Pammys Path

Where are you and where are you going?
pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:17 am

On a different note, found out my son-in-law used to do dirt work at a former job that can handle the road work we will be needing to have done before we can do this move. When he gets the time he will come check out the area and let us know what equipment will be needed. Thankfully, there is a local place that rents equipment, and he'll do the work for us. Woot!! Definitely will save for cash over having to have it contracted out. :) My daughter also has the number of a guy that does well digging, he did theirs. This helps tons as I didn't have a clue who to contact for this job. Once those two things are done, some serious thoughts will go in to either moving this house or finding another to put there, we're still undecided. One step at a time.

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Fri Feb 02, 2018 7:46 am

So, last Friday we sold the big van. Got more money for it than we paid for it. Yay! Down to three vehicles. Also got a letter from the IRS saying the hubby overpaid in '12 & '13, there's some extra coming our way.

The stepson had a wisdom tooth flare-up, unfortunately, and while him and his dad were driving to the dentist early Wednesday morning, the Vibe completely bit the dust, engine blew. Will drag it to a salvage yard to get a bit for it after getting the radio out of it. Hey, we knew it was coming, have been knowing this for a long while now. No surprise there. Stepson had his wisdom tooth removed, all good there.

Sometimes things just work out like they're supposed to. So happened the hubby has been off a few days before his new job starts, today. So happened we were able to take care of dentist appointments, car failure, eye appointment and finding a different vehicle for the hubby to drive. From the sale of the big van and a few hundred more, the hubby found an older pickup and we went to get it yesterday. A '95 Chevy pickup, nothing fancy. Things move fast around here, haha. Insurance difference was like $9 difference for 6 months to switch from Vibe to pickup. The Vibe's radio will go either in the hubby's pickup or the stepson's car.

Also, thankfully, I've got health insurance coverage on me now. Approved and the paperwork is going through to BC/BS now. I wasn't super worried about having it since I don't have health issues, but, my courses are requiring that I have insurance for the clinical aspect coming in the fall, it is mandatory. Thankfully will be getting the premium covered with the subsidy, as we don't earn a lot. Hey, I use all the money saving strategies I can get.

So, the hubby starts the new job today. Way better hours, more money, weekends off, and the atmosphere will be awesome. Still not earning a lot, but our expenses are low so the ratio is still pretty good. Quick calculations: expenses less than 40% after tax income. Not bad, but I still want to work on that. :)

Current mental debate over acquiring a small chest freezer. When I shop sales and find really good deals, I'm limited on the freezer. We've got one of those bottom pull-out freezers in our fridge, and although I'm really good a utilizing all the space, I cannot really stock up on good deals. My shopping strategy is to shop the sales (I keep a price-book to comparison shop to know what is a good deal and what isn't), stock up on things we eat, then cook or make a menu out of what is in the kitchen. A smallish chest freezer I've found locally runs about $200. In the past two weeks there have been some good meat deals I've had to pass up (mark down because almost out of date.. no biggy, I freeze it) because I didn't have the space to put them. Placement of the freezer has also been a minor hang-up as we don't have a lot of room in this house, but I think I can rearrange the kitchen dining table and set in in the kitchen/dining area where I can access it easier. Realistically it could pay for itself within a year on grocery savings, but then also factoring in the extra electricity, believe the extra electric costs should be small, saving money in the long run in grocery expenses. I'm letting the idea marinate a while before I decide.

George the original one
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by George the original one » Fri Feb 02, 2018 12:34 pm

We bought a smaller chest freezer and it's just right for my wife & myself. No noticeable change in the electric bill. It's 37" wide and requires about 24" depth when you allow space for the hinges. It sits in the garage under the electrical panel, with a couple chunks of 2x4 on the floor as wall spacers for the hinges. Our primary reason was we needed to store the blueberry crop & fish catch, with meat sales as the secondary reason. You do have to keep in mind how much space you have remaining when shopping and stumble upon sales; we've had a couple close calls, where the freezer was near capacity and I had dragged something home <ahem>.

