Friday, March 29, 2013

Good news on Good Friday

It's been a day of some good news.  First off DS will be home in less than 3 weeks!! I am so ready to have him back home. It will have been over 4 months since he left when he gets home. Not sure how long we'll get him, as he's talked here and there of moving to Australia to work and live, but hopefully we'll at least have him through the end of summer.

The company I work for has had another record sales month, so we ended the 1st quarter with awesome numbers! Getting closer and closer to that mid-year bonus. A bonus equivalent of $550 per month (10% of salary) would be so great to get. If we make the goals for the year we get another payout at the end of the year and back into 20% bonus possibilities for 2014.  That kind of bonus (we got that for 2 years in a row in 2007 and 2008) would be a tremendous help to my budget. Everyone at work is super pumped and we are on a great momemtum.

With the news that we reached our sales goal (and there is still today left to add to it) the owner's decided to close half day early today, for an early start to the Easter weekend. I'm looking forward to an afternoon off and getting some errands done. DD has no school, or work, or tennis this afternoon so we will get to grocery shop and run errands together.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I am feeling so old right now! Oh.My.Goodness!  DD and I watched "The Voice" for the first time ever last night. I'm not so old that I haven't heard of Shakira, but that's about as far as my knowledge of her went. We enjoyed the show quite a bit and her accent reminded us of DD's foreign exchange student tennis partner she played doubles with last year. I'm always the type that when something or someone interests me I google them for more info. I was just wondering where Shakira was from in "Latin America". In reading about it I saw that her age is 36. I watched the show all last night thinking she was probably in her mid 20's - very young and pretty looking. 

So, I ask DD - hey, how old do you think Shakira is? (fully expecting her to guess approximately the same age I had) and she says, " 50?". My eyes go round and she says "maybe 40?". Ok, really, If Shakira looks like she's 50, I (at almost age 50) must look like I'm a hundred!!  It was quite depressing, to say the least.  Sigh.....

What day is it?

Is it Wednesday already? I'm used to just being home every night after work but now we've had tennis matches quite a few days. DD is doing very well, she's won 3 out of 4 of her matches. She finally got to play a singles match on Monday and won easily 6-1, 6-0.'d think the coach would put her in singles for yesterday's match? Noooo....apparently the coach texts the girl who has been playing all the "1st singles" (and NOT won one match yet!) and asks her what SHE wants to play - singles or doubles! Hello? DD is #1 rank on her team - shouldn't she be asking DD? Plus, after DD won her singles match the coach makes a comment that the girl who has been playing singles so far would be mad that DD got to play the "easy" match for a win. What a slap in the face to DD! The girl she played against wasn't that bad and they had some really good volleys, but DD just outplayed her and knew more where to place the ball. Plus there's no guarantee this other girl would have won........she's never even beaten DD in any match they have played, ever. GRRR. I don't really like sports, LOL. Today is a day off and just practice for the team. I told DD I'd go over this afternoon while they are practicing and take lots of pictures of everyone. The coach uses the pictures for their year end banquet. I only have Wednesdays and Friday's available to go take pictures in the afternoon and so far it's rained every time I was going to go. Looks like I might be able to do it today, finally.

DD started coming down with a sore throat yesterday, but she played through it and played well. She's sleeping in this morning, (but I just heard a sneeze come out of her room) as she is on break from her college classes. She's not really getting a spring break this year. Spring break for high school is next week, so this week she still has to go to her one high school class (which is 3 days a week) and next week, while high school is on break, she starts back up with her college classes.

DH is coming out of his funk a bit, so that is good. As I predicted, the nicer weather got him outside to work on the yard instead of being cooped up inside all day. Sunday we got the lawn spread with moss killer and watered all the little trees we planted at the end of last fall. I'm hoping they made it through the winter. Some of them aren't looking so good, but apparently they also kind of turn a bit bronze/brown in the winter, so I'm not sure. 

