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Good & Bad & Good again

September 18th, 2012 at 01:45 am

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 Smile

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!

To Do List, Finanacials, Goodies, Updates

November 11th, 2011 at 02:57 pm

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 Smile

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 Smile

- 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 Smile 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 Smile

- 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 Smile

-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 Smile

-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 Smile

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!

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

Coming off a 10 day Staycation!

August 15th, 2011 at 03:38 pm

So I was on vacation all last week, plus the prior Friday. My big vacation trip is next month (Oktoberfest in Germany!) So this vacation was very low key.

Friday the 5th, I had lunch with my parents (free) & my nephew, mowed their lawn & vegged at home that night. WAtched a few movies off Netflix/from the library

Saturday the 6th - I went to a winery for an event. $10 to get in, $8.00 for a specialty drink & $15 to purchase a bottle of wine. I packed food and my friends & I shared a picnic, enjoyed the band & scenery.

SUnday the 7th - BBQ at the boyfriend's and then watched True Blood with friends.

Monday the 8th - Lunch with my college roommate and her daughter (free - Since her daughter's 3, I went to their house for sandwiches. I brought cookies leftover from the winery picnic). In the afternoon, I went canoing with my nephew (age 10). It was a very uncoordinated, but FUN effort ($3 to get into the park, $8 for the rental.) I Stayed in that night & did some cleaning.

Tuesday the 9th - Went for a 2 hour hike & picnic with 3 friends & a dog Smile It was beautiful weather. THat evening, I met another friend for 2 for 1 tickets at the movies ($6.00 total for both tickets) and then half price burgers at a local restaurant ($5-ish)

Wednesday the 10th - Saw the Help with friends. Read the book, loved the movie ($8)! We went out to lunch after ($15). THat evening, my boyfriend came over & we watched a movie from the library.

Thursday the 11th - Ran errands, packed & left for the beach. My boyfriend's roommate had invited 8 of us down to his parent's beach house. BF & roommate had to work Friday, but it was from home, so they could do that at the beach. I spent about $35 on alcohol to contribute to the parties. The host's mom had been at the beach house earlier in the day & had left us chicken & beef stew for diner, so no cooking!)

Friday the 12th - while the boys worked, the rest of us had a light breakfast, then played tennis at the community's court (Free). We then went to the pool (free), ordered lunch ($8 for a sub) and hung around. THat evening, we made tacos & played board games (I had brought 2). We made some drinks, played some music, danced around and just had tons of fun. We had several cameras & videos going Smile

SAturday the 13th - We made a big breakfast, slept in. After breakfast people split up - some went to the beach, some the tennis courts, I stayed and had a much needed nap! Haha. Afterwards, I went to the pool & read for a while. That night, we got dolled up & went to the resort town at the beach. Cabbed it in & back, but had a blast!

Sunday, we had a leisurely breakfast, then all headed home except for the boyfriend & I. We were meeting one of his friends for lunch about a half hour away. We had a drink at the bar while waiting, then we got a call that the friend & her husband were stuck in traffic. So we ended up having lunch & leaving. It was nice ($40)

That night, we went back to the boyfriends for our weekly True Blood Dinner. We were all too tired to cook, so we ordered in. BF paid for dinner as I picked up the lunch tab Wink

Today, I am back to work with a HUMUNGOUS to-do list. Instead of 5 THings, I need to get about 15 done. And I am going to make it work! haha.

1. HOA chores (Est 1/2 hour of time needed)
2. Rent free movie from redbox promo [DONE]
3. Email about mypoints to friend, email friend of a friend about possibly renting the spare room when this roommate moves out at the end of next month [DONE and DONE]
4. Budget (today was payday)
5. Grocery shop [DONE]
6. Make meal plan [DONE]
7. Find passport in paperwork
8. Laundry-wash bathroom rugs [DONE]
9. Clean bedroom
10. Clean, polish furniture in basement. take pictures for sale
11. Xmas plan (Update budget)
12. Pack gym bag & library bag
13. Make lunch for tomorrow and prep for other lunches [DONE]
14. Change cat litter
15. Watch Redbox movie [DONE]
16. Grab coupons & magazines from Mom's house [DONE]
17. Post mail
18. MyPoints - get points, refer friends [DONE]
19. Clear Home Email [DONE]
20. Research breadmaker
21. Sort stuff for GoodWill [DONE]
22. Take inventory of stuff roommate left behind
23.
Lastly: Get to bed early (Ha!)

