Friday, September 30, 2016

A Few Frugal Wins in September

I've got to do some serious figuring as to where we are in savings towards my end of year challenge, compared to the output on house updating/repairs that were already saved for and in our spending plan. I perhaps should have started s separate bank account, or at least a ledger of outgoings and inputs, but I'll spend some time in October when the VISA (for floors and miscellaneous house expenses) and  garbage (for dumpster and some hauling costs) come to see what we actually added above planned spending to the bank balance. As the flooring surprised me at how expensive it was, yet didn't phase DH, something is amiss in our budgeting for the house, so we need a good sit down on that. Despite the outpouring of cash for floors, new gutters, and miscellaneous house purchases, and  assorted DD2 expenses, there were many successes on the September financial front. 

Grocery shopping and school lunches: We managed to keep spending on groceries, not counting her part to my target of $300.  I was not so careful in keeping the specif receipts, but within a 5% margin of error, I am going with a final of $286. I did put $50 in DD's lunch account, but she has been taking lunch a minimum of 2 days a week, so a reduction from last year of  $17.60 a month. There were days when we just weren't planful, or she liked what was on the menu, but still at this rate,  that's $158 more in my pocket by school years end. 

Cleaning, Health, and Beauty: A major target sale combined with manufacturers coupons stocked me up for probably all of October as well in cleaning and toiletries and personal supplies. The purging of my kitchen and bathroom under sink cupboards cabinets yielded a long term supply of women's razors plus cleaning supplies for the rest of fall. Dish cleaner and laundry soap is all I can think that we will need until November. 

Freebies: The above Target purchase also netted me $25 in Target gift cards. A coupon for a free 8 by 10 print at Walgreen's meant I could get a semi formal family picture, taken on the cruise, then cleaned up (it was quite blurry and had weird things in the back ground) by DD1, to update the last one taken over nine years ago! While not professionally done, I look at the one we had on the cruise in 2007, and quite frankly, this one isn't any poorer quality and I can imagine we paid plenty. DD1 brought a bag of picked apples home last weekend after picking more than she and her friend could use after their fall day out the previous Sunday. I think of apple orchard picking as entertainment with the bonus of fresh fruit to bring home, so with that perspective, the apples were sort of free.
Gas: We've been fortunate that gas continues to be lower than it has been in years. Add my minimum of $0.05 off per gallon and an additional three days I didn't commute to the office, I kept below the budget. 

utilities: DH negotiated an addition $5.00 off per month for our Direct TV, and got the NFL package thrown in for the duration of the season. We would never spend the money on the added package, but a happy husband, without any new toys, is a bargain!  

Home making: I wrote a few weeks back about repainting towel shelves in my bathrooms. I am happy with how they turned out, and it at least temporarily, feel more positive about the shape of my home until we can source the best deals on a real bathroom makeover upstairs. Some hand towels I bought a while back, and a new on clearance shower curtain and rug for downstairs spruced up the generic white hospital look, spending a grand total of $28 down stairs. I popped a few pictures in below.

I feel fairly content as to how September went. Income is still nothing to rave about, and with that the budget will remain tight. We had a few expenses that frustrate me, and a few such as wedding, shower, and other gifts that are just part of life.We have scrimped in areas, but I do think we could do better. I don't feel like we have done without-not in food, experiences, and home life.In fact, I am feeling loads more satisfied with every bag of clutter removed and every item donated. I really do not want any more meaningless stuff in my home. Unless basics we really will use, I feel free from buying things just because it was a good deal. Clutter and chaos are not frugal. Use it up, redo, and make do, has to become part of my actions not just a sound bite. How was your September? Were your goals, spending, saving, or others met?

What was white, chipped, and flaking got a spray of granite.

Clearanced towels and my "babies" in old glass picture frames.

Downstairs freshened with new shower curtain, rug, and hand towels.


  1. It sounds like a great month. Love the bathroom rug! I haven't started thinking about September being over yet. Guess I should go review my goals & see how I did. ;-)

    1. The rug just sort of popped out on the shelf, and I was pleasantly surprised at the price. It isn;t matchy-matchy to the shower curtain, but ties together well. Good luck on your review.

  2. Good for you with your very pretty spruce-ups! I am all of the sudden faced with a new dishwasher purchase. Knowing we will not be here more than 5 more years makes me want to go middle of the road on the purchase, but the other part of me reminds myself you get what you pay for.
    Your family is lovely!

    1. It's not the remodel I would like, but I'll settle for apruce up for now. We're like that on buying a new sectional for downstairs. We looked last night, and there is a lot of junk, with low price points, and then "in my wildest dreams" price tags. What I want is like in my living room, but a sectional, but we didn't quite see what I want yet, maybe a couple options.Thaks for your words on my family-they have thier bright spots.


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