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This and That

November 3rd, 2018 at 06:53 am

Yesterday was fairly busy. I did a mystery shop, which was out of town. I stopped at the new, improved Aldi on the way home and got $25 worth of groceries. It really is new and improved. Much more open and pleasant. The old one was pretty dark and grungy. Same stock, but arranged in a much better way.

I came home and did some chores, including laundry, and then got down to some serious reading late in the afternoon. I love it when I'm reading a book that takes me to another world.

I have another mystery shop today -- and one on Monday. On Tuesday I have my work at the polls, and on Wednesday I'm going to see a complementary movie, "Green Book," which has received a very high rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Cinemark is changing its points program and I have to use my accumulated points by December. I don't have very many, so it looks like the only reward I'm eligible for is $3 off concessions -- that is, if I earn ten more points. But I do get these invites to free screenings once in a while, so that's probably the best advantage to being registered in the program.

Spending, Voting and Bullying

November 2nd, 2018 at 06:57 am

Yesterday's spending was $1.50 for laundry and $37.50 for my wheel tax. I had to go to city hall to straighten it out, but I think I am now properly registered with my new car and senior status.

So funny -- there was early voting taking place and every time I went in the building someone stopped me to plead their candidate, or their case. (I had to go in three times, because the first time I had left my invoice in the car, and the second time I had to get my car registration.) I've voted already, by mail, so they quickly lost interest when I said that.

It was good, however, to see so much early voting taking place.

Variables are at 29%.

Today I'm going to the gym, and then I'm doing a mystery shop in the city. It's a valet evaluation, so I don't have to figure out what to do with my car.

My youngest grandson is dealing with a bully, which makes me heartsick. He is a very sweet and caring boy, and I hate to see someone trying to knock it out of him. His mom gave him some good perspective -- that bullies feel bad about themselves, so they want others to feel bad, too. She asked if he thought he was "nothing," which is what the bully said. He said, "No!" And she said, well, he hasn't won then, has he? This boy is so loved. We will get him through it.

If it happens again, the teacher will be notified.

Halloween Redux

November 1st, 2018 at 06:19 am

Halloween brought us perfect weather, so I joined my grandson for trick-or-treating, along with my son and DIL, for about an hour and a half. I love walking around our neighborhood, because there are so many beautiful historic houses, and for Halloween the owners decorate them to the hilt! My grandson was still going strong when I veered off for home. I am sure he got quite a haul.

I refilled my prescription yesterday using a GoodRx coupon. That brought the price down to $45 -- it was $125 last time, so that was a big improvement.

My other expenditure yesterday was $2 for Halloween cards and I put a $5 bill in each.

I just put a load of laundry in downstairs. When it's finished, I'm going to go to city hall and try to straighten out my wheel tax. I realized yesterday when I was starting to pay it that the car information wasn't updated, nor did I get the senior discount. I took care of this right after I bought the car this summer, and I have the receipts to show that I did.

I also signed up for two more mystery shops yesterday. One is testing out the valet service at a hospital, and the other is evaluating an appliance department at a big retailer.

So far I have won $9 in our family football pool! I don't ever watch football, and I never make the right picks, so this is big!

Happy Halloween!

October 31st, 2018 at 07:17 am

I probably won't take part in Halloween festivities today, but I may walk a few blocks with my younger grandson while he trick-or-treats. My older grandson will be going with friends. Younger one said "he didn't mind" if I came along with him and his parents. Oh, they are growing up, changing into teenagers.

Yesterday's spending was $12 -- snack for my grandson, and a birthday card for a friend. Variables are at 13%. So far things are going well this month, financially. I am well-stocked and have no immediate plans to get groceries or anything else. I do need to fill my prescription, but I will look at Good Rx first to see if I can get a discount.

I signed up for another mystery shop for next Sunday, which will provide a meal and pay a $10 fee.

I'm loving "Pillars of the Earth" and I recommend it if you like historical fiction.

