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Archive for December, 2006

CVS shopping trip

December 31st, 2006 at 03:46 pm

I'm still new to the CVS thing - haven't started on the Extra Bucks deals - but I did some good shopping there today. Spent $30 and saved $20 with deals, coupons and various stuff. I'm happy with what I bought and other than some 75% off hershey's kisses and m&m's I stuck to my list

Woo hoo - I'm happy with me for sticking to my list. Well other than the chocolate .. but it was such a good deal LMAO

More games and sweet wine

December 30th, 2006 at 10:05 pm

The theme of this holiday season has definitely been sweet wines and games.

Tonight we traveled to a friends house for wonderful casual dinner and a night of fun and games! While I wasn't feeling gamish I did enjoy some good conversations and ensured I would be invited back by doing the dishes (I was rewarded by the shriek of the hostess when she found me in the kitchen - it was a happy shriek).

And I got to enjoy more wine Smile This year it seems wine is getting sweeter and sweeter. However it is fun trying different types - and not being the one having to drive home (as if I was I'd be not having but a small sip)

Coupon Cleanout

December 30th, 2006 at 12:47 pm

Went to dollar general to get a coupon organizer today. Tired of having my coupons in a big useless pile.

Bought a few things on Christmas Clearout too- kept pretty sensible but bought a bit more than I'd planned to.

Also went to Giant Eagle and bought some stuff for lunch and New Years Day breakfast.

Did some preliminary work on the coupons. Should get up and do some more rather than being a slug...

Beans and Monopoly

December 29th, 2006 at 09:02 pm

Another nice night here.

I made a simple supper - Minnesota Bean Pot, roasted sweet potato, squash and potatoes and some chicken and broccoli for the non vegetarian in the group. A friend joined us for supper and brought dessert - a nice apple cranberry crisp.

After dinner we cleared the table and played monopoly.

A good time was had by all - and no money spent. A few of us did enjoy a beer or cooler or two Smile

Tomorrow night we are off to another friend's for dinner and more games.

Bought Belated Birthday gifts

December 29th, 2006 at 04:33 pm

Bought the boyfriend his belated birthday gifts today - his birthday was last month. We did really really well though we did go to a couple stores and strike out.

But K-Mart had sweats on sale for $6 a piece - with the elastic around the foot that he likes - so he got two pairs. They didn't have the right sizes at the first K-Mart we went to but they did at the second one!

Shirts weren't well discounted at JCPenney but we were able to find some on the deep discount rack for $7 each at Syms. Syms has about 50% off regular retail prices as there regular prices and we got another 50% off because they weren't packaged all pretty like in plastic - worked for us.

I"m really happy not to be owing him birthday gifts!

A nice quiet night

December 29th, 2006 at 06:16 am

We had a nice quiet night last night with a friend over for dinner. I like these sorts of nights where you don't spend money and you get to enjoy the company of a someone nice Smile

Watched a movie - Step up I think. I enjoyed it even though it was reminiscent of Fame - in both plot and characterizations. 1980 meets hip hop.

Another quilt store visit

December 28th, 2006 at 10:30 am

Bought a few more fabrics for my quilt, and a pattern so I can actually make a quilt. Am procrastinating startin cutting by doing this entry. Its my first quilt using batiks.

Was good at the quilt store. Only bought 2 fabrics that aren't for this. Both of those were in their Chrismas sale - one a gorgeous laurel burch and the other a kid print in the colourway I love doing baby quilts.

Now to start sewing. See ya laters Smile

After Xmas Sales

December 27th, 2006 at 06:54 pm

I had a great day today. Met a friend for lunch and used a Christmas gift card to treat the two of us! We went to the Olive Garden. Dave, whom we both hope was on his second day of work, was our server. He looked about 12 and he was trying - which was luckily more amusing than anything else. Olive Garden isn't in Canada any more so it was a nice chance to enjoy their salad and breadsticks once again!

