What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, October 18, 2013

Finances on Friday

...In which I try to keep my head in the financial game by thinking on (and acting upon) ways to save pennies, make pennies and stretch pennies.

for good measure- a picture.  Not money-related, but whatever.  :-)

 Since I had company last Friday and was unable to post, my "efforts" list will be a bit longer today as it covers two weeks instead of one.

But first~ I have to share this video.  I found this guy's videos and have been devouring them whenever I have a spare moment (usually as I snarf my lunch).  This video, especially, is very helpful in explaining modern economics to anyone and everyone interested in learning about it.  (And any and every American SHOULD be.) Wondering what exactly a debt ceiling is?  Where our money supply comes from?  How currency works?  Why our nation is in some serious debt? 
  This video explains it all in very clear and concise terms and in an easy to understand format.  Watch it- and see if you don't go searching for other Mike Maloney videos.  ;-)


And now, A few financial efforts from the last two weeks:

(It is at times hard to write these because there are so many things I have done for so long to save money...many little bitty things that just come naturally.  Like hanging clothes on the line and reusing ziploc bags and using the library...nevertheless, I will try to remember to include these things at the bottom of the list.)

~ instead of throwing away the water I used to blanch vegetables, I froze it for veggie broth

~ went to a free knitting class at the library.  We started a new project and I really wanted to go and buy a PERFECT yarn for it but I instead chose to use a skein from my stash that had been given to me.  I am proud of myself for this because I really wanted to go to the yarn store.  Not only did I not spend money unnecessarily- I dwindled my stash a bit- AND it turns out the yarn I had was PERFECT for the project!

~ got tons of books from the library to read for pleasure and home education

~ filled a bag of books and audio-stories from the book barn for $2.00

~ I read this article about saving money on health care costs.   

~ crushed the last of the tortilla chip crumbs in the bag and saved for a crispy coating for meats or casseroles.

~ dropped off the clothing limit at the consignment shop.

~ I ordered local, grass fed beef: 1/4 of a cow.  The price was $3.30 a pound which is more than I would pay scouring the stores for deals.  But it is much more quality meat and sometimes being cheap isn't always cheap in the long run.  Besides, I won't have to do any meat runs to the store for a while!   

~ Called a local place for some bulk prices.  

~ used a free Redbox code (from m.s.m.) for a movie

~ I used a turkey in my freezer from last Christmas' sales (.19c a pound) to feed a visiting family instead of planning (and purchasing) more elaborate meals.  My tendency when hosting people is to go all out and splurge on 'special things' to feed them so it was a big deal that I showed restraint.  This helped use up the turkey, make room in my freezer, and keep my feeding-company costs down to almost NOTHING.  It was awesome.  PLUS- it was all cooked and boned before they even got here so it made meal prep a total breeze.

~ I boiled the turkey carcass for broth the next day.

~ gave dog and cat half of the turkey bits and skin from making broth and froze the other half for later dog/cat food.

~ I paid for a doctor visit up-front in cash and got over $45 knocked off my bill.

~ I took advantage of a Canon Press deal to buy a few things we've been wanting for over a year now (at 40% off), including some homeschool resources and a Christmas present for one of the children.  (Prices no longer appear on sale)

~ Found some kettlebell workout videos to use on youtube instead of going out and buying a dvd

~ hung all the laundry on line to dry

~ Matt sold some logs and got a tidy little sum to put in his 'boy toy' envelope.  (He would hate that I just called his envelope that.  :-) )

~ I began (and finished) reading The Real Crash by Peter Schiff.  Really great book.

~ accepted some dahlia and gladiola bulbs that a neighbor was looking to get rid of.

~ canned a few batches of applesauce 

~ washed and reused ziploc bags

~ cleared the fridge of leftovers and added them to dinners to be sure nothing spoiled and was wasted.

~ cut flowers from my own garden for vases

~ reused aluminum foil

 ~ fed chickens our kitchen scraps 

How did you do this week on stretching those pennies?


Anonymous said...

I am so glad to see that I am not the only one who reuses ziplock bags and foil! I actually use the same piece of saran wrap to cover the bread dough when rising! I have a mini panic attack when I leave it out thinking one of my kids will throw it out, LOL!


Davene Grace said...

