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Archive for January, 2007

What does money matter when you aren't well...

January 31st, 2007 at 05:36 pm

I'm taking French lessons at work along with a number of my coworkers. The lady who comes in to teach some of us we just found out has cancer Frown. It is a rare sort that means she'll have to go to another city for experimental treatments. This does not sound good at all.

I went out after work and bought her some Aveeno bath and body products. I figured with treatments and the fact that it is winter she'll be able to use some very gentle skin care products - and those are the ones that I know people who have very sensitive skin to use. Its so hard to know what to get someone in this circumstance. Hopefully she'll like that. I got a cute valentines teddy bear for her too as it was so soft and cuddly - and I remember when my mom was sick last winter she enjoyed holding a stuffed animal - so soft and cuddly.

Was more than I expected but didn't feel this was the time to be chintzy. I didn't even *gasp* use coupons or shop sales as I wanted to get her the stuff today as I know we'll see her tomorrow but not sure if we'll see her again. I got her a bit more than I would have on my own as I know folks at work are going to contribute too!

Not a huge thing but I hope a small gift and a card will lift her spirits a bit.

Another reminder about how fragile life is. Makes me glad I've done the work to get into the position where I can just go and buy something for someone in this circumstance rather than have to fret and wish I could

Tues

January 30th, 2007 at 05:10 pm

I wasn't quite as frugal as I wanted to be today cause I did end up buying my lunch. Pfft.

I also realised that I was supposed to deal with some investment paperwork today - that I remembered about midmorning then promptly forgot about.. I'll make sure to do that tomorrow so I end the month on a good note.

Save me money - please keep chatting amongst yourselves

January 29th, 2007 at 07:05 pm

Those sweet gals at bath and bodyworks saved me some money today. I had a coupon for $10 off something so I stopped off in there to see if I could score a good deal.

I found the product but it looked way more expensive then $10. The gals working there were standing and talking amongst themselves in the back corner of the store - ignoring all the customers wandering around - there were at least 2 other people in the store other than me...

I might have been tempted to spend money had they encouraged me. I love crappy sales help when they help me save money I shouldn't be trying to spend. Yeah, I know I shouldn't have gone in there in the first place...

I'm sure their employer is equally enamored of their lack of effort to part me from my money.

Trying to take advantage of a sale...

January 28th, 2007 at 01:04 pm

Sometimes I have to laugh at how hard it is to take advantage of a sale. Went to Eckerd on Saturday to take advantage of the last day of their sale on Schick Intuition Plus Refills (my razor of choice - the one I manage to operate without cutting my legs to shreds).

Go in. The razors aren't on the shelf. The sign says "see cashier".

Line up for the cashier. Show her the ad and ask for 2 refills for "sensitive skin". She gets them and rings them in.

Wrong item (and more expensive than the price in the ad) - she got the refills for the Schick Intuition (not the plus) and they weren't on sale. So she has to get the Manager dude over to help.

Manager dude and her realise that they need to get me the plus. They switch them with the Plus. The re-ring in the transition.

I leave the store and as we walk out my boyfriend suggests I double check I got the right items.

I didn't and then realise that they got me one plus for sensative and one for dry skin. So back in I go.....

*sigh*

California Dreaming 2

January 24th, 2007 at 09:28 pm

Tonight was a nice treat! A friend and I have a subscription to dinner theatre. We do a mid week one so we get a 2 for one deal and we pay for it upfront - so that when we enjoy it its already paid for and has been budgeted in. The cost for tonight was $5.00 for coffee and a small tip - all the rest was already paid for .. WOO HOO

Tonight California Dreaming 2 - Songs from the 60's to today. Good music. Fabulous costumes! OMG the hair and clothes! Made me realise yes, fashion could be worse...

Investment "rejiggling"

January 23rd, 2007 at 05:34 pm

Okay so my investment adviser used fancier words than "rejiggling" during our not quite quarterly review of my savings - he likes to meet quarterly - we normally manage to about 3X a year. He's "MrOnTopOfStuff" way more than I am. Which is why I deal with him Smile I need someone to keep me up with this.

So we went though my assets. One of my Income Trust Funds has not been doing what its supposed to be doing (can we say earnings flattening..) so I'm going to move those funds into a Global Fund -which will give my portfolio a bit more diversity. I looked at the other funds I'm in and I'm still happy with them.

I also am upping what I put into my accounts each month by 1/3. So I will meet with him or his assistant tomorrow to sign the paperwork I need to sign and bring a cheque so they can set up the automatic withdrawals for the additional amounts.

