We NEED to Downsize

Oh hello world, I’ve been MIA.  Sickness kept me down for nearly 2 weeks, plus caring for 2 sick kids while being sick is double the exhaustion.  DH’s new schedule started and it’s been hell to adjust to.  (Honestly I’m just not adjusting.  I hate it.)

Remember that workout class I signed up for?  I completed 1 week out of 6 weeks.  I missed the 2nd due to illness, and the rest due to DH’s new work schedule.  Class times are in the early evenings, now he has to go in earlier, I can’t make it.  $100 down the drain.  (I did try to find a sitter to no avail.)

Last night I finally sat down to pay November bills.  Usually I pay them on the 1st of the month, but I’m running on empty these days.  All was going well until I opened my electric bill.  $645!!!  What on earth?!  Maybe in July/August we can hit $600 due to AC, but $645 for October?  I haven’t had to use the AC or heat much at all.  About put me in tears.  Then the water bill, which is normally $22, was $88.  This is from the pool cleaners, they left our hose running twice and never told us.  Flooded our yard too!

I told DH it’s time to go.  This house is too much upkeep, too expensive (property taxes, utilities, etc).  Our old home is the same square footage and cost 1/3 this place in utilities and 1/4 in taxes.  I miss it.  I seriously thought about moving back to the old house.  That would require relative renter to get out and MIL to find a new place to reside.   It’s an older home (70s), this is newer (2005).  Plus 8 foot ceilings vs 12-20ft ceilings make a huge difference in heating and cooling.

No matter how we look at it, there are significant hurdles.  Other people affecting our ability to move and be smart with our money.  Very frustrating.  Relative renter actually wants to buy our property, which would be great, but their credit sucks.  I’m ready to go.  Sell it all, downsize, it’ll make life much, much easier.

I’m a planner, DH is not.  He’d just go and see what happens lol.  I can’t do that!  But I don’t want to wait 2 years anymore.  I am miserable.


  • Relative renter in old house
  • MIL in our basement apartment
  • DH’s job (can relocate, on his own dime, but has to “reapply” for whatever positions are available)

How do you even begin the process of moving out of state?  Overwhelming.

Successful Yard Sale & Crazy People

We did it!  We hosted our two day yard sale.  The days were long, hot, and I’m terribly sunburnt and sore, but it’s done! Total: $1,504.00!  Friday was insanely busy.  Our sale began at 8am, but as DH was putting out signs, people were asking him when and where.  We had people stopping at 7:15am as I was trying to set up.

We haven’t had or shopped yard sales in years, but Saturday mornings were always the get up and go days.  So we were all shocked at how slow it was!  Next time we’ll do it Thursday and Friday, and sleep in on Saturday!  It’ll be a long time before we have another though.  After it ended on Saturday, we loaded up the car, and dropped the leftovers at Goodwill.  I have another load to drop off, but I was too tired to fill up the car again.

(On Friday we made $1,230.  On Saturday we made $193.)

My goal was $1,000 and we surpassed that.  But I was hoping for similar results on Saturday, feeling slightly disappointed even though it’s unwarranted lol.  I was surprised at all the little stuff that sold.  The larger items tend to attract peoples attention from the road, but it was all the randomness they picked through and bought.  While we sold a few larger items (tool box, bed frame, headboards, etc.), I still have a stroller travel system, high chair, and table that didn’t move.  A lot of interest, and they were priced LOW, but no movement.  I’ll probably stick those on Craigslist tonight.

The fun part of the sale is dealing with the people.  Most were very friendly, but the few that weren’t, sheesh!  Our first customer on Friday morning showed up at 7:15am (signs all said open at 8am.)  She spent $0.50.  She told me to open my hands, and she dumped a pile of pennies in my palms, and bolted for her car.  She gave me $0.40.  LOL.

Another lady said “I hope you take change” and I said of course.  She had $7 worth of items.  She opened a bag and took out two handfuls of coins and threw them on my table and said “You can count it”….!!!  Not quarters, all dimes, nickels, and pennies – with some hair, lint, screws, and randomness thrown in.  She was so rude to me, I counted out an extra $1 in dimes and she went on her way, lol.  (She watched me the entire time!)

One guy showed up and gave me bad vibes.  He seemed to be scoping out our property more than looking at the tables we had set up.  He was a bit rude to DH too.  He came back again several hours later and again, seemed to keep checking out our backyard.  Made us both uneasy and DH was prepared to tell him to get off our property.  He bought a $5 dog pen and left.  Thankfully he didn’t return.

