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August Lunch Challenge (To Date)

August 26th, 2016 at 05:33 pm

My coworkers & I were doing a bit of a lunch challenge to curb spending. Each of us set our own goals for ourselves. Mine was to pack breakfast, & lunch for all but 2 days. I got sick mid-month and splurged on soda, but mostly met my goal otherwise.

This Month To Date, I have Spent:

$7.50 on 5 bottled sodas (sore throat when sick ‘required’ extra soda)
$3.25 on breakfast one day
$5.95 on breakfast & a soda today

TOTAL Spent in TO DATE in August on Breakfasts/lunches/drinks $16.70

Food Frugality!

March 9th, 2016 at 07:51 pm

We are hoping to sell our house & buy new this year. Unfortunately, I (single at the time) bought the house at the higher end of the market and the neighborhood has changed a lot and we are not sure how much we'll be able to sell the house for (we may take a small loss).

Because of this, and other expenses lately, we are buckling down on spending. Today, I have gotten a LOT of freebies at work and I am a happy camper.

My manager keeps a snack pile for the team - I grabbed a small bag of popcorn and a piece of candy today.

I packed my breakfast/lunch/snack:

Tuna & crackers, pasta salad, tomatoes & oil/vinegar/herb dressing.

I brought a water bottle and had a stash of soda at my desk. I also splurged on Snapples at the grocery store yesterday - 2 - 12 packs for $13.99. So for $0.58 each I can have a treat once in a while. I brought a few to keep at my desk at work. When I want a treat - I put it in the work fridge to chill.

About an hour before my shift ends, we got an email that a work meeting had a ton of leftovers & they were providing to-go containers if any of my group wanted to take some home. I got a piece of crusted chicken, some beef, potatoes and fruit salad. That and a bottle of water. The food, plus leftovers in the fridge will cover my husband & I for dinner tonight. Can't beat that!

I am thinking of restarting my Lunch Challange - so today is the 1st day of it. I spent nothing and packed or received free food today.

Since today is the 9th and I have 16 more work days in the month, (3 of which will be remote work), I am pledging to pack breakfast, lunch & snack for 15 of those 16 days. Wish me luck!

Gestational Diabetes - good for the budget

March 23rd, 2015 at 02:29 pm

Early in the pregnancy, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. This resulted in having to purchase a Glucose meter, strips, etc. through insurance. Luckily, it wasn't very costly.

Since then, I am on a strict diet where I need to eat very specific amounts of carbs and protein in a breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.

Initially, it was hard to figure out, but now my husband and I have it down. I am doing very well with it. There was an initial outlay on specific snacks for eating on the go and we utilized BJs to bulk up on our stock. However, we did manage to stay withing our grocery budget.

I notice that for convenience, I am packing more. The work cafe has some friendly foods, but I am tempted with the non-diet friendly foods. So staying out of there is beneficial!

So my old school Lunch Challenges are coming back into effect. Even though today is 3/23, my goal is to pack breakfast lunch & 2 snacks per day for the next 5 of the 6 working days. I will be eating lunch out one day for a team outting. I *think* it will be paid for though. So free is good!

Good & Bad & Good again

September 18th, 2012 at 01:45 am

Friday night, the boyfriend & I had date night in. We rented Battleship off Amazon (for free with my Swagbucks AGC), I made dinner & we had a few drinks & enjoyed ourselves. Pretty frugal

Saturday - we went with my College roommate & her husband to a Brew Fest an hour away near a casino. The tickets were $25 each, but I found a groupon that did 2 tickets, plus $15 in free slot play each for $25 total. So - a savings of $55! We enjoyed ourselves, played our free slot money, enjoyed free sodas after the beer tasting & headed home. Very frugal day...

Until...I dropped my cell phone in the toilet. UGH. I was able to get it out quickly (and this was a clean toilet - hadn't gone yet). I dried off what I could with towels, took the battery out, and when I got home, put it in rice overnight. With the help of Droid forums, I was able to factory reset the phone & it is working again. I am a lucky, lucky woman.

If it had not worked, I would have just used my boyfriend's old phone. I was not putting anymore funds into a cell phone.

Sunday, I went to the Farmer's market, the grocery store and then Weight Watchers. I had HOA stuff to do at home, slept a good part of the day, made a yummy dinner & enjoyed some Netflix.

Today, I had a no spend day - packed healthy & did not go out of bounds Smile

Tomorrow - I have a 6am work call - so hoping to get out of the office a bit early tomorrow!

My physical therapy has ended (insurance will no longer pay). I am doing at home exercises for 2 weeks and if its not better, going back to the foot doc to fight the insurance. Fun

On another insurance note, I am STILl waiting for my $389. I keep calling & as of today, they said the funds will be back in 48 hours. I will believe it when I see it.

New news - Roommate is moving out (it's been a year & my boyfriend & I are ready to live together).

So it will be a weird transitional month, financially as she moves out the 1st weekend in October and I don't have an exact date for when the boyfriend will move in. But it won't be bad, just cash flow tightness.

So for now - pack food as much as possible, frugal activities, selling on craigslist & finishing Christmas stuff with freebies!

New Year Frugal Updates

January 3rd, 2012 at 05:23 pm

Still out of work for the wrist until Thursday. I go to the doctor's tomorrow and will probably work from home for a week.

My work switched insurances on January 1st, so I had to call yesterday to confirm there would be no problems with my 2012 appointments with the ortho guy.

In the new year, I have a few goal - specifics are drawn up, but here is the overview.