I'm feeling good about this.

Sunday

January 21st, 2007 at 08:36 pm

Today was a nice day. More pampering in that my fried who cleans for me was over to clean - and we got all caught up with each other.

In all the pampering I did manage to cook this weekend so I'm all set for next week.

On the menu is:

*shake and bake chicken
*broccoli salad
*roasted taters and parsnips (inredibly yummy)
*southwest chicken
*barley pilaf

I also have hummus in the fridge and an eggpplant so I can make a no fat eggplant dip.

I'm spending my money on pampering rather than on convenience foods. I haven't eaten so well in ages!

It was a nice day

January 20th, 2007 at 08:49 pm




It was a nice day. After a leisurely coffee and breakfast I headed up to the place I had my hair done in Oct - and the same girl was available and no waiting. After some discussion about the colour. She wanted to do my hair mahogany red and I wanted it mahogany brown. We ended up with mahogany brown.

It is really dark Smile Even with brown tones my hair ends up lightening and gold highlights come out (total mystery as my natural colour is dark "blah" brown) - anyways its a bit darker than I'd like right now cause of it's tendency to lighten. I have very dark eyes and brows - my complexion is better with dark hair - which is why I just don't dye it blonde - besides I'd look brassier than a hooker from the seventies *grins* if I did that ..

Anyways got the colour and cut and then headed over to the nails place. Again no waiting. Had a pedicure and then a waxing. First time for waxing at that salon for me. I was very pleased. Much cleaner than the other place I was going to so I'll be going here in the future. The price ended up cheaper than at the other place too - so I was happy about that too.

Then when I got home I did some cooking for next week. Barley Pilaf and Home made shake and bake chicken are done. Some Southwest chicken is in the crockpot. I have a couple of other dishes to make tomorrow and then i should be good for a while - woo hoo!

My big push on cooking ahead and putting into portions is really working nicely for me. I'm eating at home and I'm eating good food (as opposed to convenience foods) yet because I prepare ahead its as easy as a TV dinner when I get home from work.

Taking care of me today :)

January 20th, 2007 at 09:07 am

I'm off to get my hair cut and coloured and to hopefully get a pedicure. It's not going to be a frugal day. I have a few more groceries I want but other than that I think I'll be containing myself.

Barley Pilaf is in the slow cooker as we speak. When I get home I want to cook up some chicken and some ground turkey so that next week I have some good meals.

Errand Night - Shopped til I (almost) dropped

January 19th, 2007 at 09:12 pm

I did a whole lot of shopping tonight.

Got fresh groceries - lots of fruits and veggies, as well as finding a good sale on canned beans! So I'm happy Smile Stopped at the not so elegantly named bulk barn for some spices and the liquor store for some .. yeah you guessed it - liquor and some beer. I never used to drink beer but have really started to enjoy Sleemans Cream Ale. So I got 2 sixpacks and some Mikes light lemonade.

I'm still amused that the Mike's in PA is a malt "beer" beverage and that here in ON it is a vodka cooler.

Insurance company Slime

January 18th, 2007 at 07:33 pm

Okay so I'm a wee bit irked at the insurance company that my mother had her insurance with. They paid her claim me quickly but they harvested my name for their mailing lists for other products. You are special to them .. not only a beneficiary but a potential customer.

Nice (okay not nice but my only other words are really, really rude)

And to make it worse, its a rip off cancer type policy. If i want a critical illness policy for that price, I'll buy one that covers me for a lump sum of cash and that pays it all on diagnosis.

Some *special highlights* of this policy

Pays for "female cancer's only. At least they include breast cancer which a male or female can get.

Oh the benefit of $50,000 (if you chose the enhanced option) is payable out in one lump some of $12,000 followed by another $12,000 payable over 12 months. The only way to get the full $50,000 is if you are in hospital cause of your cancer diagnosis for 100 days (you get $200 a day) and if you have surgery when you get another $6,000.


I'm not impressed at all.

Coupon train problems (rant)

January 17th, 2007 at 06:08 pm

A coupon train came through my station in December that seems to have gone into Postal Limbo. You do enough trains and eventually it happens.

The conductor email the group about it and asked me what had happened. I responded to her privately - in hindsight should have done it to the group.

Now someone on the train - not the next rider has sent out an email with my name on it asking where the train is. Cause she was "so looking forward to it". Pfffffft, cause she is so trying to make me look bad is how I feel about it.

I work hard at making my "station" a good one. I like having a good reputation. I feel like she is trying to smear my reputation. I might be wrong but that is how I feel.

