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BIL is Coming Home, Planning for DS, and Some Necessary Spending

August 8th, 2021 at 04:19 am

I heard from my middle sister last night and BIL should finally be coming home next week.  He'll continue to need in home rehabilitation for his lungs and physical therapy to recover from the positions he was kept in and they are sending someone in to do that.  The doctors say there is no reason that he should have survived.  He had a really bad case of Covid and so many risk factors.  My sister and I both think it is the power of prayer.  There were hundreds of people praying for him.  When even doctors call it a miracle, what else can it be?

In other news, DS is getting paid more than we thought.  Instead of it being $13.79 an hour it is $17.79 an hour.  Apparently there is a $4 an hour pay bump for hazard pay for grocery workers in my state for working with the public during a pandemic.  Even only working 20 hours a week, that is going to allow him to make some pretty quick strides towards his goals.

Goal one for him is to save up enough for a $1000 Emergency Fund.  I know Dave Ramsay says $500 for single people, but since his next goal is to save up for a car, and it'll be a beater, we both feel like $1000 is a better idea.  He's setting aside 15% until he has the amount needed to open an IRA.  He's also setting aside 10% of each paycheck until he has enough to send in a donation to a religious charity of his choosing.

I have agreed to keep giving him an allowance of $30 per week (instead of $45) until he has finished his Emergency Fund, so long as he actually does his chores and garden work and doesn't blow them off.  That way he can pile the 75% that is left of his paycheck into the EF and knock it out over the next four weeks, but still have a little spending money.  We will revisit the allowance situation then.

Then he can start saving towards a car.  We figure if he can find something that runs for $2000 to start off with, that will take him an additional 2 months.  Plus he will need to have some money set aside for insurance and car maintainance, tabs, ownership transfer tax, etc, so maybe 3 months.  By 4 months he can start saving money to partially pay for his braces (I have $3500 that I've saved) if I haven't managed to save it all myself by then.  Our insurance does not cover orthodontia.

Once the braces are paid for he will start saving up to pay for the schooling required to become an electrician, as well as start saving for a better car.  If he moves to full time after the kids go back to school everything can be accellerated.  I do hope he can.  I'd like him to save up enough money that he can do the schooling he needs to do without having to work a job.

With his ADHD, OCD (both diagnosed last year), and bi-polar (recent diagnosis), I'm not sure it is good to overwhelm him by having to do both.  He seems to be under control with his meds, but I well know how that can change in a heartbeat.  I remember how hard it was for me to work full time and go to school full time because I didn't have the choice.  At least DS has support for his mental illnesses.  My parents didn't believe in mental illness.  To this day, despite seeing it up close and personal with 3 different family members, my mother still believes you can shake off being bi-polar by thinking positively.  But that's a rant for another day.

I spent $113.10 today, including tax and shipping.  Lane Bryant online is having a big sale and I was able to pick up two more of the really good bras for $35 each instead of $55 each and some discounted underwear that matches the two I already have that they were sold out of previously.  The money came out of the clothing fund.  I've been waiting to pounce on a sale.  These particular bras have been a game changer when it comes to comfort without sacrificing support.  It's the Cacique Comfort Bliss line, which comes dangerously close to the comfort of the discontinued Cacique Barely There line, that I am still salty about over a decade later.

DH's Mom bought him a new phone because he smashed the one he bought (not the screen part, though) about six months ago when he took the case off to clean it.  He can still call out with it, but it is hit and miss whether he receives phone calls, so after a month of trying to deal with it, he needed a new one because he has to have one for work since he is still working from home.  So he ordered the same one as I have, which has been pretty good so far.  He did pay for a new case and screen protector which cost $27.18 which came out of the household budget, so I don't really need to track it to anything.  And if he wants to clean his phone like that in the future he must do it in the center of the king size bed so if he drops it, it should be fine.

I ended up making pasta for dinner last night, prawns putanesca.  It was a new recipe and it was good.  Tonight we will be having T-bones from our whole beef we bought.  I am so looking forward to it.  I will be making baked potatoes for everyone else, but I have some leftover mashed potatoes and gravy from KFC three days ago that I need to finish off, so I'll do that for me.  Then tomorrow I am back on the gluten free band wagon.  It really does make me feel so much better when I avoid wheat.

It finally rained last night and well into the day.  This is the first real rain we've had all summer.  We had one day where it barely sprinkled, but otherwise it has been very dry and hot.  It was nice to see it.  Maybe it'll green up some of the lawns again.  They look like hay.  While we live in a very nice neighborhood, most people don't waste water on their lawns here.  They save it for their gardens, trees, and flower beds, which is what we are supposed to do.  In fact the only lawn that is green right now is owned by Evil Hummer Dude and his wife, who scoff at water restrictions.

I need to make up a meal plan for next week.  Meal planning keeps me away from the take out counter.  But first I need to stop wasting time on her, and go make dinner.  