I had a lady start screaming at me that I overcharged her.  She bought $5 worth of items: 8 books (50c/ea) and a brand new and sealed box of baking tips ($1).  She paid, I bagged the items, and she turned to leave.  Then started yelling “WAIT A MINUTE!  I PAID YOU FIVE DOLLARS!  IT IS FOUR DOLLARS!  I WANT MY DOLLAR BACK!”  I kindly went over what she bought:  “OH” – she forgot about the baking tips.  She huffed and puffed and left.  No apology for her outburst.  Even other shoppers were looking at her, yikes.

I had a guy get made at me because I wouldn’t accept Cash App.  Sorry, no.  I don’t use it and don’t care to download an app for a $2 sale.  Then another lady lectured me for not accepting credit cards, and how cash is just “so outdated”.  Goodness.

Oh and I had the kids run their own toy table!  It was items they both picked out to sell.  They made $81.  I say ‘they’, but it was really our 9 year old doing all the work.  I was proud.  He’ll put it towards a computer he’s saving for.  🙂

This is too long now, but I have some yard sale tips to share that I feel helped us tremendously!  I’ll post that later.  Happy Monday!

Yard Sale Prep

It’s been quiet around here, because we’ve been busting our butts to get ready for a yard sale.  Finally!  The stars have aligned: DH is off all week, the weather has cooled off, and there’s no rain or sickness in sight!  Knock on wood!

Our entire garage is stuffed full of things to sell:  baby items, housewares, tools tools tools, furniture, kids clothing, toys, etc.  I’m making the kids run their own little table for toys.  Hoping the cuteness pays off.  😉  I still need to tackle the storage room downstairs.

I managed to clear out my desk and have a lot of office supplies to let go.  Plus I went through my etsy store inventory and figured I’d bag up beads to sell as well.  Just inventory sitting collecting dust.  (People like to give me beads, because I use to make jewelry.  Now I have bins upon bins of beads I haven’t had time to sort!)

If I remember I’ll have to do a before and after picture.  My ultimate goal is to be able to actually park my car in the garage for winter!  And, of course, make a few bucks.  We’ve worked hard all week cleaning out the house, cleaning items, organizing, and pricing.  I’ve got a price on every thing, so I hope that helps move items quicker.  I hate yard sales where nothing is priced, I hate to ask about every little item.

We’re going to the bank to get $200 in change to start with.  $100 in ones, $100 in $5’s and $10’s.  My mother held a yard sale a few weeks ago, and most people paid with $20’s and $50’s, she ran out of small bills by noon.  I have plenty of coin change already.  We’re planning two days from 8am to 2/3pm, whenever it dies down or gets too hot.  We were able to find two tables to borrow from a friend, but we are renting tables for 48 hours from a local events company.  They are $9/ea for 48 hours, and we’ll get 3 or 4 tables.  I’m confident we’ll make back that $36 in no time.

Now if only I could get my mother in law to let some things go!!  But alas, the hoarder is adamant she must keep every thing “just in case”, because who doesn’t need 24 baskets stacked ceiling high?!  Lordy….

Wish us luck!

Food Co-Op Friday – Take 4

Last week was crazy busy over here, so I’m late with the co-op post.  Oops.  🙂

I picked up my fourth batch from the food co-op a friend invited me to participate in this month.  I paid $50 for the entire month of September and pick up once a week.  Works out to be $12.50 per load.

While the last load was the largest we’d received, this weeks is the smallest…

  • Frozen Sliced Strawberries with Sugar x 1 Tub (6.5lbs!!) (kept)
  • Pancake/Sausage Corn Dog Things x 20pcs (kept)
  • Hot Dogs?! x 1 Big Bag – I don’t really know what these are?  Friend said from Krystals?!  They do not look appealing lol. (giving away?)
  • Yogurt Mango Nut Milks x 3 Bottles (gave away – darn nut allergies!)
  • Frozen Organic Arugula Pizza x 2 (kept 1)
  • Sara Lee White Bread x 1 Loaf (kept)
  • Sara Lee Wheat Bread x 1 Loaf (kept)
  • Publix Cinnamon Raisin Bagels x 1 Bag (kept)
  • Entenmann’s Mini Apple Pies x 1 Box (kept)
  • Entenmann’s Softee’s Plain Donuts x 1 Box (kept)
  • Cap’n Crunch Cereal x 2 Boxes (kept)
  • Pace Picante Sauce x 4 Jars (kept 2)
  • One Brand Coconut Water x 4 Bottles (gave away)
  • Chocolate Protein Shakes x 4 Bottles (DH is going to try)
  • Sweet Baby Ray’s Sweet N’ Spicy BBQ Sauce x 2 Bottles (kept)
  • Pepsi 16oz Bottles x 6 Bottles (gave away)
  • Tropicana Apple Juice x 4 Bottles (kept)
  • Strawberry Kiwi Gatorades x 12pk (gave away – we still have 16 from last week!)
  • Propel Waters x 24pk (kept)

Despite being the smallest load, I feel like it was a lot more items we personally use/like.  Completely worth $12.50.  I was bummed that there wasn’t any produce this time around.  Nothing was expired in this batch either.