2012 - Goals

1. Pay for Christmas from cc rewards an rewards sites
2. Limit lunches bought to 4 times a month
3. Pay down debt (more specifics to come)
4. Downsize cluttter in home (more specifics to come)
5. Upgrade Health *several areas included
6. Track 100% income and spending
7. Track freebies (like that someone else on this site tracks them)

2012 Freebies to date:
free kindle book - Secret Holocaust Diaries
free kindle book - Dead-ish
free 2012 calander from mom
$5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks
$5 Amazon gift card from Bing Rewards
2 wrapping paper inner rolls made of heavy craft paper (for crafts later)

CC rewards to Christmas: $140
$20 mastercard bonus
$20 Serve.com (depositing today)
$100 from Citi Thank You (in WM gift cards which will be used for groceries & the grocery cash will go into the Christmas ING acct)

Typing is hard right now, so posts will probably be short from now on Smile

Grocery Shopping / Meal Plan / Dec Lunch Challenge

December 4th, 2011 at 05:16 pm

Went grocery shopping this morning. I hit up Acme, the farmer's market & Walmart and got some good deals.

Acme:
1 pound pasta - $0.25 (after coupon)
Red Wine Vinegar - $2.19
Ranch Mix - $0.69
4 Pack Acme dressing mix - 1.89
2 bags Lettuce - $5.00
TOTAL OOP: $10.02

Farmer's Market:
3 cucumbers - $1.00
4 tomatoes - $1.76
Celery - $1.29
5 pound potatoes - $2.49
TOTAL OOP: $6.54

Walmart::
25fl oz - $6.48
Ketchup - $2.68
3 cans tuna - $2.46
1 Pound bag mini pretzels - $1.48
10 mini bags microwave popcorn - $2.98
FF Cottage cheese - $2.68
Light Sour Cream - $1.58
Dozen Eggs - $1.88

Today's lunch was a quick pasta salad. Tonight will be Sunday Dinner at the boyfriend's. Its not my week to cook, so dinner is free AND I get to have tacos for dinner Smile

Meals/Work snacks for this week:
Hard boiled eggs
Oatmeal
Cottage Cheese
Apple
Celery & low fat ranch dip
Pretzels
Salad with tuna
Pasta salad
Meatloaf muffins
Sloppy joe
Spaghetti
Chicken
Taco salad

My December Lunch Challenge Goal is to pack breakfast, lunch & snacks for all but 3 days between 12/5 and 12/31 Smile

Lots of Bonuses & Deals (LONG - sorry!)

November 28th, 2011 at 02:34 pm

I have been working to earn credit card bonuses, rewards points & points through rewards sites. Any funds earned will go straight to my fund for my sister's upcoming wedding. If any of the rewards (MyPOints) come in gift card form, I will get cards that I can use for necessary items such as groceries and gas and those funds (from the budget) would go to the wedding fund (And debt payoff once that wedding goal is met).

So to help me with this goal, I opened a Bank of America Amex.
-Earned a $50 statement credit for $100 in spending (used for cell phone bill & normal gas spending. [Net $50]
-Earned a $25 credit for spending $26 at a local wine store for Small Business Saturday. Wine will be for Christmas gifts. [$1.00 out of pocket for 2 bottles!]
-Earned a $25 credit for a Target Purchase. I am not heading to Target (at the mall) at this time of year, but I was able to purchase a (needed) mascara online for $5.73 (including shipping) [19.27 Net]
- ALl usage is budgeted & will be paid off within the next 2 weeks

I opened a Citi Dividends card. $200 in rewards for $500 usage.
- I put the remainder of my car insurance on this (and will pay it off from savings) $480
- $29.07 gas (normal budgeted spending)
- *there is another offer I signed up for where if you spend $200 after signing up a Mastercard, by 12/31/11, you can get a $20 Mastercard gift card, but I am not making this a priority to meet

I opened a Citi Preferred card for $100 for $500 spent.
-$206.23 normal spending on card (budgeted & will be paid for in 2 weeks)
-Still need $293.77 but this will be completed by planned spending
-Also signed this one up for the Mastercard deal. I just need to meet that $200 goal by 12/31 (Which I will do since I need to get another $293.77
- At the end, I will get $100 rewards AND a $20 Mastercard gift card

I have been working my MyPoints. Reading every email sent for 5 points per viewing. I also utilized some of their deals.
- Started with 896 balance on 11/25
- Did a survey for 10 points
- Completed 76 searches using the MyPoints toolbar in Nov (earned 90 points)
- Signed up for OpenSky.com through MyPoints (earned 50 points PLUS a $15 credit on the acct for signing up)
- Used $15 credit & free shipping to purchase a soup/salad container for work lunches. $7.00 out of pocket (paid out of entertainment spending). Earned 3,500 in MyPoints for first purchase. (3700 mypoints approx = $25 gift card)
- Opened an ING Sharebuilder acct (Something I wanted to do anyway) By using the MyPoints link, I earned 200 points for opening the acct & will earn 2,000 points with the first transfer. I will be doign that tonight.
- I purchased a magazine subscription for my dad for CHristmas (Planned purchase). I bought 2 years because if the purchase was over $15, I would earn 1,000 My points.
- After all of these earnings hit, I will have 7,746 in points - approx $50 in gift cards!!

I also am working to utilize Swagbucks more. I am a new member, but have about 123 in points between searches, toolbards, daily polls and more searches. I will be keeping this up!

In other news, all my CHristmas shopping is done - except 1 gift for my boyfriend and the Christmas tree itself. So woot!

