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Showing posts from December, 2008

Welcoming the New Year!

I feel like I have so many things that I want to do yet so little time to complete all of them! I’ve been in a funk for the past few weeks. The holidays always do that to me. I totally dislike Thanksgiving. Only because as a kid, that was the ONE day a year where everyone from both sides of my parent’s family got together & it was just a huge get together. Nowadays, it’s me, dh, ds, dd and a friend or two. Well, actually, it’s always our 2 friends from Colorado who make it a point to be here for Thanksgiving every year. I just get so dang homesick. Emotional. Moody. Weepy. Snappy. Crabby. Yeah, you get the picture. Then you have Christmas. Whoa. That gets real bad. Especially this year. It was very very bad. Very. Oh well. It’s mostly me, I know that. I just get depressed/homesick/crabby/emotional/moody/weepy/snappy/crabby. Well, again, you get the picture. I always always look forward to the NEW YEAR. January 1st is probably my most anticipated day (well, aside from Hallow…

Friday Night Movie

The kids & I headed over to Blockbuster on Christmas afternoon to exchange the 2 we had & get another game for them to play. I told them that for once, I was selecting the movies. I ended up getting the new Batman movie and Tropic Thunder. We watched Batman Friday night. Me, dh and ds. Dd decided that she was taking the bus downtown to meet friends at 8:30pm. Oh well. I'm having a hard time with this but will let her fly for a while to see where she lands. In the meantime, we have to keep turning the volume up & down during the movie. Real loud stuff makes the speakers rattle and make a funky sound (I'm hard of hearing and still heard this). So this morning (Sunday), dh says that we need to run to best buy. Oh yeah, I'm all excited. BUT I tell him, I've only got cash, no debit card, no american express, no best buy card. Cash, cash, cash is my new motto. Off we go. We stop in the tv room Ohhh. Ahhhh. Still out of our price range. Off we go to the…
Good morning and Merry Christmas It’s a hazy, drizzling rainy morning here in South Florida. Breezy too. I’m sitting in the office and can look out the big bank of windows and also see the Christmas tree and smell it too. It smells so yummy. It’s about the only thing that seems Christmasy this morning. There are a few small gifts in the teens stockings. Also a 1 lb bag of cashews for dh in a gift bag. But that’s it for the gifts. I don’t think the kids are too happy about that but it is what it is. I made the dough for these last night and took it out of the fridge at 7 to warm up before rolling out and baking. I hope it makes a lot so I can send some over to my neighbor. DH goes to the airport to pick up a friend at 2pm. John has a home here & in Colorado. I believe he is bringing his 18 year old son with him too. Not quite sure where that was at the last time I spoke to him. We ordered pizza from Papa Johns. 2 large pizzas completely chowed down by 2 adults and 1 teen…

Review & Goals (financial)

It’s getting to be that time of year. The time of year where I look back on my finances and say, geesh, where did all the money go? I saved my receipts this year and put them into an envelope for each month. For kicks, I should go through them & just see what I’ve spent 40K on but then again, that would make me sad and depressed. We do not want a sad & depressed Jan. Trust me. I’m borderline already, no need to push me over the edge. Anyway. Last week, during some downtime at work (yeah, it’s slow), I did a little spreadsheet on Excel with my monthly expenses. I carried this around in my purse all weekend, and looked at it a few times. I’ve even made a few changes. I now have it attached to my Publix sale paper. Here’s how it reads (if I was a little more geeky like, I could post the spreadsheet RIGHT here, but I don’t know how to do that): 2009 Projection Income: $1043 x2 Income: $140.38 x 4 Bonus (average): $150 (certainly hope this improves in 2009 – the market MUST t…

Can I do it?

Can I feed my family of 4 on $70.00? That really does not sound hard, does it? I mean, really. It’s me, dh (a big guy), an 18 year old girl & and 16 year old boy. Oh. And a cat. An expensive, exotic cat so they say. He comes in & out all day and night long. Annoying little creature but we love him to death! So back to what I was saying. Does NOT sound difficult or even much of a challenge, really. BUT when I look back on my past totals for monthly receipts, I spend anywhere from $700 to $1500 a month at the grocery store. A few months back (probably around October), I started getting back to the coupon mode, and if it wasn’t at least $1 off then I didn’t use the coupon. BUT then I got myself in the silly mode of over buying stuff. Geesh. Can’t win for losing it seems. If it was a good deal, I just could not pass it up. So thankfully, all my really really good coupons expire on 12/31/08 so that gives me 10 or so more days to really get geared up and stock up … . So just …

