Sunday, January 10, 2016

January 9th-10th No Spend

Super busy weekend.

We have had a Bible Conference at church this weekend, beginning Friday night, then Saturday morning, Saturday night, this morning and tonight. We'll finish with a fellowship of finger foods tonight after the service.

Here is my spending from the weekend:
$32.xx for goat and chicken feed. The chickens give us eggs of course, and are pets for our kids, and I kind of like them.

One of the goats we have was a show goat at the fair last year for my oldest daughter, and we just like having them around. We have three total right now and are hoping for a few more in the Spring.

I can justify this small expense in my head though because we do get so much enjoyment from the animals. The eggs are just a bonus.

 Saturday was quite busy. The morning services at our church, then we went to a funeral visitation and service of a dear Saint of God, my Aunt. She was ready to go and her service was a joyous occasion. We ate lunch together as a family with food that folks provided, then back to church for the evening service.

Today was a brotherhood breakfast for my son and hubby ( plus my dad and uncle all attend our church, so it's quite precious). Tonight I'm making pigs in a blanket with some little cocktail weiners I had bought for a New Year's Eve party and never made.

No spend except for the animal feed on Friday!

I just got finished making a big pot of Taco Soup and more veggie stir fry for this upcoming week. I'm out of fresh produce now except for onions, potatoes and a few apples....

I'm pretty pleased about how we have been doing this month so far. We are a third in and we haven't spent anything on non necessities and have had a fine time spending time around the house.

I have the lunches made for me and hubby for all next week, and the girls will have lunches with leftover biscuits from breakfasts, pb&js, yogurts, fruit cups, home made treats, and maybe some muffins if I make any tonight.

I went overboard at an after Christmas sale and I bought 10 cans of organic pumpkin puree. I need to make some pumpkin muffins!!

I hope everyone is doing well, we had expectations of a light dusting of snow, but woke up to a cold drizzle rain. I hope everyone is nice and toasty.

Friday, January 8, 2016

No Spend January 6th and 7th

The last two days have been pretty boring. We have been taking the stir fry to lunch with us and my husband is taking the last one today. I'll have to make another big batch of lunches this weekend. Neither of us have spent any money on lunches or snacks/ coffee all week! I've been brewing my coffee at home like always, but then brewing an additional cup before I leave and drinking it on the way to work.

The kids are good too. Just bringing their lunches from home.

Tonight we have a Bible Conference at our church, so that will be our entertainment.

I bought $10 worth of gas yesterday and will need to buy goat feed and chicken feed today on my way home.

They are calling for a few inches of snow here this weekend, so we'll see.

We are running low on fresh fruits and veggies at the house, although we have plenty of canned and frozen. Normally I would go out and buy groceries today, but we are really okay and have plenty!

I hope everyone else is having a great week!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

No Spend January 5th ( and earning money through BING)

Yesterday was January 5th ( Tuesday)

The prep I did for our work lunches has proved successful as yesterday :
All of us had breakfast at home

Lunch was from home for me and husband ( see yesterday's post about prepping stirfy)

Lunch for the girls was a pb&j with home made muscadine jelly, a hard boiled egg for the oldest, greek yogurt from a large container, put into smaller reusable ones, with fresh blueberries for them to put in them, a bit more of the fresh pineapple from Santa ( that finished off the fresh pineapple) and a mini muffin that I had made this weekend.

Dinner was homeade pizza and a fresh salad ( we are about out of the salad mix I had, maybe one or two more meals out of it)

It was cold, but we all bundled up and went for a walk on our hill, then we came in and the kids had hot chocolate packets left over from a gift from their grandparents as a treat. 

We also got 5 eggs from our hens.

Things we spent money on :
nothing yesterday! not even gas!

I also wanted to mention some ways I am earning money ( of course outside of my job)
Today I wanted to highlight Bing

  https://www.bing.com/explore/rewards?PUBL=REFERAFRIEND&CREA=RAW&rrid=_6e7abcad-086e-ec6b-8468-3faf5218d5c5

Bing is a search engine that basically gives you points to search. There are just a few ways to earn points on Bing:
1. You get points for searching ( you get one point for every two searches) up to 15 points per day
2. There are daily offers ranging from 3 points to about 6. These are one click per point
3. You can download the Bing mobile app and get an additional 10 points per day. I have it downloaded but have rarely used it, I forget.

