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Archive for August, 2010

Gluten Free Shopping

August 28th, 2010 at 04:28 pm

Well, I went on my first gluten free shopping trip and I have to say that I am impressed. I was not sure that I would find much that I could eat outside of fruits, vegetables, and meat. But I mentioned to the produce manager my problem and he showed me the gluten free products, including Bob's Red Mill baking and cereal products, some brands of pastas, almond milk, and rice milk. I already knew about the almond milk and rice milk and have been using them for about 9 years now. I actually did very well and bought all my shopping with cash today and for less than what I have been spending. I have been eating gluten free since before 12:00 noon on Friday and I can already tell a huge difference in how I feel. And except for wanting to eat cupcakes and drink Coca Cola on a frequent basis, I feel excellent. I can also continue to maintain the Lunch Challenge. I think I am going to a lot of lettuce and spinach salads with chicken or tuna alternated with something like peanut butter on carrot or celery sticks. Woo-hoo! Here are my lunches for next week:

Monday - Spinach/Lettuce, diced canned tomatoes (1/2 cup), black beans (1/2 cup), chopped fresh zucchini, tuna in foil packet, apple, filtered bottle of water

Tuesday - Spinach/Lettuce, diced canned tomatoes (1/2 cup), black beans (1/2 cup), chopped fresh zucchini, tuna in foil packet, apple, filtered bottle of water

Wednesday - Spinach/Lettuce, diced canned tomatoes (1/2 cup), black beans (1/2 cup), chopped fresh zucchini, tuna in foil packet, apple, filtered bottle of water

Thursday - Tuna in foil packet, Minute rice serving with diced canned tomatoes and fresh zucchini, pear, filtered bottle of water

Friday - I have the day off and will be spending it with my husband. We will be in a nearby town and have lunch there. I am scared to death to eat lunch out with this new diet.

Gluten Free Life

August 27th, 2010 at 06:41 pm

I think I am gluten intolerant and probably have been for years. However, recently I have begun to feel worse than normal. A friend happened to mention "gluten intolerance" to me and wondered if I have it. Well, this morning while I had a few minutes, I did some searching for a list of symptoms and a symptom quiz. Well, I am pretty sure I have it. I am going to my doctor next week to discuss it, but I am already on a dairy free diet and have been since 2001. That has been very difficult to maintain, but it has been SO worth it. I was wondering if any of you have this problem and how do you cope with it in the way of buying different food while not going broke? So far, all the foods I have come up with to buy (outside of normal fruits and vegetables that I would buy anyway) are probably going to be more expensive. Anyone have any dairy free and gluten free recipes? This would likely be something for me only, as my hubby hates fruits and vegetables and definitely loves bread.

Bank of America

August 17th, 2010 at 07:42 pm

Well, hubby and I closed on our mortgage last month and we are already meeting up with an obstacle that makes us both go - uggh! The company which gave us the mortgage sold it to BOA. Not something I am happy about at all. I would never have intentionally dealt with BOA after everything I have heard about them. I get paid every two weeks, which usually comes out to twice a month, and as I blogged about earlier, I had planned on pre-allocating money out of each check and then when it is time to mail the check, just write the check as normal. Someone else who has BOA told me that if you send in your payment and it arrives a couple of days early, they don't count it as a regular payment, but like an extra payment. But they expect you to make a "regular" payment on the due date. Otherwise, the count your account as delinquent. So, I looked in detail at our payment coupon. It says payment can be accepted in person at Bank of America banking centers. Are all Bank of America banks "banking centers"? If so, we can go in person to a local BOA bank and make our payments. Or, I could do online payments, but I am not too keen on giving out my banking information online.

Lunch Challenge This Coming Week

August 14th, 2010 at 02:50 pm

This Lunch Challenge is really helping me to think logically about what to make for my lunches rather than just to wing it. I haven't exactly quantified what I have saved, but I haven't gone out for lunch in probably 3 weeks. I do sometimes go somewhere and get some iced tea, etc., but that's about it. I feel really good about my progress.

Here is what I am planning for the coming week.

Monday - Canned chicken, fresh tomatoes and onion chopped, mayo mixed with chili seasoning, wrap, salt, pepper, banana, pork and beans, bottle of filtered water

Tuesday - Canned chicken, fresh tomatoes and onion chopped, mayo mixed with chili seasoning, wrap, salt, pepper, banana, pork and beans, bottle of filtered water

Wednesday - Canned chicken, 1/3 can of tomatoes, diced, fresh onion, chopped, mayo mixed with seasoning, wrap, salt, pepper, apple, pork and beans, bottle of filtered water

Thursday - Lunchmeat, mayo, wrap, apple, pork and beans, bottle of filtered water

Friday is my payday and I have the day off. I plan to eat lunch out with my husband after running a few errands.

I was going to buy some bacon for my wraps at the store and then I saw the extremely inflated price, hassle of cooking, and so I declined. Later, I thought about bacon bits. I think I will get some next week. I know they are not nutritious, but they sound good.

