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Archive for September, 2010

Spending this week...

September 30th, 2010 at 01:39 am

I did spend almost $500 yesterday on the class +book, but I fully intend to get that back.

On Wednesdays at my job, we have Pizza Wednesday...which means someone goes to Costco and buys enough to feed everyone that signs up...cost $3 which pays for up to 3 slices plus a can of soda. Great deal when you need to eat at your desk and get all the new class orientation stuff (for school) done on the puter on your lunch.

Since I will be reimbursed for the class- as I am confident I will get the required grade...$3 has been my only spend this week. Otherwise, I have been using up the freezer and cupboard for all meals.

My BFF since I was 12 is coming to visit this weekend. I have everything for dinner and other meals....just need some fun drinks...so this weekend should be pretty cheap too.

So far, living more frugally is working well.

Life is good!!

Back to school...

September 29th, 2010 at 01:42 am

I registered for a sociology class today. I am blessed to work at a job where they value and reward continued education. So...I registered for an online class. Class = $386 + 86 for the book...So long as I pass with a B or A I will be reimbursed in full. I am authorized to take whatever schooling I want in order to achieve my Bachelor's degree. I have a long ways to go...but appreciate the opportunity!!

In addition to school, I am going to be helping my son keep the business going. He has fallen woefully behind trying to run the service piece and the office all by himself this year. We are going to move the office into my house and I will run that in the evenings and on the weekends.

So...I am going to be very BUSY the next few months.

I am a little nervous about juggling a very full time job plus school plus the office...but I am eager to make all of this work!

Stay tuned! Life is wonderful!

My Zucchini Plant...

September 20th, 2010 at 03:24 am

Last spring, I walk down to our Farmer's Market during a lunch hour and bought 3 little plants. A zucchini, an artichoke and a watermelon. The watermelon got ate by something right away...the artichoke is alive and well, but slow to produce...but that little zucchini plant is producing faster than I know what to do with...today, two large zucchinis....about a foot to a foot and a half long, by at least 4-6 inches wide...WOW. I am baking my forth loaf of zucchini bread as I type....we have grilled it, cut it up for salads, given it away...and there are more coming!! Not bad for a $2 investment and a little water!!!

My first attempt at gardening...and I am pleasantly surprised...cant wait til next year!!

Have had a great weekend...Life is good!

More savings, working away... and a find!

September 11th, 2010 at 12:10 am

After getting fed up with a competitor, two of my kiddos changed their TV subscription to Directv this week. Since I have an account with Dtv, the kids each save $100 ($10 per month for $10 months)...and I will save $100 for each referral- or $20 per month for 10 months. Add that to the money I am saving by cancelling the movie channels, and I am now saving $56 a month on that bill!!! yay

I am still organizing the house today. I came across a little basket on a top shelf and found $80 in gift cards that I forgot about! $30 for Kohls and $50 in movie gift cards!! WOW.

I also have been putting all the change I am finding in a little cup and have accumulated quite a bit of loose coin. I will take it to work with me on Monday and trade it in and make a deposit to the vacation account.

I spent $81 at Target today. Got a rubbermade chest of drawers for $44 (on sale from 59) that will give me some great extra storage space, a couple of rubbermaid tubs for DD3's left-over 'stuff' and some cleaning supplies.

It will feel soooo good to get this project DONE.

Yesterday, we bought a pork loin at Costco for $18- 1/2 I cooked in the crockpot to make pulled pork for the weekend, and the other have we cut into pork chops. We have enough for 6 meals.

Happy with my progress so far...the more I do, the more I think of to do better...I am doing things like evaluating how I am using cupboards...moving less used things to higher and lower shelves and reserving prime storage for everyday items...

now I am off to vacuum shelves in the garage...loving vacation...and loving life!!!

Great Deals today!

September 9th, 2010 at 04:02 am

Did I hit the grandaddy of sales today.

Kohls...

I found a GORGEOUS and VERY NICE bedspread and bed-skirt for our king sized bed. My old one= about 3 years old...cost $39 at Ross...but it is tearing and faded now.

