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Archive for October, 2006

A walk to the library

October 30th, 2006 at 04:10 pm

It was a no-spend day. It was lovely weather today, so at lunch time I decided to walk to the library and check out some more books -- I also picked up a bunch of free magazines -- all recent, so I will look through them for coupons.

To thank my friend who let us use her home theater last night, I gave her a coupon from my entertainment book. It's good for a free dinner for her birthday at a good restaurant in town (but she'll have to be in a party of four.) It wasn't much, just enough to let her know I appreciated her favor to me. And she is someone who will use it. I also went through the book and tore out some coupons for a car repair shop that I don't use, but that another friend does. I'll give them to her next time I see her.

Someone brought carmel corn to work today, and I could NOT leave it alone. It is something I can't resist. I'm going to have to go back to restricting myself from eating between meals; I'm out of control. Just because something is free does NOT mean I have to eat it!

Meals today:

Breakfast: Toast, bacon, coffee
Snack: Carmel corn
Lunch: Lean Cuisine pizza, brownie
Snack: Carmel corn
Dinner: Lean Cuisine Sante Fe rice & beans.

$1 left!

October 30th, 2006 at 04:22 am

I spent $20 yesterday, leaving $1 in my checking account. Tonight my pay check will go in, so I am not worried about a $1 day!

I spent $10 on gas, $5 on groceries, $3 on cat food and $2 on Bio Salud, which is a health-related expense.

In the evening I watched "Last of the Mohicans" with friends at a home theater. It was a true theater experience -- big screen, dark insulated walls, risers, big easy chairs, surround-sound. Fabulous. Nice to have friends with nice gear!

Meals yesterday:

Breakfast: Grits, orange, bread & gravy
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwich, clam chowder
Snack: Hot chocolate
Dinner: Lean Cuisine (chicken in basil cream sauce, pasta), brownie
Snack: Popcorn & diet coke (free)

Pondering a nothing day

October 29th, 2006 at 05:21 am

As promised, I spent the whole day at home yesterday and spent nothing. I realized I feel somewhat guilty staying in on weekends and I've pinpointed two reasons. I've always been a pretty quiet, shy person, and all my life I have been pushed to "get out" and "be more social," to the point where I felt like a freak. Although I don't believe that it my head, anymore, I think those feelings of shame are still lurking inside. The other reason -- now that my kids are grown I live alone, and I truly won't see anyone unless I do go out. While I am introverted, I do still like people and socializing in small groups. So I do feel like I'm cheating myself when I stay in.

That said, I realize that going out usually involves money, and if I want to really pull in the reins on my spending, then I have to have quiet days at home. It's kind of a quandary.

Yesterday I finished a book, "Lost & Found," by Carolyn Parkhurst (pretty good yarn about being in a reality TV show), and I watched "The Break-Up," on loan from my Netflix friend.

Today I WILL go out -- I have to get gas, some groceries, etc. I will limit myself to the $21 in my check book and report back.

Meals yesterday:

Breakfast: Peanut butter & jelly sandwich.
Snack: Oatmeal with raisins & brown sugar.
Lunch: Biscuits & gravy
Dinner: Lean Cuisine (BBQ chicken pizza)
Snack: Tortilla chips

A rainy no-spend day

October 28th, 2006 at 05:39 am

Yesterday was another no-spend day, so I am still holding onto my $21. Today will take care of that, though. I am very low on gas, and need to get some more Bio Salud. I will probably also get a few groceries to get by these few days.

I got a call from my wellness coach yesterday -- as part of a fitness initiative at work, we get calls from a coach if we agree to it -- and I had to admit I wasn't keeping up with my exercise as I had been. I was feeling all motivated by her advice and support, but when I started to go the gym after work, I had to walk through deep water (it was raining cats & dogs). So my shoes were wet. But I thought, okay, I'll still go. It was cold and miserable, and I really didn't want to but I told myself I would. I started to pull out of the parking lot, and traffic was backed up as far as I could see. I thought, that's it, and turned my car around and went out the back of the lot towards home. I couldn't have got to the gym without getting into the traffic jam and I'm on my last quarter tank as it is. So I didn't go. Right now money is more important than exercise. I will try to take a walk today to make up for it.

