Tuesday, May 31, 2011

End of the Month

Its finally the end of May. I definitely had more month than money. I'm hoping that this month will be a bit more smooth. Or at least I won't be hemorraghing money the entire month! The end of the month numbers are UGLY! I want prettier numbers this month!

Since my brother and I opted not to exchange birthday gifts this year, I can cross that budgeted June expense off my list. Now if we can just get this ridge of high pressure to budge from over our state, I might just be spared from having a heart attack when I open up my power bill this month! One can hope! We received Princess Penelope's June basketball schedule in the mail. Workouts will commence next week. I do have to add in a new pair of basketball shoes to the mix. Time to start sale searching for those for certain! And she needs several new pairs of shorts.

I"m trying to figure out where I can cut expenses this month. I'm hoping my money saving mojo is kicking back in! Its time to really get serious about it! Have you heard that before?!?!?! Oh, well, I'm trying and I guess that's what ultimately counts!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Go, go, go, go, go....

On the Go. That will be my complete and total focus today and tomorrow. Graduation and birthday celebrations will take front and center this Memorial Day weekend. Today, my nephew graduates from High School. We will be heading to a brunch in his honor shortly. After that, we will head to the Civic Center for the graduation itself. That will comprise almost all of our day today. Fortunately, I got up early this morning to get a few things done since I KNEW the rest of the day would go by without any progress in the house. I've watered the outdoor garden beds (WHEN is it ever going to RAIN again?), I've fed the compost bin, I've weeded some and cut back bushes. I've straightened up inside the house (one of Princess Penelope's friends will be spending the night tonight because her parents are out of town). And I've consumed massive amounts of coffee. All in all, a productive morning.

Tomorrow, since my brother is in town for my nephew's graduation, the family will be getting together to celebrate for both of us (his birthday is in June and its unlikely he will get back home before then). He came by yesterday afternoon and we discussed what we both wanted for our birthdays. We came to the conclusion that both of us had enough stuff, and since neither of us could figure out what we actually wanted, we'd just skip getting presents for each other this year, because basically we'd just be exchanging gift cards. Money is really tight for him right now, and since I'm on my get-out-of-debt-get-Princess-to-college-quest, it seems rather pointless to exchange gift cards for things we don't need when neither of us has extra money. This works for us -- and for our bank accounts.

Time to go get ready for the fabulous day ahead!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Job Hunting

No, I'm not job hunting -- I love my job ---and my side gig too! However, Princess Penelope is on the hunt for a job. And its been a frustrating process! Very few people seem to be hiring teenagers. And to add to that woe, many that are actually hiring won't hire until the teen turns 17. Which Princess Penelope will not do until late July.

She's looking for a job for several reasons: 1. She wants more spending money and knows I don't have it to hand out. 2. She has some things she wants and knows she needs to save up for them, and her allowance only goes so far! 3. She wants to put some money aside for college expenses. All in all, these are reasonable and acceptable goals.

Earlier this week she filled out an application to work as a hostess at a restaurant. The application specifically asked "Can you prove that you are age 16 or older?" She marked "yes". So, today, she was called in for an interview. There were 3 other interview candidates. The people conducting the interviews asked them as a group -- "Are you all at least 17?" Princess stated that she wouldn't be 17 until July. So, they asked her to come back then. She was a bit crushed to say the least.

Several things about this situation frustrate us completely: 1. The application itself made no mention of age 17, only 16. 2. On the application she was required to put her date of birth. So basically they pulled her application, called her in for the interview when she didn't even meet their most basic eligibility requirements. 3. She wasted an entire afternoon getting ready for the interview, then going to the interview, then just being shot down -- when she could have been out pounding the pavement looking elsewhere. 4. Wasted gas = wasted money. It costs way too much to run all over town for nothing.

All of this because the person in the hiring position at this particular place can't do the most basic requirements of his job -- which is actually read through the applications to be sure the applicants he is calling are indeed suited for the position. Laziness and ineptitude irritate me to no end.

So, Princess Penelope is out there again, pounding the pavement looking for a job. Let's hope she catches a break soon!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Water Conservation

I love to garden. Working in the dirt makes me absolutely positively happy! I'm really pretty good with flowers.... veggies....not so much.

