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Archive for August, 2005

Aug goals

August 31st, 2005 at 07:46 pm

walked 45 min with mom

Went to Taco Bell and spent $7.12

Total for the month = $309.89

Here's the breakdown for the month

Groceries = 151.59
Fast Food = 31.50
Restaurants = 23.33
Nieces = 1.45
Clothes = 0
Books = 0
Gas = 46.72
HBAs = 17.46
Entertainment = 0
Other = 37.84

Gifts = 145.44 - (not included in the $400 budget)

My goals for Aug were

1. Only spend $400 for groceries, gas, entertainment, clothes, household basics and misc.
Did really well on this goal $90 under budget

2. Walk at least 15 times this month for at least 30 minutes each time.

3. Only go to fast-food restaurants four times and only eat at regular restaurants four times.
Missed this by 1 for the fast-food and was one under for restaurants so evened out

4. Save $880 above my 401K contribution
Saved $1135 + my bonus of 865 for $2000 total

5. Cook meals at least 2 times a week.

So made 4 out of 5 goals and could call the 3rd one a draw.

Also computed my networth and it went up 1.8% last month. A lot of my stock funds fell due to the hurricane and gas prices. Oh well, at least it didn't decrease.

Finished listening to the library book on tape The Ideal Bride by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good

A/C again

August 30th, 2005 at 08:39 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

It was so hot today, it was 89 degrees, but since I drove into work my car sat outside all day and when I got in the car I couldn't even touch the seatbelt clasp to close it, it was burning my fingers. When I got home I turned the A/C back on, I was wilting. Wanted to leave it off for the rest of the year but couldn't make it. Part of the problem was it got really hot after a couple weeks of much cooler weather, we didn't build up to the heat making it more bearable.

Stopped at Walgreens on the way into work and used my new Visa card, so now it goes in a drawer till I get my $100. Spent $5.09 on packing tape, sunflower seeds and a banana nut muffin.

Before leaving work I checked http://www.ahding.com/cheapgas/ for the best gas prices. There was a King Soopers by work that was within a penny or so of the cheapest prices, plus I had 10 cents off with my Sooper card so I went there. Paid 2.49/gal for a total of $25.49. I was just recently complaining because I paid more than $20 for a fill-up and now it's $25. I know the hurricane is raising prices and I know they always go up before a holiday weekend and it's still only a few dollars more per month, but it's so rapid it seems like a bigger hit than it really is.

Stopped at Wendy's on the way home for supper and got a Chili for tomorrows lunch also. Spent $7.13

Total spent so far this month = $302.77

new CC

August 29th, 2005 at 08:16 pm

walked with mom 55 min

Sent off my August Walgreens rebate for $10.00. This was a great deal, buy $10 worth and get $10 back, plus I had a buy one get 1 free coupon on 1 item and 50 cents off the other item so ended up getting 3 items free + 50 cents + 10% more for using the Walgreens card + 5% more for using a CC that rewards for drugstore purchases. So instead of spending 13.49 I get 3 free items + $1.25 cash. Good deal Smile

Got my new Sony Visa card, it's supposed to give me $100 after the first use. Don't know when I'll use it though maybe tomorrow when I go into work, but don't think I need to buy anything except gas and I plan to use my Discover card for that since it's giving 5% back till Aug 31. Maybe I'll think of something I need on the way in tomorrow Smile

relaxing Sunday

August 28th, 2005 at 08:18 pm

walked with mom 55 min

Went to the grocery store and got the newspaper as well as a few fill in items, like milk, grapes, radishes, green onions and salmon. Spent $15.28

Total spent so far this month = $265.06 If I only get gas this week I might keep it under $300 for the month

Spent the morning cleaning the kitchen and chopping veggies for the week. Took a long nap in the afternoon, it felt great I must have needed it. I usually only sleep about an hour on weekend naps, but I slept for 2 1/2 hours today. So I probably won't sleep tonight. Smile

Summer's almost over so it's almost to my favorite part of the year. It's cooler, but there's still some greenery, plus a lot of new colors everywhere. Makes me feel great.

I finished reading the library book Crystal Soldier by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Sci Fi. Good Book. She always creates great characters and has great interactions between characters.


August 27th, 2005 at 09:09 pm

Went to Home Depot this morning and got 6 furnace filters at .56 cents apiece. Spent $3.59 a whole lot better than $8 apiece.

Next picked up my SHARE order. I got a Jr order this time for $11.00 which I already accounted for.