Payday Report for 8/6/2021 Back to Accountability

August 7th, 2021 at 02:19 am

In addition to it being payday we had a tiny dividend check for 51¢ and a check from MIL for $120.00, so I just added that in to the budget.  I used part of it for a new envelope system and part for a small EF deposit.  Hopefully they will actually send me the red envelope system that I ordered this time.  My son will be taking the green one they mistakenly sent if they actually send me the red one, otherwise I am going to have to try to deal with their customer service, which I would rather avoid.  I hate dealing with online customer service.  Anyway, here's what went out today:

$277.23 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_200.00 Grocery Envelope

_500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_118.18 Internet

__36.00 Garbage Fund (paid every 2 months)

_150.00 Car Insurance Fund

_100.00 Gas Money

__50.00 DH Blow Money

__50.00 My Blow Money

__90.00 Kids' Allowances

__87.92 Emergency Fund

_625.93 Citi

__32.56 Red Envelope System

I usually do $400 a month for groceries, but since DH could only go to the store with me yesterday I charged the shop to the Citi card and the left the other $200 that would have gone to the grocery fund to go to the Citi payment today.  We should be able to have a little more to add to the emergency fund this month if we keep our take out issue under control.  There is currently $477.22 left on the Citi card and some of the autopays have yet to be charged.  We will bring that down to zero by month's end.  I never carry a balance, but if we don't stop this, it could happen and I never want it to happen again.  It may not be much, but I didn't think I'd be able to add anything to the EF this week so I'm glad I could.

Next month I think I will increase the grocery budget to $500 like I talked about.  It may not be necessary with DD's dietary issues, but I want that cushion if it is.

 

 

 

Grocery Spending Tracking, Garden Purchase, and the Sweetest Stray Cat

August 6th, 2021 at 09:19 am

I finally made it to the grocery store for a decent sized shop.  DS and I went to Whole Foods since today was his day off.  It really isn't as expensive as some people think.  Like all stores it depends on what you buy.  For organic, it can beat some of the other stores and some of their prices were lower than for regular produce or gluten free items in regular stores.  I never find moldy produce there which is beginning to be more and more of a problem at one store I shop at.  And it has more selection than say Trader Joe's, which I haven't been in in at least 9 months, because they were so draconian in their Covid practices.

I mean, the employees at TJ's were always rude, like shoving their way in front of you to stock something instead of waiting until you moved out of the way or rolling their eyes when the store layout had changed and you asked them were something was now, or when they discontinued an item that you bought a month before but they would lie and say that was discontinued months ago or a year ago.  I've had a couple of them knock me off balance because they just run into you.

But their Covid practices were what really pushed it over they line.  They were like 8 steps beyond what every other grocery store was doing.  I swear I expected to end up in the disinfection scene from New Earth on Doctor Who or something.

Text is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htkUa_fVwCA and Link is
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htkUa_fVwCA  But they were inconsistent on enforcing it between registers.  And I got one too many rude cashiers when I asked why the other cashiers allowed you to stand in front of the plexiglass instead of making you wait 8 feet from the place where you could watch your prices ring up or start bagging your food, I was done.  They were just snarling and one even swore at me and I swear I was polite.  I've worked in the service industry, so I don't ever talk disrespectfully to employees even if they are being donkey hats as it gets you nowhere (and I never talked to customers that way either, no matter how exhausted I was).  If you have rules, everyone should follow them, not just one sole cashier.    There is nothing they have that I cannot get elsewhere anymore.  Plus their parking is, pardon my English, utter crap.  I was willing to put up with it when they were the only game in town, but they haven't been that for a long time.

Anyway, here is what I bought at Whole Foods:

2 uncured sliced meat selections (think chorizo, cappicola, etc.)

1 organic watermelon

2 jars of soy free Hoison sauce (first time I've found this)

2 whole organic rotisserie chickens

5 organic nectarines

1 2 lb bag organic French fries

1 box Lundberg's organic Spanish rice

4 boxes Jovial gluten free brown rice penne pasta

1 box almond flour crackers (gluten free)

1 jar organic dill pickle spears

1 box Vital Farms pasture raised butter (cheaper than Kerrygold)

1 box gluten free pancake mix

1 box gluten free organic cereal Cheetah Chomps (like Fruit Loops in concept, but healthy)

1 box of strawberry applesauce (4 shelf stable pouches)

1 small box organic baby spinach

8 Siggi's skyr yogurt (various flavors)

1 pint organic grape jelly

10 pouches organic baby food

1 box Annie's gluten free white cheddar and shells pasta

1 box Annie's gluten free cheddar and rice pasta

1 half gallon bottle of organic lemonade and iced tea (mixed)

1 pineapple

1 bag with 7 colored bell peppers

1 head of cauliflower 

1 lb sugar snap peas (which they rang up as a serrano, I see, which is a lot cheaper)

1 bunch green onions

1 6 inch piece daikon

2 heads of broccoli

1 large bok choy

3 lbs of dark red cherries

I spent $211.95 and that grocery cart was full.  I didn't buy much meat because we have a ton in the freezer.  I will have to go to one more store to buy milk, bread, gluten and soy free bread, uncured hot dogs, and then Whole Foods was sold out of ginger and black plums so I'd like to get those, too.  I shouldn't have to buy much else during the next two weeks, depending on how the fruit lasts.  It seems to not last as long with days in the 80's and 90's like right now.  The garden is producing lettuce, raspberries, zucchini, patty pan squash, and cucumbers now and it looks like I will have a lot ready by next week.

