Ahhh, no frugal Friday:(

No, we could call it spend money Friday.

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First at 8 am I ordered propane and that was $197.00. Actually at $1.57 a gallon that is a bargain. I can remember when we paid over $4.00 a gallon maybe 5 years ago.

On to Costco: gas for B $30. still a great bargain at $2.94 a gallon here in California. Inside Costco $375. for tons of food, nonfood, a case of Sierra Pale Ale for B and a rose bottle for me.  We got enough stuff to really last almost the whole month ( except maybe fruit, and a few minor things.) So I’m okay with it.

Onward to Trader Joes and another $125 . Yes, wine, pizza stuff, an orchid, crackers( I love their rice crackers, sesame oil( the whole reason I was going there)!!

Then we came home and had to separate it all out and put away. I was exhausted!

But it’s done for the month. They’re starting to put out Christmas stuff and had some really beautiful North Face jackets that I was eyeing, so I may take a trip at the end of the month after another payday and check it out.

B is getting the window coolers out of the windows and the yard is definitely looking like fall.  We’re also not watering as much which is a relief.

Soon the pool will be put to bed for the winter. Again, we need to order a pool cover for winter as they only last one season.

Tonight is homemade pizza, I’m thinking a pesto one.

 

Frugal Friday

All the bills are done for the month so that’s frugal or at least budget conscious.

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I have most of next month budget done except for a few things like planning the deck for the studio. That may end up going in 2 parts as it will be pricey.

Yesterday at Costco did add up but I won’t need some of the things I bought for at least 6 months( a 2 pack of Grey Poupon mustard), Cholula ( large size 2 bottles, a case of black olives, and a case of bar soap. The bar soap will last a few years actually.  When I was on Revlimid I  had terrible cramping in my calves and Irish Spring under my bed sheet was a miracle worker. These cramps were extremely painful and would freeze up my entire calf muscle. The other remedy is pickle juice.

I was tempted to buy the Vitamix Costco has on sale and it is a great price. but I decided to wait on it. I’d like a Vitamix down the road for drinks, soups, nut butter etc, but I have to weigh out how much I will use it. Right now I use my new Cuisinart processor and my stand mixer.  So I guess I saved $300 on that for now.

I’m going to do a few errands after the gym today including dropping off a box at the Cancer Thrift store. I have some Fiesta ware that I just don’t use( a butter holder) and a pitcher and I don’t want to drop that off at Goodwill. ( More Stuff gone)

Then I have a big stack of towels to drop off at the SPCA and maybe if someones there I can check on the barn cats.(more stuff out of my car)

It’s a much cooler morning and nice. We’ll see how later is.

It’s Friday night pizza but I’m not sure I’m making one. We decided to change it to Pizza or Pasta night so I may go with pasta and some of that leftover pesto. We’ll see …I just may order out.

 

Saturday roundup

So, my son couldn’t quite figure out the WordPress issue. We fixed the cookies but the other things to do were complicated, so he said for now just use Google chrome which, he says, is better anyway.  All my other things on Safari are working just not WordPress.  I guess I’ll just use this till I feel up to checking it out again. What a PITA!

So yesterday:

Frugal Friday:

Not so much overall. I’m not spending any money really except for groceries. I think groceries are our biggest variable.

I did buy another boot for my other foot but when it arrived today, it’s too big so that’s got to go back.

The budget is okay. Most of the first of the month bills are done and then later in the month it’s just Verizon and the water bill.  I’m still using YNAB and it is a good program. I’m not sure it’s helping to save money but it does track money so that’s good.

It’s super hot and just not pleasant to be outside. I go out to do a few chores and then come back in. I’m going out to the pool around 3;30 and that’s nice to cool off in.

Last night I cooked the pizza on the BBQ and it came out good. I burnt the bottom just a little so perhaps a minute or two less would be good. I made a greek pizza with spinach, kalamata olives, feta, a little goat cheese, and some mushrooms. It was good. Then I made a chicken sausage one with peppers and onions.  I didn’t taste that one but it looked good.

I also went to the gym but didn’t go check the other gym yet. I will soon but I wouldn’t do anything right now anyway, so I guess there’s time to check it out.

Well,  I’m off to read a book.

I’ve made hardboiled eggs, chicken salad, and chopped lettuce for dinner with some avocado and some garden tomatoes.

 

Five on Friday

Let’s see, my labs came in but I had to call the nurse to get the results. My doctor is on call for other doctors this week so he is slammed. My CBC is all the same and normal, Kappa light chains went up to 15.0, Lambda was the same at 11.1, the ratio went up just slightly to 1.30 ( from 1.27).  So not bad but I’d rather the ratio be a little lower. But still all in the normal range.  June marks 2 years of being off all chemo.  What a lovely time it has been and I am grateful every day.

We zipped down to Costco at 9am to get a few things. Mostly coffee. Last week I had to go buy a pound at Starbucks and that was a rude awakening. So off we went. We filled up the Santa Fe, and then got thru Costco fairly quickly. I didn’t need a whole lot so it went quick. We also paid our membership which was due June 1st.

Tonight is a pizza night and I gave my son cash to get a Round Table. I had a coupon for a speciality pizza for $19.99 and we love their gourmet veggie. So a good deal.

We were going to go to the nursery and get some pots for me to re-pot some of my house plant friends but it’s raining so we nixed that. I guess we saved money by not going but I’ll still need to get some at Home Depot in the next week or so.

