Frugal Friday

We went to Costco yesterday and spent just under $400. That included clothes for B( sweatpants and sweatshirt), and lots of nonfood items, like my Krill oil pills( expensive even on sale) $20. The regular stuff of coffee, bagels, cheese, veggies, bananas, and some frozen food. All in all, it was a good shop. That’s probably all I’ll do for a few weeks with exception of milk, half and half, and wine or maybe something nice for Valentine’s Day.

After Costco, we had our Date Thursday and went to our favorite Mexican restaurant. We hadn’t been there in at least 6 months. So that was fun to do. I’m using a cash envelope for ‘dates’ and that’s how we paid.

Today I’ve been pottering here and there around the house. I moved my Ficus Tree to the LR where it can get more light. I started another sourdough loaf. Tidyed the kitchen and swished the bathroom. I’m trying to figure out a different way to slice my boules. I looked up a bread slicer and saw a few under a hundred that could also slice meat and cheese. It seems like it would certainly save money in the long run. When I buy deli meat it’s usually turkey or ham and since it’s Boars head it runs $17 a pound so it’s pricey. When I was in Costco I looked at their turkey breast (cooked) and it came in at About $17-20 for 4 lbs. So that would be a huge savings. I am also going to check the price of a turkey breast that I could cook myself. I just don’t want something with lots of sodium.

Tonight I’ll make a homemade pizza since last week we ordered takeout. That’s probably all that I’ll do this month. When we’re in Napa we will go out to eat but that comes under travel.

I plan on looking at our taxes again this weekend. I guess the middle class refund we got last year is confusing. It won’t be taxed by Caliornia but for the federal government it isn’t decided or something like that. I plan on just putting it under the 1099 and see if it affects our taxes. I kind of doubt it but I’ll put it in and see.

If anyone has any suggestions about a meat/bread slicer let me know or cooking just a turkey breast to slice up. I was also looking at an electric knife which some bread makers suggested so that’s an option too. An electric knife would be cheaper than a slicer. Does anyone have an opinion on an electric knife for cutting sourdough bread?

Friday things

I just got back from swimming and the pool was busy when I got there and then emptied out by 8am. Maybe I’ll consider going at this time. It could be that all the people that work have left. It’s definitely busier at 7am. Traffic was very heavy heading to Tahoe( East bound) but I just went slower than the crazy Bay area people in their Audis ,Teslas, and Lexus’.

I have a few chores to do this morning but nothing too major. I started doing our taxes and got them mostly done. I just need the interest from the mortgage statement so I’ll print that out this weekend. We use the standard deduction so it doesn’t really matter but it asks for it so I’ll do that. Our taxes are pretty simple so it didn’t take long. It looks like we will owe a very small amount!

Tonight we plan on ordering a pizza so that’ll be nice( expensive but nice). It’s nice to take a break from cooking.

Yesterday my son took the day off from work and we went over to Folsom to the outlet stores. Well, it was just the Levi store. I only wear Levi’s and wanted a new high rise pair. I was actually trying to get the original 501s but I would have needed to get a men’s size in order to fit and the clerk said probably they wouldn’t fit right so I got a different pair that still had buttons in the front. We’ll see how I like them. I do have trouble finding jeans that fit right and that’s how I ended up with Levis. I did order a pair of Old Navy jeans that were on sale but I’m not sure I’ll keep them after they get here( next week).

I started reading ‘ Still Life’ and couldn’t get into it. I guess some people really love it but I didn’t like the narrative, plus it was written in a weird way. Oh well, I have a bunch of books on hold at the library but nothing has come in yet.

Frugal Friday

So, overall a frugal week with no extra purchases. Instead of pizza tonight we’re opting for Italian sub-type sandwiches. I’ll need to get some hoagie rolls and shredded iceberg and some deli stuff but this will come out of ‘dining out’ money not grocery. We were going to order a pizza from a new place in town but decided to just do this.

