Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Carefully Consider Your Purchases

Back during the 1990s people thought Beanie Babies would be very collectible and worth a lot of money eventually.

My sister had quite a collection, but she was smart and sold them while they were still being sought after. Turns out she made the right decision. Today you can find Beanie Babies for a dime a dozen at yard sales.

During that same time Longaberger Baskets were also very valuable and sought after from collectors. Turns out those items too are now sold at yard sales for a fraction of what they originally cost.

I myself bought a Longaberger Picnic Basket for $2.00 at a yard sale that originally sold for over $100.00 from Longaberger. Although I did sell it this summer for $5.00 at the flea market.  

People used to think these types of collections could bring them a lot of money down the road, but that turned out not to be true.  Nowadays these items can be found at yard sales for a fraction of their original cost, leaving many people out of a great deal of money.

Look at the price that some people pay for new movies, new books, and TV shows on DVD. Since these items are mass produced and there are so many copies out there, they quickly lose their value. Of course a frugal person will use this to their advantage and wait to buy these items when the prices goes down.  

After working at the flea market this past summer I have come to the conclusion that many items do not hold their value.

I had one item marked at $4.00 for a couple of weeks, but finally lowered that to $2.00 just to try and move it only to have someone ask me to take even less for it.

I watched as item after item sold for much less than I thought it would go for and my prices were very reasonable. I priced my items so I could move them and not have to bring them home at the end of the day.

I even had one lady,  a repeat customer, tell me I didn’t have anything she needed that day, but she always checked out what I had because my prices were low. I wasn’t in this to gouge people, but rather to make money, so I kept my prices very reasonable.   

The flea market experience seriously made me question almost everything I purchase now.  I don’t know if I will ever buy something that is not useful or an absolute must have purchase without giving it some very deep thought.

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Money Saving Hobbies


One of my favorite hobbies is to read books and blogs about being frugal. I enjoy reading how other people learn to spend less and save more money. I'm hopeful that I will read something or learn something new that I've not heard about before.  

Amy Dacyczyn, author of The Tightwad Gazette, made a hobby out of being frugal. She also wrote about money saving hobbies in her book. 

One of the things she wrote about hobbies was that if people choose hobbies that saved money verses hobbies that cost money, then they would be ahead financially in the long run. 

She also made the comment that having a money saving hobby will help a person to permanently reduce his cost of living. Instead of needing $30,000 to make a living, his money saving hobbies, like hair cutting and gardening, might allow him to get by on only $25,000 a year. 

She also mentioned that money saving hobbies might give a person more job options. And how many people do you know that have turned a hobby into a small business? My own father, after a car accident took his livelihood, took his hobby of knife collecting and turned it into a thriving knife business that he still makes a living from. 

The point of this is to say that it would be to our advantage to have hobbies that are productive. Learning to do something that will either save you money or allow you to earn extra money are good goals to reach for. 

You could learn to bake bread for your family, or to sell for extra money. When I worked at the hospital there was a lady who made cinnamon rolls and sold them for extra money. I also knew of a lady who made sausage rolls and sold them for extra money. The possibilities are endless. 

Money saving hobbies include such things as as gardening, sewing, bee keeping, woodworking, soap making, learning how to cook or how to produce food, learning to hunt, or even learning to build or repair items. 

The ability to build or repair an item will go a long way towards improving your standard of living. You could even teach these skills to other people as a hobby. It could also provide you with skills for barter.

You could also let frugality be your hobby as you continually learn new ways to save more money, so you will learn to live on less money. 

Hobbies that allow us to earn extra money for our families or help us to lower our cost of living are some of the best hobbies for those with a frugal mindset. 

Belinda
~ Living within my means ~

Saturday, August 13, 2016

IGA Meat Deals


IGA has the country style pork ribs on sale this week for 99¢ a pound, which is the lowest price we see them for here. We like to make them in the crock pot with barbecue sauce.  Time to stock up on them. 

I dropped off the garbage this morning and went to get some and ended up buying four packages. I have one of them going in the crockpot now and put the other three packages in the freezer. 

I also found two packages of meat on markdown. One was one pound of ground beef with a $3.00 off coupon, which I bought for $2.03. I'm going to make taco salad with it for lunch today. 

The other was a package of pork cut up like beef stew, which was $2.00. I was standing there wondering what to do with it, but I bought it. I can make a pork fried rice or something with it sometime. It was too good of a price to pass up today. I also put it in the freezer as well. 

So, for dinner tonight I will serve the ribs with mashed potatoes and green beans with onions and olive oil for seasoning. I've also already made a gallon of sweet iced tea for dinner. 

What's for dinner at your house today?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, August 12, 2016

Frugal Friday


We made it to Friday! As most of you know school started back this week here. We had doctor appointments on Monday & Tuesday, but I was back to work on Wednesday and ended up working the last three days. And I already have 15 other days scheduled so far, and I am so grateful to be back to work. 

All meals were cooked and eaten at home this week. They included hamburgers, lasagna on two different nights, homemade pizza & salad, and Pedernales Potatoes. It was nice to have the Lasagna on hand for that second night as I didn't have to cook. Always a win-win in my book.  