Yesterday I went out to the barn and declutter more magazines, some kitchen things I had put in a box for my son when he was going to live at SFSU( which he didn’t do), and other misc. It’s the start of a small thrift store run.

I worked on the budget and June looks okay. Still working on finishing the CC that we put Z’s tuition on. I’m okay with that. I’d like to target end of July to have it done.

I think that’s all I can think of.

We did feel bad for all the campers heading up to Tahoe for Memorial day weekend. It was pouring down rain and I’m sure it’s worse up there.

 

 

 

Meal Planning and budgets

I like having a meal plan if only for the simplicity of it. I know what the week will bring and then it’s just simpler.

This week we’ll be having:

Monday: is usually fish or pasta / so we’re having cod from Costco, asparagus and spinach with a sprinkling of goat cheese

Tuesday: Taco Tuesday but we’re having Amy’s cheese enchiladas with beans or rice

Wednesday: pasta night so I think we’ll do spaghetti with sauce and a salad

Thursday: Crockpot Thursday, so I’m thinking a nice soup in the crock pot maybe lentil.

Friday: Friday night pizza, I’ll either do homemade or perhaps we’ll order. It depends on the mood. Usually, I prefer my pizza plus the price of ordering is fairly steep but sometimes it’s a nice change.

Saturday: I thought of grilling something as B got the gas grill ready to go, but I think it’s supposed to rain. Maybe some grilled chicken then or I still have a few cornish hens in the freezer and B bought a lentil loaf from a natural foods store he services in Nevada City.  I guess we’ll see how it goes.

B is gone most of the week traveling for work up to Eureka so he won’t be here. Dinner will just be my daughter and me. My son is at school late so doesn’t eat dinner with us.

Generally eating vegetarian and B has been one for over 50 years, we eat lower on the food chain. I think it’s healthier overall. I’m fairly skeptical of food fads like Paleo, keto, Vegan, whatever. Back in our youth, it was macrobiotics. I remember going to a cooking class in Macrobiotics back then… interesting… but later he died of some sort of cancer fairly young ( 40ish) so that didn’t help much.  I think all things in moderation.

I do like Michael Pollan’s take on using meat as a side, organic and harvested ethically.  I generally always buy organic meat( chicken, beef,) but sometimes bacon slips by and it’s not organic.  Well, I guess if one is trying.

Budget wise, food is still our biggest variable.  Although, total with animal food, Costco, nonfood, wine, we’re still averaging @ $800 for 4 people so I don’t think that’s too bad.

I finished the entryway zones and even washed the front door.

We went to the gym and it was nice to get back to the rhythm. It was closed yesterday for Easter.

 

Looking ahead with the budget

So, I tallied the rest of the month with food, nonfood, cat food, and we’re at $700. The food bill was @ $500, so the $200 is non-food, cat food(which is pretty high since our one kitty is not doing well and we buy a lot of cat food for him to eat. Ollie has a thyroid cancerous tumor and isn’t long for the earth. He’s a super sweet Maine coon and at one time weighed in at 20lbs.image

So back to the budget.  I added B’s two take home checks and it covers our bills but not a lot extra. It’s going to have to be my SS checks that give us the annual bills. And I’d like to start making  extra payments on the Santa Fe. If we can pay that off it’ll free up $600 . Yes, that’s a high payment but he gets a reimbursement of almost $400 a month so it works out. Looking ahead though, we cannot have a car payment in retirement.  I’m kinda freaking out a bit concerning the actual numbers. We don’t have a large 401 or anything so… But I’m hopeful that I can knock this out by the end of the year. Next would be our second. That was part of the worst re-finance in the world during the time when they were giving out re fi’s with no income verification and over inflating home values. Yes, we were incredibly stupid to do it. But this is finally, almost under $20,000 so that’ll be the next thing to get rid of.

It is , of course, ambitious, but I feel compelled to work this out.

We will see……

Dinner is chicken tacos in the crock pot with rice.

Frugal Friday

I made my food only budget $500 this month. There are 5 days left and I still need a few things. I’m at @ $475. So I may come in a little over. But this doesn’t include cat food for our 2 cats, one of which is in decline and probably has either a thyroid or diabetic issue as it’s eating lots of food. But this cat, Ollie, is my daughter’s love, so we buy food. I’m at @ 100 for the month. We alternate who buys so my part is probably @ $45.  Then there’s wine/beer( for hubs, I don’t drink beer) is at @ $60.

So overall, I’m pretty happy with the numbers but I think I can get just food down to $400. I’ll track in February again.

Our electric bill came in great at $237. That’s half what it was last year at this time.  So I’m thrilled.

I just canceled the phone insurance on my sons’ phone so that will drop the bill by another $13. Then next month I’m planning to pay off his phone so that will drop the Verizon bill even more. By about $30 more dollars. I know he should be paying it off but right now he’s starting CSU Sacramento and taking a full load 18 units and his gas /food bill is going way up. We’re probably way too giving to him as we paid his parking pass and will pay this semester’s tuition.  I know, I know, he should be figuring it out himself but we feel responsible.  We’re making a monthly payment so I’m hoping B’s next bonus gives us boost.

My gas in the VW runs $25 every 3 weeks , so pretty good.

With my SS checks coming in we’re able to save for our annual bills and I think that will make a big difference.

I’m still using YNAB. I like it for the most part and I think when we get annual bill categories funded it’ll be even better.

That’s about it for this week.

Homemade pizza tonight.