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Anyone Know What Happened?

June 3rd, 2012 at 02:47 pm

I couldn't get to my blog earlier today at all. I tried several times, but only got some error message that I could not understand. Did anyone else have that problem?

I saved up my pocket change over the last week or so. I cashed it in and deposited it in my regular savings, bringing the balance to $999.03. Whee!

Payday is not until this coming Friday. Money in checking was starting to look a little skinny, so I decided to do a pantry challenge. I also am challenging myself to cut down my overall grocery bill. I added up what I spent last month on groceries and it was $709.00! Ouch. So, Saturday morning I spent about $87.00. Much better.

Here are my meals for the coming week. I note where I am using something I already had in my house.

1) Lentil soup with diced canned tomatoes, fresh carrots, fresh onions, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, turkey, and cayenne pepper. Side of fresh fruit, trail mix. Iced tea. 5 meals (Already had lentils, carrots, garlic, sea salt, black pepper, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, and tea bags.) This one was great for my pantry challenge.

2) Chicken salad with cayenne pepper, miracle whip, and green onion. Side of mung bean sprouts and carrots. Side of fresh fruit and trail mix. Iced tea. 1 meal. (Already had cayenne pepper, chicken, miracle whip, and tea bags)

3) Meatloaf. Side of steamed veggies. 2 meals.

4) Eggs and ham. Side of orange juice. Oatmeal with flaxseed, almond milk, honey, and cinnamon. 3 meals (Already had oatmeal, almond milk, honey, and cinnamon)

5) Oatmeal with honey, flaxseeds, almond milk, and cinnamon. Side of chicken or ham. Orange Juice. 4 meals. (Already had oatmeal, flaxseeds, almond milk, and cinnamon.)

5) Baked Chicken Breast. Side of steamed veggies. 3 meals.

6) Hamburger Patty. Side of steamed veggies. 1 meal.

7) Lunch out on Friday! Probably salad off the salad bar at the pizza place down the street.

Had the Whole Week Off - Wheee!

May 18th, 2012 at 05:43 pm

Hello, financially savvy friends and neighbors! I had the whole week off for vacation. Yeah! But don't worry. I wasn't using that opportunity to spend, spend, spend. In fact, I spent most of it at home. I watched some old tv episodes and movies on Netflix, played with my cats, did some catchup filing of receipts, cleaning my house, cooking, and shredding of receipts I no longer needed. Wow. My house really needed some decluging. It needs a lot more. Maybe I will work on it more tomorrow. I will be back to work on Monday.



As always, I am a constant quest to save money and eat more healthy also. I am also trying to eat some meatless meals to see if that helps. Here are my meals for the coming week:

1) Meatloaf with side of veggies - 2 meals

2) Roast beef with side of veggies - 2 meals

3) Oatmeal with raisins, flaxseeds, almond milk, and honey. Juice. Side of ham. 4 meals

4) Scrambled eggs. Juice. Oatmeal with flaxseeds, almond milk, and honey. 3 meals

5) Spaghetti sauce with rice. Side of veggies. 2 meals

6) Lentil Rice Pilaf. Side of raw veggies. 2 meals http://www.food.com/recipe/lebanese-lentil-rice-pilaf-with-b...

7) Spinach salad with tomatoes, flaxseeds, sliced almonds, and tuna (or lentils). Vinegar and oil for dressing. Side of orange or apple. 4 meals.

8) Hamburger patty. Side of veggies. 1 meal

Another Payday, More to Savings, Hubby's Upcoming Trip, and Other Random Stufff

April 28th, 2012 at 07:03 pm

I got paid yesterday, so more went to savings and retirement. I have already paid the water bill, trash bill, and bought gas for the car. I still have to make a payment to the credit card. I have already bought groceries and will begin my weekly cooking spree tomorrow morning.

I will have all-day meetings on Monday and Tuesday and the entire afternoon on Wednesday. Ugh. No fun.

