If you want the short story:
My husband went back to school. We needed extra money. I found out about general transcription. I started making money. I liked it. I still do it. Now I tell people about it on my blog: athometranscriptionist.com.
Here’s the longer version:
So this post is about three years in the making. In 2010 my husband decided to go back to school for a one-year MBA. Our goal was to only go into debt to pay for tuition and to pay for living expenses and books with cash and savings. We had some savings, but not enough for a year’s worth of living.
Now, I am good at saving money, but we needed some additional money, or, as Dave Ramsey says, a bigger shovel. So I started researching work-from-home opportunities. English and typing have always been a strength of mine and so I started learning all that I could about general transcription.
I researched, practiced, and updated my resume. Within a month of my husband starting his new program, I had landed a contract position with a transcription company and was now working from home as a transcriptionist. Between savings, transcription, and my husband taking on a few freelance projects, we were able to only go into debt for tuition and to pay cash for living expenses.
A few months after graduation my husband decided to start his own company. Once again, the extra income I made became helpful for our household. Over the past year-and-a-half my husband has grown his business and increased our income, but I am still transcribing because I enjoy it and the extra cash is helping us to complete some of our financial goals. We would like to pay off our debt, save cash for a second vehicle, and save for a down payment on a house.
It has been almost three years since I started this journey and although I am still frugal I have found that I have cut back on some of my frugal habits such as baking bread, couponing, and making my own wipes (yes, we have another kid in diapers). I trade some of my time for money and I have found a good balance.
I am no longer actively working on this blog as we are now a two-income family. For now I will keep the posts up and drop in from time to time, but you can also find me at my new blog as well.
I apologize for skipping on posts this past week, but I’ve been busy doing a lot of reflection on this blog and how it fits into my life. I’ve come to the conclusion that at this moment I can’t give the blog the attention I would like without other areas suffering, such as my duties as wife and mother. I have decided to put this blog on hold for a time to focus on more important things. I may pick it up in a few months, I may pick it up in a year, or I may just post once or twice a month.
Thanks to everyone for reading my posts and sharing in your comments.
I went shopping earlier this week and scored on some meat. I found hamburger reduced to $1.21/lb and pork ribs for under $1.00/lb. I stocked up on the beef and some ribs and then came home to quickly cook it up before the expiration date.
I try to always cook up any hamburger or chicken before I freeze it. The simple reason is that when dinner time rolls around the last thing I want to do is defrost and cook up some meat to go in the meal. If I can just take out a bag of precooked chicken or beef then dinner progresses much more smoothly, and we eat a healthy, balanced meal.
I bought 7.5 lbs of hamburger and expected to get 15 (1/2 lb) bags out of the dish. I simply dumped a package of meat in the pot, added onions and garlic and let it cook. I then drained the grease from the pan and set the meat aside to cool.
I repeated this twice more to cook all the meat. After I had all of the meat cooked, I decided to save the last two lbs for runzas.
After the meat had cooled I added taco seasoning to some of it. I divided the meat into ziplok sandwich bags and then put three sandwich bags every freezer bag. I ended up with seven small bags of taco meat and six small bags of plain meat. Somehow I had stretched the meat farther than I expected, as I still had two lbs for runzas, but I didn’t worry about it.
Crockpot Barbecue Pork
I also made barbecue pork by putting my pork ribs in the crockpot and adding garlic and barbecue sauce. I set it on low and let it cook all day. It came right off the bone and we served it in sandwiches and put the leftovers in the freezer. This turned out really yummy and next time I’ll have to be sure to buy more pork, as I only bought enough for two meals.
This week I have decided to do a bit of batch baking. I found a lot of meat on sale and stocked up. I needed to quickly cook up the discounted meat, and so I have already made the first three items on the list. I’m hoping to have the last two done by Saturday night.
7 1/2 lbs of ground beef
Crockpot bbq pork
I will post recipes and pictures in the next couple of days.
I read The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn over two years ago and it completely changed my perspective about money and frugality. The Tightwad Gazette is a compilation of newsletters written over many years by Amy and bound into one book. It’s a thick book that is completely fascinating. I would like to own it one day but for now I try to check it out from the library and re-read it once a year. Here are a few things I have learned through my readings.
There is nothing wrong with leftovers and substitutions in the kitchen.
Amy encourages her readers to use up what they have and be creative in the kitchen. I learned that you can save the juice from canned fruits and use it in sweet muffins in place of water or milk. Now I often put juice from canned peaches in my banana muffins and reduce the amount of sugar the recipe calls for. I also learned that you can make various soups, quiches and muffins using leftovers from previous meals.
Setting up a price book can save you money at the grocery store.
When we moved to our current area over two years ago, I diligently created a price book to be familiar with products and stores in our area. I have since relaxed on my price book, as I can list most of the prices at Aldis, but it would be helpful to re-create one so that I know a stock-up price for couponing.
When you need to solve a problem first look at what you have before running to the store to buy something.
One example that she listed was creating birthday decorations from leftover colored school papers. She also had a lot of tricks for remodeling your home using what you have. Lately I have made homemade toys by using things from around the house.
Perhaps cloth diapers aren’t so bad after all.
I had never considered utilizing cloth diapers until I read this book. At the time our apartment didn’t have its own washer/dryer so the laundromat bill would have canceled out any savings from using cloth. But when we moved to our current apartment I started researching cloth diapers and bought a few supplies for my kids. I have to admit we only cloth diaper half of the time, but my diaper bill is a lot lower than it could be. Simplemom has a wonderful series on the mechanics of cloth diapering.
These are just a few of the lessons I’ve learned from this book. I would be interested to know if others have read this, and if so, what did you learn?