Home > Archive: April, 2007

Archive for April, 2007

Ending the month with a Rebate Check.

April 30th, 2007 at 08:43 pm

Thanks to whoever posted the note about the State Farm rebate. I received mine today!

18.30 Rebate Check from State Farm.
7.77 Savings from jeans I didn't know were on sale at Walmart when I took them to the check register.

662.25 New Challenge Total

Today is a no spend day, eating up the veges in the bin and thawing a couple of chicken breasts for dinner.

Monthly totals are pretty good, went over a bit in a couple of categories, but not bad all things considered.

PG&E $124.51, down from $171.16 last month.
Gasoline $420.72 (-20.72) overbudget, but DH did drive up to Oregon twice to OD's.
Groceries $294.17 (budget $300.00)

Pet (Landon) $136.40 (budet $200.00) for yearly visit and usual food/toys/grooming.

Household spending was a bit high because of carpet cleaning and the new sheets that were actually paid for with a rebate check $260.00.

The closest catetory:
Hobbies budget $10.00, spent $9.79 (under 21 cents!).

Costco Rebate and survey!

April 26th, 2007 at 08:48 pm

We received our Costco rebate a couple of weeks ago. We wandered around Costo trying to figure out what to buy, just like when we got the Gottschalk's rebate. We toyed with the idea of splitting it. DH ended up getting Turf Builder, some lettuce, a new set of sheets, I can't remember what else. I was going to buy a book and couldn't bring myself to pay even the Costco price for a new book. I knew I had some at home to read.

Then the other day DH called and said I received $2.00 in the mail for a survey. Later that evening, the survey people called, DH had given them OD's phone number and I answered questions on my asthma.

So new totals:
108.59 Costco Rebate
2.00 Asthma survey

New Total: $636.18

My payroll work is done for the day so I am going to go work on the yard here at OD's. Then the bathrooms need to be cleaned, rugs washed and vacuuming done with a little Febreze on the furniture and we are close to ready for people to look.

One nice thing, with OD getting rid of stuff, she gave me a pair of DKNY active wear shoes that I love and are very comfortable. She bought them to walk in the snow?? I also got a couple of quilting books, leftover fabrics and a baby scrapbook she bought because it was so cheap! I am sending the scrapbook along with a quilt OD has made to my sister for her new first grandchild (a boy).

DH has decided Saturday is better so I will definitely be running low on coffee and filters by the time he gets here. Lentil soup for dinner tonight. I ate tacos three nights in a row!

I need to take the dogs for a walk too down to the mail and see if my phone charger and Sunday's Sopranos episode is there. DH mailed them to me on Monday.

Jeans for $3.00!

April 25th, 2007 at 12:57 am

We don't have a Walmart in our rural California County so I usually try to go when I am near once, especially since I have been buying my every day jeans there for over 5 years. Today OD made me buy some "boot cut" since she wants me to be a little more "hip". I also bought 3 new short sleeved T-shirts.

So I am checking out, bought a few groceries, ingredients for lentil soup for tomorrow and up rings $3.00 for the jeans! I asked the clerk to check the price, she pulled them out and sure enough they rang up again $3.00!

That was a nice surprise.

We got lots of progress made today boxing up garage sale items, donations of some clothes and plain old throw away stuff. DH has decided to drive up Thursday after work and we will drive home Friday morning. That also gives OD and I a deadline, which is good.

Last night DH and I paid the bills over the phone. Thank goodness I was completely organized with bills to be paid on the left side of a red folder sitting on my desk and paid bills for the quarter on the right side. I pulled up the bank's web site and DH told me what to pay. That's the closest we have come to paying bills together for a very, very long time.

We made it through April's bill paying and tax payment and quarterly deposits without having to transfer any money.... but then my mortgage is deducted automatically from my ING savings on the first day of each month. I usually transfer the mortgage payment plus some into the savings each month. This month I was unable to, so it's not like I didn't need a little savings....rats!

We also ordered the glass shower door for OD's house that brought me here in the first place. It was kind of funny, we ordered brushed nickel with glass we liked and the price was $500.00 or so. Uh... we are selling the house, how cheap can we get one? Chrome and "rain" glass at $271.00. Um yeah, let's go with that!

I want to go home.....

April 23rd, 2007 at 09:00 pm

Have you ever had a fantasy about spending your day however you wish away from your home since there is always something to do there, laundry, cleaning, organizing, menu planning, cooking, etc???

Well my fantasy has come true and it ain't that great!

