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Archive for March, 2009

Conference Challenge Addition

March 23rd, 2009 at 05:14 pm

Well, my Challenge is currently at $1700.14. Several weeks ago, I blogged about the Dollar General GE Lightbulb rebate. I mailed in my rebate and today I received my check for $4.00! Hooray! After I cash the check tomorrow, this goes straight to the Challenge.

Spring Cleaning

March 22nd, 2009 at 06:34 pm


Well, recently I came up with another way to scrape some more money together initially for my Challenge. I realized when I went into a spare room that I have a lot of fine china packed away in boxes just gathering dust. If I sold it, I could use the money towards my Challenge. One of my coworkers has a booth in a flea market in a nearby town, so I asked her if she would be willing to sell the stuff for me in exchange for 10% of whatever it sells for. She said her booth is basically open shelving, so she could not do that without risking breakage. She suggested I come to that town in a couple of weeks for the town's city wide garage sale and bring my stuff over to sell it. Even if I did not want to come for the sale, she could sell it for me and said she would be willing to do so without payment. She said that the more stuff available at the sale, the more stuff sells. So, Saturday, I picked up price labels. Today, I went through my boxes of stuff and marked everything with price labels. I even went through my closets and drawers looking for clothes that are too small, etc. and found a pair of jeans and some other stuff I can't use any more. It's been really bugging me that this stuff has been sitting in boxes for 10 years because I don't have anywhere to display it. So this seems like a good idea. After I get back from the conference and receive the reimbursement, I will enough of it into savings to bring the balance to $1000. The rest I will wipe out at least 1 debt with.

Just Catching Up On Stuff

March 21st, 2009 at 11:41 am

Well, I got paid again yesterday. Here's the good news:

1) Hospital Debt #1 is down to $838.58.

2) Savings is up to $697.35.

3) Retirement is up to $13,816.57.

4) The conference challenge is up to $1699.49.

5) The doctor has encouraged hubby and I to eat less red meat and eat tuna and turkey instead. The good news is that turkey is a little cheaper than ground beef and we should not notice any difference in taste.

The bad news is that I had to go to the chiropractor yesterday (scheduled visit) in a nearby town. I was out of several of my health supplements that I take and had replenish. I had only anticipated spending $50-$60, but it was $113.08. Anyway, I have to pay my rent at the end of the month. Other than that, I have $104.38 to get me through until April 3rd, my next payday. I don't do a lot of driving and don't drive to work, so gas for the next 2 weeks is not a problem. I have already bought groceries next week. My only expenses are rent ($465) and food (~$70.00). I am determined to remain within this budget and not use the credit card.



Hubby was doing the laundry and found $0.65 in the pocket of my pants. I have added it to the Conference Challenge and broken the $1700 mark, bringing my balance to $1700.14.

Tuna Chili

March 15th, 2009 at 03:30 pm

Well, hubby and I have decided to try not eating so much red meat. So, tonight I am experimenting by making one of our standby dinners with tuna instead of red meat. I think it tastes fine. It does taste a little different, but fine. Here's my "recipe." I hesitate to call it a recipe because I didn't spend hours perfecting it or anything.

Use a 6 quart soup or stock pot. Put about 2 inches of water in the bottom. Turn the burner on medium high heat.

3 tablespoons of dried onion. Fresh is better if you have it.
2 teaspoons of crushed red pepper, if you like it
2 tablespoons of garlic
2 tablespoons of celtic sea salt
2 tablespoons of black pepper

Cook these ingredients on medium high heat for about 15 minutes. Then, add the following:

2 15 oz cans of diced tomates
1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
3 15 oz cans of beans

I use a variety of types of beans: navy beans, great northern beans, black beans, red kidney beans, red beans, and dark red kidney beans. There may be a few others out there I haven't tried. I change it up every time I make chili, but this is the first time I have added tuna instead of hamburger.

After adding in the above ingredients, I also added 3 foil envelopes of tuna. I hate the kind in the can, as it tastes like the can.

Well, I will let you know later what dh thought of my creation. ;P


-----------------------------------------

Well, hubby reports that he noticed that it tasted different, like something besides ground beef was in it. He didn't say that he really liked it, but he said it was okay and would not be averse to trying it again. Hooray for my non-beef cooking experiment!

Conference Challenge Addition

March 15th, 2009 at 01:47 pm

Hello, everyone. I just added some leftover pocket change that I didn't know existed to my Conference Challenge. This brings my balance to $1618.16. My next payday, which is Friday, will enable me to add $80 more, bringing it to $1698.16. Maybe I can find $2.00 somewhere and break the $1700 mark. I am expecting a Starbucks coffee card in the mail this week. I plan to take it with me when I leave for my conference so I can get some good tea for free.



