The hanging bottles of Saving Some $$'s...
Love it...now, if he could just figure out how to recirculate from the bottom back to the top on the cheap with a Rube Goldberg...way to also drip in some plant food it would be totally self sufficient except for the planting and harvesting...LOVE IT!!! YUM...cheap eats!
AND, I'm back to making more regular bank runs - taking the weekly change savings to the bank and then moving them online to get a few pennies of interest cooking. Today's haul from Pigger? $5.30.
P.S. In case you missed it, check out my earlier blog this morning for a video interview of Ms. Amy Dacyczyn of Tightwad Gazette fame.
Viewing the 'Kitchen Dough' Category
The hanging bottles of Saving Some $$'s...
One of the projects I worked on over the blizzard holidays was our own Saving Advice dot com owner, Jeffrey Strain's pet hunger project, The Penny Experiment.
I mailed off my art earlier this week to Jeffrey once we were able to mobilize ourselves from the snow banks. It does not yet appear on the pages of The Penny Experiment, so you are getting a sneak peek preview.
In For A Penny,
In For A Pound
by Lux Living Frugalis
5x7, mixed media, gallery wrapped canvas
How it might look framed:
I would recommend a much larger gold tone frame, or at least that's how I would frame it myself.
As many of my readers know I am of Native American ancestry and thus tried to use that theme in my project. And, as I am rather a private person I just signed it using my pseudonym here at Saving Advice.
BUT, here's the SPECIAL OFFER kicker, if any one of the members of Saving Advice dot com bloggerdom wins this auction and wants to ship it back to me (it cost me $3.45 via USPS to mail it to Jeffrey), I will sign my real life name to the back of the canvas and give my tribal registration info and will mail it back to you at my expense. Who knows, it may become more valuable that way.
These postcard size artworks, mine and others, will be auctioned to raise money for Jeffrey's hunger initiative on how one man took a found penny that teens scoffed at picking up and turned the nucleus idea of a penny outwards to help feed the hungry. To read more about the project and how to get involved, go to The Penny Experiment at:
There, you'll be able to sign up for notice of when the auctioning begins. Be sure to check out the gallery.
"Very few people have knowledge of their true expenses. Because they do not consider intermittent and irregular expenses as regular monthly obligations, their expenses turn into emergencies and financial crises." -Mary Hunt
As we are lately revamping the Frugalis House Budget, I thought I'd give a breakdown on what we put back each month on automotive expenses over and above repair/maintain/replace funds, gasoline expenses & the auto insurance escrow.
Many people overlook these costs listed below and then are caught short when it's time to pay the piper. Some of these things come up at the most inconvenient times.
These are monthly amounts set back for future costs. Yes, I literally move them into savings to hold until the money is all there. I also set back a small bit of money each month to replace our driver's licenses. On the side the date listed is when we anticipate needing these things replaced.
On the car:
Car Battery $2.15 /$50 - 2 years
Car Tires $10.41 / $250 - 2 years
Car Tag $6.95 /$83.40 - yearly
Car Oil Changes $8.75/$105-$35x3 times year
$28.26 per month
On the truck:
Truck Battery $2.15 /$50 - 2 years
Truck Tires $22.22 / $400 - 18 months
Truck Tag $5.20 /$62.40 - yearly
Truck Oil Changes $5.83/$70-$35x2 times year
$35.40 per month
Today was a No Spend Day for me. The housebudget spent money on dog food $11.45 & getting the dog's toenails clipped $5.00 and stocking up on dishwashing soap while it was on sale for 69 cents a bottle & some ice-cream $8.44.
A nice change of events (I'm afraid to call and find out why) but I got our recent electric bill and it's down about $30 lower than usual. I'll take it!
We've grown banana trees for years - technically we're in a growing zone that freezes each winter, so must take them out of the ground as winter approaches.
