Wednesday, December 26, 2012

To Shop or Not To Shop?

My original answer on this question was easy. No shopping today. I knew I was going to get a Target gift card from my Dad -- and since I didn't have any pressing needs or wants, I was going to hold on to it for a while.

All that changed Christmas Eve, when I dropped my iPhone (which happens to actually not be mine, but a work provided phone) on my Mom's hardwood floors. And the protective case broke. Fortunately the phone did not. But since I have to pay for that phone if it breaks in a non-work related manner, well..... I don't want to do that, so I am going today to replace the case.  No choice whatsoever, because I am WAY too klutzy to tote around an unprotected phone!

So, I guess I need to get out of my warm jammies and get ready to brave the insanity that is the day after Christmas shopping. Wish me luck!

Friday, December 21, 2012

SO Far Behind

Presents aren't wrapped. Nor are they all bought. My Mom STILL hasn't told me what to bring for Christmas Eve Dinner -- so, that's not handled either. Baking not done. Groceries not completely handled. House = disaster zone. And my inbox is completely full at the office.

Basically, if I don't make it back here before the big day.... Y'all have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Two Income Household Once Again

The Princess has moved back home. My house is complete chaos. I SWEAR all this stuff came out of this house! How come its so hard to work it all back in?

Anyway --- when we made the decision for her to move back home, we decided that she needed to be working again -- not a ton -- but she was tired of being broke, and speeding tickets and concert tickets had depleted her savings. Not totally depleted -- but she definitely was aware she needed more cash.

So, she went to her old boss to see if he might hire her back. And he did! He had been very impressed with her professionalism while she was working there and when she left at the end of the summer. (From what he said to her he doesn't get that a lot from teenagers these days). Anyway, she started back to work tonight --- so she will be keeping herself in itunes and cute shoes for the next little while.

Grocery Shopping - Gotta Feed The Pups and My Sweet Tooth

I wanted to take advantage of the Publix Gas Card Deal again ($10 off a $50 Gas Card Purchase with $50 grocery purchase). I had thought that it might be hard for me to reach the magic $50 number because the ad just wasn't fabulous ---- however, I didn't count on my sweet tooth! Long week, after work purchase = calories and cost! Whoops.

Anyway, this is what I purchased:

2 Tyson Chicken
1 Edwards Chocolate Pie
2 Stouffers Family Size Entrees
2 Ore-Ida Hashbrowns
1 Oscar Mayer Smoked Turkey Sausage
1 Oscar Mayer Turkey Lunch Meat
1 Command Picture Hanging Strips (need to take these back because I just realized they rang up for $3 more than they were priced)
2 International Delight Coffee Creamer
2 Emergen-C Immune Support
2 Crackerful Snack crackers
1 Little Debbie SnackCakes
2 Kibbles & Bits Dog Food (4lb bags)
1 Publix Dog Food (35.3 lb)

Overall, spent $$65.78
Saved $53.02 or 45% --- Not bad considering I bought a TON of pup food

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Just A Quick Follow Up.....

I still have a job. It is complicated, but basically, through legal maneuvering and more bureaucracy.... well the BIG decision is once again postponed. Likely the postponement will be anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. So, for the next while, I am still employed! Yea!

Things have been slow the past month or so in my "temporary" reassignment -- I'm basically making sure I look busy or seeking out other stuff to do to keep myself busy day in and day out. I know that this is likely a temporary lull based on the past year's worth of work, but it does make me nervous.

I keep thinking that maybe I need to be more actively looking for another position. However, I've had some co-workers do that and the grass has not ended up being greener. For most of them it has ended up being kind of a "dog spot brown". Also, there's the matter of benefits...... my benefits are actually really good. The health insurance is affordable -- and given that I paid a total of $105.15 out of pocket for my surgery earlier this fall ($100 hospital co-pay, $3 lab co-pay and $2.15 pain med co-pay), its actually very good coverage! And then there's the 401(k) --- my company pays 12% into my 401(k) regardless of whether or not I contribute a dime (subject to a vesting schedule, of course) --- that goes a long way towards making up for the fact that I waited WAY late in the game to start putting $$$ aside for retirement. I do, however, put some aside myself! Add in 12 paid sick days, 12 paid vacation days and 11 holidays (if I'm counting right).... well, it is a NICE benefit package. Oh, and did I mention it takes me all of 10 minutes to get to work.... and that's IF I hit every single light!

For now, I'm staying put. The resume IS polished up. I'm somewhat passively looking, and if the right opportunity presented itself, I'd take it, but for now... I really like where I am.

Friday, December 14, 2012

There Are No Words

Today, 20 families sent their children off to school like any other day. Today became those parents' worst nightmare.

There are no words to express the sheer horror, sadness, grief, frustration and rage I feel for for those parents. I can only hope and pray that they find some sort of peace amid the horror. Some acceptance of the unacceptable. It is probably a futile prayer, but that's all I can offer at this time.

Peace and love to you all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Few Ramblings....

I think I've got about a jillion things going on right now, so this will just a few random and notreallyorganized thoughts... but please feel free to jump in and give me yours.

  • I am NOWHERE NEAR the financial situation I'd hoped to be at this point in the year. I'd be lying if I said I've been paying close attention lately. That needs to stop NOW. That's how you get in trouble.

  • I've got a foyer and dining room full of the Princess's stuff I brought home on Sunday, with more to come tomorrow when she arrives. Do I have ANY CLUE where I'm going to put all this crap? Um... NO.

  • The Princess called Friday afternoon and the first thing out of her mouth was "I just NAILED that Math Final!". Given that she has an "A" in Math for probably the first time since 3rd Grade, that was music to my ears.

  • The Princess called about 30 minutes ago and the first thing out of her mouth was "Ugh!!! That History Final was HORRIBLE!". That was NOT music to my ears. Acing Math and having a hard time in History --- College must truly be an alternate universe.

  • I get the Bad Pet Owner of the Year Award --- I got a card in the mail yesterday from our vet. Thing 2 is due for her annual checkup and vaccinations --- ONE MONTH AGO. Sigh.

  • Publix is running another Gas Card Promo starting tomorrow. But the ad doesn't look too awesome..... this is going to take some work on my part tonight getting the trip where it needs to be to qualify for the deal.... and I have to do a volunteer deal tonight, so my time is limited.

  • Yeah, yeah, I know that some people think that coupon clipping and all that isn't worth the time it takes to work the deals. However, the time I'm setting aside after I get home last night will likely be about an hour to work it all through and plan it out. I'm looking at a MINIMUM of $10 savings (on the gas card) if I don't buy a single thing on sale or use a single coupon. Well, the whole purpose of planning it out is that I will take advantage of sales and coupons to get the best value for the money spent. And no, I will not be buying stuff I wouldn't buy anyway just to save a few $$$, I just have to look closer at the ad and look closer at what we are running low on to make it all work right.  So, I'm betting my actual savings on that grocery trip will be around $40 or so. So, that's a tax free $40 for an hour spent (and that's more than I make in an hour so it works for me).

  • And a friendly PSA --- if you do NOT want everyone at work to know your business --- maybe don't talk about it constantly in your cubicle and for goodness sake don't make personal calls there! People have ears! They can't help if you are laying it all out there. Sheesh.

  • And College Textbooks are a racket. Pure and simple. We spent over $600 for textbooks and the bookstore sell back only yeilded $58.50. Are you kidding me? Basically because they are now using "online access codes" --- as if we aren't killed enough. And the Princess's school wouldn't release the textbooks they were using to the students until classes started, which meant no way for her to get them online (Barnes & Noble Campus Bookstores -- you suck!). Yeah, Princess living at home this coming semester is definitely going to have its benefits. Amazon, Chegg, Half --- well, I'll get up close and personal with y'all in a couple weeks or so!

And that's it for my afternoon ramblings... y'all have a good one!!!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Give Til It Hurts?

I believe in charity. I believe in giving to those less fortunate. I believe in helping my fellow man. I truly do. At some point though, I think it might start to get just a bit overwhelming.

At work we've done a food drive and a toy drive. Another organization I belong to is doing a toy drive too.  As is another one! Every single day for the past two weeks I've gotten emails from friends and co-workers soliciting help for the family/organization etc that they/their church/their social group is sponsoring for the holidays. I truly believe these are all worthwhile causes. I really do.

However, I think I'm burned out with all of the "giving". I'm tired of the relentless emails, the co-workers stopping by my cubicle to say there's still "time to give", the charity calls making me feel guilty. At some point, no matter how fortunate I feel, how much I want to help others, I have to draw the line. And at some point, the endless barrage of pleas becomes overwhelming -- the guilt trips, irritating.

I'm not willing to go into further debt to provide my own child's Christmas, I'm not going to do it for others, either. Call me a Scrooge, a Grinch, Cold-Hearted, whatever. I've given all I can give this year... I am not going to give til it hurts.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Moving Day

This morning I'm heading down to The Princess's school to pack up most of her dorm room and move her stuff back. Her last final is tomorrow and she will officially move home on Tuesday. I'll leave her the essentials, but we will get everything we can into my car today. I have a strong feeling that she has not decided at all, what, if anything, is "essential". Fabulous.

I spent yesterday morning getting the house into tiptop shape so that it can handle the onslaught of the Princess's "stuff".  Then I spent the rest of the day with a friend, having lunch and browsing at the mall. I managed to get through a whole mall without buying a single thing. Although, I must confess, poor planning had me heading back later to exchange some sheets. But all in all it was a fantastic day!

