Thursday, 30 October 2014

Guess How Much We Cut Our Electricity Bill

I've tried to reduce our energy bill before by making the changes everyone suggests. I started doing my laundry and dishes at night and I turned off the lights in rooms we weren't using. No matter how hard I thought I was trying, there never seemed to be any difference to my monthly bill.

I became confident that there was no way we could reduce our consumption enough to make any real difference on our bill. So I gave up trying.

A couple months ago I got a dose of reality that gave me the kick in the butt I needed to try again. I made some simple changes that I hoped would make an impact on our bill.

Well the bill finally arrived and I was shocked by our new numbers.

So How Did We Do With Our Attempts to Cut Electricity?

After I opened the envelope I honestly couldn't stop smiling and it was all I could talk about. Take a look at our kilowatts per hour number in the right column.

Monday, 27 October 2014

How We're Casually Selling Our Car (Don't Try At Home)

We are a one car family. My better half commutes on the bus down town for work and the Little Miss and I have the car for errands.

Currently, we own two cars.

If you've read What I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving, you'll know what we were very grateful to receive a free car this year. What you may not know is that we already had a perfectly fine car.

So, we needed to sell our old car.

Get Lulled Into a Sense of Inaction

The carrying costs of the second car seem pretty low. Our insurance only went up $25-$30 dollars a month after adding the second car. $25 seems like a pretty cheap price to pay to have a second car on standby in the driveway.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

An Update from Ottawa

I had planned a post to publish today, but after everything that has happened in our city today, it just didn't seem appropriate.

If you haven't heard about the shootings today, I'll add a link to the CBC live feed.  The reports have been changing as the day has gone on, and I'm not a reporter, so I don't want to be the one to give out details on today.

Today has been and still is a scary day in Ottawa.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Engaged without a Ring: The Tale of our Engagement Cat

Before Mr. Simple Cheap Mom and I were married, we were in that awkward phase when you know you want to spend the rest of your lives together, but you’re not officially engaged.

Weekend trips away would turn me into a sulky mess and, once it was clear he wasn't proposing, the trip would end in a fight with him clueless why I was upset.

We had talked about ring shopping and he had given me the go ahead to shop online to pick out the perfect ring. I wanted a simple yellow gold band, with a half carat round cut diamond with an excellent cut and no visible inclusions.

This was the type of ring that my peers were getting from their fiancé. This was the ring that people would expect to see on my finger.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cut The Cable, Keep Your Shows

So you've decided to start budgeting and are looking for ways to cut costs. One of the most painless ways to cut your costs is to eliminate monthly bills for services that you're not using. Stop paying something for nothing.

You take a look through your monthly bills and one stands out. That cable bill. That bill that makes you cringe when you pay it. You only watch a few channels but the cable company charges you for hundreds. You'd like to cut out the bill, but you still want to watch television. You're stuck.

... Unless there was another way to watch your shows. Legal ways that, you know, still feel sneaky.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Things I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving

In honour of Thanksgiving (Canadian Thanksgiving, eh?), I'd like to share the things that I'm thankful for this year.

The Sappy Personal Stuff.

I am thankful that our little girl is healthy and happy and am so grateful that I get to spend so much time watching her grow.

I am thankful that my husband loves me. I am thankful that I still love him.

I am thankful for all of the wonderful friends and family that are part of our lives.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Can You Stick To Your Grocery List?

This week I did my grocery shopping with the Little Miss. I made up the supper meal plan for October and saw that I could make do for the next week with what we already had. Our cat supplies and diaper levels looked good too. So I just needed to pick up the usual suspects for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. Because the list looked pretty light, I added some treats to spoil us a little. You know, simple pleasures and all that.

I'd now like to share with you a little prophetic comment I made over at Frugal Voices on their post called Frugal Slips:

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The No-Electric Dryer: Part 1

Our soon to be forgotten clothes dryer.
We've been a machine wash and dry family.  We have a small hanger with clips that we use to dry bras (previously diaper covers) but we've been reluctant to take the plunge and start hanging entire loads.

We tried drying a load of cloth diapers outside once.  They were still wet after 24 hours, so we decided line drying was for suckers.  The fact that there was little sun, no wind and that it rained didn't weigh very much on our decision.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

3 Excuses For Fast Food That Don't Work Here Anymore

Yummy pizza at my parent's house.
I grew up in a house where what's for dinner depended on where kids ate for free that night.  We did get healthy meals too, but I grew up thinking it was OK to eat out multiple nights a week.  I could spot the golden arches a mile away and would beg for Dairy Queen even though I was lactose intolerant (yes Dad, it was worth it).

It's little wonder that when I moved out on my own I would hit up the drive through on my commute home.  Or that after having a baby and not sleeping I would prefer take out to cooking from scratch.