This year we didn't water them much at all besides the original watering in after planting and the occasional bucket of water I saved when showering. We dig them out and put them in the basement for overwintering. Took some pictures of a part of our crop.
The ferny looking thing is another plant, a cypress vine, not part of the banana.
These are Hawaiian fingerlings. Had some on my breakfast cereal today. We grow them more for the landscaping qualities, but the fruit is a nice side benefit. They make for great shade on our concrete patio.
During the last week of October the banana trees were taken out and put away for winter. Come next April out they'll go again. We call it cheap entertainment and a bit of exercise. We often have folks stop and out Hubster goes to give a lesson in banana growing in our climate.
Yes, Hubster is an awfully sweet man, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about my plastic honey bear, Hank. He's about to get all likker'd up inside.
On Saturday I went to our local farm store where they were having a 20% off everything that fit in their 'green' bag sale. You had to buy their 99cent bag. So worth it.
They were having honey on sale. 5 lbs. bottles - which normally sells there at 13.99 a bottle, on sale for 10.99.
I had four dollar off coupons. I ended up getting my honey at $7.99 a bottle. Almost half off. SCORE!! How Sweet It Is!!
I bought four jugs. Honey does not go bad. It might crystalize, but stick jug in warm water and the honey melts back. This stash should last a while.
I have been weaning myself off of white sugar and have gone to using honey as my main sweetener.
I refill my little honey bear, Hank, from the big jug. A savings device. Buying those individual little bears can get costly. I'd like to have a nice glass or ceramic honeypot. Maybe I could put it on my Christmas list, along with the tea ball I'm asking for?
And as for honey bear's sidekick?
Meet Poppie, The Popcorn Clown.
A hold over from my childhood days. We keep our 'currently using' popcorn in an old Grapette Syrup bottle in the cabinet. Our storage for larger supplies is elsewhere. Poppie, kind of scary in a droopy sort of way, but friendly none the less. These are neat old bottles that had a slot in the top for making him into a bank.
Here the 1 lb. bags at the grocery had been going for .88 a bag for years. All of a sudden they are up to 1.39 a bag! I like to stock up so I don't have to wander out in the snow and ice later. Said farm store had 12&1/2 pound bags on sale for $5.49. Since they fit in the 20% off bag? I got two bags, making my outlay for popcorn at .359ish a pound. SCORE!!
Popcorn - an inexpensive, yet filling snack. It's a Sunday afternoon tradition at my house, no matter how large the luncheon feast, we pop a big bowl of popcorn and settle in for a movie & nap.
My bag was heaaaaa-vy - 45 lbs plus. I also stocked up on a few spices while I was at it. I can pack a bag let me tell you! And, now I have another nice little green bag to go with my others.
Hank & Poppie, a couple of friendly faces when I open my cupboard - they, along with Pigger, help me save & stretch our food money.
2)Paint ceiling in Dining Room 1st coat DONE (prep work so Hubster can get crown molding up in that room) Needed because WACKED OUT bug spray man hit the ceiling in here with his bug juice making BIG ugly stains! Saving myself the cost of hiring a painter worth it's price in a post-whiplash neck-ache to a Frugalista such as myself. Ben-gay here I come.
3)CashHappySon's coats & winter wear from basement DONE
4)Cut up last of canteloupe likely for this season before it's gone-by freshness date DONE
5)Hang up clothes on top of dog cage DONE
d-o-n-e, done, Done, D-o-N-e, ..and DONE!!!
On today's list were:
[x]1)House Budget checking account balanced. - This is different than the other two I did the other day. Account is rather on the empty side though, so watching House Budget spending extra closely for a day or two.
[x]2)Cook Sunday lunch trying a new recipe. Used another out of Kraft's Food & Family magazine. Not horrid, not bad, but probably won't repeat - Chicken & Stuffing type casserole.
I did try one in there last night that FrugalSon said was FABULOUS. (Haven't heard that in a while!) It was the Chicken Caesar Wraps. I wouldn't say fabulous, but Hubster and I both agreed they were pretty good.
