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Last Week’s Frugal Accomplishments

I picked blackberries from the garden.

I also cut Swiss chard and green onions from the garden this week.

I harvested 2 small Early Girl tomatoes. They are already quite small because of the intense heat. Usually they are bigger at this time of year, so I don’t know if my other ones will be smaller, but I am grateful for them. I also picked 2 Yellow Pear tomatoes and 2 Sweet 100 (cherry) tomatoes.

My husband and I had a couple of  dates at home. One night we watched a movie that my husband found at the library. Another night we played a game together.

My mother bought a slip for me at a garage sale that fits perfectly.

We were able to haul the old concrete, rocks, tree roots, sod, and old stuff away from the front yard in a friend’s dump truck to the dump, saving us the cost of renting a dumpster from the trash company for disposing of all of that (we did pay him for the gas and time, but it was much, much less than the huge expense of a dumpster!)

I picked up two free benches from the neighbor’s curb (that he had put out for the trash). They were exactly what I needed to repair our bench. I will have a separate post on this when I am finished with this project.

I used a $20 off coupon at the nursery to purchase my lemon trees for the front yard. They were on sale for $5 off each. Between the coupon and the sale, I saved $35 on them!

Our front hose sustained a leak this week. My husband purchased a piece to repair the hose, rather than replace the hose.

My children signed up for the library’s summer reading program. The reward is a library discard book for every 5 books read. Ezrom decided to sit and read 5 books before we left the library, so that he could pick out a book right then!

I did not purchase any food this week.

My electric bill came this week. I found that I had used 4 kilowatts less per day this last month compared to the same month last year. I have been diligently doing several things to reduce my electric bill, including turning off the a/c at night while that is still possible (it is between 79º and 81º at night in the house; we have ceiling fans in all the rooms), being extra-vigilant about turning off lights and fans when someone leaves a room, making sure the door is closed to the backyard when the children go out to play while the air conditioner is on, shutting down my computer at night–and not just before I go to bed, but before I sit down to watch a movie with my husband, as there is no sense in keeping it on for two more hours, and  putting the computer into sleep mode if I know I will be back on in a bit but I have to step away for a little while (I also turn off the monitor).  I turn the air conditioner back on around 8:30 a.m. each day and I have it set at 79º F.

The children had fun camping in the backyard. There was no gas expense to drive somewhere, or special food to purchase, but they still were able to sleep outside and have fun.

Winter, Cyrus, and Ezrom did a science experiment that I had ordered a year ago, using credit that was part of a bonus gift given as a gift certificate after a Christmas purchase of a microscope a couple of years ago. My grandmother purchased the microscope (she had me order it for them). The company had a special at the time that allowed me to also end up with $40 in gift certificates. Months later, I used those to buy 2 different experiments (with no cost out of pocket). I have been saving them since about the time Ivory was born.

This week, they took apart owl pellets and had fun reconstructing the skeletons of mice from the pellets. Winter enjoyed it so much that she wants to dissect a frog now!

