Frugal Friday

Back from the world of DEX, so now it’s on to how the week went money wise.

We did a grocery shop at Safeway that came in at $95 plus some wine which I’m not including in the grocery amount. I’m working on a Walmart order for next week that should take us thru the following week. That week we head down to Capitola, so the stuff I’m buying is partly for that and partly so the kids have some extra here if they need. Of course, they can get their own food too, which I’m sure they will.

I had to pay OP for my Dex copay of $36.00. That will be all I need to finish all the chemos. I checked online with the mail order and it was only less as a 90 day supply. So I won’t need that again so it’s a unusable as such.

I did order some N 95’s this morning as I/we will continue to use them even when the vaccine numbers go up. California is supposed to open more up and I’m not going to get caught in variants if I can help it.

My daughter paid for the nursery things so that didn’t cost me anything.

We’re ordering a pizza tonight but it’s from Celestino’s and their extra large is only $23, so that’s a good deal. I could’ve made one but it’s nice to do something different.

Here’s some shots of the garden shed as it is now.

And here’s a picture of one of the Japanese maples leafing out. These were planted by my daughter about 3 years ago!

I did my usual chores this morning after out walk. I vacuumed, mopped the floors, did a reset of the house ( going around and putting away whatever is out of place).

Friday’s my energy definitely comes back so that’s nice. I still don’t drive but tomorrow I’m going out so it should be fine.

Five on Friday

I’m late getting this off since this morning I was trying to get my Tartine bread in the oven before we left to go to Costco. The bread was a rye mixture( so slightly darker) and the rise isn’t as high but it has great flavor especially with cream cream . I got it in for the first 20 minutes with the lid on and then took the lid off for the final 25 and left my daughter in charge of taking it out. It looked great when I got home.

Costco( the 9am, 60 and older crowd) was absolutely crazy. The line to get in was around the building. For an instant, I almost decided we should just leave but decided this is it till after January 1st and it’s only going to get worse ,so we went in. I guess the TP run is back on and most people were beelining to the back for the TP. Geez, really?? Anyway, they have rearranged the store so cold veggies are near the bakery and that’s where I started. I got everything on my list except canned beans because at that point in the store I was DONE!!! I made B get 2 cases of beer because I ain’t going back in there during Christmas. If we need cream or whatever I’ll hit our market here in town.

My Diestel turkey breast showed up yesterday and that will be nice to have instead of the whole turkey. Last year I did a Whole Foods turkey and it was delicious( according to my notes) but this year I didn’t want to do the whole thing plus I haven’t been into Whole Foods since last Christmas. I do keep a written menu of Thanksgiving each year and then add notes. It has been good to refer back to. I started doing this the one year I downloaded Flylady’s thanksgiving “to do ” list. I have to say, it has been helpful.

B had a call from the Cancer after hours clinic asking him to call( this was after 7pm). We didn’t even get the message till bedtime since neither of us keep our phones with us. We ignored it figuring it was his potassium level( which it was). His blood pressure hasn’t been stable so he went back on the HCTZ which is extremely effective but drops his potassium to low levels and they want him to get an infusion. When you’ve been down this road this many times we just had him take extra potassium pills and drink some gatorade. So after calls this morning( in the middle of Costco noless), yes, increase potassium pills, stop the HCtz again, and get another blood test. Also his immunoglobulins are down which happens about every 2 months so he will need an infusion for that. Sometimes, I feel like I’m barely hanging on here.

We got a Christmas tree permit to go up to Tahoe next week. It’s always a crap shoot of whether you will go the right area and find a nice tree but this year we will give it a go. Last year we skipped it with everything still going on. There has been some snow up there so that will be interesting. I’m planning on NOT putting up the artificial tree if we find a nice live on to put up. If not I will use the live one in my room with just some lights and put the artificial one up in the front room.

Tonight is pizza night and we are having just a frozen pizza. I was going to do Round Table but after spending a zillion dollars at Costco decide to just use what we have. Plus, the deep dish ‘MOtown’ from Costco is quite excellent.

Well, that’s a wrap, and I hear a glass of red wine calling me.

Friday the 13th

I love Friday the 13th. Mostly, I just like the number 13. Why? I have no idea. Well on to 5 on Friday or maybe even Frugal Friday.

Our trip to Trader Joes was not frugal but did get almost everything I need for Christmas dinner and just holiday eating. Think Brie, crackers, pub cheese, etc.

I still need the lasagna stuff but that’s an easy Safeway trip.

It’s raining today but we did get a walk-in with our umbrellas. It was only drizzling so not bad. I’m planning on going to the gym and then maybe an errand.

Barclay is going to officially retire at the end of January from UNFI. That’s his 25-year anniversary. It was a hard decision, really but I think the right one. His HR said though he needs a medical release to return to work from his doctor and then he needs to be reinstated in order to then retire. It seems like a lot but I guess they have rules. So that’s what he’ll do.  He also is going to check about the long term disability that he could possibly get for a few months but that’s pretty iffy.  I guess we’ll find out soon enough.

Tonight is pizza night and I’m doing homemade. It’s still raining:(

BTW, if you’re looking for a good murder/mystery series on Netflix,  Le Foret, which is in French with subtitles is superb and the companion series ‘the Black Spot’ is terrific. Excellent characters and the scenery, shot in France and Belgium is great.

Friday stuff…

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.

