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Archive for December, 2018

Day 60 of YOUF/No Spend December 30, 2018

December 31st, 2018 at 06:51 am

Wow one day left in this year. It's my oldest sister's birthday also. We drove to town to drop off my daughter's family's laundry, then over to visit the widow for a while. We stayed too long and were really hungry once we headed home.

We decided to stop and get some lunch meat to make sandwiches after deciding against stopping at a local sandwich shop. We stopped at Costco and got roast beef and sliced cheese, and some hummus that was super cheap and a discontinued Fitbit that was also super cheap! We had those cheap Costco rolls at home in the freezer. My husband made yummy grilled meat and cheese sandwiches, then added tomato and avocado to them.

My fitbit died and I was going to try to go without one, but it was also my watch so I went ahead and got one. It was a discontinued Alta and was only $57.97 or something like that.

We ate leftovers of the yummy chicken I made last night for dinner. Before dinner, we went down and had drinks and snacks with our very good friends who live around the corner.

My husband works tomorrow so I am going to do as much as I can on the house. DH will be bringing home a lot of dear friend's stuff and we need to make room. I am a bit freaked as we already have a ton of stuff and I have been planning to work on decluttering like a real job. It's imperative I get to it immediately!

By the way does anyone know why even when I am logged in, if I want to comment, my information does not automatically fill? It keeps telling me if I log in it will do it for me, but I AM logged in!

Day 59 of my YOUF/No spend year

December 30th, 2018 at 07:16 am

Nothing terribly exciting to report. I basically did laundry all day. Then I made a recipe with chicken breasts and dumped the leftover pumpkin pie batter in a pan. It was all really good. I spent no money!

Day 58 YOUF/No Spend Year December 28, 2018

December 29th, 2018 at 06:01 am

Good evening.

Today I had to take my dog to get a booster shot. Then off I went "to town".

I stopped at Target and bought $100 for next year's Christmas gifts. Then onto Joann Fabric to buy a tapestry needle and hand threader so that I can finish the Unicorn scarf and hat I made the 3 year-old. Onward to Winco, Costco and Smart Foods.

I spent about $200 and told DH the plan was to keep it until 7-10 days. I think we can, I think we can.....

Day 57 YOUF/No Spend Year

December 28th, 2018 at 05:48 am

The third day in a row we have had prime rib, mashed potatoes (tonight DH added egg and made a pancake), green bean casserole and the last of the homemade pumpkin pie and apple tart. Well we are done with that!

Will need to spend a bit of money on Lila, the adopted chihuahua, who is getting an update of some immunizations tomorrow. I think I need the flea/tick/heartworm medicine too. That's going to cost some bucks!

I had physical therapy today and visited my mom afterwards. Otherwise I did some light housework and some bookkeeping for our business.

I've been doing some more analysis of our 2018 spending and figuring out the 2019 budget.

Merry Christmas 2018, Day 55 of YOUF/No spend year 2019

December 26th, 2018 at 05:57 am

I hope everyone had a good Christmas with those you love.

My daughter, son-in-law, Ally 10, and Pyper 4 all arrived about 10:30. They were so sweet and waited so patiently while I ran to grab my mom from the assisted living facility. It is only about 1.5 miles away. I literally made it in 3 minutes when I was working there.

My husband went to spend some time with widow of his mentor and he stopped and bought her a real at a local restaurant. I told him it was one Christmas out of how many, just go and spend time with her. She is really sad, of course she is, the death of her husband was a bit sudden even though we knew he had metastatic lung cancer.

So my son-in-law, who is a good cook, and I were finishing dinner. Then I saw my very good friend and her husband is DH's BFF (they text like teenage girls), walking their dog, walking by our house so I ran out and we chatted a bit. Her mother died on Christmas Day (the same year my dad died on Thanksgiving Day AND it was his 78th birthday!). So by the time I went back in the house, dinner was done. I just had to set the table and get everyone what they wanted to drink.

My husband got home while I was returning my mom to her AL apartment. She was very tired and kept thanking me for going to so much work. I kept telling her it wasn't that bad, I didn't do much, but her memory/mind is really diminishing. She asked my daughter who she was. Sometimes I'm not sure if she knows who I am until I say mom. She didn't know what town we are in even though she has lived in the same town as me for the past 30 years. It's really sad and I know I am going to end up the same. In fact every single thing I do that's a bit silly or I didn't remember something, my daughter freaks out. Something happened today and my daughter said, I have to text my sisters this. Oh good grief. My every behavior is scrutinized to see if my mind is slipping yet!

