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Archive for September, 2009

Great Day!

October 1st, 2009 at 01:10 am

Today I enjoyed some awesome weather and a half day off from work. I still made it to the gym and worked out for a bit.

Then I hit the grocery store. My budget for this pay period is $85.00 and I spent $26.94. I won't need any further groceries until my veggie and fruit shop at the Farmer's market this weekend.

After I got home, I watched borrowed dvds and made meatloaf muffins and browned ground turkey with onions to put in the freezer. And I still made a separate meal for dinner - Cajun Rice with beef. Unfortunately it wasn't that good. I won't be keeping that recipe. Oh well.

As I said before, my spending focus is grocery & entertaining. Today started a new pay period & I spent on plan with groceries, and spent nothing on entertainment today. Its a start Smile

Out of the 5 Things I set for today, I accomplished.

1. Hit the gym (even though I have a 1/2 day of work! DONE
2. Sort paperwork, file & shred DONE
3. Grocery shop & attempt to get below budget! DONE
4. Try a new recipe for dinner DONE
5. Sort 5 items for Craiglist & list them for sale NOT DONE - PAPERWORK TOOK WAAAY TOO LONG!

Tomorrow's 5 Things are as follows:

1. Bring packed breakfast, lunch & snacks
2. Call & close extra money market account
3. Call & cancel Dentist appointment (need to find a new one in plan, which will be cheaper)
4. Go to dinner & a play with Mom, Sis & friends and ENJOY!
5. Stay on plan with eating. Packed all day food. Stick to fish, baked potato & salad for dinner out. Keep bill under $20.00!

Another No Spender!

September 30th, 2009 at 01:35 am

Two no spenders in a row! I like it Smile

Today, I worked, went to the library, headed to the gym for 50 minutes and then home to make dinner, clean the kitchen, do a budget and upload some photos for my mom.

I accomplished 4 out of 5 of the things I said I'd accomplish today. The one I missed was going through my financial paperwork. I'm cool with that though. I have a 1/2 day at work tomorrow. I took a half mental health day and plan on hanging out at home. I'll do the paperwork tomorrow night.

I would like to mention that meal planning has really helped me to both be frugal, but also eat better meals! Instead of grabbing fast food or a quick dinner of noodles, I am having real meals. Its so easy to get out of that habit since I live alone. But I'm back on track & I REALLY want to share how much I enjoy a real meal.

Last night I had buffalo breaded chicken, potatoes and a salad. Tonight, I had penne pasta with marinara, a ton of veggies & a tomato salad.

Tomorrow, my 5 Things are:

1. Hit the gym (even though I have a 1/2 day of work!
2. Sort paperwork, file & shred
3. Grocery shop & attempt to get below budget!
4. Try a new recipe for dinner
5. Sort 5 items for Craiglist & list them for sale

Whats going on today & Today's 5 Things

September 29th, 2009 at 01:04 pm

Happy Tuesday! I'm planning on having a No Spend day today, so it should be a good day!

The air/heat are still off at the house. Its been over a month now. The temps started dropping again, but I'm just layering up in the house as needed. Yay Fall!

I packed breakfast (cheerios & banana), snack (banana blueberry muffin) & lunch (pasta salad & carrots). I plan on hitting the gym after work and then staying in tonight to watch the Biggest Loser.

I'm passing on going out to the Pub that I usually go to on Tuesdays. Some of the group dynamics have changed and its just not a fun anymore. It makes me sad, but probably isn't a terrible thing as I wont be drinking or spending money Smile

I talked before about my 5 Things list. Its meant for me to accomplish some goals for the day, but without being overwhelmed by a huge To-Do List. Here are today's 5 Things.

1. Go to the Gym after work
2. Go to the library
3. Finalize budget for pay period starting tomorrow
4. Go through financial paperwork, shred & file as needed
5. Make dinner at home

No Spender

September 29th, 2009 at 01:15 am

Today was a no spender. I have to say there were a lot of positives to my day today.

1. I packed my breakfast, lunch & snack for work & they were good!
2. I went to the gym and worked out for 50 minutes
3. I came home & immediately made a yummy dinner and packed my lunch for tomorrow.
4. I vegged on the couch in my superclean living room & played on the computer
5. I am watching good tv.
6. I have more energy from eating better and having more activity.
7. I am watching my cats literally attack each other. It should be a show on Animal TV. They could call it Battle Cats. Its too funny!

