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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

Day Off and not finishing things

October 2nd, 2009 at 01:22 pm

So I've learned that although I have a To-Do list, things don't always get accomplished. Lol - I'm sure it happens to everyone Smile

I did not accomplish my calls yesterday, but I completed the other items on my 5 Things list.

Today, I had off of work. I have running non-stop trying to keep my house, life, finances and health in working order. And today, my body told me to STOP. Got myself a nice little migrane.

Today will be a no spender (not that I wasn't planning on that already). I'll be spending most of the day sleeping, but as I seem to have a pattern with migranes, I should feel better for awhile in the afternoon. So I revamped today's 5 things to be the following.

1. Have a me day and rest!(IN PROCESS)
2. Make a yummy lunch & dinner at home (LUNCH DONE, WORKING ON DINNER)
3. Play with the cats (BEEN GOING ON ALL DAY)
4. Upload pics onto computer to send to family (DONE)
5. Read through the posts I've missed on here and post myself (DONE)


I really enjoyed the play that I went to last night. I kept on budget with dinner out, spending $14.00 (including tip) for shrimp and a salad bar. Pretty healthy and yummy.

The play that we went to, Girls Night, was really awesome. The actors were very good, the plot was interesting and the songs and feeling of the play were just plain FUN. It was a really great night.

Tomorrow, I am going to my nephew's baseball game in the morning (FREE). My best friend is meeting us there, so it'll be good to catch up with her (Also FREE)

I hope to hit the gym tomorrow afternoon (depending on the headache) and then tomorrow night I'm taking a Ghost Tour with some friends at Fort Delaware. I'm really looking forward to this one. We will take a ferry over and have a 2 hour guided tour.

Sunday will be grocery shopping & housework. I'm asking my parents over for dinner. Should be a pretty frugal weekend overall.

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!

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

Ready for Tomorrow

August 9th, 2009 at 03:59 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!

Frugal Things This Month

June 14th, 2009 at 02:52 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Got a Case of the Mondays!

June 8th, 2009 at 05:00 am

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Hope everyone has a good week!

Limiting spending on groceries and entertainment

May 29th, 2009 at 04:47 pm

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Food, air & plants

May 26th, 2009 at 01:45 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Utilities and Medical

May 19th, 2009 at 06:50 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Full Week of Packing Lunch

May 8th, 2009 at 05:35 am

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.

Work Food Challange

April 30th, 2009 at 07:08 pm

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 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!

Plugging Along

April 6th, 2009 at 05:33 pm

Lots of things to update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walking the Walk

March 8th, 2009 at 11:26 am

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.

Taxes Done and I Owe

March 2nd, 2009 at 07:25 pm

So I did my taxes & it turns out I owe a bit. I was expecting that and I have the savings to pay them, but I feel the need to go into SuperFrugal mode and try to cashflow it back into savings within the next month or so.

In SuperFrugal mode, I look for both big and small savings. I am going to limit entertainment spending, limit grocery spending, work to find additional sources of income and basically do anything I can to conserve spending and earn more.

The hardest thing for me, will be entertainment. Lately I've been a lot more social at work, with friends and dating. All of which entails spending. So this will be the trickiest.

Today was a no spender, which is good.

Tomorrow will not be one, as I have a date and will be offering to pay for dinner this time around. (Expected Entertainment spending $25.00?)

Wednesday, I'm having friends over to watch LOST and plan on offering them dinner. I will stop at the produce stand for veggies for the week, but will make dinner out of my freezer/pantry. (Groceries $10.00)

Thursday, my work group is going out to lunch. I'm hoping we can keep it really, really cheap, but as there's 10 of us, I'm only 1 vote. Worst case scenario, lunch will be about $10.00. I'll be staying in Thursday night. (Entertainment $10.00)

The weekend is up in the air, we'll have to wait and see what social things I have going on.

For frugal entertainment, I plan on doing the following:

Playing Wii with the nephew
Watching Library movies
Reading Library books

All of these I've said before, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of them and free is always good!

I just updated my request list at the library. Plenty of movies for me to watch as they become available.

