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Archive for July, 2010

moving day

July 31st, 2010 at 07:46 pm

My oldest niece moved into her first appartment today up in Greeley. 2 hours away. She sharing a 3 bedroom apartment with 2 other girls. 1300 sq ft for just under $900 + utilites. An excellent deal. The place has a pool, hot tub, club house and exercize room. Very nice. The apartment has laundry too and lots of storage.

However it's on the second floor and it was very hard for my parents and me hauling boxes and stuff up those stairs. Her dad helped and the parents and friends of one of her roomates so it was much better than we originally thought it would be.

I've tried to spend what time I could with her this summer, especially since I know she doesn't want to come back home from now on. I'll drive up a couple times a year to see her and keep in touch on the phone every couple of weeks. Plus I'm starting to email her deals when I see them and think she would like them.

She's working at Target now, so I concentrate on those deals. She gets a 10% discount on top of them making it even better for her.

I finished reading the library book Death Echo by Elizabeth Lowell. Mystery - pretty good.

free deodorant, toothpaste, cereal and BBQ sauce

July 30th, 2010 at 01:31 pm

Grocery shopping again today

Safeway spent $4.55

2.49 - Lucky Charms
-1.00 - Safeway q
-1.00 - .55 q doubled
- .60 - ecoupon
-----
.11 moneymaker goes to my niece for her new apartment

1.98 - 2 KC masterpiece BBQ sauce
-2.00 - 2 $1.00 q's
-----
.02 moneymaker - goes to my mom

1.76 - 2 Joint Juice
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's
-----
.24 moneymaker - goes to my grandma

1.29 - 18 ct eggs
1.59 - bagged coleslaw
1.99 - 1 mini watermelon
-----
4.87

King Soopers next where I spent $4.24

3.00 - Crest toothpaste
.20 - tax
-----
3.20
-3.00 - 3 .50 q's doubled
-----
.20 - goes to food pantry

1.76 - 2 Lady Speed Stick deodorant
-1.76 - 2 .50 q's doubled to .88 each
-----
FREE - this goes to the food pantry

2.19 - milk - this has gone up 10% in 2 weeks
.78 - 4 grain rolls in day old section 50% off
.34 - bunch of parsley
.09 - 1 stalk of celery
.69 - 1 long john
------
4.09
- .05 - bag credit
-----
4.04

I finished reading the library book The Courtesan's Secret by Claudia Dain. Historical romance - pretty good.

computer accessories

July 29th, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I went to Staples to get some computer accessories for my laptop. I had a 15% off you entire order coupon. I got some DVDs to do a backup on the laptop and a mouse. Spent $25.65 and used the gift card I got from Plastic Jungle to pay.

I went to Walgreens and got a Universal Cable to hook up my printer to the laptop. I'll be going back and forth between my desktop and laptop with the printer and it's easier to have a cord for each, instead of crawling around under the desk to unplug one and plug in the other. Staples didn't carry these. I also got 2 cans of Butterball chicken broth for .50 each. I used one of my Walgreens gift cards and 3 $3.50 RRs I had from last week. Nothing spent out of pocket.

I had a coupon so I went and got my hair cut at Great Clips. $10 including tip. Feels so much better/cooler short.

I've got my laptop up and working - just need to do the backup. Of the other stuff I got I need to install the toilet seat still. Everything else is put away.

I finished reading my book The Singing Sword by Jack Whyte. Historical fiction - pretty good.

expensive day

July 28th, 2010 at 02:31 pm

I spent $464.01 at Walmart this morning. I keep an ongoing list of household things I need and since I wanted to buy a laptop that Walmart has on sale I took my list and headed out to shop. I got the laptop for $298. It's up and running and I have it connected to the Internet. I still need to get it connected to my printer, but have to find the disk first.

I've been looking for a laptop for several months. I think this one suits my needs well. I wanted to spend less than $400 and this fits that need too. I just wanted something plain. I don't do a lot of things on my computer. Email, internet, a few spreadsheets, and an occasional letter - that's about it. No games, no TV or movies - just simple stuff. So I didn't need a lot of bells and whistles.

I like shopping at Walmart for everyday things because unless you want to spend time waiting for a sale, and checking out multiple stores they usually have very good prices, plus they are close to me, so I don't have to drive a half hour before I even get to the store.

Among other things I also got the following:

A toilet seat
A spice rack with spices
A set of silverware. I'm down to 2 forks. All the sudden the silverware I bought 10 years ago is breaking. The shafts are just breaking off when you put pressure on them.
3 magazine holders
2 pot holders
6 books
some groceries

I used all the Walmart gift cards I had got from Plastic Jungle, should have got 2 more.

