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Household Frugality

October 23rd, 2015 at 04:30 pm

Our household expenses have skyrocketed lately - partially due to baby and part due to being home more. I am working hard to make every purchase be as productive as possible.

Target has a deal on toilet paper - I was able to get TWO packages of 48 Double Rolls for $29.25. They have a subscription promotion, I used my Redcard Debit card.

Then I used a $25 gift card I earned on a diaper deal from the other day. After all that, I paid $4.25 out of pocket for 96 double rolls of toilet paper. Can't beat that deal!

I also got a great deal on paper towels as well. Two Bounty Huge Rolls (set of 8)at discount for $26.59. I used a $20 gift card from my deal the other day, paying $6.59 out of pocket.

We still have $20 in Target gift cards from the Diaper deal. I am keeping an eye out for a good paper towels deal LOL

I also was notified by babies'r'us that their promotion for our Baby Registry has hit. They gave us a $169.38 gift card to use there by Feb 23, 2016. That will go a long way! We also still have $200 in BRU gift cards that we have been gifted. I hope to use them well.

Doing well with Freebies & the Free Christmas Challenge

January 14th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Lots of updates. I ran a bunch of errands today - so bunches of spending. Vet (27.99), gas (36.91), Acme,(41.52) Farmer's market(9.14) and Walmart groceries(23.86) and Walmart cat litter (5.36).

I saved $2 at the vet by pointing out a price discrepancy.

I broke out my new crockpot and made BBQ Shredded chicken for dinner tomorrow. Then headed out to my HOA meeting.

I cancelled my plans to hang out at home. I plan on doing some online points earning, laundry and cleaning. All meals were had at home Smile

I have gotten several freebies in 2012:
-2012 pocket calendar
-craft paper from 2 gift wrap rolls
-3 Kindle books (recent ones)
-$10 credit Groupon for shopping locally
-Publix wine bag
-Personalized Valentines Day card
-2 snack bags of chips
-Shoprunner 2 year membership ($79 value)
-1KB memory card

I also have really hadd a good start on my Free Christmas 2012 Challenge: $70 total

-$20 Serve.com checks
-$20 Mastercard promo
-$15 Amazon giftcards from Swagbucks
-$5 amazon giftcard from Bing Rewards
-$5 check from Synovate
-$5 Toys r us rewards

I also have pending:
-$58.15 from Cashcrate
-8,973 points with MyPoints (another 2,000 pending)
-$11.27 Inbox Dollars (need $30 to cash out)

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

Roommates, food freebies & freezer (long & probably boring)

September 30th, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Happy Friday All! It's been a stressful week and I am looking forward to some relaxing this weekend.

Today was payday, so I budgeted out everything:

In cash, I have:
$40.00 towards Wine Tour
$77.49 towards Groceries
$90.00 Entertainment spending

I paid some bills:
Mortgage
Electric
Reimbursed mom for some Halloween Decorations

And I bought Groceries
-Acme $5.49
-Farmer's Market $10.30
-Walmart $29.46

My manager let us out early (WOOO) and I was able to get all my errands done & get home by 2:30. I had time to clean my room, prep food for the wine tour tomorrow, clean the bathroom and help the new roommate move a dresser upstairs. She has her stuff here, but will start actually living here tomorrow.

Once she left, my previous roommate came by & picked up the last of her stuff. She gave me the $75.00 she owed me and the keys. I did an inspection and found that she left a couple of things:

-1/2 bottle of Pino Grigio
-1 clean tupperware bowl & lid
-a bunch of salad dressings (1/2 used)
-1/2 jar of vodka sauce
-protein shake
-1 full large, unopened bottle of V8 Splash
-3 bags of frozen mixed veggies
-1 bag frozen steamer red potatoes
-1 bag frozen broccoli
-1 lb ground turkey burgers (frozen)
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-1 bag Tyson grilled chicken strips
-2 opened 1/2 full bags of veggies

Most of it usable - I will get rid of the opened veggies (freezer burn), vodka sauce & some of the dressings - but all the freezer food is good and healthy! So Yay Freebies. I then had to move all the food around in the freeze to free up 1/2 the space for the new roomie.