I used a heater at work yesterday and finally got comfortable in the afternoon.

Oh, I forgot to report on my homemade dog treats! They turned out looking like little gingersnaps. My dogs eats them, but he always looks at me like, "What's THAT?" when I hand him one. So I don't know if they're a smashing success or not. They probably weren't all that cheap to make either -- they called for whole wheat flour and wheat germ, among other things. But making them kept me from having to go out and buy treats.

Meals yesterday:

Breakfast: Grits, orange, coffee
Snack: Animal crackers (free at work)
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (salmon, spinach & rice)
Snack: Trail mix (free at work)
Dinner: Biscuits and gravy

Almost a free lunch

October 26th, 2006 at 03:58 pm

I went out to lunch today, even though I had brought my Lean Cuisine and was all prepared to stay in. A co-worker offered to treat; she had a gift card to use, plus she wanted to talk. We went to a local bar that has great hamburgers. I contributed $1 for the tip.

I also paid $16.60 for dry cleaning, but it wasn't cash -- the dry cleaning expense is always automatically put on my Discover card, as I have an arrangement where it is picked up and dropped off at work.

I actually have $21 in my checking account, not $17, like I said before. I don't know how I keep coming up with more, but I think I'll make it fine till pay day on the 31st.

I have set up a budget for next month and I'm excited about starting it! I know it is probably a bad time, with my grandbaby coming and a long trip ahead, but I figure, there never is a normal month, and the whole point of a budget is to make it flexible enough to work in any circumstances.

I don't know what's going on at work, but it has been freezing all week. I keep wishing if I have to be so cold, I'd like to at least be saving money! I guess my employer is saving money. I wore my winter coat in the office all day. Our building manager keeps sending out messages, "They're working on regulating temperatures for winter..." This better not be the winter temperature, because I won't be able to work in those conditions. Everyone else is complaining, too, so hopefully something will be done.

Tomorrow I will wear layers....

Meals today:

Breakfast: Apple coffeecake, coffee
Lunch: Hamburger, fries, diet coke
Dinner: Cheddar potato soup, brownie

You gain some, you spend some

October 25th, 2006 at 06:26 pm

I balanced my checkbook again, and I have $17, not $3. I also have about $2 in cash. I spent $5 on lunch today -- this was my lunch day with the boss. I could have brown-bagged, but I didn't have the right supplies or the time to get a brown-bag lunch together this morning. We went to a new fast-food place that serves pita's, which were huge. I had a coupon to get one free and we split the bill. It could have been worse.

Less than a week now till pay day!

Supper was free -- I brought home some soup from yesterday's carry-in -- actually there's enough for tomorrow night, too. I did this with the permission of the soup-maker!

I ran out of dog treats today, so I spent this evening making some from scratch. I think they will be pretty good but the recipe called for too much time in the oven, I think. I am afraid they are a bit scorched. We'll see tomorrow whether they pass the test with my dog.

My daughter-in-law had her last ultrasound today and she emailed me a picture of my grandson's face. Awesome! Handsome already! Can't wait to see him in person.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Blueberry coffeecake (at work, left over from yesterday), coffee
Lunch: Beef pita with onion, peppers and lettuce, diet coke, baked chips
Dinner: Cheddar potato soup, brownie

Frugal accomplishments

October 24th, 2006 at 05:46 pm

High points of the day:

We had a carry-in at work. I brought homemade brownies, and in exchange got a HUGE lunch. Unfortunately, I ate a little too much. I am still full, and I have skipped dinner.

I got my oil changed and a 16-point inspection for free. Had a coupon.

