Monday, March 30

The rest of the weekend.

We had Grandy's Saturday night. (That was meal # 2 out for the month.) We also hit the grocery store, but wouldn't you know - I forgot the waffles. doh! Kasen's day wasn't off to the best start without his blueberry waffle this morning. Oops. We spent no money Sunday, and no money today. I did all the cooking Saturday night/Sunday morning (I'll slowly be adding the recipes to my cooking blog), so Luke is set for the month (and then some I'm sure).
...and that's all I have to say about that...

Saturday, March 28

The last few days

how have I forgotten to post? Honestly, my iPhone is keeping me off the internet. I can check my email & such from it, so I don't seem to be stuck online as much - that's a good thing! So, let's see... Thursday I had Taco Bueno (and apparently ordering a burrito with no chili & no cheese is a mind boggler). I spent about $2. Friday I got off work at 1, so I did the big grocery trip. I spent a lot, and I still need to go get a few things at the normal grocery store (I went to Sprouts). Not sure how I spent so much, I do know we need a lot of staple items, but have groceries suddenly gone up? Wow. I'll hit Kroger tonight I guess, so I can do all the meat cooking tomorrow. Today we've stayed in so far - it's COLD! Who knows though, maybe I can talk Luke into going to Kroger with me & grabbing some dinner beforehand... We do still have 1 outing for the month if we want to use it...

Wednesday, March 25


Today was a horrible, no-good, very bad day for me. BUT it didn't involve money, so I guess it was a successful day. Thank goodness this week is on the down slide now! I have to work all day tomorrow, boo!, but I get off early Friday, yay!

Tuesday, March 24

Sucky milk run.

What a disaster yesterday was! The Whole Foods I went to was closed. I *think* they are just remodeling, but I was in such shock that I just kept on driving. I knew there was another one not too far away, so I headed to that one. Wouldn't you know it - that one didn't have the coconut milk yogurt. The reason I was specifically going to WF. Ugh! I drowned my sorrows in a tub of coconut milk ice cream instead. :)
Other than that... no money spent today. Yay!

Monday, March 23

Milk run for the week.

Gotta run by Whole Foods to grab some milk & some coconut milk yogurt. I'm really excited since it means I'll be doing that at rush hour. Why didn't I just get my lazy butt out the door & go yesterday? Oh well, can't change the past.

Saturday, March 21

Staying on track!

We're back where we should be. Friday Luke said "tomorrow we should go get curtains for the bedroom". I've been wanting curtains a long time now, but I was good & said no - we can't. We didn't spend any money this weekend. We had plenty of fun, but it was all FREE fun.

