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Pet peeve

September 21st, 2013 at 01:18 am

A few weeks ago I noticed the Oroweat Sandwich Thins I purchased was short one bun. The package is supposed to have 8 and it only contained 7. I wrote the company to raise awareness of the quality control issue.

Today I received a few coupons in the mail from Oroweat. To my surprise the coupons do not include the Sandwich Thins product. Really?

So...I wrote them again. Why would they send me coupons for product I did not purchase. I would rather have my purchase price refunded or coupons for the product I did purchase.

Sheesh!

Friday Funday !

September 20th, 2013 at 07:50 pm

I received $100 for another month's rent for the garage space I am renting out to a friend. :

The crisp $100 will only keep the piggy bank company for a few days. One of my co-worker's is having a hard time right now with medical expenses. I will purchase two $50 grocery gift cards and mail them (anonymously) to the home.

It's unseasonally cool today. It's a welcomed suprise after all the heat we've had the past several weeks.

Happy Friday!


Previous bal: $173.20
Today: $100.00
New Balance: $273.20

Creative shopping trip update...

September 14th, 2013 at 08:05 pm

Sweet results at F&E.

(2)containers Organic apple sauce $3
(2)containers Organic tomatoes $4
16 oz Organic carrots $1.49
(1) bag white onion $1.69
(1)organic pear $ .45
(1)container mini choc bundt cakes $1.50
(3)LG bananas $.57
Wild salmon $12.59
Subtotal $25.87
Minus F&E coupon -$5.00
Minus F&E bonus points - $11.00
Total $9.29

I'm .29 cents over budget.

I have lentils and veggie stock in the pantry. The carrots, tomatoes and onion will be used to make a double batch of lentil soup which will be frozen in individual portions and last for 3 weeks. (I love soup and have a bowl everyday).

Applesauce with lunch for the next two weeks. The mini bundt cakes are dessert for the next 7 days and the salmon is dinner for the next three days. I might make it stretch four.

Purchased pet food for 11.00 which is taken out of the gas budget. (balance $29)

Feeling pretty good about my purchases.

Creativity is the key......

September 13th, 2013 at 08:33 pm

I’ve spent $91 of my $100 allotment for food this month. Here's where I get creative….

I have an $11 credit with Fresh & Easy. I also have a coupon for $5 off a $25 purchase. I can make it work by making sure I don’t exceed the $25 minimum purchase by more than a few cents. Realistically, it will be up to a dollar. I shop this way often, only purchasing the minimum for the coupon.

During the final week I will dig into my gift cards and use as needed. I’m also doing really well on gasoline. I budgeted $70 for the month and only used $30 (so far) and I still have gas in the tank. I’ll be using a portion of my gas money for pet food.

Determination! 

Good day for the Piggy Bank!

September 9th, 2013 at 03:57 am

I returned a few products to Target that were not working for me. Refund 6.00

An item I listed on e-bay sold today. Sale $50.03

Happy to add to my piggy bank Smile


Previous bal: $117.17
Today: $56.03
New Balance: $173.20

OT = Piggy bank

September 6th, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Received $15.66 in OT this week. It wasn't expected and seldom happens so it's going into the piggy bank.

Previous: $101.51
New balance: $117.17

Costco deal!

September 5th, 2013 at 08:13 pm

I love Costco but I'm not a member. I shop with a friend who has a membership.

Dinner with dessert was $3.64! I had a large slice of pizza and a frozen yogurt. I took the frozen yogurt home to be divided into three small containers and placed in the freezer for consumption later. What a deal!

Sept 4th this and that......

September 4th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Spent $35 out of my $100 food budget this month. It's super hot and humid here. I'm craving ice cream. I need to pick up vitamins from Costco so while I'm there I'll get a frozen yogurt for a buck! YUM! Smile

Also adding $100 to the piggy bank. A friend approached me about storing some of his possessions in my garage for a few months while he relocates. Heck yeah!