Here is my story: OD is going to be moving to Reno from Oregon to do her ultrasound externship. We invested in a new home 2 years ago with her. Somehow a shower door never got put in the master bath. DH (being a construction foreman in his previous career) decides he will go put one in. Well I haven't been up to OD's in over a year. I will go too and help start getting house ready to sell. DH packs the necessary tools, I pack 3 outfits and clean underwear each, pack the dog's backpack with his toys and water and food, oh and OD wants to use my sewing machine, in that goes too. In the spirit of my total frugalness I also pack our coffeepot, filters, grinder and beans. Why drive to town to get coffee each morning (which is what we normally do, see what being here as done to me?).

As we head off for the five hour drive I ask DH shouldn't he call and make sure there is a shower door that will fit her bathroom....."Oh NO, I'm sure they will have one at Home Depot".

We arrive late on Wednesday the 18th. DH gets up bright and early and decides to call Home Depot. Guess what?? No shower door that will fit, have to order it. And even worse, the local glass company that he calls to see if they have one, will install it for $50.00. We spent probably more than $100.00 on gas for a round trip!

Well OD has a big test Friday so she wants me to come back "next week" to help start going through stuff and getting house ready to put on the market.

So remembering my fantasy (OD already had an out of town trip planned for the weekend), I said I would just stay here and DH could come back and get me in a week or so.

What was I thinking?? Yes I can walk out the back of OD's home and take the doggies on a long walk through the parts of the development that are not developed yet and the view is beautiful, I think that is Mt Ashland I see on my walk, and yes it's quiet and peaceful, but I want to go home!! I miss my bed, I miss my house and even miss my DH!

I have been working since I can work anywhere and OD is finally getting boxes and should be home any minute to start going through stuff, but I can't wait to get home. This morning DH said he probably can't come to get me until Saturday, but if we get everything done in the next few days I may beg him to come and get me earlier.

So in conclusion, be careful of what you wish for. It was okay for about 48 hours, but now I want my life back!

A Nice Pharmacy Surprise

April 17th, 2007 at 03:14 am

I paid our taxes and left about $30.00 in our checking account, so when I went to the pharmacy today to pick up some cough syrup and albuterol (allergy seaons), I pulled my Visa card out assuming I would have to charge it. The cough syrup was the good prescription kind!

Anyway I just finish chatting about taxes with the clerk when she rings me up.... $15.43 total. Whaaat??? I think I have a $20.00 bill in my purse. Sure enough I did. I was thrilled to not have to put that on my Visa. DH get paid this week, so we will be fine.

The albuterol was a $10.00 copay and the cough syrup was $5.43 generic for Mytussin. I guess I am used to my Advair inhaler, which is about $75.00 even being run through my insurance (no generic yet).

I spent some time today shredding old tax documents from 1999-2001 and organizing the actual returns, filing away 2006 with supporting documents.

Dinner was Carnitas DH made yesterday. Still plenty of leftovers for tomorrow too.

DH bought a bag of onions at Costco today (he had to get stuff for work) for 99 cents a pound, 10 pounds for $9.99. He had just paid $1.58 a pound at Winco this weekend and we used the one he bought. When did onions get so expensive?

One Year Anniversary

April 16th, 2007 at 02:45 am

One year ago I picked up my sweet Landon at the animal shelter in Grass Valley, CA. I lasted 4 months without a dog thanks to my daughters sending me pictures of dogs from

I miss my daughters....

So today in honor of trying to not spend any money we don't have to spend, we had friends over for breakfast instead of going out. On the menu was quiche (from the freezer), potatoes fried with red bell pepper and onion, sausage bites (bisquick, cheese and a package of the bear sausage cooked and crumbled small), fresh fruit salad, bacon and orange juice and coffee. It turned out very well and cost about $15.00 for the entire meal with leftovers!

DH made carnitas tonight and instead of pulling pork loin from the freezer we paid $1.28 a pound for at the local Winco, he found large pork loin chunks for 98 cents a pound yesterday. So we grilled that tonight after grilling tonight's steaks. We will be having carnitas tomorrow. Here is the recipe if anyone is interested and it freezes well.


2 pounds boneless pork loin cut into 2-3 inch chunks
2 tsp salt
tsp cumin
tsp oregano
2 pressed garlic gloves
onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp sugar or brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Place pork, spices, garlic and onion in a large stockpot. Cover slightly with water and bring to a boil. Cover pan and reduce heat. Simmer for one hour. Add sugar and lemon juice. Remove lid and simmer until liquids have nearly boiled off.

The carnitas can then be grilled before serving them. However, they can be served as is immediately or frozen and stored for future use.

Serves 8

We eat them with plain boiled beans or in a tortilla with grilled pepper, onion, and avocado.