Groceries/Meal Plan

September 28th, 2009 at 06:26 pm

My pantry & freezer are looking a little bare, but my budget this pay period will not allow for a big grocery shop. This is where planning is extra important. I also have a handicap in that I want to incorporate a lot of fresh produce in with my meals and that can really add up. Darn me for loving fresh salads! lol

Here is my meal plan for the week:

Monday:
Lunch - Cucumber & tomato salad; Beeforoni
Dinner - Pasta with meat sauce

Tuesday:
Lunch: Pasta salad with Turkey pepperoni
Dinner: Buffalo Shake N Bake Chicken and potatoes

Wednesday:
Lunch: Tuna wrap with salad
Dinner: Meatloaf muffins and fries

Thursday:
Lunch: Sloppy joe over pasta
Dinner: Tuna wrap

Friday:
Lunch: Salad with Meatloaf muffin
Dinner: Dirty rice with beef

Saturday:
Lunch: Salad with pasta & turkey pepperoni
Dinner: Shake N bake chicken & potatoes

Sunday:
Lunch: Salad & Dirty Rice with beef
Dinner: Pasta with & morningstar chick'n

I may incorporate more salads and/or canned veggies as needed with the meals.

So my grocery plan between 9/30 and 10/14 is as follows:

Mid Week (9/30-ish)
($7.00) produce stand

Weekend #1:
Farmer's Market - ($19) for apples, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery, green pepper, mushrooms, bananas, onion
Grocery Store - ($28) for turkey bacon, ground turkey, milk, soda, salad dressing, stuffing, popcorn, cereal and animal crackers.

Weekend # 2
Farmers Market - ($17) for lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, green pepper, onion and carrots.
Grocery Store - ($2) milk

Still working on that To-Do List!

September 27th, 2009 at 05:18 pm

The big item - getting rid of mold in the basement - got scrapped due to poor weather planning. Its pouring and a dry basement would be best.

In between the gym, my newphew's baseball game and horror movie night with friends, I was able to knock off a LOT of items. Its like spring cleaning, but Fall cleaning instead.

I feel like I'm getting the house ready for the colder weather. Deep cleaning and airing out the house with the windows open possibly the last time before the winter.

And the only spending I've done this weekend, other than groceries is the dinner I bought for myself & my nephew Friday night. And I feel AWESOME that I got so much accomplished.

Below is a running tally of what I've accomplished this week.

Friday

- Clean junk drawer in kitchen
- Organize freezer, make list of items
- Wipe kitchen blinds
- Organize & wipe down pantry
- Meal plan for the week
- Grocery Plan for the week
- Entertainment budget/plan
- Make new workout playlist on MP3 player


Saturday

- Grocery shop
- Cleaned downstairs bath
- Clean kitchen, wash floor
- Wipe down refrigerator and cabinets
- Polish kitchen table

Sunday - Already accomplished

- Get produce from the Farmer's Market
- Vaccum stairs & upstairs hallway
- Clean spare bedroom, vaccum & wash floor
- De-hair the chair in the spare bedroom that the cats sleep on
- Clean bedroom, vaccum floor
- Clean upstairs bathroom & floor
- Polish wardrobe in bedroom

Still to do today:

- Laundry (edited - DONE)
- Budget
- Make meatloaf muffins (edited - DONE)
- Make blueberry muffins (edited - DONE)
- Mani/Pedi (edited - DONE)
- Organize garden stuff, store in basement (edited - DONE)
- Clean, dust & vaccum living room (edited - DONE)
- Wipe down living room blinds, dust fan (edited - DONE)
- Clean out car (edited - DONE)
- Put out fall decorations (edited - DONE)
- File/shred paperwork.
- Pack bag for gym (edited - DONE)
- Clean litter box

Heavy To-Do List! (Long)

September 26th, 2009 at 12:38 am

This weekend is going to have fabulous weather! I have all the windows open, am enjoying the breeze coming in off the field behind my house. I've actually been able to keep the air off since August 29th. I'm hoping to keep the heat off until November. Here's hoping!

My goal for this weekend is to spend as little as possible. And to help that along, I created a whole big (but frugal) To-Do list. I want to get things in order so I can stay better organized.

Let me just say that my To-Do List has 35 items, some small & some big. I don't plan on completing 100% of them as I do have obligations this weekend, but I hope to get a bulk of them done!

So far, I have done the following:

- Clean junk drawer in kitchen
- Organize freezer, make list of items
- Wipe kitchen blinds
- Organize & wipe down pantry


Now its 8pm, I have some tv watching planned (lol) and I will work to knock a couple more items off the list.

- Meal plan for the week
- Grocery Plan for the week
- Entertainment budget/plan
- Make new workout playlist on MP3 player
- Do pedicure

Tomorrow, I'm meeting my workout buddy at 9, I'm going to my nephew's baseball game at 2pm and at 7, I have movie night with some friends. In between, I hope to knock off a few more items.

- Clean downstairs bath
- Clean kitchen, wash floor and wipe down cabinets

Then Sunday, I plan on sleeping in and then getting as much as possible accomplished. Including removing a little mold in the basement (non-toxic, thank goodness!) and doing yard work.

Entertainment Spending

September 22nd, 2009 at 01:07 am

Long day today. I ran some errands, bought kitty litter & some groceries, had dinner with a friend & did a bunch of chores around the house.