The other cool thing is that I finally got my garden going. I had to work really hard to get the holes dug, Zoom fertilizer put in, and water and compost put in with the plants in. It was starting to pour rain when I had only 2 out of the 4 plants in the ground. They look great and the guy at the farm store swears by the Zoom stuff for making tomato plants produce lots of tomatoes. My goal is to become less dependent on the grocery store so that I can spend more money on getting out of debt, saving for retirement, and fixing up my house. Plus, I will be able to eat vegetables I grew myself that are not polluted with chemicals, so yea!! The weird thing about my garden is that I had a couple of four-legged visitors to my garden (dogs). I just hope they don't dig up the plants!

Hubby is leaving on a 2 day trip tomorrow at about 12:00 just after lunch. He should be back by the early evening on Monday.

Like I said, I have already done the shopping for food and such. After planting those tomatoes today, I was beat and could not manage to do any more cooking but make meatloaf. So, I will start tomorrow with making lentil soup. I will also making some tuna/egg salad for the hubby to eat as a sandwich before heading out on his trip. I will also make some spaghetti sauce and put together salads for my lunches. Here are my meals for the week:

1) Spinach salad with tomato, onion, and tuna or chicken. 3 meals

2) Lentil soup with ham, onion, seasonings, and broth. 4 meals

3) Leftover chicken noodle soup. 1 meal

4) Chicken breast and steamed veggies. 1 meal

5) Hamburger patty and steamed veggies. 2 meals

6) Oatmeal with banana, almond milk, honey, cinnamon, and flaxseed. Side of ham. Juice. 3 meals

7) Eggs and ham or chicken, grapefruit with honey. Side of ham. 4 meals

8) Meatloaf and steamed veggies. 2 meals

Another Payday. More Debt Paid Down. Savings and Retirement Increased.

April 1st, 2012 at 06:06 pm

Hello, everyone. I just got paid on Friday. I have already paid the internet bill, the water bill, 4 other small bills, and went to the bank to pay the mortgage. I also paid the credit card bill, including what I had charged on it plus extra to get it paid down. I bought groceries on Saturday. I also set aside $140 for attending a conference I will attending next month.

Because it has been so hot here lately, I have been trying to do most of the cooking on 1 day of the week to avoid heating the house up too much. So, on Friday evening, we had spaghetti, and Saturday evening and Sunday lunch we had leftover spaghetti. Early Sunday morning, I starting doing the weekly cooking. I made egg salad, Irish stew, meatloaf, and put together my lunches for the week. The egg salad is mostly for my husband, so I doubt I will be eating any of it. My meals for the week will include:

1) Tuna or salmon salad with raw veggies. Side of nuts and orange. Iced tea. 3 meals.

2) Oatmeal with raisins, almond milk, cinnamon, and honey. 3 meals.

3) Eggs with side of ham. Grapefruit. Half of a serving of oatmeal. 3 meals.

4) Peanut butter and gluten free crackers. Cucumber slices. Side of orange and nuts. Iced tea. 3 meals.

5) Irish stew. 3 meals. Here is the recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/grams-irish-stew/detail.aspx

6) Meatloaf and side of veggies. 2 meals.

7) Hamburger patty and side of veggies. 1 meal.

Got Paid Again. Savings Up. Retirement Up. Debt is Down! Yeah!

March 17th, 2012 at 09:23 am

Hello, everyone. I am starting to love payday. I used to hate it, because that's when I would see a mass amount of my money vanish from my bank account to debt and stuff I didn't really need. But things are looking up and that's good, very good. For example, the hubster and I have gradually migrating our entire house's light bulbs to LED. At first, they were a little expensive, so we would buy 1 bulb a month or something. But the price has come down to about $10.00 a bulb lately. And no, I do not want to discuss CFLS AT ALL. The mercury is bad for the environment, so I don't care how cheap they are. Anyway, on payday, I was paying the electric bill and wanted to see what impact this has had on the electric bill, because we had replaced 4 bulbs last month. From one month to the next, it went down 150 kilowatts! Wow. That's amazing! We just replaced 4 more on Friday, so I can't wait to see what happens next month.

My retirement account has increased quite a bit in the last few months. My house and emergency savings were somewhat depleted due to the need for tuckpointing on our house. Without it, we could have had serious structural issues down the road.