The one major problem is that I’m running out of space to store things, like the bottles of water and gatorade!  I’m going to spend this week organizing the kitchen, pantry, and freezer.  Whatever I cannot get to fit, will go on my dining room table.  I’ll snap some pictures and let family and friends come grab what they want.  Any leftovers will be donated.  Certainly don’t want anything to go to waste.

I thought I was only participating in September, but friend reached out and asked about October.  I guess their third person still can’t pay into it for next month.  I agreed to do it.  I think it will be my last month though.  It’s just too much stuff for us.  I bet it would be great for a much larger family!

I’m still trying to get details about the co-op.  Is it local only?  Nationwide?  Where do they get the items?  I know some readers have asked these questions.  I’m trying to get some answers!  I will share all the details as soon as I am given more information.

Food Co-op Friday – Take 3

I picked up my third batch from the food co-op a friend invited me to participate in this month.  I paid $50 for the entire month of September and pick up once a week.  Works out to be $12.50 per load.

This is by far the biggest load I’ve received.  And while a lot of it won’t be used by us, none of it will go to waste.  I had four different friends and family members stop by to “shop” my dining room table and they all left with overflowing boxes!  I have a few items left that no one cared for (berry Pepsi anyone? ew lol.  beef base?), and we’d like to find a shelter or somewhere local to donate to.

  • Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix x 8 Boxes (gave away 7 boxes)
  • Captain Crunch All Berries Cereal x 4 Sm. Boxes (kept 2)
  • Pom Pomegranate Blueberry Juice x 2 Bottles (gave away)
  • Pepsi with a Splash of Blueberry Juice x 2 8pks (not keeping)
  • Gatorade Zero Strawberry Kiwi x 16 Bottles (kept)
  • Blueberry Yogurt Nutmilk x 6 Bottles (gave away)
  • Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola Bars x 4 Boxes (kept 2)
  • Beef Base x 2 Sm. Containers (not keeping)
  • Nestle Carnation Evaporated Lactose-Free Milk x 5 Sm. Bottles (kept)
  • Quaker Original Instant Oatmeal x 4 Boxes (kept)
  • Quaker Cheddar Rice Crisps x 4 Bags (gave away – kids hated them, boo!)
  • Lipton Peach Iced Tea x 8 Sm. Bottles (gave away)
  • Giant Green Bell Peppers x 10 ! (kept 4)
  • Arnold Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns x 1pk (gave away)
  • Ball Park Hot Dog Buns x 1pk (trashed, these were smooshed and torn open)
  • Thomas English Muffins Plain x 1pk (gave away)
  • Thomas English Muffins Blueberry x 1pk (gave away)
  • Publix Plain English Muffins x 1pk (gave away)
  • Arnold Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns x 1pk (gave away)
  • Arnold Organic Wheat Bread x 1 loaf (gave away)
  • Arnold Jewish Rye Bread x 1 loaf (gave away)
  • Cheetos Baked x 31 Sm. Bags (kept 20)
  • 1lb Publix Mild Ground Pork Sausage x 4 (kept)

Once again, well worth $12.50, but not particularly items we use or would need so much of.  Someone snagged the English muffins and a loaf of bread I meant to keep, but that was my fault.  Forgot to put them away!  Overall I’m more than happy with it all, and I know our friends and family appreciate the goodies.

Next week is my last load for September.  I haven’t been invited to participate in October, not sure I would if asked.  I seem to be getting a lot of repeat items, especially things I cannot use.  Such as the yogurt nut milks, oatmeal oatmeal oatmeal, and a million boxes of pancake mix lol. My main disappointment is that I was expecting more produce with this co-op (based on friends info.)  The green peppers this week are incredible, and much better than the moldy cabbage from last week, but I’d love more variety.  I think the leader that picks up the orders and sorts them between three takes first picks, so I may just be missing out on some things.  Which is fine!  I still get my moneys worth.

