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Archive for June, 2005

library day

July 1st, 2005 at 03:19 am

Walked with mom for 55 min.

Went to the library and read this month's Money and Real Simple magazines. Had a bunch of books and books on tape on hold so brought those home.

Need to make a grocery list for the weekend. Should be some good bargains for 4th of July.



freezing eggs

June 30th, 2005 at 03:25 am

I started my beans, ham and sausage dish and then mom called to invite me over to dinner, since my nieces are spending the night there. Steak, baked potatoes, salad and garlic bread. I couldn't pass that up, so I took my beans with me as a side dish. I have enought leftovers for two more meals this week. I might freeze some since I have leftover taco mix too from my taco salad last night.

Mom and I walked for 50 min.

Finished reading Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy. It's ok. The tips are pretty generic and mostly apply to grocery shopping, it's an easy read. There was one tip that I had never heard before. She said you could freeze eggs by taking them out of the shell. She stores them in pairs in baggies. I'll have to try it the next time eggs are a good buy.

No AC yet

June 29th, 2005 at 02:27 pm

Walked with mom for 45 min. Placed my SHARE order online for next month.

Made a taco salad for dinner that turned out very tasty. Have leftovers for later in the week. Fixing a big pot of ham, sausage and beans for tonight.

Read Hex and the City by Simon R. Green. It's a Sci Fi/Fantasy book. It's part of a series and was pretty good.

Still not turning on the AC. It's been getting pretty warm outside - high 80's. But since the interior isn't scorching yet I've been comfortable with just the ceiling fans.

I don't know about anyone else, but I go through highs and lows on savings. Sometimes even though I am saving money because of all the things I've implemented in the past it doesn't feel as if I'm making progress because I haven't learned a new way to save or found a new bargain that saves me money. Especially when I have several no spending days. I know that's saving me money, but that's passive saving. Sometimes I need an aggressive saving day. I need a frugal fix Smile

There are only so many ways that save significant amounts of money and once you've implemented the ones pertinant to you, the little things don't give quite the same rush. I've been saving for 20 years and it's hard to find new ways of saving money other than being vigilant and watching for good sales. That's one of the reasons I reread savings finance books and enjoy reading the journals. I can get some of the thrill of saving through other peoples experiences. So thanks everyone for sharing Smile

wildflowers

June 28th, 2005 at 02:45 am

Walked with mom for 50 min.

My parents live in a forested area and right now the wild flowers are just spectacular. I don't think I've ever seen so many different flowers in a couple of miles before. We've had a lot of rain for the first time in several years and I think the flowers are taking advantage of it. It makes for a very interesting walk.

Finally a no spend day and no eating out day. I sort of feel that I've been driving and shopping all over creation for the last few days. Should have several days now of no spending. I'm certainly stocked up on food. It seems like there were several really good sales last week. There may be some more this coming week since it's Fourth of July. Hard to pass them up when you know it's things you will use.

relaxing day

June 27th, 2005 at 03:20 am

Started the day with a load of laundry and chopping up all my veggies/produce for the week. Then made a menu plan to use up some of my SHARE bounty.

Drove to Longs in town and got sunflower seed, (my snack of choice) at 20% off. Spent 5.58
Next met my parents at Zios for lunch. Had a coupon for a free appetizer (worth $8). We ordered the garlic shrimp. Very good. Lunch cost $7.81
On the way home stopped at King Soopers and picked up hamburger that was on sale for .99 lb. Spent $6.70

Came home and read for awhile, took a nap, then went to moms and walked for 55 min.

Came home again and finished my book. Read Sandstorm by James Rollins. It's an action/adventure type book. It was an ok read. Nothing real spectacular - wouldn't read it again.

I love days where I can take my time and there's nothing real pressing to do and I can spend most of it reading, so all in all a very relaxing day for me.

