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Archive for June, 2022

June Recap

June 30th, 2022 at 10:14 pm

It was a pretty good month. I kept variables down to 80%. I'll be able to sweep $840 into savings, though I won't do that until my insurance payment is withdrawn in the next few days, and my RMDs are deposited. Don't want to cut it too close.

Housing: $746

Fees/Services: $200

Utilities: $190

Furnishings/Equipment/Decor: $171

Gifts/Charity: $140

Groceries: $93

Medical/Health: $56

Household Supplies: $45

Gas: $40

Personal: $39

Eating Out/Takeout: $39

Phone: $32

Entertainment: $17

Laundry: $16

Grand Total: $1824

The fee referenced above is the annual subscription to Webroot and a service plan through Best Buy.

The rather high F/E/D category came about because I ordered supplies for my upcoming train trip, I bought a box of dishes at a garage sale, and I treated myself to some new pans.

Gifts were higher than usual because there were two birthdays this month.

Nothing remarkable about the other categories, but I am proud that groceries were less than $100, even though I stopped receiving free food from the senior center.

I have felt a bit queasy all day today and I've stayed home. The heat isn't helping. It's in the nineties. I stood it as long as I could before I turned on the air. I slept very poorly last night and I'm very tired. A brief afternoon nap helped.

I intended to go to the gym today, but I'll have to make it tomorrow, if I feel better.

Two Games, and a Little Spending

June 24th, 2022 at 08:16 pm

On Wednesday I drove my grandson to two different baseball games in two different cities. My son and DIL were working and could not do the driving. The two games were scheduled only three hours apart, which was pretty close. As it turned out, my navigation failed me on our trip to the second location, and I got my grandson to the game late. (We were also slowed down by a train that came to a dead stop at a crucial crossing.) He was taken out of the lineup and it was a disappointment to him. But he was very nice about it, making sure I knew it was not my fault. 

We did stop at a McDonald's on the way, because he was hungry (and  because I had to visit the john!), and if I had known I was going to have all this trouble, we could have skipped that. But at that point, we thought there was plenty of time. The cost for that stop was $12.

It was brutally hot all day, and I was not able to find shade in either location. Altogether, it was a pretty awful day, and I was really glad when it was over. 

On Thursday I spent $24 on a gift card and a birthday card for DIL, to add to the Amazon gift I had already bought.

Today I went to the gym, and then through a drive-through, where I spent $11.  Variables are at 67% with only six days left in the month.

Coffee Run

June 22nd, 2022 at 05:14 pm

I was getting low on creamer and coffee -- staples in my house -- so I went to Aldi. I spent $31 on groceries. I also spent $28 on a lidded saute pan and a teakettle -- both in the light teal color that I've been collecting. I knew I would regret it if I passed these items up. They were on sale, and, you know, when they're gone from Aldi, they're gone.

Variables are at 62%.

Today I am headed out for two games in two different towns. Neither one of them my town! I'm picking up GS1 in about a half hour. It's still blazing hot, but the dew point is not in the high zone yet, so it might be bearable. Yesterday's game was cancelled due to high heat -- that's why there's two today.

Despite the heat, I'm still getting in my walks -- just a lot earlier in the day. I'll be glad, though, when the temperature drops to a more normal level.


June 21st, 2022 at 03:30 pm

Yesterday my inhaler clogged when the count was about 100. I took it to Walgreens and asked if this was typical. They said no, and the pharmacist fooled around with it and got it going again. Then I asked if I had a refill coming, because I no longer had the box the inhaler came in. I did, and since I was there, I got the refill. It is the last one, so I'll have to contact my doctor. The refill was $30. Variables are now at 55%.

Today I'm going to an away game, 45 minutes away! It will take half the day, but I'm the only one available to take GS1. The game was formerly scheduled right here in town, so this is a disappointment. Maybe I can get cheaper gas up there in the boonies.

Sounds like the heat wave will continue all week, so this is not going to be an easy time, for my comfort or for the budget.

Father's Day Coming Up

June 18th, 2022 at 05:23 pm

It's Father's Day tomorrow. I'll be celebrating with my ex -- who of course is the father of my children -- and my local son, and the spouses and grandchildren as well.  I'm planning to make some strawberry applesauce for the brunch.

Today I walked to Walgreens and bought Father's Day cards ($7) and coffee ($7).