I will be going to the credit union to put more money in savings and the post office to mail bills, including my first mortgage payment. I know it probably sounds ridiculous to be excited about that, but the hubby and I have wanted and been trying to get our own home since 1999! Various things, including moving several times, a failed home-based business, medical debt, and bankruptcy, got in our way. I'm so proud that we finally did it! We also will go to a nearby town to return a wall mount bracket we bought for our new home. We will in turn use some of the money from returning the bracket to buy a digital scale.

More Debt Paid Off

August 13th, 2010 at 03:18 pm

Well, today I received another bill for Hospital Bill #2. I have already written the check and it is in the mail ready to send out. This brings the balance to $502.60.

I also have survey money on the way in the amount of $14.00, I believe. When I receive the next bill for Hospital Bill #1, I will mail them a check for the normal payment amount of $20.00 plus whatever the survey money is. The survey money is part of the Spare Change Challenge.

Refining Goals

August 8th, 2010 at 06:37 pm

These are my stated goals for the years 2010 and 2011. Given that I am now a home owner, I feel the need to revise them for current circumstances. I have marked in red what I changed the goal to.

2010 Financial Goals
1. Pay Hospital Debt #1 off in full by May 2011.
2. Pay Hospital Debt #2 off in full by May 2011

Note: If these first two debts are not paid off by the time the tax return arrives, I will pay them off with it. I will put the rest aside for increasing the insulation in the attic.

3. Establish $1000 Emergency Savings Balance by June and Maintain it
4. Beef up House Savings

2011 Financial Goals
1. Eliminated Goal #1 of paying off hospital debts
2. Pay off Credit Card
3. Accumulate $3000 in Emergency Savings
4. Accumulate $2000 in House Account
5. Accumulate $3000 in Car Account


Lunch Challenge for Next Week and House Payment Issue

August 7th, 2010 at 04:44 pm

Well, the Lunch Challenge is going to become even more important now that I am a home owner.

By the way, the way hubby and I chose to resolve our issue with house payments is to actually pay one time per month, but every two weeks when I get paid, basically pre-allocate that money by writing it into the check register as if I were writing a check. Then, when it is time to send the payment, send the payment as normal. Assuming this goes well, I will continue to do it this way. If it does not, I was thinking of opening a separate savings account and temporarily putting mortgage money there until ready to make the payment.

Well, I had some Tyson beef strips, raw carrots, and 1 can of canned chicken left over from last week. Don't worry. Nothing will go to waste in this house. Whatever does not get eaten in my lunch will be eaten for dinner. Here are my lunches for this coming week.

Monday - Tyson beef strips, Mission flour tortilla, burrito size, mayonnaise, banana, snack size bag of carrots, 2 packages of peanut butter crackers, bottle of filtered water

Tuesday - Butterball turkey lunch meat, Mission flour tortilla, burrito size, Thousand Island dressing, banana, serving of brown rice, 2 packages of peanut butter crackers, bottle of filtered water

Wednesday - Butterball turkey lunch meat, Mission flour tortilla, burrito size, Thousand Island dressing, banana, serving of brown rice, 2 packages of peanut butter crackers

Thursday - Store brand lunch meat, Mission flour tortilla, burrito size, Thousand Island dressing, banana, apple, 2 packages of peanut butter crackers

Friday - Store brand lunch meat, bread, Thousand Island dressing, apple, 2 packages of peanut butter crackers, pork and beans

I know I could put a lot more exotic things in my wraps, but I am trying to use up the stuff I already have at home.

Speaking of homes, when we moved into our house, we found that the previous owner left behind 2 boxes of dishwasher detergent, 2 bottles of dishwashing liquid, a wooden cart that we can store stuff on in the basement, several pieces of furniture, one of those things that you can roll a garden hose onto for storage, and other stuff I can't remember right now. It's actually pretty cool. We probably won't need to buy dishwashing liquid or dishwasher detergent for at least a month.

I also discovered when packing to move, that I had about 5 cans of oven cleaner and about 4 cans of furniture polish. Where we had stuff like that stored in a cabinet that was kind of hard to look through because it was dark, so it was like opening a present when we discovered it.

Paying Mortgage Twice a Month?

August 4th, 2010 at 07:08 am

Hi, everyone.

I have been out of touch for awhile. The hubster and I just bought a house and this is our first one, so we are pretty green. Just the process of buying it with all the inspection fees, appraisal, reappraisal, an engineer's report on a small issue that turned out to be nothing, and moving brought our available cash and savings down to almost nothing.

To make paying our mortgage a little easier for us and make sure we don't wind up spending the money on something else, I would like to make the mortgage payment in 2 parts. I get paid every 2 weeks, which is usually 2 times a month. As long as the payments are both there on time and the total amount is paid, do they really care? Our mortgage was sold to Bank of America, if that matters. Does anyone do this? If so, has it worked for you?