Monday, October 22, 2018

What We're Feeding Our Dog, and Are Dogs Expensive?

We brought our dog, Snickers, home in July and we are very much in love with her, and she is a wonderful addition to our family. All the family members adore her, and she adores us, and patiently puts up with some kids who are extra expressive in their love of her, if you catch my drift.

One of the things people warned us about when we decided to get a dog is that dogs are quite expensive to have, from their initial cost to food to their toys and accessories to the destruction they cause to their medical care to their training. Fortunately we lucked out with the dog we got, in that we didn't have to pay anything for her other than traveling to and from where we got her from, and she came already spayed and vaccinated and trained (mostly), and is young enough that she isn't having health issues, but old enough that she doesn't destroy things (at least not too many).

Tips To Make Life as a Landlord Simpler

Two years ago, we switched from being tenants to being both home owners and landlords for tenants. Here's some tips from a reader to consider when becoming a landlord, to make your life simpler and to prevent any misunderstandings with your tenants.

Lease agreements involve more than just rent payments and living accommodations. They are also legal documents that define the limits of what your tenants can do, and their relationship with you, their tenant. These agreements define their obligations to you as well as your responsibilities to them. And when emergencies or potential conflicts arise, you will need to work closely with your tenant to reach an acceptable solution.

So if you need help with tenant management then here are several tips to help you get started.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Getting Divorced

Now that I finally have his permission to post this on my blog, I can answer the questions that people have been having, namely what changes has my family been going through, and after my last post, why I need to be the full-on bread winner.

My husband and I are getting divorced.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Musings as a Frugal Entrepreneur

I've been an entrepreneur on and off ever since I became an adult. I always worked and I almost always worked for myself. But in the past month I've gone from using my income to supplement the family's income to needing to be self sufficient and completely self supporting, which means needing to tremendously increase my income and consequently my work hours. It also means that I've needed to up my entrepreneurship game, and as I have, I've noticed quite a few things. This post is my musings as an entrepreneur. While it's not completely frugality related, it's "bringing-in-money" related which affects my overall finances and my frugality.

The first thing I noticed is that over the years, people would tell me that most of what I write on my blog isn't relevant to them, because I'm a full time stay at home mom with lots of times on my hands to do frugal things and they're full time workers, so they don't have time to do time consuming frugal stuff.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Stockpiling Groceries, Some Follow Up Points

Last post I wrote about why I bought 180 packages of Reese's Pieces, and I got a lot of feedback on it. The feedback can be divided/summed up into the following categories:
  • Agreement, from people who also stockpile
  • People who were critical of the concept of stockpiling chocolate, something that is nutritionally empty
  • People who say there's no point in stockpiling because what they eat is healthy food and isn't shelf stable
  • People who say it is ridiculous to "hoard" food because they'd rather "hoard" money
  • People who said they couldn't stockpile because they have no room for it/they don't like clutter
  • People who said they didn't have any extra money to stockpile.
Since stockpiling is such a way of life for me, I wanted to take time to address each of these points, so that way people who are opposed to stockpiling may see my view even if they don't decide to stockpile, and people who want to stockpile but think its an impossibility may understand how they can make it part of their life. (Ok, no need to address that first point, other than its nice to know that I'm not alone.)

What Makes A Better Replacement Furnace?

I live in a home now where we don't use a furnace to heat it, but I remember we had one growing up, and if the furnace broke, it was bad. If you need a replacement furnace, here's a post from a reader about how to chose a replacement one.

What do you need to know before you replace your furnace? You need a furnace that fits your home and meets your demands. Size, efficiency, and installation are the three most important factors you need to consider when you’re getting a new furnace.

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Why I Bought 180 Packages of Chocolate


On Friday I got an amazing deal for Reese's Pieces from a scratch and dent store that I passed en route to a friend's house. Each box containing 18 packages was being sold for $2.85 or nearly 16 cents per package. So I bought 10 boxes, for a total of $28.50 for 180 packages. I posted it on Facebook and I got a lot of surprised reactions. Many people in shock as to the price, but many more asking what I'd do with quite so many packages. Does anyone "need" 180 packages of chocolate?

So while I could just answer why I bought these, I realized that what is missing in this discussion is the context in which I bought 180 packages of chocolate. 

I don't just buy a ton of chocolate when I see it on sale, I buy a ton of everything. When I see gluten free cereal at 95 cents a box, I don't just buy one box, I buy 20. (Or more. Depends on how I can carry things.) When I see boxes of gluten free flour mix on sale at $1.40 a box or less, I buy 15. When I see cans of hearts of palm being sold for 71 cents a can, I buy 10 or 20. When I see olive oil being sold in five liter jugs for $28, or $5.70 per liter, I buy 2 jugs. When I see potato starch being sold at half its regular price, I buy 10 bags. When I make it to the store that sells broken cashews cheaply, I buy 10 bags. When I see gluten free spaghetti being sold at 70 cents a package, I buy 10 or 15.
It's a regular thing with me.
That's how I shop.
It's how I stockpile.

Just because I have 15 boxes of gluten free flour mix doesn't mean that for the next while, most meals I make will be based off that flour. Just because I bought 10 packages of spaghetti doesn't mean we'll be eating meal after meal of spaghetti.
Just because I bought 180 packages of Reese's Pieces doesn't mean that we'll now be eating gobs and gobs of chocolate.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Sushi Salad Recipe -- Easy, Vegan, Gluten Free, Flexible, and Frugal

I grew up eating sushi back when it wasn't as famous around the world as it is today. (Back when you couldn't get sushi from the corner grocery store or from pizza places.) My mom made sushi from scratch, but we only really had it for special occasions, since it was a lot of work to make. (On extremely special occasions, we went out to a sushi bar, and that was amazing.)

Since having my own home, I've made sushi multiple times, not just for special occasions, but I must admit that the amount of work entailed, also in cooking the rice just so, preparing the fillings, and rolling it up makes it lower on the list of priorities of things to make, since I need to be able to set aside the time entailed.

I realized, though, that the thing I and my kids like best about sushi is the taste; the way it's rolled up is nice and all, and makes for a fun meal, but if I could have it more often with less work, I'm totally fine without it being all rolled up pretty. That's where sushi salad fits in. All the taste of sushi, none of the work! And I've even figured out a way to make sushi salad into a super quick and frugal meal using up leftovers, which is a real perk.

Sushi salad is flexible, and only needs a few base ingredients.

7 Ways to Buy the Perfect Pair of Wedding Rings on a Budget

Many people have emotional attachments to wedding and engagement jewelry, specifically that the amount of money one spends on it, the more they are able to prove their love. But I disagree; it's not about money. You can have something beautiful to represent your love and commitment, and still do it on a budget. Here's some tips from jeweller Serendipity Diamonds on how to create the perfect pair of personalised wedding rings on a budget.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Coloring With My Kids

I've been looking for ideas of things to do with my kids that are low mess, don't involve tech, are frugal, and won't be too much work for me. Something to do with the kids in our time together, bonding activities, and I thought about coloring. Mandalas specifically, because they're very calming and relaxing and meditative, almost.

My boys are away with their grandmother on a trip, more on that when they get back. Today the girls and I did some coloring together.

I searched the internet for free mandala coloring pages and found and printed these.

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