Oh, and the organic baby food pouches are because my daughter's gastropaeresis is acting up again, which makes it very hard for her to digest fiber.  This allows her to have some fruits and vegetables in a pureed form.  And since it is all organic, it really isn't that much cheaper to do it myself.  The convenience factor is worth it, though I will still puree any food I cook for her that can be pureed.  Right now having a soft food diet gives her digestive system a chance to rest without sacrificing nutrition.  It is very easy for her to become malnourished and I don't always have the stamina or freedom from pain to do it all myself anymore.  That particular yogurt was also for her.

I did order a shade cloth from Amazon last night for the strawberries.  It cost $30.46.  It's 10 x 13 and the two beds together are 12 x 4.  They are hooped so while I probably only needed 8 feet instead of 10 for the sides, this was what was available.  The strawberries are really struggling in this unrelenting heat and they are in the garden bed that gets the most sun during the day.  Watering well just has not been enough and I don't want to lose them.  I will move them next spring to a bed that gets shade during the hottest part of the day, assuming those beds do get built in late August and September as planned.  I know at least one will, but I don't know if all four will.  The potatoes and tomatoes are thriving, but I don't know what is going on with my peppers this year.  They are stunted.  I need to fertilize with fish emulsion.

There is the sweetest  young cat coming by.  I think she is descended from Mrs. Norris, a stray cat that was pregnant a couple of years ago, because it looks just like her.  This is the most beautiful tabby in the traditional grey and black stripes.  I think it is about five or six months old.  It is just shy of the lanky teenage cat stage.  It looks healthy and like it is eating, and I saw it with a mouse once, but there is no collar and when you pet the friendly little thing it has a lot of flea poop that comes off its fur, so it is infested.

It is what I call friendly/wary, which makes me think it has been recently dumped or got loose, but was raised among humans until then.  I am putting out fresh water for it, but mostly the neighbor is looking out for it.  It'll wind around my legs and loves to be pet, but it will not let me pick it up.  I do wash with soap anywhere it touches me, though, as soon as I go in.  I'm not getting flea bites or taking fleas into the house.  Any clothes it touches go straight into the washer.

I wish I wasn't allergic to cats and DS wasn't.  I haven't had one since the cat I got when I was ten died when I was 26 and I do like my ability to breathe.  But this cat just makes me want to adopt it.  It is beautiful and sweet and has such lovely eyes.  I'm afraid I might fall in love with it.  It is hard to be the cat person you are when it makes you miserable to have one in your home.  The neighbor is looking out for it and will probably adopt it or at least bring it in for the worst part of the winter.  She's a soft touch and all of her cats for the last 3 decades have found her, not the other way around.  I might buy a flea comb if it gets really comfy with me and see if I can't help it.  And maybe a flea collar.  Do they make break away flea collars these days?

Catch Up Post

August 5th, 2021 at 12:31 am

So I am dragging my sorry self back in to post.  I had a bad weekend with my thigh muscles being absolutely on fire and it made it hard to focus on anything else.  No blogging, no writing at all.  It started to pass on Sunday morning and except for some occasional shooting fingers of fire it is much better, though the side and front muscles all feel like a massive bruise and are tender to the touch.  This is all from a massive psyatic nerve pinch.

I ordered some of the special eye drops my daughter needs for her Sjogren's disease, almost $53 for a 90 pack.  Then my son's specail inhaler, which is not covered by our insurance but is discounted under the Walgreen's prescription helper card, was $168.  They are suspecting reactive airway disease and he'll be seeing an allergist/immunologist in October.  His condition really kicked up after that big sickness we had on March of 2020 (suspected Covid, might have been a bad flu), which none of us bounced back from for about six months.  I will be glad when Friday gets here and I can dump another $500 into the medical fund.  Hopefully some of that can go towards orthodontia savings, because that has been stuck at $3000 due to having to buy a new walker for my daughter and one for myself, which fortunately I have only had to use 3 times so far.  Most days I can get by with my cane and once in a while I have a really good day and don't need anything, although those are becoming rarer.

It looks like my son will be working 20 hours a week with his new job, at least until the high school kids go back to high school, whether in person, or more likely, back to video as it is looking like we might be heading back into lock downs.  Then it is likely he will be moved to full time.  Hopefully he can cope with a mask, because they reinstituted them this week for their vaccinated employees.  He has his inhalers, although he had to keep them in his locker as they could react to some of the chemicals they have for cleaning.

The library has also reinstituted them for everyone coming in.  That's true of all city buildings.  I'm suspecting they know something the general public does not yet, and that they will probably be making everyone wear them inside again soon.  Honestly, I've been debating it myself.  I was planning on it for the cold season anyway, because I still ended up with a lot less colds, despite the fact it is hard on my asthma.  I'm not looking forward to it, but I know what a bad case of Covid did to my BIL more recently and I do not want it to happen in my immediate family.  Although they are saying this delta variant isnt as hard on the vaccinated, they do still get sick.  And since I know how long it took me to feel normal again after what we suspect was Covid last time, I don't want to go through anything like that again.

I finally feel up to cooking tonight and am thinking about thawing out some steaks from the grass fed organic whole beef we purchased, making some fried potatoes to go with, and baking some yellow zucchini from our garden.  I've picked two so far, but haven't eaten any yet.  The cucumber and lettuce was really good, though.