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Another so-so week around here. I really need to get my act together, especially with my husband being self-employed. There are many areas that need work, like the grocery budget (with ever-risig food costs) and I need to stop using the credit cards and work on paying down some debt. I also need to be more diligent in the kitchen-I stopped buying store made bread months ago, but if I can’t remember to make homemade bread before we actually need it, there’s a problem.Here’s what I did do:Made muffins, banana bread, and chex mix. Cooked all meals from scratch.A few of the deal I got were lettuce for 49¢ head (since all of my lettuce was lost in the heavy rain we had last week), ice cream for 99¢, popsicles for 97¢/box, pork chops for $1.77 lb, and peaches for 77¢ lb. I re-planted lettuce and swiss chard in the garden and planted some beets and more cucumbers too.Went to a rabies clinic my town was hosting and was able to get dogs their rabies shots for only $15 each. The vet we usually use was going to charge us $204 for both dogs, so we saved $174 and gas money too since the clinic was only down the road.While at the grocery store, we rented two redbox movies for $3.14. The price of a pay-per-view movie through our cable company is $5.99 per movie! We also have Netflix but have pretty much exhausted all of the selections on there. I know we should ditch cable all together…Bought a Harry Potter trivia board game and a 1000-piece puzzle at our town-wide tag sale for 25¢ each. I was thoroughly disappointed at the selection and the prices. Tag sales here aren’t a bargain like in other areas. Same goes for Craigslist. People seem to think that their trash is worth more than what they paid for it twenty years ago! We finished building the chicken coop, minus a few finishing touches! The chickens are now 5 weeks old and nearly ready to live outside. The cost ended up being a bit more than what we estimated it to be, but way less than a pre-made one would’ve cost. We used every last scrap piece of wood we could find, including my daughter’s (un-repairable) broken bed that was sitting in the garage. I also found that my local hardware store sells chicken feed for around $18 less than buying it online and that doesn’t include the cost of shipping.We gave away one chicken, leaving us with 5. I am convinced it was a rooster and it was mean to boot, even at only four weeks old. A loss of $4 but worth it in my opinion.With temperatures in the low 90’s last week, we put in the window AC’s in the bedrooms. This week though the temperatures are only supposed to be in the 70’s so we won’t be using them.And, I used my credit card rewards points to get $4.02 off a gift certificate for my nephew for his birthday. It was free for shipping as well. I did order a used book for myself too, Garden Anywhere-by Alys Fowler. For anyone who loves to garden I highly recommend her books and TV shows. I don’t think they are still in production, but you can watch them on Youtube.

  2. I so agree about jeans getting holes around the pockets! I have a system for jeans so that my husband knows which can be worn when and where. Green hangers are jeans that he can wear to work, red hangers do not go to work but can be worn anywhere else and black hangers are grungy jeans for working around the house and on the car. So many times a good pair was worn to change the oil in the car and ruined. This has helped get every bit of good out of them. I save completely retired ones for the fabric.

  3. Oh boy, a wedding! Around here, when you schedule, whether it be a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, most spots charge the same room minimum. Not to mention, my church doesn’t marry people on Fridays, so that was out for us – Saturday wedding it was!! We invited 450 people – most were family (I’m from a huge family!). There was no way possible we could do a pot luck, and Wisconsin weather is so unpredictable in early June (today is my anniversary, now that I look at the calendar…), so we kind of had to have it inside. Moving 450+ people because of a sudden downpour just was not going to happen. Even the local parks had rules and regs for how many people I could have at a site!But as far as inexpensive wedding planning: Minute man press for invitations. They were very affordable, each time i had to reorder my invites (my step mother in law was a total jerk about the wording – we reordered 3 times!) It was NOT cheaper to print our own and assemble them – between the cost of ink, and my time, it just wasn’t worth it. We didn’t do favors – instead, I did a HUGE table of Italian cookies. We didn’t do an open bar – tradition in Wisconsin is free wine, beer, and soda. You want liquor, you pay for it. Dinner was plated and served French style, not Russian, so it was a little simpler. I got my dress from a trunk sale – it was a Monique Lhullier for 75% less than I would pay at a boutique! Shoes were from Payless 😉 my Bridesmaids paid for their own dresses and shoes – here, it’s the norm. I know some parts of the country the Bride’s family pays, but not in the upper Midwest. I picked classy dresses that the girls could wear again. Shoes were whatever they had that were black. Flowers were bought at cost – our florist was a family friend. Cake was inexpensive as well, I lucked out! Our favorite cake baker only charged $1.25 a slice at the time (in 2006) for cake. I got a 5 layer cake that was gorgeous for about $500. Other places around us charged upwards of $2.50 or more a slice!I negotiated a discounted room minimum due to some last minute changes – it went from 10k to 8K (that included food, linens, flatware, serveware, servers and their service, drinks, the whole shebang). The only thing I’ll tell you not to skimp on is the photographer. Ours was about 1k and every time I look at my pictures versus what all my friends have, I am so very angry I allowed myself to be pushed into hiring him – he was a friend of my Father in law, but he did a terrible job, personally. (if you google Heritage Photography in Madison, WI, and look for Aaron and Andrea, you’ll see what I mean). If I could go back, I’d spend 3 times as much to get the wedding photos I WANTED.Other than that, enjoy the planning process!