In the second week of April, I will be attending a professional conference in my state. It should only cost around $400 or so to attend, but I will only be reimbursed for $122. My professional savings account will be cleaned out for that. Ugh. Bummer. But I already have a plan for that reimbursement loot. I have agreed when I get my reimbursement that we will buy a ladder so that we can do some maintenance around our house a little easier. Changing light bulbs in some rooms and also outside is impossible without a ladder.

Well, I am still continuing my Food Challenge to be not only healthier but also financially free. Here are my meals for the week:

1) Spinach salad with cucumbers, onion, tuna, olive oil, apple cider vinegar. Side of walnuts and an orange. (3 meals)

2) Chicken salad with onion, salt, and pepper. Side of walnuts and an orange (2 meals)

3) Eggs with ham. Either omelets, scrambled, or fried over hard. Add seasonings and veggies. Smoothie with almond milk, flaxseed, oranage juice, and banana for a side. (3 meals)

4) Oatmeal with honey, raisins, almond milk, and cinnamon. (4 meals)

5) Stew made with ground bison meat, carrots, onions, black beans, and brown rice. (3 meals)

6) Spaghetti made with ground chicken, tomatoes, tomato paste, onions, mushrooms, and seasonings. (2 meals)

7) Chicken breasts and side of vegetables and rice. (2 meals)

Update

March 4th, 2012 at 02:03 pm

Hello, everyone. I have been away for awhile, so that is why I have not been posting. Life has been so hectic here with my job and stuff, it has been tough to keep up.

Anyway, I am still hard at work on eliminating debt, including the credit card and mortgage. I had to basically empty the house savings and also take some out of regular savings in order to get some tuckpointing done on our house. I would have liked to have waited awhile on it, but it was very bad, and unfortunately, only a fraction of what is needed to be done. We waited until our tax return arrived ($1048) and also some survey money (can't remember the amount), then I transferred money from regular savings and house savings to checking to total $1800. That was the amount of the first price quote from a masonry contractor we got. After putting together all the money, somehow we could not get in touch with the contractor. Bad news, but we did find someone different that was highly recommended.

The quote from the second contractor was $600 LOWER than the first. Wow! We were a little cautious, though, as we wondered about the quality of his work. He finished the job and it is superior to say the least - well worth $1200, so we are very pleased and told him we would contact him again in about 6 months or so to begin work on another section of the house.

With some of that "excess" $600, I paid off 3 small bills which will help to free up some cash on a monthly basis to pay off other things. The rest I put back into the house account. I will update the balance in a day or two.

Well, in order to keep pounding away at paying off debt and getting home maintenance done, I have to lower expenses, especially for food. I have been growing some herbs for cooking in a small terrarium. I am working on creating compost in the backyard and will be planting some organic tomatoes, carrots, kale, squash, and cucumber in the spring. I would eventually like to not have to go to the grocery store for produce. This will save serious money, not to mention make sure that I get healthy produce.

I am also giving up drinking soda for the sake of my health, but also money. I will be drinking more green tea, water, and homemade juice instead.

I am also continuing my food challenge. Here are my meals for the week. There is enough here that I will likely have leftovers for next week.

1) Chicken salad - 17 ounces canned chicken (1 can of 12 ounces and 1 can of 5 ounces), 3 tbsp of generic Miracle Whip, 1 bunch of chopped up green onion, and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. I had actually planned on making chicken soup, but decided I wanted something different. I had bought too much green onion and this turned out to be just the ticket to use it up. (3 meals)

2) Black Bean Soup - 1 pound dried black beans, 1 large onion, 1 bunch chopped green onion, 1 can drained diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup of parsley, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper, and 1 can refried beans. (8 meals) I base this soup on this recipe, but I use chicken broth and also add 1 can diced tomatoes and 1 can of refried beans to thicken the soup: http://www.dadamo.com/typebase4/recipedepictor7x.cgi?840

3)Eggs and Sausage - (3 meals)

4)Whole grain oatmeal with flaxseeds, almond milk, raisins, and honey (4 meals)

5) Hamburger patty with ketchup and a side of veggies (1 meal)

6) Meatloaf (1 meal)

7) Spaghetti with meat sauce (2 meals) - I eat mine with brown rice.

