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Tuesday thoughts

February 21st, 2017 at 09:30 pm

A friend convinced me to start running with her again. She's training for a 10K at the end of May, which I might sign up for too. I haven't run consistently since my first (and last) half marathon over three years ago. The weather has been so gorgeous lately that we did a couple of runs outside last weekend! I picked up a few new running/yoga shirts during the President's Day sales. More than anything, I need my work pants to fit well again.

I'm struggling with my financial goals feeling so out of reach. I should have started saving for a house the moment I started working (although, I guess I was paying off student loans at that point). My rent is doable but high. As much as I'd love to move to the west coast, I don't foresee that happening while my parents are still living, or without a viable career path. Even a 10% downpayment is SO much money, though! I'm trying to figure out how to make that happen as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately I will need a new car before a house. I'm doing what I can to keep this one going but it's not worth properly fixing at this point. Truth - I've never had a car payment thanks to generous gifts from my family, including this car 12 years ago. I've been looking at used vehicles for at least a year but wow - high miles and high payments seem to be the norm!

I also need to bulk up my emergency fund - that's priority one!

cookies, anyone?

August 9th, 2007 at 08:02 pm

Last weekend I made some delicious double chocolate almond cookies (vegan, of course). They were gone in a matter of days. I think my father-in-law ate half the batch!



This is my second photo to make it into flickr's Explore feature, which is pretty cool. Smile My next goal is to make it into the top 100 Explore photos of the day.

This month I'm trying to concentrate on building up my emergency fund. It's only got a $100 in it, and guess whose car is making a horrendous rattling noise again? I've already botched that by ordering UV filters (and a circular polarizer) for my camera. The UV filters are basically a necessity, because I've been super worried about scratching the surface of my lenses (big $$ to replace them). The circular polarizer? Not so much.

The problem is that I keep thinking of things I want. Magnets! and a haircut! and shoes! and take-out! and and and...I really need to just stop thinking.

My net worth is up to $1,127! Whoo hoo!

3-day bake sale

May 1st, 2007 at 02:26 pm

My employer is having a three-day employee shindig this week, and I have a sale table. I'm selling baked goods, all proceeds benefiting me! I've made about $20 in the first hour. Not bad! On the table, I've got orange almond biscotti, rosemary bread, blondie bars, mini banana bread, mini banana muffins, and giant peanut butter oatmeal cookies. If it all sells, I should make about $70 today. Wish me luck!

P365, Day 11: 4/30/07
Banana Walnut Mini Muffins

busy

March 13th, 2007 at 04:43 pm

Well, we dug out, and guess what? Almost all the snow has melted already. It's nearly 50 degrees today! The mountains of snow are gone, replaced by gobs of mud and enormous puddles of water. Spring? Is that you?

I've been a bit MIA lately because I haven't been concentrating much on finances, and since this is supposed to be a financial blog, well... However, I have a plan to have $1000 in savings by the end of April, and pay off my smaller college loan in June. My investments haven't tanked too badly lately, thankfully. I am glad I have lots of time to let things percolate before retirement.

I've been on Topamax for about three weeks. It's been working fairly well for my headaches. Yesterday my hands, fingers, and forearms starting tingling and felt somewhat numb, like I had held them above my head for far too long and all the blood had rushed out of them. Shake, shake, shake - nothing. The feeling persisted all day, and my toes starting tingling, too. I went to the doctor, and he suggested more potassium. I'm going to maintain this dosage and see what happens. If this tingling thing doesn't go away, I'll lower the dosage, and perhaps eliminate it completely. It's a shame that side effects have to pop up...my daily headaches are finally starting to subside, after five years of putting up with them.

One day, I tried one Zomig to treat a migraine and was stoned for five hours straight. The doctor suggested I try Maxalt instead, so that's what I've got now. I guess trial and error is the only way to go!

And, my latest obsession, food. Vegan food, to be exact. I cashed in some American Express points and bought Becoming Vegan. It's chock-full of great advice about nutrition and how to become vegan the right way. I have been moving away from dairy and eggs and feeling better overall. Whether or not I ever become fully vegan, I think eating less animal products and more fresh, whole foods is a good thing. My in-laws bought us a juicer for our birthdays, too, which is a great addition to our kitchen! I'd post photos of the great food we've been making, but again - this is a financial blog! I may have to create a food blog...