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bryan
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by bryan » Fri Feb 02, 2018 5:24 pm

+1 on freezer lust! I've had a frozen turkey monopolizing space since Thanksgiving.. ended up cooking it this past weekend to free up some much needed space. Pretty sure my dream home will have a walk-in freezer :)

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:28 am

Another mental hangup I forgot to include.. what do we do with said frozen stuffs when we finally get to move this place? I have family living in town, but unsure if they can help with the amount of frozen from a stocked up deep freezer. I'm sure the moving process will take a few days of getting it ready to roll, moving, set in place and hooked up to electricity, a good day or two. Dang, now my head is really rolling around on this. Maybe I'll just say it's a given once we get moved, a chest freezer will be acquired. Thank you both for insight, I'll really be wanting one then. :)

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:36 am

Did our taxes over the weekend. Got a refund, which is good and bad. Getting married and me being a student contributed to that, plus the child tax credit and being on the lower income end also helped with that, so I wasn't too surprised. I know hubby will need to change his W-4 withholding, no problem. And I am unsure how the stepson's age will affect next year, he turned 18 a month ago and will be off to college in the fall, so the refund won't be as large next year, I think, need to check on that. I tend to like being close to $0 at the end of the year, the hubby is thrilled about the refund. I am working on him, lol.

We had some issues with the land come up this past week. It may be a no-go on that part, it's family land, yada yada yada... Honestly, I am okay with finding our own land that isn't tied up in family matters. The land belongs to his grandmother, who is parting it out to children, one being his late mother, which is why hubby (only child) get's part. Now an aunt wants to move and is pressuring the grandmother to sell and move with her (she takes care of her). Another aunt also lives on the land. Since the part that belongs to hubby is at the back of the land, with access through the other's property, it would be an issue if the other parts are sold, easement wise. I don't want any of that headache, to be honest. Better if we find our own, not tied with anyone else's. So moving will take longer than expected. It's okay. Place we live is still cheap and we can take our time finding the right place. :) I'm over it. And hey, this just makes the argument for the acquiring of the deep freezer sooner just more sound, haha.

George the original one
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by George the original one » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:34 am

Don't let easements stop you, if the property otherwise suits you. Easements can be written into the deeds, which is a minor fuss.

On the other hand, if you think there are better properties, by all means continue the search!

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:24 am

Still waiting to talk to the grandmother about the land. You are right, George, easements can be written into the deed. Good point. Will know more once we get to visit with her, without the aunt around, find out what she really wants to do. She'll be turning 76 this year and built her home with her late husband over 40 years ago. I want to find out if she truly is considering moving or is being pressured. All good. I am okay where we're at for a while. Still cheap living. :)

Budget-wise, guess I'll post some numbers, see if anyone has any suggestions for things to work on.

WHAT WE PAY ON MONTHLY:
Lot rent: $180 monthly, includes water/trash/sewer
Electric: $250 monthly average, goes down in winter, up in summer. Rural electric, we pay higher rates than city, older mobile home
Gas: $30 monthly average, goes up in winter, down in summer.
Internet: $66 monthly, only service available out here, a bit better package to stream since we don't have tv service
Car ins.: $80 monthly, 3 vehicles liability, I pay twice yearly to save $$
Cell phone:$60 monthly, 3 prepaid cells, no contract, no data, unlimited talk and text on towers in range, discounted multi-line
Vision ins. $32 monthly, stepson has medical need, born with eye defect
Netflix: $8 monthly, entertainment
Car gas: $120 monthly, working on getting this down
Amazon: $8 monthly average, prime for free shipping and entertainment
Blow: $100 monthly, 2 hour trip to see grandson, keep hubby peace, etc. can work on this if absolutely need to
Clothing: $10 month, maybe. Thrift store a few times a year
Taxes: $41 monthly average, includes mobile home and 3 vehicles
Total Average monthly expenses: $985

Seems pretty low, but I'm always looking at ways to cut more. Some of this will come down when stepson goes off to school, and he'll start picking up his share of car expenses now that he's working. And I know what is missing on here, groceries. Since this is an extreme website, I hope I don't catch too much crap for it, we qualify for food benefits. I use all resources available, and we qualify. I qualified when single, reported change and they adjusted, still qualified. However, their estimation is way over, in my opinion. The way I shop and cook I spend way less than what they give us monthly, I buy actual ingredients and do not take advantage. Will make this stretch as long as possible, it is a resource I treat like any other. I really debated on whether to put this on here. Doing everything I can to get a leg-up. I hope I don't offend anyone.

Things we don't pay on:
Mortgage-own the mobile home
Vehicles-all bought with cash
Health insurance-dh will be looking soon when his runs out from previous employer, stepson covered through his mom, mine from subsidy

Well, this is how it looks, folks, from low-earners. Starting from scratching-to-get-by and going to FI. Long way to go!! I have a little more than a year to go before I'm done with school and income will improve, thank goodness. One step at a time, one step at a time....

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by SavingWithBabies » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:02 pm

Is your current heat gas or electric? I don't have any suggestions either way just curious as always heard heat would be more in a mobile home but your averages are reasonable. If you want my opinion on the benefits, it is if you qualify, you qualify. I also think it's great you are using them frugally.

