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Archive for September, 2011: HouseHappy's Personal Finance Blog
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Archive for September, 2011

Roommates, food freebies & freezer (long & probably boring)

September 30th, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Happy Friday All! It's been a stressful week and I am looking forward to some relaxing this weekend.

Today was payday, so I budgeted out everything:

In cash, I have:
$40.00 towards Wine Tour
$77.49 towards Groceries
$90.00 Entertainment spending

I paid some bills:
Mortgage
Electric
Reimbursed mom for some Halloween Decorations

And I bought Groceries
-Acme $5.49
-Farmer's Market $10.30
-Walmart $29.46

My manager let us out early (WOOO) and I was able to get all my errands done & get home by 2:30. I had time to clean my room, prep food for the wine tour tomorrow, clean the bathroom and help the new roommate move a dresser upstairs. She has her stuff here, but will start actually living here tomorrow.

Once she left, my previous roommate came by & picked up the last of her stuff. She gave me the $75.00 she owed me and the keys. I did an inspection and found that she left a couple of things:

-1/2 bottle of Pino Grigio
-1 clean tupperware bowl & lid
-a bunch of salad dressings (1/2 used)
-1/2 jar of vodka sauce
-protein shake
-1 full large, unopened bottle of V8 Splash
-3 bags of frozen mixed veggies
-1 bag frozen steamer red potatoes
-1 bag frozen broccoli
-1 lb ground turkey burgers (frozen)
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-1 bag Tyson grilled chicken strips
-2 opened 1/2 full bags of veggies

Most of it usable - I will get rid of the opened veggies (freezer burn), vodka sauce & some of the dressings - but all the freezer food is good and healthy! So Yay Freebies. I then had to move all the food around in the freeze to free up 1/2 the space for the new roomie.

And since I did that, I took a freezer inventory: (boring, I know - but its really good for planning)

-1 1/2 bags turkey pepperoni
-2 - 4packs of breaded chicken patties
-6 servings chicken breast
-4 frozen turkey burgers
-1 container lime sherbert
-4 tilapia fillets
-2 1/2 bags Morningstar crumbles
-1/2 loaf bread
-4 veggie burgers
-4 servings turkey bacon
-1 bag no sugar added strawberries
-1 bag no sugar added blueberries
-1 bag broccoli
-1 pint blueberries
-8 bagel thins
-1 bag broccoli & rice
-3 bags mixed veggies
-1 bag grilled chicken strips
-4 pack water ice
-9 meatloaf muffins
-4 servings sloppy joe
-3 cinnimon raisin bagel thins

The rest of my night will be dinner, making the rest of food for the wine tour tomorrow, cleaning up the kitchen & dusting/vaccuming the empty room. Hope everyone has a good night!

Money Tidbits

September 28th, 2011 at 04:37 pm

Interesting and stressful week personally, professionally and health-wise. I will have more details later, but I am COUNTING the seconds until the weekend!

-My house thermostat went out yesterday. Replaced the battery & it still wouldn't turn on. I sucked it up last night & tried again this morning. It is just the thermostat as the A/C is working when I turn the fan on. I went online at work today & printed out the manual for the thermostat & I will be attempting to fix it tonight. (Yay free manuals!)

-I got some goodies in the mail - shampoo sample, lotion sampe, and free window cleaner & coupons

-I Printed coupon for free glasses cleaning cloth & cleaner from Walmart

-Groupon had off a Wine Tasting Passport for an event I was already scheduled to attend on Saturday. The price is normally $30 and is for tastings at 7 different wineries between now & Dec 31st. A good deal already. Groupon had it off! I was able to buy for $15 instead of $30 WIN!

-A new favorite restaurant had a living social deal today. Pay $15, get $30. I bought two, one for me & one for my boyfriend. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that place! *(was even there last night!) And it was totally in my entertainment budget.

-My sister & my good friend are both getting married in May. They just set their dates. I need to start planning budgets for both!

-I have failed the lunch challenge today, but plan on getting on track tomorrow. No waiting until next week!

-I am going to my first kickboxing class tonight! Very excited and this groupon was a GREAT deal!

-The current roommate is set to move out on Friday. She still owes me $75.00 but has assured me she will have it. (hopefully)

-The new roommate is moving some stuff into the living room tomorrow night & fully moving in over the weekend. Rent is now $525 instead of $475/month. And she seems pretty low key!

-Saturday will be wine tour (ticket already purchased) and I will be bringing picnic food & I am limiting my wine purchases to ONE bottle. I have cash for it.

-Sunday night will be Dexter Dinner with friends. We used to do it for True Blood, but now its Dexter Smile I will help supply food for that and help cook.

Back from Germany!

September 25th, 2011 at 07:35 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 02:24 pm

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

Trash Company Shadiness When Asked To Close My Account

September 1st, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I have had trash service from the same company since I bought the house almost 4 years ago. About a year ago, the company I was with was bought out by a bigger company.

At the same time, our state mandated that all trash services need to supply us with recycling bins & pick up in addition to the trash service. So about 3 months ago, I received a recyling container and a calendar of pick up dates (every other week). No notification of any rate changes. THEN my quarterly bill came in & it had increased by around $35! They called it an 'environmental' charge. Nice, huh?

Well, I started looking around to switch and a coworker recommended a company with a flat rate, no fees. I signed up and am saving about $37/quarter AND they pick up recycling weekly, not biweekly.

I called the big company to cancel my service. They attempted to match my pricing, but I said no. If they had the ability to service me at that price and chose not to offer it, I can't imagine what they would do next. So I cancelled the service, effective Sept 8th.

3 hours later, I received a call on MY CELL PHONE. I chose not to answer & checked the voicemail later. A rep from the corporate office said she wanted to talk about the cancellation and would not process until she confirms I don't want their counteroffer and that she needs to confirm the effective date. REally, you just left me a message saying you are not accepting my closure of my account???

Their office opens at 8:30 and I will be calling. They will be getting an earful.