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Archive for November, 2009

End of the weekend

November 29th, 2009 at 07:36 pm

Well, I'm gearing down Sunday night. Got a bit of stuff accomplished, but nothing like the frenzy of the last two days. Mostly I just enjoyed the fruits of my labor! I just made a good will run, took some stuff back to family and bought groceries. The rest of the day was spend hanging around and relaxing Smile

I'm 99% done Christmas shopping. All that is left in my budget is the tree, 1 gift card and a small token gift. Yay Smile

Part of the gift to my parents is doing some housecleaning for them. I'll be doing that next weekend. Lucky me! haha

Finally sitting down to enjoy my weekend!

November 28th, 2009 at 04:32 pm

Wow! I REALLY cleaned today. With a few breaks here and there (as prescribed by Lux!)

I was able to clean my whole upstairs, scrub the bathroom, organize stuff for goodwill (and loaded up the car with it), do some heavy duty dusting on fans, walls, baseboards & trim. I did 3 loads of laundry (hung 2 to dry).

I also organized paperwork, filed & shredded. Put out a few Christmas items (from the dollar store). And lastly, I am sitting down to watch a movie from the library, maybe read a book or play on the computer.

I accomplished a lot and feel 100% better for having rid myself of a lot of clutter and dust Smile

Tomorrow, I have to drop some items off to my parents, my sister and a friend I borrowed a book from. I will be making a Good Will run and hitting the farmer's market for veggies.

I TENTATIVELY will tackle the basement, which needs to be cleaned, but not organized. However, I'm thinking the chances of that actually happening are pretty low! Haha Smile

Financially, I have my ducks in a row. My Nov 30th budget is done, I found a $4 check to deposit, and am working on keeping my Christmas spending under budget.

I also have an appointment for a part-time job at Macy's on Monday. Just temp work, but I could use it. Also, since the house is superclean, I took some pics of the place & am putting another roommate ad up on Craigslist.

What a Great Motivator

November 28th, 2009 at 06:10 am

Just came downstairs to a beautiful, uncluttered and VERY clean house. Now I just have to do the upstairs & basement! lol.

When I got up this morning, I wasn't feeling the cleaning, but after seeing the results from last night's cleaning binge, I am SO ready to continue the efforts. Wish me luck Smile

And as a result of staying home today, it will be a No Spender

Cleaning Frenzy

November 27th, 2009 at 06:53 pm

I've got a goal for this weekend. Stay home & clean & organize instead of dealing with crowds at stores or spending Smile

So tonight, after I got home from work, I did the following:

-Cleaned out the entry closet & purged items
-Cleaned downstairs bath, organized vanity cabinet and wiped baseboards and trim around all doors
-Washed entry floor. Did baseboards & trim in entry.
-Cleaned kitchen, polished table & chairs, washed dishes, wiped down all cabinets, wiped blinds. And even pulled out fridge, vacuumed coils & washed floor behind it. And wiped top & inside of hood over oven. Can I just say ew! Smile
-Cleaned living room, organized bookcase, dusted & vacuumed, wiped down baseboards and all glass table tops.
-Meal plan
-Finalized budget (2nd time!) for 11/30

So now I am beat, but happy. I watched tv while cleaning and I feel better now that I purged some junk, and have a pile for good will.

And because all I did was go to work & come straight home, I had a no spender! yay!

Tomorrow, I am tackling the upstairs - hall, linen closet, bedroom, spare bedroom & upstairs bath. Definately doable!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2009 at 04:39 am

Just wanted to say Happy Thanksgiving to all. Even though I'm a day late!

I'm at work today, booo! But I enjoyed spending time with family. It was very low-key with just the immediate family (my parents, my sister & my nephew).

I'm planning to have No spenders today & tomorrow, with a little grocery shopping on Sunday.

Unfortunately, I've taken some hits lately. I haven't really gone into them on here, but money is even tighter than before and I still have a $200.00 car repair to get done soon. Ugh. There are going to be a lot of No spenders in my future - out of Necessity. Wish me luck Smile

Today's Spending

November 23rd, 2009 at 03:28 pm

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

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

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

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

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

Shopping Saturday

November 23rd, 2009 at 08:25 am

I'm nearly done my Christmas shopping. Went out with a friend and got some more things - ornaments, gift wrap, toys. Spent about $45.00. All from the Christmas fund. Now I just have a few small things to get and I am DONE! Woohoo Smile I'll total up my Christmas spending and share my deals at a later date.

Everyday Frugal List

November 22nd, 2009 at 09:51 am

I was talking with a friend about saving money and during the conversation, I realized there are a lot of things that I do routinely that I don't even recognize as being frugal anymore. To me, they're just normal! Please add any everyday frugal things you do!