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bryan
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by bryan » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:06 pm

I thought you meant something else for "Blow" :D

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:29 am

@Savingwithbabies- heat is gas, it's the only thing running on natural gas, everything else is electric. The colder months can run it up to $100 or more, the warmer months it's $7 basic fee. Utilities-wise, this company charges a fair rate, same as city. It's the rural electric company that takes advantage, imo. Same with internet, they know it's our only option available out here. The perks of living away from town, haha. I could be paying more in lot rent in town versus here and have cheaper rates on utilities, but I suppose it's a wash. It's pretty quiet out here, though, so I'm content.

@bryan- haha, should have re-worded that to 'Blow money'. The other, there would definitely be a problem, lol.

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Sat Mar 10, 2018 2:29 pm

Haven't updated in a few, thought I would.

Finally got the deep freeze, it's half full already on sale meat in bulk. Have a list going of this weeks sale to stock up a bit more. Yay!! Probably 2 months worth of food stored up.

Things are happening with the possible move. Had a talk with the grandma, she definitely does not want to move. She gave more info about the land, including the septic being grandfathered into the new ordinance being passed on septic systems in the county. The hubby Is going back out there right now to fix the water issue: blown fuse and water pipes from the well busted with a freeze. So there will be water out there soon. Went out there earlier to see what all it needed, changed the fuse, found the leak. Walked the land where we want to move, found the spot where his mom's place was, still see some hoses that were ran, and cinderblocks where the previous home sat. Will definitely need some road work done, not just the washed out bridge parts, but past the grandmother's leading to where our place would sit.

Looks like the place where it would be would tie on from grandmother's water well, meaning we wouldn't have to dig one ourselves. Sweet!!! And already septic, sweet!! The area is back behind the grandmothers, away from the road, and behind a hill with lots of trees surrounding. Quiet. The Oklahoma wind would be for the most part blocked by the hill and trees on either side. They had the previous mobile home set with the length with long sides facing north/south, short ends east/west, which works perfect with my wanting to orientate the home (if we move this one) with the long window-less side facing north, and the windowed long side facing south. There is one neighbor house we can spot, barely, through the trees, otherwise, it's secluded. Previous thought of our part was 14 acres, which is incorrect, it's 14 acres divided 3 ways, ours would be over 4 acres, still plenty in my book to do what we could ever want to do with it.

Some good news, electricity went down this past month. Hot water pipe leak that went undetected for too long. We assumed it was the hot water heater going out as we couldn't get a few minutes of barely warm shower before it was cold. But, hubby found the leak and fixed it. Sure made a difference on the electric bill. Really hot water for days now and no new water heater needed, sweet!!

Taking the summer off of school. Ready for a break, health statistics is kind of kicking my butt this semester, will appreciate the break. Going to try my hand gardening in some pots soon. Keeping my eye open for yard sales selling pots, and at the thrift stores.

Otherwise, things going good here. Hubby started new job, liking it, more income helps. Have an emergency fund and the bills are quite manageable. Should have enough cash flow to work on things slowly getting ready for move. While we work on that we will also keep our eyes open for a heck of a deal on another mobile we can possibly move and work on before we completely move out there, to make the transition smoother, then sell this one, probably to the park owner. If we can't find another one cheap, will just move this one, we will see. That's all for now. Things are in the works!! :)

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sun Mar 11, 2018 2:06 pm

What are your expectations for a potential mobile house to put on the site (so you don't have to move yours)? I'm curious if it is typical that one can buy a used mobile home that is already in good enough shape to move in or if you typically need to do a bit of painting and/or more substantial work on it. I'm wondering what is usual or what you would look for. Locally, I see one place that sells mobile homes that you'd move onto your own land or a rented spot but I think they only sell new (going to call and ask). Then there are a fair number of used ones but they seem to assume you'll be taking over the rent on the land as opposed to buying it to move it somewhere new.