It’s been cooler the last few days and mornings @39 degrees. It does warm up nicely by afternoon but still chilly to start. Our next RV trip is just over 2 weeks away over at Wrights Beach. We only could get 3 nights. Then we’re going to try a new place in Napa which is the half way point to home for us. We have a reservation at 2 wineries for tastings. That’ll be interesting. The one place was pretty pricey but we figured we don’t do stuff like that often so it’ll be fun and I’m sure different.

I’m just about to file our taxes. We owe a small amount this yearaso I’ll file and then put a pay on such and such a date. Our taxes were very simple to do. Since there isn’t any itemizing anymore, that’s worth it for us, it’s quite easy. We always use Turbo tax.

I went to the pet bookstore the other day and picked up some newer books like the new Reacher. Lee Child is writing this with his son, and let me say, IT IS AWFUL. I love the Jack Reacher series but this just doesn’t hold together and the plot is lame. I also picked up the newer Hiiasson book. He’s always good for a laugh.

We don’t have a new TV series to watch yet so we might put in Matrix Reloaded. We watched the The Matrix the other night and it is a good movie. Any TV series on Prime or Netflex that you’re watching?

Frugal Friday

Well,here it is Friday again. This morning I have a Walmart order to get down in Rocklin. My daughter will drive as usually I don’t drive for 2 days after dex. ( learned from past experience it’s not a good idea to drive when on steroids)!! This will be my last shop of the month. I think I’m around $650 for food this month. That does NOT include non food and alcohol. I separated it out this month as I wanted to get a better idea of all 3 categories. Alcohol averaged $100 and that was with my son’s IPA Voodoo Ranger that he likes and I buy when I see it. ( He usually pays this back). Then non food was also @ $100 and that includes household stuff. So theoretically the total is still averaging right around $900 for the 4 of us to eat, drink and use toilet paper( ha Ha). I’m okay with this so that’s good.

I did have both kids give us $100 each more on their rent for the high electric bill. This month it should go down as we haven’t had too cold of weather and the space heaters haven’t been running. Of course, our dryer is electric and we do use that a minimum of an hour a day.

I asked on Facebook which I don’t use hardly at all anymore but it is useful for the local stuff, if anyone had Meyer lemons and our neighbor did. So I’ve been juicing them and freezing it in ice cube trays. I love Meyer lemons. We have a nice dwarf lemon tree in the green house and actually got a huge crop but that’s all gone now so this was a nice treat.

We signed up for VSP vision insurance as the Cobra of vision and dental expired. I knew that the Cobra ended after a year so I was expecting it, sort of. But I signed us up. I’m not sure what the savings will be in the long run but I’d rather have the coverage at least for the next year and then we can reevaluate. I haven’t gotten to the dental yet and I’m guessing that will be more expensive. Does anyone have a recommendation.? I’m planning on staying with Delta Dental but I guess I’ll know more when I actually go the site.

Our taxes are done and filed. We didn’t owe which I kind of figured since our SS comes in fairly low. Even the small amount we took out of savings for the trees last year didn’t affect the tax burden so I was pretty happy about that.

Five on Friday

  1.  I think I overdid the gym last week and so this week my ankle has been giving me some trouble and then I had a bad cramp in my hamstring so now I’m hobbling from that pull. It seems better today and I know, from experience, this too shall pass. In the meantime, I only walked a mile this morning and very slow at that. Hopefully, it’ll be better for Santa Barbara next week.   I love walking on the beach trail right by the ocean. The weather looks nice but not as warm as I was hoping for.
  2.          Late next week I go for my 6-week labs. There’s always a little anxiety. I think once a cancer patient, going for labs or any tests just brings up past emotions.  I am way better than when I first was diagnosed and would have meltdowns. Now I just think about it some and don’t dwell on it. I’m sure, if I was back in the thick of treatment, it’d be different.
  3. Finished out taxes with Turbo tax and surprisingly we’re getting a small refund. I would have been happy to break even but those Goodwill etc donations do add up.
  4. Finished paying for my son’s full time semester at CSU Sacramento. We put it on a card to get the reward points. I’ll pay it off next month. He’s doing very well and started a new paid internship.  Traveling to Sac State is costing him quite a bit more in gas and food so his money is going there.
  5.  Made a new recipe from one of the cookbooks I bought for a dollar. It is Cooks Illustrated best Skillet recipes. This one was pasta with peas and prosciutto. I had one last pack of prosciutto in the freezer that B got as a sample. You don’t cook the pasta first but do it in the skillet. My son LOVED it and requested it as a rotating dish.