Since starting to garden, I have lamented my high water and sewer bills during the summer months. The
county sewer system is linked up to our water system (we are billed for sewer based on water usage), and due to massive corruption and ill advised bond swaps, the system (and therefore the County) has been teetering on the edge of bankruptcy for the past few years. And who do you think gets to pay the costs of the corruption? Yes, that would be the users. I have no problem paying for my usage. What I do have a problem with is paying for the corrupt politicians whose pocket lining made the usage costs sky high. Add on a few summer droughts and you've got gargantuan bills!

To combat the issue, I've taken a few steps to reduce our water usage. I've installed low flow toilets, low flow shower heads (word to the wise, older houses with really old pipes can be disagreeable to this...tread carefully) and I started catching rain in buckets for later use in the garden. The catching rain in buckets was a help, but it was definitely labor intensive and not the most time efficient. So, this year as my birthday rolled around, when family would ask what I wanted for my birthday, I kept saying a rain barrel.... the conversation went something like this:
Family: So, what do you want for your birthday?

Me: I really, really, really want a rain barrel.

Family: But that's so PRACTICAL! We want to get you something FUN!

Me: Gardening is FUN! So, a rainbarrel to make my posies all perky is FUN!

Family: (Rolled eyes)

Me: Where do I spend all my time in the spring and summer?

Family: In your garden....

Me: And why do I do it?

Family: Because you're just a little bit crazy?

Me: (Huffs)

Anyway, all that was a long way of saying the family came through! And I am now the proud owner of a rain barrel! Which now, I just have to figure out how to hook up!

But in the meantime, here are a few things blooming right this minute:


More Daylilies


Hmmmm..... I love Spring!


I had all kinds of stuff I wanted to talk about yesterday, but for some reason I couldn't sign in to Blogger for at least 24 hours. Frustrating, yes? Apparently, I'm way too much of a newbie to follow half of what was being said on the help forum. Finally, I woke up this morning, and they had it in plain English. Yea! Of course now, I can't remember what I wanted to talk about (I need to write this stuff down!) So for now, Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting the Shopping Done

I was watching Extreme Couponers but that show still kind of freaks me out. I like food. I like makeup. And Shampoo. And toothpaste. But I don't want to live with it surrounding me constantly. Extreme is just not for me. Princess Penelope watched a bit of it, and decided that my "stockpile" of five bags of coffee and laundry detergent wasn't as weird as she thought.

Anyway, I got off of work a bit early today, so I headed to Publix to do my Wednesday shopping. I love when I can get over there on Wednesdays!!!!! Penny Items Rock! Yes, this is heavy on crap food -- summer has now begun and I will have teenagers over constantly, and for some reason, they always want to make ramen noodles or mac n'cheese. Go figure. I will pick up produce this weekend, and right now I'm stocked on meat unless I hit an unbeatable sale.

This is how I did:

1 Tyson Annytizers
2 Gatorade Lemon Lime
1 Fig Newtons (I love these and I never see them on sale when I have a coupon! So SCORE!)
1 Ritz Crackerful
2 Kraft Salad Dressings
5 Ramen Noodles
1 Publix Window Cleaner (penny item)
2 Publix Mac N Cheese
1 Lawry's Marinade
1 Lloyds Barbeque
1 Angel Soft 12 Roll (with Bonus 20% more)
1 Wavy Lay's
3 Crystal Light Cranberry Apple

Spent: $30.99
Saved: $37.01 or 54%


Lately I have neglected CVS-ing.... to busy, stocked well enough....blah, blah, blah. As it happens, CVS has a deal this week, buy Stride Gum at .99, get .99 ECB back. I know my inattention to detail is helping to contribute to my bottom line defiict, so I need to get back into it pronto! Princess Penelope is a gum addict so I'm always eager to pick it up for her cheap.... otherwise, Momma's not buyin'!