Share

June 26th, 2005 at 04:32 am

Started early today by picking up my first Share order. In case you don't know SHARE is a non-profit organization that buys food in a co-op arrangement and passes the savings on to you. They say you can save up to 50% on your groceries. They want you to volunteer 2 hours a month in exchange for this, but that can be anything from babysitting to working at your kids school to taking care of relatives.

They have an online ordering service in our area now and I saw the brochure for the organization in the library last month. It looked like a pretty good deal so I ordered the June regular package for 21.00 + 1.50 handling fee for ordering online. You can order in person and save 1.50.

I showed the brochure to my dad and he ended up ordering stuff too. So both of us went to the pick-up place this morning. I have to say I thought the quality was excellent and so did my dad.

This is a list of what I got for $21.00

12 oz Bratwurst
1 1b Teriyaki Chicken breast
11 oz. Boneless Ham steak
8 oz Chicken Nuggets
38 oz Stouffers Italian Lasagna
7 oz Chicken flavored rice
1 lb. frozen corn
1 lb carrots
1 bunch celery
1 head lettuce
1 bunch green onions
6 russet potatoes
4 peaches
1 cantaloupe
1 lb green grapes
2 lb yellow onions

It seems like a lot of food to me and I figure it's at least 20 meals.

After I went back home and put the groceries away I headed into town. First stop Albertson's gas station where I filled up for $20.63. 2.01/gallon after .03 discount with Albertson's card. Since I saw gas all over for 2.16 I thought this was cheap.

Next I met my friend at the theater. $5.25. We saw the Star Wars movie. I wasn't impressed. It almost seemed like a parady of Star Wars movies. I also spent $4.00 on popcorn since I missed breakfast. This was not good. Frown

Next we went to Olive Garden where I treated her to lunch, since she treated me last time. $22.49 I brought 1/2 of mine home though for dinner.

After that we went to Media Play since today is their triple points day. BTW if you're interested in getting their replay card only buy a one year membership since on triple points days they will renew your card for free. I got 3 books for $19.30. I will get a 15% rebate back from Media Play because I have their card and it's a triple points day. I will also get a 4% rebate from my credit card for using it to pay for the purchases.

On my way home I stopped at the Albertson's grocery store to pick up their loss leader items and the Sunday Paper. Spent $11.58. That's the first time I've seen the Sunday paper on sale before Sunday.

When I got home I saw that the Albertson's receipt had a phone in survey for which you get a free loaf of French bread the next time you go to the store. So I did that and now just have to remember to use the reciept.

Put my groceries away for the second time today and then went to moms to walk. We walked for 60 min. Came back home and read the Sunday paper and then ate my leftovers from lunch.

Long day. Had a great time with my friend. We spent most of it catching up. Got some good deals on groceries and 3 new books to read. Life is good. Now I just need to figure out some menus to use up all that food Smile


dinner with parents

June 25th, 2005 at 03:49 am

Walked with mom for 40 min.

I fixed dinner for my parents as payback for the dinners they've given me recently. Made bacon chicken, oven potatoes and green beans with tomatoes and mushrooms. Mom added leftover homemade rolls and ice cream from thier party.

Sent my Walgreens and Longs rebate forms out for June. I'll be getting back $30+ between the two.

Need to make grocery list for the weekend.

No sympathy

June 24th, 2005 at 03:40 am

Walked with mom and sis today for 40 min. Sis invited herself along which is fine. While we were walking she started complaining about their finances. She's married and has two girls. Between the two of them they make $160,000 base salary. Plus he's a contractor who does side jobs for extra money and she gets several bonuses a year. They've been making over a $100,000 a year for most of their married life.

Anyways, she started saying how they can't get a break. They got a bill for her husband's car registration - @$500 and it wiped them out. So I said something like didn't you know you were going to have to pay that and a good way to handle it would be to put some money aside every month for bills like that. She jumped down my throat and said they haven't had more than $1000 in their checking for over 2 years and blah, blah,blah. Life is tough.

