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Archive for October, 2006

Eaten by the Internet Monster

November 1st, 2006 at 03:49 am

I had this entry all written. All about my crappy day, my victory in coming home after a 10.5 hour work day and making dinner and about my spending plans for tomorrow and then internet monster ate the entry.




I hit a pothole on the information superhighway. I do this more frequently than I want to admit. Pfffffffft. Fits with how my day went.

Cheap meal idea btw - egg and chips (french fries) .. Yummy if i say so myself


I haven't quit so far

October 31st, 2006 at 10:07 pm

Today has been a very bad day at work. My accomplishment, so far today, has been not telling them all to "go fly a kite" and walk out. I keep reminding myself that would be a huge step back financially to be out of a job.


I'm going to do some OT, then head home. Hopefully things will be better tomorrow.

Monday

October 31st, 2006 at 03:26 am

Battled a headache all day today. The weather here has been wacky so I think it was due to that.

Probably didn't help that I spent my day at work analyzing some numbers that just didn't want to work. I did them right, they are just being ornery. So I'll look at them again tomorrow hopefully without a headache.

Had my breakfast at home as planned. Only unplanned eating spending was one coffee this afternoon. Was worth it for the pick me up. We do have free "coffee" available it tastes like the coffee is half made up of old cigarette butts *shudder*

Got my old set of dishes and some other decluttering stuff to the Sally Ann. Do they ever make it hard to give them stuff. Go to front door. Person doesn't want to take it there. They want me to go the unmarked hidden side door. Okay. But then the promised manager sort isn't there. Took a bit and finally got them the stuff. They are a good charity but will find another location when I next have stuff to give away.

Did some good shopping tonight. Between a special and coupons got 4 boxes of 100 splenda packets for $11.96. That will hold me a while Smile

Time for sleep.



Making Breakfast at home

October 30th, 2006 at 05:52 am

I have the coffee maker ready to go and figured out that I can use the oatmeal setting on the microwave to make hot three grain cereal.

Tried it this morning and it worked very nicely. Have the cereal measured out in a bowl and water in a measuring cup. Amazing how something so simple has alluded me for so long.

Hopefully turning on the coffee maker and pouring the water into cereal and nuking is within my capabilities in the morning.

Saving the cost of breakfast at Tim Hortons. That costs $2.64. Even if making my breakfast costs 64cents (and I doubt it costs that much) I'm saving at least $2 a day.

Another quiet day

October 29th, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Today was another quiet day.

Even with the time change I managed to sleep in. Had a lot of trouble sleeping last night *sigh*. I just hope I manage to sleep tonight.

Didn't do any unplanned spending today
I have some stuff to get at the drugstore but as I'm not planning on spending $50 (They have a buy $50 get a $10 gift card promotion going on yesterday and today only) so that can wait til tomorrow - needs to be bought tomorrow, unless I decide I want to get out for a bit later this evening.

I did get out the sewing machine though to work on a a quilt. Been months since I did any quilting so it took a while for me to get into the swing of it. Went well once I got going. Did learn a lesson about using a not so sharp blade in my rotary cutter when cutting flannel - don't. I wasted some material but luckily still had enough to finish the project. So in the future I'll not be penny wise and pound foolish by trying to use the blade past it's prime.

Quiet Saturday

October 28th, 2006 at 11:00 pm

I've had a quiet Saturday.



That was what my desk looked like when I started. Or at least what I felt it looked like.
Got my Canadian coupons all filed - that is if I don't find anymore where they aren't supposed to be. The US coupons are in a gift bag. At least they are now all in the same place.

Done some decluttering too. I have a spare bedroom that I'd like to get looking decent. A small stack of books and a pile of magazines are now heading to charity. I have to get all the stuff I've picked up out of the car - cause it is full of stuff go go. I get it to the car then it sits there. LOL.

Starbucks yuck!

October 28th, 2006 at 04:21 pm

I agree with Tina and Lux.

We went there for coffee a couple of weeks ago. I wanted my cheap gas station coffee but starbucks is on the way. Yuck. The stuff tastes bad.



