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Archive for September, 2011

Not Much on the Financial Front

September 29th, 2011 at 01:56 pm

I did clean out my purse today and had $1.81 in change to that went into the change jar. I gave my daughter a $5 this morning so she could buy lunch. She doesn't eat peanut butter and I had to throw out the lunch meat (despite ordering it by the slice, they didn't eat as much as they said they would) as it had gone off.

DH is home. Yay! It will be good to have him home for a while now.

Mom's class on what to expect when you go home from the hospital was long, almost 2 hours when it was supposed to only be 1.5 hours. Those chairs are rough to sit in for that long with a bad back and knee. I go back tomorrow at 9 for another one of her physical therapy classes and then some time in the afternoon she'll be released to come home.

My aunt and uncle who I have not seen since my daughter was 3 and I was pregnant with my son, stopped by to see my mother. They had no idea she was in the hospital. Gee, Mom, and I thought I didn't talk to my sisters much. They were on their way up to Canada to visit their daughter so they stopped here. I gave them Mom's room number and they said they'd stop by and see her, but whether they will or not is anybody's guess.

Tomorrow is payday. I'll be glad to see it.

Grocery Shopping

September 28th, 2011 at 10:33 am

I went to my favorite grocery store this morning because they were having a one day sale on produce, things like cucumbers 4/$1, celery for .39/lb, sweet potatoes $1/lb, lettuce .79/head, radishes .50/bunch, bananas for .59/lb, beefsteak tomoatoes that were really red for .50/lb and corn for 3/$1. The salad dressing I like was also on sale so I picked up another 1000 Island and a chunky blue cheese for $3 a piece (preservative free). I picked up a new brand of Dijon mustard that had no additives or preservatives that was on sale.

They also had some meat marked down and I know I said I wasn't going to buy any meat right now since I have so much in the freezer, but it was ribeye marked down for quick sale (use or freeze by today) and I ended up with two steaks for $4. They are big enough that each one is two portions, so I'll get four servings from it. Also Isernio's all natural mild Italian chicken sausage was marked down for quick sale. This is the kind in the chub and not the kind that comes in links, so I will form some of it into patties and some of it into crumbles for a homemade pizza topping and freeze it.

I did refrain from buying a lot of unnecessary items though and am well under the grocery budget. I spent $54.49.

Quick Update

September 27th, 2011 at 09:11 pm

Mom's surgery went well and she's doing fine. Thanks for your prayers.

I had a close call on the eating out challenge. Today was just very stressful and I wanted junk food badly. But for the sake of my wallet and my diet I managed to resist it. I grilled some chicken instead, but I was very resentful in my own head about it. Still, it got me through to the other side without spending money.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

September 27th, 2011 at 08:10 am

My mom is going in for knee replacement surgery in a few hours. I'm a little nervous about it as she is 72. Please pray for her if you pray.

After a year of working 3 on/3 off, DH will start working 2 on/2 off when he returns to the slope after this time home. While this is good news, it is going to screw with the budget I had figured out through the end of the year. And it means he'll be working through Thanksgiving and Christmas this year instead of having them off.

2 and 2's are way better emotionally and financially in the long term, it's just that it would work for our budget so much better if he worked 3 then had 2 off instead of having 3 off and then working 2 for the changeover. I guess I'll see how far things will sretch. Again. Don't know what I'll do about January if he has to stay home that extra week. Maybe we will still be able to swing it. I won't be able to make maximum payments on anything though, which will be annoying.

This will definitely help with the no eating out challenge. We simply won't be able to waste any money at all until the end of November. On the bright side (and I always try to find one of those), DH will be home for my next follow up trip to Virginia Mason. I was going to try it by myself, but now I won't have to.

I think we'll continue eating as much as possible from the pantry and the freezer to try to cut grocery waste. I am really glad cucumbers, cabbage, bananas and lettuce are cheap at the moment. I think that's going to have to be the main produce for now. And pretty soon the cheap oranges will be in as well. And DH is going to have to cut back his milk consumption, too. No more going through 3/4 of a gallon on his own, per day.

