Giveaway: Build a Budget that Works by Jessi Fearon

So, you all know that I try to be thrifty by doing DIY projects, making food from scratch, using coupons, find deals at the Thrift Stores and finding the best deals on the new items or services we need to buy.  Well, another way is by keeping your family on a budget (and one that works is even better).

Jessi Fearon sent me a copy of the Build a Budget that Works  book to review as part of her book launch.

I am glad I got it since it reminded me of categories that I sometimes forget to budget for (like recently needing tires for our truck [which I found a sale on] and now it sounds like we will need them for the car also this year – ouch,  definitely not something I planned for, but I will be looking for a deal on those also).

I will continue to tweak our budget using the tips in Jessi’s book.

So,  would you like to win a FREE copy of the Build a Budget that Works book?  I was given one copy to give away to a reader.

Between now and Thursday 20 November 2014 make a comment (which will be delayed in posting since I have to approve them) with your name and email address.  After that I will pick a winner using a Random Number Generator (hey, I have to use something nerdy).

Good luck!   – H

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Cost of the Master (shower) bathroom upgrade

I was talking to an extended family member the other day about the Master (shower) bathroom upgrade blog post.

https://acreativeengineerinnevada.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/master-shower-bathroom-upgrade/

and I realized that I didn’t say how much we spent on it.

a) American Standard toilet – about $270 with tax  (we had it delivered to the local Home Depot so we could inspect it before it came home)

b) Toilet Seat – We had already bought the seat for our old toilet in that bathroom.  So, I guess it cost $0.00 for this upgrade.

c) Wax ring – I ordered the one off the Home Depot website at the same time as the toilet.  It was about $6.00

d) Flooring – A box of the flooring costs about $53.00

I will use that amount even though the ‘cost’ of the front bathroom flooring was really twice that since we needed one piece from this box to finish that floor (which really makes this bathroom flooring free).

e) Paint – We had a 1/2 gallon of the paint sitting in the garage so it was good to put some of it to use anyways.  So, the cost of the paint in this remodel was $0.00

So, the total cost for this bathroom upgrade (not counting our time and labor) was about $330.00

I think that was definitely worth it to get a bathroom that saves water, has a new floor and is what we wanted.

Later – H

Latest Thrift Store finds

So, one of the top topics requested per the poll was garage sale / thrift store finds.  Normally I would say there are not Garage Sales in Northern Nevada in January, but when I went down our street the other day a neighbor was having one (at first I didn’t believe it).  I have to say I didn’t have a chance to stop at the garage sale, but I did go to one of the Thrift Stores and it happened to be 1/2 price day.

a) I was able to get a needed blue 1″ binder that works perfectly for $0.50.

b) I was able to pick up four clothes sewing patterns for $0.50 (about 12 cents each).  Even when JoAnn Fabric’s has patterns on sale I can’t get a deal like that.

Well, just I decided to do a Google search for the patterns and I was shocked after I entered the first one.

Simplicity 2283 (never used and never opened) – One site had it for $15.95 and Amazon even had it for $6.94!  This one is for tops made from stretch knits.  Something I have never sewn with so I want to give it a try.

Style 2981 (never used, but has been opened) –  One site had it for $5.00.  This one is for skirts with a zipper.  I usually avoid zippers, but I have recently read some tips so I am willing to give it another try.

New Look 6802  (never used and never opened) – Amazon has it for $9.20!  This one is for dresses made from stretch knits.  Something I have never sewn with so I want to give it a try.  I am hoping I can turn this pattern into a PJ top if nothing else.

McCall’s M5894 (never used and never opened) – Walmart has it for $8.31!  This one is for ‘The Perfect Jean’.  I figured even if I didn’t make a pair of pants I might learn some tips of how to modify mine or buy ones that fit better.

Wow – never expected them to sell currently for those prices.  If I had paid the lowest online prices I would have spent $29.45.  I only spent $0.50 for all four so I ‘saved’  $28.95!  (I paid about 2% of the current prices.)

Once I have used at least one of these patterns I will have to check out the patterns the next time I am in a Thrift Store.

Since I won a piece of stretch knit from the TailorFairy.com blog last year I think I will use one of my ‘almost free’ patterns, that material and ‘Sew Knits With Confidence’ by Nancy Zieman book I picked up from the library to make a knit top.  At least if I start it soon it should be done before the weather officially turns warm.

What deals have you found lately?  – H

Guest Signature Engagement Photo book

One project I finished in May,  that I had been working on for a few months, was the Guest Signature Engagement Photo Shutterfly book for our niece who is getting married at the end of June.  It consisted of getting digital copies of their engagement photos from their photographer (that happened way easier than I thought), arranging them using the Shutterfly software (and picking out colors, etc),  showing the book to the couple and making minor changes.  I used a Groupon deal and got the book for less than 1/2 price – nice!  I was afraid the shipping would be slow so I had it shipped to bride’s mom’s house and it arrived by the end of May.  So, now I have to wait for the wedding to see the actual book.  

I still need to investigate / try out different permanent pens on old photos to see which is the best pen to use for the signatures.  If you have any suggestions please make a comment or send an email (listed on the About page).  Thanks!

Later – H

Looking for a savings spreadsheet?

Well, I didn’t create it, but I think I finally found one that is basic, but with enough details that I will actually use it for more than a month.

http://tinyurl.com/aarynyr     or search HappyMoneysaver.com  for ‘2013 coupon savings tracker’

I loaded our local stores and then added one ‘store’ called Online so I can add up all those savings.  I already entered my savings from our pbteen.com order:  $5.51 from Clearance and $4.95 from Shipping (but to be honest I probably would not have bought the ID Pouch if I had to pay shipping).

I will give an update in February as to my savings to date and if I am still using it.   Now, to get my coupons organized so I save more at the stores.  This might get me more motivated to do that also.

Later – H