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Day 2 May Lunch Challange & a No Spender

May 5th, 2010 at 02:06 am

Today was Day 2 of the Lunch Challange: Sucess!

Packed breakfast, lunch, snacks & 1 soda. Today ended up being a no spender. I'm hoping tomorrow will be too, but maybe not as I need a quick veggie run for salad stuff.

I had a homeowners informational meeting tonight (go me as VP). we're discussing some law changes that govern our maintenance organization. This is one of three meetings.

Today's Meals:

Breakfast: Granola & cottage Cheese
Snack: popcorn
Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: Salad with tuna
Snack: rest of popcorn

Tomorrow, I'm going to my nephews baseball game. Will eat dinner at home first and take a snack/drink with me.

Thursday night is the last HOA meeting
Friday will be movie night at a friends
Saturday I am going to a party, but have leftover beer from my fridge to bring.
Sunday I am walking the Breast Cancer walk in Philly. Already paid for - but I'll need to buy gas. Afterwards, I'll be taking my mom out for Mother's Day.

Todays 5 Things:
1. Call comcast
2. Library drop off
3. HOA meeting
4. Pack lunches
5. Catch up on personal email

Part Time Job, a little spending

December 1st, 2009 at 11:46 pm

Well, knocked a couple of things off on my financial To Do list.

- I listed a few things on Craiglist last night. I have interest in 3-4 items & hope to get rid of them by Saturday.
- I put an ad on Craiglist offering my room for rent. Have 2 potentials and hopefully I can meet them in the next week
- I had an interview for a part-time seasonal job at a chain store at the mall. AND I got the job! Smile Its gonna be crazy busy, but I could use the extra money. I think I got the last nights/weekends position that they had! Lucky me Smile

I'm trying to control unnecessary spending, but I HATE curbing my social activities. So I'm just trying to be smart about them.

Tonight, I have my homeowners association meeting. (We're ordering pizza, so I'll chip in $5). Then I'm meeting friends for a quick drink ($3? just one drink, really!!). I already made lunches for tomorrow & Thursday because tomorrow night I'll be busy.

My friend's birthday is tomorrow. We'll be going out with friends for her birthday. Dinner & drinks out (approx $15), so there will be spending. So then she'd going to crash at my house (I'm the DD), since she works here, but lives 40 minutes away.

Thursday night is book club. I'll have one beer (approx $6). Friday night, I'm definately staying in.

Saturday night I promised a friend I'd be his plus 1 for his work's holiday party. I know a bunch of his coworkers, so it should be fun. And I get free food/drink. Probably will tip a bit at the complimentary bar ($5?), but that should be it.

Sunday night, my mom, sister & I are going to a play. My mom gifted us the tickets. She'll probably want to do dinner out before or after, but I'm probably going to pass. I'm spending the morning cleaning her house for her (as a gift) and I really want the evening to prepare for the next week.

Speaking of that next week. I have orientation and training for the part time job Monday through Wednesday!

I'm going to have to plan well so that I have food for breakfast lunch & dinner & don't spend extra money eating out!

And on a good note, my heat hasn't been kicking in much at all!

Today's Spending

November 23rd, 2009 at 11:28 pm

$0.55 for a soft pretzel. I was extra hungry today. I also need to restock my snack stash in my work desk Smile

I hit the library after work (free), then the gym (no spending today there), then straight home. I'm about to start dinner: Penne pasta with ground turkey & fresh basil. YUMMM Smile

I have a loose mealplan for the week. All flexible. I won't get much in the way of leftovers, but am planning on buying a turkey & cooking it over the weekend or next week for myself and freezing the extras. Should last me a LONG time!

And as a side note, the weather was so nice this weekend, I was able to have the windows open on Friday. Heat didn't kick back in until last night. Its a nice 64 degrees in the living room. After dinner, I'm spending the night under a blanket & infront of a tv! lol

Today's 5 Things:
1. Library
2. Gym
3. Cook dinner & pack food for tomorrow
4. Pack car with stuff for goodwill
5. Budget for 11/30

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:

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

No Spender! New Budget

November 13th, 2009 at 04:33 am

Today was a No Spender. Yay! Its cold and rainy here and all I want to do is curl up under a blanket. But instead, I managed to get myself to the gym, make dinner and pack food for tomorrow. Thats something at least Smile

Being cold and rainy, the heats kicking in at night. I set it at 64 during the night last night and 62 while at work. Normally, I'm not comfy unless its 66 at least, but I sucked it up and layered and kept the heat at 64 tonight. The problem really isn't layers for me, its my sinuses. So I know I won't be able to do 64 for forever Frown

Tomorrow is payday. I will have 3 weekends in this pay period, so its a little longer than normal. My entertainment budget is going to be tight. I have a book signing for a friend on Saturday. This is a big deal and I'm totally willing to support him by purchasing the book ($18). Then I have another friend's bowling & bar birthday bash that night. I'm hoping to make it out of that night on $20. We'll see how it goes.

