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Fun and Fairly Frugal Weekend

October 11th, 2009 at 03:21 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!!


Woman with a Plan!

October 5th, 2009 at 09:19 am

Happy Monday All!

If you haven't already noticed, I am a fan of lists and plans. Following them is always a challange though, because I don't like being told what to do. Even if I'm the one doing the telling! LOL

I have a spending plan, meal plan and workout plan for this week. While at work today, I made a little chart on paper:

MONDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym
Planned Spending: $0.50 library fine
Meals: Pasta salad/Shake N Bake Chicken
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

TUESDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym, Civic Association Meeting
Planned Spending: $8.00 groceries
Meals: Sloppy joe/Tuna Wrap
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

WEDNESDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym
Planned Spending: $0.00
Meals: Tuna sandwich/Pasta with meat sauce
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

THURSDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Park for walking, Nephew's baseball game
Planned Spending: $0.00
Meals: Salad with pasta/Soft taco
Exercise: Park 25 min walk

FRIDAY
Planned Activities: Work, Gym, Movies
Planned Spending: $10
Meals: Turkey Meatloaf Muffin/Salad with pasta
Exercise: Gym 45 minutes

SATURDAY
Planned Activities: Gym, Kennett Brewfest (beer tasting event); Spending night in West Chester
Planned Spending: $15-20 dinner
Meals: Salad & meatloaf for lunch/Dinner out with friends
Exercise: Gym 45 mins in early am.

SUNDAY
Planned Activities: West Chester Chili Cookoff
Planned Spending: $10.00 Cookoff Entrance fee, $5-10 drinks
Meals: Unknown breakfast; chili lunch, salad at home for dinner
Exercise: Walking around cookoff


In other frugal news:

- My heat is still off. I even had the windows open for a few hours yesterday.

- Most of my entertainment (other than planned events) has come in the form of books and movies borrowed from the library & new Fall shows on tv.

- I'm packing all my food for work & saving a bundle

- The addition of exercise into my routine has helped me sleep better and have more energy. Hopefully, in the near future, it will help with some of my health issues.

- The laundry I'm doing tonight will not need the dryer, so all of it will be line dried in the spare room.

Weird Weekend and More Things to do

October 4th, 2009 at 04:31 pm

Yesterday, I went to my nephew's baseball game. Spent $5 at the snack stand. Was still feeling really off and I splurged for some food & caffine to help that out.

Afterwards, instead of hitting the gym like I planned, I went home. I thought I'd take a half hour nap & then hit the gym. I laid down & slept for 3.5 hours! Crazy.

I woke up, got dressed, and made some food before heading out to the ghost tour with friends. Ticket was already paid for and someone else drove, so no spending for that even. I really enjoyed it, but it was a bit cheesy. I'd love to go back to Fort Delaware during the daytime and explore.

This morning, I woke up and headed straight to the gym. Then I headed to the grocery store & farmers market. I had a set list, and stuck to it. This pay period (30th thru 14th) I have a budget of $80 for groceries. So far, I've spent 54.97. I have $25.03 left and should be ok since the only items that I have to purchase would be perishables.

Then I came home. Suddenly, I felt really ill and a migrane came on without any warning. I must have pushed myself too hard this weekend, since Friday's migrane came back with a vengance. I have a physical scheduled later this month. I am going to have to talk to my doctor about this.


I would like to thank everyone who picked up my 5 Things. I just wanted to put out there some small goals for myself and the fact that others are joining me, helps motivate me as well as keep me accountable!

Today's 5 Things were:

1. Gym (DONE)
2. Grocery shop (stay within budget)(DONE)
3. Meal plan, pack food for tomorrow (DONE)
4. Clean kitchen (DONE)
5. Prepack library bag (to return), gym bag (DONE)

Tomorrow, my goals are to have a no spend day and to do the following:

1. Gym again
2. Clean living room
3. Laundry
4. Prapack food for Tuesday & Gym clothes
5. Return shirts to Old Navy

Great Day!