I hate the laptop mouse, so need to get one of those at Staples. Walmart was out of all their mice - wierd.

The worst thing about doing a heavy shopping trip though is unpacking and putting everything away. And with computers it's installing all the neat little things you've added like RoboForm and Swagbucks. Getting my favorites, wallpaper, etc. That's not fun to me, it's more of a chore. Plus they pack stuff so it takes Houdini to get things unpackaged anymore. I bet I struggled with the silverware for 20 minutes.

I finished reading the library book The New Good Life by John Robbins. Financial book based after the latest meltdown. Has a very environmental/green slant. It was ok, nothing new or that interesting in my opinion.

car care

July 27th, 2010 at 08:59 pm

I got gas this morning and spent $28.33. I used my credit card that's paying me 5% for gas purchases this month. I planned to get a car wash too, but the car wash was broke. Maybe next time.

Then I took my car to Walmart and got 2 new tires. Spent $162.82 and used the discounted Walmart gift cards I got from Plastic Jungle. I still need an alignment so need to start looking for coupons/deals on that. Walmart doesn't do alignments anymore.

My dad picked me up when I dropped my car off at Walmart and took me home so I didn't have to wait. He took me back this afternoon and mom and I went ahead and walked in Walmart and then we went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner, where I spent $9.82. Steak, baked potato and salad.

I really need to get back on track with eating healthy. I've done so much gadding about with family and friends this last week it feels like I've eaten out everyday. I went to mom's last night because my niece was there and I'm trying to spend as much time with her as possible before she goes back to college next week.

Mom fixed a huge meal of steak, baked potato, corn on the cob, salad, garlic bread and for dessert a snickers pie.

I'm also feeling a little grouchy because I haven't had enough alone time to just sit and read and relax in my home. Oh well, I guess there will be time to get back to normal next week. It just happened that after a month of not doing too much all the sudden I had a week of doing too much Smile

I finished reading the library book Midnight's Daughter by Karen Chance. Paranormal - pretty good.

Sarah Connor marathon

July 26th, 2010 at 11:30 am

I put season 2 of the Sarah Connor chronicles on hold at the library over 8 months ago and they finally came in. So I got a pizza from Papa Murpheys and a friend of mine came over to watch them. There were 22 episodes. I can't imagine they had that many in one season, maybe it was combined with another. Anyways she stayed from 12 Saturday till 1 in the morning and we still had 6 episodes to go. So she came back Sunday and we watched the rest from 12:30 to 5:30. We only watched the episodes and not the extras.

The series started out really good. Very interesting. But the last episode really ruined it for both of us. We were very disappointed and of course there won't be anymore. To console ourselves we went to the new gellato place by me and got small cups of gellato Smile I got rasberry sorbet - so good.

During the marathon we stopped and got Subway on Saturday and Sunday she got Taco Bell and brought it over. So a weekend of sitting around watching TV, eating fast food and being with friends. The best kind Smile

I sprained or strained my ankle in some way and had to stop walking about a third thru our walk on Friday so the I needed to stay off it the last two days anyways. Today it feels much better. Just a few twinges now and then. Don't know what I did to hurt it, but it was very painful for awhile.

My friend has always loved my house and she made a comment on it again this weekend. I told her I'm constantly walking thru my house and thinking I love this house, or I really like the detail in that picture or art piece or whatever. Even after 9 years here I'm still extremely happy with my surroundings. That's probably one of the reasons I enjoy just being in my house for long periods of time. I don't have to go somewhere to be content or to be entertained or just do something different. I'm content where I am and have enough to stimulate me right here. Good way to save money. Buy things you love for a long, long time. So you don't need to replace them and can enjoy them for a very long time.

In fact I find that when I have a lot of things to do like going places with friends or family several days in a row, I get irritated. Not enough relaxation time of just being by myself and relaxing in the comfort of my home.

This morning I went to the library and to Safeway. I got 10 more cans of vegetables for the food pantry. This time they charged me $5.

I finished reading the library book Storm Prey by John Sandford. Mystery - very good.

I'll be glad when school starts again

July 23rd, 2010 at 01:37 pm

Since it's summertime and hot I have my windows open most of the time. Right now they are having a summer bible school in the church behind me with tons of screaming kids and there is a neighborhood kid who is constantly riding a little go-cart type thing up and down the street 50 times a day. I hate the noise. Can't wait for school to start again and the weather gets cooler so I can close the windows and hopefully won't be so much noise.