I got the following items

8 oz. Chicken nuggets
15 oz. Boneless chicken breast fillets
7 oz. Italian meat balls
1 lb. carrots
1 Head lettuce
3 ea. Yellow onions
6 ea. Colorado Potatoes
2 ea. Tomatoes
1 ea. Rocky Ford Cantaloupe
5 ea. Colorado Peaches

Pretty good haul for $11 Smile

Total spent this month = $249.78

My BIL and sister went out to eat and a movie to celebrate thier anniversay so I got the nieces from 3 - 10 today.
We watched Finding Neverland which I borrowed from the library. It was a good movie, but sad. The girls liked it too. We went to Subway for supper. Sister gave me $20 and I spent $21.45 but didn't tell her, I don't like her paying me anyways.

I listened to the library CD Loco Motion by Cowboy Troy. I liked a couple of the songs a lot, and the rest were just ok. That's why I like to watch the Sunday papers for new releases of movies and CDs and then borrow them from the library before deciding to buy. Saves me a ton of money.

procrastination can pay off

August 26th, 2005 at 08:35 pm

walked with mom 55 min

I had a busy money day. First I sold my first book on half.com for $3.00. Now I need some advice from people who have done this before. I went to the post office after work and mailed the book using Media Mail but I only used a Delivery Confirmation reciept that cost .55 cents intead of the insurance and tracking reciept for 1.45 it seems ridiculous to me to insure a $3.00 book. If it was $5+ I think I would go ahead and insure it. What does everyone else do?

Spent $1.97 postage and confirmation reciept.

Total spend so far this month = $244.74

I sent $2000.00 to my Vanguard Growth Index fund. The $880 I planned to save this month + $865 from my bonus and a little bit more I had sitting around added up to the $2000.00

Made another car payment so now I only have 3 left. Woohoo!

Got my package from UFB Direct and verified my money was deposited. Expect the $25 bonus in a couple weeks.

Before I started this journal here I didn't know financial blogs existed. In the last couple of months I've been reading some blogs on other websites. When I find one I like I read the past blogs. Today I found one I really like called Personal Finance for the New Age.


While I was reading the past logs I found a link to open an ING account and get $50, and you don't need a referral. I sure wish I had known about this before I opened my account. I guess sometimes it pays to procrastinate Smile This is only for new accounts. I sent the links to my sister since she hasn't opened accounts for the girls yet. Don't know if she'll do this or not.

Anyways here's the info if anyone else can use it.


enter the code 58978755

This code is valid until 12/31/05.

another fast food trip

August 25th, 2005 at 08:22 pm

walked 45 min with mom

Went to McDonalds afterwards it was almost 8 and I was hungry. Bad timing. Spent 7.24

Total spent so far this month = $242.77

I haven't had to run the A/C for almost a month now. We've had rain or clouds almost every afternoon which cools it down enough with the ceiling fan that I don't need the A/C. I turned it off altogether today and hope I can keep it off. Now the plan is not to turn the furnace on till the end of October.

Finished reading the library book Harshini by Jennifer Fallon. Sci Fi. Third in the series. It was a good series I enjoyed it.

Best wishes to anyone in the path of the hurricane.


August 24th, 2005 at 08:38 pm

Went into work today. Stopped at the bread store on the way home and spent $3.78. Next stop was the bank where I deposited a rebate check and some rolled coins into my account. This will add another $20 to my Extra Fund.

I went to Kmart next for household items. When did furnace/air filters start costing $8+ ? I remember buying them for about $1. That's ridiculous. Especially if you change them every month the way they want you to. I don't change them that often, instead I look at them and change them when they are dirty. I went out looking on the Home Depot website and they have them for $1.81 each. Much better. I need to stop by and pick some up this weekend. I drive right by there on the way to pick up my SHARE order.

I bought an electric timer from KMart for $6.29. This weekend I'll plug my hot water heater into it and turn the heater off between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am and see if that saves me some electric/gas costs.

I spent $13.87 at Kmart but I used my discounted gift cards at 12% off so it really only cost me $12.20, but that's too complicated to figure out every time so I'm just going to use the $13.87 figure in my totals. I'll have a few extra dollars show up in my checking account over time. As long as I'm not overspending I don't care about tracking every dollar that goes in and out of my life, just most of them Smile

Next stop was Souper Salad. I love this place. For $6.22 I get 3 meals. I always get it to go, because you get a lot more than what you can eat in the restaurant. I get a big styrofoam container that I put a huge salad with all the veggies, eggs and sunflower seeds as well as a baked potato, that's tonight's supper. Then I get two soup containers so I get two large bowls of soups for lunchs, I got Baked potato soup and Adobe Chicken today. Then I get a container for the salad dressing and one for the bread. I get 3 pieces of the blueberry bread and have one with each meal. For eating out 2.07 per meal is a real bargain.