And since I did that, I took a freezer inventory: (boring, I know - but its really good for planning)

-1 1/2 bags turkey pepperoni
-2 - 4packs of breaded chicken patties
-6 servings chicken breast
-4 frozen turkey burgers
-1 container lime sherbert
-4 tilapia fillets
-2 1/2 bags Morningstar crumbles
-1/2 loaf bread
-4 veggie burgers
-4 servings turkey bacon
-1 bag no sugar added strawberries
-1 bag no sugar added blueberries
-1 bag broccoli
-1 pint blueberries
-8 bagel thins
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-3 bags mixed veggies
-1 bag grilled chicken strips
-4 pack water ice
-9 meatloaf muffins
-4 servings sloppy joe
-3 cinnimon raisin bagel thins

The rest of my night will be dinner, making the rest of food for the wine tour tomorrow, cleaning up the kitchen & dusting/vaccuming the empty room. Hope everyone has a good night!

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!

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

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!

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

Out with the old, in with the new - Roommates!

January 15th, 2011 at 10:34 pm

So my roommate officially moved out yesterday. She left when I was at work, gave back all the keys & paid me what she owed me in cash. She's had a lot of drama in her life, and it didn't affect me too much, but by the end, I was just ready for her to go.

The room is clean, the bathroom is clean. She took all of her stuff, except for 2 small boxes that she put in the basement. Her parents are dropping by at some point to pick it up. I agreed to that since they live 45 mins away & she's moving wayyy out of state.

Unfortunately, she also took all but 1 roll of toilet paper. She bought the last pack of rolls, so I get that. But she even took the roll out of the downstairs bathroom!

On top of that, I noticed that she had used some of my towels & hung them to dry, but did not wash them.

And none of that is too bad compared to some of the horror stories that I have heard, but I was doing some cooking today & opened up my kitchen supplied drawer and found that she took all the bags, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, ect except for 1 set of sandwich bags & 1 thing of plastic wrap. I bought most of that stuff.

I also noticed she did not replace a baking tray she lent someone & never got back, several of my reusable water bottles are missing and she kept using my plastic containers & loosing them. So seriously? To actively take the tp off the roll?

LOL - whatever! She forgot the (new, nicer) shower head that she installed in the shower & I don't think I'm going to take it down unless she asks for it!

Tomorrow, the new roommate comes. I am doing some light cleaning today, but I'm all set up.

Today, I re-joined Weight Watchers, did some massive grocery shopping & borrowed a large crock pot from my mom. I made a big batch of baked potato soup & a batch of chicken tacos. Yumm!

Spendy, Spendy 2 Days and Weekend To Dos

December 18th, 2010 at 01:54 am

I ran a lot of errands last night & today.

I spent:

- $17.90 for groceries at Target *used a $15 gift card
- $19.66 groceries at WalMart
- $4.95 ornament from Pier One (for a gift)
- $1.98 picture enlargements for mom
- $35.01 gas
- $3.99 for catnip (present for the cats & entertainment for me. They treat it like its crack!)
- $9.34 large bad of calcium for snow
- $12.54 groceries at grocery store

*Lots of grocery shopping, because I was OUT of staples Smile

I have paid all my normal bills & I have the following amounts left in my cash (and gift card) envelopes

- $10.00 to mail a package to England
- $105.54 Christmas
- $7.01 Cat (need litter & litter bags)
- $.66 leftover calcium funds (this will go to the piggy bank)
- $79.60 Entertainment money (I am hoping to stretch this into January!
- $56.42 groceries

Unfortunately, I have a couple of Christmas items to still pick up (UGH - hate last minute shopping!!)

This weekend, I plan to:

Do an annual Christmas trek with friends. We hit 2 specific Christmas stores & enjoy the sights. We might do lunch, which would be the only money I spend there.

I need to hit a bookstore & get some gifts.

Saturday night, I plan on chilling at home & doing some cleaning. And especially doing some wrapping of presents!

Sunday, I promised 2 hours to my mom to clean wherever in her house she needs the help. After, my sister & my nephew are coming over to enjoy the real Christmas tree, make some cookies & watch a Christmas movie. I am really looking forward to it!

The roommate is still unsure when she is leaving. She got official word of the termination, but I think she has no idea what she's doing. All I know is she's paid until the 9th of January & if she needs to move - she still has to give 30 day notice again.

