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Archive for September, 2012


September 29th, 2012 at 09:19 pm

It is our last night on the girls trip. Today we went to one of the fancy huge malls here. Wow, talk about sensory overload. I spent $4.95 on a little gift for a friend whose birthday is later this month..but otherwise, just looked. I also did some people-watching. Wow. Several stores already had their Christmas decor up.

I have to chuckle...and I really dont mean to offend anyone, but I took the girls for a pedicure today. It was way less than we are charged at home because of the competetion for clients, My friend and daughters sat together on one side of the salon, I sat opposite of them and got to watch their faces as they were pampered. It was such fun....but the young lady next to me was quite entertaining. SHe was getting a mani, pedi in one of the massage chairs. It must have been set on high, because ...well, the silicone was working overtime to keep up with her...oh my. sorry, very off topic...but it was quite funny,

Anyways. We came back to my friends and had leftovers and sat in her jaccuzi. We have had an amazing time here. It is tradition for us to go to the Cheesecake Factory on the girls trip, so we will be having lunch at one tomorrow before we hit the airport. We get home tomorrow night at 7:30.

Then, back to work Monday and the hub leaves for AK on Wed.

A great girls trip this year. I went a little over budget, but will make that up out of my Oct allowance. Well worth it.


September 29th, 2012 at 08:23 am

The girls and I are in So Ca on our girls trip. We are really having a nice time. The rental car that we got is much nicer than I expected..a sporty black car that is taking us everywhere we wanted to go.

Yesterday, my friend had to work. So the girls and I were on our own. DD1 wanted to go back to the house where my parents lived when she was little. This is the same house that I lived in from 11 through high school. We got to the house and she was so shocked at how small it had gotten over the years. Smile In 1983, DD1 was just a year old and my dad had laid some cement to extend the parking area. He had DD1 put her foot and handprints in it and dated it and put her name. She was in awe when she saw it. There was my dads writing and her tiny prints. I asked the owners if they would be ok with us getting pictures and they said sure. I will post a pic when I get home.

Then we went to the park where we both played as kids. Of course they have updated the equipment since then so it looked different, but it was still pretty neat.

Finally, I did something I havent ever done. I drove past the intersection where my brother died. It was almost overwhelming. (Still is as I type this) It has been 24 years, but was very raw yesterday. He was on his new motorcycle (had it 3 months) and came out from under the underpass and hit the car ahead of him. It was 6 at night and I suspect the sun was at the perfect angle so that he couldnt see clearly...of course, that is what my mind was able to wrap around ..Although it was sad, I am glad we did this.

Then we headed to the Pacific Coast Highway and had lunch at a little Irish place called O'Malleys. Lunch was wonderful. They had a wood fire in the fireplace and DD1, DD3 and I just enjoyed each other. Lunch was $28.

I have to say, it was surreal to drive all the freeways that I drove as a teen...the buildings have changed (aged or been remodled), but it was still "home" to me.

Then we headed back to my friends house.

This morning we girls are going for pedicures (they are really inexpensive here) and then I am not sure what we are doing.

So far, this years girls trip has been one of my favorites.

The ups and downs of travel

September 26th, 2012 at 04:49 pm

DD1, DD3 and I are flying down to So Cali for our girls trip tomorrow. Our airport is tiny and only serves a few airlines. One of those is a no frills type (although arent they all becoming no frills lately).

The basic fare is relatively inexpensive..and then there are options- want to choose your seat? Sit by a window or on an aisle? Check or carry on a bag? (and it needs to be under 40lbs if you do or you pay even more) Get 'preferred' boarding? Have a soda?...everything is extra.

But, the base fare was good. So..the girls and I will pack really lite and take one larger suitcase that will be under 40lbs. (We can take one personal item (bag) if it fits easily under the seat)..so we are each taking a small bag too.

When I went to check in online, we did end up with seats in the same row. Otherwise, it would have cost to rearrange.

So all in all, we are pulling this inexpensive leg of our journey off without issue so far. (whew) I booked the flight as a package with a rental car so that we can get around. The only thing I dont like about it is the whole making sure the tank is topped off when you return the car...but I am sure we will figure it out.

It will be interesting when we get to LA...we land at about 5pm...and will get to experience rush hour traffic to my friends home about 45 miles away. Here in Oregon, that would be about a 35-40 min drive...she said to plan for an hour and a half..or more.

Friday, Sat and most of Sunday will be relaxing and visiting and just having girl time.

The hub took advantage of his time this weekend to head over to the coast with his dad to go quadding. He cashed in cans, cashed in his coin jar, sold a little more wood, and traded in some scrap metal to pay for his trip.

Well...time to get packin....funs awaitin!

Great weekend at the coast!

