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What A Ridiculous Week!

April 28th, 2012 at 04:18 pm

This was a crazy-busy week. Glad it's over. The Husband and I were both working like crazy. We went to bed very early last night and slept late, which is 7:30 for us. Because of the busy week, the house is a mess! We were on survival for a couple of those days! Today we both have fun things to do, but we'll have a little bit of time to pull things back together with the help of the kids. I'm thinking tomorrow will be the day to be a little more thorough.

Dinners this week... I don't know which was which night! Can't remember!

Roasted Potatoes topped with poached eggs, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of chives from the garden. Super fast and easy... Heaven! We ate them with fresh pineapple and oranges.

Turkey burgers... homemade rolls, a bag of Trader Joe's fries from the freezer and salad.

Whole wheat noodles with spicy peanut sauce...

Meatball sandwiches... I make a *million* turkey meatballs at a time and freeze them. We just pulled a few from the freezer, cooked them in tomato sauce and ate them on homemade rolls. Everyone loved it.

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Yep. I'm in the group who hasn't really posted the spending for the last week or two. I just got too busy. But I always track all those expenses, so if I have time this weekend I'll go back and post. Our biggest expense this month, besides the mortgage (and the taxes!!), has been transportation, as always (gas, tolls, public transportation). We had a decent month, food-wise, but I hope May can be a little better. I always say that!

Daily Expense Challenge April 10

April 11th, 2012 at 03:06 pm

The kids are out of school on Spring Break, and we're not doing much, so I took them to see The Hunger Games. For a second time. A. Second. Time. Am I out of my mind?! It was the cheapest option of their ideas of what to do, by far, so I said okay. Yesterday was "cheap movie day"... although I'm certain there's a more official name. Anyway, the tickets were $5 each, so that was $15.00, cheaper than bowling, rock climbing, ice skating, etc.

Groceries... $21.90

Bridge Toll for the new car that doesn't have Fastrak, yet (but is going to get great mileage!)...$5

Gas (between three cars)... $80.62

The Husband had a stressful day at work, and had to sneak out between meetings for some ginger ale and Tums. I should stock some in his office, because I never, ever, never, ever, never-in-a-million-years would have paid $4.38 at Walgreens for that. Add to my To-Do list...

I was hoping that we could go away somewhere this weekend. Like I said, it's Spring Break, and we've got nothing planned. I was thinking of a quick trip to the coast or to San Francisco or just something to get us all out of the house doing something together. I got on Hotwire.com and there are some respectable deals there. Not sure if we will or not yet. The thing holding me back is actually the price of gas. I'm just sick of it. With the commuting that we do, I just hate paying for more gas. Perhaps the Hotwire deals will get cheaper as the week goes on to make up for the gas. I'm putting off making a decision.

Daily Expense Challenge April 7, 8, 9.... Ugh.

April 10th, 2012 at 03:09 pm

Well, at least we have a budget and I know it will all work out. Too many transactions! Makes my head spin!

It was a crazy weekend with a bit of travel, entertaining, treats for the kids, etc. It made me nervous as all the transactions were taking place, but I did know we had enough money set aside. Just would rather not spend it, of course. Blech.

April 7
Cleaners.....$17.45
Gifts/Treats for kids for Easter...... $68.47
My kids are older now, and this amount seems ridiculous, but of course I was certain to purchase either things they need or things they've been asking for that I might end up giving in on at some point, anyway. Swim goggles, new flip flops, $5 Jamba cards... I deducted some from the gifts category and some from clothing.
Gas.........$50.95
Groceries...$58.87
This included prepared foods from Whole Foods for lunch on the road.
TOTAL for the day: $195.74 Yikes!

April 8
Fastrak rebill.....$25.00
This is for our electronic bridge toll device. Years ago, we paid an initial amount, and now it rebills whenever the balance gets low, then charges us as we drive through. Fabulously convenient. I'm amazed that not everyone has one.
Food...............$56.92
This is not as bad as I'd expected. Like I said, I get overwhelmed by the number of transactions! This included grocery shopping for Easter, and was a little more because I bought food/drink items especially for guests that I would not have bought otherwise. My dad likes rootbeer, my step mom like a certain tea and I'd run out. We also had friends visit and we all got Jamba Juice and bagels and sat outside in the sun for lunch. It ended up being a decent deal. We got a dozen bagels and a few smoothies to share, and fed four adults and seven (big) kids.
TOTAL for the day: $81.92

April 9
Aaaah... back to reality!

I took four empty spice bottles to the health food store and refilled them with bulk spices... curry, cumin, thyme and turmeric. The total was $4.20. To buy all the spices in bottles would have been at least $12!

And we had breakfast for dinner, but we were out of milk and decided orange juice would be a nice treat. $9.08 for two gallons of milk and a carton of OJ.

TOTAL for the day: $13.28 Love that.

