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Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Little Early Morning Effort

So, really, I wake up at 5:30am. During the school year, I do this to make sure Sonny Boy gets up, eats breakfast and gets to school on time (he leaves at 6:30am).

During the summertime, I used to sleep in til 6 or 6:30. But this summer, I still get up.

To let the cat out.

To browse the net.

To update my blogs (ummm, I know, still sorely lacking!)

To W.O.R.K.O.U.T.

Ummm. Yeah. Exercise.  Happens sporadically. Really, it's a little pathetic.

But I continue to wake up at 5:30. Make my coffee, fire up the laptop, let the cat out, etc. And maybe, if I feel like I have the energy to do so, work out. Seems lately though, I have none. Whats up with that?

Today was one of them mornings. And my list of things to do is getting longer and longer (without the workout actually written on the list to do).

This morning, I took 15 minutes to  ...


Yes. I ironed for 15 minutes at 6am. And you know what? I got a lot done.  4 skirts. 5 blouses. 2 pairs of pants. And 4 polo's for hubby. He may feel slighted as he didn't get all HIS clothes ironed, but I did.

Ahhh. That's one thing off my list.  AND I believe I need to get a new iron soon. This one keeps turning off. Wiggle the plug in the wall and it comes on. Does not sound like a good thing, you think??

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Frugal Wear

My girlfriend met me at the mall the other morning. She brought a bag of clothes, thinking some of it might be good for Princess and a few things possibly for me, even though I am "larger" than her :)

Well, Princess ended up taking most of the items, surprisingly enough. The few items she left for me to try made me very skeptical. A size 4 dress? Come on girly. You know that I'm pushing on a size 10, hence the diet and halfassed exercise program.

Well, I tried on the dress. Spetacular!  Sure, if I could lose them little bulges on the outside of the thigh it would look better, but even so, nice!

So the frugal wear was this:

MaggyL dress - free
Naturalizer black heels - $5.99
Earrings (part of matching necklace set, not worn) - $1.00
Bracelet - $1.00

Total outfit $7.99 ... not bad for an OFFICE outfit!  I suppose I should try to get a picture in the future? After all, I do have the new toy!

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Mother Daughter Relationship

Princess and I have had such an odd time of her growing up.
As a baby, she was great. Started the day I gave birth to her, two weeks early and QUICK. As in "Dude you better hurry or you are going to miss the arrival!" to hubby as he walks down the hall.  Happy go lucky. Never cried for any unknown reason. Slept through the night 85% of the time. Ate veggies (broccoli was her first veggie, and she still loves it the most!) and was always by my side.

Then she went to elementary school. She was always the one bringing home the troubled kids. Ok, not troubled like that, but ones who didn’t have a stable home environment. Like a mother hen. And she didn’t understand why they just couldn’t move in with us?

Then middle school came along. The comment about being poor which really hurt her feelings, and I think, catapulted her instant gratification “I can buy it if I want it” attitude. Funny enough, try as I did to explain the fine art of living frugally yet well was lost on her because she didn’t have the $100 sneakers, and her favorite outfit came from Goodwill. Regardless of that.

Then high school came along. Such a difficult time for most kids. Making issues out of what appeared to be nothing. Exaggerating all kinds of issues making them BIG issues in the end.


Then she graduated. And moved on to boot camp and then Fort Huachuca AZ for training. And then (mercifully, in my deep down honest to God opinion) choosing to remove herself. Moving back with the “boyfriend” to Orlando. Having a few issues and then finally, AT LAST, coming home, where she should have been all along.

And ironically, having the best relationship ever.

Yes, some of it was MY fault as a mom. I sheltered her. I kept her on a tight rein. No, there is nothing wrong with that, but I think I may have had a choke hold on her at times when I should have let her go. Maybe it wouldn’t have become so extreme in other areas?

Now, she’s a young adult. 19 ½. Works. Goes to college (locally). Ask for permission to do this and that whereas before would have flipped me the bird (so to speak) and gone.

Realizing now, that a boy does NOT make her life. Realizing now, that money does NOT buy happiness. And also realizing a little bit, the life of living frugally DOES have rewards …

I love my daughter, my Princess, my angel. And I can honestly say NOW, that she loves her mom.