My 23 and me indicates I only have one health issue: Late stage onset Alzheimer's. So there you go!

I don't think I have ever been so ready to start the new year. My husband's on board for the no spend year and getting rid of whatever we don't need or use or LOVE!

I am making it my JOB to live as frugally as possible and take care of my home, yard, the chickens and the dog!

Day 54 YOUF

December 25th, 2018 at 06:15 am

The granddaughters spent the night again, along with my daughter and son-in-law. Their friends live near us and it was my son-in-law's birthday. He was totally surprised so that was great. He turned 32. The girls and grandpa watched Mickey's Christmas and The Grinch. I popped them popcorn to munch on while they watched. I stayed busy until time to rock Pyper, the 4 year old.

DH took the leftover T-bone steak from Sunday night's birthday dinner and turned them into barbecued beef sandwiches. Yum. DH stated that he is impressed with how we have been eating leftovers.

I cannot find, in the freezers, the sweet potatoes leftover from Thanksgiving I was going to use to make sweet potato pie. We may have to use canned pumpkin, which is a staple in our house.

Today I made a free form apple tart and the beginnings (the crust and cream cheese/cook whip layer) of a raspberry jello "salad".

December 23, 2018 Day 53 of No Spend/Ultimate Frugal Year

December 24th, 2018 at 06:22 am

Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes. Today is actually my first son-in-law's birthday. He turned 32. My daughter decided to surprise him with a party. She threw it together pretty fast. They have a nice group of friends. So I rocked the 4 year old, Pyper, to sleep while 10-year old Ally went on her own. My stressed out husband was asleep by the middle of The Grinch.

We started Bird Box on Netflix before the girls got here, so I am finishing it up before I go to bed. It's a very strange movie, it was filed near Humboldt in the next county North. The geography is just like ours, trees, ferns, etc.

I made DH a grocery list today and he promised to only get the things on the list. This was pretty much a first. No impulse purchases. He said he started to go look at the canned lemonade we drink to see if it was on sale, and thought no I can only get what's on the list. It came to $26 and would have been about $20 if we didn't have to buy brandy for the free form apple tart I am making. That was a huge breakthrough. He didn't go by the meat either!

Oh good grief, I am super sleepy again, well it is 10:30 !

December 22, 2018, Day 52 of YOUF and my birthday!

December 23rd, 2018 at 06:25 am

I'm 61 today, figure I have about 29 good years left. I spent the morning doing laundry for my daughter's family and then went to town to have lunch with my daughter and family, my husband and the new widow. I am so glad she came. There were tears, but not an overwhelming amount. My granddaughters are a nice diversion. The friend paid for the meal for all of us.

I ended up bringing the 4 year old home with me as my 10 year old granddaughter, daughter and her husband were taking her to the ballet. I stopped at Target to wander through the toy section with Pyp, then made sure the stuffed Christmas animals were still hidden so daughter can buy them after Christmas. We just put a few ornaments in front of them.

I didn't think I would be hungry for dinner, but I was. DH sous vide a Porterhouse, steamed broccoli, I made coleslaw and put rolls in the oven. The family came to pick up Pyp and she and Ally (10 year old) ended up spending the night here. I opened presents, a pair of pajamas from both my daughter and my husband. This is hilarious because I texted to my daughters that whoever had my name for Christmas, I could use a new pair of pajamas or a nightgown. I specified the material, and my preference of no sleeves. I don't need another pair!

I have spent the evening after the girls went to bed with my grocery list, my computer and my menu planning book to get organized for next week. DH promises he will not buy anything not on my list.

Our menu for Christmas:
Prime Rib (gift from SIL's stepfather)
Mashed potatoes/gravy
Green Bean Casserole (Alton Brown's recipe on
Raspberry jello/cream cheese/graham cracker crust dish
Free form apple tart (Bon Appetit recipe from 1989 March issue)
Low carb praline pumpkin pie (

So far my grocery list is quite short, but I need to finish menus for the week and add anything else we might need. I put french toast casserole in the frig to soak overnight. Ally specifically requested this so I found some cheaper cinnamon swirl bread to keep on hand.

This morning my husband agreed to the no meat purchase ban for 6 months, starting Jan 1st. He bought a pork butt today at Safeway for 99 cents a pound and it is on the smoker for SIL's stepfather.

