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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Day 27 & 28

It's officially over. I will have to tally up the month tomorrow morning as my day has gotten away from me. Friday, went & got my free Einstein bagel and paid the 60 cents for the honey butter. It was more of a guilt thing than anything else I think. Then went to Publix where I managed to hold up the line for about 15 minutes with the manager saying NO they do not stack manufacturer & Publix coupons. Oh boy. Manager kept saying that it would not let the cashier do it (kept beeping). Then it dawned on me, 10 coupons, 9 items. Duh. So I grabbed a pack of gum ($1.19!!) and it went through. Manager walked with me to towards the exit and I asked him to please call his corporate office to see if the policy has been changed, that I would LIKE to know just for the future. He wrote his name on my receipt to call back later. I called 9 hours later, not thinking he would be there and he was. He apologized and said what we did was totally cool and he was personally making sure that all of his employees were trained on the proper way of handeling this. Cool. I'm glad. Now ... for Saturdays big shopping day (and total budget buster). Went to get the car inspected for Insurance. Pass by a walmart to do that so I wanted to see if they carried Correll and how much. Walked out of Walmart with 2 sets of dishes ($29.99 each), a toaster ($14.99), 24 pk water, 2 big pks of gatorade, shells, cheese slices and oh something, else, oh frozen pizzas for $112.00. Crumb. Then to Publix. Get this, I SAVED $137. I spent $78. I SCORED on the cheese there. Found these sheets of coupons for $1 off a kraft cheese and 55 cents off cool whip spray stuff. Kraft is 3 for $5. Guess what? I bought 12. and I got $12 off. I paid 66 & 67 cents for 8 oz of cheese. Woohoo. I also got strawberries for $1.25 each but after the Pam purchase, those cost 25 cents each. So I kind of ruined the $400 cash I had in the house for groceries for March. Ummm. Well, I do have a $100 g/c coming soon. BUT that's not the point. I didn't want to spend over $100 at Walmart. If I had just stayed away from the food section :( I honestly don't think the food itself is that much cheaper there to be honest. Dinner Friday was tacos. Froze the leftover meat Dinner Saturday is pork chops (freezer), rice (pantry) and brocolli (freezer). Not even going to cook with any of the stuff I bought today ... Watch for a post tomorrow showing my totals for the short month of No Spend February.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Day 25 & 26

Somehow I am so messed up on my days. I did NOT realize that it was already the 26th day of the month AND Thursday. Well, I did realize it, but it just didn't click. Read the coupon hunting email for what I did on the 25th. So, for clarification, today IS Thursday & survivor is on this evening. Woohoo. I am quite certain there will be NO GYM again (WTF??!!) which means I will need to get off the computer soon & go do my agonizing 16 minutes of Ab Ripper. Dang if I can’t find the whole video. I think it may have been removed for copyright purposes. If they don’t get the gym up & running by Sunday, I may just blow all this saving out the window & buy the P90X. Crap. I am stopping by Publix on way to work this morning to get my 2 cans of Pam and free produce using the $1 off produce. Grapes are on sale for 99 cents a lb (yeah!) and I am craving bananas. I will also pick up 2 small dawn soaps and use my 2 50 cent Publix coupons & 2 50 cent manufacturer coupons, making them free. I will also be able to pick up a free Publix shopping bag then. Toss my 6 items in for about $5 and I’m on my way. Tacos tonight with the ground turkey I picked up last night. Kids should be happy. I really should pick up the tortilla shells with my $1 off coupon but was kind of hoping to see a sale first. Friday is payday. I should have about $1500 to deposit between the monthly bonus (at last!), payroll & paycheck (I work for 2 separate companies). Not bad considering I paid all my bills for the month the other day (you know, set up the pay date) and was only off $66 … so that means I have a lot of wiggle room. Right off the bat, $500 of it goes to savings account. $300 or so will be for electric. $100 to the best buy cc (I missed February desired payment), $100 to Cap1, $120 to Tmobile. Ummm. I lost track on the math again…1120 out. Hmm. That makes me short again, doesn’t it?? Crumb. Ok, so those bills ARE NOT due yet. And I get the weekly $140. You know, odd. I used to say that $140 was my grocery money for the week. Then I said that should be my saving money for the week. Honestly folks, I make a lot of money and still can’t save. Even with the No Spend February! Oh, that’s right, 1800 to American Express. Yeah, now I remember.

Coupon Hunting

So because there is NO GYM again (WTF??!!) I stayed at work a little later than normal to finish up some stuff on my desk. Then I decided to go to the Publix downtown to go coupon hunting. They usually have some great coupons! Sure enough, there were! Procter & Gamble must have something going with Publix. Again, they have these sheets (well, actually, it’s a trifold this time) of cleaning stuff. $1 off Tide (2 of them), $1 off swifter refills, 50 cents off any dawn, $1 off bounty, $1 off charmin, etc. Way cool. I know I’ve got some great coupons to match them up with. Unlike the health & beauty sheet, these DO expire. OH – and if you buy ANY 2 participating items, you can get a free Publix recycle shopping bag. Those are 99 cents each folks and I just refuse to pay for them so here they are, FREE. I also got some cracker coupons, only 3 of the buy 1 cracker get $1 off cheese. Bummer. Some $1 off poptart peelies (b1g1f now). $1 off success rice peelies. I did buy a few things: lemon, lime, 2 bags of chips, 2 ground turkey, 2 boxes rice. Spent $10. Guy in front of me bought 3 things. One was a bag of Dole premium salad. Had a FREE coupon for that. Asked where he got it, said he works for a food distributor and got it from another food distributor. “One of the perks of my job”. Huh. Told him that was a great coupon. Here I’m thinking I need to get back to the produce department & snag some of them. I did stop at McDonalds on the way home, 10 burgers & 3 large fries for the kids (dd had her old b/f over) $11.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Day 24