Weekend Shopping

*and as a note: I do not have a single Christmas present yet! Was going to try & get away with none, but now ds is like "mom, there isn't any presents under the tree yet??!!" ... hmmm. Did he forget what I told both him & his sister on their birthdays?? Walmart Neighborhood Market (Friday night) $54.xx. Honestly, was going for a few things & to compare prices on a few things. The 18 pk of beer was $10 (geesh, thought I was going to stop buying beer??!!), got 3 lbs of ground beef for $12, and a few other stellar deals, but still spent $54.xx!! Walmart Neighborhood Market (Saturday morning) $13.xx. Went back to get more ground beef as dh reminded me that we were doing blue cheese bacon burgers & the meat I purchased last night was for tacos (Sunday dinner & freezer stash). So bought 4 1/2 more lbs there ($3 lb), onions were 10 cents a lb (??!!) ... should have bought more but I only bought a few lbs. Publix (Saturday morning) $31.xx ... now this …
So, let’s see, where was I at on the $ for the week again? Oh yeah, $2.xx left. Thankfully I found 2 gift cards. One had $1.30 left and the other had $5.80. Stopped at Publix on way home. 2 transactions. 1st – 6 cans of Progresso soup. Used $1.10 off coupons (again) .90 cents. I swear, I’m never going to be able to get these cards to $0. Still have 40 cents left on that one. 2nd – 3 cans Progresso soup, and 4 whack a can bread sticks. Used 3 $1.10 off on soup and 4 $1.00 off on bread (these were found on the soups!). Total $3.27. Crumb. $2.53 left on the card. I should have used the larger card for the whole thing. Was trying to zero out as much as I could. Oh well. Then this morning, stopped at the Publix downtown (off 6th & Andrews) to get the 2 bags of Fresh Express salads to toss in fridge for lunches here … B1G1F and I also have Publix coupons for $1 off each … I was THINKING $1.09 total. BUT the freakin bags are now $3.79 EACH. So, $3.79 minus $2 in coupons equals $1.79…
It’s only Wednesday and I already have myself on a tight rope with cash for groceries! Monday - $2.45 spent @ Publix, 3 cans soup & 3 cans of whack a loaf of bread Tuesday - $1.10 spent @ bread store, one loaf. Even my bread outlet isn’t cheap anymore! Also - $13.98 spent @ GFS for 2 trays of mac & cheese. They were $6.99 each. Only needed the one for dd’s ROTC cookout today BUT they were on sale, $2 off. And they are so good. And I didn’t get any from Saturday nights party. So. I need to work a little more on whether or not I need to be buying something. I have $2.56 to last til Sunday which is when my new week starts. DH will be laughing himself silly by then. I am going to have to buy a half gallon of milk, or worse yet, get it from CVS using my ECB’s (dh hates the milk from there, don’t know why). I don’t know if I can do this!!! Yes I can. I can! I can!
Feds have lowered interest rates and PRIME is now 3 1/4% ... that means my current line of credit is 2 1/2%!!! Holy smoke!!!! My first mortgage is 5.75% fixed, my line of credit ($500K with a balance of $90K) is Prime minus 3/4. Woohoo!! Ok folks. IF you are in a higher interest mortgage, you MAY want to start looking at the possibility of refinancing. Some of you may have to pay money at closing but if it will lower your interest rate (or even lock in your interest rate) it may be well worth it for the rough financial ride we have ahead. It does not hurt to inquire. Start making your phone calls. If your current lender will not refinance, start looking around to other banks. JPMorgan, Chase, Countrywide, ING Bank, PFG, and so on (these are just ones that come off the top of my head). My theory in life has been if those you are loyal to are not loyal to you, find a new person who will be. I work in real estate law and deal with mortgages & all every day. I hear the sad sad …

DS exciting adventure

So ds (the rockstar) flew out of here on Sunday morning (stayed with band member Saturday as he knew the party would go on late & no sleep) to Nashville, Tenneessee. I keep hoping maybe that will change their tune to country, but I know it won't. They are going for a week and going to www.darkhorserecording.com. You really should check this place out. It is soooo cool looking & the boys were so excited to be going. What an opportunity! So I haven't spoken to him yet, but we are texting back and forth (recording is intensive and time consuming). Said it was cold with lots of exclamation marks. Said it was rainy and muddy. Said the place is huge & so much stuff to do there. Then he text me and says its snowing!!! Woohoo for a south florida boy. We are totally jealous now. And now he's sending me text messages about who their fill in drummer is...it's so cool for him to expereince this! We are very very jealous, but much more proud of him & the others …

A self imposed spending limit a week before Christmas?