There hasn't been a lot of great grocery bargains this month so I'm behind on my food pantry buying. I went to Safeway and got 10 cans of Green Giant vegetables for 1.81. I don't know how, I can't figure out their receipts. It should have been $5. Oh well.

I also went to King Soopers and got 9 cans of Hunts tomatoes for .38 each to donate. I got 5 bottles of Joint Juice for free to give to my grandma and I got tons of fruits and vegetables and milk. So many good fruits and veggies out right now. I got a beautiful slice of watermelon, hope it's as good as it looks. I think tomorrow I will have corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and watermelon. Today I am having a baked potato and salad for lunch and for dinner leftover burritos w/watermelon.

Finished reading the library book Eye of Heaven by Marjorie M. Liu. Paranormal - pretty good.

doing the tourist thing

July 22nd, 2010 at 11:10 am

Mom, oldest niece and I went to Manitou Springs and Old Colorado City yesterday to do the tourist thing. They are popular shopping areas for tourists in Colorado. Historic parts of Colorado Springs that have lots of old victorian style houses. Lots of little gift shops selling mostly western/indian stuff or hippie/tibetan/new age stuff. It was fun, but hot. Fortunately not as hot as last week when it was in the 90's. We are in the 'monsoon season' here and get rain most days - which is great.

I spent $4.25 on some amaretto fudge, which is my favorite and another $10 on an overpriced hamburger at one of the small restaraunts down there.

My niece loves the hippie/tebetan/new age type stores. She really into that style. Peace signs, tie-dye, beads on the door etc. I didn't care for it the first time around and it hasn't grown on me. I like solids and fall colors and simple design. But each to their own. She's got a huge tapastry to hang over her bed and some beds for her door.

Mom got some little things for gifts, mostly cards. She likes the gift stores and card stores and xmas stores.

I like the gift stores that trend towards dragons, and fairies and they had several, but I have all I need right now so wasn't tempted by anything. Still I liked looking.

I finished reading my book Freedoms Ransom by Anne McCaffrey. Sci/Fi - very good.

hard hearted?

July 20th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Yesterday president Obama gave a speech about wanting congress to pass more unemployment benefits - going from 99 weeks to 126 weeks. He had 3 unemployed people behind him who would lose their benefits otherwise. One of them gave an interview saying basically "Of course we should extend the unemployment benefits. If your brother or sister needs money you should just give it to them and not worry about getting it paid back."

What if you don't have the money? Are you suppose to borrow it and then figure out how to pay it back in the future? Are you supposed to loan the money and then tell your kids they have to pay it back for you? At what point is it your responsibility to take care of your life? 99 weeks seems like plenty of time for someone to find some kind of work. It may not be what you were doing before or at the wages you want, but I'd think you could find something.

I have no problems with people collecting unemployment that they've paid for - the first 6 months. I have reservations on how effective the tax money is being spent after that. I know things are bad, but wouldn't people take $10 and $12 hour jobs if they knew their unemployment was running out? They would bring in the same amount as their unemployment checks only the tax payers wouldn't be paying for it, with money we don't have as a country. Would people move from high unemployment states if they knew their unemployment was done? There are a lot of part time jobs around here - not great I agree, but isn't that better than the taxpayers picking up the bill?

Lately it seems like the government is supposed to provide everything to everyone and I'm not sure it's good for the national character to think in those terms - government will provide. We fix bad mortgages, we give people money to buy new cars, houses and appliances. We provide money when they don't have a job. We provide more government jobs than any other kind in the country. We let people walk away from bad debt in the thousands of dollars. There are no more consequences for making bad decisions. Buy more than you can afford - no problem the government will fix it, by letting you renegotiate. Get thousands in school loans for a degree where there are no jobs that pay enough to repay those loans? No problem - work for the government and we'll forgive those loans.

I'm all for helping people when they're down. I'm just not sure government is the best way to do that and I think the way government does it is warping our characters. I think we need to work more on providing for ourselves in bad times, by having some savings, by not buying more than we can afford when things get bad, by contributing to local charities to help those around us who are having a temporary tough time. I think better ways for government to help people instead of giving them money when bad things happen in their lives is to put money into programs to help people make better decisions in their live. Like personal finance education in the schools. Like loans to small businesses. Like job retraining when whole industries die. Assistance with finding jobs in other states when unemployment is bad in one state.