My goal for the rest of the week and next week is no eating out.  We've really got to reign that in again.  It causes too much careless spending and takes a dent out of the money I want to save each month, if not wipes it out completely.  I wish I could get back that focus I had when we were paying off debt.  I know it is not as bad as it could be.  We are contributing 15% to the 401k, after all.  But I do want that EF to grow from 3 months to 6 months and it is not going to happen if we don't put it in check.  It's been over a year that we've been debt free.  And I feel like we've wasted a lot of it due to this kind of nonsense.  I need to get my motivation back.

Although one place I do have my motivation back is my diet.  I am off the soda and caffeine again and back to my diet.  I've lost 5.2 pounds so far.  I really need to do this to get the pressure off my psyatic nerve.  The orthopedist/neurosurgeon said it'll probably take about 50 pounds for a significant difference, but even a few pounds will make a small difference and I'm thinking it has made some in the last couple days, at least with the fire, if not the numbness.  I also feel a little difference in the disc pain, too, so here's hoping I keep my motivation, although pain is a very big motivator.

Tomorrow is DS's day off, but he has a dentist appointment and an appointment with the sleep doctor that I have to take him to and then hopefully we can make it to Whole Foods.  Not much of a day off for him, but stuff has to get done.

I found out Whole Foods carries a grape jelly that is not made with corn syrup.  Grape jelly is my favorite, but I cannot have corn syrup or I get really sick, so I haven't had it in ages.  Since the last time I made some and I can't remember when that was.  I also want to get some of the gluten free Jovial pasta.  The closer store only carries the spaghetti and the penne, but they are always out of penne.  Whole Foods carries a lot more choices.  It's just harder to get over there since it is so out of the way.  I might see if they have any duck breasts while I am there.  It's been a long time since we have had duck.

I need to go through the new sales ads and see if there is anything good at Fred Meyer since it is right across the street from Whole Foods.  We won't be able to do our typical grocery shopping trip on Friday this week as DS is working, but we don't need that much anyway, just fresh fruit, chicken, deli ham, deli turkey, and maybe some fish if any looks good and it isn't too expensive.  I'm not sure when DH and his boss are going to be able to make it out fishing, but I hope it is soon.

All right, that about wraps it up.

 

Unexpected Expense

July 19th, 2021 at 08:17 am

I had to purchase a new phone.  My phone has not been holding a charge.  I will charge it in the evening and turn it off and by morning it is down to 44%.  Turning it on trying to use it, would see it turn itself off after 20 minutes.  So the only way I could really use it is if it was plugged in all the time, which kind of defeats the purpose of a cell phone.  It was also getting really hot all the time, which we later found out was the battery.  It was pretty deformed.

I ordered a new battery which was $18 and DH tried to install it, but he ended up destroying the screen by pushing down on it too much.  He also stripped a couple of the screws and it wouldn't turn on properly, then it wouldn't turn on at all.  It was completely bricked.  The cost of replacement screen was enough for me to say screw that, I might as well get a new phone.  So I ordered one and a new phone case and that cost just under $310.  I had more than that in my allowance folder, so I didn't have to scramble to pay for it.  I did pay the extra to get it here earlier.  Still won't be until Wednesday.

I finally got the clothes I've been waiting on for ages.  I had ordered 4 summer nightgowns back at the start of June and 2 ( expensive) bras.  The nightgowns were in 2 packs and on clearance.  I've thrown out the ratty old ones that I've sewn up a few times.  The new bras are fantastic, so I might order two more when I've got a little more money in the clothing envelope.  They were over $50 a piece.  Worth it though for the fit and comfort and cooling panel.  I'm glad I decided to try a new style.  I don't remember what I paid for them, but I used money in the clothing envelope.

My jeans are starting to get pretty ratty, too.  I have some nice ones one size down and some sweats in that size, too.  I really don't want to buy new ones, so I am back on the diet wagon.  Hopefully this time I will stick to it.  Mostly I am in shorts right now so it is fine, but that will be over soon enough, so I've got two months to go down a size.  I can do that.  I've done it before.

I did pretty well on my writing this week.  I set a goal of writing 5000 words.  I had two days where I didn't write and 2 days where I kept getting interupted while trying to write, but I got some serious writing in on other days and hit my goal.  I had a total of 6181 words from last Sunday to Saturday.  I'm going to post here for accountability.  I did write today, but that will be on next Sunday's post.

Sunday: 901 words

Monday: 41 words

Tuesday: 0 words

Wednesday: 1634 words

Thursday: 0 words

Friday: 195 words

Saturday: 3410 words

My goal for this week is 6500 words, so if I do around 930 words a day I can hit that.

Thursday I had a massive fibro flare, but finally got to start the medicine the new orthopedic doctor prescribed on Wednesday of the week before.  It only took a week and a day for his office to pull their heads out of their butts and actually get it sent to the pharmacy.  I was supposed to start it the day I saw him, and I called 3 times about it over the course of a week.  The last message I left was a tone full of firm, polite, restrained annoyance (still obvious, but not like I was going to go off on anyone, or what I call Mom tone, which is a balancing act when not using it on children.  It worked and they finally called me back on that one within 15 minutes.  I was very polite to the person I talked to, who was quite apologetic, and I had the meds in my hand within two hours.

