Sunday, September 14, 2008

Focused and Organized

Meredith at Like Merchant Shipshas a post on Frugal Hacks about finding your frugal niche. It is funny that I stumbled upon this older post this morning, because this was on my mind in more ways than one. I sell handmade items on line on Etsy and at local farmer's markers and craft shows. I feel the many different items I sell make my table and online shop look cluttered. As with this blog, it has been hard for me to find my niche and therefore showcase or concentrated fulling on what I am doing now. I realize I have this problem in other areas of my life as well, such as housework and projects I need to finish in my home.

So my goal is to start becoming focused and organized with my blog, my handmade items, my house, and my life in general. Any frugal suggestions in this area are greatly welcome!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

New Job

I wasn't really looking for a job outside the home, but I got one anyway. I work 3.5 hours a day in the cafeteria at a local middle school. The pay is okay, but the benefits are great! This will not only help us stay afloat, but hopefully we'll be able to pay down some debt.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Frugal Life Part 1

I originally started this blog as a way for me to organize and reflect on my daily life. Much the same with journals in the past, I have been very sporadic and have found myself unwilling to be able look at past entries without criticizing them. Recently this has been true of my blog, mostly because of the horrible happenings of the past few months. I had a friend commit suicide, we had an unexpected drastic loss of income, my father-in-law has been battling brain cancer, and we are struggling to complete a much needed addition to our tiny 1100 sq ft ranch home for our crammed in family of 6. And that washer my SIL just gave us? It's leaking water as I type!

If it weren't for the frugal lifestyle we had already had in place, we would not be able to meet our monthly needs right now. On the flip side, there really isn't anymore I can cut out of my budget to free up more cash. We still have a considerable amount of debt and I refuse to slide backwards. It is time to think outside the box, and find creative ideas for income, because selling t-shirt scrubbers and other hand made items on ETSY, just isn't cutting it. LOL

I realize one of my biggest problems is organization and staying focused. I'm not only right brained with my creativity, but I also tend to bounce around between projects a lot. Therefore, I have decided to start a series of posts, first dedicated to what I already do in the way of being frugal and green, and then move on to new ideas and things to try. This will also be a great way to reflect on past accomplishments and inspire me in the future. I also hope I can pass on some useful information to my readers and encourage useful comments from you!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

He Provides!

God really is so good! I was talking to my SIL about my washer issue. Last year she bought a new FL set and still had her old washer sitting in her basement. Is is almost exactly like ours, and she said we can have it! I often find myself concentrated so hard on what we need and want that I forget to give thanks for all the little necessities God provides every day. Last year I became active in a reclaimed food pantry, and I also started couponing and stockpiling like crazy. At the time, these actions weren't necessary to our way of life. They did, however, allow us to get some of our debt paid off. Since then our income has dropped significantly and if it weren't for the actions of the past year, we would be up a creek right now! He knew what was coming and provided in advance what we would need, and He is still providing!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Washer still Broken Now What?

The part we replaced was just a symptom of the original problem. I researched reviews last night and found out my Kenmore 80 Series Super Capacity Plus washer is a big fat LEMON! Now we are faced with a big dilemma, sink another $200 plus (in addition to the $35 we just paid and the original $400 plus for the machine) or spend $1,000 we don't have for a high quality front loader. I read the reviews for Fls last night as well, and I'm not really impressed with most of those as well. One thing for sure, this time I'll get the extended warranty. I hate those warranties because I think an appliance should last more than 1 - 2 years anyway! My last Kenmore set lasted 14 years aside from a few inexpensive parts towards the end. It might still be working for all I know. I would welcome any advice!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Yay! My washer's fixed!

I have never been so happy to be doing laundry at 10:00 pm. Our (2 year old) washer broke a few weeks ago, and after taking it apart and replacing the, broken in two, plastic part, it still wasn't working right. Mr. Right Brain finally had time to take it apart again, tonight, and found and fixed the problem. Even though we all wear many clothing items more than once, with a family of 6 we have a lot of laundry every week! In the past two weeks I have spent $38 to wash cloths at the laundry mat. That didn't even include drying, which we line dried at home. I was so desperate today that I hand washed a few things just to get by. I was determined not to lay out any more money at the laundry mat. Boy is hand washing hard work! If you are interested in hand washing, Robyn, at Lentils and Rice has some good advice on how to to it much easier. For now, I'm sticking with my much appreciated washing machine!

Back to School

Well, my three teenagers started school today. (Big unhappy face.) At least I still home school my youngest. Sometimes I think I'm the only mom who is not happy to send my kids off to school. I really like my kids! I enjoy spending time with them, I like to hear their opinions, and I like the people they are growing into. I am so lucky to be their mom!