But let's not make it perputual by financing tough times so that it makes more sense to wait while unemployed for the perfect job to come along. My brother did this 8 years ago and he's now a bum. After my dad closed the shop, my brother had a job lined up to work with someone else. But he decided to take a couple weeks vacation first. The wait stretched out for a few months and finally the job wasn't there anymore. He lived on his savings and odd and end remodeling jobs for the next 2 years. After that he lived on credit cards for 2 years. Now he has $26,000 in credit card debt and has been living off my parents for 4 - 5 years. He couldn't get a job if he wanted one. Over the years he turned down several $10 - $12 hour jobs, because they wouldn't cover all his bills. He can't see that some money is better than no money and if one job doesn't do it, get 2. Just do something to stop the hemoraghing and get a better job later.

Anyways this was a bit rambling but is it really so hard-hearted to say to people 2 years of unemployment paid for by the american people is enough? Especially when we don't have the money. America used to be a rich land, but now it's a broke land and we need to get the finances in order before lending helping hands. It's like what they tell you in the airplane. Put your own oxygen mask on first or you won't be able to help anyone else. America needs to put it's own finances in order first before it can keep pouring money into a broken system. My mom says she feels sorry for the people on unemployment. I do too, I feel bad for them and try to help by donating locally but there has to be a line at some point where the government says enough is enough. We can't keep giving you money for being unemployed. Where is that line? 2 years, 3 years, 5 years?

I finished reading my book Men Of Danger. Mystery short stories. Ok, the best story was by Lora Leigh, the others were just ok.

grocery shopping

July 19th, 2010 at 12:46 pm

Walgreens was first today where I did 2 transactions and spent no money out of pocket. Used my gift cards purchased w/previous RRs

Transaction 1

3.49 - Colgate Total toothpaste
.24 - taxes
-----
3.79
-1.00 q
-----
2.79 - got back an RR for $3.50.

1.98 - 2 boxes Old El Paso Taco Shells
-1.00 - $1/2 q
-----
.98

Transaction 2

3.49 - Colgate Total toothpaste
.24 - taxes
-----
3.79
-1.00 q
-----
2.79 - got back an RR for $3.50.

All of the above goes to the food pantry

Safeway was next I spent $6.27

11.96 - 4 boxes Cheerios
- 4.00 - wyb 4
- 4.00 - 4 .55 q's doubled
- .55 - 1 ecoupon
------
3.41

2.99 - Nature Valley Granola bars
-2.99 - free wyb 4 cheerios
-1.00 - .50 q doubled
-----
1.00 moneymaker

3.79 - Nature Valley nut clusters
-1.00 - wyb 4 or more GM products - cheerios
-2.00 - 2 $1.00 ecoupons
-1.00 - manufacture coupon
- .80 - .80/2 ecoupon for Nature Valley products
-----
1.01 moneymaker

1.89 - 18 ct Lucerne eggs
- .60 - Safeway q
-----
1.29

3.58 - 2 loaves Sara Lee wheat bread

The granola bars go to the food pantry and the Nut clusters go to mom and dad

Last stop was King Soopers where I spent $17.38. King Soopers is having a buy 10 get $5 sale

5.98 - 2 Tombstone pizzas
-4.00 - 2 $2 q's
-1.00 - wyb 10
-----
.98 - 50 cents each for 2 large pizzas Smile

7.47 - 3 6 packs Jello pudding packs
-1.50 - wyb 10
-3.00 - 3 .60 q's doubled
-----
2.97

1.49 - Simply potatoes
- .50 - wyb 10
-1.00 - .50 q doubled
-----
.01 moneymaker

.99 - Idaho potatoes
-.50 - wyb 10
-----
.49 - goes to food pantry - needed to make the second set of 10 items to save the $5

3.30 - Poise pantyliners
.06 - tax
-----
3.36
-3.30 - Free item q
-----
.06

2.64 - 3 Joint Juice
-2.00 - 2 $1 q's
- .88 - BOGO q
-----
.24 moneymaker - goes to my grandma

3.96 - 4 cans Spaghetti O's
-2.00 - wyb 10
-2.00 - 2 $1/2 coupons
-----
.04 moneymaker - goes to food pantry

2.49 - Miracle Whip light mayo
- .50 - wyb 10
-1.00 - q
-----
.99

4.50 - 3 Suave deodorant
-1.50 - wyb 10
-3.00 - 3 .75 q's doubled
-----
FREE - goes to food pantry

1.50 - Softsoap
- .50 - wyb 10
-1.00 - q
------
FREE

4.94 - 2 pints Ben & Jerry's ice cream
-1.00 - wyb 10
-1.00 - $1/2 q
-----
2.94

4.76 - 2 Stouffers Lasagna 21 oz
-1.00 - wyb 10
-----
3.76

5.99 - Glucerna shakes
-3.00 - $3 q
------
2.99

1.35 - grapes @ .88/lb
2.29 - 6 ct hearty grain rolls

The food pantry gets

2 large toothpaste
2 taco shells
1 package granola bars
1 Idaho potatoes
3 deodorant
4 Spaghetti O's

Mom and dad get Nut Clusters and grandma gets Joint Juice and I get the rest.