The new one, missing the pillow shams- which I never really use anyway. Start price= $199.99. It is a much nicer set than anything Ive ever bought. Marked down on sale= 99.99....plus $59.99 off for missing shams...so its on clearance for $40. It rings up at $20 and i have a 15% discount...so I paid $17. WOW.
No kidding this is a gorgeous bedspread and bed skirt!!!

Then....got a nice insulated lunch bag for $2.99 (normally $14.99 PLUS 21 designer gift bags...you know the fancy ones that run 2.99 - up...)

Total $10.29 for lunch bag + gift bags. How do you go wrong with a deal like that????

Loving todays deals.

Wow.

Planning for Once a Week Cooking

September 8th, 2010 at 04:22 pm

I have to admit, since my mom passed away and things went sideways with the hub and I...I have been very lax with the budget- especially when grocery shopping. I stop at the store numerous times a week to buy something for dinner...and we all know what that means...impulse shopping....and lunch is usually some form or fast food or frozen meal from the store. Confessions are embarrasing...gads.

At this point, I wont torture myself by adding up how much Ive spent/wasted the past several months..I will just assume I can do MUCH BETTER with a game plan..I will re-visit many of the things Ive learned here about making a solid plan and sticking to it.

The hub and I talked about trying once a week cooking. I will try to use Sunday afternoons to prepare everything. I dont have good freezer storage containers, so I will look for some this week. I am going through my recipes and doing some online research for ideas. Im also looking at sales and coupons...Of course, this is easier to do while I am on vacation- all the more reason for a good plan going forward.

I truly feel this is one area of my budget I can correct and control much better. I am anxious to see how this pencils out over the next few weeks and months!

Today is DD2 and GD's birthday. The girls want to go shopping...I plan to look for freezer containers. Smile

Life is so good!

Vacation and an attempt to re-invent my frugal-ness

September 8th, 2010 at 01:41 am

Vacations are too few and way too far apart..at least in my world they are. I have taken a day here...a few days there. But there is much to be said about taking a full week sandwiched between two weekends...and a real bonus when you can sneak an extra day in because of a Holiday...yep- 11 days off in a row. I am on day 5.

The past three days we spent in a vacation rental house at a nearby resort complete with jetted soak tub in our bedroom, next to the cozy fireplace...and outside hot tub. Uh, YEAH. 3 days of water-pruned fingers and toes was fine with me. Big Grin

The house was 2 bedroom...and was buy 2 nights stay a 3rd free. Add in the cleaning fee and taxes, $426 for 3 nights for two couples. We made all of our own meals, and had a library of movies, books and games to choose from. The resort has miles of bike and walking paths, and the house came with 4 bikes, passes to the pools and tennis courts...just lots to do. I think thats a great value for all the fun and relaxation we squeezed in.

So...I want to do this on a routine basis (At least one each qtr). But to do so, I will HAVE to budget better- so I got home today and cancelled my movie channels- which saves $36 per month. THat will go STRAIGHT into the vacation fund.

I am looking at everything I do to see what I can cut or scale back in order to afford these trips. Suddenly, wearing sweaters to cut back on heat and eating at home as much as possible have a real purpose again!!

My vacation time this afternoon was spent dealing with all those things I havent had time to working full time. Called the IRS about my refund...it was sent to our old address and retured to IRS...so waited on line almost 30 minutes to talk to someone and it took another 20 to get this resolved. Refund should arrive in 3-4 weeks... Had to file a claim for an accident- at the end of July a young lady backed into my car- that took another 30 minutes... Then, called Directv about receiver that hasnt worked in months...went through the endless trouble shooting list with them (for 25 mins) and they finally agreed that this would take a service call to fix...he will be here on Sunday. SOOOO...a good part of the afternoon shot while waiting on hold.

However, I got it all done!! Now just have to get the car by for an estimate on the repair and schedule the work.

Will spend some time this week working on a solid budget that includes a line item for vacations. Have an appt to get hair cut...and may use my pedicure gift card that I got for Mothers Day this year.

Loving the freedom to pick and choose the weeks adventures from now til Sunday....Life...is very, very good.