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Archive for June, 2010

Getting ready for a trip

June 30th, 2010 at 09:18 am

Tomorrow I'm heading out to North Carolina to visit my sister and cousins, and to check in on my antiques booth. I haven't even started packing yet, but I've made my list! As usual, I will try to make this as frugal as possible. I'm driving (so I can haul merchandise) and I will be very picky about where I fill up, and what I eat. I'm going to take snacks in the car, and maybe I won't have to stop to eat at all. I'm going to the library on my lunch hour to get some book CDs for entertainment.

I haven't spent much lately. Hit a few garage sales this past weekend and got a few things for the booth, but no big finds. And I got a McDonald's lunch one day, when I felt like getting out of the office -- it didn't taste nearly as good as I anticipated.

I recently started taking a supplement called Align -- it's a probiotic (sp?) and so far it's working wonderfully for me! I had a $5 coupon for it, so I thought I'd give it a whirl, and I'm so glad. I've had IBS-type problems for a long time and had pretty much given up that I was ever going to solve them. Now I can really tell the difference after just a few days. I think it's one of those things that works only for some people -- digestive problems are so varied -- but it seems to be working for me!

So I think it's going to be a new regular expense for me -- about $1 a day, so not too bad.

Lunch cancelled

June 23rd, 2010 at 02:24 pm

I was supposed to have lunch with my DIL today, but she got lost and the baby was screaming, so she went home. Perfectly understandable, sometimes things just don't work out. I saved a lot of money (though of course, treating her to lunch for her birthday is still going to happen). I went to a little coffeehouse/cafe and had a bowl of soup for $3.11. While I was there, they gave me a sample of a sandwich -- just one-fourth size, but it was enough for me! For amusement I thumbed through an old recipe book for entertaining. What a riot -- the things they used to do in the sixties! I would never bother to cook and present they way they did then -- but I guess it was aimed at housewives who didn't have much else to do.

Got stuck behind a long train coming AND going, so I wasted some gas there! It seems I have very bad luck timing when to cross the tracks.

Birthday present

June 22nd, 2010 at 01:52 pm

Just bought a jewelry box online for my DIL. I got it at Wal-Mart; it's pretty much the same as mine, which she admired (and I got mine at Wal-Mart, too). The catch is her birthday is tomorrow and they won't ship it to the store till July 1 at the earliest. I thought I could just go into a store and buy a jewelry box, but apparently you can only do that at Christmas time!

If all goes well, she will bring littlest grandson and have lunch with me tomorrow, so I'll give her a card and a picture of the jewelry box.

It was $62.37. A bargain considering most of them are at least $100.

Eventful weekend

June 21st, 2010 at 11:04 am

Last Friday I needed to mail a package to my niece for her new baby. I had already done my best finding bargain items -- three onesies, two caps, two little frames, some mesh totes and some tot-sized silverware. I resisted the temptation to have a packaging service mail it. I boxed it up myself and took it to the post office. I also included a homemade card. Still, it cost $12 to mail. (But it would have been more).

I was determined to make my trip up to Evanston as economical as possible. Thus, I took the highway instead of the longer route I usually prefer. Well, that was a mistake. The highway was jam-packed -- and when a vicious storm blew through, I was stuck with no where to go. No damage; it was just kind of scary. And the backup was incredible! It must have taken an hour longer than usual, so there went the gas!

My DIL chose a lodge-type restaurant for her birthday dinner. She and my son ordered steaks and I ordered cod. My son offered to split the bill and I accepted. Even so, with tip, it was $59. Well, I really had no control over that.

The next day, with my other son, we went out for lunch at a casual eatery. Since I had just heard that their taxes had doubled their mortgage payment, I gave my son a $20 bill toward the meal (and that about paid for it all). Another unexpected expense.

I went home to work at the jazz fest. The whole town had lost power, so it was hot & sweaty work, but at the end I was offered a go-round at the buffet, so had a light meal with wine, for free.

On Sunday I grocery-shopped carefully and spent only $34, getting several good two-for-one deals. Then I went to Goodwill to drop off a bag of clothes. I couldn't resist looking, and I found a beautiful pair of pewter candlestick holders and a an adorable Chico jacket -- only $11 altogether. I said I wouldn't buy any more clothes, but this was too good to pass up. And the candlestick holders will make a great gift -- maybe even later this week, when my OTHER DIL has her birthday.

