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Viewing the 'Electric, A/C , Heat' Category

Whats going on today & Today's 5 Things

September 29th, 2009 at 06:04 am

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

Heavy To-Do List! (Long)

September 25th, 2009 at 05:38 pm

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.

Sick Again and a Not-So-Smart Money Decision

September 13th, 2009 at 09:03 am

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!

Frugal Things This Month

June 14th, 2009 at 02:52 pm

- So far this month, I packed my lunch all but 1 time. That purchased lunch was from last Thursday, and it broke a 6 week streak of packing breakfast & lunches for work. My goal for the rest of the month is to pack my lunch all but 1 time this pay period as well.

- I have yet to turn on the air conditioning this season. I came close yesterday because the humidity, but held out Smile

- A friend from work gave me a cutting from her mint plant. I have already repotted it and am enjoying the fragrance. Once it starts growing again, I plan on using the leaves for mint water. Yummy in the summer!

- I gave myself a pedicure. A friend had given me a foot spa for my birthday a few years ago, so I make it an event. Soak my feet, paint the nails and generally act all girlie!

- Utilized the library & friends for all movies watched this month so far. No video rentals for me!

- I've listed a few items on Craigslist. I'm looking to partially fund my week long Staycation in July by selling items such as a graphing calculator, a scientific calculator, an old desk, two mini tables, two lamps and some plastic storage bins. Goal: $60.00

Got a Case of the Mondays!

June 8th, 2009 at 05:00 am

Here's Monday & I'm in a sleepy mood. Dont want to work today Smile

I've had a great weekend. Stayed within my grocery & entertainment budgets! Yeah Smile

I'm kinda in a financial stall right now. I'm sticking within my budget, but as things are tight, I'm not putting as much to savings as I'd like. So now I'm looking at alternate ways to generate income.

The first step I'm going to take is to list some things on Craigslist. I have:

an old desk
a scientific calculator
a graphing calculator
a wireless router
an extra DVD player.

I have a lot of upcoming incedental expenses in the next month & every little bit helps. I have the following:

Car Registration
Car repairs - check engine light is on
Dental Bills - cavity to be filled
Sister Birthday
Dad Birthday
Dad Father's Day
Mini Vacation - want to drive to the beach at least 2 times this month. Can be done very frugally, but gas will still be an extra expense.

I've decided to not renew my AAA membership this year.

In lunch news, I've packed breakfast, lunch & snacks 100% of this month again so far! Its become pretty easy Smile

And in utility news, my electric usage is low, more so than this time last year. My gas usage is at 0!

I still have yet to turn the air on, although its getting much more humid. I'm hoping to hold off as long as possible, but historically, by mid-month the A/C goes on.

Hope everyone has a good week!

Limiting spending on groceries and entertainment

May 29th, 2009 at 04:47 pm

For the month of May, I was 100% successful in packing food/drink for work! Yay for me Smile I'm going to try to keep it up next month with maybe one exception when my work group goes out for lunch. You know, I find that I eat better food of more variety when I pack my lunch? Who woulda thought?

For the month of May, I have also kept the heat and A/C off for 29 days straight! It may be more, but at the end of April, there were a few days where I had the A/C on and I can't remember which ones. I'm hoping to keep the air off as long as possible. If I'm reasonably comfortable with the windows open and air off, then I'll do it. When summer hits & the humidity goes on, the air will go on Smile

I went grocery shopping today, purchased almost everything I'll need for the week. Just have to head to the Farmer's market tomorrow for fresh produce. I have a grocery plan for this pay period and I hope to purchase the rest of my staples tomorrow and will only need to hit the grocery for milk, eggs & yogurt and the Farmer's market once more between now & the 15th.

Total Grocery Spending today: $36.29. This included some more expensive items such as olive oil and five 12 packs of soda (at least 5 weeks worth of soda). I also purchased a treat for dinner!

Now for social obligations: As I've said before, I'm working with a limited budget right now & am wrestling with the conflict of wanting to have a social life vs not spending too much money for entertainment. So, with planning, I seem to find my balance Smile

- I planned to stay in tonight - so I got that treat at the grocery store - shrimp. LOVE it. Its yummy AND very low in points (for the Weight Watchers I'm following). I have books & movies from the library. In fact, I'm about to watch Murder on the Orient Express Smile Since the shrimp came out of my normal grocery budget - tonight is Free!