  4. This week:I continued to weed out some deep rooted thistle in our new garden plot. When I say deep rooted, I mean I dug almost 2 feet down for a few of them. Who knew that was possible!? Sheesh.. But now, I will be planting : garden beans, breakfast radishes, peas, cucumber, pie pumpkin, peppers, tomatoes, swiss chard(later on), and possibly some other things. I have a giant box of seed packets that have all been free as people give their extras to me. :)We made all meals at home, and I used only what we had in the freezer and pantry. I also planned out June’s meals and figured out what we had already vs what we needed to buy. I was thrilled to note that we just had a few staples we were ready to stock again, and with the exception of some fruit each week, we don’t need to buy anything.Saturday, my fiance and I, along with my mom, drove 2 hours south to an Amish village that has a wonderful bulk food store to stock up on baking supplies, spices, and a million other things. I absolutely recommend that everyone should find one close to them! Prices cannot be beat on most things- and they carry many things you couldn’t find anywhere else. We purchased: 50 lbs of flour, 25 lbs of rolled oats, 50 lbs of potatoes, packages of dried fruit, canning jars, peanut butter, and countless containers of spices!! Their prices on bulk spices are just unbelievable and they have things you thought you could only dream about. I was able to get everything I needed plus some treats, and still come under budget. We spent roughly $60, but will not need flour, oats, canning jars, peanut butter, spices, etc for a VERY VERY long time. The 50 lb bag of potatoes sold for $5, so I was quite happy.After we got home, we used some glass non-canning jars (old baby food jars) to put my bulk spices in with pretty labels we printed. I love seeing all of them on a shelf in my kitchen because they look so pretty and colorful, and this was a free way to pretty up the spices. I will re-use the original containers for food in the fridge/freezer.I canned about 25 lbs of the potatoes on Sunday in quart and pint jars. We love having these on hand for fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, or potato salad. Really, we use them all the time. Because I was with my mom this weekend, it went quicker with her help peeling and the use of her pressure canner as well. I now have 7 pints and 7 quarts of potatoes on my shelf. I will can most of the other potatoes too, but we did not have enough time before church to do another batch. Today I have 10 potatoes in my crockpot wrapped in foil to have “baked” potatoes. I will turn a few into twice-baked and pop them in the freezer.Although my garden isn’t planted, we have several things that we’ve been growing in containers on our balcony and everything is thriving. I have 2 tomato plants in pots of the “Patio” variety, and they are just knocking it out of the park!! They have grown and grown and are 3 feet tall and just FILLED with blossoms. I also have about 19 green little tomatoes right now. Yum. Our Meyer Lemon is filled with some lemon starts and a million blossoms right now, so it smells heavenly.My fiance has been working overtime every week for the past 2 months and continues to do so. They are coming to the time where it will be mandatory overtime as they enter busy season, but we has been working extra for the money. I am so blessed to have him. We just squirrel that extra $ away to our “House Fund” for when we can finally purchase a real house…we can’t wait!Best of luck to all of you, and thank you Brandy!

  5. re making bread and being late[been there done that more times than I will own up to]. It is possible to cook it in the micro wave. 11/2lbs of flour loaf, kneaded into a loaf shape. I have a microwave loaf tin, takes 5mins on high cooking in the tin. Tip the loaf out,turn it upside down and cook for a further minute on high. You don’t get a crusty loaf but you do get a very fast one when you are desperate. I don’t know what the American term is but here in England we call these soft crusts baps. Anona