The BF's bday is this week and we are going out in town tomorrow night with friends for his bday. I will be driving about 45 mins each way for the group (Designated Driver) and using up gas (Budgeted for) plus paying for parking $20 and part of his meal (approx $40 out altogether). Wednesday, we are going out with his sister & different friends (hoping to keep the bill around $30). Thursday is dinner with his family - he chose Olive Garden. Which is great, since I have that free $50 gift card. I can cover both our meals PLUS some of the family's.

As for the Lunch Challenge, I packed all of my food for today. Breakfast, lunch & snacks. Lunch is actually pasta salad leftover from the boyfriend's THanksgiving. He even packed it up for me! LOL

Additionally - I should add that I UNFRUGALLY lost my cell phone in October. I frugally borrowed my friends old one for 2 months until my contract is up for renewal 12/28. And on Friday, there was a groupon for $25 (I had a $10 credit, so it was $15 out of pocket). For that Groupon, PLUS $35 activation, I can get a Droid X or X2 once my contract is up in December. Compared to what my friend just paid for upping her contract & getting a Droid, I am definitely making out on the deal!

Today's 5 Things: are actually more than 5
-Complete Sharebuilder trade
-update budget for 11/30
-MyPoints & Swagbucks sites
-WD40 Front Door
-Make dinner at home, lunch for Tues/Wed
-CLean kitchen, wipe counters & vacuum floor
-Pickup Living Room
-Gather library movies to return
-Finish laundry & put away
-Clean bedroom
-Unclog bathtub drain
-Unclog upstairs bath sink drain
-Wipe bathroom counters, tub & toilet, vacuum floor
-Play on the internet
-Pack night clothes for BF's bday, work clothes for Wednesday
-Portion medicines to keep at work & at boyfriends (Have to take thyroid meds & vitamins &Missing them REALLY screws me up)

To Do List, Finanacials, Goodies, Updates

November 11th, 2011 at 02:57 pm

I have to confess, I have been financially irresponsible lately. I have to get back on track. So part of that is being on this site more & being accountable to myself Smile

So in random form, here are some thoughts/lists.

-I am having a game night tomorrow night. Total out of pocket approx $50 as I am stocking up my liquor cabinet and making lots of food. Utilizing my freezer/pantry for the food as much as possible. Games already owned and a good time will be had by all Smile

- Sunday, for the friends dinner that I have, I am in charge of the sides. I will be supplying a salad, so out of pocket approx $8 (including bringing over some dressings)

-I just received a free gift from Clinque for a purchase I made. I have been having terrible breakouts, so I am going back to buying Clinique face wash. Worth it if my skin calms down Smile The free gift included a makeup bag (Very cute), a mini makeup bag, a 1oz cleanser (perfect for travel & can be refilled), .5 oz moisterizer with SPF20, regular size lipstick (In a color I like), regular size eye liner (on my to-buy list anyway), a travel mascara (in the color I wear), a full size eye shadow kit in colors I can wear, and 4 perfume samples (again perfect for travel). Over $50 value & I just restocked most of the needs I had for makeup Smile

- I received a call that Olive Garden is sending me a gift card (Amount unknown) for the trouble with a pre-authorization of $99 going onto my account. The charge never went through, but it was inconvenient.

- I am reinstituting my Lunch Challenge for myself, although I did terrible this week. My goal is NO out of pocket spending for food/drink at work for the rest of the month

-I plan on finishing Christmas shopping in the next two weeks. All in cash!

-I scored some deals from Acme. They have a little Holiday Book by their ads in the store. In it are coupons for things like $1.00 off 1 Acme brand (Everyday Essentials) pasta and 1 EE pasta sauce. I was able to snag both for $1.89 after coupon. I will be going back today for another set. Its never bad to have pasta stuff in the house! I also got 3 cans of Acme fruit for $2.00 total (After $1 off coupon). They have also had a lot of register rebates lately & I will be using them as I have about $3-4 left of those.

-I have a few returns to make - a non-working alarm clock to Target & a pair of shorts to Walmart

-The roommate situation is working out great. She actually contributes to things like paper towels & tp and CLEANS. None of the previous roommates did any of that Smile

-I got a $15 parking ticket for not feeding the meter enough when I got stuck inside the pharmacy earlier this week. I will have to pay it

-Dyed my hair at home instead of paying for color in a store. I have gotten SO many compliments, I am definitely going to keep this up. $4.99 for the box after coupon.

-Used a Deals Voucher for $10 to Fulton Paper. I make jello shots on a regular basis for parties, ect and use a particular type of plastic cup. I was able to use the voucher for 4 sleeves of the cups, 2 gift bags and 4 boxes to be used for gifts of fudge. I still have another $10 voucher to be used by next year. OOP for the 2 vouchers was $10 (and bought months ago)

-Itemized all of my stockpile in the bathroom cabinet. I have a ton of freebie samples of bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body washes and lotions. I am trying to use up most of them as well as some of the travel sized stuff I have recently scored for free. I do plan on leaving enough to carry me through a few weekends of travel though!

-I itemized any freebies/rewards that have to be used. Did the same with coupons Smile

-Plan on looking into cheaper cat food. The cats have crystals and one is overweight, so I have them both on Hill's Prescription Weight Diet. But its expensive. Will be looking into non-prescription alternatives.

- I just got a 20% off ANYTHING at Kohl's. Might hit up their clearance for some gifts. (Will use Christmas cash - no additional unplanned spending)

- I need to be in a financial lockdown. So the budget is getting tightened. I want to pay down debt, control spending and just get back to my financial goals. I am a little ashamed I have gotten out of hand. But I can say for sure that I am turning a corner Smile

Back from Germany!