Finished reading the library book The Courtesan's Daughter by Claudia Dain. Romance - pretty good.

challenge is over :)

July 18th, 2010 at 01:34 pm

Week 1 - $23.17, 18.32 eating out, 4.85 groceries
Week 2 - $22.28, 9.00 eating out, 13.28 groceries
Week 3 - $19.93, 7.00 eating out, 12.93 groceries
Week 4 - $24.14, 14.32 eating out, 10.52 groceries

Here's yesterday's menu

Breakfast
1 1/2 c cheerios
skim milk

Lunch
peanut butter and celery
1 tomato
grapes
1 glass skim milk

Snack
large Snickers bar

Dinner
Went to McDonalds after walking and spent $6.07 - got a fish sandwich and fries

The challenge is over. I'm so glad. There were some pluses though.

1. I think I ate pretty healthy overall.
2. I think eating 5 smaller meals a day is better for my diabetes. I'm going to try to continue this even though I'm not fond of thinking about food all day, which eating this way makes me do
3. I lost 5 pounds - woohoo! This has inspired me to try to lose 5 more in the next month.

The negatives are

1. This is too restrictive for the way I buy food and in the long run costs me more. I prefer spending more in the weeks there are good bargains and really stocking up rather than spending a set amount each week. I average $20 a week in groceries anyways. Eating out averages $20 - $25 a week.
2. It was hard for me to plan well. I don't know when events will happen that far in advance and just because I ate out early in the week, I don't want to have to turn down time to be w/family or friends because I already spent my budget for the week. I like to be more flexible. Spend a little more now, spend less later.

Overall a good experience.

I ordered 2 more $100 Walmart giftcards from plasticjungle last night. They were 4% off plus 1% from the credit card. Almost $10 savings. I need a new tire and an alignment so wanted to get the cards before getting that done.

Met my parents at Red Lobster today. They raised the price on their popcorn shrimp lunch from $7.25 to $8.25 probably because of the oil spill. That makes for a fairly expensive lunch now. We usually have coupons, but didn't this time. Spent $10.12

At Border's I got 2 books at 33% off and used my reward cards so free.

I went to Target on the way home and spent $1.82

4.78 - 2 packages Pampers wipes
.35 - taxes
-----
5.13
-4.00 - 2 $2 q's
-----
1.13 - goes to food pantry

2.91 - 3 trial size Tide
.21 - taxes
-----
3.12
-3.00 - 3 $1 q's
-----
.12

2.58 - 2 packages Stride gum
-1.29 - manufacture BOGO q
-1.29 - target q
-----
FREE - goes to the nieces

1.94 - 2 trial size J&J first aid kits
.15 - taxes
-----
2.09
-3.00 - $3/2 q
------
.91 moneymaker - 1 goes in car and 1 gets donated

1.34 - 2 snickers bars
.04 - taxes
-----
1.38 - tossed in at the last moment because I realized I had too much overage. Could have just used one though.

Of the $1.82 I spent .97 was taxes.

I finished reading my book Black Jack by Lora Leigh. Adventure - very good

Day 28

July 17th, 2010 at 01:00 pm

Week 1 - $23.17, 18.32 eating out, 4.85 groceries
Week 2 - $22.28, 9.00 eating out, 13.28 groceries
Week 3 - $19.93, 7.00 eating out, 12.93 groceries
Week 4 - $17.74, 8.25 eating out, 9.49 groceries

Here's yesterday's menu

Breakfast
1 1/2 c cheerios
skim milk

Lunch
We went to a local restaraunt and I had scrambled eggs, toast, fruit cup, small serving of potatoes. Spent $8.25

Snack
1/2 cup limocello gellato

Dinner
hamburger on hearty grain roll w/tomato and cheese
large salad w/mandarin oranges, hard boiled egg, and walnuts and low cal ranch dressing
1 glass skim milk

Snack
1/2 cup limocello gellato

Today is the last day of the challenge. Will be glad when it's over.

I finished reading the library book Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop. Sci/Fi - excellent.