Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Cheapskate Next Door

It's been a little while since I last blogged. I will try harder to blog more. For whatever reason, we have been pretty busy this month and I have been too tired to blog after bed time. I am going to try to start blogging during nap/quiet time. We will see how this goes. Back to my post.


This is a book that I recently picked up and read from the library. I am already frugal (at least I like to think so!) so I really didn't think that this book had that many great ideas. It was definitely an interesting and easy read but more geared toward people that love to overspend and don't know what to do. Reading this book is a good step in the right direction.

There are a few points that I would like to talk about because A). I didn't agree with them B). I thought they were interesting

According to this book, I am not the cheapskate I thought I was. This made me a little upset. LOL. Is that weird??
Jeff (the author's) definition of a cheapskate is someone that doesn't have any debt besides a mortgage. We fall into that category except that we have a few mortgages, including our house and some rentals.

In the first chapter Jeff lists 16 Idiosyncrasies of the Cheapskate mind. I was pretty good on most of them but a few I need to improve on.

#2 A Cheapskate Values Time more than Money
He gives the example of a girl that wants to buy a pair of boots for $150. She decides it would be two days wages and not worth it. Here is where the time comes in "Say instead she wanted new boots but instead of buying that $150 for a pair of new boots in the dept. store, the girl then spends 2 days combing yard sales and thrift sales and finds a pair for $20. In terms of time-value she'd have been better off just buying the new pair." Unfortunately, I have done this more than once. I have looked all over for something (OK, maybe not two days, but a few hours) to find it for a better price. Was it worth the time? Probably not.

#3 A Cheapskate Values Value
I know that I haven't always followed this one. I have bought something that was cheaper only to have it not last as long as it would have if I had just spent a little more. This is something we as a family are trying to be better about.

#4 Shopping isn't a Cheapskate Sport
One thing I never thought about (but makes sense) is that bargain hunter and cheapskate are totally different. Basically, a bargain hunter can be a cheapskate but usually a cheapskate is not a bargain hunter only for the fact that cheapskates don't like to shop. Period. I guess I would say that I am more of a bargain hunter than a cheapskate for this one. I don't just buy things because it's a great deal but I don't completely despise shopping. He also said that "cheapskates rarely shop at yard/garage sales, auctions or rummage sales" because they "encourage people to buy things they don't really need." I like yard/garage sales and rummage sales and I am pretty good about not buying things that I don't need. Does it happen sometimes? Of course! But I don't feel like my house is filled with junk and trinkets.

#16 A Cheapskate Answers to a Higher Authority
I am glad that this made the list! Many cheapskates realize that life isn't all about money and because of that, they are able (and willing!) to donate their money.

Maybe this sparked your interest to read the book and maybe it didn't. Either way, I know what points I have to work on to become a better cheapskate!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentines day!


Valentine's Day!

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. My husband got me this beautiful rose! We also went out to dinner and a movie. We saw the most recent Harry Potter movie at the cheap theater. It was very good, though a little scary. Hermione wore tons of knitted items throughout the movie which led me to look on ravelry when I got home to see if I could find any. I was able to find a few that I want to make soon. This hat was so cute in the movie!

Hermione's Godrics Hollow Hat

Monday, February 14, 2011

homemade dishwashing soap

Two weeks ago, in the midst of cleaning for a party, I needed to run the dishwasher. I knew that I was almost out of dishwasher soap but I didn't know I was completely out. Luckily I had all the ingredients to make my own dishwasher soap (I had been wanting to make this recipe for a few months). The recipe that I used was from the Nov. 19th, 2010 All You magazine. Each batch makes 20 oz. of dishwashing detergent.

1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Baking Soda
1/2 cup of Kosher Salt

Pour borax, baking soda and salt into a plastic container, secure lid and shake to mix.

This recipe was super easy. It took me about 20 minutes to make, including finding all the ingredients and putting them away. I also doubled the recipe because I knew we would go though a single batch very quickly.

Finished product! (with my little helper in the background)

I have used it three times and I would say that it works almost as well as other products I have used. We do not clean off our plates before we put them in the dishwasher, meaning that I don't rinse stuff off and things get caked on. Most detergents get them clean. Rarely do I have to hand wash a dish or cup after I run it through the dishwasher. Out of the three times that I have used this, twice I had a plate or cup that needed a little extra cleaning. So it doesn't work as well, though it may depend on what detergent you normally use, in my opinion. It probably works better if you clean off the dishes first also.

P.S. Happy Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 7, 2011

SNOW, SNow, snow

Is it spring yet?? I really am not enjoying cold weather. It makes me not want to do anything. I just want to crawl under the cozy covers and stay there until March. I love being outside but only when it is warm and sunny. I wonder if it has something to do with my thyroid and not being able to tolerate the cold well.......

My daughter likes the cold more than I do! Here is a picture of her being a little "Eskimo".

So we did not get the 10 to 20 inches that was predicted last week. It was more like 6 to 7. But we did also get a freak snowstorm on Sat. that lasted for about 5 hours! The flakes were huge and were coming down quickly. It pretty much came out of nowhere! That same day, we had a party for my husband's frat brothers. A few canceled because of the snow. One frat bro brought his wife and three kids. Alyssa and Malachi really enjoyed playing with them. Alyssa even wanted to hold the baby! Malachi wasn't so sure about this, though he did help me burp the baby.

At the end of the night this is what my family room looked like (notice the sleeping babies - we wore them out).

My "sleeping beauty"

So I just noticed that I haven't posted any pics of my little man. I promise to post some soon. He is as cute as my little princess!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

knitted swiffer sweeper pads

So a few days ago I decided that I needed a new crafting project to work on. I decided to look through my Ravelry queue and see what would be quick and easy, and chose to knit up some reusable swiffer pads. They got rave reviews so I hope they work as well as they knit up. I have only been working on this one for about an hour and this is how far I gotten (sorry it's upside down).

This is the first knitted project I have worked on in over a year, so naturally I forgot a few things. When I started the project and had the stitches casted on my needle, and had already knitted a row, I realized that I had to purl the next row. I always hated purling for some reason, so I must have totally blocked it out of my brain because I could not figure out how to do it. After a few tries, I referenced my trusty 'Learn How Book -knitting, crocheting, tatting, embroidery' by Coats and Clark. This is the same book that originally taught me how to knit and crochet. While I was trying to remember and figure out how to purl, I realized for the past 5 years that I have been knitting, I have been casting on incorrectly! Seriously!?!?! I couldn't believe it! I had been casting on by just doing knitting stitches and pulling it over, not by going in between the two stitches (the correct way). Well, all my previous projects turned out OK, so I guess it wasn't super detrimental.

On a side note, my city is under a snow emergency. We haven't even gotten any snow but I think it's in preparation for what we are suppose to receive (10 to 20 in). Last time they predicted a huge snow like this we got less than an inch. I think it would be funny if we only got a few inches.

For those of you that love 'All You' magazine, they are giving away a free subscription. I personally love this magazine. It always has tons of coupons, fashion and decorating ideas.