No, not really. Although we haven’t been spending money carelessly. Our grocery budget is our biggest variable expense. I budget $200 a week for everything including pet supplies, non-food items, wine, food and misc. That seems to be a good amount for us.
But when you factor in Costco trips like in August, I definitely go over. The Costco trips are often items that last a few months if not more. I’ve tried separating out non-food and then I get all confused and lose track of what was what so if I just lump it all together it works better for me.
For August I’m trying out $125 a week and I’ll see how that goes.
We aren’t going on any trips this year due to the medical stuff so there are no expenses there.
We also can’t eat out as B can’t have restaurant food yet. Although I have gotten him In an Out french fries and a shake as he needs to gain back about 20lbs. So we don’t really have an eating out budget. I have gotten a pizza or two so there’s that.
We also don’t have any big projects around the house but there are a few things. We absolutely need to fix our step coming out the door. It is awkward and has two levels so he and our daughter will put down a new concrete step that covers both and goes out farther. We wanted to build a deck out level from the front door and then a step-down but a deck would probably run us $3-5,000. So not now.
We’re on the fence about getting more trees down. I think we will call and see about at least 2 and get an estimate. We still have too many trees that are very big around the house. But that too is a very expensive project.
We still have co-pays on the medical side too and the GFM is being used for that but it’s getting low. The $6,000 from the beginning of the year is almost paid off. The transplant co-pays haven’t even shown up yet. Yikes, that could be scary.
Well, all in all, we’re doing okay.
This week was okay budget wise.
We did go to Trader Joes and I haven’t decided whether to make that part of my May grocery bill or just call it for April which now sits @800. This includes all food, non-food, cat food, and alcohol( which is just wine for me as B is not drinking at all with his treatments.)
I’m leaning just calling it for April and just moving forward. The only extra bills were the medical co-pays. One was for $500 and the other $350. That’s just medical and part of how we’ve budgeted the GFM money. All other bills are done and the budget is set for May.
We’ve sent in the long term disability forms but really don’t know how they would calculate that. It would be nice but I’m still not sure even how that works.
I went to Target and got a fan since now the weather is getting warmer. I also picked up cat food and some cloth napkins we needed.
We did go to Home Depot for more garden supplies but I consider that seasonal expenses especially for the garden which will produce veggies. That was @ $130.
Tomorrow is a gym day and B needs platelets. So I’ll go and then wait at Starbucks for him as it usually is a shorter infusion.
Dinner is Greek Chicken Souvlaki.
We’re still in the storm pattern here and I 80 is closed again. This kind of snow and weather hasn’t happened in years. I think the last time I remember snow like this was 1988 or so. Truly amazing amounts of snow have fallen in the Tahoe area.
My daughter still hasn’t been able to get there. Yesterday she got 1/2 way and had to turn around because cars were sliding all over. Too dangerous. I told her if the library director complains take it to the CEO of Nevada City and say if it’s too dangerous to drive then it’s just too dangerous.
We’re off to infusion this morning for Barclay to get platelets. Good news is that his hemoglobin is at 10.6. That is very good news. So he does not need a transfusion.
Also good news, the nurse coordinator is calling his brothers today and the donor kits will be sent out Overnight express. So we are moving forward and should know if they are a match in about a month. So very good news there too.
I’m going to the gym and then pick a few groceries at Safeway for pizza tonight. I thought I’d get mushrooms, olives and maybe artichokes. I have the pizza dough rising right now and will put in the fridge before we leave.
Our very old neighbor left with his son late yesterday. Someone came and boarded up the broken window. But there’s still no power and if the roof was leaking it’s probably a mess in there. But at least he’s safe. We’re looking at taking down maybe 2 or more trees but it really does depend on money. We will need to be very careful as we still need to cover the $6000 deductible for the transplant and lodging is our responsibility and donor costs such as the flights and hotel while getting the marrow. So lots on our plate financially. But I know from what we felt in the past when we removed the huge trees, I think this next set of trees will also feel great. I mean there’s always a chance some random tree could fall but at least we would have done what we thought was the most likely. The way our neighbor’s tree fell was really unpredictable. So who knows?
A weird week really. Really weird….
Well, it has been a really busy week with doctor appts, chemo( still 3more days to go), Costco not once but twice. Uhgggg, I ended up going again to Costco today as the Vet didn’t get the dogs pills in on Monday. PITA. So, it was back down. I ended up getting gas again. Plus, I figured I’d get the stuff on sale. B has been using Orgain drinks to bolster his food intake and it was on sale. I got both the powder and the liquid. It’s pricey but since he’s lost so much weight (almost 20 lbs) the doctor and I want him to eat eat eat. He’s always been way to thin and now it’s critical he gain weight.
Anyway, this has not been a thrifty week at all. I’m not sure if I’m just going to not go to the store for the rest of the month or just minimally. I do need milk and almond milk so that’s more$ right there. Oh well. It’s only Feb 8 so that’s a while till the end of the month but as of right now, I’m over budget. I’ve been budgeting $200 a week for everything, food, and non-food. It’s actually been spot on. Since we do provide food for our adult children it’s more than if it was just the 2 of us. My daughter does pay rent/food but my son who’s in school full time we let slide.
