I’m Judy from NC

I am fortunate enough to stay at home and have found that since I do, it doesn’t affect our money. I do not have car expenses, faster food quick pickup, clothes for work, etc. plus all the gift giving that goes on in a work place. I worked in an after school day care before staying home.

We hope for my husband to be able to retire next year at 62. We enjoy camping. We have 2 sons, dil’s, 3 grandchildren and 2 Chinese pugs. (I could use some health insurance on those pugs!! especially after their once a year shots at the vet this a.m.) Also wonder if any of you have good ideas for health insurance for humans..We will be without any next year after dh retires.

For several months, we have listed all expenditures to get an idea of what we will be able to live on once he is retired. This helps to see where money goes. At present, I am trying to simplify, selling at consignment, selling books on Internet, shopping for groceries at Aldi’s ..Have cut our eating out drastically. I delight in having low cost meals that are nutritious and tasty..(Haven’t always done this)

Eat beans,slaw, and cornbread at least once a week. Have done some freezer cooking but now am leaning toward vegetarian eating so the freezer OAMC is not as helpful in that regard.

Am certainly enjoying reading the helps you have shared..Really liked the idea of the package of washclothes and saving the paper towels..These are the kinds of things that are needed..

I’m very tired

As for being frugal I try to shop for deals at the local health food stores and one other store for food items I can eat. I have 4 different list of prices, but they seem to change weekly and it’s hard to actually keep up. I stopped using my car, I’m trying to walk to more places for exercise reasons (also my car is not working to well)

Umm, not much else I have to say right now, I’m very tired and I just shortened my Egroups lists the other day. I’m still getting over 300 emails a day.

I also watch 3 little munchkins 4-6 days a week. So if anyone has any recipes I can use to feed them more healthy food. I’d greatly appreciate it. I cannot cook chicken, rice due to allergies.

I also use cloth napkins and rags and rarely use paper towels. We use cloth handkerchiefs with the name of the owner embroidered on them, cloth sanitary pads, re-usable food containers, I do Once in a while cooking (freezer meals), cook from scratch whenever possible, practice the pantry principle, “use it up, wear it out,make do, or do without”. We wear our clothing until it either doesn’t fit or is falling apart, same with shoes, etc.

I shop thrift stores (rarely garage sales since they don’t give much for my time), sales, make my own clothing,make most of our gifts. We also eat frugal meals most of the time and occassionally have a feast. The meals we make are ones the family likes- I won’t cook something that they don’t like.

I also buy from outlets , give things to others who also give things to me- nothing formal or expected just a nice way of helping eachother out.

I find that it is the little things that keep me motivated. Plus the little savings here and there can really add up over the long run. I bought a package of washclothes for 2.00, I think there were 20 in the package. I use them to clean the counters, pick up spills etc. Now I don’t have to buy paper towels anymore, saving about 3 to 5 dollars a week and I just throw them in the washer and they are good to go again.

All of our kids have worked some temporary part time jobs

All of our kids have worked some temporary part time jobs that did not seem to have many drawbacks and did help them.

Our DD is a very popular babysitter (when she is not busy with social things) and she worked at a fireworks stand this summer.

DS #1 worked for a friend who is a custom cabinet maker.

DS #3 worked for a friend who has a number of rent houses and he cleaned up after renters moved out, yardwork and painting, etc:

All of those situations had a lot of benefits about learning to work, flexible hours and limited paychecks.

But the situation that was bad was DS #2 started working at Burger King a few months after he turned 16. He was gone way too much and he earned too much money for a kid and got used to having lots of pocket money. He is a great young man but if I could change the past, I would not of allowed him to get that kind of job.

Since it was my original request

I want to thank you guys for posting your intros. It really feels good to see all of the posts and hear everyone’s stories/tips. Hearing what others do often motivates me to look at things differently or to try something new.

Not to be too pushy but I also love to hear the frugal things that people do and if you guys don’t mind plan to post some of the little things that I do. My latest is to pull out the cloth napkins and wash them. I am going to start using them at dinner time. I will still use paper for breakfast and lunch for the time being. In addition to saving (a very little bit of) money, I think they will dress up the dinner table. I know that napkins are cheap but cloth will be free. I do a load of laundry every day so it won’t be any extra trouble.

Have a great day.