I responded back publically and offered to the conductor to start up a new train for her (not like I am short of coupons). I'll wait and see how she responds.

I am way to angry right now about this. Hopefully its that time of the month when ladies are a bit sensitive about stuff cause if it isn't my reaction to me even feels over the top

Not much to say

January 17th, 2007 at 05:21 am

Haven't had much to say on a financial note lately. Things are coasting along nicely. I've eliminated much of my day to day spending. I'm dropping by the grocery store regularily to pick up a thing or two but the bills are under $10 usually - and its not junk food - normally fruit/veggies or an ingredient for dinner. Last night it was veggies and I had eaten all the veggies I had got on the weekend (the ones to snack on anyways)

Exciting eh?

Eventually it had to come...

January 15th, 2007 at 01:40 pm

... Winter that is...

Got up this morning to discover that yes Virginia we do get winter weather in Canada. A belated thank you to the folks in the West for taking for us up til now...

About 4 people to day have commented that Oklahoma is to blame. Don't something you normally hear weather wise here Smile

Hummus -

January 14th, 2007 at 09:45 am

I make a low fat hummus and mentioned this in my blog. Here, by request is the recipe.

Hummus is a dip/spread made from chickpeas which some call garbanzo beans. Different name, same bean.

This isn't an exact recipe. I never make this the same. Hummus purists please go and read other posts as you may be cringing reading this.

You might be able to make this in a blender but I prefer a food processor. If you have neither a food processor or a blender I am not sure you can do this successfully.

Dump All ingredients in food processor:

1 can of chickpeas with liquid (using the chickpea liquid adds salt for flavour and provides necessary liquid).
1 or 2 tsp ground cumin
2 garlic cloves
1-2 TBSP lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp hot pepper sauce (tabasco)
1/2 tsp salt

Turn food processer on and process for a few minutes until very creamy. If not creamy enough first time processing - just turn the processer back on (I always find this takes a while)

Adjust spices to taste. I like this salty and with a zip. Add less hot pepper/tabasco if you don't like it with a bit of a zip.

Up til this point you have a no fat dip. I quite often will add:

1 TBSP sesame oil or 1-4 TBSP tahini

Eat as a dip with veggies or pita or tortilla chips

Cooking Blitz

January 14th, 2007 at 07:54 am

The last few days I was on a roll cooking! I eat well when I cook ahead - healthy low fat dishes and I save money. I'm not tempted to buy crap when I have all this good food! I love having this made-ahead food in the freezer in single serving portions - that way I can take one to work easily and on nights when I don't want to cook I can just take one out of the freezer.

Made in the last few days:

*vegetarian chili (about 6 servings)
*Beef and Barley stroganoff (4 servings)
*Pea Soup (6 servings)
*Low Fat Hummus (for snacking)

I also bought a large large package of mesculun mix on sale and a veggie bowl with a $5 off coupon that came on it! So I have fresh veggies too!

Today I'm going to hard boil some eggs to add to the salads and for snacks. I've got the makings for parmeson white beans and brussel sprouts that I may make tonight. I estimate that will be 2-3 meals worth once it is made.

I should spend some time surfing to figure out what I can make later this week. I want to get in the habit of making 2 crockpot meals a week. That will bet me a nice variety of meals, keep me eating healthy, ensure variety in my diet and help the ole budget!

Grocery Store Peeve

January 13th, 2007 at 07:31 pm

Stores who put out coupons after the expiry date. I keep seeing displays in stores piled full of coupons - all expired at the end of last year.

Mr Grocer

You manage to get down all the sale signs. Please take those expired coupons away. And while you are at it - take the expired yogurt off of the shelf too!

Thanks,

Disgruntled Shopper Yummy

Lunch out and Fabric Fondling

January 13th, 2007 at 06:43 pm

Had lunch out with a group of friends. Very very enjoyable.

Went to check out a normally great quilt store this afternoon. As far as I could see didn't have what I was looking for - and no one offered to assist me. So I enjoyed a quick look and fabric fondle and left with my wallet intact.

Tired Today

January 12th, 2007 at 07:23 am

Tired today. Got to sleep at a good time last night but was awake from 2:30am to 5am - yuck.

Getting going on cooking yesterday though meant I had coffee ready this morning and food for lunch!

Unless I do some more grocery shopping its likely to be a no spend day - yeah!

Does this make sense to you?

January 11th, 2007 at 03:29 pm

Some stores are more stupid than others.

Sign found in the grocery store tonight

3/$5.00

Offer available in multiples of 2 only or pay $1.99 each.