September 25th, 2011 at 07:35 pm

The trip to Oktoberfest in Munich & to Amsterdam was phenominal. Came in under 'budget', but unfortunately some of the trip still went on a card. This was a splurge that I financially shouldn't have done, but mentally/emotionally, I needed.

I am home now & back to living frugally. I did buy fast food dinner on the way home from the airport Friday night.

Saturday, I had lunch with my parents at Olive Garden ($10) and completed some grocery shopping (approx $27).

Today, I went to the Farmer's Market and spent about $17 on TONS of fresh produce. I went to an Arbonne party at my sister's house (free food) and may buy 1 item at 50% off ($9.00). I will make the purchase tomorrow. And for going to the party, I received a set of make up brushes (which is actually needed).

As for the trip, I did come home with some toiletries. I found the complimentary body wash & shampoos in the (CLEAN/EMPTY) trash can in the hotel room - so I took them. All brand new, no reason to toss!

I am eating at home today, catching up on DVR'd shows & enjoying getting the house in order.

My roommate is moving out today & the new roommate is moving in Thursday-ish. She already gave me the deposit money & will provide the rent on her move in date.

I have goals for this week: $20 in entertainment money & I plan on packing breakfast/lunch/snacks for each work day this week. NO uncessary spending!

I plan on getting pictures uploaded tonight - expect some fun ones!

Great weekend, To-Do list, Meal Planning

August 21st, 2011 at 06:24 pm

I'm having a great weekend. I didn't get much of my To-Do list done, BUT I did get lots of Me time & much needed rest.

Friday, I fixed a coworker's WorkAtHome access. Only took me a few minutes & I got a beer out of the deal Smile Afterwards, I was able to come home & enjoy some dvds from the library and shows on the dvr while decluttering my kitchen.

Saturday, I did some grocery shopping & was able to score some good deals. I took an inventory of the pantry, freezer & fridge and made a meal plan.

Sat night, my BF came over & we watched the Original Fright Night and I made dinner. Used up frozen breaded chicken patties,pasta sauce from & a 1/2 box of macaroni noodles from the pantry & some mozzerella, green beans & salad from the fridge.

This morning, I made breakfast from stuff in the fridge & pantry. I have been doing some organizing & cleaning, prepped food to pack to work this week, and am resting before going to my boyfriend's house for our weekly True Blood Dinner with our friends.

Hope everyone had as good a weekend as I did Smile

Getting back into the swing - $ odds/ends

August 18th, 2011 at 07:24 pm

Well, yesterday I paid all of my bills and I am now left with entertainment & grocery spending between now & the 31st. Fun!

I went to Acme with some coupons - 1 manaufacturer and 2 Acme (for their rebranding of Everday Essentials pasta & sauce).

I purchased:
vinegar
1 jar EE pasta sauce
2 boxes EE whole wheat pasta
4 cans Progresso soup
1 large bag of chips
1 box Barilla pasta
...
For a total of $8.27 after coupons. And when I got home I realized that one of the soups didnt get bagged. So I will be going back for it!

I have $28.66 left in my grocery budget (which is fine because I will only need veggies/fruit/dairy.

I have $59.27 left in entertainment. I am definitely looking to add to this - I have a weekend at a friend's house next weekend. But thats plenty of time to list & sell some stuff on Craigslist!

I am packing my lunch and will continue to do so through September. I am working to sell a bunch of things to add cash to my spending money for Germany next month.

I also have another potential roommate coming to look at my place today. SHe's a friend of a friend & needs a new place as our friend is getting married. SHe would move in around the beginning of October.

Additionally - I received an Ebates check for $9.10. This is going to the Germany fund!

Grocery Deals/Lunch Challenge/Roommate

July 19th, 2011 at 12:06 pm

Good Morning All! Sorry - this will be long & rambling.

I went to the grocery store yesterday & then to Walmart to pick up groceries (WM is right by my house, so going to 2 places is not bad).

At the Acme, I stocked up for entertaining/my caffeine addiction by buying their Coke 12 packs 3 for $12.00. They had a coupon in the flyer for a 8 pack of 7.5 oz Coke free with the purchase. Additionally, I signed up for emails from ACme yesterday while at work & was able to print out a $5.00 off coupon. Because of this, I was able to get 3 - 12 packs of soda, plus 8 7.5oz cans for a total of $7.00 (this breaks down to $0.16/can).

After food shopping last night, I prepped snack bags of almonds, pretzels and animal crackers to put in my snack drawer at work. I packed both breakfast & lunch for work.

I recently replaced my lunch bag with a $5.00 no frills one from Dollar Deals (formerly Dollar Tree). Its actually pretty nice. My goal with packing is that between today & the end of the month, I pack breakfast/lunch all but one day (tomorrow we have a work lunch out).

Last night's date night was pushed to tonight, so last night I was able to get a lot done at home, including replying to any potential roommates. My current one is gone at the end of the month, so I really need to find someone soon!

Today's 5 Things Will be as follows:
1. Pay Bills
2. Update Craigslist Ad
3. Pack breakfast/lunch for work
4. Clean out purse
5. Have fun on date night!

Just Another Manic Monday

February 14th, 2011 at 05:42 pm

Wish it were Sunday
Cause that's my fun day!

And now I have that song in my head Smile

Well on a health note, I got another problem dropped on me. Looks like I will need a small outpatient surgery. Still working to schedule, but I hope to only be out a day & then just recover over the weekend.