Lastly - I just wanted to share that I have a bunch of stuff checked out from the library at any time. I just finished Catherine Coulter's Whiplash (I like her easy books), but what I am really into is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Socity by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Its about a writer who gets a letter from a farmer on Guernesy Island in 1946, just after the Germans un-occupy the area. He had come across a book she had once owned & had her name in it. A flurry of letters commence between the author and the islanders in the society who have been cut off from the world during the whole occupation. Its really well written even with so many different voices giving their versions of events. Its something really different and I LOVE it.

Happy Saturday

October 30th, 2010 at 10:43 pm

Well, I survived my vacation from work, but had a wealth of health problems. The doctor still does not have a diagnosis for me, which is frustrating. Where is Dr. House when I need him? lol

This week was not too spendy, but today was. Yesterday was payday. I spent $20.00 on a copay to the doctor.

Today, I am having a great day health-wise, so its just a great day in general. I woke up this morning paid my loan at the bank ($98), went to another bank to meet the other members of the Homeowners Association and transfer ownership of the HOA account.

The HOA's bank is next to the Farmer's market, so I stopped there for veggies & fruit. ($15.76)

I stopped & grabbed gas ($30.44)

Afterward, I went to lunch with my folks and they paid. I gave my nephew a Halloween card with some money in it ($5.00).

We then went to my nephew's ball game & froze our butts off. The ball league was having a sale on a bunch of their stuff and there were some 2009 t shirts they were giving away for free. I took 2 in my size and intend to use them as workout or housecleaning clothes. (Yay free!)

After the game, I stopped at the library & picked up some new books. Then headed to the Dollar Tree Plus which no longer has stuff only $1.00. I got a 30 piece set of plastic containers for food storage for $5.00, a 5 pack of toothbrushes, hand soap & dish soap. ($8.00)

Now I am home and am working on a meal plan for the week. With my current health, it is really important to plan for the days when I'm too tired to cook, but still be able to remain healthy.

In unhappy news, I heard from a very reliable source that my work is looking to lay off around a third of the departments in the next 2 weeks. Its pretty scary. I really need the health insurance as well as the income. So I hope I make it through this.

Cash Budget Balances to last until the 15th:

Entertainment: $55.00
Groceries: $64.24
Cat litter: $10


And another Heat update - its still off Smile

First Day of September! (Long)

September 1st, 2010 at 02:53 pm

Welcome to September! I'm looking forward to cooler weather where I can keep my windows open and not run A/C and therefore save some money. Unfortunatley that isn't happening this week. Its in the mid to high 90s here.

Yesterday was payday, I spent 8.85 on pub night with friends (entertainment budget) and $42.19 at the grocery store to get most of my staples for this pay period (thru the 15th).

I have been working hard to make my money work for me. I paid some bills - bought gas, paid cell phone, car insurance and my cable bill with my Old Navy cc. They are doing triple rewards points and that plus the balance I already had, will yield me a $10 gc. Which I will use with another gc I already have to get some fall pants Smile I am paying the cc off as soon as the charges post to the account, which will leave a $0 balance.

I also reduced my 401k contribution (while still keeping the company match) and all that extra amount is going straight to my credit cards.

I have lowered my entertainment budget to $65 per pay period and my grocery budget is $110 for this pay period and about $70 for my next pay period. I am going to work extra hard to stay within these budgets.

I also have finagled $40 in funds to use with a $10 off $50 coupon for Lowes. I need a new basement window cover, some weather stripping, carpet tape & CFL bulbs. And purchasing all at once will save me $10 Smile

I an reinstituting my Lunch Challange for myself for September. I went off plan a little at the end of August and really want to be back on track. So my goal for Sept is to pack breakfast, lunch, & snacks 100% with 2 exceptions for the month. One exception is today where I bought a 0.55 pretzel.

I would like to state that I don't mind the lunch challange because 1. I save money 2. Its easier to stay on my WW plan and 3. I'd rather spend disposable funds on being social Smile

Finally, I plan on lowering my gym plan from 19.99/month to $10 a month. I can switch on the 24th of Sept and already have it on my calander. I also am returning a cable box that I have in my bedroom. Promo ran out & returning it will save me $9/month.

Cash Envelope Balances:
Groceries: Start $110/ Current $67.81
Entertainment: Start $65/Current $56.15
House/Lowes: $40 plus coupon
Kitty Litter: $10

Back From Vacation and a Payday!