  6. Well our week started out super frugally and I was delighted, I found out that by switching to a milk brand I thought we could not afford, I have actually cut my milk cost in HALF. Half. HALF. They sell it in glass bottles and you get two dollars for returning the empty bottle. Plus, it doesn’t matter which size you get so a quart of half and half costs me .99 It’s awesome. Then my fixed car revealed it was not fixed. The next day our air conditioner died. We had planned for both these things, but having them happen in 24 hrs was… anyhow, my husband is going to tinker with my car some more and if he can’t fix it we’ll try a mechanic. If it costs more than 800 dollars, we will ditch the car and be a one car family. My husband will drive normally, except for Fridays when I will drive him and then run errands. Has anyone that switched to one car had big problems? We had considered selling my car two years ago and everyone keep holding “emergencies” over my head. But wouldn’t a real emergency involve an ambulance and so we would not be driving anyhow? My husband works 45 minutes from home and his job takes a very dismal view on calling out and leaving work. We had already also decided if( when.) our a/c died to get standing air conditioners since the quotes we have gotten to repair and update our hvac are giant. We bought three free standing units and they are doing a very good job keeping most of our house cool. We are going to make a special effort to save money in case the furnace follows the a/c when we turn it on in October. We spent 900.00 on the units, but that was a fraction of what we were quoted to repair/replace/and bring up to code our 25 year old a/c. Going without air here is just, I don’t want to say impossible but our home has no air circulation and no cross breezes because we are a row home with an addition. It was 87 in the house downstairs and upstairs was much warmer. Soooooo it’s been a mixed bag, but our tomato plants have flowers on them and we will be harvesting beets soon.

  7. Oh, and my store had a special, organic blueberries for $2 a pint, I got a case and froze most of them. I am so excited , I love blueberries but they are usually way too much money. And I also found a messy play blog with a lot of great ideas for crafts in hot weather that help keep you cool.

  8. We went to the farm store and bought some swiss chard seeds. We still have a few more days to plant it. We decided that we are going to do a fall planting. I’ve been harvesting the strawberries, spinach and lettuce. We only had 5 spinach plants, for fall I want a few more. I have lettuce growing like crazy. Dh planted 15-20 feet of it. Only two of us eat it!!! I tried to make lettuce soup and it was pretty gross. I wound up taking the soup and cooking my quinoa in it with some spinach. That didn’t taste too bad but I won’t do it again. I’ve been freecycling the lettuce. I cut up a hormel always tender pork loin tht I got for under $2, I cooked it with onions and peppers. My intention was fajitas for dinner. I attempted to make home made tortillas but I did something wrong. They tasted like little pie crusts and broke instead of rolled. We ate fajita salad instead. I think I will just buy the tortillas at dollar tree instead. We had breakfast for dinner a few nights, and meatless meals the other nights. I decided that instead of trying to manuever things go make what my guest likes, I will make what we can afford and if the guest doesn’t like it, he can stay home and eat. We finished up the 25lbs of potatos that I had bought, but I have to find a new source. Those potatoes were just too nasty. I’m happy I was able to split the 50lb bag with someone, otherwise that would have been to nasty.We have a very small mall in town, 25 stores. I’ve been stopping there and walking in and standing in front of American Eagle Outfitters and getting my shopkick points. I get a little bit of exercise!!!Oh I also printed out 4 coupons for rice dreams and picked them all up for free at Walmart. I use that for milk when nobody is looking. Nobody knows the difference, but if they saw me doing it, they’d freak.

  9. We are currently doing the single car thing for the second time in 5 years. I really enjoy the focused time in my home and with my children and garden. It’s also a great excuse if you’re like me and can’t say no to “extra commitments”, ahem. But as far as the “emergency” excuse goes I suggest you make friends with some of the other folks in your neighborhood who are around while your husband is at work. Widows, older couples and stay at home moms would love the friendship and wouldn’t hesitate to be your emergency ride. As long as the emergencies aren’t often or involve ice cream/soda/chocolate runs, ha!