I’m Shayli – a sahm

Married to Keith who is in Mortgage Banking.. He has the fun job of setting Mortgage Rates for a 5 state area ..*grin* Makes him a very popular man. We have 2 girls..Trisha who is 8 almost 9 and Keely who just turned 2. We are expecting again in early Feb. We have the best of all worlds 🙂 Trisha came into my life before I married Keith, she has a seizure disorder and is Autistic. We adopted her together. After taking…..oh….6 or so years to get our lives settled we started on adding to our family. Keely was born..and it’s been a rollercoaster ride ever since 🙂 I am an RN, who gave up full time work to raise our children. I miss the work, but do some consulting at times. I wouldn’t trade my being home with the kiddlets for the world.

We live in Maine. I was on the other CB list but basically just gathered more ideas, suggestions and laughs that are wonderful! Maine is not the best place to have …choices of where to buy groceries. There are 2 chains around here. So….that is an area we really struggle at. But….

I have the wonderful luxury of living in a very laid back place. We leave the keys in our cars, and door unlocked for the most part 🙂 There are still places in this country you can still do that. 🙂

Thanks everyone for all the wonderful tips and ideas!!

Kids Working…..?

I’m VERRRY interested in opinions on this subject.

I have an almost 13 yo & almost 12 yo. We live in a community with LOTS of agriculture around, and next summer, both of our kids will have opportunities for summer jobs. Additionally, fast food restaurants around here (probably everywhere) hire kids starting at 14.

DH & I are on the same page right now, that we don’t want the kids to work, but the kiddos already think differently. DS thinks he can get a cake job tossing watermelons next summer. All he can think of is the $$$$$ (2nd oldest, and my most materialistic child). There’s a boy on his football team this year who is doing this, and he is wiped out by the time he gets to practice. Kids need an opportunity to be kids. They grow up fast enough.

PLEASE, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want my kids to start working anytime soon. I’d just as soon see them only working summers once they hit maybe their last year of high school. All of the kids are involved in sports, and other activities which suck up alot of our time…..

Anyway, since the subject came up, I’m curious to know how kids working impacts other areas of their lives. We haven’t been very good about teaching them about $ to date- they get it, they spend it. We’re working on this.

SO, I have many many issues surrounding kids and money ~ dh & I are just now learning many lessons ourselves.

Input, please…..

I’ve general and local many times in my life

I’ve general and local many times in my life – my biggest suggestion is to make sure he is drinking plenty of fluids. This should have been part of your going home instructions. The anethesia needs to be flushed out of his system and many times men forget to drink 8 glasses a day (even hard for women too).

The actual pain from the incision and the procedure itself could also be tiring him out. Think about pain from a throbbing headache but place it in your hand – not the easy thing to deal with especially the pain relievers can make you lethargic.

I think it’s a combination of factors here – If the incision does not appear to be healing properly before his next visit for after care – please contact the doctor because staff infection should not be ignored.

I’m back, and…??

A benevolent pal of mine sent me a keyboard middle of last week, and I have finally found the time to come off “no mail” and get back to some serious frugal actions.

I went to buy groceries Saturday and spent $47 at Save-a-Lot (cart FULL!) and $22 at Big Star, where they had ground beef for 79 cents/lb. I was able to get a pack of regular Cottonelle for free with my coupon and even a few school supplies, and should be stocked for 2 weeks. I also did a ground beef freezer session yesterday, and will probably go and get some more today while it’s still on sale.

DH had surgery on his hand last Tuesday.

He had general anesthesia, and he has really had a hard time getting over this. Has anyone had any similar experiences? He feels lethargic, alternately nauseous and ravenous, and just generally crappy, but not really bad enough to warrant going back to the doctor.

Frugal tips and thoughts

My name is Laura. DH and I have 2 sons, ages almost-9 and almost-5. We’d like to adopt a 3rd child sometime in 2001, too. And that requires lots of saving!

We live about 3 miles from downtown Atlanta. I’m a technical writer, and just started month 13 of a 24-month project. I would like to take lots of time off when this project is done, and am saving like crazy so we won’t miss my income. I was an active poster on the old CB list, and had to go no mail when things got very, very busy earlier this summer. Came back and it was gone – good thing I found you guys!

I really appreciate the encouragement I get from reading about other people who share my frugal outlook on life. Our culture is so stuff-oriented, and it’s hard to buck that trend. It’s also hard to raise kids to be frugal when their friends are walking around in shoes that cost more than my car payment!

