As a child, we ate dinner in the dining room every night. My mother liked to set a formal table, with a tablecloth, place mats, china, nice silverware and nice glasses. We also had a set of fine china, silver place settings and serving ware, and crystal. That was used for holidays and special occasions. I remember washing up after the formal dinners and my mother would count every piece of silver to make sure that it was all there. One time we were missing a fork and she went nuts – sending us all looking throughout the house and dumping out the trash to find the missing fork. It turned up in one of the bathrooms – and up to this day I have no idea why the fork would have been taken into the bathroom!
I like nice dishes and silverware, and although my dinner time is a little less formal than what my mother liked, I still appreciate a nicely set table. One of my little quirks is that I do not like to drink out of plastic, and I try to use the proper utensils. I prefer to use a dinner fork to eat something from my dinner plate and don’t like to use salad forks unless I am eating a salad. Since I almost never eat salad at home, I think my salad forks are the most under utilized silverware in my kitchen.
Last night I had friends over for a last minute dinner invitation and went to set the table when I realized there are only 6 forks in the kitchen drawer. The silverware set that I bought was an 8-piece place setting, so there should have been 8 forks in the drawer. After I cleaned up the dishes and kitchen and my guests went home, I looked everyone for two forks and cannot find them. What on earth happened to those two forks? I would not have knowingly thrown them out in the trash. I am really puzzled over this!!
Today I went to the local tie-dye shop and bought the cutest little tie dye baby short set! I’m supposed to be going to a baby shower next weekend and I had forgotten all about it until I was sorting through the mail and re-found the invitation! I was concerned about what gift to buy – I wanted something very different than what everyone else would be getting!
I had to go see Laz and Jess, my friends that run the local tie-dye shirt store to drop off a couple of shirts that I wanted them to tie dye for me, and I saw that they had some adorable baby socks that they had tie dyed. Well, from there I saw the shorts set and I knew that was the perfect gift! I’m sure no one else will be giving that outfit for the shower present! And while I was at it I got a pair of tie-dye socks for myself!
For the most part, I like to think that I have always been a frugal person. Most of my life I have worked to earn a paycheck and like most people I tend to spend my own money a little more carefully than people who have not invested their own blood sweat and tears in what they spend. The three things that have helped me spend less on groceries are planning menus, using a list, and shopping only twice a month instead of 4-6 times a month.
One thing that I have found helps save what I spend at the grocery store is to go less often. I used to go at least once a week – sometimes twice in the same week. I realized that going so often ends up with me making too many impulse purchases, so I made one big trip to thoughtfully and thoroughly stock the pantry and now I don’t actually need to go as often. I make a list and replenish what I’ve used, and I resist the urge to run out and “pick up a few things.” Instead, I go shopping on the 15th and the 30th of the month, and unless it is a special occasion like a holiday or special dinner for guests, I wait until those two days to shop. I found that I have spent $300 less each month by cutting out those impulse runs. I was really surprised to see how much I have saved and we still eat the foods we love and we eat well.
sometimes I think the only reason I still subscribe to the Sunday newspaper is because it usually has two or three coupon booklets in it. To me, those Sunday newspaper coupons are like found money.
I do clip coupons every week – but only if I really intend to use that product. For the most part, non-food item coupons are a waste of time. I wish the newspaper would put those in a separate section and put coupons just for food in their own section. Looking through pages of worthless coupons in the Sunday newspaper is time consuming. I do not want to buy limited edition collectibles, flowers and strawberry plants, or wonder bras from the coupon section of my Sunday newspaper.
After you clip the coupons, you have to watch that they don’t expire and that when you shop you buy the exact size or number of items required to actualize the savings. I have found that it is worth it if you pay attention and have a good system for organizing them. I feel an obligation to at least try to save when I can and make the most of my grocery money.
Guest post by Marilyn Mueller
I am a big supporter (I wanted to say “fan”) of ceiling fans. I think that they are a great way to help keep a home comfortable and reduce the cost of heating and cooling a home. I think that everyone should consider installing a Ceiling Fan in every bedroom, kitchen, family, dining, and living room. And if they have a “rec room” that would be a good place to install one too.
I like the selection of fans at the website of Hansen Wholesale Ceiling Fans. My favorite one is a Hunter fan that looks like it has banana leaves for the fan blades! I’d love to have one of those in my sunroom! And they have a picture of a ceiling fan that is supposed to go over a kitchen island with pot rack hooks on it that I thought would be great for my kitchen, but when I clicked on the link to get more information about it I got a page that said that they don’t have any information on it. That was a disappointment! My kitchen could use both a ceiling fan AND a pot rack, and I have an island it could go over! Oh well….. such is life. You can’t always get what you want!