8) Tuna salad with carrot sticks and gluten free crackers. Side of apple or orange. (2 meals)

Oh, we also won $4.00 on Powerball. I cashed that in for cash. I also took a bunch of spare change to the Coinstar and cashed it in. It totals up to $8.00, which I will deposit to regular savings. I am also depositing $100 to the professional account for a conference I will attend in April and $40 to the car account.

Food Challenge

December 2nd, 2011 at 08:09 am

Well, our bank account is getting a little skinny, so I am doing a Pantry Challenge, trying to make do as much as I can with what we already have. Fortunately, my husband is on a juice fast diet for the next week or so, and the only things I have to get for him are produce items. Here are the meals I have planned for me.

1) green salad with chicken, nuts, oranges, olive oil, and sea salt - 3 meals (using chicken and sea salt I already have)

2) chicken cacciatore and a side salad with sea salt and olive oil - 4 meals (using chicken, canned tomatoes, tomato sauce, sea salt, and olive oil I already have)

3) potato salad with eggs, side of cucumbers and tomatoes salad - 4 meals (using mayonnaise, onion, and bacon I already have)

4) chicken curry salad with sides of apples and carrots - 6 servings (using carrots and curry powder I already have)

5) oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, almond milk, and honey and a smoothie with flaxseeds, almond milk, peanut butter, and banana - 3 meals (using flaxseeds, cinnamon, honey, and peanut butter I already have)

6) eggs and ham - 2 meals (using ham I already have)

7) leftover soup - 1 meal

8) lunch out on payday!

Food Challenge Continues

November 27th, 2011 at 12:28 pm

My meals for the coming week include:

1) Chicken Waldorf Salad (the recipe in the source below is for turkey waldorf salad, but I used chicken) - 3 meals

2) Chicken/Turkey Soup with rice, carrots, ginger, garlic, sea salt, pepper, and turmeric (yummy!) - I modified the soup recipe a friend gave to include ginger, garlic, and turmeric for an Indian flavor. - 5 meals - 1 Done at lunch!

3) Curry Spiced Noodles with chicken, carrots, curry, turmeric, and peppers. Since I gluten intolerant, I am going to make noodles using squash that you cut up really skinny like noodles and then boil for a few minutes. - 4 meals

4) Oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon, flaxseeds, almond milk, and honey. Smoothy with almond milk, carrot, banana, stevia, and cocoa on the side. - 3 meals

5) Eggs and ham or pork cutlet. Smoothy with almond milk, carrot, banana, stevia, and cocoa on the side. - 3 meals

6) Green salad with chicken and olive oil and apple cider vinegar for dressing. - 2 meals

7) Leftover Barbecue Chicken, side of veggies and rice - 1 meal

8) Chicken, rice, and tomatoes with chili seasoning. - 1 meal

Recipe for Chicken Soup is here:
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/greek-lemon-chicken-soup/detail.aspx

Recipes for Waldorf Salad and Curry Spiced Noodles are here: http://www.boarshead.com/pdf/DeliciousDishes.pdf

Got Paid Again, More Debt Paid, and Other Stuff in My World

November 12th, 2011 at 07:03 pm

Well, I got paid again. The gas, electric, credit card, and car insurance have all been paid for. I have also allocated for 1/2 of the mortgage. Those are all the bills I have due until next payday. Because of the upcoming holiday, my next payday will be 11/23 instead of 11/25. I have also bought groceries, health supplements, put money aside for replacing my car, and got the gutters cleaned out. You might also notice that my regular savings balance is not going up. That is because after my balance broke $1000, I started sending that money to the credit card instead of keeping it in savings. I am planning on allocating a total of $160.00 per month between my normal payment out of checking and the reallocated savings deposit towards paying off the credit card then starting putting money into savings again. My tentative schedule shows the target payoff date as next October. While I would like to allocate all extra money to the credit card, I also absolutely have to set aside money to replace the card in the next couple of years, as it has several things wrong with it. Most are some minor and just annoying, but the big one is that the heating/ac switch does not work right. Our mechanic said he could replace the switch, but Pontiac does not make them anymore and he was not able to find one from a salvage yard. He manually switched us over from cooling to heat, so we will be good until it gets warm next summer when we could try again to replace the switch. We would like to get a new car or certified preowned car and have the money set aside be equal to at least 1/2 the cost of the car. I don't want us to be locked into huge car payments, so I am doing my best to come up with as much as possible.

