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Way Behind!

October 3rd, 2005 at 10:31 am

Got back from our trip and promptly got sick again so am way behind on everythins. Just today, I finally pulled the rest of our clothes out of the suitcase and we got home last Wens.! The only good thing about feeling so nasty so often, is at least I'm 'earning' my SS disability! Looking forward to catching up on reading journals as I feel better.

Did get a major savings on our trip. We always get a handicap room at hotels because of my physical problems, and wouldn't you know, the handicap seat on the toilet was loose. In the middle of the night, it slipped so bad that it not only pinched my thigh, it drew blood! We got that night free, all our phone calls free, and 10% off the prior night! If you have a legitimate complaint--do it. Plus the maid for some reason seemed to think she could just walk into our room at 9:15AM without knocking!

Except for one day, we had beautiful traveling weather which we hadn't expected. We also got a chance to dip our toes in the Atlantic ocean and had a chance for a very romantic kiss in the waves, till we realized how COLD the water was. Hubby had never before been to an ocean. Picked up a beautiful shell on the beach as a souvenir. Those few minutes made memories for a lifetime and cost absolutely nothing!!

I'm crashing yet again, so signing off.

Traveling tomorrow

September 23rd, 2005 at 02:17 pm

I've gotten behind with posting as I've still been battling headaches and not feeling well this whole week. Today I've been getting ready for a business trip we have to make. Last time we went somewhere, I got smart and started a packing list days ahead of time so we wouldn't forget things. Made a copy in Excell and stuck a clean new list in our suitcase. So working off that list, I have us packed up to the point of things we use daily so can't get packed yet. Sure makes things less stressful not having to try and remember things. We will be traveling by truck with our trailer attached and bringing home 2 grand pianos for my husband to repair. I don't even want to think how much gas this will cost, but it is part of the cost of doing business and the client is paying. Hotel reservations are made using my frequent traveler card from when I WAS a frequent traveler. We will get 2 free rooms after the trip plus with another card a 10% rebate on the price of the rooms and a cash rebate on our credit card. We will get free breakfast too, so that is more savings. Starting in November I'll be in the over 50 bracket, so with this hotel chain we will be able to get a 10% discount all the time.

Hopefully, I'll feel good while we are out and be good company for my honey! Of course rain is predicted for the whole time, Bummer.



September 18th, 2005 at 07:30 pm

I've had a migraine most of the day, so haven't done much but look at magazines and watched movies with DH. He went with me for a walk around the block this afternoon which helped my headache. That only gave limited relief. I have to try and get an appointment with the chiropractor tomorrow as it's the bones in my neck that is causing the headache.

Another no spend day since I couldn't get out anyhow. Otherwise a quiet day.


Cheap day

September 17th, 2005 at 03:45 pm

Somehow I seemed to have made a math error on my grocery budget. I spent $5 on bread and milk and bananas today. When I added everything up, it came to less than my last few totals. Ever since I got sick, my math skills haven't been very good. Oh well. My current grocery total seems to be $217.43 with $32.57 left for the rest of the month. We have to make a business trip for about 5 of the days left where all our food will be counted as a trip expense not groceries, so I think I will make it by the skin of my teeth. I don't even want to know how much I HAD been spending on groceries before I started keeping track this month, my hubby would have been shocked!

We also went out for the last straggly yard sales of the season. I spent 35 cents on 7 books. 5 were cookbooks and will go into my collection or a cookbook lot on ebay. The other 2 books were the goodies. One is a text book has a chance of selling for around $40. The other is an old book from 1880 that only has a couple copies up for sale on the internet selling for $110 and up. My copy isn't quite as good shape, but I think I will try it on ebay first as it is an art book with a lot of great illustrations. So hopefully my 35 cents will greatly reproduce!

Spent more time writing ebay descriptions for some auctions to start later this week. We carried packages worth over $100 to the post office today. We are having a pretty good month for on line sales plus hubby picked up some business, hence the business trip.

September grocery goal $250
spent $217.43


September 16th, 2005 at 03:18 pm

Today I'm feeling so hungry, like I could eat a horse. I really would like some pizza and was sitting wondering if I could get hubby to go out tonight (fat chance!). then read everyone else's journals and decided if I want pizza, I better get on out to the kitchen and make some! I have all the ingredients and was just being lazy about supper since I've been pretty busy all day.

