Monday: Sesame Chicken & Brown Rice
Tuesday: Dinner for Breakfast (egg muffins & potatoes)
Wednesday: Turkey Meatballs
Thursday: Barbecue Shredded Chicken
Friday: barbecue pork chops
*can be switched around as needed
Breakfasts: Egg Muffins & potatoes obrien, fruit
Lunches: Chicken Breast sandwiches and small salad (all pre-packed)
Viewing the ' Lunch Challange' Category
Monday: Sesame Chicken & Brown Rice
My coworkers & I were doing a bit of a lunch challenge to curb spending. Each of us set our own goals for ourselves. Mine was to pack breakfast, & lunch for all but 2 days. I got sick mid-month and splurged on soda, but mostly met my goal otherwise.
This Month To Date, I have Spent:
$7.50 on 5 bottled sodas (sore throat when sick ‘required’ extra soda)
$3.25 on breakfast one day
$5.95 on breakfast & a soda today
TOTAL Spent in TO DATE in August on Breakfasts/lunches/drinks $16.70
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!
Early in the pregnancy, I was diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes. This resulted in having to purchase a Glucose meter, strips, etc. through insurance. Luckily, it wasn't very costly.
Since then, I am on a strict diet where I need to eat very specific amounts of carbs and protein in a breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack and dinner.
Initially, it was hard to figure out, but now my husband and I have it down. I am doing very well with it. There was an initial outlay on specific snacks for eating on the go and we utilized BJs to bulk up on our stock. However, we did manage to stay withing our grocery budget.
I notice that for convenience, I am packing more. The work cafe has some friendly foods, but I am tempted with the non-diet friendly foods. So staying out of there is beneficial!
So my old school Lunch Challenges are coming back into effect. Even though today is 3/23, my goal is to pack breakfast lunch & 2 snacks per day for the next 5 of the 6 working days. I will be eating lunch out one day for a team outting. I *think* it will be paid for though. So free is good!
Friday night, the boyfriend & I had date night in. We rented Battleship off Amazon (for free with my Swagbucks AGC), I made dinner & we had a few drinks & enjoyed ourselves. Pretty frugal
Saturday - we went with my College roommate & her husband to a Brew Fest an hour away near a casino. The tickets were $25 each, but I found a groupon that did 2 tickets, plus $15 in free slot play each for $25 total. So - a savings of $55! We enjoyed ourselves, played our free slot money, enjoyed free sodas after the beer tasting & headed home. Very frugal day...
Until...I dropped my cell phone in the toilet. UGH. I was able to get it out quickly (and this was a clean toilet - hadn't gone yet). I dried off what I could with towels, took the battery out, and when I got home, put it in rice overnight. With the help of Droid forums, I was able to factory reset the phone & it is working again. I am a lucky, lucky woman.
If it had not worked, I would have just used my boyfriend's old phone. I was not putting anymore funds into a cell phone.
Sunday, I went to the Farmer's market, the grocery store and then Weight Watchers. I had HOA stuff to do at home, slept a good part of the day, made a yummy dinner & enjoyed some Netflix.
Today, I had a no spend day - packed healthy & did not go out of bounds
Tomorrow - I have a 6am work call - so hoping to get out of the office a bit early tomorrow!
My physical therapy has ended (insurance will no longer pay). I am doing at home exercises for 2 weeks and if its not better, going back to the foot doc to fight the insurance. Fun
On another insurance note, I am STILl waiting for my $389. I keep calling & as of today, they said the funds will be back in 48 hours. I will believe it when I see it.
New news - Roommate is moving out (it's been a year & my boyfriend & I are ready to live together).
So it will be a weird transitional month, financially as she moves out the 1st weekend in October and I don't have an exact date for when the boyfriend will move in. But it won't be bad, just cash flow tightness.
So for now - pack food as much as possible, frugal activities, selling on craigslist & finishing Christmas stuff with freebies!
Still out of work for the wrist until Thursday. I go to the doctor's tomorrow and will probably work from home for a week.
My work switched insurances on January 1st, so I had to call yesterday to confirm there would be no problems with my 2012 appointments with the ortho guy.
In the new year, I have a few goal - specifics are drawn up, but here is the overview.
2012 - Goals
1. Pay for Christmas from cc rewards an rewards sites
2. Limit lunches bought to 4 times a month
3. Pay down debt (more specifics to come)
4. Downsize cluttter in home (more specifics to come)
5. Upgrade Health *several areas included
6. Track 100% income and spending
7. Track freebies (like that someone else on this site tracks them)
2012 Freebies to date:
free kindle book - Secret Holocaust Diaries
free kindle book - Dead-ish
free 2012 calander from mom
$5 Amazon gift card from Swagbucks
$5 Amazon gift card from Bing Rewards
2 wrapping paper inner rolls made of heavy craft paper (for crafts later)
CC rewards to Christmas: $140
$20 mastercard bonus
$20 Serve.com (depositing today)
$100 from Citi Thank You (in WM gift cards which will be used for groceries & the grocery cash will go into the Christmas ING acct)
Typing is hard right now, so posts will probably be short from now on
Went grocery shopping this morning. I hit up Acme, the farmer's market & Walmart and got some good deals.