We might have to move my grandma out of the home she has been staying at for almost the past 2 years. She has run out of her savings and will be going on medicaid in the next month. The lady who takes care of her has been trying and trying to get licensed with the state so she can have more than one person to care for and take medicaid, but it's been a long process. She's been working on it for almost the 2 years my grandma has been there! She finally passed all her tests and whatnot, but they keep finding things she needs to do to her house every time they come to inspect and if this doesn't get approved soon, my mom will have to find someplace else that takes the medicaid...or be out $2000 a month of her own money, which she isn't going to do. She's going to pay it for April, but not after that. Plus, when my mom was over there Monday, the state person told my grandma's caregiver that my grandma would have to be moved to the basement (it's a split level type of home), because she doesn't use a wheel chair (though she can hardly walk without a walker and someone walking with her) and any others she has living there that use a wheel chair would be on the main floor. My grandma likes her room and doesn't want to be downstairs. So, it's all stressful for my mom and grandma right now. My grandma does have to use a wheel chair anytime they take her anywhere, so you'd think that would qualify.

Waiting for DS to finally come home! Gosh I miss him. Last I talked to him, he sounded like he was going to come home mid April - but he hasn't booked his return flight yet. Hopefully we'll be seeing him in 3 weeks!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The weekend update

DH can see with his new glasses! YES!!! He can read, he can read his computer screen, he can see far away. Oh happy day!  We went and picked up his new glasses on Friday afternoon and as soon as he put them on he could tell they were good. She asked him to read the bottom line on the card laying on the table and he pointed to the very tiny lettering even below that and said he could read that. LOL
I will now definitely be going back to the eye doctor at Walmart Vision Center to ask for a refund on the eye exam itself, since it wasn't even the same as the one the new eye doctor gave him.

It's been a pretty good weekend so far. After picking up the glasses we went to DD's tennis match (finishing up what got rained out on Tuesday after they didn't even get the first set in). She and her doubles partner won and the team won as a whole, so that was great.  Friday night (middle of the night our time) DS finally got a race car that ran good and actually finished a race, so everyone was happy about that. He was quite excited when he called at 6am our time to give us the first hand account of it. DH had been following along as DS would put updates of how it was going on his Facebook page. A nice US lady who now lives in Australia and loves racing took videos with her cell phone and posted them throughout the night so that was neat to be able to watch, too. She got a neat video of him during opening ceremonies idling around the track with a US flag and our national anthem.

Yesterday we went down to the house of the DH's friend that passed away almost 2 years ago. For over the past year DH has had the job of sorting, organizing and trying to sell the huge amount of car stuff this guy had in his huge shop. It's just too much for his wife to handle and she wouldn't know how to price it all, etc. I hadn't been down there with him in a long time, but with all the stuff he's gradually sold over the past year it's finally starting to made a dent and you can move around in the shop. The friends wife was happy that DH was able to give her another $700 for what he sold yesterday. He figured it out last night and last year he sold about $20,000 worth of stuff. This year so far he's been able to sell $3000 of stuff. There is still so much more, I don't know that DH will ever get this project done. While he was out in the shop selling the stuff and swapping race stories, I was in the house and visited with our friend. She is doing ok, though I know she still misses her hubby terribly. Her daughter keeps her busy, so that is good.

We got home around 2pm and DD had gotten off work earlier than usual and I walked in to a very clean house! She had vacuumed, dusted and cleaned the kitchen all sparkly and was doing her laundry.  Guess I gotta leave her home alone more often!  For dinner we had New England clam chowder in bread bowls. Yummy, but the soup wasn't that great. I haven't bought clam chowder soup in a long time and the grocery store I did my shopping at didn't have the brand I used to get when I shopped at Walmart, so I just tried the Progresso kind. If there were any clams in it, it was hard to tell. I'll need to try a different kind next time

I had planned to clean house today but now I don't have to - now I have to figure out what to do today....tonight's dinner menu is spaghetti and french bread. Spaghetti is one of my favorites, but DH isn't a big fan so I only try to make it every couple of months. But it makes for good leftovers for me to take to work for lunch. I made that homemade pizza again one might last week and DH tried it and had 3 pieces! Said it was even better than the pizza place we usually get our pizza from :-)