August 14th, 2010 at 05:32 pm

I came back from my beach vacation last night. I unpacked and crashed on the couch Smile I paid cash for everything, except the room, which I put on a card. But I transferred the funds for payment to the credit card this morning.

I had a great time, we stayed in a a very nice hotel. The weather was fun, and I am reallllly relaxed. Great week!

This morning, I am right back on the frugal wagon. I sold an extra wireless router I had lying around - $20 cash. Then I stopped by my parents & brought them the sugar free fudge from the beach. They treated me to breakfast at IHOP. Thanks Mom & Dad!

I paid some bills, got some groceries and headed back home. All of this was done by noon.

I am now watching a movie and when its over, I will be doing some laundry, cleaning & decluttering. The cats definitely missed me, as they are following me room to room. And I now have 2 additions to my pet family - 2 hermit crabs. I haven't had any of these since childhood. They were a total impulse purchase. But boy, are they fun!

For my envelopes this pay period, I started with $40 for gas, $100 in grocery money (need to stock up on some stuff), $10 personal items, $5 car washing supplies and $45 in spending money). I plan on sticking with it!

I was able to turn the A/C off today. Its a little hotter than I like, but with ceiling fans, its very comfortable in here.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, I know I already am!

Groceries, Meal Plans & Lunch Challange

July 11th, 2010 at 04:15 pm

I picked up some groceries and veggies and am working a meal plan for the week. I am planning on taking breakfast, lunch & snacks to work.

I am prepacking portioned out pretzels, animal crackers, and pb crackers. I made a big bowl of pasta salad that can be taken to work easily. I have apples & bananas. There is NO reason for me to spend anything on food at all.

I meal plan, but switch meals based on what sounds good that night. But here are my meals for the week.

1. Shake N Bake chicken & potatoes
2. Pasta with spinach & ground turkey
3. Meatloaf muffin & potatoes
4. Pasta salad
5. Pasta with spinach & ground turkey
6. Sloppy joe
7. Meatloaf & veggies

Planned weekend expenses

July 9th, 2010 at 02:09 pm

I am SO glad today is Friday. Its been a long, stressful week & I need to relax.

My lunch challange has been going well. I have used up my one planned spend day. So I have to be careful to not use anymore.

Tonight, I invited some friends over to play some board games & enjoy the beer in my fridge. But its all last minute, so I don't know who/if anyone is coming yet. If nobody is, I will still have fun as I have some library movies to watch. Tonights spending will be $0

Tomorrow, I have no plans. I will be doing some grocery shopping - veggies only, with a $10 limit.

Sunday, I am watching a horror movie with a friend and her preteen kid. No money should be spent there either.

Since I put pretty much all of my cash to the car deposit, this is very good.

In addition, I have goals for my 'lazy' Saturday. Its still lazy to me, because I do things at my own pace.


-farmer's market for veggies
-laundry
-clean bedroom
-finish cleaning downstairs bath
-organize financial papers (I keep pushing this one off)
-compare homeowners insurance offers
-redo budget
-make plans for summer vacation week
-mani/pedi at home

No spender yesterday

July 5th, 2010 at 11:55 am

So yesterday was a no spender. My mom was nice enough to pick me up and take me to my friend bbq where she ended up hanging out too. Childhood friend who knows my mom well invited her. I supplied a veggie tray & tried to give money to my mom who picked up dip, but she refused. So it did end up being a no-spender.

I did not make it to the University fireworks, although some people from the party headed over. I wasn't feeling so hot, so I headed home around 9 & went to bed.

Today, I've packed breakfast (breakfast potatoes & cottage cheese), lunch (tuna on bagel thin) and snack (all bran crackers and popcorn).

I have borrowed my mom's car today, so I will be running a few errands - library, dollar store. I am pretty much stopped with spending until I deal with this car situation, but I do need a couple of things from the dollar store to hold me over.

Making Do

July 4th, 2010 at 12:56 am

Well, while I am settling finances in preperation for buying a car, I am in a self-imposed spending freeze. I bought some veggies today, but other than that, am hoping to have no spending until at least Tuesday.

This weekend, I am carless. I will mostly be at home until my mom gives me a ride to a bbq tomorrow (in her neighborhood) and I will borrow her car tomorrow night to get to work Monday.