Grocery total so far this month: $150.26, right on track for my $300.00 budget.

April 9th

April 9th, 2007 at 06:29 pm

We find out this evening where OD is going for her ultrasound internship. She was hoping for Ft. Worth, Texas, but the hospital decided not to sign a contract for this year. She was very disappointed. The placements are sort of like getting your name drawn out of a hat. You have two choices and put them in one or two different cities and somehow they draw names out.

DH cooked Saturday and yesterday we went to friends for Easter Dinner. The only thing we took was that Jalapeno/artichoke dip and crackers from Costco.

So our grocery spending was quite low for last week. My groceries at Winco were $31.67, the skinny cows from Safeway $4.89 and $14.97 at Costco for a half gallon of half and half and the dip and crackers.

Tonight is venison burgers again. They were delicious and we have the buns leftover, so what the heck we are having them again, what 3 days later?

We had boneless thighs (from the freezer) barbecued marinated in Soy-Vey sauce and are having stir-fry tomorrow made out of the leftovers.

Then I think we will have Lasagna from the freezer Tuesday, more (leftover) stir-fry on Wednesday and then I will need to figure out something for Thursday and Friday.

This week's ancillary spending will be high. Dear Doggie's one year checkup is tomorrow and DH's oil and transmission fluid need to be changed in his truck. However, groceries should be low again, will probably just run to Safeway for veges for tomorrow and may run into town later this week for more stuff. Maybe I should plan next week's menus.....

March Budget Totals

April 4th, 2007 at 08:11 pm

PG&E: $171.16
Gasoline: $409.24
Groceries: $375.94
Eating out: $162.88 (ouch)
Pets: $57.62 (another ouch)
Medical: 87.78 (one prescription, teeth cleaned)
Husband: $234.31 (new work boots and pants)
Me: $49.87 (two sweatsuits on E-Bay)
Tax Return: $540.00 (ouch)
Household: $152.68
Toiletries: $11.78

All our other costs are pretty fixed.

In January and February we spent under $300.00 for groceries and under $100.00 for eating out so I am slightly disappointed. DH pointed out we stocked up on Tri-Tip, but 10 of them at $2.99 a pound.

I am really going to try taking over some of the cooking. It's silly to wait for DH to get home tired to cook for me. Last night I made deep dish pizza which turned out deeper than I expected since I used a 9 by 13 pan instead of a cookie sheet! It was good though.

DH and I also discussed trying the rest of the year to not buy anything we didn't really need and stop running to Safeway for one or two items. That was on Monday. By 7:30 that evening he wanted ice cream and ran to Safeway, picking up a 6-pack of "Skinny Cows" for $4.89 with 50 cents off with club card. Part of our problem is not planning for those nights when we really want something sweet and no we don't necessarily eat it if it is in the house...

Anyway I decided to run into town yesterday before the carpet cleaner arrived at our home and checked the price of Skinny Cows at Winco....$3.45 for the same 6 pack as at Safeway. I ended up getting two pints of Haagen-Daas (did I spell that right?) ice cream, chocolate for DH and coffee for me for $2.48.

So let's see how long I can manage to shop and cook. I spent $31.87 for the rest of the week, veges, milk, frozen french fries(Ore-Ida, green tag special), hamburger buns for burgers tomorrow, tonight is turkey stir-fry. I also picked up sour cream and ricotta cheese.

The carpet cleaning was way more than I expected, but stains came out so I am happy. This is the first time I have had my carpets cleaned since we had new put in almost 5 years ago in the livingroom, 3 years in the back room, almost 3 years in YD's room and 1 year in our bedroom. The bedrooms were all remnants that cleaned up better than the expensive plush in the livingroom. The bedrooms are that sort of stamped look carpet, not berber... anyway the house is looking pretty clean and we are making sure we take off our shoes before walking in the livingroom.


Hidden Money

April 2nd, 2007 at 03:41 am

Today was a no spend day for us after talking DH out of going out to breakfast. OD was leaving to go home after spring break and she wanted my biscuits anyway...

Then DH was moving our couch to the laminate part of our living room since the carpet is getting cleaned on Tuesday. He found a rolled pack of quarters and some more change under the couch.

$ 10.52 found money
$ 20.00 saved not going to breakfast

$525.49 new total

I also made about $700.00 more this month than planned, which will go towards our tax bill.

Back in 1979 I played an April Fool's joke on my husband by having my boss (orthopedic surgeon) put a cast on my arm. I went home and told DH that I had broken my arm at work. I could only stand it overnight and made my boss come in on Saturday and saw the cast off. I am so suspicious that anytime anyone says practically anything to me on April 1, I figure it is a joke.