The week ahead is going to be (hopefully weather holds out) 3 tennis matches, so I'm sure the week will just fly by. DD gets to play singles tomorrow which she is so excited for. Next Friday is payday and I have like $50 left out of my last paycheck. I will need to buy some cat food, but hopefully that is all. DD has been wanting a new hamper, with a lid. She just has a wicker type basket lined with fabric to use now, but her tennis clothes are a bit stinky to sit in there, since she doesn't do laundry every single day, so I suggested a hamper with a lid might help the smell problem (and she's been looking at hampers at Target and other stores for awhile now, she just didn't want to spend $40 or $50). While we were at Walmart yesterday afternoon, trying to find the vacuum bags for my new vacuum (yes, thankfully they carry them) she saw a couple of hampers on the same aisle. It was a 5 piece hamper set, the hamper was a lined basket with a lid and 4 other various sized lined baskets. It was $37, so she bought that and was in heaven because she loves baskets. She already has basekts all over her room and in her closet.

I guess this was a bit of rambly post but the puppy (who's almost as big as our older dog now) is asleep laying on my foot and I know if I move he will wake right up and he's so peaceful and quiet and out of trouble right I've just sat here and kept typing :-)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rain rain go away

I was standing at yet another tennis match where it started raining, in my very old rain jacket, when I looked down at the material of it and realized it was time for this jacket to be done with. I've had it about 10 years now. I even remember buying it - it was at Sears on clearance and I got it for like $10. The outside isn't the breathable, water resistant types most jackets are made of these days. It's made of vinyl? Whatever it's made of it was literally wearing off the coat. Well, if I need a new rain jacket now is probably the best time to buy one, since most are on clearance as the stores have out their spring/summer lines.

I went to Kohl's last night as I had a 30% of coupon and they were offering $10 Kohl's cash for $50 spent (though I was hoping to spend less then $50, for sure). I also wanted to get something quality, that will last many years (hence, I didn't go to Walmart for it). Even though we have casual dress where I work, I still need to look like I present myself well. I also don't want to be standing in the rain at a tennis match or at a store looking like a bum in worn out clothes! Kohl's had their remaining jackets on sale 50% off. I found one I really liked that was regularly $90 on sale for $45, plus with the 30% off coupon it would only be $31.50.  Here's what I got:

I know - I could have looked at thrift stores or on ebay but honestly I just don't have the time. We only have one thrift store in my town (Salvation Army) and the hour or more I would have take out of my day to try and hope I find something I could be putting in an hour at my side job and making more than I saved on a jacket.

DD was with me and of course was looking at all the jackets too - she is a jacket-whore LOL. She loves coats/jackets. Usually she finds them pretty cheap at Ross, so she never spends much. Her North Face was a gift from grandma and her Columbia jacket was purchased a few years ago for like $25 at an oulet mall. She found this jacket that she bought (with her money - she made like $50 in tips last weekend):

Sorry for the teeny tiny picture! It was the only one I could get showing the color she got. She's trying to branch out from always wearing black jackets! Her jacket was the same price as mine, so we were over the $50 and got the $10 Kohl's cash, which I gave to her, so she can buy some pantyhose she needs for work all the time. She's found pantyhose there she likes, but they are like $6.50 a pair. But, they do last her quite awhile, considering they get quite a work out with being a hostess running around helping the servers for 6 hours. When she tried the really cheap kind they would get runs every shift and she was replacing them almost every time she worked.

Of course, now today is sunny and blue skies! But it's still a jacket I can wear anytime, so that is a good thing :-) Oh, and did I mention DD and I are the same size, so we can share!


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Homemade pizza

Over the weekend I tried this pizza recipe I found in a magazine ad. YUM! It was so easy to make and tasted so good. I will definitely be making this again and it was great for leftovers to take to work for lunch.
Easy Homemade Pizza

We like olives and mushrooms too, so I added those to this recipe.  My crust wasn't exactly a perfect circle - haha! but it all tasted the same. The crust is made with thawed out Rhodes frozen dinner rolls. DD is already asking me to make this again.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Catching up

