Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Way Too Funny

Sorry Fellas,
But leave it to a man
to create a space-hogging contraption
in order to help around the house.
(ingenious, but hilarious too.)
 This was an advertisement from the 1800's
borrowed from 'The Compleat Farmer.'

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Friday, February 14, 2014

*~*~*Saving Money*~*~*

I have read every book,
looked at every penny pinching site,
and heard every frugal tip,
Well, almost...
I kinda feed off of it all.
It keeps me motivated.
So some of the things that work for us.
(My childhood piggy bank)

Let's talk garbage!
We don't have garbage service - roughly $32 per month.
I have a theory that the more garbage you produce,
the more money you are spending.
You can recycle tin cans (not actually tin anymore,)
most plastics (except the cellophane kind that covers veggies,)
paper of nearly every sort, and glass.
When I have these items, I simply rinse them out
and place them in the bag of like items.
I did make a run to the transfer station before Christmas
which cost $8.  It was on the way to work so no extra gas was used.
At this point, I still don't have 1 full garbage can.

If you have credit card debt and are paying interest,
call the number on the card.
Don't even talk to the person that answers the phone.
Ask to speak with a manager or supervisor - 
all of this kindly and respectfully of course.
Tell the supervisor that you receive offers of 0% interest,
and ask what they can offer because you don't want to have to
switch cards.
You might even qualify for a 1 year hardship rate of 0% interest.
This just means that much more towards the principle.
Obviously, pay as much towards it as possible.

Spend about half an hour on the phone and save a lot.
Phone company: no caller ID, & pay for long distance calls.
This has saved us between $30-$40 per month.
Insurance: talk to your agent.  combine home & auto
and find the best rate that suits your needs.
Electric: Shut off lights, unplug just about anything not in use, 
hang clothes to dry, and wash dishes by hand.
(Dryer and dishwasher use the most electric)
Nix the TV - it's a habit not a necessity.
Hygiene: I make our laundry detergent for pennies vs.
store bought $10 per bottle or box. 
Also, use cloth napkins, hand towels etc. 

Diet - what do you eat?
I think it's funny (or peculiar) that some rave about how much 
they save on items that are unhealthy.
I have a better idea.  Don't buy them at all.
Examples are chips, soda-pop, crackers, processed cheeses,
dressings, toppings of all sorts, boxed sweets or just add water
or hamburger, jello, canned soup...the list goes on.
We try to keep the simple sugars (grains) to a minimum.
Often these are big sales items and 'fillers.'
Just an FYI: broccoli has 8 times as much fiber as whole grain
plus much needed nutrients.
When you shop, shop the skirt of the store.
That is where the dairy, meats, and produce are.
Be leery of the isles - they'll getchya.
About the only thing I get from the isles are
peanut butter, vinegar, and spices.
Also, find a place where you can buy in bulk.
There are a variety of ways to safely and effectively store it.
There are two upsides to this:
you will save money & be healthier.
And oh yes, eat at home (and make coffee at home too.)

You'll love this one.
Depending upon where you live...
aaaand if you have a friend in law enforcement...
at times they catch poachers with an animal 
already dressed out.
This might vary by state, 
but they used to donate them to the senior center
which they can no longer do because of FDA regulations.
At times, they have nobody to donate the meat to.
If you have this resource and like game,
it's just a matter of cutting and wrapping.
Free meat.

Figure out where your money is going.
If you know where it's going, 
you can focus on decreasing the amount spent in the 
most significant areas.
This will be different for every household
as we each have our own issues, habits, chocolate addictions, etc.
Like anything, it's easier if you start small
say by making the call to the phone company.
Once you realize the savings,
you will want to save more & you will.

My personal challenge is usually the electric bill:
Last month it was down to $62.
About 5 years ago, I had it down to $55, 
but rates keep increasing.
I still want to try to beat that $55.

If you have a particular area that I didn't address,
let me know.
This is by no means a complete list.
(We save about 50cents/gal on propane
by being on the 'keep-full' list.)
If I know of a way you can save,
I will certainly share.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Need a Good Laugh?

I won't even make you guess...
It's yarn, yes, yarn - 2 ply even:)
What do you think I should make with it - heeheehee?
I mentioned before, I was learning to spin.
I might be one of those sslllooow learners,
but at least I have produced something.
I think it rather looks like fishing net.
It kinda took a long time to get through
as I am really a quilter.
I am not a spinner in real life - just in my dreams.

Today there was a "Spin-in."
It was a wonderful chilly grey day for being inside
with a bunch of fun gals and lots of fiber.
Gals began slipping their shoes off & I noticed something interesting.
Nearly all of us had wool socks on.
Yep, those are vampire teeth on the back of those socks:)
Marie wore black??? Don't know about that gal.

In case you can't tell from the photo on the left, here is a close up of her pants. 
Renee was using her drop spindle (left.)
That yarn was absolutely beautiful.
I was, am, and I'm sure will continue to be amazed 
at the talent that was gathered in this room.
This is a new group event.
The first Saturday of the month from here on out.
I knew a couple of the gals,
but for the most part met new creative people.
I have to say the generosity of these gals was phenomenal.
If you want to learn, they'll get you going. 

Fair warning: 
Like most worthy hobbies, it's addicting!
I don't knit or crochet so don't know what I will do
with 'real' yarn assuming I am ever able to produce any.
For now, I am just enjoying the learning and the laughter.
I hope you have a day filled with as much enjoyment.

Until next time,
Nimble Fingers and Even Stitches