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Archive for December, 2008

Whole Foods Ouch!

December 27th, 2008 at 08:20 pm

We traveled to OD's for Christmas since MD and YD are together with granddaughter and SIL back in NC.

DH loves to cook and loves to visit grocery stores when we are traveling. (He found the Southern grocery stores really fascinating)... anyway he visited Whole Foods here in Reno, NV yesterday. Now DH is a foodie and will pay what I consider too much for food sometimes, but he was shocked at the prices at Whole Foods. He had a small list since we are only here another day and a half, but the bread prices are what did him in completely. Anyway, we will be sticking to Trader Joe's in the future for grocery store fun when traveling (we have no TJ's in our area).

OD and I did brave the after-Christmas sales and boy did we have fun. Having my new job, I am still building my work wardrobe and I made some nice additions at very reduced prices. We did not get beyond Macy's. (We have no Macy's where I live, heck we have only Gottschalks). My favorite purchase of the day was a pair of petite Jones of New York wool black pants regularly $129.00, I got for just over $25.00. I bought 8 tops, a long cardigan and the pants. I think my winter work wardrobe is complete.

My only silly purchase was a Ralph Lauren coat for my granddaughter that should fit next 2 winters since it is a size 3. It was marked down from $95.00 to $38.00. But aren't grandmothers supposed to buy silly/lavish gifts for their grandchildren? Heck I don't know, maybe $38.00 is a good price for a child's coat?

I think part of my clothes buying craziness has been because I am losing weight and clothes are starting to look better on me, but I do need to curb it like now! I'm thinking with what I have and a couple of things I bought yesterday that will work in the spring, I hope to not buy any spring/summer things until Memorial Day weekend sales. Don't tell me to check second hand stores. I have. We live in an area well let's just say secondhand clothes have not much worth buying.

So the next issue is that my salary is above and beyond what we need for our basic living expenses. So with so many posting their 2009 goals, I am thinking through mine and have been discussing with DH. We have things we need to do to our house that have been put off and we need to do landscaping on our rental property this spring/summer. We need to hammer out our priorities and then go from there.

One goal is to track our expenses even when I travel to visit back east. I completely blew it this year when I was in NC for six weeks when my granddaughter was born. But since I have a job now, my trips will probably only be 1 week. DH is getting geared up, bringing me every receipt since I told him we are starting over so that is my only for sure goal.

We are traveling home tomorrow to the coast of California from Reno, NV. Let's hope the weather cooperates. Luckily we have a 4 wheel drive truck. It took an extra 2 hours to get here Christmas Eve due to the snow.

Rite Aid ad

December 21st, 2008 at 01:43 pm

I noted in the ad this morning that they are selling prepaid Visas with $5.00 off any 3. So essentially you buy 3-$25.00 cards for $70.00.

If you know you are going to be doing some after Christmas spending, why not buy some for yourself and get your after Christmas purchases even cheaper?

Gottschalks also had an extra amount off any regular or sale priced items and if you combined the two, using Gottschalks coupons AND Visas you paid for with a discount, you could really save some money.

My head still hurts and my husband did all the laundry and is now vacuuming the livingrooom. We are having crab cakes tomorrow for my birthday dinner and leftover crab stuffed potatoes tonight. Cheap eats this weekend!

Money was spent

December 20th, 2008 at 07:35 pm

Seeing Sara Bareilles in concert last night.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Bareilles

She is a local girl made good, nominated for 2 grammy's this year. Small venue, but dinner before was $$$$. Our friends ended up paying for dinner, since we bought the concert tickets, but we left the tip. We did not expect them to pay for dinner. Theoretically it was my birthday gift, since Monday is my birthday.

The opening band was so loud, I would have told my own kids if they were playing the music to turn it off! Then I realized I didn't really like rock concerts when I was a teenager, why would I like them at 50??

But Sara's beautiful voice and talent made it all better..... I almost felt young again!

Noise and flashing lights unfortunately did bring on a migraine by the time we got home, so today has been a low energy day. The same friends we went out with last night dropped off 2 dungeness crab, which DH picked and made crab stuffed baked potatoes with lots of crab left for tomorrow.

I swear they were better than last night's restaurant salmon dinner that was $24.95!

I received my first paycheck today!

