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Food Frugality!

March 9th, 2016 at 11:51 am

We are hoping to sell our house & buy new this year. Unfortunately, I (single at the time) bought the house at the higher end of the market and the neighborhood has changed a lot and we are not sure how much we'll be able to sell the house for (we may take a small loss).

Because of this, and other expenses lately, we are buckling down on spending. Today, I have gotten a LOT of freebies at work and I am a happy camper.

My manager keeps a snack pile for the team - I grabbed a small bag of popcorn and a piece of candy today.

I packed my breakfast/lunch/snack:

Tuna & crackers, pasta salad, tomatoes & oil/vinegar/herb dressing.

I brought a water bottle and had a stash of soda at my desk. I also splurged on Snapples at the grocery store yesterday - 2 - 12 packs for $13.99. So for $0.58 each I can have a treat once in a while. I brought a few to keep at my desk at work. When I want a treat - I put it in the work fridge to chill.

About an hour before my shift ends, we got an email that a work meeting had a ton of leftovers & they were providing to-go containers if any of my group wanted to take some home. I got a piece of crusted chicken, some beef, potatoes and fruit salad. That and a bottle of water. The food, plus leftovers in the fridge will cover my husband & I for dinner tonight. Can't beat that!

I am thinking of restarting my Lunch Challange - so today is the 1st day of it. I spent nothing and packed or received free food today.

Since today is the 9th and I have 16 more work days in the month, (3 of which will be remote work), I am pledging to pack breakfast, lunch & snack for 15 of those 16 days. Wish me luck!

Updates, Updates, Updates

October 19th, 2011 at 07:14 pm

Today was a no spender (yay). I packed food for work, went looking for a Halloween costume (no luck yet), went to kickboxing to find out that my training session was cancelled. The guy rescheduled the session and gave me 2 more classes for free. Great customer service!

I have several financial goals for this week:

-Budget out entertainment spending between now & the 31st.
-Stick to grocery budget
-Eat in as much as possible
-Finalize Medical Plan choices
-Make new monthly budget
-Put up more items on Craigslist
-Finish most of Christmas shopping
-Start figuring budget for sister's wedding & 2 other weddings I will be attending in 2012 plus another one I will be attending in 2013.

The air has been off, windows open & although its cool in evenings - no heat is needed yet (WOOHOO)

Back from Germany!

September 25th, 2011 at 12:35 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!

Coupons/GIft cards/Groupons Inventory

September 6th, 2011 at 07:24 am

I took stock ofmy coupons, gift cards & groupons today so that I can utilize them all before expirations. I actually have quite a bit.

-Exp 9/9 - 40% off 1 item at Old NAvy(will be using for a new pair of jeans)
-Exp 9/8 AMC Theater - 50% large drink & popcorn combo (probably will go unused?)
-Exp 9/10 - 40% off 1 item at Joanne Fabrics, another 40% off 1 item at Joanne, 40% off 1 item at Michaels, 40% off 1 item at AC Moore. Will be using for some Christmas projects
-Exp 9/12 - FRee hiphuggers from Victoria's Secret
-Exp 9/27 - Coupon $15 off $25 at JB Dawson's
-Exp 9/29 - Free appetizer or desert at TGI Fridays (No purch necessary)
-Exp 9/30 - Free panty from Victoria's Secret
-Exp 9/30 - $5 off $25, Buy 1 Get 2nd 1/2 off Dinner Entree or $4 off 2 Lunch Entrees at Timothy's Restaurant
-Exp 10/10 - 15% off total TGI Friday order (waiting to see if go there for anything)
-Exp 10/21 - $10.00 off at Victoria's secret
-Exp 10/31 - $1.25 off Jollytime Popcorn
-Exp 11/11 - Wine Tasting for 2 plus wine gift (appt made for 9/11th)
-Exp 11/27 - $20.00 to local restaurant (Groupon OOP- Out of Pocket- was $10)
-Exp 11/30 - 50 cents off Progresso soup
-Exp 9/12/2012 - 10 Kickboxing Classes plus 1 personal training session, plus boxing gloves(Groupon OOP was $40)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $35 to Pats Pizza (Restaurant.com OOP $2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $35 to Pats PIzza (Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off $50 to Mona Lisa Restaurant
(Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-NO Expiration - $25 off 2 Entrees to Public House Bar
(Restaurant.com OOP$2)
-Free Trial 1 week Gym membership
-NO Expiration - $100 in Fandango cash (purchased for $80)

