Thursday, August 13, 2009


Now that "Super Saturday" is over, I thought we'd plan some "Simple Saturdays" where we just learn/complete one craft at my home on a Saturday morning in an hour or two. This is one idea I thought I'd share. The frame is 11" X 14" and it would cost $10-$15 to make. If you think it's something you'd be interested in, let me know.

This second idea I got from my sister-in-law in California. They made it at her Super Saturday this summer. The photos aren't the greatest, but I think you can get the idea. It's a wooden plague painted black with a metal sheet attached (they used upholstery nails). Finally, vinyl letters add scripture or quote of your choice. Thread a sheer ribbon through the top and hang. Like it?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

How I Plan to Save an Extra $25,000 in the next two years...

Why am I making this so public? Simple. The more people who know, the more likely I am to keep my commitments. I believe that with the support of family and friends, I can do anything I set my mind to... especially if it is only temporary. Right now, two years seems like forever; but after living on this earth for almost 47, I realize it will be over before I know it. My son, David, has been on a mission for a year and it has FLOWN by. By time he returns, I'll be halfway through this. I wish I had started when he left.

Here's my plan:

1. Vacations vs. Staycations

For the next two years, I will not spend money to travel (by plane, train, or automobile) to a place where I have to pay for lodging (resort, hotel, cabin, cruiseship, lodge) because I already have a beautiful home to enjoy. (This excludes any necessary travel for weddings, funerals, and temple trips.) We love to travel and to spend time with family and we will look forward to doing that again beginning in August of 2011. For the next two years, STAYcations will replace vacations.

2. Salon Services - Nails
For the next two years, I will not get my nails done (manicures, pedicures, acrylic nails, etc.). I'm embarrassed to say it, but this will truly be a sacrifice for me. I have worn acrylic nails pretty consistently for over 25 years. I did take a short break a few times, (once, when I accidentally poked Jennie in the eye as she was learning to walk--felt SO guilty about that) but I missed them and it wasn't long before I was back in my french tips. I love having pretty toes, and getting pedicures in the spring/summer months is a real treat. For the next two years, if I want a pedicure, I'll be doing it myself.

3. Salon Services - Hair
For the next two years, I thought about not getting my hair professionally cut, colored, or highlighted. Then Jennie said, "MOM, if you don't at least get your hair trimmed, you'll get terrible split ends. It will ruin your hair! You'll need at least $25,000 to fix the damage!." So, here's the compromise. For the next two years, I will only trim my hair every ten weeks which comes to about five times a year. If I use a coupon at Great Clips, I'll walk out the door for under $15.00 including tip. That's my commitment until August 2011.

4. Wardrobe Updates

For the next two years, I will not buy any new clothes for myself with the exception of underclothing and workout shoes. This will be a HUGE savings!

5. Dining Out
For the next two years, I will not go out to eat. This will be an adjustment and a challenge, but with planning it can be done. The only exceptions will be when I am out of town for a wedding, funeral, or temple trip. I'm also allowed to pick up a Little Caesar's pizza for dinner once a week (HOT & READY $5.00). Add a fresh salad and dinner is served.

6. Movies
For the next two years, I will not pay to watch a movie in a theater. That includes our family tradition of going to see movies on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year, we went to the Fork and Screen on Christmas Day and dropped at least $180... for a freakin' MOVIE!!!! I will simply wait until movies are available on dvd and I can pick them up at redbox for $1.00. We have a wonderful home theater with a big screen TV, surround sound, leather recliners, and it's completely free! Last night Dana and I thoroughly enjoyed a $1.50 date as we sat in the comfort of our own home with a big bowl of Orville Redenbacher microwaved popcorn and a movie. There is truly no place like home!

7. Furniture
For the next two years, I will not buy any new furniture ... not even accent pieces. Okay, if the house burns down or is destroyed by a tornado, I can replace our furniture with money from insurance, but other than that ... no new furniture.

8. Home Decor

For the next two years, I will not buy any new home decor. Anyone who knows me understands how tough this one will be. I so enjoy decorating. I'll just have to rearrange things on occasion to mix it up a bit. It does help that one of my favorite stores, "Something Else" went out of business recently. The exceptions here are my annual Christmas Decor Exchange in December and any project samples I make as Enrichment Counselor in the Relief Society.

9. Fitness

Once I complete the current 12-week program with my personal trainer, I will not spend any money on fitness...other than our family membership at Prairie Life Center. I LOVE that gym and would pay twice as much as we already do to feel this great.

10. Groceries

Finally, I'll buy all the groceries I can at Aldi. I discovered Aldi years ago when we first moved to Chicago. I had never heard of it until a friend told me you could buy a pound of bananas there for 25 cents and a loaf of bread for 69 cents. I quickly became a weekly Aldi shopper. Every time I went through check out with my overflowing cart of groceries for six, they told me the total and I said out loud..."THAT'S ALL?" Every time! Back then, you had to pay cash, but now they accept debit cards (still no credit cards or checks). You even need a quarter to get a shopping cart, but you get your quarter back when you return the cart. (Since they do everything possible to cut costs, they aren't willing to hire extra employees to collect carts.) In recent years, I've been too lazy or too proud or too busy to make the Aldi run, but for the next two years that's going to change. I will buy everything I can at Aldi (except Produce ... their produce sometimes leaves something to be desired) before I head to Hen House or Costco.

So that's the plan. Please check up on me in a few months to see how it's going. I've made it through my first three days...only 727 to go!