I took Norton off my computer and installed McAfee for free. I still had two months of my Norton subscription but it was not acting right. It took some doing to get the McAfee installed, but I did it!

I balanced my checkbook and it looks like I may have more money than I thought. I'm skeptical, so I'm going to do it again before I'm sure.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Peanut butter & jelly sandwich
Lunch: A plate full of little bits of various casseroles, salads, soups, side dishes, rolls and desserts.
Dinner: None

Now I'm starting to worry

October 24th, 2006 at 04:26 am

Not about my finances -- about my mind!

Yesterday I arrived at work without my lunch. Now you remember I have only $11 till the end of the month, so I couldn't consider buying lunch. But using gas to go home is also a draw on my resources. Well, I went home for lunch, figuring it was the lesser of two evils. At the end of the day I start changing to go to the gym -- no shoes. And here I had a second chance to get them at lunch, but didn't notice them sitting right on the living room floor. So I skipped the gym rather than make ANOTHER trip.

This morning I have to take my car to get the oil changed. (I have a free coupon). I must do it, because it's overdue, and because I could get a call from my son any time now that the baby is on the way, and then I will be jumping in the car and driving 10 hours to Kansas City.

So I made an appointment to drop it off at 7:45 a.m. This morning I get out of the shower, get dressed, look at the clock and think, "Omigosh, it's time to go!" I jump in the car, I'm on the road, and then I notice -- I'm an hour ahead of myself.

I can't believe this. So I go to Wal-Mart so as not to make it a totally wasted trip. Where is my brain?

I made a discovery at Wal-Mart. One of the things I needed to get was some more Activia yogurt. I saw a product in the same area called Bio Salud. It's not yogurt, just little bottles of liquid that carry the live bacteria. They were only .88 for five, as apposed to $1.88 for 4 Activia. Of course, it is not really a food item, either, but the reason I am buying Activia is for the bacteria. I took my dose as soon as I came home, and it tasted good!

I also bought a can of tuna. My cat gets a little bit every morning and evening and I was running low. My total spending was $2.38. So I have between $8 and $9 left.

Meals yesterday:

Breakfast: English muffins, tomato juice
Snack: gingersnaps, coffee
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (chicken pecan w/rice & peapods), bread, butter & jelly.
Dinner: Macaroni & cheese, broccoli

A very low-key Sunday

October 23rd, 2006 at 04:05 am

Yesterday was a no-spend day. And I did not leave the house or even get out of my pajamas. I decided not to go to the gym, because I need to make my half a tank of gas last till the end of the month. Wouldn't want to spend my $11 on gas!

I mainly played computer games, read and cooked. In the evening I watch a Netflix loan, Eight Below, which made me cry -- mainly because one of the dogs looked just like mine.

It was too cold to replant my iris, but it looks like it will warm up by Wednesday.

Meals yesterday:

Breakfast: English muffins, yogurt
Lunch: Grilled cheese sandwich, broccoli
Snack: Strawberry ice cream
Dinner: Pizza, tortilla chips & salsa

Baby Boom revisited

October 22nd, 2006 at 06:08 am

It turned cold this morning (or more accurately, some time last night). The wind is howling. I think I am going to stay in all day -- although I should go to the gym. I only made it once last week.

I watched "Baby Boom" on TV this morning, the old Diane Keaton movie. I remember the first time I watched it and how I yearned for a house in the country, even with all the problems she had. Now, watching it with a more critical eye, I see how shamelessly it glossed over everything. Yes, big bills for plumbing, new roof, etc., but all easily resolved with a home-grown business that went national in a few months with no visible workers! Oh well, it was a fairy tale, and I still enjoyed watching it again.

I realized this morning that I actually have $11 for the rest of the month, because I have $3 in checking! Hmmm, I think that works out to about $1 a day.

Marie Antoinette and iris

October 21st, 2006 at 04:47 pm

It's been a no-spend day for me. I'm determined to make my $8 last till payday.

