Saturday, December 31, 2016


A New Year full of possibilities.

12 months to express gratitude.

365 days to reinvent yourself.

Countless hours to fill with creativity.

Endless minutes to learn new things.

Numerous opportunities to feel joy.

Let's not squander it.

December's Simple Savings and Year End Computation

$459.76 was saved this month by using small strategies.

$13,854.39 was saved in total this year with those small strategies.

That is $1,154.53/month on average.

This month the strategies used were:  E-books, free coffee, salvage groceries, thrift store sales, sale foods, Aldi $5 coupons, gas buddy, hotel breakfasts, store sales and Mike's free birthday burger.

What have I learned this year?  That doing small things can add up to big money saved.

And, the opposite is also true.  Small expenses can drain your bank account of a lot of cash.

You decide which you prefer for your future.  I know what side I prefer.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

2017 Word For The Year


Of consumerism.  Yes, I will consume, but from thrift stores and of used items.  Help your budget and your planet.

Of purchases.  Don't buy without thinking.  Buy only what is needed, not just what is wanted.

Of relationships.  Take time to cultivate them.  Be sure to honor them.

Of goals.  Make them.  Work towards them. Hopefully meet them.

Of emotions.  Feel them. Control them. Don't dramatize them.

Of gratitude.  For people. For gifts of time and the heart.

Of the moment.  Remember, yesterday is past.  Tomorrow is yet to be. Live in the moment.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2017 Challenge

2017 will be the year of the grocery budget.

I'm challenging myself to keep detailed records of what is spent, what is bought and what is eaten.

I haven't done this in an organized fashion in far too long.  It will be interesting to see how much is really spent feeding the two of us.

The U.S. government says that spending $ 75.80 per week ,   $330 per month or $ 3960  per year is considered thrifty for our family.  I wonder how close I can be and still provide the healthier choices we prefer.

I'll be shopping sales, eating in season foods, trying not to waste, and shopping discount sources when available.

Coupons will be a VERY small part since they don't do those in England.  And, in the U.S. we eat things that rarely have coupons.

I'll be, as usual, cooking the majority of our meals at home, from scratch.

My collection of cost cutting tips and recipes will be dusted off and put to good use.
And, I will be stockpiling sale items to use later when the sales are thinner on the ground.

In fact, January will be a time of using up some of the great deals from November and December.

But over the year it will all even out and I will get an honest view of our food costs, and how it fluctuates from month to month.

Monday, December 26, 2016

43 Years Ago Today

That is when Mike and I had our first date.

He impressed my dad with his ROTC haircut and his knowledge of words in crossword puzzles.

My mom liked him because of his manners.

We didn't do anything fancy.  We sat at McDonald's and talked for hours about whatever came to mind.  At the close of the evening I felt like I had known him for a long time.

Two weeks later I was in love.

It took him quite a bit longer.  :)

Happy Anniversary, Mike.  I'm glad we had that first date.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given ...  "  Isaiah 9:6

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."   Luke 2:10-11

Merry Christmas to everyone.  May your holidays be filled with Joy.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Rehab and Wrapping, Baking and Buying

No, I have not dropped off the face of the earth.

But, I have been busy with four days a week rehab, and trying to get ready for Christmas without over stressing.

 So far so good.

I have been a busy little elf.

The figgy pudding is steamed.
 Grandma's Christmas bread has been stirred up.
Mom's pumpkin bread is baked.
The banana bread is baking as I type.
Chocolate, peanut butter, and gingerbread fudge is made.
  Rice krispie treats are waiting.
 And, dad's apple butter is canned.

I still have saltine toffee, brownies and a mince pie to make.  But, there's plenty of time.

No worries.

Yesterday, all but seven of my gifts were wrapped or bagged.
Now we just need to deliver and that is the fun part.

I love this holiday and I especially love being able to enjoy it without too much stress.

Hope your holiday prep is going well.

  Just remember, what gets done gets done and nobody else will know what doesn't get done.

Friday, December 2, 2016

November's Small Simple Savings

We were away on a cruise (to be discussed in a later post) for most of the month. The result is a much smaller amount of simple savings.  We did manage to keep $308.01 in our bank account rather than in someone else's.  We did this by using points for a hotel room, free coffee, salvage groceries, gassbuddy discounts, free e-books, senior hair cut savings, and the buying of sale items.

In the last eleven months we have kept $13,384.33 in our account through simple savings strategies.  That is an average of $1216.76 per month.  Not bad.