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Archive for September, 2010

Payday and Other Stuff

September 30th, 2010 at 08:32 pm

I get paid tomorrow. I have made a payment on Hospital Bill #1, bringing the balance down to $297.58. I also paid the water bill. I am also supposed to get an extra payment on my paycheck. It's not overtime, but part of a pay raise from a union contract that was not finalized until after the beginning of the July 2010 beginning of the fiscal year. My savings will be $151.15. We also got a check in the mail from a utility company for $104.00. We also got a bill from another utility company that says "no payment due."

Woo-hoo! I'm on cloud nine!

Lunch Challenge Update

September 25th, 2010 at 05:03 pm

Well, the Lunch Challenge continues for me. I took my lunch to work every day last week. I ran out of salad mid week and took peanut butter sandwiches on gluten free rice bread the last two days.

This coming week, I have planned lunches with salmon or tuna in foil packets, as well as zucchini squash chopped up, canned tomatoes, and seasoning. I also have Minute Rice microwaveable packets. It will make a sort of stir fry type meal and be quite yummy.

cash4books.net and other news . . .

September 22nd, 2010 at 08:36 pm

Well, I sold one book already, on Monday I think. I mailed it off (shipping is free). I am supposed to get payment within 3 days. I am already looking at frequently a local ongoing book sale, buying books that cash4books will buy, and selling them. I looked some up to see what types will sell well. It's a little bit of everything. I am putting the loot into my Spare Change/Conference Challenge.

Oh, and I got good news on the Conference Challenge. I have applied for additional funding at work to attend the conference based on doing a presentation there. If the funding is approved, they can pay for my conference registration as a loan out of the reimbursement I would be expected to get.

More new on the gluten free front also. I finally found a bread I can eat that does not have any wheat, barley, rye, oats, or dairy in it. It is definitely different than regular bread, but it is quite tasty.

cash4books.net

September 19th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

Hi, everyone. Cash4books.net is my effort to boost the household income by selling books that we no longer need. I am going to the put the proceeds in my Professional memberships/conferences account. In some ways, it is better than ebay, because you don't have to wait for the bidding war. You know immediately if they will buy the book and they pay for the shipping of the books to them. I have already sold one book and will put it in the mail tomorrow.

I need to raise about $1300 by next spring to attend a conference in June.

I don't really want to, but I am changing the direction of the Spare Change Challenge funds to my conference. To try to do both the debt payoff and the conference account makes it very difficult to accomplish anything.

Got Paid, More Debt Paid, and the Lunch Challenge Continues

September 19th, 2010 at 11:50 am

Well, I got paid on Friday and already most of my paycheck has already been gobbled up. You see, when we were getting ready to close on our house (July 15th!), my hubby went to or called the utility companies about switching over service. We knew there would be some overlap, as we needed time to clean the old house before we could turn in the keys. Apparently, he only told the gas and electric companies that we would be moving out on X date and would need a few days past that to get the house closed up. Apparently, that was not specific enough information and so they charged us for our level payment for August, but also made it our final bill. So, between one electric bill at the old house for $271 and one at the new house for $264, I spent over $500 this month on electric alone. The gas bills were pretty minor in comparison, but still annoying. It's a good thing I got a survey check and also a housewarming gift check from my aunt in the mail. They helped to pay for the excess on the utilities. We will survive. I know that because I have survived worse.

One of the items I paid with my paycheck was $75.00 on hospital debt #2, bringing the balance to $427.60! Yahoo! (not an endorsement of Yahoo!, just my expression of excitement)

Also, my automatic deposit went into savings. It is my goal that when hospital debt #2 is paid off (probably February), that I will be taking that money and putting it into savings. I don't like these issues coming up that leaving me without anything. I will beef it up until $1000 and then pay off some other stuff like hospital debt #2.

The Lunch Challenge continues in my house. I am making salads with romaine lettuce, random fresh vegetables including cauliflower, carrots, and broccoli, olive oil, chopped up boiled eggs, tuna from a foil pouch, tea bags, and filtered water from home.

Lunch Challenge

September 11th, 2010 at 11:41 am

Well, another week of the Lunch Challenge has finished. I actually took my lunch every single day. I think I bought a bottle of unsweetened iced tea 3 or 4 times, though. Hey, I am doing a lot better. I was buying sweet tea or Coke, so it's an improvement!