  10. Saving money on a dumpster is great! I have a toilet and a sink hanging out in my garage because I don’t want to run to the dump. The sink I think I can donate, but I will have to figure it into a run into town, and the toilet will go eventually, we have hard water and the bowl developed a nasty ring even though we never used it, it is a reminder to clean my replacement toilet often, even if we don’t use it often.I made my frugal list on my blog here.http://sillygeesedesigns.blogspot.com/2013/06/frugal-challenge-8.htmlI am feeling pretty good, and starting to think of things I can do to improve. Like all things it is going from thinking to doing that becomes the hardest part.

  11. I googled the photographer, & I think your pictures are lovely, but I only have three 3×3″ wedding pictures, taken by my father-in-law, who is not a photographer. I have been able to enlarge & crop one of them to a 5×7 that looks ok. I would have loved to have the variety of photos you have, but we only had $700 total to spend on our wedding, including the rings, which were $400, so a photographer was out of the question. We had an open house at my in-laws, & I chose my colors based on dresses his sisters already owned – pink & white.To me, the most important thing was that we were getting married to each other, and in the temple. My parents refused to attend the reception, & so of course they did not contribute financially.3 of our children are now married. All three chose to use silk flowers, which saved a bundle. Two used one of our church houses for the receptions, which cost nothing. We just had to schedule. I purchased the tablecloths for 2 of the receptions & we have used them over & over for many other things. One of our daughters made strawberry jam as gifts for those in her wedding party, & we used those as part of the centerpieces on the tables as well.

  12. Hello everyone!I always have a hard time of trying to think of what I have done to be frugal from the previous week so I guess I will give it a try. I organize my week by goals so I will start there. I have several summer goals I hope to accomplish.Family spending plan. I get paid once a month so staying in budget is the most effective way for me to live. I stayed in budget despite extra costs in May. I have worked my spending plan for June and have enough to cover living expenses plus a small surplus. I earned extra income in May to add to my savings account. I am trying to earn extra income each month in any way I can.Physical health. I have 4 chronic health conditions so by trying to stay healthy I keep medical costs down. I walked 4 miles each day and stretched my back 2 times a day. I ate 3 vegetables and fruits a day and served my family fruit and veggies as well. As a consequence my chronic health problems are not rearing their ugly heads :).Simplify home. I decluttered and cleaned my entry way closet. I donated several items to Good Will and can use the donation as a tax deduction. By decluttering the entry way I have rid myself of some excessive baggage mentally and physically=peace of mind!5K run. I am participating in 5K walk once a month through a program. The program is free and covers the costs of the 5K. Good for my health.July vacation. I am planning our first real ever vacation and planning hard to save money. I find that planning anything always saves me money in the long run. We will be staying with family to save hotel costs as one way to save money.New wardrobe. I have lost a significant amount of weight so I need a new wardrobe for work and home. Home is easy but a new work wardrobe is much more expensive. I need my work wardrobe for the fall so I am visiting the thrift shops to look for “great” finds and visiting my sewing closet for materials. This week I found 2 really nice professional jackets for 99 cents each (gray and black). I made 2 skirts to match and made 6 scarves out of material I had on hand. I have been reading about wardrobe capsules and trying to create some to lessen the amount of clothes I need.Visit 3 universities. My daughter wants to be like her friends and go “visit” universities she might be interested in attending. I developed a plan and implemented the plan so that we will go visit several universities this summer. We visited our first one last week–no costs as it was local. I found a college workshop for high school students that my daughter can attend for free (next week). I also am in the process of making arrangements to do a business trip out of state so my daughter can come with me and visit a university out of state. This is not finalize as yet but again planning ahead helps.