So, off to college town I go --- I am NOT looking forward to the drive!!!!!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Is That Much TP Really Necessary?

This week's grocery shopping was basicaly focused on stockpiling --- snacks for when the Princess comes home and TP because it was about as cheap as it ever gets!!! I was a bit embarrassed when the bag boy asked me whose house we were planning on rolling.... Anyway, this is what I picked up this week:

3 12 Packs Angel Soft
1 Country Crock Spread
1 Publix Sour Cream
1 Arnold Whole Grain Bread
1 Publix Milk
3 Special K Crackers
3 Special K Popcorn Crackers
2 Juicy Juicy Fruitfuls 8 Packs
1 Publix Hot Chocolate (Penny Item!)
1 Kelloggs Pop Tarts
2 Gevalia Coffees (after Publix and Manufacturer Coupons these were $1/bag!)
2 T-Bonz Dog Treats -- 25 oz size (this is what Santa is bringing Thing 1 and Thing 2)
1 Oscar Mayer Ham

Spent: $49.00
Saved: $64.81 or 57%

I think what I find really stunning is that without working the coupons and sales, all of this would have cost $113.81. It is just amazing to me. Now, granted, had I not been able to get those bags of dog treats for $2.20 each, I wouldn't have bought them --- because regular price those are almost $15 worth in dog treats! But, Santa always brings the Pups something, so this is affordable, at least! But still, grocery prices currently have me going "Wow".

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Little Apprehensive

As you may (or may not) remember, about this time last year, I was "temporarily" reassigned to a different department due to a contractual hiatus that had nothing to do with me. If I'm not making sense, just think "bureaucratic red tape". Here we are, one year later, and I'm still "temporarily" reassigned. A bit bored out of my mind sometimes, but since the reassignment didn't come with a loss of salary or benefits or perks, well, I'm decently paid to be occasionally bored out of my mind.

About two weeks ago, we received notification that this "process" was likely going to continue for another 2 years. Fabulous. But THEN, on Monday, that was reversed and we should have "clear" contract awards on December 14. Sounds fabulous, right? Except that the process for those contract awards was already overturned 2 months ago..... Confusing you yet? Well, yeah, me too.......

So basically, come December 14, I may or may not have my "temporary" reassignment, I may or may not have a job at all, for that matter. Isn't that a FABULOUS way to face the holidays?

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Getting Through Christmas Without Breaking the Bank

Christmas is a time of year that it can become very easy to just slap down a card and "worry about paying for it later". I did that a bit last year.... I am DETERMINED not to do that this year. I've finished most of my shopping and while I still have a few things left to get --- I'm on a much better track than I was this year.

It helps that the Princess doesn't have one BIG item on her list -- well she does -- a new car stereo and speakers because hers went kaput --- but her Dad is getting that for her. So, no other big "wow" item. Everything else on her list is pretty small and I've been able to pick them up on the cheap, using various cheapskate methods.

One of those ways was through Groupon --- as you probably know, Groupon is a daily deal site. It can be a real hazard if you don't have good discipline. However, if you know what you're looking for and can resist impulse spending, then it can be a GREAT benefit. In this case, the Princess wanted her teeth whitened. The ZOOM! whitening process can be pretty expensive at our dentist's office -- like $400 so that would have been a HUGE purchase. But then OUR DENTIST offered a groupon for $99 plus I had a $15 off first Groupon purchase credit. Making the deal $84. Trust me, I wasn't going to trust those teeth that I've paid a small fortune for to just anyone, so this was a great deal for us!

Another way was through Swagbucks -- if you aren't doing Swagbucks, you SHOULD! Basically, you earn Swagbucks from searching the web through their search engine, entering "secret codes", referring friends, taking polls, watching videos, printing and redeemening coupons and even shopping -- those Swagbucks can be redeemed for various items -- although I think the $5 Amazon gift cards for 450 Swagbucks is the best deal out there. Through Swagbucks I earned $95 this year in free Amazon Gift Cards, which I have used for various FREE Christmas gifts for the Princess, as well as a couple of little things for me. This has to be my favorite way of getting free stuff for Christmas.

A slightly more tedious way to earn holiday extras is through My Coke Rewards. Bascially you collect the reward codes inside bottle caps or cases of Coca-Cola and enter them on the website to redeem for rewards. In the past, I've redeemed them for tickets to the World of Coke Museum in Atlanta, Coca-Cola 12 packs, magazine subscriptions and the like. This year, during their 12 Days promotion, I just redeemed some points for a $25 Wal Mart gift card. The rewards add up slow, but if you're patient, you can get some good deals --- and just so you know -- I do not buy Coke products just for the rewards -- I just save them when I do buy them!

One very time consuming way I found to TRY and get stuff for Christmas was through blog giveaways! I've kind of had a low ratio of time spent vs. items won on this endeavor, though. In the past couple of months I've won copies of The Lorax and Despicable Me, 2 coupons for Purex Laundry Detergent, 16 boxes of Thermacare Heat Wrap and a $5 Arby's gift card. Considering the time I spent entering the various contests, not a great win ratio -- HOWEVER, most of that time was when I was on the couch recovering from surgery or watching tv anyway, so not too bad. And the Purex Coupons helped me take advantage of the Publix Gas Gift Card Deal last week -- so its all good!

How about you? What are some ways YOU try and reduce your Christmas spending?

***NOTE: The links featured above are my referral links.***

Friday, November 30, 2012

Making Hard Decisions

As most of you know, The Princess went off to school in August. From the day she moved in, she started regretting her choice of schools. That regret became stronger as the semester has moved along. It finally reached the tipping point during Thanksgiving break. The Princess was home among all of her old friends --- most of whom were saying how much they LOVED their school, how much fun they were having and all the Princess could say was "My classes are fine, but I really don't like it."

That resulted in us having to make some hard decisions. Almost $3500 in room and board PER SEMESTER is a LOT of money for me to pay for the Princess to be miserable. So, we made the decision for her to move home at the end of the semester and enroll (for now) at the local community college. She will take only basic core curriculum for the spring semester and we will regroup and figure out where to go from here. The cost savings will be substantial and I think in the long run she will be happier.

I hope so.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grocery Shopping For A Gas Card

Once again this week, Publix offered the $10 off gas gift card with $50 in groceries. That is always a good deal and I HATE to pass up 20% off of gasoline, so I scoured the ad to see what I could come up with to make it a workable deal. The biggest problem was that it was NOT what I considered a stellar week for sales, but there were some deals to be had. I was also lucky enough to have 2 free product coupons for Purex Laundry Detergent that I had won from other blog giveaways. I also had a free product coupon for Green Giant Seasoned Steamer veggies. These helped get my total up to $50 in a week where I really needed the help.

So, here is what I got:

1 Stouffer Family Size Entree
1 Mrs. Paul's Fish Sticks
1 Friendship Sour Cream
2 Heluva Good French Onion Dip
9 International Delight Coffee Creamer (yes, I have issues, no, these won't last a month)
2 Hormel Chili
2 Yakisoba Noodles
1 GasX
2 Purex with Oxi Laundry Detergent
2 Kettle Sea Salt Chips
1/2 Dozen Eggs

Total Spent: $30.43
Total Saved: $47.96 or 61%

PLUS I got a $50 gas gift card for just $40!!!!!

A good day indeed!!!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Time and Family Marches On

I can't believe how quickly time marches on. I swear, it was just the beginning of November a few days ago!!!!! I hope you all had a safe and Happy Thanksgiving. Mine was very nice, despite the very quick nature of the trip I took.

This year was the Princess's year with her Dad, so she wasn't with me. Every year, we head South to do Thanksgiving with my Nana (my Mom's side of the family). It was Nana's favorite holiday because it meant pretty much her whole family was gathered together in one place at one time (or most of us, at least). Believe me, with 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 18 great children and 3 great-greats --- that is a HUGE feat in and of itself. Add in spouses and significant others --- and we are LEGION.

Since we lost Nana in October, there was definitely some concern as to whether or not Thanksgiving would go on as usual. It was talked about not doing it since so many had just made the trip down south for the funeral. But ultimately we decided to go ahead with it. We had less than half of the normal crowd, but that was understandable.

I decided to make the trip and got very lucky with my travel arrangements. Usually it costs me $80 in gas, plus another $100 in boarding the pups for 2 nights and fast food, etc, to make the trip. This time I rode down and back in the same day with my Mom's boyfriend. He wouldn't let me pay for any gas, and bought breakfast on the way down. The only thing I paid for was a Peppermint Mocha and a Diet Coke during a brief stop!

The trip was tiring, but was incredibly worth it both emotionally and financially. Family is important. I'm glad I made the trip and gave thanks for our family and the woman who made it possible.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Lights Cost HOW Much?

The Princess and I pulled out all of the Christmas decorations over the weekend. I think she got a little nervous when I was saying "Maybe I won't put up _____ this year" so therefore decided to move all the boxes from the basement to the main part of the house for me. Very sweet of her, however, since the house wasn't "ready" for them, I have a big huge mess of boxes that I am currently tripping over.

Anyway, after de-lighting the pre-lit tree, I got out my "other" Christmas lights to put them on the tree. That would have been terrific. Except every strand only half worked. So, I sent the Princess to Target to get more lights. I had looked at them when I was out there and decided that I might just bite the bullet and get LED lights. Burn less electricity, supposedly last longer and they now come in "warm white".... yada yada yada. So, she called me when she got there to talk about it. The prices were STEEP. After all was said and done, that was $50 on lights. For my previously pre-lit tree. To say I was a smidge bit stunned is putting it mildly, to say the least. I'm still reeling -- especially since I'd spent $27 on the big bulbed accent lights a few days before. That was $77 total. On lights. I'm still kind of going "What was I thinking?".