Total spent so far this month = $235.53 looking real good to keep under $400

Last stop on the way home was the library to pick up more holds.

I finished listening to the library book on tape On a Wild Night by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good. Another in her series of stories about the Cynsters.

I got a bonus!

August 23rd, 2005 at 08:32 pm

My work has an individual contributor award that they give to employees who accomplish alot and are nominated by thier supervisors. I got the award for the first half of the year. $1755.00 that's a weird number and I don't know what it's based on, but I'll definitely take it, or at least half of it. Smile Taxes and deductions were 51%. I get $865.90 take home. About $300 of it went to my 401K so I'll max that out early this year and will get some more of it in December. Either way I was pretty happy about it, not just for the money, but for the fact that my work was recognized. I plan to put it and this months savings into a mutual fund this weekend.

I had a hamburger, potato salad and sliced tomato for supper.

Tomato = 20 cents

Potato Salad = 45 cents

Hamburger = 1.16
1/3 lb hamburger = 33 cents based on 99 cents/lb
Large english muffin = 67 cents based on 4 for 2.69
1 slice cheese = 6 cents based on 16 for a $1
mayo, ketchup, salt, pepper, red robin seasoning, onion and tomato slice = 10 cents - guesstimate

Total for dinner = $1.81

Read my book Master of the Moon by Angela Knight. Fantasy/Romance Pretty good book. A popcorn book.

I sent referrals to both my nieces for ING and if their mom sets up the accounts for them will give them my $10 referral bonus. I explained the deal to her and she said she would look into it. If she lets the girls do it, they could both get $45 for their $1. $25 for signing up, my $10 referral and then each girl could refer one parent for another $10. I hope she follows through on it.

Have to go into work tomorrow so made tuna salad to take along with crackers and grapes. I've had a funny stomach all last night and today, don't know what's wrong. Hope it's not a flu bug or something like that.

peanut butter slices?

August 22nd, 2005 at 08:02 pm

I was watching a show on Food Network about lunch foods and they showed peanut butter slices. They are just like cheese slices only made out of peanut butter. I've never seen them in my stores and wouldn't buy them anyways, I like extra crunchy peanut butter. But I just thought it was a weird thing.

I finished listening to the library book on tape Four to Score by Janet Evanovich. Mystery. Very good. Very funny. I love the main character Stephanie Plum. This series is pee-your-pants-laughing funny. It's dangerous to listen to this while driving my car Smile

I found a website where you can print graph paper today. I thought that was a neat idea for last minute school projects. Unless you're taking geometry or achitecture who needs to buy a whole pad of graph paper? Although while I was waiting for my townhome to get built I went through tons of graph paper organizing furniture in the rooms. But by the time it was built I knew exactly what I wanted and where it would go.


Harry Potter rocks!

August 21st, 2005 at 08:41 pm

walked with mom for 55 min.

Bought a paper this morning for $1.25 there were 3 coupons in there for $2.50 that I could have used when I went shopping for groceries on Friday. I bought the exact same items Frown That's why I usually wait to shop for groceries till after I read the Sunday paper. Oh well, I'll have to remember for next time.

There was an article in the paper that compared all 3 of the local grocery stores to Wal-Mart and said Wal-Mart beats all of the other's prices overall even after using the store cards to buy sales items at the regular grocery stores. All the regular grocery stores admitted that they can't match Wal-Marts prices but said they can compete with service etc. I don't know about that. I don't use Wal-Mart now because they are in town about 15 miles away and it's always crowded. I hate crowds I get claustrophobic in crowds.

They are supposed to be building a Wal-Mart in our little town next year. It will be about 4 miles away then. I'll probably rethink shopping there then, just pick times when it won't be busy. The other thing about Wal-Mart is they don't have sales flyers that often, so I can't see what's on sale each week. I plan my buying list by the sales items each week. So I may still shop the grocery stores for groceries at least.

Total spent so far this month = $211.66

I cleaned my master and half bath today. The shower in my master bath has a textured fiberglass floor that I haven't been able to get clean, it always looks dirty to me no matter what I do. I tried the Mr Clean Magic Eraser on it today and it worked great! It looks clean for the first time in months. It was so easy too, no tons of scrubbing was needed. It also just wiped away the soap scum from the side of the floor. I definetely recommend this product. I've used it on my refrigerator and on scuff marks on the garage door and it worked great on those too.

I finished reading the library book Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K. Rowling. Excellent book. This is such a great series and the best part about it is how much it's inspired kids to read. Both of my nieces are reading the series and have read other science fiction books because of this book's influence.

more GCs

August 20th, 2005 at 08:28 pm

walked with mom for 55 min today. We went to Village Inn for Dinner afterwards. Spent $11.00 got a piece of Banana Cream Brownie Pie for tomorrrow. Yum!