Well, only 4 more days to finish the No Spend challenge. I am seriously thinking of carrying it over to March, only because I still want to save more money. *Don't mind the little typos you might notice here & there - sitting on couch with dd's laptop typing this up, not used to the typing on my legs* Stopped at the grocery store on my way home. So needed to. Spent $39.85. Says I saved $70.27. Hmmm... Sorry no pics (again, or ever?) as ds was playing with my camera on the tripod that dh had taken out of his closet to get rid of. Unbeknowst to us, it is a universal tripod for all cameras & video cameras (which is what we had it for 18 years ago when dd was born!) So heres what I got: 4 32 oz containers of progresso broth (2 chix, 2 beef)* Ice cream 3 green giant brocolli spears (box)* 2 bags pizza rolls* Select soup*FREE* Wrigley gum*FREE* 2 progresso soups* milk 2 pillsbury french bread* grated parm cheese with green lid 2 wishbone salad dressings* 2 muir glenn tomatoes* 2 penne rigate 2 ragu alfredo 4 special K*(dh will be so happy) 2 crystal light* cream cheese 2 bagel 2 hostess sweet 16 donuts 2 loaves of bread* Total spent $39.85. Total saved (so they say) $70.27. The cashier was 'impressed' but slightly put off by all the coupons. I have started giving the coupons in the beginning just so they can look through quickly and keep an eye for certain things.

The GYM is temporarily closed

In my depression, I googled and found this: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2445079873095200471&ei=meWjSeuaC5GgqgKgspT4Bg&q=ab+ripper+x&hl=en Go ahead, knock yourself out! What I wouldn’t do to learn how to post the video. I could not for the life of me find the full 17 minute video I watched last night. May have to steal dd's laptop & try this on the carpeted floor.

IHOP

Don't forget FREE PANCAKES today @ Ihop!! www.ihoppancakeday.com The kids are up bright & early and ready to leave at 6am to get theirs before school

Day 23

Well, we are finally on the home stretch and you know what, I am just NOW getting in to the grove of things. Go figure. Perhaps I should continue on into March?? I spent nothing, zero, zilch, nada on Monday. BUT did use the last of the sandwich bread for dinner last night. Of course, milk is getting low. Will mix a little reconstituted stuff with the gallon (sounds so much better than ‘powdered’, doesn’t it??). Kids are griping about no frozen pizzas and the likes. There are some pizza rolls & mozz sticks that I got with good coupons & b1g1f deal a few weeks back. Actually, the pizza rolls are on again right now. When I got to the gym last night, all fired up to get moving (I was in a very motivated mood yesterday), I see a pickup truck backed up to the broken door and they are moving office equipment out. Apparently dispute with the landlord and they are waiting for the lease on a new warehouse facility down the road to be prepared so they can open back up. HUH?? WTF?? Oh, A didn’t call you? He was supposed to call all his students. Hmmm. Called A, was ‘so glad you called’ like. Said didn’t have our number. Huh. I’m a little freaked out & perturbed by this whole thing. WTF. The place was broken into over a week ago & the front door is still wrapped in plastic. That in its self is odd. And then I got other news about partners and such. Hmmm. Not sure what to think at this point. So no gym for the next few days. Damn. So the reason I brought that up is I think I’ll hit the grocery store this evening on my way home from work. I have a list & coupons matched up from Friday still. I really need bread, etc. the basics. I am also thinking that I may need to run to Costco this weekend. Oh maybe not … maybe. Maybe not. I also need to get my bill pay set up for this week to pay all the bills for the month. I’ve really slacked off & kind sorta forgot it’s a short month. Total spent: $0 Total spent to date: 760 (plus $1838 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Things to Try Tuesday

Hmmm. I love pretzels. I've made them a few times when the kids were little, along with bagels which really, are the same concept in preparing. Just very time consuming. However, ran across this and she made it seem soooo simple. Actually, everything she does on her blog looks simple. Ha. Looks can be very decieving. So, my next rainy, absolutely want to stay home day is going to be make those bad boys. Of course, heart shaped, or not, I don't think my gang will care too much!!