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Mon Mar 12, 2018 7:39 am

I am hoping to find something similar to what I currently live in if we decide to locate another home to move to the land. For a few reasons:

1) They're cheap. most people selling older ones to upgrade to newer ones just want the old one gone. They aren't worth much. Some are even given away for free if you move them, which would be awesome! I got this one for $1500 because the people were moving states and just wanted to unload it fast. Older ones are eye-sores to many and just want them gone, those are the gems I'm looking for.
2) Older ones are made with slightly better materials than newer ones. Better wood in structure, from what I've read, pre-85's used better sized support wood for the structure (not sure how to say that technically). Newer ones seem to have more and more particle/pressed wood and don't hold up for as many years, comparatively. Better bones, if you will.
3) Paint is cheap. Especially white in 5 gallon buckets. White is clean and opens up the space to make if feel roomier than it is.
4) I won't care how old the outside will look, won't be many people seeing it besides us and friends and family, it will be out in the boonies. As long as the inside is comfortable and fits our needs, who cares if the outside is dated looking.
5) Newer ones seem to have put more emphasis on cheap "pretty" fixtures for aesthetics, older homes used more functional materials.
6) You can work on them fairly easy. Plumbing is fairly easy to get to. You can always replace windows or flooring or just about anything, it's pretty DIY friendly.

Expectations are that they will need some work. Like this one, it needed some floor boards redone (thanks dad!), then I had new carpet and linoleum in kitchen put in. Painted every wall and some ceilings. Total spent was about 4k, including house. It's comfortable and clean and meets our needs. Not the prettiest to look at, no. So be it. Would rather I had something not so pretty that was all mine than something pretty that I'm paying to a bank monthly for the privilege of sleeping in it with the hope of many years later owning it. Plus, I get to re-use something not wanted that may have wound up junked.

(didn't mean to go on and on, lol. sorry. I just know older mobile home ownership isn't for everyone and was listing some reasoning for the choice, just in case any others may have not considered it a viable option for cheap living)

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by SavingWithBabies » Mon Mar 12, 2018 9:31 am

Oh, no, thank you for going on. I have no practical experience with mobile homes so I wasn't sure what is involved but it clicked -- particularly getting an older one that people just want gone. I have seen ads like that locally (they weren't quite free but fairly close). Now I'm going to go do more research. Thank you.

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Sun May 06, 2018 4:53 am

Haven't updated in a while, wasn't much going on, but now there is. :)

Some people cut down the downed trees that were covering the road needing repairs, so it's ready for work. The daughter's hubby is coming down next weekend to do it, he's had years experience doing road work and we just need to rent the equipment, place in town has rentals. He will also be dozing a road past the repaired road to our spot on the land. Yay!!

We've decided against moving current home, and are looking at buying a used RV to put on the property. It will be a temporary solution, maybe a year or two, until we decide on which permanent home to put there. Will sell current home, no problems with park management, new buyers just need to pass background check. My sis owns an rv dealership, we're hoping to get a deal on one of her trade-in's on a used 5th wheel. Most have a decent floor plan and better storage over a travel trailer, plus, the bro-in-law is a certified rv mechanic, should we have any issues. Bonus: he also delivers. Looking for used and will be paying cash. Also plan on installing metal cover to go over rv plus extend out on the south side for covered porch area. Will add to outdoor living space. Will put where water well lines and septic are for hookups. Electricity will be connecting to nearby pole, done previously, shouldn't have problem. Heat/appliance will be propane, will use portable tanks that come with rv's until we can locate a bigger one.

Goal is to have this all completed by next year: Land accessible, rv purchased, set up, utilities set up, sell current mobile home, have college completed, and work started on getting land layout workable (gardening and other structures placement). Once these steps are completed, expenses should be very low, plus I'll be able to look for work in my field making income increase. One step at a time.

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Sun May 27, 2018 5:22 am

Got most of the road work done. The big holes in the previous driveway has been filled and is accessible. We got most of the road leading up to our spot cleared, save a few hundred yards. Will need some more clearing and road packed before we can think of moving something out there. Will work towards that this summer.

We have decided against an RV and are now just going to move present home. Will have the funds to do so in August. Just seemed the simpler solution. Not simple in how we are going to get it to the location, but having to figure the cost of buying an RV, getting it settled, then paying lot rent on current place before it/if it sells.. it was more feasible. We did look at other mobile homes to move, but that also entails the cost to purchase, cost to move, and the repairs I am sure it would need. Why not move the paid one we've already done the repairs on, eh?

Got a walkable path out to where the home will be. Found where the water line is, still trying to locate the septic. Will take some clearing to get the area ready for the move. The spot has trees all around, and I sure wish we were out there already. As it is, we are looking at at least 5 days this coming week at over 100 degree temps during the day, and where we are we get full sun. I am dreading the electric bill to come before the move. I can see where the previous home sat, and the setup is almost identical to what I have in mind to take advantage of any passive/solar gains to help with the reduction in the electric bill.

