Monday, January 2, 2023

A Journal of My Days: 1/2/23

It’s a new year and like so many others have done I’ve started it off as I intend to go … staying busy!  I made out my ‘to-do’ list for this week over the weekend and promptly started work on it this morning. 

One item on my list is to read the book “What Money Can’t Buy, A story from the Great Depression by Emily Steiner.  There are 368 pages in the book, and I’ve set the goal of reading 74 pages a day for 5 days.  I met the goal for today’s reading!  This is the second time I’ve read this book and I’m enjoying it just as much now as I did the first time … only this time I’m paying a bit more attention to how they survived! (I have a lofty goal of reading one book per week this year and given my track record of not finding time to read hold in your hands books, this goal sounds a bit ridiculous.  Ha …. I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge so we’re going to see what I do with this one this year!) 

Another item on my list is to declutter 20 items per day this week and I’m happy to say that I was successful today!  Twenty items were put back where they belong, rehomed, or tossed.  I’m really trying to improve on my organization this year and am baby stepping my way through the process.  Living in a small house means you either stay ahead of the clutter or it will literally overtake everything!

Our main meal of the day today was leftover beef stew.  Hubby made a crockpot full the end of last week and there was enough left for another meal.  We enjoyed it today; it was just as good as the day it was made!  In our attempt to ‘up our frugal game’ we’re trying to be mindful of what we have in the refrigerator and not let anything ruin.

I boiled some eggs to make egg salad.  I haven’t had egg salad in a really long time and am looking forward to having it again.  My plan is to have it in a low carb wrap.  What do you put in your egg salad?

I also set in motion 2 things we plan to do to help rebuild our emergency fund that took an unexpected hit in the fall … but then isn’t that what emergency funds are for … those unexpected things that pop up in our lives.   Here are the two things I added to my weekly to-do list that will add a little variety and maybe just a little bit of fun to rebuilding our emergency fund:

Zero out Sunday:  Every Sunday I take the last 3 digits of our checking account amount and transfer it to savings.  Example, if the amount is $249. 18, I’ll transfer $9.18 to savings, zeroing out the amount in our checking account.   It’s not a lot, but it’s something and it doesn’t usually cause financial hardship.  Every little bit adds up over time.

Pull a Card Monday:  I took 52 index cards (that I already had on hand) and wrote one number on each card up to 52.  Every Monday, I’ll pull one of those cards, set it aside and when the next paycheck comes in, take those cards, add up the amount and add that amount to our savings.  I’ll add the cards back to the rest, remix, put them back in the envelope I keep them in and set it aside until the following Monday.  For today I pulled the number 29.  After placing a paper clip on it I put it in the front of the envelope.  Next Monday, when I pull another card, I'll clip it to the one I pulled today and put them both back in the front of the envelope.  When payday arrives, I'll add them together, add the total to savings, remove the paper clip and mix them back in with the others.

Do you have ‘unconventional’ ways of saving money?

I read a post written by Annabel over on The Bluebirds are Nesting on the Farm titled ‘Save Like Nana Did’ and boy oh boy, did it inspire me.  While I stay busy most of the time, I picked up some pointers for making better use of my time and got a whole bunch of gift ideas.


With Annabel’s post in mind, I pulled together a new cross-stitch project, put it in a drawstring bag and placed it beside my chair where I can reach and grab it when I have some down time or feel the need to rest a bit.  The little mouse pattern is a freebee (the line in Twas the Night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse, prompted this little project.  My plan is to make it into a little mini pillow for Christmas decorating.  I didn't have all the colors of thread listed so I substituted something I did have that was similar and called it good.  The plastic zipper bag that I put the pattern and threads in in the middle picture is one I've washed and recycled.  I put the hoop and the bagged supplies in a draw string project bag I made over a year ago.  These drawstring bags are just the right size for portability of small hand projects and that looped handle makes it so easy to just grab and get to work or grab and go!  I have plans to make more!

That’s it for today, I’m going to settle in with my book and cross-stitch project for the evening.

Meet you back here tomorrow, Lord willing!

Until then …

Patsi 

Sharing 42 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

A Working Pantry

My second blog:  From This Heart of Mine 

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

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20 comments:

  1. It may or may not be unconventional. All our bills are Auto-Pay. Any company that will do level pay is set for that so no ups/downs through the seasons. (Seriously only write check for Prop Tax). We put $400 in the "money drawer" (this was $100 25 years ago). That is anything we want to do . When it's gone, that's it. No snack out, no meal out, no nothing. Priority was always to be debt free as fast as we could get there. This is also zero-based budgeting.

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    1. Elle, Is your $400 for a month or year?

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    2. Elle, sounds like you've found what works for you, that's great! We have a similar rule about the 'spendable' portion of our budget. When it's gone, it's gone!

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  2. I have a similar book called "We Had Everything But Money" that I got at a yard sale for $1. I always enjoy rereading it. I will have to look for your book as it sounds really interesting. I love the Rose Bowl Parade, so while we were watching it today I started crocheting more flower petal face reuseable face scrubbies to go with the soap that I make for Christmas gifts next year. I got 4 done in the 2 hours of the parade. Cookie

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    1. Cookie, I have that book too. Your flower petal reusable face scrubbies sound interesting. Is it an online pattern? You must be a speedy crocheter!!!