Weekly Spending

So, I've tried various ways to track my spending and announce it to the world without much success. Then I came across this site called Give Me Back My Five Bucks and really liked the way she does her weekly tallies. So guess what? I'm hopping on board!

$15.50 Library fees (yikes!)
$16.61 GFS (snacks, hoagie rolls and a 3.79 lb buffalo wing chicken breast lunch meat thingy)

$4.23 Burger King (I was hungry!)
$2.70 Walgreens (toothpaste) Good news though, I got back $3.50 in a reward for next purchase!

$7.75 for lunch @ Mr. Nicks
$40.00 gas for the SUV

$66.45 Winn Dixie. Somehow this came to more than I anticipated. This is also the last time I used my debit card and KNOW I dropped it in the parking lot. No, the store does not have it.

$140.38 weekly pay
$ No Spend Day (at last!)

$86.35 victoria secret
$5.38 food court with girlfriend, a soda and a life water
$79.64 Publix. Again, more than I wanted to spend. We were having friends over for dinner, and hubby wanted to make sausage, peppers and onions. As I didn't have the majority of stuff to make it, everything was purchased, and of course, nothing on sale or coupons!
$20.00 to Sonny Boy to take GIF out for dinner
$10.00 bribe to Princess to take younger boy to 7-11 while adults had cocktails

$ No Spend Day (again, AT LAST!)

Total for the week:
$140.38 to checking
$354.61 spent. Alot. Wow. A little disappointing that I ate out 2 times during the week for work. Don't normally do that but was having an off week.

Comments/Remarks of Note: We had a Tropical Storm Warning which of course, caused me to stop and pick up a few extra drinkable items on Thursday at Winn Dixie. Which in turn, made me buy MORE stuff than I would have planned. Same with the trip to Publix on Saturday. Not planned or thought out, sort of spontaneous.  The mall shop was too much for me to deal with and I'm returning the 2 bras for $32. My GIF was with me and she was having drama so I was distracted to say the least. Uhhh, such is life!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Weekly Spending

I've tried various ways to track and announce it to the world without much success.

Then I came across a sight called Give Me Back My Five Bucks and really like the way she does her weekly tallies! So guess what? I'm on board!

$10.00 Walgreens for Sonny Boy prescription

$4.49 Publix (not bad when you consider 2 bags of coffee, pack of gum, 1 lonely banana and 1 cup yogurt)

$No Spend Day

$8.94 Publix (needed milk and I picked up a dinner size mac & cheese for freezer)
$1081.57 bi-weekly paycheck

$140.38 paycheck
$No Spend Day


$524.38 Costco. See HERE for the details on this trip!

$No Spend Day

Totals for the week:

$1,221.95 in. Would like to hopefully deposit $125 in to my WAMU savings account. Will have to wait and see what the rest of the bills look like that I haven't set up for payment yet.
$547.81 out!

NOTES: The family left on Thursday morning which means I can NOW get back on track with the eating plan AND financials! Seriously, didn't throw me off, I just didn't show the restraint that I should have :)

I knew I would be going to Costco soon, but did not really anticipate spending THAT much. And I didn't even get any junk food :(  A few things on my list I did not get as the prices didn't seem that great to me (amazing!) I am trying to get back to the menu plan AND cooking a bit more from scratch, aka healthier.  Of course, I realize I forgot a few things but heck, I'll have to work around that

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My trip to Costco

I needed to go. There were things that I needed to get from there. There were COUPONS to be used! And I also took the newest member of our family, Brutis.  Keep an eye out for THAT post.

So. Costco cost me about $200 more than I anticpated. AND I did not get everything on the list. Some things seemed to be a little more expensive than I remembered.