Anyway, I happened to have a BOGO coupon for the Stride Gum too, so that was going to reduce it down to 2 packs for .99 plus getting the ECB back... so my net cost would just be tax. Anyway, I rummage through my coupon holder and realize I have a CVS coupon for $3 off of any pain reliever purchase. Hmmmm, this deal is getting better and better. So I go back to the pain reliever aisle and snag a 24 ct. bottle of CVS Ibuprofen for $2.87, fully expecting them to adjust the coupon down. When I go to check out, they give me the full $3 credit for the coupon, and the normal price of $1.49 for the gum! Ethically speaking, I will say that I did try to point out that I was only paying .99 for gum and $2.87 for the ibuprofen, but the cashier who is a manager, too, just shrugged her shoulders and said "It took it." Well Okay, then..... So after all that, this is how I did:

Spent .53
Saved: $5.32

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

No Dining Out

This month, my budget was totally killed. And much of it was my fault. Convenience. Laziness. Whatever you want to call it. I made way to many trips through the drive through, out to eat with friends, and to Domino's for takeout. Other than the meals out with friends, most of it was pretty crappy anyway so I'm really irritated with myself. There were other budget busters too, but this one is the one I'm really steamed with myself about because it was totally avoidable.

So from now through the end of June (That's 37 DAYS!) I am going to challenge myself not to eat out at all. I will clarify that I will eat out on travel days for work because I am reimbursed for that. But other than that.... ZIP...ZERO...ZILCH...NADA.

I'm hoping I will stick to this. I haven't done the greatest at sticking to challenges, but maybe I can do this one! All I know is I've GOT to get that spending under control.

Budget = Blown

I really thought I was doing okay this month. But, I wasn't keeping up with tracking my expenses like I SAID I would. And I blew it. I really blew it. Quick trips through the drive through completely threw my eating out budget out the window. I'm still not budgeting enought to cover miscellaneous expenses and gifts. And this month was a doozie! My nephew's birthday AND graduation, quarterly life insurance, ACT registration fees. And the gasoline costs. Ugh. Last fall, $100/month for both Princess Penelope and I was working out fine. That is definitely not the case anymore! Our gasoline costs alone this month were over $150. Princess Penelope's car needs an oil change. And for that matter, my car is almost due too. Thing 2's skin issues continue and Thing 1 was due for his annual exam and vaccinations.

One bright spot.... my combined renters and car insurance bill went down $3. Not sure why, I didn't think I'd see a reduction on that at all for the next forever since I have a teenage driver. The only thing that has kept me lose to okay was the fact that my natural gas and power were down this month. I don't see them staying low though, as the summer looks to be a scorcher!!!! One other bright spot: Credit Card 1 should be paid off in July! Then I'll have to get really cracking with Credit Card 2 --- I'm TIRED of being in debt! And the last bright spot: I got a raise which will be effective July 1. I figured out how much that will be per paycheck and I'm adding that additional amount to Princess Penelope's college fund. Yes, I know Dave Ramsey says to get rid of the debt first, and he's probably right. But I'd like to start her out with at least the first year paid for, and I only have one year to do that.

I'm finally starting to make money with the side gig. I do have to go back and check to be sure I'm putting enough aside for taxes. After I double check that, then I will start moving the earned money to the debt load. Phew! This is too much thinking this early in the morning!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Not Again

This is supposed to be a look at what goes on in our life as we try to get to where we want to be. Sometimes though, the world outside of our little corner needs attention too.

Since I first hear about the tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri yesterday, I haven't been able to get it off my mind. In Alabama, we know about the devestation these storms can bear. We're living it everyday for the past 26 days. Every single edition of the Birmingham News since April 27 has had stories about the tornados on the front page.

So to hear about yesterday's devestation in Missouri, and to see the pictures, and see the videos... well my heart hurts for all of those affected yesterday. And my heart still hurts for those of us affected April 27. I'm hoping and praying that those still missing will be found alive. I'm hoping that those who survived have the strength and heart to move forward and the strength and heart to help their neighbors. I'm hoping that there is hope even when all seems hopeless.

And I'm hoping and praying that we don't all become storm or disaster weary and lose our compassion and willingness to help those in need. The need is great, and will continue for years.I hope that we don't let our disgust with the opportunists that inevitably crop up in the wake of a disaster harden our hearts to those that truly need our help.

And I hope, and sincerely pray that this is it for awhile.

Forty Wonderful

Today is my birthday! Forty-one. For some reason its those birthdays before and after the milestones that always give me the most pause. The milestones get all the fanfare, so you can enjoy them....even when it means you are no longer in your twenties, or your thirties, etc., etc. But the ones right before, I always seem to think geez "I'm about to be "x" years old and I haven't done this, this or this". The ones right after its like, "Oh, smack...I'm really really really in this decade, so I've really really really got to get this, this and this accomplished before I hit the next big one".

