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Archive for February, 2008

a very frugal wedding

February 28th, 2008 at 09:16 am

it's been warm enough that mom and I have been able to walk outside everyday this week so far.

Last Saturday my Uncle's cousin called him and his wife and invited them to thier wedding at 2:00 that day. Very last minute notice. They went and found out afterwards that the reason they wanted the wedding then was because the church was already decorated for a previous wedding and they planned to use the decorations while they were in place. The couple is 75 (him) and 80 years old(her). He gave her his dead wife's wedding ring and she gave him her dead husband's wedding ring. Talk about frugal Smile

I finished reading my book The Irish Devil by Diane Whiteside. Romance. Good

I read the library book Drago Harper by Anne McCaffrey and Todd McCaffrey. Sci/Fi. Ok I don't like this series as much now that her grandson is writing the books with her. I liked them better when it was just her. Still it's a good read.

Finished reading my book Trouble Looking for a Place to Happen by Toni L.P. Kelner. Mystery. Good

Finished reading the library book Shadow Music by Julie Garwood. Romance. Her books are always very good, but this one was not one of her best. My favorites of her's are The Lion's Lady and Honor's Splendour

One perfect radish

February 23rd, 2008 at 11:36 am

This week enough snow melted that mom and I were able to walk outside Wed, Thur and Fri

I have one perfect radish from my second batch and 5 half-size radishes. They all tasted wonderful, not too hot, just right. The second batch also had fertilizer and so that's probably why I didn't get more radishes. Hopefully my 3rd batch will come out well and I'll be able to get a full crop or about 70 radishes. I saw a bunch of organic radishes at the store for 1.99 a bunch. Ten cents for a radish, if I consume 8 - 10 a day, it's worth more than $300 a year.

I plan to plant miniature carrots today. My tomato is about an inch high and my green onions are about 3 inches tall. These are all in self-watering containers indoors in my townhome.

Went to Walmart to day and got some good items on clearance.

1 woman's shirt - $3.00 - they had some really nice winter coats for $5.00, but I already have 3 and didn't need another one. They also had some bras for $5. My mom got 4 of those, none in my size.

4-6oz cans Chicken of the Sea tuna for .50 cents each. It's hard to find tuna at .50 cents any more. Used to be pretty easy

2-24oz jars of Miracle Whip mayonaisse in the sqeeze bottle for 1.50 each.

4-15oz cans Muir Glen organice diced tomatoes with basil and oregano for .24 cents each. They were $1.24 and I had four $1.00 coupons. I have some more coupons so I need to go back and pick up more. .24 cents a can can't be beat.

Walnuts have gone up 50% in the last month. I like walnuts for snacking and cooking. All last year I bought the 1 lb bags for about $4.30. Today they were $6.50 almost 50% more. Gas went up .20 cents a gal overnight. Inflation is really hitting the things I buy recently.

I got my paycheck with the bonus included. I was able to net 45%. My 401K took the biggest chunk since I have 25% going into that right now. But Federal took almost as much.

Sent off my taxes yesterday so that chore is done.

I read the library book A Christine Feehan Holiday Treasurey by Christine Feehan. Romance. 3 short stories. Very good

I read the library book Homestead Year Back to the Land in Suburbia by Judith Moffett. Non-fiction. Very good.

office day

February 19th, 2008 at 08:20 pm

walked yesterday at Walmart with mom

Got groceries after. I got 2 cans of Campbell's Soup at Hand tomato soup and King Soopers paid me 11 cents each. I had two $2 coupons and the soup was $1.89 but they rang up at $2. I also got 3 packages of Pizza Rolls free. They had a dozen eggs for .99 cents but there was limit of 1 per transaction. Eggs have been ridiculous lately, almost $2 a dozen.

I drove into the office today. I mostly work from home. This is the first time I've been in in more than 3 months.

Stopped at Walgreens on the way home. Got the Garnier Fructus Shampoo that has a full rebate plus I had a $1 coupon so made money on it. They had 26 oz Tide on sale for $2.99 and I had two .50 cent coupons so $2.49 each. Regular price is $5.49 so less than half price.

Finished reading the library book The Busy Mom's Guide to Simple Living. Money, Ok, nothing real interesting. I don't like to be preached at. Lot's of bible verses.