Paper Towel $14.79
Spinach $3.99
Mini Peppers (sweet) $3.99
Sam-E vitamins 90 ct $38.89 x 2 less $8 x 2
long hot dog buns $1.79
Motts apple juice 2/128 oz $6.45
cottonelle wet wipes $14.99 less $3
large can of tomatoe sauce $2.45
coffeemate powder $5.49
garbage bags (200 count) $11.99
Nuts & Honey granola bars (kids love) $11.49
30 ct foil pans $6.99
170 plastic cups $7.49
water (.5l bottles) $3.45
softsoap refill 2/80 oz $7.99 less $2
dish soap $7.99 less $2
celsius drinks (15 pks) $16.99 x 3 less $4 x 3 (I know, this stuff is expensive, but better than redbull & gets my soda fix 80% of the time)
romaine lettuce $3.99
cottage cheese $4.99
honey $10.99
popcorn chicken $11.99 x 2 less $4 x 2
string cheese $7.49
shredded parm cheese #13.29
half & half $1.45 x 3
2% gallon of milk $2.39 x 2
almond accent $6.89 less $2.00
beef franks $10.99 x 2
butter $8.05
grey poupon (twin pack) $6.69
honey roasted turkey $7.43
black forest ham $6.75
crumble bacon bits $8.99
beef tenderloin (whole) $46.14
3 dz xlg eggs $2.95 x 2
cascade dishwasher gel $9.49 less $2
triple flex vitamin $24.99 x 2 less $8 x 2
multi sponge $11.79 less $2.75
beef jerkey $11.99 x 3 less $3.50 x 3
bath soap $8.99
swifter duster $12.49 less $2.25
carnation instant breakfast (30 ct) $8.89 x 2
paper plates $13.89

Total $524.38 (saved $78.50 with coupons)

Ok, so some of this is excessive. The tenderloin is for our friend who loaned us their trailer to get the washer & dryer from Orlando a few weeks ago.

The vitamins ($130 total) ae a 6 month plus supply (I HOPE). The Sam-E stuff is experimental, and I really should of only bought one but wanted to be sure I used my valuable coupon. If not working, I will return the other package.  These are to improve MOOD and promote healthy joint health. Triple Flex is like the Osteo Bi-Flex but triple strengthy. Hubby swears by that stuff so lets see if this stuff works.  With the coupons it was much cheaper than anywhere else.

As the boats back in the water AND it's getting to be peak hurricane season soon, there were a few things that I needed, wet wipes, plastic cups, plates, foil pans, garbage bags, and such.

Celsius. Not much to say. I like the taste of the stuff, and suppose to burn upward of an additional 100 calories. Its really just another energy drink that has 0 calories, 0 grams of carbs, etc. And I like it (the orange gives me a sweet tooth satisfaction)

No junk food really as you can see. Of course, Sonny Boy is like wheres the chips, jelly beans, bread, etc. Sorry kid, I went by myself and stuck to the list!

OH - the eggs. Look at that. 3 dozen EXTRA large eggs for less $1 a dozen? Holy Moley! I'm seeing lots of eggs in my near future!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Frugal Wear

so, the other evening, on my way home from work, I had to stop at Goodwill to drop off a bunch of stuff that I had planned on selling at a yard sale, but time got away from me. I dropped the stuff off, got my receipt, parked my car and decided to run in and gave myself exactly 10 minutes to browse. That's what I found. A pair of almost new running shoes. In MY size!!! wowee.
Swiss K ... googled them, retail for $75.00 new. Ok, not that BIG of a deal, but to me it is. I've got the $100 pair of Sketcher ShapeUps but they have been causing a few issues with the one foot lately (I still need to post my review of these things soon).
$7.00. Then I spotted a brand new (no box) foot spa/pedicure/massager thingy by Homedics. Woohoo! I've been wanting one of them for quite a while but just could NOT justifiy the cost. $7.00
Washed the shoes. Removed the inserts and put in my gel ones that I got in my old shoes. Washed the foot spa/pedicure/massager thingy and put it in the closet for now (we have family in town, all boys, so now is NOT the time to pamper myself!). Wore the shoes last night for my walk and all I can say is WOW. The toe area is very wide. Almost clownish looking. But I think that's what I need in a sneaker as my toes and the bottom of my feet don't end up cramping and "bruising" towards the end of my walk (3 miles or so). I'm one happy camper!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weekly Spending