I've saved the packages the lights came in, something I've never done before, because after shelling out that kind of money, if even one bulb burns out --- I'll be taking them back.At that kind of price, I want them to last several years. Here's hoping.

Friday, November 16, 2012

I Do Not Like Pre-Lit Trees.....

Actually I do like them.... until the lights burn out. Do you have any IDEA how hard it is to get the strings of burned out lights OFF of one of those things? Yikes....

Every year I think to myself "I'm going to get a REAL tree!". And then every year, I think "Sheesh, that $100 is NOT in the budget." So, every year I drag out the fake tree. Up until about 6 years ago, I'd had the same artificial tree for about roughly 16 years. That tree was starting to look rather Charlie Brownish! And then lo and behold, my Mom moved and her 2 year old huge pre-lit tree would not fit in her new home. So, she handed it down to me. And I've loved it. It has this great combination of big lights and little lights. Well, up until last year when all of the lights started to go. I supplemented with additional light strings, but knew that I'd have to remove the old ones this year.

THAT has been a chore. I've worked on a section a night for this entire week, each section taking me about 1 1/2 hours to complete. My hands are scraped and raw. This has NOT been fun. And I still get to add new lights to the tree! JOY!!!!!

And just so y'all all don't think I'm completely crazy.... yes we are putting up the tree this Sunday night. Yes, I'm aware it is before Thanksgiving --- and while I am normally against doing that I have a couple of reasons that make it "Okay" with me. First, we travel for Thanksgiving, every year, without fail -- so there will be NO Christmas tree standing there while I'm carving up the turkey. Second, and really most important... the Princess and I love decorating the tree together. It is one of our favorite things about the holidays. We figured out that between Thanksgiving, the Iron Bowl, the SEC Championship game and finally, exams...well it would be mid-December before we could do it together if we didn't do it together now. Frankly, that tree is WAY TOO MUCH WORK to only enjoy it for about 10 days! I want to enjoy it the whole month of December!!! So, this weekend it is!

Now to just the blankety blank blank lights on it!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

RIP to My Slippers

I love slippers. They are some of my favorite things. Since I keep the house ridiculously cold, they keep my toes happy once the thermometer drops. I'm very picky about them too. I prefer water proof or resistant soles so that getting the paper on a rainy morning or a sloshed water bowl doesn't result in soaked feet. However, sometimes that still happens, so I keep two pairs around.

Yesterday, I said goodbye to one of my pairs. It was very sad. The cushioning complelely came out of the bottom and the sole had degenerated to the point that it felt like I was walking on rocks. So, I'm down to one pair. One little measly pair.

I need to replace the trashed pair soon and I need to get another pair soon after for the ones that are nearing the end of the life span. I'm think that maybe I can get a pair at one of the Black Friday sales since I usually see slippers at 50% off there, and then maybe ask for a pair for Christmas? All I know is that the slippers help me keep the toes toasty when the house isn't ---- so $10 or so on good slippers saves TONS on the gas bill. So new slippers it will be.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Today, each and every American needs to take advantage of the rights and freedoms bestowed upon us and head to their polling place and cast their vote for who they feel is best qualified to lead this country for the next four years.
Even if you THINK your state is a "done deal" in the Presidential election -- imagine if EVERYONE thought that way!!! And there are many state and local elections that are important too. I know in Alabama there are a huge number of local issues to be decided.
It is wet and cold here --- but still, I'm going to go stand in line and cast my vote. People fought, sacrificed and died so that I could. I'm going to make it worth their time. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I Caved....

In the past month or so, I have enjoyed super low power and gas bills. A product of not running the AC or Heat for weeks on end. I had set myself a goal of getting through the month of October without having to turn the heat on at all. Alas, it was not to be.

When I returned home Sunday afternoon, the temperature had dropped drastically when compared with when I left town on Friday. The inside of my house was 59 degrees. "No worries," I thought, "I'll just bundle up in layers and all will be well." So I spent a relatively comfy evening (even though my hands were pretty chilled). However, bedtime approached. And the outside temp was just dropping steadily. I knew I would not be able to sleep as cold as it was. So, alas. I turned on the heat to 60. And then I tossed and turned trying to finally fall asleep since my nose was freezing (I don't like covers over my face). And I turned and tossed some more. Finally, at some point I fell asleep.

I woke up yesterday and was reasonably comfortable most of the day, although I had bumped the heat back to 59 again. Did have a few chilly points during the day, but overall was comfortable.
Last night though, I decided I could not toss and turn for hours trying to get comfy because I actually had to return to work today! So, I put the heat at a "toasty" 61. I think that might be a good temp for my house (although I expect the Princess will balk at that when she comes home at Thanksgiving). I went to sleep easily. Was not frozen when I woke up, and was pretty comfortable all in all.

I bumped the heat down to 58 when I left the house this morning. It should be interesting to see how long it takes the house to warm up this afternoon when I get home. I really hate that I didn't make my "goal" of not turning the heat on until November, but there is a silver lining --- there should be a somewhat reasonable warmup this weekend, so I might not have to run the heat then!!!! Here's hoping!

Monday, October 29, 2012

A Sad Farewell

Last Thursday, October 25, 2012, our family lost our matriarch... our Nana at the age of 91. My grandmother was an incredible woman. She lived through seemingly countless wars, sending brothers, husband, sons and grandsons off in service to our country. She lived through the Great Depression, major hurricanes, saw a man walk on the moon (on her daughter's birthday) and worked tirelessly for her church well into her late 80's. She buried her husband when the oldest of her children was only 12. She buried a grandchild right after the the dawning of a new millennium. At "best" count (and I say "best" because there are a LOT of us), she had 6 children, 17 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and 6 great great grandchildren.

She was the glue that held our family together. She was our Nana. I had posted on facebook Thursday about what a truly amazing woman she was, and one of my childhood friends responded, "Your family has quite a few amazing women, must be her influence." --- I loved that. I like to think that my strength, spine, and ability to laugh in times in trouble come from her. I also like to think that my (now) frugal nature is a legacy she has passed on.

Our weekend was spent with joy and sadness, laughter and tears as we remembered and celebrated the woman who made us all a family. She will be missed.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Of Coffee and Coupons

This was a week when I truly did not "need" to buy anything at the grocery store. Which was probably a good thing, because this weeks sales did not excite me very much. So, I just looked at the ad and picked up the things that were at a terrific price (using sales and coupons)that we use with regularity (and therefore I HATE paying full price!).

So, here is how I did:

3 Caribou Coffee
3 Wylers Light Drink Mix
1 Publix Peanut Butter
1 Stouffers Family Size Entree

Spent: $18.09
Saved: $34.05 -- That's 65% but coupon savings were $10.78 alone!
(and lots of good morning starts thanks to all that coffee!)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Getting Paid to Exercise

Right now, post surgery, I am absolutely dying to get back to Zumba and to walks with Thing 2. While I "feel" up to the walks, I'm well aware that I'm just one squirrel away from Thing 2 pulling all the incisions open, so for now I'm staying out of the exercise realm ---- for the most part.

Today, I was walking back into the office for lunch with a co-worker (I had gone home to let Thing 1 and Thing 2 out and have a sandwich and she had gone out for takeout). Anyway, we were chit-chatting while we walked in, and she was remarking about how hard a time she and her husband were having making ends meet. Since she was just talking, and not asking my opinion, I refrained from pointing out that bringing a lunch from home each day might be a better choice than $10ish takeout from Applebee's!

So, we're walking in and I notice a penny on the ground. I stop and pick it up and toss it in my purse. My co-worker asked what I was doing and I told her. She said something to the effect of "Girl, who has time to go around scrounging up pennies off the ground?" I came back with "Girl, I pay $4/hour class for Zumba, and right now I can't do it..... but reaching down to the ground... hey, I just got PAID to exercise!!!!"

We both laughed and walked back in to work, but it got me thinking a bit. I think it says something about our as a society if we are so fiscally and physically lazy that it is beneath us to bend over and pick money off the ground. Yeah, its just a penny, but it was also just bending over. Nothing lost in the endeavor, but a penny gained.

Its Off To Work I Go

Today I head back to work for the first time in nine days. After taking a week off for surgery, it is time to get back to the daily grind. Truth be told, I'm ready. One can only watch so much HGTV and read so many internet articles in a week's time before one starts to go stir crazy.

I tried to get stuff done around the house during the recuperation, (nothing strenuous or anything like that), but truth be told..... my focus and energy levels were zilch. Yesterday was actually the first day that I really felt like doing much of anything, and even then frequent breaks were involved. I'm looking forward to getting back to a productive routine. I'm not one for lazing around much, it tends to drive me a bit bonkers, so getting back to normal is something I've looked forward to for a week!

There is one potential drawback to heading back to work though.... I have to actually put on normal clothes instead of weeklong wardrobe of cute pjs, tshirts and yoga pants! Okay, two drawbacks... I have to put on heels instead of slippers, too. Hmmmm, maybe I'm not looking forward to this as much as I thought!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In Praise Of Banana Pudding

After a week of basically being a SLUG, I finally had some energy today, even if I'm not up to 100%. That meant getting the house in SOME sort of order before returning to work tomorrow, cooking an actual Sunday lunch and making the Princess's favorite Pumpking Chocolate Chip Cookies for her to take back to school. After she hit the road I decided to be productive and clean out the pantry (since I'd dropped a few things on my head and toes over the course of the weekend, I thought it might need some reorganizing).

