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Archive for March, 2014

Weekly update

March 29th, 2014 at 05:11 pm

MIL was laid to rest on Wednesday. It was an extremely difficult day but I finally went back to work yesterday and boy was it hard to get back to the swing of things!

I am trying really hard to continue saving as much as we can and the first thing I do every paycheck is to pay ourselves first and then take care of the bills and groceries. The month of April will be a bit difficult financially. This week, we will get a final number on how much we will have to pay the IRS. We'll be going to south for spring break. This trip is a blessing in disguise, given the emotional roller coaster we've been through. We've earned enough credit card rewards to pay for the car rental and a couple of nights at a hotel. We will stay with my mom for the remaining of the week. She would be offended if we did not.

As for work, I will be out of the classroom for almost four weeks due to state testing. I was designated a test administrator for various grade levels. Frown

This is it for this week, I hope you all have a great weekend and a frugal workweek.

Emotional week

March 24th, 2014 at 01:47 am

This week will be a very emotional week for our family as we say our last goodbyes to a wonderful, kind, compassionate and virtuous woman, my mother-in-law. It's been so difficult for me to comfort my husband and my sons whom loved their grandmother to pieces. She is being lay to rest in a mausoleum closed to her own parents. The bulk of her funeral arrangements are covered by her savings with each of her children chipping in $400 per family to cover the mausoleum. She had nine children. My husband and I also hosted the family for pizza, antipasto salad and beverages to honor her memory and to be together during this very difficult time. I already had plenty of 2 litter sodas stored at the house from previous get togethers and the cost of the pizza and salad came to $130. Thank God, we have the means to contribute because quite frankly, she deserved nothing but the best. I understood early in our marriage why my hubby loved his Mom. In my eyes, he was the best son a mom could ever asked for.

Please keep us in our prayers and thoughts.

:(

March 21st, 2014 at 06:46 pm

It is a very sad day in our family. My mother-in-law passed away this morning. It has been a couple of very emotional weeks. She was a wonderful woman and we are going to miss her so very much. Frown

Switching meal plans today

March 19th, 2014 at 04:00 pm

Both hubby and I will be going to the hospital to see his Mom. No changes on her condition and the whole picture continues to be grim. I am going to switch meal plans today. I had intended for Saturday to be an "eat out" day, so we will eat out today and eat at home on Saturday. I also donated $2 I had in my coat pocket to a collection our school is holding to buy gift cards for the school nurse's daughter (am I using possessives correctly?)who is currently undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. I have another $5 but we will have to pay $4 for parking at the hospital. What a rip off this is! It's not like they need the money. This hospital was voted one of the best places to work in New Jersey and I'm sure their revenue is astronomical.

Reducing Stress and Saving Money

March 18th, 2014 at 03:37 pm

Meal planning is saving us money and reducing stress. No eating out yesterday. I made a lasagna on Sunday for Monday's dinner. Hubby put it in the oven for me and was fully cooked when I got home from work. Today will be another successful "no eat out" day. I have a whole turkey in the oven and hubby is prepping the potatoes for me so that when I get home from work all have to do is prepare the mash potatoes and make a little bit of gravy with the turkey drippings. Mash potatoes, turkey and corn for dinner today. I don't think turkey should just be for Thanksgiving. I love that I usually get between four or five meals out the turkey for future dinners. I paid $14 for the turkey so each dinner portion comes out between $2.80 to $3.50. A bargain in my eyes! Tomorrow, I'll be making soft tacos with all the trimmings and I'm stretching the meat by trying the recipe below. I purchased dry red kidney beans for $1.30 a pound. Beans are a big staple in our meals.

Use this thrifty base as a substitute for ground beef in your favorite recipes. It makes enough for two yields of most recipes, so don't forget to double the recipe it's used in.

Master Meat Mix
Prep: 20 minutes
Yield: About 3 lb. 6 oz.
Ingredients
•1 14.5 oz. can kidney beans, drained, 1/4 cup liquid reserved
•2 lb. 85 percent lean ground beef
•2 large eggs, lightly beaten
•1 large onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)
•4 cloves garlic, minced
•1/2 cup fresh parsley
•1 tsp salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
Directions
1. In a large bowl, using a fork, mash kidney beans with reserved liquid. Add beef, eggs, onion, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper and mix gently but thoroughly with your fingers.
2. Divide mixture into 2 portions, about 1 lb. 11 oz. each. Use immediately or place each portion in a large ziplock bag, squeeze out air and seal. Refrigerate for up to 1 day or freeze for up to 1 month.

MIL and update

March 15th, 2014 at 08:13 pm

First thing first, Banker Gurl, please know that I'm thinking of you and hope you find comfort and a resolution soon. ((HUGS))

My MIL has been in the ICU for nearly seven days, she is now hooked up to a ventilator and her prognosis is grim. She spend a six weeks in the hospital/rehabilitation center almost the whole entire month of January and part of February. She came home and last Sunday was rushed to the hospital with respiratory problems. It is a waiting game now; we are so sad and my husband's heart is crushed (his own words).

We spent a lot of money, more than I care to admit, on eating out this past week mostly because I was lazy. Tomorrow, I am going grocery shopping and I need to purchased fish or shrimp for "no meat Fridays". We are Catholic and as part of Lent, we must abstain from eating meat. We are doing well with savings are I've been very diligent saving for the summer months and funding the 52 Weeks Savings Challenge.

I am also hoping that hubby finds employment by next September. As much as I like the extra money I make working the extra nine hours a week, by the end of the week, I am exhausted. It's amazing how draining it is to work with loud children every day. Meanwhile, I asked my husband to stop searching for work for now since he needs to spend a lot of time in the hospital and because we will be away for a week in April.

This is it for today. Have a wonderful weekend and a frugal workweek. If you find it in your heart, please pray for our family. Thank you.

We saved $200

March 8th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

The hot water pressure in our home was almost none existence. So much so that I resorted to put a bucket under the shower head to collect all the water we wasted waiting for the hot water to come on. My husband descaled the pipes yesterday and OMG, the pressure is awesome and the hot water comes on in less than a minute. Our neighbor pays $200 to get someone to descale the pipes in his home. It is fair for me to say that we saved $200 by doing it ourselves. /

My 52 Week Saving Challenge (backwards) is at $723. It is more than it should be because every week I challenge myself to put more money than the required weekly amount. As for the checking account money sweep challenge, I decided that I would sweep the $500 before my next paycheck to savings. I figured I'd transfer the money back to the checking if I needed. I'm just trying to avoid the temptation of spending the money on frivolous things.

I earned the 40,000 points from Barclay's credit card already, which means that the car rental will pretty much be free for our trip to Florida. I'm using this card exclusively in order to see if we can earn enough points to get a few free nights at a hotel. Of course, the balances are paid in full at the end of the month.

Well that's it for today, wishing you all a great weekend and a frugal workweek.

Checking Account Sweep Challenge

March 3rd, 2014 at 07:02 pm

Every pay period I am challenging myself to sweep a certain amount of money from the checking account to savings. It is March 3rd and the next pay check will be on March 14th and I hope to sweep $500 of the $950 remaining in the checking. Hope I can do it! I still have a credit card to pay. Wish me luck.