Days 18 through 22

So I’ve been MIA all week. Well, since last Monday. What a disappointment STILL. OH well. Moving forward. The week has been quiet. Which is why I did NOT post daily results. All 3 meals have been pretty much standard fare for our household. Did take advantage (guilt?) of a sale at Publix. $2 off covergirl products & lipstuff was an additional $1 off. So got my lipslick stuff (2), gum, 2 more boxes of the south beach bars. Spent a total of about $7 (don’t have receipt in front of me). Had to stop at the store on way home from gym on Thursday to get milk. Ended up spending $20.73, but hey, saved $25.76. Friday was a stop at Target to get the cheap cheese (Kraft was 3/$6 and I had the 75 cent off coupon) and goldfish (77 cents for a bag). Also did the razor deal using their coupon on site of $3 off and used manuf. coupon of $2 off. These are NOT the disposable razor which makes me feel a little better (so much plastic being tossed nowdays). When I got home though, couldn’t figure out how I spent $22. Then I saw that only 1 of the goldfish coupons went through (bought 3 so should have been $3 off). I think I read somewhere that Target was only allowing 1 coupon per transaction per item. Was planning on going back Saturday morning to return the fish & take advantage of a poptart deal: 5 boxes of poptarts, use my 2 $1 off Target coupons, 2 $1 off manuf. and additional $1 off 1 coupon. $5 off total, and with the purchase of 5 get a $5 gift card. This works out almost free in the end. They were on sale I believe for $2.22. So I would have spent about $1 in the end. Sweet. Except. I didn’t leave the house on Saturday. A good thing I suppose, as in when I stay home, I don’t spend any cash. Ok. Dd was gone off for her first drill weekend. I was so very nervous about her driving on the interstate for that far. Luckily she went to pick up her boy buddy that’s been going for over a year & he knows where to go. Originally he was to drive but his little sis had a car accident in HIS car. And no way was I allowing her to go up on his motorcycle, not to mention, no room for all the gear. It’s a lot and she doesn’t even have half the stuff yet. I hope it works out for her. FYI – she got there safely and returned safely. Thank you God. My plans for the weekend were pretty much up in the air. I had made a big fit on Thursday morning with DH (maybe some day I will post it, but for now, lets just say it’s a very personal, private issue that I have that affects all of those around us with regards to something dh likes). I really thought that we would stay in anyways, just to keep peace and make the potential transition a little smoother. That is what we did. We watched so much tv it’s not even funny. Granted most of it was movies (Kill Bill 1 & 2, freaky movie), and some others that I didn’t catch the titles of. I read through my Rachel Ray cookbooks (both), tried organizing my coupons a little more, cleaned, did laundry, etc. I played with the idea of a quick run to Costco to get tuna, milk, eggs, chicken sausage, flour, etc. BUT then I think, no, wait til next weekend. I keep buying myself time but am down to 1 can of tuna! But nope. Didn’t do it. We DI D run to Target on Sunday morning (after I went over to A1A to watch the marathon go by) … dh spent $20 on misc. things for the boat (wax, caulk remover, etc.) I really had a long list of things to do this weekend. Didn’t do very many of them. DID make the chicken parmesean for dinner Saturday night & did make the chicken teriyaki stirfry for dinner on Sunday. But that’s about it for the cooking! Did do all laundry (have piles for ironing though), changed main & guest room sheets & washed. Organized spice cabinet. Checked on flour & sugar status (Costco trip planning). So this morning it’s the 23rd day. How am I doing? I think ok. Of course, my screw up from Monday still bothers me. I get paid on Friday. I have about $400 in my account right now. I have 5 bonuses @ $75 each at the moment, with the potential for 2 more to be added by the end of the week. I THINK I will be able to put the extra in savings (not the $700 as originally planned out this year) .. definitely the bonus, there are going to be no exceptions this year on that. BUT, I have $1300 coming on Friday. I need to pay bills as follows; Water: $140 Cable: $110 Cell: $125 Phone: $50 (last month & this) Ae: $200 BBuy: $50 Cap1: $75 (at least) That equals $700. Hmmm. Not as good as I had hoped. I will definitely give an update on March 1st for the month. Total for day/week: $49 Total for month: ok, I need to go back & look cuz I don't remember!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Day 17

Tuesday & I get to go back to work. Good. That means minimal spending. Bill paying. Oh, wait, I need to balance my checkbook too. Oh. Dd was ou of here at 4:45 am this morning. Needs to go take this language test to see if she’s capable of learning a new language quickly. Down in Miami. Grrr. At least she drives to the recruitment office & one of the recruiters drives her there. She should be back in school sometime during 2nd block. Thank god. BUT then she calls me at like 5:30 and wants to know if I'm awake. Hummm. Apparently, can NOT wear flip flops at MEPS. Makes sense to me. Can I meet her by I95 & bring her leopard shoes? Doh. Ok. DS is still not waking up. I know he's alive (I'm assuming here!). Apparently NOT going to school today. Will set out the tomato soup & such so he can make something to eat when he DOES get up. DH is going to go through the roof. DH had a perfect attendance record all through high school. Did not even do Senior Skip Day. Appalling, I tell ya. Breakfast, dd had oatmeal. Me, eggs. Dh, guess. Ds, depends on how he feels when he finally wakes up. Packed a bagel, chips, granola bar, cookies, and such for dd. Ds can make his soup. DH & I will have chicken, salad and another veggie maybe? Dinner. Suppose to be tilapia. Will be chicken or leftover burgers. Total Spent: $0 (I'm banking on this!!!) Total for month $711 (plus $1838 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Day 16

Day 16 Monday, President’s Day. I’m off! Well, technically anyway. I still went in to let the accountant in to finish her audit AND do a little bit of work myself. And admire the desk & hutch of the ‘new’ attorney/business partner. Should have stayed at work. May as well have opened the car windows and threw out $250 while driving 70 mph down the interstate. Seriously. Let’s just leave it at that. Went to Big Lots. Walked out empty handed. Went to Bealls Outlet. Walked out with 3 nightgowns, $14 later. One of the them is going back. Of course, the cheaper one, $5.99 Gym. Dinner was burgers that I made BEFORE I went to gym since I got home around 3ish. Ds was laying on couch, and his sis said he was sleeping on & off most of the day. Hmmm. Maybe that’s why they didn’t go to the Ren. Fair? Saved me $20 each at least. Did take dd’s car & fill it up since gas was $2.01 and I figured it’s going up. $26. for her. Mine was $27 (odd, we both had ¼ tank). Total spent: $317 Total for month $711 (plus $1838 to AE, $75 to Cap) DID SOMEONE SAY IT WAS SUPPOSE TO BE NO SPEND FEBRUARY???