Doctor Visit

October 30th, 2018 at 09:47 am

I went to my primary physician this morning for a follow-up. I got another blood test to make sure my kidneys continue to be okay while I take Celebrex. He gave me an updated prescription which specifies that a generic is okay. I still have a few days before I need to fill it.

My copay was $5. I was very pleased that I got in and out within an hour, so I didn't have to pay for parking.

Yesterday was a no-spend day. I spent a lot of time reading because the book I was reading was due today -- no renewals available. I did get it done and returned it this morning.

Now I'm going to be working on Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth." My son says I'll like it.

I got a letter today from the Social Security Administration telling me that I would be getting more money if I would switch from the spousal benefit to my own. It provided a link to make the switch. It didn't mention a thing about how waiting the ten months till I turn 70 will give me a significantly better benefit. It makes me wonder if they are sending this to people who are close to getting a better benefit and trying to encourage them not to wait. Hate to be negative, but why did this come from out of the blue?

No way will I switch until I am 70.

I also got my wheel tax bill -- early this year, but it's not due till the end of December. I'll pay it online using the credit card with the bonus offer. (Wheel tax is basically like getting a sticker for residential parking -- only we don't get a sticker. The info just goes into a computer.)

I took a nap yesterday and so didn't sleep well last night. But the nap felt lovely! I was simply too groggy to stay awake.

Before I went to the doctor this morning, I went to the gym. And before that, I picked up a bag of box tops that were offered on freecycle. I'm going to mail them to my granddaughter in Florida, because she's still young enough to be excited about bringing them to school. Her mom has made a special request to all the grandparents that we save them for her.

I've seen a lot of good things come up on freecycle, but usually not anything I need. And when I do see something I want, it's gone before I can get in on it. It was fun to get something that my granddaughter will appreciate.

Another Sale

October 29th, 2018 at 06:50 am

I sold another item on eBay yesterday. This one netted me a little over $20. It's a porcelain ginger jar and plate, so it required careful packing. I used LOTS of bubble wrap, and marked "Fragile" all over the box. I'll be mailing it out this morning, along with the little plate I sold the day before.

This particular set was not something I bought at Goodwill, but is a set my sister gave me years ago when she was downsizing. While it is lovely, it does not really go with my decor, so it's never been properly displayed. I put it in the garage sale, but no one was interested. I'm so happy that I tried it out on eBay. The funny thing is that I'm sending it to someone in my mother's birthplace, which is a very little town. So weird!

When I was getting ready for my garage sale I found a stash of old glasses. I am going to donate them at LensCrafters today. While I'm there (in a mall) I'll do some walking.

I want to get started today on making potholders for Christmas gifts. I already have Christmas fabric and batting, so I just need to find a pattern. I'm sure I can find one online.

I baked bread yesterday in my new loaf pans. Just loved the ease of using better equipment! At the end of the day, when both loaves were cooled and sliced, I called DIL, and she sent over the boys to pick up a loaf. They seem to especially love it, and I'm so happy that I can make something for pennies that they really like!

I didn't do any spending yesterday, and my variables spending is 10%. I don't plan to spend anything today, but sometimes the day surprises me.

A New Day

October 28th, 2018 at 05:11 am

A busy day yesterday. I babysat in the morning, then went to the gym, grocery shopping at Sam's, and then to my ex's house (with my kids) because it was his birthday and other family members were visiting from out of state. I stayed until late evening.

I accepted a bid on eBay. The money I made above the shipping cost is about what I paid for the items I bought at Goodwill, so if I sell just one more, I will have made a profit.

I have been getting some heckling on my posts -- not just the current ones, but old ones, too -- which I will be deleting. This makes me realize that our supportive community of active bloggers here is just the tip of the iceberg and that our words also go out to people who are not only not friends, but hostile and mean-spirited. It's probably not a good idea to be as open as I have been, so I'm going to be less specific from now on and remove my financial details. I'll figure out something later to put in my sidebar. Till then it will look a little weird.

Hoping everyone has a lovely Sunday!

