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Archive for January, 2012

No Internet and Over Budget

January 19th, 2012 at 10:05 pm

The internet out here has been in and out. It's so aggravating sometimes I could just scream. It connects for a few seconds and then goes right back out again. When you rely on the internet to keep up with everything (as I'm sure everyone here knows) it gets to be super frustrating.

It's only the nineteenth of the month but I'm already over budget. My daughter called and asked to borrow $300.00 because a relative wrote her a bad check and caused her account to be overdrawn. She needed the loan to pay her car payment. Instead of driving 140 miles to come and pick up a check she asked if I was able to just pay the car payment online. (It took about 2 hours, I'm not kidding!!) When I finally got into the website she wasn't $300.00 behind but $575.00 behind instead. She only has about five more months until her car is paid off. I just paid the whole amount that was in arrears, I didn't want her to chance getting her car taken away. I looked at her payment history and she has never been late on her payment until July of last year when the certain "relative" started having financial issues. So obviously she is lending her car payment out and not getting the money back in time to pay the payment. I called and had a talk with her, she was upset about the mess she was in but told me that she had made a budget the night before and wouldn't lend out money that was earmarked for her own bills again. She is so kind hearted and I know she has a problem saying no but she will be REALLY upset if she were to lose her car. That puts me way over budget for the month but I will get the money back eventually, I didn't give her any time frame and she didn't ask to be loaned the additional $275.00. I just want her to be able to get herself straightened out and back on track like she usually is. She pays for all her schooling and works all of the time and rarely asks for anything.

I still have tons of food so I'm thinking I won't have to buy much on the 1st of February when I'm able to go to town, we'll see. The freezer is still over flowing, it doesn't take much to feed me and even though I've cut down buying produce I had to throw out a lemon and a couple of tomatoes. For awhile there I ate so much bread and cabbage trying not to let it go to waste I was afraid I might turn into one or the other!! It also feels like I've gained 10 pounds.

Fast Food Blech!

January 8th, 2012 at 07:01 pm

A week or so before Christmas one of the rig hands brought me a hamburger from Sonic. Even before I opened the bag I could smell the burger. It was a very nice gesture and I didn't want to waste the food. I could only eat a couple of bites before I started to feel ill. I guess I'm so used to only eating home cooked meals that the smell and the taste just turned my stomach. I ended up giving the burger and tater tots to my dogs.

I used to love to eat fast food and spent quite a bit of money doing so. Maybe it's something you get used to and don't even realize how disgusting it really is, or maybe I've changed over time. (I do still like the fast food chain Chick Fil A) I don't crave it and it's not something I think about when I leave the gate. Even if I'm starving I don't have thoughts of stopping and picking up a burger or any fast food. I have thoughts of getting home and eating something, thinking of what I can make myself in a hurry.

I'm sure financially it has saved me a fortune not including health costs and benefits.

I do enjoy eating at some restaurants ocassionally but I much prefer to eat at home where I know what is in the food and how it was prepared as far as cleaniless etc.



Shopping Therapy of Sorts

January 8th, 2012 at 02:45 am

For the most part I'm not really a shopper anymore. I don't look forward to fighting the crowds and standing in line to check out. I guess my favorite shopping is probably grocery shopping, most likely because I like to cook.

I do have times though when I think I'd like to buy new clothes or a new gadget etc. I will go to the store, get a basket and walk through the store looking and placing items in my basket keeping a running total in my head. (This is how I grocery shop also). By the time I get to the other side or end of the store I've talked myself out of buying whatever it is that is in my basket so I will walk back placing items back where I got them. Sometimes I have many things in my basket and this shopping trip takes awhile. By the time I'm finished I might buy a thing or two but there are times I'll leave empty handed. I've only started doing this the last three years or so, it's odd I know but it satisfies the occasional need to shop even though I might not buy anything.