- Tomorrow, I am going to my nephew's baseball game at 9:30. I'll pack a water & snack for the games. (Free) After, I'm going to the park for a 2.5 mile walk. (Free)

In the evening, I am spending time with some good friends. I'm hoping to convince them to stay in so that we can catch up. Maybe make some dinner together. Shouldn't be a problem because we've done it many times before. (Free - or just the cost of food)

- Sunday, I am supposed to meet an old coworker and a friend of hers for lunch and drinks. I think we'll be hitting a local restaurant I know where I can just get a small app and a single drink. No need to overdo, especially since I'm watching what I'm eating Smile (Estimated spending: $10)

- Tuesday, I am meeting friends at a pub for karaoke. Well, they'll be doing the karaoke and I'll just be watching Smile Plan on buying a few beers. (Est spending: $10)

- Thursday, a friend is having a book club meeting at a local bar. They serve their own beer. If I go, and I haven't decided yet, I'll just get a soda & bring my book to talk about Smile (Est spending: $5 tops)

- Friday, I'm going to a minor league baseball game. Very local. My nephew's class is singing between innings and most of my family is going. I plan on eating ahead of time (est cost: ticket, drink $15.00)

Saturday, I'm going to another one of my nephew's baseball games (free). Saturday night, I'll be heading to a friend's house for a small party. I'm bringing veggies on my new to me veggie plate! (est cost $3.00)

So lots of obligations and none too costly. The trick is to not spend a ton of money on eating out and drinking!

Previously, I talked about setting a walking goal for the summer. I still plan to do it, but haven't figured out how to incorporate the elliptical into that Smile

And lastly, here's a picture of my little boy kitty. He's watching the storms roll in over the field behind my house. Such a little cutie!

Food, air & plants

May 26th, 2009 at 01:45 pm

I don't know about you guys, but I had a VERY relaxing and enjoyable weekend. I overspent Sunday night when I had a date that went from dinner & a movie to drinks afterward. But overall, it wasn't excessive spending :-) And we had a good time.

I enjoyed the good weather. It hit 90 here (which is high for this area) and I was able to still keep the air off. Mostly because the humidity wasn't terrible. I kept the shades mostly closed during the day & opened all the windows and let the heavy breezes in at night. Very nice! I ran some fans when I was home and when sleeping, but that's it. Ironically, now that I'm back to work today, the weather's only going to reach mid - 60's. Its actually COLD today :-)

I did some veggie and fruit shopping on Sunday at the Farmer's market and yesterday I prepackaged smaller amounts for the 4 days of work this week. I have pre-portioned amounts of animal crackers, watermelon, strawberries, salad and cheerios. I'm doing very well with my goal of packing breakfast, lunch & dinner 100% this month. And I'll be able to keep it up easily since I took the extra time to pre-package most of the food that I'll take! I also lost 1.5 pounds this week on Weight Watchers. I've been wavering on the plan (bad!), but packing my food has made it much easier to stay on plan.

My plants are still growing well in their containers. I'm going to post some new pics soon. Those tomato plants are GROWING!

I may have mentioned that I'm looking for a roommate again. No legit responses to my ad on Craigslist. But I also have friends keeping an eye out for potential roomies as well.

I have found that since I have been focusing on staying on track with one thing - packing food for work, its benefited me in other ways and I save more money. Today was even a No Spender!

Utilities and Medical

May 19th, 2009 at 06:50 pm

Today was a very busy day. I worked, took a 2 mile walk, went to my nephew's ball game, did 2 loads of laundry, made dinner and premade food for tomorrow.

I spent $2.89 for a drink for my mom & a soft pretzel for me at the ball game.

In the mail, I received my water bill - $68.82 for 3 months. The water bill went up from last year. I can attribute it to two things - using more water for the garden and being lazy and using the dishwasher more often. So today, I went back to handwashing for meals and using the dishwasher when doing big cooking.

Also, my electric usage has been down. No air or heat usage this month. So hopefully my usage will be really really low Smile

I also received my car insurance renewal in the mail. It went up again - third year in a row. I'll be doing the usual calls for quotes before making a decision. I like the company I'm with, but I also need to make the best economic choice. In the past two years, I still was getting the best deal with this company, but who knows what this year will bring.

Tomorrow, I'll be calling Comcast about downgrading the cable. I'll probably cancel my phone service with them & switch it to Verizon who can give me a local only plan for about $12 per month. When I had the cable, phone & internet package, it was the most frugal choice. But changing the cable will stop be from being able to use the package. By itself, the phone is $24.95/month.

I also went to the dentist Thursday last week - I have 2 cavities. They say they'll need $285.00 after insurance, but this dentist is not in the plan that I have. It never mattered before because the dentist's office always gave me a discount, and I used to pay just an additional $5.00 after the insurance. But now, they have a new office manager & that went away. And with the needed fillings, its too costly to continue to go out of plan. I'm going to have to finally make the leap to an in plan dentist. Its a shame, I really liked the dentist that I was with.