But I did go see a movie with a friend. I had free tickets given to me by a different friend, who donates blood often and gets so many free movie passes she can't use them all. Anyway, we went to see "Marie Antoinette," which was a big disappointment. I'm glad it was free. The costumes and settings were incredible, but otherwise it was strange -- oddly modern touches, like rock music, slang, etc.

My friend and I also took a nice long walk -- it's a beautiful autumn day. And after dinner, I dug up all my iris rhizomes and divided them. I'll replant some of them tomorrow and take the rest to work to share with anyone who's interested.

It was pretty hard work! They were tough to dig up and tough to divide because they were so tightly woven together in the roots. It is a good job done. I'll be sore tomorrow.

Meals today:

Breakfast: biscuits, bacon, orange, coffee
Lunch: peanuts, diet coke
Dinner: vegetable beef soup, English muffin, yogurt

Bummer

October 20th, 2006 at 04:48 pm

Well, I've done it again. I've run out of money -- well, almost. I have $8 left for the month. My bills are paid, but I am out of milk and low on pet food. I'm really tired of this routine, and feeling like I will never get out of this hole.

Spent $10 on gas today, just a half a tank so I wouldn't be flat broke.

I'm also having computer problems; I think my anti-virus program is screwed up. Wish I weren't so ignorant about these things.

Meals today:

Breakfast: yogurt
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (Salisbury steak & macaroni)
Dinner: pizza, ice cream

Recap of my big day

October 20th, 2006 at 03:29 am

Yesterday was a lot of fun, and I don't think I did too badly on money. At lunch, I went with my friends to a newish family-style restaurant. I had a coupon for $5 off a $25 bill. I had to talk my friends into it, but we put all our meals on one bill to get the discount. Mine was $7.04 after the discount and including the tip.

For dinner, I went with a different set of friends to a new Irish pub. Here there were no discounts. I spent $12.55 counting tip. Then we went to a free lecture by Amy Tan (author of Joy Luck Club). She was amazing, very funny and real. It was an evening well spent. My only problem was I was so stimulated I didn't sleep well at all last night.

I woke this morning to the sound of the garbage truck rumbling through the neighborhood. By the time I hear it, it is too late to put the garbage out. This is the second week in a row I have missed it. Being a single person, my garbage isn't too excessive, but I am glad I am in the habit of freezing my perishable garbage. I would be dealing with quite a stink by now!

Meals Yesterday:

Breakfast: Peanut butter & jelly sandwich, milk
Snack: Biscotti and truffles
Lunch: Bacon, lettuce & tomato club sandwich, diet vanilla coke, chips
Dinner: Turkey & cheese grilled sandwich, potato slices, beer

Holy Moly! Truffles and Biscotti!

October 18th, 2006 at 05:41 pm

We had a guest at work today who joined us for an instructional webinar. As a sort of bread and butter gift, she brought chocolate truffles and biscotti. Man! Were they delicious! Especially the truffles. Curl-your-toes-up-and-die-with-pleasure good. I tried not to eat too many of them, but I'm already planning on having more tomorrow.

I didn't spend anything today except $6.06 for cat food. It was an emergency; he was on his last few kernels. I sort of wonder if the dog has been managing to get to his bowl, which is up on the dryer.

Tomorrow I'll be eating out twice. I'll be going to lunch with some old library school chums (this is a regular monthly date), and for dinner I'll be meeting friends at a new Irish pub. Then we'll go to a lecture by Amy Tan, the author, which is a free event. I will do my best to keep my food choices frugal. I do have a coupon for the lunch place. I'm really looking forward to the day!

Meals today:

Breakfast: Grits
Snack: Gingersnaps
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (meatloaf & mashed potatoes), yogurt, truffles, biscotti
Dinner: Lean Cuisine (Sante Fe rice & beans), bread & butter, strawberry ice cream

What a nice day!

October 17th, 2006 at 03:50 pm

It was a no-spend day, AND I found a penny in my jacket pocket!

