Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Saved Money Today the Old Fashioned Way

Today I walked to the post office in order to mail a letter.  Yes, I used snail mail! That was not such a money saver because the stamp cost 48¢ (sending e-mail costs nothing out of pocket) but it was old fashioned.  My savings came about by my taking a 15 minute walk that would normally take me five minutes to drive.  I was so proud of myself for getting the much needed exercise and for saving the gas that the five minute trip would have used, not to mention the wear and tear on my car.  Also, I was doing my bit for the environment.

I feel so good about my little walk that I'm going to make it my goal to walk whenever a car trip will take five minutes or less.  According to the article, Save Gas: The Financial and Health Benefits of Walking or Biking to Work, a person can save up to $60 and burn up to 44,200 calories a year by replacing those short drives with walking trips. I can do quite a bit with an extra $60.  I'll be making myself a little healthier as well!

If you're walking to save money, please leave a comment below and let us know how it's going.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Positive Effect of Shopping from Freezer and Cupboards

Just wanted to tell you guys about a bonus I received from not spending money on food this week.  I got on the scale and discovered that I had lost three pounds.  This is a surprise considering the amount of starch I'm eating.

I plan to continue cooking mostly from what I have at home even after I get paid.  I'm saving a lot of money, eating better tasting food, and losing weight at the same time.  If anyone else is seeing a weight loss from cooking what you have at home, please share your experience by leaving a comment.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Energy Savings Assistance Program Fixed My House

When I first got the call from this program I thought it was a scam.  Why would my local utility company want to come to my house and make repairs for free?  It sounded too good to be true.  The agent on the phone told me that Pacific Gas and Electric had a free program to improve the energy efficiency of their customer's homes, and if I qualified, repairs such as weather stripping, repairing my furnace, or even replacing my old refrigerator would be done for free.  I was sceptical but agreed to let a technician come out to verify my financial status and evaluate the needs of my home.  I made sure that the caller understood that I did not have money for any repairs and would not have any when the technician came out.

Well, on the day that the technician arrived, I verified that I was within their income limits for a family of three (less than $39,000 a year).  The nice man filled out the paper work, which I examined thoroughly for any hidden charges, and then he went to work.  He started at 9:30 a.m. and worked until 5:00 p.m.  First he put a blanket on my heater, then he weather stripped the doors to my house.  Next, he filled in all the holes that were in the walls letting in cold air.  He replaced our old light bulbs with new energy efficient ones.  He fixed my furnace and insulated it so that the heat would properly flow throughout the house. He replaced two of my light fixtures that weren't working properly, and he put new covers on our electric outlets and a new cover for to my attic .  Amazingly, when he saw the duck tape I had holding the handle together on my microwave oven, he replaced the whole microwave with a new more energy efficient one.

If I had had to pay for all this work, it would have cost me thousands of dollars.  I know this because it cost me $1700 to fix two exterior doors last summer.

If you need home repairs done, please check with your local gas and electric utility company first to see if they have a similar program.  You may qualify in other ways other than income particularly if you are disabled.  If I had known about the Energy Savings Assistance Program, I would have saved the $1700 I paid for those exterior doors last summer because they will replace doors as well..

Shopping from the Freezer and Cupboards, Part Two

This is my day to treat myself after working with one of the ministries at my church for part of the morning.  This afternoon, I went to McDonald's and took advantage of the promotion that they had on their phone app which was for a free large sandwich with any purchase. So, I bought a large diet coke for $1 and ordered a Big Mac for free.  My total for this treat was $1.09!  I bought the mix for the molasses cookies back in January when all the Christmas merchandise was on sale at Target for 75% off.  I think I paid 80¢ for the package that makes up to 2 dozen cookies.  The rest of my meals came from home.

Breakfast:  Cereal and milk or yogurt
Lunch:  Big Mac and Diet Coke, 1/2 muffin and fruit salad (courtesy of the church ministry)
Dinner:  Cranberry beans and ham, cornbread, salad
Snack:  Watermelon, Molasses cookies

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Shopping from the Freezer and Cupboards

Easter and my kids being out on a week long vacation from school have left me with way too little money to make it to the end of the month. The three of us are going to have to live on the $7.50 I scrounged  up by digging in my purse and picking up loose change around the house.  There still may be a few dollars under the couch.  I'll try there tomorrow. Today I went shopping in my freezer and cupboards in order to plan the next few days worth of menus.  Everything is something I already have.  All I can say is thank goodness for couponing.

Breakfast: French toast, turkey bacon
Lunch: Chili fries and baby carrots
Dinner: Ground beef in bbq sauce over mashed potatoes, green beans, salad
Snack:  Oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, Kool-Aid


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Triscuit Crackers for .88 at Safeway 4/16-22

There is a great deal on Triscuit Crackers for Safeway Club Card Members. Triscuits are on sale for $1.88 if you have a club card. There is a $1/1 printable  coupon that can be found on the Coupon Like a Man Coupon Database.  Just type Nabisco in the search box to get a list of coupon offerings.  The coupon was also in the 4/13 Sunday paper.  After subtracting for the $1 coupon, your box of crackers will be .88.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

My $6 Walgreen's Haul

Original spending plan for 4/14

Transaction 1
1 Morton Epson Lotion. $6. OOP.   plus tax  Get back $6 RR

Transaction 2
Domino Sugar 4 LB Bag 1.89 with store coupon
Oral B Toothbrush 2.99 with .75 /1 MC   Get back $2 RR
2 Cartons eggs @ .99 each. 1.98
Total $6.11
Use $6  RR from transaction 1.
Pay .11 OOP plus tax

Transaction 3
2 packs Jello pudding with store coupon $1
3 Russell Stover Easter Eggs  @ 3/$1
Total $2.
Use $2 RR from transaction 2.
Pay .00 OOP

THIS week's haul was going to be all about preparing for Easter.  However, I had to make some changes due to some items being unavailable.  Yesterday's haul from Walgreen's came as a slight surprise because the register reward that was supposed to print out for the Morton Epson Lotion did not print.  Instead of an RR the manager told the clerk to give me the bottle of lotion for free. This allowed me my first .00 receipt in a long time, plus a little more flexibility in what I could purchase.

Since my main reason for shopping was to buy the.99 eggs, I had to make my next transaction at another Walgreen's.  The eggs are selling out fast, so if you need some, you'd better hurry, or go to Target where they have them for the same price.  Well, the next store only had one dozen eggs left, so I changed my original plan.  I bought two packs of McCormick taco seasoning for a dollar instead of the second cartoon of eggs.  I bought 4 Russell Stover candies instead of 3 and left out the toothbrush because I already have enough of those.  I purchased everything in transactions 2 and 3 together in one transaction (minus the tooth brush), and my total came to $6.22.  Although I still want the eggs, I need the taco mix for Saturday's dinner.  I'm more than satisfied with my little Easter haul.