They work.  It knocked my fibro pain down to half the first day and 3/4 the second.  It is also helping with the nerve pain in my leg which was what it was prescribed for, but he said it should help the fibro pain.  I started on one pill a day and now I'm on two pills a day and in a couple of days I'll have worked up to three pills a day, which is what he wanted me on.  You just have to build up over a few days to see how you react and that the higher does doesn't make you to drowsy to feel anything.  I don't feel any more tired than I normally feel, so I don't think that particular side effect is one I got.  I don't feel I have any side effects from it at all.

He wanted me to start pool therapy for my back and hip, but that won't start until October since they are booked so far out.  I am scheduled to see a pain management specialist in August, but if this nerve medicine drug keeps working, I may not need anything from him.  I haven't taken hydrocodone since the day I started it.  I haven't needed it.  I can't believe how much better I am feeling.  I certainly have a lot more motivation.

Not much more going on.  I did get a big stack of books from the library.  I'm on a theme right now of romances by the lake or the sea, usually with some woman renovating a cottage or a lighthouse or a B&B and hiring the sexy handyman or contractor or having a helpful single neighbor man to do his part.  It's totally a trope, but it is one of my favorite, as they tend to be pretty light and airy summer reading.  Currently reading a lighthouse one.  I'll dive back into space military sci-fi with a strong female lead in the fall, then mountain lodges and home for Christmas stories in the winter.  I tend to read apocalyptic stories in the spring.  Not sure why.  It's a weird pattern with me, but I like what I like when I like it, so oh, well.

I Have the Beef

July 10th, 2021 at 04:07 am

We drove out to Lynden Meats today and picked up our whole beef. I wasn't sure we were going to fit it all in the back of the mini-van, but we did. For those who are interested in pricing we paid a $400 deposit, the remainder to the farmer was $1892.50 at slaughter, and the cut, wrap, and kill fee was $663.14. That was a grand total of $2955.64 for 665 pounds of hanging weight.

It works out to $4.51/lb for pasture raised, grass/hay fed only, organic beef, including soup bones, liver, heart, and tallow. Even on sale I can no longer find any beef under $4/lb and closer to $5/lb. Most organic grass fed beef is $7.99/lb just for hamburger and higher for others. That hasn't really gone up like regular beef prices, but this is so much less. We had some fantastic steaks tonight, but for the most part we will be using up the storebought beef first since it is older and not as well wrapped. There's not that much left, though. Like one or two pot roasts and 6 4 pks of steaks.

I'm so glad we cut our grocery budget to the bone to save up for this. I feel so much more secure with that spread throughout my freezers (which all have alarms). I don't put all my eggs in one basket since the Great Freezer Meltdown parts 1 and 2 over a decade ago. I'll feel even better when we get our hog at the end of October, although that will require a drive to Del Fox in Stanwood, which is a bit further than Lynden.

We've got a lot of old freezer burned chicken and turkey breast that will be going in crab pots. We would have used it last year, but DH's friend's boat was broken down most of the summer. We saved it because crab aren't that picky. The season starts for that in two weeks and they'll probably fish as well. So in the next two weeks I need to make up the soup bones into broth and can it to get it out of the way for seafood. I'll also likely make the turkey that is in the mini-chest freezer as it is taking up a lot of space.

I put $33 into the hog fund last night when I cleaned out my grocery envelope, but the cut and wrap fee was higher than I'd calculated, so I took $63 out of the hog fund and .14 out of the coin jar. So that leaves the hog fund lower than it was at $722, but I'll keep adding as we go. The end of October is a little over 3.5 months away. Then I will keep saving because I also want to get some organic chicken and possibly a lamb in the spring.

 

 

Payday Report for 6/11/21

June 18th, 2021 at 01:37 am

I'm almost a week late in getting this up, but I've been kind of lax about it, so figured I'd go back to it.  There was quite a bit of overtime on DH's paycheck.

$383.50 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__500.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_118.17 Internet

_280.00 Monthly Family Chiropractic Plan

__36.00 Garbage

_150.00 Car Insurance Fund

_100.00 Gas Money Envelope

_100.00 Adults' Spending Money

_120.00 Kids' Allowances

_142.00 Hog Fund

_800.30 Citi

--------------------

3834.97 Total Money Out

Grocery Spending Tracking

February 6th, 2021 at 06:52 am

I'm dead and my body is killing me, but we managed to make it to 3 grocery stores.  I was really careful to just get what was on the meal plan that I didn't already have, plus some gluten free desserts for the freezer.  I took $100 of the grocery budget and put it into the Beef Fund and that left me with $300 to spend during a two week period.  We have lots of meat in the freezer, so I barely bought any.

First up we went to Haggen and bought 3 tortilla chips, 2 buckwheat flour, 3 Campbell's cream of mushroom soup (for DH, no one else will touch it due to MSG and soy), 1 gluten free bread, 2 packets of gluten free doughnuts (maple and cinnamon sugar) and 1 packet of gluten free chocolate, cream-filled cupcakes for my upcoming birthday in a week, 2 1/2 gallon bottles of milk, 1 regular potato bread (for DH), 2 uncured ham chubs, 4 cucumbers, 2 greem onions, 2 radishes, 3 lbs of bananas, and 1 each red, yellow, and orange bell peppers.