However, life happens & I had to find ways to make due.

1. I have a problem with the kitchen sink. My dad has promised to come over Tuesday night & help me fix it. In the meantime, it will drain small streams of water, but clogs the second a larger stream happens.

I have been handwashing dishes, then rinsing in a big mixing bowl. Then pouring the water in the bowl into my downstairs bathroom sink. Its not pretty, but it works.

2. My tomato plant is growing & I needed to stake it. Howver, I have no plant ties or twisty ties or anything like that. So I used gift ribbon. Its kinda pretty to be honest Smile



3. I am bringing a veggie tray to the bbq tomorrow and in addition, I wanted to bring a gift. So I am portioning off some of my mint & giving that as a gift. The host loves plants & recently gave me some aloe, so I know she will appreciate this.

4. I wanted a plant stand to put my Meyer Lemon tree nearer to the window. I re-used an old ikea table that was down the basement. Works perfectly!

Tons of Stuff Done Before Noon & Food Inventory

June 26th, 2010 at 04:43 pm

Well, its in the 90s today & has been since about 10am. Ugh. Good thing I woke up early this morning. I went & ran my errands - Grocery store #1 for ground turkey, Farmer's market for fruits/veggies, Walmart for cat litter, the bank, and gas station. I also picked up a few movies from Redbox at $1/day, its a good deal!

I came home & put a chicken breast covered in chicken broth in my mini-crockpot. Perfect for single size & I plan to shred the chicken and put hot sauce in it for some buffalo chicken salad later.

After that, I have taped off & painted the bathroom ceiling. It will need a second coat, which I hope to get to late this evening.

The new roommate is working out well. Apparently she will rarely be around on weekends. She left last night & won't be back until Sunday evening. She finally did some grocery shopping and with her stuff now in the pantry, fridge & freezer, I thought it would be a good time to take inventory & make meal plans to use up some of the older (and the new) food.

Forgive me if this is dull for you, I just wanted to lay the list out there - it does not include condiments and/or spices.

Freezer -
2 fudge pops
1 and a half packs turkey pepperoni
2c frozen strawberries
1 pint blueberries
5 servings sloppy joe
1/2 loaf wheat bread
8 bagel thins
1 banana
2 packs diced chicken for salad
12 meatloaf muffins
1 lb chicken breasts - need to invite family over to use up
3 flat out wraps
6 individual serving chicken breasts
1 lean cuisine

Fridge -
1 pitcher water
1 pitcher pink lemonade
lots of beer (leftover from party)
pasta sauce
salad fixings
plum tomatoes to make homemade bruschetta
cottage cheese
3 individual puddings
grapes
3 bananas
spinach
snap peas
scallions
Weight Watcher mexican cheese
1 lb ground turkey - to be browned with onion & frozen in individual servings

Pantry -
pasta sauce
pretzel chips
pasta - penne, spaghetti & shells
fat free croutons
popcorn
peanut butter
sugar free jam
ff chicken broth
diced tomatoes
green beans (2 cans)
canned pears
tuna pack
4 cans tuna
shake n bake
stovetop stuffing

Weekend $$$ Plans

June 25th, 2010 at 01:21 am

I have a tight budget for the weekend. I'm going to a girls only product party Friday night. I have $20 and a bottle of wine (recycled gift). I will buy 1 small item to support my friend, but thats it. Afterwards, I'm staying behind and we (my friend, her daughter & I are watching a horror movie).

Saturday & Sunday, I have absolutely NO plans. My goals are:

1. Walk or hit the gym each day (FREE)
2. Finish painting the downstairs bath - have to paint the ceiling (FREE - have all the supplies)
3. Put up toilet paper & towel racks as well as mirror in downstairs bath (FREE - already purchased)
3. Replant some basil plants from medium to larger pots (FREE- reusing pots, using leftover soil)
4. Clean the house (FREE)
5. Grocery shop - Budgeted
6. Hit Barnes & Noble - still have not spent my gift card & I want to pick up the new Janet Evanovich book if its out (FREE with bday gift card)
7. Watch movies from library (FREE)
8. Read books from library (FREE)
9. Make a few new recipes (FREE-ish)
10. Organize all the junk in my bedroom closet (FREE)

Recovering this morning :)

June 6th, 2010 at 02:36 pm

Last night was a blast. One friend bailed, but the other & I went out and had an awesome time!

