Saturday, February 28

2 months down! ...10 to go.

Rule #1 - nothing new - not broken! We didn't buy anything new. Yay!
Rule #2 - no frivolous spending - not broken! We didn't buy anything for fun.
Rule #3 - less eating out - not broken! We were both successful this month.
Rule #4 - outings - not broken! We didn't go anywhere that required paid admission this month either.
Even better - this month we made extra money selling old jewelry!
27 transactions: 10 gas, 4 restaurant, 7 grocery, 6 other (CVS, Once Upon a Child, Kid to Kid, (we use disposable over night), beer store (serious bending of rules...), & Petsmart), plus $10 in cash (Luke's lunch one day & 2 boxes of Girl Scout cookies 'cause Rena's daughter's troop was at Kroger tonight...)
I think we're doing really well with the challenge. I'm very proud of us. In fact, today I went to the mall. A few months ago I wouldn't have thought about packing a lunch, after all - they do sell food at the mall - but today I packed lunch & saved us at least $10. Living this way creates a whole different way of thinking. Or maybe it just actually makes you think. Period. Before we just took things for granted, now we think everything through. I hope everyone else is doing well too!


Luke used his weekly lunch out & had 2 burgers. (Yes, TWO, but I think he gets the little ones & he doesn't get fries.) That was about it. I'm headed to the mall (gasp) today. Just so we can get out of the house. We're meeting some friends there, so I'm sure it'll be a great day - plus I'll have someone else to keep me from being tempted to buy anything. :)

Thursday, February 26

Family Meal #2 - ANOTHER disappointment.

I shouldn't be surprised that it was a disappointment, all meals out are. sigh
What's worse is that I knew better!
It was a long day, it was after 5, and I just didn't feel like cooking. Plus, I've been wanting a burger & french fries with gravy (I know, so unlike me - sometimes you just need some CRAP food though!). I decided to stop at Whataburger. The one here in town. I know better. Why didn't I stop at a different one? Or maybe go to Dairy Queen. ONE day I'll learn. I ordered a #1 for Luke, a #7 for me (pick your jaw up off the floor - I always switch the burger patty for a fake one when I get home), and a kid's chicken strip meal for Kasen. $14 - even. Crazy! ;)
Problem #1 - "I want the toy for the little kid" "the what?" "don't you have a toy for toddlers?... I want that... the toy for smaller kids" "huh?... oh, okay."
(Let me throw in this little tidbit: I have gotten food from this Whataburger 3 or 4 times now. EVERY time it was been screwed up, my service has been horrible, and I've vowed never to go back. One time I paid, pulled up to the second window, and the guy looked at me confused & said "what did you order?" URGH!)
So, I pull up, pay - which took forever for some reason, then go to window #2. I FINALLY got the food, pulled up, looked at the bags quickly to make sure there were 3 meals, and went home. The whole time, Kasen is scream "chicken!".
I get home, pull the food out, and guess what? THERE'S NO *bleeping* CHICKEN! AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, AND, the toy is not the under 3 toy.
What am I gonna do at that point? I'm exhausted, hungry, have a cranky toddler, and I just want to sit down, eat dinner, and get Kasen in bed. So I did nothing. I was gonna drive all the way back & there's no point in calling 'cause they can't do anything over the phone. I am so frustrated. This time I mean it - I will not go there again.
I am really starting to think God is trying to help me stick to the rules. Every trip out to eat has been crappy. Yes, I do expect more than I used to since I don't go very often. Yes, I know customer service sucks these days. Yes, I do get cranky when I feel I've wasted my money.
So, there you have it - $14 wasted. Well, not totally. My burger & fries (with gravy - 'cause they did give Kasen the gravy) were soooo yummy. My child hardly ate anything though 'cause he's not a fan of burgers & I refused to let him eat a meal of french fries.
On a lighter note, I ran into Target this afternoon JUST for wipes. I left with wipes & face wash (I remembered once I was there that I'm about to run out). I call that a successful trip. Especially since we walked around the whole place & I didn't pick anything else up. Trust me, that's always gonna be a hard thing for me - I love me some Target!

Wednesday, February 25

Bakery Outlet Day

Wow, the bakery outlet was WIPED OUT. The shelves were very bare, so I just grabbed a few loaves of bread & some snacks for each of us to have at work. I spent $15 - 3 loaves of Oroweat, a package of hamburger buns, 2 packages of brownie 100 calorie packs, 2 packages of peanut butter crackers (no worries - they're safe!), some pecan pies for Luke, and some tortilla chips. I was a little disappointed by the trip, but what can I do if they're out of stuff?
It just occurred to me that I lied yesterday. We bought dog food, so I did spend money. Of course, they do have to eat, so it wasn't something fun by any means. ;)

Tuesday, February 24

The month is almost over.