September 23rd, 2012 at 07:08 pm

We had such a great time at the coast. My grandson had never been 'crabbing' before and that single activity kept him entertained most of the weekend. He has a new hobby! I have my dads crab pots- but they were not the right kind for where we were at. So the hub and GS bought one along with a fishing license for the hub and some chicken legs for bait. They hub paid for this out of his wood money. Although the crabs were all too small to keep, it was a great source of fun and bonding for both of them.

The hub was very kind this weekend about expenses and actually paid for pretty much everything but the hotel and one meal out of his wood business account. Big Grin Our hotel was $204- such a beautiful room and view. For calling to reserve a room last minute, I lucked out. The girl I spoke to was very nice and assured me I would like the room. We were on the end with a nice long balcony...GS got to swim in the heated pool, play on the beach, run with the waves, made some new friends while crabbing and relax in a big comfy bed while resting a little in the afternoon. HE LOVED IT.

The weather was gorgeous and we had a great time with our friends. We saw pelicans dive bombing into the bay to catch fish and several seals. The meal out was lunch yesterday $28. Oh, we also stopped at the store to pick up corn on the cob, bread, and some snacks which came to $22. Breakfast was provided this morning at the hotel..it was one of the nicer free breakfasts Ive seen and the food was pretty good! GS, who normally doesnt eat much cleaned his plate and went back for seconds. He slept most of the way home.

This week is a short work week for me. I work Mon- Wed and then leave for our girls trip on Thursday. I also start school again this week and am going to take a stab at algebra II...which is my worst subject.
I didnt realize I would miss a class the first week of school for the girls trip. Hopefully I can make up what I miss. I didnt opt for an online class this time since I know I will need to be taught how this Algebra stuff works. (Ive steered clear of math since high school, which is a VERY long time ago...lol)

I cant believe how fast this weekend went..and am so glad the work week is a short one. After this, I dont have time off until Veterans weekend when we go to the mountain resort rental with our friends.

Heading to the beach tomorrow!

September 21st, 2012 at 06:49 pm

DD2 asked if we could take GS (8) for the weekend since his little sister got to go camping with her grandparents. Blended families are so tough on the kids...poor GS didnt understand why he got left behind...so, the hub and GS are at the movie tonight seeing Iceage and tomorrow we are going to get up early and go to the coast. I was able to get a hotel for tomorrow night in one of the rooms facing the ocean. ($200). We have $600 in the vacation fund, which will more than cover the tab for the weekend. (We should only spend about $250 total if the hub pays for the gas with the wood $$) Our good friends are staying at the RV park right next to the hotel- so we will fix our meals with them while we are there, so meals shouldnt be too much. I will also take my dads crab pots...which I am sure will keep GS entertained for most of the day. Aside from the hotel, the gasoline will be our biggest expense...and I am going to ask the hub if he wont pay for that out of his wood $$.

I LOVE going to the ocean and havent been (except for briefly in Alaska) in MONTHS..so this will be a very fun weekend.

Meals today were not healthy. Frown I had a free doughnut at work (um, a chocolate bar and coffee was so tasty..but so not worth the guilt later)..and at lunch I needed gas ($65)- which is a 30 min process on Fridays...so I just got two bean burritos from Taco Bell ($1.98)after I filled up on my way back to work.

Tonight I had a PBJ on toast here at home.

I plan on doing lots of beach walking this weekend- and will take lots of fruits for snacks. Then, next week get right back on track with my healthier choices.

My thumb looks and feels so much better now that the glass shard is out.

Looking so forward to tomorrow. After a long week, it will be fun to spend time with the hub, GS and our friends at the beach. Life is good!

Discouraging repeat procedure and done with planning!

September 20th, 2012 at 04:39 pm

This week has been our planning session at work. It is always fun and exciting to explore the possibilities and determine goals for the next year. We met at our offsite facility and breakfast and lunch were provided each day...so meal planning has been easy this week!

My love of planning flows into my personal life too. I enjoy creating spreadsheets and checklists. Each year I get a little better at it and also get more disciplined at sticking to the plan.

I remember the early days of budgeting when money was so tight there wasnt enough to fully go around for expenses, let alone have extra to allocate for wants. All too often, money for bills would 'accidentally' be spent on wants, because it was too depressing to stick to a rigid budget. But once I figured out the formula for writing a do-able budget,AND we brought the out-going to less than the in-coming, I have done a better job of sticking to it.

One thing I learned is to allow for some wiggle room on the bills that vary month to month and to try to budget some guilt free spending money too.

I cant remember if I blogged about getting a sliver of glass in my thumb a few weeks ago. I thought I got it all out and then handled raw chicken to prepare for dinner. The next morning I woke to a very red thumb with a red line starting up my arm...uh oh. I started antibiotics for my cough that day and the thumb got better..but continued to be very sore. Well, last night the darn splinter of glass FINALLY worked to the surface and I got it out. OMG is that a relief.