I had a $10 off if you spent $50 or more and I also returned 3 milk bottles and got $6.00 back.  They charged us $121.96, but when we got out to the car we realized that they had not given us the markdown price on the hams, so back in we trudged and I got $9.20 back.  So the true price there was $112.76, which was very close to what we'd calculated.  DS tries to keep a running total, but their scales were a little off so we kind of had to guesstimate.

Then we stopped at Whole Foods and I just got a few things:  1 green bell pepper, soy free and gluten free Worcestershire sauce, soy free and gluten free BBQ sauce, clemintine oranges, regular oranges, zucchini, and veggie chips.  I only spent $25.23.  I forgot the gluten free penne, though.  I do have other gluten free pastas, so I don't think I will try to pick it up.  I can use tagliatelle in place of it in the chicken Alfredo the kids like to have made up as tv dinners.

Last we went to Winco and I really should have just bought all of my vegetables there, they are so much cheaper.  I bought 15 pounds of potatoes, 2 large Zoi full fat plain yogurt, 1 package dill, 2 bags of mixed vegetables, 1 whipped topping (for waffles next week), 1 box of DH's store brand Lucky Charms, 2 boxes of Honey Chex gluten free cereal, 4 yellow onions, 2 sweet onions, 1 lime, 1 store brand cream of mushroom soup (for DH to try, it is 86 cents a can, much cheaper), 8 jars alfredo sauce, black grapes, 4 garnet sweet potatoes, 1 pineapple, 4 roma tomatoes, 4 ambrosia apples (not in stores for very long), and 1 bunch of celery.  I paid $61.15.

So altogether I spent $199.14 out of my $300 budget.  I have $100.86 left if I need to pick up a couple of things before next payday, but I will try my best not to go back to the store for anything, but I may have to for bread, milk, and eggs.  It would be cool, if I could add an extra $50 to the Beef Fund on top of the other $100.  But I won't count my dollars before they hatch.

Payday Report for 1/22/2021

January 22nd, 2021 at 08:55 pm

I did get my Google/AdSense payment this week so I added that into the regular budget.  10% of that went to the tithe and the rest to the Emergency Fund.  I did buy some garden stuff with the Citi card, but the rest of that was monthly charges for Amazon Prime, Netflix, Hulu, Sirius Satellite for the van (that includes the up to date GPS information), and Ting (our cell phone service).

I know I'm not meant to be using that card for anything but the subscriptions, but I did.  And I'll be transparent about it, because that is what this blog is about.  The seed catalogues online are selling out already and I didn't want to wait until today.  I'm glad I didn't, or I would have missed out on the onion plant variety I wanted, the thornless blackberry plants, and multiple varieties of seeds that are very hard to get.  As of today they were sold out. I checked.  I have made all of my seed orders now.  I will still have to order the seed potatoes I want, but if I miss out on those I'll just get some locally of a different variety.  The shipping will get you on the seed potatoes, because 25 pounds is heavy to ship, so I probably won't order those until next payday, but on my debit card this time.

$281.47 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__75.00 Household Envelope

_556.56 Autopays/Citi

__71.99 Life Insurance--DH

__60.46 Life Insruance--Me

_300.00 Taxes Fund

_100.00 Spending Money--Adults

__90.00 Allowances--Kids

_479.25 Emergency Fund

_100.00 Car Maintenance Envelope

-------------------------

2814.73 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 12/24/20

December 24th, 2020 at 10:07 pm

$318.46 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_300.00 Medical Envelope

_100.00 Household Envelope

_375.00 Emergency Fund

__71.99 Life Insurance DH

__60.46 Life Insurance Me

_100.00 Spending Money Adults

1276.93 Citi

_100.00 Car Maintenance Envelope

_120.00 Allowance Kids

----------------------

$3222.84 Total Money Out

I had $50 left from the previous payday that I added to the $325 I had planned from this paycheck to the EF.  After this payday the Citi card will go into retirement except for the auto pays on there, Netflix, Hulu, and Ting (cell phone plan).  It is coming out of my wallet and will stay out of my wallet.  We always pay it off each month, but we are just using it too darn much.

The New Purple Mattress Seems to be Worth the Money

December 1st, 2020 at 05:21 am

The new mattresses came on Friday.  We ended up going with the regular Purple mattresses.  It has made a tremendous difference for all of us.  I haven't woken up with stiff shoulders since.  They are still a little sore, but I can move them easily enough and raise them over my head without pain.  Also the side of my thigh that I lay on the most is no longer going numb or getting what I like to call fire ants.  It is beyond pins and needles because it burns.  And finally, the muscle I pulled on the right side of my back is no longer awful.  It still twinges a bit when I reach for things and I have to be careful, but just sitting doesn't hurt anymore.  The chiropractor will be back from his vacation tomorrow, so hopefully a good adjustment will finish the job.

I did have to order a set of boxsprings, though.  I got some steel ones off Amazon and they shoud be here by Sunday.  Otherwise, with just the platform, I am down so low I am having trouble standing up, because my knees go above my hips just sitting on the bed.  And because of my wrists and fingers I have trouble pushing or pulling myself up from that low.  I guess that is the difference between an 8 inch mattress and a 16 inch mattress, though.  The box springs is 7 inches so I'll almost be at the same height again with it, but that extra inch will not be missed because it was just a tiny bit too high before.