I'm sorry, but I just don't have any sympathy for them anymore. They live in a huge house on 5 acres and both of them bought brand new vehicles last year. They have less than $5000 saved for the girls college funds and the oldest is 14 - she only has 4 years until college. I realize I don't know all of their finances, but give me a break, they're bringing home over $10,000 a month!! Oh well, she's my sister and just has to breathe to push my buttons, but this is a trigger for me and if I offer any suggestions on ways to handle their finances better, I get it shoved back in my face. It's ok to complain about the situation, but god forbid you actually do anything to resolve it. Frown

Ok enough of that subject.

I finished reading Saving on a Shoestring - How to cut expenses, Reduce Debt, Stash More Cash by Barbara O'Neill. I wouldn't recommend this one. I thought it was a boring read and there was nothing new that I hadn't already read before.

Only one more work day till the weekend. Yippee!!

telecommuting

June 23rd, 2005 at 01:54 am

I walked with my mom for the first time in 4 days. We did 50 min.
My parents had a party last night so I came home from the walk with leftover homemade rolls and homemade banana-nut ice cream. YUM!!

I'm very fortunate that my company allows me to telecommute. I go into the office 2 - 4 times a month. I live approximately 30 miles away from the office. Telecommuting has allowed me to save both time and money.

I save at least an hour a day on the commute. I have to drive a very busy freeway to get to work and in bad weather it can take as long as 2 hours to get home.

I save on car insurance since I drive less than 7500 miles a year, my insurance is reduced. I save in gas costs and wear and tear on the car.

I save on clothes. I wear shorts and t-shirts or sweats at home. No shoes except slippers in the winter time - love it Smile

I save on impulse buys. Days when i go into work I drive past tons of fast food restaurants and stores. It's hard to say no every single day, whereas if I don't see them I don't have to re-resolve not to stop at those places.

I save money on food. When I'm working at home all day I just fix whatever I want for lunch or breakfast. I can cook unlike in the office and I'm not tempted by the cafeteria or fast food places while at home. It's too much hassle to get dressed and drive to a fast-food place.

I can listen to books on tape or CDs while working at home. In the office I can do this, but it's not as comfortable with a headset, plus I'm constantly getting spooked when someone comes up behind me.

While at home I can start a load of dishes or laundry and not have to wait till the evening.

I'm more productive at home since I can concentrate better. No background noises to disturb me and no co-workers dropping in to chat for a half-hour at a time.

The only downside to telecommuting is I don't get snow-days Smile

Office day

June 22nd, 2005 at 03:57 am

Drove into work today. Went early and stopped at the Walgreens on the way. Picked up Jif Peanut Butter on sale 2 18 oz jars for $3 and Egg Noodles pasta on sale 3 12oz bags for $1.00. Paid $4.00 total.

Met a friend for lunch at Applebees - $8.50

After work stopped at Longs and got the battery recharger I got the raincheck for on Saturday and bought 1 18 oz jar of Skippy PB for .99 - .60 coupon or .39 cents total. Very good deal. Smile Spent 22.23 total.

Was proud of myself for not stopping at a fast food place on the way home.

I read a book called The Average Family's Guide to Financial Freedom by Bill and Mary Toohey that I got from the library. Very good book. I recommend it. Basically the book is about how they saved almost half their income and still managed to live decently and raise kids. Lot's of good thought provoking ideas.

If you want to read an article about them where they discuss their book and philosophy go to this link:

http://www3.interscience.wiley.com:8100/WileyCDA/Section/id-7902.html

fun with neice

June 21st, 2005 at 03:09 am

I have two nieces. One is 14 and one is 10. I try to do something with them one-on-one once a week during the summer. Today I took the 10 year old to see Madagascar - $10.25. It was a cute movie. She liked it and she got a free movie poster.

Then we went to Red Robin for dinner and both of us splurged on monster shakes. We should have split one, it was huge. She ended up basically eating the shake and taking her dinner home - $24.74 I spent way too much here.