My sweet little 5 year old granddaughter was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis 3 years ago. At that time she got a steroid injection in her knee and thankfully, the arthritis went away. We thought she was home free when it didnt return. Sadly, it came back. A few weeks ago her knee swelled and got warm..and it hurt in the mornings and off and on during the day..a tell tale sign that it was back. Today she received another treatment (they have to put her under for the injection). This makes a gramma's heart ache:

The arthritis had also spread to her ankle and is affecting her enamel on her teeth.. Frown It is discouraging that this came back as the recurrence ups her chances of it being a life long problem. Good news is tonight she is pain free again and doing well. I sure wish I could take this from her and her mom and dad. It is so hard to see your kids and grandkids hurting both physically and emotionally. Frown

Last night, the hub suggested taking his dad and aunt to dinner. We went to olive garden and the bill came to $90. The hub payed out of his wood money. Tonight, he is delivering six more cords of wood..so he will replish what he spent. He is using his wood money to fix up an old truck he bought (his new hobby).

The hubs check hit pending today. It is $106 more than normal...so that will go towards his Visa bill.

We are done with the planning session at work, so I go back to preparing and planning my own breakfast and lunch. It was fun while it lasted. Big Grin

So glad Friday is tomorrow and another weekend is upon us. No big plans this weekend.

Donated blood

September 17th, 2012 at 06:59 pm

I donated blood today for the first time. I assumed wrongly that because I am on a few differnt medications that I couldnt donate. I am so glad that assumption is behind me! Smile

Today was a no spend day. Our meals are planned for most of the week. Actually, this week is our planning week at work- so breakfast and lunch will be provided Tue-Thur and dinner is provided tomorrow night. Makes for a cheap week when so many meals are provided!

I will need to get gas this week...which will run around $65- this line item still has over $100, so its covered when I fill up.

I am using an online tracker for my meals and I am pleased with the results so far. I dont seem to have a problem staying at or under 1200 calories each day...but I do have a problem getting enough protein. I am trying to follow the 40-30-30 plan which is carbs, protein and fats. I picked up some Zone bars at Costco this past weekend. They were on sale, $14 for 24. I plan to only use them when I am in a bind (nothing on hand and hungry) or when I am really craving chocolate.

I went over the budget with the hub tonight. I keep my budget on a spreadsheet and keep it updated several times each week -and the budget is roughly calculated through next March...roughly because the hubs paychecks fluxuate so much. I estimate low on income and high on the bills that vary (electricity, etc.) He would like to pay more on the country house each month...but it makes so much more sense to eliminate the credit card debt first. I think he understood and seemed happy with how the budget looks.

Unplanned pizza expense and flipped the mattress

September 15th, 2012 at 07:54 pm

I had quite a list of honey-do's for the hub this trip home. One was to flip the mattress, which we did tonight. I am hoping this will help with my neck. (He also popped my back, which clearly needed it as many times as it popped)We havent flipped it in a LONG time and it was showing. I am not sure how often we should do it...so I will google it and see for future reference.

DD2 and DD3 showed up just before dinner time. (They do this once in a while...lol) The hub and I had laid out steaks this morning to bbq...but there wasnt enough for 4 adults and 3 kids, so I put them in the fridge and ordered pizza. An unexpected expense and not a very diet friendly one- but it was quick and easy and everyone enjoyed it. We had the pizza delivered so before it arrived, I snacked on fresh watermelon. When the pizza finally arrived ($48) I just has two of the thinnest slices. Not a deal breaker, since I had only ate fruit and yogurt today. (Just because we were so busy)

So, $48 of unplanned spending will be split between the food budget and the entertainment budget.

I relaxed this afternoon looking at ipad budget aps. I didnt find one that I really liked yet, but havent given up. I would like to move my spreadsheet at work to something cloud based so I can access at home too. I have kept this budget for so long, I can do it in my head, but it would be nice to update my log at my convenience.

The hub went to bed at 730 tonight. It takes a few days for us to get on the same schedule.

I went to the store earlier today and got the Allegra (generic brand) that DD2 had recommended. I also picked up light bulbs, fruit, yogurt, spent $46. That comes off the food budget and I added it to the running total on the fridge.

Tomorrow the hub will bbq those steaks and the chicken breasts I layed out. THe chicken will be for dinner and a couple of lunches this next week.

Budgets and high calorie adult beverage lesson..

September 15th, 2012 at 11:16 am

The hub is out at the other house processing wood with his dad today, so I am home alone..Actually was, then DD2 showed up with the three little ones. While we visited I brought up her budget and she exlplained that her goal is to pay as much as she can each paycheck and set $40 aside for allowance. Ummm. I told her that was an aggressive goal, but it had a few potential pitfalls.