Mom is still in Florida - yeah, I'm not even kidding. They are having so much trouble getting help from anyone. Hopefully she will be able to come home next week.

SO and I are going on a date later this week to a play and dinner - the play tickets were half price, thanks to a discount through my employer, and the dinner will be paid for by a gift certificate, thanks to my former employer! Cheap date! My favorite.

Oh, and by the way - I'm going to The Police! Smile

new headache drugs

February 8th, 2007 at 07:34 pm

Had a doctor's appointment this morning - Topamax and Zomig, here I come. I really like my doctor; he actually takes the time to listen to me, considers what I've said, does a little research on his laptop, and gives me a few options to choose from. He's very thoughtful and considerate. I appreciate that. I find it sad that his type of medical care is unusual.

Luckily, he gave me ample samples of both new drugs, so I don't have to fill pricey prescriptions until I know they work.

I am so incredibly tired of having a perpetual headache.

Last night SO and I used a soon-to-expire restaurant gift certificate. It was a nice place. We did something we've never done before - sent back a bottle of wine. It didn't seem spoiled, just...gross. The restaurant was empty, so we didn't inconvenience our server; we just felt bad about doing it. The second bottle was much better. On the way home, we had to create a pep talk for ourselves - it's ok to politely refuse something unpleasant and ask for a replacement if you're paying for it. That's harder for me that it should be.

We had to take a "strengths finder" quiz at work. Turns out I am intellectual, adaptable, empathetic, have a craving to know more, and am inspired by the future. Didn't really come as a surprise to me, but I'm not sure how to apply that to my career.

I received a very nice birthday gift of cash from my aunt. I'm spending half of it on books and a writing computer program (a.k.a., my kick in the pants). The other half will go into savings.

I wish we were going to Mexico this weekend!

resisted takeout

January 31st, 2007 at 06:00 pm

I finally did it...wrote a long post, and then *poof*, lost it. *sigh*

Last night we really wanted to pick up a pizza for dinner, but resisted. We were out looking for the Winter Carnival Medallion, a treasure hunt put on by the local paper (cash prize if you find it). We walked around in sub-zero temps for a few minutes before realizing we could better strategize from the car. I am pretty sure I know where it is, but alas, I'm working today and cannot search for it. We had a mediocre frozen pizza at home instead of takeout.

I've been thinking about what LuckyRobin said about migraines and diet. I think in order for me to do it, I'd have to list what I can eat and come up with a meal plan - menus, perhaps. It would probably be good for me to try it. My problem lies in that I truly hate cooking during the week.

My former boss is finally retiring, and her goodbye party is tonight. I crocheted a wool scarf and hat set out of super-thick, reddish-black yarn. I hope she likes it. It's hard to believe she's truly leaving the organization after so many years at the helm.

Last year for our birthdays, my SIL gave SO and I a gift certificate to the vegetarian restaurant where we had our first date. We haven't used it yet, and it expires next week. Hopefully the migraines will stay away, and we will dress up and go out on the town this weekend!

recognition

December 19th, 2006 at 08:18 pm

What a nice day!

Someone on another team complimented my team, so we all got little balloons on our desks. Nice. I had my annual review this morning...not sparkling, but my boss assured me that I am doing a good job, and told me to keep on doing what I'm doing. No news on a raise yet, but we'll all be finding out soon. I realized that any raise I receive will go straight to inflated medical costs - insurance went up a ton this year.

I'm the new employee trainer again today...not my favorite thing in the world, but I just have to remind myself that next week I won't be at work!

Bittersweet moment last night...I know my massage friend is happy to return to her home country, where she is a doctor, but she's sad about leaving too. She invited us to visit someday. I'd like that.

Trying hard to concentrate on my big savings goal - Mexico 2007. So far, I've got $360 in the account.

We have only spent about $150 on groceries this month, and that will be all we'll spend. That's some sort of record, especially for December! We picked up four very cheap artichokes at Trader Joes, steamed them, and had them for dinner the other night. They were sooooo good. I love artichokes...they will always remind me of Chile. I ate them constantly there. I wish they were cheaper here!

I'm reading the Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri (it's a bunch of short stories). She crafts a great story, and is quite skilled, but every single one so far has been depressing! I hope at least one ends well.