1. Air drying most of my laundry.
2. Turning off the dishwasher after the rinse cycle. No heat cycle for me, air drying works just fine!
3. Turn off all lights but the room I'm currently in. (Sometimes) watch tv in the dark in the evening.
4. Routinely use the library for free books and movies
5. Trade DVDs and books with friends instead of buying new ones
6. Wash clothes in cold water
7. Unplug microwave, toaster and kitchen radio. Only plug in when in use.
8. Make ahead meals, package in individual portions & freeze
9. Meal plan
10. Measure out cat food to appropriate portions so I don't over feed (and therefore overspend OR make the cats obese!)
11. Pay bills online as much as possible
12. Get free checkbook registers from the bank. Yes, I use a register as well as online banking!
13. Use junk mail envelopes as scrap paper
14. Use a programmable thermostat to control heat and a/c use.
15. Wear appropriate clothes and use appropriate bedding for the season (sweater & sweats in winter, shorts & tanks in summer. Down comforter & extra blanket in winter, Light blanket and cotton sheets in summer).
16. Do my own nails.
17. Eat meals at home as much as possible. Pack lunches for work.
18. Keep pitchers of water & lemonade or fruit punch in fridge at all times to help limit soda use
19. Use the Farmer's Market and Produce stand for fresh (and cheap) fruits & veggies
20. Hand wash dishes and only use dishwasher for full load, bigger messes and dishes used in cooking meat.
21. Upload photos online instead of printing out every one. Back them up on free websites
22. Invite friends over for movie and game nights. (This is just fun for me!)
23. Research big purchases for quality items and price
24. Browse thrift shops for clothes/household items.
25. Use work printer instead of one at home (work allows this)
26. Repurpose items. Old tv tray is now a plant stand, ect
27. Repair clothes. Put buttons back on coats, hem pants
28. Use email instead of regular mail to stay in touch with friends
29. Use Hulu and Comcast On Demand to catch up on tv shows instead of renting a DVR from the cable company
30. Reorganize the closet every few months, putting clothes at the back towards the front. Its like shopping, but in my own closet! I love finding a sweater that I hadn't seen in a while Smile
31. Keep a small gift stock. Birthday cards, gift wrap and bags, small generic gifts
32. I'm happy to take 2nd hand items off the hands of friends and family if they're done with them. I've gotten furniture, extra linens, clothes, and books that way. And I've given some too!
33. Spend a lot of time outdoors. I like walking in the park, going to the beach, hiking, all of which are mostly free activities
34. Use websites for crosswords, soduku and card games and other forms of entertainment
35. Do as many home repairs myself as possible. Utilize how-to books and do research online. I'm sometimes overwhelmed in this area, so when I complete something on my own, I'm super proud of myself!
36. Use towels and dishrags in the kitchen. Limit paper towel use.
37. Use less of the recommended amounts of laundry detergent & dish detergent. You really only need a portion of what the packaging tells you
38. Use reusable water bottles instead of throwaway ones
39. Make do with what I have. For example, I have a great fridge where the icemaker doesn't work. My dad and I determined this is not a fixable problem. I went and got a 3 pack of ice cube trays from the dollar store & just make them myself now. No need for a whole new fridge.
40. Reuse ziplock baggies
41. Wear stuff out. I have a VERY old, inherited vacuum. With a clothespin on the cord because it no longer retracts properly, electrical tape and scratches and dents. BUT it still works great!
42. I use (and immediately pay off) credit cards for routine purchases to earn bonus points and promotions. In the last 2 months, I've gotten $50.00 from my Old Navy account alone.
43. Use mail order company for long-term medications
44. Use Health Savings account for pre-tax medical spending
45. I grow my own basil, oregano and mint. This is something I just started in the last few months, but is a pleasure to look at and to eat and SO easy to maintain
46. I reuse plastic grocery bags for trash can liners and kitty litter cleanup
47. Use Craigslist, visit garage sales only when looking for specific items
48. Utilize the dollar store. I find deals for shower liners, holiday decorations, food, over the counter medicines and toiletries.
49. Give and take plant clippings. Free way to add to a garden!
50. Do all my own yard work. Grass cutting, weeding, ect.

No Spender and More Craigslist Luck

November 20th, 2009 at 05:15 pm

Today was a no spender. I have my nephew over tonight and we're watching library movies, eating homemade food and having popcorn fights! Too fun Smile

I did sell some stuff off Craigslist today. $15.00 made. I had another reply for a desk that I have for sale for $10.00. It's a bit banged up and old and I never use it, so I'd rather have the $10 Smile

Tomorrow, I'm supposed to hang with a friend. She's a spender and most of our activities together have involved spending. But I let her know that I had some car repairs come up and I was looking to just hang out and catch up. I'd be willing to do a little Christmas shopping (and only spend what was planned). So hopefull that'll work out.