I explained why she should consider paying those debts, but also put money into an emergency fund..and why. (She is notorious for paying more than she can afford to on debt and then come to mom when there is no money for food for the kids or gas money.) I showed her how I have our budget set up...with income, bills, weekly expenses like food and gas, and the escrow account (aka Freedom acct) for things like Dr bills, birthdays, car repairs, etc.

She paid close attention, but I am not sure it sunk in...so I will bring it up again...and again, until it has. She recently started working more hours and will have more incoming than outgoing, so I am trying to get her to use this as an opportunity to move ahead a little.

We spent $33 last night on food for the dinner and had grilled chicken, jazmine rice, corn on the cob and grilled pineapple, zucchini and onion. It was so good. I was careful with portions and came in under on all the food goals for the day...RIGHT UP UNTIL...I added the three hurricane drinks I had. HOLY CANOLY...I had no idea those three nice cold drinks would bypass my goal limits by almost double in the calorie and carbs...I dont tally sugars, but I am sure that would have been off the chart too. Before the dinner we also stopped by the liquor store (In Oregon, that is the only place you can buy it)...we bought to stock op (an embarrassing $69)...but we have plenty on hand for the future gatherings and we wont have to buy again for months.

They sure dont look that sabatoging to a goal:

Now that I know what those yummy drinks do to my goals, I will probably stick with a glass or two of red wine in the future.

Luckily, I am using Lucky Robins mantra of "progress, nor perfection"...and so I am just hopping back on track today and framing last night as a once in a while treat that was ok.

Bills and Meals

September 14th, 2012 at 11:06 am

The hub arrived safely. I am taking a break at work and am happy that today has slowed down a little!

I made sure all the bills got paid this morning and moved the money around for all the different buckets (categories of savings/expense accounts). This morning I talk to the hub about the food and entertainment budgets. We have $250 in the food budget for the rest of the month through Oct 5th when the budget is replenished. I really want to try to stick to this so that we arent behind when he goes back. (Which is almost always the case). I am posting a running total on the fridge to keep us on track.

Tonight we invited a friend over for dinner. Her hub is off hunting so it will just be us and her. The hub is going to bbq. The hub will be shopping for the dinner after lunch today, so this will be a good test to see if he is paying attention to staying inside the budget.

We are also going to lunch today with our SIL...at least, we still consider him such. He and our daughter were never married, but they have a daughter together (our youngest granddaughter- 3 1/2) and this wonderful guy is also co-raising our grandson (8) like he is his..(grandsons bio father is NOT in the picture- never has been, his choice-our relief). Even though DD2 and SIL are not still together, he is family to us. DD2 is semi-ok with this..and it gets a little easier for her all the time. Anyway, we are having lunch today because he bet me that the 49ers would beat Greenbay last weekend, which they did. So I will pick up the tab. This money will come out of the entertainment budget.

Today is on track to be a very relaxing day...even at work. The floodgates seem to be closed for now and I am getting some catchup done on projects...(not to mention a break to type this)

My test this next three weeks, aside from staying on budget, is to eat healthy while someone else is doing the cooking...I CAN DO THIS. Big Grin

My work paid off at work today!!!!

September 13th, 2012 at 05:55 pm

Today was the granddaddy of crazy days.

It was not a no spender. Frown A few nights ago I missed a dinner meeting that I had signed up for. I was beyond tired that night and I had to pay $25 today for the no-show fee. I anticipated this when I was deciding not to go...and the sleep sounded so much better than the $25 and not getting home til after 9pm.

Otherwise, I did not spend money today.

My workday started early when I got to work and I never stopped until I left at 5. The good news is one of the the losses I am working on resulted in the person being arrested for assaulting a police officer. Our diligence on this one saved the co. I work for about $20k. It is not every day I can say that....so YAY.

The hub is on his way home - right now he is midway between Anchorage and Seattle. DD3 was supposed to clean the house today for some of the financial help we have given her...but I got home and nothings been done. Frown So, as tired as I am, I will see how much I can get done.

The hubs paycheck is $140 more than usual, so I applied that toward his Visa card.

I am almost to the end of my first work week of eating healthier. Because of how busy it has been, I have stayed well within my eating goals. Not so good on the walking goal, however. Baby steps.

I am so happy that tomorrow is Friday. The weekend ahead is much needed!!

Two weeks to the girls trip!

September 12th, 2012 at 06:23 pm

Another no spend day! Yes!

Because of the meal planning and focusing on not spending, I have most of my monthly allowance still in my purse...which is so nice! In two weeks I am flying to Southern California to visit my friend that I have been friends with almost 40 years. Wow, it sounds so crazy to think that its been that long...when we get together we still giggle like teenagers.