So, I did that and decided to make use of a couple of things that needed to be eaten kind of soon and made some banana pudding. Banana pudding has got to be one of the THE best comfort foods known to man. And so simple to make (and no, this isn't all the way from scratch -- I wasn't THAT industrious!). I mixed up the pudding, sliced the bananas and realized that I didn't have any vanilla wafers (horrors!), but what I DID have was an unopened box of Do-Si-Dos (Peanut Butter Girl Scout Cookies in case you didn't know), that was rapidly approaching its "best by" date. (Do NOT ask me how we managed to skip inhaling an entire box of Girl Scout cookies --- it is simply unfathomable). So, I put the cookies in the bottom of the dish, put the bananas on top and poured the pudding over it.

I let it chill for a few hours and OMG. Do-Si-Do Banana Pudding is freaking awesome! Absolutely YUM. Comfort food with a twist. Okay, I'm going back to get another bowl... shhhhhhh.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Conservation Makes A Difference

Since the Princess went off to school, I've been on a mission to get my household bills down. You'd think it would be super easy right? Less people equals less consumption, but that's not necessarily the case. For groceries, I'm still buying fill in snacks and stuff for her to keep in the dorm room (honestly, I'd rather her open a box of Special K popcorn chips  or Chef Boyardee than head to the nearest Sonic for Cheesy Tots -- lets TRY not to make the Freshman Fifteen the Freshman Thirty, you know?). For the power bill, well, it still costs the same to run the refrigerator, the porch light at night and the TV, regardless of how many people are in the house.

Nevertheless, in some ways power consumption can decrease. I've unplugged all electronics in her room. She plugs them back in when she comes home for the weekend. I've made a conscious effort to have appliances that aren't used on a regular basis unplugged until they are needed. I've made SURE that lights aren't left burning when they aren't being utilized.

And now I've seen some tangible results --- I opened my power bill this morning.... $48.61 --- that's down from $63.57  for the same period last year!!!!! Let me tell you, I did the HAPPY DANCE!!!!! That's roughly a 23% reduction in costs, with rate increases included! Of course, not running the heat or AC for the past month has helped!

This morning, I woke up and it was a chilly 63 in my house. Some of you may scoff at that temp, but remember, I'm a Southern Girl -- and that is CHILL-EE down here! Anyway, I was a bit tempted to turn on the heat just to take the bite out of the morning chill, but instead, I pulled on a sweatshirt and my socks and slippers. Opening that bill this morning has strengthened my resolve and I am now in a competition with myself to see how long I can go without turning on the heat..... I'm curious as to how long I can do it!

Friday, October 19, 2012

A Stir Crazy Shopping Trip

Being pretty much homebound this week, I was starting to go a bit crazy. So, BraveFriend came to the rescue and took me to do some grocery shopping on Wednesday -- yeah, I'd had nothing else to do EXCEPTsit there and play the "what do I want to eat" and "how can this work with my coupons" game. Yeah, I was going nutso, but I managed to do pretty well, getting some stuff that was needed, some stuff for dorm snacks and some stuff I just wanted -- cause hey, I didn't feel good -- "hello sherbet!".AND they had the gas card deal going on again!!! So here is what I got:

4 Special K Popcorn Crackers
1 Nestle Ultimates Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
1 Publix Exotic Fruits Sherbet (YUM!)
2 Bailey's Coffee Creamer
6 Betty Crocker Fruit Snacks
1 Smart Balance Butter Spread
2 Tombstone Pizzas
1 Peter Pan Peanut Butter
1 Publix Greenwise Toilet Paper (Penny Item!)
2 Glade Candles
2 Yakisoba Cheddar Noodles
2 Tangerines
1 Publix Dog Biscuits
2 Quaker Stila Bars
1 Playtex Tampons
4 Skittles Funsize Candies

Spent: $63.47
Saved: $ 76.72 or 55%
Plus I saved $10 off of a $50 gas gift card!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Still Here...

I'm still here! Just taking it easy this week. My surgery went fine, but for the most part I've just been lazing around since then. I'm down to just a twinge of pain (which is making me have to be careful to not overdo). So, not much to write about just sitting here going "lalalalalala". Maybe I'll have something interesting to write about soon.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wish Me Luck!

Tomorrow morning I'll be getting up at the crack of dawn for surgery. Joy. Time to have the gall bladder removed. Even though it is an out patient procedure, I am just NOT looking forward to this.
But I am looking forward to having no more pain and not handing money out hand over fist to doctors offices.

The Princess came home this weekend to spend some time with me (and get her laundry done since I told her if she came next weekend, I wasn't doing laundry!). She's made it back to school safely, I've made my jello and will be heading to bed soon.

4:30 is going to come awfully early......

Friday, October 12, 2012

An Amazing Grocery Trip

I'm a little late in getting this one up, but since its one of THE BEST shopping trips I've had in ages, I just wanted to brag a bit! For this sale, I had a couple of things going on... 1. I was out of my fave coffee (and needed it badly), 2. Our office has switched to provide you own K cups for coffee, I will bring my own home brewed coffee, however, I wanted to have some K-Cups on hand for "emergencies", 3. Publix was offering a $10 off $50 gas card purchase with the purchase of $50 in groceries (pre coupon). So, I put together some deals that really worked for me and this is what I got....

2 Quaker Instant Grits
4 Hormel Compleats
1 Hefty Kitchen Garbage Bags
1 Yakisoba Noodles
1 Jenni-O Turkey Bacon
2 Betty Crocker Muffin Mixes
1 Yoplait Light with Granola 2pack
2 Coffee Mate Creamers
4 Eight O'Clock Coffees
1 Fruitplait 4pack
1 Caribou Coffee K-Cup Pack
2 All Laundry Detergents
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing
1 Taco Bell Ranchero Sauce
1 Publix Coffee
2 Publix Diet Lemon Lime Soft Drink 12 packs

Spent: $47.06
Saved $67.04 or 59%

PLUS I got a $50 gas gift card for $40 saving 10% on future gas purchases!!!!!

Not too bad....

Monday, October 8, 2012

And I'm Back!

What a whirlwind weekend. I'm back, exhausted and maybe even working on getting sick. (Going from high 80's to the 50's is horrendous on my sinuses!) We left on Thursday for a LONG 13 hour drive to South Florida for a truly lovely wedding. After getting there, I crashed out "early" --- as in unwound for a bit and stumbled into bed at 11:30 that night. Not really early, I must say....

Friday, we did a lot of running around for the after rehearsal party, a lot of cooking, but managed to fit in the first real manicure and pedicure I've had in years. Not frugal at all, but my fingers and toes do look quite fabulous! The rehearsal was quite terrific although somewhat unsettling as a massive South Florida storm raged around us the whole time. After that, my Dad and I made a trip to the airport to pick up the Princess. Given that it was her first flight since she was five, the landing in a storm had her a little unsettled, but she handled it like a pro. We made it back just in time for the END of the rehearsal dinner. Oh well, you do what you gotta do, I suppose. We cleaned up the place and crashed again.

Saturday dawned pretty and gorgeous. I was the self appointed shower monitor. Basically I cracked the whip on making sure that the 11 people staying in the house were getting ready to get out the door in time. I finally had to take my brother's (the groom) phone from him and tell him he was holding up everybody else and that he could have it back after he was all squeaky clean! He grumbled a bit about me treating him like he was 12, but did as I said! Ha!

Everyone got where we were supposed to be and on time. Except two bridesmaids that showed up five minutes before the ceremony..... which is when we realized we were short one bridesmaid bouquet. I took off running to the cooler in the kitchen, grabbed the "leftover" flowers and a stray piece of ribbon, bound it up really quickly and dashed back to the church. I gave my lovely "on time" bouquet to the very late bridesmaid and took the scraggly one I had just thrown together for myself. (How's that for keeping the peace since the bridesmaid was a bit petulant about not having a bouquet?--- I refrained from mentioning that had she been there on time we could have fixed the issue in a more aesthetically pleasing way). The wedding was gorgeous --- my brother handsome and his bride absolutely beautiful. The reception was fun and it was handled as though it was all done by professionals --- my Mom did the flowers and tables, the bride and her cousins cooked all the food.

Yesterday came EARLY and we all got up and started preparing to come home. The Princess caught her very early flight back to school and later, I caught mine at a totally different airport and made it back home safely.

I took the day off today to recover, and get some stuff done around this house as its kind of been a crazy week.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

On Our Way

Today I am heading out of town for my brother's wedding. Given that the wedding itself is 13 hours away, this is not what one would call a frugal trip. After all has been said and done I will  be spending well in excess of $1000 for this trip. The Princess's flight is weighing at $450. Her shuttle from her university to the airport is $40, plus given the time of day she will be traveling and her layover, she will have to eat something at the airport. Our accommodations for 3 nights will be $300. The dress, with alterations, shoes and appropriate foundation garments came to almost $300. And I haven't even left town yet.

I am actually riding down with my Dad, and he isn't letting me chip in on gas for the trip. The Princess had to fly because her class schedule just wasn't flexible enough to allow for her to ride down with any of us. My niece and nephew got lucky because their college has fall break this week, so they don't have class at all this week and will also be hitting the road today.

At least two meals will be covered between the rehearsal dinner and the reception, but that leaves quite a few more to take care of during the long weekend. I'm hoping that everyone down there will help keep budgets in mind so that we don't end up eating out as a group at THE MOST EXPENSIVE places in town. Not sure how that will work out though!!!!