I'm working on Christmas gifts. I also have the one friends birthday on Saturday and another's the first week of December. So I'm going to be looking for deals this weekend! I know there's some super clearance stuff at Kohl's and I've been using free prints from Snapfish to frame for gifts too.

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays

October 13th, 2009 at 12:23 am

Well, its Monday. I SO can't wait until Friday comes around again!

Today, I skipped the gym and have been chilling at home. We had a big temperature drop today & I'm snuggled up in fleece pants and long sleeve tee & sweater. I'm still hoping to keep the heat off for a while. When I go to bed tonight, I'm putting the down comforter on the bed.

I had a no spender. Packed cheerios for breakfast & pasta salad for lunch. Made a really yummy dinner and have already pre-packed breakfast and lunch for tomorrow.

I did accomplish my 5 Things Today:

1. Reconcile Spending/Budget (DONE)
2. Clear out email Inbox (DONE)
3. Clean kitchen (DONE)
4. Put away laundry (DONE)
5. Plan Meals for this week (DONE)

Meal Plan:

Lunch: Pasta Salad
Dinner: Farfalle with tomato sauce

Lunch: Salad with pasta, soup
Dinner: Taco wrap

Lunch: Cucumber salad, meatloaf muffin, soup
Dinner: Sloppy joe

Lunch: Salad, meatloaf muffin
Dinner: To be Determined (eating at parents)

Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: To be determined (possibly eating out)

And I can't believe that NOBODY commented about the dudes in coconut bras in my last post. That was funny to see in person!

Woman with a Plan!

October 5th, 2009 at 04:19 pm

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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 11:31 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!

October 1st, 2009 at 01:10 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tomorrow's 5 Things are as follows:

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

Another No Spender!

September 30th, 2009 at 01:35 am

Two no spenders in a row! I like it Smile

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

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

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

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

Tomorrow, my 5 Things are:

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

Groceries/Meal Plan

September 28th, 2009 at 06:26 pm

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

Here is my meal plan for the week:

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

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

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

Lunch: Sloppy joe over pasta
Dinner: Tuna wrap

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

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

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

Sick Again and a Not-So-Smart Money Decision

September 13th, 2009 at 04:03 pm

Sorry this is going to be long...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ready for Tomorrow

August 9th, 2009 at 10:59 pm

In an effort to continue getting back on track, I've packed food for work tomorrow. I'm also recommitting to Weight Watchers and can't wait to get started.

I've prepacked:

Breakfast: Cheerios & milk
Snack: Banana
Lunch: Pasta salad
Snack: Apple and peanut butter

I also have a bottle for water & 1 diet soda. There should be NO food spending tomorrow. Although, I do have to get gas and some groceries tomorrow.

Tonight I'm enjoying some movies that I already own, a book from the library and the big thunderstorm outside. All free things!

Limiting spending on groceries and entertainment

May 29th, 2009 at 11:47 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 08:45 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 06:51 pm

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:

2 types of wheat Pasta
Good Seasons dressing mix
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

Cheerios & milk
English Muffins
Breakfast potatoes

Pasta salad
Tuna Fish sandwiches
Meatloaf muffins
Taco Salad

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

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 09:18 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!

Full Week of Packing Lunch

May 8th, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Yay! I've made it through the first week of my Lunch Challange. As far as I know, my friend is packing his food today & will be on track as well.

I've managed to pack breakfasts, lunches, snacks & drinks for work. Now that I've gotten used to it again, its pretty easy Smile

Tonight I'm doing happy hour with some friends. I think we're going to a place with a free taco bar as part of the happy hour. I'm going to try to keep my spending to 1 drink and then get my free taco dinner Smile

Tomorrow should be a no spender. I'm having a movie day with friends. I'm supplying movies that I already own - The Usual Suspects and Suicide Kings. We're bringing our own snacks and just plan to enjoy each other's company. Should be a fun day!