Was able to reduce monthly expenses a bit recently. Stepson got stupid when his phone didn't charge right (it was still charging, just not to his satisfaction), so he went and got a phone, on payments, and with a contract. Since he's 18 and decided he can make his own decisions, we made sure he got on his own plan and got off ours. I refuse to do contracts with cell phone companies. He could have just bought a phone outright and stayed on our cheap pay as you go plan, but no. So now he can pay his own.

There's that, and we did warn him that we will pay his first 6 months of car insurance, but it was up to him from now on. I had budgeted monthly expenses to cover his previously, but after other dumb decisions and lying about a few things, his father decided he can definitely pay for his car insurance, as well. I doubt he realizes how expensive it is for an 18 y/o boy for just liability insurance, but he has a few months before it's due. So anyways, we can add his coverage to no longer being in our monthly budget, along with his part of the cell phone, reducing our monthly budget about $120 a month.

I also decided to try out republic wireless on mine and hubby's, just ordered the sim kits. Anything to save a few bucks. Get a free month's coverage, plus it will reduce our cell plan another $15 a month.

The last big wind storm here kind of messed up the furnace in our home, making it impossible to relight. As it's no longer cold, planning on moving before it turns cold again, and the furnace was the only thing we have here that ran on natural gas, I canceled service, $35 refund (I had paid ahead), and another $30 a month saved to keep it active per month. Once moved, we will either get a large propane tank for heat or get a few more oil-filled radiators for the areas of the house we occupy. Of course, that route is going to make it where we are solely electricity dependent. But hey, the gas/propane furnace needs electricity to run the fan system, so we are stuck either way, right? Eventually, we may look in to converting some electrical appliances to propane (stove and water heater), but I would feel a wee bit better if we located a back up generator to keep ready, should electric go out. For a few seconds I considered a wood stove in the home, but common sense says that's a stupid idea in a mobile home. All the downed trees on the property looks like awesome future firewood, though, haha. If nothing else, always have my camping gear ready to go: small propane heater, plenty of canisters, and butane stove with canisters.

The hubby's RV job has not been keeping him busy enough, so he's looking for a different job. I kinda knew in the back of my mind working for family wasn't ideal, and they don't seem to get it some people depend on that income, but whatever. So yee, the income is lacking lately. Sigh.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sun May 27, 2018 10:14 am

One thought on heat: I don't know the getting started costs but maybe an outdoor wood boiler would work? You basically burn the wood outside away from your home and, I think, use liquid/coolant with a pump to bring the heat into the home. So kind of just like how central AC works -- just heating instead of cooling. That might be more expensive to get going with up front but, if you have free wood, cheaper in the long run? My understanding is one of the things that can wear out is the boiler (it can get pin holes as the metal/welds wear over time) so it's worth researching that to consider if used is viable, etc.

In the area my brother lives in Wisconsin, they are not allowed anymore. I think because of complaints from neighbors about air quality due to the chimney on the wood boilers not being as tall as a typical house chimney. So the smoke doesn't go up as high. Not 100% sure on the that but check local zoning before going too far!

pammys
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by pammys » Thu May 31, 2018 8:52 am

Zoning is not a problem, as we will be out of city limits and county zoning is pretty much 'do as you please', within reason. But I've never heard of anyone in this part of the country with that type of heat, tbh. Actually, I've never heard of it. :) Interesting thought, though, thanks! But with already having the installed furnace, will probably just have it hooked up to a propane tank, they are pretty prevalent around our parts. There is at least 2 companies within 10 miles of there that deliver the propane, as well. Not sure I want to use up what trees we do have, I'm really looking forward to the shade they provide. Anyone else notice how hot and quick it got in May? haha

Keep going over and over numbers, my favorite past time. Where can I cut costs, how can I stretch this or that. Think my hubby got tickled the other day when I sat down and started cutting dryer sheets in half. Then I went to breaking doggy treats in half. But hey, a little there, a little there, this shit adds up. :) He said something about almost being out of body wash, and the look I got when I said "Do we 'need' it? We have soap"... priceless! Little things like that bring light bulb moments, sometimes.

Next up: doing research on car insurance plans to see if I can get a better deal for the next 6 months premiums.

My daughter has be egging me to start another blog. Good idea, gives me a creative outlet, and she likes reading things through my eyes. So, I sat down and made a list of topics. Originally was going to start it in the vein of going homesteading and less consumerism. But, after reviewing the page of topics, most of my ideas are money saving strategies! lol Well, that's the reason behind the homesteading and less consumption thoughts, to save money!! So...so be it.

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bryan
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Re: Pammys Path

Post by bryan » Thu May 31, 2018 2:24 pm

You know of the (the complete) tightwad gazette, right? :D

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