Saturday Morning

October 27th, 2018 at 06:18 am

This morning I'm going to take care of my grandkids while my son and his wife go out to brunch with friends. Only a couple of hours. It is my gym day, so I will probably go afterwards. I go to the gym every three days now, for strength training, and I walk outdoors the other two days. But soon I'll have to go to the gym for cardio, too, when the weather turns.

I got an offer on one of my eBay items and I have decided to accept it. It is pretty close to the asking price, and it's the only nibble I've gotten on this second round of offers.

I didn't do any spending yesterday. A couple of automatic payments hit my account -- assessment fees and gas, but those do not come out of variables.

I went to my grandson's flag football game in the evening. It was the last game of the season, because they did not advance in the playoffs. No more games now, in any sport, until spring. Unless he decides to play basketball, but last year he didn't.

It's cool and rainy, very fall-like. I'd really like to just curl up with a book!

Friday Morning

October 26th, 2018 at 06:44 am

I had my hands-on election training last night, and just like last time, I was overwhelmed with information. It just sounds a little more familiar this time! I have a manual that I will read before the day. Only a week and a half to study.

It's not that it's so hard, it's just that they throw so much at you so fast. Of course they want you to be ready for anything.

As far as spending goes, I spent $3 on a new shower curtain liner and $8 on groceries. I was at Target to get the shower liner and picked up eggs, butter, mushrooms and cream cheese while I was there. I'm going to be making Fetuccini Alfredo today (only with penne).

As I headed home I saw that my Aldi is open again after the remodeling. So I wish I had waited on the groceries, but I didn't spend much, anyway.

Variables are at 10%.

I'm looking forward to a day of rest and tooling around at home. I see there is a flag football game on my calendar this evening, but my grandson said yesterday it might not happen. They're in playoffs.

Dinner Out

October 25th, 2018 at 06:20 am

I was really looking forward to going out to eat last night. And I did have a good time. But I got sick afterward. Something I ate was not right with me. I had a cheeseburger, but I did take my dairy pill with the first bite. Perhaps I should have taken two. I'm also wondering if the caramelized onions were the culprit. Kidney disease has made my digestion so much more sensitive.

The cost was $15.

I ordered fish food from Amazon and spent $23 -- should last me a while. Or last the fish a while. I'm not going to eat that. Smile

I also did a load of laundry, and I paid a $19 medical bill. The $19 was actually a nice surprise.
It had been $64, but when I logged into the website, an adjustment had been made. Guess it pays to wait!

I paid my mortgage and the credit cards (in full). Variables are at 8%.

Tonight I am scheduled to get hands-on training for the upcoming election. Judging from last time it will take a couple of hours, and I'll have to travel about 1/2 hour to get there. It starts at six and I'll be taking care of the boys till about 5:30, so I'm going to have to pack a dinner. PBJ, probably!

It's Pay Day!

October 24th, 2018 at 05:01 am

I wasn't going to spend anything yesterday, but as it turned out I had to get gas - $26. And then I bought cones at McDonald's for GS2 and me. $2.

I ended up with spending 74% of my variables budget. Still good.

For the upcoming month, I have $231 extra to put into my variables budget. That includes the garage sale profits, mystery shopping, surveys, cashback rewards and found money.

The extra money not spent last month will go into savings.

My net worth has remained pretty stable, despite losses in the stock market.

Tonight I'm going out to dinner with friends. It will be at a diner-type place, so it will be cheaper than the last dinner with friends. Different set of friends, too.

Forgot to add my October recap!

Housing - $713
Insurance - $208
Utilities - $170
Groceries - $107
Vacation/Travel - $103
Eating Out - $63
Phone - $52
Medical/Health- $46
Household Supplies - $37
Personal - $32
Gas - $26
Entertainment - $22
Vet/Pet Supplies - $18
Furnishings/Equipment/Decor - $17
Laundry - $13
Gifts/Charity - $12
Miscellaneous - $6

Grand Total - $1645

Indoor Day

October 23rd, 2018 at 06:42 am

Yesterday was my indoor day. I didn't go anywhere; didn't move the car. Heck, I didn't even dress! That is, I showered but then got into another pair of pajamas.

