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Viewing the 'Electric, A/C , Heat' Category

Whats going on today & Today's 5 Things

September 29th, 2009 at 06:04 am

Happy Tuesday! I'm planning on having a No Spend day today, so it should be a good day!

The air/heat are still off at the house. Its been over a month now. The temps started dropping again, but I'm just layering up in the house as needed. Yay Fall!

I packed breakfast (cheerios & banana), snack (banana blueberry muffin) & lunch (pasta salad & carrots). I plan on hitting the gym after work and then staying in tonight to watch the Biggest Loser.

I'm passing on going out to the Pub that I usually go to on Tuesdays. Some of the group dynamics have changed and its just not a fun anymore. It makes me sad, but probably isn't a terrible thing as I wont be drinking or spending money Smile

I talked before about my 5 Things list. Its meant for me to accomplish some goals for the day, but without being overwhelmed by a huge To-Do List. Here are today's 5 Things.

1. Go to the Gym after work
2. Go to the library
3. Finalize budget for pay period starting tomorrow
4. Go through financial paperwork, shred & file as needed
5. Make dinner at home

Heavy To-Do List! (Long)

September 25th, 2009 at 05:38 pm

This weekend is going to have fabulous weather! I have all the windows open, am enjoying the breeze coming in off the field behind my house. I've actually been able to keep the air off since August 29th. I'm hoping to keep the heat off until November. Here's hoping!

My goal for this weekend is to spend as little as possible. And to help that along, I created a whole big (but frugal) To-Do list. I want to get things in order so I can stay better organized.

Let me just say that my To-Do List has 35 items, some small & some big. I don't plan on completing 100% of them as I do have obligations this weekend, but I hope to get a bulk of them done!

So far, I have done the following:

- Clean junk drawer in kitchen
- Organize freezer, make list of items
- Wipe kitchen blinds
- Organize & wipe down pantry


Now its 8pm, I have some tv watching planned (lol) and I will work to knock a couple more items off the list.

- Meal plan for the week
- Grocery Plan for the week
- Entertainment budget/plan
- Make new workout playlist on MP3 player
- Do pedicure

Tomorrow, I'm meeting my workout buddy at 9, I'm going to my nephew's baseball game at 2pm and at 7, I have movie night with some friends. In between, I hope to knock off a few more items.

- Clean downstairs bath
- Clean kitchen, wash floor and wipe down cabinets

Then Sunday, I plan on sleeping in and then getting as much as possible accomplished. Including removing a little mold in the basement (non-toxic, thank goodness!) and doing yard work.

Sick Again and a Not-So-Smart Money Decision

September 13th, 2009 at 09:03 am

Sorry this is going to be long...

Well, once again, I'm sick. It seems like since my immune system went down for sickness a few months ago, I've been catching everything. I had a stomach bug two weeks ago & missed several days of work. Thursday, I started with a head cold. I've spent the weekend pretty much in bed because I can't spare any more sick days. Fun, huh?

So my money situation is still what it was a few weeks ago. I have a little credit card debt, the emergency fund is low and I would like to have more income.

In spite of all this, I recently signed up for a 7 day cruise to the Bahamas. I got a great deal on the cruise ($550 for 7 days) and have some savings bonds (that my parents just found in their safety deposit box) that I'm going to cash. I know I could use the funds to pay down the debt, but I really want to do the cruise.

I'm not going to make excuses. I plan on being tight with spending in all other areas, stick within my savings bond budget for the trip and work to sell things, get a roommate and a 2nd job.

So yeah, maybe not the best financial decision, but I think its the best for my overall well being.

In other news, today will be a no spender. I am going to eat out of my pantry until payday on Tuesday. I'm hoping for a no spender tomorrow as well.

I'm working on a meal plan for the week. I am spending today mostly on the couch, with a little light cleaning to ensure my mental health Smile I'm watching Agatha Christie movies borrowed from the library, reading (books also from library) and am enjoying having the windows open and getting fresh air.

The air has actually been off since 8/31. And I'm planning on joining the No Heat Challange. My goal is to keep the heat off as long as possible!

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.

Lunch Challange Part 1 complete!

May 15th, 2009 at 02:18 pm

So my friend & I completed our little lunch challange. Both of us succeeded 100%! My friend was the one that said he'd fail the first week, but he pulled through. AND he suggested that we do it again next week, with 1 exception out of the 10 days.

So next week, we'll continue the challange. He can use his exception if he wants to, but I'm going to try not to. Money is tight & I'd rather go out at night or on the weekends than eat a sandwich from the cafe at work.

I've cashflowed the bee treatment ($190) this month, but it means less funds in other budget catagories such as groceries and entertainment.

So I've already made a meal plan and grocery list for today through the 30th, which I'm going to do my darnest to stick through. I leave the meal plan flexible because sometimes I just don't feel like eating what I planned to Smile

This weekend, my goal is to do a lot of free or nearly free things Smile

I do have a birthday party at a bar tonight. I plan on eating dinner before going, buying only a beer or two and leaving early. I'm pretty beat and want an early night.

Tomorrow, I have my nephew's baseball game - as long as the weather holds. After, I'm supposed to hang out with some friends. I'm gonna try to convince them to grill out for dinner & watch some movies.

As for entertainment - I have several movies from the library & a bunch of housework on the to-do list. I certainly don't have a problem with things to do this weekend Smile

And a final note - I'm on day 15 of no heat or air!