 

 

Friday Stuff

I got a call from my oncologist’s office that the Dexa scan came back in the normal range. Yay, one less thing to think about. Kinda a relief.

Today we’re off to chemo day 2, and B needs a blood transfusion as his Hemoglobin was down to 7.4. I am so hoping that the chemo kicks in soon and he will need less peripheral support( transfusions). Realistically though it could be 2-3 weeks.

Then I’m coming home to do some tidying and laundry. My son, who gets off at 4: 30, is going to pick up his Dad so I don’t have to go back out. That’ll be nice.

 

I’m making pizza for dinner and have the dough made and is doing a rise. I thought I’d do a simple marguerite one and then an Italian sausage and mushroom one.

The no spend January sorta fizzled out as I went to Target yesterday. Well, I got cat food but also a candle and a faux eucalyptus branch made by Hearth and Home which is the Magnolia line. I’ve been buying fresh eucalyptus at Trader Joes but haven’t been there in quite a while. So I thought these would do nicely as a substitute. I shall keep focused on the No spend but things may sneak in here and there and I’m keeping track of that. For me just bringing awareness into what I’m spending money on is an eye-opener.  But since I don’t go out for coffees a lot or buy clothes, the main thing I spend on is household items. So that’s all good as long as the budget is there.

If you’re a Dracula fan, I just finished ‘Dracul’ which is written by the great grand nephew of Bram Stoker.  It was superb!!!

Well, off to town.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

Chrusciki and Le Creuset

IMG_1142.jpg Here’s a picture of our traditional ‘Chrusciki’. It’s a polish/European fried dough. It’s not very sweet except for the powdered sugar. My mother made these at Christmas. One of my few memories.

IMG_1148.jpg My fancy new pot. I love Le Creuset and they do last a lifetime or two. As I mentioned my other two are over 30 years old.  I got this great deal where it was on sale and then got another 20% off so still expensive but under $300.

I’ve got all the Christmas stuff down except one swag I’m leaving up for a while because I like the twinkly lights in it.

I’m going to the gym today but no leg work as I must have pulled a muscle behind my knee on Sunday. I’m not sure what really happened but my knee was pretty flipped out the other day and I even only walked one round. Even when I am sick, I try and do 2 rounds so you can tell my knee was hurting.

It’s pizza night but I’m deviating(oh the horror), and making baked ravioli. I have some that need to be used so I’ll make them. Since my daughter is not eating gluten right now, I’ll make something else for her when she gets home from work. She doesn’t get in till 7pm so I whip something easy.

 

 

 

 

My world on Friday

Well, I got up at 5am. Actually, I think it was 4:53

Emptied the dishwasher, clean the few stray dishes and had coffee.

I went out to walk at 5:25 am.

I came back, got the pizza dough going for Friday night pizza.  Then from the comment yesterday, I got out the oxo and put it in my Le Creuset and simmered and scrubbed and voila, it worked pretty darn good. Thank you for that tip. It’s not back to white, but looking at the other one, I don’t think it was white white, more of a tannish white. But not sure. Anyway, it looks lots better.

Last night I ended up making scrambled tofu with celery, carrots, onions, pumpkin seeds and, a sprinkling of cheese.

I swished and swiped the bathroom, my daughter vacuumed and I tidied the kitchen. So far 2 small loads of laundry done.

I went to the gym and it was crazy busy so I didn’t do a whole lot. All the machines were constantly being used. Too many people for this introvert.

It’s a cloudy day and it may rain. I’m going to go read.

Update on YNAB. So far I’m liking it. One difference from last time I used it is I’m not linking my bank accounts because the total would get all messed up and I spent more time reconciling accounts than not. Last time since the accounts were linked, I’d put in the amount and then Ynab put it in from the linked account and it was not working for me. I like to put it in manually. So for instance, I spent $ 37 at Safeway Wednesday, but I put in $40 for groceries. Since I am always doing bank updates in by bullet planner, I know where our account is daily. So that makes it easier for me to keep things straight. I like the categories for annual bills and that will prove useful once we have money in those accounts. So far my assessment is that I will pay for the subscription when the 30 days is over.

 

Pizza is just cheese and ? tonight. I’m thinking for winter to switch up Friday night pizza to Italian Friday. That way we can do some other things on Friday night. Or any ideas?? What do you do for a weekly theme? It does really help me stay on track with meal planning ( unless I’m too lazy).

 

Five Frugal Things Friday

Well, let’s see what this week was about. Since I was still coughing a lot I didn’t go out much.

  • Didn’t buy the shower curtains I need yet, so I’ll just wait till next payday.
  • We ate all our meals at home.
  • Did fewer loads of laundry
  • Didn’t buy the candles I wanted even though the price was great, shipping was more than the candles(beeswax).
  • Made chicken stock from the Costco chicken I bought
  • Ate food from the freezer and the freezer looks better

Next week I’ll be getting a Zaycon order of whole chickens so I need room in the freezer. I’m going to learn how to cut up a whole chicken. It was a great deal for natural not organic chickens. It is farm to table so I like that. No middle man essentially.

I started in on our taxes using Turbo tax online. Our taxes this year are very simple so I started putting in numbers. We have a ton of receipts for donations and they must be entered individually. So I’m going to wait another week or so to see if anything shows up in the mail but I’m not expecting any surprises. I know we haven’t gotten interest statements yet, but it’s going to be small since most of our cash accounts diminished this past year.

 

Dinner is Friday night pizza.