It's a busy week this week with (barring rain, which is expected back tomorrow) DD having 4 tennis matches. One yesterday to make up for the rainout on Friday. (Tennis in March is ridiculous!). They got yesterday's match in and while DD and her partner won their match, 3 out of the other 5 varsity singles/doubles teams did not, so they lost as a team. They have another match today and that looks like the weather will hold ok. It's been a bit frustrating to watch DD have to play doubles again this year. She is ranked #1 on the ladder for her team. In the past 2 years the #1 girl always got to play singles. DD worked her butt off all last summer and the rest of fall/winter with tennis camp and private lessons so that she could get better and play singles. I really don't understand the coach's "reasoning", but guess that's why I'm not much of a sports person. The varsity team consists of 2 singles players and 3 doubles teams. They have to win 3 out of the 5 singles/doubles matches to get the overall team win. Coach thinks putting DD and another girl together as doubles will be a strong doubles team and insure one of the 3 points to win....but my thinking is DD would also be very strong and probably just as good a chance to win at singles too, so what is the difference? I really don't get it, but as long as DD is having fun and doing well, we'll have to live with it. I can really see a difference in her playing since last season. Her serves are strong and she even aced one yesterday (that I was happy to get on video). She knows where to place the ball during play and scored quite a few of the points.

I bought a new vacuum at Lowes. I got a Bissell. The model I wanted and had researched online (and thought was in stock) wasn't when I got there. They double checked (because their scan showed it in stock too). I didn't want to spend anymore time on this vacuum situation, so I just got a different Bissell model. It wasn't as expensive as the one I wanted, but my other choice was to go to a vacuum (different brand) that was $100 more and that wasn't in the budget. I used my $50 Lowes gift card (that I got from the washing machine purchase) towards the total price, so with tax, I was $91 out of pocket with sales tax (our sales tax rate is almost 10%). I like the vacuum so far...has 3 features my old one didn't that I really like. The hose is already attached so when I need to use that I don't have to stop the machine and take off the hose and attach it, like I did with my old one. I also like the retractable cord! Push a button and it winds itself back in. It also has an attachment to use on upholstery and did quite a good job getting a lot of the cat hair off of the bar stool cushion our cat has claimed as his sleeping spot. Usually I take strips of packing tape (that I got free with coupons) to get all the hair off.

I am stocking up again on Beggin Strips dog treats at Target! 10 bags purchased Saturday that cost .12 each, not counting the $3 I spent purchasing the coupons on ebay. I still have enough coupons to get 18 more bags, which I will have to do this week, as the buy one get one free coupons expire on Sunday. I am combining buy one get one free coupons with $1 off coupons. I don't have as many $1 off coupons as the other coupons, but I do have a $1 off 2 and a $1 off 3, so I will pay a little more on those transactions.  The 6 oz. bags are $2.50 at Target, but when the cashiers scan the coupons through it takes off the full value of the coupon of $3.75 (I'm assuming Target gets this amount back, too). So, $5 for 2 bags, less $4.75 in coupons, less my 5% discount for using my Red debit card.  When I am done I will have 28 bags ($70 value) for a total cost of $7.40 (including cost of coupons). I am going to give some of them to my boss, who has a doggie and some to DD's friend, who volunteers at a dog shelter.  One of the coupon sellers also put in some extra buy one get one free coupons that say "Redeemable at Meijer". Do any of you coupon experts (Sluggy?) know if I can use these at any store? They look just like a mfg. coupon, not a store coupon. We don't have Meijer's in my area. I think I can use them, even though they say Meijer on them, but I'm not certain on that rule.

Our water well broke again yesterday, but the well owner seems to be doing better job now with responding quickly to it for repair. It was out for quite a few hours (right when DH had started laundry day, of course) and then she called last night that the repairman did a temporary fix and will come back out today to put in a permanent fix (so water will be off again for awhile).  At least she seems to have gotten the message that she has a responsibility to the water users and we cannot go for days without water just because she didn't manage the well money properly. She did up the rate to $20 per month at the beginning of the year and that was a smart move on her part too and we had no problem with that. Hopefully she is setting the extra money aside and will have it for repairs as needed. Usually they only come up every few years.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Another broken appliance

Good grief! Last weekend I had to replace my Shark steam mop because it died. Now my vacuum cleaner went bad! I don't know how old it is - I'd say at least 8 years, probably longer. The motor is making a terrible noise and a burning smell, so now I have to buy a new vacuum. It just never ends. At least I still have the $50 Lowes gift card from my washing machine purchase, so I think I will use that and purchase the vacuum there. I will also see if I can buy gift card for Lowe's at my grocery store and get extra gas rewards (5x gas rewards points from a personlized offer I have on my store card)...I think it was SuzyQ who gave me that idea recently? If it was someone else, I apologize, but thanks for the idea! I just need to not touch anything for at least the next month!