Yes, you read that right! Actually, because the kids got such big presents for the birthdays earlier this month, we had decided that we were NOT going to do a big Christmas, and I’ve warned them of such. Whether they believe me or not, well, that remains to be seen. Because we are paying our property taxes this month instead of last, we have really been focusing on saving this month. Would have/should have paid them in November, but the car needed $700 worth of repairs & the cat (the expensive, exotic one) needed $600 worth of doctor care. Grrr. So that’s that, over & done. I’ve decided that I will give myself $20 a week for the rest of this month (3 weeks) for groceries. Should NOT be too difficult so long as I don’t run out of the essential things, such as laundry soap, dish soap, coffee, cat food, etc. You know, the things that make my life so much easier . And yes, those 4 items appear to be low. I’ve told the cat he may have to hunt a little more for his meals. I …

Boat Parade Party

Was a huge success. I think the highlight of the evening for hubby was when my best friend called her marine copy and he docked and brought 4 other marine guys with him. They chowed down & enjoyed the company and then said it was time to go when they saw all the flashing blue lights go by (end of the parade). They said the fun officially started then, being sarcastic! But it was fun and different to see them. I can just imagine what they must have thought about all the trashed adults at 10pm. Yes, there was quite a bit of drinking involved that night. So much so that I think I may swear off ever ever doing another shot of anything. We had patron. We had Kettle One Citron. We had beer. I did not have any Jack or rum, thank you very much. Pulled sleeper sofa out for best friend. Other friend & her friend crashed in guest room. This was all around 3:30 or so am. The tv was on & dh said Sopranos was on. Really? Didn’t see that. Sunday was a totally wasted day. Friends l…

My morning Target Experience

The Boat Parade Party is in 3 days and I am NO WHERE near ready!! 2 boxes Wheat Thins & 1 box of Triscuits ($2 each and $1 off coupon, $3 total for all 3) 5 packages of elf keebler cookies. Buy 5 get $5 gift card. Had $1.00 off 1 pkg, used 5 coupons. $8.29 spent (hmmm, some of them were $2.99?) 4 6pks propel. $2.99 each. Used 75 cents manuf. coupon & 40 cent Target coupon, $7.36 total 2 Hidden Valley dressings, $2.59 each. Used 1.00 off 2 and Target 50 cents each $3.18 total 3 2ltr bottles of Sprite/coke. $1.25 each. Used the $3 off purchase (when you buy 3 Nabisco or Planter products), paid 75 cents for all 3 2 pkgs dixie plates. $2.85 & $2.79. Used a $1 off 2. Pd $4.64 for both (not a good deal at all) Total spent: $28.39. Total saved $27.70 Not to mention the $5 g/c that I will use on the next purchase of sodas, cookies & crackers. This time, I should only spend $10.40 or so. Minus the $5 and it will be $5.40. Now we are talking! The best deal above I wo…

Coca-cola coupons

which are rare! Found these back in the soda aisle last night when I stopped to get dh some diet coke (he hasn't had any in quite a while) Across top (8x11 paper, landscape) in red back ground says "Enjoy $6 in savings!" Coca cola product (3 12 pks or multi pack bottles) save $1.00 Nestea 12 pck .5 ltr, save $1.00 Betty Cocker 2 pouch potatoes , save $1.00 Tyson Cornish Game hens, save $1.00 Tyson Appetizers, 1 bag or 2 boxes, save $1.00 Betty Crocker 2 Cookie Mixes, save $1.00 Now if we could just get soda below $4 a 12 pk. The bottles go on sale much cheaper as do the mini size cans and bottles. AND if the potatoes would go on sale B1G1F I'd be happy too!