Sunday, I'm walking in the Philadelphia Breast Cancer Walk. We have to get up really, really early to get there on time. I have to fill the car up with gas, but we're packing breakfast for the car ride & the walk organizers supply us with water & snacks there. So really, this should be a low spending weekend.

Lol - lunch challange postponed on Day 1

May 2nd, 2009 at 02:38 am

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.

Work Food Challange

May 1st, 2009 at 02:08 am

My friend & I were talking about money being tight due to additional expenses. Car repairs for him, home expenses for me.
So I challanged him to pack his lunches/snacks instead of buying. I said we could do it starting tomorrow, all the way to the 15th of the month.

He seemed interested, but then also said he's probably going to fail. I'm hoping he'll change his mind. And it made me determined to complete the task just to show him its doable.

I've challanged myself in the past and would do it for a week or two, but then fall off the wagon. Not this time though, cause I want to prove to him and myself that I can do it Smile

In other news, I took a few minutes today to think of free or low cost ways to entertain myself this weekend. I've kept the weekend plans free as I've been doing a LOT of socializing lately and just wanted a low-key weekend to myself.

So this weekend I plan to have fun & get stuff done off my to-do list:

1. Perform maintenance on my lawn mower.
2. Mow the lawn
3. Pull weeds, trim the shrub
4. Clean out my car
5. List & take stuff to Good Will
6. Clean the house top to bottom
7. Hit the library for books and movies
8. Walk in the park, at least 2 times.
9. Do my nails
10. Go through photos that I collected from my Aunt's house after she passed
11. Hit the farmers market for produce
12. Go to nephew's Little League game
13. Visit friends at their house Saturday night
14. Try a new recipe for dinner Sunday

Strict Budget

April 29th, 2009 at 09:48 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!

Plugging Along

April 7th, 2009 at 12:33 am

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 16th, 2009 at 01:04 am

After I had lunch with my friends, I lounged for a bit and then got cleaning. I had cleaned the kitchen & living room (the downstairs) for the guests, but the upstairs was a disaster. So I cleaned the bathroom, the bedroom and the hall. The only place I did not completely get to is the spare room, which will be completed this week.

I made dinner & cleaned up the kitchen again. And now I'm beat Smile

I did pack food for tomorrow, a mish-mash of things I had in the fridge/pantry. So tomorrow, I'll have 2 apples, oatmeal, carrots, pasta salad and sloppy joe over pasta. LOL. I WILL be going to the grocery store tomorrow.

St Patty's Weekend

March 15th, 2009 at 08:36 pm

Yesterday I was up and in the city at 10am for the St Patty's Day Parade, of which I saw none of Smile My friend was pouring beer at a local church and there was tailgating in the parking lots around the church.

We were there til 3. I paid $10.00 for a mug and had unlimited 'free' beer. Then we went to a local pizza place and between the group, split 3 pizzas and fries. Total out of pocket for the day: $23.00.

Today I had some college friends and their baby over for lunch. Used chicken from the freezer, potatoes & made some pasta salad. So no spending today.

I'll have to do some grocery shopping tomorrow now. I'm out of veggies!

Here's an updated list of my Freezer Foods. I'm working on my meal plan now

1 wheat wrap
5 wheat pitas
3/4 Loaf wheat bread
1/4 loaf rye bread
4 Blueberry/banana muffins

4 bananas
4 pints blueberries

5 servings Sloppy Joe
1 package turkey pepperoni
5 servings Bacon
3 servings Meatloaf Muffin
6 servings Ground Turkey and onion
4 servings London Broil
5 servings Chicken Fajita
5 servings Taco meat
11 servings Morningstar Chick'n
6 servings Chicken Breasts

1 bag Breakfast Potatoes

Sick... again.

March 10th, 2009 at 01:33 am

Well, I keep getting the same thing over & over. I plan on getting to the drs if possible. I know I'll need an antibiotic. Fun.

Tonight I was all set to do a bunch of stuff on my to do list. Instead I watched 2 free Redbox movies - Death Race & Quarantine, took a nap, played on the computer and ate noodles with butter (my fave sick food).

I just got an urge to do something. So instead of doing the many things off my to-do list, I made pizza. First time making the dough from scratch. And technically, its not really pizza.