I provided snacks ahead of time. Made my own bruschetta with stuff from my garden & the farmer's market. And put out some crackers & had beer leftover from the party. So we had a pre-event party with no money (outside normal groceries) spent, nice!

The event itself was awesome! We had a great time and had a few beers and split some fries. With tip, I spent $31.48. So I went over my entertainment budget for this month, but took $5.00 from my grocery budget, so I now have $0.08 to last me until the 15th. This should be fun!

I'm going to put up a couple of things on craigslist. If I get extra money, then I can use 1/2 for entertainment!

Today will be a lazy day. I plan on taking a walk, doing some laundry, and prepping food for this week's lunches. All will be free!

Payday Tomorrow - New budget

May 13th, 2010 at 11:48 pm

Payday is tomorrow & I've already made my $0 based budget. Outside my normal montly bills, I have variable spending in the following catagories:

$45.00 gas
$129.50 groceries (need a good stock-up)
$50.13 entertainment
$26.00 Communion gift
$8.00 misc cheer up gift for a friend

Its going to be a tight month and I'm going to have to get creative with my entertainment. This budget takes me through to the end of the month.

I have 2 work happy hours, 1 friends happy hour, 3 or 4 of my nephew's ballgames, a wine tasting and a movie to fit into that entertainment budget. Should be fun! Luckily the baseball games are free. That helps.

Tomorrow is Friday - I've already packed breakfast & lunch. After work, I will be hitting the library, the dollar store & the grocery store. Then home for an evening in.

Saturday, I'm going to my nephew's ball game, then driving 2 hours to a Communion party, driving 2 hours back home and going to a housewarming. I already have a gift for that.

Sunday will be for the gym ($0), the farmer's market, the other grocery store & cleaning.

I have Monday off work and will be cleaning & organizing the house, hitting the gym and heading to my nephew's ball game that night.

I am hoping to list a few items on Craigslist this weekend as well. Any extra income will be welcome!

Other updates:
Heat went back off at hte house this morning.
Lunch challange is still going strong
Still looking for the roommate

Changed my blog name - and hello again!

April 27th, 2010 at 01:06 pm

Hi All! I changed my blog name from HouseHopeful to HouseHappy. Since I've owned my home for 3.5 years, I figured its time to update! haha

Today is my 31st Birthday. I have the day off. I plan on doing some cleaning (to recover from the HUGE party I threw Saturday) and some much needed laundry. I'm going to hang around the house and just enjoy the day.

I do have to head out to get a new drivers lisence ($25.00) and plan on picking myself up a birthday lunch (estimated $10.00) and heading to the local veggie stand to pick up some fruits/veggies (est $12.00)

Tonight I'm meeting friends at our normal Tuesday night out and having some fun (estimated $20.00). So today will be spendy.

Tomorrow, I will be heading back to work after a 5 day weekend. Two of my coworkers and I are starting a challange in May to bring our lunches. I definitely need to do that, which will help with getting back on track with my Weight Watchers and my budget.

Hope everyone is doing well!

HH

Raise/benefits, roommate & part time job Stuff

February 6th, 2010 at 10:48 pm

Well, I've never really put it out there, but here goes. I got a raise & my new annual salary is $41,000.00.

Per my work information, the company's estimated yearly cost of benefits are as follows:

Retirement $1325.83
401k Match $2328
Health & Income Protection: $3817.20
Social Security & Medicare: $3037.05

TOTAL: $10,508.08

So, my total annual compensation is roughly $51.5k.

I also get tax breaks for using my HSA which arent counted in this.

So I guess I'm not doing too bad. But one of my financial goals for this year is to look for a new position in or outside of my company that will challange me more (as well as pay more! lol).

------------------------------------

So I re-started at the part time job last night. We were sent home an hour early, so only worked 3.25 hours. Today I would have worked 8.5, but no work due the snow. So now, my 12 hour week turned into 3.25 Smile

This week (starting tomorrow), I'm scheduled 16 hours. Then 12 hours the following week.

I like the 12-16 hours. Definately do not want to be working the 20+ that I was during the holiday season.

