This week saw a tweaking of the budget

more mystery shopping and the investment in an annual pass for Silver Dollar City. With dh’s senior discount we saved a bit of money. We plan on shopping this area a lot over the summer and fall so the investment will reap back and pay for the passes before too long. Not to mention the shops we can do in conjunction with it.

We also took advantage of our his Senior Parks pass to save on camping again for the 8 days we are here ($76 savings) plus we booked for 8 nights next month with it ahead of time—to guarantee we would have a place to camp while shopping and thengo to the Blue Grass Festival we love to attend another $76 savings.

We’ve been really watching our internet usage like a hawk, to try and avoid going over on it this month. We still have 8 more days to go and we are down to less than a gig left. It’s really expensive when we go over, so we are using dh’s cell phone, and free wi-fi locations as much as possible for our usage and we are even limiting that usage. It’s been a real challenge. You would be surprised the way’s you can cut down the number of kb you use.

Example: for one company we both work for it is normally a four webpage load to get to the log in. One of those pages is 800 kb alone. That may not sound like much, but when you load that page numerous times a day it can add up to a gig real quick. So we now have direct links on our desk tops for all the direct log in pages for the main companies we visit on a daily basis. Therefore we load only one page (the lowest number of kb one at that) each time we must log in.
We pull in our emails when we are at free wi-fi locations, or on dh’s cell phone (unlimited usage with that)—my phone was going to be an extra $10 a month to add that to it, so we don’t do email on it. All replies are typed offline, trimmed to the max, and then sent in mass when we are at the next free wi-fi location. One company we do a minimum of four shops for a day require a minimum of 14 1mb photos to be uploaded, but the number and be much higher. Those are all uploaded now at the free wi-fi locations.

Updates to our programs are now done manually instead of automatically. That way we can control when and where they are done. Weatherbug, and my news sidebar are now turned off. We also do not leave any webpages with moving text or what you on it open.
Same for job searches. In other words every day we visit a free wi-fi location and do as MUCH as we can there in 1-3 hours, sometimes hitting different places as the day goes along. It’s a hassle, but as long as we aren’t burning extra fuel to do it this way we are saving a LOT of money not going over our limit. Oh we also have the roaming turned off of the air card because that is MAJOR expensive real fast.
We’ve managed to schedule out at least three weeks of being continuing on the road so far. With dh mystery shopping too it’s really helped us stay out longer and make more money. Many of the companies are now putting limits on how many shops you can do for them in a month. If dh wasn’t shopping we’d not be able to meet our monthly financial goal we’ve set. With us gone ds has been able to pick up what few mystery shops are available around home to help with the bills as well. So that’s worked out well,.

We’ve been really working on getting grocery expenses way down. Currently I have $200 a month in the budget for groceries, I’m trying to knock that in half. Since we eat so many meals mystery shopping pays for I should be able to do it. This month will be tight because I did a basics restock before we left town.

We did real well on scheduling our shops for the least amount of fuel possible too.

That’s it, kind of a light week this week.