We've almost made it 2 full months - yay!
I spent no money today. I did get some Starbucks 'cause I've been really, really wanting it and, well, I haven't had any coffee in months. Once again, it wasn't worth the money - but it didn't cost me anything (I still have a gift card from Christmas) so I guess that's okay. :) It's really funny to me that the less I spend money & time going out to eat the less I enjoy it when I DO go. I think I expect so much more out of it since it's a special treat. Oh well, maybe it'll help me really break any habits/desires for eating out regularly. That'd be a good thing in my book.

Monday, February 23

Ile de France Cheese

I love cheese. All cheese. I really love goat cheese. Yummm-o! Check out Ile de France for some yummy cheese ideas.
Yes, I will admit it, I am getting a free sample cheese out of the shameless promotion. But, heck, it's good stuff even if I never get my freebie. ;)

Sunday, February 22

I missed a couple of days.

Here's the recap:
I did go to the grocery store again & bought the stuff I forgot. I also had to order diapers 'cause Mr Sensitive can only sleep in disposables or he gets a BAD rash. (BTW, if you haven't ever ordered diapers online, check out You can get all kinds of stuff, not just diapers, from them. Use the code: HELE1066 & you get $10 off your first order of $49 or more. Shipping is free on orders over $49, so I usually just buy a bulk pack and add rash ointment, soap, lotion, or a toy (well, not toys this year) to hit the $49.)
Last night I went to the MNI at Hani's & it was fun! I enjoyed meeting a few new ladies & chatting with old friends.
Today, I feel like crap. I woke up with swollen eyes (again! - 2nd time this week) and a KILLER headache. I still have the headache 5 hours later. sigh I can say, without a doubt, I will not be spending money today. I'm impressed I took a shower & managed to write this all out.
Here's to a good week ahead of us!

Thursday, February 19

MORE groceries.

I had to make another grocery stop. Luke is having some guys over Sat night & I'm going to the Frugal Mom's Night In at Hani's, so I needed a few things. Plus the typical, milk, oj, butter, eggs, fruit, & crackers. I totally forgot Kasen needed soap (he's allergic to everything I try on him other than Aveno - weird!) & we need our Eggo Blueberry Multigrain Waffle stash replenished. So, I still have to go back for those 2 things. sigh Money, money, money.

Wednesday, February 18

$8 on lunch

I went out to lunch. I spent $8. It totally wasn't worth it! The company was nice, and really the only reason I went was for the company, but the food (and the crappy service) was SO not worth that much money. The less often I go out to eat, the more I expect out of it. I know the restaurant industry very well - and I am disappointed in it daily. Oh well, it's a good thing that I didn't enjoy spending the money on lunch. No, really, it is. Now I won't have much desire to rush out & do it again. ;)

Tuesday, February 17

Rough Day

Not a rough day frugally, but it was a rough day at work. I'm glad to be at home now!
I really have nothing to report about money (which, as I've said many times, is good!). I feel like posting here every day helps keep me accountable though, so I post... Boring, I know. ;)
On a totally random note, I have decided to write out my love story, a la The Pioneer Woman. I'm really enjoying it too. (Although it's NOTHING like her story. haha)
...and that's all I have to say about that.

Monday, February 16

Happy Presidents' Day!

Too bad Obama didn't approve a stimulus plan to pay off all my debt. ;) I know, he hasn't signed it YET, but he's sooo going to. It's the American way - run up your bills & ask someone to bail you out. ((rolling my eyes))
I went to work, ate lunch at work, and came home. Exciting, huh? I guess it is as long as NO MONEY is involved. hehe

Sunday, February 15

Sunday, Funday.