Anyway, wish us luck! For now, I've got to get on the road.....

Monday, October 1, 2012


So, Saturday I had a quest for shoes planned. Had to find the PERFECT shoes to go with this bridesmaid's dresss and I had to get the issue resolved BEFORE Wednesday, so, basically Saturday an Sunday were it!

I woke up raring to go. But first, I took a sidetrip.... a lifelong friend was having a garage sale, and since this friend tends to have REALLY good taste.... well, I just had to go.....

So, I get there, and the shoe spirits were smiling benevolently down on me... right there, right in front of me were THE shoes. The perfect bronze-ish dressy high heeled sandals. Perfect height. Perfect Size. Perfect (as in not "cheap") Brand. Perfect Soles (never worn). All that, and at the Perfect Price.
$2. Yes, TWO DOLLARS. Two lovely little George Washingtons....

Needless to say, those babies went home with me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Quest for the Perfect Shoes

So, my baby brother is getting married next weekend. I'm a bridesmaid in the wedding and I'm super excited about it. My sister-in-law-to-be is completely fabulous and let us pick out our own dresses (she picked the designer and the colors, we could pick any style we wanted). So, that part is terrific.
One hitch though -- the color is hard to work with when it comes to shoes. Really hard to work with. Not quite gold, not quite bronze. Kind of in between.

Last Sunday I set out on a mission, to find the perfect shoes. Eight stores later, no luck whatsoever. Today, after work I went to the mall --- and hit up every place there that sells shoes (well, except the ones that sell athletic shoes because I'm not walking down that aisle in Nikes!). And again... no luck at all.

So tomorrow I shall set out on an all day quest! I AM GOING TO FIND THE PERFECT SHOES. And they are not going to cost $175. That, I can promise!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Party Pass

Last night I went to a Thirty One party. Tons of Uh-Dor-Able bags at quite the pricey amount! I went there with the full intention of not buying a darn thing. I let my hostess know that up front. I was going to see a few friends I hadn't seen in months and the fabulous hostess and that was pretty much it. (And to snarf up some really good eats because the hostess is an incredible cook --- I told her that up front too, because certain friends, you can just do that with!)

Anyway, I must say I was tempted! Very tempted. I did almost fill a slot on my Christmas List, but once the monogramming, tax and shipping was added, the item would have been almost double the cost and totally out of the budget I had planned for that particular gift! So, I passed on that one. Then there were a couple of cute things I was very interested in personally, but those were "hostess only" items. Featured in about 3 places in the catalog, but since I wasn't a hostess, I couldn't purchase those. That kind of made me go "eh" about the rest of the stuff.

I was completely happy to go to the party, completely happy to see my friends and catch up some with my hostess with the mostess, and in the end, completely happy to have not bought a darn thing!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Saving with an OOPS!

This was a good week at Publix --- at least for some stockup stuff. I don't normally buy a lot of frozen dinners, however, I'm having surgery in a few weeks, and though I'm told I'll be good to go within a week, I'm still not sure how much of that good to go will actually involve wanting to cook, so I stocked some backups! My "oops" was that I forgot to give the cashier my coupon for the Aussie hairspray ---- I had $3 off 2 and manage to leave it in the envelope. I will take the coupon receipt and hairspray back to the store when I'm over there sometime this weekend to get it worked out.

Anyway..... this is how I did....

5 Progresso Recipe Starter
4 Chef Boyardee Canned Pastas (this goes in the Princess stockpile)
2 International Delight Coffee Creamer
3 Boxes Kleenex
2 Quaker Oatmeal
6 Stouffer's Indvidual Entrees
2 Herbal Essences Shampoos
1 Mrs. Pauls Fish
2 Aussie Hairspray
1 Boston Butt Roast
1 Gallon Publix Milk (completely free!!!)

Spent: $ 46.03
Saved: $40.89 or 47%

If I hadn't had the OOPS! I would have spent $43.03, saved $43.89 for an almost even 50% savings!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I Love Free Stuff

A few years ago, I used to hit up every free sample I saw on the internet. If it said FREE I was all about it! And what did I end up with? A bunch of sample size stuff I'd never really use. There really wasn't a point in it. I mean I did use some of the stuff --- the sample size cold medicines and pain relievers went in my "travel bag" as a justincase when I was traveling a lot for work. But for the most part, I ended up with little packets of products I wasn't going to use. And no place to put them.

So, I quit signing up for samples. Who needed the extra crap, right? And I went along like that for a while...... but then I realized something. Getting the mail each day was pretty depressing. Most everything that came in the mail was either total junk mail.... or it was mail that said I owed money! Yuck. So, while browsing a few blogs, I came upon a "freebie roundup" -- wherein the blog owner had posted links to the week's best freebies (and JEEZ I wish I could remember whose blog it was cause I'd sure like to give credit!). The one for Finish diswashing detergent caught my eye. I don't really NEED dishwasher detergent as I'm really well stocked because a bogo with coupons quite a while back had me picking up boxes for .50 each so I bought a bunch. However, I had a place to put the sample, it was something that would get used for sure... AND it doesn't go bad (unless your pup decides to try and open a box, but that's a whole different story....). So I signed up for it.

And lo, and behold, after a less than stellar day today, I got the mail from the box. And in with the bills and other junk, was my sample for Finish dishwasher detergent (the fancier kind!). I know it sounds silly as hell, but it just made me kind of happy.

So, I think I'm back on the freebie bandwagon --- except that I'm going to be more selective and make sure the freebies are for the products I want to try or know i will actually use!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Putting the Pedal to the Metal

So, I'm driving home from work yesterday and I get a phone call from the Princess that starts off with, "Okay, Mom, you are going to scream and yell at me, and I totally deserve it."  Oh, hell, conversations that start like that are NEVER good. So, she goes on to say that she just got her first speeding ticket. WTH!?!?!?!!? My first question was, "HOW FAST WERE YOU GOING?". I could tell she didn't want to answer that one.... but she squeaked out "Um, 83 in a 70." WHAT? (insert deep breaths here).

So, she goes on to say that she thinks the cost for it needs to come out of her savings. I'm in total agreement with that because I am NOT paying for her lead foot. I also go on to tell her that any spike in insurance costs are coming out of her savings because it is NOT in my budget to pay for her being irresponsible. She griped a bit, not at me, but more like, "crap, I didn't think about that" and agrees.

I have to say that I was really surprised about the ticket, as the Princess has been a VERY responsible driver for the past 2+ years. She's made countless road trips because her Dad lives four hours away and this is the first ticket or anything else she's gotten.

I do think that after spending a month driving with a faulty catalytic converter, she'd gotten used to hitting the gas pretty heavy to get up any speed and probably just didn't realize how fast she was going. However, she HAS to pay attention to all aspects of being on the road. This is going to be a hard and expensive lesson, but hopefully one she will pay attention to.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Amazon Update

Back in August, I told y'all about my Amazon Gift Cards being stolen. I was beside myself with upset because not only was I "out" my $50 gift card, I felt the very real obligation to replace the Princess's card to since it was my stupidity that got the cards stolen in the first place.

The friend who had gifted them, Singer Girl, had talked to Amazon until she was positively blue in the face. I'd talked to them, I'd emailed them. But basically, other than that first person I talked to who seemed sympathetic, the answer was basically too bad, so sad. We had pretty much given up. I was chalking it up to a VERY expensive lesson learned.

And then something happened.... I was posting a Swagbucks redemption to my account on Sunday and lo, and behold, there was a $50 gift card applied gift card to my account. OMG! They'd given me back $50 of it. I absolutely could NOT believe it. Granted, it wasn't the full $100, but hey, it was better than the big fat goose egg I'd thought I was getting back. A Happy Day, indeed.

Then, a couple of days later, I noticed a missed call and voice mail on my cell phone. I listened to the message and lo and behold, it was the first person I'd talked to at Amazon (the one who was sympathetic to the issue).... she was telling me that the gift cards had been credited back. I immediately checked my account --- and WOW! Now there were TWO $50 credits! Another HAPPY DAY!

I'm not sure how it all came to be, I'm just thankful. Thankful that even in big corporations there are people who listen, understand and will go the extra mile to right a wrong. And thankful that I finally "caught a break" as this has been one month with one financial hit after another. So, I'm going to enjoy it (and be really glad I don't owe the Princess $50!)!!!!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

No Grocery Shopping for Me This Week

I generally love Publix shopping on Wednesdays. I ADORE the penny item, and when I saw that yesterday's penny item was Publix coffee, I was like "woo hoo!"!!!! A penny for one of my FAVORITE things on the planet? I'll take that! The catch is that you have to purchase $10 worth of other stuff, which is generally no problem, I just do a stock up on the rock bottom deals of the week and go on my merry way.

But then I started looking at the ad...... and it was a terrible ad week for anything I might possibly need to purchase. The deals were "meh" at best. I looked through that ad at least 4 times trying to find something that I felt was a good enough deal to make the trip and actually purchase. Even for almost free coffee.

I guess I could have just paid full price for some items I might need, but that seemed silly and wasteful. A deal isn't a deal if you wouldn't be buying it anyway!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Shopping In My Own House

I have a confession to make..... for a brief, but fun, time last year, I was a Pampered Chef Independent Consultant. I enjoyed doing it at first, but then it became too much work for too little profit and I was in serioud danger of becoming my own best customer! One thing I did do was make sure that some of the stuff I bought with my discounts and free items would translate well to gifts in the future.