Today will be a different story. This morning I'm going to the gym, and this afternoon I'm taking GS2 for a haircut and then to his cooking class. But no shopping. Two days to pay day, and I'm going to try to keep my variables down to 70%.

I think next month will be a low-spend month on groceries, because I still have a LOT of food on hand.

I was productive yesterday. I listed 16 new items on eBay. I am hoping that at least three of them sell. That would be about 20%. We'll see. This time, I offered free shipping on everything and set a fixed price rather than put them on auction. Of course, the fixed price included what I estimate the shipping will be. It makes it easier on the seller, and I hope the buyers will realize that the price is more than fair.

I got my payment from one of my mystery shop companies yesterday. The total payment was $151, but only $82 was profit. The rest was reimbursement.

Stuff

October 22nd, 2018 at 05:32 am

Yesterday I spent .53 on lunch. That was how much I went over the amount that will be reimbursed. I ordered exactly what I was supposed to, so I hope the mystery shopping company starts to catch up with the reality of rising prices -- it's not possible to order the required items and come in under their flat reimbursement rate. Not that it's so much, but they should reimburse fully, or change their ordering requirements.

I finished my online training for Election Day. I will take a real-time class on Thursday at a local community college.

Only two more days till payday. Variables are at 70%.

I handled more than ten papers yesterday -- more like about 20 -- but it will take a while before I see a difference. I have to do it a little at a time, though, because I really hate dealing with paperwork.

Still need to get to work on eBay listings -- I will try to get that done today.

Sunday Morning

October 21st, 2018 at 06:33 am

It's going to be a quiet day.

I have one outing planned -- a mystery shop at lunchtime at a local franchise.

I got my first invoice from my new HSBC credit card. It is $193, 2/5 of the way to the $150 reward.

I got the "boat bag" I ordered with Wells Fargo points. It's a nice canvas tote that I will use to cart around quilt pieces, so I can work on it when I travel.

I'm going to make mac & cheese for dinner.

If I can make myself do it, I'm going to take the online training for Election Day, and I'm going to list the few pieces I have to sell on eBay.

My stack of papers is building up ridiculously, so I'm taking the pledge to handle at least ten papers a day until I get it under control again.

Saturday

October 20th, 2018 at 01:00 pm

I seem to be doing a lot of laundry. Three loads in the last three days. One of them was because Iggy threw up on the bed, but still.... I'm trying to be more conscious of wearing things that haven't been worn long the day before.

I went to the gym today and afterwards I went to the grocery and bought a 24-pack of water. I keep water in my car all the time, mainly because I cannot risk dehydration with my kidney disease. I need to have it available all the time. The pack was on sale for $3.

Variables are up to 69%, but I have only four more days to go.

Somehow my Fire Stick and the remote got out of sync yesterday, and I had to have my son come over and rescue my streaming. I did try myself, but didn't get it done. He seems to have an intuitive understanding of electronics that I lack. Luckily, he is nearby, and that little intervention saved me from buying a new stick or remote, which I was starting to consider.

I'm planning to just be lazy the rest of the day. It's cold and blustery, a good day to get under a blanket and read.

Friday Morning

October 19th, 2018 at 06:22 am

Well, I'm going to try an entry, even though the blog home page looks crazy today.

Yesterday was a no-spend day, though I did get a residual $10 bill from eBay for my selling spree. And I saw an email saying there is a bill on my medical site, which I know will be at least $50.

Soon my Amazon Prime membership will renew. I decided to let it renew, as I think I will use Amazon a lot for Christmas and when I am recovering from my surgery. And I'm watching some of their streaming stuff.

Today I'm taking the boys for their flu shots. I thought I was taking care of them today, but I think it's just the run to the doctor's office.

I need to get to the gym. It's also time to clean the fish tank. I want to make some oatmeal cookies. More laundry to do. Housework. Ugh.

There's a flag football game tonight. It's cold, so I will need to REALLY bundle up.