Oh and to keep track of freezer food: I used 1 ground turkey with onion for pasta sauce for dinner. I used another to take to work for lunch. (2 ground turkey w/ onion used)

More on Meal Planning

March 1st, 2009 at 07:39 pm

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

February 28th, 2009 at 06:24 pm

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:

Dinners:

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 11th, 2009 at 06:25 pm

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

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

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

Good Week, Hope to be a Great Weekend

February 6th, 2009 at 05:50 pm

Packed 100% of food/drinks for work this week and stayed on my Weight Watchers plan. Yay!

Today I had:
Breakfast: Cheerios & Milk, apple
Snack: Yogurt
Lunch: Pasta salad, slice of (FREE) tomato pie
Dinner: Shake n bake chicken, baked red potatoes

I've done a little too much grocery shopping this week. My goal for next week is to do 1 big shop and 1 veggie shop. Shouldn't be too hard.

I went to a book club meeting with some friends at a local pub. $8.00 spent for a LOT of fun. Not my taste in books (Sci-Fi) and not really my book club (crashed a friends with their permission). But now I think I want to do a book club with some friends.

Went to the library today and picked up a couple of movies and books (a few recommended by the club last night). Stocked up on lots of entertaining options.

Tomorrow I'm having my nephew for the day & then he's spending the night. I picked up 2 movies from Redbox. The library kids selection was very slim and even though I won't be returning the movies until Sunday, 2 kids movies for $4.04 is totally worth it.

I also have food planned, games, cards, and my camera ready to catch all the cute moments. Its been awhile since my nephew & I have hung out, so I"m excited.

I'm working on cleaning up my paperwork and organizing my files. Its a big job & I'll take some before and after pics. Did I mention its a BIG job??

Doing Well This Week

February 4th, 2009 at 02:02 pm

Still 100% packing food for work. Spent about 20 mins working out yesterday. Which I count as good since I spent 2 hours after that cleaning the house, running up & down the stairs, mopping & vacuuming Smile

The only spending I've done yesterday & today was grocery shopping. Spent about $26.00 so far.

Tonight I'm hosting a LOST party. My two best friends and my two good work friends are coming over. I'm doing Shake-n-Bake Chicken and roasted red potatoes. Leftovers will be lunch tomorrow. And to make things easier on my self : last night I pre-portioned milk, cheerios and yogurt for breakfast tomorrow. I'll just pack up the chicken tonight & I'll be ready for tomorrow.

I received the 2009 sewer bill yesterday. It was a little under 1/2 was it was for 2008! I was able to reduce water usage and a neighbors issue with a burst pipe was apparently affecting me as well. Since it was fixed, my bills have gone down a lot!

Day 1 February Challange

February 2nd, 2009 at 04:21 pm

This month, I'm challanging myself to spend NOTHING on eating out at work. Day 1 went well. Packed breakfast & lunch and I stocked up my desk drawer with snacks & a backup lunch (soup) just in case. Made dinner at home tonight as well. Yay!

As a bonus, I stayed within my WeightWatchers plan, which is another February goal Smile

Worked out in my living room and according to my Heart Rate Monitor, I burned nearly 400 calories. Not bad for a quick work out! This meets part of another February goal - working out several times a week!

Finally got some stuff done :)

January 4th, 2009 at 06:02 pm

I've been really busy the last few weeks and a LOT of things have been piling up. My kitchen was disgusting and I had presents, paperwork and stuff all over my living room.

Well today, I took care of it. Did 3 loads of laundry with no use of the dryer. I took my Christmas tree down, and drove it over to the land refuce recycling drop off. Free recycling! Then I vaccummed up the millions of needles all over the floor. Organized my ornaments and packed them all back up. By packing them better, I went from 4 bins of Christmas ornaments, lights & knickknacks to 3!

Then I cleaned up the living room all together. Finally, I moved into the kitchen. Did dishes by hand AND ran the dish washer. Made dinner, cleaned up again. I just need to wash the kitchen floor, but I won't get to it til next week.

