Monday, November 11, 2013

Ways I Saved

Last week was busy, busy!  We had lots of extra appointments.  I'm thinking that I'm going to be a hermit in December and never leave my house.  Ha!  Like that'll work!

We worked on our budget.  I'm usually really on top of things budget-wise, but I was so busy with Halloween that I didn't really get much of a chance to work on it.  So!  Over a week into November, and the budget is done.

I turned the heater on less and tried to watch the electricity usage.

I only bought a few things at the store this week, and they were clearance or sale items, so I was able to get great prices.

My husband and I wanted to give our children a pretend/dress-up box for Christmas.  After Halloween, I went to Target and everything but the food was 90% off!  I tell you what, I couldn't believe it.  I found so many things from cupcake liners for $.19 (I''ll use these year-round and think of my savings every time I look at the spider image.  Ha!), to fancy costumes for $2-3.  Many of the items were for the Christmas gift, but many items were so inexpensive that I bought them for everyday use, like the cupcake liners and some craft items.  I'm a sucker for Target clearance.  Especially when it's 90% off!  It was great to be able to find so many great costumes and accessories for their gift.

I fixed another pair of Footie Pajamas.  Little Gal's only pair got a hole in the foot, so I was very happy to have figured out how to fix them when I saw it.

I made a meal plan and stuck with it.  It helped save quite a bit as we didn't really need to buy much after I planned around what we had on hand.

I had one of those magnetic notepads that ran out of paper.  I purchased a 3-pack of mini legal pads, but they didn't have the magnet on the back.  I like to keep a notepad on the refrigerator for grocery lists.  Otherwise, I forget what I need!  I pulled the magnet off of the old notepad, and hot glued it onto one of the legal pads.  I was happy it was strong enough to hold the legal pad!

There was a women's group that met for a craft night.  You were supposed to pay for and sign up for crafts to make, or you could make a couple of free things there.  I went to the activity, even though I hadn't signed up for any crafts.  I took a bag of mending (this is where I fixed Little Gal's PJs) and sewing projects.  I fixed the PJs, cut out a nightgown for a Christmas present for Little Gal out of fabric I already had, and enjoyed a delightful evening out without spending any money other than gasoline.

My friend and I drove together to the women's craft night, and she agreed to go to the store for a few items afterward.  I had a couple of Lindt chocolates coupons.  After we got some exercise taking a quick turn around the store, I picked up the food items I needed, plus I was able to treat each of us/our husbands to a bag of truffles for $.50 each.  Woohoo!

When I was picking fabric out of my stash for Little Gal's nightgown, I found some fleece that I had forgotten about.  I had used it to make pajama bottoms for my brother for Christmas one year, and when I was looking at it, I realized that there would be enough to make pajamas for my son for Christmas out of the leftovers.  In my family, everyone gets some new pajamas for Christmas.  It's a cozy and fun tradition, and I enjoy it so much more when I get to make the pajamas myself.  For those of you that don't sew or don't sew much, pajama bottoms are some of the easiest things to sew.

With Christmas coming, I have really been unsatisfied with the thought of purchasing all of our gifts.  I want a more thoughtful Christmas than that!  So, I have been making a list and picking things out that I want to make.  I so appreciate homemade gifts.  They take so much time and thought!  I started a gift for my mother-in-law last night.

Little Gal really needs some new clothes.  She's so tall and grows so fast.  I found a $10/25 coupon for JC Penny and took her over there.  It was the first time I have ever taken her shopping and tried clothes on her and let her have much input.  It was fun!  I ended up purchasing all of the items on clearance, plus I used the coupon.  I got 9 pieces for $31.  That's $3.45 per item.  One of the items was a nice pair of jeans, too!

Also, we completed our living room update this past week!  I'm am VERY excited about this.  Our sofa AND love seat are both here now (the love seat had to be ordered), our piano is tucked to the side nicely, and the built-in bookshelf is tidied up.  The last problem was our computer.  We had gotten rid of our computer desk because we didn't like it, and wanted to find a better solution once we knew how much space we were dealing with.  My husband found an IKEA Secretary's Desk on craigslist that had originally been $400.  We got it for $50!  It's nice and solid, and though I probably would have preferred an older piece in general, this is built well (once my husband tightened it up and fixed it a bit), and has nice, clean lines.  We're both very happy with it!

We have been spending money on our home last month and this month, and it feels strange sometimes because we used to struggle so much.  I used to not be able to work on our home when I wanted to because there wasn't any money.  My husband earns a modest income, but we're very grateful for the excess that is allowing us to have our home turning out the way we want it.  The pieces are solid.  Our criteria for a new piece is that it be a piece we love.  Something that will last.  Solid wood if possible.  We're also buying these things within our budget, and many things are used, so they're a fraction of the cost new.

How did you save this week?

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