I can't say much about their business practises. What I can say is when we go get a coffee at work there is a starbucks about the same distance from the office as the Second Cup and Timmies. We each have our favourite between those two but no one ever even suggests going to Starbucks.

Strangely I don't know anyone who is a big starbucks fan. Maybe folks go there in secret?

Free Shopping

October 28th, 2006 at 02:46 pm



If only LOL - though I did do this last night for the last eight boxes of Kraft Dinner for which I had the coupon.

Actually it was almost obnoxious of me. I went to a store that pricematched because the grocery store that had the sale was out of them. They were 99 cents at this other store. I pricmatched to get them for 50cents each then i used the coupons to get them for FREE!!!

The cashier looked at me and said "but you are getting these for free".

My reply was "yes, pretty cool, eh".

While she did the rest of the transaction professionally she did not speak another word to me.

Okay so I should have bought something else so I had to pay SOMETHING. But dang it, I had no plans to buy anything else. And I am working on curtailing unplanned spending. So I didn't.

The price of Splenda.

October 28th, 2006 at 02:33 am

One of the horrible things about cross border shopping is trying to figure out where you get the best deal on what.

I think Splenda is way overpriced, but want to switch to it for health and not budget reasons.



Now to figure it out.

I priced splenda at about 6.99 for 100 packages *eeks* at one overpriced drug store here in Canada. After I regained conciousness.... I shook myself and thought chemicals are good - let me buy the cheap stuff. But this week it goes on sale for $4.99 at that same overpriced drug store and they'll give me 10X their loyalty points and I have a number of $2.00 off coupons expiring on Oct 31st that I can use for it.

So 100 for $2.99 - is that close to the price it sells for in the US? I saw at drugstore.com that they sell 200 for $7.99 - but I don't know if there prices are good benchmark prices or not.

Cat Food RAOK

October 27th, 2006 at 08:57 pm

Had cat food left from the days when my kitty was an "eats anything" cat. Now he's Mr "I can only eat my special (prescription) food Cat"

One of the girls at work knows another girl at work who fosters stray cats and has more than a few cats of her own. I broght her the leftover food today. Its nice to be able to find small ways to help others without incurring any costs.




Retirement Plans

October 27th, 2006 at 11:34 am

This is a different approach to retirement planning. I don't think too many of us have this as part of our retirement planning but. unfortunately I think it is pretty typical of how many plan.

Great Shopping tonight

October 26th, 2006 at 11:58 pm

Picked up some specials tonight

20 Boxes of Kraft Dinner aka Kraft Macaroni and Cheese @$0.50 each with 10 coupons buy 2 save $1.00

9 boxes of Whole Wheat Pasta @ 1.00 each with 9 coupons for buy 1 save $0.50

4Litres of Milk $4.69 save $1.00 plus $1.00 off coupon.

Total spent $7.19

Had a bad moment when the cashier tried to tell me I only could use 5 coupons, but that got straightened out pretty quickly.

The KD will go to a local food bank.

I love shopping trips like this one Smile

WW Meeting

October 26th, 2006 at 12:36 am

I went back to Weight Watchers tonight. I haven't managed to get there the last month with all that's been happening.

They were absolutely fabulous. I walked into the meeting feeling horrible. But I was treated so well. When I told the receptionist what had happened she waived the $25 "rejoin/new member fee". The meeting itself was relevent to me, friendly and interactive. and I had a chance to talk to the leader afterwards. I feel remotivated and ready to start again.

My spirit is feeling lighter - and if I keep to the plan my body should soon be lighter too. And unexpectedly, it all didn't cost me was much as I thought it would so my wallet isn't quite as light as I thought it would be.

Investing is boring.

October 25th, 2006 at 07:07 am

I can't get interested in investing. Nope not at all. I just can't get up any interest in it. To my brain it is just borrrrrrrrrring. Totally, completely and utterly. This is pretty bad when one is blogging on a site called savings advice.

This doesn't mean I don't invest. I do. I might find it all boring but I do have some common cents err sense. But interested in it nope. Thank goodness for AFT transfers that automate the entire savings process.

