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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Money saving tactics kicking into gear....

So, yes, it's been um....6 months or so since my last post.
       In May, I had pictures of the Victorian sofa that we are in the process of refinishing.  So far, we've removed all the old fabric and stuffing, replaced all of the springs, and removed decades of dirt and stain with my favorite cleaner - Oxy-Clean!!  It is currently sitting in the garage with new springs, all of which have been retied properly, and a double layer of burlap to hold the springs partially compressed.  It will shortly be moved to the future office space - just have to sand a couple more seams and get that area primed, then the couch can go upstairs for the remaining work (removal of the legs so that we can get the wheels off, some more nail removal and possibly some sanding in some areas) before the new padding and fabric ($$$ yikes!) can go on.

   Meanwhile, in the space of 24 hours, we discovered that our cable bill jumped nearly $30, our current insurance has NO dental coverage - which means things we didn't pay for last year we now have a co-pay for - open enrollment is next week, and we HAVE to find ways of cutting expenses since the insurance options keep going up every year.  To that end, I spent quite a bit of time baking (so we didn't need to spend $$ of sugary snacks), and have made the decision that i will NOT buy paper towels anymore (not a huge step, but that's anywhere from $7-$13 off the grocery bill every month - yes, we tend to go through quite a few).  So...what to do to replace the paper towels??!!??  Easy.....cloth napkins that can just get tossed into the wash with the rest of the laundry - all laundry, unless extremely stained, gets cold wash/cold electricity used to heat the water up.  First batch has made everyone laugh - black fabric with colorful race cars scattered all over it (pics to be posted later).  No, I didn't go out and buy fabric specifically for this project.  Instead, due to the fact that I just didn't have the time to get things made, I'm using fabric that was already in my room, but that had originally been purchased for items that I was planning on selling at the craft fair - by the way, I'm no longer doing the craft fair because the running of the household and home schooling my son is taking more time than I expected.

    Of course, we've also done the temperature drop, but it's not been easy to get the children to wear warmer cloths, put on socks, etc.  Argh!!  One thing that HAD to get done was finishing the sheet rock seams in the future office space.  I got the last section yesterday - well, the first coat of spackling compound is on all the seams...still need a second coat and sanding, but I think that will have to wait until spring.  We are caulking all around the floor/wall seams, and I will finish caulking around the door today - still thinking that I might need to purchase some weatherstripping and put it on the door - not the adhesive stuff that I put up temporarily, but the vinyl stuff that will actually be a bit better seal.  Have fallen in love with rope caulk for the minor air leaks around the windows and have checked all the rooms downstairs - need to check the bedroom windows as well, but I *knew* there were leaks downstairs.

   Also in consideration - low-tech 2013.  What's that mean??  It means that we don't spend what we don't have, we make things for each other and as gifts, we help out more, maybe even barter for things, and we DEFINITELY save up to purchase things instead of using the credit card (mainly because, while I thought we would have one completely paid off, we've since gotten another bill for dental work, so who knows when the credit card will get paid off...frustrating!!!).  Going with the "make stuff" plan is avoiding the junk food trap by making cookies, breads, muffins, and yes, potato chips, at home.  Today will be the first experiment with flavored potato chips as I will be attempting vinegar for one batch, and BBQ for another batch, in addition to the "lightly salted" version that I've made in the past.  Debating about doing something I read in one of my cookbooks - pre-slicing potatoes into fries, hashbrowns, etc. and freezing them until we need them...but the fries I'm not to sure about....we buy frozen ones that look like they have already been cooked, so we are just re-heating they fry them in oil, cool them, then freeze them, or what...guess I should hunt around and learn before trying.

   Pictures of napkins, updated Victorian sofa, and other stuff will be posted at a later time.....

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