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Archive for February, 2008

Arrived in Florida

February 25th, 2008 at 06:11 am

Waking up in sunny Florida today! It was a good trip, though tiring.

Costwise: Gas was about $90, with prices getting higher the further south I went. I stayed in a Red Roof Inn in Georgia, using a coupon from Roomsaver.com. It was about $60 including taxes. I spent more than usual for food on the road. I didn't pack any snacks because my mouth is still too sensitive to eat anything hard or crunchy. I made several stops at Mickey D's, KFC, and Cracker Barrel. I spent about $30 on food, which included feeding the dog.

I slept poorly in the RRI, because my dog is uncomfortable in hotels, and pants and paces. I think he is afraid we're staying there permanently! I started the next day at 5:00 a.m., since my dog had to go relieve himself, and I figured I might as well get going since I was awake. Arrived at my cousin's house about 1:00 p.m., very tired, but didn't go to bed until after the Oscars. A long day! But now I am refreshed, and ready to enjoy this nice weather.

Update

February 22nd, 2008 at 07:46 am

Yesterday I spent a lot. First I went to the doctor ($214). She gave me a prescription for a generic statin ($5) and told me to get a specific brand of CoQ10 ($34, only available at the natural foods co-op). I bought some dental supplies ($7) and cat food ($11). Then I went to a movie with my sister ($6) and we shopped at Big Lots afterwards, where I spent only $8 on two bras (what a deal!) Then I gave $2000 to the landscaper who laid sod. Whoa! Luckily, I will get THAT money back, as my cousin is paying for the yard work. Still, it felt like I was bleeding money.

Today I paid the cell phone bill, $45.

Tomorrow I am heading to Florida for two weeks, but I will take my laptop and will be checking in.

Hope to make this a CHEAP trip, as I am feeling poor!

A free visit to the dentist?

February 19th, 2008 at 10:54 am

That doesn't happen very often! I went this morning to have my second round periodontal treatment, but since I haven't healed very well from the first one, we decided not to go ahead with it.

I have a very sore spot behind my back molar, and a lump in my jaw. The dentist believes that both of these will settle down in time. Meanwhile, I am taking antibiotics. ($4 -- gotta love Wal-Mart!) And I am eating soft food!

The second treatment has been postponed till the middle of March.

I have had to spend a little on computer things -- I needed new ink cartridges for my printer, so I got them through MyPoints at 123 Inkjet. About $45. And I finally broke down and bought a new wireless mouse ($39). While my old one never totally broke down, it was so irritating to always have to shake it and blow on it. (Yes!) Very nice to have one that's really working again.

Also got some Advil and baby aspirin while at WM -- about $10.

Mouth Going South

February 16th, 2008 at 09:03 am

This morning, four days after my first periodontal treatment, I had to admit that the gum around my molar was getting worse, not better -- possibly aggravated by my trying to floss there, but anyway, it shouldn't be as puffy and painful as it is.

I called my dentist and he said it was an unusual reaction, but probably just post-op sensitivity. He called in a prescription for amoxicillin and told me to double up on my Advil. I picked up the Rx this morning and have taken the first dose. ($4 at Wal-Mart) Hope, hope, hope that this will do the trick. He still wants to do the other half of my mouth on Tuesday.

While I was at Wal-Mart I bought some greeting cards ($8) and groceries ($20). Most of the cards were less than a dollar, except for a "thinking of you" card for my brother's widow and an anniversary card for my son and his wife. Those had to be nice, and just right.

The main reason I bought groceries was to get more Ensure. I am relying on it for nutrition while my mouth is so sore.

Yesterday I saw an ad for a 75% off sale at SteinMart. I checked it out, but ended up not buying a thing. Nothing really appealed. I'm so proud of myself for walking out without buying, even at that price. Got much more pleasure out of spending $8 on cards!

Ventured out and spent a little money

February 14th, 2008 at 03:31 pm

Today I felt good enough to get out a little so I got my hair cut and bought some groceries.

I went to Great Clips, because I had a newspaper coupon for a $5.99 haircut. The gal I had did a great job! I took her name so I can ask for her next time. The haircut was $8, including the tip.

At Wal-Mart I used coupons for the first time in a coon's age! My savings were $6.65, on a bill totaling $91.64. Not really amazing savings, but when you consider that Wal-Mart's prices are already good, I think it's worth the effort.

I was very pleased to FINALLY find mackerel on the shelves! It is my dog's favorite food, and the fish oil is good for his arthritis. This is the first time I've found mackerel since I moved to North Carolina -- I figured it must not be a Southern thing.

First session done

February 13th, 2008 at 07:04 am

I went to the dentist yesterday for my first periodontal root & scale. I was terrified, practically shaking in my boots.

The actual procedure was not really that bad, since I was all numb, but I had trouble getting that way. Since I had jaw surgery about ten years ago, my nerves are harder to find in my lower jaw. The first shot didn't do anything, so the dentist came back and really laid them on. Finally, I got really numb. It didn't wear off for four hours. Now the joint in my jaw is very sore.

When the numbness wore off I had some substantial pain in my gums, but I took Advil and slept pretty well last night. I am still sore today, but better. A little queasy in the stomach -- I must have swallowed some blood.

The procedure cost $400 and will cost another $400 when I go back on Tuesday to do the rest of my mouth. It will be hard to get myself in there, but for now I'm just going to rest, relax and baby myself.

