to know how much of the $75K credit card debt was paid! At first I thought she was mistaken. Surely that had to be a mortgage and not credit card. Since I was not on the account, she could not give me any info, but she suggested I talk to my husband about his credit practices.

I have given my husband a choice--turn his finances over to me, or we will divorce. After a few days of thinking about it (gee hun), he is going to let me get involved. We have decided to sell both properties in California. This will allow us to pay off all the credit card debt. In addition, we should be able to pay off the mortgages for our primary home & rental property here in Idaho. He will lose out in the fastest growing real estate market, but if he doesn't do this, he risks losing everything. Btw, he lives in California & the children & I live in Idaho.

I have sent a forwarding notice to PO to send his mail here. He got a little upset, but if he wants to save his family...

So far, there is no derogatory credit marks on my credit report. It does show excessive credit card balances. I contacted one company, who he has 4 credit cards with. They told me it was not a joint account, that I was only an authorized user. None-the-less, all 4 credit cards showed up on my credit report. I was able to get them to remove me from 3 of the cards. I kept one card because it is being billed to me & has a zero balance. Unfortunately, this card had a $2,500 credit line that they have just down-graded to $300. I hope this doesn't hurt my credit. They told me they were thinking about cancelling all of his credit cards. I told them that we are in the process of selling a house to pay them off & it would be to their benefit not to cancel them as soon his credit rating would be excellant again.

My credit rating recently went down because he is over the limit on a credit line. He insists it's not a credit card, but a line of credit, & it cannot be over the limit because he hasn't used it in months & has been making the payments on time. When I get the forwarded mail, I will be able to see what's it all about. It's also an account that I never signed financial responsiblity, so once I get the paper work, I will investigate & hopefully get it off my credit report. Once I do, I should almost have perfect credit because his $35,000 credit card debt will be off my report.

Unknown to me, he bought a brand new Mustang at an interest rate of 14%. The rate is so high because of his cc debt. Once the cc debt is paid, I will have him refinance it at a lower interest rate. Too bad he can't just take it back.

The second most import decision you will ever make is whom you will marry.

ING

May 25th, 2005 at 09:58 am

My CD renews today. The minimum time is 3 months, & the interest is not good. I'm going to open up on ING account instead. This money isn't really savings. It's money that I need to repair a rental house. My worker only works one day a week, so the work is slow going. So instead of earning only .03% keeping the money in my checking, I will transfer it to an ING account. I will take out money as needed to pay the worker.

I opened a Home Depot credit card for the materials I will need. I got 10% off for the first purchase & one year interest free. So I bought almost $2,000 worth of supplies that I will be needing in the next few months. The money for the supplies will be earning 3% interest while the charges are interest free. So I saved $200 on the 10% discount plus I will earn $60 on the interest and I will get $25 for opening the ING account. I do hate having a debt over me head though.

Loss Leader Sale

March 1st, 2005 at 08:12 pm

I just got the store paper in. Lg eggs are $0.65 & milk is $1.88. There is a limit of 2 each. But what really gets me excited is bacon is $1.37/lb. I haven't seen it this cheap in over 2 years. At that time I got 20 lbs at $0.99/lb. I plan on buying 20 or 25 lbs. Since it is vacuum packed, it will last at least 2 yrs in the freezer. I use the bacon mostly for seasoning. Just recently, I made bagle, egg, bacon, & cheese breakfast sandwiches & froze them. The girls loved them.

It's been awhile

February 28th, 2005 at 08:45 pm

It's been awhile since I posted & was active. Have been too busy with other things.

I just got my credit report. It says I'm $30k in credit card debt. Oh well, I can't do anything with the way my husband manages the finances. I can only control myself.

Made 30 h/m burritos for school lunches & snacks from h/m beans. The girls like them & they're cheaper than buying them.

For dinner, we ate chicken & gravy, boiled potatoes, & peas. The potatoes were free from the gleaners club & the peas were homegrown. The chicken was leftovers from the roast chicken we had a few days ago. I had some leftover mashed potatoes, so I added it to the gravy. Tomorrow we're going to have chicken stew from the leftovers. All I need to do is combine everything & add some cooked carrots. From the chicken carcuss, I plan to make chicken soup with h/m noodles. So that will be 4 meals from one chicken. But we'll probably have leftover stew for another meal.

We got cases of salad dressing & chocolate dip from the gleaners. I have been giving it away to people who are needy & to some friends. The girls have been making chocolate milk with the chocolate dip. What's really neat about this is that most of the dressings are in individual packets, so the girls can take them in the lunches with raw veggies. Pretzels work well with them too.

Tomorrow, I hope, I am going to make h/m granola cereal. About a month ago, I quit buying cold cereal. It seemed like that was all we snacked on, and by the time dinner came around, no one was hungry. The girls don't want the granola, but it will be a nice snack for me when I want something sweet. I think they will eventually eat it too.

