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I Found It and Paid Cash for It

April 6th, 2019 at 06:38 pm

I have been searching for five years for a new comforter in the teal to turquoise range and today I finally found it. It's teal and a Queen, not a King, but that's okay. I put it sideways on the bed anyhow and I don't tuck it because of the bed rails. I have never, not once, found a comforter for a King bed that I have liked, but I have found queen ones, so I'm used to that. They simply didn't come in the larger size. I used my allowance money as I have barely touched it for the last six months. While it could have come out of the household budget, this is a want, not a need, so I used my allowance. I still have enough left over to purchase an upgrade for my video editing software.

It was $69.95 plus tax. We found it at the Big K in Burlington. Our Kmart shut down and this is the nearest one to us. I was not overly impressed with this store. It is a larger store, but not so nicely laid out and it didn't seem to even have as much stuff as our old one did.

I also purchased some socks with the money from the clothing envelope as they have the type of socks I like that don't slip in my shoes, Athletech. I got a pack of 10, so I should be good again for a while. The socks were $8.99 plus tax.

And then I purchased a stainless steel frying pan. The copper skillet that came with the induction cooktop is already having food stick. We have been very careful to only use a sponge, too. That irritates me immensely. We had one before that did the same thing. I hate copper pans and if it hadn't come with it, I'd never have had one again.

And while I like cooking in cast iron, our big pan is quite heavy and the stainless steel is easier to lift and clean. I can still use the smaller cast iron pans easily. I got a 12 inch 5 quart saute pan with a lid. You can only use pans that a magnet will stick to on the cooktop. But now I should be good. This came out of the household envelope and cost $16.99.

Tax was $7.99, but I had some points left from before our Kmart closed down so had $1.97 taken off the final balance which was $101.99. Tax came out of the clothing budget just to make life easier. And no, I didn't make three separate purchases, I did one, but then reimbursed the envelopes that needed to be, because sometimes using cash can be a pain and I do whatever makes it work best.

So today was spending, but everything was funded, and that's the way I like it.

Garden Shopping

March 26th, 2019 at 01:40 am

I bought my onion plants today. They should arrive the week of 4/8. I bought 3 bunches of candy sweet onions (it was cheaper to get 3 than 2), 1 batch of redwing red storage onions, and 1 batch of Patterson yellow storage onions. Each batch contains 50 to 60 plants. This should be enough onions for the year. I have had really good luck with storage onions. I have bought the candy sweets the last couple of years and they last a long time, at least six months, at which point I've used them all up, generally. At least what I didn't freeze. So I thought I'd grow them this year. They are my all time favorite onion.

But sometimes you don't want a sweet onion. I like red onions on salads. The kind I got two years ago, the Wethersfield reds did not perform well. At all. So I am trying another long term red storage onion. They are a smaller onion, but I have a hard time getting through regular sized red onions before they go bad as I am the only one who eats them and you can only eat so many slivers on a salad before you start sneezing your head off.

I usually get copra keeping onions for the yellow non-sweet onion, but they are always so small, so I thought I'd try the Pattersons this year and see how they are. They look bigger from the photos. The copras have lasted as long as a year, with just a few sprouting. I hope the Pattersons do as well. All told I paid $83.05 with shipping and taxes. Not bad for a year's supply of onions. Some of them I will grow just to the scallions size as we use a lot of those, too.

I think they are all hybrids, though, so if I save seed it might not be true, but you never know. I find planting onions from seed to be tedious, though, and I feel the plants do way better than the seeds or the bulbs.

I need to get out in the garden and weed a couple beds, though, so I have them ready for when the onions arrive. I need to go slowly and not do too much at once, but I think I can do about 8 x 2 feet a day without stressing my body too much.

As I have stated before, I am keeping it pretty easy this year. Two tomato plants, 8 peppers, lettuce, spinach, radishes, scallions, onions, kohlrabi, broccoli, zucchini, a yet to be determined form of winter squash, and herbs. Possibly cauliflower for Mom and maybe a few carrots, though I don't have much luck with them. I want to do cabbage, but it takes up a lot of space, so I don't know if I will, and they are so cheap at the store, even for the organic ones, it really isn't worth it. Mom will be planting potatoes, corn, and green beans, enough for both of us is the plan.

Snow Keeps Falling, Snow Keeps Falling, Down, Down

February 10th, 2019 at 09:00 pm

...to paraphrase one of my favorite songs from the 80's. The snow started around 3:00 this afternoon and we already have six inches. It's supposed to snow non-stop for the next few days, too. DH and I were out doing our grocery shop. We went to five stores, but the second to last one had closed early due to the weather. We only missed it by about a half an hour, but fortunately that was Whole Foods, which was just a want, not a need, run for sopprasetta.

