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frugal living

Frugal tips, random ones

Just a few random frugal ideas or tips.

  • When you are going to buy something ask yourself if you NEED it or WANT it!!! I really did a doozie and spent $40 on Girl Scout Cookies!! What the heck? Do I NEED $40 in cookies? NO! Does my body or hips need it? NO! Do you children need it? NO! So, this was an opps for me! What have you bought and regretted?
  • If it is cold put on a sweater. There is no reason the heat needs to be blasting in the house. I keep our thermostat at 60 degrees, F. At night only.
  • Shop with coupons. www.thegrocerygame.com is a GREAT website. For only $1 a week or a little bit more for more then one store you can get a list of all the sale items that match coupons for the lowest price of them.
  • I do not pay over $1.50 for a box of NAME BRAND cereal! But usually spend only $1.00. If there isn’t any on sale, I won’t buy it. There are other, cheaper, ways to feed the family breakfast. Waffles and pancakes are cheap and most of the ingredients are ones that are common baking items. I’ll post my favorite waffle one later.
  • Recycle! I don’t know why I never did it before but I just started taking the kids and recycling cans and bottles. They only take ones that have a CRV (California Redemption Value) on them. I rarely drink soda but water bottles are used here and we even can take the cans from the weekly Sunday-night-dinner at my dad’s house. The last two times we have gone we got about $4-5.00. This is not much but it makes it where we can get a 1/2 gallon of milk and some other small item. It all adds up!!!
  • If you can, try to find it free or cheaper. This applies to everything you buy!!!
  • Return things! I recently took a red eared slider to the pet store. We receieved the turtle for free but after having it for two weeks I decided it was too much. The tank got dirty too easy. Baby K and Little D were not only over feeding it but touching it all the time. Turtles can carry salmonella so this then meant me being on top of them washing their hands every time they touched the turtle. Anyways.. I took it to the pet store. We did not buy it here but they do have turtles that they sell. So, they gave me 1/2 the price they’d sell it for for store credit. I spent the $7.50 and got a few guppies for our fish tank. A week later I realized I still had all of our turtle food (all opened containers) and the water treatment stuff. They took this back too. Gave me a $7.99 (plus tax) container of fish flakes!
  • Do you where I am going with this? I got 4 fish and some fish food all by ‘selling back’ stuff that they will use but I didn’t even buy there. Ask around!
  • If you are out of hand soap use a liquid body wash! Just fill up the soap dispenser and no one will ever know!

Anyways, these are all just random! I’m sure there are lots more to come!

eBay-Auctiva

I have one very important word if you are listing on eBay.

AUCTIVA A-U-C-T-I-V-A www.auctiva.com

Okay, so I said the same word three times. Anyways, Auctiva is free. You can post up to 24 photos. All free. With eBay the first is free and each after that is 15 cents. With Auctiva you can schedule things in the future for free (changing the day or time to what you want). With eBay, there is a charge (I think 10 cents). Auctiva also has hundreds of templates. All are free. eBay, again, charges for them.

There are other outside listing companies to choose from. Some charge. Some are free. So far, I like Auctiva the best. Only downside is that on Thursday nights they do their weekly website updates and the whole site is down almost the whole night.

Sign up with Auctiva. Check it out. Post it if you have questions.

Frugal tip- FREE Field Trips

Never miss the opportunity to fun things with your children and family that are fun AND free.

This weekend the Reagan Library in Simi Valley hosts something called Presidents’ Day. Look-alikes walk around. There are arts and crafts. Speakers. Shows. Fly-bys. Lots of fun for the kids. This does not include normal admission to the Reagan Library but you do not have to go in. Most events are outside in the courtyards.

In Los Angeles there is a Chinese Lantern Ceremony as part of Chinese New Year. Research China or Chinese New Year a head of time to give you things to point out or discuss with your family.

eBay tip

If you are up in the middle of night listing things on eBay schedule to post things at a ‘decent hour’. If you list things consider when other people will be up. Since the most common auction is a 7 day auction but you can not choose a time difference it will end the same time and hour you begin it.

It does not always happen but it is nice when auctions get into a bidding war at the end of the auction. The chance of this happening increases when your auctions is ending at a time that more people are on the internet.

BUT, it does not stop there. I am in California. But I have to think about where others are as well. Now, I do sell internationally (why not?) But that is another topic. So, When I list something I try to schedule the auction to post around 4pm, my time. That way in the rest of the U.S. it isn’t too late at night and people might still be online.

Homeschooling fun for Valentine’s Day

Well, I had great plans for Valentine’s Day. I thought I’d cut red paper hearts and sprinkle them all over Little D and Baby K’s floors. I’d lead a trail to the kitchen table where their presents were. They’d wake up to the smell of pancakes and eggs, Valentine-style….. what is the saying? ‘The best laid plans often fail.’

Well, Little D has a cold. It started with a cough and stuffy nose but he tossed and turned all night long last night. He was coughing in his sleep (with a bedtime cold medicine in him) and the coughing kept waking him up. He even woke up in the middle of the night to ASK for medicine. This is huge because he HATES taking medicine. So, I got nothing done. I spent the whole night patting his back, covering him up each time he kicked off the blanket and was then cold, and sleeping beside him.

So, this morning, NOTHING was done for Valentine’s Day. 🙁

I did make a nice breakfast. We had pancakes (I tried to make them heart shape but it didn’t work) and eggs. I added red food coloring to both so we had pink pancakes and red eggs. I made waffles as back up too and all of those were eaten as well as the pancakes. The kids were not too keen on the red eggs.

Since Little D is sick I let them rest in bed (Baby K is also getting over a cold but it was a small one). They watched The Neverending Story. I LOVE that movie! LOL! They both enjoyed it too! (thanks to my mom and Mark that let us borrow the movie).

I set out the candy and Valentine things on the table in their place settings and when the movie was over they saw that it had all ‘appeared’! They were actually a little disappointed. They thought they’d get presents and toys for Valentine’s Day and Little D was asking for Legos! So, we talked about Valentine’s Day and it’s meaning.

We did not get much bookwork done. It was not worth the effort with them both sick. But while Little D played a Clue Finder game on the computer (new game that says it is 2nd grade level) Baby K and I made chocolate chocolate chip cookies from scratch.

While they were cooking Baby K played a math game on the computer that was really cute. It showed three grandfather clocks and a digital time at the bottom and she had to click on the correct analog time on the one of the clocks. When she got it correct a little mouse ran out and and ate a piece of cheese left where she had clicked at. She didn’t even realize it was ‘work’ she was having too much fun giggling as the mouse turned into a triangle shape when it ate the cheese! (this link was from mathwizard. I’ll find the link and post it later).

For lunch I made grilled cheese sandwiches and I grilled them in the waffle maker. This was a complete accident (waffle and sandwich maker look the same from the outside) but the kids loved it! Same sandwich, new look!