When I announced I was not buying any fabric for a year, the only person who thinks I can do it is Ally! She does not think grandpa can go 6 months without buying meat. It will be a fun/good challenge for us. Our biggest area of personal buying for both of us, given up for 6 months (well I am committed to 12 months of no fabric buying). Both my daughter and son-in-law separately asked said, "what about white?" I told them I had full bolts of my two favorite white fabrics.

Ack bedtime! The girls tend to get up early!

Did I skip a day?

December 22nd, 2018 at 06:38 am

I'm confused. Oh well it's the 21st of December and I received my new Zenni glasses that were supposed to come tomorrow. I am happy! DH was home when I got home tonight and had put the lasagna in the oven with some broccoli and mushroom sautéed on the side.

Omgosh I am so tired! I bought a new shower curtain for DH that is weighted so hopefully it will stay in place.

He brought me a gift card for Winco, my Christmas bonus for doing the books for our business!

Will write more tomorrow. Just so tired.

Day 49 YOUF

December 19th, 2018 at 04:08 am

I have an upper respiratory infection. I have asthma so I always get a bit nervous. I cancelled physical therapy appointments for the week. My husband bought chicken soup (we already had some canned, which I had a can for lunch) and some popsicles of real fruit. I chose raspberry. I took it easy all day. I did manage to put the dishes away and reload. I washed the coffee pot since I didn't think we would have enough dishes to run the dishwasher. I generally run it every night if we cook.

DH's very close friend is going home from the hospital tomorrow on Hospice. It's really hard on my husband and I am trying to support him as best I can. We have been married long enough that I don't get "mad" or "need" him. Even sick I can take care of myself (except we didn't have any popsicles), and understand him being gone until late each evening. He came home early tonight because he is tired out after spending from 6:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the past two days at the hospital. Luckily it is raining so the car wash has not been busy and his staff is handling things.

I have been taking Zicam so I am hoping I feel better tomorrow. We are supposed to have our granddaughters Thursday night and possibly Friday. My daughter needs to take her husband down to the VA in San Francisco for dental work. But she had to have her car towed today because it "went crazy". She took a video of her dashboard and it was very strange. Hopefully it is an electrical problem.

The pest control people came today and we luckily had purchased another year contract for half price on a local radio shopping show. I gave the technician a $10 bonus. He is really good about calling to make sure I get the chickens in their pen before he gets here.

My husband made burritos on Sunday, I had one last night. Tonight I had peanut butter and jelly on an English muffin for dinner.

Day 48 YOUF

December 18th, 2018 at 06:42 am

I changed my sheets today, but spent the rest of the morning working on getting my MAC to print. It stopped when we switched internet providers. I was on the phone with apple for a bit and eventually figured out on my own how to get the printer to print.

I also worked in our greenhouse, picking tomatoes and cutting the tomato plants out. Three of our four chickens were in the greenhouse with me having a great time eating and scratching for bugs.

My husband was late getting home as his BFF is back in the hospital with pneumonia. He has stage 4 lung cancer, so it's been really rough.

I resisted buying a new quilt pattern. I saw the pattern made on Pinterest and I just love it! The book is out of print, but there is a kindle version. It will still me there when my Year of Ultimate Frugality is over!

Day 47 of YOUF

December 17th, 2018 at 06:18 am

Well today I looked at the Sunday ads and saw that Target was having a "sale" on fit bits. Mine died a week ago and I used it all the time for walking challenges with my fellow Weight Watcher members. The cheapest was $99.

My mind thought, oh it's $99 okay I'll get it this week. And then I started thinking about this commitment I made and I decided against it. I do not need to participate in the challenges. It doesn't make me walk more, it was just kind of fun and occasionally I would not be in last place.

The thing I really miss about the fit bit is that it was also my watch, but I have two nice watches that need new batteries which will be way less than a fit bit. So I resisted.

Today was my second son-in-law's birthday. He is my oldest daughter's husband, they were second to get married after my youngest daughter, well 8 years after my youngest daughter. OD was almost 35 when she got married in March 2014. My middle daughter got married in May of this year, she is 37 and it is her first marriage. My baby got married 6 weeks before she turned 19.

My husband came to bed after a disturbing phone call. His BF/mentor has gone to the ER. He has cancer and has not been doing well. I have to stop typing.

Day 46 of YOUF

December 16th, 2018 at 07:07 am

I went to town to run errands. First I dropped of shirt pillow covers to new friend. She was so pleased and I told her I did not want to be paid as I thought about my own grandfather and my husband and the kind of grandfather he is. I felt honored that she asked me to do something so meaningful for her family. The very last shirt was a heavier denim stripe and I just could not bring myself to cut it. I told her if she really wanted me to I would and she said she believed in signs and that shirt must have another purpose.