Today, I have to grab cat food from the vet (They have prescription food), and hit the grocery store. I have a potential roommate stopping by tomorrow - so tonight will be dedicated to cleaning.

A lot of the stores are together either inside or outside the mall, so tomorrow night (Wed) after the potential roommate comes to look at the house, I plan on heading back out
-Joanne for Christmas item(s) - decorative boxes & cardstock
-Return shoes to DSW
-Victoria's Secret for free items & to spend the $10
-Michaels to use coupon for Christmas item(s)

Then Friday, when my coupon starts to Old Navy, I will make a return & use the 40% off coupon to buy jeans.

As for the groupons - The wine tasting will be used Sunday the 11th, kickboxing will be set up for after I come back from Germany. Free gym trial will be used at the same time. And the restaurant groupons will be used as wanted since there is no time crunch. ***I Also want to note that I only purchased at places I know I like or want to try - nothing was bought just cause it 'was a deal'. LOL

And I am working to get back to my To-Do List. Today's 5 things off that list are:

1. Pick up cat food & grocery shop
2. Make dinner/premake food for tomorrow
3. Finish laundry
4. HOA chores
5. Clean house - vac/dust living room, change cat litter, clean upstairs bathroom, clean bedroom

Good News/Bad News and Lunch Update

February 11th, 2011 at 06:25 pm

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 09:02 am

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!

Happy Monday!

December 13th, 2010 at 05:54 am

I had a great weekend and Monday is going well for me. I am working to stay within budget for the rest of the month. ALthough the sidebar is not updated, I have finished all Christmas shopping, except for a gift card for 1 friend and an Itunes Gift Certificate for the nephew.

I am finishing my Christmas card today, nothing like waiting until the last minute!

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks for work today. I'm hoping it will be a no spender, like yesterday.

I also wanted to mention that I finally downgraded my gym membership from $20/month to $10/month. Nice savings there!

Today's 5 Things (to do):

1. Finish & mail Christmas cards
2. Make dinner at home, pack food for tomorrow
3. Make meal plan/grocery list for the 15th through the 31st
4. Finalize budget for 15th through the 31st
5. Start wrapping gifts

I should also add that I will be (Hopefully!) finishing The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I really like the book. A friend let me borrow her copy.

Its gonna be a long week

December 7th, 2010 at 05:00 am

Spent $12.03 on groceries yesterday. I packed my lunch & snacks, no problem.

My health issue came back with a vengance (They still don't know what it is) and I spent the night on the couch. I didn't get anything completed. Luckily I had already prepared food & snacks to take to work today as well.

The heat has been running a lot at the house. Although I keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature, we have had some NASTY winds and the house was definitely feeling them. I bundled up and was plenty comfortable.

In other financial news, the roommates next month rent is due the 10th. We will have to see if it comes in on time. She has said she's staying through December, but at this point, I'm not counting on the money until it is in my hand.

Tonight, I am getting my CHristmas tree. I still get the lives ones. I just LOVE the smell. My dad & nephew are going to help me. Then I will be pulling Christmas decorations out & going crazy with decorating Smile

Busy Weekend, gonna be a busy week!

August 30th, 2010 at 07:08 am

Well, this weekend was busy. In addition to all the social activities that I had planned - picnic Sat & BBQ Sunday, I also managed to get some things done around the house.

I also want to share that I went to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show, complete with life actors, yelling things at the screen and throwing toast. Its a weekly tradition for years at a small movie theater near the university. I have never gone, but impulsively, a friend & I decided to go.