In frugal news, I stayed home most of the weekend. Saturday, I bought veggies & fruit only. And yesterday was a no spender. My mom paid for a movie ticket for me in return for letting her borrow my car Saturday. I wasn't going anywhere so I was happy to lend it.

Today will probably not be a no spender. I owe $1.00 in fines at the library & I want to pick up some root beer at the grocery store. Its my splurge now that I have given up caffeinated soda. I don't miss the caffeine anymore, but I DO miss the carbonation!

Tomorrow is payday & I have a budget already prepared. I have had to do a lot of planning lately with my illness. I don't have a name for it YET, but the doctors have agreed, it isn't going anywhere any time soon, so I am treating it like one of the invisible chronic diseases and am looking to research & books on how to help handle daily living. (Thanks libraries for having such a great collection!)

Lunch challenge is going well - packed all today.

And today's 5 THings to do are as follows:

1. Library
2. Grocery store
3. Schedule MRI, get referral for MRI & schedule outpatient surgery for 2nd health issue (DONE)
4. Make food for work for Tues & Wednesday
5. Clean bedroom, change sheets
6. Straighten hair before bed to save time in the morning Smile

Good News/Bad News and Lunch Update

February 12th, 2011 at 02:25 am

I had an appointment with a rheumatologist today. I was hoping that she could finally give me a definitive answer as to what is wrong with me. Unfortunately, she wasn't able to do that. But she was able to tell me definitively some of the things it's not. She also is sending me for a huge blood workup and an MRI of my neck & head. She also wants me to see a neurologist. So at least I have my next step.

Not to get into much detail, but I am having enough medical issues to affect my day to day living. Which is frustrating, especially since I don't know the cause. In the mean time, I am dealing with the day to day symptoms of my 'mystery disease' and am focusing on the things that I CAN control right now. Which is healthy eating, finances, exercise & organization Smile

I have packed my breakfasts, lunches & snacks all days of the Month but 2 times. So no more buying lunches! I was also provided free lunch twice! So the lunch challenge is going strong!

I have yet to get back into exercise, but I have been doing stretching a few days a week. I am hoping to feel well enough to go to the gym and put in 20 minutes on a treadmill or bike. I plan to start back slow!

Money-wise, there hasn't been a lot of spending. mostly grocery shopping and dinner out with a friend one day. Tuesday is payday, so I have the budget already set up for that.

I already made a meal plan for the week, all of which is Weight Watchers friendly.

Each day, its a given that I will have at least 2 servings of dairy - milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese. I try to get 5 servings of fruits & veggies in a day (sometimes more!). I stick to whole grains when possible.

So here is my Meal Plan:

Saturday
Breakfast: Chocolate milk, banana
Lunch: Pasta salad with tons of veggies & turkey pepperoni
Snack: veggies & dip; pretzels; asian pear
Dinner: Turkey BLT
Snack: Chocolate milk

Sunday
Breakfast: 2 Hard boiled eggs, chocolate milk
Snack: Veggies & hummus
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snacks: apple, banana
Dinner: Breakfast for dinner- whole grain waffles, sugar free syrup, promise light, turkey bacon & breakfast potatoes

Monday
Breakfast: cottage cheese, blueberry muffin, banana
Snack: veggies & dip
Lunch: Pasta salad with turkey pepperoni
Snack: yogurt
Dinner: Loaded baked potato with cheese, bacon bits & ground turkey

Tuesday
Breakfast: yogurt, 2 hard boiled eggs
Snack: banana, veggies & hummus
Lunch: Salad with tuna
Snack: apple
Dinner: Penne pasta with spinach cheesy tomato sauce


Wednesday
Breakfast: yogurt & cottage cheese
Snack: veggies & dip, animal crackers
Lunch: Salad with turkey pepperoni
Snack: banana and/or apple
Dinner: Meatloaf muffin, baked fries

Thursday
Breakfast: cottage cheese, blueberry muffin & chocolate milk
Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs, veggies & hummus
Lunch: salad, meatloaf muffin
Snack: banana and/or apple
Dinner: Chicken taco wrap

Friday
Breakfast: yogurt, banana
Snack: veggies & dip; pretzels
Lunch: Salad with bacon & pasta
Snack: apple
Dinner: Turkey BLT

I have plenty of grab & go snacks as needed - almonds, animal crackers, all bran crackers, granola bars. I am trying to keep processed foods to a minimum, so they will be used sparingly and fruits & veggies will be my go to snack!

And as someone who is dealing with a daily illness, I have found that I need to prepare as much on the weekend because I am too tired during the week to do much. So many of my meals are easy to pre-make or are quick to make in the evening!

I am trying to get back to my 5 Things List. Tomorrow's 5 Things will be.

1. Attend Weight Watchers meeting
2. Attempt some type of work out
3. Grocery shop
4. Clean out car
5. Laundry

Sorry I've been MIA

February 8th, 2011 at 02:31 pm

Sorry I've been MIA the last few days, I haven't been feeling good. This medical issue is wearing on me because its not just one issue. At the age of 31, I have enough medical problems and medicines for an 80 year old!

Anyway, this weekend there was little spending, mostly on groceries. Yesterday, I packed breakfast. I had a half day at work because I went to one doctors appt at 12:30, had lunch at home after, went to a 2nd doctors appt at 4:30, had dinner at home after & then packed up & went to a sleep center to have a sleep study done. Oh the fun.

Yesterdays spending was $20 for a copay.

Today, I bought a soft pretzel at work, so that is 1 of the 2 days I have 'lunch out' from the Lunch Challange. I packed breakfast & lunch today, but was really hungry, so I added the soft pretzel.

