December 2008 - Posts - Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller
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Surviving on Shoestrings by Donna Miller

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December 2008 - Posts

  • My Only New Year's Resolution - Organize: it saves money

    Whether you live in a small apartment or in a mansion on a one hundred acre spread of land, organizing is one of the top resolutions for the New Year for many people.  It usually comes in about third place in the list behind health related and financial related goals. It is my belief that if this were a more encompassing goal for the New Year, it would take a higher place in the list. I am not making a judgment, because I am in great need of taking my own advice on this for the umbrella of all my New Year’s resolutions. Since it is my number one goal for 2009, I want to share how I think it will be farther reaching into more of the unspoken resolutions. Being organized helps in so many areas! Organizing touches on all areas of our lives, but for the sake of this one entry, let's just focus on saving money. Look around. How much is out of place, over cluttered or just plain messy?  (Oh I hope you can't see into my office through this blog) When we are organized we:
    1. Save Time: When we can find things, we don't waste time hunting them. And for everyone from the homemaker to the CEO, time is money. Saving time now means using it for income or to spending time more wisely later (like with family or saving money in another area).
    2. Save Brain Power: When our minds are free of 'controllable' stresses, we can be more creative in ways to earn more income or become more creative to save the income. Disorganization is a number one stressor in daily life.
    3. Save on Duplicate Purchases: Have you ever bought something because you couldn't find what you just 'knew' you had one of those around somewhere? Then when going through a cluttered closet you find the first one? Isn't that fun?  Organizing will help avoid that duplicate purchase expense.
    4. Save on Grocery Bills: A planned menu and all ingredients in the house help us to eat at home more and keep tabs on the food expenses. Shopping by the sales and seasons is also an organizational issue. This again adds up to money saved, just because we organized it.
    5. Save on wear and tear: Upkeep of vehicles, appliances, smoke alarms and more can be organized for this year on the calendar. Check them and make sure to care for those 'less thought of ' items once in awhile. This organizational step can save money in the long run, but more importantly, it's for the safety of your family.

    There are many more examples of what simple organizing can save us and they mostly translate to dollars in the end. So as soon as this blog is posted, my mass organization begins for 2009! 

    Remember though, not to get overwhelmed if you are not the organizing type (which I am not always) but to take it a little at a time and only organize small areas at a time. Not many people who earn millions focus on the millions - but focus on that first dollar and adding it up makes the million.

    The next blog will be on how being organized helps keep us healthy!So if you can pick only ONE New Year’s Resolution for 2009 – let it be GET ORGANIZED and watch how far this one reaches into our lives!Best Blessings!
  • Making gifts and decorations for the Holidays

    This year, we are doing as we have often done as we have trimmed our budget to the bone; we are making most of the gifts and decorations. This is not a new thing for our family. It actually began years before the kids were born, but has become a tradition as they grew.

    We make many food gifts (Holiday Eggnog Bread is my NEW favorite) and use a lot of natural decor around the fall and winter holidays. Cookies, candies, brownies and breads line the counter for weeks in December. Knitted or crocheted items are always in the works once August hits in preparing for the end of the year gifts.

    I also vacuum more than normal because we have pine branches, holly, cypress and pine cones hanging from light fixtures and on shelves (not to mention what fire wood does to a carpet).   For more decor, we made snowflakes out of aluminum foil and white paper and stuck them to the windows around the house.

    We have not bought any new decorations for years, but each year the house seems newly inovative with fresh greenery and old favorites sprinkled in. Our boxes are a testament to all the home made items of years gone by like wreaths from our own grape vines, gold sprayed magnolia 'cones' and 'birds nests'.

    Hoping your Holidays are filled with frugal and loving gifts from the heart.

    Best Blessings!


  • Left Over Turkey Ideas!

    We had two turkeys for Thanksgiving. Somehow we anticipated a hoard of guest that just never seemed to show up so now we are over loaded with turkey.  We have a left over smoked turkey and a regular one. There should be an award for how many dishes you can make from a picked over turkey after Thanksgiving.Here are a few things we are doing with the remainders of ours:1. Duh - Sandwiches, that's a given.2. Turkey Pot Pie (plain)3. Turkey Noodle Casserole (smoked)4. Turkey Soup (made stock out of the 'carcass' and remaining meat that fell off the bone before throwing it away)5. Turkey Salad - like chicken salad (plain)6. Turkey Sheppard’s Pie (using also those left over mashed potatoes)So with that little list I think my family may be over loaded on turkey for a while but at least there's a variety!  I'd love to hear what you all did with your turkey extras!


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