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Frugal doings

August 17th, 2019 at 07:31 pm

I bought a double pack of young whole chicken at Costco. I loved roasting these in the oven as they are so very tender (literally fall off the bone). A double pack is a little over $10 and I think I can make 4 or 5 dinners out of each roaster for a family of three. And if you wonder how I seasoned the chicken: I use Goya Adobo, fresh garlic and I put a whole onion in the chicken cavity and marinate for at least 12 hours.

Meal #1:

Husband ate a little bit of the dark meat with a drumstick and I ate chicken breast meat complimented with white rice, black beans (Spanish style) with homemade Pico de Gallo. Oh...so good

Meal #2: (possibly Monday)

I'll make chicken burritos with lettuce, black beans, homegrown diced tomatoes, shredded cheese, salsa and guacamole.

Meals #3: (Wednesday)

Gnocci chicken soup with homemade dinner rolls.

Meal #4: (Friday)

Spanish Arroz con Pollo (chicken rice), beans and tomato slices.

I may add that the roaster yield 30 cubes of chicken stock as well.

Not bad for a $6 roaster!

I also put together homemade clothes stain remover (1 cup of peroxide and half a cup of Dawn blue dish washer detergent mixed in a spray bottle).

Payday update

August 15th, 2019 at 06:53 am

It's pay day today in our house. I paid the credit cards in full, paid a few bills and transferred some money to our savings account. I also contributed $150 to my Roth IRA. I already set up the next electronic contribution. By the end of the month I will have contributed $3K to the Roth. I'm going to work really hard to fully fund the Roth IRA by April.

Feeling so grateful!


August 14th, 2019 at 10:07 am

Thank you all who helped me make a decision. I decided on option #2 even though it is less money but I will be in town, won't have to do lesson plans, grading (which by the way can take more than four hours of work to be done correctly and thoroughly). I will be 50 years old this month and I'm at a stage of my life where I just want to work to earn a little bit of money, come home and do what makes me happy.

I am clear in the direction I want my life to go even if it's for a while. Our financial obligations will be met through faith in God, diligence and resourcefulness. We have no children to take care of and no consumer debt to worry about and we intend to keep it that way.

A new leaf

August 9th, 2019 at 10:27 am

My job interview with the private school went well and I was offered the position (part-time). I start right after Labor Day. The pay is enough to cover our mortgage and continue funding my ROTH IRA. It is 1/3 of what I used to earn but it was expected. Not having credit card, student loans or car debt to pay as well as a healthy emergency fund has given us more freedom to earn and work less and still be able to live a meaningful life. We have to continue being resourceful, but it's a trade off I'll gladly take.

Hubby did it again!

August 5th, 2019 at 05:51 am

My husband is a Jack of all trades, master of none. He spend sometime researching and watching videos on Youtube to try to figure out what was wrong with our fridge. As I mentioned before, we have a Samsung duo cooling refrigerator. The fridge part of it was not cooling enough to keep food from spoiling. Fortunately, the middle tray was working as well as the freezer. We borrowed a small beer fridge from DS#1 to hold us over until my husband was able to either fix it or deemed it junk.

After some arduous hours, he was able to fix it and it's working beautifully now. Yay for hubby who saved us tons of money! Lowe's Warranty decided to pay us for the purchase price instead of sending someone out as they were not able to get us scheduled in a timely fashion. We'll set the money aside for a new fridge when the time comes.

I (we) paid February, 2020 mortgage payment. I started making mortgage payments ahead of schedule when I was gainfully employed for peace of mind. Our Florida home is two months ahead as well. I have an interview tomorrow at a different school setting (private school). It's a part-time job; three and a half days, Monday and Tuesday morning off. Let's see what happens.

I took my Mom to church and late lunch/dinner. She was happy to be out and about and she is feeling much better two weeks after her surgery. I suspect she will want to go back home soon. I'm glad the political turmoil in the island has subsided a bit. Corruption is the M O of politician there.