And in conjunction with eating, I should mention that as of Saturday, I was down another 2.2 pounds, for a total of 6 pounds in 3 weeks! Yay me Wink


Changes to my plan for my tax refund - and Lunch update!

February 4th, 2011 at 07:35 pm

I am changing my plans for my tax refund. I will update when I finalize my plans for the funds.

In the meantime, I have been doing well with spending. Wednesday was a no spender since I took the day off.

Thursday, I spent on gas, groceries, stamps & $5.00 on a beer at book club.

Today, I have spend nothing, but plan on paying a $1.00 library fine.

I was lazy packing today, so I brought yogurt for breakfast & had crackers & peanut butter for lunch. Dinner will be breaded chicken with pasta & sauce and a nice side salad.

Another No Spender

February 2nd, 2011 at 09:44 pm

Took the day off to rest up since I haven't been feeling good. I have laid around, watched movies on the dvr & did my taxes.

I'm getting much more than I expected due to a couple of changes this year. I will be getting a total of $1672 back between federal & state.

I am putting $397.76 to my efund to bring it up to $1200.00.

$300 is being set aside as the goal of my weight loss. I have to get the weight off & keep it off as it accelerates my medical problem. So my big goal is that when I get to my goal weight, I will buy new clothes!

$261.78 will go to payoff CC # 1
$712.46 will go to cc # 2.

I will be snowballing the min pay to cc # 1 ($15) to cc # 2 when it completes.

Today's food. I slept in, so not much of a breakfast was needed.

Breakfast: 2 hardboiled eggs
Lunch: salad with pasta & croutons
Snack: airpopped popcorn
Dinner: undecided... but it will be made at home Smile

Edited to add: My dinner was yummy. I wasn't feeling up to making a real dinner, so I popped a potato in the microwave to cook. I heated up some previously browned grown beef (2oz), threw in 2 tbsp Hormel bacon pieces, 2 tbsp of promise light & 2 tbsp of fat free sour cream for a big loaded baked potato. It was yummy, and although having the promise light & sour cream was a bit of a splurge, it was all completely within my Weight Watcher's plan! Gotta love it Smile

No Spender and free lunch!

February 2nd, 2011 at 12:00 am

Today was a no spender. It was a little icy getting to work this morning, but I arrived safely. And as a treat for some hard work, our manager took us out to lunch & treated.

We spent 2 hours away from work, I had a healthy & yummy chicken Caesar salad, and a nice time with my coworkers. I also was giving a gift card to Wawa. I don't know the amount, but I can assume that it was probably $5 or $10. No matter the amount, its a great gift!

I had plans with friends tonight, but canceled them because I'm not feeling good. I actually felt badly enough to request tomorrow off. I need some rest. Unfortunately, this is an ongoing health problem & I don't want to waste days off unless I have to, but in this case, I really feel its necessary.

So tomorrow will be a no spender as well! LOL

Lunch Challenge meal update:

Breakfast: animal crackers, celery & carrots, fat free ranch dip
Snack: banana
Lunch: (FREE) chicken Caesar salad
Dinner: Pasta with veggies with light oil & vinegar
Snack: pretzels & fat free ranch dip (Loving the dip, can you tell??)

Weekend update & February Goals

January 31st, 2011 at 10:19 pm

I had a very low-key weekend. Unfortunately, I am not feeling good again. Doctor's sending me for more tests Frown

So Saturday, I bought veggies & fruit & Sunday was a no spender!

As for today, I spent $16.99 for a large bag of calcium (we're about to get another 2 storms) and I spent about $14 at the grocery store.

My goals for February are as follows:

1. Succeed at the Lunch Challenge (packing 18 out of 20 workdays).
2. Keep to $80 grocery budget for each pay period
3. Keep to entertainment budget $40.00 for first half, unknown for 2nd. This is low due to some medical expenses.
4. Do taxes
5. Redo debt repayment plan to include raise (once the paycheck for the 15th shows up online)
6. Try not to use medical problems as an excuse to spend Smile
7. $70 to Efund (rest of extra funds will be used to pay off a medical expense of $100.00).


And although the lunch challenge doesn't start til tomorrow, I packed my lunch for today. Since PJ mama suggested it, I am going to list all the food I pack for breakfast, lunch, snacks. I should note that I am doing Weight Watchers & because of some of the meds I'm on, I seem to need a large volume of food.

Breakfast: 1c fat free cottage cheese; banana
Snack: 1c celery sticks, 30g pretzels, 3 tbsp fat free ranch dip
Lunch: Large salad, 3 oz tuna, with Healthy Option creamy Caesar dressing. 30g animal crackers
Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs

Dinner tonight is shake N bake chicken, roasted potatoes & some type of vegetable.

Anyone want to join me for a February Lunch Challenge?

January 31st, 2011 at 02:27 am

I am planning another Lunch Challenge for myself. I am looking to make healthy meals to bring to work instead of buying food while there. This is to help me with my Weight Watchers as well as with my eating out budget.

So there are 20 work days in the month of February. My goal is to pack breakfast, lunch & snacks for 18 of them. My stretch goal would be to pack for 20 & that might be doable since my work is providing me pizza one day & my manager is taking us out to lunch on her dime another day.

Anyone else who'd like to join, just let me know what your goal is! This is for fun Smile

And to get a jump start, I packed all my food for tomorrow, even though its still a January date.

Snowy Week

January 28th, 2011 at 05:02 pm

It's been a while since I've updated. Here's what I've been up to!