After that we hit the stores. Saw a gorgeous skirt for $50 but marked down 30% that I am regretting now not trying on. *Sigh*. Oh well, if I still think of it in a couple of days maybe I'll go out there and try it on (and maybe I'll luck out and it will be further reduced). A peasant skirt but in a plush winter material that could be dressed up or down.

Bought a bunch of Christmas containers for a cookie basket thing I do each year. And some quilting material. Was surprised, by the quilting material. I expected it to come in around $25 in total and it came in under $19. I hadn't factored in a $1 off sale. Now to find a pattern and do something with it tomorrow. I have something in mind, we'll see if it stays in my mind tomorrow when I'm planning to sew

A Lightfilled Fun Free Night

December 27th, 2006 at 06:08 am

Last night was a fun free night.

I made dinner for my boyfriend and another friend. Quick and easy and tasty. Pasta and clams in a simple garlic oil sauce. Not low calorie but delicious. We had it with some wonderful wine donated to the cause by our friend!

Afterwards we all piled in the car and went to see Christmas lights. We weren't looking for elegant but for overdone and trashy. And we found a few places!. One house we went to had a yard full of lit presents. One box opened and up popped a Merry Christas sign -though had "Its" hand popped out we'd have been happier. We have a strange sense of humour!

Lots of deer out there. Some mechanical, some not. A few snow globes with scenes inside - snowmen, santa, and in cone case a moving merry-go-round with elves on reindeer Smile. Quite a few snowmen around too. Less people have multicoloured lights than I remember from my youth and the flashing strings of lights must be totally passe (or not made anymore).

Rant

December 26th, 2006 at 10:56 am



A couple of rants. These are not directed or inspired by anyone here. I'm on a lot of different forums and some of what folks are saying is starting to get me. Better I rant quickly here then hurt someone's feelings there

If someone buys you a gift certificate for hundreds of dollars quityerbitchin' please. You ain't getting sympathy from me cause you really were relying on cash and got the lousy gift card. Yanno if it is that onerous of a gift send it on here and I'll see if I can manage...

And if your family is all fighting, and someone refuses to give you and your kids gifts it isn't going to ruin your kids Christmas unless your attitude is as sucky as I think it is. And then it is your attitude about it all that is going to ruin christmas.

They are called gifts for a reason. If they were obligations they'd be called OBLIGATIONS and not gifts. Be grateful for the company of family and loved ones. That is what Christmas is about not about the gifts. Oh yeah they are nice, but they are the icing on the cake, not the reason for the season Maybe teach your kids about the joy of giving and spending time with family rather than inventorying their "haul". This is called teaching them values.

/end rant

Thanks I feel better now. And again this wasn't about anyone here so please don't take offense.

A laid back boxing day!

December 26th, 2006 at 07:08 am

I'm putzing around this morning doing the flylady thing www.flylady.net and trying to wake up.

So are haven't done much but have given the tub and snink a quick scrub with clean and part of the kitchen counter.

I'm contemplating going out early this afternoon and trying to find an organizer for my US coupons. Kmart is pretty close and might be worth a quick wander - or maybe an office store. We'll see.

Off to do some more stuff and contemplate what to make for lunch.

A laid back boxing day!

Reusing Wrapping Paper

December 25th, 2006 at 11:41 am

Yup I admit to doing it! Do you ever do it? Come'on admit it.. *grins*

I did it today as a matter of fact. I'm not to proud to admit it. I had a couple of gifts left to wrap and i reused some paper that had been used to wrap a present for my boyfriend.

This likely just proves I'm 1) frugal and 2) the child of my parents.

Next step is carefully ironing the used wrapping paper and then saving it to use next year. My parents do that. So does my aunt. I'm not there yet. I have not yet reached the pinnacle of frugalness.

Merry Christmas (and a free coffee)

December 25th, 2006 at 11:09 am

A terrific Christmas morning with my sweetie and his daughter.