I need to do some serious meal planning so we can figure out the best way to save money on that. Today will be spaghetti and meatballs, and then not sure for Wednesday since DH's flight gets in at 6. Maybe I can make a lasanga since I will have sauce leftover from making the spaghetti. I'll just do up extra meat for that. I can always grill up some boneless, skinless chicken thighs on the George for my diet.


No Eating Out Challenge

September 25th, 2011 at 07:18 pm

I am still going strong on the no eating out challenge, though today was, well, a challenge, as I totally forgot to put a roast in the crockpot. We almost always have roast on Sundays and I didn't even think about it today until 3:30. And the kids were wanting McDonalds and I was very tempted because of the buy one get one free quarter pounders. But I did not give in to this.

Instead I looked in my freezer and saw some beef ribs. It took about 15 minutes to thaw them and a little over an hour to cook them. Dinner was still on the table by 5. The nectarines have been lovely right now so we had those and I had a salad and the kids had green beans. They are not really lettuce eaters, though DD will have it in tacos or on a cheeseburger. DS hates lettuce, but will eat baby spinach and cabbage, so I guess I can't complain too much.

Anyway, I'm glad I didn't give in. I'd really like to make it to the end of the month without eating out at all. Starfishy, are you going to join me for another week? Or anyone else, if you want to. It's nice to have at least one other person doing it with me.

We went to The Market to buy the additive free deli meat for lunches. I actually did it by the slice this time. This is such expensive meat and I am tired of having it get to Thursday and having to throw a little bit out because there are no preservatives and it goes off. So I asked the kids exactly how many slices they use per sandwich and then added it up and had the deli girl slice me exactly that much. The girl laughed at my specific requests but cheerfully did it, commenting that a lot of people aren't that smart about it. I wish I had been sooner. I also got milk while I was there.

Tomorrow I have physical therapy, so that will be $60 out. Then I should not have to spend any more money until Friday.

A Little Spending

September 24th, 2011 at 02:38 pm

The ridiculous heat we had yesterday (86 degrees) is gone. It's resting at 73 with a nice breeze today. The sky is overcast, but not the type that makes you think it's going to rain, just the type that makes it be not quite so bright outside.

The kids went for a walk to return the two DVD's we rented from the DVD Express box and some library books. Our local grocery store has a public library turn in box in it. It's kind of wonderful. They pick up on Wednesdays and Saturdays and backdate anything to the time of their last pickup, so it's not overdue just because you turned it in elsewhere.

DS's alarm clock is malfunctioning so we went to get him a new one and it doesn't work. Or it doesn't fully work. It doesn't light up one of the digits. So say it is 12:35, the three is missing. It's just not there. Weird. So I will be taking it back, but not today. Maybe tomorrow.

I also bought a small salad spinner. I was being lazy about eating the veggies I need to eat, because if I didn't prepare it ahead of time I wouldn't eat them. But if I did prepare it ahead of time they would get soggy in the Ziploc baggy (paper towel included) and start to go off. With the spinner I can keep it nice and crisp and have it prepared ahead of time.

I have hit the 11 pounds lost mark since starting this diet and 37 pounds since my surgery. I am going to swim laps today in a little while.

Oh, yeah, I also bought a garlic press. I am tired of peeling it and mincing it and this just makes it so much easier. Both of these gadgets will make meal planning so much easier because I will stick more closely to what I plan to make, and that makes a lot of difference.

Payday Stuff

September 23rd, 2011 at 01:09 pm

Today was payday so I did bills and then ran around doing errands this morning. I had an irritating time at the CU (see previous post), but otherwise everything went smoothly. I will be glad when DH gets home Wednesday so we can take care of the irritating things.

$1000.00 to savings (possible Jan. extra week off)
___17.00 HoA dues savings
__100.00 Property tax savings
__100.00 Propane tank savings
__100.00 Emergency Fund
___37.68 Garbage
__215.00 Chiropractor
__754.24 set aside for HSA
___33.00 DS's school photos
$1000.00 Loan payback to Mom
___13.56 Electricity old house
+_183.91 Master Card (paid in full and put away)
_______________
$3554.39

I have about $400 leftover. I took out $50 in cash and will pay $60 on Monday for physical therapy which leaves me about $290. $100 of that DH will get for his allowance. I am buying a new bread machine which will be less than my allowance, but not by much. That leaves $90 for food, but I think we can get by with only buying deli meat for next week's lunches and some milk, especially since we are still on the no eating out challenge. Whatever is left will go into the EF.