You don't have to dowload a tool bar or anything. I just keep it in the background and when I need to search for something use it. It is super quick and easy to do. I normally cash out between $5 and -$10 a month on this. They have many options for payment, I just always get Amazon gift cards

I have $25.01 in my Amazon account right now, I'll update you as the year progresses. I like to use my Amazon for the holidays. 

How are you guys doing so far?

Monday, January 4, 2016

No Spend: January 4th

Today was the first day back after a break. I teach at a University so we get a long break at Christmas. It's wonderful to be off with the kids of course.

What we spent today ( other than normal bills like water, mortgage etc. ) 
- Hubby put $30 of gas in his car
- There was a carton of chocolate soy milk that went bad in the fridge I had to throw out, that was money down the drain ( literally)

What we didn't spend today
- Sent lunches with the older two girls to school ( homemade jelly with their pb and j's, and I cut up a pineapple we got from Santa at Christmas and put it in reusable containers instead of sending fruit cups, they drank water from their water bottles, and also each had a home made mini muffin and a cheese stick.

-Breakfast was oatmeal for all of us before we left for work/ school. I like dried cranberries and butter in mine, we each like something different.

-Lunch from home for me and hubs.

- A sweet co worker of mine gave me a back to school package today that had some germX, kleenex, post it notes, popcorn and trail mix. What a sweet surprise!

-Tonight when I got home I made up 8 more lunches for this week for me and my husband and put them in the fridge. I started with some long grain wild rice, and made a few batches of stir fry. I added a can of water chestnuts, onions, egg, red and green bell peppers, broccoli, and fresh pineapple. Some I added strips of deer steak and some I put ginger sauce and garlic in. This will give us some variety and I made the whole rest of the week of lunches for less than $7.00. I had everything on hand of course, but estimated what I spent on it when I bought it. The onions, egg and deer steak were from our own harvests. If we were to go out to eat it would easily be $80 for 8 lunches. Even for Lean Cuisine type meals we are looking at $20 or more dollars for us.

- We got 8 eggs from the hens ( Since we were at work today, I kept them up until I got home, they laid in the laying boxes, when I let them out in the daytime, some seem to lay elsewhere, we need to watch that, and try to find where the others are laying).

Sunday, January 3, 2016

No Spend January Update: January 1-3rd

Whew, so far so good.

January 1st: Friday
We had a nice day. The weather was a little cold, but not too bad here so we went on a hike. It was about a 4 mile hike in a state park we like to frequent, then we played on the playground, walked around the lake and threw sticks and rocks in, and had a picnic I packed from home. It was a nice day.

The only expense was the excess gas of driving. It is about 30 miles each way and my van is pretty efficient, though technically this was an expense that wasn't absolutely necessary, we did it as frugally as possible. No items from the gift shops, no shakes from the local Dairy Queen on the way into the park like we normally do, no stop at the cafe on the way out, so overall a good day.

Other: Got 4 eggs from my chickens!

January 2nd: Saturday
Another LAZY day at home. We didn't even leave the house. We got up late, I made pancakes for the kids and scrambled eggs with onion and peppers for me and the husband. We read and cleaned, and messed around outside. We took a walk around our property and up the hill in order for me to get my 10,000 steps in ( I got a FitBit for Christmas!!). Lunch and dinner were both at home, with items we already had.

Other: Got 4 eggs from my chickens!

January 3rd: Sunday
Today has been another pretty lazy day. We got up and had breakfast at home before going to church. We normally go out to eat with my parents on Sundays, but today we told them we were trying to save a bit of cash this month and we had a ton of food from Christmas and New Year's left over, so we ate lunch at home. Church this evening was fun as well, then a simple dinner of snacking foods and leftovers while we are doing laundry, reading ( the kids) and getting ready for tomorrow when we go back to work and school.