I went to the gym, and it's definitely becoming easier to go through the whole routine. I can feel the strength and toning in my legs and arms.

I was able to give my (very excited) son two football tickets that a friend of mine won't be able to use -- a $90 value! (No value to me, I hate football!)

It's been one of those good days....

Meals today:

Breakfast: Toast & Jelly, Milk
Snack: Yogurt, potato chips
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (Sesame chicken & noodles), orange
Snack: M&M's
Dinner: Lean Cuisine (cheese ravioli), broccoli, milk

Free lunch & flowers for the boss

October 16th, 2006 at 04:31 pm

I had a nice free lunch today -- a co-worker treated me because she felt I really helped her out on a project. I kept trying to tell her I was only doing my job and didn't need a reward, but she was insistent. So I let her! I had a nice sandwich and salad and a good conversation to boot.

I spent only $2.50 today, and that was a contribution for flowers for Boss' Day.

Meals Today:

Breakfast: Peanut butter & jelly sandwich, milk

Snack: Half-bagel w/cream cheese, coffee

Lunch: Veggie sandwich, salad, diet coke

Dinner: Pizza, yogurt, milk, gingersnaps

Sunday

October 16th, 2006 at 04:41 am

It was a quiet day. I watched "Down with Love," on loan from my son. I made a run to the library and checked out five books. I went to they gym I (which I usually don't do on Sunday, but I was in the mood -- call me crazy). I made a long telephone call to my brother (but it was free on my cell phone). I didn't spend anything.

Meals:

Breakfast: English muffin, yogurt, coffee
Snack: Ginger snaps
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (Swedish meatballs & noodles) broccoli, orange, milk
Dinner: Curried fried rice w/apples, raisins & nuts, milk

A Spending Saturday

October 15th, 2006 at 08:37 am

Yesterday I did a lot of spending, but not anything I am unhappy about. First of all, I spent $73 at the vet, getting my cat's vaccinations up to date. Then I stopped at the day-old bread store and got 3 loaves, English muffins and a bag of gingersnaps for $5.63. I had a filled-up punch card for $1 off, so that helped. Then I went to Kroger and spent $37.94. I saved $13.13 on specials and a coupon. Lean Cuisines were still on sale 5 for $10, and I had a $2 off coupon for 10, so I bought 10 more. My little freezer above the refrigerator is pretty full! On to Wal-Mart, where I bought some vitamins, cleaning supplies, batteries etc., spending $20.81. I also bought a denim jacket from the clearance rack for $13 (marked down from $26) and a camisole for $3, marked down from $15.
Then a haircut, $14.40. But my best buy of the day was at Kohl's, where I found four bras for $34.98 -- retail value over $100. And I needed them so badly! A good find.

Later in the day I went out to dinner with co-workers, where I spent only $4 on an appetizer -- I had already eaten quite a lot during the day. And then to the play my co-worker was acting in; it was $6. All in all, a good day.

Meals:

Breakfast: Granola with milk, yogurt
Snack: Big Cookie and cider (free at the hairdressers)
Lunch: Pizza Supreme, milk
Snack: Gingersnaps
Dinner: Nachos with chili and cheese, diet coke

A bag of chips and so on....

October 13th, 2006 at 04:29 pm

I spent .80 today for a bag of chips from the vending machine. I was terribly hungry all day, even though I had my usual amount of food. I don't know what's going on. I kept going to the fridge in the break room, staring into and looking for something that belonged to me. Pathetic.

I have lots to do tomorrow -- take my cat to the vet, get a haircut, do laundry, do yard work, grocery shop. Maybe go to the library and to Goodwill, too. I'm also going to a play that one of my colleagues is acting in, and several of us are going out to dinner beforehand. The play is only $5 and the dinner will be at a casual pizza/Italian place so it will be pretty cheap entertainment.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Cottage cheese, stewed apples
Snack: Ice cream
2d Snack: Potato chips
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (steak portobello & broccoli), yogurt
Snack: Sugar-free jello, mints
Dinner: Peanut butter & pickle sandwich, milk, Honey Nut Cheerios

It's F-R-E-E-Z-I-N-G

October 12th, 2006 at 04:19 pm

So I broke down and turned on my furnace. I should have done it last night, because I didn't sleep too well, all huddled under my blankets.