Friday, March 20

The explanation

(From yesterday.) I feel like I need to explain the whole thing. I do feel guilty about falling off the wagon, but I also feel okay with it. We are doing SO well this year. We haven't bought anything new or frivolous, no matter how tempting it has been. Think about it realistically though - we can't go out & spend money anywhere, so we don't have much entertainment. Splurging on cable has been something we've debate on for years. Obviously we CAN live without it, but when you've got nothing else to do with your free time, basic tv gets old. (ha! Nothing else... I could clean the house, exercise more, sew, bake, cook, visit friends... sigh)
By adding the cable (or fiber-optic-whatever-it's-called) we were able to drop our home phone. Something we use maybe twice a year - if that. We get calls on it, but 99.9% of those calls are solicitors. We don't use it to make calls, and only a handful of people know the number to call us. We "had" to have it, per AT&T, since we chose not to have cable to begin with. Sure, the UVerse is gonna cost us more than the phone did, but we will USE that. Kasen can now watch his beloved Doddlebops & JayJay, and Luke & I can enjoy movies or whatever. (AND, I can watch cooking shows!!!! Oh how I miss them!)
Luke was very good - he called up & told them he wanted the cheapest line-up they have. Well, that one doesn't include the receiver. So, for the price of that line-up + the receiver, we could have the next step up, which has more channels & includes the receiver. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out what he decided to do. :) So, we have the U200 line-up & internet now. We don't have a home phone. I forget what Luke said the new monthly cost is, but it's not "that" much more, and when you take into account the fact that we now have entertainment, it's all good in my opinion.
The phones, well, that's another story... I've wanted to drop Verizon for a while now 'cause I had an issue about a year ago that they refused to help me with. Their customer service SUCKS. I've been done with them since then, just waiting for my contract to expire. It expired at the end of January. That was annoying. I was still stuck since I couldn't buy anything new. I once figured out how to get USED phones, for FREE, and have a cheaper monthly plan by us switching. When it came down to it though, I wanted a phone with a data package & knew I wouldn't be happy settling for something else. So we didn't switch.
One day I decided that I really wanted something fun for my 30th. It wasn't fair that this challenge would keep me from being able to have a nice celebration of a big milestone. I finally decided that my birthday would be a good time to splurge on a new cell phone & get us switched.
Well, I guess my birthday is gonna be a 2 month+ celebration 'cause my present came yesterday.
Luke was good, he took the crappy FREE phone. I debated between the Blackberry Pearl & the iPhone, and eventually the iPhone one. (Luke said the Blackberry was ugly anyway. But, hello!, it was PINK!) I also got a "cover" (in PINK!, duh) since I am a bit accident prone, and a car charger 'cause I understand the batteries don't last long. So it was a little over $250 for the whole thing. I think that's fine for a special birthday gift. Even if it did break the rules.
The plan isn't "that" bad. We were spending about $70/mth on my phone with Verizon & $15-20/mth on Luke's. (He had an old employee plan from back in the PrimeCo days still.) So, let's call it $85 on a good month. Now we have a family plan - 550 minutes between the 2 of us (we're not big talkers) for $60 ($50+$10 for the 2nd line), each of us has 200 texts for $10 ($5 each), and my data plan added $30. So, our bill is now $100, just $15 more. I call it a deal.
Now, we're back on track today. I think tonight we'll cuddle up on the couch (or the bed) and watch some cable. Wow, it's been a looooooong time since I've said that!

Thursday, March 19

The hole is getting bigger...

You know when you start digging just a little hole, thinking it'll help, not hurt, but the hole starts getting bigger & you start sinking into it? That is what I'm listening to right now.
Last year Luke & I decided that this year we'd break down & invest in UVerse. We also decided (well *I* did) that this would be the year of phone upgrades. We knew the Verizon contract was up at the end of January, so we planned to switch to AT&T. I decided if we were switching, I deserved a cool *cough,cough,iPhone/Blackberry,cough,cough* new phone with the new plan. Then, we decided to do this crazy challenge & so we sat aside the idea of both.
Well, here we are almost 3 full months into this thing & we've broken the rules. I think the fact that we already had it in our minds before we decided to do the challenge made it impossible to go a whole year w/out doing it.
So, here I listen to Luke talking to the AT&T lady, getting the UVerse hooked up & switching our cell phones over. When he's done we have to head to the AT&T store and get the phones. *SIGH* We're in over our heads people!
Oh, and we'll be without Internet during the wait between the disconnection of our home phone & the installation of the UVerse. On the bright side - we have the hook up on connection, and he's hoping to squeeze us in tomorrow, or worst case Sunday. So it won't be too bad.

Well, there's my confession for now. Gotta go get the kiddo & head out to the store... Gosh, we failed this challenge. Is it wrong that I'm happy about the failure though? ;) Back on the wagon after this though. It's our first big failure, so we're doing good.

Wednesday, March 18

TARGET - oh, how I miss thee.

