Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Slowpoke report

Whew - I can't keep up with Sarah! While I'm still trying to explain our present financial situation to a few more bank folks, li'l sis is barreling through and making cookies and cinnamon rolls! If we didn't live 3+ hours apart, or I wasn't trying to shed some pounds for my daughter's wedding in a few weeks, or gas wasn't $$$$$/gallon, or either of us had any spare time for a lengthy visit, I'd be at Sarah's making sure the troops would be happy with her efforts.

It doesn't look like they'll have a problem.

Since I last reported, we now have a fifth plan in place. The terms aren't quite as impressive as some of the others, but since the rep was willing to work with us and was sensible*, I agreed to it. I'm relieved to have one more taken care of. Now if we can just get some income flowing from our hibernating side businesses to help pick up the slack....

(*Why do 'customer assistance' reps so often offer plans with payments 3+ times more than the minimum payment you CANNOT make even after you've explained - sometimes twice to that rep - that your current situation renders it impossible to make the former minimum payment???)

I do have some thrifty experiences to share!

1. We had a visit from some old friends this past weekend. My husband, a pro in the kitchen, planned to fix one of his famous breakfasts - eggs, potatoes, biscuits, gravy, and some kind of meat. Bacon is too expensive, and some folks don't like sausage, so we opted to get five big slices of ham from the deli. It cost less than the bacon and was delicious, and because the rest of the (cheap) breakfast was so filling, we had two big slices left over!

2. Our friends took us to a late lunch/early dinner, and the restaurant owner (a friend) surprised us with two huge bowls of ice cream and cinnamon fritters! Because we couldn't take the ice cream home, we inhaled our courtesy dessert and brought home enough leftover dinner for the next night.

3. Hubby and I wear our shoes (and drive our cars) until they fall apart. We own more than one pair, but we pretty much each live in one pair year round. He's on his feet and outside most of the day and was in dire need of a new pair, so we hit Kohl's the other night during their big sale, armed with an extra 30% coupon. Although we tend to keep buying the same shoe brand/style, hubby was agreeable to trying on a different one because the sale price was considerably lower than his usual pair. He said they'd work, and the sale price was so low, he also sprang for a black pair of shoes, perfect for muddy days. Feeling smug, we hit the underwear department, as his personal collection had reached antique status. Once I recovered from sticker shock (even at the sale price), I remembered the 30% coupon, so we sprang for a package of six. That should take care of him for life.

4. I bought NOTHING at Kohl's.

5. The little Toyota hubby drives for his long commute has racked up 350,000 miles (not a misprint!). It was clamoring for a tune-up, so hubby ordered the $$$ spark plugs (at a significant discount) and installed them himself for the first time! Of course, it called for special tools, but they were on sale, too.

6. I haven't paid attention to grated cheese in the store because it used to be more expensive than block cheese. I was going to make something that required a lot of cheese (and a lot of grating), and hubby noticed the big packages of grated cheese in a completely separate bin. It weighed 2 lbs. like the block and was priced about $1 LESS. Money and time saver - woo hoo! It does have a different texture, but it hasn't hampered our ability to eat :)

So... while I'm behind Sarah in most ways, I am trudging along in this newfound determination to stretch what we have even farther while meeting such enlightening friends along the way....



  1. Hi Jenny,
    Good to hear from you as well as your sister. Sounds like things are going well. Keep your chin up. Things will get better.

  2. Hey Eboo, I'm hijacking this to tell you I've been commenting on your site, but they're not showing up ... maybe they're in your spam folder? Or maybe you don't want my comments to show up :) Just sayin'


  3. Things are going, Eboo, and they seem to be heading in the (mostly) right direction.

    Thanks so much for the encouragement! Cliche or not, it helps so much to know we aren't alone!!!

    Meanwhile, maybe Sarah should try including a cinnamon roll with her comments on your site :)


  4. Jenny, you are doing great! You are tackling the issue and that's the first step.

    Doesn't it feel so good to get a really good deal on something you have to purchase anyway? I love it! I try my best to stay away from stores period but of course have to venture into some. I found myself speeding through "M"almart the other day making a beeline for what I needed so I could get out. The conscious part of my brain took over and I started thinking that before I would have been wandering around the isles looking at "stuff" and spending money I didn't have on stuff I didn't need. I much prefer the beeline technique!

    I guess what I am trying to say is revel in the small victories for they shall eventually become big victories. We shall overcome!

  5. Sarah,
    Hijack noted! I got the email about the comments and I believe they are all posted now. I'll be checking daily to make sure it's fixed.

    - Eboo

  6. Thanks, Little Lamb! After talking to a DM rep thru BoA for over an hour earlier today, I needed some encouragement :) She was nice, but the figures.... not so much. My next move with her is to provide tax numbers when the CPA has finished.

    On a positive note, this afternoon I used a 'credit' card for absolute essentials (akin to your 'beeline' approach!) at Walmart. I acquired the card a few weeks ago when I gathered up unopened dog food (after our dog had to be put to sleep) and a few other little items I ended up not needing. It was nice!

    Baby, baby steps, but they do feel good!

    I look forward to toddler steps :)


  7. thats great that you negotiated another payment plan!! and you've made some good savings there, You're doing really well, just keep plodding along and soon you'll start to see things improve.

  8. Thanks, Louise! I'm trying to focus on the positive steps... which would be much easier to do if there weren't so many numbers hollering our name :)

    I noticed on your blog that you've earned extra money doing surveys; I'm interested in learning more....