Total spent so far this month = $210.41

I went to the ecard site and bought another $100 worth of Outback GCs, $100 worth of Olive Garden/Red Lobster GCs and $50 worth of Amazon.com GCs. Spent $220 and will save $30 or 12% of face value when I use the cards.

I couldn't sleep last night so got up at 12:00 and read till 3:00 am. Finished the library book Lie By Moonlight by Amanda Quick. Historical Romance. Very good, another favorite author.

new bank account

August 19th, 2005 at 08:28 pm

I've been putting in a lot of extra hours the last 3 weeks on a project at work. I finished it at noon today and took the afternoon off as comp time. Went to the library and picked up my holds, then went to King Soopers for groceries. Spent $22.98 saved 30% according to the receipt. I've also spent $100 for the month so I'll get an extra 7 cents off on their gas. That plus the normal 3 cents off will be 10 cents a gal cheaper. Since I would have bought the groceries anyways, it's a nice bonus.

Next I went to Safeway to cherry-pick. Smile They had my brand of butter on sale for almost half off. I stocked up and will freeze the extra. Spent $7.02 and saved 51% according to the reciept.

Stopped at McDonalds for lunch $5.54

Total spent so far this month = $199.41

I opened a new bank account at UFB Direct. If you put $200 in the account for 4 months you get a $25 bonus. That's 12.5% on top of the 3.65% APY they are paying on their accounts. Pretty good. Plus they compound daily. ING compounds monthly and only pays 3.3% APY.

Here's the link if anyone is interested.


I finished reading the library book The Good, The Bad, and the Undead by Kim Harrison. Vampire/Witch/Werewolf/Elves Fantasy. The story was good and unusual, which I liked, but something I hate is when main characters do stupid things by reacting emotionally. Gets on my nerves Frown

saved $5 a month on TV

August 18th, 2005 at 09:08 pm

walked with mom for 55 min. Took a lasagna and half a loaf of French bread over to my parents for dinner. They supplied salad and watermelon. Very good.

I've been getting a lot of offers for Dish Network and Adelphia for cable, but I really like the service I have with DirectTv and don't really want to go through the hassle of changing. I just have the basic package, but since I rarely watch Network TV and the types of shows I like are only on cable I think it's worth it. I like HGTV and Food network, TLC and anything like biographies or history or archeaology related stuff.

So anyways I called DirectTv today to see if they would lower my bill to match some of these promotions and they said they would take $5 off a month for the next 6 months. Since I wasn't going to change anyways I thought this was cool. So now the monthly bill is $33.99 vs the $38.99 it was before.

I also called the Insurance company to get auto insurance quotes. This company checks a bunch of different insurance companies and then tells you which one has the cheapest policy. They said Progressive was the best quote they got, but it was still $125 more every 6 months that what I pay now with State Farm so obviously I'm not going to switch. At least I know I'm paying as little as possible for something I don't particulary enjoy paying for Smile

I finished listening to the library book on tape Falling Awake by Jayne Ann Krentz. Romance. Good story. She's another one of my favorite authors.

I saved $259 on electricity last year

August 17th, 2005 at 09:27 pm

walked with mom for 35 min, didn't get started until late and it's getting dark earlier. Great moon out tonight, almost full.

I got my last months rebates from Walgreens today $16.48

Spent $1.06 on ice cream

Total spent so far this month = $163.87

Got my electric bill. Last year I had my billing changed to a Budget billing where I pay the same amount every month since that's easier to budget for. So my monthly bill based on my previous years usage was $48.00. The electric company rebalanced last month and I have overpaid by $259.18 so my new bill till next July is only $9.00 a month. I figure it's really $31 averaged out, which means I saved $17.00 per month or 35% WooHoo!

Here's some of the things I did to lower my electric bill.

Changed most of my lightbulbs to CFLs Compact Flourescent Lights.
I had window film put on the two large upstairs windows that face south. This blocks the glare and keeps the rooms cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter meaning I don't have to have the Furnace or A/C on as much.
Since I live alone I made it a policy to heat/cool me instead of the whole house. In winter I wear sweats and use an electric throw while sitting and reading at night. I keep the heat around 62 degrees most days and I'm very comfortable working upstairs where the heat rises and it's about 10 degrees warmer.
In the summer I wear shorts and t-shirts to work in. I use ceiling and portable fans for cooling. My A/C only ran for about 2 weeks so far this summer and it was set to 78 degrees. I keep the shades drawn during the day and open all the windows in the evening when it cools down.
Lowered the water heater to 120 degrees
Started unplugging the power strip where my computer, monitor, printer, and stereo are plugged in every night
Also unplugged the power strip where the TV, VCR and DirectTV box are plugged in when I'm not watching TV.
I read somewhere that these appliances cost 1 cent per hour in electrical use even when they aren't on. Even at 1/2 cent that really adds up over a year.