We hung out at home & did nothing all morning, then headed to the park (ie FREE) to play this afternoon. It was a great day. :)

Valentine's Day

We had a nice day full of fun. Luke planned on taking us & the bikes to my favorite park - the park where he proposed 7.5 years ago - but he didn't check out the weather report. Oops. We decided maybe it was too cold (although it was nicer as the day dragged on). I wanted to take Kasen to the Children's Museum... but we opted for the [FREE] Tubes instead. He had a blast! Then we visited some family (also free - score!). It was getting towards dinner time though, and we were a long way from home, so we did go out to eat at Olive Garden. That was our first meal out as a family all year! (We are allowed 2 per month if we want to use them.) We spent about $40 when all was said & done, which we really didn't need to spend. sigh Kasen insisted on pizza, so I ordered him a pizza. Guess what? He didn't eat any of it! Urgh! He ate salad instead. I'm happy he chose salad over pizza (come on folks - he's 19 months old!!), but I wouldn't have ordered a pizza & wasted the money if I knew he'd decide salad was better. Oh well. Live & learn. It was a difficult meal (to say the least), but when I realized that it was a TWO HOUR ordeal (30+ min wait, then waiting forever to order, then for the food, then eating, then waiting forever for the check), he did well. Made me realize why eating out really isn't such a big deal though. Which is a good realization if you ask me. I spent $40 to struggle with a toddle who wasn't interested in being a part of the whole thing, and have a mediocre meal (which I totally could've made at home, sigh). Isn't that what everyone wants to spend $40 on?

Friday, February 13


Today is Friday the 13th. Which means absolutely nothing really, just thought I'd share what day it is. ha!
I spent no money today. Neither did Luke. boooring. ;)
I was hoping to take Kasen to the Children's Museum tomorrow (we are allowed one family outing per month if we want it), but Luke told me he was planning on taking us somewhere. He won't say where. Stinker! All he said is that it's "far, far away". From where we live, that could be basically ANYWHERE. lol! I'm guessing a park, but it's suppose to be cold so I don't think that'll be much fun... Guess we'll see tomorrow.

Thursday, February 12

Wednesday & Thursday

I totally forgot that I didn't re-post yesterday. I typed out a whole blog then accidentally deleted it all somehow. sigh The jest of it was that I had Taco Bueno for lunch. I was beating myself up about it, but the rules allow us to go out to eat once/week if we want to, so I finally decided I should just go. They have these new vegetarian black bean & rice burritos... OMGosh they are sooo good! I wish I hadn't discovered them. ;)
On to today...
I generally buy groceries twice/month (one big trip & one "small" trip) & do any small fill-ins as needed (milk, fruit, etc.). This week was the week for the smaller trip & I decided to go this afternoon, since Kasen needed milk. Of course he hadn't had a nap all day so I was afraid I'd be pushing it, but he was great. Although I learned a lesson I should've already learned by now... Do not give a toddler a chunk of cheese to hold when he asks. He will take a bit of it - even though there is plastic wrap on it. LOL! I bought a few things for some new recipes I want to try out. I go through phases where I really want to cook/bake all the time & I'm in one of those right now. Granola bars, un-cheese dip, and no-fish fish sticks are the recipes calling my name now. Granola bars are SO easy to make, I've just got to figure out what combo of nuts/fruit/other stuff I really like. The un-cheese dip is waiting to be heated up. It smells yummy & my thinking is that since it actually has no cheese it has less calories & fat, so I can eat more... Right? The no-fish fish stick may or may not be good. I'll probably try them out this weekend. I hope I can at least convince Kasen to eat them with me. (I highly doubt I'll trick Luke into believe that the tofu is fish...)

Tuesday, February 10

Nothing. Again.

Another day of nothing. I did think about going out to lunch for a burrito, but I changed my mind. :)

Monday, February 9

I went to Target

It's true... I went to Target today. But, I didn't spend a dime. (Well, of my own money/for me.) It was time to fill the office candy jars & for some reason I chose Target as the place to shop. It was fun to look around & stuff & realize how much of a waste of money it all is. In fact, and end-cap got me. There were these really cute cups/plates/snack bowls for kiddos & I actually turned around to go check them out. As I walked away from them it hit me just how smart those marketing folks at Target are! How many moms (ie SUCKERS) did the same thing I did, but actually BOUGHT some of that stuff? If it hadn't been on the end-cap I wouldn't have even known it existed. Smart & sly those marketing types are!

Sunday, February 8

Lazy Sunday

I'm seriously still in my pajamas. At 8:30pm. I DID take a shower, but still. We didn't even go outside to play today. I was just lazy! I think that's okay every once & a while, right? :)
Obviously, if I'm in my PJs, we didn't spend money. So - yay!

Saturday, February 7

I made more than I spent today!