And I need to get started on listing the newest round of items on eBay, but that may wait till the weekend.

Busy Day

October 18th, 2018 at 04:50 am

My mystery shop yesterday required me to be on my feet (most of the time) for two hours and I got quite tired. I did take time to sit down and get a coffee & muffin at Corner Bakery ($5). And I also picked up a birthday gift for my son as well as a couple of birthday cards for $11. I used the tail ends of three gift cards to get such a low price.

I submitted my report and went straight to picking up GS2 and taking him to a friend's house for a play date. Then GS1 called for a ride. He usually walks, but he had a lot to carry. Not long after I got him home, it was time to pick up GS1, who realized he did not have his book bag. We had to go back to the school to look for it. Finally found it at the security office, where someone had turned it in.

Came home for about 45 minutes and then it was time to babysit for the evening, while son & DIL went to see a musician friend perform. The boys went to bed about an hour after I came, but I was there for about three hours after that. My hip started to hurt terribly, probably because of all the activity. Thank goodness this morning I seem to be okay.

Variables are at 65%.

I was invited out to dinner with a special librarian group on October 24, and I RSVP'd. That's pay day -- a good day to eat out!

I got my election assignment. Only one day -- election day, no early voting. It is at a better location than last time. In fact, I think it is right on the Northwestern campus. There is a large group of judges. Last time I worked at an election it was a small group in a park building which was pretty run-down. It was also a mixed district which meant we kept having to send voters to a different location. It was pretty challenging. I have hope that this experience will be better.

Hoping today will be a calm and restful day. I do have the boys after school but I hope there will not be so much chauffeuring. Tomorrow I have them all day for some kind of school holiday, and I will be taking them to the doctor for their flu shots.

I Fell!

October 17th, 2018 at 06:08 am

While I was picking up GS2 yesterday, I tripped over a curb and fell on the sidewalk. I didn't do much real damage, but I did break my right thumbnail and jam my thumb into the concrete, and it's very painful. My knees took the hit lower down. They are bruised. I'm really sore today.

I spent $9 on famotide at Sam's yesterday. I already have some on order, but I just couldn't wait. I was really suffering from acid reflux and needed some relief. While I was in Sam's I also picked up some bread and rolls for $10.

I've also done two loads of laundry in the last two days ($3).

Variables are at 63%, with one week to go.

Today I'm doing a mystery shop at a nearby mall. It'll bring in $40 if I do it correctly. It looks pretty complicated.

Expensive Dinner

October 16th, 2018 at 06:26 am

Dinner out with my friends last night was expensive. They chose the restaurant, which was pretty upscale. I chose one of the cheapest entrees, but when I added soup, wine and dessert, it added up. The total with tip was $47, which won't sound expensive to many of you, but it is to me.

The only part of it I regret is ordering the wine. I forgot it contributes to my RLS (restless leg syndrome) and I suffered for it last night. But I was caught up in the moment. We toasted to my friend's new job and new life in Ohio, and it wouldn't have been quite the same with water.

I spent two and half hours commuting to and from the restaurant and now my gas tank is only half full.

Variables are at 60% with a week and a day to go, so that isn't bad.

Today I'm going to go to the gym and then to Sam's to buy bread. I'm also going to make a stop at the bank to deposit most of my cash from the yard sale.

I ordered my OTC drugs from OTC-Essentials yesterday. For $50 I ordered two boxes of famotide, Vitamin D, generic Zyrtec, and band-aids.

I made a batch of meaty spaghetti sauce yesterday, and I'm thawing a chicken breast to make some medallions. For breakfast this morning, I used up the last of the asparagus in a cheese-asparagus omelet.

Later today I'll take care of the boys after school, but I also need to make some time to do some online training for the upcoming election. That's my next hurdle, working two election days, which will bring me another $200 or so.

After the Sale

October 15th, 2018 at 06:05 am

I'm back home after my yard sale weekend. I cleared $94 -- I was hoping for at least $100. We did not get as much traffic I was hoping for, and I was pretty soft on prices. But I did get rid of about half of my merchandise, and the rest went to Goodwill, so a lot of decluttering has occurred.