Great list! You are definitely a worthy example when it comes to stretching a penny! :) This post reminds me of another post I read recently - it's on a private blog, so I can't link to it - but anyway, the blogger said that her mother taught her, "It's my husband's job to make the money. It's my job to save it!" They are like you: wonderfully skilled in the area of making money go further. :)

I also wanted to pipe up here and let you know that we are members of Samaritan Ministries (as described in that article you linked to...in case anybody else is reading this and wondering why in the world I'm talking about this!). ;-) We have been for 7 years, I think, and have had 3 babies and 1 other medical need that were shared with that organization. Our needs have ALWAYS been supplied through the other members, and we have been SO grateful as we've watched people faithfully give and faithfully pray for us. Earlier this year, I had some testing done on a lump in my thyroid; and I can't even tell you how amazing it was to call Samaritan Ministries and have the voice on the other line say, "Can I pray with you right now?" What insurance company does that??? ;-) For that whole procedure, which involved several doctor's visits, an ultrasound and biopsy at the hospital, as well as lab work, the total amount that we ended up paying was $89.82. I'm good with that. :)

Plus, it's actually a joy to send our check every month to someone - a real live person! - who has a need. I certainly never felt that way about paying the bill of an insurance company!

Anyway, there are my two cents for you... :)

Anna Yager said...

Great work, Rebecca! Especially in using the turkey instead of giving in to the urge to upscale in the hosting department. That's a really tricky one to overcome. I'm also glad to hear that Matt was able to sell some logs and put that money aside. You'll get there! And the great part is, once Matt can get his own mill, that will bring more income to your household.

Rebecca said...

Jennifer- I made a bread-cloth for rising dough. Maybe you could too? Then you could rest easy when your children step near the Saran wrap! ;-)

Davene- I have said that same thing before! They sound like my kind of people! Thank you very much for the information about Samaritan Ministries. That sounds like a really great program. I'll talk to Matt about it.

Anna- thank you. That really was something I was proud about...as you said, it is hard to break that sort of habit!

Anonymous said...

Greetings from rural Wisconsin!! I LOVE your blog and am especially tuned into your posts detailing your frugal ways--so inspirational!! Please keep sharing your everyday tips. Two questions: How do you incorporate your children into the money-saving way? (I assume the older two understand family budgets a bit, and also are old enough to know about "wanting" things, working hard for them, etc?) Also, I am curious about health insurance because you mentioned you don't have it. Does that make office visits, emergencies MORE expensive in the long run, and also a little "stressful" worrying/wondering about a major health event, surgery, whatever? Please never stop blogging and keep sharing your gorgeous photography!!

Anonymous said...

I had to smile when I saw you fixed turkey for your guests. One of our sweet mentor couples from church always bought up a half dozen or more turkeys during the holiday sales and cooked one for Sunday dinner many times instead of the traditional roast. She knew I loved turkey and had us over whenever she had one in the oven. Those were such good times, we'd pull some of her red haven peaches and home grown corn out of the freezer to have along with mashed potatoes and gravy. Of all the meals we've had at other people's homes...Anna's turkey meals are the ones I remember the most. Just wanted you to know that :) ps..I always make bbQ sandwiches with my leftover thigh meat when I bake a turkey as we usually eat the white meat first. I also save my cereal box liners (wax paper ones) shake the crumbs out and use them to freeze bread, etc. And instead of plastic wrap I buy a box of those plastic bowl covers (dollar store) and they last a long time, when I wash them I hang them with clothepins from my kitchen window. As always enjoy all your special moments you share with us! Blessings, Janet

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

:)Great Job Mama, not always easy to do!

We also have SM and it was the best decision we have ever made regarding our health care options. It has covered a midwife supported pregnancy and birth and when my son had cancer all costs were covered by members, but more importantly we were covered by the love and prayers of so many.

The only throw away item we have in our house is parchment paper (which we can compost). We gave up ALL paper products four years ago.

We get all of our meat by the 1/2 or whole animal, or raise them ourselves and milk our own cows. We can go through 12 gallons of raw milk a week, a huge money saver and so much more healthy than store bought milk.

We have numerous food allergies so just about everything I make is totally from scratch. Saves lots of money.

JenniferM said...

The tortilla chip crumbs are more popular in this house than the chips themselves. The kids love to pour them in a bowl, mix with salsa, and eat with a spoon. For some reason, they never want to actually dip them. : )

If you look into the cost-sharing healthcare, read the info on each of the "big 3" -- Samaritan, Medi-Share, and Christian Healthcare Ministries. I read about them all, they were all a bit different, and we decided to go with CHM. We've been members for 7 years now and they've paid for the births of four of our children.