Day 15

I was in a crummy mood. Went to Target. Picked up a microwave top lid thingy, 2 bags of m&ms (1/2 price), 2 pks undies for me. $21 Went to BBBeyond. Had my 2 20% off coupons. Got me a 2 set pink handle knife set (the H name brand with the little stick man?) for $14.99 (clearance) and an oblong grittle with the 6 little rings (for my English muffin bread) for $9.99. Got out of there for $20 after the coupons. Went to BJ’s. Bought 12 lbs b/s chicken breast, 6 lbs French fries, put back 2 lounge chairs (beautiful day outside & I have NO lounge chairs to lounge on, just regular patio chairs!!), 50 pk of chips, and something else that I just can’t remember … total was $49.05. Put $40 on the visa gift card, paid $9.05 out of pocket. Meals were scattered. Like I said, I was in a crummy mood. Kids went to wendy’s ($10) and then ds was trying to get tickets to a concert that was sold out. Ended up coming home. He still has the $20 (mental note to self). Total spent: $80 Total for month $394 (plus $1838 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day 13

Oops, I realize that I forgot to add this one in. Now if I was really techy savvy, I could figure out how to put this between 12 & 14, but I don't know how!!! Day 13 Ohhh…Friday the 13th! Creepy. Kids have dentist exams today. They are freaked out … ha STILL need to get to winn Dixie & publix. Maybe today? I don’t know. I really should avoid the grocery store at all cost since I know I will spend way too much money IF I go. It’s not that I don’t have willpower, just seems that I always need something, then I see a great deal. Hmmm. Maybe I don’t have willpower? Today is also payday which means heavy hit on AE again. Then I’ll be done & I can relax. Which means the rest of the month will have to be no/low spend. Breakfast, fend for yourself (kids are out of school) Lunch, same as above Dinner, taco bake thingy. Lets see if it’s any good. I’ll post recipe later if it is worthwhile. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. Cocktails. Talking. DH deciding to hose down the boat. Me, headache, bed. DH decided to cook up some more chicken sausage. Half of it is in fridge this morning. Total spent: $10 Total for month $269 (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Day 14

Happy Valentine’s Day & Happy Saturday! Officially half way there! Breakfast, fend for yourself Lunch, same as breakfast Dinner, tbone for DH & I with baked tater & veggies Kids, pizza OR pepperoni bread (homemade) & cheese sticks Went to grocery store at 8:15am. Wanted to get it done. Spent $67. Cashier would not let me stack publix coupon with manufacturer. Had to go to CS desk, they gave me $2 back so yeah, $65. I’m ok with that. Finally returned the stuff and they gave me $20.25 back. Pointed out coupons, manager said that they still had & most likely already processed the coupons so they gave me a full refund. Sweet. That put my grocery total last week around $40 something. Woohoo. What did I buy? Milk. Eggs. Coffemate liquid cream. International cream. (coups on both put them less than 50 cents each). Cookie mix, cake mix & frosting (all with great coupons). Cascade rinse aid (free). Bread. Ice cream. Cheese sticks. Mascara. 2 bottles aleve (total cost was like 64 cents). 4 12 pks soda. 2 24 pks water. Spinach. Apples. Watermelon. Strawberries. Blue berries. Went a little over board on the fresh produce maybe? But we needed it. I am going to try & get back to the healthy/boring chicken eating mode. Poor family. I do have the menu planned from the beginning of the month but I don’t know if I can stick with it totally. I’ll have to re-evaluate. Have a cake that I baked. Currently cooling. Will top with the whipped cream BC frosting I picked up for 45 cents. Then have my tiny heart cookie cutter & red sugar to make hearts on top of frosting. My contribution to V-day. My money saving tip today was to renew my movies from the library on line so I don’t get slapped with a $1 per day late fee. Yikes. This is my 2nd extension. Wonder how long I can go? Dd finally watched the Reno 911 for me. Thankfully, one down 3 to go. We are waiting for our friends to come over so we can go for a boat ride. Cooler packed with some beer, water, sodas, and then I see a water bottle with Jack, Uggg. Haven’t had the boat out in 2 months or so. DH informed me last night that it was coming out this week for it’s annual ritual (meaning, clean, clean, clean & maintenance). Grrr. I have bills that I will need to be paying … I’m off on Monday for President’s day but may need to meet the accounting girl who is doing an audit for us (my request) to let her in the office. If so, may, may not, go to Costco OR BJ’s OR Doris OR Penn Dutch for some chicken. I’m looking at my totals for the month. Huh. $314?? How can that be? Isn’t it amazing how things add up? Here I am cheering myself for about $40-$65 on groceries and yet my total for month is still over $300. AND I’m only half way there. Total spent: $65 minus $20 credit back = $45.00 Total for month $314 (plus $1838 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Day 12

