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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Stretching Everything!

Was chatting via text with a dear friend who lives far away from me so we have to catch up as we can. She shared that life is really stretching her as she has started several new businesses recently.

I also have been going through the stretching process. I have been working for quite a variety of people doing quite a variety of tasks through TaskRabbit ( I am never sure how much work I am going to be able to obtain so when jobs are available I take them. One day earlier this month found me working for over 8 hours cleaning two different places. I realized exactly how the phrase "I worked my a** off" originated! My booty felt like it was going to fall off from all that squatting down to scrub things.

I have had to stretch our income because in the summer I have less earnings and in the winter, my husband has less earnings. Hmm, that is two out of four seasons where we are earning less income! You are probably thinking that something should be done about that. I agree, which is why today I was stretching in a new area.

I applied to be an Amazon Associate so that I can earn additional income for me and my family. Now I have to figure out how to get the thing up and running on my blog, which is stretching my limited tech abilities. ; )

I have been doing Classical Stretch most weekday mornings ( so I am stretching my body and making it stronger. Another division of this exercise is called Essentrics ( I am contemplating becoming an instructor. Stay tuned!

So far being fifty is all about expanding and stretching in many areas of my life. What is stretching you these days? I so enjoy reader comments so please take time to share!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Super Saver Saturday

Even small savings can add up!

A few weeks ago I purchased a $10.00 Target gift card for only $5.00 on Groupon Mobile. So, I went to Target today armed with my gift card, coupons, and some time on my hands to see just what I could do there to stretch my hard-earned dollars.

I began by getting a large bag of Pedigree Healthy Weight dog food which is $12.99 at Target. I had a $1.00 off on it. I was just getting started though...

As I wandered around, I noticed an end cap loaded with lots of clearance items. One item that caught my eye was the Glade scented oil plug-ins. I really like these, but they can be expensive, so I don't purchase them very often. Target had a warmer with refill marked down from $4.99 to $4.24 and a four-pack refill down to $3.64. I had a coupon for $1.50 off the warmer with refill, a coupon for $1.00 off the refill pack, AND (icing on the cake!) a Target coupon for $1.00 off when purchasing ANY (love this wording) 2 Glade products. So, I got a total of $3.50 off these items! Many people don't know that coupons can be used on clearance items (some cashiers don't either so you have to nicely ask them to check with the manager at times) and more people don't know that BOTH a manufacturer's coupon and a Target coupon can be used together on the same item. Cha-ching! More savings for you!

I clip coupons when I wait on my son to get done at Kung Fu or while watching television.

I also found a cool plaque to give to my almost son-in-law for Christmas that was originally $10.00 but marked down to $3.00 (this counts as a $10.00 gift by the way).  I like to try to stock up on fun and cool items in advance of the Christmas shopping season. Snagging cool clearance deals like this is one way to do that.

I then grabbed a small can of cat food at 47 cents and $2.00 worth of items from the dollar spot and headed to the check out with coupons in hand, gift card pulled up on my phone, and a smile on my face!

My total before the clearance prices, gift card, and coupons would have been $34.46. I paid $12.45 out of pocket at the store plus the $5.00 I spent a few weeks ago to get the gift card.

If you aren't signed up for Groupon Mobile on your smartphone, I encourage you to give it a try. Every little bit of savings frees your money to go towards other expenses and who can't use that kind of help?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Garden Update

My husband and I garden in central Texas. When other parts of the country are just getting into the swing of gardening, Texas is hot, hot, hot and gardening slows in July. The weeds in the garden are gigantic, the temperatures are over 100 degrees, and the mosquitoes are on the prowl for their victims.

This cantaloupe weighed over 3 pounds! 

We are harvesting a lot of items right now-corn, cantaloupes (well, we are not harvesting them so much as collecting them because they are taking themselves off the vines and we just pick them up and take them into the house!), tomatoes, peppers, spaghetti squash, okra, Chinese long beans, and onions. We  recently harvested about half a wheelbarrow of red and yellow onions. Some are larger than softballs! Yes, everything really is bigger in Texas!

In our area, we plant onions in November to get the largest onions possible. 

Just as it is the hottest and we only want to be lounging inside with a cool drink, we need to start working and planning for our fall garden. In our area we are fortunate that we can garden just about the whole year around.

Our goal is to be able to produce all of the fruit and vegetables we want to eat. This year is the best we have done so far towards that goal. Last year, we added fruits to our garden. We planted grapes, dwarf pomegranates, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, two pear trees, and a fig tree. Our five blackberry canes produced a pint or more of berries every day for nearly three weeks. We are definitely going to expand the amount of blackberries we are growing!

There are few things I find more satisfying than creating a meal whose ingredients mainly came from our garden. I am looking forward to many more home grown meals and new recipes in the future and I will be sharing them right here with all of you!

Just washed okra waiting to be tossed in cornmeal and fried for dinner.