Finished reading the library book Empire by Orson Scott Card. Sci/Fi. Excellent. I always like his books. I especially enjoy the way he writes about children and how much respect he has for them as human beings which really shows thru in his stories.

taxes

February 17th, 2008 at 10:43 am

It's snowing so not sure if I'll get to walk today.

Last year my company changed the way it did the matching for the 401K. They started a True-up program, so at the end of the year if you've maxed out your 401K they true-up so that they meet the full match. So if I max out in Sept and then quit contributing, they will continue to add matching funds each pay period until in Dec they will have made the full match of 6%. It's more flexible for the employee and I like it a lot.

After doing some research yesterday and thanks to a post on the blog, I determined the problem with the radishes was I added Fish emulsion half-way thru the growing process, which has a lot of nitrogen. That caused my radishes to have lots of leaves and no bulbs. I put all the dirt from the container into another container I plan to use for tomatoes next month and replanted today. Hopefully I will get edible radishes this time. Smile

Worked on my taxes yesterday. Federal owes me $396 and I owe State $22. Not bad. It took about 2 hours.

Finished reading my book Wolf at the Door by Christine Warren. Supernatural. Very good.

I'm a failure

February 16th, 2008 at 10:29 am

walked with mom at Walmart every day

I officially declared my first radish crop a failure. I got lots of really big leaves, but no bulbs. So I'm doing some research to see why and I have two more batches planted in containers. Maybe they will work. I'm not giving up yet, but I'm obviously missing some connection.

I got a raise and bonus this week. The raise was 4%, the most they could give and the bonus was $8,426.24. Again the most they could give. Since for a team of 13 people I consistently do 30 - 40% of the work load, it was well deserved. I get the bonus in next weeks paycheck so expect around $4000 to put in savings. The raise will add $60 - 70 dollars to my paychecks, after deductions. I get paid every other week. I'm contributing 25% of my salary to my 401K to get more money in the stock market now while it's down. I should max out around Sept and then will invest that money somewhere else.

I got a coupon in the mail for buy one get one free on 6" Subway sandwiches I picked up 2 today and will have one for lunch and one for dinner.

I bought 20 books of the forever stamps at the post office also. That should last me for years. I heard they are already raising the postage in May this year.

I finished my book The Bone Man by Vicki Stiefel. Mystery, Very Bad. I really hate books that have stupid women doing stupid things to prove they are independant. I also hate the overuse of coincidence. The woman takes off and drives from the east coast to Arizona and stops at a hotel and not only to the bad guys find her, but her boyfriend finds her. No tracking device, just find her in the middle of no where. Then she takes off in the middle of the night, leaving her boyfriend behind and travels thru some woods to a different city and stops at a hotel off the beaten path and gets found again. Give me a break. She gets beat up, bitten by a dog, ran over and can still hike for miles.

I also read the library book Beyond Eden
by S.L. Linnea. Really good. Emotional at the end I probably cried for a half hour last night. Not sure what category to put it in. Adventure is probably closest.

Soup and Sandwiches

February 10th, 2008 at 08:34 pm

walked with mom at Walmart

Yesterday I made a big pot of Olive Garden's Pasta e fagioli soup. The recipe came from the Top Secret Recipe books. Very good. I have a lot left over for the week. I substituted egg noodles for the ditali pasta and didn't add them to the soup. Instead I kept them separate and will add the soup to the pasta as I'm ready to eat it. I find that the pasta in the soup doesn't taste that good 4 days later, but if I keep them separate the taste/texture remains good.

I had a good grocery day. Several good deals. Safeway had Salmon for 4.99 lb, organic baby carrots $1/1b and celery $1/lb. They also have a deal thru Tuesday that if you buy 5 Hillshire Farm deli lunchmeats at $2.00 each a $10.00 off your next purchase coupon gets printed at the checkout. So 5 packs of lunchmeat for free.

King Soopers had Campbell's Tomato Soup at .50 a can and I had .40 off of 4 coupon which was doubled. So I got 8 cans for .40 cents each. They had Kuner's canned beans for .44 cents. Do I got 4 of those. And I got 3 packages of Pizza rolls for free after coupons.

Between the Safeway lunch meat deal and the King Soopers tomato soup plus the Pasta e fagioli soup I made I see a lot of soup and sandwiches in my future Smile

Walgreens has Mennon 24/7 deodorant free after rebate and I had a $1 coupons so I made some money there.