I'm going to try to keep using less Khw per month this next year too. I've got a spreadsheet where I'm tracking electric and gas usage. My gas is on budget billing also and even though I'm using about 1/3rd less than last year my gas bill was increased from $29 to $40 a month in January because the cost of natural gas has gone up so much. Oh well, it could have been worse if I wasn't conserving.

Finished reading the library book What She Can't See by Hunter Morgan. Mystery. Ok, nothing special I figured out who dun it in the first hundred pages so wasn't that great.

saving on groceries

August 16th, 2005 at 08:33 pm

walked with mom for 45 min. On the days we only walk 45 min vs 55 min we take a different route that has two very steep hills. It's good for the legs, but strenuous, and I can only handle so much at a time so we walk for a shorter amount of time when we do that route.

I read the library book Feed Your Family for $12.00 a Day by Rhonda Barfield. This was a pretty good book. There were three things that I found especially interesting. One was the chapter where she describes how a fictional family slowly started to practice her ideas on saving money throughout the year. They started with one idea and gradually added new ways to save as they got more comfortable with what they were doing. I liked this because it's more true to life of how people actually operate.

The second thing I liked was at the end of the book, she has a complete checklist of all the ways to save money on groceries. This allows you to browse the list and pick one that you want to try as you have the time.

The third thing I liked was her attitude towards saving: not spending massive amounts of time on either the shopping or cooking part. That attitude fits with my own. If I can't cook it quickly, (meaning not a lot of hands on time) then it isn't going to get cooked in my house. Smile

My dad was telling me he called Progressive about insurance quotes for his car and house and he saved about 30% over State Farm which we both have. We've both had State Farm for more than 25 years. My car insurance is due next month and my house insurance the month after that. I'm going to have to check out rates from other companies. In the past they never beat State Farm since I'd been there so long and didn't have any tickets and very few claims but maybe it will be different this time. I'd love to save 30% but doubt if I can, that's quite a bit.


August 15th, 2005 at 08:34 pm

Walked with mom for 55 min

No money news today.

Finished the library book To The Edge by Cindy Gerard. Romance/Mystery. Ok, nothing special.

copy cat recipes

August 14th, 2005 at 09:09 pm

walked with mom for 45 min. It was completely dark by the time we were done around 8:30. It's already starting to get dark earlier.

Went to the grocery store this morning and spent $28.34 saved 25% according to the reciept.

Next stop was Media Play were I got the rest of my youngest neices b-day presents. 2 computer games, 1 book and 1 electronic talking thing that she wanted. Don't ask me what it is, I just bought it Smile Spent $93.39 That money comes from my gift fund and I'll get 19% back. 15% from the triple points replay membership and 4% from my CC.

Then I went to Longs and got a b-day present for a friends child plus some of her xmas present. Also picked up 3 containers to store food in. Had a $5.00 off coupon and spent $40.68 total. $26.21 was for the gifts and $14.47 was for the containers.

Total spent so far this month = 162.81
Total on gifts = $119.11

I love the Olive Garden's Pasta E Fagioli soup. There a web site that has copy cat recipes from your favorite restaraunts. I got the recipe and made it this afternoon. Turned out really good.

http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/ Select the Copy Cat Recipes link and browse for your favorites.

The soup makes 12 big servings

3 teaspoons Oil = 25 cents
2 pounds Ground beef = 1.98
12 ounces Onion; chopped = 20 cents
14 ounces Carrots; slivered = 25 cents
14 ounces Celery; diced = 50 cents
48 ounces Tomatoes; canned, diced = 1.16
2 cups cooked Red Kidney beans = 1.00 dried
2 C cooked White kidney beans = 1.20 dried
88 ounces Beef stock = 15 cents bouillion powder
3 teaspoons Oregano = 10 cents
2 1/2 teaspoons Pepper = 5 cents
5 teaspoons Parsley; (fresh chopped) = 10 cents dried
1 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce = 5 cents
48 ounces Spaghetti sauce = 2.00
8 ounces dry pasta Shell macaroni; or other pasta = 33 cents

Total = 9.32 / 12 servings = 78 cents per serving

I froze a huge amount and still have a lot left for the rest of the week.

I read the library book Dead Beat by Jim Butcher Sci Fi. Really good story. This is the latest in a whole series that's very different and interesting. It goes on my books to buy when it comes out in paperback list. Smile


August 13th, 2005 at 08:22 pm

Went to the libaray and picked up my latest holds.

