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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Frugal Activities #29

I really like doing this post weekly, it keeps me accountable and does make me think twice about some things!

So, it's been another busy week but I'm really trying to stay focused at the end of the day. Some are easier than others, let me just say!

The days that I do the gym, I have absolutely NO ambition or hunger ... the days I come straight home, it's more like, oh, it was a crappy/busy/s*itty day, lets go out to dinner, lets go have a cocktail ... but luckily, my kids are starting to come around and say "mom, no, lets make this" only because they don't want to be out til 9pm on a work/school night ... I guess maybe I DID raise them right afterall? :-)

1. Held out til Tuesday night to hit up the grocery store ... went to Aldis, which "should" have been cheap ... spent $88 for a bunch of stuff! Beans, chilies, m&ms (I'm making my own trail mix from here on out, the Kirkland gypped us out of the m&ms last bag, we are convinced!)

2.  Paid the rest of the bills online that were due. I didn't have everything last week. Cable and water, paid. Also tossed in $250 towards the mortgage payment. Need to watch the next statement they mail to make sure it's not sitting there "unapplied". Really, Greentree? If someone sends an oddball payment outside the monthly payment YOU take automatically, you have it just sitting there as "unapplied"? It's not like there is additional money being due! Dopes! Don't forget, Hubby also put the $6900 from the Tahoe towards the principal.

3.  Really tried hard to stick with the menu plan. Success in that breakfast and lunches were all from home for me. Hubby, not so much, but he's got an expense account, lucky dog.

4.  Hubby and I opted to have pool night one night during the week instead of doing our usual bail out after a long day and go to the little local pub we like to go to. Instead, I cooked chicken on the grill, LOW, while we hung out in the pool and a had a few couple several drinks. It was nice and a heck of a lot cheaper in the end. I was smart enough to turn on the rice cooker and steam a bag of frozen broccoli in the rice cooker while we floated. Princess said the chicken was really good too, so that's a good thing, right?

5.  Went with Hubby to return 3 dress shirts that didn't fit him all that great. They were on sale when we bought them for $19 each, he was going to exchange them but couldn't find the size he needed so we just got a refund instead. We talked about getting something to eat while we were out, and then agreed, nah, lets just go home and eat some leftovers (chicken, ribs, burgers, etc.). We had a nice chat on the drive there and back, a perfect wind down to another hectic day.

6.  Had to have my dad to the VA by 8:30am on Friday, which meant I had to have him in the car by 8, that means no breakfast for him at his place. INSTEAD of being coerced into going out for breakfast afterwards, I made him an egg, bacon and cheese sandwich on 12 grain bread. I remembered to slather it with mayo so he wouldn't complain about it being dry. I apparently did NOT use enough mayo (??!!) but saved myself a minimum of $15 by making that for him. I've come to the conclusion that he will always nicely criticize any and all food ;-)

And of course, full disclosure for some of our not so Frugal Activities:

1.  Last Saturday, after I posted Week 28, we went to a little Italian joint we like, Umberto's of Long Island ... they raised their prices, A LOT since the last time we were there. Should have been the end after that $90 tab (after tip), but NO, Hubby wanted to go the local bar that we like as they have a Rat Rods and Classic Muscle cars on Saturday night. It's called 4:30 Boardroom Bar. I can't find a website for them, only facebook. Doesn't say much. Can I just tell you, it's usually a great place to meet people OUTSIDE my normal day to day interactions ... I love the place and Hubby loves the guys that run it so yeah, we agreed to ONE drink, $20 after 2 drinks, tip and a bucket toss for the band (don't forget the musicians!) ... date night = $110.00 but we were home by midnight. And again, we skipped right past Bokampers.

2.  I had a bit of food waste this past weekend ... the guest kitchen freezer had a few small zucchini's that I completely forgot about and some turkey lunch meat that was in the very bottom of the drawer. Uggg. This is exactly WHY I need to take more time when I come home from Costco to put the groceries away in a neat and orderly way instead of cramming stuff in every little nook and cranny ;-(

3.  Hired a house cleaner for every other week. First cleaning will be $200. She quoted me at $150 the first time and I said, no, I'll give you $250 if you get a 3rd person to help you so you won't be here for 7 hours. Sold.  Every other week will cost me $120 (divided by 4 people is $30 or $15 a week). So. Is this really NOT SO FRUGAL? Well, no, it's not Frugal, but to me, it's a choice that I make to spend my money on ... only because I will have more time to do the things that are IMPORTANT to me (like cooking, organizing the freezers/pantry/fridge, etc.) ... we like a clean house but I dread the 4+ hours it can take me on a weekend to do it. Not to mention, my feet kill me come that evening.  Plus, as busy as I've been at work, and then going to the gym, the last thing I want to do is clean house! And yes, a CLEAN HOUSE is a very big priority for both Hubby and I, and well worth the total of $240 a month that it will cost the household.  THE HOUSE IS SO CLEAN!

4.  Stopped at Publix on Friday night to pick up "beer". Umm, $65 later for mayo, corn, bananas, cheese, Gatorade, rotel, cabbage, etc. Really. Geesh.  Thankfully I had a few coupons on hand to toss towards the total ($5 off $30, $1 off 2 mayo and $1 off 2 Gatorade). Rule #1, no list in hand, don't go in store!

Looking forward to sharing over at Money Propeller and The Prudent Homemaker ... go check them out!

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