I stopped at Walgreens on the way to taking her home. I picked up all their free with rebate items and some other sale items. I spent $42.69 all planned and will receive $28 back in rebates. So only spent $14.69 on HBAs.

Every month I get all the free after rebate items that Walgreens offers, even if I don't need them. This is a guaranteed 7.6% return on my money and sometimes more. Walgreens gives an extra 10% rebate when you have them put the rebate on a Walgreens gift card. Our sales tax is 7.4% after the 10% extra I get 2.6% more than I paid for the item. I use a Citi Mastercard that gives 5% back on all Grocery, gas station and drugstore purchases, so I get a 2.6% + 5% = 7.6% guaranteed return. If I have a coupon for the item I make even more. If I can't use the item myself I check to see if anyone in my family can use it. If no one wants it, I donate it to a charity and deduct it from my taxes making 30% more.

I have a free year's supply of deodorant, shampoo, bar soap, body soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes and have supplied my grandparents with several months of these items also. As well as supplying toothbrushes to my neices.

relaxing day

June 20th, 2005 at 03:40 am

It was a pretty relaxing day. Only spent 1.25 for the newspaper. Cleaned the kitchen and took a nap.

Read Shadows and Light by Anne Bishop. Good book. Second in a trilogy so ordered the third through Inter-library loans since my library system doesn't have it.

Starting to get warm here. Predicting high 80's all week. Still resisting turning the air-conditioner on other than to check it out yesterday. Trying to see how long I can last before I turn it on this year. Last year I only had it on 2 days all summer.

Errands day

June 19th, 2005 at 03:44 am

Got going early today. I live in a small town about 15 miles from a medium-large town. So I started by driving into town. Went to Kmart and got a bird feeder, bird seed and a microwave popcorn bowl. All things on my want list. Spent 19.19

Next went to Barnes and Noble and browsed through their books. Wrote down 11 books to check for at the library. I hadn't planned on it, but bought two financial magazines about retiring. I'm a sucker for these things. Spent 11.75 - unplanned and un-needed Frown

Next went to Longs. Planned to buy a battery recharger that was on sale for 19.99. It was a really good deal since it came with 4 rechargeable batteries that were selling for 9.99. They didn't have any so I got a rain check. Will try to check the Longs by my work when I go in on Tuesday. I did buy a set of 4 rechargeable batteries for 10.73 for which I will get a $3 rebate.

Next went to the big library in town and browsed through the finance section. Picked out 4 books to check out.

Then went to Wendy's for lunch - spent 4.69. Planned, but un-needed Smile

After that I went to King Soopers and got grapes @ .88 lb and 2 tomatoes, celery, radishes, popcorn, sunflower seeds and frozen potatoe wedges. Spent 14.35 - saved 5.71 for sale items. I'm trying to clean out my freezer so didn't need much this week.

Next I went to the branch library in my small town to pick up my holds.

Finally made it home. Spent about 3 hours total for errands. By that time I was tired and didn't want to do much. Put the groceries away and filled and hung my bird-feeder. My home office looks out on the back yard and I love watching the birds all day.

Turned the air-conditioner on for two hours this afternoon. The first time this year. Mostly just wanted to make sure it was working.

Then I sat down and read my two magazines. Then took a nap for an hour.

When I got up I chopped up all my veggies for the week and tried out my new popcorn popper. Works great, I actually think the popcorn kernals had more flavor than the microwave popcorn I'm used to. Read for awhile and fixed supper around 8:00. I wasn't hungry because of the afternoon popcorn snack. Had lemon pepper fish fillet and a baked potato.

Read for a while longer then logged on to the library internet site and placed holds on all but one of the books from my list from Barnes and Noble. I'll keep the other book on the list and check later, they may order it in a week or so.

