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Payday Tomorrow - New budget

May 13th, 2010 at 04:48 pm

Payday is tomorrow & I've already made my $0 based budget. Outside my normal montly bills, I have variable spending in the following catagories:

$45.00 gas
$129.50 groceries (need a good stock-up)
$50.13 entertainment
$26.00 Communion gift
$8.00 misc cheer up gift for a friend

Its going to be a tight month and I'm going to have to get creative with my entertainment. This budget takes me through to the end of the month.

I have 2 work happy hours, 1 friends happy hour, 3 or 4 of my nephew's ballgames, a wine tasting and a movie to fit into that entertainment budget. Should be fun! Luckily the baseball games are free. That helps.

Tomorrow is Friday - I've already packed breakfast & lunch. After work, I will be hitting the library, the dollar store & the grocery store. Then home for an evening in.

Saturday, I'm going to my nephew's ball game, then driving 2 hours to a Communion party, driving 2 hours back home and going to a housewarming. I already have a gift for that.

Sunday will be for the gym ($0), the farmer's market, the other grocery store & cleaning.

I have Monday off work and will be cleaning & organizing the house, hitting the gym and heading to my nephew's ball game that night.

I am hoping to list a few items on Craigslist this weekend as well. Any extra income will be welcome!

Other updates:
Heat went back off at hte house this morning.
Lunch challange is still going strong
Still looking for the roommate

Lunch Challange - And eating healthy on a budget

May 13th, 2010 at 05:46 am

My 2 coworkers and myself are still going strong with the lunch challange. I used the $1.00 rule (allowed $1/day for supplementals to lunches) on 3 occassions - buying a soft pretzel each time.

One of my friends used one of the two freebie days & bought her lunch when she forgot it. The other friend has used the $1/day rule one time when she bought water (Little over a dollar, but since she never used the $1/day, we were fine with it!)

So all in all, things are going very well. I"m working to reduce my grocery spending, plan my meals and stick to my weight watchers.

I find it harder to keep the grocery budget down when trying to eat healthy. For me, it seems its a lot easier to find cheap snacks and foods when they are unhealthy.

There are several things I do to try to keep my healthy grocery budget small:

1. Meal plan
2. Utilize sales on lean meats
3. Use the Farmers market for fresh produce

Stand-by meals for breakfast include:
-cereal & milk
-fruits
-oatmeal
-cottage cheese
-yogurt

Stand-by lunches:
-Salad with chicken
-Salad with tuna
-Pasta salad
-Leftover dinners
-Lean cuisines when on sale & used ONLY when I need a last minute lunch
-Tuna sandwich
-Penut butter & crackers

Stand-by dinners:
-Large salads with tuna or chicken
-Meatloaf muffins
-Shake n bake chicken
-Tacos
-Pasta with meat sauce
-Sloppy joe
-Turkey bacon BLT


I'm looking for new low calorie/fat low expense lunches & dinners. Feel free to share your favorite recipes!

Race for the Cure Philadelphia

May 10th, 2010 at 04:56 pm

Yesterday, I participated in the 20th Annual Philadelphia Race for the Cure. Local news is estimating there were 120 thousand people there. I think the first year, they had under 2000.

We raised a bit of money for the cause and got a nice healthy 5k walk in! They handed out a LOT of freebies - juices, drinks and food.

I came home with a bandana and some coupons for local stores. Food-wise, Wawa literally shoved into my hands: 2 water bottles, a donut, soft pretzel, banana, 2 bags sliced apples, 2 bags grapes, 2 cheese sticks,and 3 large bags of candy.

I drove home to have brunch with my mom, sister, her boyfriend and my nephew. Then had my parents over for dinner - we had take out at my mom's request.

The candy went to my nephew. Rest of the goodies went in the fridge for me!

Today's Food/Spending:
Breakfast: Granola bar & soft pretzel (.55 spent)
Lunch: Pasta salad
Snack: popcorn
2nd Snack: small tomato salad
Dinner: Penne pasta in tomato sauce with homegrown basil and 1 cup spinach. Leftover salad from last night's takeout.

My little indoor garden is growing. I planted some catnip, chives, parsley and something else I can't remember. I have several basil plants going & a tomato plant that I have to transfer soon.

It got really cold over the weekend and I ended up turning on the heat last night. Keeping it at 65, but the heat still is kicking in once in a while.

Day 2 May Lunch Challange & a No Spender

May 4th, 2010 at 07:06 pm

Today was Day 2 of the Lunch Challange: Sucess!

Packed breakfast, lunch, snacks & 1 soda. Today ended up being a no spender. I'm hoping tomorrow will be too, but maybe not as I need a quick veggie run for salad stuff.

I had a homeowners informational meeting tonight (go me as VP). we're discussing some law changes that govern our maintenance organization. This is one of three meetings.

Today's Meals:

Breakfast: Granola & cottage Cheese
Snack: popcorn
Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: Salad with tuna
Snack: rest of popcorn

Tomorrow, I'm going to my nephews baseball game. Will eat dinner at home first and take a snack/drink with me.

Thursday night is the last HOA meeting
Friday will be movie night at a friends
Saturday I am going to a party, but have leftover beer from my fridge to bring.
Sunday I am walking the Breast Cancer walk in Philly. Already paid for - but I'll need to buy gas. Afterwards, I'll be taking my mom out for Mother's Day.

Todays 5 Things:
1. Call comcast
2. Library drop off
3. HOA meeting
4. Pack lunches
5. Catch up on personal email

Part Time Job, a little spending

December 1st, 2009 at 03:46 pm

Well, knocked a couple of things off on my financial To Do list.