So today I’m going to the gym and just do some upper body weights and then to Tractor Supply store as last week I saw a T-shirt I liked that was inexpensive and made in Viet Nam so hopefully isn’t made in a bad factory.

I don’t need anything from the store so that’s nice.

Dinner is homemade pizza!!

Simple Sunday

It has been a nice day. No rain. Ha Ha. Still cold and frosty when we walked at 6:45 am. On Sundays, we try and go later and give ourselves a little break. Tomorrow marks the end of month 7 of year 4 of walking every day in the just keep walking project. I think the worst day last week was when the wind was blowing, the rain was pouring, and I was coughing. We only did 1 round. But intentional walking.

I went to the gym and it was very empty so that was nice. They do keep the music a little loud for my tastes but I put my earbuds in and it lessens the noise.

I’m certainly anxious about my labs this week but will go forth and hope for the best. I still feel good but with myeloma, sometimes that’s tricky. But even if my numbers go up( which is the trend) I think they’re still going to be in the normal range.

We finished our taxes with Turbo Tax and it was pretty easy. Changing the deductions and upping our 401 k last year will yield us a refund. First time in years. So yeah for that.

Of course, I have to write something about Trump and his insanity and instability. i am really scared of where all this is going. The man is certifiably nuts. His reality is so warped.  The pictures of the inauguration show fewer people. He tried to get the NPS to actually find pictures that showed his inaccurate statement of it was million and a half people. It clearly was not. But he still believes it was plus the voter fraud. There was no voter fraud to the tune of 3-4 million illegal votes. it just is impossible and he will not see reason because he is a narcissist who cannot accept he didn’t win the popular vote. But what starts getting scarier is this administration trying to take away a womens’ right to an abortion. We are going back to the 1960’s people. Wake up.  You may not believe in abortion for yourself but we must as women have the right to decide. Not some politician or man in Washington.

Then the whole immigration thing is almost more than I can take. Why is he excluding the 4 countries including Saudia Arabia that was responsible for 9/11. Because he has business dealings there. That’s the long and short of it. Closing immigration is not going to keep us safer.  Right now the vetting system is extensive. It takes over 2 years to get a visa. What are these people thinking , it is just insanity.  Then on Holocaust Remberence day for the President of the United States to not even say it was the Jews who were the target and millions of Jews died at the hands of the Nazis is utter disrespect for the whole tragic thing. To just say innocent people died is to undermine how tragic the Holocaust was.  Millions of JEWS were murdered in gas chambers. Yes, many others did too but the whole reason for Nazi Germany was to eliminate the Jewish race. It was unbelievably disrespectful of Donald Trump to say what he said. The White Supremacists want people to believe it didn’t happen the way it did. They want it to be just ‘innocent’ people, not Jews.

This is wrong and I hope to the stars that we get thru this.


Dinner is a red lentil curry soup and some left over potroast I was going to shred and put on some tortillas.

April showers/snow?

Walked in the rain, nice except cold. And it’s a snow rain mix.

i just put in all of Aprils bills and now it’s on to transferring the money for the taxes. It’s a little hard to see that money go…….. To the government? Yikes. Oh well , next year we won’t be hit with this so, best to just bite the bullet. (What does that mean anyway!)  April is a 3 paycheck month. Not sure that makes a lot of difference but perhaps that will give us a chance to build up our sinking funds. 

