Thursday, September 26, 2013

Month One on One

...Income, that is.

We officially made it through our first full month of living on one income. And it's actually going really well. I get paid tomorrow, and I just checked all the numbers. We came in under on the budget, and while we did cut back this month didn't feel like too much of a sacrifice. We definitely ate out less. I didn't stop for coffee or food as much as I normally would. But you know what? It was a good month. It felt good to be frugal again.

And the even better news? We were able to reduce the student loans by over $600!

Also, my husband is signed up for a class to get his soccer reffing license to bring in a little extra cash soon. And he also passed the CBEST and will be applying to substitute teach in a few local districts. So, hopefully we can put even more extra cash towards the student loans when that happens. But it feels good to know we can live on one income and still make at least a small dent in our total loan balance.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

More Frugal Things We've Been Doing

Here's what I did this weekend and how I made it frugal:

*Shared a burrito at dinner: we went to our favorite Mexican place on Friday night (one of our only times eating out together this month!). They have a "monster" burrito on the menu. It's ten bucks and we split it. It was plenty of food, and we saved money by not ordering our own separate dishes.

*Decorated for Fall: I put out the decorations I already had, for the most part. Over the years I've gotten several pumpkin-shaped candles (either as gifts or on clearance after the holidays are over), but I never burn them. This way I can put them out year after year. :) I have one pumpkin scented candle that I do light, so I still get that feel. I also made this centerpiece and only spent $1.59 on candy corn (the rest of the stuff I already had).

*Made meals at home: Today I almost went to Ralphs, but then pushed myself to cook at home. We ate here and ate quiet well, in fact! I made cornmeal pancakes (thanks, Pioneer Woman) and turkey bacon for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and for dinner we had garlic chicken, pasta, and brussel sprouts. :) After I made all that, I felt silly for wanting to go to the store for food. Plenty here!

*Dinner with my sister: This was on Thursday, but we went to dinner and I used a Groupon I bought a few months back. It covered both of our meals and dessert. She paid the tip, so this felt free! (Yes, I bought the Groupon, but it was so long ago it hardly seems to count.)

*Swagbucks: when I read blogs or went on Facebook I was sure to Swagbuck it, and I am building up to get another Amazon gift card. The last one I got just posted today. These will be handy to have for Christmas time!

So, what did you to do keep it frugal this weekend?

Monday, September 9, 2013


So, in the past few weeks I've been off the blog, I've been delving further into our loan debt, crunching numbers and looking at history, etc. And most of what I've realized actually makes me realize we have further to dig out than I thought. Meaning, it's not very positive. I will update on that at some point, but for today I need to focus on the positive! So, here are some ways I've gotten my frugal on in the past few weeks. Or, as I like to call it, how I've been frugalling. (It's a verb.)

*I've been back on Recyclebank and Swagbucks, and am well on my way to some $5 Amazon gift cards. I plan on using those either for Christmas gifts or for necessities down the line.
*I also used two Bath and Body Works coupons to get free travel-sized items that I will use as prizes in a baby shower I'm throwing next month.
*Speaking of the shower, I've made all the invitations and decorations myself, spending $5 on paper.
*We've gone on two dates at the Dollar Theater in our area. We brought in our own candy and drinks, of course. Each date cost us a total of about $8 with snacks.
*We've done the vast majority of our eating here at home. I haven't stopped for coffee or breakfast on the way to work once!
*I've made birthday cards using my Cricut, and have plans to make a friend some homemade caramel corn for her birthday gift. I'm going to make a cute tag and put them in a mason jar that I already have.
*I've been going onto The Freebie Blogger and have requested various free samples. I'll either use these as stocking stuffers, for travel, or to save on my grocery/toiletries bill.
*I'm also back to tracking our spending to the penny, and should be able to make our first extra payment on the student loans at the end of the month.
*My husband downgraded his texting plan and minutes on his phone, which will save us $27 per month.
*We also cancelled Hulu Plus and just kept streaming on Netflix. There are always coupon codes for Redbox rentals, so we're going to get by on that for newer releases.

So, even though we've got a long climb to go, I feel good about these changes. And most of them aren't too difficult. I sort of enjoy the challenge of being frugal. Just hope that feeling doesn't wear off too soon!