Coupon Booklet

I’ve only seen this at ONE Publix in town: Cover has “Over $7 in valuable coupons inside” and then says same in Spanish. Shows husband & wife with young son & daughter and grandmother. “Celebrate Noche Buena” Right there I see its geared towards Latino demographics. Then says you can enter for a chance to wind a Caja China BBQ/Roasting Box (this is what you put the piggy in) Coupons: Fresh Express, save $1.00 on one bag (NOTE: this is a PUBLIX coupon) Clamato 32 oz or larger, save $1.00 (PUBLIC coupon) Kern’s Nectar B1G1F coupon, manufacturer Kozy Shack Flan Product, 50 cents off, manufacturer Kingsford 13.5 bag or larger, $1.00 off, manufacturer Morton Salt, 35 cents off 2, manufacturer Dixie Ultra Plates, save $1.00 off 2, manufacturer Splenda, save $1.00 off, manufacturer (does not state minimum size!) Glad OdorShield, save $1.00 off, manufacturer (does not state minimum size!) Not a ‘great’ booklet, but if I can get the Dixie plates to go B1G1F I’ll be sittin pretty!…
Have you ever done something that is just out of your usual routine for some unknown reason? And then find out that there must have been some higher power that surely made you make that decision? This morning, I stopped at Target to get the 360 Arcade for ds birthday … dh was stopping there too and was pulling in as I was leaving. We chatted a few minutes before I drove off & he went to park. I left Target, and instead of turning right to go to the major intersection one block away, I chose to go straight and go another ½ mile before I get to the major road (Federal Highway). Within seconds of going through the intersection, dh is calling me. There was a major, major accident at that intersection. He was getting out of the car and heard the boom, boom, boom, boom, 5 or 6 times. That’s how many cars were involved. His first thought was ME being that I had just left. One car (teen girl he said, probably on way to school) was broadside, spun her around & hit several other ca…
I managed to confuse a Publix cashier this morning I am actually still shaking my head about this, 8 hours later! I went into store #1 to return my stainless steel cleaner. Pointed out to the gal that I had a coupon for $2 off. She said it didn’t matter and gave me back $3.12. Hmmm. I only paid 99 cents for it. I really felt bad but she didn’t seem to care. On way out, noticed that they had new coupon booklets out! Woohoo! Grabbed one, opened it up & the first coupon was $1 off Fresh Express Salads. Grabbed about 8 and left. Store #2 is down the street from work. Thought about it on the way to work and decided to stop in for a quick check of coupons as this store has a great display. Grabbed one of the soon to expire (12/5) Thanksgiving Savings booklet since I saw the $2 off any produce when you buy 2 Fresh Express. $2 plus $2 equals $4!! Sure enough, Fresh Express on sale for $2.50 a bag (not a ‘great’ deal), comes to $1.50 each. Grab 2 bags. Grab som…

Lazy Sunday ...

well, not totally a waste, but you know how it is for a winding down of a 4 day holiday weekend. Dh & dd got the Christmas lights up on the patio, long fence and the house. Amazing that there were no problems since we didn't get them up last year (dh had just had the major hand surgery). Looked at the blue rope lights and see that half of them don't work. Oh yeah, now we remembered the problem . So I said, hey, Publix has them on sale for $7.99 and I have a coupon for $1 off any 2 strands. So when we took ds to his band practice, we swung by Target first to check them out. Same price, and not a lot of selection. Walked over to Publix and decided to go with multicolor. Check out and they rang up as $6.74 EACH. Woohoo! Buy 4 strands, use 2 coupons for $1 off each. Get home, plug them in & they are so pretty. Dh likes the housing, connectors, etc. Wants to get more. How many coupons do I have? hmmm. ummm. 20? Yikes. I have that many booklets!!!!??? Whoa. so...t…

Andy Rooney - 60 Minutes

I don't normally watch 60 Minutes but hubby was flipping through the channels and I was sitting on the floor cutting my Publix coupons ... Michael Phelps was on with Anderson Cooper so I was watching ... and then Andy Rooney came on with his commentary. First I watched cuz damn, he's older than dirt! Then I watched cuz what he was saying actually had my attention! Andy Knows How To Save Andy Rooney Shares His Favorite Ways To Save MoneyCBS) The following is a weekly 60 Minutes commentary by CBS News correspondent Andy Rooney. Everyone's talking about how bad our economy is. It's in the headlines every day, so I guess it is true. I don't know though. CBS is paying me the same as they paid me last year and I don't really understand anything as big and vague as what they call "the economy". I do know I have to be careful though, so I'm trying to save in little ways. For instance, I make my own coffee in the office every morning. I do it because dow…