Today I spent $11 on dry cleaning.

I was planning to go the gym after work, but -- get this -- my bra hurt too much. I had to get the thing off! I'll work out tomorrow, and I guess bra-shopping is in my future. Sigh.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Honey Nut Cheerios & milk, 2 slices toast, coffee

Snack: yogurt, potato chips

Lunch: Lean Cuisine (potatoes, broccoli & cheese), ice cream, apple

Snack: cake & punch (party at work)

Dinner: tuna salad sandwich

I'm over it

October 11th, 2006 at 03:41 pm

I don't feel guilty about the new coat anymore. After intensely analyzing myself I realized that I was placing the unrealistic expectation upon myself to get a tremendous deal on everything I buy. Well, it's not always possible. I've looked for a dress coat in my usual bargain outlets for several years now, and I haven't found one. Heaven knows almost everything I wear is from Goodwill or a garage sale. I think it just freaked me out to buy something new and not on sale!

Spending was pretty low today -- $.75 for a snack from the vending machine, and $2.95 for cat food.

It's cold, blustery and wet all of a sudden. Still, I'm not going to turn the furnace on yet. I'll bundle up tonight. There'll be warm days yet before winter truly arrives!

Meals today:

Breakfast: Yogurt, apple, cheese, pumpkin spice latte

Snack: Chocolate bar

Lunch: Lean Cuisine (chicken, stuffing & potatoes)

Dinner: Peanut butter & pickle sandwich, potato chips, strawberry ice cream, milk

A new coat

October 10th, 2006 at 04:44 pm

I bought a coat today. It was $178 including tax -- I may have to pay shipping, too. I ordered it from the clothing party I went to. It is not a bargain, but it is a fair price for the quality. I have needed a dressy coat for a long time, and this is simple and elegant and should last me for many years. It is an investment piece. That said, I feel REALLY guilty! It is very hard for me to buy something nice for myself!

Other than that I did not spend anything today. I did waste some gas running out to my doctor's office only to find out they were closed for lunch. Sigh. I thought I needed to pick up a lab order. Later I found out it was in my purse all along. What a ditz I can be.

So tomorrow I go the lab first thing in the morning to get my cholesterol checked. I'm on a new drug and this will be the first test. I hope it is a good result, because I feel better on this drug than I ever have before.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Granola with milk, 2 slices buttered toast, coffee

Snack: Nutri-grain bar, pumpkin spice latte

Lunch: Lean Cuisine (beef burgundy w/ vegetables and rice), apple, yogurt, potato chips

Snack: Popcorn

Dinner: Cheese & veggie omelet, milk, strawberry ice cream

Forgot

October 9th, 2006 at 03:48 pm

Oops, I forgot to add my meal data:

Breakfast: 2 Nutri-grain bars, coffee
Snack: Grapes
Lunch: Turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato, dill pickle, water
Snack: Soft-serve ice cream
Dinner: Macaroni & cheese, yogurt, water

A gall bladder attack

October 9th, 2006 at 03:45 pm

No spending today.

The only interesting thing that happened today was that I had a minor gall bladder attack at work. I've had them before -- one that sent me to the emergency room -- but frankly, co-workers were over-reacting when they called the ambulance. There is no reason for me to do anything until the pain is too much to bear. The ER technicians can't even see what's going on unless they "catch" me in the middle of the attack -- which always pass before I have time to get to the hospital.

I've had the tests and they all say my gall bladder is fine, except that I must be occasionally throwing a stone.

Anyway, avoiding a trip to the ER was a frugal move!