So, I've tried various ways to track my spending and announce it to the world without much success. Then I came across this site called Give Me Back My Five Bucks and really liked the way she does her weekly tallies. So guess what? I'm hopping on board! Monday No Spend Day Tuesday +$40.00 (for notary services) to No-Touch Savings +$50.80 (reimbursement from company) to No-Touch Savings $50.86 Bed Bath & Beyond Wednesday $27.23 Publix $88.52 Publix $14.84 Goodwill (almost new sneakers priced at $75.00 (you can read all about it here) and a foot massager thing, new) Thursday $20.00 to Sonny Boy for drumsticks. $20.00 gas in the little car $5.00 to Princess for spending money Friday $140.38 (weekly check) 25 cents parking at recorders office $35.00 pizza (ok, really, $75.00 but BIL pitched in $40.00-lots of pizza but fed 8 and enough leftovers for all for lunch) Saturday $48.93 Publix $24.82 Winn Dixie $30.00 to Sonny Boy for trip to Miami (just in case) Sunday No Spend Day Total for the week: $140.38 to checking and $90.80 to savings $365.45 spent. Comments/Remarks of Note: Brother in law and his two teen sons arrived on Thursday. There is lots of boating stuff in the works, not to mention consumption of lots of food. Sonny Boy had two performances this week which requires quite a bit of food consumption (he's a metal head drummer and his fellow buddies all chow a few hours before performing). In the midst of all this, I have to work and leave the house no later than 8:30 and get home no sooner than 5:30 ... The $90.80 is put into a savings account that is not accesable via computer meaning I have to go to an actual branch to withdraw or move money. Good in most ways as this has always been the big savings account, but got depleted a few months back with Princess starting college and me helping with her last month of rent. That's over and done thankfully so now I can focus on building that account back up. I am NOT happy with the amount of money spent this week. I have a fully stocked pantry and 3 freezers, but still felt the need to stop and pick up this and that (although, I did run out of coffee which was on my list for Saturday's grocery trip to Publix).

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Menu Plan - new month!

So here we are, July. Wow. The year is half over already. I've been doing well with the low carb stuff, and actually was thrilled to have lost more weight than anticipated for June, which is motivation to keep going forward AND to maybe motivate me to exercise a 'bit' more :) we all know how that goes, right? Anyways, July brings a few new exciting things: 4th of July, the boat goes back in the water (at last!), the waverunner will be in the water (finally!) the boys will be playing more frequently, which means more practices here at the house, which means, much more food consumed, princess starts another job, AND my BIL and his 2 boys (13 and 15) arrive at the end of the week for a vacation. All that means, S.T.R.E.S.S. as far as feeding the masses goes. Not to worry, a menu plan for the month saves the day! So, in no particular order, here we go (oh, did I mention, the car insurance bill is due this month too, which is about $1500 more than I anticipated? Which means time to be frugal in the kitchen). It should be noted that my freezers are still pretty darn packed ... I've actually been taking big hunks of meat out to cook and divy up into lunch portions to make room for things, such as ice cream ... I should be able to get by without too heavy of any shopping this month. Garden salads are always up for grabs at dinner in the house ... Hoagies (lunchmeat from freezer) Pizza with salad (opted to use the 3 frozen ones left in freezer to make room) pork tenderloin and black beans and rice (another big hunk of meat and the rice cooker came in) chicken thighs, hot dogs and burgers (4th of july) (another big hunk of freezer space opened!) turkey roasted on the grill (the turkeys are 3 lb roast, will do 2) chicken (marinated in italian dressing and grilled) leftovers/salad/soup Italian beef (crockpot - easy easy recipe!) chicken (TBD) pork chops (been marinating in freezer and everytime I open the freezer, they greet me) sausage & peppers (hubbys been jonsing) pizza on the grill (homemade) chili cheese dogs (family favorite) chicken marsala McDonalds (will be on a Wednesday with 49 cent burgers) shrimp kaboobs Salsbury steaks and noodles leftovers tacos (salad) chicken ceasar salad with soup beef (TBD) garlicky chicken Brats and sauerkraut spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic bread asian shrimp salad beef (TBD) chicken picatta Pizza Pork Steak Kaboobs 31 days. Done. Whats everyone else got planned for the month?? Check out the organizing junkie for tons of other menu ideas!