Yay for family member!

August 1st, 2019 at 09:39 pm

The family member, who owes me money, Venmo me $250 today. Since, I wasn’t expecting it, as soon as the money is transferred to my account, I’ll set up an automatic contribution to my Roth IRA. Hopefully, he’ll continue paying. I'm also hoping to get a part-time job to fully fund the Roth in full.

Payday update

July 30th, 2019 at 06:28 am

Pay day today for my husband. Thank God for the extra overtime, check which was close to $550 net. I paid half of what is owed on the credit card, made a $150 contribution to my Roth IRA, transferred some money to the savings account and left a little bit to cover groceries and smaller bills. I'll make the February 2020 mortgage payment the first week of August.

I haven't heard from the interview for a teacher's aide position. I am guessing it will be a while (closer to the beginning of the school), meanwhile I will seek other part-time job opportunities.

Weekly update

July 26th, 2019 at 08:22 am

Nearly 5 years ago (when we bought our current home), we bought all new stainless steel appliances on Black Friday at Lowe's. The dishwasher, stove and microwave oven are GE brand. Unfortunately, we were not able to get a GE fridge and opted to get a Samsung. It's a beautiful french door fridge with the center tray and duo cooling. Well, nearly 5 years into it, the top part of the fridge is not working. However, thhe freezer and center tray are working.

We called Samsung to see if any of it was still under warranty. We encountered nothing but really bad customer service. A sassy customer rep and a husband with a quick mouth are recipe for disaster. Anyway, it occurred to me that we did get an extended warranty and my husband called to see what was covered under the warranty. The customer rep was very pleasant and helpful. Since, he could not get us a repair person until late next week he said he was going to put a claim in so that we could get back what we paid for the fridge and taxes. Well, a day later, the claim was approved and we are getting a refund for the purchase. They also do not want the fridge back. My husband will try to fix it or will just go out and buy another fridge. If it can be inexpensively fixed, we'll put the refund money aside in a sinking fund for future use.

Fortunately, we've been able to add to our savings account despite the loss of income. It helps that the mortgage is paid until February of 2020. I did make the February payment with my sick time pay out though. The goal is to keep and add to savings despite of the significant income reduction.

Sick-time payout

July 18th, 2019 at 08:21 pm

I finally received the check for sick time payout from my former employer. I am using some of it to pay the remainder of this month's credit card bill (which we pay in full at the end of the month), some will go to savings, $150 to a Roth IRA contribution and about $200 will remain in the checking account.

Payday update

July 15th, 2019 at 09:20 am

Today is payday for my husband. I did a sweep of what was left in the checking account. No much left ($50) and added what he earned in overtime pay and transferred that to savings ($330). I want to continue saving money even though our income is a heck of lot less now. I don't want to lose the saving habit. Smile

I also made a Roth IRA contribution of $150 and a credit card payment of $700. We have just enough to cover some small bills.

I have an interview a week from Thursday for a part-time Special Education teacher's aide. I don't want to be a teacher (if I can help it). Let's see how that goes. We are returning home on Sunday and after that my time will be spend taking care of my Mom as she recuperates from surgery. I'm so glad to have the time to care for her.

Grocery budget and other things

July 8th, 2019 at 07:27 pm

The grocery budget is $50 a week, excluding cleaning supplies and dog food. I spent $46 at Aldi today but I have to get bread. I have plenty of dog treats and food, cleaning supplies and laundry detergent in my stock pile.

My husband and I will be away for a little over a week soon. I bought plenty of food the last time I was in FL, so food purchase will be at a minimum as we plan to do all meals at home. We will be spending a bit of money getting home and going to the airport on Uber. We arrive late and will leave early and I don't want to bother my brother. He works two jobs and asking him to pick us up would be selfish.