Monday - Worked & hung at home with the roommate
Tuesday - Worked & went out to my regular Tuesday outting $12.00 spent
Wednesday - Snow day - took a sick day & stayed on the couch. Watched cable movies & read library books. When the roommate came home, we watched The Other Guys, which was borrowed from the libray too.
Thursday - Shoveled a little over a foot of snow & went into work. Vegged at home
Friday - Work, library & then probably a night at home. I am exhausted due to still not feeling well.

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks every day this week. Wed & Thursday were no spenders!

Financially, I am out of my entertainment budget until payday on Monday. I have $18.39 left in the groceries budget, which I will be using tomorrow.

I recevied my sewer bill and it increased from $61.35 in 2010 to $106.35. This increase is due to increased rates as well as having the roommates in the house. Still underbudget compared to my neighbors! OUr county has the bills online for the public to see and I am one of the lowest in my neighborhood!

Tonight, I plan on finalizing my Jan 31st budget, making a meal & grocery plan and probably doing some cleaning.

This weekend will be low key, but next week and weekend are very busy, so I will be enjoying my downtime!

Lunches, spending & weekend!

January 21st, 2011 at 04:32 pm

I"ve been good about packing breakfast & lunch for work all this week. The only outlier was going to lunch with my parents on Wednesday. But since I had taken a half day off work (only worked til 11:30), I'm not counting that, since I wasn't actually at work for lunch Smile

Wednesday Spending:
$30.00 specialist copay (paid with HSA card)
$10.00 lunch with parents

Thursday Spending:
$4.00 kitchen items from dollar store (sandwich bags, plastic wrap, ect)
$105 medical necessity not covered by HSA/Insurance. UGH. I actually got a deal on this - because the 1 I bought from a local store in November was $75 and I was able to buy 2 for $105 plus free shipping & a free care kit. This purchase should last me about 6 months

Friday Spending - Not sure yet. I will be paying a library fine, approx $0.50. I was thinking about renting a Redbox movie, but it will depend if I find anything good at the library first. Dinner will be at home & I am staying in.

Tomorrow, I might be taking my nephew to see a hockey game. Cost; $10/ticket.

I am SO Ready for the weekend. My roommate has been complaining that his room is cold. It IS colder than my room, but its the front room & I Think the wind just hits it. I sealed the vents so that no heat escaped before getting to the room. I put plastic over the window that he thinks the air is coming in from. I haven't talked to him today, but hopefully he found it to be warmer last night. If not, weatherproofing that room will be part of my weekend plans Wink

Another No Spender!

January 18th, 2011 at 12:05 am

Today was a no spender! I packed food for work & came straight home after to put my feet up. Tomorrow will be a spend day as I need gas & to pick up some groceries.

The new roommate moved in today. He didn't have a lot of stuff, but will be moving the rest in this weekend. I helped him carry stuff in & he set things up & ran to the store to get some supplies.

While he was gone, I made a tuna sandwich & packed some food for tomorrow.

Financially, I am doing ok. I have $59 and change left of the grocery budget. This has to cover this week's food, this weekend, next week & next weekend. Unfortunately, I am spending more on veggies & dairy & other healthy stuff, so I have to really make that budget stretch, but its doable.

In the entertainment budget, I have $40. I plan on doing my normal Tuesday outing ($10). I might try to see a movie with my mom next week ($10) and who knows what else.

I also have LOTS of upcoming medical expenses. I have tests & need to see a specialist on Wednesday. Next week I see my family doc. The week after that, I have a dentist appointment and the week after that I have a follow up appointment to do another test. Ugh, just thinking about all of those copays! Oh well, I have my HSA replenished Smile

Somebody has a case of the Mondays!

January 17th, 2011 at 02:27 pm

And it's definitely me! Lots of people in the office are off today, but I didn't take the day. I'm keeping the floating holiday for another day later on.

Yesterday was a no spender. I was supposed to get together with a friend, but I cancelled due to not feeling well. I stayed on the couch & watched tv and played with the internet.

Today, I packed my breakfast, lunch & snack. I am planning on hitting the library & the dollar store after work, so it won't be a no spender today.

The new roommate ended up not moving in yesterday due to having to attend a funeral. So he will be coming tonight after work. I should have a month & half rent in my hand by tomorrow night. (The 1/2 is a safety deposit).

Today's 5 THings To Do:
1. Call water company & set up appt to replace unit
2. Make & Print rental agreement
3. Library
4. Dollar store
5. Make dinner at home & pack lunch for work tomorrow

2 No Spenders, then some spending

January 7th, 2011 at 03:14 pm

Yesterday was a no spender as well. I had planned on going to my book club & buying a drink while I was out, but I wasn't feeling good, so I cancelled.

I stayed home & watched cable movies & cleaned the living room. The bonus for having to clean the house prior to the potential roommate coming this afternoon is that all my weekend cleaning is already DONE! LOL

Today, I woke up to snow! I knew we might get some, but I wasn't expecting a couple of inches to already be down when I woke up. Because I was unprepared for the snow, I spent the time I would have spent putting my lunch together, shovelling snow. So I brought lunch, but bought breakfast when I got to work $2.05. Not too bad, but its so early in the month to have used my 2 Lunch Challange freebie days.

After work today, I am running to the library (have to pick up stuff & pay fines). I am showing the house to the potential roommate at 4:30 today then I have a completely free weekend!

Tonight, I am staying in with library movies.
Tomorrow, afternoon & evening, I have my nephew coming over
SUnday will be a laundry day. I might see if my mom wants to go to the new JB Dawsons for lunch. I have a $15 off $25 coupon there.