This birthday has and will be pretty low key. Princess Penelope has exams Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, so I nixed the plans for a full family get together tonight. I didn't want to have my family birthday celebration while Princess was home studying. I took the day off work today, because I have plenty of vacation time shored up, and because I know that if things go the way we hope they will at work, I will be too totally slammed come July and August to take any time. Princess didn't have an exam today, so she didn't have to go to school. So, we both slept in.... Apparently in my old age, 630 is now "sleeping in" for me. Its 730 now, so Princess will definitely be sleeping in a bit longer! Ha.

Last night I celebrated by going out to eat with Brave Friend and Offbeat Friend. We grabbed some Mexican and mischief at a local place where I tend to go quite a bit, but Offbeat Friend is "likethis" with the owners. Made for a birthday with some "extras" thrown in. Brave Friend ad Offbeat Friend picked up my portion of the check for my birthday. Then we headed to our favorite local watering hole (this is where we tend to watch the Alabama Football games in the fall when we don't have tickets to that game). Anyway, while our favorite bartender wasn't there, his sidekick was and his sidekick comped my drinks, because hey, its my birthday!!!! :-)  We made an early night of it and I was home by 10.

I did actually make one achievement last night! I won playing Darts! Or Cricket, or whatever you want to call it. I usually am totally craptastic playing that game. But last night I had some good birthday mojo going on. Five, count them, 5 bullseyes. Whoop! Take a good look, because that will never happen again!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Have Nothing To Eat

We have nothing to eat. We have nothing to drink. Do you ever hear that? No matter that we have a pantry/fridge/freezer that definitely has food in it.... we didn't have what was wanted. Still, I just shopped the deals today, and this is what I got:

3 Bic Razors (raincheck!)
4 Publix Deluxe Mac & Cheese
2 Tombstone Pizzas
1 Ronzoni Pasta
2 Pedigree Jumbones
2 Pedigree Dentastix
Wine :-)
1 Diet Mtn. Dew
1 Publix Paper Towels
1  Wylers Drink Mix
5 Ramen Noodles
1 Sunchips

Spent: $30.78
Saved: $34.11

Sundays at Aldi are better than Saturdays

On a previous Saturday trip to Aldi, I had one of my bags stolen from my cart and the store was a madhouse. I think I like Sunday better. Hardly anyone was in there! So, this is what I got:

2 Wheat crackers
3 bags shredded cheese
2 light cream cheese
2 blocks of cheese
2 Chicken Kiev (Princess and I both like the Barbers food version of this, so thought I'd try the Aldi since it is WAY cheaper!)
1 Box dog biscuits
2 Shells & Cheese

Spent: $28.20
If I bought the same stuff, just store brand and not on sale at my other favorite place, I would have spent approximately $36.14. So that extra 20 minute trip to Aldi saved me $7.94 or a savings rate of $23.82 per hour. Not too shabby.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Pup Sitting Part II

So, Big Boy was supposed to head home tonight. Brave Friend came by to pick him up. We had a glass of vino on the porch. She went to get Big Boy in the car.... uh, uh.... not gonna happen. Big Boy has some vision problems. And apparently, due to those problems, he does not care for climbing into SUVs after dark. So, after much prodding, bribing and begging... Big Boy would NOT get in the car. Nothing we did could convince him (hey, YOU try making a ticked off 95 pound dog with jaws of steel do something he doesn't want to do! haha).

So Big Boy is spending the night again. We'll try again in the morning -- and if he won't get in the car then, Brave Friend will walk him home. That wasn't an option tonight because 1. The walk comprises crossing a dangerous street at night... not the best idea with a grumpy pup and 2. She ran 2 5Ks in two days....while photographing the race.... its a bit of a haul to her house at this point.... So.... Pup spend the night party at Casa Sass again tonight! Whoop!


Thing 1 and Thing 2 had a buddy spend the night last night. 3 pups, 2 people and 1100 square feet. Its been an interesting 24 hours. Brave Friend, who keeps Thing 2 and sometimes Thing 1 when I go out of town for work had to go out of town with the Law Enforcement Torch Run benefitting Special Olympics. So her pup, who happens to me a Husky-Malamute mix came over to hang out with us. Brave Friend has saved me a bunch of $$$$ over the past few months keeping my pups when I've had to travel. It is nice to be able to return the favor!

