June 28, 2010

Finally .... Sunshine!

We have had so many rainy days in the past month, that when I heard the forecast for this week I thought it was a mistake.  I'm not kidding when I say that it has rained practically every day and the ground is very saturated.  I have downplayed it.  It has stormed - lightning, thunder, tornadoes, straight line winds and hail over the past few weeks.  There are places in Iowa that are facing flooding.  Corn fields are looking like rice paddies. 

Today it was sunny, a breeze was blowing and the high was around 80 degrees.  It was a perfect day to finally be able to hang the clothes outside to dry. 

Now imagine my 17 year old son coming home from a student council fundraiser to see his underwear hanging on the line.  He was a little unhappy about that.  It would have been worse since 2 hours earlier the student council members were at our house painting the school mascot on our driveway.  Thank goodness I didn't hang out the clothes then.  He would have been totally embarrassed. 

After supper tonight my DH and I sat on our back deck and drank a cup of coffee.  It was nice and cool.  We sit out on the deck a lot in the evening and I enjoy sitting out there in the morning drinking a cup of coffee and watching everyone go to work.  That is so sweet. 

Today I headed to the grocery store for some milk.  When I walked into the store there was a grocery cart filled with bags of stuff (I couldn't see what it was from a distance).  There was a sign on the cart that said "50 cents."  I had to see what it was.  Hershey Kisses!!!! Yippee.  Nothing speaks to a woman like a bag of chocolate at a reduced price.  I bought 10 bags.  My DH took two to work to put in his candy dish and I took a bag to a neighbor lady who is in her last three weeks of pregnancy.  Yes, I do believe that chocolate is the best way to soothe even the final weeks of pregnancy.  The rest I will  hang on to and use in some baking and snacking.  The candy was discounted as it had an expiration date of July 2010. 

My Hershey Kiss bargain got me to thinking about the grocery stores I shop.  They are both located 1 block from each other and they are about 7 blocks from my house.  One store discounts meat while the other store discounts produce.  Perhaps I need to go to those stores more frequently so that I can take advantage of the discounted food, especially the produce.

I take a walk every day and I could include the grocery stores on my route. I could stop by one of the stores on my way back home and alternate the days I go to each store.  It would only take about 5 minutes to go in the store to check to see if they have anything reduced.  Another advantage to doing this is that it will soon start to heat up again and stopping by an air conditioned store on the way home from my walk might be kind of nice. 

It's just something I am pondering.

This weekend I did get a few great bargains at each grocery store:   90% lean ground beef for $1.69 lb., 8 oz. bags of shredded cheese for $1.00, 15 - 32 oz. bottles of Powerade for $5.00 (my DH is a runner), store brand cereals for $1.00 a box and I received a free seedless watermelon with the purchase of 4 liters of Diet Coke.  The Diet Coke was on sale for 50 cents.  But the best deal by far was the $10 grocery gift card we received from our local newspaper just for signing up to have the payment directly withdrawn from our checking account.

I am on a tight budget right now and will be for the next 6 months.  Now is when my stocked pantry and freezer will be put to good use. 

In setting the $150 challenge I realize that I have probably set it a little low, but I would rather set it low and be successful than to set it high and fail miserably.  My hope is that I can increase the challenge by $25 a month until I have found the point that I can't cut any further.  For me it is about the baby steps in making changes in my life.  Today was one of those baby steps. I have never hung the majority of my laundry outside to dry.  It was tiring as I was on my feet a lot today but I kept thinking this will save some money and my clothes will smell fresh. 

I'll be giving weekly updates on where I am on the $150 challenge.  I have 9 months of spending records to refer to along the way.  I know every penny I have spent over those 9 months so I will be able to calculate my savings and I have targeted the categories that I have been overspending.  Yuck - I hate to admit it but I got into a habit of picking up a $5 item here, spending $10 there and before you knew it, I had blown through $100.  It's very much like a food diet.  Sometimes you eat the ice cream sandwich and then you have to get back on track. 

I had a great day.  While I hung the laundry out I listened to some great music on my Mp3 player, day dreamed about ways to save money and made a list of projects we need to get done on the house.  It was one of those days that makes me happy I am homemaker. 

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