[Piggy bank total $101.51] (happy, happy, happy)

Also going listing items on e-bay to fatten my piggy bank.

Piggy bank

September 2nd, 2013 at 09:16 pm

My new goal is tracking "found money" which will consist of saving from coupons and found money. The savings will be used to build my "oh no" fund.

I walked to the market this morning to pick up six bars of Hershey's Dark Chocolate to make S'mores tonight. They were on sale for 55 cents each
(originally $1.19 each). There were exactly six bars left. Instead of ringing up at $3.30, the total cost was $1.80. They were reduced again to 30 cents each! (Happy dance). I also found a penny on my walk...

Piggy bank contribution = $1.51

*It's not much but it's a start Smile

Sept goals/great friends

August 31st, 2013 at 02:17 am

This September I am having a low spend month. I'm allocating $100 to food, $70 to gas and $125 to medical. That's it. No frivolous spending.

I am blessed with friends that share my philosophy of sharing. I want to repaint my bedroom (for the 10th time). A friend has numerous half gallons of paint in the color pallet I have chosen for the room. I will blend the paints to create my unique color. I have had great success in the past.

This friend only uses the highest quality paint so I only have to use one coat! YAY! Let's hope this is the last paint job Wink

EBay misstep

August 17th, 2013 at 03:25 am

I occasionally sell items on EBay. Most have been successful. The last sale was a bust. I miscalculated shipping costs. I spent a over a half hour at the post office waiting in line. I usually calculate the shipping cost on line but the package was odd shaped and I couldn't get an accurate cost. I literally spent a half hour to make a $1.5 net.

Lesson learned! OY!

Grocery Savings

August 14th, 2013 at 01:55 am

We have Fresh n Easy markets in my part of the country. Most people love it or hate it. I am one of those who love it (along with Trader Joe's and Sprouts Market). For the past six weeks, I have shopped the market exclusively used a store coupon for $5 off a $20 purchase. If you plan well, it can really work to your advantage.

For instance, they have a clearance section for items with a sale by date for that day. I don't buy the refrigerated items but I do buy the produce and bread.
I have purchased organic tomatoes, pears, apples, plums, oranges, breads etc. for pennies on the dollar. It's all about timing. I've shopped there enough to know what time to go and when they have the most clearance items.

It's really been a godsend over the past few weeks given my financial setback. I also love the challenge. I am living on $25-30 a week (including pet food).

Wow! Feeling blessed

August 10th, 2013 at 03:04 am

I found $10 cash and receive a free $10 gift card from a merchant today. YAY!

Picking up my car tomorrow

July 31st, 2013 at 02:34 am

I'm happy to pick my car up from the body shop tomorrow. My insurance only covers $20 a day rental so I will have approximately $150 in charges for the car on top of my $1000 deductible for work on my car (ouch!).

I'm putting this experience behind me. I still can't believe what happened and the damage caused by a reckless driver. He has no conscience leaving the scene of an accident he caused. I can guarantee he didn't have insurance.

Moving on! I had a great day today. I surprised a friend I haven't seen in years(on her birthday) with old childhood photos. She was thrilled! This is what life is about. Bringing joy to others Smile

Say No to No

July 30th, 2013 at 02:02 am

It's been awhile. Almost 2yrs. since I've posted...

I've spent so much time focusing on my finances I've forgotten how to live. One step forward, two steps back has been my motto for the past year or so. Just when I thought I was ahead, something happens and it's gone plus some. It's exhausting. As a result I have said "no" to many social gatherings, outings, new experiences because I couldn't afford it. I've put on 20+ pounds due to isolation.
The last straw happened this month. A car accident caused by a negligent driver (hit and run) that left me with a huge deductible to have my car fixed.

The good new is I'm saying no to no! I'm planning a huge surprise for a family member (a reunion of sorts) and couldn't be happier (even though I can't afford it). I'm buying tickets to an event that I have wanted to attend for the past few years (but couldn't afford it).