We don't have a flake of snow on the ground, but they say a storm is on its way. I heard people on the bus complaining about the lack of snow. I couldn't be more pleased with 45 degrees!

car thoughts

December 13th, 2006 at 05:18 pm

Yesterday I talked to a friend about how much I've spent on car repairs this year - $1368. Now, that's only about $114 a month (much cheaper than a car payment), but it doesn't get driven much these days, since I normally take the bus to work. I think as it sits idly in the driveway, it concocts new clunking sounds, lights to burn out, and parts to throw to the ground. As I drove to work this morning, I contemplated my future with this car.

Since I don't drive much right now, I don't really need a new car. I am pretty tired of throwing money at it, though. The engine had a brand new whine this morning when I started it up.

I expect to pay off my smaller college loan next summer. If I could find a car payment that tops out at $200 a month, I think I could swing it. The only problem is that the cars I like are twice that much. Wink Something to think about. I'm glad I have the luxury of time and alternative commuting methods.

Last night I avoided Target...tonight, I will not be so lucky. The key is to walk in with my list and not deviate from it. I need cellophane bags for fudge and mini muffin cups for truffles. I'm nearly done with my crocheting projects! Whoohoo!

I'm hoping to get a raise soon. Overtime work this fall has not panned out like I thought it would. I need to canvass the house and throw some things up for sale if I'm going to have enough cash for a vacation. I think I'll try amazon.com for books and such.

Free breakfast and lunch at work today, with vegetarian options this time! Yeah!

you CAN pack lunch

December 11th, 2006 at 10:28 pm

I have a friend who complains bitterly about the quality of food served in our cafeteria (aren't we lucky to have one?) and not having any money. I finally told him that there's an easy remedy to both problems - pack lunch. But - it's too much work! I don't have time! I don't know how!

Look, it may be hard at first, but it packing lunch can become second nature, just like anything else. I've packed lunch nearly every day I've worked in the past five years. It normally takes me about 5 minutes to pack my lunch in the morning.

~ Eat breakfast before you walk out of the house. I spend 5 minutes cooking and eating my bowl of oatmeal every morning, and it keeps me going until my 10:30 snack.

~ Always have lots of snacks on hand, stuff you can quickly grab-and-go: apples, bananas, grapes, pears, oranges, yogurt, granola bars, mini V-8 cans, string cheese, chocolate, pretzel rods, raisin boxes, crackers, etc.

~ If you cook dinner (and you should be, if you're trying to save money and your waistline), make things that create leftovers. After dinner, pop what you've made into individual microwavable containers, and slide them into the fridge (or freezer). In the morning, grab one of these containers, a few of your snack options, and viola! Food for the day.

~ If you eat dinner out, and you can't eat it all, box up the rest for lunch the next day.

~ Keep non-perishable goods in your desk drawer. I've got a jar of peanut butter, a variety of tea bags, and some ketchup/salt/pepper packets. Sometimes a simple tablespoon of peanut butter keeps me going until lunch. If you just can't eat breakfast at home, bring a box of shredded wheat to work and tuck it into your desk drawer. I'd keep a bag of chocolate there too, if I could keep my hand out of it.

~ Make lunch the night before. If you're having burritos for dinner, fold up an extra one and wrap it in plastic wrap or foil. Toss it in your lunch bag with a snack or two and a beverage, and place the whole thing in the fridge so you won't miss it the next day.

~ Buy frozen meals on sale and with a coupon. Stock your freezer for the inevitable no-food-in-the-fridge mornings. Just be careful not to rely too heavily on them!

Any other lunchtime tips and tricks? I know I've saved tons of money over the years by packing my own lunch.

2007 vacation

November 28th, 2006 at 03:27 pm

In 2007, I am taking a vacation, come hell or high water.

If I'm frugal for the next couple of months, I'll have plenty of cash saved up by mid-February. I'm still dreaming about a week at Isla Holbox in Mexico. I could take a bite right out of that piece of paradise...swimming with dolphins! Gazing at manta rays! Kayaking through mangroves! Digging my toes into the sand! Sounds like heaven.

I've been working on my year-long 2007 budget, and I added a vacation fund. I plan to have my smaller college loan paid off by June 2007, and my holiday savings fully funded by August.