I looked at sea salt hair spray but couldn't find anything I thought was in a good price range, so I came home and ordered some from Amazon for $6.

Variables are at 53%.

As English Castle said, it is indeed "cooler by the lake." It is lovely today, sunny with a light breeze, and I enjoyed the walk.

A Reprieve

June 15th, 2022 at 07:46 pm

I was all set to chauffeur my grandson to an away baseball game today, but, thank goodness, it was cancelled. It is really, really hot today, and I'm so glad the organizers had the sense to keep the boys from playing in such awful weather.

There was a game yesterday, which was equally hot. It was in the main field, where there are bleachers and a roof, so it wasn't so bad for the fans. At least we could sit in the shade. And there was a breeze. But the boys were running around in the hot sun, and you could tell it was getting to them. Luckily, my grandson was not in the lineup, so he didn't have to play. He is still nursing an injury from making a diving catch in the outfield.

But speaking of diving catch -- in the year-end awards ceremony he won the the "Golden Glove" award for outstanding fielding! It was well-deserved. He will go after anything. He gives his all.

And, speaking of the awards ceremony, we had a little excitement that evening. The ceremony was cut short when the tornado sirens went off, and a violent storm popped up out of nowhere. We were ordered away from the metal bleachers. I ran to my car as the wind picked up, almost hard enough to carry me away. I drove home in the sudden darkness, flashes of lightning going off constantly. Many cars were on the side of the road, but I was so close to home, I went for it. But I was awfully glad to get there safely. And everyone else got home safely, too. It was just a very strange, sudden storm. It passed quickly, with very little damage in the area.

Okay, as for money things -- I spent $2 yesterday taking Gatorade to my grandson, and I've done a couple of loads of laundry. I also bought a birthday gift for DIL. With my Amazon credits, it was only $31, so I'll need to find something else. Variables are at 50%.

I picked up my free lunches at the senior center yesterday. There was a sign posted, requesting a $12 weekly donation (although in the small print, they said they wouldn't turn anybody away).  I did not sign up for the next two weeks, as I usually do. I'm a little confused, actually. Everyone who is eligible for this program has a pretty low income, and my interest was certainly to save money. I think I can take that $12 and make much better use of it for the way I cook and eat. Of course, I am a pretty resourceful cook, very accustomed to repurposing food and never throwing anything away. Many people are not.

When I thought about it, I decided that this program is probably more suited to people who do not cook much, for one reason or another, and need the help.

Anyway, I'm going to take a hiatus and see how it goes. I don't really want to pay the $12 donation, but I am uncomfortable not paying it. I still want to keep my grocery budget under $100, which I think I can do, even in these trying times.

And besides that, it's been an awful lot of mashed potatoes! Really.

It's Going to Heat Up

June 13th, 2022 at 03:13 pm

They are forecasting temps in the 90s the next few days. It's still pretty temperate, so I took my walk this morning to take advantage of the coolness. I walked to Walgreens and bought two packages of Poise pads in order to take advantage of a sale. Cost was $29. Variables are at 44%. Since we are almost halfway through the month, that's about the right pace.

Summer baseball is starting up. There is a game today, and two tomorrow -- when it gets really hot! What unfortunate timing!

A Garage Sale, and Sam's

June 10th, 2022 at 09:34 pm

Yesterday, when I was out walking, I ran into a garage sale. I ended up buying a box of dishes for $10, and a Delft vase for $5. I was only interested in some of the dishes, but the owner wanted to offload the whole box. $10 was a good price for what was in there. I added sixteen bowls to my set, mostly the small fruit bowls, which I really needed. Yes! I am passing along seven other pieces to Goodwill.

Today I went to Sam's and spent $6 on hamburger buns and raspberries, and $24 on dishwasher pods.

Variables are at 41%.

Was It Really Only a Year Ago?

June 9th, 2022 at 03:14 pm

My Best Buy service plan/Webroot subscription just renewed. It must have been one year ago that I bought it after falling for a scam and getting lots of malware installed on my computer. I can't believe it was only a year ago. What a nightmare that was! It seems I made it through -- so far-- with no ill effects.

It will cost $200 for another year of service. I'll see how it goes -- but right now I'm feeling that it paid for itself and I am enjoying the peace of mind. It's there if something bad happens again. 

I'll pay for it via my Big Ticket account -- savings -- so it won't affect my variables. So far, I have not spent a lot in Big Ticket items this year.