I went & bought Kasen a few more pairs of pants today. I spent $20something (I forget exactly, I was busy keeping Kasen's hands off everything while I was paying). He's now set on clothes until it gets warm & he needs shorts & such. (Oh, and swim trunks - I'm guessing those are gonna be really hard to find used, huh? Ugh!)
Tonight I went to a gold & silver for cash party. I didn't plan on walking away with much, and I did about what I expected. $95. I sold a class ring (shhhh, don't tell my parents! but seriously, why did I ever NEED that?), a ring my ex gave me, an old ring that came from who-knows-where, and a gold bracelet. I thought James Avery stuff was supposed to be worth more than "normal" silver, but they'd only give me $10 for a JA ring I have, so I said no thanks. I had another ring that had a few diamonds in it that I also decided not to sell 'cause they didn't offer much. I was very good & stopped on the way home & put the cash in the bank.

When Kasen was 5 months old he got RSV & was stuck in the hospital over night. The entire experience was horrible & I've been fighting with the hospital ever since. (I won't bore you with teh story if yo've never heard it before.) The billing department screwed up the billing with the insurance company & I've been fighting the charges with the hospital since day 1. Well, this week we got a bill from the hospital saying we were about to be turned over to collections & a bill from the on-call pedi at the hospital also saying we were about to be turned over. I don't recall ever getting a bill from the pedi, so I was annoyed by it. She did come & check out Kasen (once), so I guess I have no recourse on that bill, so I'll be paying it this coming week. The hospital bill I won't be paying though - yay! I called & spoke to someone on Friday & she finally agreed to take care of the bill. It took from December of 2007 until now (so lots & lots of calls) to get it taken care of, but it finally was. Lesson learned - you may have to stick with it for the long haul & you may get a lot of threats & nasty phone calls (I won't even go there), but if you don't feel you received services you were billed for - FIGHT IT!

Friday, February 6

I went shopping.

Kasen got a few new pairs of pants, a couple of PJ sets, 2 shirts, a a pair of Crocs. (All used of course.) The damage? $30.
I wandered around the mall this afternoon- and didn't buy a thing. Nada! I wasn't even tempted. :)

Thursday, February 5

Wacky Wednesday

It wasn't really wacky, I'm just running out of original titles. We spent nothing today... other than a nice chunk sent in towards our debt. Look at our ticker... we're getting there!

Wednesday, February 4

A milestone & a question.

The milestone... At 6:30am today my car hit that magic number... 100,000 miles. I have never drive a car this long. (Well, mostly 'cause they all fell apart long before I drove that many miles. haha) We bought this car brand new in the middle of 2004 & every mile (other than what the dealership put on it) is mine - all mine! Wow.
So, my question is... should I get a new one? hahaha, I'm just kidding. ;)
My question is actually about what makes sense to pay off next (Luke's car is almost paid off - woohoo!). The plan was to pay off my student loans. However, we could pay off the 2nd mortgage instead.
Our 2nd mortgage is at 7.25%.
Student loan 1 (which is the bigger of the 2) is at 3.75%.
Student loan 2 is at 3.5/4.5, so let's call it 4%.
(Student loans are soooo confusing!)
I don't want to talk numbers, so I'll just say our 2nd mJustify Fullortgage is about 25% more debt than the student loans. We could definitely have the student loans paid off by the end of the year, or we'd at least get close to having the 2nd mortgage paid off. So, which is the smarter to pay off first? ...Maybe I need to call my good friend Dave and ask. haha!

Tuesday, February 3


We spent no money, yet again. I think we've got this no spending thing down! lol Sadly though, I've got a check I've been meaning to deposit for like 2 weeks now. I MUST get it in the bank already. Sheesh!

Monday, February 2

I almost did it... but almost doesn't count.

A quick summary for the day before I head to bed! :)
I was running late & I forgot my lunch. As my lunch time approached I was really tempted to run up to Starbucks (because I have a gift card still) and grab something. Then I remembered - I had a can of soup in my desk for this exact situation! Yay for being a planner. Now I've got to find something to stick in my desk for the next time this happens ('cause you know it will).

Sunday, February 1

Month #2, here we go!

Today was big grocery day. That also means it was big cooking day. I made all of Luke's meat stuff for the month. This month I made: roasted chicken, bbq chicken, chicken noodle soup, chicken enchiladas, beef & broccoli noodle casserole, tuna casserole (well, Luke actually made that one!), and chili. I think he's pretty set!
Other than the groceries, we didn't spend any money. We did have a nice, long, family bike ride today & that was fun. I am loving this weather! I wish it would stick around for like 11 more months. lol