The bottom line is I'm not waiting until "I can afford it". That day will never come.

It's all about balance. Something I long forgot.

Amazing Deal!!!

August 27th, 2011 at 08:07 pm

I am fortunate to live in a city where going "green" is extremely important. A month ago, I had a green home evaluation through the Dept of Water and Power.
They evaluated electricity and water usage, installed energy saving light bulbs, checked my irrigation and made minor adjustments for the areas with overspray and reset the automatic timers.

They inspected the insulation in the attic and A/C unit. I really had no insulation in the attic. It must have been the original insulation (from 1930!).

I qualified for attic insulation and A/C service.
The cost: FREE!!!! Yes, I said FREE!

Today, the insulation was blown into the attic. An inspector came by and tweaked some of the vents so the airflow is better and a separate crew came out to service the A/C.

The crews were great and very professional.

I know the A/C tune up is at least $100. I can only imagine what insulation would have cost me if I had to pay for it myself.

Check with your city for these types of services.

I am soooooooo happy!!!

Score!

August 23rd, 2011 at 07:18 pm

I am the owner of (2) indoor cats and (1) outdoor feral cat. I feed them premium food because (IMO) quality food equals healthy cats.

I decided to compare pricing on line. My regular discounter sells a case (with tax) for $34.
Amazon offers it for $27 and free super saver shipping.
That's a good deal. But it gets better.........

I decided to purchase (2) cases when Amazon offered me a $40 instant credit if I applied for their credit card. I looked over the terms (which were not great) but I don't plan on carrying a balance so it doesn't matter.

The total cost for (2) cases of food is $15.90.

I am thrilled!

Making it work.....

August 13th, 2011 at 11:40 pm

My extreme budget is quite the challenge. I can appreciate households on small fixed incomes making their food dollars stretch each month. I know from experiece growing up in a household of seven living on social security. My father passed when I was five so my mother became incredibly resourceful. There were no credit cards to fall back on for purchases. Our meals were planned and cooked every night (with the occassional Saturday off). We lived within our means. That is my goal for the month.

With that said, I have $35 left for food and $15 for gas. I also have $10 grocery rewards and a $15 gas gift card.

I bake and freeze nutritious muffins for my work week morning snack. I cook and prep my lunches for the week on Sunday. I keep it simple. Some people don't have the discipline. It's two fold for me. I save money and eat better than my coworkers who eat fast food (yuck) or over priced/processed foods.

My next goal is to grow a few veggies in containers. I tried growing tomatoes with little or no success. The payoff didn't yield the effort or the plants contracted a fungus right just before they were ripe.

It's a beautiful day. Time to take advantage of it.

August......

August 8th, 2011 at 03:47 am

I've decided to go to the extreme this month with my budget. I think moments of temporary insanity borrowing from Peter to pay Paul has caught up with me.

So......here's my budget minus fixed expenses:
Food $100-$28.42 = $71.54 for the month
Gas $60-25 = $35 for the month

I'm doing well. I spent $28.42 on food today paying close attention to coupons/sale flyers. I've developed the habit of walking to the markets carrying only what I can handle. I do admit, today was heavier than expected but I made it. My trips are usually 1.5 to 2.5 hours. I love walking. It's a huge stress relief but walking with a heavy load 3 miles or more is not my idea of a good time Smile

I've been working long hours (12 day) sitting in front of a computer and it's taking a toll on me mentally and physically. My sciatic nerve has kicked in and I can't sleep more than 2-3 hours a night and it's not a sound sleep. I usually only sleep 5 hours a night and working in a high stress job I need to sleep. I'm going to see a doctor this week.

I'm confident I can make my budget work this month and the rest of the year as long as put my mind to it and ignore the distractions.

Staycation....