Tomorrow should be a no spender - I plan on coming home after work & heading straight to the park or get on the elliptical. Thursday, I'm going out with some friends, I have $10.00 to spend, thats it. Should be doable.

Lunch Challange Part 1 complete!

May 15th, 2009 at 02:18 pm

So my friend & I completed our little lunch challange. Both of us succeeded 100%! My friend was the one that said he'd fail the first week, but he pulled through. AND he suggested that we do it again next week, with 1 exception out of the 10 days.

So next week, we'll continue the challange. He can use his exception if he wants to, but I'm going to try not to. Money is tight & I'd rather go out at night or on the weekends than eat a sandwich from the cafe at work.

I've cashflowed the bee treatment ($190) this month, but it means less funds in other budget catagories such as groceries and entertainment.

So I've already made a meal plan and grocery list for today through the 30th, which I'm going to do my darnest to stick through. I leave the meal plan flexible because sometimes I just don't feel like eating what I planned to Smile

This weekend, my goal is to do a lot of free or nearly free things Smile

I do have a birthday party at a bar tonight. I plan on eating dinner before going, buying only a beer or two and leaving early. I'm pretty beat and want an early night.

Tomorrow, I have my nephew's baseball game - as long as the weather holds. After, I'm supposed to hang out with some friends. I'm gonna try to convince them to grill out for dinner & watch some movies.

As for entertainment - I have several movies from the library & a bunch of housework on the to-do list. I certainly don't have a problem with things to do this weekend Smile

And a final note - I'm on day 15 of no heat or air!

Lots Going On

May 12th, 2009 at 06:21 pm

Sunday I did the Philadelphia Breast Cancer Walk. It was very moving. Thousands of people walking for such an important cause. Here are a few pics to give you an idea of the crowds.

The people in the all pink tee shirts are all breast cancer survivors participating in the opening ceremonies.

This is a view of all the people in front of us waiting for the walk to start.

This is a view of all the people behind us at the same time.

Yesterday, I ran errands, but resisted eating out & came home to make dinner.

Today I had a doctor's appointment. $30.00 coapy. Afterwards, I met up with a cousin to head over a family member's house to start a plan for cleaning out it out for sale since she's moved into a nursing home. Its a long complicated story, but lets just say that I've met them both on only one occasion, so this was awkward.

We took the family member to her house to discuss what we would be doing. There is a TON of stuff to go through. Thousands of books, cookbooks, instruction manuals, tons of cookware & old construction equiptment. Its going to be overwhelming, but I think its doable.

While we were there, we cleaned out her fridge. Unless it was very old, they didn't want to throw out anything. So we split the stuff up between my cousin, a neighbor and myself. I came home with a bunch of stuff that I would never eat because its sketchy if its safe. And a bunch of baking supplies that I have no idea what to do with.

I did, however, come home with some english muffins, 2 containers of butter (frozen), 2 containers of cool whip and a large package of chicken wings. Also came home with some pine nuts, so I'm going to make some pesto - or at least try to Smile

She also gave me a marble cutting board and a very nice italian piece of cermanic flowers. Really pretty. I didn't ask for any of the things, but I think it made her feel in control to give things away, so we let her.

And actually, we had an interesting conversation about how she packed so much stuff in there, never wanting to let stuff go. Its something that I've seen discussed before. Its leftover from living during the Great Depression. Somebody might have a use for it someday!

Finances seem to be getting tighter & I
have a lot of upcoming house expenses. I FINALLY paid to have professionals come out to spray for the carpenter bees. $190.00 for a one time treatment to kill them. In 2 weeks, hopefully, I'll have my sister's boyfriend's company to come out and replace the gutters & soffits. That should be around $800-$900.

In good news, I spent nothing but the doctors copay. I'm still packing breakfast, lunch & snacks 100% for work! So has my friend. I think he'll finish the 2 week challange with me. But I plan on continuing through the rest of the month.

I called Comcast about dropping my cable or lowering it to the extreme basic. But I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do. I have til Monday to make up my mind.

I also responded to a couple of ads looking for rooms to rent from facebook. Getting a roommate would REALLY help right now.

In more good news, I've had the heat/air off since before May 1st. Not sure exactly when it went off & stayed off, but I'm hoping to keep it off for a long, long time.

Also, my garden is doing very well, but I don't have any updated pics. I'll try to post some tomorrow.