Paid $5.25 for the ticket, $1 for a bag of goodies to throw and $2.00 for a drink. There was lots of audience participation, weirdos to watch and general craziness. Very fun and unique experience.

Sunday, I did some cleaning and yard work. Managed to pull up some weeks in between my deck & my neighbors. I let it get out of hand this year. Ended up with several bags of yard waste, which I promptly took to the yard waste drop site (Free). By state law, I would have to have paid extra to have yard waste picked up by my garbage company. Dropping off is free, but messy. So now I need to vacuum out the trunk of my car Smile

This week will be busy. I have scheduled at least 4 days this week of working out/walking. I have plans to see a movie with my dad, go to my weekly pub night and have a girls night in with an old friend. And all of that is BEFORE next weekend starts!

I packed lunch today, breakfast & snacks. I'm hoping today will be a no spender.

And I am going back to my 5 Things list. To recap, I always have a large TO-DO list going. It seems never ending, so I have determined that getting just 5 things done of the list is an accomplishment and managable

Today's 5 Things:

1. MAke call to wellness program for a free 'session'
2. Finalize budget for payday. This includes a grocery budget and meal plan
3. Change sheets on bed
4. WAlk or hit the gym depending on weather
5. Pack food for Tuesday, eat dinner at home.

Back From Vacation and a Payday!

August 14th, 2010 at 10:32 am

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!

Quick Stop In

August 2nd, 2010 at 07:14 pm

Been very busy lately, so I haven't had time to post. A couple of quick updates.

- Watched a free Redbox movie with the roomie (Book of Eli). It was interesting, if a little slow in parts

- Listed 7 items on Craigslist. Hope they sell, I could really use the money

- Finally got some decent weather and have been able to open the windows as opposed to the A/C since Friday night. This will really help the electric bill!

- Will be looking for more items to sell from the basement tomorrow night.

- Been packing work food 100% -so keeping up well with the lunch challange. Will continue the personal challange through August.

- Transferred a bit of debt around for a lower rate - worked out really nicely.

Groceries, Meal Plans & Lunch Challange

July 11th, 2010 at 09:15 am

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

Happy Tuesday!

July 6th, 2010 at 09:29 am

I'm still in a holding pattern on the car situation. Although I can't imagine that the insurance is going to cover anything, they want to send someone to look at the car. I"m not going to argue if they really want to do it.

My mom is still allowing me to use her car. I am doing chores, ect for her in exchange. (Her physical capabilities are limited & my dad has a bad back).

Today, on my lunch break, I went to the library, which was packed! I'm assuming it was so busy because the library was closed Sunday & Monday for the holiday. I picked up 7 books and 1 movie (The Fourth Kind).

I packed breakfast, lunch & snacks today. Tonight I plan on spending $10 on my regular Tuesday night outing with friends. I have taken my spending to pretty much none, but I am going to go out tonight and have a beer and play some darts.

I also plan on buying some contact supplies, but they are covered by my HSA. This is the last year for that benefit!

June Lunch Results - what were yours?

July 2nd, 2010 at 02:02 pm

I did really well in July! My goal was to pack breakfast, lunch & snacks for all the work days in June except one.

I love hearing how everyone else did!

I packed for all but 2. The 2nd day being that I needed a quick snack due to not feeling well. So I have learned my lesson. Keep snacks in my work desk.

I am very happy with the results. I plan on continuing into July - but this will be out of necessity. I am on a bare bones budget given my car situation.

Don't Want the Weekend to End!

June 27th, 2010 at 03:16 pm

Had a good relaxing weekend! Got a lot of things done yesterday, including finishing updating the downstairs bathroom. I still have to put baseboards on, but I'm waiting to have a little more cash to do that. It really won't cost much, but I have a lot of one-off expenses in the next month. I hope to put up pics of the bathroom tomorrow.

In addition, to what I already accomplished yesterday, I watched some movies, created a budget for the next payday (Wed), made cookies, made a big thing of pasta salad, planned my meals, did some gardening, cleaned up the cat area and got my hair cut.