Let me tell you, that is a BIG  BOY! And Big Boy happens to like sprawling out right in the center of any and all walkways. I've tripped trying to get around or over him several times. Its been fun though.... its kind of interesting to watch Thing 2 let go of her Alpha Dog mentality and acquiesce to the most laid back dog you've ever met.

Right now, the pups and I are chilling on the porch.... I'm drinking coffee, Big Boy is completely engrossed with his paws, Thing 1 is snoozing and Thing 2 is trying to catch bumblebees... Thing 2 is sometimes not very bright. I suppose if she catches one, she might learn....hmmm....maybe not.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Out of sorts

I've been a bit MIA this week --- had a great Sunday afternoon working my side gig. Hit the road Monday for a trip out of town for my regular job. Got back yesterday afternoon. Had just enough time to pick Thing 1 and Thing 2 up and drop them off at home before I had to head back out to a meeting. Princess Penelope wasn't even home from basketball tryouts when I left.

When the meeting was just about over, I got a tet from the Princess saying she was worn out from tryouts and studying for exams and she was crashing. So, I didn't actually even see her ntil this morning! Worked a full day today, came home and decided carryout pizza was the way to go for dinner (I seriously did NOT want to cook). So now, I'm just chilling. There are a jillion little things begging for my attention, but I really don't want to move from the couch.

I'm back on the road tomorrow, so I really should get off my behing and get something done. But its a comfy couch.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Who invited winter back? Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a wee bit.... but currently it is in the low 50's....in May....in ALABAMA. After a weekend blissfully free of having to turn on the airconditioning... I will now have to turn on the heat tonight. In May. In Alabama. That's just weird.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Much to do

I'll be working in my yard most of the day today. My yard is huge. Its a big pie-ish shaped lot (the front yard can easily fit 9 or 10 cars across it on the street) and its on a hill. The back yard is a bit smaller, but still not tiny. I've solved some of the challenges by putting in rock gardens on part of the front hill and bordering the fence lines in back with flower beds. But those of course present their own challenges. Namely weeding.

In all honesty, I've neglected this chore a bit this spring. I've stayed on top of the grass cutting and weedeating in other areas, but the getting on my hands and knees and pulling weeds part.... well, I've been a bit neglectful. And it is time to correct that.

Yesterdays rain definitely cooled it off a bit around here, so the yard work shouldn't be miserable in that respect. However yesterday's rain left everything.... well soaked. So while I won't be a candidate for heatstroke today....I will probably be a bit uncomfortable as it is difficult to stay dry on your hands and knees in a soaking wet flower bed. Bright side though..... those weeds should be quite easy to pull up!

So if you need me.... I'll be in the garden!

Friday, May 13, 2011

How do people get FREE TP?

I've watched a couple of the Extreme Couponing shows (and yes, I know its like watching a trainwreck, but oh well)... and they are always talking about how they have a shower (or whatever) full of free toilet paper! That never seems to happen in my little world....I've got to figure that one out. Anyway, did some grocery shopping today, and while its not my best day ever.... its a decent day. It would have been better if I had STUCK TO MY LIST, but oh, well.... here's my trip to Publix:

1 12pk Publix Toilet Paper (definitely not free...sigh)
2 Hartz Crunch n Clean Dog Biscuits
1 Tyson Mini Chicken Sandwhiches (this is the offlist part)
2 Smart Balance Milk
2 Ben & Jerry's
2 Herbal Essences
2 Keebler Club Crackers
2 Playtex Tampons (raincheck)
2 Lysol All Purpose Computers
2 Doritos Chips
1 Clean & Clear face cleanser
2 International Delight Coffee Creamers
2 Bertolli Pasta Sauce
2 Ramen Noodles
1 Bumblebee Tuna 4 Pack
1 Kraft Homestyle Mac N Cheese
1 Pepsi Max

Spent: $49.97
Saved: $44.59 or 47%

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Temporary Insanity?

That's the only excuse I can come up with for why a normally sane and pretty much rational person will agree to take two teenage girls on an overnight trip to Atlanta in July to see..... Britney Spears.

Britney is Princess Penelope's all time fave. So much so, in fact, that she said that THIS is all she wants for her birthday. And in a moment of weakness I agreed. So, while I was working my side gig on Saturday, I gave Princess Penelope my card and let her order the tickets online.