Lol - lunch challange postponed on Day 1

May 1st, 2009 at 07:38 pm

My friend & I are still doing the Lunch Challange, but he asked that we start on Monday, which was fine with me. I still need to do a big grocery shop Smile

Today I packed part of my lunch, but did buy a soda and a 1/2 sandwich. I have a nasty sinus headache & wanted some caffine. But I have soda on my grocery list & will no longer be buying it at work Smile

So all in all, today I spent:
-$2.90 at the work cafeteria
-$1.25 in library fines - gotta work on that
-$4.00 on grocery items at the dollar store.

I'm also going to be tracking heating/air usage. Our weather has been crazy - going from 89 degrees to 50, up and down every few days. I have managed to keep the air/heat off since Wednesday.

Tonight, I have spent a pleasant evening at home. I have windows open, so a fresh breeze is coming in. The sound of the rain is relaxing. There's a wonderful smell of birthday roses on the coffee table next to the couch. I'm watching library movies and tv and am catching up on emails, mypoints emails, and reading. It was a great way to wind down tonight!

Tomorrow, my plans are to hit the farmers market for fruits & veggies. Head to my nephew's baseball game. I want to try to get a walk in at the park. But that & the game all depend on the weather. So we'll see how it goes.

Plugging Along

April 6th, 2009 at 05:33 pm

Lots of things to update:

-Its finally warm enough to turn the heat off 100%. Its about 65 degrees at night inside right now. YAY!

-My plants are doing well. Lots of little guys growing now. Soon, I'll have to replant them into bigger containers. I'm just not sure when I'm supposed to do that. So I'll be doing some research! I'd take a picture, but the camera broke the night of the party.

-The lens just stopped retracting. So now I'm paying $6.00 to have the item shipped to the company I bought it from. Luckily its still under warrenty. AND that I was able to still upload the party pics.

-I sent in my contacts rebate today. In the past, the rebate has been much bigger. This time, its only $20.00.

-I bought groceries today & already planned my food for tomorrow. Cheerios, milk & strawberries for breakfast. Pasta salad and carrots for lunch. Dinner will be chicken and potatoes.

-Its been such a busy few weeks that I decided to make tonight a veg night. Used a code to get free Redbox movies. A good little horror movie and Seven Pounds, which was VERY good!

-My sister put a contract on a house! I'm on a pretty tight budget right now, so I'll be looking to do some frugal gifts. Time to hit the dollar store for kitchen items and I plan to donate time to helping them set up the house. Any additional suggestions are welcome!


March 9th, 2009 at 07:06 pm

I purchase Electric/Gas from the same company as is the standard for the state that I live in.

They recently updated their site to include online bills, usage estimates, bill comparison and money saving tips, which I'm having a lot of fun playing with it.

I feel that I do pretty well with my usage, but am always looking for ways to lower my bills. I've been in the house about 2 years now and I know (based on my statements) that I use MUCH less than the previous owner.

And thats the reason that I think that I received a call from the Electric Company saying that they need to replace my meter for an updated version. As far as I know, none of my neighbors, whose houses were all built in the same year, have been told this is necessary. And I've asked a few of them to be sure.

So I have an appointment next Wednesay between 8am and 12pm to have it replaced. My understanding is that it will be digital, which should be cool.

As part of the new web site, there are estimates on how much of my bill goes where. It asked me a bunch of questions, then estimates what usage occurs as a result of which type of use:

For February:

Heating $81
Hot Water $36
Lighting $14
Food Storage $13
Other: $13
Cooking: $9

According to the site, I compare well to others in my area. I personally used less electric AND gas than this Feb of last year. My YTD 2009 average is $135.00 compared to the avg home in my area $286.00. Winter is always the highest bill, so it can only get better
from here. Yay!

Doing well this week

February 11th, 2009 at 06:25 pm

Staying on track with packing breakfast, lunch, snacks and drinks for work. No spending on food there Smile I stuck to my Weight Watchers plan too, and lost 3.2 pounds this week!

I've already premade food for tomorrow. I'm planning ahead for tomorrow night too. I have a happy hour in honor of a coworkers upcoming wedding. I'll go after work, stay for 1 - only 1 - drink and then I'll head home to a nice big dinner.

I've had the heat off the last two days. Its supposed to get colder again, so I have it set to kick back on when the temps in the house go under 65. Right now its 68 in the house. Any lower during the night and I get sick. Sinuses get all messed up and I already have a cold, so I don't want to aggrivate it. Otherwise, I would definately let the heat stay off as long as possible.

Whew :)

February 7th, 2009 at 06:18 pm

Today was a no spender. Never even left my house. About 1pm, my mom dropped my nephew off after his karate class. We've spent all day watching movies, playing with the cats, playing games and eating popcorn. And I'm wiped out. Just put him to bed about 15 minutes ago and I'll be following soon after.