So all in all a pretty mundane day. Only one unplanned expense. But another fast-food day and no walking to offset it. Ah well, beautiful moon out tonight it's almost full. Guess I'll go read for a while longer.

Kleenex

June 18th, 2005 at 04:03 am

Not much new today. Worked. No spending. No fast-foods.
Walked for 50 min.

Finished listening to Kiss me while I sleep by Linda Howard. Good book on tape I got from the Library.

I think it's a rip-off that Kleenex and Puffs both sell their square boxes of tissue for the same price as their rectangular boxes. The sqaure boxes only have 85 sheets and the rectangular boxes have 160 sheets. Whenever they are on sale I get the rectangular boxes and get almost twice as many tissues.

However, since I like the square boxes in the bathroom because they take less room I just open the bottom and take tissues from the rectangular box, fold them in half and put them in the square box and tape the bottom closed. It's a little thing, but it causes me no pain, and saves a few cents, so I like to do it. Smile

Tommorrow is a shopping day, need to run several errands. I really like to shop when I go to a mall with friends or family. Just looking usually satisfies me and I rarely spend much. But I hate errand shopping. I can be going to the exact same stores, but if I'm actually looking for something I don't like to shop. Perverse of me, I know Frown

slow day

June 17th, 2005 at 03:54 am

Not much happening today. Worked as usual. No spending, No Fast foods and no walking.

I did exfoliate my face. This is a really cheap way to do that and it makes my skin feel very soft and smooth the next day. Mix some baking soda and water into a paste and gently rub into skin, then rinse with warm water. Super cheap and works great Smile

Nestegg

June 16th, 2005 at 01:14 am

Walked with mom for 40 minutes.

I've read several journals now and I've seen ING mentioned several times. I got a similar deal last year through www.nesteggz.com This is a rebate site that gives you a percentage of your purchase price back. They are affiliated with a Mastercard that gives you 1% back on all purchases and 3% back on gasoline purchases, but the card is not necessary to shop through the site. The sign-up is free.

The deal that reminds me of the ING deal is under financial services and is for Net Bank. This is an online bank and if you open a money-market account with $500 for 6 months they give you two $25 rebates: one for opening the account and one for keeping $500 in the account for 6 months. I did this last year and actually got the full $50 rebate in the second month. I left my money in there for 6 months and then canceled the account. That's a 10% interest rate on top of their regular interest rate.

Nesteggz offers a wide variety of rebates on financial services, telecommunications and even refinancing your home as well as internet shopping rebates. And if you set up a new long-distance account with one of their companies you save 6% a month on the bill.

Another one of my favorites here is a 10% rebate when purchasing certificates from restaraunts.com. 11% if you use the card.

Also at Christmas I was buying some stuff on Amazon and after I got the final price I used the Nesteggz site to buy an email Gift certificate from GiftCertificates.com. I got the email certificate in 10 minutes and because it's an email certificate there are no fees and no shipping charges. I got a 5% rebate from Gift Certificates plus a 1% rebate from the credit card. I used the email certificate to complete my purchase and saved an extra 6% on the price. I see that they don't offer amazon.com gift certificates anymore, but they do offer others such as Barnes and Nobel.

So far I've gotten 3 checks from them for $133 in the last year. If you want they will either send you a check anytime your account gets to $25 or they will deposit that amount in a retirement fund of your choice.

This is the type of savings that I like the most. Painless Smile Getting back money for doing something I would do anyways and a very small amount of time involved.

Arby's

June 15th, 2005 at 03:21 am

Instead of tracking no spend days I think I need to track no fast-food days.

Had my usual celery, peanut butter, fruit breakfast and baked potato, hard-boiled egg, veggies lunch. I don't mind having the same thing for breakfast and lunch everyday, but I don't like the same thing two days in a row for dinner.