We have a busy weekend ahead of us.  A wedding ($100 cash gift), a birthday party ($19 Lego gift), and Monday we have another electrician coming out to quote a ceiling fan install (budget?!?!).  Fingers crossed the latter works out!  We’ve had 3 out already and each one told us “nope!” – thanks to our 22ft ceiling.  I cannot wait to move and downsize.  I sure do hate these vaulted ceilings.  DH could handle a fan install no problem on a normal ceiling height!  But 22ft is a big fat no from me!

Collections Update

A good/bad update to the collections notifications we received.  DH’s lawyer received the needed lien paperwork from the hospital that we’ve all been requesting for many, many months.  However, the lien paperwork they sent over, doesn’t even match up to the bill or collections amounts.  So now the lawyer is requesting additional information/confirmation on amounts due.  Hopefully that gets settled soon.

Monday we received another collections notice for $1,022 from Angelfish.  We’ve never heard of Angelfish.  There’s no mention of a doctor or hospital.  We have no clue what this is for, but the dates correspond with DH’s accident and subsequent surgeries.  The lawyer said he didn’t receive any information from that company either.  So…?!!??!  No clue what to do about that.  DH will have to call today and figure it out.

Received another bill in the mail for $31.92 for a drug test DH took back in 2018.  Not sure why it takes a year to send a bill.  America’s healthcare system is such a mess.  His surgeon requires patients to take drug tests before surgery, so that was that.  Anyway, the invoice says to pay online with credit card, yet offers no web address or contact information, lol.  After googling, I found the website, but when I select “make payment – patient”, I get a run time error, and the page won’t load.  That’s promising…

Not only is healthcare far from affordable, but the entire billing process is a disaster.  From one office to the next, it takes forever to receive a bill, if you get one at all.  And if you don’t, POOF, you get a collections notice for something you were never notified about.  And don’t even get me started on requesting an itemized bill….yikes.

I’m trying very hard to stay on top of every little bill that trickles into our household these days.  But I’m not blindly paying some random collections company without proof of debt and an itemized bill either.  I don’t feel like that’s too much to ask.

Speaking of bills taking forever, I received one for my youngest son, only $68 for lab work, but it was for blood tests that were done in November 2017!!!  The invoice is dated this month!  Ridiculous.


Food Co-op Friday – Take 2

I picked up my second batch from the food co-op a friend invited me to participate in this month.  I paid $50 for the entire month of September and pick up once a week.  Works out to be $12.50 per load.

  • Lemon Basil Salad Dressing x 9 Bottles (kept 1, gave away rest)
  • Bistro Salad Bowls x 2 (gave away)
  • Pom 48 fl oz Pomegranate Juice x 4 Bottles (kept, but expire in 3 days)
  • Propel 16.9oz Drinks x 24pk (kept)
  • Diet Green Tea x 1 Gallon (gave away)
  • Bag of cubed Irish cheddar cheese (over a pound, expired 2 months ago?)
  • Dairy Free Yogurt Drinks x 4 Bottles (gave away)
  • 34oz Captain Crunch Cereal x 1 Bag (kept)
  • A bunch of croissants (kept 6, gave away rest)
  • Pasta Roni Parm. Cheese x 4 Boxes (gave away)
  • Coffee Mate Liquid Creamers x 8 Sm. Bottles (gave away)
  • Quaker Caramel Rice Crisps x 4 Bags (kept)
  • Quaker Kids Organic Whole Grain Bars x 4 Boxes (kept)
  • 2 jars of beef bullion stuff (gave away)
  • Quaker Steel Oats Brown Sugar & Cinnamon x 4 Boxes (kept)
  • Cabbage x 5 (fed to the deer lol)

I think last weeks batch was a lot better, but this was still well worth $12.50.  And what I don’t use I can easily give to friends and family.  The cabbage was bagged oddly and had a bit of mold on it.  I’m picky about produce, so we opted to put those out at the wood line for the deer to enjoy in our backyard.

I was only invited to participate for the month of September.  I’m not sure if it’s something I’d continue doing.  While it’s worth the $50, there’s a lot we don’t use, and a few items that are way out of date too.  At least in this batch.  The yogurt drinks are the biggest let down.  My youngest would LOVE those, but alas they are made with almond milk instead of dairy, and he has a severe nut allergy.

Updated my debt numbers on the sidebar the other day.  So close to be consumer debt free!!  Minus the mortgage on the rental house.  Still holding out hope we can sell it soon.   Our homeowners claim still hasn’t been closed.  The adjustor is still MIA, and we’ve also left messages for his supervisor with no response.  They owe us payment for the electric bill and food while in the hotel.  I submitted the bill and receipts for all of it, per the fine print of our policy.  I guess they didn’t like that, lol.