My daughters and I started a tradition years ago of planning a girls trip each year. My mom would join us and we would drive up to Portland in October or November and spend the weekend kicking off our Christmas shopping, hitting the Saturday market, having some fun meals..and just being together. We save all year for the trip and we have such a wonderful time.

This is one of my favorite pics from our trips. My mom, at the Saturday market trying on this hat (she was always so cold)...My daughter blew this up and framed it that year and gave it to my dad for Christmas...when he opened it, he laughed so hard I thought he would p-in his pants....lol Oh good memories...

This year, we switched it up and are taking this trip south. (DD2 isnt going because of her financial situation- which makes me sad)..

None of us are really eager to shop, so we will just spend the weekend visiting. Because we will stay with my friend, we dont have to pay for a hotel- and my friends house is really nice, big and has a gorgeous built in pool/hot tub. Sounds like paradise to me!

Soo...having most of my allowance left is a nice treat for the trip.

The hub gets home tomorrow night. Poor guy...its snowing where he is at and it is supposed to be 101 here tomorrow. Talk about climate shock.

Today was another crazy day at work. A new fraud case popped up and I spent the day investigating and putting the file together on it. I really enjoy that part of my job- and I love staying so busy that the clock hits quittin time before I realize the day is gone.

I didnt get out for a walk, but my meals consisted of lite yogurt, string cheese, carrots, a sandwich, leftover chicken and lots of water. I did have a Pepperidge Farm CARMEL APPLE cookie...a nice treat at the end of a very busy day...I enjoyed every crumb..and then added it to my online food log...happy to see that even after the splurge I was still within all the daily limits I have set.

I love Thursday's because that is the day the hubs paycheck hits pending on the account, so I can see what we are getting and tweak the budget accordingly. This week, he has some OT, so I am excited to see what it is tomorrow morning. My focus on the extra right now is towards debt- so that is where the extra will go.

Adsense doesnt make sense to me.....yet! But it will....

September 11th, 2012 at 09:01 pm

I spent some time tonight trying to figure out what Adsense is all about. I thought it would be fun to try out. I am not quite sure what the premise is though. Maybe this weekend I will have a little more time to figure out what I need to do. I signed up, but am a little confused about next steps. It looks like there is a good tutorial, so hopefully I can figure it out. I think it is fantastic that Jeffrey is giving us the oppy to add snowflakes..every little bit helps!

Today was another no spend day. If all goes at planned, I should make it to Friday without spending. The hub will be home Friday and there is always stuff we need when he gets back.

We dont have any plans for the weekend. Well, the hub has 6+ cords to get processed during the three weeks he is home, so I am sure much of his time will be spent out at the other house.

It is always hard when I go out there. My mom and dads little place is there..along with my dads little shop that he loved to tinker in. It always makes me sad to go..but the hub eventually wants to move back out to that house....it is on two acres and has his wood yard, the 60X60 dog pen, and all of his equipment and toys. (Quads, fixer truck, etc.) I like living in town and love this house. Oh well, thats a decision for another day.

The hub is about to get into busy season with his job. It has already started snowing there. I hope to pay off a good chunk of debt with the extra income it will bring. Last year, I was able to pay over $5000 off and get an emergency fund built. We should do even better this year, especially with DD3 going to work and being able to pay for her car/insurance herself.

This week is flying by at work. Things have been crazy and tomorrow is already booked with more of the same. Actually, I dont see a break for most of this week. I love staying busy though- it sure makes time fly.

A coworker and I went for a 25 minute walk today...close enough with all the up and down the stairs I did throughout the day to put a check mark next to my 30 minute a day goal. Big Grin

Budget reconfigure

September 10th, 2012 at 08:01 pm

What a crazy busy day it was today.

TODAY WAS A NO SPEND DAY..omg, there wasnt time to spend anything. lol. But YAY.

I reconfigured the budget after last nights $75 pizza splurge and all is good. I was able to shave a little off several budget items to cover the expense.

There is still $230 in the grocery budget. That includes food, dog food, and household supplies. When the hub comes home from Alaska, he does the cooking and most of the grocery shopping. (He likes to cook and likes to know the cupboards have his fav foods waiting...) The only issue is that he doesnt stick to a budget when he does. It seems like each month after he goes back to Alaska, the grocery budget is in the RED and I have to either borrow from another budget bucket or make do with whats left in the cupboards...hmmm...This month, that wont be a problem. I budgeted/spent very carefully so far and we still have $230 left for groceries,etc. He doesnt go back to Alaska until Oct 3...so the budget will replenish on the 5th...and I only have to feed me until the 25th of Oct. Easy, breezy.

I had oatmeal for breakfast, a quick sandwich standing up during a meeting for lunch and came home and made lime/garlic chicken breast and corn on the cob for dinner.