First of all, I started my day with my one meal out. I had McD's for breakfast. Maybe I should stick to eating out for breakfast only - it's never a disappointment.
On my lunch break I headed to Target to get stuff to restock the candy jar here at work & grab a snack for Luke at work. (Wish I had recalled that he's off for the next 2 days, I need to hide them until Monday...) What did I have to walk past though?
First of all - the purses! Oh, how I want a fun new spring purse! The PINKs, the purples, the greens... My silver one is gonna look very out of season. I love it, but I need to retire it for a few months. Guess I'll go search my closet... but I think I got rid of everything already. Boo!
Second - the EASTER stuff! Did you know that they have a TONKA TRUCK Easter basket? Seriously. Kasen NEEDS that. It's not a want. It's not a frivolous thing. He NEEDS it. sigh Okay, it is a want and is most definitely a frivolous thing. Boo! Boo! Boo! (Oh, and it's totally a hint if anyone reading this feels the need to buy him a Tonka Truck basket... or a turtle one, they were cute, so were the Cars ones, or the Elmo one... Oh, but that Tonka basket was beyond perfect!!) The eggs - did you know they have eggs that you turn on & they say "I'm hiding" (or something like that) and eggs with Sesame Street characters, eggs with little cars, eggs with all kinds of fun stuff. sigh, sigh, sigh! Next year I WILL spend money on Easter. I'm not even doing an Easter celebrating at our house this year 'cause we can't spend money. I guess it doesn't matter about a basket or eggs, huh? Gosh, no Easter basket for my baby. Eh, he won't know the difference yet, right?

Monday, March 16

Bloggy, bloggie, blog-blog

Sunday was a disaster - but not Year Without-wise. Let's just say the disaster started when Kasen decided to stand up in the cart at Sprouts & went flying backwards into the cart. Have you ever heard a child screaming so loud that the entire store could hear it? That was MY child. My sweet little angel. Now, before you go thinking I'm an awful mom for thinking about it that way, let me say that he was perfectly alright. He was screaming, crying, and saying "no-no! no-no!". He knew standing up was a no-no, I didn't have to tell him. sigh The trip went downhill from there, although Kasen ended up with a new toothbrush, some whale shaped soap (that he had a reaction to - go figure!), and some pudding mix. One day I'll make the pudding... One day... ;)
Anyhow... I think my grocery budget idea when down the drain this month. After spending an obnoxious amount at Sprouts (yes, it was mostly produce & dairy, just a couple of other things thrown in), I remembered that I forgot peanut butter & we're almost out & I can't make granola bars without it. So off I went to Brookshire's for peanut butter, wheat flour, pepperoni ('cause I decided to make pizza for dinner), & Dr Pepper (per Luke's request). Okay, fine, not too far off the the budget idea... THEN I had to run to CVS today 'cause I have got to Kasen's eczema/hives/whatever under control. I got some Aquaphor ointment & non-soap cleaner. That stuff ain't cheap! Hopefully it works though.
Okay, blah, blah, blah, you really didn't want to know all that. That's the past 2 days here though. :)

Sunday, March 15


We stayed in our pajamas all day. Seriously. It was wonderful! After I put Kasen to bed I had a nice soak in a Lush bath. I started the year with enough for 4 baths, so I've got to make it last. I wish I could just run out & stock up on bubble bars & bath bombs, but that wouldn't be very frugal, now would it? Today we're off to the store - produce, dairy, eggs, and some more yeast 'cause I want to make a sourdough starter so we can have some yummy sourdough bread in a week or two.

By the way - I'm kinda curious how many people actually read this blog. Would you mind posting a little hello comment if you read this? Just to feed my own curiosity. Thank you!

Friday, March 13

Lunch out x 2.

Luke & I both had lunch out today. I spent $1 and some change, Luke had 2 "small" burgers, so whatever that costs. This weekend I have to go on the mini grocery run, so that's more money. I did make $25 though. Yay! I got a request from IBM a few weeks ago to do an IRS survey that was really boring, but it paid me $25, which came in the mail today. Free money!

Wednesday, March 11

Cold & rainy. Blah!