Daily Expense Challenge - April 6

April 7th, 2012 at 05:22 am

April 6
$7.21 for six vanilla beans and three oranges... I made some delicious cupcakes which I'm calling "Creamsicles!" The cupcakes are basic vanilla, but I added 2T. grated orange zest for 18 cupcakes. The orange-vanilla bean frosting is made from Spectrum shortening, powdered sugar, equal parts coconut milk and orange juice, and the seeds from one vanilla bean. The Husband said that they will replace my chocolate cupcakes with espresso frosting as his new favorite... and they were definitely reminiscent of a 50/50 or creamsicle bar!

$21.76 for cat food, almond milk, rice milk, ketchup and beer... ugh. I sent The Husband to the store, which I try never to do... and he threw some gourmet microbrews into the cart. He called it "shopping tax." Thought he was so clever... Smile

$7.50 The Husband spent this for lunch...

$10.51 for gas. It was $4.29 a gallon, so I just got enough to get around town for a day or two and make it to Costco, where it will no doubt be cheaper than that!

I think tomorrow will be our biggest spending day of the month if it works out. We found a car (internet site), after much searching, and we are going to go drive it, and buy it if it's as good a deal as it seems to be. I'm glad we did a lot of shopping around and educated ourselves. We haven't been in a hurry and I just knew a great deal would come along at some point. And this might be it! And if this one doesn't work, there will be another. Yikes. Cash out. It needs to be done, and we've planned for it, but I still don't like spending it! Smile If it doesn't work out, all we'll need tomorrow is gas and 50 lb. flour at Costco!

Dinners...
April 1 Pasta with Cheese, Salad
April 2 Curried Vegetables with Indian Crepes
April 3 Spicy Peanut Noodles and Vegetables
April 4 Mexican/tostadas
April 5 Cheese Pizza, salad, and carrots and dip
April 6 Roasted Potatoes and Poached Eggs

Good Brake News! and What is for Dinner?

April 5th, 2012 at 06:23 pm

The car place just called with the estimate for my brakes. It's $460, significantly less than the $600 I had expected! And they found a screw in one of the tires and they'll fix it at no charge. And best of all, it will be finished in a couple of hours!

Hoping that will be all my spending for today!

I want to do everything I can to avoid a trip to the grocery store today, so I'm thinking dinner might be pancakes and smoothies or maybe baked potatoes and salad. I'm just not in the mood to deal with grocery shopping!

On my cooking list for today:
homemade goldfish crackers
homemade wheat thins
pumpkin bread


Daily Expense Challenge - April 4

April 5th, 2012 at 04:43 am

Today I had to buy parking permits... which irritates me to no end!! In our neighborhood, we must buy permits if we want to park on the street overnight. There is a good reason for this craziness, but I still hate paying. Some years we don't get permits, but we decided that we need them this year. The people living in the house across the street from us have SEVEN cars, and they often park some of them in front of our house. When this happens, there is nowhere for our guests to park and it's just irritating. I can't explain why exactly, except that seven cars is just nuts! And it does happen that sometimes people park in front of our house and block part of our driveway... which is even more irritating (I call the police and they will ticket or tow!)

So I spent $36.00 on parking permits today. Grrr!

I also spent $4.13 for a big bag of masa and an avocado. For dinner I made homemade tortillas and we had tostadas. I make homemade flour tortillas all the time, but this was my first attempt at corn tortillas. I do not have a tortilla press, and they came out a little thick and sort of rustic-looking, but topped with an avocado slice... delicious! We had avocados and salsa and just used leftovers for other toppings...potatoes, a few beans, rice, a few kinds of meat, lettuce, etc. Everyone made their own. One swimbaby even made a scrambled egg and stuck it on top! It was one of those nights when everyone got exactly what they wanted.

Tomorrow will be a really yucky day, spending wise. I'm taking the car to get new brakes. It's usually around $600, but of course I'm hoping for less! For years we've gone to the same place for brakes for this car. (The Husband does the brakes on the other car, but this one is trickier.) Last time we needed brakes, The Husband thought he found a better deal at a different place. It ended up being a hassle because they did something wrong and we had to take it back twice. As far as I'm concerned, that was not a better deal. So back to the original place today.

Daily Expenses Challenge - April 3

April 4th, 2012 at 03:23 pm

Yesterday, April 3, was a bit spendy...

Swimbaby to the doctor (money came from pre-tax medical not checking or cash, so it almost doesn't count!) $15.00

Clothes for Swimbaby #4 $29.59
New tube for bike tire $ 7.53
Groceries $27.35
Gas $20.66
I didn't fill up because the price was $4.17 per gallon, and I'm hoping to find a better price in the next few days!
Muffin Pans $17.22

I know it will seem crazy to some, but it wasn't to me... I make a lot of muffins and cupcakes. For several years I've had three 12-cup muffin pans. But they were mismatched and wouldn't nest. They took up a lots of space in the cupboard in our tiny house, where space is precious. So it occurred to me yesterday that I could just get some new pans that will nest. I bought two new muffin pans, and put the other three in the donation pile. Geez, if I'd thought of it sooner, I probably would have done it sooner!

Doesn't seem to bad. I was thinking I had spent more yesterday because it seemed like I took care of several things that needed to be done. I'm okay with the total! $102.35

Today will be less. I'm hoping to avoid the grocery story, but we're probably out of milk. Frown