I still can't get motivated this week. At least it's Friday and payday, I guess, but I don't even feel excited about that. I've been trying to finish my week's dinner menu plan so that I can finish my grocery list and go shopping either tonight or tomorrow morning and so far I have only come up with 3 dinners! Nothing sounds good or we've already had it very recently or I'm just sick of having it so often.  Blah!

DD might get her first tennis match of the season played this afternoon. It has rained out on them all so far this week. Weather report is looking like they might get an hour or two of play before the rain starts back up. Yesterday's match got cancelled, apparently because of "expected" rain that never came until like 6pm, so they totally could have got the match in. It was really stupid for them to cancel it when it wasn't even raining and the courts were dry.

At least it's finally stopped raining in Australia, where DS is, and he's finally going to get to race again tonight - well, sort of tonight - about midnight our time and it's Saturday there. I am so hoping this race goes better for him and his new race team - the first car/team was plagued with so many mechanical problems. I'll just have to go to bed and then try to get up when the racing starts so I can watch for the updates and possibly listen to the audio of the race being announced on the internet. I tried that a couple of times before but between the heavy accent AND the announcer talking so fast (he is announcing a race, afterall) I could barely understand a word of what was going on! I just went back to bed and told DH to come in and tell me the updates, LOL.

Well, back to trying to figure out what's for dinner the next week.........If I don't have a plan we'll end up eating fast food.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Trying to get over hump day

This seems like a long week, already. The weather has been gloomy, DH has been extra gloomy, and I've been dealing with heartburn for the past couple of weeks. The first week it was just that I felt like I needed to burp all the time, which was also making me feel like my heart would skip a beat or flutter when it built up. This week it's the same but actual heartburn/acid in my throat now. So, last night I picked up some Prilosec OTC to give it the 14 day try and see if it goes away. If not, I guess a trip to my doctor will be next. I've never had this problem before but I know my mom had some bad problems with GERD/acid reflux about 10-15 years ago and I think she even had to have some surgery to help correct it. Hope I'm not getting that!

I'm still trying to decide if I want to get a Costco membership.  I'm sure over the course of a year, I'd recoup in savings the $55 membership fee. Plus, I have an offer through MyPoints where I get 550 points plus some freebies from Costco. I know if I wasn't having to go there to pick up prescriptions, I would just end up not going and not using the membership very often because I really don't like shopping there, but with the prescriptions I know I would have to be there, so I would use it. One of DH's prescriptions is a narcotic pain medicine and they can't set those up on automatic refills each month. His doctor has to give me 3 months of prescriptions to fill - the 2nd and 3rd for 30 and 60 days later. So, I have to wait for the pharmacy to fill it each month, which so far takes them about 30 minutes of waiting time. Might as well shop and save on things I buy regularly.

Well, off to try and get through the day.  Some days that's all one can do, I guess. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rocked Target tonight

$32.74 in coupon savings plus $4.50 in 5% Red Card savings!  My total after coupons (not including sales tax) and 5% discount was $85.52.

$8.99 of the savings was actually the Target employees being totally awesome about an expired deal (unbeknownst to DD and I) that still had the signs posted. DD likes John Frieda shampoo and conditioner and I had a $3 off 2 coupon. But, the signs beneath 3 different John Frieda items said "get this item free with purchase"........only thing is it didn't say WHAT to purchase! We tried to figure it out. I even went back up to the front of the store to look at the weekly flyer, but couldn't find anything on it. If there was something to be gotten free, we wanted it, LOL. We grabbed a shampoo, a conditioner and another type of product. So, we asked during checkout and the cashier couldn't figure it out either. We were there during a pretty slow time and no one behind us in line so she asked one of the managers and he tried to figure it out with his little hand scanner, but it wasn't coming up and it might be an expired deal and someone forgot to take the signs down. Nice, accommodating me just said, oh that's ok, don't worry about it. But the nice manager said if the signs are there we will honor it. So he went back to the aisle to see if he could figure it out. He came back as confused as us, so he just gave us the higher priced $8.99 item for free!