No spend day. Did receive money though as I had a bunch of eBay auctions end and about half the people have paid already, so I spent almost 2 hours packaging everything up and doing the paperwork. Also ended up on the phone with the Curcuit City rebate center concerning 2 rebates we are due. They had sent me emails that they had sent out our two rebates (totaling $235) to our address. As soon as I saw our address, I immediately called them up, not only was the city wrong, but so was the zip code. Could not possibly have been my error when wiffling them out--why would anyone put the wrong city and zip code down on 2 seperate rebate forms? Anyhow now they have to reissue us our checks, so who knows how much longer it will take to get them.

Off to make pizza. Thanks for all the encouragement via your journals!


No spend day

September 15th, 2005 at 08:08 pm

Didn't spend any money today. Spent the day getting some ebay auctions up and going and put some sewing patterns in my ebay store. My son popped in for awhile, so I made him tomato soup. It looked so good and I haven't had any since spring, so I made myself some for supper with celery and carrot sticks. Hubby got home and all he wanted for dinner was last nights leftovers. He loves to graze for food! So cheap meals even today.

The cable people finally showed up and turned the cable off in the middle of a MASH rerun my son and I were watching, so we are now down to our DVD/VHS collection. My hubby likes the TV going even if it is a movie he has seen 30 times before! We have no antenna-so we can't even get local channels which we never watched anyhow. I personally would just as soon sit with my nose in a book in quiet. I spent the evening trying to figure out the most profitable way to list some craft magazines for sale on ebay. I got stacks of them at yard sales this summer and now I have to get them sorted and up for sale in time for Christmas crafting.


Trying Aldis

September 14th, 2005 at 04:08 pm

Well this has been a big outflow day financially as estimated taxes had to be paid. Also had probably the smallest gas bill of the year $11.71! Just wait till January & February. My DH had been reading something about Aldi's and suggested I try it. Had to run some errands anyhow and actually felt up to it. Haven't been to one of them for years, but now they take debit cards. Anyhow I ended up spending $15.28 and got several of their brand items to try, plus compared prices for things I usually get, but don't currently need (not if I have any hope of finishing anywhere near my September grocery goal). Also stopped in at Walmart and pretty much stuck to my list except for cereal and a pair of slippers for hubby--if they don't fit, they will go back for a refund. Also put gas in the truck for hubby--glup!!!!

We have been keeping a grocery/things needed/errands to run list in PLAIN SIGHT with a PEN around now for about a month and a half. It has made a huge difference when running to the store and remembering what we need.

Sept. Groceries Goal $250
Prior $197.15
Current $218.31
Remainging $31.69

No spend day

September 13th, 2005 at 07:53 pm

Finally got some sleep and finally had the flare-up go away. Got most of the laundry done, but used the dryer--I didn't want to push things too much by hanging things outside. I did manage to walk to the post office and back to mail some books I had sold--pretty good considering Sun and Mon I couldn't walk at all without a huge amount of pain.

Other than the post office, I didn't go anywhere and didn't spend anything. Just caught up with stuff that got behind while I was down for the count. Even managed to sew some pieces together on another baby quilt.

Checked my bank accounts numbers on-line and one checking account seems to be off about $30. I'll have to track that down tomorrow morning before doing the bills. Estimated taxes are due tomorrow (state and Federal) Yuck.


'Research' day

September 12th, 2005 at 11:03 am

Still having an arthritis flare-up, which means I'm sitting around doing not much of anything but cruising the internet. I usually do laundry on Monday, but hurt too much just getting the pillowcase off of one pillow so I gave up that idea. Oh well, maybe tomorrow I'll feel better and the weather will still be nice so I can hang clothes up.

Looking on the bright side of things, I'm too tired to truly focus in on reading a book, but surfing the web is fine. Maybe I'll be able to find some ways to boost my freebie money for my $5000 challenge. Several years ago when I was in really rough shape I watched the Shawshank Redemption and never forgot the lines "get busy living or get busy dying". I choose to get busy living even on days I feel like c**p.