And since my January goal is to NOT purchase food/drink at work, I pre-made and pre-packaged food for the week. I have breakfasts and snacks covered. I made a big salad & thawed sloppy joe for lunch tomorrow. Tomorrow night I'll make lunches for Tues/Wed. And then Wed night, I'll make lunches for Thurs/Fri. That way I can catch a break every other day Smile

I budget a large amount for gasoline each pay period. With the prices so low, I'm coming in way under budget. I filled up the car today and I have around $23 leftover. I won't need to refill the tank this payperiod, so I'm setting the funds aside in a savings account for gas for when I travel during the summer Smile

Groceries & $40 fees waved

January 3rd, 2009 at 11:11 am

Spent $5.50 on produce today. Not too shabby Smile

I went into the local branch of my bank today. Explained the situation about the mortage payment being duplicated on 1/1, which caused the checking account to overdraw. They refunded the $40.00 of fees that were put on the account. YAY! I didn't even have to come right out & ask, they just offered.

I'll be calling my mortgage company on Monday to discuss their $35.00 fee that they charged. Unfortunately, I think I won't have an easier time of it, but I hope to be sucessful.

Yesterday I was off work, but ended up dealing with doctors stuff all day. Doctors copay & medicine cost $34.70.

I did end up going out with some friends to Buffalo Wild Wings. We sat in the bar area & played trivia on the tvs. I split the order with one of the guys & drank water. Ended up paying $10 including tip. Not too bad for 4 hours of entertainment.

Not So Great Start to the New Year

January 1st, 2009 at 11:05 am

Ugh, Jan 1st & I'm sick AND I managed to duplicate a payment to my mortgage, overdrawing my household expenses checking account. I've set up a transfer from ING Savings to cover the deficit, but man thats annoying. And I only have myself to blame. I've NEVER overdrawn an account before.

Yesterday was awesome. I was let out of work 3 hours early. Had an inpromtu lunch out with some friends. Headed home and got dressed up. Met friends for a quick Happy Hour at the pub. My friend bought the first round and wouldn't accept any money from me. So yay free drink!

Then I headed to a friend's house to help set up for a party. It was a LOT of fun.

Today I had all these grand plans of stuff to do and now I'm just spending it on the couch. I made a quick run to the closest store for food and I picked up a redbox movie.


I already have a yearly budget & January budget set up. Im working on my financial goals, which I normally have done by mid December. But a few things are up in the air & I'll have more info by Jan 15th, so I've got tentative goals until then.

I'm also planning on working on some mini challanges for myself. January I'm going to work on packing breakfast, lunch & snacks for work. With only 1 time expected to eat out (monthly work lunch out). That a LOT of packed food. It'll be a challange.

Getting back on track

November 29th, 2008 at 02:44 pm

So things have been a little out of control for me lately. With eating and with spending. It's been off & on for a few months, but I've finally hit a wall. I am feeling the ill effects of gaining a few pounds back and of using extra cash for eating out or entertainment instead of focusing on savings.

Well, I'm getting back on track. I have a meal plan for the week (following my Weight Watchers plan) and I have a spending plan for this pay period (which started the 28th).

Today I bought cat food & a few groceries. I skipped getting lunch out and made food at home. I'm staying in tonight. Watching movies from the library and free on Comcast On Demand.

Tomorrow should be a laid back day as well. Tidying up the house, doing laundry, maybe heading to a friend's house to play some board games.

I'm going to start journaling my spending again. Never hurts, right?

Little Spending, No Heat & Work is Tense

October 9th, 2008 at 05:37 pm

I packed breakfast & lunch for work. On the way home, I went to the grocery store and picked up romaine, cucumbers & tomatoes for $6.50. Not too bad.

No heat on right now. My goal is to keep it off at least til November. It helps that the temps have increased a little.

I've already packed food for work tomorrow. I'm heading out to happy hour after work. Expected spending (bringing cash), $15.00.

Saturday, I'm probably going to head into work to get ahead on some stuff. Then Sat night I'm going to a party. Just have to bring some beer with me.

Sunday will be a complete stay at home day. I'm thinking I might try a hand at making pizza dough. I can freeze what I don't eat.

Work is tense right now. The people I work closest with are all competing for a limited number of positions. Not pleasant since I consider them all hard workers.

Tomorrow's happy hour is with people at work, but not directly in my department. I'm interested in hearing their take on things.

Awesome dinner - Leftovers

October 6th, 2008 at 04:13 pm

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

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

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

Still no heat on Smile


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