Anyways the plan was to walk after work today with my mom. She couldn't do it then so we decided to walk at 7 instead. I planned to fix dinner at 5:30 and eat because I find it uncomfortable to walk right after eating. I work on a computer all day and my eyes are usually tired by the end of the day so I laid down to rest them. The phone woke me up at 6, it was my mom calling and asking if I wanted to walk now. I hadn't meant to fall asleep. So went over to mom's and walked for 45 minutes, but by that time I was starving so instead of fixing dinner like I had planned I went to Arby's and bought large size potato cakes, a chicken sandwich and a Roast Turkey and Swiss sandwich for lunch tomorrow. Almost $10 and then I was too full/uncomfortable after eating the potato cakes and sandwich. Oh well, as Scarlett says, "Tomorrow is another day" Smile

I got a book-on-tape from the library that I listened to while working today. To Die For by Linda Howard. Very funny, she always has great dialog in her books. She writes mystery/romance stories. The main character in her book, Blair, reminds me of Reese Whitherspoon in Legally Blonde. Made the day go much faster.

Monday

June 14th, 2005 at 01:57 pm

I'm the fast food/frozen foods queen. One of my goals this year is to eat less processed food and cook at least two times a week.

I did my food prep for the week. Chopped celery, green onions and radishes. Boiled eggs. Packaged grapes into portions. I've found that if I have everything ready to go, it's much easier to eat better - no excuses Smile

I had celery, peanut butter and grapes for breakfast.
Baked potato with green onions and mozzarella, hard-boiled egg and radishes for lunch.
Cheeseburger with grilled onions on an English Muffin, corn on the cob, and sliced tomatoes for dinner.

I like English muffins instead of hamburger buns. I think they have more flavor.
I butter and salt the corn while it's cold and wrap it in waxed paper and put it in the microwave for 3 minutes, (4 if frozen). Yummm! The butter melts on the corn and it's so much easier/faster than boiling water and then trying to butter hot corn.

Walked with mom for 45 minutes.

I just finished reading Getting a Life by Jacqueline Blix and David Heitmiller. Excellent, excellent book. It basically tells stories about how people applied the steps in Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominques and Vicki Robin to allow them to retire early. Made me feel like I could leap tall buildings in a single bound - or at least meet my goal of retiring early. Smile

I'm obsessed with this subject. My family and friends are probably tired of hearing me talk about it, but now I have a new way of talking about it. I can write about it here and possibly save their ears - but probably not. Smile

Sunday

June 14th, 2005 at 04:45 am

I've been reading a couple of journal's a day to catch up. It's very interesting reading and I've already read two great tips. You all must be very proud of yourselves for the progress you've made.

I got a haircut at Great Clips yesterday. $12 + $2 tip - $3 coupon from the entertainment.com website. I just recently found out that entertainment.com has coupons that aren't in their book that you can print out and use.

Went to Albertson's for the sunday paper and got a 10 lb bag of potatoes for $1.

This is amazing to me, there is no way someone can grow 10 lbs of potatoes, pick them, package them, transport them, display them, ring them up and then bag them for $1. But if the store wants to sell them for that price, I will be glad to accept their offer.

Went to my mom's last night and walked for 55 minutes. Found a way to drive to her house that takes a mile off round-trip. That's cool. I have a treadmill and could walk at home, but it's boring and I just never do it. I've found that if I make a commitment to walk with someone else, I'll do it everytime. So it's worth it to spend the gas money to drive to her house to walk. She only lives 3.5 miles away so it's not too bad.

I was reading a book last night about people who retired early and it struck me how often the people interviewed said, "I wish I had saved more" or "I wish I had started saving earlier". Nobody said "I wish I had spent more on eating out, or entertainment, etc." Smile

day 1

June 11th, 2005 at 07:33 pm

I think this is a great idea to motivate me to save more money. Being able to track the small successes over time and see how they add up should provide incentive to continue.

My main goal for saving money is to retire when I'm 50. That's 5 1/2 years from now. I've been saving towards this for a lot of years, but now I'm so close I live and breathe the goal.