1 pound pasta - $0.25 (after coupon)
Red Wine Vinegar - $2.19
Ranch Mix - $0.69
4 Pack Acme dressing mix - 1.89
2 bags Lettuce - $5.00
TOTAL OOP: $10.02
3 cucumbers - $1.00
4 tomatoes - $1.76
Celery - $1.29
5 pound potatoes - $2.49
TOTAL OOP: $6.54
25fl oz - $6.48
Ketchup - $2.68
3 cans tuna - $2.46
1 Pound bag mini pretzels - $1.48
10 mini bags microwave popcorn - $2.98
FF Cottage cheese - $2.68
Light Sour Cream - $1.58
Dozen Eggs - $1.88
Today's lunch was a quick pasta salad. Tonight will be Sunday Dinner at the boyfriend's. Its not my week to cook, so dinner is free AND I get to have tacos for dinner
Meals/Work snacks for this week:
Hard boiled eggs
Celery & low fat ranch dip
Salad with tuna
My December Lunch Challenge Goal is to pack breakfast, lunch & snacks for all but 3 days between 12/5 and 12/31
I have been working to earn credit card bonuses, rewards points & points through rewards sites. Any funds earned will go straight to my fund for my sister's upcoming wedding. If any of the rewards (MyPOints) come in gift card form, I will get cards that I can use for necessary items such as groceries and gas and those funds (from the budget) would go to the wedding fund (And debt payoff once that wedding goal is met).
So to help me with this goal, I opened a Bank of America Amex.
-Earned a $50 statement credit for $100 in spending (used for cell phone bill & normal gas spending. [Net $50]
-Earned a $25 credit for spending $26 at a local wine store for Small Business Saturday. Wine will be for Christmas gifts. [$1.00 out of pocket for 2 bottles!]
-Earned a $25 credit for a Target Purchase. I am not heading to Target (at the mall) at this time of year, but I was able to purchase a (needed) mascara online for $5.73 (including shipping) [19.27 Net]
- ALl usage is budgeted & will be paid off within the next 2 weeks
I opened a Citi Dividends card. $200 in rewards for $500 usage.
- I put the remainder of my car insurance on this (and will pay it off from savings) $480
- $29.07 gas (normal budgeted spending)
- *there is another offer I signed up for where if you spend $200 after signing up a Mastercard, by 12/31/11, you can get a $20 Mastercard gift card, but I am not making this a priority to meet
I opened a Citi Preferred card for $100 for $500 spent.
-$206.23 normal spending on card (budgeted & will be paid for in 2 weeks)
-Still need $293.77 but this will be completed by planned spending
-Also signed this one up for the Mastercard deal. I just need to meet that $200 goal by 12/31 (Which I will do since I need to get another $293.77
- At the end, I will get $100 rewards AND a $20 Mastercard gift card
I have been working my MyPoints. Reading every email sent for 5 points per viewing. I also utilized some of their deals.
- Started with 896 balance on 11/25
- Did a survey for 10 points
- Completed 76 searches using the MyPoints toolbar in Nov (earned 90 points)
- Signed up for OpenSky.com through MyPoints (earned 50 points PLUS a $15 credit on the acct for signing up)
- Used $15 credit & free shipping to purchase a soup/salad container for work lunches. $7.00 out of pocket (paid out of entertainment spending). Earned 3,500 in MyPoints for first purchase. (3700 mypoints approx = $25 gift card)
- Opened an ING Sharebuilder acct (Something I wanted to do anyway) By using the MyPoints link, I earned 200 points for opening the acct & will earn 2,000 points with the first transfer. I will be doign that tonight.
- I purchased a magazine subscription for my dad for CHristmas (Planned purchase). I bought 2 years because if the purchase was over $15, I would earn 1,000 My points.
- After all of these earnings hit, I will have 7,746 in points - approx $50 in gift cards!!
I also am working to utilize Swagbucks more. I am a new member, but have about 123 in points between searches, toolbards, daily polls and more searches. I will be keeping this up!
In other news, all my CHristmas shopping is done - except 1 gift for my boyfriend and the Christmas tree itself. So woot!
The BF's bday is this week and we are going out in town tomorrow night with friends for his bday. I will be driving about 45 mins each way for the group (Designated Driver) and using up gas (Budgeted for) plus paying for parking $20 and part of his meal (approx $40 out altogether). Wednesday, we are going out with his sister & different friends (hoping to keep the bill around $30). Thursday is dinner with his family - he chose Olive Garden. Which is great, since I have that free $50 gift card. I can cover both our meals PLUS some of the family's.