So, I have some gift giving events coming up: my niece's birthday, my brother's wedding and Christmas. Sunday afternoon, I decided to reorganize and inventory the closet where I keep my show samples and the other stuff I'd purchased. Out of that stuff, I came up with both birthday and Christmas presents for my niece and a truly fabulous gift for my brother's wedding.

That takes a pretty good weight off of my shoulders --- several gifts that don't have to come out of my current strained-to-the-point-of-breaking-budget! And it has motivated me! I sincerely need to get my act together and see if I can put together some other fabulous gifts AND see if I can maybe actually put my inner crafty girl to work and make some stuff this year. I always SAY I will, but it never seems to happen! We will see!!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Avoiding the Towing (Phew!)

This past weekend, the Princess and her Roomie went to Tuscaloosa to visit friends there. I knew it in advance and was perfectly fine with it. Around 9 a.m., Saturday morning I got a frantic phone call from the Princess. It seems she had gotten a phone call from the police department at her school telling her that her car was going to be towed if she didn't move it right away because it was in a "Game Day" lot. The Princess was very upset because she'd parked her car in one of the "assigned" lots LAST Monday and hadn't moved it. The PD said they'd put up signs about game day parking during the week in that lot. Well, great, but she hadn't been back to her car since then. They also said it was in the pamphlet we were given when we registered the car on campus. And that an email had been sent out. Sheesh. We had a big problem because the Princess was 3 hours away from campus and I was 2 1/2!!!!

So, I had the Princess check her email while I dug out the pamphlet. I read the entire pamphlet and had made the Princess read it too when we had resigistered the card because "I'm not paying for parking tickets for you to be lazy!". So, I re-read the pamphlet. Not a single WORD about Game Day Parking in it or about students having to move their cars from their regularly assigned parking. I had the Princess forward me the email and I called down to the school PD to speak to the Chief.

I argued the point with him (very nicely, I might add) that the requirement to move the cars for Game Day is NOWHERE in the Parking Regulations. Nor was it in the email that was sent out. And if signs were posted in the lot AFTER Labor Day, well they were useless if the student didn't go back to her car the entire week. Finally, he relented and said he would NOT tow her car unless that lot completely filled because alumni had paid for that parking on game day. It was the best I could hope for I guess. He warned that next weekend would be a huge game and there would be no compromise. I assured him that this would NOT be an issue again.

The Princess returned to campus yesterday and her car was where she left it. She has instructions from me to go by the PD and speak to the Chief and thank him for not towing her car, assure him that it won't be an issue again and to make sure she is crystal clear about where her car can be on future Game Days.

Phew! Saved ourselves $50 in towing fees from the University and no telling how much in impound fees just for arguing the point that students (especially freshman students) can't know something if they aren't properly informed. Dodged a big financial bullet on that one!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Still Saving At Publix

Grocery Shopping for one is an odd thing. I can "make do" with less than is usually necessary when the Princess is home (for one thing, I'm not nearly as picky of an eater!). Anyway, when the Princess was home last weekend, I had to make a grocery run for stuff for her to take back. I'm paying for a meal plan that is actually 7 times my monthly grocery budget (for 2 people) and it only covers 4 months! However, we learned through when Isaac came through --- she's not going to walk all the way across campus to the dining hall when its raining cats and dogs!  Not to mention, she's the breakfast bar type at the most important meal of the day. Anyway, at last night's Publix trip, I picked up a few things for me and some stuff to put in the Princess's car next time she's home.

Here's what I got:

3 Yakisoba Noodles (these were a money maker, BOGO for .50, then I had 3 .50 coupons that doubled!)
2 Mrs. T's Pierogies
3 Hamburger Helpers
1 Smart Balance Milk
1 Helluva Good French Onion Dip
1 Kraft Frest Taste
2 Special K Pastry Crisps
1 Special K Bar
1 Bailey's Coffee Creamer
1 Publix Bread (Penny Item!)

Spent: $20.52
Saved: $23.31 or 53%

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Running On Empty

One of these days, my sleep schedule has GOT to get back on track. This waking up at 4 a.m. and not being able to go back to sleep is just hideous. I know that my financial worries are contributing to a lot of the problems.

The Princess had a wonderful weekend home. It was so good to have her here, even though she spent a lot of time out and about with her friends, we still managed two home cooked meals together. It was nice getting up in the mornings and knowing she was safe and sound in her own bed. So much so that I didn't even mind the huge pile of laundry she brought home for me to do (well, I didn't mind it MUCH - ha!).

But with the Princess coming home, the expenses for the weekend definitely went up.... there was the $1300+ car repair, the gas for her to get home and back. Extra food expenses, plus sending her off again well stocked with snacks and drinks for the dorm room.

Then yesterday, I had to go for a fitting/alterations for the bridesmaid dress I will wear in my brother's wedding. The good news is that the dress had to be taken IN not out... which I would have been happy had that not had to be changed at all. I also had to have the dress hemmed about 8 inches! It sucks being super short! AND I still have to get shoes and the oh, so necessary Spanx. I'm just thrilled.

The lack of sleep and some other "trying to figure out what it is" medical issues have my energy levels currently as low as my bank account. I wish there was a magic recharge for both!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Hello, Murphy.

So, the Princess is home! Hooray! She made it here all safe and sound and with plenty of laundry to occupy my time this weekend (because of course, I have nothing better to do, haha).

Her car has been running rough, so first thing we did when she got home today is put it in the shop. While we were there, my mechanic hopped into and took it for a quick ride to see what were describing. Well, he came back and said, "The GOOD news is.... it's not the transmission. The bad news is, I think its your catalytic converter, but I'm going to have to get in there and see to be sure." So, we left the car in his capable hands, and came on home.

He called just a little bit ago..... its the catalytic converter. The part alone is over $900 because the only place in town with one is the freaking Honda dealership (which means it costs more). Then you add in labor, and the oil change she's due for.... and we're looking at almost $1300. I am freaking out. Completely. I do not know what we are going to do.

So, Murphy has come to call. I'm hoping he turns around and gets the heck out of Dodge REALLY fast. I can't afford for him to hang out for long!

Homeward Bound

First of all, I just want to say that this waking up way before sunrise thing has got to GO! Right now, it is almost 5 a.m., but I have been awake since 3:30. Yesterday, I woke up at 4:30. This is just not cool. I am exhausted.

Anyway, The Princess is coming home today! Since it is Labor Day weekend, she was going to be her until Monday anyway, but her Professor for her afternoon class today cancelled class so she is going to get on the road heading home a good four hours earlier than planned and will miss Rush Hour in both of the large cities she has to travel through. (That always makes Mom happier!). And then, (Bonus Time), her Professor for her one Tuesday class cancelled classes too, so she doesn't even have to go back until Tuesday, meaning she will miss the majority of the Labor Day traffice too!

I have figured out that she took too many clothes with her to school since she has informed me she hasn't yet had to do laundry --- and swears she still has clean clothes left! Looks like I will be spending the majority of my weekend handling that! (Thanks, Princess). I should probably make her do that laundry, but I'm well aware that the primary reason kids come home from college is so that someone else will do their laundry.

I'm also very well aware that most of the Princess's friends will be coming home this weekend too, so I'm resigned to the fact that I will likely only see her in passing for most of the weekend. That's one reason why I'm so pumped about class being cancelled on Tuesday --- that means I'm going to actually SEE her on Monday night as all of her friends will be heading back to their respective schools then.

I just cannot wait to see my girl! Three weeks is a long time for this Mom.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just Here

I think I've got the blahs --- after a super busy summer full of anticipation of new beginnings for the Princess and super amounts of stress about where the $$$ for that new beginning, we've gotten to that new beginning and I'm feeling let down about it all.

Money is tighter than it has EVER been. I've got very little until my next payday which is still 10 days away so I can't even finance some of the very inexpensive projects I want to start on. The Princess is not happy in her new beginning. I don't think I ever realized how shy she actually is. Talk about a slap yourself in the forehead moment! She never seemed shy at all before. Likely because she's gone to the same school system with most of the same people since she was 5. She never had to "start over". She's not adjusting well and is already making noises about transferring next year. I'm hoping things will settle in better soon. Until then, that has me constantly worried, but about something I can't do a THING about.

Some things just don't work out the way you want. You can hope. You can pray. But it just doesn't work the way it is "supposed" to. And then you have to figure out where to go from there. But until you figure where to go from here, you are just here.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Not Even Sunrise

If I had to choose a least favorite time of day (or night), I think it would have to be 3 a.m., specifically 3 a.m. when you roll over and then just stare at the ceiling. I'm typically an early riser, and since my pups feel that the moment the sky starts getting a tad bit brighter, it is time to begin the day.... well, I rarely ever sleep in.

BUT, I do usually sleep until at least the sky starts brightening up a little bit. Not so this morning, I rolled over at 3 a.m., and there was the ceiling, staring back at me. I rolled over again and closed my eyes. They popped back open. I tossed, I turned. And then I started thinking heavy thoughts. Those heavy thoughts CERTAINLY didn't let me go back to sleep!

Finally, after 4, I gave it up. I staggered into the kitchen and put coffee on. I let the pups out, gave them some breakfast and here I sit. I should get productive, but quite honestly, even at now 4:45, I can't quite see straight!

It is going to be a long day!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Reaching for the Goal

In recent weeks, I've been thinking a lot about my goals and my future. I've reached the beginning of on goal --- getting the Princess to college. Definitely not as easily and financially secure as I'd like. But the goal is at least reached, now to sustain it for four years!