There was no time to walk today. I barely got a potty break. But my meal choices were healthy!

If all goes as planned, tomorrow should be another no spender.

Budget buster - Pizza for DD2's birthday

September 9th, 2012 at 08:25 pm

I busted the budget tonight but for a good reason. I invited the family (DD1, DD2, DD3 and their families) over for pizza and to celebrate DD2s birthday tonight. She is a single mom and also a foster mom. She worked 56 hours last week and yesterday was too pooped to really do much. But I wanted to do something special for her..so we had pizza and cake here at the house.

Of course, her favorite pizza is the expensive pizza place..but we fed 6 adults and 5 kids for $75 and the girls got to each take leftovers and I have the left over salad. (I gulped at the cost, but am ok since DD2 enjoyed it, and everyone had a good time.) For that many, it would have cost much more if wed gone out. I could have made something much cheaper, but this weekend has just been crazy and it is what DD2 really wanted.

I will figure out which bucket this will come out of tomorrow when I can look at the spreadsheet I keep at work.

I made my oatmeal tonight for the week. I just need to figure out what else I need for lunches and snacks. I have some stuff already at work leftover from last week..but want to make sure to take what I need so that I am not tempted to grab fast food at lunch.

I knew pizza wasnt the healthiest choice, so I nibbled on cantaloupe before it arrived and only had one small slice and some salad.

We had cake...but lil Z (foster boy, 20 mo old) was here and he saw gramma take a bite and here he came, mouth open. It was a small slice and he ate the rest. Again, eating less is easy when that lil guy is here. lol.

Totally off topic...Greenbay lost today. Frown The 49ers deserved the win, but the refs really made BAD calls throughout the game on both teams. It is frustrating to watch a game with calls like that.

Well, its about bedtime. This gramma is pooped. Smile

Birthday Party and Football today-

September 9th, 2012 at 08:57 am

Its been a busy few days and today is another busy one with birthday parties and football. (Go GREENBAY!)

The hub and I were both paid on Friday and all the budget buckets were refilled. I spent $56 at the grocery store, stocking up on lots of fruit, milk, yogurt, flour, eggs, butter, bacon, etc. I knew I was babysitting our lil foster boy last night, so I wanted to be ready. He is 20 months old and boy can that lil guy eat! He played hard all evening and its almost 9am and he is still asleep- DD3 and I wore the poor lil guy out! Big Grin

I have been working on changing food habits. It takes practice and focus to remind yourself what is ok and what is not. But so far, I am pleased with the progress. It definately helps to babysit. Last night I had 1 bite of yogurt and a half a bowl of soup...because once Z saw that I was eating, over he ran with mouth open. lol. He enjoyed the yogurt, soup and lots of fruit...some crackers, more fruit, some milk, string cheese, and whatever else he could find.

I am switching from bagels to oatmeal for breakfast. I will stay with a sandwich with more lettuce than meat for lunch (luckily I like mustard and not mayo) and dinner will be soup or chicken this week. I shouldnt have to buy any more groceries.

I took DD1 and my grandaughter (K) shopping yesterday for k's birthday- she is 7. Leopard prints are big this year and most of the items she chose, including a cute little hat- have the print on them. We went over budget a little (by about $15)...but that included buying the girls lunch (they split a meal at the mall).

I am going to pay DD3 $20 for helping me with Z last night. I am still not back to 100% and didnt have the energy to keep up with him all night.

Today should be a no-spender, since I have the grocery shopping done, over a half tank of gas still, and DD2s birthday present already. However, DD2 (pharmacy tech) recommended that I try allegra for this cough...she and the pharmacist both assured me that I wont have the side effects like I did last week. So I might stop and pick some up.

Well, I just heard Z waking up so time to go back to being gramma.

Hope everyones Sunday is a good one!

Health and Budget...and the fork in the road.

September 6th, 2012 at 08:09 pm

Today was one of those days that put that fork in the road and made me rethink my priorities.

First, I seem to have been blogging a lot lately about not feeling well. So much so I feel like a hypochondriac..honestly, I dont ALWAYS focus on whining about how I feel...but today I really didnt feel good. My ear is still ringing, light headed and dizzy and a gnarly headache. I just didnt feel right. I decided to try one of those blood pressure machines that are next to the pharmacy in the store and the results were scary. Very scary. So, I went to urgent care to have it checked by a professional. They took it twice and it just got worse. ugh. The doctor suggested upping my meds slightly for a couple of days and stop the over the counter med to see if that doesnt bring it down. The next step, if this doesnt help will be to change and up meds. Frown

At least I know why I felt so crummy. But I can affect this by changing diet and exercise...which I started today.

Im too embarrassed to post numbers...but I know what the starting point is and have a good idea where to start.