September 30th, 2009 at 06:10 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tomorrow's 5 Things are as follows:

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

Another No Spender!

September 29th, 2009 at 06:35 pm

Two no spenders in a row! I like it Smile

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

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

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

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

Tomorrow, my 5 Things are:

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

Groceries/Meal Plan

September 28th, 2009 at 11:26 am

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

Here is my meal plan for the week:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Day Off and Grocery Budget

June 12th, 2009 at 09:04 am

Today I have a day off - and I'm running errands for 1/2 & chilling for the other.

I already headed to the Farmer's market to stock up on veggies with the last $11.78 of my grocery budget for this pay period. I ended up spending $11.86, but I'm perfectly happy to go over budget Smile

I love my deals at the Farmer's market!For that amount, I was able to get the following:

- 2 bags of mixed greens (its a LOT of lettuce)
-3 cucumbers
-5 large tomatoes
-baby carrots
-3 green peppers
-mushrooms
-onion
-celery

I definately get a lot for my money & its all healthy Smile

This afternoon, I get to head to the vet with the little kitty. Expensive, but necessary Smile Poor guy is gonna hate me when I bring out the cat carrier.

Hope everyone has a good day!

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!

Grocery Budget & Meal Plan

May 17th, 2009 at 11:51 am

Strict Grocery Budget:

I have a budget & a meal plan set for this pay period, which runs 5/15 to 5/31. Basically, this covers 3 weekends and 2 work weeks.

For the most part, my budget will be spent on salad stuff, veggies & fruits as well as some dairy & grains. I have plenty of meats stocked up and will supplement meals from what’s already in the freezer and pantry!

This weekend, I plan to spend roughly $38.00 of the $74.04 grocery budget.

This will include:

Milk
Yogurt
Lettuce
Tomato
Cucumber
Celery
Onion
Bananas
Tortillas
2 types of wheat Pasta
Good Seasons dressing mix
Cheerios
2 liter soda

I plan on hitting the Acme, the produce stand and Walmart. Then not hitting another grocery until the following weekend.

Meals will be the following: Not in any order

Breakfasts:
Cheerios & milk
Fruits
Yogurt
Oatmeal
English Muffins
Breakfast potatoes

Lunches:
Salads
Pasta salad
Tuna Fish sandwiches
Meatloaf muffins
Taco Salad

Dinners:
Sloppy joe
Soft Tacos
Meatloaf
Shake N bake chicken
Pasta with meat sauce
Turkey Bacon BLT

Snacks:
Cheerios
Popcorn
Pretzel thins

And here's pic of my little boy kitty for no real reason, except he's such a sweetie! He plays fetch with the toy you see in the pic.

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!

Saturday

May 2nd, 2009 at 05:55 pm

Well, today it rained, so my nephew's baseball was cancelled, I was unable to mow the lawn & couldn't walk. So instead I went to the library, the bank, the grocery store and the farmers market.

Then I've spent the rest of the day doing stuff around the house, watching movies from the library. I declined to head to a friends for movie night and instead am having one at home by myself Smile

I'm proud that I skipped the awesome sausage sandwiches at the farmer's market, the 5 fast food places I passed while driving around, and the 2 movie stores. So no entertainment spending today & I've still had a great day!

My best purchase of the day was that I bought a flat of strawberries - roughly 12 pints - for $3.00! I've set some aside in the fridge for the next few days. I cut up the rest & froze them in individual servings to be used for smoothies & daquiries. Very yummy!

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.

Strict Budget

April 29th, 2009 at 02:48 pm

I've said before, over the last few months, my spending is out of hand. Now that I have several upcoming home expenses, I need to tighten the belt even more. So I've planned my $0.00 based budget for 4/30 to 5/14 pay period.

I've made a grocery plan, a meal plan. I have a very, very strict cash flow this pay period, so I am looking to stick with it.