My sister noticed my budget spreadsheet and asked about it. She seemed really interested in developing a budget - I'll have to make one up for her. I often stop and think about how much being a part of this website has helped me over the past couple of years. I think about money and acquiring "stuff" differently, and I'm proud of that!

Have you ever gone back to a salon and complained about a haircut? I got mine done last week at a new place, and I really donít like the cut. I'm leery about having the same person fix it. Certainly in this case, having a coupon did not pay off. I should have just gone to my regular salon!

what goes on in billing depts?

November 9th, 2006 at 09:54 pm

My chiropractor's billing department has taken to sending me a bill every month, for services rendered in August...services that were also paid in August. They don't answer the phone, and don't return phone calls, so today I wrote a letter. Enough is enough.

A different doctor's billing department just got around to sending me a bill from services rendered in August. I still haven't received a bill for September. I guess they aren't too concerned about getting their money!

My health insurance is going up $427 a year. Ouch. I am lucky enough to work for a place that allows me to have my SO on my health insurance. We will split the extra cost. Bummer, though!

I'm making a list of things I can make to send to people for the holidays:

- jewelry
- bubble magnets
- framed photographs
- rosemary bread
- truffles
- snicker's fudge
- dipped pretzels
- biscotti

Any other ideas? I can crochet as well, but just about everyone has received a hat and scarf (or 2).

fending off the 'want' demons

September 28th, 2006 at 02:24 pm

Jamming to tunes with my new MP3 toy. Thanks for the music recommendations, baselle!

This morning I provided slapstick comedy for my fellow busriders by slip-sliding down the rain-slicked aisle and nearly plopping onto a teenager's lap. The teenagers found it highly amusing. I had forgotten how juvenile humor thoroughly amuses high school students.

The pottery class last night was a bit...disappointing. Four of the seven students have taken this particular class more than once, and the instructor seemed more interested in chatting them up than helping out the newbies. He was completely unprepared to teach. Afterwards I was quite frustrated, but tonight I am going to the library to scour the pottery how-to books. If he's not going to teach me, I'll figure it out myself. At least I have access to the clay, wheels, glaze, and kilns.

I'm signing up to work overtime during the holiday season again this year. I could stand to make a decent amount of money if we have high product demand. Wish I could tell you what it is! Stick Out Tongue

I found a bunch of random gift cards in my purse, so I decided to tally up the leftover amounts. It came to $155! Nice! I'll have to make sure to use them up before the annual penalty fees kick in.

I decided on a digital SLR camera a few days ago (thought I wanted a Nikon until I actually held it in my hands - way too big!). Yesterday I tip-toed onto dangerous ground. I researched the best price, and then checked out 0% financing credit card offers. I talked myself out of applying for any. I could potentially have the money to buy it by the end of November, if I work hard at it. What's more important, though - a fancy new camera, or that long-desired trip to Mexico? The selfish me says both! Stick Out Tongue

just fine

September 27th, 2006 at 02:05 pm

The procedure was thankfully less painful than I had anticipated. Not fun, but it's over with and I hope that was the first and last episode of that melodrama. Boss seems to be ignoring my time off request now. I'm just not up for caring anymore.

I was naughty last night and bought my MP3 player/radio. It was on sale (of course), and so far I'm liking it! I had radio reception the entire bus trip this morning, which is unheard of. The reception is not as great at my desk, but I think I can figure out a way to improve it. I bought a cheap plastic lidded soap dish to store it in so it doesn't flop around unprotected in my bag. Perfect!

Yes - I should have waited for Christmas - but I felt like I "deserved" it after all the trauma lately (silly, I know!). Now I just have to remind myself that I don't "deserve" anything more! Back on track!

About the grocery store gift certificates - I have a credit card that currently gives 5% cash back on grocery store purchases. They are changing it to only 2% back next month. I want to get the best bang for my buck, so I'm buying gift certificates now. I'll have to buy groceries, right? So I might as well get some extra cash back for it while I still can.

Stopped by Walgreens last night and stocked up on a few things they've got on the rebate list. I still need to organize my stash and write down everything I have. No more buying for a while; I need to use up what we've got. Nice deal at Target, though - Pepsi 12-packs were 4/$9, plus we got a $5 gift card for buying. That amounts to $1 per 12-pack. Awesome!