The doctors office will bill me for the copay,(15) so today was another no spend day. I decided to make soup for the potluck tomorrow and had everything that I needed. It smells really good and the nice thing is that this soup is pretty healthy.

I made it to Friday without spending anything. yay. Tomorrow is payday for both the hub and I and the beginning of my September budget. All the buckets get refilled and I can grocery shop again. Big Grin

My grocery list will be healthier...I will walk at least 5X per week for at least 30 min and I want to start taking some supplements.

I am planning to get the supplements from Costco this weekend. I have buddied up with a co-worker and our goal is simple...be in a great routine and feel better by Thanksgiving. Vague goals, but I dont want to fail...I will be happy with being one (maybe two) sizes smaller and to just feel better.

So...dinner tonight was left over lime chicken on top of quinoa...it was really tasty. I drink a lot of water, so that was the dinner beverage of choice.

Day one is off to a decent start. Tomorrow will be a better day.

No Spend day and a free lunch!!

September 5th, 2012 at 07:05 pm

Today was a no spend day and, thanks to a lunch meeting, I even enjoyed a free lunch at the country club!! Gotta love free lunches!

Now if I can make it through tomorrow without spending, I will be back on track with the budget! Only problem is there is a potluck at work Friday, which means I will need to make something tomorrow night. Hmmm... I need to look at what I have on hand that will be good to make/take.

When the hub called tonight he mentioned again that he is getting some overtime- and that he sold 6 cords of wood. He plans to put the money from his wood sales into an older pickup that he bought a while back to fix up. The overtime will go towards the household budget.

Sunday is bithday day...both DD2's and my granddaughter (who turns 7)- My granddaughter is having a party in the morning, and then I plan to come home and watch a football game. Otherwise, no plans except grocery shopping.

This week has definately helped refocus me on my spending habits. I realize how much 'impulse' has interfered with my savings goals. I intend to stay focused and not be so quick to offer to pay or even just to spend. I budget for bills, but I need to get better on budgeting the spending $$. Especially when the hub is home...we seem to buy more when he is here.

Time to refine my plan!

Darn Budget Gremlins...

September 4th, 2012 at 01:06 pm

The budget gremlins are out to get me.

I have turned down going out to dinner and a designer coffee run to stay on budget. Normally, I wouldnt even think twice. And normally, both would have been on my dime. But my resolve is firm..I will not frivulously spend this week.

Unfortunately....yesterday my ears plugged up and today I can barely hear out of my right ear. WTH??? No pain, just pressure and and some ringing. So, I stopped by the pharmacy where DD2 worked and she and the pharmasist suggested an antihistimine and Mucinex. I bought store brand and got an extra 20% off because DD2 is an employee, so $10.10. Fortunately, last night I drained the piggy bank and exchanged it today for dollars..it was $15.40. I paid back the LOC with the few dollars left in my purse and now have exactly $1.90....I am a big ice water drinker and will need to pick up a bag of ice tonight that is $1.89.

I obviously am being tested because of that BOLD and COCKY comment that I would have NO PROBLEM making it until Friday on $25. HA

Clearly the budget gremlins are out to prove me wrong.

Yesterday and today all meals have been from my food supply at home. I have meals planned for the rest of the week. I just hope that NOTHING else comes up before Friday.

I can do this!!!

Happy Labor Day!

September 3rd, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Happy Labor Day!

My son and his family came by for breakfast on their way out of town. As promised, my son sprayed my yard and the big hairy monster on the back porch is no more.

I have our little foster guy who is playing and just a joy. Only issue is a green runny nose. I am keeping it wiped and using LOTS of hand sanitizer....I DO NOT WANT TO GET SICK. DD3 should be her soon to take over. I want to focus on some baking and cleaning and I do not want to take a chance by not focusing on what Z is doing while I am busy. (My kids tell me Im overprotective with the babies...I just think Im being responsible.)

I have chicken breast thawing out. Im going to bake them for dinner tonight and make enough for left overs tomorrow. My plan is still to make what I have here at the house work for meals all week and not spend anymore.

We shall see!

I survived...

September 2nd, 2012 at 07:03 pm

Big Grin Went to the birthday party today and got to see all the kids, grandkids and extended family. It was chaotic, loud, the kids had a blast and best of all, I came home to a QUIET house.

When I got home, I decided my meal preparation ambition was ZERO...so I made a bowl of cereal and called it dinner. (DD2 stopped by to ask if I wanted to go to Olive Garden, but I stuck to my guns and passed and saved at least $40)

So...today was a great, fun, no spend day.

Tomorrow I am watching our little foster guy from 8:30am until about noon...then DD3 will take over. My son and his family are going to stop by on their way out of town...and my son is going to spray for all these spiders. (Thank GOODNESS).