I've been focusing on little things to try to get myself back on track. I've been struggling with my weight and my finances and I've been gradually getting better Smile

My current focus is entertainment spending. I've got $25.00 to last me until payday (the 30th).

Thats definately doable. I have a bunch of stuff to get done around the house this weekend and a few free activities planned such as Newphew's baseball games and a Horror Movie Night at a friend's house. I do have spending activities planned, including Pub Night tomorrow night. I'm going with only $10.00 to spend. That should get me 2 beers, plus tip. Keeping it simple Smile

Last weekend, I went to a Half Way to St Patty's Day party that a friend threw (totally free). And then I went to the local Oktoberfest. My sister had free tickets and I only spent $10 on beer & food.

And I actually have a bunch of social activities planned in the next few months. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm doing new things and (sometimes) meeting new people.

For example, between now & the first week of November I have the following planned:

- Girls Night Out (its a play) with my mom, sister & best friend. My mom bought the ticket, but we'll probably do drinks after (est $20?)

- Kennet Brewfest - $30 All Day Beer Tasting. I am staying with friends in West Chester overnight

- West Chester Chili-fest. $10.00 all you can eat Chili tastings in a beautiful downtown area.

- Fort Delaware Paranormal Tour. Going with a bunch of friends, involves a ferry ride to a very historic local site. Ghost Hunters did their live Halloween special there. I'm really interested in how thats going to go!

Well, I am just working hard to not overspend on other items (eating out, video rentals) and save the money in my entertainment budget for these bigger events.

To Do List and Halloween

September 13th, 2009 at 10:25 pm

I'm trying a new thing. I always have a HUGE to do list running at any given time. And I never feel like I accomplished anything because at the end of the day, because I still had a long list going. So now, I am trying out a new rule, which I’ll call the '5 Things Rule'. Each day, I have 5 things, no matter how small that I HAVE to do that day. It can include anything from Go to work, to work out, to clean the bathroom, to put away laundry. At the end of the day, I need to have at least those 5 things done and if I do more, then it's a bonus.

Today I wasn't feeling well. I really wanted to get extra rest in, but I also wanted to get a couple of things done. So here were today's 5 Things:

1. Unclog upstairs bathroom sink drain - DONE
2. Pick up kitchen (no deep cleaning, just clutter and wiping down) - DONE
3. Pick up living room (no deep cleaning, just clutter) - DONE
4. Make a budget - DONE
5. Change sheets on bed - To be done right before bed


Tomorrow's 5 Things are supposed to be the following, but are subject to change!

1. Make a Meal Plan
2. Grocery shop
3. Walk
4. Pick up bedroom (just pick up, not deep clean)
5. Pay Bills


Also, since I spent a good amount of time on the couch today (cold meds really knock me out), I started thinking about Halloween Costumes. This year, I will be on a cruise to the Bahamas for Halloween, so I know they'll have a big party. I want a costume that meets the following requirements:

1. Frugal
2. Reusable for next year (minimal people will see it on the cruise)
3. Possibly used for non-Halloween purposes.

As I was watching a re-run of Veronica Mars, they had a scene where people were dressed up for an Around the World Party. One of the girls was dressed up in a beautiful Kimono. Suddenly, I have a flash to my local farmer’s market, where there is an Asian-inspired stand with items such as robes and fans. I have eyed the Japanese robes several times as an alternate for a dressing robe. So I'm going to check them out. Since the farmer's market is usually pretty low-cost, this should meet all of my requirements. I'll check the stand out next weekend. Here's hoping!

Sick Again and a Not-So-Smart Money Decision

September 13th, 2009 at 04:03 pm

Sorry this is going to be long...

Well, once again, I'm sick. It seems like since my immune system went down for sickness a few months ago, I've been catching everything. I had a stomach bug two weeks ago & missed several days of work. Thursday, I started with a head cold. I've spent the weekend pretty much in bed because I can't spare any more sick days. Fun, huh?

So my money situation is still what it was a few weeks ago. I have a little credit card debt, the emergency fund is low and I would like to have more income.

In spite of all this, I recently signed up for a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I got a great deal on the cruise ($550 for 7 days) and have some savings bonds (that my parents just found in their safety deposit box) that I'm going to cash. I know I could use the funds to pay down the debt, but I really want to do the cruise.

I'm not going to make excuses. I plan on being tight with spending in all other areas, stick within my savings bond budget for the trip and work to sell things, get a roommate and a 2nd job.

So yeah, maybe not the best financial decision, but I think its the best for my overall well being.

In other news, today will be a no spender. I am going to eat out of my pantry until payday on Tuesday. I'm hoping for a no spender tomorrow as well.

I'm working on a meal plan for the week. I am spending today mostly on the couch, with a little light cleaning to ensure my mental health Smile I'm watching Agatha Christie movies borrowed from the library, reading (books also from library) and am enjoying having the windows open and getting fresh air.

The air has actually been off since 8/31. And I'm planning on joining the No Heat Challange. My goal is to keep the heat off as long as possible!