Now, don't lecture me -- I WILL go when I know I really need it. I'm not stupid, just cheap. :-)

A little more grocery shopping

October 8th, 2006 at 05:42 pm

Even though I made two quick trips to grocery stores yesterday, I didn't have the chance to do my regular week's shopping. I went to Kroger this morning and bought seven more Lean Cuisine's with my $2.00 off coupon. I also picked up some cottage cheese because it was only $1. Then I went to Wal-Mart and bought milk, eggs, butter, spreadable margarine, canned mackerel, tomato juice, yogurt, tp, and plastic cutlery (one of my random acts of kindness is to take plastic cutlery to work when the supply runs low). Altogether I spent $31.

I was supposed to go to a baby shower for the daughter-in-law of a close friend today, but my friend was sick and couldn't go. Since it was several hours away, and I don't really know anyone else there, I didn't go either. We will take her DIL out to dinner and have a mini-shower after my friend gets well.

So I just had a day at home. I really just relaxed, but unfortuantely I have had a stiff neck ever since I woke up this morning ... slept wrong on it, I think. I hope it's better tomorrow.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Grits, toast, yogurt, coffee
Snack: Nutri-grain bar
Lunch: Macaroni & cheese, broccoli, strawberry ice cream
Snack: Honey Nut Cheerios, grapes
Dinner: Chicken & spinach pizza, milk
Snack: Nutri-grain bar

Another day of partying

October 8th, 2006 at 06:39 am

Yesterday's shower for my daughter-in-law was delightful. She got lots of STUFF! My grandson will be well-outfitted.

Afterward, I went to barbecue hosted by one of my co-workers. I had a good time there, too, sitting on hay bales under the hunter's moon, corn fields all around, barbecuing hot dogs and brats over an open fire. I love fall.

On the financial side it was a so-so day. I went to Wal-Mart before the shower to pick up some cards. I resisted the really cute $4 cards and bought a couple for $1.84 apiece. I also got some diapers to put with the shower gift, and I couldn't find the $1.00 coupon I had for Huggies, which was an irritation. The Huggies were $10.11. While I was there I saw that they had Chunky soup and Nutri-grain bars at good prices, so I picked up some of those. I spent $5.58 on the groceries.

I had been planning to stop for a fast-food breakfast on my way out of town, but since I had the Nutri-grain bars I had a couple of those instead, saving the money and the time.

When I got back to town I had to quickly pick up something to take to the barbecue. I called one of my co-workers, who was already there and asked what was needed. She said there was a ton of food already and suggested I bring a bag of chips. So I stopped at Kroger and got some Kettle chips on sale for half price, $1.29. I also picked up a diet coke ($1.29) and a bottle of Liebfraumilch ($4.50).

On the way to the party I had to stop for gas, which was $24.19 ($2.10 a gallon).

So I did some spending, but it was a happy, soul-fulfilling day!

Meals:

Breakfast: 2 Nutrigrain bars
Lunch: 1 piece fried chicken, biscuit, pasta salad, cheese & crackers, veggies & dip, chocolate cake, punch, coffee
Dinner: Hot dog, chili sauce, broccoli salad, fried rice, carrot cake, wine

A high chair is on the way ... AND the way it was in 1999

October 6th, 2006 at 05:27 pm

I bought a high chair for my grandson-to-be today. I'm going to a shower for my daughter-in-law tomorrow. I already had some gifts -- some clothes and toys -- but I got an email from Target today offering a 10% discount on nursery items. I've been wanting to get something they really need, so I checked their gift register, and I saw that there were still SO many things they needed. So I bought the high chair. I think it will ease their minds to have something big off the list. It will be delivered and tomorrow I'll give her a card with a picture of the high chair inside. I'll wrap up a few things, too, so she'll have something to open. The other things I'll just give them when the baby comes.

10% isn't a huge discount -- it basically covers the shipping -- but I am satisfied to be getting something useful and needed.

That was my only spending today.