I did pretty well with my paleo challenge last week. I ate oatmeal one time when I sort of woke up late and didn't have time to make any eggs. Oh, well, I will do better this next week. I feel really amazing and have a lot more energy. Since I have been eating gluten free for over a year, it was not that big of a challenge. I just eliminated oatmeal, bread, and crackers. Apparently, brown, wild rice is okay in small amounts, though.

Here are my meals for next week:

1) Meatloaf - 2 meals

2) Top Round Roast - 3 meals

3) Eggs and Ham, Smoothie with almond milk, cocoa, stevia, flaxseeds, banana - 3 meals

4) Almond Butter on an Apple, Carrots, Trail Mix - 1 meal

5) Beef Stew w/ onions, carrots, mushrooms - 3 meals

6) Chicken Soup w/ brown rice, Rice, Onions - 3 meals

7) Green Salad w/ chicken, Avocado, Tomato - 3 meals 1 Done Tonight

8) Chicken Leg Quarter, Steamed Veggies - 3 meals

Food Challenge and Other Stuff

November 6th, 2011 at 01:35 pm

Due to a minor miscalculation, I had to move a little bit of money from a savings account to checking. It is not any of the savings accounts on my sidebar, but one where the dh hoards $ for video games and other stuff he wants to buy. I hated to do it, but we might be overdrawn by Friday if I didn't. I have already set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings for the same amount to make sure the money gets back there.

Oh, well. On to other news. Here are my meals for the coming weak. You might notice I am not planning to eat oatmeal this week. I think grains are becoming a little problematic for me, so I am going to cease eating them for at least a week to see what happens. It's going to be a little weird, but I will probably be eating stuff like pot roast, beef stew, and stir fry for breakfast in order to go grain free. I will also eat eggs, but can't eat them every day.

1) Pot Roast - will make at least 2 meals

2) Beef Stew - will probably make 3 meals - 1 Done Tonight!

3) Eggs and ham - 2 meals

4) Spaghetti Sauce - 1 meal - I may subsitute some broccoli or something for the noodles.

5) Chili - 3 meals

6) Chicken salad and carrot sticks - 1 meal

7) Green salad with chicken, onions, and tomato - 3 meals

8) Chicken stir fry - 2 meals

9) Almond butter on carrot sticks and apples - 1 meal

10) Leftover 13 bean soup w/ ham - 2 meals - 1 Done!

Food Challenge This Week

October 23rd, 2011 at 01:43 pm

Well, we are a little low on cash. Counting the $273.31 allocation for 1/2 of the mortgage and Netflix, we have $.08 left in checking. Neither have been actually debited from our account, just allocated for. Making the house payment is easier for me if I allocate 1/2 in the first paycheck and 1/2 in the second. If I have a third paycheck, then I pay a little extra. My challenge this week is to get through the week without using my debit or credit card once.

Here are my meals planned out for the week:

1) meatloaf - 2 meals, one meal with baked potatoes made only 1 meal!

2) Omelets or scrambled eggs, side of chicken or ham - 3 meals 1 Down, 2 to go

3) 13 bean soup with ham, onion, tomatoes, and spices - 4 meals 1 Down, 3 to go

4) oatmeal - 3 meals 1 Down, 2 to go

5) leftover chili spaghetti casserole - 3 meals 1 Down, 2 to go

6) spaghetti over rice - 1 meal

7) salad with a side of leftover chili - 1 meal

8) chicken salad w/ side of crackers and carrots - 1 meal Done

9) gluten free lunchmeat sandwiches

10) lunch out on 10-28-2011!