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  3. Happy New Year Miss Patsy! I put dried dill in our egg salad. Along with salt, pepper, mayo and spicy brown mustard. Thanks for all your wisdom.

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    1. Anonymous, your egg salad recipe sounds good ... and thank you!

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  4. That book sounds interesting. I can only read on my Kindle now. The EDS really effects my vision. Egg salad sounds so good but eggs are up to $4.95 a dozen here. A couple of years ago I found a recipe that we really like because it keeps very well. 12 eggs, 2/3 c mayo, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp salt, dash each garlic powder, onion powder and white pepper.. We had spaghetti with meat sauce from the freezer for supper today.

    I redid the budget for this year and was able to up our savings amount. I reduced many budget categories because we will lose one income stream in 13 months. We need to get more saved and learn to live on less. We have it auto transferred so it is gone and we don't have access to it without getting on the App and transferring it.

    We started the scripture writing this week and I am amazed by how the passage sticks around in my thoughts all day.

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    1. Lana, our chickens have finally come out of their molting stage and are giving a few eggs, thankfully it's enough to meet our needs.

      I copied your egg salad recipe and will use it as we like all the spices in it.

      If the economy continues on the same path that it's on, I feel certain lots of people will be redoing their budgets and looking for small ways to add to their savings. For the first time, I heard on the news that economists are fairly certain that the economy will go into a recession in the next few months.

      I started the scripture writing this week too and you're right it sticks in your mind throughout the day. Each day builds on the previous ones too. It's a simple and easy way to spend time in God's Word and one can go as deep as they like researching the verses.

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  5. good evening, this is such an inspirational post. We’ve redone our budget to pay for soon to be new windows and doors. I’ve never heard of your current book but I’ll look it up. I own We Had Everything But Money and it really makes me wonder how they managed in such hardship.
    I’m wanting to declutter and that is at the top of my priorities and then I’ll get back to sewing and handwork.

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    1. Rhonda, thank you! Sounds like you are thinking along the same lines.

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  6. My local library doesn't have that book. I'm hoping you'll share what you learn. I made the long trip to Costco yesterday. I don't go often. They had ZERO eggs. Our chickens have all died of old age and we need to get chicks in the spring. So, looks like oatmeal for breakfast.
    Ellie
    Central Az

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    1. Ellie, I found my copy of the book at a Mennonite bookstore. The publisher is Rod and Staff if that helps any. The price of eggs in our area is unreal, I don't know how people afford them!

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  7. Happy New Year! Love that you're re-visiting egg salad -- one of my favorite sandwich fillings. I just add a spoonful of sweet pickle relish, some chopped onion, and salt and pepper. I chop mine in a bowl using my pastry cutter -- a couple of turns of the bowl and it's done. If you enjoy (or maybe not) tuna salad, try adding a few (4-6) chopped green olives. It gives it a completely different taste.

    Love the book suggestions! I still pull out my copy of Back to Basics on a fairly regular basis and love reading some of the homesteading books. Will need to see if I can find these (or similar) to have on hand as encouragement -- and as a reminder of what my grandparents and parents suvived.

    All the best in 2023!

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    1. Lori, yes, sweet pickle relish would be good in egg salad, thank you! I'm a student at heart and am always looking for something to learn in what I read. This book has not disappointed me ... for the second time!

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  8. (Oops, and I add some mayo or Miracle Whip, too.)

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  9. I add relish (preferably my home canned hot dog relish) to my egg salad. I add it to potato salad too. Of course I also add onions, mayonnaise and salt and pepper as well.

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    1. Christy, I add relish to potato salad too, it makes sense that it would be good in egg salad as well!

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  10. I redid our budget this week and INCREASED our grocery spending. I did this after realizing that this past year that our average was much higher than I'd been budgeting. I looked at what I'd been doing (far more from scratch and make it yourself items instead of buying convenience or commercially made) and using all the foods that we have come in instead of allowing to go to waste and realized that I likely had the true budget at that higher amount due to price increases. Fortunately we got a cost of living increase this year and we should be able to manage.
    Two savings tips: I round down every deposit to zeros (xxx.00) and round up every debit to .00. I write down the actual amount of checks etc but do the rounding up and down when I'm subtracting. That makes it easier to know which checks came in etc.). And in the past we saved ALL our $1 bills and change. That was how we often paid for vacation was spare change and $1 saved. I don't think we could go on vacation on it anymore but it would add up as a nice added amount to go into savings.

    John loves egg salad. Even at current prices, it's not an expensive sandwich feeling. I use sweet pickle relish, mustard, mayonnaise, salt and pepper to taste.
    For the girl who mentioned tuna salad, that addition of green olives and a bit of lemon juice is really nice for a change. I also chop half an apple really fine (or grate it) and mix it into my usual tuna salad. Both stretches the tuna, adds a bit of texture and cuts the acidity of some of the canned tunas.

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