Definitely a no spend day. But I was able to make my hubby's lunch which he appreciated. He will know I'm officially dead when I can't make up 2 PBJs for him!

We have had several discussions about our finances and it is so much fun to work with someone who is working with you instead of against you! As I try and get more and more frugal so does he. We are supposed to get a side of beef in about a month and last night he helped me figure out roughly what we will get in the way of steaks, roasts, hamburg, and approximate cost after cutting ($2#). Preplanning what to tell the butcher, etc. It is preplanning things like that that gets us the most bang for the buck. I had an ex that would buy anything on 2 seconds notice with no thought on how to pay or if it really was the best use of our money. My hubby has already calculated the fact that giving up cable is buying the 2 of us a side of beef instead. For some reason they haven't turned off the cable as of last night--we hadn't even being using the TV other than for DVDs.


Pain day

September 11th, 2005 at 07:32 pm

Woke up with an arthritis flare-up today, so missed church, read the paper then down for a 2 hour nap, then finally managed a shower and after resting again hauled myself off to the store for bread so I would be able to make hubby's lunch tomorrow. Turns out bread was on sale so got 6 loaves with 5 to go in the freezer. Broke down and bought some icecream--it was on sale, and I felt miserable. I try to never buy ice cream more than once a month. If I told myself I could NEVER have ice cream again, I would be sneaking it every chance I get. Much easier to tell myself I can buy it once a month.
Very glad to get home from the store, though as I was hurting so much.

Sept. Groceries Goal $250
Prior $182.92
Current $197.15
Remainging $52.85

Not much going on

September 10th, 2005 at 01:38 pm

Took part of a walk yesterday and had to have my husband come pick me up as my leg was hurting too much to continue, so that wasted some gas, but what a sweetheart.

Figured out my sharebuilder plan and even though I already had a plan, somehow they let me start a new one to get the $50 bonus. Today I got my ebookdrop check in the mail, so used the money from that to fund my first sharebuilder purchase. I'll be getting about one whole share of Home Depot! Should be interesting to see what it is worth in about 20 years. Not sure when we get the bonus money, but it will also be invested for the long term.

I am craving chocolate so bad today. That is one of my goals to avoid it. I've only had chocolate twice in almost a month so that is great for me. I just wish the walking would be going better before the snow starts. This is beautiful weather to go out in right now and I'm missing it.

Even if I don't feel like I'm doing much frugal stuff on a particular day, coming to this board is really helping me keep to a frugal mindset and my hubby is in that mindframe too so that is nice. He is taking me out on a date tonight, which probably means dinner and a couple hours of reading books at Barnes & Noble. Cheap date-but we love them.


Turned on the Big Freezer

September 7th, 2005 at 02:44 pm

We have a big 21 cu ft upright freezer up at my hubbies shop that we have had unplugged for over a year. Just didn't have enough in it to be worth using the electric. However I keep running into great sales on meat, vegetables, coffee, etc. that I realized I either miss the sales or turn on the big freezer and start using it again. I figure that the price of groceries is only going to go up over the next months so when I can get meat for less than $1 a pound I'm going to do it. Spent quite a bit at the grocery store, but saved almost $50 too.

I got a copy of Dining on a Dime by Tawra Kellam and know I'm going to like it. What I'm seeing is the kind of stuff my mom cooked. Lots of usable recipes without a lot of expensive additions. Her website is www.livingonadime.com . I have lots of cookbooks, but you can tell most of the authors never cooked on a budget, or at least their books don't reflect it.

Got a batch of books at the thrift store, hoefully some will be worth selling and I'm looking forward to reading some of them also. Picked up some uncut vintage patterns for my ebay store too. Did some more piecing on the baby quilt I'm making and have the piecing over half done already.

Grocery shopping counts as a walk for me so I'm still pretty much on target for my exercise. Not sure if I had mentioned I have 2 artificial knees plus bad arthritis and chronic fatigue syndrome which is why just walking around a grocery store can completely wear me out.