I spent $21 on gas. My helpers and I went to a movie and dinner, so that was $7 and $11 respectively. I spent $13 on food while I was on the road.

More spending tonight, when I go out to dinner with some old work friends. This is a must-do, as one of them is moving to Ohio, and I will probably not see her again.

I'm pretty tired, and a little disappointed, but it was a good job done.

And I did find a dime!

Edit: I just found $7 in my purse which I had stuck in an odd place, so I did break $100 in profit!

Edit again: $5 more! Washed it this morning in my jeans pocket. Is that laundering money?

Getting Ready for Yard Sale

October 11th, 2018 at 05:54 am

Today I'm going to be carting boxes to my car, and I'll leave early in the morning to head to Indiana and start getting my yard sale set up. It has turned cold! I hope that doesn't scare away people! We will bundle up and get through it.

I'm also running a load of laundry.

Later today I'm going to stop at the library to return books and check out an audiobook, and then at the bank to cash a $20 bill into ones. I've got my change all ready -- $12 worth to get started.

I still have to create a Craigslist ad, but my hope is that we will get a lot of drive-by traffic, also.

I did not spend anything yesterday.

I got some free treats in the mail yesterday -- products to try out for Pine Cone.

I got a payment from one of my mystery shop companies -- $18 in fees. Also some reimbursements, but I don't count those as income, as that money already bought stuff. I'm expecting a payment from another company in about 10 days.

So far, I'm getting through gap year okay!

Haircut, Etc.

October 10th, 2018 at 06:02 am

I got a haircut yesterday for $18, using a $2 coupon. And I paid my grandson $5 for his cat-sitting services while I was gone last weekend.

My variables are at 42%, with two weeks to go.

The ortho doctor's office called last night and left a message that it was too early to make an April appointment for surgery. I see him in December for a followup appointment, so I'll discuss it with him then.

That reminded me that my primary care doctor wanted me to make a followup appointment 4-6 weeks after our last, so I scheduled one for October 30.

Nothing is on tap today except for child care after school.

Yesterday I repacked some of the boxes for the yard sale, and I have taken two of them down to the car.

I won't list my new eBay items until I get done with the yard sale. I don't want to be scrambling for boxes, etc., until that big event is finished.

I won our family's football pool last week! Well, sort of -- it was a 3-way tie. I think I will get a little cash for that.

My old work friends have planned a dinner at a restaurant about an hour away. It will take place next Monday and it probably won't be cheap. But still, I'm in. I need to keep my social contacts active; it's so easy to get isolated once you're retired.

I got an email that I still had a $19 reward on my Wells Fargo card, so I went through their online catalog and selected a boat tote that was on sale. I won't use it for boating, however, I'll use it for quilt pieces. I started a quilt at least a year ago and haven't made much progress, but if I can sew together pieces at odd moments, I might get somewhere.

It's still warm today, but we're expecting a cold front today. That's too bad, because it means it will probably be cold for the yard sale. But I'm committed. I'll do it.

Back from my Trip

October 8th, 2018 at 03:18 pm

I'm back from my weekend trip to Indiana. I'll be going again next weekend, when I will actually have my garage sale. It will be a yard sale, though. The garage will be closed up tight.

My BFF's son is letting us have it at his house, which is in a well-traveled, highly visible area -- plus they have a large flat yard and a wide driveway. So despite the extra work of having to take the stuff there, it will be worth it.

I still have one more carload to take down.

A trip is always a bit of money, but it wasn't too bad this time. It was $57, with $43 going to gas, and $7 for food, as well as a $7 movie. The gas was higher than usual because I headed out very low on gas and thus had to fill up twice. The food was so low because I mystery-shopped an evening dinner for us and used a gift card for a lunch. The rest of the time we ate at BFF's. The $7 was just for food on the way there and back. We decided to spring for a movie because we hadn't done that in a long time. We saw "A Simple Favor" which was very clever -- expect some twists and turns!