Well, for the coming week, I have planned more lunches for the Lunch Challenge:

Monday - lettuce and spinach, cherry tomatoes, chopped up green onion, sunflower seeds, tuna in a foil pouch, banana, bag of peanuts for a snack, bottle of filtered water

Tuesday - lettuce and spinach, cherry tomatoes, chopped up green onion, sunflower seeds, tuna in a toil pouch, apple, raisins for a snack, bottle of filtered water

Wednesday - lettuce and spinach, cherry tomatoes, chopped up green onion, sunflower seeds, tuna in a foil pouch, apple, bag of peanuts for a snack, bottle of filtered water

Thursday - lettuce and spinach, cherry tomatoes, chopped up green onion, sunflower seeds, tuna in a foil pouch, apple, raisins for a snack, bottle of filtered water

Friday - Friday is payday and I plan on going out to a local place for a tasty, gluten free lunch.

It's only been a couple of weeks on the gluten free diet, but I can already feel a substantial rise in my energy levels and also a drastic decrease in allergy and other symptoms.

Gluten Free Living, Shopping, and the Lunch Challenge

September 4th, 2010 at 01:11 pm

Well, the Lunch Challenge last week was great. My salads were not only yummy, but also gluten free, frugal, nutritious, and also elicited comments from others of "wow, that looks good!"

Per hubby's instructions, I did gluten free shopping today for both of us. This is going to be very difficult to do. The dh will eat frozen vegetables that have been steamed, but refuses to eat salad, because he says it is "rabbit food." He is basically a carnivore who sometimes eats veggies.

I am definitely not a vegetarian, but I like to eat a lot of veggies and fruit, and a good mix of beef, chicken, and fish.

Some things the doc recommended as possibilities that I know he will eat are: sweet potatoes and steamed, frozen veggies. So, I bought a sweet potato and 2 kinds of frozen veggies, but I am probably the only one eating the fresh fruit.

But he absolutely hates giving up bread, so I did buy some gluten free bread mix today. It has been so long since we actually made our bread that we no longer have our breadmaker or even a bread pan.

Eating gluten free is a little more expensive, because we can no longer buy generic spaghetti noodles or generic oatmeal, for example. Both of these things are not available in gluten free formulas.

The Lunch Challenge goes on despite my gluten free lifestyle. My lunches this coming week will be chicken and vegetable soup (chicken, canned tomatoes, drained, canned beans, drained, rice, fresh squash, chopped onion, and spices), fresh fruit, raisins, nuts, and a bottle of filtered water. I, like most of you, probably, have Monday off. It will likely be a NSD for me.

On the financial front, I got a survey check for $20.00 in the mail. I am going to deposit it to my Professional Account, because I need to accumulate about $1500 for attending a conference next summer. Another statement for Hospital Bill #1 should come soon and I will make a payment of $20.00 to it. After we moved into our new house, I sent my aunt (one of my only living relatives on my dad's side) a letter to let her know of the change in address. She sent a congratulatory card and a check for $100.00 to buy something for our house. Even though there are things I want to buy for the house, most of them are more than $100, so the check will probably be deposited to the House Account. Tops on our list of things to replace/fix are: getting the chimney cleaned before winter, putting insulation in the attic, new windows, siding on the back side of the house, fixing the driveway, installing an energy efficient furnace and A/C, and installing solar panels. And the list goes on. I have a list of projects on my computer, that if printed out, would probably be several pages. I think we can probably do the insulation next spring with our tax refund.

More Gluten Free Living

September 3rd, 2010 at 01:36 pm

I was doing beautifully with eating gluten free for almost a week. Then, Wednesday my dh says "let's go out to eat." It was a Chinese place. I thought "great time to test out the gluten idea." Well, an hour after we ate, I felt like I was going to die. Never again. I told my dh so. Even if I have to eat every single meal at home prepared by my hands, I don't want to do that again. Today, I went to see my chiropractor who also practices acupuncture and reiki. She did what is called muscle testing on me and said I am definitely positive for gluten intolerance and so is my dh. She is very up front with her patients. She does not tell patients they have to do anything, because she is realistic to know that some people are too lazy to do some things. Others are just unable to confront the challenge of giving up something that is bad for them, such as smoking. But she did tell us that we have to find a different way to eat if we want to feel better. Especially dh. He eats about 6 to 8 pieces of bread a day. DH actually said he wants to do, but I am not sure he will stay with it, because he has trouble sticking to any kind of diet. Anyway, time to begin cleaning out kitchen cabinets and making a gluten free shopping list.

Oh, I did go out for lunch on Thursday with colleagues. I was able to easily pick something from the menu that was gluten free and ask for "no cheese." It was quite tasty. I do miss drinking Coke, though.