Talking to BFF yesterday, I figured out -- from her experience -- that I am having issues with the fascia tightening up in my thighs. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what it was -- it felt like a plank in my leg, but painful. It comes and goes but it often happens at night. I've been reading up on it. I may order a tool from Amazon to help soften it when it stiffens up. I've found some stretching exercises that may help. I'm feeling encouraged now that I know what it is. I was mystified.

There's always something!

Home Depot and Aldi

June 7th, 2022 at 09:39 pm

The weather cleared up yesterday, so I went to Home Depot and Aldi.  At Home Depot, I spent $5 on foam pipe insulation -- which I used to stuff the open spaces around around my air conditioners. At Aldi, I spent $38 on groceries, and $24 on two frying pans. I hope I will like them; they are the Crofton brand, so cheapies, for sure. But I have liked other Crofton things I have bought.

I was in the market for new frying pans, because I dropped one of mine, bending it out of shape, and then absent-mindedly left one on a burner, scorching it badly. I was going to get a new set at Sam's, but these pans were marked down and I thought I'd give them a try.  They're quite pretty -- light teal on the outside, and white on the inside. (Note: I never buy expensive frying pans, because I'm quite hard on them -- see above -- and I find they all stick after a while, no matter the cost.)

Variables are at 37%.

This and That

June 6th, 2022 at 03:29 pm

I went to the bank to buy quarters -- I could only get one roll, which is what happened last time. I guess I'd better start spending cash, if only to get quarters. Some condo-dwellers like me have told me that their housing associations have taken the change appartatus off their machines, making laundry free, but have raised the assessment fees by $20 a month. I like the convenience of that, but I wouldn't like a $20 charge. I pay less than that for laundry.

Anyway, I got my one roll, and then, because the bank is close to Mariano's, I walked over there to buy a few things that are not available at Aldi. I spent $10 there. One thing I managed to buy was popcorn. Yay!

I was planning on going to Home Depot and Aldi today, but it's pouring down rain. I may wait till it stops, or I may wait till tomorrow. I have to go out tomorrow, for the gym and my senior meals. Maybe it would make sense to do it all at once.

Speaking of senior, I am planning to attend a couple of free lecture sessions at the senior center on Thursday. One is on the use of polymers in medicine, and the other is about Parkinson's. Most of my interest in going to just to get out and be among people again, but I used to date someone who was a polymer scientist, and I have a dear friend who has Parkinson's. That particular sessions sounds like it might be more of a support group, but I would like to learn a little more about it.

My son installed my air conditioners yesterday, even though the temperature is still moderate. When the heat cranks up, as it will, I will be ready for it.

Forgot to mention -- I also spent $40 on gas. And that was for half a tank! At Sam's!

A Popcorn Shortage

June 2nd, 2022 at 02:40 pm

I walked to Walgreens yesterday, intending to buy popcorn (kernels in the jar). They didn't have them last time I went, and they didn't have them this time either! I am missing my popcorn! While I was there, I bought body wash , creamer, and bread, all of which are getting low. I spent $13.  Variables are at 23%.  In just one day!

I didn't move my car yesterday. Today I may have to. I'm taking GS2 to the dentist. I'm going to propose walking there, but I'm prepared to drive if that idea doesn't fly. There has been very little action on the street repair, so I'm wondering if it will actually finish up on Friday. It seems like last time it took a whole week longer than predicted!

Day One Spending

June 1st, 2022 at 03:54 pm

When the calendar changed to June, I decided to start the month by purchasing a few things on my Amazon list. I need to be getting ready for my train trip in July. I bought a collapsible water bottle, a portable charger, a pill organizer, and a neck pillow. While I was there, I also bought sandwich bags for household use -- I like the ones that do not have a zip lock. I can close them with clothespins or twisty ties and get a much tighter seal with less air trapped inside. I don't use these for sandwiches much -- more for small food items and leftovers.  I don't see them in grocery stores anymore! These came in a package of four boxes.

I  also ordered a birthday present for my DIL in Oregon.  

All told, I spent $190, which isn't too bad, but it's 22% of my variables budget.

I have another birthday, for my other DIL, coming up later in the month.

The cool weather arrived as promised, and it will stay here all week. I hope I can keep my electric bill under control this summer, and breaks like this help a lot.