The worst news this weekend was that I got on the scale and it registered two pounds higher. So I have to be more careful. Too much fun, I guess!

Heading north

June 18th, 2010 at 07:25 am

Well, I'm heading up to Evanston tonight to take my DS and DIL (to be) out for her birthday. She gets to pick the place, so I can't be frugal there.

However, I did leave a message with DS asking if I could stay overnight, so I could go see my other DS the next day. Then I won't have to make two trips to see them both. (I rarely get to see them together because of their work schedules).

I'm working tomorrow night at a jazz concert. I don't think I'll get any free snacks, so I'll pack a dinner. All attendees are invited to bring a brown bag, so it won't be weird. Not sure what I have on hand, but I'll figure something out.

Anyway, it should be a great concert under the stars! Free entertainment!

Time to hunker down

June 17th, 2010 at 01:02 pm

I surfed the web this morning, looking at housing prices in the area I would like to eventually move to. It made me realize that I need to be a more vigilant saver, if I ever want to accomplish this goal.

I've had some fun these past few months, but now it's time to get serious.

Soooo -- today, even though I was sorely tempted to get a snack from the food court, I resisted.

I'd like to walk to work, but it's a 40-minute walk and I don't think my still-healing ankle can take that twice a day.

I've got plenty of clothes now, so I can lay off the shopping trips for a while.

And, if the traffic at the antique booth doesn't pick up this summer, I'm going to close it down. Maybe, if I do, I can sell the stock on eBay.

I'm still going to feed the feral cats, but maybe not put out as much. In the summer, they should have plentiful food sources.

I don't know what else, but I hope other ideas will pop into my head!

A little wine

June 16th, 2010 at 05:52 am

Last night I worked at an event -- a golf outing/dinner -- and got a free dinner. The downside was I spilled a glass of wine -- red wine, of course -- all down my front. With the help of a friend I was able to get fairly presentable, and the clothes are now soaking in the washer. This is the second time I've done this at an event I'm working. (The last time was about five years ago). Anyway, I have to be more careful. It doesn't make a good impression!

The wine was free, too, which was good, because I only got a few sips!

I came home and pretty much crashed. I have to get on the stick and get a baby gift mailed. My niece had a little girl. I found some real bargains in newborn onesies and hats, but I know I have to get them to her fast, because she'll outgrow them in a wink.

On Friday night I'm going up to my son's house to take him and his fiancee out to dinner -- to celebrate her birthday, which has passed. I bought her some books; she loves to read. I just hope I have made good choices. She can always exchange them, since I got them at Borders.

Then on Saturday night I'm working again at a jazz concert. Busy week. It will keep me on my toes.

Pay Day

June 15th, 2010 at 06:25 am

Just got paid, and transferred $639 into savings (the amount left from last month). I was able to make such a good deposit because I am switching from using my debit card back to using my credit card, so some costs from this month have been pushed forward.

I am switching back to my credit card for several reasons: I have determined that it is safer to use (less chance of identity theft and less chance of having to pay an overdraft fee) -- easier to use (don't have to keep records on the check register) -- and I can get rewards. I am very disciplined about paying it off in full, and not racking up charges I can't pay, so there is no reason not to use it.

I updated my sidebar. My emergency fund is growing, and my housing fund is shrinking. That's because the housing fund is in stocks, so I am hoping for a rebound soon.

I just spend a weekend with my BFF. Though we could have splurged more, we were very restrained. Just two meals out (Wendy's & Panera), and a little shopping at Goodwill. I found two sleeveless shells to wear to work, and six David Winter cottages. I bought the cottages for $3-5 apiece; they sell for around $50-75 apiece on eBay. But for the time being I will keep them, because I love setting up a village on my breakfast bar at Christmastime, and these will make it look fabulous!

To update from my last entry -- I did find Nordstrom's Rack and bought three more bras. They were WAY cheaper than Macy's -- about 1/3 the price. I also convinced my BFF to get sized and now she is delighting in wearing a bra that fits. Amazing how good that feels!