April 15, 2010

A Little Bit of This and That

The weather has been absolutely gorgeous here in south central Iowa.  It has been in the upper 70's and low 80's, the sun is shining and the trees are budding and the grass is green.  My day lilies are coming up and so are the peonies.  Tonight we are expecting severe storms.  This means the possibility of tornadoes and strong winds, but for now I am enjoying the beautiful spring day.

Today I headed to Hy-Vee grocery store to pick up some ziplock storage bags.  They are on sale for only 99 cents a box and I had several coupons for 40 cents and 50 cents off.  I bought 6 boxes for a total of $3.14.  When I got to the checkout I received a coupon for $4.00 off my next shopping trip to Hy-Vee courtesy of Ziplock.  Nothing makes my day like getting a great deal especially when the deal is free. 

My DH's birthday is Monday the 19th and I have saved up $100 towards the purchase of a Kindle for him.  He has $140 saved for this purchase.  He has no idea that I have been taking my coupon savings for the past few weeks and saving it for him.  There is nothing that brings more happiness to me than to surprise a family member with a gift that they have wanted. 

This weekend I will be tuckpointing bricks around the outside foundation of our house.  I have done this before on the inside walls of the basement and used a mortar that was premixed and in a tube that you just squirted in between the bricks.  My former boss gave me half a bag of mortar mix (hey, again I love free).  I have to mix it with water to the right consistency and then with a trowel work the mortar inbetween the bricks.  There aren't a lot of bricks that need pointed, but to hire it out would still be costly.  An afternoon of my own sweat equity will take care of the job.

My DH will be working on a drippy faucet in our bathroom.  I would love to get a new faucet but our budget has been and will continue to be tight.  So, if we can put a little work into it and just have to replace a washer or two, that is good enough for me.  However, if new washers can't fix the problem, we will purchase a new faucet.

March was fraught with added expenses such as a new washing machine and some hired plumbing work as two examples.  The month of April is continuing the theme of added expenses with a truck repair bill and the possibility of replacing our refrigerator.  To help with these expenses I have cut back our grocery bill to just the necessities which means milk, eggs, butter and fresh produce.  We can easily live off what is in our freezer and pantry. 

One thing I have learned over the past few months is that when I see unforeseen expenses coming our way I can rely on a stocked pantry to get us by.  I will be doing this for the next few months as our emergency fund has really dwindled since I became unemployed.  Thankfully we have had money in savings to pay for these added expenses but we need to replenish the emergency fund.

Since starting this post, the clouds are now rolling in and my neighbor has started to mow his lawn.  He is probably hoping he can get it done before the rain comes.

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