  13. Part II:10 minute projects. I am trying to work on projects at least 10 minutes a day and I am rotating them (mainly depending on my mood). I crochet, sew, cross stitch, coupon, make gifts. I completed a GIANT afghan this week for my brother’s wedding gift. I sewed skirts and scarves for me. I sewed fabric flower pins from scrapes of fabric for my gift closet. I cross stitched a book marker for my child for Xmas. I was able to get my coupons cut out this week for grocery shopping saving a little money. I have a list of gifts I want to make for Xmas and I completed a baby afghan for my nephew this week as well. I bought buttons on sale at Hobby Lobby for 90% off and had a wonderful chat with a fellow crafter! I found a bag of scrape fabric at the thrift store for $1 and made 3 of my scarves from it. I also found a bag of yarn at the thrift store which contained over 20 skeins of yarn–that will help with Xmas gift making. I found fabric at a local fabric store for $1 or less/yard and got several yards for under $10. I will make school uniforms out of the material. Miss Brandy’s “Gift a Day” series inspired me to create my own Xmas gifts this year.Retreat. I will be alone for 2 days and have been reading up on how to do a retreat at home. I am so excited!Free summer activities. We went to the library and enrolled in the reading programs, went to a free kids summer movie, went to a free concert, and attended the museum monthly free art program. I made a list of free summer activities for us to do as a family and put them on the calendar. Driver’s license. I paid for my daughter’s driving school (which is required by state law) completely in May. My child completed the insurance discount program, the driver’s education program, and made above a 3.0 GPA so her insurance will be $30 instead of $150/month! She is also working part time to help pay for her car expenses she accumulates.Car. Found a car mission place that offers services for the cost of the parts. I have arranged to have my car maintainced there for very little costs. For those single women out there without a male around to help (like me), this car mission place has been a god send to me.Grow a garden. I decided to grow a garden. I have a very tiny garden but I have tomatoes, regular and cherry size, lettuce, herbs, swiss chard, peppers, radishes, and onions growing. I got seeds from a friend and educated myself online about gardening. We have had so much rain that I have not had to water much. I did catch rain water for later in the week to use (will be sunny).I found whole wheat English muffins on sale 6 pack for 49 cents at Target. I bought 4 packs and used one this week. I found spreadable cheese for 49 cents and bought 5 packs. I found corn for 10 cents a ear and bought a dozen. I blanched and cooked the corn and got enough for 14 cups of corn to put in the freezer. I believe that saved me from buying several bags of frozen corn and is healthier. I use corn in my meatless chili for one thing. I got bananas for 29 cent a lbs which is inexpensive here and got enough to make banana bread and to freeze for smoothies. I made muffins, bread, granola, and beans for the freezer this week. I found a farmer that sells produce by the bag for $10 and got enough fresh produce to last 1-2 weeks. I cut up and put in the freezer green peppers, onions, garlic, pinto beans. My sister gave me a small food processor she wasn’t using so I can use that to puree food instead of my blender. We have been having tornadoes everywhere around here. My home has not been damaged in any storm and I have not lost electricity so my food in my refrigerator is just fine. My children and I are healthy and safe so we are truly, truly blessed.

  14. We went camping over Memorial Day and stayed until the following Thursday. We camped for free, using our foster parent/adoptive parent Oregon Park pass. It did take a lot of diesel to pull our 5th wheel with the old pickup we have. The 5th wheel is old, and has some major rot in in, but it is nice inside, and we own it, and it was what we could afford when we bought it a few years back. It won’t last forever, but we will enjoy it as long as we can. The heater broke while we were on the trip. My husband couldn’t fix it, so called a mobile r.v.repair man. He needed a part that wasn’t available for a week, and we were leaving before that, so he gave my husband the part number and info on how to get it, and didn’t charge us a dime. We certainly thanked him for his kindness.The toilet stopped working. Big problem. Husband and youngest daughter dash off to town, and buy about 60 dollars of supplies. With many gross maneuvers, none worked. 2 hours later, they went back and got more supplies and a plunger. The plunger worked. At one point we had 9 family and friends in our little camper, and we figure a little one had been too free with the t.p. So, we had to chuckle over that one. At least it’s fixed, and another call to the mobile guy would have cost more than the $60. One tool, he plans to return, so that will help. (He never opened that one from it’s package).We ate mostly from the camper, and even had enough vacation money left to eat out on the way home. We were about 5 hours from home, so that was fun.Some things I had planted in my garden had grown, some had rotted, due to torrential rain while we were gone. Over the last few days, we have planted beans over again, new lettuce as a new planting, more beets, red bunching onions, and tons of peppers my husband grew in the greenhouse. I harvested my first lettuce and a couple of green onions from the batch I planted a while back.We took our daughters to a local thrift store and they bought a lot of clothes.We rode together to church Sunday and I went to the store during the 2nd service, and came back for the family that wanted to stay for both to work(hubs), and be in nursery(girls).I worked on some sewing, but still didn’t finish.I hope I can get a lot done this week as well.