Education and reading about it isn't going to help. Done the first. I know what to ask and look for and question and I get how it works. The thought of taking a securities course and becoming licensed is right up there with oh... going to work naked. Not likely to happen. And the second, my eyes glaze over and a Harlequin novel begins to look like a book of deep well written fiction worthy of being on the New York Times Bestseller list from now til Easter.

A few years ago I realised that on my own that I'd not do what I needed to do with my investments to be able to retire comfortably (the significant funds in a money market account that I'd been meaning to do something with for 5 years were proof postive of that)and I needed someone to help me get everything in one place and to ensure it was monitored and returns satisfied my risk tolerance and investment goals. I outsourced and found an investment advisor. It is one of the best financial decisions I have made.

I can't change who I am but I can enlist the help I need to get where I want to.

Wardrobe Crisis.

October 24th, 2006 at 01:36 pm

I'm frustrated today.

First pair of pantihose (actually tights) developed a run when I put them on. These cost about $12 a pair so I'm looking at having that expense this weekend. Second pair went on okay but didn't feel comfie. Third time was a charm though.

I'm up 20lbs from last winter. So I hate my wardrobe and nothing fits right. Been trying clothes on but basically doing a great imitation of a goodyear blimp. So haven't been buying much. But I need clothes - and shoes too for the winter now I think about it. My last shoe spree was on open toed shoes and sandals. Not an option in Canada in the winter.

I've been thinking I really need a new look and to learn how to find things that flatter me. I found this website http://www.MissusSmartyPants.com and I'm tempted to join to see if I can pick up any pointers - but that costs money. But buying stuff that turns into "closet clutter" costs money too. I've never been a fashion bug but I want to move from frumpy to "nicely put together". It would be nice to be fashionable too, but really I'm trying to avoid the middle aged dowdy look.

Spam back the Spammer - a fun way to deal with those NIgerian Scams.

October 24th, 2006 at 12:04 am

You know the ones. You get them all the time. From the son of someone who just died. Lots of money in the estate but they handpicked YOU, a total stranger (abet a frugal and honest lookng one) to help them get the money out of the country. And as a small token of their thanks they'll let you keep a million or two.

Yeah I get them all too frequently too.

Someone must get them more than me as they created this:

http://www.flooble.com/fun/reply.php

I'd never respond back when the email is in my "regular" email box. Those can just get deleted. But I might send this back if I notice any in my freebee email account. That one I rarely check and if i had to close it and open another it would be no fuss.

Being Good this Morning

October 23rd, 2006 at 01:19 pm

I made both my breakfast and coffee at home rather than buy it Smile

Free Kraft Dinner

October 22nd, 2006 at 11:06 pm

A local store had KD on 2 for $1. I found a coupon for buy 2 Kraft products save $1. That makes the KD free. Why we call it Kraft Dinner up here and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese in the states - I dunno - it is exactly the same stuff. Macaroni with this strange orange powder that you mix with milk and butter/margarine.



I eat the stuff rarely. It doesn't quite fit the nutritional profile of food I want to be eating (even when made with skim milk).

I'm going to buy as much of it as I have coupons for (I used 4 coupons today and have 14 more) and donate it all the the food bank. I love finding deals where I can help others at no or little cost to me.

A good shopping trip.

October 22nd, 2006 at 06:13 pm

Went out last night to get some wire/plastic thingys (the technical term, LOL) to put in my cupboard so I could put more dishes in less space.

Checked a dollar store - nothing. Checked Zellers (the Canadian version of Target/Kmart) Nothing there but people who had mastered the art of stategically placing themselves so that they, their cart and their family blocked anyone else's progress around the store.

Got a cup of tea and a doughnut - gotta love Timmies. I figured after getting so irritated caffiene and sugar were required. As predicted once those were in my system I was a lot happier with life.

Went to Home Outfitters (Canadian version of Bed Bath and Beyond or Linen and things). Lots of 25% off sales and a spend $50 get a $20 gift card to use in the store. Well I had a $75 dollar gift card that was good in the store from last Christmas.