Tomorrow, his mom will pick him up in the morning. I'm heading out to lunch for an informal high school reunion with a few old friends. Should be fun.

I'm off on Monday and I'm planning on using the day to help out a family friend and get some things done around the house. I want to clean out my freezer and make some meals for the upcoming week. I'm working on a meal plan now as I have $24.22 left in my grocery budget to last until payday next Friday.

In other news, my raise will hit with this new paycheck. It won't be much, but every bit counts.

The temps here have picked up. This is good because my nephew is small for his age and has absolutely NO meat on his bones. As a result, he's always cold, even with tons of layers on. So when he visits, I up the heat to 67 degrees. The heat has only come on a few times this evening, which is good Smile

Made Some Calls & made some money decisions

January 13th, 2009 at 03:37 pm

Made some calls today. Set up some annual doctors appointments for the first quarter.

Called my electric/gas company & signed up for budget billing. I've never done it before becuase I just set the extra budgeted amounts aside for when the bills are higher in the winter. But then I just decided to make it easy on myself and just have them do it. I confirmed that they still send a statement with the actual cost of the bill regardless of the budgeted amount. Saves me a headache.

Now I really have to dig into being frugal. My take home pay has decreased some due to insurance, ect and it means reworking the 2009 budget. We'll see how it goes. The budget billing will actually help me cash flow wise in the next few months.

Quickie - Heat Edition

November 5th, 2008 at 04:29 pm

Just a quick note. The heat is still off. I had turned it on for that day or so last week, but its back off. Currently its 67 degrees in my living room, so I'm definately not suffering Smile

Spending & Saving... plus horror movies

October 27th, 2008 at 12:46 pm

Did some clothes & Christmas shopping this weekend. I splurged on myself and got a lot of clothes, shoes & accessories. Got some great deals and a lot of stuff! I had the money in my clothing fund, so it was all paid for by cash.

I had a $20.00 mall gift card, a $10.00 coupon to Victoria's Secret, a coupon for free undies from V.S., and a $10.00 of coupon for Yankee candle. I was able to get a lot of gifts for low cost. Very nice!

I previously mentioned turning on my heat. It stayed on for 2 days, after which I turned it back off since my sinus & ear infections cleared up and the temps went back up a little. I'm hoping to keep it off again, at least until the end of the week (November).

I received the electric bill today... $55.60 down from last month's $61.77. Woohoo!

This week, I'm on vacation. My plans are to do some decorating around the house, maybe some painting. I want to do some organizing, some cleaning. And with the remaining time, I want to rest. Just give myself some down time.

Its been stressful at work lately and I was really sick the last few weeks. I wasn't even able to take a sick day to get myself healed. Nobody would have stopped me from taking one, but I was really needed at work.. so I just pushed myself. Now I'm paying. So I plan on catching up on my sleep, recharging my batteries and getting ready for the holidays.

I have books to read, movies (from the library) to watch, and a bunch of projects that I want, but do not need, to do.

I love this time of year & have been on a big horror movie kick. I've been utilizing the cable and the library to watch a bunch of horror movies, and today I picked up 3 from Redbox for free with a coupon code. I love free!

Hope everyone has a good week. I'll try to post this week, but I make no promises Smile

Had to turn on the heat.... booo!

October 23rd, 2008 at 02:30 pm

Had to turn on the heat tonight. The living room has been 61/62 in the afternoon/evening, probably a little lower in the night. Outdoors has been about 45-50 degrees. Tonight temps are supposed to go WAY down and while I've been pretty comfortable, I'm sick right now and the cold is messing with my sinuses. Sinus AND an ear infection. Lucky me.

So, I'm going to turn on the heat to 65 and I'll turn it down when I go to bed. I've put the down comforter on my bed, have pulled out the sweaters and I'll be setting the programmable thermostat to kick in right before I get up for work, to go lower during the day & kick back in right before I get home from work. Hopefully it won't turn on too much.

Anyway, I'm just trying to make it through work tomorrow and then I'm on vacation for 9 days! I have plans for Christmas shopping and doing some stuff around the house. But first I have to rest up and get better.

Tonight, I'm watching The Strangers. I love, love, love horror movies. A friend had rented it from Blockbuster & offered it to me to watch. All I have to do is return it to the Blockbuster, which is right near my work. Easy to do & I got a free movie out of it!

Lay offs today - I was spared

October 7th, 2008 at 03:05 pm

Layoffs at work today. I don't really want to talk about it, but just to say that I spent most of today waiting to hear my status.

Some were let go, some were given options to do different things (in a lesser position) or to take severence. I am one of the few in my area whose position remains unchanged. I will take on different responsibilites, but in a good way.