There is a spider on my back porch that is so big, I am sure eats small animals. I will not be sad to see him go tomorrow (the spider that is, I will be very sad to say good bye to my son). Best of all, the spray is FREE.

I am planning on another no spender tomorrow.

The hub mentioned tonight that he is starting to put in overtime..and that tomorrow is overtime/holiday day. So that translates into nice paychecks to look forward to.

Not much else is going on tonight. Loving knowing I dont have to work tomorrow. Three day weekends are always a blessing, but are just too few and far between.

The BEST news of all is that sometime yesterday, my neck quit hurting finally. After a week of constant pain...I realized in the afternoon I was pain free. So so glad about that.

The morning after....

September 2nd, 2012 at 08:04 am

Do I really just have FOUR kids here?

Every blanket and pillow in the house is on the living room floor. Of course, sleeping in forts is so much cooler than in a bed.

Chicken nuggets are gone. so is half the chocolate milk, about half of all the fruit, the snacks, one of the costco lasagna;s and about a gallon of water. whew. It was a very busy night. But thankfully they all fell asleep by 10 and didnt get back up until 6am.

While the kids were playing last night, I made a batch of banana chocolate chip muffins. They each had one this morning to tide them over until breakfast.

This morning, pancakes, bacon and more fruit are on the menu. but first, gramma must have COFFEE.

Grammas pooped.

Two of them will be picked up in about an hour...the other two (my sons kids) will stay here with me until we leave for the birthday part at noon.

Today should be a no spend day. - I gave my DIL the $40 for the jump house yesterday, there will be lunch at the party and dinner is planned here.

Tonight and tomorrow are rest and relax days for gramma.

But for now...hugs, tickles and attention to kiddos will be my focus. life is wonderful!

Argh...Budget Fail

September 1st, 2012 at 01:58 pm

Was it only a few hours ago I was so confident I could make it all week on $25.

I left home with the BEST INTENTIONS...and I had a list in hand.

My first stop..gas...$60.95. I guestimated $60...so far so good.

Next stop, the dollar store. Found some chicken nuggets for the kiddos tonight $2, crackers $1....and these cute little cups with kookie straws (wont they just lover them...) $4 and a two liter of lemon lime soda $1...$8.05 total

Then, I headed to the store. I am familiar with Safeway...but I was passing a discount grocery store (one of the bag your own and dont look to closely at the floor type stores that stock lots of inexpensive brands) The fruit all looked great...grapes, cantaloup, watermelon, tomatoes, bananas. So far so good...then, there was Bandon Cheese on sale for $4.88-a good buy, not on the list, but I picked it up anyway. Then I went to get the milk and saw the chocolate milk...my son LOVES chocolate milk and I dont see him so often, wouldnt that be a great treat...$3...and I decided to get a mix for the pancakes in the morning to make fixing breakfast for four hungry kids easier... $3...and when I checked out, I was $11 over the food budget.

To my defense (wink) the store was crazy busy. It is the first and so there were tons of people vying for floor space for their carts...so I was making my selections as fast as I could so that I could get the heck out of there. (I now know I am spoiled to shop at Safeway) Not only was it busy, but people seemed oblivious to other shoppers. NOt something I will repeat, even to save money. - The prices werent that much cheaper on the things I was buying.

I am happy that I have fresh fruit chilling in the fridge but I definately could have done better sticking to the budget. My line of credit will cover the $11 until next Friday and I will pay it back out of the September food budget that comes out of Fridays paycheck so its not the end of the world...I just dont have any extra for the week...but I can and will do this!!!

I envy those who can go and stick to that list. I wont mention how many 'near hits' to my shopping cart there were lol. At least I demonstated a little restraint.

Inventory and food plan for the week

September 1st, 2012 at 09:11 am

I did a food inventory last night and wrote out the meal plan to stick to the $25 food budget.

I have:
chicken breasts
costco lasagne
black beans
a loaf of bread
lunch meat
mac n cheese for kids
romain lettuce
and lots of spices for creating meals

last night was burritos with refried beans, a little cheese, salsa verde and a big handful of chopped romaine. Simple, yet tasty and filling.

I have some leftover zucchini bread, which will go great with coffee this morning.

Lunch will be a sandwich.

And dinner will include me, DD3 and four grandkids. I have mac n cheese and will add green beens or corn I also have some fruit and or animal crackers for dessert.

I do need to pick up some bacon today because the kids love pancakes and bacon for breakfast, which is what we will have tomorrow.

Today I will spend $40 on bounce house, $60ish for gas, and will log what I spend at the grocery store. I am determined to keep this weeks spending to the budget I have.

My shopping list so far:
coffee creamer
fruit (watermelon, bananas, whats on sale)

So glad for the three days off. Plan to just relax and enjoy the family.