In July we will have a bump in income as our health plan costs will go down. I’m planning on putting that over in savings. Then get back to putting my husbands pay increase back in too. So, maybe by July we will start getting back to really saving as all the big stuff will have been done. 

We’re still trying to figure out about buying the Santa Fe . It’s my 15 year old van that pulls our tent trailer, and therein lies the problem. It’s great for me driving back and forth to the library(3 miles), but to go on any trips. It’s a little iffey. Next week is our first camping trip I scheduled to bodega bay. And we will use the van. So it’s 3 1/2 hours away. But I think we will be ok(I hope). We do have AAA, so if anything does go wrong. Also, we know my van needs some major engine work at $1500, but we just don’t want to do it now. 

So back to the Santa Fe, my husbands company basically pays for the car payments but we still need to buy it. That means probably some down payment. He’s driving a 2012 Elantra which is a terrific car. So, what to do? I guess we will see how the trip to the coast goes and then decide.

Costco, groceries, budget updates

Costco went well yesterday. Spent @ $200, but that included lots of non food items. Jeans for B, and snacks for the upcoming mini sales for the library. Plus using coupons for laundry detergent and oxo. So not bad, and we even bought a lemon Meyer tree that we’ve been waiting for Costco to get in. We may go back on Sunday to pick up another. 

This is my week off dex, and revlimid, so it’s nice when I can do something extra since I don’t feel so wiped out. 

We also went to Trader joes for wine and tea, and some other misc, and winco for just a few items that are cheaper there. 

I’m hoping to get more seeds planted either today after work or over the weekend. We’re suppose to get rain by next Friday, so it would be good to get them in. Next week is another blood test and my appt with Dr. l and my zometa. Last time I got a fever after zometa so I’ll be sure to extra hydrate, and take some Tylenol. I haven’t had zometa in 6 months and I do worry about bone involvement but since my numbers are low it should be ok. Next month I’m due for my yearly X-rays. So we shall see.

The budget numbers are ok, I put $100 over in Santa, and may do another because, everything else is going to taxes. If I put it in Santa we can’t touch it till November so…everythings paid till Aprils house payment, which is automatic. So that’s all good. Taxes will come out before April 15. I’ll transfer it from extra savings and EF somewhere in the first week of April. 

Fridays frustrated financials

Honestly, I don’t know if any more money can come out of our EF. The septic pumping cost almost $500. Where is all this stuff coming from. We are not saving, and barely breaking even with bills and paycheck . Then anything extra is coming out of the EF. The car on Monday was$350. It’s been a rough week. I still need to figure out when to transfer the tax money and that won’t be pretty. I’m really hoping once that’s done we can really buckle down and just save. No extras. Ha, was pumping the septic extra? I don’t think so.  

But, we are saving thru the 401 so at least that’s set. And with the w4 change we should be ok for next years taxes. I still worry about how are we going to manage at retirement. Should we just sell and rent? Rents in this area are pretty high, but the question is what does the next 5 years bring with savings ,health, etc. 

On another note, our weather is beautiful and should be for a few days more. Almost 70 degrees . Nice.

i have some potatoes and onion to plant this weekend and 2 rose bushes that I can’t decide where to put. We’re still trying to plan the front yard as garden but I’m not sure how much we can afford to put into it. 


Well, the tax man cometh:(

It is pretty bad. Worst than I had calculated. We figured we be hit by the stock sale and we were but without our son as a dependent because he claimed himself, it added more. Well, it’s done. We have it set for April 10. I can’t make it up in those 2 months but maybe I can get a small part put aside. We did put the $6000 away for this but since it’s more we will just have to be really careful with any spending and that means getting the Santa Fe  is off the table. I’m going to try and get my van in to the shop and get at least the shocks done so pulling the tent trailer will be better. 

Oh well, I’m depressed about it but tomorrow is another day.