I bought:

*set of flannel sheets
*Nordica Bedskirt (marked down to 25% off of the orginal price)
*2 of the plastic/wire thingys for the cupboard
*set of christmas mugs (xmas present for Killer Kringle or other xmas event we are at)
*set of 2 travel mugs (again for the Killer Kringle or other small xmas gift we might need.

I'm pretty happy. Everything was 25% off except the wire things, and I only had to spend $3 (with taxes it all came to $78).

And I now have a $20 gift card. Not too happy that there is red tape on it. Use between Oct 30th and Nov 12, and need a minimum $50 purchase. But, that's 40% off if i spend $50 and no reason I can't plan some xmas shopping for this store during that period. Usually can get some good deals there if I'm careful to shop sales etc. I want to have my shopping done early this year so that will hopefully help move me along in the right direction!

I'm a geek (look at my pretty spreadsheet)

October 21st, 2006 at 10:45 pm

Just to prove I'm a geek I did a spreadsheet of all the fiesta I bought, how much I paid vs how much the MSRP is and the "sale price on the web is).

I spent $147 on the Fiesta I bought. Had I bought all the pieces full price the MSRP the total would have been $854. Had I bought the pieces on sale (prices are from Macy's sale prices posted on the web and dinnerwareusa.com's sale prices) I'd have spent $592 to purchase what I bought. Sales taxes and shipping/gas are excluded from the above figures.

If you feel like confirming just how geeky I am please feel free to look at my spreadsheet. This was the first thing I've done on Google Docs. Geekiness loves company Smile

http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=pMippNKNPqWttbicnuxae...

Aren't they pretty?

October 21st, 2006 at 02:42 pm

Here is a picture of my new pretty fiesta dishes bought at the factory tent sale a few weeks ago.

Aren't they pretty?

Lunch at Whole Foods

October 20th, 2006 at 08:33 pm

I went with a co-worker to the "buffet" at Whole Foods. This proved once again, that I have no abiilty to control the size of my portions. Usually at a buffet the only punishment from this is shown on the butt, hips, thighs and stomach. However at Whole Foods, because you pay by the ounce I also paid for this in the pocket book.

Lunch however was very tasty. I'd love to get the recipe for the spicy thai black rice salad.

I picked up Nature Clean floor cleaner from there to replace the Pinesol with, so at least I can safely clean. However I will start hunting for coupons too - though I don't expect the same success finding them as is possible with the mass marketed cleaners from Lever and P&G.

Bad coupon - RANT

October 20th, 2006 at 02:34 am

Okay so i really should say bad coupon user. No, that won't work either. Disorganized coupon user. Now coupons haven't been high on my list of priorities lately.

But I know someone sent me this coupon. I know that the sale on it is for less than the face value of the coupon. And I know right now I can't find the blasted coupon

*sigh*

I hate this sorta thing.

And they make them sooooooooo small and easy to miss place.

On the agenda is a major clean up of my Canadian Coupons and my US coupons.

It is another blog entry but I'm clipping the coupons for the US too for when I'm there but I'm not really using them. I think the solution is a price book for the US and Canada - will have to be paper so I can carry it and not too big.. *sigh*.

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO GET ONE'S ACT TOGETHER SOMETIMES?

Hear endth this blog entry.










When Stockpiling isn't frugal...

October 19th, 2006 at 01:19 am

.. is when you discover you have a sensitivity to the product. I have a nice (but not embarrassing) stash of PineSol bought on sale and with coupons. The last 2 or 3 times I've used it I've found it has triggered a headache.

Being frugal is using up a product that is slightly sub par. Being silly is using a product that gives you a migraine.

I'm going to get rid of it and swtich to something more natural/organic. Hopefully someone I know likes the stuff and I can give it away rather than toss it.

$3 Refund

October 18th, 2006 at 02:21 am

A three dollar refund from my complaint about the two non working dryers in the laundry room! Quickly sent. Kudos to them for that.

Got to thinking about it though - must cost them significantly more than $3 to issue it (cheque stock, bank fees, envelope, mailing etc). The cost of not upkeeping their machines is pretty steep. No wonder it costs so much to do a load!