My biggest challange will be grocery and entertainment spending. One thing that will help in both areas is that I am going back to doing Weight Watchers. I was following the plan loosely, but now will be 100% on plan.

In addition to planning my food out (which saves on groceries), I plan on working out a lot more. This means skipping dinner out in favor of walking Smile (free entertainment) I will also be limiting drinking as part of the plan.

Speaking of exercise, I have set a goal for myself: I plan on walking 100 miles between now and the end of August. I'll be tracking my progress here. Wish me luck!

Awesome Weather & home expense!

April 18th, 2009 at 12:43 pm

Its in the mid 70's today. After rain all week, this is great!

I went to the farmers market, which includes an outdoor flea market. Ended up picking up some huge plastic garden containers - 3 for $5.00. I'm going to put one out on the landscaping rocks of my front yard and plant a few flowers.

The other 2, I'm going to use for the tomato plants. Its time to transfer them out of their seedling pots.

Then we went inside to the produce. I came out with tomatoes, spring mix, cucumbers, celery, red potatoes, green peppers, string beans and watermelon for $13.17. Definately a good haul!

Tonight I'm going to a party at a semi-new friend's house. I'm supposed to bring veggies & dip, but I may also bring a treat of rum-soaked watermelon. Mainly because I probably won't be able to eat a 1/2 watermelon all by myself Smile

I came home, went immediately to work in the yard. Prepped the lawn mower & went to work. The wood-boring bees are back again, so was goign to take care of them myself like last year, but there is a complication. The bad news is that there was a crack in some wood on the underside of the the eave to my house and it appears that this year, they are boring into it to create their nest. The hole is now about 5 inches wide & they are digging into the insulation. Pieces are floating down to the deck. I'm going have to get someone in to get rid of the bees & to repair the wood. That's gonna cost me. UGH.

Spring Cleaning or Something Like It

March 22nd, 2009 at 05:09 pm

Today was going to be a veg, do-nothing day. But I couldn't seem to sit still. I took all the clothes in the spare bedroom, organized and listed them to take to Good Will.



Then I ran some errands, went to Acme to return the movies to redbox & pick up some milk, then dropped the clothes off at Good Will.

When I got home, I went into the basement for some organizing. I came out with a bunch of stuff to list on Craigslist & to give to goodwill. I also collapsed some boxes to be recycled. All of which is loaded up in the car & out of the house Smile

Here's part of the basement before:





And here's part of the basement after:



I planted parsley & chives and organized my plants. I'm utilizing a small table & tray table to place the plants in front of the window & move outside in nicer weather. I've also utilized (temporarily) some old mugs for some of the seeds.



I unpacked some glassware from my Aunt that had been hiding in the basement. I cleaned the kitchen, made dinner & made some meatloaf muffins to freeze.

I then decided to organize the cabinet under the sink:

Before:



After:



Whew...now im gonna pick up the living room, put away the laundry & settle in to watch the Nora Roberts movie on Lifetime at 9 Smile

Lots of Errands & Planned Spending

March 21st, 2009 at 01:59 pm

Got a lot done today. Was supposed to hang with a friend, but when she cancelled due to sickness, I decided to get a bunch of things done.

Went to the Dollar store - got some kitchen & gardening supplies - including an 8 lb bag of pottery soil. I saw it there the other day & after researching the brand online, found it to be pretty good. $10.00

Pathmark (next to dollar store) for 51 oz Olive Oil - $10.00

Local Greenhouse - $10.95 in herbs, starter plants & fertilizer (for houseplants)

Lowes - to view the seeds. Bought Lettuce Mix to try out $1.67

Safeway - Bought 5 2 liter sodas, 2 boxes Cheerios, 2 bags mixed lettuce, and 1 can Hunts Sauce - Total $9.00

Produce Stand - mushrooms, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers & strawberries - $7.83

Super G - 4 12 packs Pepsi, Good Seasons dressing $14.49

Redbox in Super G - $3.06 for 3 movies


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