Thursday, November 20, 2008

Settling In

Things are improving and we're getting on a schedule. J worked hard in therapy yesterday and showed a lot of self-restraint and self-regulating. The AT & I were very impressed.

Thanks to everyone for your emails & comments of concern and suggestions. We are finding many ways to save and going back to many things that my grandmother taught me that she learned during the Depression. It is really turning out to be quite the adventure and we are looking at it as an adventure rather than a punishment. It's all in the attitude.

It is a little scary to think about no insurance but a single mom with no income equals no insurance. It's amazing how dependent I've become on that security blanket but truth be told there's probably more people uninsured today rather than insured and they're getting by and so will we. The comforting thing is that we won't be out of the house more than one day a week so that will drastically reduce the chances of getting a cold or flu.

Some of our cost cutting adventures have included:

1. Reading bedtime stories by candlelight. I highly recommend it!

2. Incorporating more board games played by candlelight are extra special. Fun!

3. Reusing coffee grounds.

4. Baths by candlelight (who wouldn't love this?!)

5. Soup beans (a/k/a Great Northern) and cornbread (dinner for less than $1.00) Bringing back wonderful memories of my grandmother.

Tonight...cornmeal gravy. Yummy!

Do you have and favorite/fun ways to save????


Jillene said...

For grocery shopping I add match and use as many coupons as possible.

Alyssa's Mom said...

If you get bananas that get too ripe before you can eat them, throw them in the freezer. When you accumulate a few bananas you can make banana bread!

That way you don't have to throw them away.


Kristina P. said...

Excellent tips! I only bathe once every week, in order to save on the water bill.

Torina said...

Kristina has a gift of making me spit out my food. In a good way, of course.

I grow my own herbs, dry them in our utility room, and put them in reused jars.

When I grocery shop, I look at the packaging to see if it is something I can reuse for something else, like jars instead of cans or plastic bags and so on.

I make my own tea by drying raspberry leaves and mint. Raspberry leaves sooth upset tummies, relieve cramps, and just taste yummy in tea.

You can take almost any leftovers and make fritattas out of them (just add eggs to those great northern beans and voila!).

There are a million ways to cook potatoes and if you live down south...I wonder if you can't grow them year round if your ground never fully freezes.

For energy, replace all of your regular lightbulbs with CFL's. This will save a ton of energy if you haven't done it already. They cost more but last WAY longer and use a fraction of the energy.

You can check with your electric company to see if they will do an energy audit and provide rebates for energy-saving changes.

Plastic all your windows and unused doors. Close off unused rooms and shut down the heat vents or radiators to those rooms.

Anything plugged in that has a box type plug-in (you know those things that always feel warm when you touch them, like phone chargers) is CONSTANTLY drawing a ghost load of energy. Make sure they are unplugged whenever not in use. Same with your TVs, DVD players, etc. We have some main power strips that we turn off every night. Everything else gets unplugged. For a family of five, we use about 400 KWH's of electricity a month (very conservative). And that is with an electric washer and dryer! (I can't dry my clothes outside in the winter months and we have a small house so I can't dry them inside either).

I could go on and on but I have to run.

Monica said...

The electric and gas companies in our area have discount programs for low income families. You might want to check into that. Our gas company gives a 20 percent discount if anyone in the house receives Medicaid/Medi-Cal or WIC so we get a discount because all our foster and adopted kids still qualify.

Muppet said...

HEY there!

I don't know if this is helpful, but one thing I learned from this guy I took a class with who was an architect/installed a lot of electricity in his day...

When you're done charging your cell phone, unplug the charger.. Same thing with laptops, anything that uses a charger - for some reason, they are constantly sucking electricity (much more than any other appliance) even if you're not using it.

Also, my husband just started this site - You can go on it and hopefully (not sure which areas it applies to yet) be able to find which gas station nearest to you has the cheapest gas.

I'm a big fan of candle-light reading. :)

Annette said...

I think I need to take your ideas and apply them. Torina has some good ones too!

I am happy that you are doing good and that you have a positive attitude. Just randomly during my normal routines throughout the day you and J would pop in my mind. I am amazed at what you have done to be with her! I am humbled because of your sacrifices. It really does bring what is most important in to CHECK!

Maia said...

I've been having internet issues so haven't commented in a bit but I'm glad you are having such a positive attitude about the situation you're in. I'm excited to read about it more! As for money-saving tips, the ones that come to mind are to eat lots of beans and rice (or cous cous bought in bulk), don't wear make-up, and try not to be rough on your clothes.

FaerieMama said...

Lisa, if it makes you feel better to know: we don't have insurance either. I havent had it in 18 years!!! I even tried to get state assistance , but,--get this-- at $32,ooo a year, I make too much!!! We just stay as healthy as possible, and keep praying! Obama's health plan should help, but it'll be a year before we see things change. Anyway, you're not alone!

Thandi said...

I thank you so much for sharing you journey with those of us who arent RAD parents.Do know that you've touched someone in South Africa.I get tired and wish for some time alone,and this with two healthy toddlers and a husband.God bless you for being there for this wounded child.And yep, there are many people without insurance, even here in violent South Africa-if my family can do it, I'm praying you'll be fine without it too.Thank you for enlightening me(Im pursuing a degree in Sciciology and Psychology and seeing this IRL is very educating)Thank you again for sharing.