No money spent, yay!
I'm trying to work on the amount of money we've been spending on groceries. This is really difficult for me & something I sad I wasn't gonna touch this year. I changed my mind.
We eat mostly organic, not much processed, and lots of fresh fruits & veggies. I'm not really willing to change what we eat - health is too important to set aside for money as far as I am concerned! However, we're averaging $500/mth in groceries for the 3 of us (based on the last 6-ish months). That's actually quite a bit. (Granted, we aren't eating out much, so of course our budget is gonna go a little higher, BUT!, not that much.) I've never had to budget groceries (or anything for that matter) so I never had a clue what we spent. A week or so ago we started looking at the categories of spending to see the difference we've made this year & there was the big ol' chunk of grocery pie (we had it up on a pie chart). MAN! In December we spent over $700 in groceries. Yes, you read that right! Granted, that was all the family meals, the special holiday goodies, the work parties, etc, but still $700?! Ridiculous!
So, I'm trying to cut out all the extra grocery trips. If we need milk, fine, but running to the store to buy milk & walking out with bags of stuff can't keep happening. I'm not good being out of something. I hate not being able to cook what I want 'cause I'm missing an ingredient that has no substitute, or not being able to eat what I'm craving 'cause it was finished off last week. *BUT* I need to learn to either stock up or suck it up.
The longest I think I can go w/out a trip for fruits & veggies is 2 weeks. So, every 2 weeks I can stock up on fruits, veggies, eggs, and dairy products. I'm gonna try to stock up on all the dry goods, meats, toiletries, etc. once month. In between those times we're gonna have to learn to suck it up. (The exception being if we run completely out of milk or fresh veggies.)
So far we're off to a good start... But this weekend we'll have to make a produce/dairy trip so it'll be my first test. Will I pass??? Plus, Luke & Kasen will be at home all day Thurs & Fri next week, so they'll eat who knows what... ack! ;)

Monday, March 9

Oh yeah!

I forgot about a chunk of money we spent. Luke ordered a compressor for my car. I'm sorry, but I just CAN'T live without an a/c in the summer. Especially since 1)Kasen is in the car with me for 30+ miles in the heat of the day & 2)I buy groceries far enough away from home that I could ruin stuff if they got that hot. (Oh, and 3)I've BTDT & I do not plan on doing it again.) He is fixing it himself, rather than paying the ridiculous amount the dealership wanted, to that's something!
Today the only money I spent was on milk, detergent & some ice cream. You know, the necessities in life. ;)

Sunday, March 8

Sunday, funday!

We spent no money. That's all. :)

Saturday, March 7

Friday & Staurday

Friday - had to get the car inspected. Boo. $39 for that. Then we took the $20 I got Thursday to have dinner. Taco Bueno. It was everything I expected, so it was money well spent for once. It counts as one of the family meals out, but it didn't cost us, so yay!
Today I went to my sister's & got the sewing machine. I am determined to learn SOMETHING crafty. We'll see how it really goes once I get started tonight. I did spend $2 'cause I stopped to get gas & decided to get a drink too. I'm really not sure where that falls in the rules... I'll call it my meal out for the week since I didn't take one.

Thursday, March 5

What to do, what to do...

(I didn't post yesterday - there was nothing TO post.)
So, a co-worker asked me what my plans were for this afternoon with Kasen. I told her we'd either be going home for a nap (poor kiddo has been TIRED lately), or we'd go to the park. A little while later she said she had something for me & went to her car to get it. She came back with $20 & said "take your baby out to lunch". Awwwww!
Now, I'm all about using gift money for what the giver wishes, BUT I'm also all about not spending money. What should I do? I won't take him to lunch today 'cause he will have already eaten & the time I pick him up is actually nap time. So, should I treat us all to dinner out? Lunch out on a different day? Save it to take him somewhere fun next week? Put the $20 in the bank & move on? What shall I do?

Tuesday, March 3

Nothing, nothing, nothing.

No money spent. In other news today, my child took a 4 - yes FOUR - hour nap. Insane!

Sunday, March 1

Monthly Cooking Day

I really wasn't feeling like cooking today, but I knew it had to be done. sigh

This is the result & disaster that I was left with:

Cheesy beef noodle casserole, bbq chicken (it looks burnt in this pic, but it wasn't, I promise), meatloaf, shepherd's pie, and chicken & rice casserole. There's also still some chopped bbq chicken & roast chicken breast from last month - plus taco meat that I cooked Saturday. I'd say Luke's pretty set for March. As for me, well I think I'm gonna try just eating kefir or yogurt & granola for lunch, with fruit as a snack, then I'll make (and eat) the usual veggies to go along with whatever Luke picks for the evening. I also have LOTS of frozen beans. I love beans. :)
Actually, the aftermath was way worse than that pic leads you to believe. The entire kitchen is a nightmare, but I thought I'd spare myself that embarrassment. ;) I did also bake some really yummy granola and some granola bars. I am beat!
Hope everyone's off to a good start for March!