They just arrived via UPS. The UPS man (who used to make the deliveries to my former office locale) and I chatted for a minute and I opened the package and said.... "Pray for me." When I showed him what was in the package, he laughed and said, "Good luck with that."

Oh lordy, I might just be crazy after all.

Finally had to do it.....

Had to break down and turn the air conditioner on. We've been blessed this spring with really mild weather (temperature wise, at least!) and I've been able to avoid it.... but then, yesterday, it hit almost 90 --- so, the AC had to go on.

I live in a 1957 house with massively drafty windows, and NO shade on the house whatsoever. (We had two gorgeous trees that provided lovely shade a few years ago, but they developed some serious structural issues, so they had to come down before they fell down). I rent the house, and the AC unit is probably close to 20 years old. Now while it would be great if my landlord would replace the entire system, the landlord is also my Dad. I pay an extremely reasonable rent for the area, and he's put a lot of money into the house already. Quite honestly, I don't want him to HAVE to put any more money into it, so I try to put as little stress on the system as I can.

The summer absolutely spikes my power bills. Remember all that griping I did in February about the natural gas bills? You ain't seen nothing yet! ha.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coupons, coupons, coupons!

April over at Single Lifeline is having another fantastic coupon giveaway! It seems she is reorganizing her coupon system. In order to streamline the effort she is giving away a ton of coupons in multiple categories!

I can say with first hand knowledge that April ends up with a vast selection of coupons, many that I never see in my area. I won one of her giveaways a while back, and my pups ended up with free food and treats for WEEKS! Many of the coupons she sent me went great with Publix sales and were ones I had never laid eyes on before. Check out her giveaway by using the link above!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mothers Day!

I hope you all have had a blessed day! I've had a good day, but really not much different than any other day. My own Mom has gone down to Miami for the week to spend Mother's Day with my brother. Princess Penelope has had a migraine since yesterday and has barely left the bed. I've done quite a bit of mothering on this Mother's Day.

Other than that, I've worked in the yard, done laundry and cleaned house. But I'm happy to do it. After the events of the past two weeks, I've really realized how blessed I am. I'm lucky to have a yard where all the bushes need shaping up and the grass needs cutting and the flower beds need weeding. I'm lucky to have a daughter, even when she feels so crappy she can hardly get out of bed. I'm lucky to have floors that constantly need to be swept of dog hair and various other things we track in. I'm lucky to have furniture that needs dusting. And laundry that needs washing --- even that favorite blouse with the salsa stain on it! I'm lucky to have my two pups that have been getting into goodness knows what today in the yard and therefore desperately need baths --- even though they had a bath 3 days ago!

So, for this weekend at least, I'm looking around with gratitude at all the things that need to be done. I'm a lucky girl.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I heart my town!

So today we had the annual "We Love Homewood Day". My PC Team Leader and I ran a booth at the festival at the park and hopefully made som important connections! But the best part was I ran into what seemed like 10 jillion people I knew! I do SO adore running my mouth! So this was like 10 kinds of fun for me!

Afterwards, I came home, chilled out for a few, then headed back for the evening street festival. Grabbed a table outside the local Mexican place, had dinner and margos, and hung out with half the city. Chatted with the Mayor, met the new police chief and got a lecture from the Deputy Chief about rolling through stop signs because I'm too distracted by how absolutely fabulous Ms. Haveron's garden looks. I must confess, I've been pulled over twice this week for that offense, but got off once because the officer was 82nd Airborne like my brother, and the second time because said Deputy Chief was doing a ride along with the officer. I'm kind of thinking that I might have just rather had that ticket than the lecture! (Which he was totally right about by the way!)

Anyway, its been a good day, but its time for me to get some sleep. I <3 you, Homewood!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Shouldn't Shop When You Are Hungry

Don't they always tell us that? And why do we sometimes refuse to listen? So I ran to Publix after work today. I was a bit rumbly in the tumbly. And then I ran into Brave Friend in the cookie and cracker aisle. She was buying all sorts of healthy stuff (Brave Friend eats right, works out alot... unlike yours truly). Anyway, so we're chatting, and I notice that she's got cereal in her cart that she's paying full price for (ouch) but I knew I had a coupon for it. So we chat, and I rummage around in my coupon folder. Of course every time I looked up, some other yummy goodness caught my eye!