I did do a little shopping as well. I bought some loaf pans and storage boxes for $17. These were both new to replace rusty old pans and boxes falling apart. And I spent $6 on 7 secondhand items I believe I can resell on eBay. Yes, the bug has got me. If even one of these items sells for a fair price, I will make a profit. Goodwill was having a half-price sale.

Also at GW, I found a book I wanted to read and a little figurine for DIL's Christmas village -- .50 and .35 respectively.

My variables are now at 37%.

My condo insurance of $208 was withdrawn from my account, but that does not count in variables.

I'm looking forward to a free bagel breakfast tomorrow at Planet Fitness!

Why I Didn't Get Paid

October 5th, 2018 at 06:10 am

Duh. I forgot that the mystery shops pay a month behind. I didn't get a September check because I didn't do any shops in August.

I'm getting ready to get on the road today. I'm going to take boxes of garage sale stuff to BFF's, and we will go out to dinner tonight on a mystery shop. It's the first time I've ever tried a shop outside of my area.

I didn't spend anything yesterday. Got some free snacks at the "grand opening" of the new high-security entrance at GS2's school.

I turned the pork roast into pulled pork in my crock pot, and I cooked half of the ground beef and froze the rest as mini-patties for sliders.

I know I won't be able to get all the boxes in my car, but I'm excited I'm finally done with the first phases -- culling all my closets and drawers, boxing the stuff up, and selling the good stuff on eBay. Now it's just transporting and selling.

Free Pizza, and Some Spending

October 4th, 2018 at 06:39 am

I babysat the boys yesterday afternoon, and we had free pizza for lunch, courtesy of a mystery shopping assignment.

But it was not a no-spend day. In the morning, I went to Food4Less and spent $41 on what I hope will be my last grocery trip of the month. I bought 13 items: taco sauce, ground beef, crescent rolls, tuna, mushrooms, pork roast, dry milk, peppers, onions, croutons, cheese, salad dressing and sherbet.

Today I'll put the pork roast in the slow cooker to make pulled pork, and I will also cook some of the ground beef and freeze the rest.

Tomorrow I'm heading to BFF's in Indiana, so I will need to pack the car tonight with as many garage sale boxes as I can fit in.

I have been trying to schedule my surgery, but the doctor's office is not responding to either my calls or my message via the website. Maybe today.

One of my mystery shopping companies did not pay on September 20, as they should have. There were three September shops I made prior to the 20th, so I emailed the schedulers for each shop to let them know. Frustrating.

Yesterday's Activities

October 3rd, 2018 at 05:52 am

I caught up on my sleep and I feel much better.

My appointment with the SHIP counselor went well -- she was a fanatastic lady. Interestingly enough, she herself is on an Advantage plan, and she has been through several surgeries herself. We talked about a lot of things, but the bottom line is that switching to original Medicare may very well put me at risk for having no Medigap plan, and therefore paying 20% for most services. Also, it looks like every Part D plan is more expensive than my current premium (like -- three times as much!) And if I did qualify for Medigap that would be another $80 on top of that. So I'm sticking with what I have. Suddenly the $295 inpatient fee doesn't look so bad. Especially since, as I did not understand before, that covers the cost of surgery as well.

I am going to try to schedule for April 2. I'm waiting for a callback from my doctor so I can do that. That is when all my caregivers will be available, and the weather will be getting better.

After the appointment I went to Aldi and spent $23 on 10 items -- biscuits, butter, eggs, peas, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans, chicken, ice cream and rolls.

I also got $1 sausage biscuit at McDonalds because the counselor had to push back the appointment time and I had skipped breakfast.

Today it's strength training at the gym, and it's a half-day of school so I'll have the boys in the afternoon. I've signed up to do a pizza delivery mystery shop, so that will take care of lunch.

I got my new HSBC card yesterday so I can start earning my $150. And I also got the $200 Amazon card I earned from Wells Fargo.

Variables are at 16%.

Everyday Stuff

October 2nd, 2018 at 06:35 am

I did three loads of laundry yesterday, spending $4.50, but that was my only spending.

