Thursday, February 28, 2008

More Investing Fun!

I am now the proud owner of 28 shares of something and I'm up $5.57 on my initial investment. Whoo hoo! :D I am sure that will plummet rapidly with all the Fed interest rate cuts.

Who knew that investing and saving could be so fun???

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Email from Mom: Frugal and (Crafty!) Curtains

Dear Daughter,

Just as Scarlet O'Hara pulled down a fabulous curtain to make herself a dress- with the same spirit, I made curtains from a tablecloth. I love these colors and had been looking at fabric for quite a while - wanting to make curtains for the family room. But the fabrics I found were too expensive. My personal challenge has always been to make something for nothing and to make it beautiful.

I wasn't even looking for it, but there it was -a tablecloth -double sided with the dark rich colors I had been looking for on one side and a beautiful stripe on the other. It was 100% cotton (looks like linen) and best of all 102" x 60" for $7.50. I knew I could take this wonderful fabric and make curtains for my family room - except there was not enough fabric for the entire project. To shorten the story- after much searching I found another package - the same reversible oblong tablecloth.

From this fabric I made one curtain (two panels) for a single window, one panel for the double door, a small valance on the double door, and I have enough to cover two throw pillows. I hemmed the panels in a way that I can use either side when the mood strikes. I am thrilled and the project -both curtains, valance and pending pillows will be $15.00 plus tax. A couple of hours and I have a new look to my room. They warm up the room and best of all they are MY creation.

Love you,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

This Is Why I Like Couponing

From Walgreens:

1 Chapstick Naturals
1 Clean & Care face product (on clearance)
2 Jane mascaras
2 Jane eyeshadow duos

Total after coupons: $3.07

Friday, February 22, 2008

Starting Up a Big-Girl Account

Today I opened my very first Roth IRA!!! I have been thinking about starting a retirement account since I was in college, but then I went to grad school and became poor rather than getting a "real job" immediately after college. And at that time I didn't know jack about personal finance, frugality, or savings. I still am VERY limited in what I know about investing, so I am definitely playing it safe and boring.


I went with a Roth instead of Traditional IRA for several reasons, one of which is because I know I'll be in a higher tax bracket when I retire than I am now, so I'd rather be taxed on the money now. I'm investing in medium risk, medium return index funds which fall under the relatively safe and boring category. If you're new to investing or personal finance, I highly recommend the Get Rich Slowly blog.

I am very excited. :D

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Utensil Drama

I couldn't understand why I had twice as many forks as spoons, or why my spoons were ginormous. Turns out that my normal sized spoons were in the top section of my silverware organizer. Where I put them. And haven't been using them all of these months.

Sometimes I think it's pretty amazing that I make through the day without seriously injuring myself.

New Lamps!

I bought two, and they go so well with the flower print. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


A year ago, I wasn't sure what was going to happen with my life or where I would go for internship. There was a lot of turmoil in my life as I waited to find out and then fought for a site to go to. It turned out to be better than I could have imagined, and I wrote about it almost a year ago here.

My internship will be done at the end of August. As I seek God's will for my residency year, I find that while I still dislike the uncertainty, I am okay with leaving it in His hands.

If things had gone smoothly last year, I would not feel this way now. And now I understand why things had to be the way that they were.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Weekly Menu

Maybe this will help me be more organized. ;)

Breakfasts: Peanut butter toast or pumpkin bread (I adapted this recipe), organic skim milk

Lunches: Wraps (chicken, baby spinach, feta cheese, and sunflower seeds) or PB sandwich or southwestern frozen sandwich from Aldi, pretzels, orange or grapes, Honey Bunches of Oats with chocolate clusters cereal (dry in a baggie- go to their website for a $2 off coupon!)

Dinners: Red potato casserole (ranch dressing, cheese, bacon bits- VERY healthy ;)), pepperoni and black olive pizza (from scratch), spinach stuffed rigatoni (frozen from Aldi), nachos, side dishes of frozen or canned veggies

Dessert: Fruit or ice cream

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Stupid Ice Storm

Well, we had another ice storm on Monday. Thankfully, my power has remained on the entire time. I went to work for a couple of hours Monday and didn't go at all today as I would've had a huge commute on slippery roads.

My car doors were completely frozen shut with a thick sheet of ice covering them. I had to take a screwdriver and chip away at the ice until I was able to open the driver's side. Then I let my car run for 30 minutes. Then I had to try to beat the ice off of my car because there was so much of it. Then I broke part of my ice scraper on some really thick ice.

After all of that, I took a trip to my happy place (Walgreen's) to purchase the deals of the week.

I'm ready for spring.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Post #300: A Procrastination Post

Welcome to my 300th post. It is 10:12pm on a Sunday night and I am scrambling to finish up some evals before work tomorrow. Rather than actually do my work, I shall procrastinate. Surprising, I know.

Last weekend Mom and I hit a couple of our fave thrift stores. I always look for baskets at one of the stores because they are generally .25 each. There haven't been any good ones in the last few trips and my basket stash had dried up. I hit the jackpot this time, scoring seven medium to large sized baskets for a grand total of $1.75. I use these for gift baskets- I recently paid $5 for a gift basket in a store because my stash was gone. A quarter is much better than $5. I also found a book that I wanted for .25 and some old wooden hangers. At the next thrift I scored a bunch of fabric ribbon for a few dollars (they had an additional % off sale). I have an unholy love for ribbon and have an enormous amount of it. But I justify it because I use obscene amounts on gifts.

And now I have to get back to work.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Digital Box Converter Thingie

If you're like me and will need to purchase those stupid boxes so that you can watch television in 2009, here is the coupon from the government for $40 off. You can request one or two coupons and they will ship sometime in late February or so.

Savings Extravaganza

In 2007 I earned $91.51 in interest from my savings accounts at Ing Direct. In 2006, I only earned about $35. Even though the interest rates have plummeted, 3.5% interest is still waaaaaaaaaaaaay better than a traditional savings account. I think you could get a little higher interest at other online banks, but I like Ing. A couple of months ago, I set up automatic savings transfers after each payday and I am becoming addicted to logging into my account to watch my savings add up. Whee!

P.S. I think this might mean that I am a dork.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Frugal By Comparison

Sometimes I purchase things not because they are truly frugal, but because they fulfill a "want" for much less. For example, I *loved* these shoes. A lot. But at $245, that wasn't happening. So...
I bought these instead:
$24.99 is still a lot for man-made materials, but it is definitely frugal by comparison. :D