Craigslist Updates

November 20th, 2009 at 11:18 am

Put a bunch up on Craigslist this week. I already have someone stopping by the house at 4 today to pick up 4 sofa pillows and 2 - 18 quart storage bins for a total of $15.00. Yay Smile

Through an ad on Craigslist, I also applied for a marketing research program thats going to be setting up shop at the local university. Hopefully that'll pan out.

And to round things off, I replied to 2 posts for places to stay. I REALLY need to find a roomie!

Great Start to My Long Weekend!

November 19th, 2009 at 02:34 pm

I was out of work by 11 today. Woohoo! I came home & wanted to do something productive before being lazy. So I cleaned out the linen closet. Moved a couple of towels to the 'rag' pile. And moved a few more to the good will pile. That way I have more space!.

After that, I took 2 pounds of ground turkey and made meatloaf muffins with 1 pound and sauteed the other pound with onion. I separated both out into individual portions for the freezer.

Then I made myself a nice tuna sandwich and hit the couch. I started watching Season 1 of Criminal Minds from the library & took a nap.

Today (FINALLY) was a no spender! yay Smile

Not a No Spender Like I Had Hoped

November 18th, 2009 at 07:07 pm

Well, I was hoping for a no spender today, but instead paid a $0.25 library fine & grabbed bread to take over my mothers with dinner. She offered me a free meal, then calls back and asked for the bread. How could I say no? lol

Tomorrow I work a half day. I'm hoping to get a bunch of stuff done around the house. We'll see!

Today's 5 Things:

1. Update spending tracker and balance budget
2. Gym
3. Make To-Do list around the house
4. Clear out email Inbox
5. Send rest of photos from cruise to friends that requested them.

Free Stuff This Week

November 18th, 2009 at 05:14 am

Well, I've been lucky enough to get a few free things this week.

- Several books/movies from the library
- Borrowed movie from friend
- 2 Hershey bars from work as a promotion
- Gummy lolli-pop (friend's leftover Halloween) Am giving to the nephew.

Other updates:

- Heat kicked back in last night. Woke up to a living room of 62 degrees. That was tough this morning as the last week or so has been 67-70!

- Made it out of the pub on $3.00. Had fun, didn't drink a lot and basically spent nothing!

- Water bill came in for the quarter. It went up a bit, but I haven't looked it over to see if increased rates or usage caused it. Roughly $6.00 difference.

- Am working to use the dishwasher less and handwash dishes. Managed to do that the last 2 nights.

- I am working hard on Christmas shopping. I'll share my status on gifts and spending - maybe tonight.

- My goal for the rest of the week (Wed through Friday) will be no spenders. Definately do-able!

Had a decent weekend, not so good Monday

November 16th, 2009 at 07:21 pm

Friday night I stayed in and just rested. I ran around a lot last week and just needed to rest.

Saturday, I went to that friend's book signing. I'm really proud of him. There were a dozen authors/artists at the signing (it was a compilation of short stories for the 30th anniversary of a locally owned bookstore). $18.00 for the book and I managed not to come home with any more than the one Smile

Saturday night, I went out for a friend's birthday. We had fun, but I spent more than I had planned. But not by much.

Yesterday, I got new tires, was told I need a car repair to the tune of $200.00. They didnt try to sell me on getting it done yesterday, so I doubt that they're scamming me. I spent $8 for lunch with mom and around $300 on the tires. Then I went to 2 grocery stores, the dollar store & Kohl's. I got a bunch of groceries and some stuff for Christmas.

Then last night, I organized/prepped my food for the week and watched some old movies borrowed from the library. I'm on a Marilyn Monroe kick right now.

Tomorrow, I'm hoping to repeat my $3.00 night out at the pub. I plan on only going for an hour & only taking a little cash with me.

Oh and a bonus - the weather's been awesome here. Heat only kicked on one night last week. Yesterday & today, my living room has been 68-70. Yay for any extra time with the heat off!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I had a ton of problems at work today. Not with work itself, but a system transition that cost me 3 hours of time. I ended up staying a half hour late to finish a project. Booo. I don't get OT, so this time will be comped on Thursday.

After work, I did some grocery shopping at a store right around the corner from work. I skipped the gym and headed home.

Today's 5 Things:
1. Grocery store (DONE)
2. Brown ground turkey with onion, separate into servings & freeze (DONE)
3. Clean kitchen/sweep floor (DONE)
4. Pick up living room (will vaccum tomorrow) (DONE)
5. List 2 items on Craigslist (DONE)