Fixed mini meatloaf, baked potato and corn on the cob for dinner.

1 lb ground beef = 99 cents
1/4 cup chopped onion = 15 cents
2 stalks celery chopped = 30 cents
1/2 tsp Red Robin Seasoning = 5 cents
1/2 tsp pepper = 2 cents
1/4 cup parmesan cheese = 20 cents
2 tsp Worchestershire sause = 10 cents
Total = 1.81 / 3 servings = 61 cents saved the other two loaves for later meals

Baked potato + butter + Red Robin seasoning = 16 cents + 5 cents + 2 cents = 23 cents

Corn on cob + butter + salt = 13 cents based on 8 for a $1 + 5 cents + 1 cent

Total for dinner = $1.03

Listed my first book on half.com. Everyone has such good things to say about this I thought I'd try it out. I normally take my books to the used book store, but I have so much credit right now it's ridiculous. At one store I have more than $300 and more than $100 at another store.

Finished reading the library book Sanctuary by Mercedes Lackey. Sci Fi. 3rd of a trilogy. Ok, nothing special.


August 12th, 2005 at 08:26 pm

I was going through my desk and found a bunch of old 22 and 25 cent stamps. They were left over from previous stamp increases. So I counted them and went to the postoffice and bought 30 10 cent stamps and 100 1 cent stamps. I'll use these to make the total 37 cents. There will be a few stamps on the envelope but so what? That was just money sitting around in my desk not being used. I only have one bill that I still write a check for each month and mail, (my HOA) so I don't use very many stamps each month, mostly for refund offers.

After picking up my parents mail I went to Safeway and picked up some of their sale items. Spent $20.79 saved 23% according to the reciept.

Total spending for the month = $120

Finished listening to Scandal's Bride by Stephanie Laurens. Romance. Very good story, very steamy.

I'm happy to pay 2.22 for a gallon of gas

August 11th, 2005 at 08:41 pm

Went into the office today stopped at Walgreens on the way and spent $1.88

Stopped at Souper Salad for dinner on the way home. Spent $6.11 but there's enough for 2 1/2 meals.

Next stop was Albertson's gas. I had planned to use the Exxon/Mobile $20 gift card that I got from Great Fun for gas, but there are no Exxon/Mobile gas stations in town. I looked in the phone book and not a one. I went to the Exxon website and according to them there are no gas stations within a hundred miles of my city. There are no Exxon/Mobile gas stations in the entire state of CO. Would have to go to Wyoming to find a station. Major bummer. Not sure what I'll do with the cards now. If I'd know I could have given the cards to my parents to take on their trip to Illinoise and Missouri they probably would have found a station somewhere on the road. I'll have to find out if they plan to take another trip soon.

On the drive into town I kept seeing signs for gas at 2.39/gal so was dreading the gas cost, but I know this Albertson's has some of the cheapest gas in town. I ended up paying 2.22/gal after my 3 cent discount from the Albertson's card. Spent $21.23 and was very happy to only be paying 2.22/gal instead of 2.30/gal

Total spent so far this month = $99.21

tuna salad

August 10th, 2005 at 08:48 pm

Huge rainstorm today, the water was coming down in sheets it was awesome. Could do without the lightening though Smile

Sent off my rebate for $25 for buy.com

Made tuna salad and crackers to take to work for lunch tomorrow.

1 6 oz can tuna = 33 cents
1 hardboiled egg = 6 cents
1 celery stalk = 25 cents
2 radished = 4 cents
1/4 c mayonnaise = 10 cents

Total tuna salad = 78 cents
6 multigrain crackers = 13 cents based on 1 box at $1 figure 8 servings
grapes = 25 cents
can of pop = 20 cents

total for lunch = $1.26

Stopped at Taco Bell tonight and spent $5.52

Total spent this month = $69.99

I read a library book called McKettrick's Choice by Linda Lael Miller. Romance, good story, a popcorn book.

potato salad

August 9th, 2005 at 08:35 pm

I love potato salad and make it quite often. Since I like it so much this only makes 3 servings.

4 med potatoes = .63 cents based on 5 lb bag with 12 potatoes at 1.89
2 hardboiled eggs = .12 cents based on 18 ct eggs for 1.00
1 stalk celery = .25 cents based on 1 bunch celery for 2.50 and I figure there were 10 stalks
1 green onion = .6 cents based on 1 bunch for .50 cents and 8 onions in the bunch
1 c mayo = .25 cents based on 32 oz jar for 1.00
squirt of mustard = it was free last time but normally about .69 cents so I'll guess 2 cents
white pepper = 1 cent

total for potato salad = 1.34 / 3 servings = .45 cents for a serving.

