Saturday, July 25, 2009

Patience, It Pays!

I've been doing the Body for Life workout routine for 3wks now and I've been challenged by the fact that I don't have a weight bench. I bought my handweights with a Target giftcard I was given from work, but the bench has alluded me. I was checking Craigslist, watching SlickDeals, posting on Freecycle and all the usual avenues to a deal, but kept coming up empty. I didn't want to spend a whole lot, and $20 was about the max I was willing to go.

Today I was going to the grocery store to pick up milk and saw a yard sale right near the store. It was drizzling a little out so I thought I would stop by on my way home if it wasn't pouring by then. Well when I got out of the store not only was it not pouring, the rain had let up quite a bit so I decided to stop.

As I got there, the guy told me that everything minus a few things was half off, and lo and behold, he had a weight bench!!! I held my breath and took a peek at the price, it was $25... so my cost was only $12!!! I was SO THRILLED! I told him that I wanted it and then continued to look around a bit, not finding anything else, but just giddy with my steal! He helped me load it in the car and I drove very happily away and towards home!

One thing that Dave has taught me is that as adults we have to have patience and not act like children and do things just because we want to or because it feels good. It might take a few extra days, or it might take a few extra weeks, but there are savings to be had by those that are diligent to find them! I could hardly find anything less than $50 brand new and the cheapest thing I found used was $25 about 50 miles away, so patience really can pay! I am so excited to do my weight routine on Monday and not use a toy box or folding chair as my pseudo weight bench!

Monday, July 20, 2009

144 Days!

That's how long it took us to pay off the loan on our van. We took the loan out in February for 2yrs and knew that it would be paid off much earlier, and in 144 days we did it! We're pretty excited about having that big one out of the way and now we can focus all of our energy (and money!) to paying off the credit card. We haven't used the car since 2007, but there is still a nice chunk of change sitting out there on it, and then of course my student loan.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Beans and Rice (and Rice and Beans!)

I tried out a recipe the other day for a beans and rice dish that I have absolutely fallen in love with! It's quick, it's easy, and it's easy to dress up a bit if you have stuff laying around the house.

3/4 cup dry lentils (brown ones)
3/4 cup dry brown rice
4 cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes (or chicken, vegetable)
4 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Dump everything in a medium pot and boil. Turn down the heat to a little lower than medium and cook covered (just like rice) until done. I usually stir every 5-6 minutes, but you probably don't need to once the spices are mixed! Use just like regular taco filling.

I have been putting a bit of taco sauce on mine, who doesn't have extra Taco Bell ones right? And sprinkling a little bit of shredded cheddar on it and eating with broken taco shells. Not only does this taste very good, it's a good balance of carbs and protein so it does fill you up. A bag of lentils can be bought for under $1 and rice should be a staple in any frugal house, right?

I haven't updated on our progress in awhile, mostly because I've been holding off until our van was paid off. My goal date for payoff was July 1, but we ended up needing to get tires put on and I took money from our "snowball" and paid for them that way rather than tapping into our emeregency fund. Hopefully with payday next week I can report a big payoff!