- I listed a few things on Craiglist last night. I have interest in 3-4 items & hope to get rid of them by Saturday.
- I put an ad on Craiglist offering my room for rent. Have 2 potentials and hopefully I can meet them in the next week
- I had an interview for a part-time seasonal job at a chain store at the mall. AND I got the job! Smile Its gonna be crazy busy, but I could use the extra money. I think I got the last nights/weekends position that they had! Lucky me Smile

I'm trying to control unnecessary spending, but I HATE curbing my social activities. So I'm just trying to be smart about them.

Tonight, I have my homeowners association meeting. (We're ordering pizza, so I'll chip in $5). Then I'm meeting friends for a quick drink ($3? just one drink, really!!). I already made lunches for tomorrow & Thursday because tomorrow night I'll be busy.

My friend's birthday is tomorrow. We'll be going out with friends for her birthday. Dinner & drinks out (approx $15), so there will be spending. So then she'd going to crash at my house (I'm the DD), since she works here, but lives 40 minutes away.

Thursday night is book club. I'll have one beer (approx $6). Friday night, I'm definately staying in.

Saturday night I promised a friend I'd be his plus 1 for his work's holiday party. I know a bunch of his coworkers, so it should be fun. And I get free food/drink. Probably will tip a bit at the complimentary bar ($5?), but that should be it.

Sunday night, my mom, sister & I are going to a play. My mom gifted us the tickets. She'll probably want to do dinner out before or after, but I'm probably going to pass. I'm spending the morning cleaning her house for her (as a gift) and I really want the evening to prepare for the next week.

Speaking of that next week. I have orientation and training for the part time job Monday through Wednesday!

I'm going to have to plan well so that I have food for breakfast lunch & dinner & don't spend extra money eating out!

And on a good note, my heat hasn't been kicking in much at all!

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

Happy Friday!

November 13th, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Hello All, Happy Friday! Today is a no-spender, but the rest of this weekend is going to be spendy. I've got a book signing and birthday party tomorrow. And then my mom & I are driving about 30 mins to get me some new tires at her previous place of work. They're having an employee sale and I'll get 20% off. We'll wait around while the work's being done & maybe hit a movie. I haven't had any mom time in a while, so it'll be worth it.

I have been working on a grocery list/meal plan. My pantry and fridge are very bare. I do have some foods frozen, but even the freezer looks empty. However, I'm working with a tight grocery budget. I found some extra funds and have the grocery budget set at $100 for the 17 day pay period.

This is the meal plan through next Friday:

Tonight:
Dinner -Meatloaf & baked fries
Saturday:
Lunch - Cucumber salad & tuna wrap
Dinner - Pasta with meat sauce and Cucumber salad
Sunday:
Lunch - Big salad, Tuna wrap
Dinner - Shake n bake chicken, potatoes
Monday:
Lunch - Buffalo chicken salad w/ Blue cheese
Dinner - Taco wrap w/ green beans
Tuesday:
Lunch - Meatloaf and salad
Dinner - Turkey bacon BLT & salad
Wednesday:
Lunch - BLT and salad
Dinner: Pasta with meatsauce, garlic bread
Thursday:
Lunch - Sloppy joe over pasta
Dinner - Buffalo Shake N bake chicken, salad
Friday:
Lunch - Tuna wrap and salad
Dinner: Baked Potato soup, BLT

No Spender! New Budget

November 12th, 2009 at 08:33 pm

Today was a No Spender. Yay! Its cold and rainy here and all I want to do is curl up under a blanket. But instead, I managed to get myself to the gym, make dinner and pack food for tomorrow. Thats something at least Smile

Being cold and rainy, the heats kicking in at night. I set it at 64 during the night last night and 62 while at work. Normally, I'm not comfy unless its 66 at least, but I sucked it up and layered and kept the heat at 64 tonight. The problem really isn't layers for me, its my sinuses. So I know I won't be able to do 64 for forever Frown

Tomorrow is payday. I will have 3 weekends in this pay period, so its a little longer than normal. My entertainment budget is going to be tight. I have a book signing for a friend on Saturday. This is a big deal and I'm totally willing to support him by purchasing the book ($18). Then I have another friend's bowling & bar birthday bash that night. I'm hoping to make it out of that night on $20. We'll see how it goes.

I'm working on Christmas gifts. I also have the one friends birthday on Saturday and another's the first week of December. So I'm going to be looking for deals this weekend! I know there's some super clearance stuff at Kohl's and I've been using free prints from Snapfish to frame for gifts too.

Somebody's Got a Case of the Mondays

October 12th, 2009 at 05:23 pm

Well, its Monday. I SO can't wait until Friday comes around again!

Today, I skipped the gym and have been chilling at home. We had a big temperature drop today & I'm snuggled up in fleece pants and long sleeve tee & sweater. I'm still hoping to keep the heat off for a while. When I go to bed tonight, I'm putting the down comforter on the bed.

I had a no spender. Packed cheerios for breakfast & pasta salad for lunch. Made a really yummy dinner and have already pre-packed breakfast and lunch for tomorrow.

I did accomplish my 5 Things Today:

1. Reconcile Spending/Budget (DONE)
2. Clear out email Inbox (DONE)
3. Clean kitchen (DONE)
4. Put away laundry (DONE)
5. Plan Meals for this week (DONE)

Meal Plan:

Monday:
Lunch: Pasta Salad
Dinner: Farfalle with tomato sauce

Tuesday:
Lunch: Salad with pasta, soup
Dinner: Taco wrap

Wednesday:
Lunch: Cucumber salad, meatloaf muffin, soup
Dinner: Sloppy joe

Thursday:
Lunch: Salad, meatloaf muffin
Dinner: To be Determined (eating at parents)

Friday:
Lunch: Pasta salad
Dinner: To be determined (possibly eating out)

And I can't believe that NOBODY commented about the dudes in coconut bras in my last post. That was funny to see in person!