December 12th, 2008 at 06:41 pm

The direct deposit doesn't kick in until the next paycheck. It was interesting to note that paycheckcity.com was almost exactly correct with their calculation. It was only a 32 hour paycheck and already have 6 hours acrued for vacation! A paid vacation? What a concept. Having been self-employed for 10 years, I welcome that!

So I signed up for a webinar with YNAB for Sunday evening. I was doing great until going to North Carolina for 6 weeks this summer/fall. I have not used YNAB since and there is a new upgrade coming out very soon, so I want to be well prepared for starting 2009.

DH is out of town working on our new car wash and I am spending the evening with the doggies on my lap or half on my lap, and planning our 2009 budget with the help of paycheckcity.com computations of my new payroll amounts with my health insurance and FSA deductions starting with January 9th paycheck AND my 15% 401K contribution starting with March 20th paycheck.

Can we be out of debt (except for the house) by the end of 2009?? That is our challenge and it should be doable.

Another benefit to working...

December 9th, 2008 at 07:24 pm

Working in a hospital, I did not think I would get to take advantage of "drug rep's" freebies. Well I was wrong. The medical staff secretary's office is kitty corner to mine. She comes in to our common area with 3 trays, one of veges and dip, one of little pinwheel sandwiches and one with little dessert bars of some sort. Apparently they were left over from a presentation the drug rep had given some of the docs at the hospital.

I had a ziploc quart bag I filled with the little sandwiches and another with veges. I chopped the broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots and bell pepper up, added a cubed sweet potato and roasted at 375 degrees for 1 hour after tossing in olive oil and garlic salt. Had that for dinner along with leftover standing pork roast. DH is taking the little sandwiches for lunch tomorrow.

Unfortunately it was a spend day. DH paid our property tax, bought us each a Columbia fleece hooded jacket for $19.99 at Gottschalks and found J Henckles Knife sets regularly $138.00 for like $29.99. He bought a set for his parents who need them for Christmas. He also found a miniture snow globe with our granddaughter's name on it! Spelled wrong, but we think we can change an I to a Y!

He also picked up a prescription for me at Costco and a few pictures our daughter downloaded of our granddaughter. The prescription is a certain cream that perimenopausal women use. I was shocked at the price, did they run it through my insurance, almost $100.00!?! My new insurance takes effect January 1. I am thinking maybe I should up my FSA contribution. I started with $50.00 a month.

How to deal with telemarketers..

December 8th, 2008 at 08:02 pm

We are on the Do not Call list so we rarely get a call, but tonight an 800 number comes up. I answer and it just so happens DH was standing behind me looking at an e-mail we had received. The nice lady asks for "Mr. Smith". I hand the phone over to him and duck out of the room.

She is trying to sell him that disability coverage or something for our one outstanding credit card debt. He told her if things were so bad he could not make the payment, he might as well "end it all". I started laughing so hard, he could barely get off the phone. Maybe you had to be there....

So dropped off my purchases for the 10-month-old little girl who's name I pulled off a giving wreath at work. DH and I dug through Costco's well priced Carter's jammies to find the right size for her, along with 2 outfits, Baby Einstein books, a really cute little jacket and a Catipillar toy that you roll balls down (a woman in Target said her daughter loved it).

I noticed only one name left on the wreath I picked off of. If no one takes it by Friday, I may be shopping for another child.

I'm employed

December 2nd, 2008 at 07:35 pm

Today was the first official day of employment at the hospital that I have been contracting with for 10 years. I have settled in and am looking forward to saving money especially on our medical insurance premiums.

I have to wait 90 days for eligibility for the 401K, but am ready to start.

I have to say asking for the day after Christmas off was strange, even though it is a paid holiday anyway. I have to get my mind shifted away from the freedom I have had for so long. I could not ask for a nicer boss and nicer staff that I work with. The past 6 weeks have been really good and this job came at exactly the right time in my life.



However, it is 2 weeks since I visited the granddaughter and boy am I missing her. Hopefully they will all come home for a visit in February.

I spent $1.00 today on oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch was leftover frittata and an apple. Dinner was salad with leftover turkey and ham diced up in it. My bottle of salad dressing did not have the lid on tight and when I shook it up it splattered all over the clean dishes in the dishwasher and floor. The dogs were happy!

DH is on a business trip. Oh did I mention we are broke? Or I should say almost broke. That's what happens when you take 90% of your savings to invest in another car wash. Like I said the job offer came at the right time!