Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer Entertainment

Yesterday I took the boys to the movies for the first time. The theater near our house does free summer kids movies on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. We saw a Veggie Tales movie. Ethan totally loved it :) Andy said he "liked it a little bit." He didn't care for the dragon or the rock monsters, because they were "scawy."

Anyway, it was my first time taking them, and I thought it would be packed because it was free, but there were still quite a few seats left. I wish we could have taken advantage of it more this summer, because they showed some really good kid movies.

Michael is at a Ranger's game right now. They give free tickets to teachers (not sure when), and he and a buddy from work went. They rode together to split the gas and parking. He gleefully informed me that it's also dollar hot dog night. He made sure he had an extra $4 for that (lots of eye rolling).

Monday, July 28, 2008

My husband shopped at Goodwill--proud moment for me!

My frugal ways are starting to sink in around here :D My husband, without ANY prodding from me, went to Goodwill to try to find work clothes. I had mentioned a long time ago that he might want to try there, because he's a pretty generic guy-size. My husband hates to shop, and hates to try anything "weird", so I really thought he'd never actually go in there.

He came home today and had spent $36, ALL of it at Goodwill. He got some very nice things. He bought four pairs of slacks, two button down shirts, two neckties, and a black suit jacket (8!). Nothing is stained and all of it appears new. Several of them are nice of the shirts still has the JCPenney tag, and one is from Lands End. He tried them all on, and only one pair of pants is a little snug--everything else was perfect.

He is done with his work clothes shopping for the year.

I was so pround I thought I was gonna burst!

I would take pics, but my camera is on the fritz :(

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Electric bill Continued......

Sometimes I wonder why you people read this, LOL! Such exciting topics!

Got the electricity bill today. We are still with that awful Simple Energy company, as the new company hasn't started billing us yet. Even with the fact that they jacked our rate yet again to 0.19 kwh (is that even legal?!!), we still managed to decrease our bill from last month.

The math:
Last month's bill: $231.71, using 1377 kwh.
This month's bill: $186.54 using 949 kwh!!! Only one other time have we ever gotten close to using that little electricity. In April of this year we used 947 kwh.

A savings of $45.17. If we could keep our usage the same, once the switch to the other company occurs, our bill should be somewhere around $135.

The changes we made:

Increased the daytime thermostat from 78 to 80.

Increased nighttime thermostat from 72 to 75, and started using a fan near my bed, since I really just like circulating air.

Started hang drying laundry. We ran the dryer once in the last month.

Turned the computer completely off before going to bed at night.

I don't notice the warmer temp in the house anymore. I've gotten used to it. Of course, I've noticed hang drying the laundry since I'm the one doing it, but it's only maybe 3-4 loads a week so it's not too bad.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

It's my birthday

I'm the ripe old age of 26 today :)

I have really come to love our creative, frugal birthdays. We used to go out to dinner and Michael used to give me a nice gift, but now he has to be really creative, because we don't do birthday gifts anymore. I have loved the last two birthdays. He totally spoiled me today....let me sleep in, made me my Shirelle-style eggs (scrambled with garlic and dill--which he totally doesn't like), let me go to the Y and work out, and when I came home the house was totally clean and he was all good-looking and good-smelling. He told me we could go somewhere if I'd like, so we went to the pool at my Y and spent the afternoon together (he's a hermit, so a public pool is not really his idea of fun). I came back and when I got out of the shower, I saw that he had changed the screen saver to this pic of him that I had told him I loved and he'd taped a note to it that said "Happy Birthday, I love you." He made my favorite dinner tonight--Trinidadian curry and bara, and my cake is currently on the counter cooling.

Last year he told me that he would go take a yoga class with me (yoga is my favorite group ex class)...he was totally awkward and terrible at yoga, but he didn't complain a bit (group ex classes aren't usually on a hermit's agenda either).

Birthdays have just become a lot more meaningful now that we celebrate the day without relying on spending money to have a memorable day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Good Riddance American Express!

We scraped up $812.49 out of our tiny income this month to pay off Am Ex!

We were so proud when we got that card. They originally gave us a $10,000 credit limit---at the time, we barely made twice that in a year! They bumped us up to 20K a few months later, and we were so proud that people thought enough of us to give us credit. We ran it up considerably during that time.

My how things change :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A hacksaw and super glue

I got REALLY mad at Michael the other day. We had gone out and bought 21 lbs. of ground beef in bulk packs, meant to be separated and frozen. He put it in the fridge when he got home, and I guess he thought that I was going to separate it and freeze it. It sat in the fridge for two days, and at the end of the second day he noticed they were turning a little brown, so he stuck two huge 7-lb. packages of beef in the freezer WITHOUT separating them. I woke up the next morning and my first thought was that I needed to separate that meat, and that's when I found the giant hunks of ground beef in my freezer. Needless to say, I was pretty pissed. What the heck are we going to do with a 7 lb. hunk of ground beef?! I actually woke him up and reamed him out, because this is not the first time he did that. The last time, I told him he would need to defrost and cook the five lb. hunk of meat, and freeze the cooked meat individually. I thought by making him deal with it, that he wouldn't do it again, but apparently I was wrong.

So, in my anger, as he is telling me that he didn't KNOW he wasn't supposed to freeze the giant hunks of ground beef, I slammed down my coffee press. It cracked. Great, now I have to buy a new coffee press.

So I came home from work, and found out that my wonderful spouse had come up with a creative solution to appease the angry, frugal woman. He had actually taken his hacksaw and sawed apart one-lb. sections of meat. He was quite proud of himself, actually. I kind of wish I could have watched that process.

I dealt with my coffee press leaking for several days, thinking I would have to buy another press. But with some creative super gluing, it's now leak-free.

Crises averted :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

School supplies

Ethan starts kindergarten this fall, so I'm keeping an eye out for good deals on school supplies.

Staples has really good sales in their ad this week for a few items on our list. They have folders, 8-packs of pencils, and little travel bottles of Purell for a penny each. They have floppy binders for 25 cents each.

We spent $1.25 on 18 items.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

...and the $600 phone call

following up from the $1,000 essay :)

When checking my school's financial aid award, I noticed that they listed a:
Texas Education Grant with "denied" next to it. I knew I hadn't denied any grant (who the heck would?!), so I called the financial aid office to see why it said that. She said it was because I wasn't taking enough hours to qualify. I jokingly mentioned that I couldn't even if I wanted to, because I'm taking a basics class at my local community college in order to save money, and I wouldn't have time. I asked her if there was anything else I could do to qualify for it. She sounded surprised and told me that it might benefit me to contact another person in the office about a "consortium agreement" with the community college. Like I've mentioned before, if you let people know that you need to save money, they will often tell you how to do that.

Long story short, they gave me an extra $600 for taking the community college class. The ironic thing is that that class only cost me $200.

I was very excited to find that we didn't even need the $1100 we saved up for my Summer II and fall classes--between the phone call and the essay, I have more than enough money for school.

The graduation countdown is winding down! 5 months to go!!!