The next few weeks are going to be busy for this cheapskate. There’s all the usual hustle and bustle of life with three boys at home for the summer (four, if you count my college instructor husband). And then, I’ll be headed to Save Up ’14 in Austin, TX for a few days and a family vacation after that.
But that doesn’t mean the frugality takes a break! It just means that I have to work really hard to find the time to squeeze everything in.
I’ve already started making lists of what I’ll need to do to get ready for our various travels. That includes planning ahead so that we have some inexpensive snacks for the trip and things to keep us occupied on the long car rides.
I’ve already started my back-to-school shopping, and I’ve already crossed a few things off the list. I’ve got one big box for all the school supplies and I have enjoyed crossing things off the list as I add them to the box. I recently saw in an online forum that some schools are packaging the “necessary school supplies” for families to purchase – at the tune of $40 or more. WHAT? That’s insane. And not to mention wasteful! I’m all about using what’s still good from last year and then supplementing with items I’ve gotten for a great sale price. I’m glad my kids’ school is still giving parents a choice of where to buy supplies.
I found a great price for ground beef ( $2.19 a pound… which isn’t as great as it used to be!) at my local grocery store the other day, so I made sure to stock up. I decided that I would brown it all and freeze it in 2-cup increments (which is about 1 pound raw). When life gets hectic, it will be easy to pull together meals like sloppy joes, tacos, and spaghetti with meat sauce, since the browning part of the job is already done.
Our local TV station did a story on coupon clippers recently. It wasn’t anything us money-savers don’t already know. But I was struck by the response the story got online. There were a bunch of people who said couponing took too much time. I figure I can save about $25 an hour couponing, so I think that’s worth the time! There were others who said there weren’t any coupons for the products they use. Ummm… they don’t use toilet paper? Or toothpaste? Those commentators clearly haven’t read my Guide to Saving Money on Groceries.
The wild raspberries that grow between our house and my parents’ house are just starting to appear. I’ll be picking as many as I can. I love fresh raspberries, but with all the bounty, I’ll probably freeze some, too. Perhaps I’ll even share a raspberry recipe here. Stay tuned.
We had a 12-hour power outage following a storm that once again, humbled me and reminded me of the necessity of being prepared. Oh, and I think the secret to getting the power to come back on is to buy a large quantity of ice. That always seems to do the trick for me.
And in the midst of all the crazy, I still find time catch up on a little blog reading from around the web. Here are some good reads worth checking out:
I’m fascinated with the idea of minimalist packing. I used to travel a lot for my job and I got really good at paring down what I brought with me, but since I’ve been out of the travel world, my packing has now completely reverted to pack rat/hoarder levels. I might need something, you know. Anyway, I was impressed with Pack Like The Minimalists, even though I don’t need to worry about coffee since I don’t drink it!
I have a love/hate with technology. It’s how I make my living and stay connected to the outside world as a stay-at-home mom who lives in the woods. But it is also a huge time waster and a constant distraction from REAL interactions with people. The Consumerist’s post Restaurant Says Smartphones, Not Lazy Staff, Are To Blame for Slow Service really hit home with me. It’s a reminder to put away the phone and to be truly present in the moment.
The busy times in our lives have a way of upsetting our best plans. Breaking the Stress Spending Cycle at Get Rich Slowly was a good reminder to me to refocus my energy on my savings goals.
What frugal things have you been up to?