Usually I will spread out the shopping over a couple of days, but not when the weather is only going to get worse. So here's what I bought at Safeway:

1 Pepsi Throwback (sugar kind, and bad)
2 Pirates Booty
1 Tostitos Lime
2 Classico Alfredo Sauce
2 packages O Organics Popcorn
2 1/2 gallons of O Organics Milk
1 bag of spinach
2 limes
1 box organic blackberries
1 organic red onion
4 organic roma tomatoes
1 lb deli roast beef
1 lb deli roast chicken

I spent $64.86 there. Next we went to Costco and I got:

1 box shredded parmesan cheese
2 4 packs frozen broccoli
1 bag of six bell peppers
1 box of Kodiak Power Waffles
1 bag of sausage patties
1 2 pack of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 packages of Yangtze pork
1 4 pack Kerrygold Irish butter
2 24 packs of organic eggs
2 3 packs of organic chicken sausage links
1 bag of peeled garlic
1 2 pack of prosciutto

I spent $172.99 there. Our next stop was the food co-op. We were looking for tortillas without soy in them, but there's had soybean oil so I only ended up buying:

1 head of organic lettuce

I spent $2.99. Next we went to Trader Joe's and I bought:

3 5 lb bags of Russet potatoes
2 packages of uncured beef hot dogs
4 packages of flour tortillas (no soy!)
2 containers of sunflower oil
1 box pita crackers (no soy!)
1 box rosemary crackers (no soy!)

I spent $43.97 there. So total grocery spending was $284.81, well under my $400 two week grocery budget.

We did pickup some household items as well. At Safeway we got 2 bottles of body wash for DH for $6.51. At Costco we picked up a case of toilet paper and 2 4 packs of Zyrtec for $98.99 for a total of $105.50. TP and body wash came out of the Household Envelope and Zyrtec came out of the Medical Fund Account.

Now I shouldn't have to budge from the house until the Snowpocalypse is over.

East Coast Weather on the West Coast

February 4th, 2019 at 06:33 pm

We got hit by bitter weather yesterday. Several inches of snow fell and the temperature was 19 degrees. The wind made it worse. The roads might as well have been glass in the places where the sun doesn't really hit them. We had a problem on one hill where I had to stop for someone who ran a stop sign and then couldn't get my car to go forward. I had to back down the hill a bit and move over to get some traction. I did make it up. I couldn't really blame the guy who ran his stop sign as he did try to stop. He just slid through the intersection.

I didn't know how bad it actually was when we went out yesterday or I wouldn't have gone. But out we did go and we spent all of the money in the Clothing Envelope, plus $20 in the household envelope. DS was out of his body wash, which we have to get a special type since he's allergic to so much. The stores we usually buy it out have stopped carrying it, so we had to track down one who did. So we bought 5 bottles of that and then I took DS to Penney's and bought him two pairs of jeans and two pairs of slacks. They actually had pants there that were 29 inches long. He usually has to get 30, but that's a little long, so he was very happy.

DH had taken him to get new shoes the day before and we ordered new shoes for DD. So no more clothes buying until we can refill that Clothing Envelope. I had thought I needed new shoes, but it turns out when I bought the last pair it was buy one get one and so I'd stuck the second pair in my closet for the future. DH found them for me and it is such a difference on my feet.

Today the roads are bare and it is 27 degrees, but the wind is even worse. We had to go and buy a space heater for the rabbit shed as we had so many power failures last night (they lasted about a minute each, so maybe surges is a better word) that it fried the heater out there, even though it has a surge protector on it. It was an older heater anyway. We don't heat it very high, just the lowest setting, but it keeps their water bottles from freezing. Since I had run out of money in the Household Envelope, I took it out of the Personal Care Envelope. That's the money I'd set aside to get my hair cut, but I can go another month without. I might even go until spring, since the long hair is keeping my back warm.

After that we stopped at another store and got the special hand soap my son has to use, since he was nearly out of that as well. It's fun having a kid that is allergic to nearly ever skin product out there. /sarcasm We wanted to get him what he needed before we go to Seattle Wednesday night. Usually I have a stockpile, but I really let things run down when I was so sick.

Once we get back from Seattle, I will do a grocery shop, but it will not be a massive one. I'll get breakfast meats, but not any other kinds of meat. I have quite a large stockpile now that we need to go through and eat down before I buy any meat. I've done a two week meal plan based around what we have on hand, which I will post separately. I am hoping to keep the grocery budget to half this payday.