Len Penzo has blogged his 8th annual cost survey of 10 popular brown bag sandwiches. This is always an interesting blog post of his to read each year before school starts back. Be sure to check it out.  

Another blog I started reading this week is Super Saving Tips. Some bloggers have a writing style that really speaks to me and this was one such blog. Read for yourself and see what you think. 

Just a quick post tonight to update. 

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Monday, August 8, 2016

A Book Review: Penny Pinching Mama

I've been watching Living on a Dime's YouTube channel lately and really like Tawra's Mom, Jill Cooper. 

Jill comes across to me as someone who has been where I have been. She has been there and knows what it is like to live on a small income.  

Because of that I decided I wanted to read her book titled, Penny Pinching Mama ~ 500 Ways I Lived on $500 a Month

I enjoyed reading the book although I found it more like a list of tips rather than a book like the Tightwad Gazette where there is so much information to be gleaned.  

Some things I made note of are the following...

One statement she makes in her book is that they drank nothing but water. She says they did have juice sometimes, but she limited them to one serving per day. 

While my main beverage most days is water we also have other drinks. In my opinion limiting ourselves to water only would be too extreme and there would be some complaints.

We serve not only water here, but also milk, chocolate milk, juice (usually, but not always), koolaid, lemonade, iced tea, herbal tea, and sometimes when I find it one sale or a good deal we even have pop or Powerade.  

While I applaud Jill for being so disciplined, I want my family members to be happy and denying them any drinks other than water would make for some unhappy people here, so we compromise on this issue.  :)

One of Jill's really good tips is about wasting a little as possible. She rarely bought garbage bags or paper towels and when she did they lasted a very long time. 

I'm glad I read this book, but it was not a keeper for me like the Tightwad Gazette was. I will never get rid of my copies of the Tightwad Gazette, including the newsletters. 

If you want to read Jill's book, I would check and see if your local library has it to borrow.  

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Saving Money on Cheese

One way we save money on cheese is by shopping and buying it at Sam's Club. 


We can buy the two pound block of cheese for $3.98. That works out to $1.00 for the eight ounce block of cheese, which is a terrific price. 


The cheapest I can find the eight ounce block around here is between $1.50 and $2.50 each. The $1.50 price being more pre-2008-recession, so you can see the savings with buying it from Sam's Club.  

We went to Sam's club this week and bought two of the two pound blocks of cheddar cheese and also a five pound block of mozzarella cheese.  


I use my Salad Shooter to grate the cheese. I do have a small hand grater to use on smaller projects, but when I buy this much cheese and want to shred it quickly, I pull out my Salad Shooter. 


Today I grated all the cheese and placed it into zippered bags to make it more convenient to use. I will place several of these into the freezer so they won't go to waste. 



I also bought some pepperoni, so I can make more pizza kits for the freezer. 




Taking the time to grate my own cheese is definitely worth the savings that I get in the end. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Saving Money on Hair Cuts

In southern Tennessee, where we live, it is hot and humid for more than six months of the year. My daughter and I are both hot natured anyway, so we like to keep our hair cut short to help stay cooler. 

We normally get our hair cut at Great Clips since they only charge $13 for a haircut, and even then we usually try to find a coupon to lower that cost. 

And some of my  readers may recall that we even had our hair cut at Super Cuts this summer for free. 

One thing I don't care for when getting a haircut is the time to drive to the shop, time spent waiting for a stylist, and the actually getting my hair cut. I would much rather be doing something else.

In our efforts to save even more money this summer we decided to buy a Wahl Pro Hair Clipper.  At the time we bought it last month it was only $18, but I see now that it is $22 on Amazon. 


So far we have used it enough times that it has paid for itself already. My daughter loves it because she can clip her hair whenever she wants to and does not have to wait to go to the beauty salon. 

So from here on out now we will be cutting our own hair and it won't cost us anything. I love that and the fact that I won't have to spend any time going to get my hair cut somewhere other than home. 

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~

Friday, August 5, 2016

Frugal Friday



This was our deal of the week. We found gallon jugs of milk on August 1st for $1.39 at Kroger and the sell by date was August 12th. I was shocked! I bought three gallons and will put two of them in the freezer.


We bought four boxes of Lipton tea bags 100 count for $1.11 each. Publix sells them for $4.11, but had them on sale for buy one get one free and had a coupon for $1.00 off in their sales flyer. So, we were able to buy them for $1.11 each, which is a great deal for 100 name brand tea bags.  


Kroger had Kool-Aid & Country Time lemonade on sale this week for $1.00 each and we had six coupons for 55¢ off one, so we paid 45¢ for each of these. I figured they were a good deal since the sugar was already included. 

Some things I've done in my frugal kitchen today include...

I made cole slaw dressing this week to use with the cole slaw I bought on mark down at Kroger on Saturday. 

I used up three bananas that were on the verge of spoiling to make Banana Pancakes so as not to waste them.

I made a chocolate cake with homemade peanut butter frosting. 

And finally we are staying home today, so no money spent outside our home. 

How have you been saving money this week?

Belinda
~ Living within our Means ~