But I've got other goals too..... personally, professionally and financially. Those seem harder to reach.

Personally, well, that's just a mess ---- I've got fabulous friends and a fabulous family, but basically I'm a disorganized basketcase. And there always seems to be not enough time to give those other relationships their due. And lately with the Princess gone, the solitude is harder to deal with.

Professionally, that's a mess too --- I've basically been in limbo for the past year. And that's through nothing I've done or haven't done --- it's bureaucracy at its finest. And it looks as though the limbo will continue for another year possibly. The good news is that even with a greatly reduced workload, my benefits continue as does my salary level. I survived the cuts that had to be made, but some of my coworkers weren't so fortunate.

Financially, that's always a mess --- I think I've figured out a mostly workable plan if Murphy doesn't pay a visit and if I didn't have to pay for the Princess's flight to my brother's wedding and Christmas. That's a big huge YIKES! I'm still working on that plan.

All of that combined kind of has me with the "blahs" this morning. I feel like I'm living in limbo in so many ways and that's just not the easiest way to function. I'm working on all three facets, but I don't feel like progress is being made. And I need progress. I need to know that my efforts are amounting to SOMETHING.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Grocery Saving With Publix

Most of my grocery shopping lately has been done at Aldi. I like the fact that I don't have to think very hard to still get great value. With limited selections, they either have what's on my basic list or they don't, so my in and out there is very fast. There's also the fact that the regular grocery store deals haven't been quite what they once were. But, there are still some good deals to be had.

This week's Publix deals weren't stellar, but with an empty nest, there wasn't a whole lot I needed anyway. However, the Powerade deal was enough to get me through that door. They had the multipacks on BOGO and had Publix coupons for $1 off in the paper a couple of weeks ago. Then you add in the fact that the penny item this week was toilet paper (and who couldn't use almost free toilet paper?) --- and I made the trip to the store after work on Wednesday. The list is short, but here's what I got:

2 Powerade Multipacks (for the Princess to take back to school with her next time she comes home)
3 Ken's Marinade
1 Publix Greenwise Toilet Paper

Spent: $6.28
Saved $17.69 or 74%

The really interesting thing is that had I bough just ONE Powerade multipack at regular price, my grocery bill would have been more than what I spent on 2 multipacks, 3 marinades and a 4 pack of tp!
Coupons CAN still work in your favor, even if you have to watch the deals a bit more closely now!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Loving Aldi

I've shopped frequently at Aldi over the past year or so. One benefit is that I can get in and get out very quickly. There aren't a ton of choices so if you just need basic stuff it is fabulous. Also, the prices are simply awesome. Now that I'm basically just cooking, cleaning and eating for one, the savings are even more noticeable. And its really nice to be in and out of a store in about 15 mintues. Since I haven't had to do a big grocery shopping that included actual meats and such since the Princess left for school, my grocery bill is enjoying the break. Anyway, here's what I got:

Sweet Potato Chips
Speical K Bars
Turkey Lunch Meat
Light Sour Cream

That's IT. That's all I needed for the week!
Spent: $14.41

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gearing Up For Christmas...Yes, Christmas

With all of the time and money focused on getting the Princess ready to go off to college, getting her there and then trying to settle in to my new normal, my usual early Christmas planning has been derailed. I usually have at least a few presents already bought and stashed appropriately away. Well, that hasn't been the case so far this year. Christmas is looming just four short months away and I've done very little in the way of preparation.

However, a couple of things have happened in recent days that have made me want to jumpstart my planning and start really giving it all some thought. And by happening, I've had some free stuff land in my lap that will make great presents so that has kind of jumpstarted and energized my thinking.

Item #1 ---- through My Coke Rewards, I got an offer for a free Shutterfly photo book. I'll still be paying shipping, but I'm thoroughly jazzed about being able to gift a photo book. I haven't decided yet whether I'll do a book for the Princess or maybe even my Mom. Just not sure yet, BUT I'll be making a decision soon.

Item #2 (and, technically #3) --- I entered a blog giveaway at Life As Mom and won copies of The Lorax and Despicable Me. We already have Descipicable Me, so that will be a gift for my nephew. The Princess has always been a HUGE fan of "kid" movies, so The Lorax will be wrapped up and under the tree for her.

So, that's three presents without a real ding to my budget. I'm starting to redeem my swagbucks for they will all be ready for use come the really good deals in November and December. Now, I just have to see what else I can get for free without making my budget gasp for air.

Any ideas or suggestions from y'all?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Am NOT Getting Another Dog

My house has been very quiet lately. With the Princess off at college, it has been almost eerily quiet around here. No music blaring in the mornings as I get ready for work. The TV barely gets turned on. And while I talk to my pups frequently, they haven't started talking back. So it is quiet. And its a different quiet than the Princess just going off to visit her Dad for a week or so. It is QUIET.

All along, as people have asked me how I would or how I am adjusting to the empty nest. I would usually joke and say, "If I start talking about getting another dog, I need my friends to stage an intervention so I don't become the crazy dog lady!". I love pups. I think everyone should have a pup. Or two. Or even three if their home, life and budget can support it.

One thing I know for certain, my budget cannot support another pup. My budget is currently tie-you-to-a-tree-tight. I also know that for Thing 1, who is 12 years old, introducing another dog to the family at this stage in his life just would not be fair. He deserves to enjoy his old age without another rambunctious ball of energy muscling in on his territory.

I have several friends involved in Animal Rescue. I admire and love the things they do for the lost, lonely and abandoned four legged friends. I truly do. However, I think I'm going to have to "hide" them from my facebook feed. I just don't need the temptation. And goodness knows if I say how cute or sweet a furbaby is and how I hope he finds his "fur-ever" home --- well, they tell me mine would be just perfect! Yeah, I don't need the temptation.

So, no new pups for this household. I'm sticking to that. For certain. For definite. End of story... Now to just hide those feeds!!!!!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Battling the Jungle

This summer has not been kind to my yard. I tried container gardening for veggies. After what looked to be a fairly promising first harvest of veggies ---- nothing. Well almost nothing. Let's just say I was less than pleased with the turnout. A lot of work for very little yeild. Live and learn I suppose.

I did a fairly good job at keeping up with the rest of my yard until I went on vacation. That encompassed the better part of 2 weekends, and I was never really able to get things caught up again after that. With the preparations for the Princess to go off to college, I was lucky to be able to get the grass cut!

Some of that will change today, however! My dear, sweet, wonderful Dad is coming over to help me for a few hours to get the yard caught up. I've got a lot of stuff that badly needs cutting back and then needs to be hauled to the curb for pickup, so we are going to focus on that --- the heavy lifting to get my yard looking better again. I'm pretty pumped.

Lots of rain yesterday should make most weeds relatively easy to pull and right now its nice and cool out. Of course this is August in Alabama so it will warm up as the day goes on, but I know that it will still be a lot more comfortable than a normal August day. Free yard work! Yea!!!!!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Trying to Trim To Make Deeper Cuts

So, I've been playing with numbers a lot trying to figure out a new budget for this new normal. There seems to be more money that needs to go out than there is money coming in. If I sputter along like normal, I think we will be okay for this year, however, we will be running in a huge deficit for the 2013 school year and that's not what I want to do.

I've still got that credit card #2 which I would like to have had paid off --- however, that has NOT happened. I need it to be gone. We have been using it some, but I have been paying off what I've been using, plus my monthly goal of $500 per month. It still doesn't seem to be going away fast enough. Currently the card is in the Princess's possession -- she will use it for gas, medical co-pays and if she needs her migraine meds refilled at school. These are the only acceptable uses and she knows it, so I am really not worried about her charging up a storm. She has proven to be responsible and it is easier for me to track her spending on it than in her debit account which she can spend as she sees fit.

Anyway, all of that rambling is because I'm still struggling with how much to slash my budget for my current household expenses. Obviously certain things like groceries, water, and power should go down. One person using those things vs two should automatically decrease them somewhat. My first instinct was that "Oh, I can cut those by 50% easy" -- then you take into account that the food for the pups comes out of the grocery budget, so do the toiletries that the Princess will still need. The fridge still has to be plugged in and running regardless and I'm certain that on the weekends she comes home, the Princess will be bringing a ton of laundry for me to do. So, I don't think I'll be able to cut them 50%. But it was a nice thought!

I've been toying with ideas for cutting the utility costs. Unplugging vampire electronics. Adjusting the thermostat just a wee bit warmer (thank you for the below normal August temps!), stuff like that. Do you have any great ideas for cutting electric costs? I'm already using CFL bulbs. I'm thinking that, as much as I hate to, I might forgo my usual Halloween and Christmas light displays. Or, at the very least, put them up later than I usually do. Lots of thoughts rambling through my head on that one, so any suggestions would be welcome.

I'm also thinking about cutting the cable. Problem is, my house is now very quiet and I've turned on the TV more this week than I have in the past month. AND football season is coming. I live in Alabama and college football is what we DO in the fall, so I'm not sure that's a great option for me even if it would cut some of those monthly expenses.

Sheesh. This new normal is driving me crazy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Empty Nest Groceries

So, after very little grocery shopping in recent weeks (WHO HAD TIME?), I decided that in order to eat somewhat healthy with my empty nest, I needed to have at least some food on hand to prevent the trips to Sonic. So, I went to Aldi and picked up a few things:

1/2 Gallon Milk
2 Greek Yogurt
Cottage Cheese
Vine Tomatoes
Turkey Lunch Meat
Special K Pastry Crisps (these are for the next time I see the Princess --- she LOVES these things)
Garden Salad Mix
Frozen Pizza
Turkey Smoked Sausage
English Muffins
Wheat Thin Crackers
Sliced Provolone
2 Avocados
Sweet Potato Chips

Spent $35.41

Not too bad --- but I'm wanting to seriously slash my grocery bill since there's just one in the household day in and day out so we will have to see how well I can do in coming weeks -- but for now, I just needed FOOD.

