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Archive for May, 2015

Progress on Week #1 EFP Challenge

May 31st, 2015 at 09:58 pm

Week #1 from Eat from the Pantry Challenge

Sunday- Hash Brown Casserole with boneless chicken breast and garlic bread (Thanks Miz Pat for the recipe)
Delicious!!!
No spend day also!

Monday- Ate out but we scored a few free food items: one loaf of Italian bread, 3 butter sticks, 2 plates of chocolate chip cookies. We were also gifted napkins, plates and plastic cutlery.

Tuesday-Shrimp pasta with steamed broccoli

No spend day!

Wednesday-Grilled boneless ribs with yellow rice and steamed broccoli

No spend day!
Thursday- Burgers and potato chips

Eat from the Pantry Challenge

May 31st, 2015 at 03:33 pm

Every year, I challenge myself to feed the family from the pantry and avoid going grocery shopping, except for perishable staples. This challenge starts today for me; let see how long I can go without having to go grocery shopping.

Does anyone want to join the challenge?

Attitude of Gratitude

May 31st, 2015 at 02:35 am

Last Sunday we hosted a Memorial Day BBQ. We were having a really good time but as I was making coffee and frying some traditional corn fritters for my guests, out of nowhere the fritters became firecrackers and I burned my right hand badly. As I mentioned before, my husband and I made our way to the hospital and the burn was taken care. As a result, I missed four days of work and an additional four extra hours of an after school club at $36 an hour.

I am not complaining about the money...far from that. I actually have an attitude of gratitude for having a job that provides 10 days of sick time each year which can be carried over from one year to the next. I'm also grateful to have great health care with only a $25 co-payment for hospital visits and $10 copay for doctor's visits. I am as well, grateful for the ability to pay for the medical supplies to properly care for my hand and most of all for living in a country with advance medicine and overall great medical care.

Accidents like these can happen when you least expected and can easily disrupt our lives, even if it is for a short while. One of the reasons we will continue to pay ourselves first, live below our means and keep it frugal to be able to do what we deem important to us.

Cooking mishap

May 29th, 2015 at 12:21 am

I'd been nursing a second degree burn on my right hand and I'm hoping like heck that I don't get a scar. Honestly, I am grateful that my SIL's boyfriend was talking to me and I had my face turned towards him because it would've been my face. The burn was taken care at the hospital and as soon as they applied the antibiotic cream the pain subsided. What has kept me out of work for the last four days is the tetanus shot. The side effect of the shot are horrendous (flu-like symptoms and extreme muscle ache). I guess the hospital deemed it necessary. I return to my doctor tomorrow and hope to be back at work on Monday. I thought I felt the cooking oil land on top of my head and today I felt some tenderness. I'll let the doctor look at it tomorrow. When it rains, it pours.

And to make this money related, tomorrow is pay day so I'm scheduling transfers to EF and retirement home fund. I also have to pay a few bills.

Shifting gears

May 21st, 2015 at 03:54 pm

I resolved to go back to writing checks to pay bills. I just feel that it is easier to keep tabs on the money. I've found myself paying huge credit card bills and scrambling to pay them off at the end of the month.

Yesterday my car was scratched badly by a coworker to the tune of $971 in damages. She is paying me instead of claiming it to the car insurance. I am so frustrated because I take care of that car like a baby and it seems like I can't catch a break. Frown

"Credit buying is much like being drunk. The buzz happens immediately and gives you a lift.... The hangover comes the day after." - Joyce Brothers

State Refund/Work/Sister

May 17th, 2015 at 10:09 pm

Our NJ state refund is due to be deposited on May 21. We don't plan to save this money since we want to get a storm/screen door for the front door and the mattress for the farmhouse canopy bed I scored for $200.00 at an online garage sale (retails @ Pottery Barn for $1,600). The original owners bought it a few months prior to buying a house and the bed did not fit in their new place. The bed is absolutely immaculate. Depending on how much we can stretch the money, we would like to also replace the storm door in the back of the house.