I am also getting more restful sleep for the past 3 nights according to my fitbit.  I definitely don't feel like I am tossing and turning anymore and am getting 8 hours at least at a stretch.  I will update on all of these things again when I have been sleeping on it for a month, but since I am already feeling so much better, I have to say I think these mattresses were well worth the money.  Everyone else is very happy, too.  All told, we spent $4300 on four mattresses, mattress covers, five pillows (and these we've had longer a week longer and are amazing), the box springs and sheet sets for all the beds.  That was with the special sale they were on, too, for early black Friday.  They have a ten year warranty.

It's a lot firmer than I am used to, but maybe that has been part of the problem all along.  I felt I needed softer mattresses because of all the aches and pains, but maybe they were causing many of those aches and pains.  It is nice to not have a wallow in the bed anymore, too.  I think softer mattresses are more prone to wallows forming after a couple years.

It was a lot to shell out, but if it means I don't hurt constantly all day long, just intermittently, it would have been worht it at full price.

Payday Report for 11/13/2020

November 14th, 2020 at 01:42 am

Sorry, the column line breaks are going to be obnoxious on this one since there is no way to take them out.  The website is annoying me to no end today, especially since they have somehow disabled my AdSense on here and didn't care to respond to me when I asked them about it.  I bring in a lot of traffic to this site, look at my hit count, and now I'm not even getting my tiny fraction of ad revenue from it.  I really want a viable alternative to here, but I hate the idea of having to build my base up all over again from scratch.  I've built it since 2006 and I've worked pretty hard at it.

$318.49 Tithe

_500.00 Utilities

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

_300.00 Medical Fund

__75.00 Household Envelope

_115.17 Internet

__82.82 Garbage

_200.00 Car Insurance Fund (Includes catch up amount)

_261.50 Car Insurance (Policy change with third driver)

_100.00 Spending Money Adults

_120.00 Allowances Kids

_200.00 Christmas/Gift Fund

_100.00 Clothing Fund

_436.00 Emergency Fund

--------------

$3172.98 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 10/30/2020

October 30th, 2020 at 07:12 pm

I got my Google AdSense payment this week and that, along with it being a third paycheck month for DH, brought our income around $300 higher this pay period.  Citi is so high because DS owes me some money for an order he made, which he will pay me later, but I wanted to pay it off before the due date hit so no interest.  When he pays me back I will put that money into the Emergency Fund.  Another reason Citi was so high was we got a lot of takeout due to my being sick.  Nearly every day for 2 weeks.  Ouch.  But I believe in tracking honestly so there you go.

 

$352.44 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__75.00 Household Envelope

__71.99 DH Life Insurance

__60.46 Me Life Insurance

_100.00 Adult Spending Money

_120.00 Kid Spending Money

_100.00 Gas Money

2203.29 Citi

----------------

3483.18 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 10/16/20

October 21st, 2020 at 08:09 am

$324.12 Tithe

_400.00 Grocery Envelope

__75.00 Household Envelope

_280.00 Monthly chiropractor family plan

_600.00 Autopays

__71.99 Life Insurance DH

__60.46 Life Insurance Me

_100.00 Adult Spending Money

_120.00 Kid Allowances

1000.00 Mattress Fund

_100.00 Car Maintenance Fund

------------------------------------------

$3149.57 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 10/2/2020

October 3rd, 2020 at 12:46 am

$318.49 Tithe
_500.00 Utilities
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_700.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_115.17 Internet
__36.00 Garbage
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Spending Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_200.00 Christmas/Gift Fund
_100.00 Clothing Envelope
_300.00 Cell Phone Fund
--------------
3164.66 Total Money Out

The Christmas/Gift Fund is now up to $900. I will definitely meet my goal of $1200 by Christmas (one of the things DH and I are getting is a propane BBQ so that is why that amount is so high. I want to get a good one. And part of that is for Christmas dinner, too. We get a prime rib roast for that, a new tradition we started last year, because I didn't feel like making another turkey and stuffing so soon after Thanksgiving. It was nice not to have to.

Payday Report for 9/18/2020

September 19th, 2020 at 08:47 pm

$318.52 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
_500.00 Handicapped Ramp (finished paying)
1050.00 New Mattress for DS (delivered and old mattress removal
_280.00 Monthly Chiropractor Family Plan
__71.99 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Spending Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_100.00 Car Maintenance
------------
3175.19 Total Money Out

I also paid the six month's car insurance bill from the Car Insurance Fund. I set aside so much every month and then pay it for the discount. There is a ten dollar a month fee to pay in installments and I haven't done that in years. I highly recommend doing it this way. Find a time when you can set the amount of the initial payment aside, like tax refund time, and then save 1/6 of the cost each month until it comes due again. For me it saves $120 a year, which may not seem like much in the long run, but why waste it when I can save it?