I went to Planet Fitness in the evening and had a piece of pizza for dinner. (I worked out, too!)

I mailed my last eBay item. Probably my last. There is one item still listed. It put it up as "Buy It Now" and it still has two weeks to go, but though it has a number of views, there are no watchers.

I boxed up everything else and it's ready to go down for the garage sale.

I'm planning to go to BFF's house this weekend and I'll take a carload full of garage sale stuff. I'm also going to do a mystery shop in her city.

I'm doing one here tomorrow.

DIL had a bad day yesterday, grieving for her mother, and we had a late-night phone conversation. I was glad to be there for her, but I was unable to sleep afterwards so I had a pretty terrible night. Just going to be operating on fumes today.

Soon I will be going to my appointment with the SHIP counselor. I think I will pick up some groceries afterwards.

Wonderful Cookout

October 1st, 2018 at 06:44 am

The cookout yesterday was great, and I was glad I went! Not only did the hostess provide a great spread, but there was a jazz band for entertainment. It was quite a production, really! So glad my friend invited me.

I learned that J emailed me in June about getting reduced tickets to see Hamilton. I never even saw the email. I get so much junk email, it's hard to see the real stuff. And I was very busy then and probably not reading my email well. I'm so disappointed I missed that opportunity, because I would love to see Hamilton. J and I tentatively made plans to go see it sometime if we can get tickets. This will be hard to do in my gap year -- a year in which I will also get surgery!

So yesterday was another no-spend day. I did stop for gas at a Sam's out in the western suburbs -- not because I needed it yet, but because I thought I would get a good price. Before I filled up I saw that the price was no better than what I get. AND, the pump I pulled up to was only pumping premium, so I just got out of there.

My eBay auctions are running out and I'm very close to the end. But one item did sell yesterday, so I'll pack that up today. As soon as everything is done, I'm going to pack up all items and start seriously schlepping the boxes to my friend's house in Indiana. I may make a trip next weekend.

Today is pizza day at Planet Fitness, so I'll be sure to drop in for a little exercise and a free dinner around 5:30 this afternoon.

No-Spend Saturday

September 30th, 2018 at 06:19 am

I like to have a no-spend day early in the pay cycle. Often I feel the urge to stock up on something every day when I have the money, and then I run out of money too fast. A no-spend day slows me down.

Today I am headed to a cookout, and the weather is still too cool for my taste, though it is starting out warmer than yesterday. I checked with my friend J to make sure I wasn't expected to bring something, and she said, no, don't bring anything. So I won't!

I guess I will wear lots of layers!

I was considering taking the train, since the fare is now free for me, but when J texted me with plans I realized that her schedule would be too tight for her to pick me up at the station. So I will drive. I'm already down to about half a tank.

Guess that's it!

Just Stuff

September 29th, 2018 at 08:10 am

It was so cold yesterday. And it's still cold! The boiler doesn't get turned on till mid-October, so I hope we have a warmup.

Last night I went to GS1's football game. It didn't start till 9! Thank goodness it didn't last too long. I was freezing, even though I was wearing three layers and I was wrapped in a blanket.

Today I'm going to GS2's birthday party. This is his party with his friends, which is being held in a game room at the university. I won't be doing much there, except socializing with any other adults that turn up. The kids will all be tuned into the cyberworld.

Oh, but there is a baseball game before that. So, another busy day.

I got a call from a SHIP counselor! We have agreed to meet on Tuesday.

I completed a mystery shop yesterday -- free dinner -- and on the way home I stopped at a PetSmart and bought kitty litter for $18. It's a 42-lb. package and I could barely get it into the cart and then into the trunk. I'll have to use the dolly to get it upstairs. But it was only .03 per ounce and is supposed to be low-dust.

Variables are at 11%.

Tomorrow I am scheduled to go to meet a friend in one of the western suburbs for a cookout. But we haven't really talked lately, so I'll have to touch base to make sure it's still on. In this weather, I'm not too excited about it.


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