As for the Lunch Challenge, I packed all of my food for today. Breakfast, lunch & snacks. Lunch is actually pasta salad leftover from the boyfriend's THanksgiving. He even packed it up for me! LOL
Additionally - I should add that I UNFRUGALLY lost my cell phone in October. I frugally borrowed my friends old one for 2 months until my contract is up for renewal 12/28. And on Friday, there was a groupon for $25 (I had a $10 credit, so it was $15 out of pocket). For that Groupon, PLUS $35 activation, I can get a Droid X or X2 once my contract is up in December. Compared to what my friend just paid for upping her contract & getting a Droid, I am definitely making out on the deal!
Today's 5 Things: are actually more than 5
-Complete Sharebuilder trade
-update budget for 11/30
-MyPoints & Swagbucks sites
-WD40 Front Door
-Make dinner at home, lunch for Tues/Wed
-CLean kitchen, wipe counters & vacuum floor
-Pickup Living Room
-Gather library movies to return
-Finish laundry & put away
-Unclog bathtub drain
-Unclog upstairs bath sink drain
-Wipe bathroom counters, tub & toilet, vacuum floor
-Play on the internet
-Pack night clothes for BF's bday, work clothes for Wednesday
-Portion medicines to keep at work & at boyfriends (Have to take thyroid meds & vitamins &Missing them REALLY screws me up)
I have to confess, I have been financially irresponsible lately. I have to get back on track. So part of that is being on this site more & being accountable to myself
So in random form, here are some thoughts/lists.
-I am having a game night tomorrow night. Total out of pocket approx $50 as I am stocking up my liquor cabinet and making lots of food. Utilizing my freezer/pantry for the food as much as possible. Games already owned and a good time will be had by all
- Sunday, for the friends dinner that I have, I am in charge of the sides. I will be supplying a salad, so out of pocket approx $8 (including bringing over some dressings)
-I just received a free gift from Clinque for a purchase I made. I have been having terrible breakouts, so I am going back to buying Clinique face wash. Worth it if my skin calms down The free gift included a makeup bag (Very cute), a mini makeup bag, a 1oz cleanser (perfect for travel & can be refilled), .5 oz moisterizer with SPF20, regular size lipstick (In a color I like), regular size eye liner (on my to-buy list anyway), a travel mascara (in the color I wear), a full size eye shadow kit in colors I can wear, and 4 perfume samples (again perfect for travel). Over $50 value & I just restocked most of the needs I had for makeup
- I received a call that Olive Garden is sending me a gift card (Amount unknown) for the trouble with a pre-authorization of $99 going onto my account. The charge never went through, but it was inconvenient.
- I am reinstituting my Lunch Challenge for myself, although I did terrible this week. My goal is NO out of pocket spending for food/drink at work for the rest of the month
-I plan on finishing Christmas shopping in the next two weeks. All in cash!
-I scored some deals from Acme. They have a little Holiday Book by their ads in the store. In it are coupons for things like $1.00 off 1 Acme brand (Everyday Essentials) pasta and 1 EE pasta sauce. I was able to snag both for $1.89 after coupon. I will be going back today for another set. Its never bad to have pasta stuff in the house! I also got 3 cans of Acme fruit for $2.00 total (After $1 off coupon). They have also had a lot of register rebates lately & I will be using them as I have about $3-4 left of those.
-I have a few returns to make - a non-working alarm clock to Target & a pair of shorts to Walmart
-The roommate situation is working out great. She actually contributes to things like paper towels & tp and CLEANS. None of the previous roommates did any of that
-I got a $15 parking ticket for not feeding the meter enough when I got stuck inside the pharmacy earlier this week. I will have to pay it
-Dyed my hair at home instead of paying for color in a store. I have gotten SO many compliments, I am definitely going to keep this up. $4.99 for the box after coupon.
-Used a Deals Voucher for $10 to Fulton Paper. I make jello shots on a regular basis for parties, ect and use a particular type of plastic cup. I was able to use the voucher for 4 sleeves of the cups, 2 gift bags and 4 boxes to be used for gifts of fudge. I still have another $10 voucher to be used by next year. OOP for the 2 vouchers was $10 (and bought months ago)
-Itemized all of my stockpile in the bathroom cabinet. I have a ton of freebie samples of bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, body washes and lotions. I am trying to use up most of them as well as some of the travel sized stuff I have recently scored for free. I do plan on leaving enough to carry me through a few weekends of travel though!
-I itemized any freebies/rewards that have to be used. Did the same with coupons
-Plan on looking into cheaper cat food. The cats have crystals and one is overweight, so I have them both on Hill's Prescription Weight Diet. But its expensive. Will be looking into non-prescription alternatives.
- I just got a 20% off ANYTHING at Kohl's. Might hit up their clearance for some gifts. (Will use Christmas cash - no additional unplanned spending)
- I need to be in a financial lockdown. So the budget is getting tightened. I want to pay down debt, control spending and just get back to my financial goals. I am a little ashamed I have gotten out of hand. But I can say for sure that I am turning a corner