I, of course, being me, changed the recipe around to make it a warm wrap by heating the bacon, chicken & cheese before filling the warmed tortillas. Served with soup as I wasn't sure how filling it would be and it was rainy & damp by supper time yesterday.
I am trying new recipes because we had gotten into somewhat of a rut AND I'm trying to cook more since CashHappySon is not here to trade off cooking with FrugalSon & I. Have to get myself back in the cooking habit!
[x]3)File all the paperwork from bills paid. This tends to stack up! There were several months that needed doing.
And for future to-do's, there is still purging that needs to be done in filing cabinet. That might make the actual filing a more enjoyable thing if it weren't crammed full!
[x]4)Write a thank you note. A native friend sent me FREE copies of two books he wrote. I wanted to send my thank you note on native stationary, but it was in the other room and I put this off ALL WEEK rather than get on up off my duff and go dig it out. Took me all of 15 seconds once I made myself get it done! How often do we do this to ourselves? The packing envelope has been dragging me down all week sitting here on the desk LOOKING AT ME waiting to be done! That procrastination on my part was making me lose the joy of the gift!
[X]5)Clip and sort coupons. I've not been using coupons much the past few years once I lost my nice organized coupon box, but I can save money when I use them, so since we're getting ready to be 'fixed income' folks? I might want to get back into the habit. I sorted them by use-by date & put them in a ziplock in my wallet, at least until I see if I want to get back into couponing more seriously.
On another note I sat up in bed and slapped myself on the head this morning. Even though we've decided not to put our MM money into CDs for the moment until the SS & pension checks start coming, what is stopping me from moving it over to just drawing more interest? I don't know. How silly. Moved it just now! Gaaa!!! Then if we don't need it, it can slip right into some CDs.
Didn't get the chest of drawers painted because it clouded over all afternoon yesterday and I was afraid to risk it. Sure enough, we rolled it on the dolly back into the utility room and no more than 5 minutes later? Raindrops!
Maybe early some time this coming week it will get done. I know for sure I don't want it sitting in my utility room for very long. Needs another 30 minutes or so of sanding. I walked by and caught Hubster giving it a 'feel' to see if it was done right! Still cloudy & rainy looking here today so, no-can-do today.
He finished installing crown molding yesterday evening in LR. Next to do is fill nailholes and joints then touch up paint. We may have to caulk a few places at the ceiling line as this old place (built 1942ish) has a few wavy spots on the ceiling line. IOWs, not much was level to begin with on this project. Pics to come when finished. Then it's on to the dining room molding!
Today will be a stay home and No Spend Day! Maybe some popcorn, a movie in the DVD player and a nap.
It's over but you can read about one person's experience on the San Francisco Food Bank's 2009 Hunger Challenge here:
Maybe you'd like to try this experiment?
Or maybe you're already having to live on this amount for food already?
I think I might be able to do it successfully, but it would be hard to do -I think - to even get started here as I am a pantry-holic. Mine are overflowing because I do the scratch-n-dent thing.
Yes, the center shelf is bowed from weight. I know. I told you, I have a problem with overfilling the pantry. You'd think someone starved me as a child. But, no - such is not the case. I could just blame it on the cabinet maker, couldn't I? AND, this is just one cabinet. They are all like this - and the basement pantry is well stocked as well. hmmm...
Limiting myself to new things purchased to make meals might prove a bit of a challenge because we're well stocked, but I think I could do it. Keeping hunger at bay? I would be thinking protein.
Her blog posts about this challenge are interesting, inspiring & informative to read.
Today is a No Spend Day for me.
Made a pot of homemade potato soup for lunch. Here's my bowl:
We'll be eating Chicken, Rice & Broccoli casserole for supper. I used Kraft's free Food & Family magazine for the recipe, but shhhh! don't tell - I didn't use all Kraft products to pull it off.