July 4th, 2019 at 07:17 pm

I (we)have $200 to spare this pay period and I'll put this money in our savings account. I am grateful to be able to put something in our savings and increase it even if it's smaller amounts (smaller than we are used to). I scheduled a contribution to my Roth IRA for July 15th. Fortunately, my husband has worked overtime and I felt like we could spare some of the extra money to fund my retirement account as much as we can.

Uber Frugal Month Challenge:

July 1st-Spend day
July 2nd-Spend day
July 3rd-No spend day
July 4th-No spend day

Midweek update

July 3rd, 2019 at 05:45 pm

I have a friend who is sells a specific product on Facebook. I've purchased only one time because it's not something I would use regularly. She keeps sending me offers and I was really honest with her and told her that my budget is super tight and I am not able to buy anything. She replied by saying that she understood. When your financial situation changes it is best to tell people and be honest. I am hoping she won't send me any other promotions.==

I took all the paperwork/application to a neighboring town public school. I am hoping to have something set up for September. The mortgage on our primary residence is paid until January of 2020. DS#2 is paying the property taxes. I am also taking advantage of lower summer heating oil rates to fill up the tank.

I hoping to be able to harvest some tomatoes by early next month. I'm on my second romaine lettuce harvest. We also picked up the tumbling compost bin that we got from freecycle.com and it's so nice. Nothing wrong with it!

More trimming

June 29th, 2019 at 07:22 am

I am still on the quest to trim some expenses from our budget. It occurred to me last night to check if Spectrum, internet provider of our Florida home, provides seasonal suspension of services. I was pleased to find out that for a $4.99 fee, I can suspend services temporarily. I already set it up for a $45 per month savings during the time that we are away.

We are going with creditcardfree suggestion of getting an antenna. Our cable and internet bill is truly out of control. I am reevaluating all of our negotiable expenses to trim as much as we can.

I also realized that I really need to stop cooking as if I was feeding an army. Too much food waste!

Trimming the fat from the budget

June 28th, 2019 at 01:18 pm

Trying to trim the fat off our budget. No more Amazon Prime, don't use it enough to keep it. I can buy milk, bread and eggs for a month with the nearly $14 I spend on that. Some may say that it's chump change but to me it's not. I asked my husband to call Geico and see how we can save some money on auto/HO/Umbrella Policy. My son's car is under my husband's name. Next week, we will turn the title over to him and he will have to secure insurance under his name. He pays us for his portion but we don't need a liability especially now that he is 25 years old and can get insurance at a reasonable rate. Next, is the ridiculous cable bill.


June 20th, 2019 at 12:17 pm

Well, I'm done. My last day at work was today. I received a "live check" as they want to make sure I returned the school issued computer, keys and ID card. I am not going to lie, I cried a bit on my way home. I spent 13 years of life there. I do feel a huge relief and a weight off my shoulders. Financially speaking it will be tight but I feel confident that we will make it work.

Get together and updates

June 17th, 2019 at 04:54 pm

My coworkters surprised me with a farewell get together. I felt special and overwhelmed at the same time. I don't like having all the attention. We had delicious cake and I was gifted a beautiful necklace from the Staff Club and a few other individual gifts. The education association gifted me $100. I also received a certificate of appreciation. It was indeed a very nice day for me. Three more days and that's it for me. I'm sure I will work in a school setting again but I'm not sure at a teacher capacity. That is, unless something changes in our lives. Never say never!

I'll get my last check on Thursday and sick time payout next month. I'll be joining the Uber Frugal Month Challenge for the month of July at Frugalwoods.com as I will have to be super resourceful from this point forward.
I also joined freecycle.com and I already put a "wanted" post for a compost tumbler and cloth napkins. Someone already responded and I'm getting a free compost tumbler on Sunday. My husband will be picking it up for me because I'll be away come Friday.

P.S. On my second month of no electric bill. For some reason (maybe too many calculated bills)last month we had a $69 credit and this month a $16 credit. Feeling excited!