Day 12 Wow, it’s like almost there! But again, I look and ask myself if it’s really No Spend February?? I forgot to mention yesterday that the additional $20 was for gas in the big truck. $1.99 a gallon. Geesh. I knew it was going to go up. On that note, a friend of ours had other friends visiting super bowl weekend from Jersey. She was a tech writer for a trade publication. Fuel & Oil industry. So I asked if she had any words of advice … “don’t get used to the low prices, it will be back up over $4 before long again to stay”. Alrighty then. This morning, dd is asking for gas money. All I have left is a $10 bill. Gave it to her. Not even 6:30 and I’m down $10 for the day. Geesh. Need to swing into Winn Dixie and get the 4 cans of soup for 60 cents (15 cents each with coupon). Also need to go to Publix & return hair color & face wash. $20 but after full disclosure of coupons, $12. You know, I wonder if they STILL turn in the coupons for reimbursement?? Anyways, I was feeling very disorganized this morning. Breakfast is cereal for all (with grumpy faces from the kids). I will have yogurt and apple. Lunch – usual for the kids. DH & I? I don’t know. Salad. Left over fahitas. I got lucky as my g/f that works in another office upstairs at work had a catered lunch today & she brought me a plate with the real black beans & rice, mojo chicken, some kind of corn soufflĂ©/casserole type thingy and a lovely brownie. I love you DT! DH was emailing me complaining that he had to pick the chicken out of the stewed vegetables. That I know how much he HATES stewed vegetables. I was totally confused as that wasn't stewed! Dinner – soup & sandwiches. Finally made it happen. Used the yummy Italian bread … was even ready by the time Survivor came on. It’s a miracle! Total spent: $10 Total for month $269 (will need to update) (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Day 11

Hump day. Again. Wow, it’s like almost there! But again, I look and ask myself if it’s really No Spend February?? Just for kicks, don't forget to check out Amy who is the one who started this madness! Dentist was fine. After being told $85, told them no way, a regular cleaning is like $45 & the insurance pays that AND they want me to pay the equivalent of 2 more cleanings, blah blah blah. Finally told me to wait a minute while she has the hygienist look at chart. Seconds later, Oh, sorry Mrs. L, your insurance pays for this too. Duh. I think the dentist overheard and shook her head, saying no, not this one, her hubby spends way too much money here. Before I left, made my next appt for August. Thank god. As we don’t do the gym on Wednesday, dh wanted to take us all out to the Japanese buffet. Ds declined, saying it would be a waste of money as there is nothing there that he would eat (he’s right). Dd jumped for joy as she needs to gain 2 lbs and wants to gain 3 to be safe. Me, I was like, what about soup & salad & NO SPEND?? Dh shrugged, he’s just trying to be nice. Stopped to pick up ds prescription from dermatologist. We’ve been lucky in getting the coupons for $50 off which is exactly how much it was after the insurance. Not this time. AND new year. $100.00 folks. A pill for acne. On a teenage boy. I will NOT be paying for this again. There has got to be something else, cheaper that works just as well. Breakfast – leftover waffles for kids from Sunday. Dh the usual. Me, yogurt & fruit. Lunch – kids, usual. Me & dh will have salad and whatever else is in fridge. Being that I know dh is not going to want to deal with the wraps in the office, he will not take the fahitas. Dinner was to have been soup & sandwiches. Use French onion soup (progresso, 15 cents a can), and make pressed ham sandwiches in the georgie grill. That has been moved to Thursday night. As I spent $0 yesterday, I’ve backed it back to $139. Total spent: $120 (not including DH & dinner) Total for month $259 (will need to update) (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Day 10

My list of things to be done today is quite long considering it is a work day for me. I have a closing (woohoo!) at 4pm and my package is done & ready. All I need to do is cut checks but must wait for the wire to come in before then. At breakfast, dd was in a mood and pretty much left to fend for herself (18 & crabby), ds had a breakfast sandwich (hoagie, egg, bacon & cheese) and donuts and grapes. He has his FCAT Writes today. Thank god, last year. DH had his usual and I will take 2 muffins from Saturday. Lunch: kids had their choice or buy. DH will take tuna. I have a bunch of stuff I tossed in a lunchbox (need to vote on way to work, stop at Publix, WinnDixie etc.), including, grapes, muffins, oriental salad, oatmeal, etc. so not sure what I’ll eat for lunch). Dinner – Chicken fahitas that is in the crockpot as I type. Just need to remember to turn it on before I leave. Last time it was a little dry and I believe over cooked. This time I will let it cook for 6 hours & stay on warm then. Hopefully it will be ok. I need to call dentist & make cleaning appt. Vote (mayor & commissioner). Publix to return 2 hair colors & 1 olay cleanser. $5 and $3 worth of coupons down the drain. UNLESS I can swap them out. Almost $20 worth of stuff but minus the $8 in coupons, only $12. Winn Dixie to get my 4 cans of Progresso for 15 cents each. Call Community Center down the street, they have fencing classes for 12-18 on Tuesday & Thursday. Wanted to see how much & see if dd & ds would be interested. Also have kick boxing on Monday & Wednesday. As I take BOXING (not to be mistaken for kickboxing like so many assume) I think I might swing by there on Wednesday when I don’t take class to check it out. Maybe. Depends. On how much it cost and what type of crowd. This is in an area where a lot of seniors live. I mean, 70 to 80 year olds. They also offer belly dancing but I have done that before. It’s cool but I just don’t think I want that right now. I know a gal who is taking it (55 yo)…so…I don’t know. We’ll see. Gym. Need to stay focused & get back in the groove of things. Notice that I've started to gain a little weight and feel bloated & not quite as firm (ok, it could be pms related) but have slacked off a little. Even my trainer made a comment to me that I'm not coming as much as I used to. Have taken a few Tuesdays off in addition to the Wednesdays. Total spent: anticipate less than $5. Maybe $ coming back today! Total for month $144 (will need to update) (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Day 9