--------------------------------------

As for the roommate. He'll have been here 1 month this week. Paid when agreed, is neat and courteous. He stays up in his room most of the time, but he's starting to come out of his shell. This is definately working out!

When he pays me on the 9th (the agreed upon date based on the day he moved in), I will be taking the $487 and putting:

$91.30 to pay off the vet bill.
$45.00 to home repairs
$82.00 to increased utilities fund (includes the comcast upgrade he asked for)
$39.17 to pay myself back for a grocery splurge
$229.53 to the credit card.

Been a while

February 2nd, 2010 at 02:13 am

January was not my best month Smile But I'm working on February!

I had a party Saturday - spent about $22 on food and jello shots. It was BYOB. We played board games, friends brought additional food and we all had a GREAT time.

I started the month off with a No-Spender! Tomorrow, I'm taking a sick day & have a doctors appointment ($20 copay) and who knows what'll come after that.

I do plan on picking up some groceries ($15)

I have a dinner party to go to tomorrow night. I'm taking free wine from home and a veggie tray. I already have the veggies (bought Sat) and I just have to pick up some dip (< $5.00)

Wednesday I'm hanging at a friend's house - FREE

Thursday, I have a semi-date. I'm not sure what we're doing yet. But I'm sure there will be some money spent.

I start the part-time job back Friday, working 6-10:30, then 1-10 Sat & 12-4 Sunday. I'm going to avg between 12 & 16 hours per week - NICE

My Feb goals are to actually follow through with my 2010 goals. The only financial ones for Jan that I actually followed were track 100% & keep part time job.

So for Feb:
1. Continue to track spending
2. Pack lunch 90% of month
3. At least 8 no spenders
4. Gym 3 times a week
5. Take meds daily
6. Follow Weight watchers (REALLY!)

Had a decent weekend, not so good Monday

November 17th, 2009 at 03:21 am

Friday night I stayed in and just rested. I ran around a lot last week and just needed to rest.

Saturday, I went to that friend's book signing. I'm really proud of him. There were a dozen authors/artists at the signing (it was a compilation of short stories for the 30th anniversary of a locally owned bookstore). $18.00 for the book and I managed not to come home with any more than the one Smile

Saturday night, I went out for a friend's birthday. We had fun, but I spent more than I had planned. But not by much.

Yesterday, I got new tires, was told I need a car repair to the tune of $200.00. They didnt try to sell me on getting it done yesterday, so I doubt that they're scamming me. I spent $8 for lunch with mom and around $300 on the tires. Then I went to 2 grocery stores, the dollar store & Kohl's. I got a bunch of groceries and some stuff for Christmas.

Then last night, I organized/prepped my food for the week and watched some old movies borrowed from the library. I'm on a Marilyn Monroe kick right now.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to repeat my $3.00 night out at the pub. I plan on only going for an hour & only taking a little cash with me.

Oh and a bonus - the weather's been awesome here. Heat only kicked on one night last week. Yesterday & today, my living room has been 68-70. Yay for any extra time with the heat off!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I had a ton of problems at work today. Not with work itself, but a system transition that cost me 3 hours of time. I ended up staying a half hour late to finish a project. Booo. I don't get OT, so this time will be comped on Thursday.

After work, I did some grocery shopping at a store right around the corner from work. I skipped the gym and headed home.

Today's 5 Things:
1. Grocery store (DONE)
2. Brown ground turkey with onion, separate into servings & freeze (DONE)
3. Clean kitchen/sweep floor (DONE)
4. Pick up living room (will vaccum tomorrow) (DONE)
5. List 2 items on Craigslist (DONE)

Happy Friday!

November 13th, 2009 at 08:19 pm

Hello All, Happy Friday! Today is a no-spender, but the rest of this weekend is going to be spendy. I've got a book signing and birthday party tomorrow. And then my mom & I are driving about 30 mins to get me some new tires at her previous place of work. They're having an employee sale and I'll get 20% off. We'll wait around while the work's being done & maybe hit a movie. I haven't had any mom time in a while, so it'll be worth it.

I have been working on a grocery list/meal plan. My pantry and fridge are very bare. I do have some foods frozen, but even the freezer looks empty. However, I'm working with a tight grocery budget. I found some extra funds and have the grocery budget set at $100 for the 17 day pay period.

