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Archive for October, 2014

Great Weekend!

October 26th, 2014 at 03:48 pm

Friday night, we had friends over for a Double Date in. I made sloppy joe and sides and mini apple pies for dessert. We watched a Netflix movie and played Cards Against Humanity. It was nice & relaxing.

Saturday, I got up and ran some errands and went to the store. Then I worked some overtime and was lazy the rest of the day.

Today, I went to the Winterthur Museum with a friend. It's a $20 admission, but includes a Downton Abbey Costumes exhibit (which is what we were going for). We also took a 20 minute tram ride around the gardens on the estate and a 45 minute guided tour through the house (once owned by a DuPont).

We had a wonderful time and had lunch at the museum. A bit pricey, but I was happy to have a full meal and not just a hot dog or hamburger.

Here are a few pics of the exhibit, the coi pond and the house.

















Birthday Season has started!

October 23rd, 2014 at 07:25 pm

My Mother-in-Law's birthday was a week and a half ago. We went out to dinner ($30)and gave her a gift card to ACMoore for $50. It was a splurge, but she is going through a rough financial time and she makes crafts that she sells to help her through it. The GC will help make that happen!

My Mother's birthday is Saturday, but we went out to dinner with my parents, sister and nephew. My Dad snuck the tab, but we paid the tip (sharing with sis). Better not to argue with my dad! LOL

So $15 on dinner and we gave her a photo book I made of my nephew ($8.49), a mini photo book of my niece )($0.60) and a bag with her initial stitched in it ($8). She loved them!

In November, we have my 2 sisters-in-laws birthdays, my niece's and my husbands, plus 2 good friends. December is my nephew's birthday plus my step-nephews. And then of course there is Christmas.

Thank goodness for my all year planning!

Major Life Changes/Money Moves in the last 2 years

October 22nd, 2014 at 09:01 am

In the last 2 years, my husband & I moved in together. I got a new job. We got married. We replaced all the water pipes in the house (5k+), did air conditioning repairs, other plumbing repairs, cash-flowed a wedding, paid cash for a honeymoon, paid for wedding bands, and paid for a super expensive water remediation in the basement ($6.5k). Money has flowed out to the tune of $21k+.

We both came into the marriage with some debt. However, in the past 18 months, we have paid down that debt AND paid off the 21k through cash-flowing and my over time.

In 2014 alone, as of last paycheck, I have worked 196.5 hours of OT. With this week's OT, I will surpass 200! That is 5 - 40 hour work weeks!

My husband is not as detail oriented as I am and we are adjusting to sharing finances. However, we both have a plan to have our debt paid off by Aug/Sept of 2015. This still leaves us with wiggle room to not drastically change our lifestyle for the moment.

We are frugal in many ways, but enjoy going out and doing things with friends. We buckle down a little more each month (I can reign in better than he), but each month, we are improving!

Loving my Ebates!

October 21st, 2014 at 09:10 am

I just checked my Ebates account and have $25.37 coming my way for this quarter. I only purchase things through Ebates that I am already planning to purchase. This quarter, I had some home improvement projects to help with this rebate... but in 2014 alone, I have already received $61.92. I won't hit $100 for the year (income-wise), but I am excited to get each and every check.

Do any of you guys use Ebates? If so, what do you love about it?

I am going to work on referrals next... so leave a comment if you would like a link!

Yummy Dinners

October 20th, 2014 at 06:00 pm

So far, so good with meal plans! We already switched up tonight's plan. It was supposed to be crockpot apple & pear pork...but we ended up with meatball subs instead. THis was good, because we were able to use up some leftover pasta sauce from the fridge.

Anyway, here's a pic of Sunday's dinner: Creamy Sausage & tomato pasta. It was a hit!

Grocery Spending, Freezer List, Meal planning!

October 19th, 2014 at 05:31 pm

Used up a big part of our grocery budget this week to do some freezer meals & meal planning.

Saturday, I did some shopping and then made meatloaf muffins, meatballs, hamburger patties, breakfast potatoes and froze them. I then put together an Apple, Pear & Pork freezer meal for the freezer too; Since there's 2 of us, I split the recipe into 2 freezer meals. I also bagged the meatloaf & meatballs into single servings.

Then I made a pasta salad for lunch & took a freezer inventory to help with meal planning.

Today, I made some stuff for work breakfasts (hard boiled eggs), snacks (cucumber & tomato salad) & lunches. My husband grilled some chicken & I prepped salads for chicken Caesar salads for the week (lunches).

Friday (Husband home only): Leftover Sloppy joe & peas

Saturday: Breakfast - hashbrown potatoes
Saturday: Lunch - pasta salad
Saturday: Dinner - Out

Sunday: Brunch - Out
Sunday: Dinner - Creamy Spicy Sausage & Tomato Pasta

Monday: Breakfast - yogurt, hard boiled egg
Monday: Lunch - Creamy Caesar Salad
Monday: Snack - Cucumber & tomato salad
Monday: Dinner - Apple, Pear & Pork crockpot meal

Tuesday: same breakfast, lunch & snack
Tuesday: Dinner - leftover pasta from Sunday

Wednesday: Breakfast/lunch: TBD
Wednesday: Dinner - Meatball subs

Thursday: Dinner - Leftovers

Friday: Dinner - out

After this week, we will still have a freezer full of:

-4 servings of Meatloaf muffins
-1 Crockpot Apple, Pear, Pork meal
-5 uncooked hamburger patties
-4 servings of cooked beef with onion
-1 Crockpot BBQ chicken
-1 cooked sesame chicken
-1 sloppy joe meal
-12 servings meatballs
-potatoes O'Brien
-blueberry muffins (5 packs of 2)
-grilled chicken
-3 spicy turkey sausages

Thoughtful & Frugal Gift for my Dad!

October 1st, 2014 at 04:08 pm

Last weekend, my father & I went to Longwood Gardens, in PA. Its a beautiful garden/conservatory that was once part of a DuPont Estate. The place is something that is close to my family's hearts for many reasons.

However, my Dad & I are the photography hobbyists and last year we went for the day on a Groupon. Groupon had the same deal again this year - Tickets at $9 each, so he & I headed up there on Sunday.

We went very early in the morning & skipped the sites we have seen the most and headed straight to their new section, the Meadow Garden. Absolutely gorgeous! We spent about 4 hours walking around, talking and taking pictures.

Sunday afternoon, I edited and uploaded many to share. My Dad said he loved the day and we promised to make it a tradition and plan to go next year too.

Anywhoo, in addition to the Groupon discounted tickets, I found a great way to commemorate the day after receiving a free Shutterfly Coffee mug code from Kelloggs. Thanks to their random email, I put one of the pictures from the day at Longwood on a mug.

Mugs are normally $14.99, but I only have to pay the $6.99 shipping for a gift for my coffee addicted father. Woohoo!