Cremation or burial?

February 10th, 2008 at 03:42 pm

I've had a couple days of ALMOST no spending -- I did use .60 to make some copies at the library. I needed to make a copy of my insurance card for the good folks who will doing my colonoscopy next month. I also wanted to make a copy of the deed to my family plot -- I don't know if there is still room in it, but I am thinking about my eventual demise (a LONG way off, I hope!) and want to make things easy for my kids, who will have to do something with my mortal remains. If there is space in the family plot, I will arrange to be buried there. Otherwise, I think cremation is a good option. All pretty creepy to think about, I know. But let's face it, death WILL happen to all of us!

Taxes done

February 7th, 2008 at 07:43 am

I did my taxes yesterday and I have refunds coming from federal and both states. About $1800 all together, so I'm happy.

I used Turbo Tax ($36) for the federal and for my Indiana return. I started the NC return but it was showing some crazy results, so I cancelled it, and did it on paper. I didn't play it out on Turbo Tax, so it might have turned out all right, but in the refund/pay preview box it was suggesting that I might owe $1700! I think it was assuming that my wages were earned in NC, but it was all earned in Indiana. Anyway, on paper I'm getting a refund of $69. Quite a difference.

I'm thrilled -- this will really help pay my dental bills.

I also just qualified for a $10 check from MySurvey, and just did another Pinecone survey for $5. Love it!

I WILL improve my health!

February 5th, 2008 at 04:14 pm

Today I got a mammogram and a bone density test -- both at the same place, so that was convenient! I'm really trying to improve my health. I've been exercising, too. No more excuses!

While I was out, I stopped at the filling station and topped off my tank. I only spent $9.84, but gas was a little cheaper than the last time I filled up, and I'm determined to fill up whenever the price drops. Today it was $2.92 per gallon.

I also stopped at Wal-Mart and bought some groceries and household supplies for $36.08.

I'm getting a $100 check from CapitalOne. I had more than 20,000 No Hassle Miles. It's just never worked out to use them on plane tickets. I didn't realize I could get cash instead. I hope it will come in time to put toward my dental appointment.

Frugal activity of the day: I scrounged in the freezer for dinner and found two veggie burgers I didn't know I had! I also took out some soup to thaw. I found a package of mystery meat -- I just couldn't remember what it was, but decided to let it thaw -- it started to smell bad -- then I remembered. Garbage! I sometimes freeze garbage so it won't stink in the can, but sometimes I forget all about it! It went back in the freezer, 'cause garbage day isn't until Monday.

A party-less Superbowl day

February 4th, 2008 at 09:38 am

My Superbowl "party" didn't happen, as my sister's husband was feeling antisocial yesterday. He's a bit temperamental, to put it mildly.

So my sister and I went to see "The Bucket List" instead. I had high expectations for this movie, and some of them were met, some not. Overall, it was good.

The movie was $6.50, and that's all I've spent so far this month.

I am dragging my feet on starting my taxes. Since I sold a house last year and did not invest in another one, I'm afraid I'm going to get hit hard. Ah well, time to get my head out of the sand!

A quiet day at home

February 2nd, 2008 at 04:49 pm

My sister & hubby came over for cards. They were full from a big lunch, so no snacks were needed today.

Tomorrow we will have a Superbowl party of sorts. They will bring shrimp. I will pull out the cheeseball that didn't get eaten today. I will also make deviled eggs, and maybe a Waldorf salad, as I have plenty of apples on hand.

My frugal activity of the day: I went through all my old papers and pulled out the crossword puzzle sections. Cheap entertainment and brain exercise, too!

My dog seems to have an upset stomach. I looked for remedies on the internet. Pepto was suggested, but my dog wouldn't eat it. Yogurt was also suggested, and that went down fine. Hope he gets to feeling better. I know the vet will not be available tomorrow.

The aftermath

February 1st, 2008 at 02:30 pm

My son and his girlfriend have come and gone. We had a wonderful time, but it cost me -- $94 for groceries, $113 for eating out, $60 for his birthday gift. Ouch. But these are the times I live for -- this is why I scrimp, so I can have great times like this! We did some sightseeing, ate at a gorgeous lakeside restaurant, and played lots of games.

This morning I totaled up my January spending. I spent $5855, but $4802 was for my annual medical premium. Otherwise I spent $225 on the dentist, $176 on gifts, $170 on groceries, $130 on travel, $113 on eating out, $61 on clothing, $45 on my phone bill, $33 on miscellaneous, $27 on entertainment, $24 on personal care, $12 on fees & services, $11 on pet care, $11 on gas, and $3 on household supplies. Not too bad, for a month which turned out to be pretty active.

Today I have been busy in the kitchen. I had some bananas going soft, so I decided to make a banana cake. As I got into it, I realized I didn't have buttermilk (or milk), but I substituted sour cream, and it seemed to work. But I had trouble with the frosting. I wanted to make a caramel frosting, and I found a recipe on the web that didn't call for milk. But it turned out awful. So bad I scraped it off the cake. Then I made a cream cheese frosting, which was better.

I also made a cheese ball. I guess you would have to say I actually remade a cheese ball. I had half a cheese ball left in the fridge. I let it get soft and then blended in some shredded cheddar and rolled it in chopped nuts. We'll eat it tomorrow when my sister & her husband come over for cards. And I won't confess. My sister does not approve of the frugal life. Smile