I’ve also been on the phone a lot, which I greatly dislike, arranging payments for the hospital bill for B’s port placement and the surgeon. I did the one over 4 months at $350 a month and the other over 10 months at $270. They were very accommodating but still not really budget friendly. Well, at least they let us do payments.
We haven’t heard back from the financial coordinator about the insurance for the transplant or sending off the BM kits to the brothers. Maybe next week.
Next week I have an appointment with an SS advisor about Medicare. We are both still covered by B’s insurance but I’m thinking if I switch over to Medicare then that will give us an idea of what our monthly amount will be. I’m sure it’s more than what we pay now but it has to be done sooner or later. So, we’ll see what he says. I need to be sure the drugs I might need in the future such as the Velcade I was on will be covered or at least after we pay the initial amount of our responsibility. Honestly, sometimes I feel as if we are just bumbling thru. Take the SDI, we really had no idea what to put in the form and it was initially rejected. Then after calling them and waiting forever on hold, we had it figured out. Still, sometimes I wonder how are we going to navigate this stuff.
Any suggestions for Medicare would be most welcome.
Well, on a more positive note, I’m making a BBQ chicken pizza for dinner and leftover gourmet veggie for the Dad.
It’s quiet here. We’ve been to the infusion center for B’s platelets so that’s good. He’s having quite a bit of trouble with mouth sores which we think was from a certain antibiotic, not the chemo. But still it’s uncomfortable and it’s going to take a bit to heal with his WBC so low. He’s on a different antibiotic so hopefully, that will kick in soon.
Other than that, I went to the gym for a short workout.
I’ve been in the living room zone as that is only today and tomorrow. Then the next zone starts on the 1st, which would be the entryway, dining room and something else.
Since our table is in our living room I do that area when I do the LR zone. I’m doing a bit deeper clean( wiping all shelves and baseboards) since it’s the first of the year.
I’m going to cook an organic turkey roast for dinner along with some stuffing and peas. Nothing fancy, just using up stuff from the freezer. In January, I’m doing a no spend month and freezer clean out. The no spend is just nothing other than food and essential things like cat food. I’ve spent quite a bit in December in foodstuff mainly because I went to Costco twice. I usually go to Costco once a month. So that was definitely more expensive.
This week I have a dental cleaning and B has his appts. If he spikes a fever with these mouth sores he needs to go the ER, so let’s hope he doesn’t. But if he did at least he would get intravenous antibiotic which would accelerate healing his mouth sores. Still, let’s hope not.
A view from the sink!!
I think for now it’s done in the kitchen. I thought about some kinda of temporary back splash. I may go into HOme Depot and see what they have. I’ve seen on Pinterest some tile that is peel and go. Not sure if Home Depot has that but I might check.
Today is Friday.
Frugal Friday or this week? Yes and no. I haven’t bought too many groceries, just milk and cream. I did spend $100 at Target but that included cat food at $15 and some frozen Amy’s enchiladas on sale. Most of it was the bins.
I need to get gas in the VW and I’m going to go to the local bakery and get day old bagels if they have any. They’re organic and go quick. So we’ll see. Plus I need to get some multi vitamins at Grocery Outlet.
Other than that I have a load of laundry to do and just tidying up the house.
I’m working on the budget for November and it’s in good shape. I’m paying extra on our second and I’m going to make an extra car payment if I can pull it off.
This has been a good week without a lot of unnecessary spending. The budget is in good shape for now.
We did our big shop at Costco on Monday so we were set for the week and even into next week. I had bought lots of lunch things so both my adult children would not spend money on food out. This is usually my son but he’s been absolutely great about taking stuff to work and school. He can easily spend $20 a day since he’s gone from 7:30am- 11pm. But taking 2 sandwiches or rice and chicken helps a great deal.
Last week I paid the 6 month Allstate bill so that was pricey but at least it’s done. B got a great bonus (relative to us) so we could pay it all at once. Then I put some in savings too. The first of the month bills are ready to roll out. That’s our mortgage, 2nd, internet, PGE, and the car payment. I’m really close to putting a large payment on the car loan but not yet. I want to finish off the cc that we put our daughters Honda repair on. She is paying this back but we put the amount on our card. So by the end of October, I will finish that.
I haven’t been to the store except we needed some half and half.
Tonight we are having takeout pizza so that will come out of dining out money. We don’t do this often, maybe once a month so I’m okay with that. Plus there’s always leftovers for lunch the next day.
I just started the Tartine Sourdough leaven to make bread this weekend. I’ve been just making sandwich bread but I’ll go ahead with the boule this weekend. The Tartine recipe takes a few days so by Sunday it should be ready to go.
It looks just like fall outside. The yellow colors of Northern California are starting. We don’t get the New England colors but there are wonderful golden colors and some orange. We have a Japanese maple in the yard and that turns red so it’s very pretty.
Today I’m just tidying up things and putting more stuff away for fall. I’m moving the geraniums to the greenhouse. I have to decide if I want them in the sunroom where they were last year. It’s nice in there for them but they do take up a lot of room. I need to get chicken food but I think I’ll let B get that tomorrow. They can make it on the other seeds they have for a day. All the chickens are molting so they aren’t really laying eggs except one or two.
I think I will put out my vintage Halloween stuff today too!
I’d love to find more but that would just be adding to the amount I already have. We put up the orange lights outside and I just love the glow they give this time of year.