I got some beautiful jewelery. He liked his gifts though 2 shower gels and 3 deodorants in the stocking do lead to a "I love you, Merry Christmas, you stink" message. Make note for next year... LOL. Yes there was other good stuff in there - its one big stocking.

A girlfriend did my stocking for me and another got me a gift card! I'm so spoiled!

We had a huge breakfast of waffles and bacon (vegan sausage) for him! Yummy SmileI love Trader Joes stuff. The quality of their food is so good!

And after we dropped the young'un off with her Mom he went into starbucks to get her a Mocha - he asked me If I wanted one and I said no I want some coffee from Sheetz. So he indulged me and we stopped at Sheetz where they have free coffee today because its Christmas! Woo Hoo!

A quick lunch and then its off in a short while to go for Christmas dinner Smile Life is good Smile

Note to Self

December 24th, 2006 at 09:18 am

When planning a day of baking, make sure you actually have all the ingredients you need to make the recipes you are planning to make.

I wanted to make Mexican Wedding Cakes but we don't have icing/powdered sugar. I'll make them during the holidays but not today (I'm crazy but not crazy enough to go to a grocery store with all the others).

My boyfriends daughter went to get us coffee and breakfast at Sheetz (a gas station that also has kitchen and serves my favourite blend of coffee) and said it was NUTS up there. If a convenience store is nuts what is a grocery store going to be like?

I'm so bad

December 24th, 2006 at 07:07 am

I'm so bad. I've been regifting some of the things I've got for Christmas this year. Mostly chocolate stuff. I'm not wanting to eat a ton of it so I'm passing it along to be enjoyed while it is still fresh.

Christmas plans and a Trip to Trader Joes

December 23rd, 2006 at 07:04 pm

Our Christmas and Christmas eve plans firmed up finally today! We are going to a friends for Christmas Eve dinner and for Christmas we are going to spend it with his X's family (the X will not be there).

I'm excited. There is going to be a spiral ham for dinner. I love spiral ham. Yummy Smile

We did a trip to Trader Joes tonight. I went totally nuts. At one point my boyfriend stopped me and asked if was shopping for wants or needs. Usually I'm very good at sorting on that criteria and staying sane in my shopping. I was just annoyed by his words tonight. But i did calm down after that. The $9.99 scallops did get put back on the shelf. I kept to buying all kinds of veggies both fresh and frozen! I'm craving veggies these days so I can't wait to cook delicious things with them for lunches over the next few days as well as dinners.

A good trip

December 23rd, 2006 at 12:49 pm

Headed to the states today. Did the entire trip in 6 hours which is excellent. Mao worried me cause he didn't sleep at all. Normally he's an excellent sleeper for drives on the highway. I bet he will be quiet the next day or so as he catches up. That cat loves his naps Smile

Picked up some wine and beer at the duty free. Customs was a breeze. I started to declare my items and he was waving me through, so I stopped declaring and said thanks and drove on! Woo Hoo! Made me wish I got greedy buying more booze at the duty free!

Didn't spend much at all for food. Used some gift certificates for breakfast and lunch was the 2/99 hotdog (plus cheese) deal and Sheetz.

I'm tired though.

Emergency Fund

December 22nd, 2006 at 04:38 pm

Moved the money from my mom's estate (dang that is still hard to say) into my ING account. Now the money is in there I can say I can now fund about about 4 months of expenses from my emergency fund. I feel good about that! Might go a bit longer if I stop all savings and live very frugally.

I'm happy about this a bit early. The money will transfer over next week. But dang it, it still feels good to have it all done and not as something I'm procrastinating doing.

Another Vet Visit

December 22nd, 2006 at 02:03 pm

This time for a rabies vaccination, but it also included picking up more meds and an exam.

I swear Mao actually enjoys these because of the opportunity for people to worship him. He got lots of worship and didn't even flinch or startle for the needle. He's such a good boy.