I've been keeping records since 1999 of my spending. Today I compared my average spending this year with 1999. It was interesting. I am spending about $380 more per month now, but not on what I thought. For instance, I'm not spending very much more on gas, so evidently I'm driving less. Utilities are more, but groceries are less (because the kids are on their own now). I have a car payment now, which I didn't then, but I am spending way less on car repairs and insurance. Eating out, clothing, and entertainment are pretty much the same. I am spending less on loan repayments, but then my debts are lower now. My costs for home improvements/repairs and vet bills are way up -- now those are not surprises. And I am spending more on travel and vacations. My medical/health spending is quite a bit less, even though I am now paying gym fees. Hmmmm -- it must be true that the gym pays for itself in health benefits!

Meals today:

Breakfast: Granola with milk, Pumpkin spice latte (homemade)
Snack: Pecan sandies, grapes
Lunch: Lean Cuisine (Chicken in peanut sauce), candy corn, Honey Nut Cheerios (how's that for a combination?)
Snack: Popcorn
Dinner; Macaroni & Cheese, Broccoli, Milk, Strawberry Ice Cream

Just the stuff of life

October 5th, 2006 at 03:39 pm

Today I spent a little money. I renewed a prescription ($24) and while I was in the grocery store, where my pharmacy is, I picked up five Lean Cuisines for $10. With my receipt I got a coupon for $2 off on 7 Lean Cuisines, so I might go back and get more while the price is still low. I know homemade food would be cheaper, but sometimes it is so hard to scrape a real lunch together to pack in the morning.

I also had my dry cleaning delivered at work (free delivery) and that was $22. Two blazers and two skirts. Every time the season changes, I have a "bump" in dry cleaning, and then it settles down again.

I worked very HARD today! My legs and neck are sore from tensing up, which is what I do when I'm concentrating really hard. My work is totally computer-oriented, so if I forget to get up and move around I get achy, especially in my neck.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Peanut Sweet & Salty bar, Activia yogurt

Snack: Trail mix

Lunch: Chicken & spinach pizza, grapes, ANOTHER Peanut Sweet & Salty bar (hey folks, I'm almost done with them!)

Snack: Potato chips

Dinner: Mac n cheese, broccoli & cauliflower

Not so much going on

October 4th, 2006 at 06:15 pm

This'll be short, because I've had a frustrating evening trying to transfer pictures from my camera to the computer and to the internet. Ugh. I think I'm too old for this.

No spending today. I worked out at the gym. I'm wrestling with the idea of buying a new coat. I have nothing but a casual parka for winter and I sometimes need something for dressy occasions. Just hate to spend that money, so I'm ruminating.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Cranberry Muffin (free at work), coffee
Snack: Potato chips
Lunch: Activia yogurt, cake
Snack: apple
Dinner: Honey Nut Cheerios and milk
Snack: Cashew Sweet & Salty bar

Party animal

October 3rd, 2006 at 07:45 pm

I went to two parties today. One was at work for our secretary who has finished a long round of chemo. The other was an evening home party, the purpose of which was selling clothes. Both involved lots of free food. The clothing party was something I should have skipped (although I had fun). Naturally, the clothing is very expensive -- yes, beautiful and coordinated and well-made and all that -- but expensive and I am so very poor. My friend liked the party so much she wants to hold another at work, so it looks like I'll be going again.... I am way too easy-going.

I spent $1.50 for hot chocolate at the coffee shop where we held our first party. I stopped myself from buying a vanilla latte for $3.50.

Oh, and I gave in and turned the air conditioner back on. It's so hot, my dog is panting.

Meals today:

Breakfast: Blueberry muffin, granola bar, hot chocolate
Snack: grapes
Lunch: Chicken & spinach pizza, cake
Snack: more cake
Dinner: Cheese & onion omelet, toast, milk
Party fare: Fruit & dip, chips & salsa, shrimp & cocktail sauce, wine.

Way too much partying for this old girl....


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