I also used a $3 coupon on Purina One dog food (I'm really stocked up on older dogs food now), $2 coupons on Kotex, and miscellaneous other $1 off coupons. The best deal was a buy one get one free Beggin' Strips coupon and a $1 off Beggin Strips coupon. They apparently still had the "glitch" where the B1G1F coupon takes off the maximum refund of $3.75, rather than the $2.50 actual cost of the item. With both coupons I ended up getting 2 bags for 12.5 cents each!  I promptly got home and bought more of these coupons on Ebay and will be stocking back up on Beggin' Strips for the pups.

I also had to purchase a new mop. My Shark steam mop that my mom had gotten me as a gift, maybe only a year and a half ago stopped working. Boo! That sure didn't last long for what she paid for it and considering I'm not the world's most frequent mopper.....I tried different things to see if it was just clogged but it won't even heat up the water anymore now, either. I had a coupon for a free refill when Swiffer starter was purchased, so I got $7 off the 17 ct box of mop pads when I purchased the mop.

Reach dental floss for .40 each with coupon and Campbell's cream of mushroom soups for .55 each with $1 off 5 coupon. It's great to stock up!

Friday, March 8, 2013

New peepers

I took DH to a different optometrist today. I'm $600 poorer, but hopefully he'll have glasses he can see out of now. This doctor gave him a different prescription too! I showed them the prescription Walmart gave him and it was stronger - no wonder it was blurry and he couldn't see well.  We even had Walmart double check it too.  Now, I m really glad I just didn't take that prescription to have filled - it was worth the $75 for the new exam. I'll be going back to Walmart to also ask for a refund on the eye exam now.  When I got the full refund on the glasses the assistant had said if I wanted a refund on the exam I would have to go direct through the eye doctor as they do their billing separate from the Vision Center for the glasses part. I decided to wait and see if the prescriptions ended up different and if it was then I would ask for the refund. So, we had a bad prescription and poor quality lenses - doesn't make much for seeing correctly, does it?

Since we were cash paying customers they did give us a 20% discount on the frames and lenses - thank goodness because they were pricey! But, I guess you get what you pay for and since he needs progressive vs. single vision lenses, it's better to get the higher quality. I guess we'll find out in a couple of weeks if he can get used to them and they work better than the first pair. I am keeping all my fingers crossed.

After I got home I remembered that even though his health insurance doesn't cover vision they do offer some member discounts for non covered services. I looked up the vision and this optometrist is part of the network. I priced out the discount based on their info online and it looks like we paid a bit cheaper with our 20% discount then if I had known to use the discount program. If she hadn't given us the 20% off I certainly would have called back with his insurance info to take advantage of it. That is something for those of you with limited health insurance plans....go online and see what discount programs they might be affiliated with to save at least something on non-covered expenses.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A taste of the empty nest

It's a sad state of affairs when your 17 year old daughter has more money in savings than you do.....She got paid yesterday and as usual, most all of it goes into her savings account. Her goal was to get over $2000 and she is now at $2052, after 6 months of working at her hostess job.  She sent me a text that she made her goal and I texted back that $2000 in savings is my goal right now, too! Oh, to be young again with no house payment or bills other than to put gas in your car and a cell phone bill.

She's quite the responsible one with her money and I am grateful for that. Her brother is a spender. Not on big things, but the money he has just seems to trickle away. But, from our last skype conversation, I do think he is getting some good life experience and a good example of living on a budget. Right now he is staying with a guy only a few years older than he is. A guy with a job (teacher) and rent and it sounds like he is a frugal guy who tries to make his money go as far as possible. DS is even learning to cook meals at home, instead of fast food all the time!There might be hope for him yet as far as money goes.