So, I was going to get just the dog treats and a few more soft drinks..... and here's the damage to both my wallet and my waistline:

4 Publix Soft Drinks
1 Nature Valley Granola THins
2 Ramen Noodles
1 Pepperidge Farm Cake
1 Keebler JUMBO Fudge Sticks
1 Hartz UltraGuard
1 Pedigree Dentastix
1 Keebler Cheesecake Middles Cookies

Spent: $18.19
Saved: $17.20

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tracking Expenses

I know I should track my expenses. I know it, I know it, I know it! I know that having to look at each expense twice makes me have to think at least twice about every penny I've spent. But I totally fail at doing so. Or, I'll just enter it all at the end of the month. That does NOT help me to consider that money as I'm spending it! I need to do better if I'm truly going to cut our expenses!

Over at Mom's Plans , she has a challenge going to track all of the money you spend in the month of May. I think I'm in on this one... I really need to make myself accountable, and maybe, just maybe, if I'm posting it up every week as a part of this challenge, I'll actually keep track. So here's the first few days of May:

May 1: $0  - I never left the house!

May 2:  $6.31 - fast food lunch

May 3: $6.81 - fast food lunch
            $60 - automatic transfer into Princess Penelope's College Account
            $180 - automatic transfer into savings

May 4: $35.81 - gas for Princess Penelope's car
            $18.96 - groceries
            $7.14 - yet another fast food lunch - I can FEEL my arteries clogging

May 5: $9 - newspaper subscription - automatic debit

This week has played havoc with my budget simply based on the fact that I have eaten out for lunch 3 of 4 days this week! That is normally not the case for me as I usually go home at lunch, but with all of the meetings we've had this week that have run over.... well, it been quick trips through the drive thru.... sigh....


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Favorite BOGO

If you've got a Publix in your area, you know how fabulous the BOGO deals are. I don't always make it to the store on Wednesdays, although I should because that's the penny item day! But today, I made SURE I went after work. Why? Because this week, my absolute favorite BOGO item is on sale! Eight O' Clock Coffee --- French Vanilla! My name is Sass, and I am a caffeine addict. I'm really really glad it went BOGO, because I was down to my last bag and the regular price has jumped almost a $1 per bag. Anyway, this was just a quick trip to be sure they didn't sell out of my morning go-juice and here's what I got:

4 Publix Soft Drinks
1 Edwards Singles Pie - 2 pack
1 Publix Saltines (penny item!)
1 Lay's Potato Chips
4 Bags Eight O' Clock Coffee - French Vanilla
1 Philadelphia Cooking Creme
1 Lipton Soup

Spent $18.96
Saved: $27.95, or 60%

And the best thing? I can now continue to function in the mornings for the foreseeable future!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Unexpected Bonus

This week at work, we have our annual "All Staff" meeting where everyone from our outlying offices around the country comes to the main office for a week of meetings, and of course, the annual company picnic (which happens to feature a somewhat brutal volleyball tournament!) Its usually a pretty good week with lots of fun, food and some hair pulling meetings thrown in. Ha.

At the opening session, they usually have some kind of silly icebreaker game designed to make sure everyone mingles and gets to know each other a bit. This meeting's opening session was a bit different. We were all handed envelopes and given these long complex instructions (which had me so confused, I'm not going to even try and relay them here!) and we were told to wait to open the envelopes. When we were given the greenlight to open them, each envelope contained $500 cash! Woo hoo! Talk about an ice breaker! Of course there was the requisite note that Uncle Sam would be getting his cut, too, but that's okay.

Now, what to do with this unexpected windfall.... choice number 1 would be to apply it all to debt. That would be the smart choice. Choice 2 - apply it to two not routine expenses that I've been saving for on the side.

I think I'm going with Choice 2 --- and then the remainder will go to tornado relief. After both of the expenses are covered, I should have about $150 left. That can do a lot of good without completely throwing off my debt paying plans. Unexpected bonuses are awesome!

Sunday, May 1, 2011


That describes me today. I've felt somewhat icky all day, so I've pretty much just moved from couch to wicker loveseat on the porch and back to the porch. That's it. That's all I've done today. I hate that I let what could have been a super productive day go all to the dogs! Oh well. Monday will start a new week and hopefully will be a much better day!