I got the books I ordered from Buy.com last week. Now I need to send for my $25 rebate from Great Fun. Which will mean I only spent .84 cents on the 3 books.

I see the Estore has Home Depot and Target gift cards today. Wish my parents were back so I could see if they wanted me to buy some for them, they'll probably go pretty quick.

I finished reading the library book Treason Keep by Jennifer Fallon. Sci/Fi second in a series. Good book, good story.

After getting my parents mail tonight I really, really wanted to stop at a fast food place for dinner, but I talked myself out of it, for which I am pretty proud of myself. The month is almost a third over and I haven't gone to a fast food restaraunt yet.

lunch cost

August 8th, 2005 at 08:06 pm

I got my $20 Exxon gas card from Great Fun in the mail today. Filled out my Emeril Gourmet Sausage rebate and sent that out. Should get $4.29 back for that.

I finished listening to the library book on tape The Elfstones of Shanara by Terry Brooks. Sci/Fi It was very good. These books are similar to Lord of the Rings.

I have the same thing almost everyday for lunch; baked potato with green onions and cheese, hard boiled egg, raw veggies.

Baked Potato cooked in crock pot to save electricity.
Potato - bought a 5 lb bag for $1.89 and it contained 12 potatoes so I'll guess that's the average so cost of potato = .16 cents
green onions - 4 cents
shredded cheese - bought 3 lbs of shredded mozzarella for 3.99 Il guess I used 2 oz so that's .17 cents
Added Red Robin Seasoning, pepper @2 cents

Total for potato = .39 cents

Added 1 hard boiled egg - bought 18 eggs for $1 so cost = 6 cents

Had some radishes - 1 bunch = .50 / 5 days = 10 cents
And some carrots - 1 pkg = 1.99 / 10 days = 20 cents

So total for lunch = 75 cents


August 7th, 2005 at 09:18 pm

Went to the grocery store and spent $43.91. According to the recipt I saved 38% I got a 15 ct box of Totino's Pizza rolls for free with a double coupon and I got a package of Emeril's gourmet sausage that will be free after I send in the rebate.

Total spent so far this month = $64.47

I eat the same breakfast most mornings. Celery with Peanut Butter and a piece of fruit.

I was surprised to find out I was spending $1 a day on the celery. I buy 2 bunches of celery @1.19 1b and use up all of it every week for breakfast. Today's grocery bill showed I spend $4.95 on celery so divided by 5 days = $1.00 per day. I think that's very high, so I'll probably go to whole wheat toast with Peanut Butter after this week. That will probably also save on the amount of Peanut butter I use each day.

Celery with Peanut butter = $1.15
Celery = $1.00
Peanut Butter $1.50 for 18oz jar. This lasts for about 10 days so .15 cents for the Peanut butter

Fruit - I bought grapes at $1.00 1b so I figure about .20 - .25 cents for a portion of grapes.

Total breakfast cost = $1.35 - $1.40 I'd like to get this under a $1

Somewhere around 1985-86 when I was 24 -25 I was working as an entry level machinist. Like most young people I was living paycheck to paycheck and I had about $1000 in CC and car debt. That's when the first wave of layoffs hit my company. I was scared to death. I worried about what would happen if I was laid off. I had no savings, no real skills, and no education. This was one of the major factors that turned me to saving as a way to gain control of my life. Over the next several years I paid down my debt, built up my savings and increased my job skills.

Over the next 9 years I survived 7 more layoffs with that company and finally was let go when my job was outsourced in 1994. By that time it didn't bother me a bit. I knew I could find another job in my field if that's what I wanted to do because I was a journeyman machinist by then. But, because I had saved more than 20% of my salary most of those years I had enough to live on while I went back to school and got a two year degree in one year. I had help from unemployment and JTPA and I got a scholarship from the school, but I made it with $1000 left in my savings, (not including my retirement funds) when I got a new job in my new field.

The reason for this background is because I just finished reading a book called Downsized but not Defeated The Family Guide to Living on Less by Hope Stanley Quinn and Lyn Miller-Lachmann. This is a very straightforward book that deals with people who are going through layoffs, divorces or deaths of a spouse. Life events that destroy your financial security. They authors talk about what to do, how to save money in various areas and also how to deal with these life changes psychologically. I thought it was very good. Layoffs were fairly rare back in the mid 80's but they are pretty much a way of life for most of us anymore, so it's a good idea to think ahead and try to plan how we would deal with it, if it comes our way.

meal cost

August 6th, 2005 at 08:14 pm

I decided to start figuring out how much certain meals, that I make frequently, cost to prepare. For brunch today I made scrambled eggs, with tomatoes, cheese and green onions, and garlic toast and grapes.