Rain, silly spending, and Pedialyte

October 17th, 2006 at 11:22 pm

First day back at work since my Mom died. I had scheduled vacation last week so I took that too and ended up being off nearly two weeks rather than 1. A really really dull day here - poured rain all day.

Silly spending - breakfast lunch and supper eaten out. *sigh*. About $15 in total.

Weird purchase pedialyte. My cat spent the last week at the kennel as I was out of the country. The girl who runs the kennel suggested adding a bit of pedialyte to his wet food to up his liquids even more. So I bought that. We'll see if it meets the "kitty approval test".

Car Rental Fun

October 17th, 2006 at 02:45 am

Rented a car to come home today. Why is it all rental cars are white? Car was easy to find when I stopped as I rented it in PA and was driving it to ON and the plates on it were FL. That's one well travelled car Smile

For the record, its fun trying to explain FL plates to the customs person when you never were in FL. I think I went on a bit too much with the explanation as she waved me through after a few more questions. The only question I don't normally get asked is if I am carrying a gun and ammunition. I entered the US a week ago - showed no ID (was in my BF's car). Drove home today in a rental car - showed no ID. That surprised me in both directions.

My minor pet peeve - regular radio on this drive sucks. Their advertising says "all cars have sirius radio". Well all fullsize and up do. I rented a wee little thing. It didn't. I might write to them and say that having a brochure that says "all cars have satellite radio" is a wee bit demoralizing when you are in radio no mans land with no satellite radio. I got to listen to some dweeb go on about CBS not showing the last 5 minutes of the Steelers game - I gather it was a slow news day.

A free supper and a moment of awkwardness

October 16th, 2006 at 04:35 am

We went to a favourite regional chain on friday for dinner with a friend from out of state. We ended up at a location that we have had issues with in the past. We should have known better...

A very nice hostess seated us. Then we sat and sat and sat. As our guest from out of town stated she had time to read the menu seven times before a waiter showed up at the table. He finally showed, said he was "busy" and took our orders. Along with our orders we requested the number for corporate head office.

This, not surprisingly, brought Larry the manager to your table. Larry did his thing, apologized profusely etc. He was pretty good, though he'd have been better had he not told me that I said one of the orders was take out when I had told him that it wasn't - we did get that did get straightened out to our satisfaction. There were other things - like the two staff members that spent the entire time we were there "hanging out" with friends or family at some tables our lines of sight,and the staff's inability to clear our dishes in a decent time (2 of us had their salad bar)

We were never angry or upset, although we were clearly not happy and communicated that. We eat at this chain frequently (we had been at another location the night before). Therefore when Larry offered to buy us dinner we accepted.

When we left we walked out past the cash register and sat in the car getting ready to leave he parking lot. The best moment of the night came then as the security guard knocked on the window of the car and asked to see our receipt. Larry, bless his heart, bought our dinner, but forgot to tell the security guard we weren't going to be paying. We got that straightened out without having to go back inside but, what an ending to our visit.

Fiesta

October 14th, 2006 at 03:31 pm

The Dishes I got are Fiesta. I'm so happy with them and can't wait to get home and replace my old chipped set with these nice new ones. I'm even more excited that these dishes are "open stock" as I didn't get suckered into any of the discontinued colours (at least so far).

My last 2 sets were not open stock. It will be nice to be able to replace only what I need in the future and not have to start from scratch with new dishes.

I purchased 4 full place settings (as well as some serving dishes) and the majority of two more - my goal is to have between 6 and 8 full place settings. But I didn't need to do that all at once. I had hit my limit on what I wanted to spend in this go around.

This will function as both every day and "good china" given the china I got from my mother is definitely in the "too good to use category".

In the next few days calculate the retail value of what I bought (and probably take pictures too). We are estimating that I paid like 25% of what I would spend if I bought this at a department store.

A need or a want

October 13th, 2006 at 02:32 am

Was this a need or a want? My set of 8 is currently actually a set of four. All my bowls are chipped, and most of the plates.

A need in was I eating off the floor - no. So technically the new dishware is a want.

Lets just say I went crazy today. We got there at 7am and were finished all our shopping around 4. It was a very long day but I'm happy with what I got.

I'm too tired to type more tonight! G'night all!


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