Still no exact word on when he plans to come back home yet. His extended visa runs out the end of May, so sometime before then.  Call it mother's intuition (or do they call it "mum's intuition" in Australia?) but my bet is he will come home and spend the summer working, and racing locally when he can, until he can save enough money for a work visa, a one way ticket back to Australia, and an indefinite stay to work and live in the land down under. He hasn't specifically said anything, but it's just a hunch......But, boy do I miss him!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Allocating the $

I've allocated the $1303 tax return as follows:

$125 - new desk chair
$300 - extra payment to Mom on car loan
$30 - new pillowcases (I still can't believe they cost that much!)
$700 - savings
$128 - DD's tennis costs. $60 school fee and estimated $68 for team t-shirts and sweatshirt
$20 - new pair of jeans for me for work. Hopefully I can find a pair at Ross for this amount or less.

My savings is sitting at $1550 right now. Of course I wish it were much higher, but it's going to have to be a gradual increase, as usual. February, with the very short paydays and 3 car tabs due, just didn't allow for anything extra to be put in savings out of my regular paychecks. By the end of this month, my goal is to have it at $2000. If nothing else major comes up, it should be do-able.

The weather is warming up and the grass is starting to grow again. It's getting close to where DH can start mowing it again. Soon, I hope. It will get him out of the house and sitting on the riding mower for an hour or two relaxes him. This isn't even our lawn mower! We had a Sears riding mower for over 15 years and it finally died. DH has a good friend who had moved (due to divorce) into a smaller home with a small yard and didn't need his riding mower, but wanted to keep it. He didn't really have the space to store it so he brought it over for us to use and store. Gosh, that had to be 5 years ago - LOL. He knows DH will maintain it and take care of it and when he gets it out to start using it again, DH starts to feel guilty that we are still using his mower, but friend just laughs and says I know where it is if I need it!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A new chair

I went to Staples last night to buy DH a new desk chair. I like how Staples puts the current ad on their website, along with the next weeks ad. I was able to compare the chairs on sale and decided there were better chair sales ending yesterday than the new sales starting today.  The chair I most wanted to look at and sit in was on sale for $169, but after sitting in several chairs, DD and I decided on a different chair that was on sale for $99 (reg. $179).

But, they were out of stock on this chair....fortunately the salesgirl was very on top of things and said she could order it online for us at this store sale price (it was $169 online) and shipping would be free. Originally, when we thought they'd have the chair in stock I was going to go ahead and pay the $10 assembly fee, to save DH the hassle of putting it together, since I was already spending $70 less than I had originally planned. Now, DH will have to put it together, but that's ok, too. It's supposed to be delivered on Tuesday, so that is pretty quick.

The salesgirl also asked if I was familiar with their furniture Protection Plan. Usually I never buy any type of warranty or protection plan, but this kind of sounded like a no-brainer, at least the way she explained it. Since the sales price was under $99.99 the protection plan was an extra $15. She said if within 3 years there is any problems, even from normal wear and tear usage, or accidental damage, if they can't repair it (which most likely they can't/won't) they will just replace it with same or similar product. I'm sure within 3 years this chair will definitely get worn down from DH sitting in it 12 hours a day! I just need to remember that I have this plan and USE it, before the 3 years is up.  Nice salesgirl explained it as "basically for $15, you can get a brand new chair within 3 years, if you want".

I so want to remember, down the road, that I purchased this. I'm sure many people forget all about it.  I put a reminder on my work outlook calender for 3 years from now (ok, so I'm assuming I'll still be working at my same job!) to get a replacement chair. 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekend update

Happily, my tax refund showed up in my bank account this morning.  I made one splurge purchase (so far): some pillow cases at Target (darn they are expensive!) to match the sheets I bought awhile back. The sheets came with king size pillow cases, but we use standard for our sleeping pillows and I wanted those to match too. $24 for 2 standard pillow Target! what the heck do they cost for high end pillow cases?!

Another purchase being made this weekend will be a new desk chair for DH. He sits there so much all day, he really needs a new chair. The one he has has worn out and no support left in it whatsoever. I'm assuming as with most things - you get what you pay for, so I will probably at least spend $150 on a new one so that it will be comfortable AND last longer than a cheap $49 chair.