Scrambled Eggs
3 eggs - 1 doz for .99 cents so .25 cents
2 Tbls diced tomatoes (leftover from earlier in the week) - 1 can for $1.00 so @.20 cents
1/2 green onion - 1 bunch was .50 cents and there were 8 onions in the bunch so .04 cents
1 slice American cheese - 16 oz for $1.00 so .05 cents
butter, salt and pepper - @.02 cents
Total cost for scrambled eggs = .56 cents

Garlic bread
1 slice bread - 1 load of french bread for .99 cents cut into 15 slices = .07 cents
butter and garlic salt - @.02 cents
Total cost for bread = .09 cents

Grapes at .88 cents/lb around 15 grapes = .20 cents

Total for brunch = .85 cents

I made a big batch of spagetti sauce for dinner and froze enough for 3 more meals. I don't know how much it cost to make because I bought the stuff awhile back and don't remember the prices on everything. I'll have to figure it out the next time I make it.

The goal is to figure out what meals I make over and over and how much they cost and maybe to reduce that cost through sales. Also it will allow me to predict how much groceries should cost for a week based on a menu plan. And if I have a week where I'm very short on cash I can plan on the cheap meals.

Read Killing Time by Linda Howard. Romance/Mystery Linda Howard is one of my favorite authors and although this book was a good read it wasn't one of her best.


August 5th, 2005 at 09:34 pm

Went to Great Clips to get my hair cut. They had a coupon for $7.99 so I spent $10

Total spent so far this month = $20.56

Went to the library and picked up my holds. The new Harry Potter book was waiting for me. I was really surprised I didn't expect to get it for several months.

I'm also pretty happy with myself for talking me out of going to a fast food restaraunt for dinner after my haircut. Came home and made one of my favorite fast and easy dinners. A can of Chunky Soup, (this time is was grilled sirloin with country vegetables) poured over egg noodles. Have enough left over for a lunch next week. I buy the soup when I can get it for a $1 a can. It's fast, easy, tasty and has little cleanup.

I finished reading Die Trying by Lee Child. Mystery. This book just really grabbed me and I couldn't put it down. Good story. I have a lot of stress with my job right now and I'm having trouble sleeping since I can't find the off button to my brain. Smile Reading helps me think about something else for awhile anyways.

Financial Preperation Kit

August 4th, 2005 at 08:34 pm

no walking today. Mom's getting ready to go on vacation and it rained most of the day. Almost looks like snow in the mountains.

I just recently found financial blogs and I've slowly been reading through some of them. I was reading back posts of http://www.mymoneyblog.com/ and it has a link to a free Financial Preperation Kit at http://www.patelco.org/tools/prep_kit.aspx

There website has the following information:

With this kit, you can collect important information such as names, phone numbers, and addresses of important contacts and put it in one convenient location so that you can get to it when you need it. There are separate sections to enter financial, insurance, and investment information.

There's also a checklist of important documents to make it easy for you to find documents such as birth certificates, passports, and automobile titles. When the worksheet is complete, file it in a safe place, along with the supporting documents, and let your loved ones know where it is.

I downloaded it for myself and sent a copy to my mom and dad. They recently moved and all their financial stuff is scattered everywhere. Normally before they go on vacation my mom tells me where important things are, just in case. This time she can't remember where some of it. I have a notebook that I keep all my financial informationin and I just updatd it last month, but with nice forms it will make it that much easier. I wish I'd found this a couple weeks ago, although my mom probably wouldn't have had time to fill it out.

Just have to hope it won't be needed Smile Please, please, please, please. please.

SHARE order

August 3rd, 2005 at 08:37 pm

walked with mom for 55 min

Place my order on SHARE for Aug. I have too much food in the freezer right now and there are good grocery sales where I'm stocking up and freezing things so I only order the Jr Package. Had a $3 coupon so spent $9.50

Total spent this month so far = $10.56

I see that the gift card website has new cards out. May get some JCPenny ones for my mom tomorrow. The selection changes pretty often.

ice cream

August 2nd, 2005 at 08:37 pm

walked with mom for 55 min on the way home I got an ice cream cone and spent $1.06

Total spent so far this month = $1.06

No other money things today. I finished reading Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell. Romance/Mystery. Very good book she writes really good characters and lots of funny dialog. One of my favorite authors.

Awhile back I recommended Getting A Life by Jacqueline Blix & David Heitmiller. I found this website has some of the book on tape that you can download and listen to on your computer. If anyone's interested here's the site:


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