My mom stopped by to see the bathroom & the hair - I got about 7 inches off. Not loving the cut, but the hairdresser did what I asked - I just impulsively asked her to cut it to my shoulders.

Tonight, I'm watching redbox movies (to be returned before 9 tonight). I will catch up on True Blood at 9 & am in bed by 10.

Monday, Tuesday & Wed should be no spenders. I'm hoping anyway Smile

Tons of Stuff Done Before Noon & Food Inventory

June 26th, 2010 at 09:43 am

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

4 days into the June Challange & great Customer Service from Purdue

June 4th, 2010 at 11:53 am

Well, today is Day 4 in the lunch challanged. I packed breakfast, lunch, snacks & drinks for work Tuesday, Wednesday & Thurdsay. Today, I had an unexpected day off, but I've been eating at home, so I still complied with the challange Smile

Yesterday's spending:
$14.00 dinner date - paid for my half. Date was a dud Frown
$5.00 drinks with friends at my local bar. Good couple of hours, 2 drinks & only $5 spent. GREAT deal!

Today's spending:
$0.35 library fine
$19.06 Farmer's market

I got a big bag of baby spinach, 12 roma tomatoes, 8 large garden tomatoes (I love tomatoes & will be using some to make a chunky pasta sauce and homemade bruschetta), 3 cucumbers, celery, 3 green peppers, a quarter watermelon, pint strawberries and a quart of blueberries all for $19.06!

In other news, a little while back, I splurged & bought a pack of the perfectly portioned Purdue chicken breasts. They're prepacked into individual servings & perfect for a single person. But they're expensive, so I rarely buy them.

When I pulled 2 out the other day, once they thawed, I found that the packaging was broken and I found them to be unsafe to use. I emailed Purdue & explained the situation and I received an email back, they're sending me a $10.00 check. Nice!

In other news, the air is on... it was nearly 90 degrees out today & very humid. I hope we go back to some milder weather before we really enter summer.

I have someone coming to look at the spare room today. My sister sorta lit a fire under my butt when she suggested I rent out the spare room to her boyfriend. They are drama and I do NOT want to go there. So I answered an ad on Craigslist & put one up of my own. I will be meeting this girl this evening to see how it goes. Wish me luck!!

Another June Lunch Challange Invite

May 30th, 2010 at 08:01 am

Hello All! Hope you're enjoying the holiday weekend! I just wanted to reissue an invite to join me in a lunch challange for June.

You can make your own rules -

-How many days in June do you want to pack breakfast/lunch?
-Do you want to add a dollar amount that you can use to supplement what you bring?

For me, I plan on packing my lunch 21 of the 22 work days in June. I also am planning NO spending on additional items.

MonkeyMama is planning to pack 16 out of 20 work days

CrazyLibLady is planning to pack nearly every day
with $2/day for extras

Scottish Girl is planning 16 days

Ima Saver is going to try to eat lunch at home every day.

Dmontngrey packs 99% of the time already - that's something for me to aspire to Smile

My meal plan for this week (and it is subject to change)

Sunday (going to a bbq)
Lunch: Salad w/ tuna at home; food at bbq
Dinner: Pasta with meat sauce

Monday (off work)
Lunch: salad; tuna sandwich
Dinner: shake n bake chicken; potatoes

Tuesday
Lunch: salad, meatloaf muffin
Dinner: Pasta salad

Wednesday
Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: Chicken & potatoes

Thursday
Lunch: Salad w/ tuna
Dinner: Sloppy joe over pasta

Friday
Lunch: Salad
Dinner: Meatloaf, green beans

Saturday
Lunch: Salad w/ some type of protein
Dinner: Pasta with meat sauce

Lunch Challange -anyone want to join me in June?

May 26th, 2010 at 10:06 am

Of the 3 of us doing the work lunch challange, one backed out halfway through the month and my other coworker is doing better than me! And thats becuase I didn't pack enough & ended up getting an extra snack or soda on 2 occasions. Still within the parameters of the challange, but I really wanted to do better.