I made up a batch of stir-fry with broccoli, pineapple, a can of water chestnuts, onions, garlic and bell pepper that I had and made enough for my husband and I both to have a lunch tomorrow for work. No reason to eat out tomorrow right?

Other: Got 4 eggs from my chickens!

I haven't heard if anyone else is doing a no spend January, but if you are chime in below and let me know how things are going. It's only day 3, but so far so good!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 31st- Check those Gift Cards

Whew, we are just coming off of Christmas and some of us may have gotten gift cards. According to Gift Card Granny Over $40 BILLION gift card balances went unused from 2005- 2011. That's a lot!

Today I want you to search and see what gift cards you have. Make a list and make a notation about what you might need or want to get with those gift cards. I'm not telling you not to buy anything fun with your gift cards, but it is important that you just look and see what you have and see if you want to make any purchases with them. We don't want to lose that money!

As of right now I only have $43.xx in a gift card from The Limited. This is from a return I did from there about 6 months ago. I have it in my wallet and if I need a gift or perhaps they have a nice sale I'll know it's there. I doubt I use it this January though as I won't be stepping foot in a mall or shopping online. But I know it's there!

I also have $28 in Extra Care Bucks from CVS. Some expire January 4th, but the majority expire January 16th and 25th. I'll need to make sure I make wise decisions and purchase some things we may need from there as to not lose my extra care bucks.

What gift cards do you have? Do you have needs already projected that these cards may help with?

What if you don't want to use the gift card? Maybe it's for a store not close to you or not your style? I've had luck before selling them to cardcash.com and getting payment in paypal for the unwanted card. It's not for full face value, but I've found them to be fair and useful. I've used them twice and have been pleased....

What about you? Did you come up with any cards you have forgotten about? Any thing like Register Rewards ( from Walgreens) Coupons from places like grocery stores or CVS that you need to use before they expire?

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What is included in the NO SPEND JANUARY?

Yesterday I posted about my plan on a No Spend January:

To many of you, some of the items I am forgoing may already be a part of what you are already doing. But to me, I wanted to really focus in on what we could work on this month. I need to make us more accountable.

We don't have cable, haven't had any sort of directTv or satellite in over 3 years I would say. We have a Roku player and Netflix and Hulu as well as Amazon prime. Not having cable saves us a lot!!

What can we spend money on in January?
Normal bills ( like electricity, water, phone bill, internet, car insurance etc.)
Groceries ( although I want to use up my pantry and buy as little as possible)
Gas ( my husband and I both work outside the home and although my drive is less than 8 miles one way, his is more like 28 miles one way, so gas is something we'll spend money on).


What are we NOT going to spend money on in January?
Eating out ( NONE AT ALL)
Things like coffee treats or drinks at work
Clothing, shoes or socks for any of us
hair cuts for any of us ( the little boy just had one and I can trim up my husband's if need be)
Really anything other than necessities

There are a few things that I literally just cancelled for January,so that money will be going towards my debt payout I'm hoping for in January ( $380.xx) on January 1st. The things I cancelled included:
1.Hulu ( It was only about $9.99 a month, but we found we rarely watched it and didn't need it, so good bye)
2. Gwynnie Bee  $35.00 ( This is a clothing subscription service that I .
actually loved, it would send nice clothes in the mail, then you could wear them and either send them back or buy them to keep. I've been doing this almost a year, and have built up several nice outfits, and just wanted to cancel this monthly cost
3. Birchbox- $10 a month ( This is a beauty samples subscription service and again, I loved it, but have too many beauty samples as it is, and wanted to cut it out).

So On January 1st, I'll be paying the $55 to my smallest debt.

What are some things you could get rid of for no spend January?
Netflix?
Hulu?
Another type of cable or satellite?
downgrading some features on your cell phone?
Maybe cancelling your home phone ( we have a Magic Jack only because we don't get cell service were we live)
any monthly subscription services
Maybe vowing to work through your freezers/pantries for your groceries instead of shopping for new?
Committing to using the shampoo, toothpaste, etc. etc. that you have on hand instead of buying more?

What are some other things you might could give up?