Speaking of the EF:

$2223.18 Starting Amount
+_100.00 Deposit
_________
$2323.18 New EF Amount

$2323.18 EF Amount
+__37.30 Coin Jar savings
__________
$2360.48 Total EF

So I've met my goal of $2250 in the EF. Next goal is $2500.

A Bit Frustrated with my CU and the HSA

September 23rd, 2011 at 12:48 pm

When we signed up for the HSA the lady at the credit union told us that there would be no problem with me depositing money into DH's HSA account, I just couldn't withdraw it. Well, guess what? They were wrong. I can't deposit it into his account either. I can deposit it into his savings that is attached to the HSA, I just can't do it to the HSA itself and neither can he unless he goes in in person. And he has to fill out paperwork every single time he makes a deposit. I specifically asked about this three times. Every time the lady assured me I could make the deposit.

Now I have to wait for him to come home from Alaska before I mail off these bills. He comes home on Wednesday so it's not that bad this time, but it is frustrating. These people need to be properly trained so that they tell you the facts when you sign up and not just random wrong things.

I think what we will do on the next paycheck (he'll be home for this), is to just run $2000 through the account and take it back out again. Then I can just keep track of things on a spreadsheet until I hit that $2000 mark. I might do it with $3000. I just need to add up the stack of paid medical bills from earlier in the year and see what they come to.

Not Much to Report Today

September 22nd, 2011 at 08:21 pm

I am doing fine on day...whatever it is of the No Eating Out Challenge Starfishy and I are doing. Today was a nice use up all the leftovers day.

I spent $1.09 on a packet of highlighers for the kids for school. I gave the chiropractor a check for $215, but he's holding it until tomorrow. He'd rather I do that than pay with a CC as he has to pay a fee every time someone charges their visits. I don't want to pay with CC anyway, not even the one I pay off in full every month.

Tomorrow is payday. I have budgeted this one pretty tightly as well, but there will be a bit more breathing room. I just really want to have that money to set aside in case DH has to take an extra week off in January. It's worth it to pinch now so we don't get overwhelmed later or have to touch our meager emergency fund. So far the kids are being very good about it.

I paid $1 to rent Hanna out of the DVD Express box. it was excellent. I'm not sure what I was expecting from it, but about half of it was different from those expectations. Still, it was very interesting. I liked the alternate ending better than the original. The original one just sort of...ended without coming to a real conclusion. The alternate one seemed to go full circle.

I added .59 to the change jar. I had $1.25 more, but DS needed that to buy a graph composition book for his science class tomorrow so it never made it to the change jar. They have to purchase them in class as they are a special order thing. I think that's it for today.

Money on OTC Meds

September 21st, 2011 at 11:16 am

I spent $30 on medication this morning. I woke up feeling nasty. I had one day last week like this, but it followed a night of no sleep and then it was gone. This time it feels like the onset of a full on virus. Ugh. So I bought a jar of Vick's vaporub, some nasal spray and some plain white pseudophedrine, so at least this way I can breathe. I don't like taking regular cold medicine because most of it is colored with artificial dyes or has sweetners and fillers that affect my weight and make me bloat. I don't want any of that on top of being sick.

I used some of the money I was going to put into the HSA. Well, it was medical, but it's not deductible medical. Still, I'd rather feel good right now than pay a bill a couple days early.

I might go over to the club and sit in the sauna and try to bake this thing out of me. Sometimes that helps. Of course that requires effort so maybe a nap instead.

I also spent the last ten bucks in my checking to buy 20 cans of green beans. The store had them on sale and I was almost out and we eat them several times a week. This was a good deal anymore (20 cans for $10, so .50 each. There's like $1 left now. Well, there's more, but not everything has been processed yet this week. I still have $5 in cash in case I need to buy milk before Friday.

The no eating out challenge is going fine. It's nice not to be wasting money right now. I'm making a pizza tonight for dinner based on what we have on hand, instead of getting one as takeout.