July 14th, 2011 at 10:44 pm

I'm on a staycation this week. It's not like I'm saving money (LOL). I spent $500 in 3 days replenishing food and miscellaneous items which have been depleted. I noticed prices are rising again. Is it coicidental...gas prices going down and food/consumer goods going up?

I went to Walmart to do price comparisons. I spent $110 (unintentionally). The prices were much better than Target. I also stocked up on things I use the most. Honestly, I have not been to Walmart in 4 years. I usually shop at Target, Trader Joe's, Sprouts and Farmer's markets. I'm not a Walmart hater (like some people). I have to drive at least 20 miles so it's not convenient. I also like to shop local. There are rumors Walmart may be coming to my town. If so, will Target survive if Walmart is within a 1/2 mile? I'm not so sure...

On another note...I've been walking at least 4 miles round trip every morning. I call it a walk with a purpose. It can be a walk to my local Spouts to pick up fruits and vegetables or my local hardware store to pick up items needed for minor repairs I'm doing around the house. Our mornings have been unseasonally cool so I'm taking full advantage. (Last week it was super hot). I'm taking leisurely naps in the afternoon. Don't know what I'm going to do when I go back to work. I love taking naps Smile LOL!

Update to Stupidity Killed My Budget

June 11th, 2011 at 05:10 am

The fee for the speeding ticket $360. For traffic school $445! Un freakin believable. It's robbery (IMO).

Stupidity killed my budget

June 5th, 2011 at 10:38 pm

I received a speeding ticket a few weeks ago. I passed another vehicle that was moving at a snails pace. I was on my way to work thinking I would be late if I stayed behind this person. My employer is very firm about punctuality. It's ridiculous. One person is late and everyone is verbally scolded for it.

I am guilty and should have known better. I have no idea how much it's going to cost but I hear the fine along with traffic school could cost over $300!

I had jury duty for three days last week. My employer does not pay so I used two vacation days and one day will be unpaid (boo). I firmly believe if we are expected to do our civil duty, we should receive full compensation.

At least my week ended on a positive note...I had dinner with friends and the food/company/conversation was fabulous.

Makin' moola!

May 21st, 2011 at 08:10 pm

I listed 6 items this week on e-bay and they all sold! My net profit after ebay/paypal fees is $104.62. The best part...I received these items for free. Not too shabby Wink I will deposit the money next month into my Roth IRA.

YAY!

Vacation/Staycation

May 3rd, 2011 at 04:46 am

I really wish my employer would pay out unused vacation time instead of having the "use it or lose it" attitude. I understand the importance of taking time off to regroup, relax and break free from the everyday grind. A three or four day vacation payout would allow me to go away for a long weekend instead of staying home working on endless projects.

Just a thought..

Getting back in the groove.......

May 1st, 2011 at 09:34 pm

Let's try this again.....

I lost sight of my goals (and to be honest) became frustrated with all the money issues. My entire life centered around money (or lack thereof)and it got me thinking "is this it? When is the money bleed going to stop?" I needed a break.

I started focusing on little things I could accomplish myself. Eg. painting the hallway in my home. I tested three color samples (which are not cheap)and didn't care for any of them. I decided to use the left over primer/paint from the bathroom. It's not my original color choice (swiss coffee) but it's a neutral and works. I saved at least $200 for paint/supplies and labor.

I spent an entire weekend spring cleaning. I boxed items for charity, reorganized/boxed winter clothes and brought out spring/summer items (clothing/bedding, etc.) I love a clean house.

Today, I took a nice walk to CVS (approx 1 miles each way) with a broken toe. The weather is absolutely gorgeous. Spring brings allergies and I should know better than to walk after 11 am. LOL!