So next month, I'm doing another challange. Is anyone interested in joining in? I'm sure some of you already do this pretty regularly, but its something I struggle with and I find it kinda fun to challange myself.

Here are the rules:

1. You can set any rules for yourself, just try to pack food a majority of the time. If you want $1/day for extras or to have 4 freebie days, thats cool. The goal is to save some money!

2. This is just for fun, so if you fall off the wagon... just get back on track if you want Smile

So for me, for June: There are 22 work days. I plan on packing breakfast, lunch & snax 21 of them, with NO spending at all on additional items.

Please comment if you'd like to join me and each week we can update how we did. I know this is a bit early, since Jun doesnt start til next Tues, but that just gives us time to plan our meals!

Wednesday Updates!

May 19th, 2010 at 10:57 am

Well, I'm doing 'ok' with my tight budget this pay period. I don't have my budget in front of me at work, but I have about $35 left in my entertainment budget. I have a work happy hour tonight (Estimated $10) and another Friday, which I'm thinking of skipping out on.

This weekend, I currently have NO plans. Other than a baseball game for my nephew which will be free.

I am hoping to entertainm myself this weekend with some books/movies from the library, planting, cleaning, organizing and going to the gym.

I never made a meal plan for the week, but I'm doing great with packing food for work! I've spent $1.10 this week on soft pretzels only & its been 4 days since I've had any caffine/soda.

I have plenty of food in the freezer: Meatloaf muffins, sloppy joe, ground meat cooked with onion (For pastas or over baked potatoes) and chicken breasts.

On my financial or frugal to-do list for this week/weekend
1. List 5 items on craigslist
2. Take pictures of spare room & put ad on Craigslist
3. Make a financial backuplist (account information, ect)
4. Give self mani/pedi
5. Start planning 6/1 budget

Payday Tomorrow - New budget

May 13th, 2010 at 04:48 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

Lunch Challange - And eating healthy on a budget

May 13th, 2010 at 05:46 am

My 2 coworkers and myself are still going strong with the lunch challange. I used the $1.00 rule (allowed $1/day for supplementals to lunches) on 3 occassions - buying a soft pretzel each time.

One of my friends used one of the two freebie days & bought her lunch when she forgot it. The other friend has used the $1/day rule one time when she bought water (Little over a dollar, but since she never used the $1/day, we were fine with it!)

So all in all, things are going very well. I"m working to reduce my grocery spending, plan my meals and stick to my weight watchers.

I find it harder to keep the grocery budget down when trying to eat healthy. For me, it seems its a lot easier to find cheap snacks and foods when they are unhealthy.

There are several things I do to try to keep my healthy grocery budget small:

1. Meal plan
2. Utilize sales on lean meats
3. Use the Farmers market for fresh produce

Stand-by meals for breakfast include:
-cereal & milk
-fruits
-oatmeal
-cottage cheese
-yogurt

Stand-by lunches:
-Salad with chicken
-Salad with tuna
-Pasta salad
-Leftover dinners
-Lean cuisines when on sale & used ONLY when I need a last minute lunch
-Tuna sandwich
-Penut butter & crackers

Stand-by dinners:
-Large salads with tuna or chicken
-Meatloaf muffins
-Shake n bake chicken
-Tacos
-Pasta with meat sauce
-Sloppy joe
-Turkey bacon BLT


I'm looking for new low calorie/fat low expense lunches & dinners. Feel free to share your favorite recipes!

Day 2 May Lunch Challange & a No Spender

May 4th, 2010 at 07:06 pm

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

Today Started Something Old and yet New

May 3rd, 2010 at 04:08 pm

Well, a while back, I did a lunch challange and it helped me 1. Save Money and 2. Eat Healthy.

For the month of May, 2 coworkers and I are doing a Lunch Challange. There are 20 work days in May. We have challanged ourselves to pack our *HEALTHY* lunches 18 of the next 20 work days. We did set a $1.00 allowance daily to supplement the meals - so if someone wanted milk for their cereal, ect... but I plan on skipping that unless I really, really need to Smile

I'm also trying to curb my soda addiction(AGAIN!) I will drink several throughout a day. I had 2 cans (from home) that I drank at work - there will be NO soda tonight. Hoping to get to 1/day at work for the rest of the week and then go from there.