Today's 5 Things to do are:

1. Go to library
2. Set up Craigslist meets to sell dvds
3. Show house to potential roommate
4. Organize stuff for HOA meeting Monday
5. Take down all Christmas ornaments & prep tree to be taken to be recycled tomorrow

No breakfast/lunch bought: 5 of 7 days.
No spenders: 2 out of 7 days

Lunch Challange Update & Today's 5 Things

January 6th, 2011 at 02:36 pm

I have done pretty well with the lunch challange this week. If you don't remember, my goal is to pack my breakfast, lunch, snacks for work 19 of the 21 workdays in January. Today is day 4 and I have packed 3 of 4 days. I'm happy with that Smile

Today's 5 Things are pretty simple.

1. No splurging on snacks at work
2. Clean, dust & vac living room
3. Clear out facebook per friend request (She's divorcing and he's stalking, so I am going to take down any pictures of the 2 of them together)
4. Pack food for tomorrow
5. Go to book club (FUN!)

No Spender and a roommate lead

January 6th, 2011 at 01:27 am

Today was a no spender. I packed breakfast, lunch & drinks. After work, I headed to the library to pick up some free entertainment (books & movies) and then I got to cleaning the house, because....

I have a roommate lead. It would be temporary, from Feb to September. But the reason for the temporary is good. A friend of mine works an unusual job that has seasons. This post college kid would be interning/working for the season close to my house, but lives out of state. I'm ok with the shorter time frame even though it means getting a new roommate in Sept/Oct. I get a character reference, I'm assured rent because he will have a steady job and the best thing is that he would travel with work & I would have the house to myself from time to time Smile

So after work, I did the following:

-Cleaned my bedroom
-Cleaned the upstairs bathroom
-Washed the bathroom rugs
-Cleaned the kitchen
-Washed the kitchen floor
-put away 1/2 of my Christmas stuff
-changed the cat litter
-vacuumed and mopped the basement
-made dinner
-made tomorrow's food

Tomorrow night, all I have to do is straighten, dust & vacuum the living room and vacuum the stairs & upstairs hall. The guy will be stopping by to see the place after work on Friday.

Tuesday Lunch Challange Update

January 4th, 2011 at 03:03 pm

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks today. However, I am not feeling well & bought breakfast at the cafeteria along with a caffeine soda to help me get through the day. $4.35. So today will be 1 of the 2 days I've alloted for buying breakfast/lunch.

Packed Lunch total: 1/2

Day 1 of Lunch Challange, Meal Plan & Entertainment budget

January 3rd, 2011 at 07:34 pm

I packed my breakfast, lunch & drinks for work today. 1 down, 20 to go! lol

I made a mealplan for the week.

Breakfasts will consist of one or more of the following: yogurt, oatmeal, hard boiled eggs and animal crackers.

Snacks are animal crackers, popcorn, veggies & dip or pretzels & drip

Lunches:
Monday - salad with tuna
Tuesday - peanut butter & crackers
Wednesday - salad with tuna & pasta
Thursday - salad with pasta
Friday - tuna sandwich
Saturday - tuna sandwich
Sunday - pasta salad

Dinners:
Monday - Baked potato & salad
Tuesday - Sloppy joe over egg noodles
Wednesday - meatloaf muffins & baked fries
Thursday - Pasta with meat sauce
Friday - pasta with meat sauce
Saturday - to be determined
Sunday - to be determined

I also have an entertainment plan for this pay period. I have a strict budget of $40.00 to last me until January 15th.

Monday 1/3 - no money spent except for gas and poss groceries
Tuesday 1/4 - $5.00 - 1 beer out with friends at the pub
Wednesday 1/5 - no spender
Thursday 1/6 - $5.00 - book club at restaurant. Will eat dinner before I go & just have a beer there
Friday 1/7 - Nephew spending the night and watching library movies
Saturday 1/8 - Up in the air. Likely to be taking tree to be recycled & deep cleaning the house
Sunday 1/9 - Up in the air.

Next Monday 1/10 -
Next Tuesday 1/11 - $10.00 pub night
Next Wednesday 1/12 - Dinner with friends $10.00
Next Thursday 1/13 -
Next Friday 1/14 - Horror movie night with friends (FREE)

And lastly, today's 5 Things are:

1. Confirming referral for doctors procedure this month (DONE)
2. Get gas (DONE)
3. Compile Price list of items donated to GoodWill in 2010 (SKIPPED)
4. Pack food for Tuesday and Wednesday (DONE)
5. Make eye doctor appointment (DONE)

Not Enough Snow for a Snow Day

December 27th, 2010 at 04:03 pm

There was not enough snow for a snow day. Oh well, at least the drive in wasn't too terrible. I went into work about 45 mins late so that I could drive when it was light out versus dark. Management is totally fine with those type of situations.

After yesterday's post, I started feeling ill again. The doc has not fully diagnosed my problem - so I have been calling it the mystery illness. I was feeling weak (not tired) and was worried I might pass out, so I went to my parents to hang out there. We enjoyed leftovers from Christmas and watched movies on tv and I spent the night.

So because of that, I did not have breakfast/lunch packed. I have seriously failed in my lunch challanges the last few months & I need to stop making my health an excuse. When I eat better, I feel better anyway, so its a win-win.

Anybody who has a snow day today, I just have to say LUCKY! lol

And just to share - books! I just finished the 3rd book in the Hunger Games series - Mockingjay. I really liked the books. I also read the 1st 2 books of the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series & my friend is lending me the 3rd tomorrow! I started re-reading the Kitty books by Carrie Vaughn - they're about a werewolf named Kitty. I find them to be nice, light reads.


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