I have been making h/m snacks for their lunches. They would prefer the processed stuff, but when they grow up, they can eat all the processed stuff they want.

leftovers salvaged

February 21st, 2005 at 12:49 pm

Last night, I made some rice for a snack. My daughter opened a can of tomato soup. Both of us had only a little left over. I combined the 2 with the idea of giving it to the dog. I looked at it for a moment, & then put it in the frig. I'm going to have it today for lunch. Sorry Chessie.

I made some old fashion popcorn for a snack today. I used the cheese powder salvaged from the last batch. If I hadn't been thinking frugally, I would have thrown out that powder.

The girls will be gone all day with their friends. I gave them each $10. Of course it's only a loan. Banks are closed so they couldn't get any money.

discount shopping

February 20th, 2005 at 03:53 pm

Instead of getting gas at my usual place, I got it on my way to pick up girls from school. It was $0.04 per gallon cheaper. At 20 gallons, I saved $0.80.

Re-order cigarettes on-line. Saved $6.00 per carton. I know, I know I would have saved $19.00 if I didn't have to buy cigarettes. I also order my husband 3 different types of cigarettes that will amount to an additional $6.00 savings. If he likes one of these brands, then I can save even more in the future. If he doesn't like them, he'll smoke what I have bought, and I won't order them any more. Hopefully he likes them.

We were invited to supper at church. Do you know the difference between lunch, supper, and dinner? Lunch would be a sandwich or something similar that you would take to school. Dinner is an evening meal. Supper is a large meal that you would normally have in the evening, but you have it for the afternoon meal. It took me a while to figure this out as we always called "dinner" supper.

DD got grass stains on her white jeans. I put them in a stainless steal pot & added a little laundry soap & dishwasher soap. I used the hot water on the wood stove. Hope this works.

Games People Play

February 18th, 2005 at 12:46 pm

I received a Valentine card from my husband on January 14. I was insulted. I figured he sent it in January so he didn't have to remember Valentines Day. He couldn't understand why my feelings were hurt. He thought it was cute because it had a dog on it, and he knows I love my dog. So in retaliation, I sent him is birthday card. Only his birthday isn't until October! Well, last week I received a Christmas card. Oh that little bugger! But bless his little heart, he sent me a beautiful Valentine Card. I received it late, but that's ok because he did send it just before Valentines Day. Kinda reminds me of the old days when we were dating. We use to play practical jokes on each other.

not so frugal last night

February 18th, 2005 at 12:06 pm

On my way back from picking up the girls, we stopped off at walmart. No so smart. Must of been lonely or something. Spent $45 and the only thing I needed was coffee & catsup. I bought 2 baby gifts for future giving. They had sleepers 50% off, & since I always need baby gifts (3 women at church are pregnant), I purchased them. I also picked up some toys for the little girls I sometimes babysit. This way they'll have something to do. Then we picked up some birthday presents for 2 girls that are having birthday parties today--one today & one tonight. At least I didn't waste any money on me.

frugal day

February 17th, 2005 at 07:33 pm

watched video that I had rented at the library. The library is too far away just to go to it, so I go when I have to take the girls to church, was is almost right next door. I had rented these last week, but I was gone & couldn't watch them. So I renewed them over the phone today thereby saving potential late fees.

Watered the plants, but the water was too cold (well water) for them, so I warmed it with the hot water from the bucket sitting on the wood stove. That way I didn't have to waste hot water. I used the liquid plant food. It is measured in drops. The little bottle that I have will probably last me my entire life. Probably only cost a few dollars, but I don't remember as I bought it about 5 years ago.

Ate h/m burritos from h/m refried beans for lunch. I have a supply in the freezer. I came up with a recipe that the girls really like. Their friends say they taste like the frozen ones from the store. Sometimes the girls trade their burritos for something else from another child at school. Gives them more variety.

Made chicken vegetable soup from my last chicken carcus for dinner. Used the pressure which probably saved an hour of cooking time. I used the carrots & cabbage that was on the verge of going bad and a 1/3 c. rice.

Washed laundry & hung dry it. It was warm enough to dry the sheets outside. The rest of the clothes I hung in the house. I have to wash on warm water because well water is too cold to activate the laundry soap. I only used about 2 T. of laundry soap because we have a front loader. I don't need fabric softener because hung laundry doesn't have static electricity.

Sponge Bath

February 6th, 2005 at 07:11 am

Woke up with no water again. Just a trickle. I was able to take a sponge bath. Washing my hair was difficult. Too old & short to bend over kitchen sink.

Will be gone until next Saturday. It saves a lot of money in gas & food, plus & can't spend any. No where to spend it. Unfortunately it is at the cost of some one else. The person that houses me pays for it, & my neighbor pays for the cost of transportation of my girls. I feel guilty about it. None will accept any payment. I am in debt so much to the people who help me. I praise God for putting these people in my life.