Got gas at Albertson's for $2.75 which is the cheapest around here by about a dime. Plus because I got more than 8 gallons I got a car wash for $1. Got the biggest chunks of dirt off, but then drove home in the melting snow and got the car dirty again - sigh

Went to Red Robin for lunch where I had a $5 gift card that I got for free for buying a $25 gift card as a gift at xmas.

All the little bits of money saved on each individual purchase add up.

Did a load of laundry, boiled my eggs for breakfast and now I just need to chop my veggies for lunches and dinners and I'm ready for the work week.

I finished reading my book Shadows on the Soul by Jenna Black. Supernatural/Romance. Good.

Retirement goals

February 8th, 2008 at 09:27 pm

Walked with mom everyday at WalMart

I plan to retire sooner than 50. Right now the goal is March of next year. It depends on how bad the market does this year.

I made a list of what I wanted to do while I was retired. Mostly it all came down to time.

Time to cook healty, tasty, simple meals
Time to exercise
Time to be organized
Time to keep house cleaned
Time to keep on top of chores
Time to shop for the best deals
Time to study whatever I happen to be interested in
Time to experiment with new skills
Time to garden
Time to do miniatures
Time to do jigsaw puzzles
Time to read
Time to spend time with nieces, family and friends
Time to think
Time to be creative

I finished reading my book Country Comes to Town by Toni L.P. Kellner. Mystery. OK

I finished reading the library book The Venetian Betrayal by Steve Berry. Adventure. Good

I finished reading the library book The Mom's Guide to Earning and Saving Thousands on the Internet by Barb Webb with Maureen Heck. Money. Excellent. I read this last year but wanted to re-read since there were a lot of tips and websites to check out for money saving ideas. Very good book.

Good Sunday

February 3rd, 2008 at 08:53 pm

walked with mom at WalMart everyday this week.

Chopped all my veggies, boiled eggs and made tuna for the week before a friend came over to spend the afternoon.

We went to 3 Margarita's for lunch and then over to Home Depot to pick out paint colors for their new addition. It was fun to wander around and see the various items. In the next year or so I want to replace my carpet. I found a nice green carpet I liked with a stamped pattern.

Then we watched Shrek the Third and talked for a couple hours. Shrek wasn't as good as the other two, but still fun. Very nice day.

I watched Blades of Glory the other day too. I got it from the library. I was disappointed. It seems like most movies aren't that interesting to me lately. Not sure why, maybe because I've seen the previews so many times that by the time I get the movie from the library I feel like I've seen it and am bored.

I don't have any radishes yet, hopefully sometime this next week. I have lots of leaves, but no bulbs. I planted a second batch a couple weeks ago and another one today. I also planted some lettuce today. I planted some green onions and they have sprouted, but no sign of my tomato. I may have to replant that one.

It's been extremely cold and gloomy here this week so maybe my pots aren't getting enough light.

I finished reading Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur. Excellent. I copied several new recipes to try.

Red Robin Seasoning
Red Lobster Cheddar Bay Biscuits
Hard Rock Cafe Coleslaw
Claim Jumper Meatloaf
Chili's Honey Mustard Dressing that comes with their Chicken Crispers
Applebee's Almond Rice Pilaf

I also found a recipe online for Crunchy Garlic Cornbread Croutons that use Boston Market's cornbread as the base. I really liked the cornbread croutons that were on the salad I had at the Claim Jumper's last month.

I read the Feb/March issue of The Mother Earth News. They have an article about 8 Easy Projects for Energy Savings. One I had never heard about before but might try is spraying the windows with water and then applying bubble wrap to insulate your windows. The article is online also.

I read my book A Secret Rage by Charlaine Harris. Mystery. Very good.

I read the library book Plum Loving by Janet Evanovich. Mystery. Excellent as always. A Stephanie Plum book.

I read the library book Howl at the Moon by Christine Warren. Supernatural/Romance. Very good

I read my book Song in the Silence by Elizabeth Kenner. Sci fi. Ok, nothing special

I read the library book Incredible Vegetables from Self-Watering Containers: Using Ed's Amazing POTS System by Edward C. Smith. Gardening. Excellent book. Very inspiring to me and lots of information about individual vegetables.