I'm fairly new to this position (compared to others) and people who had been with the company MUCH longer were not spared. I feel relieved and guilty at the same time.

They rolled out of the situation in a way that was secretive. So rumors flew and I was left at my desk for hours waiting for my turn to get info. They were doing things one by one.

I have a plan if I was laid off, but I know there are people in my office that don't have plans or emergency funds. I am sad for the whole situation.

In other news, my heat is STILl off, today was a no spender. I've already packed all my food for work tomorrow.

I am heading to my parents house to fix my sister's computer and just to talk things out with my dad. I've never been in a layoff position before, but he has. And I think it would be good to get some perspective.

Awesome dinner - Leftovers

October 6th, 2008 at 04:13 pm

Its chilly here and I wanted something warm for dinner. So I thawed spagetti sauce with ground beef, mushrooms, peppers and onions that I had made last week and froze. Then I made a single serving of spaghetti, and took 2 slices of wheat bread and turned it into garlic bread. It totally hit the spot!

I've noticed that when I am focused on Weight Watchers, that I save money because I eat a true portion size, instead of overeating. Which, in turn, helps my grocery bill!

Otherwise, bought some veggies and cat food today. All budgeted. No entertainment spending/eating out today.

Still no heat on Smile

Baking and Cold Weather

October 2nd, 2008 at 06:57 pm

I baked 2 dozen Blueberry Banana muffins last night. Yummy. Ate a few & froze the rest.

Tonight I made 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies. Most of which, I'll be taking into work tomorrow.

Its cold in my house right now. 49 degrees outside, 63 inside. Not too bad with the heat off. But I'm chilly. The stove kept the kitchen warm for awhile, but now I'm freezing again. I'm layering up and am cozying up on the couch with a blanket. My goal is to keep the heat off as absolutely long as possible. I get cold fairly easy, so I have to work hard to stay warm Smile

And since my entertainment budget is blown with a work lunch out today, I am making plans for the weekend. Watching my nephew for a few hours tomorrow night. Doing some computer work at my parents on Saturday. Saturday night will be movie night in. Sunday will be a cleaning day.

I have to pick up cat litter and some veggies after work tomorrow, but after that, except for going to my parents (who live 10 minutes away), I really don't have a need to leave the house. No heat, no gas, no spending Smile

Gift Shopping and focusing on electric

September 20th, 2008 at 03:28 pm

Went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a wedding gift off their registry. Online, BB&B said the item that I wanted was in stock. When I got there, they said all the remaining items on the registry had to be ordered. So now I have to go off the registry.

BB&B had a big clearance section up front and I managed to snag some good early Christmas gifts.

I spent $12.51, and got a Glitter spun Candle set with a holder, red berry wreath and a pillar candle for a friend of mine. Budgeted $10.00, spent $3.74, saved $6.26.

I was able to get a large Maple Syrup candle in a very manly jar with stopper - perfect for a guy friend of mine. Spent $3.79. Budgeted $10.00, saved $6.21.

I also took care of getting some small gifts for just under a dozen coworkers. Just a little token gift that I'll wrap in tissue paper and a ribbon bow. I got 4 Yankee Candle Christmas (2.49) scented votives and 6 glass votives in evergreen (also $2.49). For about 50 cents and a handlful of tissue paper and ribbon, I have 10 work gifts!

I ended up getting a wedding gift at Linen's N Things. They matched the 20% off Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon. Spent 23.99. A little more than planned, but oh well. I also grabbed a wedding gift bag and card at the dollar store $1.50.

I did go to the movies today with my mom & nephew. $8.00. Picked up a soda at the dollar store and brought my own popcorn from home. (The theatre allows outside food).

Mom insisted on lunch, so we went to a local place. She treated. Which was fine, cause she owed me for some socks and stuff I picked up for her the other week, so now we're even Smile

She wanted to stop at the Halmark store. Looked at a few cute things. And my nephew was VERY enamoured with a musical Halloween card featuring Star Wars characters. I went back in and splurged on it. $4.99. And he will carry this thing around for weeks!

Now I'm home, watching the first 3 episodes of Sons of Anarchy on Comcast On Demand. I am about to make dinner and get some stuff done around the house.

The air's still off. And I checked my electric usage today. I've used 297 KWH this billing period with about 6 days to go. Last month, I used 383. I've got the air off and am using minimal electric, so I should come in well under last month's usage.

My goal for October is to have air and heat off the whole month. There's been a big temp drop in the last few days, but hopefully it won't go any lower in the next month or so!

Happy Friday and Thinking About Groceries

September 19th, 2008 at 01:28 pm

Its a happy Friday for me because I have a day off from work and the only goal I have is to do nothing Smile I have the windows open and its almost chilly in the living room.