Paid the bills that were due this week. Noticed that the Cable cost was going up and called hubby to talk to him about it as he is the big TV watcher. Cable is now canceled as of tomorrow. With a new house under construction and a self-employed husband, we can think of better things to spend our money on than $600 a year just to watch TV. We have plenty of videos and DVD's, we can check more out of the library, and we can buy the occassional one, so we can still have 'entertainment' although I prefer a good book. My husband has problems with his eyes and so can't always read so he likes the TV going most of the evening.

Sept. Groceries Goal $250
Prior $44.83
Current $182.92
Remainging $76.08

No Spend Day

September 5th, 2005 at 08:16 pm

Stayed home and didn't buy a thing today. Actually collected money as I had quite a few on-line book sales and also ebay auctions end. Spent a lot of time packing things up including 3 big boxes of books heading to Israel.

I spent some time sewing pieces together for a child's quilt. I'm trying to make several to donate to the Hurricane Katrina victims. Also spent time doing laundry and hanging it outside. When I hang laundry, it equals taking a walk for me so I'm still pretty on schedule with excercise.

I am trying to raise money to purchase books for the children affected by the hurricane. All profits from my Usborne book business for the month of September will be used to purchase new books for the kids. If anyone would like to help with this cause, please check out our website at: www.ubah.com/HOS43555 . A great chance to purchase books for the children in your life for homeschool or gifts for the coming holidays and help others at the same time.

Good Sales

September 4th, 2005 at 12:17 pm

Well, after we had done all our price calculations on Friday, we were to tired to actually make the purchases. Spent some time at KFC to eat and figure out where we could cut costs and then headed home. Prices were so much higher than we expected. Got home and saw on TV that Home Depot was having all their ceiling fans 20% off this weekend, so we knew we would be going there to get the fans we would need in our house. Went to bed and got up in the morning to find the mailman had brought us a coupon for 10% off puchases at Lowes up to $10,000 for a possible $1000 discount--before taxes no less! With prices in hand and a list of what we needed, we went shopping! We got all our kitchen cabinets, and construction materials, lighting, fans, new refridgerator, etc. for less than $10000 (our budgeted amount!). We didn't think we would be able to include the fridge in this purchase, but with the discount we ended up having enough AND we get a delivery rebate on the fridge, which means this whole huge order should be delivered for free! We also are elegibible for several hundered dollars in rebates that we weren't expecting. Put this all on a rewards credit card that will get us another gift certificate, and we have the money in the bank to pay everything off when the bill comes. All told we saved between $1,500-2000 on these purchases.

One of the big things I'm really looking forward to in the new house is the big pantry my hubby is building right off the kitchen. It will be so nice to have space to stock up on sales and have things put away for the winter.


Grocery Sales

September 3rd, 2005 at 07:23 am

Had a chance yesterday to get to a grocery store that was running a special one day sale and most of it was in the produce department. Got a bunch of peppers to chop up and put in the freezer for ooking later on. Big bag of carrots and celery, etc. Also vine ripe from here in our town tomatoes. I only like tomatoes that actually get ripe in the summer--the rest of the year they look so anemic they need a transfusion. Bacon and lettuce was also on sale so we will be having some BLT supper nights. Total spent $25.12 - no junk either.

Spoke with my mom on the phone and she was telling me how Walmart price matches so many stores in this area. I realized a good use of my time would be to look at the grocery ads every week for good prices on items I need and make the list all for Walmart-no running around. One grocery store though, I don't have to go to is the one my son works at. I tell him what I need, give him my coupons and he picks it up for me when he is there. Then he gets the points on some kind of gas card connected with the store that saves him on fill-ups.

Hubby and I also spent a good portion of yesterday calulating and pricing 2x4's, plasterboard, kitchen cupboards, etc. we are in the midst of building a new house on a bare bones budget. We know building supplies are going to skyrocket due to Katrina so we want to buy what we need NOW. Drywall has already gone up several dollars since the last time he priced it. Thankfully over the last few years we have managed to get lots of what we need already. My hubby is doing 95% of the work himself at the end of his regular work day. He restores pianos for a living and our new house is connected to his workshop. This has been a work in progress for quite some time that got put on hold when I got really sick. Now he is working at it again with gusto and we hope to be in it sometime next summer. At that point his commute to work will be a few steps instead of 4 miles.