  15. Hi Shannon,If you have room you could make a bathroom garden! Plant a hanging plant in the tank and some herbs in the bowl. the sink can hold herbs also, then put up a sign. I’ve seen this done at a friends and it was really cute and no one sees the inside of the bowl. Just a thought!

  16. I agree about the photographer. When my son and daughter in law got married last May, they were talked into hiring someone that was a “friend” of one of her family members and it was last minute because the photographer they had hired bailed on them a week before the wedding. She did not have time to hunt for another photographer and so she took the family member’s advice and hired this one and did not look at his work before hand. The pictures were awful, most of them were of my son and his groomsmen before the wedding. He did not take one of the entire wedding party together, and several important shots were totally missed. I had to piece pictures together from friends and family members just to get pictures of the ceremony. They had a massive wedding and nothing to remember it by. (48 people in the wedding party total.) She has said several times in the past year that she would have cut other expenses and hired a good, reputable photographer for their wedding.

  17. We moved and boy was that Expensive!!! Trying to sell some of the boxes. I spent $37.00 on boxes to get moved so far I have made back $17.00. I also spent $22.00 on tape and $50 on moving blankets.We used coupons while traveling and I am amazed to say that over four weeks we only went $40 over our food budget of $500 per month. We were extremely careful when ordering and we did a number of meals where we had some food that I was gifted before we left so we did some at picnic tables etc. I bought 14.00 worth of garbage bags also used for packing/ I am refolding them and reusing them. We are combing four households into one so I have a ton of items I am working on selling on craigslist. I am gifting some to other’s as well. I am using up travel shampoos and soaps until our first paychecks hit. We are also still making laundry soap.We used coupons to buy the few things that we needed for our new home.I am trying to think of other avenues to save us some cash as this move has been extremely expensive.I have a lot of material that I am going to try to sell on craigslist as well. Groceries are very expensive here and I need to find ways to stretch even more!

  18. Thank you. the tornadoes have been devastating here. The warning system now warns people to go underground vs. just taking shelter or to leave the area. Some nights I stay up all night watching the news and listening to the sirens going off. We go to the local shelter if need. Right now it has been calm a few days without storms.

  19. The only way I could picture this is if the plants where the kind with runner everywhere that would mask that it is toilet. Certainly something that I might see in a yard in Austin, but I don’t think I could convince my husband, he has a goal of selling our house eventually, this was suppose to be starter home, just getting into home ownership, we have been here 11 years because the market locally tanked twice after we moved in. Anything I do in the backyard has to easily removable or add value.

  20. I lived in Iowa until I was 9 years old and I remember those tornado sirens and running for the basement very well. I pray your family will stay safe with all of this wild weather.

  21. We have been a one-car family for a couple of years. No problems…just have to be sure to communicate with one another. My husband and I send each other outlook appointments when we know we need the car and it has helped a lot in terms of decreasing confusion. I LOVE being one-car!

  22. We had one vehicle for over a year. I agree with the idea that if there was an emergency, you would call the ambulance. One thing we did to make being a single car family more enjoyable was shifting our schedule a bit later in the day (later wake up, later naps, etc). That way, the kids weren’t exhausted when DH got home from work. I could take them out in the early evening to the library or a playground if we felt like we needed to get out.

  23. We have been a one car family for 37 years and we hired a taxi twice (total cost of 60.00) we also rented a car one time total cost $45.00. In 37 years this is all we have had to do to work around being a one car family. Emergencies only came up once and a friend drove me and my little one to a hospital the child got three stitches and we took a taxi home.It has not been tough at all.

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