Pottery class tonight! Big Grin

attempting to think about finances

September 26th, 2006 at 02:51 pm

Thanks for all of your support. I haven't shared the details of the procedure with my boss - all I said was I'm having a medical procedure done. Still no approval to leave, but obviously I'm taking care of myself first. You're right - I've only got one body.

In financial news...I've been working on holiday shopping. I ordered several delicious soy candles from Crooked Mile Candle Company. They've got new scents - cocoa cappucino! Caramel pecan crumble! Count me in (and my giftees, as well).

I'm contemplating purchasing a MP3 player with radio. I miss listening to NPR every day, and I can't stream it at work. The one I've got my eye on is 1GB, $69.

I've been busy stocking up on grocery gift cards. I have one other store to stop at (perhaps two), and we'll be set for the rest of the year. Neat!

Yesterday we watched a little Globe Trekker (anyone else a fan of this show?). They were bopping around several Carribean islands, and it looked heavenly. I told SO we should consider our Mexico trip again. We've got plenty of time to save up!

good, bad, ugly

September 20th, 2006 at 03:09 pm

THE GOOD
~ Received full refund for bad half.com transaction
~ Received full refund for damaged overstock.com product
~ Reserved a campsite in October up north at a park that's said to be just gorgeous - can't wait!
~ Received a card in the mail yesterday from a good friend saying she's there for me!
~ Saved $5 at Petsmart and $18 at Target last night with coupons
~ Free work lunch today
~ SO got up and made me breakfast this morning!
~ My back feels monumentally better after Monday's massage

THE BAD
~ Spent $163 at Target last night
~ Submitted Priceline offer was denied for cheap hotel room - will have to try again later (coincides with camping trip)
~ Have spent $50 in gifts this month
~ Prescriptions and doctors visits are adding up - $110 so far
~ Went shopping last night instead of job hunting
~ Have spent $160 on groceries already this month

THE UGLY
~ Still no word from my doctor about the biopsy results
~ Have not made it to the swimming pool yet
~ Have spent over $400 on things for ME alone - community ed classes, books, fall candles, wine, eating out, massage
~ Won't make most of my goals this month


At least the good outweighs the bad (we won't even talk about the ugly), but sheesh! Obviously I self-medicate with stuff when I'm stressed.

a case of the Monnnndays

September 18th, 2006 at 03:55 pm

I truly appreciate all of your support. It's a wonder, having all of you here to 'talk' and 'listen' to! It's hard to believe that I've been blogging here for almost two years.

I noticed today that a few of the blogs I always liked to catch up on have disappeared - Retire@50, for one. Bummer. I like hearing about how people's lives are going.

Boss told me today that doctor's notes don't matter. Also found out that I can be sick one day in November or December, but any more than that until some point next year and I will get written up. I really, really hope I don't get the flu. I'll be sure to get a flu shot this year.

I unintentionally had a no-spend weekend! Friday I uncorked a bottle of wine and just tried to relax. Saturday I spent all day - 9:00am to nearly 6:00pm - working on the coupon train. There were a ton of expired coupons, so I tossed those and added over 500 of mine. I organized it to keep like coupons together. I was amazed that it took so long to do. Sunday I made black bean soup in the crockpot, delicious parmesan italian bread with the help of the breadmaker, and a peach crisp. Cooking is so enjoyable with a cool breeze floating through the open windows.

I didn't get much job hunting done like I had planned. Tonight the masseuse is coming over (yippee!). I'm waiting for the doctor's phone call and just trying to remember that it's nice to be alive. Smile

a wee bit of gloating

September 14th, 2006 at 01:52 pm

Last night we hit two grocery stores, and with coupons and advertised savings, we saved a total of...

*insert trumpet fanfare here*

$52.77 !!

One grocery store has double-coupon Wednesdays. (I had completely forgotten until we were at the checkout!) I have never, ever, saved that much on groceries. SO and I were both so excited. Big Grin

Our pantry is bulging and we have enough liquid products to float a boat on. I think we're set for a while. Now to plan menus around what we have.

We looked into camping up north in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area over Columbus Day, but it's all booked! Amazing. We'll have to remember it for next year. I think we'll keep looking...I so want to camp again before the snow flies!

The doctor's appointment...I don't even want to talk about it. We'll see what the test results come back with next week.