Ok, back for real - with some mistakes

July 18th, 2011 at 05:20 pm

Hey all,
I am back again & I have missed you guys. My health is holding steady at good (Yay) but my spending was a bit out of control. I am working on creating a new budget with a strict focus on paying down debt.

Additionally, I am dating someone seriously and I find that I am spending so much more because of it. He is a gentleman and tries to pay most of the time, but I like to do my fair share. I need to start saying no to some things, lol.

And - here's the BIG money mistake - I agreed to do a trip to Germany for Oktoberfest. I was able to get an awesome deal on airfare & lodging. I am working to save funds for the rest of the costs. I only have about 2 months to do that - so part of my plan is to sell some of the furniture that is currently taking space in my basement. I inherited a full dining room set from my aunt & I will never use it, its just not my style. So I am working on cleaning it up, polishing & then selling.

I have lots of goals right now - but I am going to stick to my 5 Things lists. This is where I tackle a minimum of 5 things off my To Do list.

Today will be:
1. Grocery shop
2. Pack food for work tomorrow
3. Put up Craiglist ad for new roommate & email photos to a potential one found already
4. Clean bedroom
5. Have fun on date night with the boyfriend. Movies & Dinner out Smile

Lunches, spending & weekend!

January 21st, 2011 at 04:32 pm

I"ve been good about packing breakfast & lunch for work all this week. The only outlier was going to lunch with my parents on Wednesday. But since I had taken a half day off work (only worked til 11:30), I'm not counting that, since I wasn't actually at work for lunch Smile

Wednesday Spending:
$30.00 specialist copay (paid with HSA card)
$10.00 lunch with parents

Thursday Spending:
$4.00 kitchen items from dollar store (sandwich bags, plastic wrap, ect)
$105 medical necessity not covered by HSA/Insurance. UGH. I actually got a deal on this - because the 1 I bought from a local store in November was $75 and I was able to buy 2 for $105 plus free shipping & a free care kit. This purchase should last me about 6 months

Friday Spending - Not sure yet. I will be paying a library fine, approx $0.50. I was thinking about renting a Redbox movie, but it will depend if I find anything good at the library first. Dinner will be at home & I am staying in.

Tomorrow, I might be taking my nephew to see a hockey game. Cost; $10/ticket.

I am SO Ready for the weekend. My roommate has been complaining that his room is cold. It IS colder than my room, but its the front room & I Think the wind just hits it. I sealed the vents so that no heat escaped before getting to the room. I put plastic over the window that he thinks the air is coming in from. I haven't talked to him today, but hopefully he found it to be warmer last night. If not, weatherproofing that room will be part of my weekend plans Wink

Another No Spender!

January 18th, 2011 at 12:05 am

Today was a no spender! I packed food for work & came straight home after to put my feet up. Tomorrow will be a spend day as I need gas & to pick up some groceries.

The new roommate moved in today. He didn't have a lot of stuff, but will be moving the rest in this weekend. I helped him carry stuff in & he set things up & ran to the store to get some supplies.

While he was gone, I made a tuna sandwich & packed some food for tomorrow.

Financially, I am doing ok. I have $59 and change left of the grocery budget. This has to cover this week's food, this weekend, next week & next weekend. Unfortunately, I am spending more on veggies & dairy & other healthy stuff, so I have to really make that budget stretch, but its doable.

In the entertainment budget, I have $40. I plan on doing my normal Tuesday outing ($10). I might try to see a movie with my mom next week ($10) and who knows what else.

I also have LOTS of upcoming medical expenses. I have tests & need to see a specialist on Wednesday. Next week I see my family doc. The week after that, I have a dentist appointment and the week after that I have a follow up appointment to do another test. Ugh, just thinking about all of those copays! Oh well, I have my HSA replenished Smile