Sept grocery goal $250
Spent $44.83
Remaining $205.17

Last Night

September 2nd, 2005 at 07:28 am

My youngest son came over to mooch dinner last night and deliver all the Mountain Dew he had bought for my DH -- 20 bottles. So I paid him $10.60 for that. But he did give me refund forms that I'll be able to get all but the tax refunded, so that pop is essentially free. I also got him set up for his ING account which gave him his $25 and me another $10! Woohoo!

He is high functiong autistic and could not see the sense of why he needed another savings account as his current account is running low -- he is going to a trade school and supporting himself in his own apartment. As he is my kiddo that watches his money like a hawk, I'm sure once he processes the info awhile it will all make sense to him. This guy worked parttime, while living with me or his dad, for 4 years at a grocery store and saved enough for living expenses (including his own apartment) for a year while he goes to school. He is now going to school and working at yet another grocery and a temp agency to continue to raise funds till he graduates. We are crossing our fingers that he will be able to get a job in his field soon after graduation. He is so scared he won't be able to get one that he has already told us that he doesn't want a celebration when he graduates, he wants one when he has landed a job! So eventually we are hoping for a Red Lobster dinner to celebrate with him around Christmas or the New Year.

Leaving my grocery total the same as the pop is a wash.

Sept grocery goal $250
Spent $19.71
Remaining $230.29

September Goals

September 1st, 2005 at 03:19 pm

Well, I'm trying to keep things doable and achievable for goals so for this month:

1. Keep groceries within $250 (this is financial and healthwise--no junk food means a lower grocery bill
2. Take a walk at least every other day
3. Try and run errands only one day a week to conserve gas
4. Try and get 5 more ING referrals

Did a smart thing about a week ago. I had to pick up a prescription and since I knew my COBRA health insurance (with prescription plan) woould be running out August 31, I had asked the pharmacists if he could try and see if I had anything he could fill at the last minute. He came through for me and I picked up 5 different meds for $25 that would have cost me around $164. I have been able to stockpile 3-6 months supply of my regular meds and almost a years worth for 'as needed' meds. Now to just not get sick for the the next 6 months before Medicare kicks in for me. While at the drugstore picking up my stuff I made a quick run into the next door grocery store and picked up some fresh fruits, vegatables, bread and a ham on sale for 99 cents a pound (a little over $5)--no junk food.

Sept grocery goal $250
Spent $19.71
Remaining $230.29

Took my walk.

ING is Nifty

September 1st, 2005 at 06:03 am

Two more referrals signed up under me since my last post plus I got interest on my account! So currently mine + DH FREE money totals $90.09! I never met a referral program before that people actually signed up for. I have to refer some more folks.

Thinking about September goals after reading some here. After some more thought will post them later.

What I've done so far

August 31st, 2005 at 11:52 am

I came to this forum several weeks ago and it has helped renew my spirit of frugal mindness. I've had trouble staying on track for the last several years due to illness, but just seeing some of the ideas here I realized I could do that also!

Balanced checkbooks and paid bills today like I do every Wednesday. I had opened an ING account the other day so I was able to confirm my 2 deposits today. Referred my hubby and son so far. So my ING account stands at $46 (with my initial $1 deposit) and hubby now has $26 in his (also $1 initial deposit). I send a bunch of books off to ebookdrop and should get around $40+ but I won't count that until it is in my hand. I sell books on line already, so the books to ebookdrop were ones that I knew I would never sell so was definitely a freebie for me.

I have checked through my check book and between the 2 of us we spent well over $300 on groceries this past month. Almost $100 or more was stocking up for winter. I have artifical knees and is hard for me to get out to shop when snow is on the ground. I'm going to try and tame the grocery number to $250 for September. I've really been trying hard to get chocolate out of my life, for health reasons and financial reasons. My hubbies passion is Mountain Dew, but I doubt he would consider giving it up, so I try to get it on sale. My son picked me up 20 2L bottles the other day for $10 so that was a good deal.

Total FREE money from things I learned here $70.07! Hoping to see that amount grow and grow!

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