Since Citibank is lowering the cash back on groceries from 5% to 2% next month, I'm thinking about getting a few grocery gift cards before then. Do you think that will qualify for the cash back? It would be a purchase made at a grocery store, but I'm not completely sure.

great restaurant deals

September 8th, 2006 at 04:47 pm

Today I happened upon couponmom.com and noticed that they had a link to restaurant.com gift certificates. I checked it out, and lo and behold - 40% off! So I picked up two $10 gift certificates for $3.60. Amazing. They will come in handy when we crave eating out but don't want to spend much.

Had a nice time with my friend last night...we spent the majority of it going through old stuff from 14 years ago (notes, yearbooks, etc). It was fun. Smile Hilarious to see how silly we were back then. It's nice to have had a close friend for so long. I recently read an article that talked about how siblings are our true life partners - they've been with us the longest, longer than our parents or significant others. My friend is like a sister to me. I feel blessed.

Hoping to get the camera fixed this weekend (if I can find naptha alcohol, whatever that is). I have some neat photos from my trip home, but many of them are ruined because of the light leak. I'll see what I can salvage and post them when I can.

This will be the first weekend in eight weeks that nothing is planned. What a relief! I've been meaning to go to the farmers market all summer - maybe tomorrow I'll finally get there.

asleep at the keyboard

September 5th, 2006 at 03:20 pm

My family came this weekend and we were busy, busy, busy. We went to the fair twice (SO and I went alone once, and later with family). I steered clear of the deep fried twinkies (YUCK!) but had some delicious cheese curds and fried pickles! It's a nice experience, but crazy busy. After a while in crushing crowds, I can't help but feel claustrophobic.

I'm dragging today...so tired after moving my sister back into her dorm. I definitely got a workout! She has some heavy stuff.

I'm so excited to get great coupons from Flash! Yeah! I'll stay out of the coupon questions thread now. Wink The coupon train will be here soon too, and I can't wait to see it!

SO and I need to schedule another one week spending freeze - maybe next week would be a good time!

stockpile spread out everywhere

August 31st, 2006 at 04:41 pm

It's a good thing, knowing what's in your stockpile, right? I've realized that I've got mine stashed in all four corners of the house. A couple of days ago I bought an enormous container of laundry detergent...turns out I already have one sitting upstairs. Last night I bought a pack of Q-tips with coupon...turns out I already have one stashed in the closet. It's not really saving money if you're just duplicating stuff that you didn't know you had.

Next challenge - make a household stockpile list!

Also, I need not hang on to any more hair product coupons. We have enough to wash, condition, and style us into next year. It's a weakness of mine, trying new hair stuff - anything to tame this mane.

I just got a lovely email from a coworker (via my boss) praising my work. How nice! Some recognition and appreciation! Definitely made my day. Smile

T-20 hours and counting

August 18th, 2006 at 04:46 pm

Tomorrow I take off for my parents' house. I'm making the long drive by myself, because SO has to work a few days next week. No problem - I have my iPod, plenty of snacks, public radio (for half of the drive anyhow), and a few books-on-CD from the library that a friend picked up for me. Nice! Our library charges for books-on-CD, and my friend's library doesn't, so it was great of her to pick some up for me.

I'm a little glad that SO will be home for most of the time that I'm gone. My plants will get watered consistently and the kitties will have company. It will be time alone with my family, as well. I don't see them nearly enough anymore. SO will be joining me later in the week. I'm not so excited about tomorrow's drive alone, but that will be good for me too.

I've been on an antibiotic roller coaster - Wednesday I felt fabulous, good as new (must have been bad bacteria-killing day). Yesterday I felt as though an alien was struggling to push its way out of my abdomen (must have been good bacteria-killing day). Today, I'm so-so. The made-for-TV alien seems to have left. I could use a nap, though. Sometimes the cure is almost as bad as the ailment, but I'm glad the ailment is behind me.

I decided to forgo the Sam's Club trip I'd been planning. I'd rather go to the State Fair after I return from my trip. It will be interesting to see how long I can make our laundry detergent, kleenex, paper towels, and toilet paper stretch. I'm not going to spend as much at the fair as I would at Sam's Club, but I just can't do both this month - and the fair is a once-a-year thing!

So far, I'm doing well on August goals: $80 left in the grocery fund, $170 into savings, and I've driven to work just twice.