My latest project is buying some nice 2nd hand furniture. We’re using the same stuff we had in our 20’s (early American Mom’s basement), and it’s time to upgrade. I went idea-shopping with a friend Saturday afternoon, and we hit a bunch of furniture places, just to see what’s out there. I’ve never shopped for new furniture, and boy is it expensive. No way I’m spending that kind of $$$!

As for frugal tips, here goes: 1) Never buy new if you can find the same thing used. Your money will go so much further because someone else paid retail first. 2) Never make a major purchase without sleeping on it first.

No impulse buying! The only exception is planned major purchases, where you’ve done your homework and allocated funds from your budget. Then, when you find a deal, grab it before someone else does! 3) Treat yourself to small indulgences so you won’t feel deprived.

I think #3 is especially true when time’s are hard. If your I’m-getting-out-of-debt-or-else budget is too restrictive, you won’t stick with it. Buy a new lipstick occasionally, go out to dinner, or whatever makes you feel pampered. Allocate a few bucks for fun money. It’s better to plan to spend $10 or $20 than to feel angry and deprived and charge $200.

Finally, read Financial Peace. It’s a great book!

Laura in Atlanta

I consider myself a sahm

I consider myself a sahm, but have always done something from home. Now that the kids are in 2nd and 3rd grade this fall, I’ll have a full day to work with. I still need to be available for the kids’ sick days/ holidays and even for myself because I can get easily wiped out. (I’m a cancer survivor) I teach music lessons in my home studio, but have to cut back on the hours this year. We still have times when we need extra cash and fortunately many websites can help with bad credit installment loans. Used them several times already. Also, my husband’s hours may differ, and I need to be accessible for homework.

Favorite tip: getting rid of the majority of my expensive household cleaners!

glass cleaner/shower daily spray – 4 cups water and 1/3 cup rubbing alcohol On a household tips tv show, it was suggested to refill the blue glass cleaner bottles with windshieldwashing fluid that didn’t contain antifreeze.Well, I tried this trick and my mirrors also looked streaked afterwards.

Not with with rubbing alcohol and water!

1/2 cup vinegar, light sprinkle of baking soda, and 1 tablespoon of laundry detergent, even in cold water the wash looks great and smells good. No more fabric softner liquid or sheets.

vinegar kills the weeds growing in the driveway cracks, along the curb, and behind the garage

fill large spray bottle with water almost to the top – add 3 – 4 squirts of hand dish-washing soap. I keep by the sink when I need to only wash a few dishes from breakfast or lunch instead of dragging out the dishpan.

I cut my “Brillo or SOS” type pads in 4 pieces – that way I can throw it out after each dish-washing session – no mess to deal with and going through a box in 7 weeks instead of 2.

Shaking baking soda and vinegar in the toilet bowl worked wonder for cleaning – also can be used for unclogging drains once a week. I should mention I do use the drop -ins once a month in the tank so this does help keep down cleaning time. Also tried 1/2 cup salt down the drain – seemed to help improve my slightly clogged drain.

Shaking baking soda in the carpeting before sweeping is a lot cheaper and doesn’t leave the artificial smell that can make some people or animals sick.

My husband looked at me strangely with this last savings tip: cut napkins in half. The kids usually grabbed them for Kleenex as well. Again, not huge savings but over a year it could equal a fast food meal out or a new pair of jeans.

I am able to find a gallon of generic vinegar for 1.27, box of baking soda for 39 cents, and rubbing alcohol for 33 cents on sale. Better for the environment, pocketbook, and time because I can skip that aisle in the grocery store/Walmart entirely.

I’m so grateful we could carry on the frugal ideas on Picoso.

Patti in OH.

My Apologies

Hi all,

I have been dealing with a personal situation the past few weeks so I didn’t devote as much time as I should to getting the blog running well.

I am in the process of ensuring the following:

-A techie moderator to make sure we have great settings and who can tell us when the problems are just net burps (Kyle are you still here?)

-a challenge coordinator to either assign or coordinate the vote for the monthly challenge

-daily instigators (still deciding whether this is appropriate and needed) to get discussion going on the topic of the month or a thought for that day.

Feedback on this would be highly appreciated on or off the list

My frugal day

well i went to my friends youngest 1st b-day party in PA and i came home with a huge bag of maternity clothes and a new baby swing (the nice drop in kind ).

then i went to JC penneys with my 10$ off 10$ purchase VIP coupon the had sent me in the mail that was only good tonight and i got a new belt for my Ds 12 for school and 2 pairs of booties/ socks To put away for the baby and only paid 1.41 for them all !!