Grocery Spending Tracking

September 9th, 2020 at 04:11 am

I had to stagger my grocery shopping because of my knee, so Friday I went to Fred Meyer and Joe's Garden and today I went to Haggen. Here's what I bought:

Fred Meyer:
2 bags of Simply Cheetos Crunchy
2 big bags of corn tortillas
15 cans of Stagg Laredo chili
2 containers of onion and chives cream cheese
1 jar tahini
2 jars salsa verde
1 4pk Activia yogurt
4 packets gluten free cheese raviolis (Three Bridges)
1 cream of tartar
1 poultry seasoning
1 gluten free rolled oats
2 3 pound chubs ground beef
2 3 pks ribeye steaks
1 bottle of shampoo

Total cost was $131.24. Of that $3.58 was non-grocery spending.

At Joe's Garden I spent $25.41 and here is what I bought:

Dill
1 head of lettuce
1 8 lb Green cabbage
Cilantro
8 Zucchini (not getting enough on my plant)
1 Red onion

At Haggen I spent $150.41, $16.43 of which was non-grocery spending. This is what I bought:

2 cans of garbanzo beans (chick peas)
1 gluten free candy bar
1 gluten free yellow cake mix
1 gluten free cornbread mix
1 gluten free popcorn (grown away from wheat, corn can be contaminated otherwise)
1 box gluten free, soy free bouillon cubes
1 4 pk Virgil's root beer (clean and amazing)
2 Niman Ranch uncured Fearless Franks hot dogs
2 Jack Mountain breakfast sausage 8 pks
1 pineapple
1 canteloupe
4 golden kiwis
1 therapy gel pack (extra large ice pack)
1 container with snaplock lid (for making chickpea "tofu")

Made an Amazon Order and a Kitchen Investment

September 9th, 2020 at 12:43 am

I placed an order with Amazon today for 3 pounds of chickpea flour and 10 pounds of garbanzo beans, Washington grown and everything (Palouse brand). I found out you can make tofu from chickpea flour instead of soy, which opens up so many worlds right now. We used to eat tofu, it was honestly one of the only ways I could tolerate any bean but lima and black (which I can eat in small amounts without texture issues), but we had to give that up when soy allergies were discovered. It made it virtually impossible for us to have any vegetarian meals that were filling enough, or any real meat substitute. It looks really easy to make.

Then I purchased a restaurant grade French fry cutting machine that has plates for 3 sizes of French fries (including McDonalds size) and 8 or 6 wedge cutters. We have found one brand of fries that isn't made with soybean oil, but that could change at any moment, and plus they are only in stock half the time, so this is a real game changer. It will make canning easier, too, because I can wedge them and cut them from that point, which will be less wear and tear on my hands. They do sell one that is two plates instead of five for a lot less. It sure beats those little ones that don't have any suction cups on the bottom. With this we can make our own fries for the freezer. I am so happy with this purchase.

I also bought a container of elderberry gummies and a thing you can put inside your face mask to hold it away from your nose and mouth for breathing, but keeps the mask firmly in place. I don't remember the exact change, but it was just over $228 all told.

In doing some research today I found out that Pacific cream of chicken soup is gluten free. They use rice flour for the thickening agent. And their maltodextrin is from corn, not barley, making it gluten free as well. And Amazon has it cans as well as the boxes and the cans store longer, so I am very happy with this. I didn't buy any, but I will next payday. And I found a recipe for making homemade tater tots. Which means I can start making turkey and chicken tater tot casseroles again. The kids love those. It's a great way to use up leftovers, too.

Payday Report for 9/4/2020

September 4th, 2020 at 09:20 pm

$318.47 Tithe
_500.00 Utilities
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
__75.00 Household Envelope
_115.17 Internet
__36.00 Garbage
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
_100.00 Gas Money
_100.00 Adult Spending Money
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_200.00 Christmas/Gift Envelope
_100.00 Clothing Fund Envelope
_500.00 Handicapped Ramp
-----------
3164.64 Total Money Out

Payday Report 8/21/20

August 21st, 2020 at 10:56 pm

$318.47 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
1814.44 Citi
_280.00 Chiropractor Monthly Family Plan
__71.99 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Adult Spending Mone
__50.00 Car Maintenance Fund
_120.00 Allowances Kids
-------------
3290.36 Total Money Out

Payday Report for 7/24/20

July 25th, 2020 at 12:05 am

My Google AdSense Payment hit this week so I combined that with DH's pay and upped the tithe accordingly. I also had some money left in the checking account. No money went into the EF this time as we replaced some items and upgraded others that I was holding off on when we were still in debt and DH needed new boots.

We also got take out more than we should have as I tripped over a floor fan and banged myself into the bedroom door and then as I stumbled forward got my other side on the door jamb. Not fun. I am doing better today, but the last week was really rough. I am still pretty stiff and sore when I wake up, but at least I can dress myself again and walk around without my cane.

I did not spend all of the grocery money from last payday, though, so that went into a new fund, the Freezer Fund. So that envelope was started with $179. I want to get a good freezer, not from Lowe's or Home Depot, so we will have to go to the actual appliance store and price what I want, which is a freezer with a temperature display on the outside and that beeps if the door is open too long. Frost free would be nice as well.

Here's how the paycheck broke down today.

$328.70 Tithe
_400.00 Grocery Envelope
__75.00 Household Envelope
_500.00 Medical Fund
1608.60 Citi
__71.99 Life Insurance DH
__60.46 Life Insurance Me
_100.00 Spending Money Adults
_120.00 Allowances Kids
_100.00 Car Insurance Fund
-------------
3364.75 Total Money Out