Grocery Ad Lull, Endocrinologist, and Wal*Mart Trip

July 24th, 2018 at 06:40 pm

Well, this is the second week in a row where I have gone through the grocery ads in preparation for my Friday shopping and only found one thing that was worth buying. Last week was a milk sale and this week is a beef roast sale. Since I am not sure when we will get down to the farm to buy more beef, I will probably stop into Safeway for the meat deal and for the organic milk, lettuce (mine has bolted), and radishes, but the rest of my shopping will be at Winco. The other stores are just so high priced when there is not a good sale going on.

Things went well at the endocrine doctor. He has ordered more specific blood tests, checking individual hormone levels. The took 5 of the large vials of blood. DD was a little woozy afterwards, as she hadn't eaten in case they needed fasting bloodwork, so I got her some onion rings from the last of my blow money. I get more on Friday, though, so that is okay.

We stopped at Wal*Mart as well and I got two packages of white wash cloths. They had product shrinkage though. Used to be those were 12 packs. Now they are 9 packs. It has gotten so hot here that we all need to wipe down during the day at least twice. It's too expensive to keep hopping in the shower every couple of hours! So having a big stack of wash cloths will be very helpful for quick, icy cold sweat relief. I had 12 white ones that were just for me, but I use those on my face morning and evening and the others kept stealing them even though they have their own color codes ones. Now maybe I can keep up.

I also bought a couple of cheap notebooks for budgeting and meal planning since the back to school sales have started. I'll probably get a few more in the coming weeks, but two was sufficient for now. It took me forever to find college ruled, but I did. I also got an accordian file for my daughter to keep her medical records in and a dry eraser for the white board. I also got DD some gum. I spent $20.83 out of the household envelope.

I really should have picked up tissues while we were there, but I totally forgot we needed them by the time we got there. So they will be on Friday's shopping list. I'll probably just stop into Kmart, though, because it is closer. Wal*Mart is a ways out, but it is near the endocrine doctor. I don't like making special trips just to go there.

I don't want to make dinner. It is so hot. But I really don't want sandwiches two nights in a row, either. Maybe I will make fajitas in the Instant Pot. Then at least I won't be heating up the house further. Man, I wish we had A/C.

I had to go change the ducks' water around four today as it had gotten so hot they couldn't drink it. I moved it further into the shade and they were so happy to get cold water. They all splashed around in it and then I filled them again and they drank it. Then they all waddled off in their little line to hide out under the raspberries where it is cooler.

I feel bad for the rabbits with their fur coats, but they all have an individual fan attached to the front of their cages and they are hanging out directly in front of them and seem to be doing fine. I'll have to watch them closely if we crack the next temperature decade. Or whatever you call groupings of ten when it is temperature.

Mattress Shopping and Medical Things

July 10th, 2018 at 05:45 pm

DD and I went mattress shopping today. We found a mattress and originally it was going to cost us $763, but we ended up getting it for $740, because the guy did not have any cash in the store. I had 10 $100 bills to pay for it and he asked if I had any other money. He asked if I had any twenties. Well, I had a twenty in my allowance envelope and I twenty in my household envelope so I told him I had two 20's. He didn't ask if I had any other money, which I did, but I wasn't going to volunteer it to see what he would do. So he ended up giving it to us for $740. Salesmen know that if you walk out of the store without buying they may not get you back in the door again.

He said usually he has cash in the store, but everyone who bought mattresses today paid in cash. He's so used to everyone paying by credit card or financing, that the small amount of cash he keeps on hand was wiped out. He even checked his wallet! It's his store so he can do that.

I wonder what he would have done if I hadn't had it. Maybe he would have knocked it down to $700. Maybe I should have hemmed and hawed, but I felt like $23 off was a nice discount already and I did have lower bills, even if I did have to rob another envelope. Now I will have to straighten that out, but I will have to break one of the $100's before I do.

We used some of the $5000 MIL gave us to make this purchase. DD has been having major back issues on the garbage bed she's been using. Hopefully the new bed will improve things. I know it did for me and for my son when we got new mattresses in the last couple of years.

We got a call from the endocrinologists office and they are getting DD in on the 24th of July. It was their first available emergency appointment and she's on a wait list for if someone cancels. Usually it takes 3 to 4 months to get into this guy, but after he looked at her test results he wanted to get her in quickly, hence the "emergency" appointment.