CVS
1st transaction....
Colgate Max Toothpaste $2.97 -$.75 coupon (PLUS $2.97 CVS bucks credit. Made .75!)
Pantene 2/$6.97 - $3 coupon/$1 CVS bucks = $2.97
Sally Hansen Pedicure brush $5.99 - $3 coupon = $2.99
Reese's mini's 2/$6 - $2 coupon = $4
CVS in store coupon .50 off any item
2nd transaction....
CVS batteries Buy 1 get 1 free $6.99 - $3.77 (CVS bucks from previous transaction)= $3.22
Total w/tax $18.20
Total savings $24.62

I was happy to see the batteries on sale. How can all the batteries in my smoke detectors go at once? Just when I thought I had it figured out, another one would start beeping. LOL!

I made a double batch of whole wheat/banana/peanut butter/dark choc muffings. They freeze well and I have enough for two weeks. I also made tuna/pasta/veggie salad. For lunches, La Brea bakery whole garlic bread with tomato/basil/cheese toasted. YUMMMMMM! I also have a variety of items I premade and froze to pull from this month.

My goal for MAY? Just BREATHE! Smile

A small savings........

March 14th, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I called my satellite provider and lowered my bill by $20. I switched to a lesser program. It doesn't have many of the channels I enjoy (TLC and HGTV) but it does have Food Network (YUM). I'll try it for 30 days. I will probably cancel it altogether. I need to tighten the bootstraps. It's been a really tough year so far.

Trying to stop the money bleed.......

March 7th, 2011 at 01:21 am

The main sewer line clogged again. It has to be cleaned every 12-14 months. This time it was really, really bad. The tree roots were HUGE. I have never seen so many pulled at one time. The line was inspected with a camera and I wouldn't have believed it if I had not seen it for myself. Tree roots throughout the line. I've been told by three different plumbers, the old clay line needs to be replaced with the pvc line they use now. It's a substantial cost ($5,200). I'm trying to buy time to budget for it or sell the home. They recommended high pressure water jetting. The cost $525.

I'm trying to research the water jetting but haven't found much about it. They say it is the most effective method. Anyone tried it? If so, I'd be interested in your opinion.
Thanks!

Feb totals

February 28th, 2011 at 06:16 pm

Over budget by $500. I knew it was going to be a rough month. I expected to exceed it by $200-300, not $500. Frown

March:
I have large bills due this month again. I expect the same overage for March since I have friends visiting from out of state I have not seen for over 10 years! I'm not going to beat myself up over it. The memories I create with my friends will be priceless.

I've been looking for part-time work to supplement my income.

I'm putting positive energy and thoughts into April!

Project completion

February 15th, 2011 at 12:40 am

The bathroom project is finally finished! YAY!
The figures are:
Primer 18.97
Paint: FREE (thank you SG)
Mirror 34.99
Light fixture 79.28
Switchplate x (2) 6.99
Caulking 6.98
Toilet Seat 30.00
Labor: 300.00
Total Cost: $477.91 and worth every penny!

It was an exhausting weekend. The plumber pulled the toilet, the tile man fixed broken tile, my handyman/painter was sealing cracks/patching walls, priming, painting, installing new light fixture the entire weekend.

I've painted the interior of my home numerous times.
It was nice to have someone else do a room for a change. I also appreciate the attention to detail. I estimated $1000-1500 for both kitchen and bath projects. The total for both is $797.94. If I add the unexpected expense for the exterminator ($350) the grand total is $1,147.94.

I'm feeling overwhelmed with the outflow of cash lately. I also paid my homeowners insurance and my car insurance is due in a few days.

I also have visitors coming in for a few weeks in March. If anyone can tell me where the money tree is located, I'd greatly appreciate it Smile

Exterminator

February 5th, 2011 at 03:28 pm

I finally called an exterminator. The rodent problem was not eraticated by sealing the opening in the kitchen. I also heard them in the attic. Traps were set in the attic and under the house. So far, it's been effective. This process will continue for the next week or so. A thorough inspection was done around the house and all openings have been sealed.

This is a huge problem in my area. We also have problems with opossums, racoons and coyotes. We can all live together on this earth....just not in my house! Smile

Total cost $350. Money well spent.


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