Rent reduction notice

December 21st, 2006 at 06:14 pm

Notice from the Rent review board that because the landlord got a 5.73% reduction in property taxes that they are required to pass on 20% of that to me, so I get a 1.15% reduction in my rent starting in January.

I'm sure if it wasn't mandated that I'd get no reduction so I'll take this happily! A nice present!

Whole Foods Trip today

December 20th, 2006 at 05:24 pm

Had a fun trip to whole foods today with a coworker who was treating me to lunch!

Did a bit of shopping afterwards - the best deal being some yogurt drink (like YOP) where there was an entire stack of free coupons. Yup, they had coupons that you could by one of the drinks and get it for free! Nice deal eh?

Surprised me. Whole Foods is not "coupon mecca' by any stretch of the imagination. Of course the cashier had no clue how to process it and had to consult with a coworker

A nice surprise getting something for free. Sampled some cheese there if that counts but whatever variety it was I didn't really like - I should have made mental note so I can avoid it in the future, LOL

More free food

December 20th, 2006 at 05:55 am

A co-worker is buying me lunch today! I think it will be today; but she is having her annual review prior to meeting me for lunch and if it goes to badly we might reschedule. I don't think it will but who knows if she will feel festiver after it or not.

A quick doctor visit

December 19th, 2006 at 07:28 pm

Decided at the last minute to pop in at the walk in clinic near me. I am "between doctors". Right now I don't have a GP or a Gyn and I've had a couple small medical issues.

So popped in and got my ears checked - and the wax syringed out of one and got a prescription for an arm brace. Seems I've somehow managed to get golfer's elbow. He did the test for it - told me to say something if that hurt. I screamed quite spontaneously and loudly. He got the message, LOL.

I liked how he listened to me about what I knew about my body. He believed me when I said that no I didn't need to soften the wax in my ear and he also adjusted what he was doing when I told him he had the angle wrong as he was syringing. It was nice being believed. I've had to fight with doctors about this in the past.

So,I will go back to him in January to get a full physical. The full "oil lube and filter" of physicals including stuff that you'd rather not have done but you know is important. I might officially join his practise if that goes well. I just want to make sure I'm comfortable with him.

I know this blog isn't strictly financial (no copays or deductibles here) but looking after myself is part of what I need to do for me. I want to keep my health so I can enjoy my financially secure retirement many years from now...Well hopefully not too many...

Kennel costs and a change of plan...

December 18th, 2006 at 07:21 pm

I sent an email the fabulous kennel I've found for my old kitty cat, to see if he could stay over Christmas. The woman who runs it is fabulous with animals but a lousy business person.

I was expecting a charge of about $20 a day - it had been $18 a day but then last time she indicated it was $21. I found that weird but didn't question it and she didn't explain. Still I was okay with that price. Mao loves the place and is relaxed there and it would save him having to travel. He's been in my life a long time. I like to do the best for him I can.

So I get the email from her today. Its now $24 a day at least during the Christmas Period from Mid Dec to Mid Jan plus $1.50 per medicine dose - and Mao gets two per day. So the price for 18 days is nearly $500.

So the Maoster is coming with me to the States. As much as I'd like him to be happy there that is way over the top for a stay at the kennel. I know she'd treat him well and all but I can't justify it financially - and yes I feel badly about that.

I dropped in at the vet's office on the way home and made an appointment for Mao to get a rabies shot on Friday. The vet will give him rabies but none of the other immunizations (a 23 year old cat isn't at high risk). And he only needs the rabies shot so he can come back in to Canada from the US. Domestic Animals don't need rabies shots to go to the US, but Canada requires they have them to re-enter.

I am expecting a bill for that for less than $100 - or cheaper if I don't need to pay for an exam. I hope not I was just there. A huge savings over the cost of the kennel.