Monday (again). Up at the crack of dawn (5am). Kids up at 5:30. Breakfast was cereal for kids & dh (of course) and I had egg beaters & sausage. Dentist appt at 8. I’m so bad about making my appointments that I had dh make it the last time he was there. Xrays only (I hate that they won’t do xrays & cleaning in same visit. Something about insurance. Oh, only one office visit paid. Another way to beat the insurance thing.) When I go to leave & make appt for cleaning, computers are down, call back around 12. Uh. Ok. Get to work, eat my breakfast. Plug away working. Eat lunch at 2pm. Leave at 5:15 and go to the gym. Have a fairly kick ass workout (lower body today), go home, tell everyone leftovers for dinner (again & it’s over). Sit on computer, order a new ipod screen since ds took it in his backpack & someone stepped on it, thereby giving it that lovely bloom. Hold out my hand for the $20 and scolded him. Took shower, ate some taters & chix apple sausage & went to bed. Whew. Oh crap! Realize at 9pm that I did NOT call and make my cleaning appt. Total spent: $0 (as ds reimburse me cash for the use of my visa/debit card) Total for month $139 (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Monday, February 9, 2009

some rambling thoughts, prayers and such

So one of my friends, well, our friend, he is going to have a biopsy done on a cyst on his kidney. No big deal right? I mean, I thought they just put a needle in & took fluid out to be tested. But after talking to him last night, and his remark about how he might be needing surgery (hence the request for information on quitting smoking) soon led me to believe maybe it’s not that simple. It all started with his hip bothering him. Went to a hip doctor who did a cat scan & said, dude, it’s your spine. Oh. Goes to the spine guy and in the meantime, the hip guy calls back that when the specialist was reviewing the scan, noticed an area on the kidney. So my friend makes an appointment to have someone read the scan and give an opinion. The last I had heard was it most likely wasn’t a big deal, blah blah blah. But he still gets a 2nd opinion back in Colorado. Now when he goes back to Colorado, he will have a consultation regarding the biopsy. Hmmm. Maybe it is a big deal afterall. Then I find out his mother died from kidney cancer (or is it kidney disease? Does it really matter at this point?). This, after his very very close first cousin just lost his battle to cancer a few months back. He is going back and forth as to where he wants to go … Denver cancer hospital (sorry, have no idea what it’s called), Mayo Clinic or John Hopkins. He has already lined himself up for the worse I believe. So the purpose of this, other than getting it off MY chest is to ask for thoughts and prayers from those of you out there who do read to the end of my post. Thank you from all of us, but most of all, JR.

Day 8

Sunday. Got up, made waffles. Funny, we were so excited to get the waffle maker a few years ago & honestly hardly ever use it. I don’t know why. My recipe is pretty easy and it’s not overly messy. Oh well. Lunch was leftovers AGAIN. Dinner. Leftovers. Got way sidetracked as the day went on. Hubby decided to wax his soon to be “new” car and didn’t start that til like 3ish. Then some friends came over as they needed me to notarize something for them. Then a few beers later, etc. and before you know it … well. Total spent: $0 thankfully! Total for month $139 (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Day 7

Saturday! Woohoo!! I’ve already spent my weeks worth of groceries, really. I sat down and did a very very very detailed list of what I need from the store & it better not cost very much with my coupons. Still, in end, more than I wanted (actually, a lot more than I wanted) but all in all, not bad with coupons. I do have a few things I’m taking back and yes, will be truthful & tell them of the $5 and 3 $3 coupons. I should get back $12 or so. Of course, it does NOT look like a no spend February now. Woke up again at 5am. Dd had her competition today. I woke up, put on the coffee, tossed in a load of reds (my gym stuff, my wraps bleed something horrible so now I have all my newer stuff geared to the red family). Then was trying to find something special for her quickly. Betty Crocker Cinnabon muffins. One of my dirt cheap deals. Baking as I type … and using my snowman cupcake liners I got from target for 25 cents. Of course, she said no thanks and no thanks to the coffee yogurt (‘it will be gross by the time I get around to eating it’) and took only the bottle of Gatorade. This, AFTER she tells me she is 2 lbs UNDER the weight requirement for Guard. Good lord. Lunch – leftovers. Man, leftovers. I need to do something with them. Matter of fact, the left over pizza, which is a LOT, went straight to ziplocs & freezer. That can wait to be eaten. The other stuff, way too much and I am NOT going to toss it out! Dinner was the chicken sausage & scalloped taters that was suppose to have been for Friday. Our friends called to see if we wanted to head over to Bahia Cabana, but did not see their call until 6:30 (they had called around 5) but by then I already had everything ready to cook. Like JR said, that’s why they called so early so we wouldn’t get dinner plans under way. I got most of my laundry done today, at long last. Cleaned out the top cabinets of the laundry room. Well, sorta. It is the dustiest room in the house and it drives me batty. The air handler is there as the hot water heater. Both in their own closet, but still. OH – also stopped at the library and got 4 movies and a new book to read. Of course, we have NOT watched any of the movies yet & they need to go back by Thursday. Total spent: $62.xx (all told, says I saved $80 between the 3 stores) Total for month $139 (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Day 6