I then went by my daughter's house to drop off clean towels and sat on my oldest granddaughter's bed and talked with both her and her baby sister. They still had their pajamas on and the 10 year old was reading to the 4 year old. Then we all went out and ate chocolate chip cookies that my son-in-law sprayed with whipped cream.

Then it was grocery shopping at Winco. I found a very nice page with categories to make your list. I ended up getting Winco brand sour cream and raspberry gelatin. I feel like I got something else store brand, but I cannot remember. I did buy a couple of impulse purchases that were not on the list. One was cake mixes for 88 cents. I bought 3. I like to have them on hand if the girls want to make cupcakes. My total was just under $92.

We took out flat meat and hamburger today. DH will sous vide the flat meat tomorrow and then we will make beef stroganoff for dinner tomorrow. Hamburger will be mixed with refried beans, mexican cheese blend and El Pato sauce and made into burritos which we will freeze for easy meals. I will give some to my daughter for her family too. They gobbled them up last time I made them about a month ago.

My husband went to the local college basketball games tonight so I just had a salad with a thawed barbecued chicken breast.

DH reiterated he is committed to sticking to our plan with the freezer since it is so difficult to find anything even though it is an upright.

I use Out of Milk for inventory and it is very helpful to keep track of what is in the freezer. In fact both that and YNAB are pulled up on my laptop at all times!

December 14, 2018 Day 45 of YOUF

December 15th, 2018 at 06:46 am

I pulled out a carton of tomato/red pepper soup from Costco. It has been in our pantry for a few years. We had 2 cheeseburgers, sealed and frozen that I pulled from the freezer too.This was for dinner tonight.

When I went to open the soup, the foil seal was undone. The soup was very separated and honestly it was post dated. All three cartons were the same, foil torn and separated soup. I threw it away.

There is a good reason right there to not stock up too much! I was so angry at myself. This YOYF is going to change all that!

I am using the Out of Milk app to monitor my inventory of both my freezers and my pantry. The wind was blowing so hard this morning, it was hard to walk Lila. We did not go far before we turned around and came back home.

After lunch, I spent the afternoon in my sewing room, sewing up shirts as pillow covers from the grandfather of a new friend who was in the 4 car pileup with me. I will deliver them tomorrow. It felt good to do something for her and her cousins. As I ironed her grandfather's shirts, before cutting them, I thought about my own husband as a grandfather and thought if her grandfather loved her and her cousins, like my husband loves his granddaughters, he was a very good grandfather.

December 13, Day 44 of my YOUF

December 14th, 2018 at 06:10 am

I actually started my Year of Ultimate Frugality on November 1st. So I am using the right day# starting today.

Not much happened today. I had physical therapy, then I went to visit my mom at her assisted living apartment. We had a nice visit looking at her old cards. Some were really cute/funny from my now grown nieces and nephews. I was able to address the issue of a lady who lives there, that my mother had in her mind that my dad had been involved with. This is absolutely not true, but in mom's demented mind because they both were musicians, they had to know each other. I explained to mom that the reason N seems familiar is because she went to your church! I'm sure she is going to forget, but hopefully she will remember that N is a nice person and not to say anything abut my dad.

I paid mom's bill while I was there and dropped off the hearing aid batteries I had bought for her.

Once I was home I did a few things then started dinner. I decided to cook the red beets in my Insta-Pot. It worked great, I let them cool a bit, then put some olive oil and butter in the pan and tossed to coat. They were really good. I put the last of the pork roast in some brown gravy and it was delicious, along with some green beans and rosemary infused roasted potatoes. That was the 3rd meal out of the roast and DH said it cost up $.50 per meal. We also had leftover coleslaw and green beans.

Oh Lord I'm sleepy! Off to bed. Tomorrow is another day.

Day 8 of YOUF

December 13th, 2018 at 06:51 am

I spent most of the day in the kitchen. I roasted the last of the tomatoes from our greenhouse with chopped garlic and olive oil. Then I whirred in the vita-mix. I roasted the 4 pumpkins from our garden. I made pumpkin chocolate chip bread and I made spinach calzone.

The spinach was starting to wilt and I didn't want it to go bad. Same with the pumpkins. There were 3 that were starting to rot out in the garden. I split them open and left them for the chickens.