And Mao is a pretty good traveler. He tends to sleep all the way. We have routine down. I don't make him stay in a carrier but put him in the front passenger seat foot area. He's so old he doesn't wander. At my boyfriends he'll stay in the laundry room (on the main floor) most of the time, with the ability to roam around and enjoy lots of attention and cuddling when we are there to make sure he doesn't get disoriented - he's blind and that happens quite frequenly now. The problem with him getting disoriented is when he has to pee...

Oops.. TMI I'm sure...

Free Breakfast

December 18th, 2006 at 09:20 am

Our department at work is divided into two teams. Last week the team I am on did a lunch potluck.

Today was our opportunity to be treated. The best free breakfast ever: eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, hashbrowns, bagels, smoked salmon, bagels, cream cheese, fresh fruit, yogurt and cookies - and I know I am missing items. It was a true feast!

The bonus - there was so much food that I was able to take leftovers for my lunch.

We survived the shopping.

December 16th, 2006 at 02:59 pm

We survived the shopping. We went to an outdoor big box shopping centre. Brand new and built more on the lines of a Strip Mall or Power Centre (is that a Canadian Term or a General Term?)than anything else.

We parked at one end. Walked down to the other end (other than two stores we went in early on in the visit) and worked our way back to the car. The grocery store at the far end (more like a Superwalmart than a regular store) was nuts and we dealt with that in short fashion by leaving quickly. The rest of the stores were busy but not overwhelming. We were about to finish the shopping we had planned to do in good time. We even stopped at a Pita place for a quick snack and to regroup on the list.

Then home and a nap.

We are heading out to a dinner out and party tonight. Should be an enjoyable evening!

A Dave Ramsey Meal

December 16th, 2006 at 09:08 am

We had a Dave Ramsey meal today for lunch.


You guessed it, we had beans and rice. Wasn't because we wanted a cheap meal more I wanted a quick and easy meal. It was okay. I really prefer it made with the chili beans from Aldi rather than regular kidney beans. I didn't get go all out on this meal either. Organic Brown Rice from Trader Joes and a can of kidney beans. Had I been in "frugal form" I'd have cooked the beans from dry and the rice from a great big bag of oriental long grain rice.

We might balance it with a meal out tonight! We are spending the day being good consumers and will be doing a pile'o'Christmas shopping.

If you don't hear from me again its because I'm the one that went postal in the mall. I really am not much for shopping at this time of year.

Total Raised $539 (Fundraising done)

December 16th, 2006 at 07:44 am

The actual total raised from the Cookie Basket raffle was $539 - though someone threw in an extra dollar to make it $540! Woo hoo.The money is going a Christmas Fund for children that is run by a local radio station. The company I work for has been a sponsor of that fund for likely the entire 40 years it has been active. While I think there are worthier charities (not saying this one isn't well run, all the overhead covered by the sponsoring company, and it does do a lot of good work - I just have my personal preferences) it made sense seeing we did it this at work, to hook into the corporate charity.

We did the draw on Friday and found quickly the two people who won! One is a single guy who now has more cookies than he knows what to do with. The other is a lady who I don't know much about who was really excited to win.

This took more work than I expected. I'm glad I am raffle free for the next year! I'm glad to do it but it reinforces why I didn't pick a career in fundraising.

Made my lunch today

December 15th, 2006 at 10:07 am

So it is sort of too bad that I left it on the counter at home... Oh well, I can throw it out when I get home - it is a really good beef stroganoff.

I hate wasting food. Extra spent today $5.31.

I really do not want to go to work today

December 15th, 2006 at 06:24 am

I really don't want to go to work today. I'm not in the "I owe, I owe, its off to work I go" category - and that truly is a blessing. But still its not that I really want to quit either. I do have something due today so I'll get my butt in gear and get going.

Hopefully a couple of weeks off and focussing on the important things in life - loved ones and friends - and then I can put the recent problems at work into perspective.

I'm only at work until 3-ish today. Friends and I are going to the spa. I'm treating myself to a body wrap massage treatment and then we are all eating dinner at the spa in our bathrobes. Not frugal at all but a nice "self gift" for Christmas Smile


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