summer edition

macro photography of black sunglasses on sand

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I am excited to announce that we have another book available on Amazon, Frugal Seeds Summer Edition, 101 Ways to Enjoy Summer with Your Kids for Little Money.  This was a true labor of love as the ideas inside this e-book are how I have enjoyed summer with my kids through the years.

I would be humbled if you would check it out.  Free to read with KindleUnlimited and 99 cents to download.

frugal seeds

 

 

person holding a green plant

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The title of my blog gives away the fact that I live with at least one chronic illness.  Now, I don’t want to brag, but I actually live with several, and as interesting as it sounds, it is not a whole lot of fun.  Unfortunately I am not the only one in my family who lives with such a burden.  Every person in my immediate family lives with at least one chronic illness.

As a result of all of our medical bills, we have learned to live on a tight budget.  Over the years I have had to learn to be frugal and about 6 months ago I decided to put some of  my frugal ways into a book,  Frugal Seeds: 501 Ways to Make, Save or Stretch a Dollar.  It is now available in both paperback and e-book on Amazon.  The entire book can be read for FREE with an Amazon Kindle Unlimited membership.

You will notice it is written under a pen name.  This has been done as I working on additional books and I am determined to keep the lives of my children private.  Thank you for understanding.

 

 

free budgeting apps

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“A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” — Dave Ramsey, financial radio host and best-selling author.

 

Everyone can benefit from budgeting his/her money, but having a chronic illness makes your financial life more complicated…….every dollar ( at least in my situation ) must be stretched in order to be able pay all the medical bills and their bill friends that come along for the ride!

Below are links to free budgeting apps, each a little different, so you should be able to find one that fits your specific needs.

 

mint

goodbudget

wally.me

everydollar

nerdwallet

pocketguard

dollarbird

honeyfi

claritymoney

fudget

spendee

expense-iq

“Beware of little expenses: a small leak can sink a great ship.” — Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding Fathers, inventor, diplomat, and the author of The Way to Wealth

~ wendi, under the pen name Charlie, is the author of Frugal Seeds:  501 Ways to Make, Save, or Stretch a Dollar

Five of my top free educational sites for young kids

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After my chronic illnesses kicked it into high gear right after my youngest turned a year old, I quickly started searching for how I was going to keep my kiddos busy,  maybe learn something, and have fun.

I remember those days with young ones under my feet while I was so ill, stressed out, and not sure what was going on with me, with each day bringing on new physical challenges.    One of the ways I kept my kids entertained for a while each day was with computer time……….

Here is a list of 5 of my favorite educational sites for young kids.

Happy exploring…………..

 

http://www.starfall.com/

 

http://pbskids.org/

 

https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/

 

https://www.brainpop.com/free-stuff/

 

http://www.nickjr.com/games/

 

Until next time……………you are a super hero even if your cape looks more like a child’s blanket!

‘health food’ find of the week – $0.94

I have found trying to eat healthy and feeding a family on a budget to be quite challenging.    Although some would not consider this health food, I thought it was a great deal and if you are going to eat corn chips, this is a great choice.

This is Great Value (Wal-Mart’s store brand) organic, blue corn tortilla chips made with only three ingredients…….ground organic blue corn, organic sunflower oil, and sea salt and they are naturally gluten free.  One 8oz. bag is only 94 cents!  I thought this was a HUGE deal and hope you do too!

IMG_1196

 

 

Do you have unclaimed money waiting for you?

dollar-currency-money-us-dollar-47344.jpeg

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Below is a website that will allow you to search for unclaimed property/money from various sources.  Although I haven’t found any extra cash for myself, I did find some for my mother and grandmother.

Here is to hoping that you will be able to find some lost cash for yourself, enough to pay off a medical bill AND go buy yourself something nice…………like new, comfy PJs!

https://www.usa.gov/unclaimed-money

 

Until next time…………happy and fruitful hunting!

May money audit, or, just write it all down.

notebook writing pencil start

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Money………..there is never enough, especially when you have sooooo sooooo many medical bills.  I have had to live frugally for years now due to medical treatments and tests, medicine, supplements, special foods……….you know the drill.  One more illness, more crap to pay for.  It gets frustrating and sometimes downright scary as there can be not enough money left for the month.

One way I make sure I am spending money as carefully and wisely as possible is by keeping track of every penny that is spent in a specific month.  I always do a money audit in January and I decided to do one again for the month of May.

It is really simple but it takes commitment………..you must write down Every Single Thing you spend any money on ALL MONTH long.  If you throw a nickel into the wishing well, write it down.  Lose a dime through the drive-thru, write it down.  Send a check to your niece for her birthday, write it down.  All bills, yep, you guessed it, write it down.  Every, single, piece of money that leaves your money pool needs to be written down.  I have a notebook that is dedicated for this purpose only, allowing me to go back and compare previous spending habits and bills.

Although I consider myself frugal by default, (because I would much rather not have to be!) participating in a monthly study of our spending has shown me ways that I may be able to cut back even more.  My spending flaws tend to stand out at me when I have to write down $2.25 for the pictures I HAD to have at the Dollar Tree.

If you are also living a life on a budget I encourage you to take a month to take inventory of your expenses.  The process of writing things down seems to make them more real, more noticeable.  You just may find that you can save an extra 10-20 bucks a month and put it aside to go do something fun………..like get your hair done professionally, instead of your spouse cutting your hair with household scissors in the kitchen…..O.K.  maybe that is just me!?