So today was a no spender. I worked extra hours to be able to flex some of my time on Friday to sit at the hospital while a friend has surgery.

I also was talking about food with some coworkers and I mentioned I was interested in baking my own bread - my manager mentioned she had an unused extra one. So we'll see if she follows through and brings it in. Wouldn't that be awesome?

I turned on the air yesterday mid-day due to it being 88 in the house & extremely humid. I kept the air on overnight and left the air on at 78 while I was gone today. Turned the air off when I came home since it cooled down a bit. Windows are back open and the fan is going!

And I'm going to get back into my 5 Things - I feel so much better when I get something done off my To-Do list, even if its not all of it!

1. Stay on food plan (DONE)
2. Call & reschedule doctors appt (DONE)
3. Make dinner at home & prepack food for tomorrow (Working on it now)
4. Search HOA records for info needed (DONE)
5. Litter box (DONE)

Today's Food:

Breakfast: Granola bar, 1 cup fat free cottage cheese (didnt get to eat the fruit I brought)
Snack: 1 mini bag popcorn
Lunch: LARGE salad with buffalo chicken (grilled)and low fat blue cheese dressing
Snack: Tomato salad
Dinner: Whole grain spaghetti with basil from my plants, tomato sauce & ground turkey with a side of garlic bread

Changed my blog name - and hello again!

April 27th, 2010 at 06:06 am

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

Part Time Job, a little spending

December 1st, 2009 at 03:46 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!

Fun Weekend

November 8th, 2009 at 05:49 pm

This was a good weekend. Friday, I went to the gym after work, hit the grocery store & went home. Did some cleaning to prep for an overnight houseguest and went to bed early.

Saturday, a friend drove into town from about 45 minutes away. We headed downstate about an hour & a half to go to the Pumpkin Chunkin. If you've never heard of this, google it. Its a BIG 3-Day event, started for charity. Apparently 20,000 people show up for it. Its a contest where people make cannon-like machines and trebuchets (think catapult and slingshot combo) to fling pumpkins high into the air and compete for pumpkin-throwing distance.

The machines were impressive. The cannon-like ones were so forceful that they would shoot the pumpkins and they would clear the clouds and be lost to the eye. People apparently come from all over to see the event. Some people come for an excuse to drink. Its byob and there are a lot of tailgaters.

My friend and I did not bring drinks, but I did pack my lunch. Ticket and parking were $10.00. I spent $7 on water & beach fries. Definately worth any penny!

We came back to my place afterwards, made spaghetti for dinner, watched tv & just caught up. It was a really relaxing weekend!

Today, I went to the farmer's market for $8.05 in vegetables. Then I came home and spent the day just hanging out. I really enjoyed the down time. Managed an afternoon nap & am planning on heading to bed early, lol.

Here are some pics of the Chunkin:









Getting Colder

October 13th, 2009 at 07:13 pm

Oh boy, its getting colder. I'm in the fleece pants and have the down comforter on the bed. The kitties are snuggling with me, so I know they are noticing the tempreture changes, lol.

We're expecting a Nor'easter soon and that is going to make things even colder. I may have to turn the heat on, but I am trying to hold off until the last possible second. I think we're in for a very cold winter.

Today's spending was .55 for a soft pretzel and $7.50 for groceries. Tomorrow, I'm hitting a movie with a friend.

OH! And I found the missing $12 from my budget. I forgot about a return credit on a credit card that I no longer use. I'll put that towards my next gas purchase Smile

Today's 5 Things:

1. Meet buddy at gym (DONE - spent 1 hour for strength training and cardio)
2. Grocery store (DONE)
3. Pack food for tomorrow (DONE)
4. Upload photos to send to mom (DONE
5. Start new stretching routine (for flexibility) (DONE)

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


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