*I am wondering if I’m the only one that starts the post in the morning & finally gets around to posting the next morning?? I have to keep changing current to past tense!* I was up at the crack of dawn, 4am to be exact. Dd was being picked up at 4:30am to go to Miami for her military intake testing stuff. I am so proud of her for finally biting the bullet and picking the National Guard. They wrapped it up in Miami around 3ish and then drove all the way to West Palm to sign her up for drill. She starts in 2 weeks. Woohoo for her! Breakfast for her was a studel and a bacon & cheese bagel sandwich her father had made her last night for this morning and tons of juice. Ds will be on his own, most likely cereal (no school on Fridays). Dh will have his usual and me, at 6am, being awake 2 hours, I have no idea. I’m tired. I can’t go back to bed though at this time as I need to get to work on time. Lunch will be leftovers (no taters left, we have chili, brisket, sauerkraut & brats, burgers & chicken). Dinner was suppose to be chicken apple sausage with scallop taters. That was changed at about 4:30 in the afternoon. I was beat. I decided to order pizza and pick it up on the way home. 2 xlarge pizzas set me back $30. However, I am not going to add them into my expenses for the month as I used the visa gift card. I really need to do something with the leftovers. Either freeze them or get them eaten this weekend. Would really be pushing it far on the brisket & brats though. I have a few things I’d like to do this weekend. Bake. Make snacks. Make salad side dishes. Review my menu for the week ahead. See if I really need to go to the grocery store. Pick up any new monthly sales books (Publix expires today so they should be putting new ones out). Clean out coupons. Organize coupons a little better than I have. Ha. Clean house. Do laundry. Find cat. Ds has her competition (JROTC) Saturday but as we don’t know when she is competing (3 categories) it’s kind of fruitless for us to go at 7:30am (when it starts) and sit through 20 high schools. Sure, we could do it. But honestly, its way out west and I don’t think she cares. I will have to ask her again this evening (if she is even alive & awake!) if she would like us to come. Stopped at the store on my way to work. 2 stores actually. Spent $3.03 in the first one and $11.xx in the next. Both times I had more coupons than items with the publix store coupons. All the good ones expired on the 6th, so I had to get my super cheap Pam and free veggies along with 15 cent Gatorades. That’s it now. No more. Hopefully I have enough Pam to last a few months (6 cans total??). Both times the cashier tried to hand me back the manufacturer coupons, saying I could NOT use them. Ummm, nope. Managers were confused too until I started to split them up, 2 gatorade (1 store, 1 manuf), 2 pam (1 store 1 manuf), another $1 off with a picture of Pam but that one is for the PRODUCE. That one always confused them … but I think we got it straighten out, on the LAST day … also managed to thoroughly impress a GQ’ish looking man with my $27 worth of savings on the screen. I apologized for holding the line up while the manager tried to figure out the extra coupons, and he said not a problem, he would be too as it’s money in the end. Not often that people are like that. Has anyone else noticed that? A lot of the cashiers HATE the coupons, and won’t even give a courtesy “wow, you did good today”. I make it a point to NOW hand them the coupons BEFORE they start ringing up as I think stores are cracking down on coupons for items not purchased (although I always thought it wouldn’t go through??). Total spent: $15.xx Total for month $87 (plus $1000 to AE, $75 to Cap)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Day 5

Day 5 Baby it’s cold outside today! This morning, at 5am, it was 40 degrees. At 6:40 when the kids left, it was 37. That’s Oceanside Fort Lauderdale folks, this does not happen ever! Brrrrr…. Anyway. Dh had the chili going all night long in the crockpot. Made me hungry when I woke up. I skimmed some off before he left (it’s a lot for his small office). Sent some cheddar cheese from the freezer. Was going to do sour cream & oyster crackers but he said no thanks as he had the loaf of italian bread. After last nights little shopping fiasco (in my opinion), I started a list this morning on a 3x3 sticky note. Grape jelly. Coffee filters. Yogart ($1.50 off 4 pk will cost me 50 cents), fake sugar ($1 off, will cost me under $1) and quart freezer bag ($1 off, cost about $1.) I did stop at Publix on the way to work and only picked up the 2 yogarts and paid $1 total. So really, not so bad. Actually this was a GOOD deal, 50 cents for a 4 pk of yoplus yogart?? Breakfast – dd had strudel (almost out, oh well), ds had bacon & bagel & cheese sandwich with grapes & hot chocolate, dh, guess (special k), me, oatmeal. Lunch – kids have choice of pb&j, chips, cookies & water or buy, dh had his chili and mashed taters, I made a salad & took some of the chicken I cooked last night. Dinner – Chili with spaghetti noodles. Total Spent: $1 Total for month: $72 (plus the $1000 to AE)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