Gas Prices

January 7th, 2012 at 05:20 pm

Are just all over the place here within 90 miles of my home and San Antonio Texas. Even in San Antonio you could go from $3.09 all the way to $3.25 a gallon for regular unleaded. When I pulled into my home town the other day regular unleaded was $3.17 so I filled up then. On my way back out it had already risen to $3.25! I'm hoping to only have to use gas once or twice a month. I spend an outrageous amount on fuel some months, depending on whether I can get out of here or not and I drive a gas guzzling truck. This is an area I really need to concentrate on.

$5.74 to $20 Challenge

January 7th, 2012 at 04:31 pm

I found $5 in the pocket of a pair of jeans and .74 in the bottom of my purse. I have tons of change in the console of my truck, when I clean that out I will add that too.

Picking Up Produce on Side of the Road

January 7th, 2012 at 11:57 am

When I returned to my gate from my home town on Jan 2 I stopped to pick up three heads of cabbage along the side of the road. In my younger days I would have found this to be rather embarrassing. Now it doesn't bother me in the least. Right now it's cabbage season and the trucks frequently hit bumps in the road and lose their cabbage. I'm not the only one around those parts who pick it up. In late summer it's onions, I'm often on the side of the road picking those up too. Hey, it's free food!

5 No Spend Days

January 7th, 2012 at 11:52 am

For the first week of January I have had five no spend days. I was able to take off yesterday to San Antonio, it was great to get away to a big city for a change. I did buy a late Christmas gift, it was new but I'm not counting it in this years budget or buy only used category because the funds were actually out of my 2011 budget but I was not able to get to San Antonio to buy it.

So far this year I have had five no spend days.

Home Made Bread Success

January 4th, 2012 at 06:12 pm

I made a loaf of wheat bread yesterday and it came out pretty good. I added 3/4 cups of oatmeal which wasn't called for. The bread is nice and moist and not too dense as in the past. I'll make it again without the oatmeal and see what it is like. It made excellent toast.

I'm not sure if there is any savings in making your own bread but I'm sure it has to be better for you than all the preservatives that are in the store bought.

I found a recipe for bread bowls which sounds good, you can put anything from pasta to soups in them, I might try that one of these days.

NSD and Groceries

January 3rd, 2012 at 01:49 pm

Jan 1st was a no spend day, even though I was not working the gate.

Yesterday I went grocery shopping and spent $96.00. That total includes a tube of super glue for my son which cost right at 3.00. When I got to the gate I realized that I forgot to get vegetable oil. Hopefully I can make it without it. I don't see being able to leave the gate for another month or so and if I ask someone to bring it they won't accept the money for it. I do have some left, I'll have to use it sparingly.

I bought the larger packs of meat and seperated them into smaller 1 to 2 portion sizes. I used to this when my children were at home. I think it saves money. I even used to make my own laundry soap back then.

I plan to make a loaf of bread in a bit and maybe even some yeast rolls. I hope they turn out well if I watch the temp on the milk.

Have a great day everyone!

New Grocery Challenge/No Convenience Foods

January 1st, 2012 at 10:08 pm

I set my monthly grocery budget at $100.00 per month, I normally spend twice that if not more.

I know I will have to cut out soda and I'm thinking that will count for alot of other things too. I have a bread machine which I use for tortilla dough and I have made yeast roll dough and cooked the bread in the oven of my camper/trailer. Sometimes it comes out pretty good and sometimes not. It's probably something I'm doing, I never was good at baking, especially bread. Even in my bread machine the bread doesn't come out quite right. I'm hoping that I can start making my own again and I'd be interested in any recipes that have been successful for any of you SA members.

I do have a SO that eats over so this challenge will be....challenging! Hope he won't mind lots of beans this year! j/k I think I can find low cost and interesting meals, we'll see!

New Year Traditions Black Eyed Peas

January 1st, 2012 at 08:56 pm

We always have black eyed peas for New Years lunch, supposedly it brings good luck in the new year. Are there any traditions or superstitions where you live?

Here's to a GREAT 2012!

January 1st, 2012 at 07:35 pm

Bills for January paid already, now just to get the rest where it's budgeted to, so far off to a great start. I'm off for a couple of more days and then will have to get back to the gate.

Got great news that so far it looks like the gate I'm on will stay active into the summer months.

Hope everyone has gotten off to a great start this year! Happy New Year!