I'm still in my pajamas. I already made breakfast and lunch and am watching an Agatha Christie movie "Murder Most Foul". I REALLY love mystery movies.

Its been a busy week for me, and the down time is much needed. And as a side benefit, today will be a no spender because I am staying home all day.

A/C is still off. I've up to 13 days of no A/C this billing period.

Yesterday, I stocked up on books, cookbooks and movies from the library.

I got a TON of free stuff from our work outing on Wednesday. In addition to the free lunch and fun that we had, I took home a bunch of leftovers. 3 cans of soda, a bottle of water and a HUGE catering pan of salad. With all the good greens, peppers, cucumber, and more.

Stopped me from having to go to the produce stand for a full veggie trip. I just quickly grabbed tomatoes (1.46) and carrots (2lbs for $1.49). Saved approximately $6-8 dollars.

And I had a nice big salad for lunch and am planning another with dinner Smile

I did some grocery shopping this week and was able to get some good deals. I've also had to change the way I buy some things due to packaging downsizes and/or prices.

Doing Weight Watchers, I consider 8 oz yogurt a serving. Only Acme carried the individual 8 oz yogurts. but they just downsized to 6oz. So I have switched to the 32 oz Dannon container and am just portioning it out into plastic containers for easy travel to work.

At the Acme, I was able to get a couple of good deals, including .... 101 oz Olive Oil for $9.99!!! A good deal around here is 50 oz for 9.99, so this was a steal!

I spent some time at the Dollar store yesterday. I needed to stock up on cleaning supplies, hand soap, and food storage containers.

I also scored with large bags of hashbrown potatoes at the dollar store. Its tough to find any frozen potatoes where the only ingredient IS potatoes. So I bought two!

On my grocery list was popcorn kernals. Acme had a 2 pound jug of them for... get this... $6.99! Walmart, where I usually get the popcorn was $3.99, up from $3.49. But now they carry a 2 lb bag of generic kernals for $1.50. Great deal compared to Acme's $6.99! And I just put the kernels into the old jug from my last purchase.

Soda prices are increasing and since I already have an unhealthy addiction, I'm working hard to cut back on my soda use. I'm drinking more water and I made a pitcher of generic crystal light fruit punch. No soda today so far.

I've started thinking about Christmas and plan to make my list this weekend. I have rough ideas, but I'm going to nail down gifts for each of the people on my list. Also, my Mom's birthday is coming up. I got her a book for $7.99 and I plan on cooking dinner for her and my dad.

This weekend, I have to get a wedding gift from Bed, Bath & Beyond. I have a 20% off coupon and plan to spend about $25.00.

So lots of spending, but a very tight budget. I'm hoping to save money any way that I can, including coming underbudget in my entertainment catagory. Time to get creative!

Catching up

September 16th, 2008 at 06:27 pm

Lots of stuff going on. Cleaning, organizing, laundry, ect.

Returned a poncho to Kmart since it was unopened during the camping trip. $4.99 back in my pocket.

Returned the dress that I had bought for a wedding. Using one from my own closet Smile

Did 3 loads of laundry today, only used the dryer once. And thats because I ran out of doors to hang the sheets/blankets on Smile - no outdoor drying line.

Turned A/C back off tonight, although it wasn't running all that much even when its on. Its nice to have the fresh air coming through the house! I've guestimated that I've had 10 A/C off days in this billing period, which doesn't end til the 27th.

I'm working on my grocery budget. Its been challanging to eat healthier on a strict budget.

Packed breakfast and lunch today, but splurged on a soft pretzel. I've already packed breakfast for work tomorrow, but no need to pack lunch! We're having a work outing at a local state park. Free subs, yum.

I have a great idea for the outing tomorrow. Since the park charges by the car, not the person, we're parking in a local shopping center and carpooling into the park. We should be done around 2, I'll carpool back to my car and then I'm going to use the parking pass that the driver used and head back into the park for an hour walk. Gotta work off that sub Smile

Ready to Camp!

September 11th, 2008 at 06:47 pm

We leave for Jim Thorpe tomorrow! I am really looking forward to it. So far, I've paid $19.00 in camping fees, $15.00 in drinks (alcohol is allowed at the site), and $4.99 for a poncho.

I still have to put in my share for all the food and give the girl driving some gas money. And what I get out of it is 3 days of fun with some new friends!

I also went out and bought some sweatpants. Good idea in the cooler weather and I only own one pair right now and I pretty much live in sweats during the winter. So an extra pair is always useful. I also picked up a backpack and a long sleeved teeshirt featuring my college football team. Its all cute and girlie in pink and grey (not the team's colors).