The countdown to the end of the school year begins tomorrow! Nineteen school days and summer freedom. It will be twice as nice because I enrolled in summer savings and I will get a paycheck for July and August.

On another note, I will ask for prayers for my sister who is getting her first dialysis and kidney biopsy. Things are not looking good. All of us (six brothers and sisters) will be getting tested to see if we can donate her a kidney in the near future. Please, please pray for her. Thank you.



Payday and State Pension

May 15th, 2015 at 05:21 pm

Today is payday and I managed to make the biweekly contribution to the emergency fund as well as the retirement home fund. I also paid a big chunk of the credit card bill and I will pay the remainder before is due in June.

Now for a little bit of a rant. The governor of New Jersey has failed to fund public employees state pensions for the second month this year. If he is successful, pension money will run out in 12 years. I will be vested in the PERS next year (10 years). Public employees are automatically enrolled in the pension system, no chance to turn it down. I'd say let me keep the money I contribute every month and I will forgo the pension. I'm sure that I can do a much better job at investing my money and make my retirement money work for me!

Save the hash brown?

May 13th, 2015 at 05:16 pm

I have a bag of hash brown in my freezer I'd like to use soon. Does anyone have an easy recipe using hash brown other than a breakfast item? I'm making burgers today for dinner and I would preferably love to use the hash brow today to go with the burgers. Can anyone save the hash brown from freezer burn?

Saved the day and made it a NSD

May 12th, 2015 at 09:49 pm

As I mentioned before, I am trying to save May from the reigns of my money recklessness during the first 10 days of the month. Today I had a small victory in the "eating out" department thanks to my germ phobia. Let me explain... I stopped by the bank after work to withdraw some money from my son's custodial account (that will be changing soon now that he is 21 years old). Suddenly, I felt the urge to stop at McDonalds but I got skeeved out with the fact that I handled the bank's drive thru cylinder and the money. I had no germicide in the car and there was no way I was going to get out of car; I was too tired! Now, I am happy that I had dirty hands because when I got home I made a really savory pasta with shrimp (fresh garlic, heavy cream, butter, pinch of red flakes and shrimp over bow tie pasta)and steamed broccoli. There is something about handling money that just grosses me out or maybe I'm just weird.

Is Frugality sustainable without a Goal?

May 12th, 2015 at 01:20 pm

The other day, I was reading a blog (Frugalwoods.com), which by the way has become one of my favorites, and the author posed the question, is it possible to sustain frugality without a goal. I am most frugal when I set big financial goals. What about you? Is frugality a way of life for you or a way to get financial goals accomplished? Right now, our big goal is to save enough money to pay for a retirement home using cash.

May so far

May 10th, 2015 at 02:19 pm

Firstable, Happy Mother's Day to all of the SA Moms and single Dads!

May has been a doozy. I've not track daily expenses and we've spend way too much, but I think that May can still be saved. I don't regret the big purchases but it's the little daily expenses that have been out of control like eating out. I blame my job for the stress; end of the year things in a school can be rather trying, but as of today I will put my foot down and deal with the stress a bit differently. Luckily, the next pay checks are are rather big and I hope to be able to save and pay the credit card.

On another note, our home's surroundings are beginning to look gorgeous. We moved here in the November so I was waiting to see how nice the property looked in full bloom. The house seats in 1.05 acre lot. Extremely unusual for our town. Most homes in our town sit on a 50x100. I found this beautiful spinning thingamajig at Costco to put in the front of the house. I paid $30 for it, but I really enjoy and love it. I've gotten lots of compliments on it.

the spinner



front porch (one of my favorite things in my home.


A small splurge!

May 3rd, 2015 at 12:48 am

We are splurging tonight and ordered the boxing (pay per view). It is $90 to watch. I made a pot of chili and bought chicken wings at Costco. We are having a few family members and friends come to watch with us and they are bringing their own beer and burgers to cook on the grill. It should be fun!