Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sleds can be used for much more than riding

If you have been to my house then you know we live on a cliff!  People hate to drive up my driveway.  They think it is like the road leading to heaven!  It is quite steep, but I guess I am used to it.  Once  you get to the top it flattens out, but it is quite a walk.  In the winter it is no fun.  You slip and slide your way down the hill and then on the return you face the slipping once again.  I try to stock up on non-perishable items in the Spring and Summer so we do not have to carry so much up the hill, but yet we always end up having to carry something.  Now that we have goats and chickens we have that food to carry.  I buy groceries every 2 weeks, so my journey to the store was on Wednesday and I bought all we needed and then had to face how we were going to get it all up the hill without falling.  Can you guess what we did?
We had the boys go get their sleds and we put all the groceries on one and the feed on the other.  We took turns pulling the sleds and made it up here.  Zack had a few falls as well as me.  We laughed at each other and through some snowballs.  Nothing like some family time, huh?  At least we can laugh at ourselves when the going gets rough.  I am so looking forward to some warmer temperatures, but I have heard there is yet another snow storm coming our way.  I say blah!  I know tis' the season, and I think snow is beautiful, but I am so ready for Spring or at least a break in the snow.  It would not be so bad if I lived on flatter ground!  Oh well, at least we don't have to deal with solicitation!!

I have been trying to save money where it can be saved.  Pinching already pinched pennies is hard.  Anyway my water bill was running me around $50.00 a month and this past bill was $28.00.  I have not been allowing the kids to just run water when brushing their teeth or whatnot.  I keep having to get onto them, but I guess it is paying off.  I also no longer let the water run while doing to dishes to rinse.  I fill the sink with water and rinse them that way.  Anything to save money.  Now if I could just get my electric bill down.  I am constantly turning off the lights and such, but with that said my bill is still going up.  I realize they got another price hike, but man this is crazy.  My bill this past month was $227.00.  I know others pay way more than we do, but this is a lot more than normal for us.  Last year at this time we paid $113.00.  I guess everything is just going up!  My Aunt Teresa sends me coupons which I am thankful for and so I use them when I can.  On my last grocery bill I saved $30.00 with coupons and using the Kroger card.  I have also been going to to Dollar General and Dollar Tree and buying my cleaning products.  This has saved me over $20.00 as well.  Dollar General will take coupons as well, so this is nice.  We buy meat when it is on sale and Brian is the shopper for that.  He finds great deals.  He got some pork ribs for .99 per lb, chicken thighs for .89 per lb, and some pork sirloin chops for $1.79 per lb the other day at Foodland.   We still have a lot of venison aka deer burger and steaks so I have not bought much beef.  When I catch fish on sale I buy that.  Last grocery trip I got cod for $2.49 a bag.@ Kroger, so I bought 2 bags.

Some other ways I save money is using a sponge to put my dish liquid on.  It makes it sudsy and then you can use your dish rag to do the dishes.  It seems to make the soap suds last longer in the water and in turn helps to save on soap.  I also use an old cloth diaper to clean my windows and mirrors. I then dry it with another cloth diaper.  This saves on paper towel, which also saves on filling my garbage bag.  I have to clean the inside of my windows daily due to a 2 yr old who likes to make a mess.  I know paper towels our cheap, but again pinching a penny here and there adds up. I make my own air freshener/re-fresher.  I used to make candles, so I have some oils.  All you have to do is get a 32 ounce plastic spray bottle.  K mart has them for $1.89 and you put 2 tsp of oil and fill it the rest with hot water.  Shake and spray.  You will have to shake it every time you use it, but the smell stays unlike other sprays.  I posted about the oils on Feb 2nd .  The oils do not cost a lot and they last a long time.  The smell is wonderful and will last for a few days.  I gave some oil to my Aunt and she said she had turned off her burner and 3 days later her house still had smell!  Another way to safe money is to stretch your fabric softener.  I posted a recipe on Feb 11th.  I made the recipe and my clothes came out very soft and smelled really good.  There are lots of ways to save money.  I am always looking for new ways so if you have ideas let me know!


Char5 said...

Tina, I love the sled idea!!! Sounds like you all had a fun day together!!! Those are some good tips for saving on the utilities, too. I never get tired of learning new ways to cut back on those! Hope we do get some spring weather soon, I am so ready for sunny days and flowers. Have a good week!

Leigh Anne said...

I use old newspaper to clean windows and mirrors. Works great & no streaks! I use white vinegar as a fabric softener (occasionally), you will not believe how well it works!

Actually I use vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice for most of my household cleaning. Kills germs and is eco-friendly. Vinegar banishes odor as it dissipates in the air. You can add essential oils to it as well.

Tina said...

Yes Char I am so ready to see some color other than white. Leigh Anne I have used vinegar for the windows as well and I tried newspaper but got black on my hands.

JOY said...

The sled idea sure helps! You have great ideas for me to use. Thanks honey!

Teresa said...

Great ideas, Tina. I also heard you can clean your mirror with shaving cream and it won't fog up when you get in the shower. I need to work on lowering my electric bill. The rest of my utilities aren't bad. Take care.