It will be an interesting week. Dial-up internet, no cable tv, a long drive to shop anywhere, limited cell phone access...should be cheap! Smile And fun. I love spending time with my mom. One of my goals next week - attempt sewing! I bought a few patterns during a pattern sale last week, but I couldn't find the fabric to go with them. Being in the fabric aisles is like wandering through a foreign country for me. Hopefully, mom can help me find some fabric in her neck of the woods...and hopefully I won't sew my fingers together!

my turn

August 14th, 2006 at 07:43 pm

Thankfully, my sweet cat was back to his normal self the following day. The shots just threw him for a temporary loop. He's incessantly meowing, begging for food, and flopping over to have his belly scratched as always.

It seems it's my turn now. I'm feeling horrid today and I have no idea why. I came in to work three hours late, and I'd like to leave now. At least my cat had a good reason for feeling poorly! Hopefully this goes away as soon as my head hits the pillow tonight. I don't have a whole lot of sick time left and I'm on vacation next week. Nothing as exciting as Mexico, mind you - I'm going the much cheaper route and visiting my parents. I certainly don't want to bring anything viral to them, though!

I guess lying low at home equals no spending...

10th reunion...gag me

August 4th, 2006 at 03:14 pm

My best friend found our high school class reunion website (the reunion is next summer). The page consists entirely of the "popular girls" and lists their many children, husbands, and photos.

Ugh.

Reading that, I suddenly have absolutely no desire to go. It's a shame that none of the people I'm curious about are listed. Glad to note that I am considered "missing"...think I'll stay that way, if that site represents the people who will be attending the reunion!

Day 8 of our no spend week! Today is our last day. SO packed lunch for ME last night. Smile Tonight we're joining our friends for dinner, and I have some shopping to do, so we're done with no spending for now. SO really agrees that we should do this once a month, though! Who hoo!

Last night I baked a loaf of cinnamon swirl bread...love my breadmaker. It makes the best dough. I think I'll have to make another loaf this weekend, because it smelled heavenly (and I don't think it will last long before being devoured).

Seeing that high school webpage reminded me of just how happy I am with my little life here in MN, with SO and our kitties, far away from that era. Smile

first dose of Imitrex

August 2nd, 2006 at 02:43 pm

I've had my Imitrex prescription filled for a few months now without needing it. Pretty good, not having had a migraine for that long.

It snuck up on me last night. I cleaned the house, helped SO with dinner (eggplant parmesan and blueberry cobbler - YUM), drank several glasses of water, no alcohol...and yet, the migraine descended anyway. First I tried one Excedrin, thinking it was just a normal headache. Took another one a few hours later, to no avail. As soon as the hatchet-in-head feeling started up (always my first sign), I finally I pulled out the Imitrex and tried it out. I woke a few times during the night. The first time I got up, I felt drugged, but my head didn't hurt. This morning I still have a dull headache, but at least I could come to work! Yay for Imitrex!

Funny thing, I received a e-survey this morning on Imitrex vs. Topamax.

SO had to fill his gas tank, but that's still the only thing outside of the challenge that we've purchased. Not bad!

crabby

August 1st, 2006 at 02:22 pm

Last night I was extremely crabby. SO picked me up from work (very nice) but...what's that? The little need-to-fill-the-gas-tank light popping up on the dash? ARG! He seems to think he'll be able to make it until Friday without filling up his gas tank. I seriously doubt it. He drives through the worst parts of town every day, and I'd rather he not get stranded there. I don't understand why he doesn't plan ahead, particularly when he knew we were doing the no-spend challenge this week.

Then, the glass Sun Tea bottle that my mother recently gave me (something from my youth) slipped out of the fridge and it shattered on the floor into a million pieces. Did I mention that the bottle was full? Yeah, glass shards swimming in tea, all over the kitchen. I snatched up the cats and locked them in a bedroom before they could play in it (they thought it looked like fun!).

Still, no spending.

I started a new book last night in an effort to escape - The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory - and I'm already 1/3 of the way through. I just finished her book, The Other Boleyn Girl, and it was great. Those novels just suck me in.

Another reason I'm crabby - it's August. I always get a sinking feeling in August, even though I don't have to go back to school anymore. I guess it's the knowledge that SNOW will be here any minute. Wink Yeah, it's 100 degrees now, but I still get a little nauseous when August rolls around...summer goes by way too fast here.

challenge update

July 31st, 2006 at 04:07 pm

We're doing well on the No Spending Week Challenge. We have been running the air conditioner, although the breaker tripped and it was off for a while yesterday before we noticed.