This week the air has stayed off. I have the windows open and in the evening, there's no need for ceiling fans.

While I'm gone this weekend, my mom & nephew will look in on the cats. I told my nephew if he plays with the kitten for 20 minutes, I'll give him a dollar Smile We'll see how that goes.

I'll be back late Sunday. Have a good weekend everyone!

Forgot my lunch

September 9th, 2008 at 07:07 pm

Packed breakfast for work, but forgot (translated into was too lazy to make) lunch. So I spent 1.03 on a salad, .55 on a soft pretzel, and .85 on baked doritos. I did have dinner at home though!

And I spent some time this evening making a large salad with pasta for lunch tomorrow.

Today, the A/C was off all day, and it rained earlier, so its nice and cool with just a tad of humidity. I am getting excited for Fall. I get this sorta nesting feeling this time of year. I want to bring out blankets and candles and prepare to snuggle Smile

Tomorrow, I am heading to my parents house after work. I'm supposed to watch my nephew for a few hours and set up my dad's new computer. I will probably get dinner out of it.

I have to prep for my camping trip. Pick up a poncho (roughly $7) since its going to rain this weekend. I'm sharing a tent with some friends (free). My share of the camp site for the weekend was $20.00. And two of the girls are going to buy food on Thursday night, so I'm looking at probably another $20.00 towards that. I am really excited to be going, even with rain!

And, I forget if I mentioned this or not, but I'm going to a wedding at the end of the month and its pretty fancy. So I went shopping last weekend for a dress. Is it me, or did all the stores stop carrying dresses except for in the juniors department? I finally found on, which I liked all right, but was pretty expensive. Well, I remembered the cute dress that I wore to my high school reunion last year and suddenly I have a dress that I love! Taking back that other one on Thursday!

No spend and No A/C

September 8th, 2008 at 06:45 pm

Today was a no spender. No a/c either. I was supposed to hang out with that guy I've been seeing, but we had some miscommunication and decided to reschedule. Truth be told, I'm not sure that we have anything going right now. He's a great guy, but I'm not feeling the chemistry.

Tonight I made all my food at home. Premade some food for tomorrow, but plan on stopping at the produce stand on my way home to stock up on salad stuff.

Also, I found the greatest drink coasters in a Pier 1 catalog. At $15.00 for a set of four, its a bit pricy for me. So I did some online research thinking that if I could find the wood bases, I could stain them, use patterned scrapbook paper and use a clear coat of sealer. But I can't find the kind of base coaster, so I'm putting that idea on hold til I can browse some craft shops. They would make great Christmas gifts.

Not so lazy Sunday

September 7th, 2008 at 07:01 pm

I ended up going to a party last night instead of staying in. Brought some drinks from my fridge as a contribution, so no out of pocket spent.

This morning, I slept in, made breakfast, lunch and dinner at home. Premade food for tomorrow. Deep cleaned the kitchen, cleaned the living room. Cleaned the upstairs bath including lots of scrubbing. Did three loads of laundry and only used the dryer once for bathmats. Hung everything else inside.

I cleaned out the closet and put together four more large bags of clothes to donate. Mostly went through old suits and dress clothes that no longer fit and are not needed in my current work situation.

I painted my toes, gave myself a facial, organized my jewelry. Played with the cats, talked to some friends, made lists of things to do and goals

And I still managed to watch some tv, take a nap, and generally enjoy myself. I feel like I got a LOT accomplished!

The A/C has been off since last night. And the best part was that today was a no spender.

A/C back on, Entertainment, Pepsi Stuff

August 31st, 2008 at 04:37 pm

Went to the movies and an early dinner with mom today. She needed some cheering up and it was well worth it, but it was spending (from my entertainment budget) that I was hoping to avoid today. Oh well.

Turned the AC back on this evening. Its very hot and humid and unlike most days in the last two weeks, I'll actually be home tonight and all day tomorrow. Might was well be comfortable.

I am working on a meal plan for the week. I'm hoping to not spend any money Monday through Thursday. No eating out, no snacks at work, no happy hours. It used to be that these days were common, but lately, I've been all over the place with my spending. Time to get back on track.

I earned a $25.00 Amazon gift certificate from a credit card that I use & pay off each time. It was a planned benefit and that gift certificate is going towards my Christmas shopping.

I also stocked up on soda at the store today. Its rare to see a sale on 12 packs at 5 for $10.00. So I stocked up. I then took the codes from the 12 packs and signed up for Pepsi Stuff for the first time. Sometime next year, I might get something free from that. Never hurts. I'm also going to ask coworkers to give me their points if they're not using them.

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