This is the meal plan through next Friday:

Tonight:
Dinner -Meatloaf & baked fries
Saturday:
Lunch - Cucumber salad & tuna wrap
Dinner - Pasta with meat sauce and Cucumber salad
Sunday:
Lunch - Big salad, Tuna wrap
Dinner - Shake n bake chicken, potatoes
Monday:
Lunch - Buffalo chicken salad w/ Blue cheese
Dinner - Taco wrap w/ green beans
Tuesday:
Lunch - Meatloaf and salad
Dinner - Turkey bacon BLT & salad
Wednesday:
Lunch - BLT and salad
Dinner: Pasta with meatsauce, garlic bread
Thursday:
Lunch - Sloppy joe over pasta
Dinner - Buffalo Shake N bake chicken, salad
Friday:
Lunch - Tuna wrap and salad
Dinner: Baked Potato soup, BLT

Updates

November 10th, 2009 at 03:47 am

- Well, I had a stone hit my windshield last week and I was able to have someone come right to the house & fix it this weekend. Never had that happen before, so I'm not too sure about the work done. The crack is very much better, but there still is an indent in the windshield. Anyone know if that is normal? I'll be doing some research tomorrow.

- We received an email from work that based on the changes in the economy and the way our company has worked together, we'll be receiving a $500.00 bonus that will be added to our 401k. YAY Smile

- I stayed within my grocery budget for this pay period. I have $3.80 left & I only need some milk, which will be $1.78. Woohoo!

- I did NOT stay within my entertainment budget. I added $20 to it from other budget catagories when I realized that $38.61 was a little unreasonable Smile I HAVE stayed within the $58.61 amount and I'm pretty happy with the result.

- So basically, I have $2.00 that I will use for milk and $6.00 for a beer after work tomorrow with friends. The overage in budget catagories will roll over into next paycheck's budget.

- This next pay period is going to be TIGHT. I have a good friend who is an artist (not his main occupation, but is his true calling). He has a drawing being published in a book and there will be a book signing this Saturday. I want to support him and buy the book, but its $18.95, so I'm gonna have to wiggle that right into my budget.

- I did 2 loads of laundry today, used the dryer only once.

- The heat has been off the last 2 days, but the good weather will not probably last long. Whatever, every little bit helps Smile

- I have not put any items up on craigslist yet. This will be my goal for the weekend! I need the extra cash and I have a few good items - desk, wireless router, small ikea tables, extra plastic storage bins.

Today's 5 Things were:

1. Laundry (DONE)
2. Clear out/organize emails (DONE)
3. Start Christmas shopping (DONE)
4. Give the plants a little TLC (DONE)
5. Hit the gym, dinner at home & prepack food for tomorrow (DONE). (I made this one item since its pretty routine a few days a week! lol).

Fun and Fairly Frugal Weekend

October 11th, 2009 at 10:21 pm

I had a GREAT weekend. Friday night I went to the movies with friends. We saw Zombieland, which was very funny. One friend had free movie passes & refused to let me reinburse her, so I splurged and bought us sodas as a treat ($5.00).

Saturday, I hit the gym, then packed & drove up to a friend's house in the center of West Chester, PA. About an hour drive through some pretty areas, which I enjoyed.

A group of us had tickets to a Brewfest. 40+ breweries to sample. We had great weather and we able to walk around tasting beer for a few hours.

Here's a pick of just a bit of the crowd.



That night, we ordered pizza (my share, $4.00) and stayed in and played games & watched movies. I spent the night and today, we met up with another friend to walk to the local Chili Cookoff 1 block from their house.

68 different groups participated. $10.00 for a wristband and unlimited chili tasing options. Weather was great again and I enjoyed being outside on one of the possible last good weather days of the season. The only other spending was for a fresh lemonade ($3.00) and for a Phillies tee-shirt ($10.00). This has been on my to-buy list for a while & they had cute shirts for a great price.

Here's a view of the tents & crowd.



The tents were run by local businesses and groups and a few had themes.





On my way home today, I stopped at Sears to return a dress (29.99 return). I went to the farmer's market for fresh veggies (4.15) and Walmart for other groceries (6.26).

I am now doing laundry (which I find kinda relaxing). I'm making dinner at home & lunch for tomorrow. Then I'm putting my feet up for the rest of the night.

I hope everyone had as good a weekend as I did!!



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