We bought two Sunday papers and spent $2.75, but also picked up a free 2 liter of 7up (coupon was about to expire). We drove to the store, but SO's parents picked us up for the family reunion. We brought a salad to the reunion that contained less black olives than I had originally planned. I didn't notice that the can of black olives SO opened on Friday was the last one. Frown We made due, though, and it was fine.

SO is mailing the coupon train for me today.

I took the bus into work today, and packed lunch for both of us.

So far, so good! It was a nice weekend, too...no thoughts of shopping. Smile

spending freeze starts today

July 28th, 2006 at 02:46 pm

Well, SO and I are on board the week-long spending freeze, starting today. I've made a few caveats - we will:

- run the air conditioner
- buy Sunday paper for coupons
- mail coupon train if it arrives
- attend SO's family reunion on Sunday
- use transportation to get to work (bus for me, car for SO)

Otherwise, we will be riding our bikes or walking for entertainment and to get to the library. We have plenty to do at home and plenty of food. We can swing it. This will teach us to get better at planning and preparing meals, I hope.

My friend and I didn't go to the movie last night as we had planned, and she wanted to reschedule for tomorrow. I had to tell her about the voluntary spending freeze. Maybe next weekend!

I really want to get my hair cut - that will have to wait until next week!

This will be a challenge...but it will be good for us.

can I live without chocolate?

July 26th, 2006 at 05:02 pm

I wrote to Chiquita and got a somewhat odd reply...

We try to provide as wide a selection of Fresh Express products as possible in stores across the country. The information you shared is very helpful and we will notify our Regional Sales Manager of your inquiry. In the St. Paul, MN area Cub Foods, IGA, and Dierberg.

I have never heard of IGA or Dierberg, and Fresh Express was not at Cub Foods. Guess I will have to do some research.
** UPDATE: The closest IGA store is in Wisconsin, 40 miles away, and the Dierberg is a chain in St. Louis, MO, as far as I can tell. *sigh*

I'm interested in the no-spend week everyone is talking about in the forums. My rules will have to be pretty lax, though, because we've got long-standing plans coming up. There's his family reunion on Sunday, and dinner out next week with friends we haven't seen in months. I'm also not giving up air conditioning - it's close to 100 degrees here, and we've got A/C, so I'm using it (grew up without it - never again). I've proposed a plan to SO, so we'll see! I think we could do it - him without Starbucks, me without my vending machine chocolate.

I need to cull my coupons that expire on July 31 and make sure there's not anything I desperately need. I have to buy a newspaper on Sunday...keep forgetting...and the coupon train is on its way to me!! Big Grin

I'm glad my guest-hosting streak is over for now. I'm tired.

July is almost over...summertime always goes by so much faster than the dreadful winters. Every August I get a little lump in my throat thinking about the imminent change of seasons. Having nice weather year-round is sounding better and better...

Fresh Express bagged lettuce?

July 24th, 2006 at 04:50 pm

Any idea which markets offer Fresh Express bagged lettuce? I've looked in Super Target and Cub Foods and couldn't find it. Is it a health food store brand (e.g. Whole Foods)? I've got coupons and would love to use them, if I could just find the product! Their website was less than helpful - no "find our product" page, and no email address to contact them.

I heart coupons

July 21st, 2006 at 02:02 pm

We cleaned the house in a hurry last night and then zipped over to the grocery store. We saved $13 with coupons...I was pretty proud of myself. Smile Shopping was so much easier having SO by my side (as most things are). We only spent $100, and that will last for a while. We bought some neat new Morningstar products to try (with coupons). I am having trouble finding specific toilet paper and specific bagged lettuce, though. Perhaps they just aren't available here.

My aunts will arrive this afternoon. Big Grin I took the afternoon off. I purchased some more Cutemol hand cream (with an online coupon, of course) and have to pick it up from the post office before they arrive. I bought a big container for my mom, so my aunts can bring it with them when they visit my parents next week.

I MUST remember to get a Sunday paper this weekend. Coupons on the brain, I tell ya! SO laughs, but he is awed by how much we are saving.


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