Like Sherlock Holmes, here, I am off in search of clues, specifically clues leading me to additional funds for my Challenge.

This coming week is going to be a "super-frugal" week, as I have only $12.00 in my checking account. I am determined not to use the credit card and to stay within my budget. I have food that I can take with me to work, so that's not a problem. It's just that I sometimes like to buy something and this week I can't.

Save $50 a Day

March 14th, 2009 at 04:19 pm

There's a cool article in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine about how to save $50 a day in spending cuts.


Save $50 a Day (And Feel No Pain)." Kiplinger's Personal Finance. Mar2009, 63 (3) : 49-57.


Some of their tips were the old tried and true taking your lunch to work, paying off credit card debt, etc. Some were more innovating, like energy saving appliances, light bulbs, and fuel efficient cars. But the one about drinking Dunkin Donuts coffee instead of Starbucks kind of got me. How can they suggest that paying a little less for coffee by going to Dunkin Donuts is frugal? They don't even mention the possibility of taking your own hot java to work in a thermos or filling up at the office coffee pot. Weird.

Conference Challenge Addition

March 13th, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Howdy, partners. I have just made an addition to my Conference Challenge of $35.20. I had pocket change in my purse, my coat, and just all over the place. Plus I had some lunch money left over from this week. This brings my total to $1617.74.

Lots of Stuff Going On

March 7th, 2009 at 10:28 pm

Well, as of late, I feel kind of like a chicken missing its own head. At my work, carpet is being laid in my area beginning March 13th. It will take about 1 week to do the entire floor. I have to finish up some projects I am working on and also take everything off the tops of my file cabinets, my desk, and my credenza. Oh well, that's almost done, but the nasty part where they stir up a lot of dust has yet to begin.

I also have some presentations to put together for conferences I am going to. I am going to one conference in April in a nearby town and big one in June. I have to put together presentations for both of them. I have registered for the first conference, but still have to do hotel reservations. I have arranged to share a hotel room for that conference, cutting my hotel costs in half. For the second conference, I have not made any travel arrangements yet, but I will have 2 roommates for that one. My boss is happy about that one, as my hotel costs will be cut from about $1200 to around $400. My pocketbook is happy too and the pressure to get together $2000 is not so heavy, but I am still scrambling to round up spare change, survey money, and rebate money. I am not desperate, but I don't want to be without, either. I do not want to use the credit card. My head is spinning.

Well, the early Christmas present I blogged about recently was a mistake, apparently the result of an absent minded data entry. The bill we received that indicated the bill was $150.00 lower than we thought it should was incorrect. Oh well, we will live and we will pay off the rest of the debt. I haven't written the check for this month's payment, but I will later.

I have added more money to the Conference Challenge recently, bringing the balance to $1581.94.

I also got paid yesterday. More money went to my savings. We also received our federal tax refund recently. We bought a PS3 with part of it (not my idea - it was dh) and also got some work done on the cart with part of it. At this point, I took control and insisted that we put the rest into savings, bringing the balance to $597.35. Today, we got our state tax refund and I took charge. I put it in my checking. As soon as I can make it so, it will be making its way to the credit card company. Apparently, I need to take charge once in awhile to make serious headway with finances.

More money was also added to my retirement, bringing the balance to $13,301.98.

I also went grocery shopping today. I used coupons, my own bags, and bought sale items at the grocery store which gave me $3.84 off my bill. I also went to Walgreens and bought Nature Made vitamins for buy one get one free. I had a $1.00 off coupon for each bottle. I also bought a small plastic bottle to use for cleanser on my trip in June (my skin is sensitive, so I can't use hotel soap) and had a coupon for 99 cents to buy the bottle. I also bought a package of quart size zip top bags for 99 cents with a Walgreens coupon. As I was checking out, I noticed I saved $11.79 and spent $9.23. Woo-hoo!

At Dollar General, I bought a few things. I bought two CFL bulbs. They had tear off rebate forms for GE lightbulbs. After rebate, you basically get one lightbulb free. So, if you are in the need for CFL bulbs, check out Dollar General. I bought two 60 watt CFL bulbs for $8.00, but I will get $4.00 back.

Online Coupon for Air Wick Products

March 1st, 2009 at 05:49 pm

Hi, everyone. I was just reading my email and got a message from Dollar General that included a coupon for Air Wick products. Here is the link if you want to print it.

http://www.dollargeneral.com/Pages/AECouponSignup.aspx