No Spend February, Day 4

Day 4 Wednesday. Hump Day. No gym day. Woohoo. I’m getting a little concerned, and we are only on day 4! I need to get milk, bread, dish soap, grape jelly. Eggs. Paper towel. Toilet paper. Ok. The papertowel can wait. It’s not a necessity. But to dh it is. Breakfast was pancakes & bacon (ds), dd had strawberry oatmeal, I had oatmeal & dh, of course, had special k & milk. Lunch for kids (if they so choose), pb&j, chips, cookies, granola bar, water. Dinner for all, burgers. Would normally cook on the grill but dang, we have a freeze advisory for the COASTAL area. In other words folks, it’s gonna get pretty darn cold. So I might just make them on the georgie grill. I also need to cook my chicken that I’ve had marinated in Cesear dressing for the past 2 days. This was suppose to have been a filler for dinner or lunch or snack (extra protein for workout days) BUT never got around to cooking. Will cook, cut & freeze in serving size portions for lunches down the road. I’ve done real well sticking with my menu plan. I am so very proud of myself!! Of course, I get home at 7:30 Tuesday & dingbat ds is asking “whats for dinner”. Point to the calendar on the fridge & say, oh, today is leftovers. Duh. That’s what he said too. On my way home from work, stopped at Publix to get those few things I needed. Sat in parking lot & pulled out some coupons. Yeah, wasn’t it suppose to be a stop for dishsoap, milk, bread, etc. Basics? Hah. Yeah right. $31 later (oh but look, I saved $29), and 5 bags of cheese, 1 pkg of sliced cheese, 2 coffees, gallon of milk, pads, tampons, bacon, Gatorade, bread, eggs, diced tomatoes, sandwich bags, chili beans, and out the door I went. Get home, notice that I DID NOT get the grape jelly, coffee filters OR dish soap! Had to call dh & tell him to get me the dish soap as I will be totally out by nights end. DH made chili when he got home to take to work as we are suppose to be cold in the morning. So I think I will take some off the top for our dinner as we are scheduled to have soup & salad/sandwiches. Will move the potato chowder to the next time. Total spent: $31. February to date: $71.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

No Spend February, Day 3

Day 3 Not a bad start. Used my toaster oven (granted, this is very underused in my house) to toast the bagels & toaster strudels for all of our breakfast. My toaster died finally last week and I just kept putting off buying a new one. Well, now that No Spend February is here, it’s gonna have to wait til March. Breakfast was strudel for dd, bacon (the microwave kind) and egg sandwich for ds, special k with vanilla & almonds for dh (his daily intake of the stuff) and a egg(beaters), sausage & bagel sandwich for me. Ok, so dh is the only fairly healthy one at this time. I made a quart of non fat milk to mix in with the less than half gallon of milk left in fridge. Wonder if anyone will notice? Dh with his cereal? At the last minute I decided to just mix half & half in the thermos for his cereal that he takes to school. Did not say anything. Lunch for kids was pb & j sandwiches, chips, cookies and Gatorade, if they so desired. Dh & I have a choice of leftovers (hey it’s 6:30am, I’m waiting to decide which leftover still). Dinner was also leftovers. DH chose the stirfry, kids had mashed taters & gravy. I had the quesadillas from kids super bowl party. There is still plenty left. May have to freeze some. I needed to stop at CVS this morning to get some dishsoap. Planned on buying the 77 cent Palmolive (I think that’s the brand on sale) and use my giftcard that still has like $2.xx on it. I really wanted to stop at Publix too & pick up the poptarts they have on clearance (2 for $2.25) and use my $1 off each coupons. I could do it with the change in the bottom of my purse (I have NO bills in there at the moment & won’t til Friday). But then again, I thought about it, and decided to forgo the shopping another day. I did stop in the breadstore on way to gym since it’s the next block over. They wanted $1.01 for a loaf of bread that had a best by date of 2/4. Hah. No thank you. Will need to stop at Publix for sure now & buy the 89 cent loaf. *note to self – need to do the math on dry milk. If it takes 4 envelopes to make one gallon, and 10 envelopes per box, well, that would be $9 for the milk by gallon. Not a huge savings, maybe a few dollars?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

No Spend February, Day 1 and 2

Day 1 Well the first day was pretty simple, Super Bowl Sunday. Had everything already lined up, well thought out and planned. We made brats & sauerkraut to take to our friends in the late afternoon. They had a TON of food. We only stayed til after half time as its’ Sunday night, I get up early, the kids were still home making their super bowl snacky type dinner and we had to work the next day. My money saving, no spend thing for the day was to return a library book & a blockbuster video that was in danger of being purchased. Day 2 Monday. Ahhh, sweet Monday. $10 to each kid for the week of lunches. $20 into the big truck for nutrition (gas is still at $1.89). Made breakfast, packed up lunches for those who were interested and recycled a few water bottles for my use this week (I know, I know, I should not recycle the bottles like this). Dinner for Day 2 was turkey veggie stirfry over rice. Turkey came from freezer (Thanksgiving leftovers), last of the stirfry veggies and a half bag of frozen corn. So 2 days in and $40 later. I don’t know if that’s a good start or not?