Friday, January 10, 2014

Curve Balls and Tightening the Budget Again

Just when you think you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, life throws you an unexpected and expensive curve ball.  Plans must be reworked, rearranged and some put on hold for the time being.  The budget must also be revamped.  So here we are, starting January off with some serious tightening of the budgeting belt.  Here are a few things we have been doing to try and save money in a few areas so we can direct it to others.

~I found a free calendar offer online and ordered one.  The scripture is a bonus and helps keep me focused. ;)
~I had frozen the ham bone from our Christmas ham and got that out today to use in a big crockpot full of split pea soup.  We will have some for dinner tonight , save enough out for another meal and then I will freeze the rest for future meals.
~Homemade croutons will once again be made in the oven today with the leftover bread ends from our homemade bread.  I'll bake a few potatoes also while the croutons are in the oven.

~Coupons are being cut from the newspapers inserts and also printed off the internet.  I print coupons off sites that give me points for the coupon redemption that I can then use for gift cards to places like Walmart and Amazon among others.
~I cashed in for $35 in via Swagbucks and will be shopping through Swagbucks shopping link to to place an order, using my gift card, on which I will earn even more points to apply towards another gift card.  I also share coupons with my friends and family to try and help them also save.
~Again, cashing in points that I have earned at various sites, I was able to cash in my Disney Movie Rewards points for free dvd.  I chose "The Shaggy DA".

 ~We took advantage of the produce sale at one of our local groceries stores and by combining their sales and coupons we were able to purchase 2 big bunches of bananas (2 bananas were already eaten by the time I took the above picture), a bag of salad and a bag of spinach for $2.06
~Speaking of bananas, I used 7 overripe bananas to make 4 loaves of banana bread.  We sent 1 of the loaves with one of our hanai sons back to college and gave one of the loaves to our friends.
~One of the grocery stores in our area will save the huge frosting buckets for you and will give them to you free.  I just picked up a bunch last week and will be getting more.  We use them to store bulk grain purchases in, for dog water buckets, projects that my hubby has going and many other things.


~I do a lot of baking of homemade breads and treats.  I was able to buy this 50 lb bag of flour for just under $17.00.  I will store it in the food grade buckets that I got free from the bakery at another store and will be sharing some with my daughter-in-laws.  This saves us lots of money not only in flour prices but also in the gas it takes for trips to the store.
~I was told that I needed to reduce my stress levels and also my cholesterol levels.  I am trying to do that by taking long walks with our dog at least 4 times a week.  My husband is joining us most of the time and we are all enjoying the exercise and visiting with people we meet along the way.
~A good friend recently told me about a way to reduce the cost of prescriptions even further by only buying a few pills at a time for things like pain meds.   That way you only pay for what you actually need and don't end up with extra pills that you do not.  If you find you need more of the pain meds than just a few, the rest of your prescription is still there on file for you with the pharmacy.

~Jeff and I continue to borrow movies from the library and also swap movies with our neighbors and family.  Movie night here includes a big bowl of popcorn which much be shared with our dog who is a popcorn addict. ;)
~There are some TV shows that I enjoy that are not on our cable provider, but I have found them online and watch them via the computer.
~Shopped around and found a health insurance plan that provides more coverage and has a lower deductible along with a lower premium payment than ones that the company I had previously been with before the whole "Obamacare" fiasco jacked up the prices to the point where I could no longer afford health care coverage there.  Unfortunately, again, due to the whole "Obamacare" fiasco and the government website crashing multiple times and them not keeping good records of people who called in for help, I am without health insurance coverage until next month.

Those are just a few of the many things that we have been up to here.  Praying that we have no more expensive curve balls for awhile so we can get the ones we are currently having to deal with paid off quickly and continue working towards being debt free.


  1. Hope it all works out for you. Great list of things you are doing to cut costs.

    1. Thanks...we just made arrangements to send off the last of the payments today on a debt we have been paying on for 4 years. Just in time to free up some money to deal with the curve ball.

  2. Sounds like you're doing a great job of cutting corners, Debbie. We should be more diligent in that area than we are....and I should learn how to do all that online coupon stuff you talked about.
    I'm sorry to hear about your precious, Molly. I had my Sparky cat(for 13 yrs) that I loved dearly and then had to leave him behind with my best friend when I moved out here. He is no longer alive, but I miss him so much. He was special...and my buddy for many years when I was by myself.
    Thank you for the comment on my blog about my ring. I liked hearing the story about yours.

    1. Thanks Lisa. Our fur babies sure become our family don't they. I am sorry you had to leave Sparky behind...I can only imagine ho3w hard that must have been for you.


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