Until next time…………..YOU are a superhero and I am pretty sure superheros have their hair cut by a professional?

money saving tips

money pink coins pig

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Do you ever feel that your money is not your own?  For me, it seems as if most of the money goes to treating my CI one way or another: special foods, supplements, medication, and medical bills.  Over the years I have had to stretch our resources so bills (especially those darn medical bills!) can be paid.  I have also learned that every little bit of saving helps, small expenses can add up quickly.  So here are a few things I do to stretch a dollar.  I would LOVE to read yours!

Reuse (cleaned) plastic zip lock bags as long as they did not previously hold meat or eggs.

Reuse (cleaned) aluminum foil as long as it did not cover meat/cheese/eggs.

Turn off lights every time you leave a room.

Plug electrical devices into power strips, turn off power strips at night.

Run dishwasher on shortest cycle for each load.

No cable TV.

Cook from scratch as much as possible- bulk ingredients are often cheaper than prepackaged foods.

Purchase meat in bulk.

Eat less meat.

Buy as many products as possible from a dollar store — price compare per unit.

Purchase clothing from thrift stores.

Shop end of season sales for clothing.

Combine errands (this is to save both gas money and personal energy!).

Keep meals simple.

Eat leftovers.

Eat out only on special occasions.

Use coupons when eating out.

Take advantage of free grocery store downloads (Kroger, K-Mart, Giant Eagle).

If possible, shop at more than one store.

Cut up empty cereal/cracker bags into sheets to use as waxed paper.

Drink mostly water.

Set grocery budget and stick to it.

Check clearance grocery section first.

Purchase bulk foods that have a long shelf life.

Get rid of all memberships and subscriptions that are not regularly used.

Use plastic grocery sacks as trash bags for small waste cans.

Use empty plastic/glass food containers as storage tubs for leftovers.

Use mesh produce bags tied in knots as a scrub pad for dishes.

Use a small dry erase board on the outside of fridge to write down leftovers waiting inside – cross off when consumed.

Save brown paper that comes in delivered packages to wrap own packages.

Save the cotton from bottles of supplements for cosmetic use.

Turn off  stove/oven when food is almost done, let it continue cooking/baking.

Open shades in winter to let the sun in and warm up the rooms.

Close shades in the summer to keep the sun out and keep rooms cooler.

Use the library to check out free books, movies and take classes.

Install led lights as bulbs go out.

Send away for all rebates immediately.

Shop discount grocery stores.

Use cash whenever possible – you spend less money.

Eat as healthy as possible so you can feel as good as possible.

When shopping on-line always look for discount codes first.

Purchase used when possible.

Cut up old clothing that can’t be donated into rags.

Use rags to save on paper towels.

Use Walmart’s saving catcher program.

Sign-up for stores’ reward programs.

Use both sides of the paper.

Use printer mistakes as scratch paper for kids’ drawings.

Pay bills on-line.

Send postcards vs. greeting cards.

Purchase generic foods when possible.

Request generic drugs when possible.

Certain medications are free at: Winn-Dixie, Meijer, Publix, Reasor’s Foods, Price ChopperHarvey’s and BI-LO.

Walmart has a list of $4.00 medications.

Visit local parks as a free source of entertainment.

Make your drinks of choice at home.

Save and reuse gift bags.

Run dishwasher only when full.

If clothes are lightly soiled wash in cold on the shortest cycle possible.

Wash laundry in cold when possible.

Hang up clothing to dry, saves wear and tear on clothing.

If you purchase juice, buy it frozen and add extra water when mixing.

Take recycling to a drop off center – no longer pay for curbside pickup.

Purchase all wrapping paper after Christmas, make sure to get some solid colors that can be used for other occasions.

Cut-up and freeze produce before it goes bad……perfect for smoothies.

If you use milk, try powdered.

Once the toothpaste tube appears empty, cut the bottom off to get to what is left.

When no more shampoo will come out of the bottle, add water and shake and instant shampoo again.

If you buy soda, cheaper to purchase a 2-liter than a single bottle at check out.

Take a thermos of water and snack with you when you run errands, it keeps you from going through a drive-thru.

Put all loose change into a container to save for a special occasion or purchase.

Purchase nonperishable food items in bulk such as beans, rice and oatmeal.

Get free food grade buckets from Walmart’s deli counter for storage.

De-clutter your home so you know what you have, avoiding duplicate purchases.

Clean out and organize your freezer so you know what you have.

Clean out your pantry – makes it easier to know what you have on hand so you don’t over purchase.

Eat what you freeze before it goes bad.

Stuff unusable socks with plastic grocery bags and put at the bottom of doors to keep out drafts.

Pay bills on time to avoid late fees (this may not always be possible).

Carry a small notebook as a price book – keep track of prices/unit so you know if you are getting a good deal or not.

If you have a garage, clean it out so your vehicle can be kept inside, save gas from having to warm it up in winter.

Comparison shop when purchasing supplements.  You can usually find them cheaper than the prices at your health care professional at places like Amazon, Vitacost, Swanson, The Vitamin Shoppe, and  Mountain Rose Herbs just to name a few.  If you sign-up for a company’s newsletter you will usually receive a coupon code.

Floor models, open boxes and things about to expire are always cheaper, don’t be afraid to ask for a discount on these items.

Shopping at the end of the day at garage sales will save you even more money – people don’t want to haul all their stuff somewhere else.

Don’t purchase something just because it is a good deal, make sure you need it.

Comparison shop for car insurance, cell phones, trash and internet service and other monthly expenses or even call your current providers to see if there is a cheaper plan.

Bring your own bags – some stores charge for bags and others give you a small discount if you bring your own.

If someone asks, request gift cards as presents to your favorite restaurants or stores.

Grow any of the food you consume – even apartments have a space for one pot in which you can grow herbs or a tomato plant.

Please check out Frugal Seeds to read more money saving tips.

 

 

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