I made the dough thicker than the recipe called for and am waiting for it to cook a little longer. I put on tomato sauce, doctored it up with spices, loaded on the garlic - real, not powder. And skipped the cheese. Its more of a quick tomato pie than pizza, but its going to be an awesome snack & leftovers will go with dinner tomorrow.

Walking the Walk

March 8th, 2009 at 06:26 pm

So lately I've been doing a lot of talking about being super frugal because of some increased expenses, but then I go and buy paintings for the living room. And I've way overspent in my entertainment again this pay period.

Well, I'm finally going to walk the walk, since I've been doing plenty of talk the talk.

Last week week I:

-Worked to decrease my electric/gas bills. The weather is helping as my heat has been off for 2 days. Hope this warm weather streak lasts.

-Negotiated a new deal with Comcast to keep the services I have within $5.00 of where they were before the promo rate expired. Its only good for 6 months, so I set a reminder to myself to call in September.

-Organized all my paperwork. Perminantly filing all 2008 information. Keeping the temporary files open for 2009

-Packed lunches all but 2 days. One was a work outing lunch and the other was becuase I was really ill and barely made it into work at all that day.

-I set up a meal plan and am using freezer meals

-Did my taxes and found out that I'm getting a decent state refund. It cancels out most of my amount owed to Federal. (YAY). All adjustments have been made so that I will NOT owe next year.

This week I am:

-Instituting no spending except for the following expected expenses:
- $15.00 milk, yogurt, produce
- $10.00 Night out with friends on Monday
- $10.00 much needed toiletries

-Packing breakfast & lunch. Having dinner at home

-Putting items up on Craigslist as part of my March To-Do list

-Updating my account/password list to be included in my In Case of Emergency file.

More on Meal Planning

March 2nd, 2009 at 03:39 am

I've been thinking about meal planning a lot lately. So I've decided to add a running tab of meats/meal starters in my freezer to remind me to utilize what I already have instead of wasting food. I'm putting it up in my side bar and will update it at least once a week. This will not include 100% of whats in my freezer and will not include whats in the fridge and pantry.

Tonight I had 1 serving of Meatloaf muffins and have 1 in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch.

The freezer currently has:

10 Servings Meatloaf Muffins
5 Servings Taco Meat
12 Servings Chicken
6 Servings Sloppy Joe
6 Servings cooked Ground Turkey w/ Onion
5 Servings Turkey Bacon
6 Servings Morningstar Chick'n
2 Servings Morningstar Crumbles
4 Servings London Broil
8 Servings Frozen chicken breasts

Groceries and Food

March 1st, 2009 at 02:24 am

Today was a good day. I slept in, met up with a friend and went for a walk. It was chilly, but I'm really glad we went. Good to work out some stress!

After the walk, I went grocery shopping. Got a great deal on chicken tenders and ground turkey and came home with several pounds worth of each.

Being single, its hard to make meals without wasting food. So I utilize the freezer an awful lot. Including storing veggies, fruit & bread.

This afternoon, I made up sloppy joe with 1 pound of the ground turkey and divided it into 6 portions. Next, I browned 1 pound ground turkey with onion and made taco meat, which I portioned out into 5 containers.

The remaining pound of ground turkey went into the fridge to be made into meatloaf tomorrow. I would have done that today as well, but I forgot to pick up eggs at the store.

Then I took the 3 pounds of chicken tenders and divided them up into 13 portions. 12 were frozen and one was used to make buffalo breaded chicken for dinner.

Then I cleaned out the freezer. Unfortunately, there was some wasted food to be tossed. But now, I can easily see what I have in there, so at least thats something.

I have plenty of meals in the freezer, so for the next two weeks, any grocery purchases are going to be fruits, veggies & dairy.

Here's a small list of meal starters in the freezer:

Taco meat - 5 portions
Chicken tenders - 12 portions
Sloppy Joe - 6 portions
Precooked ground turkey with onions - 6 portions
Turkey Bacon - 5 portions
MorningStar Chick'n - 6 portions
MorningStar Crumbles - 2 portions
1 loaf wheat bread
1 loaf rye bread

So here's a rough idea of my meal plan for the upcoming week:


Monday: Meatloaf muffins
Tuesday: Pasta w/ ground turkey sauce
Wednesday: Sloppy joe w/ pasta
Thursday: Shake N Bake Chicken
Friday: BLT

Doing well this week

February 12th, 2009 at 02:25 am

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 8th, 2009 at 02:18 am

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

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