Good thing it was for a product that didn't appear to be on the shelf. I

Weight Watchers

January 11th, 2007 at 05:25 am

I've been going for a while but last night was my first time back after Christmas. As it is cheaper in the long run I bought a six month membership.

The leader and the receptionist (who have been there for ages) I wasn't keen on at first - but with all that has happened over the last six months - they are helping me feel more and more positive - they so rock Smile

Today No Spend Day; Tomorrow Spend Day

January 9th, 2007 at 05:02 pm

Thanks to my not figuring out where I put my debit card I didn't get gas today - that made it a no spend day.

My gas tank is on E - so it will be a spend day tomorrow.

Pfffffffffft, I know its just "someplace safe" and not lost so I'm not panicky but damn it, I hate when I misplace stuff.

Morbid Addition to Challenge

January 8th, 2007 at 05:17 pm

Got a cheque from ING today for $4.99 - a refund of the premiums that my mother paid for her insurance that were overpaid cause she didn't need the insurance for the entire period her last payment was made for.

Felt really weird getting that cheque today. Oh well, it can go into my ING account and give me a cushion against the scary future.

Added a penny for a round $5.00 to be added.

Total in $20 Challenge for 2007: $36

Lottery Pool Winnings

January 8th, 2007 at 05:01 pm

$4 each week for all of last year - in the pool at work. Not sure how many people - 12 to 15 maybe?

My share of annual winnings (50% of winnings is kept to distribute - 50% is invested in tickets) $31

Start to $20 challenge for 2006 - $31

Real return lousy; however, not opting in and being one of the only people left at work when they win - not worth the risk of dropping out of the pool.

Controlled Myself

January 7th, 2007 at 07:37 pm

Sated my need for lotions with $20 worth (plus $10 for a friend who will pay me back) from Bath and Bodyworks.

Bought some groceries on the way home but kept it limited to a B1G1 for cherry tomatoes, one package of ground beef and some dairy and eggs.

Thought about hitting the duty free but skipped it. Probably should have gone there but was done with shopping if that makes any sense.

I likely need to do some grocery shopping but will try to keep that to necessities - and it can wait a few days!

Post Office Doesn't Make Sense

January 6th, 2007 at 09:24 pm

Strangely it is cheaper to mail a parcel from PA to BC than from ON to BC. That makes so little sense my brain is almost hurting thinking about it.

I mailed a package from Toronto to a town in BC before Christmas for about $12 Canadian for Priority Delivery. A package of about the same size was mailed Global Priority for $7.50 US Canadian.

Cross Border mailing is frugal - who'd have thunk it?

OMG I SHOPPED

January 5th, 2007 at 03:18 pm

I went out with a friend today -- we were going to go iceskating and looking at Santas. Thanks to horrible rain and no parking I treated her to lunch then we went shopping.

2 pairs of shoes, and 5 (or is it 6) tops later and two pairs of tights later I'm all shopped out.

Had a great day. Got some lovely things at great prices, but OMG did I ever go nuts.

Another bad nights sleep

January 3rd, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Another bad nights sleep. Pfft. I'm only drinking decaf now after noon, made sure I exercised today and will take melatonin before I go to bed. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight.

Made a great easy lunch - lentil soup - a can of lentils, a can of tomatoes, clove of garlic, an onion, a carrot, a potato, and a stalk of celery plus spices and some water simmered on the stove and a dash of balsamic vinegar added just before servings. Definitely something I'll make again.

Spending so far today $1.05 on a coffee (decaf cause I had it about 2pm)

More Quilt shopping (guys you are warned)

January 2nd, 2007 at 07:47 pm

Dang quilt. I cut and sewed the blocks, then realised I didn't have quite enough material (you'd think I'd learn from the past...). So today I went to Joann's to get some more - It was $1.00 off when I bought it before but today it was 30% off. As the fabric was $5 a yard that was a better deal. If I bought too much It just means I haves some for pillows - always a good thing Smile

I'll likely have to buy more at the quilt store as I need a few more lengths of some of the secondary fabrics too.

Other purchases were more melatonin. I'm sleeping like crap these days. Am also making sure not to have caffeine after noon *sigh*.

First Freebie of the Year

January 1st, 2007 at 01:41 pm

Yup, I've already had one freebee this year.

Sheetz, a local gas station had free coffee on New Years eve and New Years Day! As I love their house blend I went and got a free coffee when were out around lunch time!

Thanks to the free coffee (we'd have stopped there and I'd have bought one) - I started the year by saving $0.99 Smile

It all adds up!