So even though no one has actually explained the test results to us yet, they are clearly significant. From what we were able to decipher online from our copy of the report, there is stuff wrong with her pituitary, her adrenals, and then of course the hypothyroidism. So two weeks and maybe she can start getting proper treatment for everything and maybe she can start functioning as a human being again.

Two weeks feels like a long time right now, but in medical time it is very fast. If I had gotten the message a little sooner we would have been able to get her in tomorrow, but between the time the front desk guy called and she called back it had been filled. Oh, well.

I have surgery on my toe tomorrow anyway. I am having the toenail root killed on the inside of my big toe because of all the reoccurring ingrown toenails I get. I've had one of the smaller ones done, and it destroys a small sliver of the nail bed so that the toenail just doesn't grow back along that part. It has worked wonders for the other toe. So I will likely be out of commission around here for a day or so and then be limping along for a few days before it is fine again. They do cut out the portion of the nail that has already grown, so that is why it'll mess me up for a bit.

Maybe tomorrow I'll give in and do take out. We have enough money right now to do so, I've just been holding on to it. If it is intentional spending I feel okay about it. It's the "I'm too tired or too lazy to cook," that is the problem. Not a planned for take out meal. We'll see how I feel once the lidocaine wears off.

Grocery Spending Tracking

June 1st, 2018 at 05:49 pm

DS and I did the banking this morning and I funded my envelopes. I put $200 in the Grocery envelope and $50 in the Household envelope. I put $200 into the Medical checking account and took out $35 for DS's allowance. DD is not getting one as she is doing no chores while recovering from surgery.

After that DS and I went shopping. In the Household category I spent $19.54 on dishwasher soap. It was a very good sale. In the Grocery category I spent $159.66. I still need to buy tissues and body wash from the Household and yogurt and soup from the Grocery categories. I may get some butter, too, yet, but that depends on how fast we go through what we have. I am hoping to push the butter off another week.

Groceries I bought at Safeway:

4 Miracle Whip
2 lbs organic tomatoes
4 boxes organic spaghetti
2 boxes organic penne pasta
12 Chef Boyardee Mini-Ravioli
6 organic Nectarines
1 cantaloupe
2 Jif naturals creamy peanut butter
1 Justin's honey peanut butter (for DS)
4 organic ketchup
1 2 lb bag Mexi-Blend shredded cheese
2 potato bread
2 dynamite bread
1 Thousand Island dressing
4 jars Prego pasta sauce
3 1/2 gallons of milk

I spent $117.61 there. Almost everything I bought there was on sale. Only the milk, bread, and Jif peanut butter was full price.

What I bought at Haggen:

3 lbs organic grapes
1 organic cauliflower
5 lbs organic broccoli
1 bunch cilantro
1 yellow summer squash
1 container shredded Parmesan cheese

I spent $42.05 there. The only thing on sale was the grapes. The other items were cheaper at Haggen then at Safeway, though. Now I need to sit down and make up my meal plan.

Grocery and Household Planning

May 31st, 2018 at 02:16 pm

I went through my freezer to decide what kind of meats I want to build my meals around this pay period and checked on my levels of onions, potatoes, carrots, celery, and sweet potatoes (all still good), and then I sat down with my price book spreadsheet and the grocery ads and filled things in around what I already have plus any super sales for staples I want to get.

I wrote everything out on a master shopping list divided into different stores and I put the prices of everything down and added them up. I am under budget with enough left to get milk or bread if we run out later in the week.

Safeway is having a very good sale on Cascade dishwasher soap. I need some, but the sale is $5.49 each if you buy 4 or more, so I am going to go ahead and buy 4. I like having a stockpile and I have $12 left in the household budget, so with payday's $50 added, I'll have $62. I also need to buy my son's body wash and some Puffs tissues, likely a 6 pack. I went through a ton of tissues with this cold. How much body wash I buy will depend on the cost of the Puffs, but I would like to stock up a little.

With the extra $12 I can easily absorb the cost of the extra dishwasher soap into the Household envelope. Unlike with food, I have to account for sales tax of 8.7% in the Household budget. Next week I will be buying more toilet paper (I like to have 2 cases on hand) and deodorant. Something else may crop up, but so far the $50 a week seems to be covering it all.

Tracking our expenses so closely is making me feel an enormous amount of freedom. I know that we will meet all of our bills and have enough extra to pay some on the Monster Mom Loan. I don't feel nearly as overwhelmed now that I know where every dollar goes. I am looking forward to tomorrow when I can fund my envelopes. It is good to have focus again and realize there is a way out if we keep our eyes on our goals.