Our 7 month puppy is turning into quite the watch dog with the serious bark to go with it. I'm sure the group of men who parked out on our private road this morning and got out of their vehicle to walk up to the doors of houses and drop off their religious pamphlets were glad there was a fence between them and our dog. He wasn't about to let them get any farther!

Good news on the grocery spending for February - down to $599.51!! I'm starting to see the difference in my grocery bills with not having to feed another mouth (or two, when DS's girlfriend is also here).  We spent $144 on fast food - which isn't great, but still lower than my average per month.
I wish I could have a month without all the unexpected or extra medical expenses for once. February was 3 car tabs due (though not unexpected - I need to plan ahead better for this yearly expense), a $127 dental bill - DD had 2 or 3 small fillings - which is so surprising because #1 - she is a dedicated toothbrusher and #2 - what about all those sealants she's had growing up? They said one of the sealants on one tooth had come off somehow.

Confession: right before Christmas I forgot to return some audiobooks to the library and incurred $6.30 in fines - ouch! I got those paid today. I was off work during that time and not driving around everyday to notice them in my car and forgot they were due and then with the holidays the late fees added up. Not good.

I chatted a bit online last night with DS about my website idea. He thinks it's a great idea and worth a shot. It should only cost me the $9.99 to buy the domain name. He can host it free for me on his server and he can design the logo and website for me at no cost.  I just need to convince myself to commit to the time that would be involved in adding the daily content.  And I need to learn more about how to go about monetizing it.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend - they go too fast!

Friday, March 1, 2013


I tried a new bill paying "tactic" to try and avoid the monthly recorded call from Chase Fraud Alert. I paid the $503 health insurance bill via online bill pay with my bank account instead of going to the insurance companies website and having them charge it through my debit card.  Seems to have worked - no early phone call this morning.

Then I got a text from DD at 8am this morning - she locked her keys in her car at school and needed me to bring her the spare set. So, I had to drive over to the community college (about 15 minutes away) and meet her between classes. She felt dumb, but I told her everyone has to do that AT LEAST once in their lives! LOL. Sad thing is we won't even mention it to DH - he makes such a huge deal out of any mistake - that it wasn't even worth telling him that's where I was going. He was still sleeping so I just left a note that I had to go to the bank and drop mail off (which I did) and he was still asleep when I got back, so he probably doesn't even know I was gone for a half hour.  Took one of the dogs with me for the car ride, which he loved.

I received my $50 Lowes gift card in the mail yesterday from the washing machine purchase. That was pretty fast - I was expecting like 6 weeks. I haven't decided if I'll just hold on to it for something that will undoubtedly come up that we need, or use it to go buy something we want. Most likely I'll just hold on to it for a home repair that comes up or some home maintenance supplies. I was thinking of maybe getting a couple of the LED light bulbs that are like $20 a piece, but even though they supposedly last like over 20 years and use less energy, I'm still wondering how long I'd have to use it to make up $20 in electricity costs to run a standard bulb.  Seems like a huge upfront investment. Hopefully the costs of these will start coming down so the average person can afford to buy them.

I got my hair cut last night (for a whopping $15 including tip), so tonight or tomorrow morning I will color it and be good to go for a couple of months again.  My 2 side jobs made me $910 this month, so that is helpful to have a little extra. Usually it's closer to $740 a month.

I have this idea for a blog/website that I would try and monetize. I know virtually nothing about how to go about monetizing it nor how to get traffic to it, so I'll need to do a lot of research. The domain name is available, which kind of surprised me. I'd have DS to help me with the website design and what program to use for it (I don't think I'd use Blogger), but I'd really have to find out how to get the ads on there to go with the content. So, something I've been rattling around in my head this week that would at least be worth a shot - since it wouldn't cost me much to at least try it out. I think DS can host websites with the upgraded hosting account he has for his website and others he does, and it wouldn't cost extra per month for that.

My boss just sent a company wide email that we surpassed our monthly sales goal for February. We are so on track for that bonus mid year! They are having a lunch brought in on Monday to celebrate. It was going to be today, but luckily for me (since I'm working from home today) it's been changed to Monday, since quite a few of the staff aren't in the office today.