I Hate Being Stupid

So, back in May, my very generous friend, Singer Girl, gave me and the Princess each $50 Amazon Gift Cards. Our plan was to use them both for textbooks. So, I held on to them to be sure we didn't spend them on something stupid. BIG MISTAKE.

We went to apply them to our account, and the codes had already been used. So I contacted Amazon, who basically told me that either the giver had "taken them back" or someone else in my household had used them. Wrong. For "privacy reasons" they couldn't tell me who had redeemed them. So, Singer Girl, contacted them. As it turns out, they had been stolen by someone not in my household and who I've never heard of --- they would tell Singer Girl because she's the one who paid for them.

Anyway, I ended up talking to someone at Amazon who was very sympathetic, and could "see" that it had obviously been stolen so she sent it to the "escalation department" to see if anything could be done and for further investigation. Well, that was a big fat waste of time, because 30 minutes later I get the exact same form email from Amazon telling me that it had likely been spent by the original gifter or someone in my household.... sigh.... they didn't even look at it. Just rubber stamped it again.

So big lesson learned. When you get Amazon gift codes --- APPLY THEM IMMEDIATELY. There are apparently a lot of very dishonest people out there, and quite frankly, Amazon would rather protect them than their honest consumers. I really hate being stupid.

Monday, August 13, 2012


Early Saturday morning, we got up, got ready, loaded the last of the Princess's stuff into our cars and made the 2 1/2 hour trip to the Princess's new school. Her Dad met us there to help move her in --- since the dorm doesn't have an elevator, is situated on a hill and the room is on the 2nd floor, I was very glad he came. We got her set up, with the Princess and I handling the clothes and stuff and him handling setting up the computer, printer, cable, tv and dvd --- as well as putting together her shelves. I think we've feathered her nest pretty well for her new home away from home. Spent more than I wanted to all in all, but for the stuff we had to buy, I at least tried to (for the most part) keep in mind things that would have future uses.

The shelves pictured above were the biggest recent expense, got them at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They were $60, but we had a 20% off coupon, so spent $48. We really like the extra storage space they provide --- not sure how much she will be able to use them in future years, but she'd had her eye on them for 2 years, so I bit the bullet and got them. The bedding was from Target and we got it last fall when it went on clearance. The bulletin board was an idea from pinterest --- foam presentation board, covered in fabric -- much lighter than a normal bulletin board and therefore much easier to hang with Command strips -- and honestly, a lot cheaper too. $6 for board, fabric and hanging ribbon. The necklace holder was a thrift store find that I spray painted black a year or two ago.

Her desk and dresser area is pretty much all recycled from home except for the clearance priced lamp, the crate for books and the spanking new printer (a gift from her Dad).

After we got it all set up, we still had to make a quick trip to walmart for things I hadn't thought of --- a mop, a seat cushion, a rug and an additional surge protector. I really do not like shopping at Walmart, but that's what was available in this town, so off we went.

As our luck would have it, the Princess woke up Friday morning with a sumemr cold and has been feeling basically like crap ever since. When I was preparing to leave, she teared up, told me she just wanted to go home and wishes she'd made a different choice. My heart just broke. This is going to be hard enough on both of us. I hate that she's feeling this way. I know being sick and Mom leaving has something to do with it, but she's also scared about finding "her" place there --- she's been in the same school system since kindergarten and has never had to make the effort to make friends --- she just had her friends. And she's missing them.

I talked to her several times yesterday, and she sounded better, but is still feeling like crap. I really hope she can kick this cold soon as the first couple of weeks of college are important for finding your "place". I swear, I am worrying about her more now that she's out on her own, than I ever really have in the past 18 years. This new normal is not setting well with me so far!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today's The Day

Today my sweet Princess moves into her dorm, 2 and a half hours away. Its going to be a hard day because she is now having cold feet. No one from her high school is going to the same school. Her roommate has been down there for a few days already, because she is doing sorority rush. The Princess opted against going through the sorority rush because of financial and time management aspects. School doesn't come especially easy for the Princess so she really did not want something else tying up all of her time.

Last night we went over to one of her friends houses for dinner and to hang out before both girls move into their dorms at their respective schools today. Goodbye was hard as this family has been the Princess's second family for years now ---- lots of tears from all of us.

When we got home, the Princess talked about all her fears as we sat on the couch with Thing 1 and Thing 2 snuggled up between us. Lots more tears all around. I'm hoping and praying that this transition will be easier than she thinks it will. I remember it being hard to transition myself, and I was only 30 minutes from home. And I also was in a sorority, which makes it much easier to meet people sometimes.

This is going to be hard. On both of us. I just hope it is harder on me than it is on her.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Back to a New Normal Soon?

Just thought I'd pop in to say HI! We are in the midst of getting everything prepared for the Princess's move to college on Saturday. My bank account is SCREAMING. And of course I've thought of one more thing she "needs". Sheesh. This has NOT been easy on my checkbook.

The Princess's Dad will me meeting us at the school to help with the move-in. I'm really happy about this --- his meeting us will drastically reduce the number of times that the Princess and I have to go up and down the stairs (no elevator) and drag stuff across the parking lot ---- a good 50+ yards from the edge of the parking lot to the entrance to the dorm.... YIKES. Plus he may be bringing on of his buddies with him. That will be huge! I might just make it back home at a somewhat decent hour and not be totally wiped out.

After I get back on Saturday, a new normal will begin for me. From here on out, most of the time it will be just me and the pups. I'm kind of freaking out about that. Walking in to a quiet house every night. I'm used to some noise blaring at me the moment I walk in! Trying to decide what to make for dinner for just one person --- I think it can be tempting to take the easy way out and just stock crap in the freezer and fridge but I'm really hoping to NOT do that. Another thing that will be tempting is going out a lot ---- meeting up with friends for dinner and socializing when I just don't have the money to do so. A lot of things to consider. So, y'all help keep me honest, okay? When I finally get back to posting groceries and everything is crap.... call me on it. When I start saying "oh, I went out to dinner with so and so" with much greater frequency... call me on it. I'm just not sure how I'm going to adjust to the New Normal.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Shopped and Dropped

Yesterday the Princess and I spent 7 hours shopping. 7 hours. We were finishing up her back to school purchases before she moves off next week. Dorm stuff, clothes, groceries (just a few), toiletries, clip on lamp, shoes, etc. It was a day that ended up a blur of ringing cash registers and swiped cards.

Alabama had one of those back to school "Tax Free Holidays" this weekend. Theorectically, the state drops the sales tax, and then counties and local municipalities do too. It can add up to a 9%-11% savings on certain items if you are already buying them anyway, but I've noticed that the "deals" aren't as good on those weekends so I can generally save more by shopping the last weekend in July. Due to the Princess's wisdom teeth extraction, that just wasn't possible last weekend and she moves next weekend, so off to the malls and shopping centers we went, coupons in hands and a mutual pledge to shop the clearance and sales racks when possible.

All totaled, we spent $671.98 yesterday, not including the food we ate out (which ended up another $80). OUCH. Getting kids to college is expensive before you ever even step on campus! But before y'all think I totally lost my mind, not all of that was out of pocket. $237.46 was on gift cards that the Princess had received for graduation and had decided to use to help with the back to school costs. So, the final out of pocket costs were $434.52. And by combining sales, coupons and tax free holiday, we "saved" $492.26 over full price --- not that I would really PAY full price, but its always interesting to add that up when its offered on the receipt!

So, I think we are about done --- I'm sure there's something I've forgotten but right now, I'm just worried about how we are going to get all of this stuff into 2 cars!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Getting It All Together

Ten Days. In just TEN short days the Princess will be moving into the dorm. I cannot believe time is this short. When I started this blog, it still seemed like a far off thing. But its here, and I am in no way near where I wanted to be financially. I'm still looking at $5K in credit card debt. Financial Aid wasn't what we'd hoped it would be, and DANG! There is SO MUCH that we still need to get (purchase).

Add to it, the Princess has been making noises about clothes she needs/wants to start school with. I really cannot gripe too terribly much as I have not purchased one single item of clothing other than her graduation dress and shoes since she started working in April. She has very specific "needs" in mind to "round out" her wardrobe, so I'm biting the bullet and taking her shopping on Saturday. I have some money left on a couple of department store gift cards I got for my birthday, and she has a couple WalMart card she got for graduation that she is willing to use for necessities instead of "stuff". So, I'm hoping we can really combine our efforts and spend as little as possible since there are lots of things she will still need.

We are way behind on the organizational front. Her wisdom teeth had her completely out of being "useful" for a good four days, and waiting on her constantly interrupted the things I was trying to get accomplished. (I'm really not complaining as the waiting on her is part of the "Mom Job", and she was really a good patient --- it was very nice to hear "please" and "thank you", even when it was slurred out due to the sedatives!). However, these past 3 days have been kind of a wash too as I've come home from work and basically hit the couch because I've had some really bad pain in my back.

Anyway, we are in a mad dash to get it all done. I'm trying not to freak out because of money. A friend keeps telling me not to worry about things I can't control --- but I can't help it. I'm WORRYING! And I'm doing a fabulous job at it!